Best Solar Powered Radio For Prepping And Survival

Best Solar Powered Radio

solar radio

A radio is an essential and very necessary part of your survival gear. 
In any disaster situation you must be able to keep up to date with the latest information to ensure you are able to keep ahead of any trouble, and the humble radio is the first choice, more precisely a solar powered radio, in keeping yourself informed and a prepper 'must have', whether at home or in your bug out bag.

Many radios only work on standard batteries, and as such, are frowned upon by preppers as something to be avoided if at all possible. Their lack of longevity makes the battery powered radio pretty useless. 

But, for longer term survival situations, the answer is to look for the best solar powered radio that eliminate the need to replace batteries.

Why is a radio so important?

Every bit of information you have at your disposal enables you to make specific, informed decisions.
These decisions could affect your overall strategy in a disaster or SHTF situation.

There is, of course, no guarantee that the information broadcast during a disaster is actually the correct information at all, and with all the 'fake news' that's around you have to be careful.

It could quite easily be government propaganda designed to mislead and cajole you into a false sense of security.

But whatever it is - it's information for you to process and assist you to make survival decisions.

On the face of it
just about any radio is a good radio,
so long as it's working.

Of course, as preppers it is important to have equipment working 100% of the time.


There are radios that will give you a weather band, this is very handy. AM/FM and shortwave are pretty standard,

Physical Size

Don't pick a radio that's to bulky.
To get decent sound and volume the speaker needs to be a decent size, but, you might want to be able to put the radio in a your pocket or in a small side pocket on your rucksack.

However, for SHTF entertainment or if you want to be listening with the family then get a slightly larger radio.
But remember - the bigger the speaker, the more power it is going to use. 

Power Consumption

An emergency radio is essential, but it also needs to last a long time with very little demands in terms its of power consumption.
It is preferred if there is some way to power the radio,this leads us to  have a hand crank or a solar panel already built in.
Using solely a battery-powered radio as your main power source is a bad idea.
If you do, then go for one that takes AA or AAA batteries, the most common battery sizes and definitely use rechargeable batteries, and don't forget, keep them topped up.

As well as not requiring batteries, your radio needs to offer as many other features as possible to make it a true piece of prepping kit - these 'extra' feature would include:

  • Solar charged
  • Wind up charged
  • Built in torch
  • Earphone socket
  • USB charge outlet
  • Mobile phone charger outlet

Most preppers prefer the combined solar and wind up radios as these give you two choices to power the radio.

The sunlight will charge your radio during the day and if it’s used at night time and the charge gets low you can hand wind to keep it recharged.

I think having the two options is a must for prepping. There must be a limit to the number of winds for maximum playback time, but I've never tried that to find out..! 

My personal choice for the best solar powered radio: is the Duronic Apex Digital Wind Up/Solar Radio, shown below:
It ticks all the boxes for me.

As you can see, it is compact, fits perfectly in the palm of my hand, and is very nicely laid out, the dials and controls are straightforward, easy to use, and it picks up the radio station easily.

Also,  it will easily fit in the map pocket of a pair of combat trousers.

When you first get your solar powered radio I would suggest giving a full charge using the USB charging port on your pc to start with. That makes life a lot easier.

When it comes to solar radios, the charge times will vary from make to make and also from day to day.
The quality and amount of sunshine the solar panel absorbs has too many variables to really give an accurate playback time, but I have never had any problems when I leave mine out in during the day.

Using the additional wind up method is very handy and I have found that 30 seconds of winding the hand crank will give 9 minutes of playback time.

If you use the built in torch or the phone charging socket this is reduced considerably.

Best Solar Powered Radio Comparison



Phone charge socket

AM / FM radio

Hand Crank wind up

Earphones socket


Charge indicator

Shower proof *not fully waterproof or submersable.

This Duronic Apex is an all round 'good guy', with all the features you will want when stuck out in the wild or on prepping practice.

I would consider reception to be average and on par with most other radios I have used heard.

In the basic radio mode you can expect a good run life, however, when using the torch or charging socket that time is reduced considerably.
So a good days charge is really essential to get the best out of it

The torch is more than sufficient for night time use with three LED units which give a good sharp beam of light.

The radio tuning and time are back lit which is nice for night time viewing.

There's also a master on/off switch on the base which is very handy and stops you accidentally switching the unit on and wasting charge.

five stars

Overall value for money I give this 5 stars:
For the latest prices please click here:
Duronic Apex Solar Radio 


Another 5 star contender for the best solar powered radio.

The Roberts Freeplay is a rugged outdoor radio with added benefit of being waterproof, although I haven't actually fully submerged one yet!

Torch is average. LED lights give a decent beam, but will drain the battery faster than the radio does - so use wisely or you'll be forever winding it up.

I like the shape and simplicity, but unfortunately the tuning window isn't back lit for night time. 


Phone charge socket

AM / FM radio

Hand Crank wind up

Earphones socket


Charge indicator


Overall, value for money, I would give this an easy 4 stars:

More info & latest price here:

four stars

#3  -  Degen DE13  - £22


Phone charge socket

AM / FM radio

Hand Crank wind up

Earphones socket


Charge indicator

Shower proof *not fully waterproof or submersable.

Another solid bit of survival kit.

The Degan has all the feature of the 5 star Duronic and is on par with the price at £22

Fairly lightweight at 256 grams and measuring in at:133 x 62 x 47mm (WxHxD) it's still one to consider.

four stars

Overall, value for money, I would give an easy 4 stars

For the latest prices please click here:
DEGAN Solar Radio 

# 4   -    ROBERTS DAB/FM -   £85

The Roberts DAB solar radio is not really a preppers / survival type of radio, but I think worth mentioning to give an example of what's out there on offer.

With this radio it's more about sound quality than actual survival and practical use.

Being a more top end radio you will be paying a premium for the DAB function, and it comes in at around the £65 mark.

It will work and give you a good quality radio reception powered by solar (mono through the radios one speaker or stereo through the earphones)


Phone charge socket

DAB + AM / FM radio

Hand Crank wind up

Earphones socket


Charge indicator

Shower proof *not fully waterproof or submersable.

three stars

Overall value for money I give this 3 stars:
For the latest prices please click here:
ROBERTS Solar Radio 

Steve Hart UK Prepper

Make sure you have some form of radio at all times - it really is essential to have information from as many sources as possible.

If you go with a radio that's only battery powered, you can guarantee it will fail when you need it the most..!

In a SHTF situation, word of mouth can be backed up by radio reports. Problem areas can be avoided and decisions made to help keep you safe.

It's a small price to pay for a lot of useful survival info.....

Happy Prepping Folks,  Steve

BE PREPARED - newsletter

  • Enter Name & Valid Email Address
  • You will receive an Email titled 'Preppers Newsletter Subscription'
  • Simply confirm, and you've joined our community of preppers


Skip to comment form

    • ss on April 5, 2016 at 1:13 pm
    • Reply

    I enjoy reading a post that can make men and women think.

    • Molly Moo on December 6, 2015 at 5:19 pm
    • Reply

    I never realised you could charge you phone from these.
    Very handy indeed.
    And cheap, And good looking…. what more can I say.
    I want one….

    • ToodleLoo on December 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm
    • Reply

    Informative article, my radio is always using up batteries!!!
    Might be time for a change.

    • Elf on December 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm
    • Reply

    What a great article

    thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.