The sun is a resource sitting right above your head and an easy one to tap, if it actually does the job.

I’m totally going to show my age, but writing the title for this article made me smile. If someone had me asked that question when I was a teenager, I would have thought they were crazy.

Anyways, keeping your phone charged is obviously a real need. Solar chargers exist, and the idea of being able to charge your phone on the go is enticing. Do they work, though?

The Scoop

Way back in 2011, Jessica Dolcourt writing for CNET wrote she felt solar chargers for phones weren’t worth it. The chargers available at the time took too long to give your phone a boost and it wasn’t really worth your while as you wouldn’t get a fully charged battery in the end, anyway.

But it’s 2017 and the tides have changed. How so? Some chargers are now powerful enough that they’re impressively able to replenish the batteries of multiple devices at once.

And they do still require direct sunlight, (except for the JOOS Orange which can actually charge something underwater), but the whole process is much quicker.

Solartab can charge an iPhone in about 90 minutes under the right conditions, and others are following suit.

Many solar chargers can also be plugged in and charged the old fashioned way, and then used as a portable battery. This is definitely something useful if you’re going to be away from an outlet for a moderate amount of time.

The bottom line of pros and cons? Yes, solar chargers aren’t cheap and can run into the hundreds of dollars but if you need your phone or camera to last for weeks while you’re trekking, it’s worth it.

If you’re inclined to greener pastures and trying to take a load of the electrical grid by going green every way you can, it’s a good investment. You get to explore solar power on a small level, while reducing your footprint.

No, you're not going to gathering so much sun that you can sell power back to the city-or really getting your money back on your investment. But do you buy a solar charger in order to make or save money?

For a list of 8 great solar chargers to consider, click here .