The device performance of a solar air heater featured with recycling as well as wire mesh packed was investigated experimentally and theoretically. The deviations between the theoretical predictions and experimental measurements were calculated within 1.07-9.32%. Comparisons were made among different designs including the single-pass, flat-plate double-pass, and recycling wire mesh packed double-pass operations. The applications of wire mesh and recycle-effect concept to the present study were proposed in aiming to strengthen the convective heat transfer coefficient due to the turbulence enlargement. The collector efficiency of the recycling wire mesh packed double-pass operation is much higher than the other configurations under various recycle ratios and mass flow rates.