Best Portable Solar Panels

portable solar panels for camping Solar

Choosing a Portable Solar Panel? We created this guide, so you can find the best Portable Solar Panels on the market.

We’ve analyzed all of the Portable Solar Panels on the market, looking at reviews, cost, ease of purchase, and many other factors.

Thus, we have compiled a ranking of the best Portable Solar Panel.

Portable Solar Panel

Portable Solar Panels: In a nutshell

  • The same panels can be used everywhere: portable solar panels for home, portable solar panels for camping, portable solar panels for caravan use, and portable solar panels for RV.
  • Many portable solar panels are now available that are lightweight, powerful, and built to withstand the elements.
  • Better or higher solar cell efficiency means you need a smaller panel area to achieve a given power output.

What is Solar Battery?

A battery is a container for storing solar energy collected in daylight, for immediate use or later use.

The Benefits of Using Portable Solar Panels for Camping

  • Solar energy is natural, renewable, and free. That’s why you need good sunlight when you’re on the road to use your gadgets and appliances.
  • You can take a portable battery with you wherever you go and charge your batteries whenever you want. Unlike generators, the use of which is restricted in some campgrounds because of the noise and pollution they create, solar panels can be used without restrictions as long as they are safe.
  • A good portable solar panel system gives you the ability to travel to remote locations without electricity without depriving yourself of the use of essential items such as a refrigerator, camping lights, cell phones, and other devices.
  • Portable solar panels will allow you to save significantly. You no longer have to pay huge amounts of money for electricity. Most areas that allow you to charge your devices and appliances require exorbitant fees.

Best Choice – Portable Solar Panel

Renogy Portable Foldable Solar Panel

Renogy Portable Foldable 2Pcs 50W Solar Panel

Features:

  • Entire Off-Grid Power System.
  • Versatility and Portable: The solar case is compatible with gel, sealed, lithium, and flooded batteries.
  • Adjustable, corrosion-resistant aluminum stand as well as durable handle and latches are perfect for outdoor activities, like hiking, camping, events, road trips, and motorhome.

The Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Portable Solar Suitcase is an entire solar power system incorporated into one small package. This suitcase includes two fully waterproof(IP66) 50 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panels, one 20 Amp waterproof Voyager Charge Controller, one tray cable with alligator clips for easy connection to the battery, and a protective casing for safe portability.

Open Circuit Voltage (Voc) 21.6 V
Short Circuit Current (Isc) 6 A
Folded Size 19.9 x 27.2 x 2.8 inches
Net Weight 25.6 lbs

Best Portable Solar Panel for Camping

ECO-WORTHY 100 Watt Solar Panel

ECO-WORTHY 100 Watt Solar Panel

Features:

  • Maximum Power: 100W.
  • Charge Voltage: 12V.
  • Temperature Range: -40℃ to +80℃(-40°F to +176°F).
  • J-Box IP Rating: IP65.
  • Durable: Withstand high wind (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa).

EF ECOFLOW 110 Watt Portable Solar Panel

EF ECOFLOW 110 Watt Portable Solar Panel

Features:

  • Compatible with the most solar generator on the market.
  • Portable & foldable kickstand panel.
  • The solar panel is waterproof to endure all weather conditions, ideal for outdoor activities such as camping, climbing, hiking.

Best Budget Portable Solar Panel

DOKIO Portable Solar Panel Kit

DOKIO Portable Solar Panel Kit

Features:

  • Foldable and lightweight easy to store.
  • Solar charger for all 12V batteries, with its 18V optimum power voltage.
  • Protection against: overcharging, overload, short-circuit.

Best Briefcase Portable Solar Panel

Zamp solar Portable Solar Panel Kit

Zamp solar Portable Solar Panel Kit 140W

Features:

  • Handcrafted in the USA.
  • 25-year output warranty.
  • Charges most 12-volt batteries, even lithium.
  • An integrated 10-amp digital charge controller protects your battery and lets you monitor your power.
  • Kit includes 140-watt foldable panel, 10-amp charge controller, nylon carrying case, 15-foot cable.

Goal Zero Boulder Briefcase Solar Panel

Goal Zero Boulder 100W Briefcase Solar Panel

Features:

    • Two 50-watt monocrystalline solar panels combine in a briefcase-style design for ultimate portability.
  •  Field-tested in a wide range of environments, from expeditions in the Arctic to job sites to the backyard.
  • Boulder 100 Briefcase is designed to pair with a Goal Zero Yeti power station for a solar charging solution that you can use for camping, worksites, off-grid events, and backup power at home when the grid goes down.

Best portable solar panels for RV

Go Power! GP-PSK-130 130W Portable Folding Solar Kit

Go Power! GP-PSK-130 130W Portable Folding Solar Kit

Features:

  • 130 Watts of power 6.9 ampere DC per hour.
  • Built in 10 ampere solar controller.
  • Rated current:6.7 A.Rated DC voltage:19.7 V.
  • 25 year – SAE & XLR-style solar plug adapter.
  • Includes carrying case.

Best Solar Panel for Phones

SunJack 15Watt Foldable Weatherproof Solar Panel

SunJack Foldable Solar Panel

Features:

  • Waterproof, shock-proof, dust-proof and drop-proof.
  • Pumps out up to 2 Amps of power per USB port (4A Max with two ports) to provide wall-outlet charging speeds.
  • Monocrystalline panels with ETFE construction provide maximum efficiency and UV-ray permeability.
  • Smart Technology: Built-in smart IC chip intelligently identifies your device and maximizes charging speed while protecting from overcharging.
  • Great for any USB device including your iPhone, Samsung, Pixel, iPad.

SunJack 25 Watt Foldable Solar Panel

SunJack 25 Watt Foldable Solar Panel

Features:

  • Waterproof, shock-proof, dust-proof and drop-proof.
  • Pumps out up to 2 Amps of power per USB port (4A Max with two ports) to provide wall-outlet charging speeds.
  • Monocrystalline panels with ETFE construction provide maximum efficiency and UV-ray permeability.
  • Smart Technology: Built-in smart IC chip intelligently identifies your device and maximizes charging speed while protecting from overcharging.
  • Great for any USB device including your iPhone, Samsung, Pixel, iPad.

Best portable solar charger

BigBlue 28W Solar Charger Foldable Portable Solar Panel
BigBlue 28W Solar Charger Foldable Portable Solar Panel

Features:

  • Built-in Ammeter.
  • Exclusive Smart IC Technology: With the built-in intelligence chip, our solar phone charger detects your device then deliver its fastest possible charging speed(single maximum usb output up to 5V/2.4A, dual maximum USB up to 4A).
  • Dual-port applys to all the 5V Android devices and apple devices.
  • Note: This solar charger is not compatible with the iPad Pro.
  • High Conversion Efficiency.

Types of Solar Panel

There are three possible types of panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and CIGS.

  • The first type of panel is monocrystalline. They are known for being stiff and heavy, but they are also durable and very efficient. You can also find them in a variety of shapes.
  • Polycrystalline panels are similar to monocrystalline panels but are blue in color and slightly less efficient.
  • The last choice is CIGS panels. This is an acronym for copper, indium, gallium, and selenide. These panels are flexible and thin, but they are not as strong as the other options.

Ultimately, the panel you choose should be based on where you will use it and how long you will need it.

Portable Solar Panels Buying Criteria

How to choose a solar panel? This is one of the most popular questions that buyers ask.

As with most things, there are several things to consider when choosing a panel:

  • How much power (wattage) do you need?
  • What is your budget?
  • Should it be portable, lightweight, flexible?
  • What’s the weight?
  • Is there any integration?
  • How do you determine the size of the system? (And calculate the actual power requirement)

Power (wattage)

The solar panel power you need is probably the most important thing to get right. If you underestimate the amount of power you need, you may be very disappointed in the results.

A solar energy system consists of three basic steps.

  • Electricity generation (solar panel).
  • Energy storage (battery).
  • Energy consumption (your items you want to use from solar power).

To properly calculate the power, the size of the panel must match the power you intend to use. (Later, you’ll need little information about each electrical item you need on solar power).

A battery, whether large or small, is a container for storing solar energy collected in daylight, for immediate use or later use. Very important. For example, without a battery, a solar-powered flashlight would be useless in the dark!

Just remember that the solar panel must feed the same amount of energy into the battery as it leaves the battery now (or will leave the battery later) to keep the energy reserve at a constant level.

However, at this point, you don’t yet need to consider the size of the battery you are charging (unless you are calculating the size for an uninterruptible power system (UPS)). You just need to know that you will need it.

Some quick ideas on power ratings:

Generally, if you have a caravan, you’ll need a 20 to 60-watt panel, whereas most motorhomes have 80 watt or higher panels. (A motorhome typically has more gadgets that require power than a caravan). To charge your laptop, you need at least 25 watts to provide a useful recharge.

Budget

One obvious consideration is price. And how much you are willing to spend should be determined by how often you think you will use the panel. Rigid panels cost less per watt than flexible and collapsible panels.

There are also differences between equivalent panels, which may reflect such elements as:

  • The quality of the junction box and frame
  • packaging and instructions
  • Cables and other accessories that may be included
    (It also depends on how good a deal we can get from the manufacturers!)

If you plan to use the panel only a few times a year, you can go wrong on the cheap. It is not like the panel will be in much danger of wear and tear. However, if you will be hiking and camping with this item every chance you get, consider this purchase as an investment and buy something better.

Should it be portable, lightweight?

For those who plan to carry their solar panels with them, an important choice must be made: to fold or not to fold.

At first glance, a folding panel may seem like the perfect choice. It is lightweight, easy to take with you, and very comfortable.

However, such panels are less durable and may need to be replaced more often. Alternatively, you can purchase a panel of the right size and shape for your needs.

This allows you to pack it “around” and create a special panel space. Such panels will be more durable, but you will need to address the weight issue.

What’s the weight?

Choosing the right panel usually involves finding a balance between weight and utility. For example, heavier panels can be hell for your back, but they are often durable and offer users more options.

If you won’t be dragging the panel far or if you’ll be using your car to move it most of the way, the weight doesn’t matter. Otherwise, you’ll want to make sure that that extra weight doesn’t slow you down during various outdoor activities.

Is there any integration?

Some panel models come with batteries. Depending on your needs, these may come in handy! These are individual batteries that are charged by the panels. You can then use their stored energy later, regardless of the weather. These solar panels are also an environmentally friendly option for year-round use in your home.

How do I determine the size of the system?

When sizing a system, the goal is to balance the power going into the solar panel with the power coming out of the battery over several days or weeks (depending on how it is used). A 10 W panel produces 10 watts (0.6 A at 16.5 V) per hour under standard test conditions (1000 W/m2 and 25°C).

A few simple steps to calculate a 12V system:

  1. Find the wattage of your appliances. List all of the 12-volt appliances you typically use throughout the day and find out how many watts each one consumes. This is usually listed on the appliance or in its manual. If you can only find a value for amps, simply multiply it by 12 to convert it to watts.
  2. Calculate your daily total watt-hour requirement. Estimate how many hours you will use each device during a typical week, and then divide by 7 to get your daily rate. Multiply the wattage of each device by the number of hours you will use during the day. Then add all the amounts together to get the final daily total number of watt-hours you need.
  3. Then calculate the panel size. Simply divide the total daily number of watt-hours you require by the number of hours of usable light you expect on average per day. This will give you a minimum panel wattage. In the UK, the daylight hours should be 1 hour in the winter and 4 hours by mid-summer.
  4. Then your battery size… Multiply your daily watt-hour requirement by 7 to get your weekly requirement, and divide that by 12 to convert back to the ampere hours in which the batteries are rated. Multiply that by two to get the correct battery size.
  5. And finally, your charge controller. Size your charge controller according to the amps produced by your panel. Calculate the power produced in amps by dividing the panel power by 16.5.
  6. Worked out example. In one week, you want to turn on a 65 watt TV for 4 hours and an 8 watt light for 5 hours. Your daily watt-hour requirement for the TV is 65 x (4/7) = 37Wh; and for the light, you will need 8 x (5/7) = 6Wh. So your total daily requirement is 43 watts. You are only going to use the system in the summer, so you need a 43/4 = 11 watts or more panel. Your battery size should be (43 x 7 x 2)/12 = 50 Ah. And you need a charge controller suitable for solar input of at least 11/16.5 = 0.7A.

Portable Solar Panels Price:

Portable Solar Panels under $800:

  • Zamp solar Portable Solar Panel Kit.

Portable Solar Panels under $600:

  • Go Power! GP-PSK-130 130W Portable Folding Solar Kit.

Portable Solar Panels under $300:

  • Goal Zero Boulder Briefcase Monocrystalline Solar Panel;
  • EF ECOFLOW 110 Watt Portable Solar Panel;
  • Renogy 100 Watt Portable Foldable Solar Panel.

Portable Solar Panels under $200:

  • DOKIO 160W Portable Solar Panel.

Portable Solar Panels under $100:

  • ECO-WORTHY 100 Watt Solar Panel 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel;
  • SunJack 15Watt Foldable Weatherproof Solar Panel;
  • SunJack 25Watt Foldable Weatherproof Solar Panel;
  • BigBlue 28W Solar Charger Foldable Portable Solar Panel.

FAQ about Solar Panels

What will a 100 watt solar panel run?

A single 100-Watt Solar Panel can power up several small devices which include cell phones, lamps, fans on ceilings, router of wifi, laptops and other small devices. Bigger appliances such as heaters, TVs, air conditioning systems, and others similar to these require more than one 100-Watt Solar Panel.

How long do portable solar panels last?

The average lifespan of a portable solar panel before its energy output begins to decline is between 25 to 30 years.

Can I use car battery for solar panel?

Car batteries are not suitable for use with solar panels. Instead, you should always use a battery specifically made for solar energy use, and consider choosing lithium-ion batteries over lead-acid if you want a battery that offers highly reliable performance.

David West
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