We are living in a digitally connected world. Most of our connection happens on a mobile device, where we send messages, pictures, or even start up video chats on them. We rely on our network and feel a sense of connection to our friends and the world when we’re able to have the power of our mobile devices in hand. Our connection can seem limiting, as we can only go as far as the grid and network will allow us.
The ability to have electrical power that can charge devices that releases clean and free energy is pretty powerful, one that comes with the use of portable solar panels. With these panels, you can use the power of the sun to generate enough energy to keep devices up and working no matter where you roam.
If you’re unsure of which portable solar panels will suit your adventures, we’ve got a line-up of the best 2020 has to offer along with some insight on what to watch for when buying. So, here are our top 10 picks of the best portable solar panels for your next adventure.
Overview table of the Top 10 Best Portable Solar Panels
Let us start with a breakdown of all the best. Here we have lined them up by rating and added a few of their top features to help you start getting your wheels turning. In the next section, we go into more detail over each one, hoping to give you enough info to find the perfect panel for you and your adventurous spirit.
|Sl No||Portable Solar Panel||Image||Features||Editor's Rating||Product URL|
|1.||Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel|
• Smart IC Chip for charging
• Constructed with Oxford cloth
• Water resisitant
|2.||ECO-WORTHY Portable Solar Panel|
• Built-in blocking diodide
• 2 ways to wire
• Weighs in at only 15 pounds
|3.||Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystaline Portable Solar Panel|
• Desinged for expansion
• 500 W output per day
• Great for low-light environments
|4.||TP-solar 100W Foldable Solar Panel|
• Monocrystaline solar cell
• Lightweight and foldable
• USB ports suitable for a variety of devices
|5.||Renogy 50W 12V Eclipse Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel|
• Advanced encapsulation material
• Anti-reflective glass
• IP6 junction box for protection from environmental elements
|6.||SUAOKI Solar Charger 60W Portable Solar Panel|
• 60W charger with high conversions effieciency
• Current monitoring to adjust with sunlight levels
• 2-year warranty
|7.||28 Watt Mono 18V Solar Panel|
• Hight output voltage
• Coated with aircraft sealant
• Weighs only 2 pounds
|8.||Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel|
• Quiet generator
• Clean Power
• High conversion efficiency
|9.||Aeiusny Portable 60W Solar Panel|
• 3 USB ports with advanced IC Chip
• Waterproof and corosion resistant
• 60% higher conversion efficiency than silicone solar panels
|10.||Flashfish Foldable 50W 18V Portable Solar Panel|
• Weight only 3.6 pounds
• Built-in IC chip for maximum charging
• converts up to 23.5% of solar power to free energy
Review of Our Top 10 Best Portable Solar Panels
Below, we have an in-depth look at our top 10 portable solar panels for 2020. There are some high-quality items here, each one with their own advantage and disadvantages.
#10. Flashfish Foldable 50W 18V Portable Solar Panel
This pack was meant to be taken on the go. The 50-watt solar panel folds conveniently into a briefcase with a portable handle that weighs in at 3.44 pounds. It is packed with 18V and making it a perfect source of power for all kinds of technologies including cameras, phones, and even tablets and speakers. There are two ports, one USB (5V) and the other DC (18V), which allow you to power more than one device at a time. To optimize charging and keep from wasting power, this panel comes embedded with a smart IC chip, one that monitors power to adjust output that will charge up devices faster and more efficiently.
This Flashfish solar panel is constructed with materials that maximize energy conversion, with a 23.5% conversion of solar energy into clean and useable free energy. The briefcase is sturdy and zips up with the handle doubling as a hangable piece that makes for easy mounting when needed.
- Lightweight coming it at 3.44 pounds
- Portable with briefcase and carrying handles
- Embedded IC Chip for more efficient charging
- Split design for charging multiple devices
- High conversion of solar energy up to 23.5%
- Doesn’t pack easy, only folding twice
- Outer lining material not so sturdy
#9. Aeiusny Portable 60W Solar Panel
This is perhaps one of the most flexible solar panel kits out there. It has a super portable design that folds multiple times for convenient carrying that only weighs a little over 6 pounds. On the inside of the pack, you’ll find pockets that will hold devices, making it useful even for quick day trips hiking, biking or climbing.
There is a total of three ports and a set of different sized connector pieces that will fit the most common sizes of 1.35mm, 2.5mm, and 8mm. The materials of the panels consist of a material that makes for high energy conversions, where up to 25% of energy can be used for charging purposes.
The IC Chip integrated into the design helps to keep devices from incurring damage by controlling the amount of power flowing through the circuits. It will also maximize efficiency, pumping out the best current to reduce overall charging time while preventing energy waste. Materials surrounding the panels and case are waterproof, including a corrosions resistant material that will keep all parts functioning under a wide range of weather conditions, and it works better than a 60 watt solar panel.
- Super portable design with fold up carrying case and pockets
- IC Chip optimizes power for the fastest charging times
- A total of three USB ports and connectors of different sizes for charging multiple devices at one time
- High conversion of solar energy up to 25%
- A bit on the heavier side, weighing over 6 pounds
- Can be slow to charge when multiple devices are connected
#8. Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel
This is a high-quality and powerful 100-watt solar panel. It is designed with a sleek and modern look that features materials that convert more solar energy into useable energy for a wide range of devices. Its panels have a conversion rate of around 23%, which helps to power a total of three USB ports and outlets. It has a super portable and easy to set up design that props on two legs to catch the maximum amount of sun.
Jackery products are meant to fit together, allowing you to build up grids for as much power as you need. You will also find that it connects with generators that allow you to tailor your power needs to suit your style. While the one panel and generator might be more than enough, the potential is there to make buildable power.
All of these folds and packs up for easy carrying, with a handle piece included on the outside of the case. This 100-watt solar panel has an 18V attachment and a 5.55A current that operates at temperatures all the way up to 65⁰C.
- 23% conversion rate of sunlight into useable free energy
- Durable carrying case with handles for easy carrying
- Technology that regulates current for optimized charging
- 3 USB ports for charging multiple devices
- Compatible with many other Jackery products
- The weight of over 11 pounds can be difficult for carrying long distances
- Only USB ports and no added connectors
- Conversion rate is average at best, falling lower than others with the same price tag.
#7. 28-Watt Mono 18V Solar Panel
The monocrystalline materials that make up the panels is sturdy and known for its large energy output. It only weighs 2 pounds, making it the perfect companion to take on the go. Though most small solar panels are light in weight, this one comes with a rate of conversion close to 23% and produces over 25 Watts of power, something that does not seem in panels of its size. The outer lining is made with an aircraft-grade sealant to permit use in all sorts of weather conditions without the fear of a shortage.
The connections require wiring, connected to those that are in the back. This makes for a large range of uses especially for electronics that require a battery maintainer. When heading out on the go, this could be the perfect power source to keep car batteries charged, using energy that is produced without pollution. This powerful little bundle comes with endless possibilities and has a 10-year warranty tacked on in the case that parts are faulty or something unforeseen happens.
- Open wiring for use with all sorts of devices
- High-efficiency cells made of monocrystalline material
- Complete with aircraft-grade sealant to prevent shortages
- Super lightweight, coming in at only 2 pounds
- Puts out up to 30-watts of power
- No USB port
- Shorter cable makes for a more fixed location
- Charging can take a bit on a cloudy day, as the material requires bright and strong light
#6. SUAOKI Solar Charger 60W Portable Solar Panel
The Suaoki 60-watt foldable solar panel is an all-around amazing piece of equipment. It is compatible with battery packs of all sorts and can go head to head with both Zamp solar panels and HQST solar panels. The compatibility and connectivity will allow you to build your perfect setup. On its own, it can fold up into a handy little carrying case, one that is light in weight and comfortable to carry.
It is also perfectly shaped to pack along with other items when you hit the open road. The handles double as an easy piece making it hangable in areas such as cars, tents, RV’s and more. The Suaoki foldable solar panel is equipped with two available spots for output including a 5V USB and an 18V DC that can power just about anything.
Devices are able to charge based on the power that is available, constantly monitored with help from an intelligent IC chip. Not only can this maximize power but, this also can cut the charging time for all your devices in half, coming with the ability to charge multiple devices at a time.
The panels are made to work efficiently, with a 20% conversion rate from the solar power available. This setup does not just come with the panels but, also included a car charger, a clamp, a connector cable for laptops, and a 2-year warranty. Let’s just say that this is a steal, especially when compared with other panels on the market.
- Highly compatible with other devices and battery packs
- Super portable with a foldable briefcase design complete with handles
- 20% conversion rate of solar energy into useable energy
- Sold as a pack with connectors and other extras included
- Isn’t the fastest charging device out there
- Needs powerful exposure to reach the max output of 20%
- Voltage is low compared to others on the market
#5. Renogy 50W 12V Eclipse Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel
Renogy solar panels come backed by a solid reputation, and this 50 watt solar panel doesn’t disappoint. The set up is small and portable weighing just 12 pounds. It props up perfectly thanks to a kickstand that is attached to the back that can find the perfect angle to soak up lots of sun. It also packs up nicely, folding together and storing nicely in and easy to use sturdy carrying case. On the back, there is a cable for attaching devices for charging that is split into two. This technology allows the panel to supply energy even when exposure to sunlight is low.
Outside materials consist of monocrystalline material that is anti-reflective and durable. These are fit together using a multi-layer technique that keeps cells working and keeps the sun where it can best be used. Also surrounding the corners are rubber stoppers, decreasing the chance of damage due to dropping or falling and corrosion-resistant aluminium that can take all sorts of heat no matter what type of weather comes along with it.
- Super-sleek look with no grid lines
- 2 diodes help to control power when there is little or no sunlight
- Kickstand allows for adjustable angles that better capture the sun
- Material cuts reflection, enhances performance and is long-lasting and durable
- Designed to prevent spot heating and disperse power evenly
- A bit heavier than others, weighing 12 pounds
- Carrying case is bulky and can be hard to carry long distances
- Kickstand is unstable and seems to not be so supported under the total weight of the panel.
#4. TP-solar 100W Foldable Solar Panel
This setup is killer and comes equipped with everything that you need to bring power along with you. This is one of many RV solar panels which will juice up batteries or even electronic devices when you’re out in the wide open. In the kit, you will find connectors for building your perfect power station. There are two USB ports and a 19V DC port which are all monitored by the integrated IC Chip and QC 3.0 smart charging technology. This is what regulates power, keeping a close eye to distribute it in the most effective manner to all devices that are connected.
The cells are made from monocrystalline material, which have a high energy output even in areas that aren’t exposed to powerful sunlight. The pack folds together into a compact case that is easy to carry and pack up. The weight is about 5 pounds so it won’t weigh you down if you’re taking off on foot for a long hike. The kit includes alligator clips and a lighter plug, where it can charge up car batteries or fit other charging devices apart from those that require a USB.
- IC Chip and smart charging technology help to control output for the most efficient charging.
- Comes in a pack with all you might need when on the go
- 2 USB ports and 1 DC port for compatibility
- Weighs around 5 pounds
- Packs into an easy to carry case
- Takes a while and a lot of sunlight to reach maximum wattage
- Breakdown and fold can be a bit tedious
#3. Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel
Two 50 watt solar panels along with wires and connectors are packed into their own suitcase that makes it easy to pack them and bring them along. The materials are all resistant to corrosion and damages brought on by the environment, functioning in temperatures all the way up to 185⁰F.
On a cloudy day, this panel usually sees about 50 to 70 watts, a great feature that not many other panels can admit. With full sun exposure, you’re guaranteed 90 to 100 watts easily that will let you power just about anything. It is also waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about any rain or accidental drippage that could happen in nature. Both panels can fit together and can be propped up to find the best position for exposure.
This 12V solar panel weighs about 12 pounds, making it a great option for taking on the go. The wires stretch up to 15 inches in length, making it a great addition to other RV solar panels. These panels are compatible with other panels to expand any length that you wish and take up as much space as you might need. The panels are made with materials that are optimized to function in low-light environments, not letting any cloud cover ruin your time off the grid.
- Portable and simple to set up no matter where the adventure takes you
- Made with waterproof and corrosion-resistant materials
- Panels still produce plenty of power on a cloudy day
- Compatible with other panels on the market to click and add as many as you need
- The panels and case weigh more than the average kit
- Lower rate of charge when more than one device is connected at a time
#2. ECO-WORTHY Portable Solar Panel
ECO-WORTHY(12v solar panel) mini solar panels are economically priced and super light in weight. This one in particular only weighs 14.4 ounces, easy enough to lug around wherever you go. This panel only comes with 12V and 5-watts but, it is perfect for a quick jump to a car battery if needed. For this reason, the entire kit comes with alligator claps an adapter that fits car lighters. Don’t let the small size fool you, as this bad boy has a lot of power, especially when around lots of sun. The kit comes with suction cups, some of which stick to car windshields to find the perfect angle.
Camping solar panels such as this one from ECO-WORTHY have the simplicity built in to work by simply plugging in, no need to hook up multiple wires to get the job done. Built into this panel is a diode that extends the amount of useable energy that it puts out.
- Simple set up
- Weighs only a little over 14 ounces
- Comes with two connectors
- 12V and 5W to power up batteries under direct sunlight
- Diode works to power objects without overusing
- Included suction cups for easy hanging
- Doesn’t charge mobile devices
- Is very small and a bit fragile
- Output tops at 5-watts
#1. Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel
So, we are finally here with our number one pick. This 100 watt solar panel is an amazing flexible solar panel kit from Rockpals. It is made with exceptional quality and is made to be used with a large number of devices of all sorts. It is compatible with most solar generators out there, making for powerful charging as long as you’ve got some sun. There are three USB ports and one DC port, each of which is monitored by the latest IC technology to adjust output to increase efficiency. Each of the panels is designed using monocrystalline material that absorbs the sun for a max putout of over 23%.
All of these camping solar panels are corrosion and water-resistant, meaning that it can withstand any number of conditions while soaking up sunlight. There are multiple panels that spread out long, about 65 inches to be exact. These panels can easily fold up too, into a convenient carrying case that weighs only 10 pounds. It is easy to take along just about anywhere and comes backed by the Rockpals brand which is known for quality products and materials.
Mostly it works better than a 150 watt solar panel.
- Backed by the Rockpals name
- Foldable panels go from 65 inches to 10 inches during fold up
- Weighs only 10 pounds
- Comes with several connectors to fit just about anything
- Smart charging technology monitors output for best charge
- Monocrystalline material soaks up the sun for an overall conversion rate up to 23%
- Can be heavy if carrying long distances
- Carrying case doesn’t change in form so can be bulky to pack
Comprehensive Buying guide for Portable Solar Panels
Things to consider before buying portable solar panels
Now that you have an idea about the best that is out there on the market, we’ll take a look at what you should look for when on the hunt for the perfect solar panel. For this, we will start with a question, why solar panels? First of all, panels are eco-friendly, releasing less waste into the environment and therefore causing a significant drop in pollution overall.
They take a natural resource that so many across the world are exposed to and convert it to useable energy to charge up just about anything. Apart from the obvious benefits to our environment, portable solar panels are also small in size, convenient and can be used anywhere no matter how far off the grid you may roam.
When searching for the perfect solar panel for you and your needs, there are a few things you should keep in mind, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. The top five things you should consider are:
- Your Needs
Think about your habits up until now. What devices do you usually charge and how often do you need to charge them? Do you normally charge more than one device at a time? Also, think about where you will be taking your panel. Are you going on hikes where you’ll have limited space or are you taking off in a camper where you have plenty of room? Once you get a clearer picture of how and where you will be using your panel, you can narrow down your options and start going in the right direction.
- The Size
Size does matter and, even more so, if you’re having to lug something along with you for long distances. If you plan to pack your panel up on hikes, you need to choose one that is foldable and will pack up easily. Also, one that doesn’t weigh a ton. If you’re on the road, there are specific portable solar panels for RVs, most of which can be hung from the door while parked. There are all kinds of panels these days, from mini solar panels all the way to more bulky panels, all in a variety of weights. While some fold up and are easy to take on the go, others are on the heavier side and a bit bulky.
- Capacity and Wattage
No one likes to pay for something that they don’t need or will not use. If you are not clear about how much power you actually need, you could be paying for way more than what you should. Most of the time, the more expensive panels take up much more space as they can absorb and covert much more energy. However, there are several options on the market from 80-watt solar panels to 150-watt solar panels that are compact and portable.
To find out how much power will work for you, take a look at your devices. Cell phone takes about 2 to 6 watts to charge and laptops take up to 50 watts. Once you know the amount that you will need, look at the wattage of solar panels to make sure it will meet your needs. You shouldn’t just stop there though, checking the overall capacity that these panels can put out. The market average is about 23% of all the sunlight received, so try to stick to panels with that number.
- Connectors for Devices
Not all solar panels come with USB or DC ports. Before you buy, make sure that you’re on the lookout for the type of connectors you need. If the solar panel itself is not equipped with the port that you need, check if it comes with the required attachments in the pack. If not, you might want to move to another that is more suitable for your needs.
- Your Budget
If you’ve already done a bit of browsing around, you might have noticed that the market is flooded. There are panels of all types, with low 15-watt solar panel setups that cost next to nothing and other high-quality 30-watts solar panel that costs a fortune. Before narrowing down your needs and choices, think about how much you would like to spend.
If this is an investment and you plan to build up a more powerful system in the future, you might want to spend a bit more your first time around. If you’re a rookie and just looking to hit the great outdoors, you might want to go for something more economic for the time being.
The great thing about solar panels is that most have a long lifespan, some lasting upwards of 30 years. If you collect more panels and accessories over time, you’re looking at a way to get all of your energy needs in an eco-friendly way. While it may be expensive in the beginning, you will save a ton at the end.
Once you’ve purchased your new panels, you’ll find that there are accessories that will enhance their abilities. With most top of the line panels, you won’t need them at first but, they could be something for the future if you’ve become accustomed to them. Take for instance an RV solar battery charger or a solar power fan for camping. These both are ad-ons but, will increase the life of your panels and even give you more run time.
Frequently Asked Questions
The ability to take off and go without worrying if there will be connections is liberating. You can rest easier knowing that, no matter what your adventure has in store for you, you will be prepared. Taking a portable solar panel along with you is one step to living that nomadic off-grid life you’ve always dreamed about, giving you useable and clean energy anywhere under the sun.
These are built for portability, most of the light in weight and embedded with technologies that prevent waste. Our list of the best top 10 for 2020 is packed with quality panels that will get the job done. You can hook up phones, car batteries, laptops, and more, using the energy of the sun to juice them up.
Before you take off, remember when choosing the perfect portable panel, make sure you take these four things into consideration. One good place to start is over at your local Lowes solar panels, getting a good grasp on the size, the feel, and the prices before you make your decision.
This will give you a better idea of what you’re looking at as you make the change over to solar energy. Our guide and list are a great place to start and we hope you are well on your way to living all the adventures you’ve always dreamed of. Happy hunting!