A Complete Guide to the Best Portable Solar Panels with Reviews
Whether you live permanently in your RV or just take it on vacation, having portable solar panels gives you much more freedom in terms of where you can park and use your RV. Most people have a portable power bank that will give them the electricity that they need for using their devices.
However, these portable power banks are pretty limited and usually won’t last long. A better option is to have portable solar panels for electricity. The power will last for much longer, and they are extremely easy to travel with. Not all solar panels are made the same, so it’s important to find the perfect one for your needs.
The best activities for solar panels often involve being outdoors or moving around quite a bit, such as camping. That’s why portable solar power panels can be an amazing addition to an outdoor trip or RV experience.
A permanent or fixed panel is often harder to install and can be more expensive. So, portable solar panels are also a great option for someone who does not camp or spends too much time in their RV. Regardless of how often you are in your RV or camping, solar panels can give you the energy you need for both long-term and short-term trips.
Portable solar panels can also be an addition to your regular fixed panels because it is always a great idea to have a backup method for powering your home or devices. If you end up needing to park in a spot that’s not great for solar energy or plan to be off the grid more, portable solar panels are needed. They can give you peace of mind while traveling and living on the road.
In this article, we have some portable solar panel reviews to help you pick the perfect option for your needs. We will cover the best lightweight options, the best camping options, the best foldable options, and more.
There are options for every budget, need, and location. Some options even come in full kits which takes away the need to buy too many extras.
We will also go over some tips on how to install them, and use them for maximum energy efficiency.
- Best Portable Solar Panels at a Glance
- Best Portable Solar Panels Full Reviews
- 1. Renogy Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase – Portable Solar Panels for RV + Portable Solar Panels for RV Batteries
- 2. Nekteck Portable Solar Panel Charger – Best Portable Solar Panels
- 3. ECO-WORTHY Solar Panels – Portable Solar Panels for People on a Budget
- 4. Waterproof Portable Solar Charger by Wildtek – Portable Folding Solar Panel
- 5. WindyNation 100-Watt Solar Panel – Portable Solar Panels for Camping
- 6. Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station by Goal Zero – Portable Solar Panels for Your Home
- 7. Renogy 200-Watt Solar RV Off-Grid Kit – Best Portable Solar Panel Kits
- 8. GoerTek Solar Charger Power Bank – Best Portable Solar Panel Charger
- 9. AllPowers 100-Watt solar panel – Best Flexible Portable Solar Panel
- 10. Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Power Bank – Best Hiking/Backpacking Portable Solar Panel
- Buyer’s Guide
- Best Selling Portable Solar Panels
Best Portable Solar Panels at a Glance
- Best RV Portable Solar Panel – Renogy Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase
- Best Portable Solar Panel – Nekteck Portable Solar Panel Charger
- Best Portable Panel for People on a Budget – ECO-WORTHY Solar Panels
- Best Lightweight and Foldable Solar Panel – Waterproof Portable Solar Charger by Wildtek
- Best 100W Standard Panel – WindyNation 100-Watt Solar Panel
- Portable Solar Panels for Home – Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station by Goal Zero
- Best Portable Solar Panel Kits – Renogy 200-Watt Solar RV Off-Grid Kit
- Best Portable Solar Panels Charger – GoerTek Solar Charger Power Bank
- Best Flexible Portable Solar Panel – AllPowers 100-Watt solar panel
- Best Hiking/Backpacking Portable Solar Panel – Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Power Bank
Best Portable Solar Panels Full Reviews
To make it easier for you to choose which solar panel is best, here’s our review of the ten best portable solar panels available on the market.
1. Renogy Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase – Portable Solar Panels for RV + Portable Solar Panels for RV Batteries
- Adjustable, Corrosion-Resistant aluminum stand as well as a heavy duty handle and latches for longevity. Folded size: 19. 9 x 27. 2 x 2. 8 inches. Ideal output: 500 Watt hours per day (depends on...
- Compatible with gel, sealed, Lithium, and flooded batteries. Charge controller with LCD display for displaying operating Information and data
- 20A built-in 5-stage Solar charge controller provides overcharge protection, reducing Fire risk.Operating Temperature: -40°F to +185°F
These panels are monocrystalline. This means they are constructed from a single, large silicon
crystal. They are said to be the most effective because they can produce the most power with the least amount of sunlight.
They are usually the most expensive but well worth the price. The Renogy foldable solar panel is available in 100 or 200 Watts and is some of the best RV portable solar panels.
It has an IP65 waterproof design which makes it durable for any weather conditions. This could be a great advantage if you may be traveling in a windy or rainy environment. While most portable RV solar panels are weatherproof or water-resistant, not all are fully waterproof.
The charge controller in this suitcase includes an LCD with an aluminum stand that is corrosion-resistant and adjustable. It weighs about 26.6 lbs with all the components together. Each of the solar panels is 50 watts each.
The waterproof Voyager Charge Controller is 20-amp. It comes in a fully protected suitcase with a 10-foot tray cable with alligator clips.
It can put out 500-watt hours per day. If you are not using it and want to keep it folded, it will be about 19.9 x 27.2 x 2.8 inches. When in use, the dimensions are 54.4 x 18 x 5.6 inches.
It is compatible with gel, sealed, lithium, and flooded batteries. The system is low voltage and can help you avoid electric shock hazards. The solar charge controller provides overcharge protection which can reduce fire risk. The operating temperature is between -40°F and +185°F.
- Comes with a protective casing, a heavy-duty handle and latches.
- Great durability of monocrystalline panels.
- Corrosion-resistant stand.
- Limited warranty.
- Pretty bulky.
2. Nekteck Portable Solar Panel Charger – Best Portable Solar Panels
- 【High-Efficieny】The high-efficiency of its three solar Monocrystalline panels cell is based on SunPower Maxeon technology, that allows them to reach 21%-24% of conversion efficiency while...
- 【Advanced Smart IC Chip Technology】 Microchip support to detects the electronic devices plugged into the USB ports for fast charging two phones simultaneously under safe conditions as well as the...
- 【Portable and Foldable】The 6.3x 11.1x 1.06 inch (when folded ) small size and 17.3-ounce design that can easily squeeze in your backpack offers portability and simplicity, and the attachment hook...
These panels are also monocrystalline, giving them maximum efficiency ratings. They use SunPower Maxeon technology giving them a 21–24% conversion efficiency. They are by far the smallest and easiest foldable option.
The smallest size is 6.3 x 11.1 x 1.06 in and a 17.3-ounce weight. That is small enough to put into a backpack or other luggage. It also has a secure hook that can attach to the bag if you don’t have space in it. This is ideal when hiking or moving from one campsite to the next.
This option provides maximum portability and simplicity. This is also one of the only solar panels that use Advanced Smart IC chip technology. The built-in microchip detects electronic devices plugged into the USB ports for fast charging. You can also charge two devices at once.
The safe technology inside allows for you to charge multiple devices without the danger of overheating or electrical surges. This is ideal for someone who is camping with equipment or for couples and small groups traveling together.
The panel has a PET polymer cover that offers IPX4 waterproof protection. This makes the panels resistant to dust, dirt, and water. The surface is canvas with precision stitching which is also great for repelling water.
The power input has a 21W high-efficiency panel. The package includes a Nekteck 21W solar charger, one micro-USB cable, one user manual, and one metal hook.
- Intelligent charging technology.
- Fast charging speed.
- Small size.
- Long time to charge.
- Needs to be in direct sunlight.
- No stand included.
3. ECO-WORTHY Solar Panels – Portable Solar Panels for People on a Budget
These panels will fold and clamp together when not being used in a small suitcase size. The handle is one of the most durable on the market, so it can be hung or carried without worrying about it being broken.
It is fit for rough outdoor use with an integrated kickstand. It is strong enough to withstand high winds and snowfalls. Since the frames are lightweight, they do not add any extra weight to the overall product.
All the junction boxes are waterproof. One of the best options is the 100-watt 12-Volt option. It is small and of good quality for a very cheap price point.
It has a preinstalled 15A PWM charge controller and one pair of 10-feet solar cables with 30A alligator clips. The panel gives your device long battery life and allows you to charge small devices quickly. It can power any device up to 12V DC devices.
Overall, this panel can be trusted for any of your camping or hiking trips. It can be a great addition for you and your friends on your next outdoor vacation.
- Very easy to set up.
- Beginners friendly, no controls or connecting wires.
- The built-in controller is ready quickly.
- Easily breakable.
- Large size.
4. Waterproof Portable Solar Charger by Wildtek – Portable Folding Solar Panel
- FULLY WATERPROOF AND DUSTPROOF - The Wildtek Source Solar Charger is the first fully waterproof solar charger when stowed…even the USB ports…so it can keep up with you on all of your...
- ULTRA HIGH EFFICIENCY - The Wildtek Source Panels feature SunPower’s latest high efficiency solar cells, delivering a faster more a efficient charge with a more compact panel…almost 2X as...
- GET THE FASTEST CHARGE - Wildtek’s SmartCharge Technology will detect your USB powered device and deliver the optimum charge...compatible with Apple iPhone 7 / 6s / Plus, iPad Pro / Air 2 / mini,...
This is by far the best option for someone looking for a solar panel that folds up into a small size. Folding portable solar panels are great for camping. This option by Wildtek is fully waterproof and dustproof. This makes it ideal for any kind of camping environment.
The folding solar panel has ultrahigh efficiency using SunPower’s solar cells. The panel is more efficient in a more compact size being almost 2x as efficient as competing for solar chargers.
It is compatible with many devices, the most notable being iPhones, iPad, Samsung LG, Nexus, and many more. The Smart Charge technology will detect your USB-powered device giving it the most optimal charging time.
The panel as a whole is lightweight, portable, and has a built-in stand. The stand hardly adds in carrying weight, so it can still be brought with you wherever you are hiking or camping. These panels were built for adventure, meaning they are tough and durable to be brought wherever you need to go.
They can be thrown in your hiking backpack or day pack. The carbineer’s strap is great for attaching to the outside of a backpack if you need some extra space inside. The stand allows for the panel to receive maximum sun exposure.
The solar panel is 21 watts and completely waterproof, with the 24% solar conversion efficiency. These solar cells will deliver more power much faster. There are dual USB charging ports that allow several people to charge devices at one time. The ports are also waterproof.
They also have an amazing program where 1% of all the money goes to an organization that helps with the restoration of the natural environment. You can feel good about your purchase and have a fantastic addition to your camping adventures.
- Completely waterproof.
- High efficiency.
- Great for adventure.
- Needs direct sunlight.
- Best only for charging small devices.
5. WindyNation 100-Watt Solar Panel – Portable Solar Panels for Camping
- 100 Watt solar panel provides up to 100 watts of clean, free, renewable power
- Designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, back-up power and remote power use
- Perfect for 12 volt battery charging (see pictures in photo gallery for solar panel technical information and dimensions)
This is a great option for camping. It is also designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, backup power, and remote power use. It comes with Grade A solar cells, a heavy-duty anodized aluminum frame, a 5-year warranty on parts and labor, and a 25-year power warranty.
This 100-watt solar panel can provide up to 100 watts of clean, free, and renewable power. Depending on sunlight availability, the panel can provide 300–600-watt hours of power per day. It is perfect for 12-volt battery charging.
The panels are made of polycrystalline. These panels offer full support with a frame and front glass. They are known for maximum durability and are great for setting up outside the tent or the camper. With just a few hours of sunlight, you can have almost a day’s worth of charging.
Keep in mind that this solar panel kit does not come with a controller, so that will need to be bought separately. Guys love this kit because it allows them to be completely off the grid.
There is also the option to buy multiple kits which then increase the voltage for 24 volts or 48-volt battery charging.
It is 18 lbs, and the product dimensions are 40x 26.4x 1.2 in.
- Full warranty.
- Very durable.
- Easy installation.
- Doesn’t come with a controller.
6. Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station by Goal Zero – Portable Solar Panels for Your Home
- 1425Wh lithium portable power station can power up to 10 devices at once (Single Cell Equivalent Capacity: 396Ah @3.6V)
- AC inverter (output, pure sine wave): 120VAC 60Hz, 10A (1500W, 3000W surge)
- Charges phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, drones, and more. Powers your refrigerator, blender, TV, lights, power tools, and medical devices
This is a 1400 lithium portable power station that is 1425Wh. It is silent and gas-free. It also has 1500-watt with a 3000-watt surge. It has an AC inverter, USB, and 12V outputs. It can power up to ten devices at once.
It is easily rechargeable, but keep in mind the solar panels for the product are sold separately. Many buyers love this product because it’s fun to display and has a more modern look than many other portable solar panels.
Even without the solar panels, there is no noise, no fumes, no gasoline, and no maintenance needed. The USB port output is 5V, up to 2.4A with 12W max. The AC inverter output with a pure sine wave is 120VAC 60Hz, 10A (1500W, 3000W surge).
It is perfect for charging phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, drones, and all kinds of technology devices. It also has enough power for the refrigerator, blender, TV, lights, power tools, and medical devices.
Overall, it is a great addition to any home. Whether you are worried about electricity outages during a storm, just trying to save money, or want an easy way to change things in the backyard, this portable solar panel is great.
This product has won multiple product design rewards for design and functionality. It even won the Innovations Honoree Award in Portable Power from the Consumer Electronics Show.
You also never have to worry about storing toxic gasoline or being exposed to toxic fumes. It offers silent, clean, and exhaust-free power.
Many users love the portable solar panel to use at tailgate or camping events. It is strong enough to run your TV or speaker all in a small package that doesn’t make any noise. It weighs 45 lbs, and the product dimensions are 10 x 15 x 10 in.
- High voltage, great for homes or even RVs equipements.
- Highly versatile.
- Great for emergencies.
- Very heavy.
- No replacement parts. Hard to repair.
7. Renogy 200-Watt Solar RV Off-Grid Kit – Best Portable Solar Panel Kits
- Designed for off-grid solar panel system, Caravan, RV, boat, Green house Solar panel system. Mono-crystalline Solar Cell efficiency: 21%
- Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades as well as withstand high winds (2400PA) and snow loads (5400PA)
- This kit includes our adventurer 30A PWM flush mount charge controller can charge the Battery quickly and safely under almost any condition
This is a great option if you want to be completely off the grid. It is monocrystalline and has 21% solar cell efficiency. It is perfect for caravans, RVs, boats, or a greenhouse solar panel system. It is intended for outdoor use with a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame.
They can withstand high winds at 2400 PA and snow loads at 5400 PA. The solar panel kit includes the 30A PWM flush mount charge controller. This allows the battery to be charged anywhere and in any condition.
It also comes with a 30 ft., 10 AWG MC4 adaptor kit. It has one 16 ft., 10AWG tray cable and one pair of branch connections. It also includes a Bluetooth module and a Renogy cable entry housing.
The kit is virtually silent, allowing all devices to be recharged without taking you away from the beauty of nature around you. You can also run limited low-watt electrical equipment without a power hookup.
The kit has two panels, and they are both monocrystalline. It has an open-circuit voltage of 21.6V. This kit has everything you need included in it which is great if you want to buy everything in one single and neat package.
This takes away the stress of having to look for controllers or adaptors. It can also power an entire RV in a single setup.
- Complete kit.
- Extremely efficient.
- Poor customer service.
- Some issues with charge controller after a long use.
8. GoerTek Solar Charger Power Bank – Best Portable Solar Panel Charger
This is a great external battery pack that is a great camping accessory. The solar charger has a built-in rechargeable 25000mAh Li-polymer battery pack. It is compatible with smartphones, iPhones, and iPads. It can charge a phone up to eight times and iPads up to three times before needing to recharge the solar power bank.
The power bank can be powered by a 5V/2A adapter or by solar power. The blue indicators will turn on when the device is fully charged. It usually needs about 13 hours to be fully charged.
The charger is a 3-in-1 smart charger. It has dual 5V 2.1A+5V 1A USB outputs. It can charge three devices simultaneously. It can avoid overcurrent, overvoltage, overload, and short circuit problems. This outdoor battery is an ideal choice for hiking, camping trips, or other phone charger solar outdoor activities.
The solar battery charger is made of premium ABS and PC silicone material, IP65 waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof. This makes it very durable even if you are using it on tough terrains. The solar charger also has 36 LED super strong lights so you can keep your campsite lit up all the time.
Along with the high capacity 25000mAh portable solar power bank, the solar panel kit comes with one carabiner, one USB cable, and an instruction manual to help you get started.
Overall, this is a great addition to any hiking or camping trip.
- Completely waterproof.
- Safe to take on the plane.
- Easy to carry.
- Needs direct sunlight.
- Requires a long charging time.
9. AllPowers 100-Watt solar panel – Best Flexible Portable Solar Panel
This SunPower cell is all made in the USA. While most monocrystalline cells have an efficiency of 17–19%, this one has 23.5%. The junction box is fully sealed and waterproof. The panel is much more durable than traditional glass and aluminum models.
The panel is fully flexible and bendable up to a 30-degree arc. It can be mounted on any RV, boat, cabin, tent, car, truck, trailer, or any irregular surface. Although extremely lightweight, it is also powerful.
The solar panel packs 100W of power and only weighs 5.24 lbs. This makes it very easy to move and transport as you are on the go. The design is frameless, and there are four metal-reinforced mounting holes which make the installation process much easier.
The kit weighs about 70% less than panels with a similar make. Likewise, it is 5% less thick. The arc makes it able to capture more sunlight.
The solar panel kit comes with an 18-month warranty and the full instruction manual.
- Works even in shade.
- Easy to attach to the top of the car.
- Very lightweight.
- Scratches easily.
- Output decreases with years.
10. Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Power Bank – Best Hiking/Backpacking Portable Solar Panel
- 25000mAh High Capacity: Built-in 25000mAh Li-polymer battery, it can charge your phones 8-10 times or tablets 3-4 times for an average of 9 days of usage per charge.
- 4 Solar Panels: With 4 foldable high-effeciency solar panels, up to 1A input current under the sunlight, which is 4 - 6 times faster than the other solar chargers. You can also use micro USB cable to...
- Dual USB 2.1A Output: Dual 2.1A USB ports allow you to charge 2 devices simultaneously with 2.1A high speed charging. Auto-detect your devices' current to pair the optimal output.
This is a folding portable solar panel with four panels. They have up to 1A input current under sunlight, making it about four to six times faster than other solar chargers. You can also use the included micro-USB cable to charge it if needed.
The device has dual-USB 2.1A output which allows you to charge two devices simultaneously with 2.1A high-speed charging. It can also auto-detect your device’s current to pair the optimal output.
Its rugged construction allows it to be used in any outdoor environment. It is dust, shock, and waterproof. It also has a LED flashlight with SOS mode. This is a fantastic feature for hiking and backpacking. It can be used when you need help or have another emergency situation.
The solar panel kit comes with a micro-USB cable, the instruction manual, and the 25000mAh portable solar charger.
The product dimensions are 6.1 x 3.35 x 1.37 in. It weighs 1.32 lbs making it a very lightweight option for hiking and camping.
- Perfect emergency charger.
- Long battery life.
- Doesn’t need direct sunlight.
- Can suck the life out of your device.
- Can be noisy.
When buying solar systems, you need to make sure you are spending your money wisely and getting something that will be the most useful to you. You also need to make sure you have a complete solar kit and panel kit that will fit your needs.
What Type of Portable Solar Panel do I need?
There are three main types of portable solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous. Monocrystalline is the most effective because it can produce a large amount of power even when there is not too much sunlight. They are not as sensitive to high temperatures and are usually the most durable out of the three kinds.
Polycrystalline also has some major advantages though. They are created from multiple blocks of silicon rather than just one. They are less expensive than monocrystalline and take up less space than amorphous. They are usually a good option if you are wanting to travel light or are on a small budget.
Amorphous solar panels are made by spreading silicon on a large bed. They are very budget-friendly and are more flexible. They may be good if you have to install panels on an uneven surface. They do take up much more space though, so they are not ideal for traveling or hiking. They also produce less power than monocrystalline even though they are much larger.
Efficiency is most important if you are not in direct sunlight often. You will want a solar kit that can still produce power even when being in the shade. High-efficiency portable solar panels can usually weigh less, take up less space, and still have a high output.
The electrical output that is stated on your solar panels should supersede what you need to power all the electronics you plan on using. This will ensure that everything you need to be charged will be good to go whenever you need it.
Portability is also a major factor when looking at what kind of solar panel kit to buy. This is most important if you don’t live in your RV year-round and if you plan to carry the panel strapped to a backpack. Even if it’s just going on the top of your RV, you still have to carry it to and from the car. You also have to install it.
If the solar panel kit doesn’t come with a carrying case or suitcase, you should definitely consider buying one separately. Solar panels are an investment, so you want to make sure they are well protected.
The weight also matters when you are thinking in terms of portability. RVs can be damaged if solar panels are bought that exceed the weight the RV can hold. You never want to end up damaging the RV, so you may as well do some research on what kind of weight your model can hold without it being destructive.
If you plan to hike with a solar panel, even short distances, the smallest size possible needs to be bought that can handle what you need to charge.
Higher prices in solar panels do not always mean better quality. Always check the material, the wattage, and the size before buying. If you find one that is too good to be true, it probably is. It may seem like good quality in some areas but seriously lacking in other ways. You also want to consider spending a little extra money to make sure you are getting a weather-resistant and waterproof solar panel.
The wattage cells also matter. Higher wattage means the panel can charge more things, even when all are plugged in at the same time. It also probably has a higher efficiency rating. Don’t be surprised if these also have the highest prices. They are usually well worth the money though.
What Wattage Do I Need?
Here are the common items that you may use and how much wattage they need:
- Smartphone: 6W
- Tablet: 8W
- Modem: 7W
- Coffee Machine: 1000W
- Laptop: 25–1000W
- TV-LCD: 150W
- DVD player: 15W
- Ceiling fan: 10–50W
All in all, the wattages you need will depend on how many devices you want to use simultaneously. Powering a full RV will need more than if you only want to recharge some devices.
What Do You Need for a Full Solar Kit?
If you didn’t buy a full solar panel kit, you may need to buy a few extra items. These include solar wiring, a solar power inverter, a digital monitoring unit, and a mounting hardware.
The solar power inverter will convert the 12-volt DC power into the 120-volt AC power that is needed to run most devices.
Keep in mind that there are no special wires for solar panels. However, some wires work very well. For the charge control and battery bank, the best option is the 8-gauge.
For RV solar panels, you may need THHN 10/2 tray cables since they can handle higher temperatures.
What Are Portable Solar Panels Used For?
Portable solar panels can be used for a wide variety of outdoor purposes. The most common is boating, hunting, camping, and when traveling in an RV.