5 Best Solar Panels For Camping

While camping is a great way to unwind from the frantic business of everyday living in 2021, it isn’t always feasible. You might want to take a break from social media and work email, but you need your phone in case of an emergency.

The technology that allows you to charge your electronics while on the go has evolved tremendously in recent years, but most people will still struggle to grasp the voluminous technical language while looking for the best camping solar panel. So here we are.

In this article, we have reviewed the 5 best solar panels for camping along with the buying guide so that you can make an informed decision.

Best Choice

4.6/5

ROCKPALS SP003 100W

  • Three USB connections 
  • Water Resistant 
  • Quick Charge Port 

Premium Choice

4.2/5

Goal Zero Nomad 100 Camping Solar Panel

  • Easy to transport 
  • Weatherproof
  • Can be connected with many solar panels 

Best in Budget

3.9/5

SunJack 15 Watt Foldable ETFE Monocrystalline Solar Panel

  • Shockproof 
  • Compact and easy to carry 
  • Come with LED indicator

5 Best Solar Panels For Camping

1. Goal Zero Nomad 100 Camping Solar Panel

Pros

  • Rated for up to 100 watts
  • Approximately 20.5 x 15.5 x 2 inches when folded (52 x 39.37 x 5.08 cm)
  • It has cells with a 20 percent efficiency in the monocrystalline form
  • Easy to transport and deploy. 

Cons

  • The package doesn’t have a carrying case, kickstand legs included. 

Key Features:

  • Lightweight, portable, and foldable are all characteristics of this product.
  • Weatherproof for use in severe conditions
  • It is possible to connect numerous solar panels.

There are three sizes of Nomad panels available. The Nomad 100 is the middle of the three sizes. This portable, waterproof, lightweight solar panel is the ideal companion for a camping trip or other outdoor activity.

The four monocrystalline panels are protected by a small and sturdy packaging with attachment loops to be hung anywhere it is needed. The mesh on the rear of the packaging contains the 8mm charging cable, the USB A port with a 2.5A output, and the 8mm combiner cable port, which are all included.

Because of the APP 4x8mm combiner cable connector, you may use it in conjunction with up to four Nomad 100 solar panels to gather the maximum amount of energy from the sun and transfer it to Yeti power stations or any other electrical equipment.

Because the Nomad panels can be folded into a single unit, they are among the most space-efficient panels available on the market.

2. ROCKPALS SP003 100W

Pros

  • The solar panels are water-resistant
  • The product is effortless and quick
  • It comes with the intelligent technology of charging with 3 USBs. 

Cons

  • The product is slightly heavier and slightly bigger than some of the other things on this list. 

Key Features:

  • There are three regular USB connections
  • One Quick Charge 3.0 port integrated into.
  • Exceptional value

By the device’s name, it can generate up to 100W of electricity from the sun.

As previously stated, this number is achieved under ideal conditions; however, as anyone who has used solar panels can attest. These conditions are extremely difficult to achieve, with the amount of direct sunlight available varying depending on the sun’s position in the sky and the amount of cloud cover. That being said, on a bright, sunny day, this specific gadget will be able to provide a continuous flow of electricity, which will be more than enough to replenish your portable power stations and USB battery packs.

It weighs over 11 pounds and measures 20.5 14.2 2.6 inches in length, width, and height when folded. As a result, carrying the panel in your bag, for example, is out of the question, and the convenience of travel is somewhat limited.

If you plan a longer camping trip off-grid, it is essential to note that the product has a built-in handle. If you are looking for a solar panel to take with you at all times, this is not the product for you.

3. Renogy 100 Watt Eclipse

Pros

  • It comes with a protective casing to protect it from damage.
  • The product is waterproof.
  • It works efficiently in low-light environments also.
  • Electric shock dangers are avoided by using a low-voltage system. 

Cons

  • 6lb heavier than ordinary Renogy 100W solar panels.
  • Black paint is prone to cracking. 

Key Features:

  • Included are alligator clips.
  • Frame made of heavy-duty metal that is portable.
  • Sensors for measuring the voltage of the battery and the temperature of the battery

You can use this solar charger to charge any batteries you bring along on your camping excursions since it is portable, cheap, and all-in-one. You can set any batteries you bring along on your camping trips using just the power of the sun. Everything you need comes in a bit of a suitcase measuring 21x21x3 inches, with a semi-rigid frame and a handle incorporated into the actual structure of the solar panels, which makes them easy to carry about even if the case is not there.

The Eclipse is powered by monocrystalline solar cells, which are more efficient than polycrystalline solar cells. The distinction between polycrystalline cells and monocrystalline cells is easy to distinguish if you’re ever unclear which sort of solar panel you’re looking at. Polycrystalline cells have a blueish tint, whereas monocrystalline cells are black.

As soon as you open the case, you’ll discover that it has everything you need. A lithium battery and two junction boxes are included, as well as an Adventurer 20A charge controller with an LCD screen that displays all of the necessary information, such as the panel array voltage, charge current, produced energy, battery voltage, battery percent, and temperature.

A ten-foot-long wire with alligator clips is also provided, and the controller will automatically detect whether you are connecting into a 12V or a 24V system, depending on your preference. It is possible to adjust the charge controller’s default setting to accommodate sealed or gel-type batteries without modifying the controller’s programming.

4. SunJack 15 Watt Foldable ETFE Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Pros

  • The solar charger is compact and lightweight
  • It can easily fit into any bag.
  • Resistant to the elements
  • It has the capability of intelligent charging through the use of an IC chip. 

Cons

  • No negatives have been found yet. 

Key Features:

  • The solar panel is shockproof.
  • The product is compact and easy to carry.
  • The solar panel has an LED indicator.

The best solar panel for camping weighs only 1.8 pounds and measures 2316.54.5 cm when folded. The SunJack 15W solar charger is extremely portable, thanks to its tiny size and lightweight construction. Yet, it is convenient since it can supply up to 2.8A of power through its USB output.

Because the Smart IC chip is integrated into this device, it can automatically determine the type of device connected to it. As a result, the charger will change its charging capacity and speed to ensure that the device receives the appropriate charge at all times. You may also rest easy knowing that this gadget is equipped with overcharging protection, so you won’t have to worry about your devices being harmed.

The weather-resistant compact charger is also robust, dust-proof, and shockproof when folded, making it an excellent choice for outdoor use. If the sun disappears behind the clouds for an extended period, the automatic restoration feature will kick in, ensuring that your gadgets’ batteries are kept safe and secured. Through this panel, you may charge any device that uses a USB connection. The charger’s LED indication indicates whether or not the USB output is delivering electricity. Because it is a little bigger than an iPad when folded down, the charger can be stowed away in any bag when not in use.

5. ACOPOWER 120W Portable Camping Solar Panel

Pros

  • 25 percent efficiency is a good thing.
  • 100 watts of power are available.
  • Dimensions when folded: 560 x 440 x 20 mm
  • The fabric and cell surface are waterproof, making them suitable for outdoor use. 

Cons

  • During three hours of operation in direct sunlight, the solar cells appeared to perform slightly worse than predicted, compared to expectations. 

Key Features:

  • Solar panels with the highest efficiency from SunPower
  • Compatible batteries, such as AGM, flooded, sealed, or GEL
  • The solar suitcase is both portable and lightweight.

A 120W portable and foldable solar panel kit is available from the company on this occasion, and it is designed to be lightweight and tiny in size. It is considered one of the best solar power kits for camping since it utilizes monocrystalline cells from the most efficient and exceptional brand in the business (SunPower), which have a performance that boosts the conversion efficiency by up to an incredible 25%.

Together with all of its components, the solar charger is contained in a suitcase that weighs 8.4 pounds. A significant difference between the two solutions can be seen when we compare the weight of this solar panel to the weight of an equivalent power output module (which weighs 21 lbs. ). There is also the option of selecting from various other possible sizes, including 50W, 70W, and 105W.

There is also an LCD Charge Controller with 10 A output and two 5V USB ports, and MC4 connector cables, which allows you to safely charge an external battery (not included) up to 12V.

Considering that it is completely pre-wired and ready for connection. It would take less than 10 seconds to mount the solar panels and connect them to your vehicle battery, a boat battery, or another 12V lead-acid battery type such as AGM flooded lead-acid sealed lead-acid or GEL.

It is essential that the best solar panels for camping are compact in size, foldable in design, and have enough capacity to charge your electronic devices. The Acopower solution fully meets these requirements!

Buying Guide

USAGE

Consider the following when selecting a camping solar panel: what gadgets or appliances do you intend to utilize the solar panel to power and why? What are you planning on utilizing it for? Are you going to use it to recharge your phone, power some lights, or charge camper car batteries so that you can power some more power-hungry devices?

Suppose you want to utilize a portable fridge, for example, to keep your drinks and food cool. In that case, according to the manufacturer, you’ll need to think about investing in some more powerful, larger solar panels, which will give the output required for such endeavors. Additionally, you should consider how long you intend to spend camping and what kind of wattage is required for the items you intend to bring with you. As soon as you’ve calculated your daily energy consumption, you should have a good notion of what kind of solar panel you’ll need.

VERSATILITY

Having everything planned out in advance is not always possible, and that is acceptable. When it comes to camping, there is no better time or location to unwind and allow yourself to be spontaneous than while you are there. As a result, you may not be able to predict your daily energy consumption in advance, and you may not require a bulky, large, powerful panel if you are only expecting to spend a few days in the woods with your family.

When all you have is a small tent and a backpack, you’ll want a small and versatile solar panel that will provide you with a variety of options regarding the items you can charge and the locations where you can set up the panel. Since most manufacturers recognize that some campers are highly mobile, they have developed lightweight solutions that can be quickly packed into a backpack or even hung from a bag to charge your phone while walking to your next camping location.

TECHNOLOGY

The types of connections and outputs you will require from your camping solar panel are another important consideration when shopping for a camping solar power system. Using a panel with USB ports will be ideal for charging your phone and tablet, but if you need to power larger appliances, you’ll need something a little more robust. First, examine what you intend to use the panel for, and then consider whether it can support the type of item you intend to power with it.

Consider whether or not you require a power converter for your device, as well as the kind of activities the converter will be required to execute on your behalf. Is it sufficient to switch the electricity from direct current to alternating current, or do you require one with an LCD screen that displays additional pertinent information?

EFFICIENCY

Foremost among these considerations is the quantity of power your chosen solar panel can generate in comparison to your requirements, as well as the size and portability of the solar panel. A 7W panel will be sufficient to keep your phone or iPod charged, while a 15–25W solution will be sufficient to charge a couple of phones at the same time or to power a tablet. You will require the use of a more serious solution if you wish to keep a laptop, radio, or even television operational.

Somewhere between 100 and 150W should suffice for this application. When you go into the realm of camping equipment, such as portable refrigerators and cooking stoves, you should be looking for something a little more durable, with a power output of 300W or more. All of this is, of course, proportional to the size and portability of the panels, as well as their cost, so consider this.

POWER

In general, small solar panels, such as those used to charge tablets and smartphones, provide anywhere between 2 and 25W per day, depending on the weather and other factors. The amount of power delivered by a solar panel is determined by the panel’s size, the type of solar cells employed, and the overall design quality. A slightly larger panel might be able to give out between 50 and 100 watts daily, and if you have larger items that need to be charged, such as laptops, you’ll need something along those lines as well. As a general rule, the more direct sunlight you can direct at your solar panel, the more power it will produce.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS AND WEIGHT

This feature’s availability depends on the amount of available space on the roof of your camping trailer. The average trailer is 2.5 – 3 meters wide and 6 – 9 meters long, depending on the manufacturer. It provides adequate space on the roof for 6 – 8 flexible 100W solar panels to be installed. The second factor to consider is the amount of power you require. Take into consideration all of the equipment you intend to power with your roof-mounted solar panels, and then determine how many flexible panels you will require to meet your requirements. You’ll find the solution to your query in a delicate balance between those several aspects.

FLEXIBILITY

When it comes to solar panels for camping, the most important aspect that clients look for is their versatility. If you are going on a brief camping vacation, you should look for both bendable and lightweight products. You can use bendable materials to place them on curved surfaces, such as the curving roofs of camp trailers and other similar structures. However, the type of panels has an impact on their flexibility. It is possible to get thin-film variants that are more flexible and can even be curled up if necessary.

THE EASE WITH WHICH YOU CAN USE IT

When purchasing solar panels for camping, it is important to choose goods that are simple to use and transportable. Having to fiddle with intricate electronics is the last thing you want to be doing when camping, which is why the list we compiled for this buying guide is ideal for all campers. A standard feature of most models is the ability to charge your smartphone, tablet, camera, and other electronic devices. If you are a frequent camper in an RV, we recommend the Renogy 100 Watt Eclipse because it is the most convenient option in terms of utility.

Conclusion

In this buying guide, we’ll show you some of the best solar panels for camping that are currently available on the market. Well-known and dependable companies manufacture the goods on this list, and they offer the most competitive performance specs available on the market. Solar panels are an excellent option if you go camping frequently and prefer spending time outdoors yet wanting the convenience of electricity.

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