Best Portable Solar Panels: A Complete Buying Guide

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Last Updated on December 8, 2023

Best Portable Solar Panels
Best Portable Solar Panels

Due to the environmental exhaustion we’ve caused our planet, going green is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity.

And considering that every house now has no less than five chargeable electronic devices, portable solar panels are an outstanding solution to the overuse of electricity. They also come in handy for adventurous souls who live in RVs and make a road trip out of their lives – for water filtration check out the portable Berkey Water Filter.

So whether you’re an environment enthusiast or a nomad, you’ll need a high-quality portable solar panel. That’s where we come in!

We’ve made a list of the best portable solar panels on the market today, along with a detailed buying guide. So start reading!

At a Glance:

Go Power! GP-PSK-130 130W Portable Folding Solar Kit with 10 Amp Solar Controller
Go Power! GP-PSK-130 130W Portable Folding Solar Kit with 10 Amp Solar Controller
Includes carrying case; 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
$485.75 Amazon Prime

The 9 Best Portable Solar Panels in 2022

Choosing the right portable solar panel for you can be a bit of a challenge. So here are our detailed reviews of the best portable solar panels out there.

1. BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W – Best Overall

[Upgraded] BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger(5V/4.8A Max), Portable SunPower Solar Panel for Camping, IPX4 Waterproof, Compatible with iPhone 11/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad, Samsung Galaxy LG etc.
  • 【Upgraded Triple USB-A Ports】Each maximum output is 5V/2.4A and total maximum current of 3 USB is at 5V/4.8A. BigBlue 28w solar charger allows you to charge multiple devices at once. It comes with smart charge technology which can recognize your device smartly then providing optimal charging speed vary with different devices. BigBlue ensure 100% safe charging with overcurrent, overheating and short-circuit protection.
  • 【Higher Solar Conversion】Highly efficient SunPower solar panel convert up to 24% of solar power into free energy in enough sunlight, which is the most durable panels at present, standing up to elements and wear and tear better than conventional panels. This special PET polymer surface protects solar panel from occasional rain or wet fog and three ports are covered with rubber cover to protect them from dust or water damage.
  • 【Portable Camping Solar Panel】BigBlue solar charger is a great option if you’re taking an extended camping trip or if you’re traveling somewhere with an unreliable power grid. With compact size (11.6 × 6.3× 1.3in folded) and lightweight (20.5 oz) design, it is portable and light enough to fit into any camping backpack or hiking daypack. It is also a must have for stashing in an emergency kit.
  • 【Wide Compatibility】BigBlue USB solar charger offers a tiny power plant that can generate power for your phone (Android and Apple) and small electronics to keep them charged when the sun is out (Note: you need the extra original cable for Apple devices). Our solar phone charger can't store the electricity and can't charge the laptops and iPad Pro.
  • 【Package & Support】You will get BigBlue 28W Solar Charger, 50cm USB-A to USB-C Cable, User Manual and friendly Customer Service. Note: Any cloud or cover may influence the charging speed. Although our solar charger with automatic restart function, we still suggest you to reopen the solar panels and replug your device if the charging is too slow.

Most portable solar panels pale in comparison with the BigBlue 3 USB ports 28W Solar Charger. It has a compact size that you can pack in any bag without an issue, and it’s extremely lightweight.

It comes with three USB openings, allowing you to charge many devices simultaneously. Each port has a maximum output of 5 V/2.4 A. More so, the innovative solar panel features cutting-edge technology that enables it to recognize your different devices. As a result, it’ll optimize the charging speed for each one.

If you often worry about overcharging, let’s assure you that the BigBlue solar panel protects against short circuits, overheating, and overcharging.

In addition, the solar panel operates on high solar conversion, which means it can convert up to 24% solar power into energy if provided with sufficient sunlight, of course. Its surface is manufactured from PET polymers to protect the panel from harsh weather conditions, like rain and fog.

Whether you carry an Android mobile or an iPhone, the portable solar panel will charge your mobile phone ideally. It’s compatible with iPhones ranging from 7 to 11 and many Android devices like Samsung Galaxy S6, S7, and more.

As for iPads, it works fine with the Air and Mini models, but the iPad Pro doesn’t have the same luck. Also, the solar panel doesn’t provide fast charging and doesn’t work with laptops.

To use the BigBlue solar panel, you should first unfold it and place it in direct sunlight. Then, connect any electronic appliance you want to charge to the USB port.

The panel has an LED lamp that’ll normally light while it’s working. But it’ll flash rapidly when there’s a short circuit or an overcurrent.

You should expect the solar panel charger, a 50 cm USB cable, and an instructions guide if you buy this product.

Bigblue 3 USB ports 28W solar charger
Bigblue 3 USB ports 28W solar charger


  • Three ports to charge many devices at the same time
  • High compatibility
  • Lightweight and foldable
  • Protection against short-circuits, overheating, and overcharging


  • Doesn’t work with laptops or iPad Pro

Final Verdict

The BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W solar charger is the jack-of-all-trades in the world of portable solar panels. It offers excellent functionality, compatibility, and overall ease of use.

2. Beartwo – Runner Up

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The Beartwo portable solar charger comes a close second on our list because of its awe-worthy features. In terms of portability, it has a compact design that allows you to carry it like a mobile phone in your hand.

It’s also lightweight and comes with a hanger so that you can hang it on your bag. This is ideal for hiking, camping, or any outdoor activity.

It also comes with two USB output ports so that you can charge two devices at once, with each one having a maximum output of 5 V/2.1 A. It’ll take you about four to five hours to charge it fully.

As a bonus point, each port comes with a protective rubber cap to ensure no water or dust goes inside during bad weather conditions.

The Beartwo solar panel comes with a built-in LED light with three different modes, and you can control them all with one button.

The panel is manufactured from eco-friendly silicone rubber, ensuring durability for shocks and accidents. Moreover, it has a high charging capacity of 10000 mAh. This way, you can charge your phone many times.

And if you have multiple devices, the panel will recognize them once you connect them to the output port and optimize the charging speed accordingly.

As for safety, the solar panel has intelligent protection that works in case of short circuits, overload, and overcurrents, like most portable solar chargers.

Finally, this device is compatible with tablets, iPhones, Android phones, GoPro cameras, Windows phones, and more.

If you purchase this product, you should expect a solar panel, a charging cable, and a hanger.

Beartwo portable solar charger
Beartwo portable solar charger


  • Dust and water-resistant
  • High charging capacity
  • Dual USB ports
  • Comes with a hanger


  • Charging is too slow for some people

Final Verdict

If you often go on outdoor adventures and want a lightweight, portable solar panel on your hands all the time, look no further than the Beartwo Portable Solar Panel.

3. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt – Best for Cloudy Weather Conditions

Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Portable Solar Panel with Waterproof 20A Charger Controller Foldable 100W Solar Suitcase with Adjustable Kickstand for Power Station, 100W Panel-20A Controller, Black
  • 【Plug and play solar kit 】complete kit includes a 100W solar suitcase, a 20A waterproof charge controller, and alligator clips. Compatible with multiple kinds of 12V batteries, easily add to your existing system.
  • 【Highly portable design】 foldable solar suitcase small in size, provide more flexibility for outdoor and off-grid use, easy to carry, store and set up.
  • 【Remarkable efficiency】Renogy solar panels using grade A plus monocrystalline solar cells. Advanced smart PWM technology charge controllers ensure charging efficiency and safety.
  • 【Reailable quality】coming with a premium rugged canvas protective case, heavy-duty handle, and latches for longevity.
  • 【Safety guarantee】multiple protections provided by the charge controller keep your battery and system fully protected.

The Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt takes a proud stance among monocrystalline portable solar panels. It works with many batteries, like gel, lithium, sealed, and flooded batteries. If you often go outside in harsh weather conditions, rest assured because this product is entirely resistant to water and corrosion.

It also comes with an adjustable aluminum stand, sturdy latches, and a handle for maximum mobility outdoors.

The Renogy Portable Solar Panel is made of high transparency tempered glass, which means the device will charge even in semi-shade conditions without direct sunlight. In addition, it has a built-in solar charge controller that ensures your batteries get charged quickly, safely, and efficiently.

The controller also protects against overcharging, short-circuits, and overloading. This is essential, especially for people who live in RVs, to prevent fires and electric shocks.

For luxury purposes, the solar panel comes with an LCD screen to help you display the operating information in front of you all day long.

If you purchase this product, you’ll get a 20 Amp 5-stage charge controller, two water-resistant panels, a protective casing, and a tray cable.

We've made a list of the best portable solar panels on the market today, along with a detailed buying guide. So start reading!
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt


  • LCD screen to display information
  • Features a 5-stage charge controller
  • Works with many types of batteries
  • Works in cloudy conditions


  • Heavy for some people

Final Verdict

If you want a highly compatible and durable solar panel that works well even in cloudy weather conditions, get the Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel.

4. Dokio 160W 18V Kit – Best Value for Money

DOKIO 160W 18V Portable Solar Panel Kit (ONLY 9lb) Folding Solar Charger with 2 USB Outputs for 12v Batteries/Power Station AGM LiFePo4 RV Camping Trailer Car Marine……
  • 【FOLDABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT EASY TO STORE】-- This solar panel photovoltaic packs 160W of power yet is only 1.1inch(2.8cm )thick and weighs only 7.28lb(3.3kg), making it easier to mount,transport, hang, and remove.
  • 【COMPLETE KIT,WORKS OUT OF THE BOX 】-- Solar charger for all 12V batteries ,with its 18V optimum power voltage.Protection against: overcharging, overload, short-circuit.
  • 【PERFECT CHOICE FOR OUTDOOR AND EMERGENCY LIFE】-- 9.85ft (3M) cable length from panel to controller, For most power stations (Jackery,Goal Zero,Ecoflow,Paxcess) and 12-volt batteries(AGM,LiFePo4,Deep cycle batteries),RV,car,boat,trailer,truck,pumpa,camping,van,emergency power.
  • 【PUT A LOT OF POWER INTO YOUR BATTERY BANK】-- powerful high conversion efficiency with high efficiency monocrystalline solar cell, you will get greater power efficiency even though the panel is smaller than a traditional model.Maximizes system output by reducing mismatch loss.
  • 【SUPPORTING BRACKET AND EXTENSION CABLE】--The store additionally sells a special bracket for flexible folding boards and a 19.7Ft(6m)XT60 to XT60 extension cable.

Foldable solar panels are the most suitable type out there, and we have one for you that won’t dent your wallet too bad. The Dokio 160W 18V Portable Solar Panel kit is easy to carry, considering its weight, dimensions, and foldability.

The kit comes ready to use, so you won’t have any assembly to do. Moreover, the solar panel charges most 12 V batteries, like Deep cycle, LiFePo4, lithium, gel, and AGM. This means that you can use it on your RV cabin battery, car battery, and more.

It also works with many built-in controller power stations, like FlashFish, Jackery, EcoFlow, Rockpals, and more. Ultimately, it’s the optimum choice if you live in an RV and often need emergency power.

And you shouldn’t worry about electric shock accidents as the solar panel provides protection against overloading, short-circuit, and overcharging.

Also, the monocrystalline solar cell provides the panel with high conversion efficiency and maximizes output.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a kickstand, so when using it, you’ll have to lean it against your car or tent. And it isn’t very waterproof due to the nylon exterior, so you shouldn’t leave it outside in rain conditions.

You should expect a solar panel, controller, three cables, and five conversion adapters if you purchase this kit. All of those at a reasonable price, so what are you waiting for?

We've made a list of the best portable solar panels on the market today, along with a detailed buying guide. So start reading!
Dokio 160W 18V portable solar panel kit


  • Foldable and lightweight
  • Easy installation
  • Works with many batteries and power stations
  • High conversion efficiency


  • Doesn’t come with a stand

Final Verdict

If you want as many features as you can get with your limited budget, you should opt for the Dokio 160W 18V Portable Solar Kit. It’s lightweight, foldable, highly efficient, and one of the best portable solar kits out there.

5. Go Power! GP-PSK-130 130W Kit – RV Pick

Go Power! GP-PSK-130 130W Portable Folding Solar Kit with 10 Amp Solar Controller
  • Includes carrying case
  • 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

The Go Power! Gp-PSK-130 Portable Solar Panel Kit is an optimal choice for people who live in RVs and appreciate off-grid power.

It features a 120-Watt panel that delivers a current of 6.9 amps per hour. Because of that, it provides excellent battery charging options for people who can’t leave their solar panels outside permanently.

The solar controller on this panel is equipped with a digital screen that’ll let you monitor information like transmit and input power. And the panel comes with Anderson-style battery connectors that allow easy interchanging of charging accessories.

The panel is easily foldable, portable, and comes with a carrying nylon case. This way, you can fit it in any backpack. It also features foldable and adjustable legs so that you can put it directly in the sunlight without mounting it on something.

We've made a list of the best portable solar panels on the market today, along with a detailed buying guide. So start reading!
Go Power! Gp-PSK-130 portable solar panel kit


  • Comes with a carrying nylon case
  • Excellent battery charging options
  • Anderson-style battery connectors
  • Foldable with adjustable legs


  • On the pricey side of the market

Final Verdict

If you’ve decided to go nomad style and live in an RV for a while, you’ll need the GoPower! Gp-PSK-130 Folding Solar Panel to keep your company with its excellent battery charging options and portability.

6. Bluetti SP120 120W – Best Monocrystalline Solar Panel

BLUETTI SP120 120W Solar Panel for AC200P/EB70/AC50S/EB150/EB240 Solar Generator,Portable Foldable Solar Panel for Outdoors Camping Vanlife Off Grid
  • [HIGHER CONVERSION EFFICIENCY & PORTABLE] - BLUETTI SP120 is a 120-Watt monocrystalline solar panel with a high-efficiency solar cell of up to 23.5%, which ensure the BLUETTI SP120 performs better than similarly-rated polycrystalline solar panels in low-light conditions,with a folded size of 16.3 x 16.1 inches and 9.48 lbs of weight, the BLUETTI SP120 is convenient to carry around for outdoor camping adventure
  • [EASY SETUP & KICKSTAND INCLUDED] - The SP120 features 4 kickstands that can be easy to get power from the sun & adjust the angle by the kickstands for better solar absorption.With the Pre-drilled holes on the panel also allow for fast mounting and hanging
  • [DURABLE & SPLASH-PROOF] - It’s made of advanced laminated technology and long-lasting ETFE material on the surface, making it more durable,better light transmittance,cratch-resistant and easy to clean by wet cloth. It is IP65 water-resistant that will protect from water splashing (Do not place it under the rain, or to soak in water).
  • [WIDELY COMPATIBLE] - BLUETTI SP120 120W foldable solar panel uses MC**4 connector & is designed to be used with most solar generators on the market,including any of the BLUETTI solar generators (AC200P/EB55/EB70/EB240/EB150/ AC50S),Tips:Single SP120 can not charge AC200P,we recommend you to connect at least 3pcs SP120 in series while charging AC200P
  • [WHAT'S INCLUDED] - 1*BLUETTI SP120 120W solar panel, 1*User Manual

The Bluetti SP120 120W Panel sits on the throne of the best monocrystalline solar panels on the market.

It has a high-efficiency solar cell and provides excellent conversion efficiency, rendering it better than polycrystalline solar panels with the same rating. And as a rule of thumb, monocrystalline solar panels are better than other types. This solar panel also works well in low-light conditions.

As for portability, the Bluetti solar panel is foldable and lightweight with compact dimensions. As a result, you can take it with you whether you’re going camping, hiking, or any outdoor activity.

You won’t face any difficulty setting it up as it comes with four kickstands that you can adjust for optimum sun rays’ absorption. You’ll also notice pre-drilled holes on the solar panel that’ll help you mount it fast.

If you often go outside in harsh weather conditions, you’ll love the durability that the Sp120 solar panel offers. It’s resistant to water splashes, which means you don’t have to fear rain anymore.

More so, it features an ETFE finish with laminated technology to ensure excellent light transmittance and minimum scratches due to falls and shocks.

The innovative solar panel also works with many generators, including any Bluetti portable solar generator. And if you purchase this product, you’ll get a user manual to help you get accustomed to it.

We've made a list of the best portable solar panels on the market today, along with a detailed buying guide. So start reading!
Bluetti SP120 120W solar panel


  • Excellent conversion efficiency
  • Foldable and lightweight
  • Durable and water-resistant
  • High compatibility


  • Pricey for some people

Final Verdict

Your search for portable solar panels can be over now. The Bluetti SP120 120W Panel rules the market with its superb conversion efficiency, compatibility, and durability.

7. Jackery SolarSaga 100W – Versatile Pick

Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel for Explorer 240/300/500/1000/1500 Power Station, Foldable Solar Cell Solar Charger with USB Outputs for Phones,Ideal for Rooftops Outdoor Camping and RVs
  • EASY SETUP & KICKSTAND INCLUDED: The Solar Saga 100 features 2 kickstands that can be placed firmly on any surface ground. With just a few seconds of setup, you can start soaking energy from the sun for your Jackery power station. The TPE rubber handle allows you to carry around easily when taking off-grid adventures.
  • HIGHER ENERGY CONVERSION RATE: Covered by monocrystalline silicon solar cells, the solar panel adopts multi-layered cell technology to generate energy from the sunlight and perform better with higher conversion efficiency that up to 23% than other conventional panels.
  • DURABLE & SPLASH-PROOF: The ETFE-laminated case is durable enough to extend the lifespan of the solar panel. It is IP65 water-resistant that will protect from water splashing (Do not place it under the rain, or to soak in water). The zippers on the pocket can hold the power cords, and cover the power port.
  • COMPATIBLE & VERSATILE: This solar panel is compatible with Jackery Explorer 300/500/1000/1500 power station (sold separately), ideal for off-grid camping and unexpected power outage. Solar Saga 100 features 1* USB-C(5V,3A) output port and 1* USB-A(5V, 2.4A) output port to charge 2 small devices directly.
  • WHAT YOU GET: 1*Jackery SolarSaga 100 Solar Panel.

Do you spend a long time outdoors and want your portable solar panel to work in many settings? Then, we have good news for you!

The Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel comes with two durable kickstands that you can set up nearly everywhere in a few seconds. It also has a TPE rubber handle that’ll help you carry the panel around. So whether you’re living in an RV, camping, or hiking, you’ll have enough power to charge your devices.

Moreover, the Jackery solar panel has an excellent solar energy conversion rate, thanks to the multi-layered cell technology and monocrystalline solar cells that adorn it.

Although the Jackery solar panel isn’t water-resistant, it can resist water splashes. But avoid leaving it under the rain. As for durability, the panel’s laminated case will ensure that it stays with you for quite a time.

The monocrystalline portable panel is compatible with many Jackery Explorer power stations. In addition, it has two USB outputs, USB-A and USB-C, so that you can charge two devices simultaneously.

We've made a list of the best portable solar panels on the market today, along with a detailed buying guide. So start reading!
Jackery SolarSaga 100W portable solar panel


  • Excellent solar energy conversion rate
  • Two USB ports
  • Two kickstands and a rubber handle
  • Excellent durability


  • Not water-resistant

Final Verdict

If you like to go on off-grid adventures and want a flexible solar panel that you can set up anywhere, we highly recommend the Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel.

8. SunJack 15W Foldable Monocrystalline – Best for Phones

SunJack 15 Watt Foldable IP67 Waterproof ETFE Monocrystalline Solar Panel Charger with USB-C and USB-A for Cell Phones, Tablets and Portable for Backpacking, Camping, Hiking and More
  • Rugged, Durable, Waterproof. Weatherproof ETFE exterior layer improves performance and durability, extends the panel’s lifespan, and requires less maintenance when compared to the PET exterior construction used by most portable solar chargers. The USB ports are waterproof rated IP67 – the printed circuit board (PCB) is coated with a waterproof seal and the junction box is silicone bonded to the panel. Designed for all weather conditions and environments - waterproof, shock-proof and drop-proof.
  • Portable folding solar panel. Compact panels fold down to the size of a tablet and easily fit into any backpack. Integrated magnetic closure system keeps the panels closed during storage, eliminating the need for bulky straps. The pocket provides storage space for most electronics and accessories, and the mesh design intuitively allows proper airflow to prevent devices from overheating while being charged. The elastic straps secure phones, power banks and more during storage and transportation.
  • Powerful and fast charging speeds. Monocrystalline panels with ETFE construction provide maximum efficiency and UV-ray permeability. Dual USB ports allow you to charge both USB-A and Type-C devices. The USB-A port (5V/3A) and USB-C port (5V/3A) each pump out up to 3 amps of power per USB port (15W total maximum output) to provide wall-outlet charging speeds. ETFE construction has a UV permeability of 95% compared to 80% from PET - makes the panel more efficient than other solar chargers.
  • Smart Technology. Built-in smart IC chip intelligently identifies your device and provides the quickest, yet safest, charging speed. Short circuit, over-load, over-heat, over-charge, over-voltage, over-current and current limiting protection. Automatic restore if shade occurs.
  • Multi-Use: Ideal for camping, backpacking, hiking, outdoor adventures and is essential in any disaster, emergency, and hurricane prep kit for survival. Never be caught without power. Great for any USB device including your iPhone, Samsung, Pixel, iPad, phones, powerbanks, tablets and more.

Suppose you don’t have many rechargeable devices and only care about keeping your mobile alive while you’re on an outdoor adventure. In that case, you’ll love what the SunJack 15W Foldable Monocrystalline Solar Charger has to offer.

It has weatherproof ETFE solar panels that ensure optimum energy conversion and maximum sun rays permeability. Like most portable panels, the SunJack panel has intelligent technology that allows it to identify your device and optimize the charging speed accordingly. This way, it protects against overcharging.

The SunJack portable solar panel has a robust build that withstands shocks and drops without requiring maintenance every now and then. Also, you can fold it to a small size and put it into your bag quickly. The solar panel has a magnetic closing system that ensures it stays closed while in storage.

As for compatibility, you can charge your Samsung cell phone, iPad, iPhone, and Pixel using this portable solar panel.

We've made a list of the best portable solar panels on the market today, along with a detailed buying guide. So start reading!
SunJack 15W foldable monocrystalline solar panel charger


  • Innovative technology to identify different devices
  • Optimum energy conversion
  • Foldable with a magnetic closing system
  • High compatibility


  • May take long to charge a device fully

Final Verdict

If you want a reliable portable solar panel to charge your phone while you’re on outdoor adventures, you should get the SunJack 15W foldable monocrystalline solar panel charger.

9. Goal Zero Nomad 28 Plus – Hiking Pick

Goal Zero Nomad 28 Plus Solar Panel
  • Smart charging for phones and tablets features a dynamic auto-restart and Smart electronics to charge phones, tablets and other usb-powered gear directly from the sun, even in cloudy conditions.
  • Easy-to-read LED indicator display strength of Solar conditions and provides immediate feedback on the speed of charging.
  • Waterproof and modular rugged, waterproof construction means power without worry. Removable kickstand provides optimum angle placement toward the sun.
  • Auto restart feature means the nomadic 7 plus will automatically reconnect the charging Device when needed

If you’re an adventurous hiker, you’ll like the features that Goal Zero Nomad 28 Plus Portable Solar Panel has in store for you.

For starters, it comes with a removable kickstand so that you can mount it anywhere where it gets sufficient sun rays. It’s also weather-resistant, which means it won’t get affected by a few sudden rain droplets.

As a bonus point, the Nomad 28 Plus comes with an LED indicator that’ll let you know when the solar panel isn’t getting enough sun rays. This way, you’ll place it somewhere else without wasting unnecessary time in the shade.

It has intelligent features that allow it to recognize different devices, thus optimizing charging output accordingly.

It’s worth mentioning that this portable solar panel produces power while in the sun, but it can’t store a charge. Simply put, you can only use it to charge a power bank or charge your devices outdoors. This makes it ideal for hiking trips where people spend most of their time outside.

Finally, the Goal Zero Solar Panel can charge USB devices, including tablets, mobiles, cameras, and more.

We've made a list of the best portable solar panels on the market today, along with a detailed buying guide. So start reading!
Goal Zero Nomad 28 Plus solar panel


  • Removable kickstand
  • Weather-resistant
  • LED indicator
  • Charges many USB devices


  • Output power is only 28 Watts

Final Verdict

While the Goal Zero Nomad 28 Plus Panel isn’t the best portable solar panel out there for charging devices indoors, it’s ideal for hikers who spend most of their days out in the sun.

How to Choose Portable Solar Panels

After giving you detailed reviews about the best portable solar panels, it’s time to tell you how to choose one according to your needs. Here are the points you should consider before making your purchase.

Power Output

Some people go on long off-grid adventures with many chargeable electronic devices, so they’ll need high power output.

Meanwhile, some people go camping for a few days and take only their mobile phones. As a result, they won’t need the maximum output. You should consider this point before purchasing to avoid paying unnecessary money.

To know the maximum power output of a solar panel, you should check its wattage. Higher wattage means it can provide power more efficiently to your devices. But keep in mind that this number might get affected by cloudy weather conditions.

If you want the highest power output and energy production rate out there, you should look for monocrystalline portable solar panels. They have capacities of 100W and more, and they’re often made of strong tempered glass.

For a more affordable option, you can look for polycrystalline portable solar panels. While those are less efficient than the monocrystalline panels, they’ll work just fine with small devices and won’t dent your wallet.

Your final option is thin-film solar panels. Those have low wattages and work well only for people who go on short outdoor adventures and don’t have many chargeable devices. However, you should look at the solar cells to know the difference between them and polycrystalline solar panels.

You won’t see the solar cells on thin-film solar panels. Instead, you’ll see a thin photovoltaic film. As for polycrystalline panels, you’ll see many crisscrossing lines on the surface.

Rigid or Foldable?

People who go on long hikes with their bags on their backs prefer foldable solar panels so that they can store the device easily. However, people who live in RVs have no problem buying rigid solar panels because they can mount them up on the roof using kickstands.

You should consider this point and choose according to your conditions. It’s worth mentioning that foldable panels are often more lightweight.

Meanwhile, rigid panels have sturdy frames and are often made of heavy weather-resistant materials to allow them to thrive on car roofs without damage. Unfortunately, they also take a much larger space for storage.

If you have limited space in your car or want to go camping with only your backpack, you should look for a smaller solar panel.


People often take their portable solar panels on long trips, so they need to make sure the panels will stay alive till the end. For example, if you’re planning on living in an RV for a year, you’ll need a weather-resistant, durable solar panel to accompany you. On the other hand, if you’re hiking, you might want to drop some durability features in exchange for light carrying weight.

Weather Resistance

If you often take your portable solar panel on long hikes or camping trips, you should know that many portable solar panels aren’t resistant to harsh weather conditions.

If your solar panel isn’t resistant to the weather, it won’t last with you for a very long time. But if you only go on outdoor adventures during summer days, you don’t have to look for waterproof panels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Will a 100-Watt Solar Panel Charge?

A 100-Watt portable solar panel can charge many small devices, like cameras, cell phones, tablets, iPads, and more. But if you plan on running big electronic devices, such as TVs, kitchen appliances, and small space heaters, it won’t suffice.

How Long Do Portable Solar Panels Last?

If you care for your portable solar panel properly, it’ll last for about 20 to 25 years. After that, its energy output will begin to weaken. But if you expose your solar panel to harsh weather conditions more often than you should and get it wet many times, this duration will decrease drastically.

How Do Portable Solar Panels Work?

Portable solar panels have photovoltaic cells that absorb sunlight rays and convert them into energy. On a more scientific note, the sunlight particles, also known as photons, can knock off electrons out of their atoms. This leads to the generation of an electric current, which you can use to run an electric appliance or charge one.

To Wrap Up

If you want to depend on solar power to charge your devices for some time, you’ll probably need to choose one of the best portable solar panels we’ve reviewed on our list. To make it easier for you, here are our top three picks.

You can get the BigBlue 3 USB ports 28w Solar Panel for an all-in-all product that’s lightweight and foldable. But if you don’t want to dent your wallet too bad, you can go for the Dokio 160W 18V Portable Solar Panel. And if you’re planning on living in an RV, the GoPower! Gp-PSK-130 Solar Panel would be your ideal option.

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