Best Solar Panel for Camping
Camping has been made so easy with the availability of solar panels specifically designed for camping, since your electronic gadgets are assured of charge. However, when purchasing a solar panel, you might wonder, what are the best solar panels for camping?
It goes by no argument that solar panels have made staying off-grid so easy. With a solar panel, all you need is the sun or a power bank; if its external battery is designed to accept one and you are good to go. Solar panels are very convenient as they are highly portable and hence easy to transport, and you can take them anywhere. These panels can charge most of your gadgets, and they deliver clean, renewable energy. If you are going camping and you are undecided on which solar panel to take, read on to find out about the best solar panels that will serve you efficiently when off-grid.
The Best Solar Panel Comparison Table
|Model Name||Wattage||Voltage||Best for||Price|
|Anker 625 Solar panel||100W||26.5V||Best overall||Check Price Here|
|Jackery solarSaga 100||100W||18V||More stable||Check Price Here|
|BioLite Solar Panel 10+||10W||5V||Best budget||Check Price Here|
|Goal Zero Nomad 50||50 W||18-22V||Best for storage||Check Price Here|
The Best Solar Panels for Camping Product Reviews
Anker 625 Solar Panel – best overall
If you have high power needs when going camping, then the Anker 625 will be your perfect solar panel option as it has high power output. This machine weighs 11 pounds; hence it is not hard to transport to your camping site.
- Compatible with Anker’s powerhouse
- Able to convert up to 23% of sunlight
- Weather and scratch-resistant
- Equipped with 2 USB ports
This solar panel is compatible with powerhouse making it an outstanding solar option for camping as the portable battery storage packs will store power for later use. However, the powerhouse is sold separately; hence you will have to spend more money on it.
Despite this solar panel being an ideal power solution for camping as it is compatible with various powerhouses, it is highly efficient in converting sunlight into solar energy; hence it can charge your solar generator even if the weather is cloudy. It is able to convert up to 23% of sunlight, meaning if 1000W of sunlight hits the panel, the panel can convert 230W into solar energy.
It is also made of weather and scratch-resistant material that is able to tolerate harsh off-grid conditions making this device very durable. This device is also convenient as it comes with a USB-A and USB-B Output port and can charge two devices at the same time. Additionally, this solar panel comes with a Smart Sunlight Alignment feature to indicate when the position of the panel while charging is perfect.
What we liked
- Very durable
- Efficiently converts sunlight to solar energy.
- Easy to set up
- It is compatible with Anker’s Powerhouse.
- Able to charge two devices at the same time
What we didn’t like
- The powerhouse is sold separately
This solar panel is efficient as it has a high wattage rating and is highly portable, making it suitable for camping or even road trips. However, it is a bit pricy and lacks an in-built battery pack meaning you have to buy a powerhouse to store charge for later use separately. If price is not a significant factor in your search for a good solar panel, then consider investing in the Anker 625 solar panel, as it is durable and equipped with high-end features to meet your camping power needs.
Jackery SolarSaga 100 – more stable
The jackery solar saga is a high-quality solar panel equipped with high-end features and designed to withstand harsh off-grid conditions. Though a bit pricy, this panel has a high power output of up to 100 Watts under direct sunlight.
- Comes with external Jackery explorer battery pack
- The panels are made of magnet
- Equipped with 2 USB output ports
- Panels have Velcro legs for stability
This solar panel comes with external Jackery Explorer battery packs that allow you to store charge for later use. This is convenient as it enables you to have sufficient power to keep you through your whole camping experience.
The panels of this solar panel are made of magnets; hence they easily unfold and widen the surface area while charging and fold when you are done for better storage. The wide surface area allows the panels to capture as much sunlight as possible and convert it to power. The panel is equipped with Velcro legs that aid in positioning the panels appropriately towards the sun.
Additionally, it only weighs about 10 pounds, and its size is perfect and easy to travel with when going camping. Additionally, this device has both USB-A and USB-C output ports that allow you to charge your electronic gadgets directly instead of using an intermediate battery.
This device easily made it to the best solar panels as it works extremely well in almost all weather conditions except when there is a heavy downpour. However, if you have an external jackery explorer battery pack, the heavy rains will not be a cause of concern as you can use the stored power. The best feature of this device is that it can be able to convert up to 23% of sunlight energy to power when charging under direct sunlight.
What we liked
- Magnetic panels that easily unfold to double the surface area when charging
- Two USB output ports
- Compatible with jackery explorer
- High power conversion rate and efficiency
What we did not like
- It is not water resistant
Though expensive, this device will be able to meet most of your power needs as it is able to power more than one device simultaneously. Additionally, you can consider buying it with a jackery explorer battery pack to store more charge for later use, mainly when there is a heavy downpour. I would recommend this device to anyone looking for a solar panel that charges quickly and has high power output.
BioLite Solar Panel 10+ – best budget
The BioLite Solar Panel is the appropriate solar panel for anyone looking for a camping device that won’t take up to much space. This device has an ultra-slim design measuring 6.6 mm deep; hence very easy to transport when going camping.
- Ultra slim design
- Has a powerful 3200 mAh battery
- Equipped with latches
This device made it among the best solar panels for camping as its panels can unfold to provide a double surface area to capture as much sunlight as possible when charging. It also comes with a 360 degrees kickstand that helps with the positioning and stability of the solar panel on uneven ground. Additionally, it is equipped with latches to allow you to charge your gadgets when moving, when backpacking, or hiking.
Another outstanding feature of this solar panel is that it has a powerful 3200 mAh lithium-ion battery and can output 10 watts per hour when charging in direct sunlight. You can easily charge a wide range of gadgets with this device within a short time.
Furthermore, this solar panel is weather resistant. It is also equipped with a charger and battery strength indicator, which allows you to measure the capacity of your channel as it displays the sun’s strength.
What we liked
- Kickstand, which provides stability
- Powerful lithium-ion battery
- Weather resistant
What we didn’t like
- The panel is not equipped with an inbuilt battery
- Heats up when left charging in direct sunlight for long
Suppose you are limited in space and are looking for an affordable solar panel for camping, then I would recommend the BioLite solar panel 10+ to you. This solar panel is highly convenient and portable and can charge your gadgets when you are on the go. However, it lacks an in-built battery hence that can limit the charge it stores.
Goal Zero Nomad 50 Solar Panel – Best for storage
The Goal Zero Nomad 50 Solar Panel is designed to give you multiple solar powering capabilities when the sun is bright. The solar panel comes with four panels that unfold easily when charging to provide a large surface area to capture enough sunlight and consequently folds easily to occupy less storage when being packed or in transit.
- Has one USB output
- Has a four-panel array
- Weighs 6.9 pounds
Additionally, this device is lightweight as it weighs only 6.9 pounds; hence it is easy to travel around with it when camping or hiking. It also comes with a USB output that allows you to charge your smartphone directly instead of using an intermediary battery.
When we liked the most about this solar panel is its ability to fold and become of small size despite having four-panel arrays. Additionally, it is so easy to chain and works perfectly under direct sunlight. However, this panel can hardly charge your gadgets when the weather is cloudy or rainy.
What we liked
- Comes with a four-panel array that folds easy
- Lightweight and easy to transport
What we didn’t like
- Not efficient when the weather is cloudy or rainy
If you are looking for a device that will serve you while on the camping site or even when you are taking a hike, then consider buying the Goal Zero Nomad 50 solar panel. It works effectively mostly under direct sunlight, and you can charge your gadgets directly. It is also affordable and will serve you best if you have limited space.
Buying a Solar Panel for Camping – What to consider
The best solar panels suited for camping have their batteries designed in that they can be charged with a power bank when camping. This is very convenient and suitable for camping as most solar panels do not store electricity power for long when the sun goes down, or it is rainy and cloudy. Another important feature to look out for when purchasing a solar panel for camping is ensuring that its port matches your power bank’s voltage output port. This will prevent your solar panel battery from getting damaged, as most solar panels designed for camping have a limited voltage output.
Size of the solar panel
Size is an important aspect when purchasing a solar panel for camping as you have to buy one that you will conveniently transport to the camping site. Other factors that will determine the size of the solar panel you buy include; power need, weather predictability, and space. If you have enough transportation space, your power needs are quite high, and you cannot predict the weather, buy a larger solar panel as it must have a larger battery capacity.
Power Output Rating
Just as mentioned above, most large solar panels will output more power than smaller ones. This mainly explains why most solar panels designed for camping are folded twice or more so as to minimize the space they occupy when transporting while maximizing the surface area they can occupy when being used. The power rating of your solar panel determines its capacity. You can easily check the capacity of your solar panel by looking at its wattage. The bigger the capacity, the better services you will get.
Getting a good solar panel for camping should not be an uphill task as there are a variety of solar panels in the market designed for camping. When looking for a solar panel, you have to buy one with specifications that suit your needs. This guide might help you determine which solar panel will serve you best as they are among the best in the market designed for camping.
What is the ideal configuration for a solar panel meant for camping?
This depends on your needs and how long you will be going camping. If your needs are higher, you might consider a solar panel with an external battery as this will last you for a long. However, you have to have an efficient means of transport you will be adding extra weight.
Are solar panels necessary for camping?
Though solar panels are not a necessity when it comes to camping, it is great to have one as they are convenient, efficient, and come with a number of benefits, including; they are highly portable and affordable, offer clean and renewable energy, and they charge a wide range of electronic gadgets.