Best Camping Solar Panels Reviewed & Rated for Quality
While some will want to hit the trails with minimal gear and sans technology, there is definitely something to be said for traveling with cameras, tablets, and phones to capture the beauty of the moment, appease a cranky child at bedtime, or simply in the case of an emergency.
So since there aren’t ready plug-ins in your neighboring trees, you’ll need to bring your own power source to keep these items charged, and we’ve rounded up the best portable solar panels for camping out there.
Whether you're looking for a backpacking companion or something that’s a bit more heavy-duty, we’ve got the best camping solar panels charged up just for you.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When selecting the products for this Ten Best List, we heavily considered the battery life of each. When thinking about battery life, we first look at whether or not an external battery unit is needed, or whether the device can hold a charge on its own.
Many of the devices on our list require an external battery in order to pull power that is generated from the panels. There are also some that require a small charging pack to charge when you are not in direct sunlight. While these are useful, we really like the packs that come with their own charging units because then you don’t have to account for extra costs or weight.
We also value choices that can be charged both by the sun and through a charging cable.
When assessing the features of each product, we look at bonus items like multiple charging ports, different adapters for great compatibility, different charging options, as well as different hanging options.
As far as portability is concerned, this was a major consideration as these items are meant to be taken with you on the trail. We value portable options that are compact and lightweight. And when devices are heavier and larger, we value the ones that still pack up neatly and are easy to transport in your car or RV.
In terms of durability, we value options that are waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. Most of the products on our list meet these requirements. However, many are not waterproof so much as water-resistant. Though, of course, since the panels won’t work in the rain anyway, it is not a total deal-breaker for us.
We determine a product’s value based on how much wattage it offers, how fast it can charge, and how durable it is versus its relative cost. While there are some heavy-duty options that run a bit expensive, we offer several choices that are very affordable and durable and that can really save you in an emergency situation.
10 Best Camping Solar Panels
1. Hiluckey Portable Power Bank
The Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Power Bank is one of the best solar panels for camping on the market today. If you’re one who would like a taste of glamping without going too far overboard, this lightweight companion is the perfect addition to your pack that will keep your electronics charged without weighing you down.
Comes with Built-In Flashlight
This is a wonderful little compact companion that will ensure you don’t miss capturing a moment because of a dead cell phone. With the Hiluckey portable solar technology, you will get a faster charge than with other models. You will also be able to charge the power bank before leaving for your camping trip with a mini-USB charging port.
On each charge, you will be able to get around 8 phone charges or around 4 tablet charges. But you can easily recharge the power bank by resting it in the sun or by attaching it to the outside of your pack while hiking and on the move. We give tons of points in the Battery Life category here.
Plus, it automatically detects the correct current for each of your devices so that you can get the fastest charge possible. And you will even be able to charge more than one device at a time. We give major points for Features here. We add to the Features score because this comes with a built-in flashlight for safety. The light has 3 different modes (steady, flashing, and SOS) so you can rely on it during emergencies.
We also dish out all of the points possible for Portability as it weighs in at just over 1 pound. And it addition to weighing very little, it collapses and folds onto itself to about the size of a smartphone to save even more space when not in use.
This also scores major points in the Durability category. It is super rugged and designed to meet the challenging conditions of the trail. Not only is it dustproof, but it is waterproof and shockproof as well.
It runs on a 25000mAh Li-Polymer high-capacity battery. With your purchase, you’ll receive a micro-USB cord and a user’s manual.
Cost and Value
This option rings up on the lower end of our price range and we love its value because it is super durable and has a great battery life. Plus, it comes with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
2. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt
The Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt is a must-have for car camping or for camping in your RV or on your boat. While this device packs up and stores nicely, it isn’t going to be the best solar charger for backpacking. Instead, it is best intended as an external power unit that will keep you from draining the power on your car, RV, or boat battery while out on the trail.
Excellent Carrying Case
This is certainly not a compact option, but it does fold up nicely (and securely) into its own carrying case. The unit in total weighs just over 26 pounds, and when packed in the case, it measures around 20 inches, by 27 inches, by 3 inches. So we still give decent points for Portability here as it is easy to transport in your car or RV.
Plus, we love that the case comes with some serious latches and a super durable handle to ensure even greater ease with transportation. And we can’t forget to mention that you will receive an anti-corrosion stand made from aluminum to prop it on which is adjustable so that you can et the best sun exposure available. We give points for Features and Durability here.
This device delivers serious power while still being a safe low voltage device. We like that the unit comes with a charge controller that is both a negative-ground controller and that is a 20A 5-stage built-in to protect against overcharging and fires. Features points are given for this and for the following.
This also makes the unit compatible with a wide range of different batteries from gel, Lithium, and sealed batteries to flooded ones. This controller is waterproof and has LCD lights to display necessary data and information for operation. Some reviewers report that the lights are dim, though many found this to be a plus as unnecessary power isn’t wasted on lighting alone.
Reviewers report that this device can be charged quite quickly by the sun in just a matter of about 3 hours. We give huge points for Battery Life here.
Finally, you will receive a 10-foot cable with alligator clips on either end for connecting to your battery.
Cost and Value
The Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt rings up at the very top of our price range but we love its value because it is as effective and durable as similar units that cost nearly twice as much. Plus, it is widely compatible with different batteries and it is super easy to transport safely in its durable carrying case. This company also offers great customer service that reviewers were repeatedly impressed with.
The Dizaul is a camping hack must-have for outdoor adventures. We love that this is practically indestructible and that it can weather most any elements. We also like that it can be charged through a mini-USB or by the sun and that is has protected jacks to keep water out and your devices charging.
This is one of the sturdiest models on our list. It is made from a super durable ABS and PC material that is wrapped in rubberized silicone. This product is shockproof and waterproof, as well as dustproof, so it can handle pretty much anything your life throws at it.
We like that the rear is textured to help prevent against slips and we also like that the charging ports are protected with silicone covers so that water won’t find its way into your device protecting it further. We give major points for Durability here.
The Dizaul is one of the smallest on our list. It measures just 5 and a half inches long by 3 inches wide. It will conveniently hook onto your backpack for solar charging on the go, and we like that the hook is included with your purchase. Plus, this product weighs less than ½ a pound so we give points for Portability here.
We also love that the unit can be charged by the sun or by plugging into the wall with a mini-USB cord. It takes a bit of time to be charged by the mini-USB cord, though not nearly as long as the 30 hours of direct sunlight that it takes to charge by the sun. We take some points for Battery Life here.
Cost and Value
This rings up at the very bottom of our price range and we love its value because it is super compact and because it can be charged both by a mini-USB and by the sun. Plus, it is practically indestructible which is great for an item meant to be used on the trail.
4. Jackery SolarSaga 60W
The Jackery SolarSaga 60W is another unit that is designed for car camping and to be taken with you on your RV. This product is nice and compact and can go with you anywhere. Plus, it provides ample voltage and is compatible with multiple different battery sets (sold separately).
This comes in a super portable package. The unit folds in on itself and has a handle for ease in carrying, as well as a zipper pouch for holding cords and other items you want close at hand. We give points for Portability here, especially as the unit weighs in at just over 3 pounds.
It also comes with a pop-out stand on the back that can be adjusted to get the best angle to the sun. This feature allows for more sunlight to be absorbed and converted which ultimately results in more power to you. We give points for Features here.
While the product is pretty durable, it is not waterproof. We do dock a few points for this, but it is worth mentioning that this product won’t work when it’s raining outside anyway so this isn’t the end of the world.
Works with Multiple Batteries
The Jackery SolarSaga 60W is designed to be part of a power station. That means that you will have to purchase an external battery to run power to. This product is compatible with the Jackery Explorer 160, the Jackery Explorer 240, and the Jackery Explorer 500, as well as with the HLS290. These are all sold separately.
Please note that this unit is not compatible with the Explorer 440 or the Powerpro.
In direct sunlight, it will take an average battery around 10 hours or so to fully charge. This is about average so we give decent points in the Battery Life category here.
Cost and Value
The Jackery SolarSaga 60W rings up in the middle of our price range and we like its value because it is nice and light and compact. Plus, it comes with a 3M extension cord with your purchase, and you’ll also get a 24-month warranty on the product.
The RAVPower packs in 24 watts of power in a pretty small package and can charge up to three devices at once. With integrated technology, all devices are charged with a current according to their needs and at the same pace. It also comes with handy hooks for hanging for light capture optimization. It does not have a built-in battery.
This device offers up more watts than other portable options on our list. With 24 watts of power, you will be able to charge your tech more quickly at 2.4A for each port (or a total of 4.8A).
You can charge up to three devices at a time and the smart technology embedded ensures that each device is getting an optimized current and that all devices are charged equally (so one device isn’t receiving more of a charge than another).
We give points for Features here, however, we take points away for Battery Life as this only works in direct sunlight and cannot hold a charge in an internal battery. Of course, you may choose to purchase an external battery to attach to this product but it is not included.
The RAVPower may provide a bit more power than others on our list, but that doesn’t mean that it is a lot larger. In fact, it is comparable in size to other portable units, weighing in at 1.65 pounds and measuring 11.8 inches by 6.5 inches when collapsed. We award points for Portability here.
Because you will have to expose it to the sun for use (as there is no internal battery), we like that there are holes in the device to easily hang from your pack. You will also receive 4 hooks for hanging with your purchase, so we give points for Features here.
This product is water-resistant and can withstand some wear and tear, though it is not the most durable option on our list.
Cost and Value
This rings up on the lower end of our price range and we like its value because it can charge up to three different devices at a time and because it offers more wattage than others on the market without being substantially larger.
The WISSBLUE is another super handy unit that won’t take up tons of space or weight in your pack, making it ideal as a backpacker’s companion. While there are other options on our list that contain batteries and can, therefore, store power, this unit cannot. It will only work when getting direct energy from the sun.
Stainless Steel Holes
The WISSBLUE operates strictly as a charger and not as a power bank. This means that the unit only works when exposed to direct sunlight and when your device is plugged in (it cannot store a charge so we take points for Battery Life here). For this reason, it is important to be able to gather and use power during the day while you are often on the go.
That’s why we love that this comes with stainless steel holes punched out of the body (one in each corner) so that you can easily attach the device to your pack so that you can charge while walking during the day time. We give points for Features here.
Resists Water Damage
This item resists damage from water which means if the weather changes quickly while it is in use or if you place it is a bag that isn’t waterproof, it will continue to work.
Of course, you will want to avoid storing it in a wet place or allowing it to be exposed to water for extended periods of time as this will damage the power units. We give points for Durability here.
We like that this unit is nice and compact, although it is not the smallest on our list. It weighs in at around 1.5 pounds and collapses to measure 11 inches by 6 inches, so we award points for portability here.
Cost and Value
The WISSBLUE rings up at the bottom of our price range and we love its value because it is a compact option that functions well on the go and provides a faster charge than other similar items on the market.
7. BigBlue 5V 28W
This unit comes with the most wattage for its size. With 28 watts, you’ll be able to quickly charge your devices while the unit is exposed to direct sunlight. It weighs in at just about 1.5 pounds and folds nice and compactly to fit in or outside of your pack when you’re camping on the go.
4A Max Charging Capacity
The BigBlue 5V 28W may come in a small package, but it can still pack a powerful punch. It can charge up to 2 devices at one time and will optimize power for each device. In total, the charger powers up to 4A at a time. We give points for Features here.
We dock points for Battery Life as there is no internal battery that can hold onto a built-up charge. You will have to display it in direct sunlight for it to be effective at charging your devices.
Made from PET Polymer
This is made from PET polymers that are durable yet flexible. The fabric is waterproof and resists light rain and fog, though you should avoid direct rain exposure as the charging ports aren’t waterproof and if water penetrates them, this could cause damage. We take points away for Durability here.
Cost and Value
The BigBlue 5V 28W rings up towards the bottom of our price range and we love its value because it offers tons of charging power in a compact package.
The SUAOKI is one of the more compatible options on our list. It can be hooked up to a wide range of external batteries but you can also hook a USB cable to it directly and charge that way as well. It’s a bit larger, so you won’t be taking this on your backpacking trip, but it can fold up nicely to be stored in your car for portable power on the go.
More Options for Charging
This is one of the few on our list that will not only hook up to an external battery but will also hook up directly to your computer. With tons of different adaptors and options, you’ll be able to use this with a wider range of devices than others on our list. We give points for Features here.
60ish Watts of Power
The SUAOKI claims to deliver 60 watts of power, though many reviewers find that the actual wattage is a bit less.
That does mean that this is a bit larger than some of the other portable units on our list. It weighs in at 4.5 pounds and measures in at 30 centimeters by 16 sentiments when fully collapsed. It folds up nicely for portability so we give some points for that.
It does require an external battery that is sold separately if you would like to store power that isn’t being immediately used. Otherwise, you will need to have the unit in direct sunlight to enjoy the charging feature.
Cost and Value
The SUAOKI rings up in the middle of our price range and we like its value because it is the most widely compatible and versatile option on our list.
9. DDY 25W
This comes in a compact design that still delivers 25 watts in direct sunlight. You will be able to charge not one, but two devices at the same time with this product and you’ll also be able to hook up a wider array of devices with the adapters included with your purchase.
Flexible and Durable Canvas
The DDY 25W is water-resistant and durable. The PET panels are sewn securely into a polyester canvas that makes for a strong product that is still flexible so it can be adjusted and directed to best accept the most sunlight. We give points for Durability and Features here.
We liked its size and portability. It weighs just over 1 pound and measures 11.1 inches by 5.85 inches when collapsed. We award points for Portability here.
Array of Adapters
This item will charge up to 2 devices at one time. There is not an internal battery unit, so it cannot function without exposure to direct sunlight. We docked points for Battery Life here.
We like that it comes with multiple different adapters. Not only are there adapters for practically every type of computer (except a Mac), there is a cigarette lighter adapter, and alligator clamps among others. We give points for Features here.
Cost and Value
The DDY 25W rings up on the lower end of our price range and we like its value because having multiple adapters makes it more widely usable and in a wider variety of ways.
10. Renogy E.Flex
The Renogy E.Flex is the perfect way to close out our list. It is not only the lightest of all of the options on our list but it is also the most affordable. With different ways to hang up the device, you won’t have to worry about soaking up all of the sun’s rays.
Comes with Suction Cups
The Renogy E.Flex is the only on our list that comes with 4 suction cups on the back so that you can easily install in on the outside of your car or RV’s windows. It is also easy to hang it with hooks when you can’t suction it on. We give points for Features here.
We like that it will remember your device even if the is an interruption in sunlight. That means that you won’t have to unplug and replug your device in. While it doesn’t have a storage battery, we still give points for this.
Weighs Just Half a Pound
This is the lightest on our list. It weighs just over half a pound. While it won’t fold up like other portable options, it does just measure 9.5 inches by 5.9 inches, so it is still really easy to tote around. We give points for Portability here.
Cost and Value
The Renogy E.Flex rings up at the very bottom of our price range and we love its value because it is super easy to keep in the car or in your bag and it can help to keep your phone charged to keep you plugged in on the go.
- How Do Solar Panels Work?, Article ,
- SOLAR SYSTEM BASICS - HOW SOLAR POWER WORKS!, Article ,
- How to build a portable solar panel system, Article ,