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The 10 Best Solar Panels for Camping in 2021 – Experts Review
Last Updated on May 22, 2021
Technology to keep your devices charged is a must while camping and traveling. A solar panel with a power-bank can keep you worry-free and safe.
As you are searching for a new solar panel for your next outdoor voyage, we have searched and looked at different models available in the market.
After that our experts sorted out top performers and recommended the best solar panels for you. Read on our the best solar panels for camping reviews to learn about folding/portable solar panels for your next off the grid adventure.
Keeping our devices charged up can be challenging while camping or traveling. The best way to is to use a quality solar panel with power bank. But are you sure that you could pick the best solar panels for camping?
If not, we are here to help you. Our experts have reviewed ten best solar panels for your next outdoor experience. Let’s read and find out the best option for you.
1. Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel
The 100 Watt 12 Volt Mono-crystalline Solar Panel is the most popular product by Renogy. This 100W mono-crystalline solar panel is high in power but sleek in size, and is the perfect item for off-grid applications.
Diodes are pre-installed in the junction box, and a set of MC4 connectors with a pair of 31-inch cables comes with the panel automatically.
This is a perfect solar panel for 12-volt battery charging, grid-tied application or you can wire multiple panels in series for 24/48 volt battery charging.
This panel features a resistant aluminum frame which allows it to last for decades, and it can withstand snow loads of 5400pa and high wind 2400pa.
It provides Maximum System Voltage: 600V DC (UL) and Open-Circuit voltage (Voc): 22.5 Volt. It also offers optimum operating current (Imp): 5.29 Amps and short-circuits current (Isc): 5.75 Amps.
It has High modules conversion efficiency that provides an ideal output of 500 watt-hours per day depending on sunlight. This solar panel covers 25 years of transferable power output warranty and 5 years of material and workmanship warranty.
The Nomad 20 foldable solar panel guarantees to collect the most solar power for your gear. It utilizes the built-in USB port with a Goal Zero power pack to charge your gadgets day or night.
Its highly efficient mono-crystalline solar panels pump out more power per square inch. The Nomad 20 Solar Panel combines extremely efficient monocrystalline technology in a portable, foldable, plug-and-play form.
The Nomad 20 can directly charge USB and 12 Volt gears directly from the sun with the built-in junction box and innovative smart chip. Weighs 2.5 lbs. This product also covers 12 months limited warranty.
Highly efficient mono-crystalline solar panel
Built-in junction box with the smart charging chip
Rated Power: 20 Watts & Open Circuit Voltage: 18-22V
Unfolded dimensions 30.5 x 13 x 1in & folded dimensions 8.5 x 13 x 1in
4. Nekteck 21W Solar Charger Build with High-efficiency Solar Panel
The Nekteck solar charger is constructed with 21 watts High-efficiency Sunpower panel that provides enough power to power up two gears at the same time.
With its ultra lightweight and ultra-compact design, it fits in your backpack perfectly. Weighs only 18 oz, Opened size is 26.3x 11.1in & folded size is 6.3x 11.1x 1.06in.
The canvas is rugged and durable enough to withstand outdoor use. Compatible with all iPhones, GPS, tablets, Camera and USB-supported devices.
The Nekteck 21W Solar Charger uses latest charging solution SmartIC Technology. With this technology, each port identifies your device and maximizes charging speed up to 2.0 amp/port or 3 amps overall.
The charging ports allow output current up to 3A with two USB port used simultaneously and up to 2A with one USB port used. With the purchase, you are getting Nekteck 21W Solar Charging Panel, User Manual, 80cm Micro USB Cable, and 12 Month Worry-free Warranty.
5. Anker 15W Dual Ports USB Solar Charger PowerPort Solar Lite
Considering the specs, power, price and customer review, the 15W Dual Ports USB Solar Charger by Anker is one of the best deal of today.
Industrial grade PET plastic faced solar panels inserted in high-wear polyester canvas guarantee its ability to withstand the trials of your outdoor voyage.
This solar charger features Fast Charging Technology PowerIQ that discovers your device’s original charging protocol and provides fastest possible charging speed up to 2.1 amps.
It is compatible with tablets, Apple and Android smartphones, and other USB-charged devices. It includes everything you need: powerful solar panels, an intelligent power that matches your device, and 2 USB outputs.
The opened size is 18.1×11.0×0.2 inches, and closed size is 11.0×6.3×0.7 inches, weighs just 12.5 oz and its slim, foldable design ensure easy to fit on your backpack.
Its four corners and rugged elastic loops on the top make attaching easily it to a backpack, tree branch, or tent. You can stay safe and tension free, as it also features short circuit and surges protection technology to keep your devices safe.
Provide fastest possible charging speed up to 2.1 amps
2 USB outputs
Short circuit and surge protection technology
Opened size:18.1×11.0×0.2in & closed size: 11.0×6.3×0.7in
The Nomad 7 directly provides charge most USB and 12V devices. It is ideal for the most handheld USB devices including smartphone, cell phones, GPS, MP3 player etc.
Its iSmart technology automatically detects and sends the optimal charging current for the connected devices, and ensures the fastest and most efficient charge.
This exclusive technology delivers the optimal charging current up to 2.4A per port or 4.8A overall under direct sunlight. 24W solar charging technology increases the effectiveness of charging by up to 21.5% – 23.5%.
The Smart IC frequency technology detects and distributes output current evenly to all three USB ports and ensures every device is evenly charged.
The Nomad 7 is foldable, comes in a rugged design, and weather resistant and works best with the Goal Zero products. For much lightweight option, this 26.4 oz solar charger is perfect because this charger is capable of generating much energy without the extra baggage.
With the purchase, you are getting one RAV Power 24W Triple-Port Outdoor Solar Charger, 4 Stainless Steel Hooks, and 2 Micro USB Cables. Overall, the RAVPower 24W Solar Panel is a great portable charger for your next camping.
The Nomad 7 is an ultra-light, portable and weather-resistant solar panel for your outdoor adventure. It collects 7 watts solar power from the sun, allows you to charge portable USB/12V gear directly from the sun.
The Nomad 7 will directly charge most handheld USB devices, including smartphone, GPS, MP3 player, etc. excluding tablets. It is foldable, rugged design, weather resistant and one of the most popular solar panel available. The Nomad 7 splits the incoming solar power among the two ports to charge your devices simultaneously.
The Nomad 7 works best with Goal Zero Switch 8 and 10 Recharger, Guide 10 Plus Recharger, Flip 10 and 20 Recharger, Rock Out Portable Speakers, Venture 30, and Lighthouse Lanterns. The Nomad 7 is a versatile, durable solar panel with a well-thought-out design.
7 Watt (8-9V) foldable and weatherproof solar panel
8. Renogy 30 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel
The Renogy 30W 12V mono-crystalline solar panel is an excellent option for small plug &-play devices. It has come up with modest size, so portability is easier than ever.
The Renogy 30W mono-crystalline panel will offer you the most efficient space and can withstand extreme weather, such as heavy snow & strong winds. This solar panel is an excellent option for off-grid applications, from dry camping to marine-related adventure.
The Renogy 30W 12V Mono-crystalline Solar Panel is EL tested solar modules, and no hot-spot heating guaranteed. Its bypass diodes minimize power drop and ensure outstanding performance in low-light environments.
Its upgraded version comes with MC4 connectors that offer a secure connection to adaptor Kits and Extension cables. The Renogy 30W 12V panel is compatible with different Renogy mounting systems. It has pre-drilled holes on the back allow for fast mounting and securing.
9. ECO-WORTHY 120 Watt 12Volt Off Grid Monocrystalline Solar Panel
The ECO-WORTHY 120 Watt Mono-crystalline portable solar panel is a ready-to-use plug and plays a solar solution. It has a pre-installed charge controller and wired for 12V system charging, you don’t need to add the extra controller.
The plug and play system quickly generates energy, and you can power up any 12V DC devices. This Monocrystalline Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase is an ideal solar system for camping, hiking, and military use, caravan, RV, solar pump watering system, Greenhouse solar panel system, etc.
The ECO-WORTHY 120 Watt portable solar panel features waterproof IP22 design, and it also has protection against insertion of fingers or nearly vertically dripping water. It has an adjustable timer, light sensor and small self-consumption, and 2mA at the 12V system.
The package includes two 60W Mono Solar Panel, one pre-installed 15A charge controller, one pair pre-installed 10ft solar cables with one pair 30A alligator clips, one set adjustable aluminum stand, handle and latches. The included junction boxes are waterproof.
Monocrystalline solar cell material
Max solar panel: 270Watt/540Watt
Max charge current & load current: 15A
Nominal output: 12V/24V
Waterproof IP-65 Rated Junction Box
Pre-installed controller and Pre-wired for 12V battery charging
Included legs are very short
The included solar controller provides no user control
10. Anker PowerPort Solar 2 Ports 21W Dual USB Solar Charger
ANKER is one of the leading USB Charging brands in America. It has come up with the PowerPort Solar 2 Ports USB solar charger to charge your devices with the power of the sun.
They have used some advanced technology to provide you with faster and safer charging. Its polyester canvas also provides some water protection. It is compatible with Android and Apple smartphones, tablets and other USB-charged devices.
This solar panel features PowerIQ technology that discovers and replicates your gadget’s original charging protocol and provides you faster possible charging speed equal to 2.4 amp per port/3 amps overall.
Its rugged stainless-steel eye-holes on each corner and compact design make attaching it to a backpack or tent easy. It is lightweight and thin and easily fits in a daypack.
Closed Size: 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches, Opened Size: 26.4 x 11.1 x 0.2 inches and Weighs only 14.7oz. It has short circuit and surge protection technology, so you and your device always stay safe.
High-Speed Charging with PowerIQ
Lightweight and Ultra-Thin
Weighs only about 14.7 ounces/417g
Output: DC 5V / 3A
Closed Size is 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches, Opened Size is 26.4 x 11.1 x 0.2 inches
How to Pick the Appropriate Solar Panel for Camping?
The solar panel is a crucial camping tool. It offers excellent benefits as it helps camping to unpowered and remote locations. The best fact is that campers don’t need to sacrifice items such as portable fridges, LEDs, smartphones, and more while traveling to such locations. Although the solar panel is useful camping stuff, some campers avoid using solar panels as they don’t know how to pick the best one. Thus, we will discuss how to get the ideal solar panel for camping.
Before picking one solar panel, first, you need to think about which solar panel type you need. Mainly, you will notice two types; one is portable, and another is fixed. Portable solar panels are budget-friendly. Setting up these panels is quite simple. They don’t require any installation and any additional wiring.
On the other hand, fixed solar panels come with high price tags, but they worth the money. You need to mount the fixed solar panel on your caravan’s roof. As a result, you don’t need to set up solar panel every time you want to charge your devices.
After deciding the solar panel type, next, you should look at the solar panel cells. Generally, solar panels contain either monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film solar cells. Each of them provides different benefits. The monocrystalline cells hold pride in offering a high-efficiency rate. They are praised for their longevity. The only problem with these solar panels is that their circuit can be broken down due to shade, dirt, or dust.
The Polycrystalline solar cells are excellent in low-light conditions. They come at a reasonable price. The drawback of these solar cells is they can’t provide as much energy as the monocrystalline.
Lastly, the thin-film cells tend to be less pricey than other crystalline solar cells. The best fact regarding this solar cell is it can produce a decent amount of energy even though high temperature, dust, or shading come in contact with it.But it produces comparatively less power than other solar cells.
However, you can pick any of them, which you find best suited.
How Can I Install Solar Panels for Camping?
You should have some additional accessories to set up your solar panel. Depending on the solar panel type, you have to go with different installation methods. All methods have the basic installation principle. You have to place the solar panel pointing at the sun and connect the solar panel with your battery setup. When it is about a portable solar panel, you can set it up anywhere you prefer. And if it is a fixed solar panel, you should set it on the roof of your vehicle. Below we will describe to you how to set and what you need to install a solar panel.
For portable solar panels, first, you need some deep cycle batteries, which will store power. You should then have a battery box with 12 volts sockets to use solar to run various 12 Volt appliances and accessories. Lastly, you need to have a solar regulator that will prevent your batteries from overcharging.
For fixed solar panels, you need to go with the more advanced installation process. You will need a DC charger, which features a built-in solar regulator. You will also need deep cycle batteries, which you need to mount inside somewhere in your vehicle. Then, you need a wave inverter, which will be connected to the deep cycle batteries. It will convert the power from 12 volts to 240 volts.
How Should I Use Solar Panels During Camping?
The solar panel usages depend on many facts like the solar panel type, batteries, and most significantly, your requirements. To figure out the usages, you have to think about how much power you will need. You should start calculating the voltage or wattage, which your essential electronics require.
After calculating the power you need, you should consider the solar panel type you plan to use. Also, you need to think about the environment where you will be camping. Savvy campers always consider all these facts before choosing and using a solar panel. You should follow them and get the best camping experience.
What Wattage Solar Panel Do I Need for Camping?
It entirely depends on your camping plan. If you intend to keep your smartphone running for the weekend, a 5.6-watt solar panel will be sufficient. But if you want to charge larger electronics, you need to go with a 20-watt solar panel. In some cases, you should have an inverter as well.
Can a Solar Panel Power Up a Camping Fridge?
For keeping camping foods safe, your camping fridge needs access to a continuous power supply. In this case, a solar panel isn’t a suitable option. Technically, one solar panel isn’t enough to power up your camping fridge, as refrigerators are energy-intensive and can waste your battery’s power. Anyway, with the right solar power configuration, you can run your camping fridge.
Can I Use Solar Panels Without Batteries?
For home use, you can go without a battery. Yes, it is possible. You can use a grid-tied system that allows you to get the power without using any battery. In essence, the grid works like a giant battery system, which stores power and delivers it when you need it.
As we are more on the go now, a product is needed to store energy but small in size and light. When you’re searching for the best solar charger, consider what you are charging with it.
That’s why we have come up with the best solar panels for camping review article. With above mentioned all these solar panels, real sunlight is required.
We hope, after reading this article with positives and negatives of the products, you have already decided which one is the best solar panel for your next camping adventure.
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