Best Solar Panel for Camping – Top Rated Remote Chargers

If you would like to generate electricity during your camping trips and have some form of battery pack to store the juice then you may wish to think about investing in a solar panel. The best solar panel for camping can offer off-grid living in an eco-friendly way thanks to the clean energy it produces. With a solar panel, all you need is access to the sun and you’re good to go! 

With enough solar power (or enough time), you can run most appliances such as electric coolers and lights from the battery pack as if you were at home. The best part about solar panels for camping is that this method delivers green, clean and renewable energy and you don’t have to pay for mains hookup! Plus, their portability allows you to take them anywhere with you, even into the mountains for a wild camp.

So, before you hit the road for your next camping or road trip, check out our roundup of the best solar panels for camping below. We share 7 of our recommended panels.

Powertraveller Tactical Falcon 28E

Powertraveller Tactical Falcon 28E

During your next tactical adventures, the Powertraveller Tactical Falcon Solar Panel is worth investing in. The solar charger is capacitated to recharge typical outdoor gear such as head torches, smartwatches, action cameras, GPS, and SAT phones. 

Powertraveller Tactical Falcon 28EMeasuring 16cm long by 31 cm wide by 17 cm high, the solar panel offers a portable design for easy carrying. This slim design also makes it ultra-lightweight. However, when ready for use, the solar panel unfolds to increase its surface area for even more efficiency. 

The Tactical Falcon features digital fractal camo patterns which make it ideal for military and bushcraft personnel. Its metal eyelets and mini carabiners allow you to attach the panel on your pack when done whilst the splash-proof build allows it to withstand wet conditions.

Pros
  • Flame, stress, and seawater corrosion resistant
  • Lightweight and foldable design – the length quadruples 
  • Metal eyelets and mini carabiners allow you to attach the solar panel to your backpack
  • Dual high-speed USB port charges two devices simultaneously
  • Digital fractal camo pattern makes the panel ideal for military and bushcraft use
  • 28W power rating allows it to charge most outdoor tactical gear such as an action camera, a GPS, and a smartwatch
Cons
  • The solar panel unit can be somewhat bulky
  • Expensive compared to other models

 

BioLite SolarPanel 10+

BioLite SolarPanel 10+

If space is an issue, the BioLite Solar Panel solves the problem thanks to its ultra-slim design. The solar panel’s ultra-slim build measures only 6.6 mm deep. Additionally, the solar panel features corner latches for even easier transportation. The latches attach to your backpack so you can continue charging items on the go, whether you are hiking or backpacking.

BioLite SolarPanel 10+Measuring 20.8 cm long by 25.7 cm wide by 2.4 cm high, the solar panel is foldable. When you want to capitalise the most during charging, simply fold it out to double its surface area. An optimal sun system on the panel integrates a sundial that aligns with the sun for the best energy capture.

During setup, the 360-degree kickstand allows you to position the panel on uneven ground. The solar panel has a10 watt per hour power output during peak sun. Plus, it is fitted with a powerful 3200 mAh lithium-ion battery and has a charge strength indicator so you can gauge its capacity.

Pros
  • Corner latches make it perfect for hiking, backpacking, and camping
  • Ultra-slim design – only 6.6 mm deep
  • Folds out to double its surface area
  • Features USB charge output for charging phones, tablets, and other BioLite gear
  • Optimal Sun System with a sundial that aligns with the sun for the best energy capture
  • 360-degree kickstand allows for stable setup on any terrain
Cons
  • Heats up when left in the sun for a long period
  • The panel doesn’t have a built-in or internal battery

 

Goal Zero Nomad 5 Solar Panel

Goal Zero Nomad 5 Solar Panel

For your next hiking or backpacking trip, the Goal Zero Nomad 5 Solar Panel is a gear you don’t want to leave behind. The portable solar panel harnesses 5 watts – enough power to charge phones and devices.

Goal Zero Nomad 5 Solar PanelThe panel weighs only about 360 grams which makes it relatively lightweight and comfortable to carry with you. If you don’t want to use it on the go, you can set up its built-in kickstand to use it outside your tent. 

The kickstand allows you to adjust the kickstand for optimal angles towards the sun. Plus, the solar panel features a weatherproof design – allowing it to withstand some rough conditions and terrains.

Pros
  • Lightweight build – weighing only 360 grams
  • 5-watt panel makes it perfect for charging phones or devices
  • Can be used on the go or set up next to your tent
  • Built-in kickstand allows set up on uneven surfaces
  • Designed with a USP output
  • Built-in power bank dock
Cons
  • Its frameless design affects its durability
  • The kickstand isn’t as strong

 

Goal Zero Nomad 10 Solar Panel

Goal Zero Nomad 10 Solar Panel

Built for small devices and appliances, the Goal Zero Nomad 10 Solar Panel generates about 10 to 30 watts per hour. Constructed using monocrystalline cells, the panel for generating power is extremely efficient, sensitive to high temperatures, and durable. 

Goal Zero Nomad 10 Solar PanelIt also features a foldable design – allowing it to extend its surface area for even better energy generation. The foldable design comes in handy for portable transportation too. When folded, all you have to do is hook up the panel to your backpack. 

Additionally, the panel also features a foldable stand which makes the setup easy and stable. The splash-proof solar panel features a built-in USB port whilst its outer plastic material is heatproof.

Pros
  • Ideal for small devices and appliances
  • Produces energy between 10 and 30 watts per hour
  • Splash-proof and heat proof plastic design
  • Foldaway body for easy transportation
  • Unfolds to enhance the surface area of the panel
  • Foldaway stand for easy setup
Cons
  • The solar panel may have problems charging some devices
  • A little heavy

 

Goal Zero Nomad 14 Solar Panel

Goal Zero Nomad 14 Solar Panel

The Goal Zero Nomad 14 Solar Panel features a newly introduced engineered design for a lighter and smarter finish. The 14-watt panel features a 12W USB port and a 14W solar port. 

Goal Zero Nomad 14 Solar PanelFurthermore, it integrates an innovative technology; allowing you to charge USB devices directly from the sun.  At the bottom, a detachable kickstand allows you to set up the panel at the best angle to the sun. 

During transport, simply remove the kickstand and fold the panel to attach it to your backpack. With the removal of the kickstand, the solar panel’s weight reduces by up to 200 grams. As you charge the panel, a power flow indicator offers the best solar charging experience. 

Pros
  • Powerflow indicator for the best solar charging experience
  • Detachable kickstand for perfect angling with the sun
  • Innovative technology allows USB devices to be directly charged by the sun
  • Built-in 12W rated USB port and 14W rated solar port
  • Foldable design for easy transport
  • Detaching the kickstand significantly lowers the weight
Cons
  • A little fragile when folded
  • Doesn’t completely fold to become flat

 

Falcon 10W Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger

Falcon 10W Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger

The suction cup mounting option of the Falcon 10W Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger makes it ideal for camping and your motor home. Thanks to the suction cup mounting option, you can fit the charger inside a window or externally.

Falcon 10W Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger

Its monocrystalline cell design allows you to use the charge with sunlight and during daylight – even with minimal sunlight. 

However, the panel only has a 10W rating; making it ideal as a topping up option to camping battery or starter battery out of season. The panel even allows you to charge directly to the battery using crocodile clips or a 12V socket. It comes with a meter long 12V socket cable and a 2-meter cable for crocodile clips.

Pros
  • Ideal for topping camping or out of season batteries
  • Perfect for motor homes, caravans, boats, and cars
  • Waterproof build and suction cup mounting allows you to place it inside or outside the windows
  • Monocrystalline cells allow you to use in normal daylight conditions
  • Can be used to directly charge a battery with crocodile clips or a 12V socket
  • Easy setup – simply plug and charge
Cons
  • Low power rating only makes it ideal as a top-up option
  • No built-in or internal battery

 

BioLite SolarPanel 5+

BioLite SolarPanel 5+

The BioLite Solar Panel features a unique slim design that makes it ultra-light and perfect for remote powering on trails and campgrounds. The solar panel is equipped with corner latches that attach to your backpack. 

BioLite SolarPanel 5+The corner latches allow you to continue charging your items on the go. Its Optimal Sun System and 360-degree kickstand come in handy when you want to set it up in the campgrounds. The optimal Sun System features a sundial that aligns with the sun for the best energy capture. 

The 360 degrees kickstand positions the panel in a stable manner on uneven ground. The panel also integrates a USB port so you can charge phones, tablets, and other BioLite gear. The charge strength indicator measures the panel capacity around the clock while the panel itself offers a 5-watt output per hour with peak sunlight. 

Pros
  • Slim and light design – measuring 6.6mm deep and weighing 390 grams
  • Ultra-slim design – only 6.6 meters deep
  • 360-degree kickstand supports set up on an uneven ground
  • Corner latches for attaching the panel on your backpack
  • Optimum Sun System ensures you enjoy the best energy capture
  • Built-in USB port
Cons
  • Only one USB port
  • Somewhat low power rating

 

Powertraveller SolarGorilla

Powertraveller SolarGorilla

The SolarGorilla unit is designed to function on its own as a portable charger or to pair with the Powertraveller PowerGorilla portable battery charger. With the latter, the solar unit offers enough energy to power up a selection of devices including small laptops. 

The solar panel features dual USB and DC outlets to accommodate different devices – it harnesses a power rating of just under 40 watts. The portable solar charger features a uniquely robust and durable design thanks to its clamshell construction.

 

Pros
  • Features a dual DC and USB outlet
  • Housed in a robust clamshell design for added durability
  • Works independently or paired with a larger portable battery charger
  • It can charge small laptops and smartphones
  • Foldable design for easy transport
  • Comes with a clean neoprene carry case to stuff in your backpack
Cons
  • Slow charging
  • Not powerful enough

 

Powertraveller Kestrel 40

Powertraveller Kestrel 40

The Powertraveller Kestrel 40 Solar Panel features an integrated power bank that helps to charge smaller devices on the go. The 12W panel features a highly efficient 10,000mAh battery. Yet, it maintains an ultra-slim and light body.

The hardwearing and water-resistant panel features a foldable design paired with metal eyelets and two mini carabiners to easily attach it to your backpack. Its dual USB outlet allows you to charge a vast range of devices including tablets, GoPros, GPS, and head torches. For camping use, the panel features a built-in stand that offers the best angle for solar charging.

Pros
  • Comes with dual USB output and a micro USB input
  • Foldable and slim design with metal eyelets and carabiners to attach to a backpack
  • Folds out to double its surface area
  • Powerful integrated battery – up to 10,000mAh
  • Built-in stand for best angles 
  • Water-resistant and hardwearing construction
Cons
  • The solar panel is a little bulky
  • It doesn’t have a DC outlet

 

Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Solar Panel for Camping

Choosing the best solar panel for camping is not an easy task for everyone. Thus, to make this process much easier, we’ve shared a detailed buyer’s guide. This guide shares the key features you want to look at when choosing the ideal panel for your camping needs.

  • Types of Solar Panels

Generally, camping solar panels come in three main types. Popular and classic panels are typically made from crystalline silicon cells, in the form of mono or polycrystalline cells. Other types include amorphous and crystalline. 

Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient as they easily convert the sun’s energy to electricity. However, this makes them more expensive compared to the other types of panels. Amorphous panels are cheaper and less efficient. Due to their poor efficiency, they require a large surface area to produce enough energy. 

However, since they are designed in thin panels, amorphous panels are more flexible and normally foldable. Crystalline panels on the other end are more rigid and fragile. They are normally covered with a glass layer which increases their weight.

  • Power Rating

This is perhaps the most important feature to look at when choosing the best solar panel for camping. This feature determines the capacity of your panel. To determine the power rating of your solar panel, simply look for its wattage (W). Generally, the higher the wattage, the better! A solar panel with a power rating of around 5W can charge small devices such as phones and mp3 players. 

A power rating of about 10W to 30W will charge larger devices such as laptops, GPS, smartwatches, and SAT phones. If you want to power bigger appliances such as camping coolers, you may have to go for a higher power rating – at least 100W. However, with a higher power rating, the size unavoidably increases too.

  • Portability

The portability of your solar panel is also an important factor. Unless you have a spacious vehicle, you want to opt for a solar panel that isn’t very heavy. For example, panels such as the BioLite SolarPanel 10+ weigh less than 400 grams – allowing you to carry them on your backpack for long. To control the portability, these panels have additional features such as corner latches, foldable designs, and a slim build. 

  • Connectivity

Solar panels come with two ways of connecting devices. Some connect directly to the devices whilst others use charging cables. The latter comes with the downside of extra tools. 

This means that you can easily misplace the cables and render the panel useless. However, most of the modern camping solar panels allow you to directly connect your devices. These panels are designed with USB, DC, and AC outlets where you can directly power up devices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What Are the Benefits of Solar Panels for Camping?

Camping solar panels come with numerous benefits. The key benefits include affordability, harnessing clean and green energy, a cost-free operation that is only dependant on sunlight and daylight, portability that allows for remote travel, enables you to charge your devices and batteries anywhere, and provides a noiseless and fuel-free operation.

2. What Is the Ideal Battery Configuration for My Solar Panel?

It depends on your needs. Solar panels feature three types of configurations. These include solar panels designed as a charger only, as a charger with a built0in battery, and as a charger attached to an external battery. The latter option isn’t the best for camping since you will be adding extra weight. 

Solar panel charger-only designs tend to be lighter and more efficient since they focus on only harnessing power from the sun.  Solar panel chargers with built-in batteries tend to be heavier and more expensive. However, they may be worth the purchase since they also store the harnessed energy for a couple of days. 

Conclusion

With the best solar panel for camping, you can recharge and power up important devices in the outdoors without having conventional power. Solar panels also offer an excellent power solution as it produces clean, green, and renewable energy. 

In the outdoors, its natural and noise-free operation also means that you continue to protect the environment. So, it’s time for you to do your fair share of protecting the environment by choosing the best camping solar panel for your needs from the list above. After all, you will be saving significantly anyways – no need for large generators!

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