Camping is a great activity that allows us to take a break from our hectic work lives, but sometimes it is not possible to disconnect completely. Maybe you don’t know your way around and need the GPS on your phone to get back home. Perhaps you need to call someone in case of an emergency. Maybe you need to charge your camera to capture some pictures of your adventure in the wild. In these situations, you will need a portable solar panel to power your gadgets.
In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices
There are a variety of portable solar panels available in the market but do you know which ones are suitable for camping.
The 4 Best Solar Panels for Camping
If you don’t have a clue, read on as we have compiled a list of best portable solar panels for camping. This list should help you select a portable solar panel that you can take with you on your camping adventure.
1. Ryno-Tuff Portable Solar Charger for Camping
The Ryno-Tuff Portable Solar Charger is primarily designed for camping and features a charging technology to quickly power-up your devices. It uses one of the most powerful solar cells in the market – the Sunpower X-series. The 21w Solar Charger is compatible with any USB device, including smartphones, tablets, and battery packs.
The Ryno-Tuff Portable Solar Charger offers durability and reliability with a water-resistant PVC canvas that protects it against dust, water, and corrosion. However, it is worth noting that the USB ports aren’t waterproof, which is why you should be careful not to submerge the solar charger underwater.
One of the key features of this solar charger is portability as it folds to 6” x 12”, weighing only a pound. This makes it perfect for camping, hiking, and trekking, among other outdoor activities. With this portable solar panel at your disposal, you’ll be able to charge your electronic devices on-the-go and remain connected 24/7.
Pros of the Ryno-Tuff Portable Solar Charger for Camping
- Waterproof solar panel
- PVC canvas cover is durable
- Carabiner hooks for easy set-up
Cons of the Ryno-Tuff Portable Solar Charger for Camping
- Need bright sunlight to work
2. ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel Kit
The ACOPower 120W Portable Solar Panel features with a compact and lightweight design. It uses monocrystalline cells from the popular Sunpower, which increases conversion efficiency by up to 25 percent. The solar charger and other components that come with the panel are contained inside a portable suitcase that weighs 8.4 pounds.
In this kit, you will get a 10A LCD charge controller, removable MC4 connector cables, alligator clamps, a user manual, and a solar panel suitcase. The product comes pre-wired, ready for connection, which means that you can just mount the panel and charge your gadgets with it. In addition to a 12V output, a 5V output is also available for charging smartphones.
Pros of the ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel Kit
- Portable solar panel suitcase
- 5V output available
- 12V output for charging batteries
- Conversion efficiency of up to 25 percent
- Easy to set-up
Cons of the ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel Kit
- The charge controller may not last long
3. RAVPower Solar Charger
The RAVPower Solar Charger is a portable solar panel, compatible with iPhones, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets. It features three USB ports and utilizes 24W solar charging technology that increases the charging efficiency by up to 23.5 percent. All the USB ports of the charger feature iSmart technology. This means that the charger will automatically detect the connected device and deliver the optimal current for it.
The RAVPower Solar Charger is also equipped with smart IC frequency technology that evenly distributes the current to the three ports, ensuring that each device is evenly charged. It is important to note that this solar panel should not be directly laid on rocks, sand, concrete, or other hard materials as this can cause it to overheat, thereby affecting the output voltage.
Pros of the RAVPower Solar Charger
- Three USB ports
- Smart IC frequency technology ensures even distribution of output current
- 24W solar charging technology
Cons of the RAVPower Solar Charger
- Placing the panel on rocks, sand, and concrete may lead to overheating
4. DOKIO 80W Solar Panel Kit
The DOKIO Solar Panel Kit features a solar panel that packs 80W of power yet weighs only 4 pounds and is 0.2” thick. The panel is well-protected with a thick fabric, and features handles for easy carry. High-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells are used to power the panel. These maximize system output while reducing mismatch power loss.
The power produced by the DOKIO Solar Panel under direct sunlight is enough to charge smartphones and laptops or charge a battery at 12V with a solar charge controller that comes with alligator clamps. If you are looking for a small-sized, folding solar panel to take with you on your camping trip, the DOKIO Solar Panel Kit should be on your shortlist.
Pros of the DOKIO 80W Solar Panel Kit
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Thick fabric offers protection against foreign elements
- 12V output for charging batteries
- 5V output for charging smartphones
Cons of the DOKIO 80W Solar Panel Kit
- Not the most durable offering
Features to Consider When Looking at Portable Solar Panels for Camping
It goes without saying that portability is one of the key factors to consider when shopping for a solar panel for camping. It would be hard for you to carry a heavy panel with you on your trip, especially if you are camping in the middle of a forest or beside a lake where you can’t drive your car or RV. Therefore, look for a solar panel that is portable and easy-to-carry. Foldable solar panels are generally the best option for camping.
Price is another important factor to consider when looking for a portable solar panel for camping. Some high-models are very expensive, but they don’t always deliver great value for money. If you seldom go on camping trips, it is best to invest in a reasonably-priced solar panel. These generally last a long time and deliver good value for money.
Pay close attention to the accessories that come with the solar panel. Ideally, you should look for charging ports and alligator clamps. Alligator clamps will allow you to charge batteries while charging ports will help you keep your laptop and smartphones on during the camping adventure.
Our Final Thoughts
We have listed some of the best portable solar panels for camping that are currently available in the market. The ball is in your court now, and it is up to you to decide which solar panel you want for your camping adventure. When making your decision, consider the things listed above, including portability, price, and accessories, to get your hands on a top-quality portable solar panel. If you have any questions about the products listed above, feel free to write us a query.