Updated 4 weeks ago

5 best portable solar panels: expert review

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Portable solar panels are a lot more accessible and easy to use than many people realize!

Taking a break from the stress of everyday life and enjoying scenic views is one of the best ways to unwind. However, staying connected with the world is equally important for many people.

Thanks to portable solar panels, power you can take on the go is easier than ever before. These panels can be taken to even the most remote places and generate free, clean electricity. 

Our experts reviewed some of the most popular brands to find the best portable solar panels on the market for every use. 

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5 best portable solar panels

After reviewing several options, our experts found the five best portable solar panels for different uses.

  1. Best overall portable solar panel: Goal Zero Ranger 200 Brief Case 

  2. Most portable solar panel: Jackery SolarSaga 100X

  3. Best high-power portable solar panel: Bluetti PV350

  4. Best flexible portable solar panel: BougeRV Yuma 200

  5. Best portable solar panel phone charger: Anker SOLIX 30W

1. Best overall portable solar panel: Goal Zero Ranger 200 Brief Case

A photo of the Goal Zero portable solar panel

Image source: Amazon

Goal Zero is a top name in portable solar solutions, known for its high-quality, durable products. The Ranger 200 Brief Case is a folding solar panel that comes with a canvas bag that both protects the panels and makes it easy to carry. 

The Ranger 200 is reasonably priced and comes with an industry-average 2-year warranty. If 200 watts of power isn’t enough for you, you can chain multiple Ranger 200s together. 

Unfortunately, this panel is a bit heavy, which isn’t ideal for portable solar panels, but its weight is due to the heavy-duty framing and protective glass, so it’s more durable than some of the lighter options. 

2. Most portable solar panel: Jackery SolarSaga 10X

A photo of the Jackery portable solar panel

Image source: Amazon

Jackery’s SolarSaga products are some of the most popular portable solar panels on Amazon. The company has a great reputation and is a top choice for many camping enthusiasts. 

The SolarSaga 100X weighs in at just over 10 pounds, landing it on our list as the most portable solar panel. It comes in at a slightly higher price per watt than some other brands, but it’s not unreasonable. If you ask us, the overwhelmingly positive reviews make the extra money worth it. 

3. Best high-powered portable solar panel: Bluetti PV350

A photo of the Bluetti portable solar panel

Image source: Amazon

We’ve tested multiple Bluetti products and have been consistently impressed with their performance and quality. If you need a little more power to get through your trip or power outage, the Bluetti PV350 portable panel is an excellent choice.

Although it has a high upfront cost, it offers almost double the power output of many other portable panels sold online today. It’s also relatively lightweight for the amount of power it produces; it’s just 30.6 pounds. The foldable design makes it easy to carry and store.

4. Best flexible portable solar panel: BougeRV Yuma 200

A photo of the BougeRV Yuma portable solar panel

Image source: BougeRV

BougeRV makes a variety of portable solar panels, but one of its stand-out products is the Yuma 200. Unlike the other panels on this list, the Yuma 200 uses Copper Indium Gallium Selenide, which isn’t as rigid as silicon. 

As a result, the Yuma 200 is flexible, so it can be used like the other panels on this list, or it can be mounted and shaped to the roof of an RV. The use of CIGS technology also makes the BougeRV Yuma 200 work better in shaded or partially shaded conditions than silicon panels. 

The price tag for the Yuma 200 is higher than some other portable panels, but its durability, flexibility, and an impressive 10-year warranty (expandable to 12 years when purchased from BougeRV) can be worth it to the right user.

5. Best portable solar panel phone charger: Anker SOLIX 30W

A photo of the Anker portable solar panel

Image source: Amazon

You don’t always need 200 watts of solar power on the go. Sometimes, having just enough to charge up your phone or tablet is more than enough! That’s where the Anker SOLIX 30W comes in. 

The Anker SOLIX 30W is a great solar-powered phone charger that can directly charge devices without the need for a battery bank. It’s compact enough to slide right into a backpack or purse, and can even clip onto the outside of your bag to collect sun while you’re on the move. 

A solar phone charger like the SOLIX 30W is an excellent choice for avid hikers, beachgoers, or those going on an overnight camping trip. 

What to consider when buying portable solar panels

When shopping around for portable solar panels, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to make the right purchase that fits your needs, including:

  • The type of solar panel

  • Compatibility

  • What kind of setup you want

Type of portable solar panel

There are a variety of portable solar panel types to consider, and you should choose one based on your power needs and how you plan to use the panels. 

We divide portable solar panels into three types: 

  • Foldable panels: Typically 100 to 200 watts of power output that are easy to move and carry due to their ability to fold

  • Rigid panels: Also tend to be 100 to 200 watts in size but aren’t as easy to maneuver; however, they are great if you don’t want to move your panels or are looking for panels that are extra durable

  • Lightweight panels: You can think of these like solar phone chargers; they’re small enough to fit in your backpack and powerful enough to charge up phones, small battery packs, tablets, and cameras

Compatibility

The most popular use for portable solar panels is to charge a solar generator. Solar generators can store energy produced by portable solar panels and then power your devices. Some solar generators are small and only power small devices and appliances, while others are large enough to run refrigerators! 

You need to check the solar input requirements of your solar generator to see what panels it can pair with. 

Portable solar panel setup

It’s also important to consider what your portable panel setup will be like. If you’re setting up camp in one spot, the actual portability of the panels might not matter as much to you. 

But if you’re going to be bouncing around a few different sites or if you’re going to be in a shady spot that requires you to move the panels into the sunlight, lighter weight and movability might have a higher priority. 

What are the advantages of portable solar panels?

Portable solar panels give you access to power where you normally wouldn’t. Whether that’s when you’re boondocking in your RV or if you want to run power tools in your backyard, portable solar panels can meet your energy needs. 

Another benefit of portable solar panels is that they’re incredibly versatile. You can put one on the roof of your camper, set it up on the ground outside, or there are even ones small enough to sit on your car’s dashboard to charge your phone. 

You also don’t have to worry about refueling costs or tons of maintenance. Most portable panels just need to be wiped off with a cloth if they get dirty. But there are no moving parts, so failures are low, and upkeep is minimal! 

Take the power of the sun with you!

Measured in financial terms on a cost-per-watt basis, portable solar panels aren’t as efficient as a roof-mounted or ground-mounted solar system; meaning they aren’t practical to power a whole home. 

Where they do come in handy is when it comes to charging your RV battery over extended camping trips. You can park your RV in the shade and place the portable panels out in the sun with the help of an extension cord. Plus, many portable solar panels can charge lead-acid batteries, so you have extra solar power stored up for when the sun goes down. 

All in all, portable solar panels aren’t a replacement for rooftop or ground-mounted options, but they are worth considering if you enjoy camping off-grid.

Written by Catherine Lane Solar Industry Expert

Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews, where she has been at the forefront of researching and reporting on the solar industry for five years. She leads a dynamic team in producing informative and engaging content on residential solar to help homeowners make informed decisions about investing in solar panels. Catherine’s expertise has garnered attention from leading industry publications, with her work being featured in Sola...

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