The best portable solar panels provide utility for a multitude of activities. They provide renewable, free energy while at home or on the go.
In general, these systems work by collecting sunlight within the panel itself and are then able to transfer power to a solar generator or electronic device.
Basically, portable solar panels are small-scale solar panels that you can carry with you if need be. They vary in size and weight, making some more prone to camping or hiking than others.
This article will review the best foldable solar panels, with exception to the Boulder 50, that are suitable for your trailer, RV, rooftop, or for extended camping trips where you could use a heavier-duty solar panel than some of the really small ones you can find online.
The solar panels featured below range from 50 watts (Boulder 50) to over 100 watts (all the rest featured) of power per panel.
If you’re looking for a solar charger that is specific to recharging cell phones and other small devices, I recommend checking out my blog post dedicated to this topic.
I answer FAQs and give my top three solar panel choices for small devices here: How Long Does It Take a Solar Charger to Charge a Cell Phone?.
1) Renogy 100 Watt 12V Solar Panel Starter Kit
If you wish to invest in a moveable kit, the Renogy has it all. The brand is known to provide portable solar kits, charge controllers, deep cycle batteries, wires, and inverters.
The Renogy 100 Watt Monocrystalline is a foldable solar panel that is a ready-to-go solution for the off-grid market.
The system includes two 50 Watt monocrystalline 12 Volt panels, an integrated waterproof charge controller that is wired and connected in the backside of the panel, and a 10ft. cable with alligator clips.
- Corrosion-resistant aluminum stand
- Waterproof charge controller
- Compatible with many battery pack technologies
- Can expand the system up to 400 Watts
- Kickstand allows for optimal solar power intake
- Can put out 500+Wh per day in ideal weather conditions
- Weighs 26.6 pounds total – Not ideal for carrying around for extended periods of time
The Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volts Starter Kit includes one of the best foldable solar panels on the market today, allowing you the ability to keep power in your RV running seamlessly and efficiently.
The system comes with updates that allow it to be expanded up to 400 Watts. Under ideal weather conditions, the device can put out over 500Wh per day.
2) Elecaenta 120W Portable Solar Panel
After testing this panel in summer daylight, I was able to get about 96-98W of power from this panel. This is a good number to get because it’s just over 80% efficient. Any solar panel like this that is capable of that type of efficiency is typically a high quality solar panel.
- Folds four times over to be ultra compact
- Comes with 10 different adapters for various devices
- Comes with four carabiners to attach the panel to a car, fence, or other surface
- High efficiency
- Can connect to multiple different devices
- Has USB connectivity directly from the panel
- Inexpensive compared to similar panels
- Might be too large to fit into a standard backpack when folded
This is my favorite portable solar panel that I’ve tested and used myself. It has nearly every aspect I’m looking for in a portable panel: carrying handle, collapsibility, kickstand, adapters, long wires to connect to devices, and a great output.
For more on the Elecaenta 120W panel, I recommend reading my review of it here: ELECAENTA 120W Foldable Solar Panel Review (Testing & Comparison).
3) Goal Zero Boulder 50 Portable Solar Panel
The Goal Zero Boulder 50 is one of the best portable solar panels for its size on the market today.
It’s a 50-Watt monocrystalline solar panel that features tempered glass, secure corners and an aluminum frame that includes a stand that tilts to just under 45 degrees.
It also comes with a carrying case for convenient transportation.
- Strong tempered glass
- Can charge up to seven devices at once
- Kickstand included for maximum sun intake
- Easy to fold and pack
- Can be paired with any Goal Zero power pack
- Removable kickstand
- Needs a different adapter if using a different battery setup
- Doesn’t fold
- Heavier than similar panels due to its heavy-duty materials
The Boulder 50 Portable Solar Panel is a simple but efficient device that can be used to charge various batteries, devices, and electronics.
You can check out my review of the Boulder 50 solar panel here for additional information: The Versatile Boulder 50 Solar Panel by Goal Zero.
For more portability, I recommend reviewing the Nomad 50, which is also made by Goal Zero. I compare this to the Boulder 50 in my comparison post here: Goal Zero Nomad 50 vs Boulder 50 Solar Panels – Which Is More Ideal?
Overall, these are some of the best portable solar panels on the market today and can give you an edge when it comes to portable power on the go.
They can make your life easier by providing energy to your battery bank or mobile device, among many other devices and electronics.
Some of the portable solar panels that didn’t make this list, but were close to it were the following:
- The Boulder 200 by Goal Zero – Check it out in my review of Goal Zero’s Boulder series’ solar panels here.
- Atem Power 200W solar panel kit – My Review of the Atem Power 200W Solar Panel (Testing & Setup)