In summer, everyone leaves the city. Someone prefers a dangerous weekend, someone leaves on business and spends working all weekend. If you prefer the first type of vacationer, you probably felt the need for electricity. In the mountains, fields, on the lake – everywhere modern people need gadgets.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to be a tourist. Fans of long hikes have the problem of a lack of electricity. But nature can help get energy! Due to the solar panels, you can not bother about charging your gadgets
But today there are so many panels, so it is difficult for an inexperienced tourist to understand this variety. What to choose when choosing? Which brands are popular?
Solar panels are very convenient for camping because they help to have electricity regardless of your situation. Far from civilization, you may need to use techniques: a telephone or laptop. In such conditions, you cannot do without portable solar panels.
Product features play a very important role. Do not forget about various characteristics: power, portability, kind of photocell (crystalline, amorphous).
Follow our tips and you will make a successful purchase!
1. ACOPOWER 120W Portable Camping Solar Panel
The most popular brand for travelers is Acopower. This company specializes in creating products for camping, so in the range of Acopower, you will find only the best equipment. Let’s take a closer look at the claimed model.
This is the best brand in the camping industry. Therefore, in production, the company uses only the best single-crystal lattices from the best among the existing SunPower brand. Efficiency is surprisingly large compared to peers. It is an incredible 25%.
In addition, it has a useful design and convenient folding panels. Also includes the solar case which contains all the components this panel is lightweight (8.4 lbs) and compact. SunPower collection also has other sizes: 50, 70 and 105 W.
Ease of use is a major advantage. The item could be set up the ready shape in 1 min because it is all pre-wired.
Advantages of this model:
- acceptable size – 23.7 x 18.2 x 1.9 inches
- portability and lightweight
- compatibility with the ACOPower MC4 Adapter
- SunPower Solar Cell
2. SUAOKI 60W Camping Solar Panel
This is the best model in the assortment of famous brand Suaoki. 60W efficiency of the device provides a 20% output. Besides, this model has a car charger. Besides, not all solar panels for camping have such functions, so this model stands out.
When folded, a powerful solar battery takes up little space and looks like an ordinary bag.
The Suaoki 60W can be the best solar phone charger for backpacking, owing to the TIR-C function. This technology helps to charge quickly and prevents overheating. Besides, it is compatible with a laptop.
Advantages of this model:
- high power
- connect to laptop
- 11.5 x 6.3 inches
- convenience and ease of use
- moisture resistant
3. Renogy 50 Watt Flexible Camping Solar Panel
The principal advantage is flexibility. It is possible to install the panel, PB and camping. Water cannot leak by virtue of the water-repellent panel. In addition, it does not overheat. Moreover, this device is made of lightweight material, it is for 70% lighter than analogs.
There are special points on the panel that can collect light from different angles and use energy twice.
This model has all the characteristics of the best of the best solar panel.
4. DOKIO 80 Watts Foldable Camping Solar Panel
This device can be folded and fits easily in your backpack.
With its optimal size (21.6 x 21.3 x 0.2 inches) and weight (3 lbs), this model will become your ideal travel companion. Despite its small dimensions, it has a large power – 80w. The model is made in such a way that the solar panels do not overheat.
Plus, the case is protected by a pouch with a holder that can convert it into carry-on baggage.
In addition, this model has a 1-year warranty. It means you can buy and try this wonderful device without hesitation!
Advantages of DOKIO 80 Watts:
- small dimensions
- the suitcase is ready to work
- sealed and waterproof shell
5. Instapark Mercury 27 Foldable Solar-powered Battery Charger
This model is distinguished from the rest by two connectors for USB. Thus, you can charge two gadgets without loss of efficiency and speed of energy. In addition, a cigarette lighter is included.
Also, this solar battery has a 12V DC output plug for use without an adapter.
This model is made of waterproof, sturdy material that can protect the device from external influences. You can take this solar panel with you without fear and enjoy the electricity generated by this wonderful small portable solar panel for camping.
Advantages Instapark Mercury 27:
- measures 11.5 x 8 x 2 inches
- solid surface
- 2 USB ports
- cigarette lighter
- suitable for replenishing power supplies and tablets
6. TCXW 100 W Solar Panel
The main advantage of this device is a convenient and small suitcase. The panels are simply laid out opposite each other. They can easily be closed and opened. The efficiency is 20-25%.
In addition, this model has two USB ports. The controller can be connected through the MC4 joint.
The advantages of this model include a very convenient and environmentally friendly design: panels composed of an industrial-strength PET polymer. Water cannot leak into the panels due to the waterproof surface.
Advantages of TCXW 100 W:
- efficiency 20% – 22%
- 2 USB ports
- weather-resistant outdoor durability
- ease of operation
7. Ryno Tuff 21W Solar Charger
This model is ideal for any trip. It has the function of quick charging of any device via USB.
In addition, in the manufacture are used Sunpower brand panels. This brand guarantees reliability and safety and it is very popular.
Ryno Tuff has a waterproof surface. But when using this device, you have to be careful. Because USB ports are not protected at all from external influences and can be damaged.
If in your interest is to fold up the solar panel for camping, you will see that it has small dimensions (6×12 inches). In addition, this model weighs only a pound! These characteristics make it suitable for transportation and various movements. Moreover, there are special hooks on the panel with which you can attach it to your backpack or bag.
Advantages of Ryno Tuff 21W:
- incredibly easy to carry
- made of waterproof material
- little weight
8. HQST 100Watt 12Volt Off-Grid Polycrystalline Portable Foldable Solar Panel
This is an ideal model if you travel often and always prefer high-quality accessories. An ideal portable solar system with high-tech crystallized panels, a convenient carrying bag and sturdy aluminum coasters.
Special temperature sensors help keep the temperature at an optimal level and prevent the device from overheating. This HQST 100W Polycrystalline Solar Suitcase is very easy to transport and easy to operate. Simple: open and the system works!
It сan be installed without structural roof reinforcements by adhesive, grommets, zip ties or velcro.
Dimensions: 41.7 х 21.3 х 0.12 inches allow you to get a large flow of solar energy and evenly distribute it on the surface.
Advantages of HQST 100Watt 12Volt:
- convenient installation and fastening
- durable panels made of high-quality material
- relatively small sizes
- adjustable standard
9. The Jackery Portable Power Station Generator Kit Powerpro 500 with a 100W Solar Panel by Jackery
This machine is all in one for generating energy. You can charge any device with this high-tech compact device.
This model has small dimensions, so it is hardly good for a big trip. But for an extra-walk or power outage in the house, this solar panel will be ideal.
You can connect your gadgets in options such as 110V/300W Continuous, 12V/120W car socket, 500W Peak AC Outlet.
Moreover, this model has a built-in flashlight, which can come in handy when you suddenly turn off the light, in a cave or in any dark room.
Advantages of this panel:
- 500 watt-hour huge capacity powers
- Off-Grid Power Supply in several versions.
- Rechargeable Battery, No Gasoline Required
10. Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel
It is an ideal solution for long trips or trips when the decisive factors are lightweight and compact size. The output power of 20 W allows you to charge various Goal Zero power supplies, as well as your electronic devices, such as a smartphone, directly.
Fast charge. Owing to the built-in distribution block with a microcircuit, you can charge pocket USB devices or devices operating at 12 V from the sun.
Ability to combine multiple panels. The patented technology of combining solar panels in a circuit allows you to get even more power to reduce charging time.
Efficiency. Highly efficient single-crystal cells take the most power from every square centimeter of the panel surface.
The solar panel is not designed to accumulate charge. Energy is generated only when it is in the sun in a decomposed state. You can use power sources to store energy. The Nomad 20 is suitable for use with almost all Goal Zero power supplies.
Advantages of Goal Zero Nomad 20:
- dimensions 13 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Independence from external sources
- relatively lightweight
- wide temperature operation
Pros of solar-powered charging:
- You do not spend electricity and you do not need to pay for it!
- You can quickly charge the gadget
- Long service life.
Disadvantages of charging:
- Large sizes of solar panels. Most often, solar panels have a decent weight, so they will be very heavy and large in your backpack.
- Performance only in sundial! After sunset, you cannot charge your gadgets.
- Some solar panels require special wires to charge gadgets. This is an additional waste of money.
How not to make a mistake in choosing a solar panel for camping?
Before studying the characteristics of different models, you should be aware of why you need these panels. Which tourist are you: permanent or not? How often do you travel? Where?
Answers to these questions will help you understand which specific сharacteristics you need to pay attention to.
Several kinds of solar panels exist.
“Solar Power Bank”
It is a compact thing that fits easily in your pocket. Its difference from the classic power bank is that it works with solar energy. It’s convenient to take this compact device with you on a little hike to charge your phone.
In addition to hiking, it can also be used as a regular pocket power bank for every day, if you live in a sunny city.
Portable solar panels
These panels are slightly larger than the previous ones. These devices are used to charge more gadgets, as they have more power, long working life. As a rule, they are easy to fold out and take up little space. If you travel infrequently – this option is for you.
Fixed solar panels
This is a traditional version of solar panels that will come in handy if you are traveling on a camping trailer or installing it on the roof of your house. Such panels are very convenient and an excellent option, because you do not have to reinstall them every time.
They are ideals for camping. They have all the advantages of other models, and besides, their main difference is flexibility. They are easy to fold and can fit in your backpack. Also, these panels are easy to install and quickly assemble.
How to choose the size of the solar panel for camping?
The dimension of solar panels is significantly affected by only one factor – the characteristics of the solar cells. When choosing a module, you need to familiarize yourself with their parameters in detail. Pay attention to the type of cell, power, current, quality category and efficiency. Separately, it is worth paying attention to the presence or absence of a frame – this is also a significant element of the device.
Types of Solar Cell Sizes
A solar battery consists of photocells. They differ in size and form. The voltage does not depend on the size of the elements of which it consists but is determined by the total number of cells. Each cell has the same voltage, which is approximately 0.5 volts.
Typically, solar panels have the following cell sizes:
- 80 x 150 mm;
- 52 x 150 mm;
- 125 x 125 mm;
- 156 x 156mm.
The output current and power depend on the quantity and kind of cells. To increase performance, it is to connect as many consecutive chains of elements as possible in parallel.
The dimensions are affected by other characteristics of components of devices. So the quality of elements is necessarily estimated. The module is carefully inspected for possible defects.
There are 4 levels of panel quality:
- Grad A (no defects);
- Grad B (there are some changes in color);
- Grad C (chips, cracks, color changes);
- Grad D (low quality).
How to install solar panels for camping?
Experts recommend installing panels on the sunniest side of the roof. In general, it is just wonderful when it is possible to install this battery system on the roof of the house since the accumulated charge is enough for a longer period.
I must say that the principal advantage of panels is their ability to directly convert solar energy into electrical energy, while it can immediately be used taking into account your needs.
To maximize the characteristics of solar panels, some features of their location on the surface should be given attention:
Shadow. The most important thing in choosing an installation location is shading. If the battery is in the shadow of other buildings or trees, it will not generate enough energy for normal functionality. In addition, as a result of improper installation, it will fail after a short time, not having time to justify the acquisition costs.
Orientation. It is necessary to direct the device in the direction of the sun so that the maximum flux of sunlight falls on the solar cells. The sun moves (so to speak) along the equator, so if you are in the northern hemisphere, orient the front of the battery to the south. If you are in the southern hemisphere – to the north.
Incline. This aspect, like the previous one, depends on the geographical location. Professionals recommend setting the angle of inclination equal to the latitude in which it is located. In addition, if you are not at the equator, you need to correct the angle depending on the time of year and it is 12 degrees based on its increase in summer and decrease in winter.
Solar panels are used where there is no possibility to connect a conventional power grid. Therefore, they are so indispensable in various hiking trips. But it is worth paying attention to exactly where the person is going to go.
So, for hunting, fishing, extreme sports, portable chargers and vests made on the basis of solar batteries are best suited. For ordinary camping, it is recommended to use modular solar panels, which are distinguished by their large area and ease of use. The peculiarities of solar panels include the fact that they will be constantly exposed to climatic changes.
Therefore, it is important to choose a high-quality battery or to independently install additional protective equipment on a cheaper option. Also, the purchase should be made from trusted manufacturers that have proven themselves in the market for this type of service.
Basically, stationary batteries are made using crystalline silicon, and portable ones from amorphous. An important criterion in the selection of a solar battery is power.
Do not worry about the choice, because having carefully studied our article, all your doubts frolic. Choose models from our TOP that suit you according to their characteristics and functionality.