There is perhaps a surprising range of solar panels on the market – and many are ideal when camping. Even if you only take a few devices with you, solar power can be great when off-grid or when there are power outages. Solar panels use the sun’s energy to produce you with a free source of electrical power.
This guide details the types of camping solar panels out there, highlighting the best for various categories including RV and tent camping or backpacking. We also include a selection of flexible and foldable panels. For anyone wanting a quick-fix, check out our overall best solar power for camping source below.
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See the best solar panels for camping here
Our best buy portable solar power system for camping is the Jackery 60W panel. This folding solar panel with stand is a great all-rounder. Discover why we’ve chosen this in the next section.
Why buy the Jackery 60W camping solar panel?
This reliable Jackery model has some impressive features – and reviews. We love the neat, sleek design that is foldable and also comes with a kickstand. The energy conversation efficiency is high, as you might expect from a leading portable power supply specialist based in Silicon Valley.
This solar panel is smarter, lighter and safer than others on the market, yet comes with a modest price tag.
Best camping solar panels comparison table
From the best portable solar panels for tent camping, the best solar panels for RVs and the best portable solar panels light enough for backpacking, you can compare types, power/ wattage and if they come with a stand with this handy table. Acting as a quick-reference guide to all kinds of camping solar panels, compare panels easily and quickly by checking out the price range, our score and main features of each option.
If you are reading this on a mobile device, you might need to swipe to scroll across.
|Name||Image||Wattage||Folding / Flexible||Stand included||Score||Price|
|Paxcess 60||60W||Foldable||Yes||9.3||CHECK NOW|
|Paxcess 120||120W||Foldable||Yes||9.6||CHECK NOW|
|Goal Zero||10W||Foldable||Yes||9.7||CHECK NOW|
|TP Solar||50W||Flexible||No||9.8||CHECK NOW|
Best Solar Panels: Camping – Categories
Best Solar Panels for Tent Camping
You don’t always need a huge amount of power when tent camping, so options in this category vary between 60 and 100 watts. Products from Paxcess, Jackery and Aiper are lightweight and easy to carry and store when on site.
Best Portable Solar Panels for RV Use
If you are traveling around in an RV, then having a portable solar panel will make life much easier. Things you can use them for include doing laundry in your RV, as a silent (and cheaper) alternative to generator power, and more. Portable RV solar panels that suit RV life best tend to be more powerful, so we’ve opted for 100-120 watt models. These include Renogy, Paxcess and Togopower products.
Best Portable Solar Panels for Backpacking
If you’re traveling light, your best options include the stylish Goal Zero Nomad which comes in a range of power options. There are also products from NekTek and BigBlue.
Best Flexible Solar Panels for Camping
Lightweight, flexible solar panels are great for uneven ground or surfaces. Top picks in this category include 50 watt solar panels from Xinpuguang, SunPower and TP Solar.
Best Foldable Solar Panel for Camping
A significant number of solar panels are foldable, and we’ve chosen the best of the bunch. You can see more on models from Rockpals, Jackery and Togopower in this category.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Best Solar Panels for Camping
Why buy a solar panel?
It’s possible to camp without power, but it definitely limits your options. With power, you can have a camping fridge to save money on food, charge your devices and even power a tent heater in cold weather.
The alternative is to use a camping generator, and while this is a great option, solar energy is free, so it’s great for the environment as well as your bank balance. A solar panel also provides a convenient source of power when on the move, as it can used even on campgrounds with no electric hook-up.
How much power will I need?
This really depends on how much you use. If the only device you carry that needs charging is a smartphone, then clearly you will not need very much power at all. At the other end of the scale, a large family using multiple devices and electrical items may require far more.
How portable are solar panels?
Solar panel kits for camping are designed for taking away with you wherever you go. That is why many models are foldable, lightweight and thus highly portable. How portable you need it to be does of course depend on your mode of transport – an RV driver can easily carry far more than a hiker or backpacker traveling on foot.
Why would I need a flexible solar panel?
A flexible solar panel is great for mounting to curved surfaces or using on uneven ground. As RVs, boats and campgrounds are rarely 100% flat, curved solar panels can be a great alternative to a flat or folding model.
Should I buy a solar panel with stand?
A stand can be a great asset, as it means your solar panel can easily be propped up and left to work its magic. The angle of many stands is also adjustable, ensuring you get the maximum benefit from those free rays of sunshine.
Solar Panels for Tent Camping
Jackery 60W Camping Solar Panel
If you want a portable, foldable solar panel for camping, try this Jackery product.
The carry handle makes transportation easy, and there is a bracket to keep it angled correctly. This efficient Jackery 60 watt solar panel is capable of charging 2 USB devices at the same time and every care has been taken to maximize both reliability and safety.
Aiper 100W Camping Solar Panel
This durable, water-resistant 100 watt model is among the top camping solar charger panel options.
Aiper’s highly efficient panel comes complete with a kickstand so you can maximize that free solar power, and it can charge multiple devices at the same time. The foldable design also includes carry handles. Aiper offer a 12-month warranty on their solar power panels for camping, too.
Paxcess 60W Camping Solar Panel
The best solar power bank for camping might not be the type of heavier model used by RV owners.
If you want a lightweight, reliable source of free power when tent camping, take a look at the Paxcess 60 watt solar panel. It is foldable, portable, and comes with kickstand so you can catch more of the sun’s rays. This is ideal for charging phones, tablets and laptops when at the campground.
Best Solar Panels for RV Use
Togopower 120W RV Solar Panel
Togopower’s powerful, foldable solar panels are great for RV use, and can also be used with most portable power generators.
This highly efficient solar panel has 2 USB ports as well as an 18V DC output. Compact dimensions mean this lightweight, heavy-duty panel is easy to transport when on the road. It is waterproof and backed by Togopower’s 12-month warranty.
Paxcess 120W RV solar panel
This is one serious contender when it comes to portable RV solar panels. It is well suited to the needs of those living the RV life, being able to cope even with power outages or being off-grid.
The panel is lightweight yet durable, and can also be folded. It is compatible with most solar power generators and is fitted with USD outputs. The included kickstand even lets you angle the panel to achieve maximum sun exposure.
Renogy 100W RV Solar Panel
Looking for the portable solar panels for campers? Live the RV life with this highly-rated Renogy solar panel.
The monocrystalline panel offers impressive efficiency per square inch, and pre-drilled holes on the rear make it ready for mounting. This panel can withstand heavy snow and high winds, and has the back-up of a 5-year workmanship and materials guarantee as well as a 25-year warranty for its transferable power output.
Best Solar Panels for Backpacking
Goal Zero Nomad 10 folding solar panel
Small solar panels for camping are perfect for backpackers, as they are the lightest and most portable models on the market.
This one opens out like a book and can be hooked onto a rucksack or propped up via the adjustable kickstand. Our chosen model is the 10 watt version – but if you need more power it Goal Zero Nomad also comes as a 20, 50 or even 200 watt product. The design is stylish as well as slimline and the company provide a one-year warranty for peace of mind.
Bigblue 28W Foldable and Portable Solar Panel
Anyone seeking the best portable solar panels for hiking should be pleased with this BigBlue solar panel provides 28 watts of power connected via 3 USB ports.
This ultra compact, highly efficient solar panel comes with a micro USB cable and 28W solar phone charger, and folds up so it can be carried in your backpack.
NekTek 21W Portable, Folding Solar Panel
Our final pick in the backpacking category is this compact NekTek product.
Two smartphones can be charged simultaneously and safely thanks to built-in protection against overheating. The panel is water and dust resistant and comes complete with a micro USB cable.
Best Flexible Solar Panels for Camping
TP Solar 50W Flexible Solar Panel
This TP Solar product provides flexible, portable solar power.
Camping does not always mean flat, even surfaces are readily available, so this panel is ideal as it can be mounted to an uneven surface. The mono crystalline solar cell is very efficient, and the panel is also durable and water resistant. Four eyelets are placed in each corner for easy installation, or it can be fixed temporarily using tape, Velcro or tie wraps.
SunPower 50W Flexible Solar Panel
Like the TP Solar panel, this reliable one from SunPower uses highly efficient mono crystalline technology.
This solar power source for camping is portable, lightweight and easy to store. It is also strong, durable and weather-resistant. Owners love this super light yet very effective solar panel, that literally offers campers a high level of flexibility.
Best Foldable Solar Panel for Camping
Jackery 60W Folding Solar Panel
The Jackery 60W model is among the best portable solar panels.
Camping is made easy with this panel, as it has a carry handle. There is also a bracket to keep it standing at just the right angle, capturing as much sunshine as possible. This effective solar panel can charge 2 USB devices at once and has been rigorously developed and tested to ensure safety and reliability.
Togopower 120W Foldable Solar Panel
Another highly-rated product, Togopower foldable solar panels for camping are compatible with the majority of portable power generators.
With higher-than-average efficiency, this solar panel has an 18V DC output and dual USB ports. The low weight and compact dimensions when folded mean that this panel is easy to store and transport. It is also water and weatherproof and comes with a 12-month warranty.
Rockpals 100W Foldable Solar Panel
This Rockpals product is another option among the best folding solar panels for camping. Various connectors are included to enhance compatibility with more solar generators.
Three USB ports have smart technology that protects each device will maximizing charging speed. With high solar energy conversion efficiency this top-rated solar panel can keep you powered up when on the move.
Which Are the Best Solar Panels for You?
We rate all the portable solar panels listed here very highly – as do numerous satisfied owners. To read more reviews, click on the links below each product listing. What the best solar panels for you are will depend on factors such as the type of camping you do and how much power you need.
Whether you’re planning to go tent camping, use them in your RV or carry them on a backpacking trip, we hope this guide makes the selection process a little simpler and faster.
Do you have any other solar panels for camping that you highly recommend? Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know.
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James Ian has traveled to 82 countries and all 7 continents. He has visited all of the main national parks in the United States, as well as many national monuments and state parks.
He has rafted through the Grand Canyon; rappelled down slot canyons near Zion and Arches; hiked among the hoodoos in Bryce and the enormous trees in Sequoia; admired the waterfalls in Yosemite and the colored hot springs in Yellowstone; seen moose in Grand Tetons and seals in the Channel Islands, and much more.
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