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 provide 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 camping, tent camping, and 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.

>> See the Jackery 60W solar panel for camping

Why buy the Jackery 60W camping solar panel?

This reliable Jackery model has some impressive features. We love the neat, sleek design that is foldable and also comes with a kickstand. The energy conversion 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.

Check prices for the Jackery 60W solar panel for camping


Best Camping Solar Panels Comparison Chart

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.

NameImageWattageFolding /
Flexible
Stand
included
ScorePrice
Jackery60WFoldableYes10CHECK NOW
Paxcess 6060WFoldableYes9.3CHECK NOW
Paxcess 120120WFoldableYes9.6CHECK NOW
Renogy100WNoNo9.4CHECK NOW
BigBlue 2424WFoldableNo8.9CHECK NOW
NekTek21WFoldableNo9.1CHECK NOW
Goal Zero10WFoldableYes9.7CHECK NOW
TP Solar50WFlexibleNo9.8CHECK NOW
SunPower50WFlexibleNo9.2CHECK NOW
Togopower120WFoldableYes9.9CHECK NOW
Aiper100WFoldable Yes9.0CHECK NOW
Rockpals100WFoldableNo9.5CHECK 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.

Click here to see the best solar panels for tent camping, the Jackery 60W camping solar panel

Read more options and detailed reviews here

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 – 120w portable solar panels. These include Renogy, Paxcess and Togopower products.

Click here to see the best portable solar panels for RV use, the Togopower 100W RV solar panel

Read more options and detailed reviews here

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.

Click here to see the best portable solar panels for backpacking, the Goal Zero Nomad 10 folding solar panel

Read more options and detailed reviews here

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.

Click here to see the best flexible solar panels for camping, the TP Solar 50W flexible solar panel

Read more options and detailed reviews here

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.

Click here to see the best foldable solar panel for camping, the Jackery 60W folding solar panel

Read more options and detailed reviews here


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 gas-powered camping generator, and while this is a great option, solar energy is free, so it’s better for the environment as well as your bank balance. In fact, solar panels can be used with some generators so you don’t use gas.

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. Tent camping solar panels generally need less power than those for RVS, with backpacking panels, the least. But this can vary.

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 will require far more.

Larger solar panels also recharge more quickly, so if you only have a limited amount of time to recharge it, a bigger panel is a better choice.

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. Flexible panels are also good in partial shade, as some part of the panel is more likely to be in direct sunlight than rigid panels.

On the flip side, flexible panels typically degrade over time a little more quickly than rigid panels.

Should I buy a solar panel with stand?

A portable solar panel 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 portable solar panel stands is also adjustable, ensuring you get the maximum benefit from those free rays of sunshine.

What are the different types of cells in solar panels?

There are two main types. Monocrystalline panels have black cells made of single crystals. These are more efficient but also more expensive. Polycrystalline solar panels have blue cells made of multiple silicon crystals. These are cheaper, but less efficient.

We have only included panels with monocrystalline cells here, as they are the best ones.


Best Solar Panels for Tent Camping

Jackery 60W Camping Solar Panel

If you want a quality foldable solar panel for camping, try this Jackery 60 watt portable solar panel.

The panel weighs just 6.6 pounds, and the carry handle makes transportation easy. 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.

There is also a 100W model available fi you are looking for more power. Check the current price for the 100W model here.

Pros:

  • Zipped ouch for storing connection cable
  • Easy to carry
  • Easy to use
  • Efficient monocrystalline cells

Cons:

  • Lightweight, but this means it can blow around in a strong wind

Read additional reviews for the Jackery 60W tent camping solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240


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.

It weighs just under 9 lbs.

Pros:

  • Monocrystalline cells
  • The case and legs are built into the back of the cells, so it’s easy to carry
  • Easy to set up

Cons:

  • The voltmeter is in an awkward position to see when its being used

Read additional reviews for the Aiper 100W tent camping solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: Renogy Portable Power Station Phoenix 300 Solar Generator


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.

Pros:

  • Efficient monocrystalline cells
  • Built-in pocket to store the cable/ connectors
  • Folds thin, so easy to carry/ store

Cons:

  • Output is often lower than 60W

Read additional reviews for the Paxcess 60W tent camping solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: PAXCESS 288Wh Portable Power Station Rockman 300


Best Solar Panels for RV Use

Togopower 100W RV Solar Panel

Togopower’s powerful, foldable solar panels are great for RV use, and can also be used with most portable power generators.

A top pick for best 100w solar panel, the Togopower panel is highly efficient. It 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.

Pros:

  • Efficient monocrystalline cells
  • Sturdy
  • Good output

Cons:

  •  If you have a solar generator that doesn’t have an Anderson input, you’ll need an adaptor cable

Read additional reviews for the Togopower 120W RV solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: BALDR Portable Power Station 330W


Paxcess 120W portable 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 RV solar 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.

Pros:

  • Compatible with most solar generators (by using different cables/ connectors, which are included)
  • Efficient monocrystalline cells
  • Rubber handle means you can hang the panel up
  • Easy to pack up and store

Cons:

  • No built-in battery to store some of the charge generated by the panel

Read additional reviews for the Paxcess 120W solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: PAXCESS 288Wh Portable Power Station Rockman 300


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 on your roof. 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.

There is a two-panel version also available.

Pros:

  • Good price
  • Sturdy
  • Good output

Cons:

  • Renogy customer service is not the best

Read additional reviews for the Renogy 100W RV solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: Renogy Solar Panel Mounting Z Bracket Mount


Best Solar Panels for Backpacking

Small solar panels for camping are perfect for backpackers, as they are the lightest and most portable models on the market.

Goal Zero Nomad 10 folding solar panel

This small solar panel opens out like a book and can be hooked onto a rucksack or propped up via the (included) 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.

This highly portable solar panel has a good balance of wattage, size, durability, weatherproofness, and weight.

Pros:

  • Monocrystalline for energy efficiency
  • Charges more quickly than most other similar sized models
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include any carabiners or fastening clips
  • Not fully waterproof

Read additional reviews for the Goal Zero Nomad 10 backpacking solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: Goal Zero Yeti 200X Lithium Portable Power Station


Bigblue 24W Foldable and Portable Solar Panel

Anyone seeking the best portable solar panels for hiking should be pleased with this BigBlue solar panel provides 24 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.

You can also strap it to the back of your pack, so that it charges throughout the day while you’re hiking with it.

Pros:

  • Folds up thin
  • Durable
  • Charges phone quickly

Cons:

  • The panels are thin, but because there is a built-in USB port, this makes it wider, which can be a problem if you had planned to store it in a very narrow space

Read additional reviews for the BigBlue 28W backpacking solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger


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. It has energy efficient Monocrystalline panels.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Good value for money
  • Has clips so you can easily attach it to your backpack

Cons:

  • Best used by charging a battery pack rather than charging your phone directly from the panel

Read additional reviews for the NekTek 21W backpacking solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: ROCKYA 26800mAh 5V Battery Pack Portable Charger Power Bank


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. Flexible panels are also better in partial shade than rigid panels, as some part of the panel is more likely to be in full sun.

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.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • The voltage output, like almost all panels, it actually less than advertised

Read additional reviews for the TP Solar 50W flexible solar panel

NEED MORE POWER? Get this 600 Watt Flexible Solar Panels Module kit


SunPower 50W Flexible Solar Panel

Like the TP Solar panel, this reliable one from SunPower uses highly efficient monocrystalline 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.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Small and light enough to carry or hang from a window with suction cups (not included)
  • Good quality
  • Good efficiency

Cons:

  • The voltage output, like almost all panels, it actually less than advertised

Read additional reviews for the SunPower 50W flexible solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: Victron Energy Solar Charge Controller


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.

Read additional reviews for the Jackery 60W foldable solar panel


Togopower 100W 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.

Read additional reviews for the Togopower 120W folding solar panel


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 from the monocrystalline cells, this top-rated solar panel can keep you powered up when on the move.

Pros:

  • Folds in quarters, making it easier to store
  • Good output
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a folding solar panel stand to prop it up on

Read additional reviews for the Rockpals 100W folding solar panel

FREQUENTLY BOUGHT WITH: ROCKPALS 300W Portable Power Station Solar Generator


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.

Happy camping!


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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About the Reviewer

James Ian Yosemite

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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4 thoughts on “The Best Portable Solar Panels For Camping: A Complete Guide”

  1. Thank you so much this information was certainly helpful!
    Solar panels are very safe and give me a system that no other electrical wiring can provide and even saves me from hefty installations and fixing procedures.

  2. Good luck to me to read your article. I am planning to install solar panels into my RV. But someone says their performance drops faster than hard panels? What’s your opinion?

    • Hi Andrew, I’m glad you found it helpful. As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to both, unfortunately. Although flexible solar panels do have lower efficiency, they are generally considered a great option for RVs due to their durability, light weight and easy installation. In the end, though, it’s up to you, of course.
      James

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