Portable solar panels are a great option for people living a road lifestyle.
They can produce enough electricity to run a RV, campervan, boat, and e.t.c.
Plus, the ones that are extra light are great for people who want to go hiking.
To find the best portable solar panels on Amazon we’ve reviewed and tested 14 panels.
All panels we tested had at least a few hundred reviews, positive ratting, and good reviews.
After a lot of testing, we’ve found these 5 to be the best portable solar panels on Amazon.
Let’s dig deep into the product info. 🙂
1. Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel
The Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel is an amazing device and a great option for boat, campervan, or an RV.
When it comes to energy, the panel has two 50W monocrystalline 12V panels that provide enough energy to keep multiple devices and appliances running for the whole night.
It can run multiple lights, a few chargers, and a fan running all night.
At 26.6 lbs it’s not too heavy to carry to a small distance. But, it is too heavy if you’re going for a hike.
The panel has a black, elegant, and a compact design.
To give the battery a long lifespan there are several built in features:
- A voyager charge controller that keeps it from overcharging and to ensure that the current keeps flowing at a normal rate.
- Corrosion resistant aluminium stand that is durable and adjustable.
- The solar panel is waterproof and windproof.
Furthermore, the voyager charge controller is compatible with lead acid and lithium batteries.
Including AGM, GEL, and flooded batteries.
Resistant to corrosion
Survive rain and snow storms
Work with all type of batteries
- It’s a bit heavy
- Hinges and handles can be a bit lose
Weight: 26.6 lbs
Dimensions: 19.2” x 27.2” x 2.8”
2. ACOPOWER 12V 105W
The ACOPOWER 12V 150W is a great portable solar panel for two main reasons.
1. It produces an immense amount of energy.
2. Yet it weighs only 8 lbs so it can be easily transported.
This solar panel is very versatile.
It can charge 12V lithium or lead acid batteries. Plus, it can charge a USB as well.
The device has a good efficiency rate (25%). Meaning it’ll 25% of energy from sunlight into electricity.
Most photovoltaic solar panel’s efficiency rate is between 15% – 20%.
ACOPOWER 12V 150W has a better efficiency rate than most photovoltaic panels because they’re made by the highest efficiency module provider in the market.
The panel is also weather and water resistant. It can survive strong rains and wind storms.
And lastly, there is a charge controller that can be removed and used as a power bank.
- Charge controller can be used as a power bank
- Survive strong wind and rain storms
- 25% efficiency rate
- Weighs only 8 lbs
- Charge controller is too thin so you’ll need to treat it very carefully
- Some people complain it takes too long to charge (our experience was different)
Weight: 8 lbs
Dimensions: 22.1” x 17.3” x 0.8”
3. Goal Zero Boulder 50W
This one is an amazing solar panel with the capacity to charge some of the most remarkable generators in the market.
Such as, Sherpa 100. It’ll fully charge this generator within 4 hours.
The panel can charge lead-acid batteries but it’s not safe to do so without a charge controller.
So it’s best if you would buy one.
Because of its weight (12.4 lbs) It’s pretty easy to carry so it’s a good option for hiking.
Although the Goal Zero Boulder 50W has enough power to run a campervan, if you still need to increase the energy you can attach a battery with it.
The max capacity of this panel is 150W and you’ll get it only by combining the Goal Zero Boulder panel with a 100W battery.
To help the panel stand its ground, there is an added 45° tilt kickstand.
To make sure it can survive the test of weather and corrosion, it’s built with aluminium and strong tempered glass.
- 45 degree tilt kickstand
- Resistant to corrosion
- Survive rainy and windy storms
- Capacity to go upto 150W
- It’s a bit heavier than expected (15 lbs)
- The output is a bit low
Weight: 12.4 lbs
Dimensions: 21.75” x 26.75” x 1.75”
4. Eco Worthy 50W 12V
The Eco Worthy 50W 12V is an awesome portable solar panel for people who live a road lifestyle.
It weighs only 12 lbs. Meaning it’s also a good option for people who want to go hiking or camping.
For such a small size, this one can produce an immense amount of energy.
It can keep a fan and a few lamps running for a whole night.
The panel is also very easy to set up and operate. Plus, it comes with a clipper that can attach it directly to the RV’s, campervan, or boat’s battery.
It’s resistant to corrosion which means it won’t be affected by harmful chemicals.
Plus, it’s water and snow proof. It can stand strong rain and snow storms with ease (It’ll probably last for decades).
And last but not least, it has many protective technologies built into it. This helps the panel from overcharging, overloading, and over discharging.
- Corrosion resistant
- Protective built in technologies
- Light weight (11.97 lbs)
- Connects to battery with clips
- Legs and handle are not sturdy
- Charge controller could need improvement
Weight: 11.97 lbs
Dimensions: 22.2” x 17” x 4”
5. Go Power! GP-PSK-130W
The Go Power! GP-PSK-130W is a great option for those who travel a lot.
It has the capacity to produce 130W per hour which is enough to run multiple appliances.
Once the battery is fully charged It’s enough to keep a campervan or an RV running for 10 hours.
Plus, there is a 10 ampere solar controller which will keep the solar from overcharging.
- 10 ampere solar controller
- 130 Watts of power
- It’s a bit heavy
- Not very resistant to corrosion
- Don’t have excellent protection against wind and rain.
Weight: 28.7 lbs
Dimensions: 32.5” x 2.8” x 19.9”
Buyer’s Guide for Choosing the Best Portable Solar Panel on Amazon
Now, you didn’t think choosing the best portable solar panel would be that easy, did you?
In order to choose the best solar panels you should know exactly which features to look for.
Although all the solar panels mentioned above are the best we’ve found, you should read the following section to make a wise choice.
There are 2 types of technologies in solar panels.
The name of these technologies are Crystalline and Thin Film.
Crystalline Silicon (c-Si) is dominating the globe right now.
Its demand is skyrocketing.
This is mostly due to the fact that Crystalline solar panels are cheaper.
But usually their efficiency rate is not high.
It’s between 15% to 20%. Which means it only converts 15% to 20% of sunlight into electricity.
This technology is used in only 5% of solar panels.
While Thin Film solar panels are expensive they’re more efficient.
On average, their efficiency rate is between 20% to 30%.
Meaning on average, they’re 10% more efficient than Crystalline solar panels.
Types of solar panels
There are a total of 3 types of solar panels.
Two in Crystalline technology and one in Thin Film.
The names of types in Crystalline technology are Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline.
The name of the type in the Thin Film is Thin Film.
Polycrystalline: These are least inexpensive of all three types. But, they’re also the least efficient.
They convert between 14% – 16% of sunlight into electricity.
Thin Film: These are the most efficient of all three types. But, they’re too expensive.
So, probably not the best option for most people.
Their efficiency rate is between 20% to 30%.
Monocrystalline: These are the perfect combo of price and efficiency.
They’re only a tad bit expensive than Polycrystalline yet their efficiency rate is 4% higher.
We’ve included this type the most in our top 5 selection.
Features to consider when buying a solar panel
Knowing what features to look for is a must if you want to buy a good solar panel.
Therefore, we’ve provided a detailed explanation of the important features in a solar panel:
- Efficiency rate tells you how much energy from sunlight the panel will convert into electricity.
That’s why it’s good to know the panel’s efficiency rate.
- An STC rating tells you how well the panel will perform under ideal place and conditions.
It’s a must to check this one.
- A robust frame is the most important factor in determining the lifespan of a panel.
A panel with a robust frame can survive harder and larger storms. So the more robust is equal to a longer life span
- The salt and ammonia rating also plays a role in the age of a panel.
So if you live near the ocean, take this rating seriously.
- Warranty is a feature not to ignore in any case.
Many solar panels have a warranty of 25-30 years. Just make sure yours has at least a full decade.
- Nominal, Voltage, and the Amperage ratings are worth noting.
Alone any one of these ratings won’t matter much. But, together they matter a lot.
- Size of the panel also matters. It lets you know whether the panel is a perfect fit for your place or not.
So make sure to check the weight and dimensions of the panel.
- The panel should meet the IEC 61730 safety standards.
Otherwise you might have to run through problems later.
- The panel should have the IEC 61215 stamp.
It means the panel is proven and tested to survive all sorts of weathers. it
No stamp means no guarantee.
- Checking the manufacturing date is also worth it.
Ideally you shouldn’t buy a solar panel that’s older than 1 year.
To get the most out of your solar panel you’ll have to put it in the right place.
Ideally, your solar panel should be getting sunlight and the sunlight should be bright.
Now, this is not always possible.
But, to increase your chances you should buy a panel that is easy to move and set up.
Because the sun is constantly changing its position throughout the day you’ll have to move your panel to the sunlight or else you won’t get the best out of your panel.
Here are a few other factors that play a role in the solar panel’s performance.
Clouds: More clouds means less sunlight. So more the clouds the less energy your solar panel will produce.
So make sure your panel is placed in a spot where the sun shines the most.
Area: Hot areas such as Miami and Oklahoma have more sunlight so the panel will produce more energy in such areas.
In contrast, places like New York and Florida are cold and cloudy so the panel won’t perform its best in these areas.
Season: Solar panels perform their best in summer (because of more sunlight) and worst in winter (because of more clouds and lower temperature).
In the long haul, a solar panel can save you quite a lot of money in terms of energy usage.
Plus, it’s an awesome option if you live a road lifestyle.
With the knowledge you’ve gained from this guide you’re now ready for buying your first portable solar panel.
Open up the list of portable solar panels on Amazon, start by opening the ones mentioned in this post, and buy the one that best fit your needs.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.