Camping is a great way to rest from tech, breathe fresh air, and reconnect with nature. But let’s be honest, we still need to connect with the outside world. Many of us still get urgent work emails even on the long-awaited vacation.
From now on, you don’t need to drag dozens of power banks to stay online. Simply put one of the listed solar panels for campers in your backpack and connect it to your portable power station to get eco-friendly electricity anywhere.
Modern solar panels for campers are not afraid of dust, water, or snow. Forget about dozens of cords to power your laptop mini-fridge from a car. These panels simplify your nomadic lifestyle, eliminating the need to depend on the grid or use your car’s gasoline for essential device charging.
This article lists the 10 best solar panels for camping in 2024 — portable options for camping and in your backyard. Check this versatile list and buy the powerful upgrade to remain charged in every possible situation.
How Do Solar Panels for Campers Work?
They harness solar rays’ energy and convert it into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. When photons (light particles) strike the panel atoms, they loosen electrons from their orbits. The panel has a built-in electric field directing these excited electrons, creating a current flow and electricity.
The charge controller on solar panels for campers regulates the panel’s output, protecting the battery and preventing devices from overcharging. Additionally, surplus energy can be stored in a portable power station, or you can charge your essential devices directly from the panel.
Taking camping solar panels with you is a breeze — they’re portable and a cinch to set up. Many come with built-in stands or kickstands, allowing you to tweak their placement for the best sun exposure easily.
Benefits of Using Portable Solar Panels for Camping
Camping lets you embrace nature, but staying connected can be tough. Portable solar panels provide a sustainable and convenient solution for outdoor adventures.
Unlike noisy generators that rely on fossil fuels, solar panels for campers harness the clean energy of the sun. It minimizes an environmental footprint and allows you to enjoy the outdoors responsibly while keeping all your essential devices charged and ready to go.
It ensures you stay connected and access critical information and navigation tools while remaining off the grid. Depending on the wattage of campervan solar panels, you can also power small appliances like mini-fridges or water pumps.
Types Of Portable Solar Panels
Portable solar panels for campers come in various types, each tailored for different usage scenarios. These panels can typically be categorized based on their design, power output, or intended application.
There are two design types of solar panels for campers: rigid and flexible.
- The rigid option is relatively stable. You can fold it, but don’t bend. It features multiple sections hinged together to fold flat.
- Flexible panels are usually thinner and made from bendable materials. They can be placed on uneven surfaces, like a car’s windshield.
Solar panels for campervans can be categorized based on their power output.
- Small options with up to 20 Watts provide energy to power a phone.
- Mid-range panels with up to 110 Watts capacity are the most versatile option. They are compact enough to fit in a backpack and can charge mini-fridges.
- Powerful solar panels for campers don’t have capacity limits, but you need a lot of free space to store them.
We also recommend you check the panels’ durability and pick weatherproof options. Some panels with IP40 resistance standards can be used only in clean and dry environments. IP42 options can withstand accidental drops, while solar panels for a campervan with IP67 and IP68 are not afraid of dust and rainstorms.
10 Best Campervan Solar Panels: List Of Versatile Options
For a hassle-free choice, check out our top mid-range solar panels ideal for camping. Easily charge your devices and fold them into a regular backpack when not in use.
EcoFlow 110W Solar Panel: A Versatile Solar Panel for Outdoors
This is one of the most efficient options in the market. With a 22.8% conversion rate, the EcoFlow 110W panel efficiently captures sunlight and generates 110 watts of power in ideal conditions. Meanwhile, you can still charge your devices even on cloudy days, which may take a few more hours.
These solar panels for campers are built with tempered glass and have an anodized aluminum frame. Thanks to their IP67 rating, they can withstand harsh weather like rain, dust, and snow.
- IP68 waterproof rating
- Lightweight, with just an 8.8 lb
- Works in hot and cold environments
- Multiple charging options: MC4 connector and USB interface.
|Smaller than similar panels
|High price around $400
|Compact size when folded
|It doesn’t have a built-in battery for energy storage
|Have a wide operating temperature range
Big Blue 3 Solar (28W): The Lightest Panel in the Lineup
This durable and water-resistant solar panel for a camper is known as one of the most lightweight panels on the market. Weighing only 1.4 pounds and folding down to a compact size of 11.8 x 6.3 inches, the BigBlue 3 is easy to carry even in a small female bag.
These solar panels for campers have a 23.5% efficiency and produce up to 28 Watts. With two USB-A ports (5V/4.8A total), you can charge two devices simultaneously, for instance, a phone in 2-3 hours and a laptop in 7-8 hours. While unsuitable for a mini-fridge, it’s great for essential mobile devices.
- Budget-friendly: it costs less than $100
- Ability to charge devices directly from the panel
- The panel’s output is enough to power portable devices like phones or tablets
|The most lightweight option on the market
|The built-in kickstand isn’t adjustable
|A weather-resistant option that can work under rain and in dusty environments
|It doesn’t have an integrated battery; you need to buy it separately
|Short-circuit, overcurrent, and overload protections
GoPower Overlander 190W Solar Kit for RVs: A Pinnacle of Power Among Camper Solar Panels
This weatherproof solar panel has 190 watts of power, significantly contributing to your RV’s energy needs. Under perfect conditions, it can fully charge an RV battery in 5-6 hours, making it suitable for off-grid living.
This panel campervan solar panel is easy to install. The kit comes with pre-drilled mounting brackets and MC4 connectors, simplifying integration. No drills or special tools are required to place this panel on your RV securely.
- Parallel connection to add more panels in the future
- The 30-amp PWM controller prevents overcharging, protecting your device’s battery
- It weighs around 32 pounds
|It can power most of the RV equipment
|You can ride with those panels on the car’s roof
|It’s heavy and requires a roof space
|Fits people who prefer long campings or going off-grid frequently
Jackery SolarSaga 100W: Affordable Panels for Charging Portable Devices
People like this solar panel’s portability, ease of use, and impressive efficiency for a camper. It’s a great option for campers, hikers, and anyone who wants to charge devices or power small appliances off-grid. With 100W and 22.8% efficiency, this solar panel can charge your laptop in 3-4 hours on a sunny day.
The panel has tempered glass and an anodized aluminum frame to withstand rain, dust, and snow. Its IP65 rating ensures the device’s water resistance. You can charge a laptop or phone directly since this solar panel for a camper has MC4, USB-A, and USB-C ports. It also comes with a built-in kickstand for optimal sun positioning.
- Low weight: just 10 lbs
- IP65 water-resistance
- Multiple connection interfaces
|It doesn’t have an integrated battery
|Good value for the money
|Can’t charge power-demanding appliances
|You need less than a minute to set up the panel
Goal Zero Nomad 100: Portable and Lightweight Solar Panel for Campers
Source: Goal Zero
It’s a small yet powerful panel that fits regular campers or people who want to become less reliable on the grid. You can connect it to most portable power stations to store eco-friendly energy.
With a 22% conversion rate, this solar panel for a camper can generate enough electricity to power the YETI 500X battery within 6-10 hours. You can charge your laptop within 3-4 hours or your smartphone in less than an hour.
While portable and lightweight at just 5.4 lbs, this mobile solar power panel folds to a compact 21 x 17 inches. Conveniently place it in your bag or use the included carrying case for easy transport.
- IP67 waterproof ranking
- Weighs only 10 lbs
- The built-in kickstand
|The panel doesn’t have a USB interface
|Panels are sold separately; you must buy a portable battery for energy storage and device charging
|Easy to set up and modify the kickstand angle
Bluetti PV 120 Solar Panel: Versatility in Solar Power for Campers
Source: Homestead Supplier
It’s an efficient, durable option compatible with all Bluetti power stations. It suits campers, hikers, and anyone who wants to harness the sun’s power to charge devices or appliances off-grid.
With a 23% conversion rate, this solar panel for camping generates up to 120 watts of power in ideal conditions. It weighs only 5.4 lbs, and you can fold it to a compact size of 20.9 x 14.2 inches to carry its panel in your backpack.
Built with tempered glass and an anodized aluminum frame, this solar panel for a camper can withstand harsh weather conditions. Its IP67 rating ensures protection against dust and water.
- Compatible with all BlueYeti stations
- Built-in MC4 connector, USB-A, and USB-C adapters in a set
- Fast charge for laptops, tablets, and phones
|Can’t power large devices like mini-fridges
|Portable and efficient solar
|Not a budget-friendly option
|Easy enough for one person to set up
Anker 625 Solar Panel: Reliable Power for Campers from a Trusted Brand
Anker, renowned for compact and powerful power solutions, now offers solar panels for campers. The Anker 625, an eco-friendly option, boasts a 23% conversion efficiency. It can charge your phone in under 2-3 hours and power your laptop in less than 4 hours. Additionally, this solar panel for a camper has an MC4 connector compatible with most portable power stations.
- 12W USB-A and 15W USB-C ports
- Overvoltage and short-circuit protection
- The working temperature range starts from -4°F up to 140°F
|It’s possible to charge any tablet and most laptops
|It’s impossible to charge power-demanding appliances like mini-fridges or TVs
|Multiple ports to charge multiple devices simultaneously
|Lack of integrated battery
|Multiple additional adapters in the set
ROCKPALS SP003 100W Portable: A Lightweight and High-Efficiency Solar Panel for Campers
It fits campers who are looking for a compact option. Meanwhile, this solar panel for a camper is highly efficient, with a 21.5-23% conversion rate. It can generate up to 100 Watts under sunny conditions. A USB-A port allows you to hold a laptop, smartphone, and other portable devices.
- IP65 weather-resistance factor for easy maintenance
- Adjustable kickstand for perfect positioning
- Built-in IC chip to maximize the device’s charging speed and protect it from overloading
- Parallel connection for multiple panels
|You can’t charge power-demanding devices
|Can power up to 4 devices simultaneously
|Ten different connectors in a kit
Renogy 100-Watt 12-Volt Flexible Panel: Powerful and Flexible Solar Solution for Campervans
Usually, flexible panels are not powerful, providing 30-50 Watts even under perfect conditions. However, the new Renogy solar panel for campers disrupts that myth, providing a robust solution in a bendable design. It offers 100 Watts of power, so you can charge your laptop in a few hours.
This solar panel for a camper can bend up to 248 degrees, making it ideal for curved surfaces like RV roofs, car hoods, or uneven terrain. It weighs just 4.2 lbs and is thin as a coin, 0.08 in width.
- High efficiency of up to 23%
- IP68 weather resistance
- Multiple charging options: MC4 connector and a pre-wired cable with alligator clips for direct battery charging
|You can’t charge power-demanding devices
|It is bulkier when folded, so it may not fit in small spaces
The DOKIO 110W 18V: Budget-Friendly Solar Panel Tailored for Camper and RV Owners
With 110 watts of power, these solar panels for campers can charge laptops, tablets, and even small appliances. They are more powerful than many other portable solar panels in their size range.
These solar panels for campers weigh only 6 lbs and can be folded to 21 x 28 inches. It means you can carry them in a backpack or bag, making it perfect for camping. Built with monocrystalline silicon cells and an IP65-rated canvas exterior, DOKIO 110W can withstand rain, dust, and snow.
- MC4 and 2 USB-A ports
- The kit includes 5 DC conversion adapters, SAE to XT60, XT60 to Alligator cable, and JY60 to DC cables.
- Ultra thin: the panel’s width is just a 0.5-inch
|Powerful enough to charge some mini-fridges
|User guidelines are not as friendly as with other manufacturers
|Budget-friendly kit, including charge controller, multiple cables, and alligator clips
The Future Is in Your Eco-Friendly Arms
Solar panels for campers help you power essential devices in an eco-friendly way. Modern manufacturers provide solar panels for every taste, so you can easily find the option to suit your needs. Ultimately, the “best” solar panel for a camper depends on your unique consumption style.
Camper solar panels redefine exploration, enabling us to venture into remote areas independently of the grid. They embody the future of electric production, and even those new to technology can now easily tap into solar power.
Pack your bags, set up your solar panel for campers, and embark on the adventure. Small steps lead to a sustainable future, and these panels play a vital role in that eco-friendly journey.