Charging your batteries and devices while staying mobile is more comfortable with the best foldable solar panels. They make for a more rewarding camping and traveling experience for RVers and mobile homeowners. However, you can find it challenging and time-consuming to compare more than ten choices if unaware of the factors that matter when selecting among them on the market.
In this buying guide, we’re going to discuss the things to check when comparing your options, as well as the features and unique qualities of top foldable solar panels right now. If you’re ready, let’s start with this section for the reviews of the top foldable solar panels this year.
|Top 1||Top 2||Top 3|
|Preview||ROCKPALS PA-SP003||Renogy Foldable Solar Panel||DOKIO FFSP-110M|
|Folded Size||17 x 14 inch||24.8 x 20 inch||21 x 28 inch|
|Max Power||100W||2 x 50W||110W|
|Power Support||500Wh (8hrs)||500Wh per day||–|
- Top 8 Foldable Solar Panel Reviews
- What Is A Foldable Solar Panel And Who This Is For
- How Does It Work
- What Are The Different Types Of Foldable Solar Panels
- Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Foldable Solar Panel
- How We Picked And Tested
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 8 Foldable Solar Panel Reviews
1. ROCKPALS Foldable Solar Panel
- High power conversion rate
- 3 USB ports for simultaneous charging
- Durable construction
- Waterproof design
- Portable and lightweight
- Customer support is a little hard to reach
If you are on the lookout for a high-quality foldable solar panel to bring with you on your next outdoor adventures, I can suggest that you try the ROCKPALS foldable solar panel. This product is compatible with most solar generators, so investing in this one would be smart.
I particularly like the high efficiency that the ROCKPALS foldable solar panel offers for charging devices. This solar panel can convert up to 23.5% of solar energy to charge your devices. It provides fast charging and provides maximum protection to your devices, preventing overheating and overcharging.
The ROCKPALS foldable solar panel allows the simultaneous charging of devices with its 3 USB smart charging technology. I mainly prefer this foldable solar panel because of this feature. You can charge three phones at a time without any problems. It maximizes charging speed to top up your batteries in no time.
The durability of the ROCKPALS foldable solar panel is also guaranteed. It is made from durable oxford cloth. This solar panel is water-resistant. It is then ideal for outdoor use under any type of weather. It is designed to withstand any outside weather conditions and elements to provide you with long-lasting service.
The portable and foldable design of the ROCKPALS foldable solar panel offers a great advantage. It makes it easier to carry this solar panel wherever you go, whether camping, hiking, or in any other outdoor activities. It can be easily zipped up in a case and easily take it out whenever you need it.
Despite that, I think the ROCKPALS foldable solar panel is of high quality and is worth every penny you spent on it. It is well-made from durable materials and offers high efficiency for the effective charging of your devices. You never have to worry about dead batteries ever again while you are outdoors.
2. Renogy Foldable Solar Panel
- Includes charge controller
- High-efficiency solar panel
- Adjustable legs
- Durable construction
- LCD feature
- The product does not have a good warranty
Another distinguished foldable solar panel from a trusted brand is the Renogy foldable solar panel. Renogy is known in the industry for delivering excellent products with its customers’ satisfaction in mind. If you want a high-quality and reliable foldable solar panel, then you could consider choosing this one.
You will not regret the quality of the Renogy 100-watt 12 volt foldable portable solar panel. It is a monocrystalline solar panel with a high charging efficiency, effectively converting solar energy to power. It works well even under dim conditions.
The durability of the Renogy foldable solar panel is also promising. It is made of high-grade materials for rugged durability. The stands of the solar panel are corrosion-resistant with heavy-duty handle and latches. With its quality, this product is sure to provide you with long service life.
I also like how easy it is to set up the Renogy foldable solar panel. The legs can even be adjusted to an angle that your solar panel can receive maximum sunlight for more efficient charging. The Renogy foldable solar panel is also compatible with most types of batteries, such as gel, sealed, and lithium batteries, so investing in this product is worth it.
Another thing that I like about the Renogy foldable solar panel is that it already includes a charge controller. This foldable solar panel offers maximum protection for your batteries from overcharging and overloading to avoid any damage and risk.
The Renogy foldable solar panel also has a comprehensive LCD feature so you can always know the state and condition of your battery and solar panel.
Still, the Renogy foldable solar panel remains one of the most trusted products with its quality and features. It is well-made, reliable, affordable, and completely eco-friendly. It offers top-quality performance at an affordable price.
3. DOKIO Foldable Solar Panel Kit
- Two monocrystalline solar panels
- The combined output of 110Wand 6.1A
- Suitable for charging 12V batteries, USB devices, and portable power stations
- IP65-rated water-resistance
- Complete kit and comes with carrying bag
- No USB-C port
I can see why many of my friends are DOKIO loyalists. It has a remarkable history, offering affordable products without sacrificing quality and performance ever since 2007. This model is one of the company’s top-selling kits, with sufficient power and versatility to convince even the worst skeptic.
Although this solar panel kit does not come with battery units, I’m still impressed. More affordable than the SolarFairy, this product produces a whopping 110W and 6.1A This allows the solar panel to recharge more devices and gadgets at a faster pace.
Like SolarFairy, this solar panel charger kit can deliver clean energy to 12V battery systems, including AGMs, SLAs, LiFePO4s, gels, and lithium units. The device can also recharge 95% of portable solar generators with its six adaptors. A pair of USB ports is also perfect for recharging mobile phones, laptops, cameras, and tablets.
Thanks to its protective features, users can place this solar panel kit outdoors without any worry. Its IP65 rating is enough to melt any concerns about moisture and dust ingress, allowing families to use this foldable solar panel in almost any environment.
The alligator clips are well-made, and the extension cable is extra-long at 6.5 feet. It also has a cigarette lighter adaptor and a handy carrying bag for added convenience. Now that’s what I call a “kit.”
Although this folding solar panel for home and camping applications has a slimmer profile than the SolarFairy, it will not fit in any backpack. However, it does come with a carrying bag that makes transportation easy. What’s more worthy of concern is that it doesn’t have a USB-C port, but only a pair of USB-A ports.
Overall, the drawback is nothing I can’t accept, and it does its job well enough to warrant a seal of approval from me.
4. Topsolar 100W Foldable Solar Panel
- Twelve 23% high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels for a 100-watt combined power
- Dual DC and USB power output
- Compact design at 9.84”x7.87”x2.36”
- Robust construction with advanced ETFE material
- Safe operation with multiple protective features
- A bit pricier than expected
The SolarFairy is a 100W solar panel charger kit that delivers reliable power output to typical smartphones, tablets, laptops, e-readers, digital cameras, etc. I will not be surprised if folks use this solar panel kit in outdoor adventures, RVing journeys, or emergency residential applications.
A dozen monocrystalline photovoltaic silicon-celled solar panels from the heart of this device. Each panel harnesses sunlight and converts 23% of it into DC electricity. Some brands can only muster 20% efficiency or less, making this gadget one of the most effective tools for producing clean power anywhere.
My favorite thing about these panels for mobile home applications is their versatile power output. To elaborate, they offer both USB-A and USB-C ports. I also appreciate the two outlets for 12V batteries and 19V power stations. As a result, I can charge my portable station and use it as backup power should an emergency arise.
I must commend the company for its methodical solar panel design and construction. Its ETFE material is lightweight. Hence, the product only tips the scale at 5.1 pounds. Despite the light construction, the material itself is very robust, especially its impressive high-light transmittance and longevity.
Operating this solar panel kit will not make even the most paranoid users jittery. They will never worry about short circuits, over-voltage, and electrical surges.
I like these portable RV solar panels because of their compact form. Although I have seen foldable solar panels with a smaller footprint, this device’s 9.84”x7.87”x2.36” dimensions make it a breeze to stash in a backpack.
5. Bigblue Foldable Solar Panel
- Has a built-in ammeter
- Exclusive smart IC technology
- Rugged durability for guaranteed longevity
- Good warranty and reliable customer service
- The product is not fully waterproof
The BigBlue foldable solar panel is another trusted product with excellent quality and performance. If you are looking for a foldable solar panel that is guaranteed to satisfy your power needs, then you might want to consider looking into this one.
One of the great features that the BigBlue foldable solar panel has is a built-in ammeter. You never have to guess second if your product is working. The ammeter displays on the screen the power received from solar energy for easy monitoring.
Another feature that makes BigBlue foldable solar panels more appealing is its exclusive smart IC technology. This foldable solar panel has a built-in intelligence chip that can detect your device and optimizes charging to ensure the fast charging of your device. It can also protect your devices from any overcharging or overloading.
The rugged durability of the BigBlue foldable solar charger is unparalleled. This foldable solar panel is made of a unique PET polymer surface to protect your solar panel from any damage. It is also waterproof making it ideal for outdoor use.
To complete all those beautiful features, the BigBlue foldable solar panel also comes with a good warranty backed by reliable customer service. This product has a 24-month warranty, and if you have any issues with your product, you can always count on their responsive customer service to assist you. With its friendly service, you can be assured that you will get the top-tier value for your money.
Despite that, the BigBlue is still a tremendous off-grid solution for your power needs while outdoors. It is made well and comes with great features for its efficient performance.
6. KINGSOLAR Portable Solar Panel
- High efficiency
- Portable and lightweight
- Support simultaneous charging of devices
- Rugged durability
- Charging efficiency is dependent on the weather
The KINGSOLAR portable folding solar charger is the solution to your charging needs when you go on outdoor trips. With this reliable solar panel charger, you never have to worry about dead batteries. Never miss out on something by keeping your devices charged with this solar panel charger.
I can say with confidence that the quality and efficiency of the KINGSOLAR portable solar panel is uncompromised considering its affordable price. This solar panel charger has a power conversion rate of up to 23.5%, one of the highest you can find in the market. With its’ power, you can be sure that your devices will require a charger efficiently.
The KINGSOLAR portable solar panel allows the simultaneous charging of your phone and laptop. It has a USB port and a DC port to support the charging of your different devices. With this solar panel’s high efficiency and fast-charging capacity, your devices will be charged in no time.
Of course, the rugged durability of the KINGSOLAR portable solar panel is likewise uncompromised. This solar panel is made of industrial standard PET polymer fabric. It is scratch-proof and guaranteed to withstand any outside elements it can be exposed to. With its durability, this solar panel is sure to last you for a long time.
I also like the portable and ultra-lightweight design of the KINGSOLAR movable solar panel. It can be folded and light enough to bring along with you whenever you go out hiking, fishing, or camping. With this compact solar panel, you can always have an off-grid power on the go that is entirely eco-friendly.
Despite that, I think the KINGSOLAR portable solar panel is a great and reliable product. It is made from quality materials and advanced technologies. It is portable to bring anywhere and is guaranteed to perform under direct sunlight. This product is worth your buck.
7. ECO-WORTHY Foldable Solar Panel
- High-efficiency solar panel
- Portable and ultra-lightweight
- Durable construction for long service life
- This product is not weather-resistant
Another reputable brand that you may have already known for delivering top-rated products at an affordable price is ECO-WORTHY. Their foldable solar panel is guaranteed to have one of the highest qualities as compared to other brands but remains at a customer-friendly price. If you are on a budget but want a product with top quality, then this one is for you.
One of the advantages that the ECO-WORTHY foldable solar panel offers is its high efficiency. It has an increased 20% power output to effectively charge your batteries under desirable weather conditions. With its high power, this solar panel can charge all your devices simultaneously.
Another thing that I like about the ECO-WORTHY foldable solar is that it supports the simultaneous charging of devices. With its dual USB port and connector cables, you can quickly charge your phones, laptops, and tablets.
The ECO-WORTHY foldable solar panel is also ultra-light, which I prefer. With its compact and lightweight design, this foldable solar panel can be easily carried around whenever you go on outdoor adventures so you can have a power source when you need one.
I also like the durability of the ECO-WORTHY foldable solar panel. This solar panel is made from durable oxford cloth that is also splash-proof to protect your solar panels from outside elements and prevent any damage. With its rugged durability, this solar panel can provide you with long-lasting service and saves you money from having to buy a new one frequently.
Overall, the ECO-WORTHY foldable solar panel is worth its market price. It is made from only top-quality materials; it is reliable, eco-friendly, affordable, and works well to provide you with much-needed power. If you want the best foldable solar panels, then this ECO-WORTHY product is for you.
8. MOOLSUN Solar Charger
- Reliable and durable
- Cool design
- Foldable and moveable
- Quality issues
You will never know when you will need power, so take into consideration getting the Moolsun solar charger so you can always have charging power whenever and wherever you need it.
Completely environment-friendly, you do your fair share of going green by maximizing the sun’s solar energy and converting it to usable power. The unlimited sunshine can help you have access to charging prowess anywhere you may be for the batteries of your mobile devices, snowmobiles, or even motorcycles. It is power at your fingertips.
With less than five pounds, the Moolsun solar charger is 100% foldable and moveable. You can take it anywhere you need less the additional worry of massive space to keep it. If you are planning to take it with you on your adventures, you are smart to choose this product. It can withstand constant use and travel thanks to high-quality materials.
With the three panels that can be easily arranged and the built-in mounting holes, you are ready to set up and start working right away. Note that the package also comes with several glass attachment suction cups and two carabiners so you can easily mount it on a window or even at the back of your backpack when you are hiking.
My personal favorite, though, is the three USB charging ports that this product has. It makes charging more convenient as all modern devices charge through USB. You can also charge several devices at a time, ensuring that you are positively exhausting your solar charger and your time. Aside from its power and performance, I also like the pop of color on its design. The green is refreshing compared to just the usual all-black solar panels that are very common in the market.
TWELSEAVAN 100W Solar Panel Portable (Outdated)
- Ultra-compact and uber thin
- Heavy-duty material used for the solar panel
- Above-average conversion rate
- Smart IC chip
- USB port for all modern devices
- The component of the suitcase and cover is like a hard denim type, so it cannot be in the rain for a very long period.
Impressively lightweight and thin, the Twelseavan is ultra-compact at 8.4 pounds and 1 inch thick, making it the perfect charging companion for travelers, those who are outdoor enthusiasts, and people who just like to prepare for unexpected power outages. Making it easier to carry around, it comes with a durable rubber handle for easy carrying.
I also like how the materials used in this foldable solar panel for camping is top-notch and nothing less. Its back is with resilient polyester canvas. In contrast, the panel’s surface is of industrial-strength PET, which is proven and tested to withstand the abuse of the environment when outdoors. It also comes with four attached lanyards that would make it easy for you to mount it on your tents, RVs, and other surfaces.
With an above-average conversion rate of 21-23 percent, it can convert solar power to usable and instant energy while being eco-friendly as it just absorbs as much sunlight as it can. It is equipped with a USB port, which is dual with 5V and 18V, respectively.
There is also a smart IC chip incorporated in the USB port so it can identify the devices that are connected. In return, it can regulate the voltage being transmitted. It would help in preventing any potential damage to overcharging.
I understand that we want to spend time outdoors but also the fact that we love our connection to the outside world, so with a USB port, charging our smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, power banks, and other 5V USB devices is solved. It is a versatile source of converted energy on the go.
SUAOKI Fordable Solar Panel (Outdated)
- Compact and foldable
- Offers high charging efficiency
- Provides full protection for your devices
- Proper warrant and responsive customer service
- Easy to set-up
- The solar panel is not fully waterproof
Another excellent option for a foldable solar panel that I can suggest with high confidence is the SUAOKI fordable solar panel. SUAOKI is one of the brands you can trust to deliver their customers products that live up to expectations and satisfies the customer’s needs.
One of the things you can expect from the SUAOKI foldable solar panel is its high charging efficiency. I like this solar panel because it can charge devices at a fast rate with its high power. With its 20% conversion efficiency and under direct sunlight, expect that your devices will charge effectively without any trouble.
I also prefer the SUAOKI foldable solar panel because it allows simultaneous charging. With its USB and DC port, you can charge both your phone and laptop at the same time. The SUAOKI foldable solar panel also offers full protection to your devices from overcharging and overloading.
The SUAOKI foldable solar panel is portable and convenient to bring along with you during your outdoor escapades. You can fold it up like a briefcase for easy transport. It is also easy to set up. Just make sure to put it in an area with direct exposure to sunlight for its optimal performance.
The excellent warranty and responsive customer service that SUAOKI offers makes this product more appealing. The SUAOKI foldable solar panel comes with a 24-month product warranty. If you have any problems or issues with your product, their excellent customer service will always have your back.
Overall, I like and would highly recommend the SUAOKI foldable solar panel. If you are looking for a reliable, durable, and efficient foldable solar panel without having to go way off your budget, then this product is the one for you. This product is worth your money’s value.
Jackery Foldable Solar Panel (Outdated)
- High conversion efficiency
- Has multiple USB ports for simultaneous charging
- Portable design for easy transport
- Easy to set up with an adjustable kickstand
- Durable construction for long service life
- The solar panel does not come with clear instructions
Another reputable brand in the industry is Jackery. One of the great products you can find in the market today is their foldable solar panel. With its excellent quality and top performance, investing in this product is worth it.
One of the reasons why I like the Jackery foldable solar panel is because of its high conversion efficiency. It has a conversion rate of up to 23%. When you are on an outdoor adventure or even in cases of power outages, you can always count on this foldable solar panel to effectively charge your batteries.
Another feature that I like about the Jackery foldable solar panel is its multiple USB ports for simultaneous charging. You can charge your phone, tables, and even digital cameras at the same time without any issue.
Of course, the portable design of the Jackery foldable solar panel is an advantage. It can be folded, and with its easy-carry handle, this foldable solar panel is easy to carry around or transport so you can bring it anywhere you go and have backup power whenever you need it.
The Jackery foldable solar panel is easy to set up anywhere, which I like. The kickstand in this solar panel can be adjusted in an angle that your solar panel will be able to receive the most sunlight for efficient charging.
The durability of the Jackery foldable solar panel is also trusted. I like the sturdy and compact construction of this product. It is made of only the top-rated, most durable materials. With its quality, this solar panel is guaranteed to last for many uses.
Overall, the Jackery foldable solar panel is an excellent product for its price. It is durable, efficient, and affordable with guaranteed performance.
Repower Solar Charger 16W Solar Panel (Outdated)
- Above-average charging time
- iSmart technology
- Panels are well protected
- Interruptions in solar charging will cause iPhone phones to stop charging; an unplug and re-plug is required
It is no wonder that people are raving about the RavPower solar charger because everything about it is exceptional. Probably the most compact solar charger in the market today, it is 100% foldable and you can easily carry it around with you. It is solar power on the go with an impressive high energy conversion of 21.5% to 23.5%. This free energy can be used to charge almost if not all your devices like you’d usually do when you are at the comforts of your home. You have the liberty to charge two USB devices at a time.
What makes this RavPower stand out is its iSmart technology, which it can provide the optimal charging current to your devices since it can adjust automatically. It is indeed brilliant because you can be sure that your charging time is set to minimum time but with maximum power. Coupled with the Smart IC frequency technology, it can detect all the devices that are connected and distribute the current output evenly to up to 3.2A each. I love how it charges the devices fast almost at the same time when connected to your electric outlet at home.
I rate the RavPower five stars because it is well-built and is entirely weatherproof. It is made of a solid, beautiful waterproof fabric that will still appear slick after Mother Nature has done its worst. It has four practical hooks, so you are sure that you get as much sun as possible. It is also easy to install and set up.
What Is A Foldable Solar Panel And Who This Is For
What are the top-tier folding solar panels? Solar technology has increasingly become popular, considering the world in where we live. Over time, more and more solar products have been developed that can meet and suit a variety of needs.
In terms of portability, solar technology has gone a long way. Initially, solar panels were more substantial and bulkier back then. They were also rigid, and while relatively easy to install, they were a bit difficult to move around. But thanks to modern technology, there are portable and foldable varieties of solar panels.
With a foldable solar panel, you can quickly and conveniently generate and use electricity out in the wild. It is also very lightweight and doesn’t require that much space so carrying it won’t be that much of a hassle. You can even just store it inside your backpack, in bikes or vehicles, etc.
Moreover, foldable solar panels are easy to set up and disassemble. You just simply fold and unfold them if you place them. Their flexible structure makes up for excellent adaptability.
As such, their features made foldable solar panels quite famous in the outdoor community. Campers, hikers, travelers, and RV owners tend to purchase one of these while engaging in their activities.
While foldable solar panels are portable, they tend to generate a small charge. Their power outputs can power up and run a few small-capacity devices. It also provides plenty of power to recharge your batteries. Typical power outputs you can see in the foldable solar panel is 100 watts or sometimes, even 200 watts.
How Does It Work
Aside from their size and structure, foldable solar panels are just substantially your solar panels downsized to a certain height and weight.
As such, they contain the same photovoltaic cells which are responsible for sunlight collection and conversion. These cells are sewn together in thin and flexible material. Typically, these cells are made from 2 layers of silicone.
To generate electricity, there must first be an electric field around the photovoltaic cells. As such, these cells are also infused with certain materials. Usually, boron and phosphorus, to transform the cells into an atom. With this, they now have both a positive and negative charge.
When solar energy hits the solar panel, the light particles (photons) produces an electric field as it dislodges the electrons from the atom. The resulting electricity is then transmitted towards the inverter to change DC power to AC power. The latter power is what is usually used by most devices nowadays.
Depending on the capacity and wattage of your solar panel, it can power up several devices for a specified period. These factors also affect the charging time and using time of your solar panel.
Aside from generating electricity straight to your gadgets and appliances, some foldable solar panels also have the option of storage. When the electricity is generated, some portions of it are converted into AC power for device use. At the same time, some are stored inside the battery for later use.
Foldable solar panels are typically smaller and portable. As such, they come with tons of additional features like a kickstand and sometimes even a carrying case. It makes it easier to use and carry the solar panel around.
You also have the option of upgrading your foldable solar panels in the same manner as that in the larger models. Many users recommend installing a charge controller to regulate the power output of your device.
What Are The Different Types Of Foldable Solar Panels
As we continue in this foldable solar panel review, let us also discuss the types to find on the market for a little bit more guide when choosing the right one for your needs. Just like the bigger models, foldable solar panels also come in different styles, designs, and varieties. This section will list some of the most popular ones.
Crystalline Solar Panels
When it comes to solar panels, crystalline variants seem to be quite popular. It is because they are more energy-efficient as they can generate more power per square inch. Because of their material, these solar panel types tend to be more durable and long-lasting.
However, the downside is that crystalline solar panels tend to need direct exposure to sunlight. Otherwise, they won’t function that well.
Crystalline solar panels are further broken down into two types.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are made from purer silicon; hence, they tend to have a more uniform look and even coloring. You can easily spot these types since they come in black color.
Out of the types, these panels tend to be the most energy-efficient, producing up to 4 times as more electricity. They can even perform during low-light conditions.
Monocrystalline panels are also more durable due to their high heat tolerance. As such, high temperatures won’t affect their performance nor their lifespan.
The downside is that these panels are quite expensive and are rigid.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline panels are known for their blue color and their square-wafer appearance. Unlike monocrystalline types, they are made from a combination of silicon and other material.
Because of this, they are not as energy-efficient as monocrystalline panels. Moreover, the combination of materials makes for lower heat tolerance. However, the difference is so minimal that most users don’t mind it.
On the plus side, polycrystalline panels are cheaper and easier to manufacture than monocrystalline panels. The manufacturing process is very cost-efficient and can save a lot of silicon.
Thin-film Solar Panels
Thin-film solar panels are made from a combination of different materials. As such, when compared to crystalline models, they produce lower watts of power. Nevertheless, they perform quite well, even during low-light conditions.
These types are popular among campers and hikers and those who don’t need to generate as much electricity. They are also cheaper since they are easy to manufacture.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Foldable Solar Panel
Before purchasing an item, it’s crucial to weigh in the pros and cons of your device. That way, you can make an informed choice and see whether it’s the right one for you. This section will list all the advantages and disadvantages the foldable solar panel provides.
One of the most significant benefits of a foldable solar panel is its portability and weight. With this, you won’t have a difficult time carrying it and moving it around.
Convenient and Consistent Energy Source
Travelling and camping do not always provide a stable energy source. It can be quite a hassle, especially when you have your devices and gadgets with you.
With a foldable solar panel, you won’t have to worry about this. You just simply set the solar panel up, and it will generate electricity for you to use.
Foldable solar panels are also useful when it comes to blackouts and other energy problems. With this, you will still have electricity to use while waiting for the power to go back on.
Like all solar energy, foldable solar panels do wonders for your expenses. If you are traveling, you wouldn’t have to worry about finding an energy source nor incur any costs using your gas, etc. With a solar panel, you can lessen your usage of electricity and just rely on the sun on instead.
Since they just rely on solar energy, solar panels do wonders for the environment. They don’t utilize any harmful energy source, allowing you to reduce your carbon footprint.
Easy to Install
Foldable solar panels are also easy to install and use. Depending on the model, these panels can come with either a folding kit or a kickstand.
When you want to use it, you just simply unfold and set up your solar panel. For models with kickstands, you just place the panel on top of it.
The panels with folding kits also make it easier for users since they come with tools as well as a package for secure storage and handling.
Foldable solar panels are also silent as they contain no moving parts. As such, it wouldn’t bother you or your companions when you are using it.
Lesser Power Output
Compared to bigger solar panel models, foldable solar panels generally produce a lesser power output. As such, it can only power up a few select devices.
Reliant on the Sun
Like all solar technologies, their most significant downside is that they only work during the day. As such, you must ensure that you have entirely charged your devices and gadgets before the sun goes down. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for tomorrow.
You have the option of installing a battery into your solar panel so that you can still charge your devices at night or during overcast conditions. However, this means an additional expense.
While not as expensive compared to the larger models, foldable solar panels are still quite costly. If you want a high-quality model, then you might need to invest even more. Not to mention, you incur additional expenses when it comes to maintenance and upgrades.
As such, many users tend to get discouraged due to the high upfront costs.
How We Picked And Tested
Solar energy is a convenient and cost-efficient way to generate and use electricity. With this, you can still power up your devices without being necessarily connected to a power source. As such, they are great for use in outdoor and other recreational activities.
Because of this, foldable solar panels have become quite popular. It has meant having a milieu of different styles, types, and designs to suit a variety of needs.
However, don’t worry. This article will list down tips and tricks to help you purchase the right foldable solar panel for you.
How many devices your solar panel can charge and for how many hours depends on the wattage and capacity it has. Some of the popular ones are the 300 watts, 200 watts, 100 watts, 60 watts, and 5 watts variants. What type you’ll choose depends on the type and number of devices you have.
For most users, a 100-watt foldable solar panel is the most suitable. It provides the right amount of electricity to power up most devices.
If you have fewer devices, a 60-watt solar panel is recommended. This wattage is enough to charge most 12V lead-acid and lithium batteries like tablets, light, laptops, and the like.
More significant wattages like 200 watts and 300 watts are ideal if you have a lot of devices with you. Its capacity can power up TVs, refrigerators, small air conditioners, electric cookers, and other appliances.
A 5-watt solar panel is so small and generates power that can just charge small devices like USB lamps, flashlights, Android phones, etc.
To select the right voltage, you need to know the battery specifications of your devices first. Solar panels usually come in 5V, 12V, 18V, and sometimes more, depending on the model. Otherwise, you’ll just damage the batteries of your devices.
A 5V model is recommended if you only have a small number of devices with you, such as Android phones, USB fans, flashlights, etc.
A 12V solar panel can generate enough power to charge 6-9V devices like LED lights, lamps, and the like. Whereas, an 18V solar panel is capable of charging 12V lead-acid and lithium batteries like your tablets, laptops, etc.
Of course, strength is one of the most important factors, especially when solar panels will have to deal with harsh weather and elements.
Ensure that your solar panel is made from high-quality materials. If you are planning to use them in outdoor activities, make sure that they are weatherproof and that they are resistant to various elements such as rust, salt, corrosion, etc.
Size and Weight
Size and weight are important factors to consider, especially when you are planning to take them on a trip with you. If you are hiking or backpacking, choosing a smaller and lighter foldable solar panel is ideal. This way, you won’t have a difficult time.
However, do take note that smaller solar panels generate lesser electricity outputs that they can only charge a few select devices. As such, it’s crucial to weigh in and balance these factors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do foldable solar panels last?
Foldable, portable solar panels have an operating lifespan of 25 to 40 years, with a 20% solar efficiency reduction in the 25th year. However, it is possible for camping solar panels to have a shorter lifespan, depending on some factors.
Weather-related degradation is the most common culprit for early solar panel degradation. Temperature extremes and violent weather conditions can produce microscopic cracks on photovoltaic cell panels.
Light-induced degradation, which happens when the UV rays adversely impact the silicon layer, can also result in a reduction in longevity. Although temporary, the damage can leave a lasting effect on the solar panel’s energy conversion efficiency and longevity.
Are foldable solar panels waterproof?
No, not all foldable solar panels are waterproof. It is worth noting that waterproof solar panels prevent water molecules from entering any electrical component. You can submerge these panels in a swimming pool for several weeks, and they will never have water damage. These products can continue functioning as designed.
Instead, most travel solar panel units are “water-resistant,” preventing moisture ingress only within a given time period. For example, an IP67-rated solar panel can stay submerged in 39.37-inch-deep water for only 30 minutes. Immersing it beyond this time might result in irreversible damage or malfunction.
Can foldable solar panels charge inside?
Yes, foldable small solar panels can charge inside homes and buildings. You have two options for this. First, you can prop the solar panel by the window, allowing the PV cells to collect sunlight passing through the window glass.
The second option is to position the solar panel about 15 to 20 inches under an incandescent light bulb. Although an LED light also works, incandescent bulbs produce a wavelength identical to the sun’s UV rays. You could use a 200W incandescent bulb for greater light intensity, although the minimum is 100W.
What are the most trusted foldable solar panel brands?
There are many brands of foldable solar panels on the market. Still, not all of them are guaranteed to offer their customers the most excellent products that they deserve. A few of the most trusted brands include the KINGSOLAR, ROCKPALS, SUAOKI, and Renogy, among the rest featured earlier. Check them out for reliable brands that you can trust.
What is the warranty?
Different brands offer varying lengths of warranty periods for their foldable solar panels. Companies with an excellent reputation can guarantee that their panels will last up to 25 years and maybe even more. As such, you can expect such brands to offer a warranty that can last that long or at least ten years.
There are also those brands that offer a minimal warranty. Some can guarantee their products for only a few years, while others have only a few months. Unfortunately, some companies do not provide any information as to the length of their product’s warranty. It would be best to avoid such brands altogether.
How to install and use?
Installing a foldable solar panel is a simple process. Before you start with the installation; however, the recommendation is to read and understand the instructions specific to the product that you are going to install. Most manufacturers already supply consumers with the hardware and other accessories necessary for the solar panel installation. Sadly, there are also those that do not come with any mounting hardware. That is why it is most reasonable to check the instructions first to have a better idea of the materials you will need.
Follow the installation recommendations of the manufacturer. In general, you will install the foldable solar panel in a place where it will be able to collect as much sunlight as possible. If you are going to use it in your camper or RV, then you must look for the part of your vehicle that gets plenty of sunlight exposure.
It is often necessary to prepare the location of the installation first. Start by fixing and securing the mounting hardware. You can then mount the foldable solar panel onto its base. Make sure that you have connected the different cables and diodes necessary for the panel’s operation before securing the panel onto its mounting platform.
Connect the solar panels to a charge controller. Get another set of cables that will run from the solar charge controller to your battery. From the battery, you will also need cables to connect to your inverter. It is the final piece to make your solar energy system work.
If your solar panel is intended for portable use, then there is no need for complicated installation. Simply look for a location where the solar panel can receive the most sunlight. Unfold the solar panel so that it will receive the optimum amount of the sun. Plugin your devices and watch it draw power from the solar panel.
How to care & clean?
Caring for your solar panels is critical if you want it to retain its solar energy-gathering capabilities for a very long time. Dust, pollen, bird droppings, and other particles can accumulate on the panel’s surface. These particles can block the ability of the solar panel to collect as much sunlight as possible. Cleaning it is, thus, crucial.
Cleaning your solar panel is as easy as cleaning any other glassy surface. You must pay extra attention so that you do not scratch the surface of the photovoltaic panels. Using a microfiber towel and soapy water can remove stubborn dirt. Hosing the surface down with water should keep it looking pristine.
Keep in mind, however, that many solar system experts do not recommend widespread cleaning of a solar panel. If it rains in your area, the rain will wash away any of the surface objects. Also, the tilted placement of solar panels allows for the accumulation of particles in the lower section of the panel only. And if it does lead to a reduction in energy output, it should not be more than 5 percent.
Maintaining your solar panel, therefore, requires an analysis of your solar power output. If there is a significant reduction, then you can initiate the cleaning process.
Where to buy?
You can find these foldable solar panels in places that include solar supplies stores and shops as well as online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Manufacturer websites can also help. Nevertheless, you can buy these items in many places that sell clean energy products.
You can take advantage of the best foldable solar panels for charging batteries while on-the-go if you would choose the right one for your needs. To get started comparing your options, you can check out the top picks, each of them with the unique qualities, pros, and cons that you need to know. You might also want to refer to the buying guide for the things that you need to compare when selecting a foldable solar panel that is right for you. Also, you might want to read the answers to the most asked questions about these solar panels for more guidance. Buy a folding solar panel today!
Hi, I am Eddie, Cleanenergysummit’s content editor. It’s so much joy to work alongside Justin, as the idea of providing knowledge about using clean energy excites us.
I’ve been working to address any concerns or questions you may have as you transition to using solar electricity to power your home. Tune in to hear our advice and suggestions on anything clean energy. Welcome!