Foldable Solar Panels

Best Foldable Solar Panels

Folding solar charger can be lifesaver in time of crisis. When you are camping in remote places, it is quite obvious that you will not have easy access to electricity and that means, the only way you can recharge your mobile and other important electrical devices is by using a Portable folding solar charger.

In the world, the sun is probably the most reliable source of energy and therefore, it is no wonder why campers and outdoor enthusiasts are going gaga over it. Foldable solar panels are easy to carry around as they take less space. They are also lightweight which is a huge plus. In most of the cases, highly durable polyester canvases are being used to sew the solar cells neatly in the frame.

Foldable Solar Panels Reviewed

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Finding the right foldable solar panel is never easy. There a number of factors at play. In case, you are finding it overwhelmingly difficult to choose the right foldable solar panel for your next expedition, check out these top 9 foldable solar panels –

1. ROCKPALS Foldable 60W Solar Panel Charger

If you have been looking for a versatile and durable foldable solar panel, the ROCKPALS Foldable 60W Solar Panel Charger can be your companion. This panel is compatible with a number of popular solar generator models in the market. The set comes with varying connectors and also sports support for myriads of 5V USB device, like some of top notch smartphones and tablets.

The solar panel comes equipped with intelligent USB smart charge technology which can identify the type of USB device plugged in. It’s embedded smart IC chip identifies your device and adjusts the charging speed while offering over charging protection. The entire unit weighs 5.66 pounds only. Along with 2 regular USB ports, it features one QC3.0 USB Port:

If you are into hiking and backpacking a lot and want a durable portable solar panel, this will surely fit your bill. The device is made with durable Oxford cloth. It is highly water-resistant and you need not worry about inclement weather damaging it. However, you have to keep the junction box dry. Since the panel is foldable, assembling and packing it is very easy and it can be set up within a few minutes.

2. SUAOKI Solar Charger – 60W Portable Solar Panel Foldable

Made by SUAOKI, this 60-watt solar portable panel is ideal for people who spend a lot of time outdoors and need clean power supply to meet various needs. This versatile solar panel is foldable and quite durable in nature. It can be stored easily in a backpack. It can be used to charge a variety of devices such as Tablet, Smartphone, GPS device, Camera, Radio Router, etc.

This is one of the few portable solar panels that feature both 18V DC and 5V USB dual output. So, using it you will be able to charge your laptop and phone at the same time. You get a useful 10-in-1 connector cable and with it, you can power your laptop and charge it directly sans any adapter. However, it cannot be used to charge MacBooks directly.

The portable solar panel is embedded with intelligent chip that adjusts electrical current based on the device that is plugged in. This offers overheating and overcharging protection to the devices that are plugged in. The panel is splash-proof and so you need worry about it getting exposed to rain or weather elements. When folded it is 11.5 x 6.3 inches and so you can carry it easily to many places. It can be set up and packed within a few minutes, almost anywhere.

3. HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Portable Folding Solar Panel 

The HQST100W Solar Suitcase, along with the efficient Monocrystalline panels emerges as a portable solar system. It also comes with a handy traveling bag, sturdy aluminum stands for ease of usage. It is really compatible with 24v and 12v systems and it comes with a simple to use LCD display. The company provides 9ft length alligator clips with it for ease of use.

The inbuilt temperature sensor, your batteries get charged well as the set enables proper temperature compensation. It is a user-friendly plug and play system. This system supports a wide range of loads. You get protection from over-discharge, overload and overcharge and short-circuit. The junction box is IP 65 rated and you can use it outdoors without any woes. The system can be set up at almost all locations without any hassles and dissembling it also takes a few minutes.

The PWM 3-stage charging algorithm helps enhance the lifespan of the battery. This is a durable product and the industrial-grade design makes it easy for you to take it to various places with extreme climate conditions. It can be used to power devices outdoors or when you cope with a prolonged power outage at the home.

4. Kingsolar Solar Charger 40W Portable Solar Panel Charger

This portable solar panel from Kingsolar has a 40 watts solar panel and can be used to charge two devices at the same time. The set features 18V DC and 5V USB dual output which is compatible with a lot of gadgets and devices. These include Laptops with 19V” Input, 12V Battery, Tablet, Phone, Power Generator, etc. The nice thing is this portable solar charger can identify the right or required device current and offers charge in the best-suited manner. It also offers speedy charging.

At times, the solar recharge process may get paused. This can be caused by forest, shades or clouds. The Solar Charger resumes charging automatically. The device is quite portable and you can pack it in a bag and carry it to many places without hassles. It is perfect for charging your gadgets in hiking and camping trips in the wilderness. The device weighs only 2.8 pounds. It is also quite durable and the rugged Industrial-strength PET polymer build lasts a long time. You can also use it in damp environments.

You get a nifty 10-in-1 connector cable to deliver power to the laptop directly minus any AC outlet or adapter. This solar panel, however, does not store power.

5. GRUCORE 50W Foldable Solar Panel Charger

Made by Grucore, this solar generator kit suits the need for various types of users. Shipped with 4 sizes of connectors, the 50W foldable solar panel can be used easily with the majority of portable generators and power stations in the market. It can be used for powering your devices outdoors and also during periods of prolonged power cuts at home.

You can use it to charge a number of USB powered devices at the same time including digital cameras, smartphones, and tablets. It has 2*USB 2. 0 ports along with a USB3. 0 quick charge port. The latter can be used to charge your gadgets really fast. This is handy when you carry a lot of gadgets when you go for a picnic or camping trip.

The device is easy to set up and dissemble. You can fold it up and then it resembles a briefcase. When you unfold it, the solar kit can be set up in many ways, almost anywhere. You may set it at outdoor locations with extreme weather conditions as well. It is water-resistant and made with durable Oxford cloth. However, the included junction box is not water-resistant. The company offers a year warranty with this product.

6. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Are you looking for a solar panel to power your devices outdoors that can be set up in numerous ways? The Renogy Lightweight 100W Solar Panel offers you the ultimate flexibility. It can be set up in many places easily and also on top of different types of vehicles-thanks to its flexible build style. The thin panel can be flexed up to 248 degrees- making it easy for you to put it even on curved surfaces. It is also pretty lightweight. It is also ideal when you want to set up a solar panel without drawing the attention of others-thanks to its slim profile.

It is ideal when you want to get solar energy to charge your device but does not want to carry a huge and heavy panel for the same. It is almost 70% more lightweight compared to typical solar panels. However, do not mistake its thinness as a sign of fragileness. It is IP68 waterproof and you can use on rainy days without woes. Setting it up is also simple. It can also withstand snowfall and high wind speed. It is also useful when you want to power devices in time of long power outage at home.

7. MoolSun 24W Portable Solar Panel Charger

Made by MoolSun, this 24W Portable Solar Panel Charger is foldable and supports a lot of solar generator models. It ships with a lot of adapters. You can use the set to charge a wide range of 5V USB devices- like smartphones, digital camera, and tablets. The device is simple to set up and can be carried to many places without problems.

The panel comes with USB smart charging technology. Its embedded smart IC chip identifies your device automatically and then maximizes charging speed. It safeguards your devices from overloading and overcharging. It is made with robust Oxford cloth and is water-resistant in nature. It can be used in many outdoor locations in varying climate conditions. The folding build style makes it versatile too. However, keep the junction box away from water.

MoolSun 24W Portable Solar Panel Charger can be charged in 3 ways. The first way is directly from solar energy using any compatible solar panel. You can also charge it from electrical outlets in 8 hours. You can also charge it using a car 12V adapter. MoolSun 24W Portable Solar Panel Charger also comes with a number of inbuilt safety features. It has an intelligent Battery management system. You cannot, however, use it for the Large-Power Electrical Appliances, those exceeding 100 watts.

8. ALLPOWERS 80W Foldable Solar Panel

Allpowers foldable solar panel is ideal for different types of users seeking solar energy to charge their devices on the move. This is a highly durable solar panel made with a water-resistant surface coating. It can be used to charge a variety of gadgets and devices including laptops and Smartphones, in outdoor locations. The Dual USB ports can be used to power a lot of USB devices. The 18V DC output is ideal for charging the laptops. No extra battery is needed.

The Allpowers foldable solar panel can be set up at many locations outdoors. At 1.8 kg-it is lightweight and can be packed in a bag easily. The exterior material is shock and dustproof- making it easy for use in many climates. It is also quite safe to use and offers shock resistance. The Solar Conversion Efficiency is 23.5 % which makes it a superb product in its league. The panel is slim and lighter than most competing products.

The product has 4 hooks and using those, you can connect it with a backpack easily. This solar panel supports the laptops and Smartphones made by leading brands like Samsung, HP, Apple, and Asus. However, you may check the manual for knowing more on device compatibility.

9.  Unermo Foldable Solar Panel Charger

Made by Unermo, this Unermo Foldable Solar Panel Charger offers high conversion efficiency and can be used to charge a variety of gadgets and devices. You can sue this panel to charge a couple of devices- simultaneously. The panel packs in a18 V DC dual output with a 5V USB output. You need not carry a power bank if you carry it outdoors. The solar panel is truly portable and has the size of a briefcase when it is folded. This makes it easy to be carried around. It weighs just 2.2 kg.

Unermo Foldable Solar Panel features built-in smart IC using which it can identify plugged in a USB device and charges it in the best possible way. The included 10-IN-1 connector has 10 connectors which will fit with most laptops. However, it does not feature support for Apple Macbooks. The supported laptops can be charged without using any AC adapters.

The additional benefit of using this versatile solar panel is that it safeguards your devices from overheating and overloading. Along with the Connectors, Cables, you also get a user manual with this product. Its Durability is good and it is also splash proof in nature.

Buying Guide

Before you even think of buying a portable solar panel, you need to take into consideration these following factors –

1. Durability

This is something obvious right? Of course, it is but the thing is most people unknowingly or unknowingly tend to ignore this factor while purchasing foldable solar panels for their next camping trip. You should not forget the fact that the panels that you are planning to purchase will have to deal with moisture, water, dust, and extreme climatic conditions and that means, if the portable solar panels are not made from quality materials, it will not survive for long. Now, if you are planning to take these solar panels near sea, you need to make sure that the solar panels are corrosion and salt resistant.

2. Size and Weight

The weight and size of the panels should also be taken into consideration. Campers tend to carry a lot of gears with them and that means, further increasing the load is definitely not a good idea. This is the reason why you need to check the weight of the panels always before making the final buying decision. However, small and lightweight foldable solar panels seem like a good idea on paper but we should not ignore the obvious fact that they don’t generate that much energy as their larger counterparts. So, you need to weigh in on all the options that are available at hand. If you need more energy then you have no other option but to purchase standard size solar panels.

3. Power

If you are looking for a reliable off-grid source of energy to power smaller devices like mobile phones or any other electronic gadgets for that matter, you can settle for 40-watt solar panels. However, if you want to power larger devices like – Laptop or Emergency radios, you can always settle for 120-watt solar panels. However, if you are planning to cook food while camping, you might have to purchase 320-watt solar panels to power up cooking stoves.

Different Types Of Solar Panels

Not all solar panels are the same. They are available in so many shapes and sizes that it can easily make a person feel lost and totally confused. Here are some of the common variants of Solar Panels that are available in the market –

1. Crystalline Solar Panels

Compared to thin-film solar panels, Crystalline Solar Panels are much more energy efficient. Crystalline solar panels generate more watts of power per square inch. So, if you are looking for solar panels that can generate a lot of power, you need to opt for Crystalline Solar Panels. However, not everything is fine and dandy with Crystalline Solar Panels. In order to generate energy efficiently, Crystalline Solar Panels need direct sunlight. They can’t produce energy when they are not positioned directly under the sun. This is definitely a big drawback of Crystalline Solar Panels.

2. Thin Film Solar Panels

On the other side of the spectrum lies Thin Film Solar Panels. These solar panels perform at optimal level even when they are not placed directly under sunlight. They can generate power even in overcast conditions. But they generate fewer watts of power per square inch which is certainly one of its main disadvantages. Thin Film Solar Panels are mainly used for camping and hiking.

3. Polycrystalline Solar Panels

In 1981, polycrystalline silicon-based solar panels were first introduced in the market. The unique thing about Polycrystalline Solar Panels is that they don’t need the Czochralski process. In order to manufacture Polycrystalline Solar Panels, raw silicon is melted first and then the melted material is then poured into square molds. When it cools down, it is then cut into square wafers.

The biggest benefits of Polycrystalline Solar Panels is that the manufacturing process is very simple and straightforward. Moreover, the process is very cost-effective as well. Not much silicon gets wasted in the manufacturing process which is a big plus.

4. Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline Solar Panels enjoy higher heat tolerance. That means, under high temperature, the performance of Monocrystalline Solar Panels does not get affected in one way or the other. Another major advantage of Monocrystalline Solar Panels is that heat can’t damage the lifespan of the solar panels.

Polycrystalline solar panels tend to have slightly lower heat tolerance than monocrystalline solar panels. This technically means that they perform slightly worse than monocrystalline solar panels in high temperatures. Heat can affect the performance of solar panels and shorten their lifespans. However, this effect is minor, and most homeowners do not need to take it into account.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels can be spotted easily by checking out these following features like – uniform look and even coloring.  Made from silicon ingots, Monocrystalline Solar Panels offer high efficiency when it comes to generating energy. Compared to thin-film solar panels, Monocrystalline Solar Panels produces as much as 4 times more electricity. Under low-light conditions, Monocrystalline Solar Panels can outperform other types of solar cells.

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