Best Portable Solar Products in 2019

Product Features / Benefits Price / ROI Buying Options
Charge Kit image Charge Kit

Included solar charge controller

Carrying case

Weatherproof

$516-$975

Amazon (80 W)

Amazon (120 W)

Amazon (160 W)

Amazon (200 W)

Portable Folding Solar Kit image Portable Folding Solar Kit

Included solar charge controller

Carrying case

$388-$544

Amazon (80 W)

Amazon (120 W)

Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase image Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase

Included solar charge controller

Carrying case

$225-$235

Amazon (100 W)

Amazon (120 W)

Boulder Briefcase image Boulder Briefcase

Included solar charge controller

Carrying case

$300-$575

Amazon (100 W)

Amazon (200 W)

Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station image Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station

Easy to use display

Pairs well with Goal Zero panels

$600-$1,300

Amazon (428 Wh)

Amazon (1045 Wh)

Powerhouse Compact image Powerhouse Compact

Lightweight

Intuitive display

$369

Amazon (400 Wh)

Waterproof Portable Solar Charger image Waterproof Portable Solar Charger

Lightweight and foldable

Weatherproof

$70

Amazon

Outdoor Battery Pack image Outdoor Battery Pack

Attached power bank

Rugged design

$30

Amazon

Portable Solar Products Buyer's Guide

What is a portable solar product?

Generally, solar panel installations stay put - whether you install a rooftop or ground-mounted system, those panels are typically affixed on your property. Portable solar panels allow you to use solar energy on the go. There are many products available that enable you to take solar power on the go and use it to charge a cell phone, provide backup power to an RV, and more.

Portable solar panels are usually not standalone devices. If you want to use solar for significant backup power on the go, you’ll need a solar-compatible generator to pair it with. Companies will often sell portable solar kits complete with panels, a battery system, and the necessary cables and connections. However, you can purchase smaller portable solar products that allow you to plug your devices right in for a quick recharge powered by the sun.

Why buy portable solar panels and products?

Portable solar products can be a great option for generating power in many cases. Whether you’re an avid camper, an RV owner, taking a cross-country road trip, or want to make sure your phone has enough charge to last the whole day, there’s likely a solar gadget for you.

If you’re looking to spend extended periods of time off-grid, perhaps on a camping or road trip, portable solar panels can help you stay powered reliably. By investing some money up front in a portable solar setup, you can generate free electricity from the sun wherever your travels take you. Instead of bringing around a noisy generator that runs on gasoline, you can simply hook up a solar panel or two with a battery and generate power whenever the sun is shining. Portable panels also have the advantage of generating electricity for you to use without polluting the environment around you.

Even if you only need a little extra power, affordable portable solar products like phone chargers are low-hassle and convenient gadgets to have around. Many solar phone chargers are waterproof and can easily hang from a backpack, making them perfect for a day trip or hike.

What portable solar product features are important to consider? 

The portable solar panels you need will vary based on what you are trying to power. Depending on if you’re camping, going on a road trip, hiking, or just want to keep your phone charged, you will need a certain type of portable solar product.

Power output/storage capacity

First and foremost, you should understand the amount of power you need from your portable solar system. For extended camping or RV trips, you’ll need extra power if you want to run devices like lights and kitchen appliances. Many of the best portable solar panels come in several wattages so you can get the perfect panel for your needs. If your goal is to charge a phone or small electronic gadget, there’s no need to get a 200-watt panel - a handheld charger or foldable sheet will get the job done.

Another factor to consider when thinking about power needs is whether you want backup power or a solar generator. These options can be very useful for longer trips, as you can charge up the battery during the day and use the stored power throughout the night.

Price

As is typical with any tech product, higher prices mean higher quality for portable solar products. If you are willing to spend more money upfront for a portable solar panel setup, you will be rewarded with better and extra features, like higher efficiency panels or a more durable casing. Spending the extra money may be well worth it for a high-quality product, especially if you plan on using your portable solar devices regularly.

Additional features

Depending on how you plan on using your portable panels and other products, you’ll want to make sure they come with the right features for the job. Are you worried about being able to carry around a bulk solar setup? Try portable panels that can be carried like a briefcase. Need to charge 4 phones at once? Make sure to find a solar phone charger with extra USB slots.

A common feature to look out for is weather resistance. A good portable solar panel needs to function well out in the elements on long RV or camping trips, so features like waterproofing and wind resistance can be important.

Portable solar panel products with pre-installed or included solar charge controllers can save you time and money. A solar charge controller makes sure that energy flowing from your panels enters your battery/solar generator system at a safe and constant rate, and the best portable solar panels will have attached charge controllers out of the box.

EnergySage Portable Solar Products Reviews
  • Review: Charge Kit by Zamp Solar

    Charge Kit image

    If you’re looking for a solid portable panel setup from a reputable brand, one Zamp’s Solar Charge Kits are an ideal place to start. With 80, 120, 160, and 200 watt models available, Zamp has the right sized panel system for most situations. All models are weatherproof and come with a handy zippered nylon case for easy transport. The larger models can get heavy, but this also makes them able to withstand wind and stay put on the ground where you set them up.

    The Zamp kit has kickstand legs tilt up to 45 degrees, giving you fine control of how you orient your panels. Additionally, the system comes with a solar charge controller, allowing you to view the status of your panels and their power output.

  • Review: Portable Folding Solar Kit by Go Power!

    Portable Folding Solar Kit image

    Go Power! is another respected brand in the portable solar panel world, and their Portable Folding Solar Kits are good products for people looking to take solar power on the go. Like Zamp’s panels, these monocrystalline panels can be propped up with durable kickstand-like legs so you can rotate them at will and capture the most direct sunlight at any hour. 

    Also like Zamp’s Solar Charge Kit, the Go Power! portable panels collapse down and fit in a protective carrying case. With a built-in solar charge controller, these panels can be used right out of the box with minimal extra setup. 

    Buying Options: Amazon (80 W) | Amazon (120 W)
  • Review: Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase by Eco Worthy

    Portable Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase image

    Eco Worthy’s Solar Panel Suitcase may be the most compact and portable option for a portable solar panel setup. Like the name suggests, these panels (available in 100 or 120-watt versions) fold and clamp together to look like a suitcase when they’re not being used. You can then use the attached handle to carry them around. Setting them back up is just as easy - simply open your panels, prop them up with built-in stands, and attach them to an external battery system or your RV/camper battery. The attached solar charge controller makes the whole process pain-free.

    Buying Options: Amazon (100 W) | Amazon (120 W)
  • Review: Boulder Briefcase by Goal Zero

    Boulder Briefcase image

    The Boulder Briefcase has all the features of a solid portable solar panel setup: folding kickstand legs, a protective carrying case, rugged design. The big advantage of this specific brand is the ability to easily pair a Boulder Briefcase panel (or panels) with Goal Zero’s solar generators. Because they are the same brand and are designed to work seamlessly together, setting up portable solar panels with backup generation is very straightforward.

    The Boulder Briefcase, as the name implies, can be carried like a briefcase via an attached handle. While three models are available (50, 100, and 200-watts), only the 100 and 200-watt models have the briefcase feature. Transportability, ease of use, and sleek design make the Boulder Briefcase another solid option for your portable solar needs.

    Buying Options: Amazon (100 W) | Amazon (200 W)
  • Review: Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station by Goal Zero

    Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station image

    The Power Station works very easily with Goal Zero-branded solar panels, but it is also compatible with any other portable solar panels given you have the right adapter. And when the sun isn’t shining or you need some extra energy for a short trip, you can plug the Power Station right into a wall outlet and store power that way.

    With a variety of ports to plug in to, including USB and regular outlet, your Goal Zero Power Station is an ideal companion for a camping weekend or longer RV/camper trip and will keep all of your devices charged. You can purchase the Power Station in two sizes depending on your backup energy needs.

    Buying Options: Amazon (428 Wh) | Amazon (1045 Wh)
  • Review: Powerhouse Compact by POWEROAK

    Powerhouse Compact image

    POWEROAK’s Powerhouse Compact solar generator weighs only 12 pounds, but it is another powerful solar generator option ideal for RV trips, camping, or having around in case of a power outage. It has an easy-to-read LED display that shows the remaining power in the system, and a carrying handle on the top of the unit for easy transport.

    With several kinds of output plugs, you can directly charge USB devices, regular 120V AC household appliances, and even 12V DC batteries. The Powerhouse Compact also has built-in controls to make sure you can’t overcharge the battery system with solar panels or an outlet. Because of its portability and durability, the POWEROAK Powerhouse Compact makes for one of the best energy storage companions away from home.

    Buying Options: Amazon (400 Wh)
  • Review: Waterproof Portable Solar Charger by Wildtek

    Waterproof Portable Solar Charger image

    For a pure solar phone charger that can handle a rugged hike or camping trip, the Wildtek Solar Charger Panel is a perfect place to start. While it doesn’t have an attached battery bank, this panel setup utilize SunPower’s high-efficiency panels to provide steady and reliable charge power for up to two USB devices. It folds down to a small size so you can pack it up easily, and at two pounds it doesn’t add much weight to a backpack or other bag.

    What makes Wildtek’s product so great is its versatility and durability. You can use the attached stainless steel rings to hang the panels from your backpack while on a hike, or simply set it up on any surface facing the sun. Those high-efficiency panels are housed in a polyester cover that is weather resistant and waterproof, and will even protect the panels from some physical stress. For backup power away from home, the Wildtek Portable Solar Charger Panel is a powerful, reliable, and durable option for charging any of your small electronics.

    Buying Options: Amazon
  • Review: Outdoor Battery Pack by RAVPower

    Outdoor Battery Pack image

    If you prefer to have stored battery power ready to be used right away, the RAVPower Outdoor Battery Pack provides stored power with the option to recharge with solar energy. A fully charged pack carries enough juice for anywhere between two and four phone charges, depending on the type of phone you have. Besides the battery storage, the Battery Pack has two USB ports, a battery status indicator, and built-in LED flashlight.

    Running out of stored power isn’t a concern with the RAVPower Battery Pack - simply place the pack in the sun and let the attached solar cells go to work. The panels and battery are housed in a shock-absorbent and generally weather resistant casing, making this battery pack a great option for more rugged hiking conditions. 

    Buying Options: Amazon
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