Whether you are an avid hiker or an outdoor enthusiast who simply loves the sight of nature and the stunning landscapes, then you know the importance of smartphones and cameras can’t be overstated. However, have you ever run out of power on one or all your devices during a daring adventure? It is always a frustrating experience; and to prevent you from ending up in such a situation again, we have come up with the best solar panels for camping and hiking. Thus, you would never run out of battery again when on an exciting adventure.
Solar energy has risen in fame in recent years, and solar products have skyrocketed in popularity as a result. Therefore, separating the wheat from the chaff is always difficult, especially if you are new to the world of solar energy. You need to be properly guided, so we will be providing you with the guide you will ever need. Accordingly, we are sure you will go on to choose the right solar panel for your needs.
What to Look for the Best Solar Panels for Camping
Just like other devices, there are certain factors you should consider when choosing the ideal solar panel for camping and hiking as well. In general, solar panels are usually rated based on performance, convenience, and quality. However, there are other vital factors you might want to consider.
Wattage, Amperage, and Voltage
Wattage indicates the strength of electrical power while amperage measures the current. However, the strength of an electrical current is measured in volts. Nonetheless, pay attention to wattage and amperage because they are the most vital factors required when choosing the best solar panels for camping or hiking.
The best solar panels for camping usually come with external batteries that you can use during the cloudy days or at night. You need external batteries to charge your smartphones and cameras in case the sun fails to shine. No perfect solar panel comes without an external battery. You should consider solar chargers that can also serve as power banks.
Asides from the factors we have mentioned above, the charging efficiency is also a vital criterion to check when buying a solar panel. When it comes to charging efficiency, the camping solar panels offer an average rating from 21 to 24 percent efficiency. There are also some camping solar panels that offer between 15 and 19 percent. However, one of the most essential things to keep in mind is that solar panels with higher charging efficiency are usually more expensive than others.
Size and Weight
The size and weight is another factor to remember. Bulky and big devices are no longer in vogue nowadays as the consumers now prefer smaller devices. In fact, different producers are in fierce competition to create the smallest and most lightweight solar panels. Therefore, check the dimension of your camping solar panel before buying it, and ensure you can fold it.
As you look for the best solar panels for camping, remember to take the product’s warranty length into consideration. The longer the warranty of a product, the higher the confidence of the producer in the quality, durability, and reliability of the product. Ensure you go for a product with longer warranty.
Top 8 Recommendations
While all solar chargers provide the basic function of charging devices, they go about doing this job differently. They vary in performance, features, and durability. If you are looking for the best solar panels for camping on the market, check below.
1. Sunforce 15-Watt Solar Battery Charging Kit
Many people believe solar products are inefficient and unreliable. Sunforce 15-Watt Solar Charger, however, is here to change the perspective of many people about solar products. Weight just 2 lbs. and being very portable, this excellent device can charge almost any 12-volt battery. Besides, it comes with an indicator that shows when it is completely charged and ready to spring in action.
This product can be used to power almost anything, not to mention its great ability to store power. This device is favorite among hikers and outdoorsmen. However, a big drawback of this solar charger is that it is very difficult for it to fully charge anything. This happens mostly when someone is charging an RV while doing other activities that are power consuming. Overall, it’s an excellent solar charger, and it has eliminated the need to spend money on an expensive solar generator.
Goal Zero is one of the best manufacturers of solar chargers on the market, and they have once again demonstrated their dexterity with this device. A lot of campers love this device because of its ability to charge your devices directly from the sun. Due to the several complex components such as inverter and battery they often pack, solar generators are expensive, and the Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel is a great alternative.
Apart from its high durability, this device is also very portable. It comes with three solar panels which you can spread under sunlight for quick charging, and the panels can be folded after use to make for a compact, backpack-friendly unit. This device is an ideal choice for avid hikers and campers to keep their gadgets alive. It works for commonly used devices such as digital cameras, GPS, tablet, and smartphones.
3. SunJack 20W Solar Charger
The SunJack 20W Solar Charger is an incredible charging solution for hikers, campers, travelers, military and government, and environmentally conscious consumers. This excellent solar charger can charge any device such as speakers, lights, cameras, GPS, tablets, and smartphones, which makes it easy to use for outdoorsmen, field professionals, and road warriors.
The SunJack solar charger comprises of solar charging panels well packaged in a fine case with a zippered pocket to hold charging cable, battery included, and 2 USB ports. When closed up, this product measures around 9 x 6.5 inches, which is a bit smaller than an iPad. Additionally, this solar charger includes an external battery that makes it serve as a power bank when sunlight is unavailable.
4. Nekteck 21W Solar Charger
If you are in search of an efficient, well priced solar charger, the Nekteck 21W Solar Charger is one of the best options on the market for you. This excellent solar charger is very efficient and pocket-friendly for anyone in search of an outdoor solar charger that is affordable but high performing.
One of the best features of this device is its incredible compact and lightweight design. While some people wouldn’t like the fact that this solar doesn’t come with an external battery, its portability and lightweight built will compensate for it. This charger comes with efficient panels built to reach a charging efficiency rate of 21 to 24 percent. Furthermore, it enables you to charge as much as two devices simultaneously through the two USB ports on offer.
5. RAVPower 24W Solar Panel
The RAVPower 24W Solar Charger is popular for its unbelievable fast charging feature and great power output. With 4 solar panels measuring 5 x 10.24 inches, this charger is quite large, and that’s why it always finds its way to charge your device, even on cloudy days. However, its overall efficiency isn’t really impressive but it has a fairly impressive ratio score of 2.81.
In general, the RAVPower 24W is a great solar panel that charges gadgets quickly and produces a great power output. While it’s only average in terms of durability, it is still a very rugged charger. Overall, it gives great value for money and will definitely make for a good buy.
6. ALLPOWERS 100W 18V 12V Solar Panel Kit Charger
Made in the U.S, the ALLPOWERS 100W Solar Charger is an incredible charger with an efficiency rate of 23.5 percent, which means it delivers great power efficiency. In fact, this product is one of the best solar panels for camping in all aspects. It is waterproof and very durable, and its plastic back can be mounted onto trucks, trailers, car, tent, RV, boat, cabin, and many others.
Furthermore, weighing just 1.8 lbs, this solar charger is very lightweight, portable, and is easy to carry, remove, and transport. Besides, it is also very powerful with 100 watts of power. In addition, it is very easy to install as it comes with 4 metal armored mounting holes and a special frameless design.
7. Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger
For the energy output and the price, the Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger is an incredible camping solar charger you need to take into consideration. This solar charger, on a full sunny day, can charge a regular smartphone in around 2 to 3 hours from low battery to 100 percent. However, it will take a bit longer in cloudy conditions. Also, the charger has a LED indicator that will let you know when your device is charging.
However, this device doesn’t come with an external battery, which means it can’t store power for when sunlight is unavailable. All it does is receive power from the sun and directly channel that power into the gadget you are charging. Therefore, it isn’t incapable of acting as a power bank, which is a real con. Read More On Amazon
8. Kogalla SSB2210 Solar Storage Bank
Well-known brand is a must-have when it comes to the best solar panels for camping or hiking. Kogalla, however, isn’t really a big name in the solar products manufacturing business but their SSB2210 Solar Storage Bank is really impressive. With its 1,000 mAh capacity, this solar power bank can easily charge all your devices once it is charged fully. To use this solar power bank, no connections or setup is required. All you need to do is unwrap it and put it directly under the sun for around 3 hours to make sure it is fully charged before use.
Most solar-powered devices are known for their inefficiency during cloudy days and when the sun isn’t coming out. However, the SSB2210 is different, and according to its manufacturers, it comes with 22-Watt panels that are powerful enough to charge your device regardless of the intensity of the sun. Of course, you will have to use this product to determine how true this is or how well it works. Read More On Amazon
Our Top Pick
We have come to the end of our review of the best solar panels for camping and hiking. Gone are the days when solar products were deemed ineffective by many people. Nowadays, the world has started paying attention to solar products, and the future may be here after all. The nightmare of every outdoorsman is running out of power on his device during an adventure, and that is why we have come up with this article.
While all our picks are fantastic, we think the one that stands out among them is the ALLPOWERS 100W 18V 12V (Amazon Link) Solar Charger. With an efficiency rate of 23.5 percent and an incredible 100 watts, this solar charger is undoubtedly the most powerful on this list. However, considering it is also the most expensive here, we wish it came with an external battery, which would have made it very perfect.