Which is the best portable solar panel kit? There are many kits out there, so there are many choices. If your like me, making choices puts my head in a spin, So I’ll go and try to find out, by trawling the internet to make my choice. This normally leads to an even bigger headache, because usually I can’t find a straight answer. Well in this post I hope I will make it clear which type of solar panel kit will best suit you.
Products that are included in this best of guide
|Portable Solar Power Kit||Product|
|Best Large Portable Kit for Camping||Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Solar Generator|
|Best Small Portable Kit for Camping||X-Dragon Sunpower 90w Foldable Solar Panel/Solar Charger|
|Best Small Portable Kit for Days Out||BigBlue 28w Solar Charger|
|Best Large Portable Kit for Days Out||EcoFlow 600w Portable Solar Generator|
|Best Portable Kit for Hiking, Trekking, climbing, Cycling and Backpacking||Anker 21w Solar Charger|
|Best Kit to Install to a Vehicle or Boat||Renogy 100w Flexible Solar Panel|
|Best Portable Kit for a Vehicle or Boat||Renogy 200w Portable Solar Suitcase|
|Best Portable Kit for Home use and Emergency/Power Outage||Bluetti AC200p Portable Solar Generator|
The Best Portable Solar Panel Kit
Off the top of my head, I could reel off several manufacturers of portable solar panel kits, that would be perfect in terms of performance. But, this isn’t a good starting point, unless we know what we will be using the kit for. Without this initial insight, I’d just be blabbing on about a kit that you are just not interested in.
Initial insight is everything
For example, you might want a portable solar panel kit to keep the leisure battery in your camper topped up. You wouldn’t be very happy, if I was rabbiting on about, the best personal solar panel kit to keep an I-Watch charged.
Kits are designed with different applications and uses in mind, follow the links below for your best match:
- Best solar panel kit to charge a solar power station to power lights in a tent.
- Best solar panel kit to charge electronic devices on a day out hiking or cycling.
- Best portable kit to power a recreational vehicle, such as a camper or coach, boat or yacht.
- Best solar panel kit to charge a solar power station to use at home.
Best Portable Solar Power Kit For Camping With A Tent.
Tent campers are entitled to feel a little aggrieved when it comes to talking solar power. Everything to do with portable solar panels seems to revolve around RV’s or hikers. So I feel, I’d best redress the balance here. There are two combinations of portable solar panel kits, that would best suit tent camping
1) Foldable portable solar panels used in conjunction with a solar power station (Battery)
This combination is known as a solar power generator (if you didn’t know). The idea with this type of system, is you would drive in your car to your off-grid camping destination. Rather than unpack a small gasoline generator (the noise will drive you mad) to generate electricity, and assuming you had a big enough car. You would unload your portable solar generator instead.
This energy producer will provide electricity to power your camping appliances. Such as lighting and a mini-fridge. The best thing is, it’s silent (thank goodness), clean and environmentally friendly. There’s only one set of wires to deal with, and that is the connection from the solar panel to the solar power station. Just point the panels toward the sun and away you go.
The solar generator takes care of it all
The solar panels come in 60w (watt) to 300w ratings, the higher the wattage the faster the solar power station will charge. The panels are usually foldable, and depending on the make will fold into the size of a brief case or suitcase. Power stations have the controller and DC to AC inverter built in.
There is usually an LCD-Screen to control or change the settings. Depending on the model they have ratings of up to 3000Wh (watt-hours). The higher the watt-hours the longer electrical appliances can be charged or powered. The high watt-hour rated units can charge and power multiple devices at once and for longer.
The Jackery 1000 Portable Solar Panel Kit
- 2 x 100w monocrystalline solar panels that will recharge the power station in under 8 hours.
- The panels weight 9.1lb each and fold for transportation and have carry handles
- Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station provides 1002wh of output
- The solar power station weighs 22lbs and has a carry candle.
- It has multiple output ports including 2 x USB-C, 2 x USB, a DC carport and 3 pure sine-wave AC outlets
- The kit is capable of charging most electronic devices and powering appliances. Such as lights, TV, electric grill and mini- fridge and much more.
*There are 160Wh, 240Wh, 300Wh, 500Wh, 1500Wh and 2000Wh versions available.
2) A smaller solar panel Kit of the roll/fold up type
This type of portable solar panel kit is best used, when you want something smaller and budget friendly. But is still powerful enough to charge electronic devices . With the capacity to add a small solar power station, to provide refrigeration, and lighting at night. And keep your vehicles leisure and starter batteries charged. The X-Dragon Solar Panel Charger 90w is the perfect portable solar panel kit.
The X-Dragon Sunpower 90w Portable Solar Panel Kit
- Very versatile
- Has a built in charger.
- Able to charge small solar power stations.
- Excellent performance
- The weight of the portable panel is 1.38kg/3 lbs.
- The dimensions are folded 33.5 x 18 x 5cm / 13.18 x 7.08 x 1.96inch.
- Unfolded 93.5 x 51 x 0.5cm / 36.8 x 20 x 0.20inch
- The charger has 2 USB ports 2 x 5V/2.4A and 1 x DC18V 3A.
- The solar panel is capable of charging phones, laptops, notebooks and tablets.
Best Portable Kit To Use For A Day Out
Days out with family to the beach, park or lake are an opportunity to relax and maybe have a picnic. When it comes to generating electricity to charge electronic devices and coolers, the sun you are enjoying has your back. The best type of portable solar power kit to take with you, is something that is light and will easily fit into the car boot.
Two types of portable solar panel kit choices
1) A roll/fold-up type of solar panel with a built in charger, this means they do not store energy, they directly charge a device. A solar power pack/bank basically works the same as a solar power station. But it is much smaller you can attach one separately, if you want to store electricity for later use.
Suitable to charge electronic devices like your camera or phone. It rolls/folds up and is easy to transport if space in the car is limited. Once you reach your destination, you just roll the solar panel out on the ground and the job’s done. Great for hiking, cycling, rock climbing and mountaineering. And with carabiners supplied to attach to your backpack.
The BigBlue 28w Portable Solar Panel Kit
- 28w solar charger
- Dimensions folded: 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.3inch/282 x 160 x 34mm
- Dimensions unfolded: 33.1 x 11.1 x 0.2inch/840 x 282 x 5mm
- Weight: 21.0oz/595g
- 2 x USB ports
- Can charge: Smartphones, tablets, cameras and more
- Suitable for: Days out, camping, hiking, picnics, fishing, boating and more
A little more space
2) Having a little more space in the car because, the vehicle is a people carrier/ transit type or it’s just the 2 of you. In this situation, you’d be able to pack a small portable power station. The best type of solar power station to use because of size, would be a 160wh to 500wh solar kit. This would allow you to charge electronic devices and a camping cooler for instance, well you don’t want warm sodas and sandwiches do you.
The EcoFlow 600w Portable Solar Panel Kit
- 2 x 110w Monocrystalline solar panels will recharge the power station in 3 to 6 hours
- The solar panels weigh 8.8lbs/4kg each and fold for transportation
- River 600 Max Portable PowerStation. It provides 576wh of output
- The solar station weighs 17lbs/7.7kg and has a carry candle
- It has multiple output ports. 1 x USB-C Fast charge, 1 x USB-C,
2 x USB-A, a DC carport and 3 pure sine-wave AC outlets, DC 5521 13V/3A x2
- The kit is capable of charging most electronic devices, including phones, cameras, laptops and drones. And can power appliances such as a mini fridge, a fan, lights and TV,
- Has 2 batteries making it’s use very versatile and a cut above the rest
Hikers and cyclers can be solar powered too
Lets be honest, you aren’t going to carry a portable solar generator about in a backpack to charge your phone. Apart from the weight you would be carrying, you might have more important things in there, like your lunch or spare cloths. However, there are portable solar panel and power pack combinations that are very light in weight and will fit neatly into your backpack.
A foldable combination can be easily attached to your pack to capture the suns rays as you walk or cycle. And with the charger built in they are virtually maintenance free. However, they are only suitable to charge small electronic devices like phones but, that’s all you need when on two feet or wheels.
The Anker 21w Portable Solar Panel kit
- Has a built in charger, however it doesn’t store energy for later use. This means it will directly charge electronic devices. You would need to buy a power bank separately, if you wanted to store electricity for later use.
- Lightweight with an ultra thin design.
- The dimensions are Folded 11.1 x 6.3 inch.
- Unfolded 26.4 x 11.1inch.
- The charger has 2 USB ports that can charge 2 devices simultaneously.
- The solar panel is capable of charging Apple and Android phones and some tablets.
Best Portable Solar Kit For Use With A RV OR Boat
It is unlikely that you would use a solar generator with a recreational vehicle, unless you wanted to just own one anyway. The best solution when owning an RV. camper van, motorhome or caravan, is to hook a portable solar panel up to your leisure battery. There are two types of portable solar panel kits you can use to achieve this.
1) Install a solar panel kit to your RV or boat .
Installing solar panels to your RV, camper, caravan or boat might initially seem a bit daunting. But if you have reasonable DIY skills, it shouldn’t be too hard. If you don’t fancy a bit of DIY, you could always use a professional installer or garage. Which ever way suits you best. Installing will providing off-grid electricity for trips, vacations and boondocking. Allowing you to travel virtually anywhere, without having to worry about charging your leisure or house battery.
The Renogy 100w Flexible Solar Panel Kit
- 1 x 100w 12v monocrystalline flexible solar panel with separate controller and cables.
- Flexible solar panels have a big weight and thickness advantage over rigid solar panels.
- It’s dimensions are 48 x 21.6 x 0.08Inch/1219 x 546 x 2.03.
- It’s weight is 4lbs/1.81Kg.
*There are 50w and 175w versions available
2) The solar panel kit has the controller pre-built into the foldable casing. Obviously this is highly practical, because there’s no need for the extra cabling and it’s waterproof. Just hook it up to your leisure battery with crocodile clips and enjoy all that free energy. This type of kit normally comes in 100w to 200w varieties and no more noisy generator, peace at last.
The Renogy 200w Portable Solar Panel kit
- 1 x 200w 12volt monocrystalline foldable solar suitcase, with a built in controller.
- The solar panel has a built in stand and the controller is totally waterproof.
- It’s folded dimensions are 35.6 x 25.9 x 3.1 inches.
- The panel weighs 27.05 lbs.
- The portable solar kit comes complete with connecting alligator clips with a fuse to the battery.
*There is a 100w version available
Portable solar panel kits for boats and yachts
The best way to use a portable solar panel kit on a boat or yacht is probably method 1 described above. This is because, even though solar panels that have built in controllers that are waterproof. You would probably still want the controller mounted in the cabin next to the power switch. You would then attach it to your VSR to allow charging for the starting and house battery. However, you can use method 2 if you just want to charge your house battery most of the time.
Installed fixed solar panels are great however, portable solar panels may prove more advantageous. Because, they can always be moved to point directly at the sun. A yacht’s sails and rigging can produce shade, again a portable panel can be moved so charging can continue. This will save valuable fuel having to run the engine to charge the batteries and best of all, the solar system is quiet.
Best Portable Solar Kit Available For Residential Use
Using portable solar panels at home to either save on the electricity bill. Or to take the first steps to becoming energy self-sufficient, is becoming more popular. Their main uses are to charge a solar power station to use as a portable battery to power all manner of things. From powering out door lighting, to power tools, to an electric stove and charging all your electronic devices. The largest can power virtually anything around the home and all through the energy harvested from sunlight. They are especially useful during power outages, blackouts and emergencies.
The Bluetti 2000w Solar Portable Solar Panel kit
- 3 x 200w monocrystalline solar panels will recharge the power station in 4.7 to 5.25 hours.
- Panels weigh 14.3lb are waterproof and fold for transportation.
- Unfolded dimensions are 86.6 x 20inch and they have adjustable kickstands.
- Folded dimensions are 20.5 x 20.5inch
- AC200p Portable Power Station provides 2000wh of output
- It has multiple output ports including
6 x AC pure sine wave outlets,
1 x DC 12v/10A constant 12V,
2 x DC 12v/3A, 1 x DC 12v/25A,
1 x USBC fast charge,
4 x USBA
2 x wireless charging both Apple and Android.
- The kit is capable of charging all electronic devices, including electric vehicles and bikes. And can power;
wall mounted air conditioning units,
microwaves and more
Different Things To Different People
Solar energy is best taken advantage of when we know what the portable solar panel kit will be charging or powering. The circumstances we will be using the panels, will determine what kind of system best fits our needs. I know this is obvious. however the term portable solar panel kit can mean different things to different people.
I hope this post has managed to cut through some of the things you need to consider, when you decide to go solar. Whilst solar power is a fantastic, clean free energy resource it does have a couple of downsides. Inclement weather conditions can cause the portable solar panels to charge more slowly. And shade can stop it altogether. If the weather conditions are not great, use the battery/solar station sparingly until the sun comes out again. And if the panels are in the shade, move them into direct sunlight.
It doesn’t matter what you want to charge or power, there is a portable solar panel kit for every occasion, when off-grid energy is required. If you are sure you know what you want to use the kit for, finding the right type is a breeze.
I hope you enjoyed this post and have found it informative. If you have any questions about portable solar panel kits or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment below