As time progresses, solar panel technology gets better every single day. We have homes and businesses that are powered 100% on solar energy. We often take “portable solar panels” with us to give our electronics a boost when no other electrical source is near.
During long road trips, or even simple long-term exposure to the sun can help reduce stress from your vehicle’s battery and alternator.
Choosing some of the best portable solar panels will enable you to charge your electronic devices without using the 12-volt outlets.
There are various ways you can mount solar panels to your vehicle without it looking goofy. The first and most obvious way to get the most exposure to the sun is to mount a set of portable flexible solar panels directly on the roof.
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Not only is it out of the way, but it’s also in direct content with the sun at all times. It’s no wonder most vehicle paints oxidize from the roof down.
To make sure you pick the right set of solar panels, here’s a list of the 7 best rated small and portable solar panels you should consider getting. Use them for driving, camping, traveling, etc.
These are our top 7 best portable solar panels for automobiles and RVs
Poweradd Portable 20W Solar Panel
An excellent and cost-effective portable solar panel kit needs to at least charge your mobile devices and portable power packs. The Powered 20watt dual USB foldable solar panels are extremely easy to carry around.
Their ability to charge up everyday electronic devices such as phones and tablets makes it a “lifesaver” when electricity is limited or nonexistent.
Place this device directly into the sunlight. Whether it be on the top of the roof of your vehicle, on the back of your backpack, or simply on the ground facing directly towards the sun. Get a full 20 watts of constant charging power from a set of panels weighing less than 2 lbs.
CHOETECH Portable Solar Panel 19W
Nearly identical to the Poweradd mentioned above, the Choetech portable solar panel boasts a 19watt power supply directly from the sun. This unit is very compact and folds like a book, allowing you to mount it directly to the sun.
OR, let it lay flat either vertically or horizontally. In terms of style, it looks much like a slim book pack that weighs less than 2 lbs in total.
The power solar panels are designed to charge two electronic devices simultaneously with no problem (given the direct contact with the sun). The rugged polyester skin and weatherproof properties make it a device that can be left outside with no problem at all!
For around 50 dollars, it’s a GREAT device to have for emergencies or even when your vehicle already has its power outlets all in use. Check them out on Amazon for the current lowest price.
ALLPOWER 100W Foldable Sunpower Solar Panel
Undoubtedly the most powerful portable and foldable solar panel pack we can find is the ALLPOWERS 60-watt solar panel charger kit.
This kit in particular is obesely bigger when unfolded completely. Carries just like a briefcase, when unfolded you can charge all cell phones, tablets, laptops, and anything else that can feed on 100 watts of power.
Pricier compared to our other portable packs, this one is perfect for placing directly on the roof of your vehicle, or even right against your vehicle’s window (in the case you need solar energy to go). On the flip side, you can sit somewhere and unfold this kit directly into the sunlight.
Unfolded this kit spreads out to 44.8” long inches, 23.6” inches wide, and 0.19” inches thick. We highly recommend this kit if you want to confidently charge your cell phone, tablet, or laptop.
ECEEN Solar Panel 10W Solar Charger
This solar panel is about as portable as it gets. The ECEEN foldable 10-watt solar panel is an EXCELLENT tool for the times you go camping by foot, or by vehicle. The 10 watts is quite small in terms of power, but for the price, it’s enough to charge your phones and even small tablets.
The 30-dollar price tag puts it into an affordable class of solar panel portables. Place it on your backpack, or fold it completely open near the open sun to get the full energy to charge your electronic device.
Overall the nylon external case is great and zips up making it hold like a book. The included clip rings an excellent for attaching it to practically anything.
For a beginner portable solar panel, you can’t go wrong with this ECEEN model. Over 100 individual user reviews have rated it 4.8 stars or better. Grab it right now while the price is dirt cheap.
RAVPower 15W Portable Solar Panel & Charger
If there was just something that would power two electronic devices simultaneously, stay weatherproof, and produce 15 watts of solar power… yes, it’s the RAVPower Portable Solar Panel. This product includes two ports with a maximum output of 3 amps, allowing you to charge 2 devices at the same time.
Its design allows you to completely fold it like a book, carry it around, hang it from anywhere or just lay it 100% flat. With a nylon exterior, you get a water-resistant and mold-resistant body.
Reasonably priced and with over 800 super happy users, you can’t go wrong!
X-DRAGON High-Efficiency 130W Solar Panel Charger with iSolar Technology
As we get closer to the end of our list, the last 3 foldable portable solar panels are quite cheap and produce right around 130 watts of electricity.
As our #2, we have X-Dragon solar panel charging panels. This little kit is quite compact, being able to be folded in multiple ways allows you to approach the sun from multiple angles.
These panels can automatically adjust the current and voltage to achieve maximum power delivery. At full 20 watts and direct sunlight, you can receive 2.4 amps of power.
Dual USB power inlets allow you to charge your mobile device and a tablet all at the same time. Weighing in at less than 2 lbs makes it perfect to be carried practically anywhere.
With a 12-month product warranty, you’ll have peace of mind!
Anker 24W 2-Port USB Solar Charger PowerPort Solar
This is undoubted, the most popular portable and foldable solar panel unit we could find. The Anker 24-watt panel kit is designed to power your electronic devices whether you’re constantly walking, driving, or sitting still.
You get 2 USB power ports that enable you to charge up to two devices at the same time. Devices can range from smartphones to regular-sized tablets. Indirect sunlight, you can get 2.4 amps per port, and a total of 3 amps overall under direct sunlight.
The durable outside construction is made of rugged polyester. It’s weather-resistant and great for carrying around in both hot and cold temperatures. Much like the other panels mentioned above, this is one cheap solar panel. For around 50 dollars, it’s a great alternative for your vehicle power outlet making it also the best portable solar panel you should buy (for light-duty use).
Something we think you’ll like a lot is our in-depth guide on power inverters. In some cases, you’ll have a strong enough solar panel to convert its electricity from 12 volts into 110 volts. Take a look at our full and in-depth guide on power inverters.
You can also take a look at multimeters to see exactly how much wattage is produced from your portable solar panels.
In the event that you are directly in the sun for an extended period of time, to protect your vehicle’s interior, use a good windshield sunshade for the front windshield (and side windows). Check out our guide to see which ones line up to be top picks.