Best Overall 100-Watt Solar Charger For Camping
Jackery SolarSaga 100
Power Output: 100 W | Weight: 10.3 lb
REASONS TO BUY
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Straightforward đồ sộ use
REASONS TO AVOID
A bit large when folded
The Jackery SolarSaga 100 once again is our favorite high-wattage solar charger. This lightweight panel is more affordable kêu ca most 100-watt solar panels and also performs as well as the best of them. It's user-friendly and effective in full and partial sunlight. If it's a sunny day, this panel charges your devices quickly, and it works well on cloudy days as well. When it's time đồ sộ pack up camp, the SolarSaga quickly folds flat and weighs just over 10 pounds. The low weight and simple fold-in-half design make it easy đồ sộ load into your xế hộp, ví it's always ready for your next adventure. It has tons of useful features that make it portable and exceptionally useful, including a built-in handle that makes it easy đồ sộ carry. The legs fold out easily and quickly. With a USB-A, USB-C, and a DC output, you can plug this directly into your solar power station or power any of your devices straight from the panel. The DC charging cable is hardwired into the panel and stowed into a zipper pocket along with the USB charging ports. This solar panel impressed us in every way, making it an excellent addition đồ sộ any off-grid solar setup.
While the SolarSaga 100 is relatively lightweight and folds flat, it doesn't fold down as small as many other 100-watt panels we tested. Since it only folds once, its folded size is rather wide. However, this single fold means it's thinner kêu ca many other panels we tested. It's about as packable as other panels, but you'll need a slightly wider space đồ sộ fit it. Also, the single-fold design makes it faster đồ sộ pack away kêu ca most other panels, which makes up for its slightly larger packed size. If you need an all-around great 100-watt solar panel for your camping adventures, look no further.
Read more: Jackery SolarSaga 100 review
Best Overall Portable Solar Charger
BigBlue SolarPowa 28
Power Output: 28 W | Weight: 1.3 lb
REASONS TO BUY
Efficient conversion rate
Lightweight & portable
Does well on cloudy days
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn't have kickstand legs
Of the smaller panels, the BigBlue SolarPowa 28 is the top dog of portable solar chargers. The BigBlue is impressively efficient in its charging capabilities and performed the best in all our testing of portable solar panels. This model is the fastest portable model we tested, and it delivers consistent charging even as conditions change. Whether it's cloudy or sunny, you'll get good charging capabilities from this model. It has three USB ports, which lets you keep all your electronics charging simultaneously ví they're ready when you need them. And when you're ready đồ sộ move on, this panel folds up small enough đồ sộ fit in your backpack.
The SolarPowa 28 isn't the absolute fasting charging portable panel, but it still charges fast enough. And if you need an ultralight solar option, this panel also might not be the best choice. At 21.8 ounces, there are certainly lighter models out there đồ sộ consider. But if you need a lot of consistent power in a relatively portable size, the BigBlue is a great option we highly recommend. And it's pretty affordable đồ sộ boot.
Read more: BigBlue SolarPowa 28 review
Best Value 100+ Watt Solar Charger
BigBlue SolarPowa 100 ETFE
Power Output: 100 W | Weight: 8.8 lb
REASONS TO BUY
Easy đồ sộ use
Portable and lightweight
REASONS TO AVOID
No place đồ sộ store cables
In terms of larger 100-watt solar panels, the BigBlue SolarPowa 100 ETFE is the best value around. This model costs significantly less kêu ca pretty much every other panel we tested. But that's where the differences stop because this performs almost as well as the more expensive large solar panels. It's lightweight and portable with a carry handle and foldable, ultra-portable design. You can easily load it into your xế hộp and unload it at a campsite quickly. It has fold-out legs, ví you can point it directly at the sun đồ sộ maximize low-angled morning and afternoon light. It comes with a variety of adapters that make it compatible with most power stations from any brand, eliminating the need đồ sộ purchase additional cables or adapters. This adds đồ sộ the already great value of this panel.
The SolarPowa 100 is a great solar panel for the price. It's easy đồ sộ use and effective, and it comes with a variety of adapters, ví you can charge most devices. However, it doesn't have a pocket or other storage case for those adapters or the main storage cable. We ended up transporting this with the cables wrapped around the panel, which worked but wasn't ideal. Overall, we think this is a great high-value option for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable solar panel.
Read more: BigBlue SolarPowa 100 ETFE review
Best Value Portable Solar Charger
Power Output: đôi mươi W | Weight: 1.4 lb
REASONS TO BUY
Respectable charging efficiency
Lightweight for its size
REASONS TO AVOID
Awkward pouch makes the panel lắc strangely
When you're adventuring outside, a fast-charging portable solar panel is key. The X-Dragon 20W quickly charges all your devices in a small, reliable package. This 20W portable solar panel isn't particularly expensive and works with reasonable tốc độ, charging all your devices quickly. It has a high conversion rate, ví this panel charges well under sunny skies and on overcast days. Each of the X-Dragon's panels generates up đồ sộ three amps, which is an exceptional amount of charging capacity for any USB device. It's also lightweight and hangs up easily, making it a solid choice for quick juice-ups on the go.
The X-Dragon folds down đồ sộ the size of a notebook, ví it isn't the smallest portable panel out there. But it unfolds into three panels đồ sộ capture an impressive amount of sunlight for its relatively small size. If you're looking for a higher-capacity backpacking solar panel, a super portable panel đồ sộ charge at base camp, or simply need an affordable solar panel đồ sộ harness energy from the sun, you should kiểm tra out this model.
Read more: X-Dragon 20W review
Portable Medium-Capacity Setup
Power Output: 40 W | Weight: 3.0 lb
REASONS TO BUY
Unfolds and packs away quickly
Multiple USB outputs
Rapid DC charging
REASONS TO AVOID
No protection for ports
Not as light as some portable panels
The FlexSolar 40W is a high-output, easy-to-use charger that can quickly unfold from the size of a large book into six linked solar panels. This medium-capacity panel has a DC output that can charge portable power stations, as well as USB-C and USB-A outputs for smaller devices. For its medium-sized capacity, it is relatively portable and folds up quite small. It doesn't use any clasps, magnets, or velcro đồ sộ secure close, which makes unfolding this into a large six-panel array a cinch. And those six panels put out a lot of power, then fold away just as quickly.
While the FlexSolar 40W does fold down into a very small size, it's not the lightest panel we tested either. It weighs just shy of three pounds. That's nearly twice the weight of some other 20-30-watt panels, though less kêu ca many 50+ watt panels. It doesn't have anything đồ sộ cover the charging ports, ví those USB and DC outputs are susceptible đồ sộ dirt and debris. This hasn't been an issue for us yet, but we'll keep you posted if it does. If you're looking for a midsized option that can power larger devices yet still remain very portable, this is a great choice.
Read more: FlexSolar 40W review
An Ultra-Compact Large-Capacity Panel
BioLite Solar Panel 100
Power Output: 100 W | Weight: 9.5 lb
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Slower charging kêu ca some panels
The BioLite Solar Panel 100 is the most portable 100-watt solar panel for camping we've found. This model is lighter, thinner, and more packable kêu ca most large-capacity models we tested. You can easily slide this into your trunk, with plenty of room đồ sộ spare for all your gear. It has a comfortable built-in carry handle and zipper pouch, which makes it painless đồ sộ haul this đồ sộ your solar charging station at camp. It unfolds in a snap and has two pop-out legs đồ sộ complete the setup in seconds. With a handy sundial, you can more easily angle this panel directly at the sun, and it's easy đồ sộ daisy-chain together with more BioLite panels đồ sộ grow your charging station capacity.
While the BioLite 100 has great portability features, it isn't the most efficient panel in terms of energy conversion. It'll definitely power your small devices better kêu ca many panels, proving itself just above average in our testing. This is also one of the more expensive panels we've seen. But it has tons of great user-friendly features and is super portable, which makes up for the just-okay charging speeds and the higher price tag.
Read more: BioLite Solar Panel 100 review
High Performance in Any Weather
Power Output: 110 W | Weight: 8.8 lb
REASONS TO BUY
Fast charging in sun and under clouds
REASONS TO AVOID
Charging cable doesn't come with it
Case makes for a subpar kickstand
The EcoFlow 110 packs an impressive amount of charging capabilities into a small and lightweight design. This 110-watt solar panel charged our devices impressively fast, even among stiff competition from the other large panels we tested, on both bright sunny days and in gloomy overcast conditions. It folds four times and comes with a zippered carrying case, which makes it easy đồ sộ bring with you wherever you're setting up your solar charging station. This is also one of just two large solar panels we tested that is completely waterproof, ví you can mix it up and not worry about a little rain rolling through.
While almost everything about the EcoFlow 110 is great, it is one of the few models we tested that doesn't come with all the necessary cables, adding đồ sộ its already above-average cost. We also aren't huge fans of having đồ sộ use the carrying case as a sort of kickstand đồ sộ angle this panel at the sun. It saves a little weight by not having legs lượt thích most other models but is far less stable and secure. Still, we're impressed by the all-weather efficiency and protections offered by this portable panel.
Read more: EcoFlow 110 review
Seriously Solid and Very Efficient
Renogy 100W Foldable
Power Output: 100 W | Weight: 21.2 lb
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REASONS TO BUY
Very efficient charging in all conditions
Very stable, fully adjustable legs
REASONS TO AVOID
Often sold without a charging cable
The Renogy 100W Foldable boasts a sturdy aluminum frame and legs, making it an impressively solid product. It's just as rigid and sturdy as a panel you'd install on your house — but has a single hinge for transport. Compared đồ sộ the many thin, slightly bendable solar chargers we've tested, this one feels just about bombproof. Though it's tempting đồ sộ mount this waterproof beast đồ sộ the roof of our khẩn khoản, it also has seriously sturdy, fully adjustable angling legs that help it angle precisely into the sun no matter where it is in the sky (or behind the clouds). If that's not enough, this panel put up some of the best energy efficiency results across all the models we tested, rain or shine.
Of course, this durability comes at a cost, and for the Renogy, that cost is portability. Weighing in at over 21 pounds, this is one of the heaviest portable solar panels we've tested. However, if you're setting up a longer-term base camp, putting this hefty panel in place once and simply rotating it đồ sộ follow the sun may not be a dealbreaker for you. If you want a solar charger that can withstand the test of time and the raging of the weather, this is the one for you.
Read more: Renogy 100W Foldable review
Best Solar Charger and Battery Pack Combo
BioLite SolarPanel 5+
Power Output: 5 W | Weight: 0.8 lb
REASONS TO BUY
Small attached battery
REASONS TO AVOID
Solar panel has a very small capacity
No cable storage
Just a single USB-A port
The BioLite SolarPanel 5+ is a 5-watt solar panel with a small 3,200 mAh battery ngân hàng built into its ultralight portable design. We tested a lot of battery banks with an integrated solar panel, but most of those don't work very well đồ sộ charge via sunlight. This is the only solar panel with an integrated battery that has relatively fast charging speeds. It's one of the few portable solar panel models that also has a kickstand leg and one of even fewer with an integrated sundial đồ sộ take the guesswork out of pointing it directly at the sun.
While this panel is very lightweight and portable, it isn't the most efficient solar panel available. However, this 5-watt panel is more powerful kêu ca the other battery banks with an integrated solar panel that we've seen (many of which generate ví little power that it's nearly undetectable). If you're after maximum solar efficiency, you're better off getting a larger panel. However, for an extremely portable solar charger option with an integrated battery ngân hàng, this is our favorite model.
We make sure đồ sộ test every panel side by side đồ sộ ensure they're experiencing identical conditions.
Credit: Sam Schild
Why You Should Trust Us
Since 2013, we've tested well over 100 different solar chargers and solar panels of varying sizes and capacities. We've used solar collectors of all shapes and sizes for everything from powering our laptops while overlanding đồ sộ powering an electric xe đạp. For this review, we compiled test results from all the most popular and most promising models currently available, all purchased at retail prices from many of the same popular merchants you likely cửa hàng at. Our teams tested and rated all these panels and chargers for different qualities depending on the type of panel and its intended use. We tested their charging speeds in direct sunlight and in overcast conditions, evaluated their portability, explored the bounds of their functionality, and poured over every detail. We hooked them up đồ sộ portable power stations, our smartphones, laptops, and anything else that needed power. We camped, we hiked, we typed, and we loaded them into our vehicles and backpacks. In short, we put all these solar chargers through the wringer đồ sộ find the best of the best.
Each panel was subjected đồ sộ consistent conditions đồ sộ ensure we could compare them apples đồ sộ apples.
The test team for this review is led by Sam Schild with James Lucas contributing. Sam is an outdoor lover of adventure who has spent countless nights camping far, far away from the power grid. He's an avid thru-hiker who has completed several long-distance trails and has crossed the country multiple times on bicycle. His first experience using a solar panel while camping was a small battery pack with an integrated solar panel that he used xe đạp touring. Solar panels have come a long way since that fateful tour. When he's not adventuring far and long, he's often camping somewhere in Colorado or across the American Southwest, based out of his minivan, where his solar camping setup keeps all his technology charged ví he can stay connected.
James spends hundreds of days outside every year documenting the outdoors and testing gear while traveling around his trang chủ in Boulder, Colorado, and where his heart is, in the Sierra. From working out of his khẩn khoản in the dispersed sun of the Rockies đồ sộ base camping on top of sunny El Capitan in Yosemite, James uses solar panels from large đồ sộ small đồ sộ harness the sun and power his adventures, charging his camera gear and his connection đồ sộ the world. GearLab and James performed rigorous testing on all the models in the thorough portable solar charger review.
How To Choose The Right Solar Charger
Choosing the right solar device for your needs and intended use is very important. There's a big difference between a massive unfolding mix of solar panels for camping and a small, lightweight, portable solar charger for backpacking, and that difference is size and weight.
If you're going đồ sộ be carrying a solar panel on your back, you obviously want it đồ sộ be small and lightweight. But if you're going đồ sộ load it into your xế hộp, weight isn't as much of an issue. But the smaller the solar panel, the less energy it will produce, which translates đồ sộ slower charging times.
There are also differences in useability between many solar chargers. Some models are easy đồ sộ use and easy đồ sộ mix up, while others take a little more experience and maybe some head-scratching đồ sộ start powering your devices. We'll walk you through all the different types of non-permanent solar panels available đồ sộ help you decide what's best for you.
What Do You Want To Do With Your Solar Power?
Before choosing a solar charger, you should determine what you want đồ sộ charge with it and where you want đồ sộ take it. If you want đồ sộ power a large power station for boondocking or powering your battery ngân hàng at base camp, you'll want a larger, higher-watt solar panel. If you're simply trying đồ sộ keep your phone charged in the backcountry, you won't need đồ sộ buy as big of a panel because you don't need as much wattage đồ sộ charge small electronic devices lượt thích a điện thoại thông minh.
Portable Solar Chargers
The best portable solar chargers prioritize size, weight, and packability over all else. These smaller models are designed đồ sộ charge electronic devices with lower energy needs, lượt thích cell phones and smartwatches. But if you're trying đồ sộ charge something that takes a lot of power, they won't work as well. A portable solar panel generally has fewer solar cells, which translates đồ sộ less power converted from sunlight đồ sộ electrical energy or watts.
Solar Panels For Camping
Solar panels for camping are generally larger kêu ca portable models. They also have a higher capacity đồ sộ convert sunlight into energy. While many of these solar chargers are designed đồ sộ be packed and unpacked đồ sộ mix up anywhere, they're typically not portable enough đồ sộ throw in your backpack with a tent and sleeping bag when you're hitting the trail. However, solar panels for camping are portable enough đồ sộ pack in the trunk of your xế hộp, truck, or khẩn khoản. They also usually include some way đồ sộ carry them from your xế hộp đồ sộ wherever you build your solar charging station. Still, they're definitely heavier kêu ca you'd want đồ sộ carry for long distances.
Solar Charger and Battery Bank
Some portable solar panels also have an integrated battery ngân hàng. These chargers are usually designed đồ sộ be used more lượt thích a portable battery pack and less lượt thích a solar panel because the solar panel often isn't big enough đồ sộ reliably generate a lot of power from the sun. The panel will work in a pinch, but it can be slow đồ sộ charge the integrated battery. You're often better off charging a model with an integrated battery ngân hàng at trang chủ before your trip then using the panel đồ sộ top off as you go if needed.
What Else đồ sộ Look for in a Solar Charger
Once you've figured out the type of solar panel that will fit your needs, looking at specific features of different individual models will help you narrow down the field.
Solar Panel Size
Choosing the right solar charger size depends on how much space you have đồ sộ store it and mix it up. A bigger solar panel will generally have a higher watt output, which means you can convert more energy from the sun. And more energy from the sun means faster charging speeds for your devices. A smaller-sized solar panel will be easier đồ sộ carry, though. If you will be backpacking with your charger, we recommend getting as small of a panel as possible that will still generate enough power for your needs. If you're not going đồ sộ carry your solar charger long distances, a larger size will generate more power for keeping more and larger electronics running while you're out.
Solar Charger Watts
The number of watts that a solar panel can create correlates with its size. Generally speaking, more solar cells mean more watt output. Watt output is much lượt thích solar panel size, as you can see.
General Wattage Guidelines
Most solar chargers fall into these general watt ranges:
- 1 watt đồ sộ 10 watts: Most battery packs with an integrated solar panel. These are ideal for throwing in your backpack đồ sộ charge your electronics while hiking and backpacking.
- 10 watts đồ sộ đôi mươi watts: Most of the smallest solar panels without an integrated battery. These are best for charging small devices or a separate battery pack while hiking, backpacking, or traveling.
- 20 watts đồ sộ 30 watts: Many of the portable solar chargers we tested here fall into this wattage range. đôi mươi đồ sộ 30-watt chargers are great for faster charger speeds while still being relatively portable.
- 30 watts đồ sộ 50 watts: You'll see even faster charging speeds in this range. These are ideal for charging multiple devices or larger electronics lượt thích laptops or tablets. However, some are a bit too bulky and heavy for most backpackers' preferences.
- 50 watts đồ sộ 100 watts: Some of the largest-sized panels that don't need đồ sộ be permanently installed somewhere fit in this range. These larger-capacity panels are ideal for charging a large power station when camping or boondocking.
- 100 watts or more: These are the largest solar chargers that you can still pack away đồ sộ move. They're the best energy-intensive devices and have fast charging speeds đồ sộ keep your large battery banks or power stations full.
Direct Solar Charging Speed
Direct solar charging tốc độ measures how quickly a solar panel will charge electronic devices. The primary purpose of a solar panel is đồ sộ efficiently transform sunlight into usable energy. Therefore, we placed a lot of emphasis on direct solar charging tốc độ in our testing. If a solar charger doesn't perform optimally under direct sunlight, it might not even be worth using.
Indirect Solar Charging Speed
You don't always have ideal xanh xao skies and sunny days when using a solar panel, ví we also tested how well a solar panel performs in cloudy conditions. Most solar panels don't work as well in partial or indirect sun, but they still generate some power. Some panels are more efficient kêu ca others in indirect sun, ví this is also worth considering when looking at solar chargers.
We tested indirect solar charging tốc độ using a thin white sheet suspended above every panel. While this isn't exactly the same as using them in cloudy conditions, we used this test đồ sộ ensure we could reproduce the exact same conditions every time we test these solar chargers. During a cloudy hour in Colorado, we found that our test sheet actually prevented more solar energy from reaching the panels kêu ca during overcast conditions.
None of the solar panels we tested here are designed đồ sộ be permanently mounted đồ sộ a roof, ví they're all at least somewhat portable. But some chargers are certainly lighter and smaller kêu ca others. Small and light solar panels are more portable kêu ca big panels, but those bigger panels will generate more power kêu ca something more portable.
We considered the packed size and weight of every charger when testing portability. We also looked at other features, lượt thích carrying handles and protective cases, when testing portability. You'll likely be transporting your solar charger often, ví portability is key.
Functionality measures how easy it is đồ sộ use the charger. When testing functionality, we asked ourselves, "How user-friendly is this panel?"
Functionality is a broad metric but an important one. We tested things lượt thích ease of setup, cable integration and storage, fold-out supports đồ sộ angle the panel at the sun in the mornings or evenings, and anything else that makes a solar charger function well during real-world testing.
Multiple Device Charging
Many solar-powered devices can reliably charge more kêu ca one device at the same time. This is important if you'll be sharing power among a group of people or have lots of tech đồ sộ keep powered. Some solar chargers only have one power output, ví they can't charge multiple devices at once.
Many chargers will charge multiple devices at once, but they'll charge those devices slower kêu ca they'd charge a single item. If you need a lot of reliable power, multiple-device charging is something đồ sộ consider. Remember, though, if you're using a solar charger đồ sộ charge a portable power station, that device likely has multiple device charging capabilities as well.
This guide should help make your solar charger-buying decision easier. This list of solar panels and chargers is the best of the best, fully tested by the GearLab team, ví you can't go wrong with any of these. Choose the one that fits your needs the best ví you can return đồ sộ adventuring. Rest assured that we'll keep buying, using, and reviewing the best solar chargers in the industry đồ sộ keep this list current.
Check out our review of the best backpacks đồ sộ find one suitable for carrying on your travels and adventures. If you're backpacking, you'll probably want đồ sộ kiểm tra our list of the best backpacking backpacks for men and the best women's backpacking backpacks. If overlanding is more your thing, take a look at the best rooftop tents and these great canopy tents for making your perfect basecamp.