11 Best Solar Panels for Camping: Charge Your Batteries (GoPro, iPhone, Tablet)

GoPro Accessories

In this post, you'll learn about the 11 best solar panels for camping and hiking. Solar chargers are one of the best ways to charge your GoPro batteries while traveling.

11 Best Solar Panels for Camping

It's too bad that canoes don't come with power outlets. Then camping would be perfect.

Keeping our devices charged up can be especially challenging while camping and traveling. The best option I've found is to use a solar panel with a power-bank to store the solar energy.

How to Charge with Solar Panels While Camping

There are three primary ways to use a solar panel while camping and traveling:

  1. Charge directly from the solar panels: Connect your GoPro or phone to one of the USB outputs. You’ll need constant direct sunlight for this to be a good option.
  2. Charge from the solar-charged battery bank: Use your power bank (which charged during the day) to recharge all your device batteries (GoPro, phone, etc) at night. Just plug your charger directly into the battery bank. 
  3. Direct connect the power bank to your GoPro. This is a great option for night lapse shoots. Power banks are multiple times more powerful than the standard internal GoPro Hero4 battery. I easily shot an 8-hour nightlapse of the milky way using an 8000mAh power bank – and the battery still had juice to spare in the morning.

11 Best Solar Panels for Camping:

In this post, I'll share the best solar panels for camping. The term “best” can be fairly subjective. To determine the best options, I considered specs, prices, and hundreds of online reviews. If you have an opinion to share, please join me in the comments at the end of the post.

The Top 3 Solar Panels For Camping

If you don't want to read the full post, here are the highlights. These are my favorite three: the best deal, the most powerful and the least expensive solar panels.

Anker solar panel for camping

Best deal: 15W PowerPort by Anker. Based on the combination of specs, power and price, I feel that the 15W PowerPort (Anker) is the best deal of all 11 options. It comes with everything you need: powerful solar panels, 2 USB outputs, intelligent power that matches your device. Add a 20,000 mAh power bank and you'll never run out of power while camping again. Weighs just 12.5 oz.

RAVPower 24W Solar Panel

Most powerful solar panel: 24W Foldable / Waterproof Solar Panel by RAVPower. It comes with 3 USB outputs, waterproof nylon, mounting hooks and an impressive 24W of power. It doesn't include a battery – but you can add a 10,00mAh power bank for about $26. While this is less powerful than the large panel by Goal Zero (see option 8) it is much more portable (folding to the size of a small laptop).

sunjack review solar charger

Notable mention (my favorite): 14W SunJack Solar Charger. Based on the combination of specs, power and price, I feel that the 14W SunJack is the best deal of all 11 options. It comes with everything you need (panels, cables and 10,000mAh power bank). And I've seen it work even better than advertised. It folds to the size of an iPad in a protective case and weighs just 2.3lbs.

Best solar charger for camping

Okay, so you want all the detail? Great! Here are my choices for the best solar panels for camping – ordered by brand.

Let's get started!

SunJack Solar Chargers (3)

These lightweight solar panels are made by GigaWatt and all come with a battery bank. Read my SunJack review.


1) 7 Watt SunJack Solar Charger

This lightweight solar charger produces 7 watts of power with high efficiency mono-crystaline solar cells.

Comes with fabric loops and carabiners to easily mount this panel on a backpack, bike or the side of a tent.

  • Wattage: 7 watt
  • Includes battery: Yes, a 4000mAh fast charge battery that will charge in approximately 5 hours.
  • Special features: Weighs just 1.6 pounds and the included battery holds enough charge to power up to 4 smart phones.

7 Watt SunJack Solar Charger


2) 14 Watt SunJack Solar Charger

I personally own this charger – and I love it. Read my full SunJack review. I've found this model to charge even faster than advertised.

And the 8000mAh battery is amazing. One evening, I charged 5 GoPro batteries (2 for the Hero3 and 3 for the Hero4), one phone and an iPad. And it still had charge left over.

  • Wattage: 14 watts
  • Includes battery: Yes, a 10,000mAh fast charge battery that will charge in approximately 5 hours.
  • Special features: Comes with a battery bank, carabiner clips, and weather resistant case. No need to order anything additional.

sunjack review solar charger


3) 20W SunJack Solar Charger Kit

Like the 14W model (above) this is also a 4-panel charger. It is slightly larger (10″ x 7.5″) than the 14Watt model (6.75″ x 9.25″) and it produces more power.

This kit comes with dual 8000mAh battery banks.

  • Wattage: 20 watts
  • Includes battery: Yes, 2 x 8000mAh fast charge batteries that both charge in approximately 5 hours.
  • Special features: Comes with a battery bank, carabiner clips, and weather resistant case. No need to order anything additional.

sunjack dual battery solar charger

20W SunJack Solar Charger Kit

Anker Solar Chargers (2)


4) 15W PowerPort Solar Lite by Anker

This 2-panel solar charger comes with 2 USB ports – that allow charging two devices at once. Works with all the latest devices.

Panels are sewn into weather resistant polyester canvas. The eye loops make it easy to mount on a backpack, clothes line or bike rack.

  • Wattage: 15 watts
  • Includes battery: No. Consider Anker 20000mAh PowerCore.
  • Special features: 15 watt SunPower solar array is 21.5-23.5% efficient, providing enough power to charge two devices simultaneously.

Anker solar panel for camping


5) 21W PowerPort Solar by Anker

This 21 watt, 3 panel solar charger has 2 USB ports for simultaneous dual charging.

Compact size (11.1 × 6.3in folded or 26.4× 11.1in opened) and stainless-steel eye-holes on each corner allow easy attachment to backpacks, trees, or tents.

Lightweight (14.7 oz) and ultra-thin design (1.1in folded or 0.2in opened) make it ideal for long treks.

  • Wattage: 21 watts
  • Includes battery: No. Consider the Anker 20000mAh PowerCore.
  • Special features: 21.5-23.5% efficient, providing enough power to charge two devices simultaneously.

Anker 21W PowerPort Solar

Goal Zero Solar Recharging Kits (3)


6) Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Solar Panel (Goal Zero)

This battery by Goal Zero has some nice specs. It is waterproof and can charge both the included batteries (4 AA) and your usb powered devices.

While the battery can charge in 6 hours via USB, it takes just 3 hours to charge via the included solar panels. To put this in perspective, the 14W SunJack will charge a larger battery in half the time – and for less money.

  • Wattage: 7 watts
  • Includes battery: Not the standard power bank, the included rechargeable 4AA batteries are a nice feature. The battery charger will reach full charge via solar panels in 3 hours of full sun or 6 hours via usb.
  • Special features: Comes with battery charger (AA/AAA)

Goal Zero camping solar panels


7) Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel

This 20 watt solar panel is made with the efficient mono-crystalline silicon.

  • Wattage: 20 watts
  • Includes battery: No. Add the recommended Yeti 150.
  • Special features: These large panels (11 x 16) can be chained with more panels to reduce charge time.

Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel


8) Goal Zero 50 Watt Boulder Solar Panel

These 21.75″ x 26.75″  panels generate 50 watts each and can be linked together to maximize collection power.

While these are great for collecting power for heavy consuming devices – they are not very portable when compared to the other options on this page.

  • Wattage: 50 watts
  • Includes battery: No. Add the recommended Yeti 150 or Yeti 400.
  • Special features: These are high producers and come with a removable kickstand for ultimate portability.

goalzero large solar panel

RAVPower and Wildtek Solar Chargers (2)


9) 24W Portable Solar Panel Charger by RAVPower

This four panel solar charger is the most powerful option we reviewed (with the exception of Goal Zero panel – see option 8).

This solar panel comes with 3 USB ports and produces up to 2.4A per port when used in direct sunlight. While it doesn't come with a power bank, it is easy to add one.

  • Wattage: 24 watts
  • Includes battery: No. You might consider adding the best-selling 10,000mAh Power Bank by Anker.
  • Special features: The panels are made of very efficient (21.5 – 23.5%) monocrystalline silicon. It comes with waterproof nylon to protect the panels – and includes 4 hooks to mount the panel anywhere (tents, trees, backpacks, etc.).

RAVPower 24W Solar Panel

 


10) 21W Wildtek Waterproof Solar Charger (Dual USB Ports)

This is a powerful solar panel. It has 3 panels and two USB outputs.

This is the first fully waterproof (when stowed) solar panel – including the USB ports. The solar cells are high efficiency – almost 2X more than competing brands.

  • Wattage: 21 watts
  • Includes battery: No. You might consider adding the best-selling 10,000mAh Power Bank by Anker.
  • Special features: It ships with built in stand to get optimal sun exposure. And its SmartCharge Tech detects your USB device and delivers the optimum charge.

Wildtek waterproof solar charger

Nekteck Solar Panels (1)


11) 20W Solar Charger with 2 Port USB by Nekteck

This three panel solar charger weighs just 20 oz  and measures just 11.8″ x 6.5″. Easily mounts on a backpack (as shown) or a bike rack.

This panel features high efficiency silicon (21-24%) that provides enough power to charge 2 devices at the same time.

  • Wattage: 20 watts
  • Includes battery: No. Add the Anker 20000mAh PowerCore
  • Special features: Comes with a battery bank, carabiner clips, and weather resistant case. No need to order anything additional.

20W Solar Charger with 2 Port USB by Necteck


The Top Three Solar Panels For Camping

To help you make some sense of this list, return to the top of the post to see my top three choices.

Best Solar Panels and Power Banks for Camping

Product name Rating Price
Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad and Samsung Galaxy and More (Black) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad and Samsung Galaxy and More (Black)
$41.99
Anker 21W 2-Port USB Solar Charger PowerPort Solar for iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPad Air 2/mini 3, Galaxy S6/S6 Edge and More Anker 21W 2-Port USB Solar Charger PowerPort Solar for iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPad Air 2/mini 3, Galaxy S6/S6 Edge and More
$61.99
Anker 15W Dual Ports USB Solar Charger PowerPort Solar Lite for iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPad Air 2/mini 3, Galaxy S7/S6/S6 Edge and More Anker 15W Dual Ports USB Solar Charger PowerPort Solar Lite for iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPad Air 2/mini 3, Galaxy S7/S6/S6 Edge and More
$50.99
Goal Zero 12004 Nomad 20W Solar Panel Goal Zero 12004 Nomad 20W Solar Panel
$153.44
Goal Zero Boulder 50 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Goal Zero Boulder 50 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel $149.95
Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Solar Panel Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Solar Panel $114.95
Nekteck 20W Solar Universal Charger with 2-Port USB Nekteck 20W Solar Universal Charger with 2-Port USB
$49.99
Solar Charger RAVPower 24W Solar Panel with Triple USB Ports Waterproof Foldable for Smartphones Tablets and Camping Travel Solar Charger RAVPower 24W Solar Panel with Triple USB Ports Waterproof Foldable for Smartphones Tablets and Camping Travel $75.99
SunJack 14W Portable Solar Charger SunJack 14W Portable Solar Charger
$64.95
SunJack 20W Portable Solar Charger with 2x8000mAh Fast-Charge Batteries SunJack 20W Portable Solar Charger with 2x8000mAh Fast-Charge Batteries
--
SunJack 7W Solar Charger With 4000mAh Fast-Charge Battery SunJack 7W Solar Charger With 4000mAh Fast-Charge Battery $39.95
Wildtek SOURCE 21W Waterproof Portable Solar Charger Panel with Dual USB Ports Wildtek SOURCE 21W Waterproof Portable Solar Charger Panel with Dual USB Ports $69.99

Your Turn

What solar charger are you considering? Have you tried one in my list? Please join me in the comments!

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Hi, I'm the Author!

Bryan Haines is co-editor of ClickLikeThis: GoPro tutorial blog. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of GringosAbroad (Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with ClickLikeThis.

3 comments… add one
  • Jack Nov 30, 2016, 5:06 am

    Hi there! I think this portables chargers (solar) good decide to take it on holiday camping with myself. I use on of this portable solar charger during four monthes and it’s great! I can do anything with my phone and another devices! Thanks to the author for this good article!

  • Lewis's Maygru Apr 21, 2017, 1:58 am

    Your links for the 7W Sunjack take you to 14W. 7 watt doesn’t appear to be available on Amazon. Otherwise great article.

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