The best solar panel for backpacking has to meet certain criteria to be worth not only carrying around, but also your money.
A good backpacking solar panel should be:
- Foldable and flexible
- Able to fit inside a backpack or be attached to one
- Provide enough power and charging capability to handle mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, GPS systems, flashlights & more
We’ve gone out and found a couple of options that fit this criteria.
Let’s look at the best backpacking solar panel brand and product …
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Top Rated Solar Panel For Backpacking List
Best Solar Panel For Backpacking – Goal Zero 12004 Nomad 20W Solar Panel (on Amazon)
- Slightly bigger, but foldable, and great for smartphones, cameras, GPS devices etc.
Best Small Solar Panel For Backpacking – Goal Zero 41022 Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit (on Amazon)
- Very small in size if that’s your priority, but lacks the power output of the 20 watt model
Best Solar Panel For Backpacking: Reviews
Goal Zero 12004 Nomad 20W Solar Panel
What Makes This Solar Panel Good For Backpacking?
- Monocrystalline solar panels that produce 20 watts
- Can directly charge 12v and USB devices when in the sun
- Can use Goal Zero’s rechargers (like the Sherpa 100) to store power and charge devices at a later time/date
- Good for small portable devices like phones, cameras, GPS systems, lights etc.
- Durable weatherproof setup
- Has stitched on toggles, allowing it to be fastened to tents, back-packs, kayaks or otherwise for charging on the go.
- Only weighs 1.1 kg
- Dimensions are: unfolded – 77.5 x 2.5 x 33 cm, OR folded – 21.6 x 2.5 x 33cm
What Could Be Improved?
- Although the panel setup is good, it can be expensive when purchased together with the recharger and other accessories if you won’t be using it a lot
What Extras Might You Need?
- Solar recharger/generator – Goal Zero 22004 Yeti 150 Solar Generator (on Amazon)
- Adapter Cable – GOAL ZERO 98043 8mm Adapter Cable (on Amazon)
Where To Check Out This Solar Panel?
Goal Zero 41022 Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit
We aren’t going to provide a full review on this product.
The reason why is that although this panel kit is smaller than the 20 Watt Goal Zero, the Amperage is much less at 7.
From our experience, most people need to charge their smartphones or cameras when out backpacking (and similar sized devices).
For these sorts of devices, 20 watts is about as low as you want to go to give these devices a full or proper charge.
If you are still adamant on getting a smaller panel if you have a small backpack, you can check this one out below.
Where To Check Out This Solar Panel?
Best Solar Panel For Backpacking: Buyer’s Guide & FAQ
Types of Solar Panels For Backpacking
As we mentioned above in the intro, the best solar panels for backpacking are portable.
The most portable and suitable solar panel for backpacking would have to be a folding solar panel.
Folding solar panels are durable and hard wearing, and can be attached to your backpack, folded out flat, or folded up and stored in the backpack.
What Are Solar Panels Used For When Backpacking?
Backpacking solar panels can be used while walking (attach to your backpack), or while stationary (lay the panel out flat).
They can charge devices directly, or if you get a battery or recharger, energy can be stored and used later when the sun isn’t out.
These batteries and rechargers are particularly helpful in extremely remote areas where you won’t have much access to electricity, or consistent sunshine.
When backpacking, solar panels are most commonly used for charging smaller mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, GPS systems, flashlights etc.
What Solar Panel To Get For Backpacking
If you want a small folding solar panel, get a 7 Watt model.
However, we believe that most people would be best suited to getting a 20 Watt model due to their capacity and capability for charging devices like phones, cameras, tablets and other common handheld devices.
Backpacking Solar Panels Accessories
Recharger or energy storage batteries
Extension or adapter cables
Best Solar Panel For Backpacking: Resources
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