Best Solar Panels For Kayaks: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Kayaking can is an activity that can be done by most people in both fresh and salt water sources.

Lakes, rivers, to the open ocean – each will be slightly different in terms of conditions and what you deal with when you’re out on the water.

When you’re out kayaking, you may want to charge handheld devices like phones, cameras, a GPS, lights, and other USB and 12 volt battery devices.

The best solar panels for kayaks and canoes won’t just charge your devices, but it will also be durable enough to stand up to the elements.

We’ve gone out and found the best kayaking solar panels that meet this criteria.

Let’s look at these kayaking solar panel brands and kits…

 

Top Rated Solar Panels For Kayaks List

Best Solar Panel For Kayaks – Goal Zero 12004 Nomad 20W Solar Panel  (on Amazon)

  • More output/power to charge at 20 watts. Weather proof (will handle rain and snow), but no waterproof guarantee

Best Small Solar Panel For Kayaks – Voltaic Systems 6W Solar Panel Kit with External Battery Pack (on Amazon)

  • Smaller in size, but also in output at 7 watts. Waterproof in fresh and salt water

 

Best Solar Panels For Kayaks: Reviews

Goal Zero 12004 Nomad 20W Solar Panel

View On Amazon

What Makes This Solar Panel Good For Kayaking?

  • 20 watt power output
  • Foldable and portable
  • Can charge USB and 12 volt devices – will charge directly, or from a Goal Zero recharger bought separately
  • Durable and weatherproof – won’t be harmed if exposed to rain or snow
  • Designed with stitched on toggles, allowing it to be fastened to tents, back-packs, kayaks or otherwise for charging on the go – probably a better all around panel than the Voltaic Systems panel
  • Weighs only 1.1 kg
  • 17-18% efficient mono-crystalline panels

 

What Are Potential Improvements?

  • Although the panels are very durable, Goal Zero doesn’t give a guarantee on them being completely water proof. The same goes for the junction bozes and chargers

 

What Extras Might You Get?

 

Where To Check This Solar Panel Out?

View the Goal Zero 12004 Nomad 20W Solar Panel on Amazon

 

Voltaic Systems 6W Solar Panel Kit with External Battery Pack

View On Amazon

What Makes This Solar Panel Good For Kayaking?

  • Excellent value – panel + back up battery
  • Great for kayaking, canoeing or rafting
  • 6 Watt output at 6 volts
  • Waterproof, lightweight, and coated in self-healing urethane to withstand abuse and resist scratches
  • Includes a V15 back up battery – can be charged with a USB cable or from the solar panel
  • 3 hours direct sunlight fully charges a typical smartphone, 8 hours in direct sunlight charges most 7″ tablets completely, and 11 hours in direct sunlight charges most 10″ tablets completely.
  • Size is 8.7 inches by  0.5 inches by 6.9 inches

NOTE: if you purchase this solar panel, make sure you read Voltaic Systems’ product information and instructions for use and care.

 

What Are Potential Improvements?

  • No real drawbacks

 

What Extras Might You Get?

  • A Voltaic Systems extension cord or waterproof case

 

Where To Check This Solar Panel Out?

View the Voltaic Systems 6W Solar Panel Kit on Amazon

 

Best Solar Panels For Kayaks: Buyer’s Guide & FAQ

What Is Kayaking?

Kayaking involves paddling in a kayak in freshwater like lakes and rivers, to salt water like open ocean kayaking.

 

What Types Of Solar Panels Are There For Kayaking?

Folding solar panels have the best design and durability features for kayaking

 

What Are Solar Panels Used For When Kayaking?

Solar panels are mostly used to power phones, cameras, tablets, GPS systems, radios and other handheld devices.

Some solar panels are used to power a solar powered kayak – but they are rare.

 

What Solar Panels Are Best For Kayaking – How To Choose?

The best solar solar panels for kayaking are:

  • 6-10 Watt folding solar panels – good for partial charging of phones and cameras
  • 15-20 Watt folding solar panels – will charge handheld mobile devices more quickly, and charge larger laptops and the big DSLR cameras

 

Features & Things To Look For In Kayaking Solar Panels

  • Waterproofing – if you think your solar panels will be submerged at any point, you’ll want a panel that is fresh and salt water proofed
  • Watts – the higher the Wattage, the more output the panels have to charge
  • Chargers and inverters – solar panels can charge mostly USB and 12 volt battery accessories directly, but will need batteries/rechargers and inverters to charge accessories when the sun isn’t out, or to charge 240 volt household items
  • Extension cables and adapters – used to increase reach or provide different connection for certain devices
  • What size does the panel fold out and fold up to – can it fit on surfaces or inside backpacks as required?
  • Anchor points – does the panel have fastening points for attaching the panel to different surfaces
  • Chaining – can the solar panel/s chain to other solar panel setups
  • What range of activities are the panels designed for?
  • Does the panel have USB as well as batttery output points built onto it?

 

Kayaking Solar Panels Bits & Accessories

  • Rechargers – for storing power to charge devices when the sun isn’t out
  • Inverters – for charging devices that aren’t USB or 12 volt battery operated
  • Cables and connectors – for different connections and to extend the reach of the charge cables

 

Best Solar Panels For Kayaks: Resources

1. https://www.goalzero.com.au

2. https://www.voltaicsystems.com

 

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