Best Solar Panels for Backpacking

Do Solar Panels/battery Chargers Really Work?

Yes! Solar battery chargers run on the sun’s energy, meaning they are a renewable power source that relies only on solar panels for their operation. There is no need to worry about “running out of fuel” because the sun can’t be used up – it just keeps shining all day long and night too!

Unlike gas-powered generators, solar battery chargers emit ZERO emissions which means it is safer for you and your family to use them indoors. I’ve even seen people charging their phones outdoors with their solar-powered phone chargers because there were insufficient outlets nearby! This type of product has become more popular as people become more conscious of using environmentally friendly products in place of ones that pollute our world.

We discuss the 10 best solar panels for backpacking in this article. Find extra benefits here!

What’s the Best Solar Panel for Backpacking?

The Nomad 10 Solar Panel is a powerful, lightweight, and portable solar panel. It’s the perfect size 9.5×7.2×1.2″ (folded) for charging your USB devices on the go while camping or hiking. The Nomad 10 folds down to a thin profile so it fits in nearly any backpack or bag when not in use. Simply unfold it, plug in your device and let the sun do the rest.

10 Best Solar Panels for Backpacking

1. Goal Zero Nomad 10, Foldable Monocrystalline 10 Watt Solar Panel with USB Port

Our Top Pick
Goal Zero Nomad 10, Foldable Monocrystalline 10 Watt Solar Panel with USB Port, Portable Solar Panel Backpacking, Hiking and Travel. Lightweight Backpack Solar Panel Charger with Adjustable Kickstand


  • Dimension: 9.5×7.2×1.2″(folded)
  • The 10W, 6-7V Panel
  • Built-in USB port

The Nomad 10 is designed to be the right solar panel for every situation. Whether you’re charging a Smartphone, powering your GPS, or just keeping a single AA battery topped off, the Nomad 10 can do it all. The Nomad 10’s high efficiency mono-crystalline solar cells are made in America and provide industry-leading power output. Folded up, it fits almost anywhere – in your backpack, on your bike frame, or even in a pocket.

It is a lightweight, efficient, and portable solar panel that can charge all of your devices. It weighs 1.2 lbs and folds down to 9.5″ x 7.2″, making it the ideal size for charging on the go. The Nomad 10 has a built-in USB port to charge your phone or another small device directly from the sun. This product is backed by Goal Zero’s one-year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.” When unfolded, it’s easy to prop the panel up with the 180° adjustable kickstand.

Also, you can keep it in your backpack while hiking. I recommend this panel to everyone who needs their phones, tablets even laptops charged up to them.


Actual charging power during pretty ideal conditions
Best angled directly to the sun
The device does not include any carabiners


The device does not include any carabiners

2. External Frame Hiking Backpack 68L with 20 Watts Solar Charger Panel

Editor Choice
Solar Panel Backpack Solar Charger External Frame Hiking Backpack 68L with 20 Watts Solar Charger Panel (Red)


  • Size: 73*36*26cm, 28.8*14.2*10.2in.
  • Delivers up to a 24% conversion rate
  • Designed for traveling enthusiasts

The right backpack for you! This is a great backpack and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good hiking pack. It has plenty of space, but not too much that it becomes bulky. The solar panel on the outside adds an extra convenience factor because now you don’t have to worry about your phone running out of a battery while you are hiking or camping.

It’s also very comfortable with padded shoulder straps and waist straps that can hold things like keys, mace, etc. For me, this was one of the best features because I like having my hands extra cool.


Useful compression straps
Moderately padded shoulder straps
Moderately padded hit strap


I can’t give any feedback on the durability

3. BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar panel Charger

Best Seller
[Upgraded]BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger(5V/4.8A Max), Portable SunPower Solar Panel for Camping, IPX4 Waterproof, Compatible with iPhone 11/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad, Samsung Galaxy LG etc.


  • Size: (11.1 × 6.3× 1.3in folded)
  • 3 USB charging ports
  • For almost all 5V Android devices, DSLRs & Apple devices

The BigBlue 28W Solar Charger is a highly efficient SunPower solar charging panel, which can convert up to 21.5-23.5% of sun power into free energy even in low-light temperatures. It features 3 USB ports with smart charging technology that can provide optimal charging speed vary with different devices. The total current at 5V/4.8A Max offers you the fastest possible charge for all your devices.

BigBlue foldable solar charger with 3 USB charging ports can charge the mobile phone/tablet in the sun. It features a compact size (11.1 × 6.3× 1.3in folded) and a lightweight (20.6 oz) design, making it small and light enough to fit into any camping backpack, hiking daypack, or emergency kit for outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, fishing, etc.


It would be plugged into your car or wall amazingly
Works best when installed outside in direct sunlight
Charging fast if used with the shortest cable possible


People complain about the charge times

4. CHOETECH 80W Solar Panel

Renogy 12 Volt Solar Panel 100 Watt High-Efficiency Monocrystalline Module PV Charger for RV Battery Boat Caravan and Other Off-Grid Applications, Single, RNG-100D-SS


  • One PD3.0 Type C port (30W)
  • Perfect for camping trips
  • 0 fast charging USB port

CHOETECH high-efficiency solar panels arrays that could offer a conversion of up to 21-23.5%. The solar panel package is equipped with one DC output port, one PD3.0 Type C port(30W), QC3.0 fast-charging USB port, and USB output ports for 5V 2,400mA in total.

It can meet your multiple needs for Jackery power stations via included DC cable or the connecting adapter kit’s 18v 4100ma battery charger jack which are both supplied as part of this package deal! This portable panel is perfect for camping trips because it weighs less than a traditional mount.

You can mount this to the rooftop tent strong enough. I didn’t like the manufacturer didn’t provide a case though I found the panel folded into a briefcase easily.

5. Nekteck 21W Solar Charger (5V/3A Max)

Nekteck 21W Solar Charger(5V/3A Max) with 2 USB Port, IPX4 Waterproof Portable and Foldable Hiking Camping Gear SunPower USB Solar Panel Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and More


  • The 6.3x 11.1x 1.06 inch
  • Improved in SunPower Maxeon technology
  • Guarantees IPX4 waterproof level protection

The SunPower Maxeon technology allows for 21%-24% conversion efficiency and the portability of this light, the thin solar panel is perfect to take on your outdoor adventures. You can connect it easily after you’ve found just enough sun in an area with great scenery like hiking or walking around town by putting the attachment hook onto one backpack strap while leaving room for another device plugged into its USB ports if needed. The Microchip support detects electronic devices that are plugging so any charging doesn’t need to be done manually.

The Solar Monocrystalline panels of this charger enable it to have an incredible efficiency rating and can provide enough power for anything that you might need. This makes it perfect if your phone battery is running low on a charge while hiking or walking around town!


Prevention of overheating
Reaches 21%-24% of conversion efficiency
Resistant to water and even dust


Price is not justified though

6. Anker 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger with Foldable Panel

Solar Panel, Anker 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger with Foldable Panel, PowerPort Solar for iPhone 11/Xs/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad Pro/Air/Mini, Galaxy S9/S8/S7/S6, and More


  • Compact size (11.1 × 6.3in folded)
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • Ultra-thin design

The Anker 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger is perfect for all outdoor enthusiasts! Whether you’re selling camping gear, hunting gear, or anything else that requires being outside a lot, you can use this charger to provide power on the go. With fast charging technology and high-efficiency solar cells, it’s not only designed with convenience in mind but also built with quality features as well.

The bendable panels allow the sun’s rays to be used to their fullest potential while maintaining accessibility at any angle whether it’s in hand or strapped down for hands-free usage. You’ll never have to worry about running out of juice again with this durable and reliable product always by your side as the 21W solar array is 21.5-23.5% efficient to charge two devices simultaneously.


Weather-resistant outdoor durability
Providing power to charge two devices
Lightweight and ideal for long treks


In full sun, it barely showed a charge

7. Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Panel

Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Panel


  • 13 Watt monocrystalline solar technology
  • Lightweight, easy to carry
  • Goal Zero’s Sherpa 50 power pack

Keep your phone, tablet, and camera powered up on the go with this incredible 13 Watt efficient monocrystalline solar technology. The Nomad 13 Solar Panel is perfect for those who are always exploring rugged terrain or who travel to high altitudes where sunlight is abundant without an outlet in sight.

Nomad 13 features a revolutionary tech that turns the sun into the perfect mobile power supply. Besides, this is a portable solar panel and an abundance of extras such as durability, convenience, and ease of use make this a must-have for travelers in need or anybody else who lives life on the go.

You can fit the panel in any backpack for its lightweight strategy. You’re provided with Goal Zero’s Sherpa 50 power pack which is helpful to store power when the sun is down.


Charging imp finder battery to full capacity
Lightweight, Clean, and powerful ‘
Able to a lesser extent on a sunny day or not so sunny day


Doesn’t have the green bar indicators

8. Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger 10W – Portable Solar Panel

Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger 10W - Portable Solar Panel Phone Charger for iPhone & Android Smartphones, iPads, Android Tablets, Power Banks & More, Solar Power Charger for Camping & Outdoors


  • Designed with industrial-strength PET polymer
  • Current status: Delivering up to 1.85A
  • 120-days money-back guarantee

Foxelli solar panel is not magic, but it has an outstanding capability of Polycrystalline cells though there it’s possible to charge 2 devices at the same time. You can consider this solar panel as a solar phone battery charger that can be used with any device with 5V DC input voltage. You can consider this Foxelli solar charger for backpacking and take this along with you on any outdoor adventure! I love the construction. It weighs only 1.10 lbs.

Our solar panels are uniquely equipped to resist the elements and provide you with free energy for years to come. It’s made of rugged polyester canvas, which is specially designed so that it can withstand water or dust damage while providing an industrial-strength PET polymer coating on top.


Able to attach it to a number of backpacks
Charges great when laid out on a log angle on the sun
Outside of the unit is a canvas material


Customers complained, “Doesn’t work with iPhone or Pixel”

9. VITCOCO 16W Foldable Solar Phone Charger

Solar Charger Solar Panel,VITCOCO 29W Solar Panel with Dual USB Ports 12V DC Output Current Display Function Waterproof Outdoor Portable Solar Panel Camping Travel for Cellphone,Tablet,Camera etc.


  • Highly efficient SunPower panel
  • 5V/2.4A Max USB ports
  • Unfolded Size: 26.6*7.1*1inch

The VITCOCO 16W Foldable Solar Charger is the best choice for charging your devices in outdoor activities. It can be used to charge everything USB electronic devices, such as mobile phones, digital cameras, and GPS. Our portable solar charger can be used to charge everything USB electronic device. It is very convenient because of its lightweight and small size that you can carry it anywhere easily.

It also features dual USB ports which allow you to charge two devices simultaneously, which means you don’t have to wait for one phone or another electronic device.


Well made for the outdoors
Good panel with DC port
In a clear sky, this panel charges very quickly


Not great at charging when there isn’t the full sun

10. ECEEN Solar Charger Panel

ECEEN Solar Charger Panel with 10W Solar Cells Smart USB Output for Smart Mobile Phone Tablets Device Power Supply Waterproof Portable Travel Camping Outdoor Activities Survival Gear Emergency Kit


  • Natural sunlight to charge your device
  • Compact size (11.5 x 6.0 x 1.0 in. folded)
  • Provides the optimal charging

The ECEEN solar charger is a portable and lightweight solar panel that can charge your devices on the go. It is designed to fit in your backpack or purse, so you can take it everywhere you go. One of its best features is that it folds down into a compact size (11.5 x 6.0 x 1.0 in. folded), making it easy to carry with you.

The ECEEN solar charger also comes with an integrated smart IC frequency technology which automatically adjusts to connected devices and provides the optimal charging current to minimize charging time. This product has been tested by professionals and approved as 100% safe for use.


Fantastic for portable USB solar charger
Amazing for adventures above the treeline
The charging is very consistent


This One Does Not Pass Muster

How Do I Choose the Best Solar Panels for Backpacking?

Best Solar Panels for Backpacking

Type of portable solar panel

The best type of portable solar panel is the one that is easy to use and readable. They should come with batteries that can be charged in a few hours, and ideally, they should have multiple USB outputs so you can plug several devices into them without having one device slow down your charging time. Anything carrying a waterproof rating would be good too – just in case!

Buy from top brand

A solar panel is a cutting-edge device for the modern-day. They are becoming more and more popular each year as they become cheaper, yet efficient methods of producing power. The best brand to buy would be from GoalZero, Nekteck, and Anker due to their high-efficiency ratings that rival other Panels on the market. Their lifetime warranty also provides peace of mind when investing in such an expensive piece of equipment.

Right wattage

Portable solar chargers can be a great way to charge your devices, but it’s important not to get one that is much too small. If you need something with more wattage than the typical charger has, then make sure that when shopping for yours you find both quality and quantity of power to ensure reliability.

Durable solar panel

Durability is a key component to purchasing reliable solar panels. Solar-panel durability tests are conducted on components like silicon wafers and outsized sheets of aluminum, which makes it possible for manufacturers to know how these parts will hold up over time in the field. Solar power needs reliability just as much as other energy sources do; that’s why you should look into ways to make your equipment last longer than ever before so your investment can have an even greater impact.

Instruction manual

Before you use your solar panel for the first time, be sure to read through the instruction manual carefully. It’ll tell you about any potential dangers that may arise from surges or mishandling of this device which could cause those dangerous things to happen.

Can You Leave a Solar Trickle Charger on All the Time?

You can indeed leave a solar trickle charger on all of the time. The only reason to shut them off at night is for the sake of convenience if there isn’t enough sunlight during the daytime hours. They will usually have four lights indicating how much battery power they are charging (one light means around 20% charged). You should notice an increase in about two weeks or so with these units and some units may take up to a month depending on how sunny it has been where this unit was installed and of course your solar panel’s ability to produce energy.

Can a trickle charger ruin a battery?

It is believed that trickle chargers can result in long-term damage to the battery. The problem is when they are left on for an extended amount of time and not monitored. Trickle chargers provide a constant charge so the voltage never falls below a certain level which may cause irreversible damage in some cases.

Managed correctly, they are considered completely safe, but it’s best to turn them off at night after your car stops using power and remove them during winter since heat will explode the battery and no one wants that.

How much is a solar panel backpack?

Solar panel backpacks are looking to topple the batteries in the next few years. It ranges from $50 to $150.

Solar Panel Backpacks are a new frontier in technology and accessibility. Their fast-charging, lightweight designs make them easy for anyone carrying a bag full of textbooks or computers to have a sustainable power source during their commute home or while on campus. Due to recent innovations, they now weigh less than your average piece of luggage so you can take it with you wherever you go – even if that means into the Grand Canyon.

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