Best Foldable Solar Panels

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Getting an efficient energy source during power blackouts or on long road trips is essential. According to the conservation institute, a fold-and-go solar panel can power your next adventure and reduce the strain we put on fossil energy. So, how does one work?

All solar panels have photovoltaic cells that trap sunlight and convert its radiation to electrical power. Thin metallic strips called busbars channel this electric current to a power bank or battery for storage. These sources then provide wattage to charge electrical appliances.

A foldable solar panel’s portability is one of its pros because you can conveniently move it to locations that need power. Since these solar units can charge appliances without a connection to a grid, they are great clean energy sources for camping trips, according to, events, and in worst-case scenarios, emergencies.

Experts at Bluetti, a leading brand in renewable energy, recommend several factors you should consider when you buy a foldable solar panel. The weight, size, portability, efficiency, installation, longevity, and capacity of the solar panel influence its worth.

Our overland travel team tested several foldable solar panels for six months to determine the best ones. We were on the road for thousands of miles and assessed the functionality of each device. One of the panels even stood out during a hurricane. We noted the pros, cons, capacity, peak power, voltage, water resistance, and efficiency. Here’s what we found out.

Best Value – Renogy 200W 12V Solar Panel

Renogy 200W 12V Solar Panel
Renogy 200W 12V Solar Panel / Renogy




What we liked;

High energy output
Bypass diode that reduces power drops
Value for money
Easy to install and safe to use
High compatibility
Durable build
Waterproof solar connectors and water-resistant junction box
LCD screen display for charging progress

What we didn’t like;

Heavy frames
No USB ports

We chose this aluminum solar panel because its premium features are worth the buck. We also loved its functionality, especially during our off-grid escapades. The two-pieced machine can provide an incredible output of 400 to 500 watts in a day when the sun is out. Its compact design is also compatible with most power stations. The solar panel has a stable kickstand that supports its heavy frame and a handle for portability. It has extra support from its poles, tilt mounts, and Z brackets.

The bypass diode feature protects this model from overheating and minimizes power drops when partially under a shade. The panel is expandable since its solar connectors and junction box can link to other solar units. The device’s charge controller has a technology that protects it from electric surges and short circuits, so it’s safe to use. Its LCD screen display is a great add-on because it displays vital information like the panel’s energy levels. However, USB ports would make it easier to charge appliances directly.

Weight: 36 pounds | Material: Monocrystalline Silicon | Cell Efficiency: 22% | Dimensions: 35.6 x 25.9 x 3.1 inches | Water Resistance: IP65

Best Lightweight – Jackery SolarSaga 100W 18V Solar Panel

Jackery SolarSaga 100W 18V Solar Panel / Jackery




What we liked;

Compact and durable design
Easy to set up, carry and store
Strong adjustable kickstands
USB ports that power appliances as the panel charges
LED indicators that show charging status

What we didn’t like;

Charges best with a Jackery charging station or generator
Not waterproof

Our team was impressed that this plastic solar panel comes in two lightweight foldable pieces. They are attached to firm rubber handles that are easy to lift, especially for a person with a tiny physique. It strikes a perfect balance between portability and functionality. The best part is its monocrystalline silicon panels yield large amounts of energy even when the sun is scarce.

The ETFE (a fluoride plastic coat) protects it from harsh weather elements, offers water resistance, and supports faster energy transmission from the sun. Its smart-charging technology is a plus since it prevents power surges and short circuits.

The design also features two USB ports that can power multiple devices, and an in-built pouch holds power cords and appliances. However, this unit works faster with Jackery power stations because other brands reduce its efficiency.

Weight: 6 pounds | Material: Monocrystalline Silicon | Cell Efficiency: 23% | Dimensions: 22.83 x 19.69 x 2.36 inches | Water Resistance: IP65

Best Fast Charging – Rockpals 100W 18V Portable Solar Panel

Rockpals 100W 18V Portable Solar Panel / Rockpals




What we liked;

Fast-charging for connected devices
High cell efficiency
Compatible with most solar generators
Multiple charging ports
Relatively light

What we didn’t like;

Its junction box isn’t waterproof
As its ages, its cloth cover fades and reduces its efficiency.

This Rockpals model is impressive since it charges appliances four times faster than usual. We liked its Quick Charge 3.0 technology because it protects the panel from overheating, electrical surges, and overcharging as it sits in the sun. The solar panel has a convenient LED screen that shows its charging progress. Its monocrystalline silicon solar cells are under a unique protective layer of an Oxford cloth and an ETFE coat.

This model’s energy conversion has one of the highest cell efficiency in foldable solar panels at 23.5%. This rate boosts its performance significantly. The device is light, and its kickstand makes it easy to adjust its position in the sun. Although the panel is not fully waterproof, its price tag makes it worth the trouble.

Weight: 9.5 pounds | Material: Monocrystalline Silicon | Cell Efficiency: 23.5% | Dimensions: 17.32 x 14.57 x 2.17 inches | Water Resistance: IP65

Best for Emergency – Dokio 220W 18V Foldable Solar Panel

Dokio 220W 18V Foldable Solar Panel / Dokio



What we liked;

Lightweight and thin design
Weathers emergencies like hurricanes
Easy to move
Quality charge controller

What we didn’t like;

No kickstand to angle the panel toward the sun
Material cannot withstand wind and can fly off

Dokio’s high wattage and efficiency charge essential appliances efficiently. Dokio designed this ultra-thin monocrystalline silicon panel to work in emergencies like power outages.

We loved the device’s 9.84 ft-long cable that conveniently works on all power stations, regardless of its brand. This model also has a protective feature that prevents overcharging, short circuits, and electrical deficiencies. However, a kickstand would come in handy for the usability of the panel.

Weight: 10.56 pounds | Material: Monocrystalline Silicon | Cell Efficiency: 22- 23% | Connector Type: Conversion adapter | Dimensions: 29 x 21 x 1.1 inches | Water Resistance: IP66

Best Style – TwelSeavan 120W 18V Portable Solar Panel

TwelSeavan 120W 18V Portable Solar Panel / TwelSeavan



What we liked;

Compact, durable, minimal design
Smart Technology identifies types of devices and charges them accordingly
Multiple charging ports for many devices
High energy output
Compatible with most power stations

What we didn’t like;

Its junction box is not waterproof
Flimsy kickstand

The muted black design on this TwelSeavan solar panel caught our attention. We loved how it looks on a flat surface, like the roof of a car, because it complements its features. This model has a unique, sturdy polymer base and a waterproof canvas cover that protects its solar cells from debris, dust, and rain. The handle also makes it easier to carry, and its four velcro legs position the panel in the sun at different angles.

Despite its standard size, this solar panel’s ability to charge large solar generators faster than other brands surprised us. Its highly efficient monocrystalline silicon cells sustain this high energy output. For instance, a 60W solar panel takes a day or two to charge a 300W or 500W unit, but this model can in hours.

The panel’s in-built IC Smart Chip technology determines the type of a plugged device and automatically adjusts electric currents to charge it optimally. It also powers appliances four times faster than other solar panels through 4 universal charging ports. However, this model needs stronger kickstands.

Weight: 9.5 pounds | Material: Monocrystalline Silicon | Cell Efficiency: 23% | Dimensions: 26.8 x 16.5 x 1 inch | Water Resistance: IP65

What To Look Out For In A Foldable Solar Panel


The size of a foldable solar panel determines its portability, so you should choose one that is not too heavy to carry.


A foldable solar panel that converts sunlight to energy fast gives you as much power as possible, even when the weather is cloudy.


A high-wattage solar panel is ideal in areas that experience relatively poor weather, while lower-wattage ones are best for locations with a lot of sunshine.

Ease of use

Foldable solar panels should be easy to use, clean, and set up, especially when you camp or go on road trips.

Frequency of use

If you want to use a foldable solar panel for long periods like camping trips, you’ll need a high-wattage device to power your devices.


Monocrystalline silicon solar panels last longer than polycrystalline and amorphous ones.


Choose a foldable solar panel that gives you value for money in terms of wattage, water resistance, and accessories, among other features that suit your lifestyle or needs.


Since long-term warranties usually indicate that a solar panel is a premium, a manufacturer may cover more repairs compared to cheaper alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are foldable solar panels waterproof?

Although most foldable solar panels are waterproof, some don’t have this essential feature. Since you can store these panels during harsh weather, most manufacturers don’t fit them with the thin glass that protects fixed solar panels. Most people confuse this feature with water resistance. While a waterproof device doesn’t let in any water, a water-resistant one repels it to a certain degree.

You can’t leave water-resistant panels in the rain, so waterproof ones are better. If you want a waterproof foldable solar panel, you can check the product description of the options on the market for this information. Rockpals and Renogy brands have some of the best waterproof foldable solar panels you can explore.

Do portable solar panels work on cloudy days?

Portable solar panels can generate energy even when the weather is cloudy because the sun still shines through the clouds. However, the devices work at reduced efficiency of around 50%, depending on cloud cover. These panels can also charge when it’s rainy with intermittent sunshine.

Are foldable solar panels worth it?

The portability of foldable solar panels makes them worthwhile, especially if you are always on the move. These devices are also nifty for emergencies like power outages. You can even charge an electric car, but you’ll need high voltage and an incredible number of panels to achieve this feat, so you cannot buy them for this purpose only.

How long do portable solar panels last?

Foldable solar panels can last for as long as thirty years, especially if they have premium quality. However, the devices gradually lose efficiency at around 0.5- 0.8% per year. Installation methods, maintenance, and the environment can speed up this degradation.

How can I keep my portable solar panels from being stolen?

There are several ways to secure a foldable solar panel, but an anti-theft lock is a great start. Some companies even have solar alarm systems that ring when someone tries to steal one. Motion sensor lights can alert users about movements and deter potential thieves, but this only works at night.

Users can also pack and store their solar panels in a safe place if they intend to leave the campsite or RV van unattended. In case of theft, a name tag, address, or a unique mark can help you trace and identify a panel.

  • Nichole Hutt

    Hi, I'm Nichole! 👋
    I always felt close to nature during my childhood. Preferring to spend my time alone playing with backyard animals at my family farm. 🐷
    In 1997, I attained my electrical engineering degree at the Oregon Institute Of Technology, graduating top of my class. Several years later, I qualified for my M.S. in Renewable Energy Engineering, also at OIT. 🎓

    Combining my love for nature and passion for engineering, I have worked for solar panel manufacturer's in my state, most notably as a PV solar engineer for Zamp Solar.

    I founded RenewableSystems to share my knowledge and expertise in the renewable energy field and help save this beautiful little planet of ours. ☀️🌎

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