man with portable solar panel

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Portable Solar Panels

This post was updated on: March 1, 2024

Flexible solar panels are a versatile and innovative technology that has revolutionized how we think about solar energy. Unlike traditional solar panels, which are rigid and heavy, flexible solar panels provide an extremely lightweight and curved panel that can fit a variety of surfaces.

This makes them ideal for various applications, from powering remote equipment to providing energy for boats and RVs.

In this article, we will discuss how to choose the best flexible solar panels, including the different types available, the cost and quality of flexible solar panels, and common problems associated with cheap panels.

Whether you’re a homeowner, business owner, or adventurer, this article will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision when choosing flexible solar panels for your needs.

Our Pick

Our Pick

Our Pick

Model

iTechworld 200W Solar Blanket Kit with Raptor Skin

Renogy 220 Portable Solar Panel

Bluetti PV200 200W Portable Solar Panel

Baintech 200W Folding Solar Blanket with 20A PWM

EcoFlow 220W Folding Solar Blanket

Price

$799

$549

$699

$539

$799

Wattage

300W

220W

200W

200W

220W

Cell Type

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Cell Efficiency

N/A

N/A

Up to 23.4%

N/A

22%–23%

Open Circuit Voltage Voc(V)

22.44V

26.8V

26.1V

N/A

21.8V

Short Circuit Current Isc(A)

16A

10.2A

10.2A

N/A

13A

Warranty

1 Year

1 Year

1 Year

1 Year

1 Year

Weight (kg)

11.5kg

9.23kg

7.3kg

9kg

99.5kg

Dimensions (mm)

Closed: 680x50x 40

Open: 2980x5x680 

Closed: 738x581 x40
Open:

738x4x2135

Closed: 590 × 600
Open:

590×2260

Closed: 689x518
Open: 

133x 70x34

820x1830x25 

iTechworld 200W Solar Blanket Kit with Raptor Skin

product shot of the iTechworld 200W Solar Blanket Kit with Raptor Skin

iTechworld is known for its excellent quality lithium batteries, so it’s not a surprise they are our top pick for the best flexible solar panels on the market.

The Itechworld 300W Solar Blanket Kit with Raptor Skin is an excellent option for anyone who wants to harness the sun’s power to charge their batteries while on the go. This kit has a flexible solar panel blanket that can be easily folded and stored, a control box, a 5m cable, and a handy carry bag.

The standout feature of this solar blanket is its durability. The Raptor Skin surface is tough and can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor adventures, making it an excellent choice for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The blanket is also lightweight, making it easy to carry wherever you go.

In terms of performance, the Itechworld 300W Solar Blanket Kit is impressive. The blanket can generate up to 18 amps of power in optimal conditions, which is enough to charge a 12V battery quickly. The control box comes with multiple charging ports, including USB and DC, which means you can charge various devices, including smartphones, tablets, cameras, and laptops.

One of the most significant advantages of this solar blanket is its flexibility. Unlike traditional solar panels, which can be cumbersome and difficult to transport, the Itechworld 300W Solar Blanket Kit can be easily rolled up and stored in its carry bag, making it an ideal option for people who are always on the move.

Overall, the Itechworld 300W Solar Blanket Kit with Raptor Skin is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a reliable and durable solar blanket that can generate plenty of power while on the go. Its flexible design, impressive performance, and multiple charging ports make it a top pick for outdoor enthusiasts, campers, and anyone who wants to stay connected while off the grid. If you’re in the market for a solar blanket, the Itechworld 300W Solar Blanket Kit with Raptor Skin is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • Incredibly light 7.5-kilogram weight
  • Shock-resistant and hail proof
  • Shade tolerant charging
  • Class A monocrystalline solar cells
  • IP64 waterproof rated
  • Blocking diodes are fitted to every panel

Cons

  • A little pricey

Renogy 220 Portable Solar Panel

The Renogy E.Flex 220 Portable Solar Panel is a compact and lightweight option for anyone who wants to charge their devices while on the go. With a peak output of 220W, this panel can generate enough power to charge laptops, cameras, and 12v batteries.

One of the standout features of this solar panel is its portability. It comes with a built-in handle and can be easily folded and stored in its carry bag, making it an ideal option for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The panel weighs in at 9.2 kg, meaning you can take it wherever you go without weighing yourself down.

In terms of performance, the Renogy E.Flex 220 Portable Solar Panel is an excellent option. The panel is made from high-quality materials and is designed to withstand the wear and tear of outdoor adventures. It is also weather-resistant, which means you can use it in a variety of weather conditions.

However, compared to the Itechworld 300W Solar Blanket Kit, the Renogy Solar Panel falls short in power output and durability. While the Renogy panel can generate up to 220W, the Itechworld blanket can generate up to 300W, which is significantly more. Additionally, the Raptor Skin surface of the Itechworld blanket is designed to withstand more wear and tear than the Renogy panel.

Overall, the Renogy E.Flex 220 Portable Solar Panel is a solid choice for anyone who wants a lightweight and portable solar panel for charging small electronic devices. However, if you need more power and durability, the Itechworld 300W Solar Blanket Kit with Raptor Skin is a better option.

Pros

  • 9.2-kgs weight is great
  • Impressive 220W rating
  • High conversion efficiency
  • Highly portable

Cons

  • You may have to purchase solar connectors and charge controllers to access the functionality you want

Bluetti PV200 200W Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel

product shot of the Bluetti PV200 200W Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel

The Bluetti PV200 is a flexible solar panel designed to provide reliable and efficient power for outdoor adventures. With a maximum power output of 200W, this solar panel can charge a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, cameras, and power banks. 

The Bluetti PV200 is a lightweight, flexible solar panel that is easy to carry and transport. It features high-efficiency solar cells capable of converting sunlight into electricity with a conversion efficiency of up to 23.5%. The panel is made of durable and waterproof materials, making it suitable for use in various weather conditions. The PV200 also has a built-in kickstand that allows you to adjust the panel’s angle to maximize solar exposure.

The Bluetti PV200 performs exceptionally well in a variety of lighting conditions. We found that the panel could charge our devices quickly and efficiently during our testing, even in partially cloudy or overcast conditions. The built-in kickstand allowed us to easily adjust the panel’s angle to ensure maximum sun exposure, and the high-efficiency solar cells provided consistent and reliable power.

At a price point of around $700, the Bluetti PV200 is more expensive than some other portable solar panels on the market. However, the panel’s high-quality construction, efficient performance, and flexible design make it a worthwhile investment for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors and needs reliable power on the go.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and flexible design
  • High-efficiency solar cells for reliable and efficient charging
  • Durable and waterproof construction
  • Built-in kickstand for easy adjustment

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to some other portable solar panels
  • Limited information available about the warranty and customer support

Baintech 200W Folding Solar Blanket with 20A PWM

If there were one thing to make this model stand out, it would be the usage of a Pulse Width Modulation Controller (PWM) in the design. This provides voltage regulation, leading to optimal efficiency and performance.

Expect a great power output even when there are low light levels, thanks to the high-quality monocrystalline cells used. This serves well for just about any outdoor activity.

The panel is rated safe and efficient for fridges, lights,, or wherever else your power needs may lie.

While it is cheaper than the Bluetti design, you’ll still have to drop a pretty penny. Bear in mind that the design is best suited to 12V applications, which should align with your needs for your caravan.

The weight is also respectable, standing at 9 kilograms, meaning you should have no portability concerns here. 

Pros

  • Great 9-kilogram weight
  • 200W rating
  • Plug-and-play composition
  • Monocrystalline solar cell

Cons

  • Not the most cost-effective design
  • One-year warranty details are not clear.

EcoFlow 220W Monocrystalline Folding Solar Blanket

Product shot of the EcoFlow 220W Monocrystalline Folding Solar Blanket

Not every solar panel creator can say that it has designed a two-in-one panel, which is exactly what EcoFlow has done here. There is a primary side rated at 220W and a secondary side rated at 155W. The latter is at the back and is meant to capture ambient light. The result of such a design is 25% more solar energy, according to the manufacturer.

A thin one-piece tempered glass is used, aiming to achieve five times the toughness comparable to other panels. Additionally, you get some level of resistance to the elements.

The design choices do not sacrifice compactness, with a form factor that is about 10% smaller than many of its competitors. The thin tempered glass is one of the reasons for this, using less surface area to do a similar job.

There’s a convenient carry case for portability, allowing you to unfold it and use the kickstand when sun exposure is needed. The panel is dust and water resistance, thanks to an IP68 waterproof rating.

Pros

  • Impressive 9.5-kilogram weight
  • Durable tempered glass design
  • Double-sided composition for greater light absorption
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • Warranty registration can be a pain

How To Choose the Best Flexible Solar Panels

Looking for the perfect flexible solar panels can feel overwhelming, with so many brands and types to consider. Each manufacturer claims their product is the best, making it difficult to know which one to choose. We’ll walk you through some important things to keep in mind when picking out the best flexible solar panels for your specific needs, so you can make a confident decision.

Types of Flexi Solar Panels

Solar panels are an increasingly popular way to generate electricity for homes and businesses. They use the sun’s energy to produce electricity, which can be used to generate power for lights, appliances, and other electrical devices. Solar panels come in two main types: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single crystal of silicon and are the most efficient type of solar panel available. They tend to be more expensive than polycrystalline panels but offer higher efficiency. Polycrystalline solar panels, on the other hand, are made from multiple silicon crystals and are less efficient but less expensive. Both types of solar panels can be found in a flexible form, with monocrystalline being the more common option.

Flexible vs Conventional Solar Panels

Despite their lower solar power efficiency, flexible solar panels are still an excellent option for many applications. They are perfect for boats, RVs, and other vehicles with curved surfaces. They are also lightweight and easy to transport and install.

Flexible solar panels come in two main types: thin-film solar panels with photovoltaic material printed onto a flexible surface and crystalline silicon cells sandwiched between layers of plastic. Both types offer different advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to research before purchasing.

Overall, flexible solar panels offer a unique solution for those who need to install solar on curved surfaces. While they may not be as efficient as conventional panels, they can still provide an effective way to generate clean energy from the sun.

Facts On Solar Panels

Solar panels are a renewable energy source that converts sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic (PV) cells, typically made from silicon, are used to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into usable electricity. When photons from the sun hit the PV cells, electrons are knocked free from atoms, creating a flow of electricity. This electricity can then be used to power homes, businesses, and other devices.

The use of solar panels is becoming increasingly popular as a way to reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources and decrease carbon emissions. Solar panels offer an efficient and cost-effective way to generate clean energy without producing any pollutants or greenhouse gases. Additionally, they require minimal maintenance and have long lifespans of up to 25 years or more.

Cost of Flexible Solar Panels

Caravanners looking to save money on their energy bills should consider investing in flexible solar panels. Flexible solar panels are a great option for caravans, as they can be easily mounted on a curved roof and are designed to be highly durable in extreme wind and harsh weather conditions. The cost of flexible solar panels can vary widely depending on the panel’s brand, size, and efficiency. Generally, you can pay more for higher-efficiency panels. However, it’s important to consider the long-term savings that solar panels can provide. Over time, the savings on your energy bills can offset the initial cost of the panels. With flexible solar panels, caravanners will have access to clean energy while saving money in the long run!

Problems With Flexible Solar Panels – especially with cheap, flexible solar panels

Flexible solar panels work great for those who need to install panels in difficult-to-reach places or who want to take advantage of their portability. However, it is important to consider the durability and efficiency of the panels before making a purchase.

When it comes to solar panel durability and efficiency, conventional fixed solar panels are usually the better choice. Solar panels typically last an average of 25-30 years and are more efficient than flexible panels. Homeowners and businesses around the country are taking advantage of this technology to reduce their energy costs and increase their sustainability.

Conventional solar panels may be your best bet if you’re looking for a reliable renewable energy source. With proper installation and maintenance, they can provide clean energy for decades to come.

Quality, Lightweight, Flexible Solar Panels

It’s worth noting that although some sellers may not disclose this information, most flexible and semi flexible solar panels are produced in China, even if they are marketed as “cells” sourced from the US. China houses numerous manufacturers that specialize in producing various grades of solar panels. Ultimately, the panels’ quality depends on their manufacturing process rather than their country of origin.

Testing 12v Flexible Solar Panels

When testing solar panels, you should also ensure they meet the necessary certifications and standards. The IEC 61215 is one of the core testing standards for residential solar panels, so it’s important to ensure your panels meet this standard before installing them.

Testing your flexible solar panels before installation is important in ensuring they function correctly and will provide you with the power you need. By using a multimeter to measure voltage and current output, connecting them to a charge controller and battery, and making sure they meet the necessary certifications and standards, you can be sure that your solar panels will work as expected.