Let’s take a second to imagine a scenario. In this scenario, you are on the Appalachian Trail, and you reach Mcaffee Knob Overlook in Virginia. The weather is beautiful, the sun is setting, and while you are sitting there taking in the beauty of the world around you, you realize that you are going to want to share this moment with your friends when you get back home.
So you pull out your camera to snap some pictures, low and behold, the battery is dead, so to avoid this from happening try one of the best portable solar panels that exists.
Let’s try another one. You are in the backwoods exploring some new territory, maybe your hunting or maybe you’re just backpacking. Either way, you are not on a well-traveled trail. Next thing you know your GPS battery starts warning you that it is on its last leg and will soon need to be charged.
The first scenario, though crappy, is really just an inconvenience. You’ll still be able to get home no problem, heck I’m sure you’ll even be able to use someone else’s camera to take a picture. But in scenario number two, the dead battery in your GPS, that can be life threatening. Luckily, we live in an age where we have the technology to make sure neither of those scenarios happens to us. But it’s up to us to make sure we prepare properly.
Today’s article is going to be about the glorious invention that is solar panels. There are several different types of solar panels, from the behemoths you put on the roof of your house down to pocket size panels, constructed with portability in mind. We will look particularly at the best ones for you to take with you when you venture into the wilderness.
Best Portable Solar Panels
EnerPlex Kickr 2
This solar panel is made with invincibility in mind, and they succeeded. You can step on it, smash it on a rock, heck even if it gets punctured it will still have charging capabilities. The Kickr 2 charges somewhat slow (half of the charge rate as a standard wall adapter), but that is to be expected when using solar energy from portable sources.
Harkening back to the durability of this piece, it is weather resistant, therefore, it is a good option if you want to strap your panel to your backpack allowing it to be charging all day. Also, it weighs less than a pound.
Let’s talk about charging capabilities. It delivers three watts to your devices which are very good for a panel of this size (especially being portable), but it can be somewhat finicky on cloudy days.
Should you buy this one
I am of the opinion that the EnerPlex Kickr 2 is one of the best portable solar devices on the market for the price. However, the downfall here is that it only gives 0.6 amp outputs. It is not going to blow you away with power. But it is useful for what it’s made for.
Anker 21 Watt Dual USB Solar Charger
Anker is a very well known company in the portable charging space, in fact, they have ten million plus people using their products. When you buy Anker, you can be sure, that you are also buying quality. And this device is no different.
This portable panel offers fast charging technology. By utilizing the PowerIQ, it can provide each device an incredible 2.4 amps per charging port. This is a 21-watt charging machine that is going to be able to take care of all your electronic needs.
It’s also extremely durable, having industrial strength polymer faced solar panels that are sewn into a rugged casing to ensure that the panels are protected at all times. Plus the polyester canvas makes the device water resistant so you can have it attached to your pack and not have to worry about the weather.
Let us talk portability for a bit. This Anker device is a mere 11.1” x 6.3” while it is folded and 26.4” x 11.1” when opened all the way. One thing I love about portable solar panels is how lightweight they are (something about carrying all of that power with me in only a few pounds), and this is no different, weighing only 14 ounces.
If for some reason your device does not work, or it breaks unexpectedly, Anker offers an 18 month warranty for their customers.
Should you get this one
If you can’t tell already, I really like this device. It gives you excellent charging capability, tremendous portability, and all of this comes backed by an 18-month warranty. The device itself charges well in almost all conditions so you should have no problem getting your cameras, GPS’s, or phones charged when you need them.
Wrap – Up
Having access to your electronics when you are in isolated places is not just a convenience, it can be an absolute necessity. The prospect of being lost in the wilderness with no way to find your way back home is absolutely frightening to me. The portable solar panels make it so that you have one less thing to worry about.
One quick tip. Get you an Aukey portable charger and use the solar panel to charge that. That way if you are in a situation where the solar panel isn’t working you still have a backup. I hope you made up your mind and know which one to chose from these best portable solar panels.
Looking for a portable solar panel for under $200? This one is our favorite.
Curious about what you really need to survive? Read about what you need here.