Camping provides a much-needed break from hectic day to day life, a chance to reconnect with nature and the opportunity to sleep under the stars.
We all have devices which are important to us, not just for comfort and connection but also for safety; we need to keep them charged.
The best solar panels for camping can offer an eco-friendly, clean, and efficient power supply. Whether you stay in a vehicle where panels can be fixed, or camp with a backpack and tent where portability is key, camping solar panels enable you to charge devices and appliances in an eco-friendly and efficient way.
Finding a solar panel that is right for your needs can be challenging. What you use it for will determine which is the best and most efficient portable solar panel for your camping needs.
The Top Five Things to Look for When Buying Camping Solar Panels
Wattage is very important when considering your purchase. If you simply need to keep a phone or camera charged whilst camping, you'll only need a small charger, but if you're going to power more or bigger appliances, you'll need panels with a higher energy output.
The bare minimum you should look for is 2 Watts. This will allow you to charge small electronic items such as your mobile phone with around a 30-50% charge on a summer’s day.
If you are into photography and want to charge your DSLR or laptop, then you are going to need a little more power. 10 Watts will give you enough energy to charge both devices with around 1-3 charges a day in good sunlight.
If you want to charge multiple devices from your solar panel, then you will need 30+ Watts. This will allow you to charge things such as notebooks and cameras.
The capacity to store energy for when you know the weather isn't going to be very sunny comes in the form of a solar panel with a battery.
Types of Solar Panel
There are three main types of solar panels – monocrystalline, amorphous (thin-film) and crystalline. Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient but also the most expensive. Polycrystalline panels on the other hand, are less efficient but cost 30-50% less than its counterpart. Amorphus panels are significantly cheaper than both the other panels but are far less efficient. However, they are the most resilient and robust!
To ensure you are buying the most efficient solar panel, look for one made from monocrystalline solar cells. This type of high-end technology provides the highest efficiency and power capacity out of all types of solar panels.
BLUETTI only sells panels using this cell technology. Panels such as the BLUETTI PV200 Solar Panel can convert up to 23.4% of sunlight into solar energy making them the choice of serious campers.
Size and Weight
The higher the wattage, the more solar cells are needed, and this in turn increases the size of the panel. The power rating dictates the size and weight of the panel overall. A panel over 200 Watts will be too heavy for everyday camping.
Panels of up to around 100-watts are small and light enough to carry around with you.
There are three main types of portable monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels to choose from:
- Rigid Solar Panel
Rigid solar panels are more suited to caravans or vehicles as they cannot be folded down to a compact size.
- Lightweight Folding Solar Blanket
Folding solar blankets are perfect for travelers who are worried about space and weight. Whilst they are more expensive than panels, folding solar blankets offer added convenience. For example, they can be hung off awning, draped over your car or placed over your windscreen.
- Freestanding Solar Panel
Freestanding solar panels can be moved and folded into a storable size. You can move them throughout the day to maximize sun exposure, making them super-efficient.
Camping can be a rough activity, so you need to feel confident that your investment is going to last. Even the humble campsite poses risks to your new equipment - everything from potholes to gravel paths and the constant opening and closing of your panel will impact its lifespan.
Weather is a key factor and it’s essential to select a panel which is made of high-end materials. Bluetti PV350 Solar Panel is incredibly durable and splash-proof, boasting a handy kick stand which provides a quick and easy set up.
Cost and Warranty
Before you make your choice as to which type of panel to buy, it is advisable to draw up a cost to benefit analysis and consider your budget.
Although monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive than polycrystalline solar panels, they do offer a lot more energy for the price tag. Monocrystalline solar panels are made from superior grade silicon which has a single crystal structure, reducing resistance in the cells and allowing a better flow of electricity. This efficiency is one of the key advantages of monocrystalline solar panels.
It is possible to find cheap solar panels online. If you’re lucky, you might end up with one which doesn’t break the bank or break down mid-camping trip, but we would recommend buying your panels from a trusted, reputable supplier such as Bluetti.
As with any major purchase, you want to spend more on carefully considered and sourced technology. Bluetti offer quality solar panels to suit your needs. Our solar panels offer a cost effective, durable, and reliable solution.
More important is the reassurance of our customer care and fantastic warranties.
You can rely on BLUETTI for your camping power!