Flexible solar panels or portable solar panels are perfect if you’re thinking about living off the grid.
They’re great if you want to have power even when you’re doing things like camping. They’re efficient and installing them is very simple.
Of course, there are a lot of flexible and portable solar panels on the market. This can make it a little more challenging to choose the best option for you.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. Here are some of the best flexible and portable solar panels on the market.
We’ve also written a nifty buyer’s guide to help you to make your decision more easily.
Best Flexible Solar Panels Reviews
The RichSolar 100 W 12V Flexible Solar Panel is one of the best choices on the market if you’re looking for a high quality flexible solar panel.
In fact, the solar panel is both durable and can provide you with roughly 30 degrees worth of flex.
The solar panel is pretty small, measuring only 41.1 inches x 27.2 inches x 0.11 inches and it only weighs 4.8 lbs in total.
This means that if you need to put them in a slightly smaller area with little space then you can make them fit perfectly.
One minor problem with this solar panel is that it doesn’t have very good shade protection so you will need to be careful.
Otherwise if you are looking to install solar panels on your van, tiny home or anywhere else with limited space, this is a perfect choice.
- Small and compact
- 30 degree flex
- Doesn’t have very good shade protection
Flexible Solar Panel
This compact solar panel is the more flexible option that you can find.
Measuring only 48 inches x 21.6 inches by .08 inches and weighing only 4.2 lbs, this is a great option if you need something compact for travel purposes.
It’s a good choice for people living off the grid or for people that want a more eco conscious lifestyle.
In fact, the solar panel can work with all sorts of battery power stations, and you can even link a few solar panels together in order to get more power using the MC4 connectors.
The solar panel is durable as Renogy has chosen to get rid of the glass element. No more concerns about shattering glass! The junction boxes have also been made to be totally waterproof.
You will also be pleased to know that the solar panel is incredibly simple to use. When you need to pack it up, you can just roll it up and carry it.
You can mount it just by laying it down as you would do with a mat you put on the floor.
You can even place it on your tent and there’s no need to get mounting brackets of anything like that. The flexible cells are somewhat expensive, however.
- Very flexible
- More expensive
Flexible Solar Panel
Here comes the sun, and the power to boot! The Sunpower 110 W Flexible Solar Panel is a ridiculously effective solar panel that’s perfect when you need electricity off the grid.
Measuring 45.9 inches x 21.9 inches x 0.1 inches, and weighing a mere 4.4 lbs it’s very portable, ideal for camping.
The solar panel consists of monocrystalline solar cells. These have an efficiency of 25%, pretty impressive as a whole!
Despite the fact that it’s a lot shorter than most panels of this wattage, it’s capable of providing you with an additional 10 more watts an hour.
In addition to all of this, the Sunpower 110 W solar panel can be installed with no problem.
It comes with adhesives for easy attachment, and the product comes with an installation guide to show you how to set it up.
If you are at all concerned about your purchase you will also be pleased to know that the product comes with a 5 year warranty.
- 5 year warranty
- Easy installation
Flexible Solar Panel
This solar panel is somewhat unique as it’s an amorphous silicon thin film panel. This means that it’s exceptionally flexible, but unfortunately it isn’t quite as efficient as a result of this.
The solar panel is pretty heavy, weighing 17 lbs and it measures 18 feet long. It will provide you with 136 watts of power.
It’s pretty affordable, especially for a solar panel of this size and as long as you have the space it should be suitable for you.
Setting the product up is fairly simple, and as a whole this is a high quality product that you are sure to appreciate.
- Very flexible
- Not as efficient as many other options on this list
If you are looking for a decently powered yet flexible solar panel for things like camping trips, then the Allpowers 50 W 18 V/12 V Flexible Panel may be the right choice for you.
This solar panel weighs fairly little at only 2.4 lbs in total, and it measures 24.8 inches by 21 inches by 0.09 inches.
The panels use monocrystalline solar cells with a fantastic efficiency of 23.5%.
The panels are absolutely ideal if you are trying to power up small spaces such as vans and tiny homes. It is a little expensive, however.
- 23.5% efficiency
- Ideal for traveling
Best Portable Solar Panels
If flexible solar panels aren’t quite what you’re looking for, then how about a portable solar panel? Here are some of the best portable solar panels on the market.
130W of power wherever you are? Yes please! This solar power kit can give you up to 130 W an hour so long as the sun is shining, and there’s even a 10 amp solar controller built in.
You can expect this product to stand the test of time thanks to the fact that it’s been constructed out of incredibly durable materials and little maintenance is required to keep it on track.
When you aren’t using it you can simply fold it down. It’s not the most lightweight at 29 lbs however.
You will be happy to know that you can set up these solar panels in no time – you only need to dedicate a few minutes to get them set up and they’re good to go.
You can move them around too, from your roof to the top of your car.
- 10 amp solar charger
- Easy set up
- Weighs 29 lbs – somewhat heavy
For Eco friendly power on the go, you can’t get much better than the Eco-Worthy DC-FP40-1.
These solar panels can provide you with clean energy, and they’re super durable to boot.
They feature a corrosion resistant frame consisting of aluminum material, and this means that they can last a long time no matter what the weather is.
In addition to this, the solar panel has been designed to be extra safe, with safety mechanisms that protect against overcharge, overload, over discharge, and reverse connection.
This means that you don’t need to worry about your electronics becoming damaged.
It’s a fantastic choice for people who are off the grid, doing activities such as hiking and camping. It weighs a mere 12 lbs in total and it can provide you with 40 watts of power.
If all of that wasn’t enough then you will also be happy to know that this product is incredibly affordable too.
It could do with being slightly lighter, but this is just a minor complaint.
- Highly durable
- High power output
- Safety features
- Could do with being a little more lightweight
Your times of worrying about your solar panels breaking are done – you can fully expect the HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel to last for even decades.
This is mainly down to the multilayered lamination and encapsulation material, which means that the cells still perform exceptionally well even as time passes.
The solar panels feature tempered anti reflective glass that can deal with any kind of weather.
It weighs only 16.5 lbs in total and it can be used almost anywhere that you can imagine. It’s also affordable and a waterproof junction box where you can plug in MC4 connectors.
They can also deal with the shade and low lighting conditions and you won’t need to worry about the performance declining.
- Easy set up
- Can be used in a home or in the country
- It doesn’t already come with bare wire MC4 connectors
For convenient power wherever you go, give the Goal Zero Nomad 28 Plus Solar Panel a try. This solar panel can provide you with 28 watts of power, and you will even have a USB connecting option.
This means that you can plug in other portable devices such as a tablet, smartphone, batteries or a camera on the go.
You will also be pleased to know that the product is ideal regardless of the weather, mainly due to the waterproof layer on it.
For extra convenience the product has an LED indicator that will show you some key information such as solar conditions and charging speed. There’s even an auto restart option.
This compact option weighs a mere 3 lbs in total, so you can simply pack it in your rucksack for charging on the go. It’s very reliable too – you can’t get much better.
- Ideal for hiking and outdoor pursuits
- Weather resistant
- It sometimes isn’t as consistent with delivering charge
There’s a lot to love about the ACOPOWER UV11007GD 100 Watt Solar Panel. Actually no, we stand corrected – solar panels, plural.
That’s right, this particular kit comes with two different foldable 50 watt solar panels featuring monocrystalline cells.
The solar panels come with a charge controller, and this will help to ensure that your system doesn’t get damaged by any common electrical issues such as overcharging and overloading.
It also has a corrosion resistant aluminum frame that means it is safe to operate in pretty much any weather. This means it’s ideal for outdoor use, especially if you’re camping.
In addition to all of this, it’s especially easy to carry the solar panels around thanks to the handle and kickstand legs. Folding it down is easy too for exceptionally simple storage.
- Charge controller included
- 2 piece kit
- Safe for operation in any weather
- Very expensive
Best Flexible Solar Panels Buying Guide
So now that you’ve seen some of the best flexible and portable solar panels that the market has to offer, how exactly can you choose the best option for you?
It’s best to fully assess your options based on your needs, and that requires an understanding of what makes a great solar panel. Read on to find out more.
The most vital aspect to consider when you’re buying a flexible solar panel is the power that it can offer you.
In essence, if your solar panel has a higher wattage then the chances are that you can use many more devices for longer amounts of time.
You should really be choosing a wattage that fits your needs. For instance, if you’re running a boat then a solar panel with less power would be suitable, whereas you would need more power to operate an RV.
It is worth noting that it’s also sometimes possible to string together a couple of solar panels in order to get the wattage that you need.
You’re also likely to be spending more money on a solar panel with higher wattage.
If you want a product that is going to last a long time, you are going to need to think about the durability of that product.
Of course, the durability of the device can depend on a lot of things but the most important thing is the kinds of materials that it is made out of.
For instance, you will find that some solar panels are made with durable plastic to stop dust and moisture from damaging the solar cells.
Solar panels that have ETFE plastic are generally pretty durable – this is a material that is quite commonly used for high end solar panels.
It’s also worth remembering that in general a crystalline solar panel will be much more durable than a thin film technology construction.
You should also make sure that your solar panels are water resistant, especially if you plan on using your solar panels on a boat.
The last thing that you want is to be spending hours attempting to install your solar panel, especially because flexible solar panels are well known for the fact that they are easier to install than standard solar panels.
You will often find that they are fitted out with velcro or self adhesive tapes so you can attach the device to your home or vehicle with ease.
Otherwise, make sure that you look for products with an in depth installation guide to take any guesswork out of the process.
The biggest issue with flexible solar panels is that they often don’t last quite as long as regular solar panels because they can bend and they are more portable.
As a result of this, you should take some time to consider a product that will provide you with the longest possible lifespan, as they certainly aren’t cheap!
How exactly can you tell whether a product is going to stand the test of time? First of all, check the materials for any durability red flags.
Customer reviews will also generally give you a decent indication of the longevity of a product.
You should also keep an eye out for a minimum of a 5 year warranty on the materials. Long warranties are an indication that the manufacturer is confident their product will last.
Frequently Asked Questions
Flexible solar panels can sometimes get very warm, though it depends on their environment.
They’ll get much hotter if they’re installed onto a metal roof. The problem with this is that large amounts of heat can sometimes shorten their lifespan and they may not perform as efficiently.
The solution to this is investing in a mounting rack or gluing them onto a raised surface.
Flexible solar panels are usually pretty easy to fix.
They usually tend to come with things like metal grommets in the corner, and you can use these to attach them to a roof or frame.
Some of them also have backs with peel and stick adhesives so all you need to do is stick the solar panel to the desired area. It’s pretty easy to do, as a whole.