The Best Portable/Foldable Solar Panels

Ideal for the occasional solar panel user, portable (foldable) solar panels can be stored in a compact space and pulled out only when needed. They are great for keeping in your car in case of a breakdown, in your house for supplemental power during an outage (but useless at night), or for camping.

Not Weatherproof – Put Out on Sunny Days Only
Portable solar panels are NOT intended to replace permanent flat-panel solar panels, which have been specifically designed to be weatherproof. By contrast, these portable solar panels are only water-resistant at best, and in most products, the controller box is intended to remain dry.

Everything Included (Except Battery for Power Storage)
While a typical solar panel setup requires a charge controller and numerous cables and connectors in addition to the panel itself, ALL of these components are built into the portable solar panel (except for the cables). To use, simply put the solar panel in the sun and hook up your USB device or DC device for charging. These panels do not include power banks (batteries) for storing the generated power for later use. To store the power, you must connect either a USB Power Bank (USB port) and or a so-called Portable Solar Power Station (DC port) (Reviewed here). The lightweight design and portability of the portable solar panel adds an extra premium of around 30% to 60% per watt to their price compared to fixed panels, but the portability and lightweight design of these solar panels open up a whole new world of uses.

Bottom Line
Bottom Line
Best for Smaller Power Needs

Our Picks
Best Overall:
Compact and lightweight. Highest output (100W) of these solar panels. Low weight (5.29 lb) for its power output. Has both DC output (for charging power banks or other devices) and USB ports.
  • Price (cost per generated watt)
  • 2 USB ports and 1 DC 18V port
  • Compact and lightweight
  • None
Best If Using USB Devices Only:
Ideal for carrying around. USB ports only — No DC port for charging power banks. Includes ammeter that shows input current. Charge controller is zipped in a waterproof pouch for extra protection.
  • Ammeter for checking input current
  • Compact and lightweight
  • No DC port (USB ports only)
Compact Choice:
Smaller version (40W) solar panel that includes one DC port and two USB ports.
  • 2 USB ports (USB-C x 1, USB-A (QC3.0) x 1)
  • Compact and lightweight
  • DC5521 port
  • Two USB ports, but each is a different type

The following solar panel was also a close choice for our Compact Choice, but its price was significantly higher. It could still be a great buy if it goes on sale!

Specifications Comparison
Power Output
Output Ports
DC 18V/5A, USB x 2
USB x 2
DC, USB x 2
DC 12V
Dimensions folded (in)
12.8 x 8.2 x 4.4
11.2 x 6.3 x 0.7
8.0 x 11.1 x 1.8
47 x 20.9 x 1.5
Weight (lb)
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