The 5 Best Portable Solar Panels in Canada in 2024

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With the rising cost of energy, it’s no surprise that portable solar panels are being seen more and more throughout Canada. You can find them on rooftops and even on signs along the highway.

Whether it’s for your home or for camping in an RV, solar panels are an excellent way to get electricity for (almost) nothing. Instead of utilizing Canada’s scarce natural resources to generate electricity, solar panels use energy absorbed by the sun.

When looking into which portable solar panel to buy, it’s important to consider its efficiency, durability, temperature coefficient, and of course its price. Keep reading to leanr more about portable solar panels. We’ll also highlight the best portable solar panels you can buy in Canada this year.

Are Portable Solar Panels Worth It?

People often wonder if solar panels are worth the hype. This ultimately depends on your electricity requirements and your expectations in terms of cost savings and convenience.

If you’re looking to power your holiday lights or an RV, then portable solar panels are absolutely worth it in terms of convenience. However, if you’re looking to save money on your electricity bill, portable solar panels might not huge a big difference, depending on how many you have installed and what you’re using them for.

To achieve noticeable cost savings, you’ll need to power a significant portion of your home. It’s been said that solar panels generally pay for themselves after 4 or 8 years of use, so don’t expect to notice an immediate saving.

That said, portable solar panels are a convenient way to obtain electricity in off-grid locations. They’re also a great way to familiarize yourself with solar power, without investing in a more permanent solar panel setup for your home.

The 5 Portable Best Solar Panels in Canada

When looking into which solar panel to buy, it’s important to consider its efficiency, durability, temperature coefficient, and of course its price. We’ve analyzed the top-selling models to come up with a list of the 5 best portable solar panels in Canada. 

Renogy 200 Watt 12V Foldable Solar Panel Kit

The Renogy Solar Panel Kit is another excellent 200W rigid solar panel set for RVs, sheds, or off-grid excursions. The kit comes with two 100W solar panels and a Voyager charge controller capable of charging any device in the 12V range. They’re even capable of generating electricity on partially cloudy days. 

The panels are made from grade A+ solar cells and a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame that enhance the performance and durability of the solar panels. 

What sets the Renogy apart from similar panels in the same price range is its 20A Voyager charge controller. It uses PWM technology to ensure that your devices charge at the correct speed and don’t overheat. It’s also fully waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about protecting it from rain. 

What’s also great about the Renogy solar panel kit is its portability. The kit comes with a suitcase that makes it easy to transport the solar panels. Altogether, the kid weighs about 36 lbs. 

What we like

  • Highly durable
  • Charge controller is waterproof 
  • Easy to store in its compact suitcase

What we like less

  • Heavy to transport, weighing 36 lbs

BougeRV 180W 12V Solar Panel

If all you need is a solar panel, without a power station or charge controller, BougeRV’s monocrystalline solar panel is an affordable and effective choice. At just 180W, the solar panel is suitable for parentally mounting onto the roof of an RV, van, or a small portion of your home. Despite its price point, it efficiently produces a high energy output of 12V. 

What’s particularly great about the BougeRV solar panels is that they use anti-glare technology to increase their efficiency by up to 90.5%. This means they work very well even in cloudy or low-light conditions. They’re also resistant to cold temperatures, high winds, and heavy snow, making them a great choice for Canadians. 

While most solar panels in this price range are 100W, these are 180W. If you have a small roof, you are better off opting for these 180W solar panels. They are compact yet provide more power than similarly sized panels. 

The panels come with 3 feet waterproof connectors and a waterproof conjunction box. The panels arrive with pre-drilled holes that make them quicker to install.

What we like

  • Comes with a 25-year warranty
  • Highly efficient, even on cloudy days
  • Compatible with cold and snowy winters

What we like less

  • Difficult to transport (26 lbs)
  • Doesn’t come with a power bank or controller

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 With Solar Panels 

The Jackery Solar Generator comes with everything you need to reap hours of electricity from the sun. With 1000W, this generator can power up to 8 devices at the same time. The solar panels also have 2 built-in 5V USB ports, so you can charge your devices even without the solar generator hooked up. 

At 1000 watts, the Jackery Explorer 1000 is a step up from the Explorer 500. It’s twice as powerful and its power capabilities are impressive. For example, it can power a 60W TV for up to 13 hours or it can charge an 80W laptop 12 times. 

The Jackery solar panel kit includes a Jackery Explorer 1000 Power Station, 2 SolarSaga solar panels, 1 AC adapter, 1 car charger cable, and 1 SolarSaga parallel adapter. Indeed, you can even charge your car’s battery using the Jackery Solar Generator. However, it’ll take about 11 hours to do so.

What we like

  • Supports fast charging
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Can power 8 devices at the same time 
  • Great for indoor or outdoor use

What we like less

  • Power station is bulky to transport

BigBlue 3 28W Solar Phone Charger

The BigBlue 3 is one of the best portable solar panel phone chargers on the market. The solar panel consists of 4 solar panels that can easily be folded up and tucked away when not in use. It’s equipped with three 5V USB ports that can be used to charge three devices at the same time. It’s essentially compatible with any phone or tablet in the 5V range, including most Android and Apple devices.

When folded up, the BigBlue 3 measures just 11.6 by 6.3 by 1.3 inches. It weighs just over a pound. This makes it compact enough to fit in a suitcase or backpack.

The BigBlue 3 uses smart charge technology, which means it can recognize your device and provide it with its optimal charging speed. It’s capable of converting 24% of solar power into electricity, which is impressive. With its auto-restart function, it can continue charging in cloudy conditions. 

A potential downside with the BigBlue 3 is that it’s rather large when unfolded, considering it’s just a phone charger. Another potential downside is that it doesn’t store the electricity that it conducts. This means that your devices have to be charging at the same time as it’s generating electricity in the daylight. If there is not enough sunlight at the moment, your device won’t charge. 

If you want a smaller solar phone charger that’s more portable and can fit in your pocket, we recommend the MetFut Solar Power Bank.

What we like

  • Compatible with most Android & Apple phones & tablets 
  • Works in partially cloudy conditions
  • Budget-friendly
  • Excellent charging speed

What we like less

  • Bulky considering it’s a phone charger
  • Does not store electricity 
  • Not compatible with iPad Pro

ECO-WORTHY 200W Portable Solar Panel Kit

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly solar power kit that comes with everything you need, the ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel kit is for you. Made from a rust-resistant aluminum frame, these solar panels are durable enough to withstand intense winds and snowfalls. They can easily be installed on top of a shed or RV and provide you with many hours of power per day. 

The kit comes with two 100W monocrystalline solar panels, a charge controller, a 15-foot solar controller cable, 2 sets of mounting Z-brackets, a pair of Y-branch connectors, and all necessary bolts and nuggets. The panels have conveniently pre-drilled holes, so installation is quick. The solar panels can be wired in two different ways, depending on whether you need 12V output or 24V output. 

The charge controller is equipped with two USB ports with a 5V output so that it can charge up to 2 devices within a 5V range at the same time. It also has an LCD screen that displays everything you need, from battery capacity to charging status.

What we like

  • Inexpensive for a complete solar panel kit 
  • Compatible with snowy winters 
  • Outputs 800WH per day

What we like less

  • Charge controller is not waterproof

How Do Portable Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels are made up of silicone solar cells that absorb sun rays. They will have a mix of positive and negative layers that work together to generate electricity. Electricity at this stage is referred to as direct current electricity or DC electricity. In order to store this electricity for later use, it has to be channeled through a charge controller and into a battery. 

Portable solar panels will either have built-in USB ports to charge your devices or require being hooked up to a compatible power bank or charge controller.

What Are The Benefits of Portable Solar Panels?

Whether it’s for your shed, RV, or for an outdoor excursion, there are many benefits of opting for portable solar panels instead of a portable inverter generator. 

Affordable

Even if you’re not powering your entire home with solar panels, you will save money on your electricity bill. For example, some people choose to power just their shed or outdoor lights with solar panels. How much you will save ultimately depends on many factors, including the electricity costs in your province and the size of the solar energy system you install. 

Portable inverter generators, on the other hand, are generally much more expensive to buy and require electricity to charge them. 

Eco-Friendly

Another benefit of solar panels is that, instead of relying on fossil fuels for power, they rely on a renewable energy source: the sun. This means that they generate no greenhouse gas emissions or nasty pollutants. 

Quiet

Unlike a portable generator, solar panels operate with zero noise. However, if you’re using a portable solar panel along with a solar generator or power bank to store power, there is a chance that it generates some noise. 

Easy To Install

While installing solar panels on a home requires some wire work and know-how, portable solar panels require little to no installation. You basically just need to place them in a sunny location and hook them up to a power bank. Some solar panels don’t even require a power bank and can be connected directly to a device via USB. 

Easy to Transport

Just like a portable generator, portable solar panels can be transported quite easily and installed anywhere with sun exposure. They can weigh anywhere from 5 to 40 lbs, depending on their size and whether or not they come with a power bank for storing power. 

The 3 Types Of Portable Solar Panels

There are three main types of portable solar panels, and they’re mainly distinguished by their size and design. Here is an overview of each type:

Mini Solar Panels (or Solar Phone Chargers)

Solar phone chargers are small and foldable and typically produce between 5 and 20 watts of electricity. Mini solar panels are convenient for camping, boating trips, or backpacking. With their low wattage, they’re generally only capable of charging 1 or 2 phones on a full charge. 

Flexible or Foldable Solar Panels 

Flexible solar panels, often referred to as foldable solar panels, are a convenient choice for RVs since they can be folded up easily. They typically generate between 20 and 100 watts of electricity.

Rigid Solar Panels 

Rigid solar panels are sturdier and typically permanently mounted on rooftops of homes or vehicles. The amount of power generated by a rigid solar panel will depend on its size, but they typically generate over 50 watts. 

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