What is a roll-up solar panel?

A roll-up solar panel is a type of flexible solar panel that rolls up when it is not being used, for easy storage. These portable power solutions are small, light, and easy to transport – learn more about flexible solar panels here!

You can also get foldable solar panels that give portable solar power and pack down small for storage.

Phone charging with solar panel

These small panels are preferred by many people who want flexibility and solar power in a wide variety of situations.

When outdoors and on the move, a portable solar panel is ideal for keeping your batteries charged!

Why roll up solar panels?

Roll-up solar panels are light and easy to handle. The best roll-up solar panels also fold down for easy storage when they are not in use. These solar panel kits can be easily transported from place to place without taking up much room.

This makes them a great option for travelers and outdoorsy folks who want to have solar power available while on the go. As they generally have smaller power outputs, they’re best suited for powering things that only need a little bit of electricity rather than a lot of it.

If you just need to run a small fan unit or recharge your laptop a roll-up solar panel may be a good option!

Getting to know the three types of roll up solar panels

Polycrystalline solar panels

Polycrystalline solar panels

Sometimes called multi-crystalline cells, polycrystalline solar panels are made from silicon wafers that come from many different crystals. Although these are easier to manufacture and therefore a cheaper option, they are not as efficient as monocrystalline solar panels.

Monocrystalline solar panels

Monocrystalline solar panels

Also known as single crystalline panels, these are the purest form of PV cell because they are constructed of a single high-quality silicon crystal. This makes them the most efficient option.

Thin film solar panels

A thin-film solar panel is a lowest-priced option but also the least effective. Photovoltaic material is put to a substrate such as glass or plastic to create a thin-film solar panel.

These have a nice uniform appearance and can be used in many ways, such as for portable RV solar panels or roll-up flexible panels.

In fact, the flexibility opens up many options of power outputs for portable solar energy harvesting!

Thin-film solar panel

What to think about when selecting roll up solar panel types?

How do you choose between the three types of roll-up solar panels now that you know a little more about them? Here are some things to think about:

  • The price per watt
  • Demands for storage
  • Overall power output

What are the advantages of choosing roll up solar panels?

Man using a laptop in the forest
  • Makes installation easier and lowers labor costs. They can be installed on low-load bearing roofs that would normally be unsuitable for traditional solar panels due to their light weight.
  • Portable solar panels are a low-cost option to profit from solar power when you’re off the beaten path. In addition to being highly mobile they are able to be relocated to anywhere you may require electricity.
  • You can harness the power of the sun on the go with portable solar panels. 
  • Portable panels aren’t just for intrepid explorers. Small solar chargers that fit in a backpack or a pocket can be purchased and used to harvest energy from the sun. These gadgets don’t produce or store a lot of energy, but they can be used to power a phone or a laptop.
  • Some portable panel solutions may have unique features, like as a kickstand or foldable design, that make them easier to use on the go due to their reduced size.
  • Using the natural energy of the sun for your on-the-go electricity needs on a camping trip, trek, or lengthy RV drive is easy with a portable solar installation.

Best roll up and foldable solar panels in the market

We’ve taken a look at what portable solar power options are available, so read on for our portable solar panel reviews below to find the best product for you!

These portable panels are some of the best solar chargers out there and will help keep you connected all the time. They power your outside activities, allowing you to get more out of your outdoor experiences – did you know you can get flexible solar panels for boats!

Flexible
PowerFilm 60 Watt Rollable Solar Panels
9/10 Our Score

Want to make your next camping trip or hiking vacation as easy as possible? Just want all the conveniences of home even if you’re out in the middle of nowhere? This solar charger is just what you’ve been looking for!

Specification:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Dimensions: 85.7 x 26.5 x 0.1 inches
  • Weight: 3.25 Pounds
  • Maximum Voltage: 12 volts
  • Wattage: 60 watts
  • Connector type: USB


About this item:

  • It’s waterproof and works well in a variety of circumstances, including hot and cold temperatures, and on overcast days.
  • Rollable, durable, flexible, lightweight, long-lasting, portable, and environmentally friendly.
  • Tie-down grommets and a wrap-around clasp for simple storage.
  • Made in the United States of America.
  • A 12V female car charger adapter (RA-2) and a 15-foot extension cord with O-ring connectors are included (RA-11).
Lightweight
GoldenSol 60W Foldable Solar Panel
9.2/10 Our Score

This portable solar panel has a spun polyester handle and folds up to look like a briefcase, making it easy to assemble, transport, and hang.

It was built following solar technology advancement and with technical expertise in order to come up with the best portable solar panels in the market. So, you can take it everywhere with you.

About this item:

  • Material: Spun Polyester
  • Dimensions: 20.47 x 13.78 x 1.57 inches
  • Weight: 5.73 Pounds
  • Connector type: USB

This solar panel system harnesses the sun’s energy to offer your electronics infinite green, ecologically beneficial electricity without the worry of running out! While off the grid, you may effortlessly charge your devices with as much power as needed.

This portable solar panel is perfect for RVs, camping, climbing, trekking, boating, and emergency situations.

Water-resistant
Rockpals SP003 100W Foldable Solar Panels
9.2/10 Our Score

Oxford cloth is used to make this item. The solar panel is waterproof and can withstand all weather conditions.

It comes with a carrying case making it suitable for outdoor activities like camping, climbing, trekking, and picnics.

Technical specifications:

  • Solar panel wattage: 100 Watts
  • Solar panel type: Mono-crystalline
  • DC charging output: 18V/5.4A (Max)
  • USB charging port: 2 (max. output power: 10W)
  • QC3.0 USB port: 1*9V 2.5A MAX
  • Open circuit voltage: 16 – 18V
  • Operating temperature: 0 – 120 F
Fast Charging
Solar POPO 100W
9.1/10 Our Score

One of the best solar panels which offer smart rapid charging and is compatible with power output for most electrical devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops.

Specifications:

  • Model: SOLAR POPO G100 solar panel
  • Peak Power(Pm): 100W
  • Operating Temperature: -10℃~+65℃
  • Dimension(unfolded): 1185 x 525mm/46 x 20inch
  • Dimension(folded): 595 x 525mm/23 x 20inch
  • Weight: 3.94 kg/ 8.69 lbWhat you get: 1×SOLAR POPO G100 100W solar panel with 9.84FT 4 in 1 output cable and 1 user guide

It has two folds carrying case, lightweight, eco-worthy, and portable, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping trips, and general travel.

Fast Charging
Uni-Solar PVL-136 PowerBond PVL 136 Watt
9.5/10 Our Score

If you want a roll-up solar panel that is super flexible, look no further!

Specifications:

  • Brand: Unisolar
  • Dimensions: LxWxH 216 x 0.6 x 15.5 inches
  • Weight: 17 Pounds
  • Maximum voltage: 24 Volts

About this item:

  • Flexible solar panel from Powerbond
  • Can be attached to just about any surface, for a temporary or more permanent installation.
  • No need for a racking system, this product can be attached with adhesive tape.
  • Lightweight, higher efficiency, and long-lasting.
  • Triple-junction type
Wide Applicability
DOKIO 300W 18V Portable Solar Panel
9.4/10 Our Score

This foldable solar panel provides an incredible 300W of power!

These high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels also come with a 3m cable length, giving you real flexibility for use outdoors.

About this item:

  • Brand: DOKIO
  • Material: Monocrystalline Silicon
  • Dimensions: 41 x 22 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight: 17 Pounds
  • Connector type: USB
  • Wattage: 300 watts

What you get:

  • 1 DOKIO 300W solar panel
  • 1 DOKIO 20A controller
  • 1 9.8FT cable (SAE to XT60)
  • 1 cable XT60 to Alligator clip
  • 1 cable (JY60 to DC)
  • 5 DC conversion adapters

With this high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cell, you will get greater power efficiency even though the panel is smaller than a traditional model. Has built-in protection against overcharging, overload, and short-circuiting.

What roll up solar panels are best?

Since roll-up solar panels are relatively new, there hasn’t been a lot of standardization in roll-up solar panel quality.

You can find roll-up solar panels for very cheap prices but you need to be careful when selecting your roll-up solar panel.

Solar panels that can be rolled back and forth without the use of a hand crank are considered by many to be the greatest quality roll-up solar panels.

Is a roll up solar panel right for me?

In the event that you don’t want to invest in a full-size rigid solar panel system, roll-up panels are the ideal option.

If you are looking for a portable solar panel then this would be a great option.

Do solar panels that roll or fold work?

A portable solar setup is a good way to use the natural energy from the sun for your on-the-go energy requirements during a camping trip, hike, or long RV drive. 

It allows you to carry solar electricity with you and use it to charge your cell phone or offer backup power anytime, anywhere.

Scientists monitoring the forest with a solar powered field laboratory

And because of their modest weight, compact size, and portability, roll-up, and folding solar panels are an excellent alternative for on-the-go applications.

However, since they are smaller and less powerful than a rigid panel installed on your house roof, they require a lot of sunlight to recharge your electronics.

How can portable solar panels generate electricity?

Portable solar panels work in the same way as any other solar cell!

These portable panels capture the sun’s rays and transform them into usable energy using a charge controller or regulator. After that, it feeds to a battery in order to keep it recharged.

Frequently asked questions

Will my system need to be serviced?

Solar power is a low-maintenance, low-cost technology. Solar PV, unlike other energy systems, has no moving parts. Therefore your solar equipment is unlikely to fail. But remember to clean your solar panels after you’ve been away enjoying the great outdoors!

Despite the minimal maintenance nature of solar, it’s still better to get your installer or another experienced solar specialist to evaluate your array every 3 to 5 years to ensure everything is in working order.

They’ll undertake a visual assessment of all equipment, looking for things like critter-caused wiring damage and ensuring that your system is operating properly.

How long does it take for a solar panel to pay for itself in terms of energy?

The time it takes for a solar panel to produce more energy than it took to make it is known as the energy payback period. This time varies depending on the panel and technology.

It can take less than four years for a conventional solar panel to produce more electricity than is needed to make it when manufacturing processes were less effective.

The best portable solar panel kit gives you solar power in places where there is no alternative. Therefore, the payback equation is a little different for a portable solar panel kit to when installing a full solar energy array on your home.

What role do batteries play in solar?

Solar power is an excellent complement to battery storage. A correctly sized and built solar system will re-charge the batteries on a regular basis, delivering the energy essential to maintain your battery fully charged and available to use.

Using a battery bank with your solar power means that you can always access the energy whenever you need it!

What are the different types of panels I must search for?

Solar panels are always evolving in terms of size, power output, and efficiency. So, it’s crucial to keep up with what’s available.

The appearance of the panel is frequently more important to users than the technology contained within it. When it comes to aesthetics, there are numerous solutions available.

For flexible panels and portable solar panels that people want to use outdoors, the size and weight will be the most important factors.

What is the expected life span of my portable solar panels?

It’s difficult to say how long your portable solar panel will endure because solar power technology has advanced so much in the last decade. The majority of solar power companies promise that their panels will generate energy for at least 25 years.

This means that your portable solar panel will degrade slightly over time, losing roughly 0.8-1.2 percent of its initial efficiency per year. Dirt, pollen, and other external elements are common causes of degradation, therefore it’s crucial to remember to clean your portable solar panel on a regular basis.

Although your solar panel will lose some efficiency over time, it’s vital to keep in mind that the loss won’t be considered until after many years of high-efficiency electricity production.

Is it possible to store solar energy?

Batteries can be used to store solar energy.

Whenever solar energy is injected into a battery bank, the energy is stored through a chemical process and is ready for use when you need it!

Take away

Many people know about traditional rigid solar panels that are used in the home. Not so many people are aware that it is possible to purchase lightweight and portable crystalline solar panels that can produce enough power output to keep you connected whilst on the move!

Providing power to typhoons or hurricane-ravaged areas is much easier with technologies like roll-up solar panels. Going camping, fishing, or conducting research in a remote location?! You don’t have to be worried, you can bring all of your electronic devices with you! With the help of this portable technology, they may be simply recharged on the go.

With a built-in charge controller, you can be sure of good protection for your devices, whether you charge directly or store power in a battery bank.

These tiny solar chargers can be used to recharge small devices such as your camera and cell phone, while a larger portable solar panel can be used to recharge laptops, DVD players, and other outdoor appliances.

The size and type of roll-up solar panel kits you choose will be determined by your needs. That’s why we’ve reviewed the range above to give you plenty of choices to suit your exact requirements!