Solar panels are an amazing way to add some green energy into your life and enjoy the wonders of modern electricity without damaging the environment too much. Of course, not everyone has room on their property for a massive solar panel kit that’s the size of a small shack, and that can make this source of green energy feel a little inaccessible. We want everyone to be able to do their part to save Mother Earth, and that’s why we’ve made this list of the best small solar panels. By the time you finish this list, we guarantee that you’ll find the perfect solar panel system for your property no matter how much, or how little, space you have.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best small solar panels, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
- What Should You Look For in a Small Solar Panel?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Small Solar Panels
- Verdict: Your Best Small Solar Panels
What Should You Look For in a Small Solar Panel?
First things first. Before you buy any product, you need to know what you’re looking for. Solar energy is still not exactly ubiquitous, and a lot of our readers probably haven’t bought a solar panel kit before, which means a quick introduction is in order. Even if you have bought a set of solar panels before, small or otherwise, a review is always nice.
We’ve provided a quick rubric below that will show you what criteria we used when evaluating the best small solar panels on the market. This will help you follow along with our list and even conduct your own further research afterward if you so desire. Keep reading for your crash course in everything related to solar panels.
Criteria #1: Output – As your new source of electricity, you’ll obviously want your solar panel system to give you the amount of power you need in your daily life. Of course, the unfortunate reality is that small solar panels are naturally weaker than their full-sized counterparts. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some gems out there that will deliver the high wattage you need to live a solar-powered lifestyle that gives you the best of the modern world with less pollution. We want to show you the strongest small solar panels out there that will have you wondering why you didn’t make the switch sooner.
Criteria #2: Design – “Design” is admittedly a pretty broad criterion, but all the small features really do come together to make a beautiful big picture. The best solar panels out there will give you the full package by offering a product that’s easy to install, compatible with all of your devices, and even durable and weather resistant. Of course, most of the time, you’ll have to choose between only one or two of those features, but we’re going to try and find that holy grail that offers everything. We want to make sure you get the most streamlined experience possible, and that’s what a good design is all about.
Criteria #3: Size – Considering this is a list of the best small solar panels, size is obviously pretty important. It’d be higher up on our criteria ranking, but since we’ve already controlled for it, all of our solar panels will be reasonably sized by definition. Of course, if you’re not compromising on other features, then smaller is always better, and you need to know how much room your solar panel will take up before you buy it. We’ll make sure to include the full dimensions of all of our solar panels so that you can remove any guesswork and make sure that your small solar panel is small enough for your needs.
Criteria #4: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Small Solar Panels
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best small solar panels” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We’ll also make sure to include a wide variety of products that covers different niches and price points. This way, everyone can find the perfect product that will satisfy their needs and their budget.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best small solar panels.
#1: Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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Our introduction to the world of mini solar power gets started with the Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger. Our top-ranked small solar energy rig is the perfect source of electricity for your car or any other vehicle, but with a little know-how, it can also be used to power your USB-charging devices like a tablet or smartphone.
As the name states, the Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger provides you with 5 watts of solar power electricity, though there’s a more expensive (and slightly bigger) 10-watt option if you want some more juice. The big kicker of this Eco-Worthy solar panel is definitely its accessibility. The classic alligator clamps make it clear that this portable solar panel is meant for your car battery, while the adaptor that connects to your cigarette lighter gives you a little more flexibility and allows you to charge your USB devices.
The 5-watt version of the Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger has a frame of 8.07 x 9.25 inches and a weight of 15 ounces, while the 10-watt version measures 14.37 x 9.25 inches and weighs just 1.5 pounds, so even the more powerful model won’t exactly weigh you down. Plus, the 10-watt model costs less than double the price of the weaker version, so you’re seeing great return on your dollar there in terms of wattage.
The 10-watt edition is affordable enough that most customers might just want to “splurge” for the more powerful product, but if your fine with just 5-watts, then that version costs almost nothing.
Both versions of the Eco-Worthy Solar Trickle Charger come with suction cups that will let you stick the panel to the inside of your car windshield. Combine this with the cigarette lighter charger, and you’ll be able to use this solar panel safely inside your car from the elements and from any thieves. The accessibility and price make this the best option for anyone who’s new to solar power, and the size makes it convenient and portable.
The Eco-power name carries some weight, and with more than 3,500 glowing reviews on Amazon, it’s pretty clear this product is a fan favorite. It’s easy to see why. If you want an affordable, easy-to-use, and surprisingly powerful portable solar panel set, then go ahead and buy the Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger.
#2: X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger (Best Overall Small Solar Panels)
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After seeing our top-ranked Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger, you’ve probably learned that – contrary to what some may think – you don’t need to spend a fortune to start saving the planet and using solar power. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t splurge for the best if that’s what you want. If you’re the kind of customer who prefers to treat themself to the top product available, then look no further than the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger. The price might be off-putting when you’re comparing it to Eco-Worthy’s Solar Trickle Charger, but trust me, it’s worth it. Keep reading to see why the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger might just convince you that it’s exactly what you’ve been saving up for.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Every Port You’ll Need
We praised our number one pick for being accessible and easy to use, but if that’s your main concern, then there’s just no beating the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger. This X-Dragon solar power system comes with a USB port for charging your smaller devices like smartphones and tablets as well as a DC port that’s perfect for just about any laptop out there. The X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger even comes with 10 different end adapters, so you won’t have to worry about purchasing these small solar panels just to find out they’re not compatible with your laptop. Think about how often you charge your phone, tablet, and laptop. The X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger is the best way to make your life a little bit (or a lot of bit) greener by getting those devices off the power grid.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: The Most Wattage on the Market
More is better. There aren’t any small solar panels out there that really come even close to matching the raw power of the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger. Our second-ranked small solar panels come standard with 40 watts of power, though just like with our last product, there are two models available. If you want, you can spend some extra money and walk away with a whopping 70 watts of power and get yourself completely off the grid. The X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger really is the most effective source of solar power among small solar panels.
On top of its convenient ports and its amazing power, the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger features a convenient and portable design that makes it perfect for camping. The 40-watt model measures 10.43 x 6.30 x 2.76 inches while open and in use, but it can be folded to a more compact size that takes up a fraction of the space. The more powerful version measures 16.73 x 8.27 x 3.11 inches and can likewise be folded for easy travel.
Both versions of this high-quality solar panel set are just about every “proof” you can think of. The X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger features over-heating protection, overload protection, overcurrent protection, and overcharge protection. On top of that, it’s waterproof and dustproof, which makes it perfect for camping so you’re not completely out of luck if you end up needing to charge your phone.
You’d pretty much have to try to damage these small solar panels. They may be a bit pricey, but it’s obvious where your money is going. If you want to get the best performance and experience possible from small solar panels, then go buy the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charge.
#3: Acopower Monocrystalline Mono Solar Panel (Best Waterproof Option)
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I have to give a quick caveat that “best waterproof option” really means “best waterproof option that isn’t the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charge.” That being said, if you really need a set of small solar panels that can handle some rain but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, you’ll want to check out the Acopower Monocrystalline Mono Solar Panel.
The Acopower Monocrystalline Mono Solar Panel is both waterproof and wind-resistant, so it’s the perfect solar power companion for any avid boater or outdoor enthusiast. While it’s great for powering your boat battery, it’s also fantastic for powering other vehicles or staying outside your home to provide electricity to your deck lights.
With a size of 12.3 x 6.3 x 0.98 inches and a weight of just over a pound, these small solar panels are sure to meet anyone’s definition of small, and the price brings us back into the range of our top0ranked solar panels from Eco-Power. If you need a set of small solar panels that can handle the outdoors as well as you can, then you’re looking for the Acopower Monocrystalline Mono Solar Panels.
#4: Sunnytech Mini Solar Panels (Best Low Cost)
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We’ve already proven you don’t need to spend a lot to get started on your solar power journey, but if you need to keep things as cheap as possible, then the Sunnytech Mini Solar Panels are perfect for you. These small solar panels will guarantee that there’s absolutely zero pay wall on solar energy. You’ll be able to use the change under your couch cushions to buy the Sunnytech Mini Solar Panels.
The last set of small solar panels on our list feature a small frame of just 5.4 x 4.8 x 0.3 inches and a weight of less than one pound, so not only is it the cheapest product out there, it’s the smallest. Each panel has an output of 2 watts, which will only be enough to power small toys and lights, but since they’re so cheap you can always buy several and get a little more juice.
There’s really not much to write home about in terms of design or accessibility, as the Sunnytech Mini Solar Panels – which are advertised as educational products – are pretty much DIY all the way. This is obviously a little more difficult than working with the easy ports of the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger, but it’s also a more rewarding experience. If you know your way around electrical equipment and you want a cheaper product, or if you’re looking for something to help you teach a child or pupil the ins and outs of solar panels, then you need to get the Sunnytech Mini Solar Panels.
If you know what you’re doing, you’ll walk away with a solar-powered phone charger that cost you less money than a train ticket.
Verdict: Your Best Small Solar Panels
We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the small solar panels that are perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our small solar panels and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each product has to offer for you.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger.
When you look at the money you’re paying versus the product you’re getting, it’s pretty clear that the Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger is the best deal out there. With 5 watts, a small frame, and a convenient design that lets you switch between alligator clamps and a cigarette lighter, the Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger is the best starting point for anyone’s solar power ambitions. It even comes with suction cups for easy windshield use. The Eco-Worthy 12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Trickle Charger is the best way to power your car battery, and it can even power your phone or tablet. The option to spend a little more for extra wattage is a nice little treat. It’s clear that these Eco-Worthy solar panels are the best value you’ll find on small solar panels, and they were an easy choice as our number one pick.
If you need nothing but the best, pick the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger.
I barely even know where to get started with the X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger. This bad boy really does it all. Maybe I should start with the insane wattage. Or maybe with the amazing ports for easy access to charging all of your devices. Or maybe the convenient foldable design that makes travel a breeze. Or maybe the fact that this set of small solar panels can almost withstand the apocalypse. If you’re willing to splurge for the best, then there’s no further conversation needed. The X-Dragon Portable Solar Charger is the best grid of small solar panels out there – no questions asked.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Sunnytech Mini Solar Panels.
You shouldn’t need to waste your hard-earned cash to make the world a little greener or to learn about solar panels and solar energy. The Sunnytech Mini Solar Panels are the cheapest option out there, and they’re just about the best way to get your feet wet with small solar panels or show someone else the ropes. They’re microscopic in size, and they feature a rewarding DIY design. Did I mention they’re basically free? Just skip one meal out and you’ll have made your money back and more. If you need to stick to your budget, then the Sunnytech Mini Solar Panels are the perfect small solar panels for you.
We’re just about ready to wrap up. If the highlighted small solar panels above weren’t quite what you’re looking for, you may be more interested in the waterproof Acopower Monocrystalline Mono Solar Panels.
Remember that all of our small solar panels have one or two features that separate them from the pack. Focusing on this feature is a great way to speed up your buying process and save yourself some time and stress.
That’s all for now, we hope our list has helped you find the perfect small solar panels you’re looking for!