The 10 Best Solar Gear for Off-Grid Exploration

Nowadays, car camping and landing usually involves a tonne of equipment, including everything from smartphones and tablets to drones and portable fridges. Most of them require power, and if you’re off the grid for a while, you’ll need a lot of it. Fortunately, solar gear — including portable power stations and the solar panels that power them — has met the needs of tech-savvy off-grid explorers.

Whatever your energy needs, there is an option for you. If you’re a lone backpacker obsessed with every gram you pack, there’s an ultra-portable solar power solution for you. For the overlanders who pack everything and kitchen sink, there are heavy-duty battery banks designed to run any standard household appliance, including hair dryers, microwaves and even power tools. Car campers looking for an in-between option have the most choice. But choosing the right solution for your on-the-go power needs can be tricky. That’s why we’ve worked hard for you and rounded up the best solar gear for exploring off-grid in 2022.

Goal Zero


Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station

Ideal for Overlanders

The Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station is one of the largest portable power stations in Goal Zero’s arsenal. With a massive 1500Wh capacity and a new 2000W AC inverter, it’s built to handle even the most power-hungry expeditions. It’s even large enough to serve as a home backup in the event of an electrical emergency. Moreover, with the option 600W fast chargerthe Yeti 1500X charges from zero to full in about three hours.

Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station

Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station

Ideal for Overlanders

An Anker 535 portable power station on a white background.

Anker 535 Portable Power Station

Ideal for motorhomes

Anker’s 535 mid-size portable power station stores over 500Wh of energy – an ideal capacity for campers looking to keep small to medium-sized gadgets charged off the grid. The next-generation lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery is designed for better reliability and to last longer than traditional lithium-ion power supplies. An integrated, bright smart display relays all station statistics at a glance. With an anti-drop construction, it’s built to survive the rigors of hardcore car camping.

Anker 535 Portable Power Station

Anker 535 Portable Power Station

Ideal for motorhomes

An Einova Ultra Fast Power Bank 63W charging three devices on a white background.

Einova


Einova Super Fast Power Bank

Ideal for backpackers

Small batteries suitable for backpacks are rarely enough to power anything other than a smartphone. Einova turns this idea on its head with its aptly named Ultra Fast Power Bank. With a total output of 63 watts and a capacity of 20,000 mAh, it is capable of fast charging up to three devices simultaneously via USB-A and USB-C ports. Despite its compact size (not much bigger than a news pocket), it’s even beefy enough to charge a laptop.

Einova Super Fast Power Bank

Einova Super Fast Power Bank

Ideal for backpackers

A Dometic PLB40 portable lithium battery on a white background.

Domestic


Dometic PLB40 portable lithium battery

Ideal for 12 V devices

For the explorer who travels light but still packs a portable fridge, the Dometic PLB40 is the perfect solution. At approximately 10 inches by 8 inches square and weighing just over 16 pounds, it’s a compact alternative to larger portable power supplies. The three built-in outlets are designed to keep portable refrigerators, small fans, and other off-the-grid 12V gadgets and devices with over 512Wh of power.

Dometic PLB40 portable lithium battery

Dometic PLB40 portable lithium battery

Ideal for 12 V devices

Pale blue batteries in plastic cases displayed in front of their packaging against a white background.

Light blue


Pale Blue Rechargeable Smart Batteries

Best rechargeable batteries for backpackers

AA and AAA rechargeable batteries are nothing new. But fast-charging, eco-friendly lithium batteries that charge individually are. Pale Blue offers a variety of standard size batteries – AA, AAA, C and D – to power electronic devices that still need them. The batteries connect directly via Micro USB to a wall outlet, 12V car port or even a small solar panel. Indicator lights on every battery detail when charging and when full. They are the ultimate in portable power for weight-conscious hikers and backpackers looking to maintain their camping headlamps, flashlights and small electronics.

Light Blue AA/AAA Durability Kit

Pale Blue Rechargeable Smart Batteries

Best rechargeable batteries for backpackers

A Goal Zero Boulder 50 solar panel on a white background.

Goal Zero


Goal Zero Boulder 50 Solar Panel

Best Solar Panel for Overlanders

We love Goal Zero’s Boulder Series of Solar Panels for their durability, portability, and solar power potential. The entry-level Boulder 50 is a versatile option for car camping and landing. Out of the box, it delivers up to 50 watts of power. But with the flexibility to daisy-chain up to three panels, that power reaches a maximum of 150 watts, which is more than enough for even the most power-hungry off-grid explorers.

Goal Zero Boulder 50 Solar Panel

Goal Zero Boulder 50 Solar Panel

Best Solar Panel for Overlanders

A BioLite SolarPanel 10+ and a phone on a white background.

BioLite


BioLite 10+ Solar Panel

Best solar panel for backpackers

For weight-conscious backpackers, BioLite’s SolarPanel 10+ is a featherweight solar panel that makes it easy to harness the sun’s rays. It provides up to 10 watts of usable power through an integrated USB port to charge smaller gadgets like smartphones and compact cameras. An onboard 3,200mAh battery stores extra juice for those days when the weather doesn’t cooperate. The 360 ​​degree mount includes a built-in sundial to find the optimal angle to the sun. Plus, it weighs just over a pound and folds neatly into the size of a one-inch-thick stack of paper.

BioLite 10+ Solar Panel

BioLite 10+ Solar Panel

Best solar panel for backpackers

A GoSun Go portable solar oven/cooker on a white background.

GoSun


GoSun Go Portable Solar Oven

best solar cooker

Harnessing solar power isn’t just about charging your electronics. The GoSun Portable Solar Oven uses direct heat from the sun to boil water and even cook entire meals – no batteries required. Setup is lightning fast, and with a maximum interior temperature of 550 degrees, it will cook just about any camping meal in 45 minutes or less. Measuring just over a foot long and weighing just 2 pounds, it’s ultra-portable for off-the-grid exploration. Bonus: This is a great bug-proof bag essential for surviving the zombie apocalypse.

GoSun Go portable solar cooker

GoSun Go Portable Solar Oven

best solar cooker

A gray Advanced Elements summer shower on a plain background.

Advanced Elements Summer Shower

Best solar shower

With the right camp shower, getting off the grid doesn’t have to mean forgoing regular hot showers. The Advanced Elements 2.5 Gallon Summer Shower features a rugged four-ply construction designed to last for years. Just fill it with water, hang it on the nearest strong branch and wait. On a 70 degree day, in full sun, it will heat water to 100 degrees in less than three hours using only sunlight. It weighs just one pound when empty and rolls flat for easy storage. For couples and large families, the 5 gallon summer shower is a great oversized alternative.

Advanced Elements 2.5 Gallon Summer Shower

Advanced Elements Summer Shower

Best solar shower

A stylish Yakima CBX Solar 16 roof box on a white background.

Yakima


Yakima CBX Solar 16 roof box

Best rooftop solar charging box

Yakima’s CBX Solar 16 roof box is a unique all-in-one solution that combines a lockable roof box with a solar panel and inverter. The sleek storage container is the right size with 16 cubic feet of space, which is enough for most RVs. The built-in converter delivers 36 watts of power through two USB ports to charge smaller gadgets like smartphones and tablets.

Yakima CBX Solar 16 roof box

Yakima CBX Solar 16 roof box

Best rooftop solar charging box

Most of us escape to the desert to at least partially detox from the technology around us. But leaving the network does not necessarily mean giving up everything your favorite gadgets. With the right solar gear, you can take everything from laptops to portable espresso machines to pellet stoves far off the beaten path.

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