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One of the handiest solar panel designs is the suitcase-style design. This is very useful and compact for a portable solar charger. Of course, because it is so useful the majority of main portable solar makers have caught onto the sheer opportunity of making suitcase design solar panels. The main names in the solar energy industry, such as Renogy, Goal Zero and AcoPower all have a minimum of one model of solar panel suitcase.
As you may expect, the majority of these solar panel suitcases are 100W units, but there are some exceptions to this such as the Goal Zero Boulder 200 Briefcase. With that being said, a 100W solar suitcase is more than enough to completely recharge most of the portable power packs quite quickly.
In this article, we will be taking a look at the three best 100W solar panel suitcases from the companies we mentioned about earlier. This comparison will help you to have a good idea about the capabilities of a suitcase solar charger and what they have to offer. It will also help you to be able to figure out which model is the best choice for you to buy based on your needs and budget.
The Best Suitcase Solar Panel
What actually makes a solar panel suitcase charger? Ultimately it’s all about how the makers have designed it. Solar panel suitcases are manufactured by putting together a pair of solar panels for more portability and more convenience. To put it simply, when you get a solar panel suitcase you’re getting two solar panels folded into one briefcase style setting.
This also includes all of the needed hinges, carrying handles, kickstands and latches, among other features.
One of the best things about a solar suitcase is that they may be able to give you more comfort in handling and transportation, in addition to getting more freedom. In saying that, it’s possible to just unfold the panels, securely lock them up and then you can take them pretty much anywhere in your caravan, RV, campervan, boat or any other vehicle you want to use them in.
Renogy Vs AcoPower Vs Goal Zero
As you may have gathered, we’ve got three suitcase solar panels here to compare. To start with is the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, which is a best seller in the market for suitcase solar panels. It was made by Goal Zero to be used with their Yeti Power stations, and it’s part of a range of Boulder solar chargers created by Goal Zero.
Following this will be a review of the Renogy and AcoPower panels. These panels actually look a little similar to the Boulder 200 BC as far as features, performance, design and more are concerned.
All of the models we will discuss are 100 watt solar panels, so if you want more then you may wish to try using a number of units of the same thing. You may not need to get more than one if you opt for the Goal Zero Boulder Series as there is an alternative 200W version called the Boulder 200 Briefcase. Renogy also offer a 200W suitcase too if you find that you prefer that brand.
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase
The Goal Zero Boulder consists of a number of standard glass and metal PV panels. Goal Zero has been making the Boulder line for quite some time in addition to their Nomad solar chargers which are fabric based. The Boulder 100 Briefcase surfaced on the market around the same time as the upgraded Boulder 50 and the higher end Boulder 200 Briefcase variant.
As you may gather from the name, the Boulder 100 unit arrives in a suitcase form that can be folded down into an easier to carry unit that’s also smaller.
In specific, the Boulder 100 is a pair of Boulder 50 panels that are conjoined with the needed latches, carrying handle and hinges. It also has very strong built-in kickstands and there are rubber caps on the panel corners to protect it. The materials that it is constructed with are very durable and solid so you can bet you’ll get a long lifespan out of them even if you choose to use them in the rougher outdoor environments.
As a whole, you’ll get a very portable solar briefcase charger that will be the ideal companion on your outdoor and emergency excursions. It really shines when it’s attached to the Goal Zero Yeti solar power stations in specific the Yeti 400 Lithium, the Yeti 1000 Lithium and the Yeti 1400. If you’re going to use the very large Yeti 3000 then you’d be best suited to using the Boulder 200 Briefcase.
Features and Specifications
So, you may be wondering why you should think about buying the Boulder 100 BC? To start with, this is a very lightweight and durable solar charger, perhaps more so than other solar chargers in the same league. It consists of very durable tempered glass and low weight aluminum, so it’s also very good for portable uses such as a camping trip.
In addition, the folding design means that it’s perfect for a whole range of uses outdoors. On the subject of specifications, it consists of a pair of 50W monocrystalline solar panels, so it’s perfect for very quickly charging a number of different emergency, portable and household power devices in the event that you need them.
Not only this but similar to the rest of the Boulder line this suitcase doesn’t require and extra cable or a charge controller when you use it in addition to Goal Zero’s famous Yeti series. All you need to do is plug it into your Yeti device. It will then absorb the solar energy and turn it into energy to be absorbed by the power pack. In addition, you can even link up the Boulder 100 Briefcase to other solar panels it’s compatible with s you can charge it under the sun very quickly.
You can also get the Goal Zero Boulder solar panels in some other versions, too. The minimum entry-level panel is the 50W single panel, and you can also get this in a 100W versions, and they are called the Boulder 50 and the Boulder 100.
Simultaneously and as we’ve already mentioned, there is also a 200W Boulder 200 briefcase that you can use for larger-scale charging. This is essentially two Boulder 100 units linked together. In fact, as a result of there being so many different versions, you have the opportunity to choose a model that will fit your exact specifications.
Why would you choose this model?
- It’s one of the best solar panel suitcase chargers on the market
- Constructed using premium materials, making it very efficient
- Perfect option to use with Goal Zero Yeti power stations
- Durable and strong design and body that can withstand rough outdoor situations
- Solid kickstand, rubber capped corners and a durable handle
Renogy 100W Solar Suitcase
This solar panel suitcase is a very popular model on the market in the portable solar panel sphere. It’s actually been performing very well in sales for quite some time. Because of its compact and handy design, it’s an incredibly durable and portable solar energy solution.
It’s definitely worth mentioning that Renogy actually sells this solar charger both with and without a charge controller. If you’re looking to buy this so you can set up a DIY solar generator then you should opt for the version with the controller, or opt for the version without the controller if you only need it to expand on an existing solar power system.
You’re going to love how compact and portable this unit is. It’s very portable in its folded down variation, so you can pretty much carry it anywhere without issue. It’s perfect for recharging a number of batteries such as the sealed, gel and flooded ones. It also has voltage and temperature sensors included so you can keep track of its performance.
It also has a charge controller included, and this is a unit of Renogy’s Adventurer, which is a 30A 4 stage unit that includes an LCD display. It’s ideal for keeping your battery packs from getting overcharged, overheated or dealing with any other voltage problem. In addition, even though it’s a negative grounded one, it is ideal for RVs and campers as far as solar suitcases go.
Features and Specifications
With this solar suitcase panel, Renogy has made a product with very good quality German solar cells. These are able to deliver impeccable performance even under weaker lighting conditioned. The charger could even provide a fantastic output of 500 watts per day, depending on the intensity of the sun.
Simultaneously, you’re also getting the Renogy solar suitcase along with an adjustable aluminum stand that’s corrosion-resistant and very strong. Aside from these elements, it also has the basic features too such as a durable carrying handle, strong latches and a protective case you can use to move the solar panel suitcase.
Aside from the traditional form of solar panel suitcase, Renogy also offers two more sets of suitcase style solar panel chargers. There are two series of Renogy Eclipse solar suitcase panels, and they consist of fabric-based materials or glass.
Both of these come in a number of power variants that both have and do not have solar charge controllers.
The normal metal and glass Eclipse suitcase solar panels come in 50W, 100W and 200W variations. The bigger one is also a very worthy rival for the Goal Zero Boulder 200 Briefcase. There is also a fabric based solar panel that incorporates a clamshell design, but you could fold it down into a suitcase style design when you’re moving around.
Why should you opt for this model?
- 100W highly efficient solar panel suitcase
- Durable and compact design
- 30A built in 4 stage solar charge controller
- Can be used with sealed, flooded and gel batteries
- Ideal for RVs, trailers and campers
AcoPower 100W Solar Panel Suitcase
The next option on our list is the AcoPower suitcase solar panel, which is incredibly popular. It is essentially a set of two 50 watt solar panels that are joined together in a suitcase like form with strong latches, a durable handle, and kickstands. You can even use it to power up a portable solar power station or it can power any off the grid DIY solar systems.
The suitcase can also come without and with a charge controller. The charge controller included is a 10amp one. One of the best things about this solar charger is that it’s very travel friendly and lightweight, so you can even carry it on a hike if you need to and it won’t be too heavy.
Interestingly, the AcoPower 100W Solar Panel Suitcase looks pretty much identical to the Renogy model we talked about earlier. Some other brands you may find on the market also offer a similar 100 Watt solar panel suitcase under their own branding variations. As a whole what you’re going to get is a compact and handy solar charger that can be used to keep you all powered up even when you’re off the grid.
Because of this lightweight design, you can take it pretty much anywhere without any extra worries and you can set up with no problem. It also has integrated kickstands that can aid you in putting the solar chargers on any surface necessary so it can gather enough sunlight so it can completely power your emergency power backups just in case you have a power outage in your trailer, RV or camper.
Features and Specifications
This solar suitcase is pretty much ideal and has everything you could want out of a solar suitcase charger. To start with, much like with the Goal Zero and Renogy versions mentioned above, it also has a very durable aluminum framework. It’s also got a solid and lightweight design so it’s perfect for outdoor excursions.
In addition, the device has an Andreson plug, a built in junction box with diodes, MC4 connectors and a bunch of other accessories. It only weighs 33.1lb total and measures 19.69 x 25.6 x 2.9 inches.
Much like the Renogy model that we mentioned above, this has versions that both include a charge controller and versions that don’t include a charge controller. The AcoPower solar suitcase panel also has a whole range of other suitcase solar panel siblings! For example, there are some extra interesting fabric based foldable panels. These can come in a range of different power capacities, sizes and so much more. You can basically cater it to your own needs and budget.
One such example is the AcoPower 120W solar charger. You can easily fold down the three layered charger into a small and useful solar suitcase after you use it, allowing you to carry it along with you even on walks for example. You can also get this same product in a number of other variations, such as 80W, 120W and even more than that, so you’re bound to find the ideal off the grid power solution for you.
Why should you buy this solar panel suitcase?
- It’s a 100W High efficiency solar panel suitcase, allowing you to quickly and efficiently charge up all of your most important devices
- It features a compact, handy and durable design, so it’s particularly lightweight and hard wearing for a range of outdoor activities
- The suitcase solar panel unit comes with a built in solar charge controller
- You can get it both with and without charge controllers, so it’s ideal both for DIY solar projects and for expansion
- A number of solar panel suitcase variants available on the market
Our Final Word
There are so many other solar panel suitcase chargers out on the market that we haven’t even covered here. In fact, we’ve put these three alone on the list because they are so famous, for the sake of illuminating the sheer power of some of these devices. It’s designed to give you an insight into the basic ideas about these innovating solar chargers that are perfect for sustainable energy enthusiasts. We hope that in reading this article you’ve got more of an idea into the nature, capacity and style of the suitcase style solar chargers.
Above anything else, solar panel suitcase chargers will allow you to handle any off the grid power systems (such as solar generators or power stations) with ease. If you do like to carry your solar power station anywhere you go, it’s possible to just opt for a solar panel suitcase in order to support your generator. This can help give you more convenience and comfort. Solar panel suitcases are a portable and compact energy solution for those that love to roam but still want to be connected to the outside world as much as they possibly can. You’ll be pleased with the models we’ve covered on this list, as these reputable brands are known for high powered energy solutions for campers, RVers and tailgaters alike. Whether you opt for the Goal Zero Boulder, the Renogy model or the AcoPower variant, there’s something here for all of your portable solar energy requirements.