Best Solar Briefcases

Last Updated: 8 May, 2019 by Alexander Thomas

A portable power generator without pollution: sounds like a dream for campers and other outdoor enthusiasts. With a briefcase solar panel, it’s a reality.

A solar suitcase (or briefcase) is a solar panel system that folds up into a compact size, and transports with a handle. You can open the suitcase at the hinge to expose the solar cells, position them in a sunny spot, and connect it to your battery for power generation all day.

A solar suitcase can also be a great addition to your emergency kit, especially if you live in areas prone to extreme weather where you might lose power for extended periods.

Editor’s Choice Best Solar Briefcase
Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator
Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator
Best All-in-One Kit for Solar Power
Goal Zero Solar Generator Kit
Goal Zero Solar Generator Kit
ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel Suitcase with Charge Controller
ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel Suitcase with Charge Controller
HQST 100 Watt Solar Panel Suitcase
HQST 100 Watt Solar Panel Suitcase
Best Budget Pick
Nature Power Portable Briefcase Solar Panel
Nature Power Portable Briefcase Solar Panel

The Best Solar Briefcases and Suitcases

To help you find the best suitcase solar panels on the market, we have assembled some of the best models in our solar suitcase review. These models were chosen for their quality, durability, and ease of use.

1

Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator

The Renogy Phoenix solar briefcase features a durable and rugged exterior that opens fully to reveal two efficient monocrystalline solar panels. It tops our reviews because of its high quality materials, and the all-in-one construction that makes it one of the easiest suitcase solar panels to operate.

The Phoenix has a 20W monocrystalline solar panel. It includes a built-in lithium-ion battery and has many power ports, including an AC port, two DC ports, and 4 USB ports. This allows you to charge multiple devices.

This solar briefcase also includes a handy indicator system which shows power output, quality of sunlight, and a battery indicator.

Other positives of the Phoenix solar briefcase include the built-in fan to maintain the temperature for internal battery and electronic components. It’s also lightweight, at around 13 pounds.

PROS:
  • All-in-one system
  • No wiring or setup with other devices, simply plug to charge
  • High-quality monocrystalline solar panels
  • Very portable and durable
CONS:
  • Panels are smaller and less efficient than other systems
2

Goal Zero Solar Generator Kit

This solar generation kit combines the high-quality Boulder 100 briefcase solar panel with a Yeti 400 Lithium battery. This complete system has one of the highest power capacities of our reviewed models.

Though the total system is less portable than an all-in-one like the Phoenix, it has greater power storage and quicker charging because the separate implements are higher quality, and the panels a large size.

Folded, the Boulder 100 panel measures around 22”x27” and weighs in just under 26 pounds. It has a heavy-duty canvas carrying case, which provides additional protection against damage to the panels.

The Yeti 400 power station holds 428 Wh (watt-hours). It includes 2 AC (12V) ports, four USB ports and a clear, informative display panel.

It is one of the most expensive solar briefcase systems in our review, but the high quality, a comprehensive system can be worth the investment for heavy duty users.

PROS:
  • Quality brand and high-quality materials
  • Larger panel size cuts down on charge time
  • A high capacity power station
  • Easy to position with included kickstand
CONS:
  • Panel isn’t compatible with competing brands’ batteries
  • Highest cost system reviewed
3

ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel Suitcase with Charge Controller

The Eco-Worthy solar suitcase offers quality solar panels and an included charge converter. This is not an all-in-one system, but it provides quality solar power generation.

The Eco Worthy features large, monocrystalline solar panels rated at 120W. The panels are mounted on the exterior of the briefcase, protecting the charge converter, and wiring underneath. However, this means you will want to use great care, as the exterior panels are fragile.

This system doesn’t have a carrying case. Some users suggested storing the panel in its cardboard shipping box when not in use, but in our view this does somewhat decrease the portability and ruggedness of the panel system.

This solar suitcase includes the charge converter, which helps regulate power generation going to your battery, but the battery is not included. And there are no included plugs, merely a set of alligator clips. This means this suitcase solar panel may require adaptors to work with your existing power system, it depends on what type of battery you are using.

PROS:

• Large panel array
• Included charge converter for more reliable power
• Easy to position with built-in kickstands

CONS:
  • Not an all-in-one system
  • May require modification to work with certain power stations
4

HQST 100 Watt Solar Panel Suitcase

The HQST suitcase solar panels provides 100W of power, and includes a charge converter for regulated power generation. The monocrystalline panels are highly efficient, making this a solid choice for outdoor power generation.

Folded, the suitcase measures about 20”x 27”, and weighs in at 26.6 pounds. It also comes with a carrying case for protection.

It sets up with a built-in kickstand to help you position it for maximum sun absorption. The included charge converter has an LCD display which allows you to monitor your charging progress. The charge controller is compatible with both 12V and 24V batteries, which gives you some flexibility in battery choice.

Like the Eco-Worthy, the system connects to your power storage with alligator clips, which may require some modification, depending on your charging source.

At around $200, it’s an economical choice for suitcase solar panels.

PROS:

• Low cost
• Large, high-quality panels
• Includes charge converter

CONS:
  • Panels are on outside when folded
  • Power storage not included
5

Nature Power Portable Briefcase Solar Panel

The Nature Power Briefcase Solar Panel is a lightweight, economical option for solar power generation in the great outdoors, RV travel, or in emergencies.

This solar briefcase works to charge your 12V battery. The included converter allows for reliable charging without fear of power drain or overcharging.

This panel is a 40W panel, making it less powerful than some other reviewed solar briefcases. However, it comes in at an affordable price of around $125. It’s a great entry-level or starter panel.

This panel hooks to your power generation with either a Zamp solar plug adaptor or alligator clips so you can hook it directly to your battery terminal.

This is a good choice for keeping an RV battery topped up, especially in the off-season when you may not be using it regularly.

PROS:
  • Very lightweight
  • Charge converter included
  • Low price
CONS:
  • Smaller solar panel area means longer charging time
6

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How do I choose the best solar suitcase or solar briefcase for my needs?

There are several main features to consider when making your decision to purchase a briefcase solar panel. No one type of solar collector will be best for every situation, so consider carefully how you plan to use your suitcase solar panels considering the following factors.

Panel quality

One of the most important considerations for a solar briefcase is the quality of the panels it contains. Monocrystalline panels are the best for efficiency, and most top-quality solar suitcases will include this type of panel.

Durability

Most uses of the solar suitcase are for travel or emergency-type situations. Because of that, suitcase solar panels need to be relatively durable. They will have to stand up to the bumps and bruises of being moved around a lot, often in remote places.

Consider where you will be using these panels–camping, RV-ing, as an addition to your emergency kit. This will help you decide just how durable you’ll need your solar suitcase to be.

Look for solid metal construction, and water resistance to get the most value from your solar suitcase. You should also make sure that it is easy to carry, with a well-constructed handle or carrying case.

Compatibility

Dealing with complicated electric wiring is a hassle when you’re trying to set up your solar panel system. A high-quality system will be easy to connect to your battery or devices.

You should review the stats on the solar suitcase you are considering, and make sure it is compatible with the type of battery that you are planning to use (if it comes with its own battery system, you can disregard this).

Included Power Storage and Control

The best solar briefcases will include a charge controller. This is a regulation system that sends the appropriate amount of charge to your battery, protecting against overcharging during the day, and power draining back to the solar panel at night.

This type of system increases the efficiency of solar conversion and protects both your panel and battery from damage caused by overloading their electrical systems.

If the system you are considering doesn’t include a charge controller, you’ll need to buy one separately.

If you are using your panel to power an existing battery (like your RV battery) then you don’t need to consider power storage. But if you are looking to power other, small devices like a computer or phone, you might want to consider a solar briefcase with a built-in battery, or one that comes as part of a kit.

Power and Portability with a Solar Suitcase

Now that you have seen the best models in our solar suitcase reviews, and carefully considered your own needs, it’s much easier to make a choice. Go ahead, buy with confidence, and get powered in the great outdoors with a portable and powerful briefcase solar panel.

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