A suitcase style is a handy and compact design for a portable solar charger. All major portable solar panel makers have identified the scope of suitcase design for their panels. That is why we have the bigger players like Goal Zero, Renogy, and AcoPower with at least one solar panel suitcase. Indeed, a 100W suitcase solar panel is enough to sufficiently charge your portable power packs faster.
What is a solar panel suitcase? In fact, it has nothing to do with a travel suitcase except its design. Well, it is just about how the makers have put together a pair of solar panels for more portability. Yes, you get two solar panels in a briefcase-style folding design with the needed latches and hinges.
Of course, the best part of a suitcase solar panel is it gives you much comfort in handling. Sure, you can unfold the panels after use, lock, and take anywhere hassle-free. Fine, we would like to compare three leading solar panel suitcase models in this article below. Stay with us after the break.
Solar Panel Suitcase: Face-off
As you see, we have three suitcase solar panels on the table for analysis. First, we have Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, a simply awesome portable solar panel. Though Goal Zero recommends the panel for its portable power systems like Yeti, it works with any power stations out there. The next two items are from Renogy and AcoPower, which look exactly the same in design, however.
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase Solar Charger
Boulder is, in fact, a series of glass solar panels from Goal Zero. Hope you know the maker’s fabric-based solar panel series is called Nomad. Anyway, Boulder 100 Briefcase is actually a new addition to the line-up along with an upgraded Boulder 50 and Boulder 200 Briefcase. As its name suggests, Boulder 100 comes in the form of a briefcase. That is, you can carry it on a briefcase-like handle.
By the way, Boulder 100 is specifically a pair of Boulder 50 panels joint together with the hinges and latches. Further, you have it with the built-in kickstands and a sturdy handle. Overall, what you get is a highly portable solar briefcase or suitcase. Absolutely, it works the best when attached to Goal Zero’s line of Yeti power stations, especially Yeti 400 Lithium, Yeti 1000 Lithium, and etc.
Specs and Features
Why should you buy Boulder 100 BC? First, it is a highly durable and lightweight solar charger of its kind. Made of rugged tempered glass and low-weight aluminum it is quite friendly for portable uses. Moreover, its folding design makes it rather ideal for many applications outdoors. Coming to more specs, it is a pair of 50W monocrystalline solar panels. So, the Goal Zero solar panel suitcase is ideal for quick charging of a variety of your portable, emergency, and household power backups.
More interestingly, like the whole Boulder line, it doesn’t need an extra cable or a charge controller when you use it with Goal Zero’s award-winning Yeti series. Just plug a Boulder 100 to your Yeti. It starts to collect solar energy for the power pack. What’s more, you can chain Boulder 100 Briefcase with other compatible solar panels to make charging under the sun rather faster.
Meanwhile, Goal Zero sells the Boulder in other variants also. The entry-level is a 50W single sheet panel and the same model is available in a 100W variant, respectively Boulder 50 and Boulder 100. At the same time, a highly powerful 200W Boulder 200 Briefcase is also there for large-scale users of portable power. Indeed, that gives you a chance to pick a model that perfectly matches with your requirements and preferences. See all the models of the solar charger on the link above.
Renogy 100W Solar Suitcase
This Renogy solar panel suitcase is a highly popular one in the portable solar power industry. Yes, it has been doing well on the market for a while. Thanks to its handy and compact design, the Renogy solar briefcase is certainly highly portable and versatile. By the way, Renogy sells the solar charger with and without a charge controller. If you are buying this model to set up a DIY solar generator, it is better you get it with a charge controller, anyway. Use the link below to buy the Renogy charger.
Alone the Renogy solar panel suitcase is good for charging a full-fledged power station. Or to add to an existing solar power solution. Meanwhile, you can use it to set up your own off-grid solar system. In that case, you can buy a unit of the solar charger that packs a charge controller. For now, Renogy avails a 30A charge controller with the solar panel. So, you can ensure a stable flow of power to your back-ups with no overcharge issue, fire risk, and etc.
Specs and Features
Renogy has built the solar charger with good quality German-made solar cells. And they, as per Renogy, are capable to offer excellent performance even under weaker light conditions. Depending on the sun intensity, the charger provides an ideal output of 500 watt-hours a day. By the way, you get the Renogy solar panel suitcase with an adjustable aluminum stand that is strong and corrosion-resistant too. Added to the features come its heavy-duty carry handle, a protective casing, and etc.
AcoPower 100W Solar Panel Suitcase
We have yet another popular solar panel suitcase from AcoPower. This is also a set of two 50W solar panels in the form of a suitcase with a sturdy handle and latches. Well, you can use this to power up a portable solar power station or an off-grid DIY solar system. You get the solar suitcase with a 10A charge controller. Again, the best part of the AcoPower solar panel suitcase is its lightweight, travel-friendly briefcase design so you can take it anywhere with no hassle at all.
As you see in the photo, this AcoPower model is exactly like a copy of the above Renogy one. Other brands also sell the similarly looking 100-watt solar panel suitcase, however. Whatever, it is a good concept to get a solar suitcase for all your off-grid power needs. It makes you carry the charger with no much burden and set it up quickly anywhere. The integrated kickstands let you place the charger right anywhere in a way it can attract as much as sunlight to charge your essential power backups.
Specs and Features
The AcoPower solar panel suitcase has everything perfectly blended into. To begin with, similar to the above Goal Zero and Renogy variants, it features a sturdy aluminum frame. Furthermore, it has got a lightweight and solid design, making it fit for outdoor uses. Moreover, you have it equipped with an Anderson plug, built-in junction box with diodes, MC4 connectors, and etc. Meanwhile, the overall weight of the solar suitcase is just 33.1lb and it has a size of 19.69 x 25.6 x2.9 inches.
What do you think is the best solar panel suitcase? Regarding customer feedback, Renogy is surely the best pick, but that looks to be the first model to hit all the leading retail sites. Whatever, Boulder 100 Briefcase is certainly a very recent product. It was just launched at CES 2017. Coming to price, all the items carry almost the same price tags. Anyway, if you buy a Goal Zero Yeti machine, it would be fine for you to go for a Boulder 100 BC.
Meanwhile, you have the other options for setting up a DIY solar power solution. That doesn’t mean you can’t use the solar chargers vice versa. Renogy and AcoPower models will also perform well in charging your ready-to-use portable power banks. Likewise, a Boulder 100 BC is also nice to build a DIY solar power system. Anyway, with the availability of multiple models, you are lucky enough to choose a model with some deliberation.