Today I’m going to review the Newpowa 60-Watt Foldable Solar Panel, which I tested out thoroughly during a fall spent cruising around Colorado in my camper van.
At the time of writing this review, I’ve used my Newpowa solar panel to charge my Bluetti power bank on roughly 20-30 occasions while hunting, camping, and traveling in my converted van. My van already has two 100-watt Renogy solar panels mounted on the roof, so I used my Newpowa when the sun wasn’t hitting them at the right angle or if I was parked in the shade.
In my years of off-grid van living, I’ve learned that it’s a great idea to have an alternative solar solution to the stationary panels on my van’s roof. Running out of power in the wilderness isn’t ideal, so it’s never a bad idea to over-prepare when it comes to capturing power. I’m glad I did.
Interested in how the Newpowa 60W Foldable Solar Panel will perform for you? Keep reading for my top-to-bottom review after using it to harness the sun’s energy during a month in the woods.
Features & Specs: Newpowa 60W Foldable Solar Panel
- Max Power: 60W
- Voltage at Pmax: 18V
- Current at Pmax: 3.33A
- Open Circuit Voltage: 22.5V
- Short Circuit Current: 3.5A
- Weight: 6.34 lb
- Closed Dimensions: 13.9” x 21.5”
- Open Dimensions: 21.5” x 35.7”
- Warranty: One-Year Limited
What Comes with the Newpowa Foldable Panel
The Newpowa comes with two pre-attached charging cables, alligator clips for jumping car batteries, and 10 different adapters that make it capable of connecting with most power banks and generators on the market. All of these accessories are stashed away easily in a zippered pocket on the backside of the solar panel.
Once you find the adapter that’s compatible with your power bank, you’ll plug it into one of the two included charging cables and likely zip up the rest of the accessories back in the pouch and never think of them again. The included charging cables are maybe a foot in length each, though I wish they were significantly longer. Being bound to such short cables doesn’t give you much freedom to connect to your power bank from afar.
I’m curious as to how well the alligator clips would work if my camper van’s battery were to die and it needed a jump. How long would I have to sit my Newpowa in the sun, connected to the battery, before my van was juiced up and ready to roll? The answer depends on how dead my battery would be and how bright the hypothetical sun would be shining, but I’m curious nonetheless. Maybe I’ll find out one day.
Criteria for Reviewing & How the Newpowa Performed
Below are the factors I took into consideration when using and reviewing my Newpowa. Though solar panels may seem pretty cut-and-dry, there’s a lot to keep in mind when making your next purchase.
Power Rating vs. Watts Measured
Rated at 60 watts each, my hope was that this panel could pull in between 50-60 watts of incoming power on a perfectly clear day when pointed directly at the sun. The Renogy panels on my van operate at 85-95% efficiency in similar scenarios, so my Newpowa should offer similar results.
So, did it?
It did. The highest reading I witnessed from my Bluetti power station was 54 watts of incoming power (or 90% of their rated power intake) on a bright and sunny September afternoon while elk hunting in Colorado. Not bad at all.
Keep in mind, optimal charging conditions like this aren’t the norm. Most of the time, your solar panel won’t be pointed towards the sun at the perfect angle, and the sun’s rays won’t be shining at full strength, either. In non-overcast conditions, I could usually expect this bad boy to pull in 30-40 watts, which is still pretty solid.
If you’re buying a folding solar panel, chances are you’d like it to be portable. You want it to be lightweight, easy to carry, and have a compact footprint when it’s stashed away.
As you may have guessed already, the Newpowa checks all the boxes in terms of portability. It weighs just a hair over six pounds, has a comfortable briefcase handle, and folds up quite thin. It’s effortless to carry around and stows away easily into the drawers in my van.
Before my 100-watt Renogy solar panels were mounted atop my van, I would lug them in and out of my rig every time I needed to charge my power bank. They were large and definitely not ergonomic, making them a pain in the rear to move around. I would always dread the moment I needed to get my solar set up once I’d found my campsite. I have no such qualms with setting up my Newpowa.
If you’ve ever tried using a solar panel while camping, backpacking, or traveling, you likely know by now how tricky it can be to set your panel up to capture as much of the sun’s rays as possible. That’s why you need a versatile panel that can stand up at all sorts of different angles.
I found my Newpowa to be quite versatile, and rarely have trouble positioning it at the angle I need. When the sun is creeping ever closer to the horizon, its legs can’t quite prop the panel up at the near-90-degree angle I need, so I usually remedy this by leaning it up against a couple of large rocks, my Bluetti, a 5-gallon bucket, or some combination of the three. Problem solved.
The panel’s six mounting holes make it pretty easy to string up on a tree or the side of your car with paracord or twine. That said, it’s much easier to hang the panel up by its rubber carrying handle without having to fuss with string. This method isn’t completely efficient, however, as the velcro flap will hang down and cover roughly 20% of the panel’s cells. This is a tad annoying, but not a dealbreaker if you’re just looking to catch a little extra juice before the sun sets for the night.
While testing and reviewing my Newpowa, I didn’t abuse it or subject it to a ton harsh weather or questionable conditions. I’ve never tossed it around at camp, squashed it underneath heavy items in my drawers, or left it out during hailstorms.
I have exposed it to light rain and lots of dust and dirt, though, and it still works as well as the day I got it. One minor issue I’ve run into is that slight condensation has built up between the panel and its protective covering, though this doesn’t seem to affect its performance whatsoever.
It’s worth noting that this panel also is not marketed as waterproof, so be extra careful not to leave it out when it’s raining, sleeting, or snowing. Prolonged precipitation could put your panel at risk of damage.
Admittedly, I haven’t used this panel enough to speak on its long-term durability, but I’ll be sure to come back and update this review after another full season of camping, hunting, and traveling to notify you of any concerns if they pop up.
Time to Fully Charge Power Bank
I used my Newpowa in unison with a large, weathered and worn 1000-watt Bluetti power station, which is way too big of a battery to pair with a 60-watt panel on its own. As I said earlier, I normally pair my behemoth of a battery bank with the two 100-watt solar panels mounted on my van’s roof. There was rarely a day where I used the Newpowa alone to charge my battery bank.
That’s a long-winded way of saying that I never tested how long my Newpowa would take to fully charge my battery bank from 0% to 100%. (Doing so would have likely taken multiple days in direct sunlight.)
If you pair this solar panel with a much smaller battery bank of around 300 watts — which is the size I recommend if your standalone panel is 60 watts — it will take approximately 8 to 10 hours to fully charge in direct sunlight.
At $99 a pop, I believe the Newpowa 60W Foldable Solar Panels present a great value. Considering comparable options from more well-known brands like Renogy or Jackery can run $180 or more, these are quite the little bargain.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a 60-watt foldable panel that rings in any cheaper than these, and if you do, it’s not likely to perform up to the Newpowa’s standards.
Can These Solar Panels Be Connected Together in Parallel?
Newpowa was kind enough to send me and my two buddies the three 60-watt solar panels to test out on a recent hunting trip. Though it would appear that we connected them in parallel in the photo above, we never actually did. We wanted to, but we were puzzled as to how to do so, and their user manual didn’t offer any solutions.
But I know after reading a review on Newpowa’s website that it is possible to connect these panels in parallel to double or even triple their wattage, though, at the time of writing, I’m not entirely sure how to do so. I’m not a solar or electricity expert by any means, so I didn’t want to take any risks by guessing before contacting Newpowa myself.
I just reached out to Newpowa asking about the proper way to connect these panels in parallel and will update this review once they give me an answer. I’ll also update you on their performance once I’ve successfully used them in parallel.
Best Power Banks to Pair With a 60W Solar Panel
As I said earlier, my monster 1000-watt Bluetti power bank (pictured above) is a tad overkill if you’re going to use the 60-watt Newpowa as your standalone solar panel. If this is the case, I recommend finding a battery in the 300-watt range, like one of the three below.
Newpowa Lithium Pro 300W: Though they’re out of stock as I write this, I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend the Newpowa brand battery bank first. By all accounts, this seems like a reliable, efficient, and ultra-portable solution.
Bluetti EB3A: As a Bluetti fanboy, I must recommend a much smaller and more practical power bank than what I use. This one fits the bill and is everything you could ask for in a 300-watt battery, though it’s nearly double the price of the Newpowa.
Jackery Explorer 300: Though I’d choose Bluetti over a Jackery every time, I wanted to include this ultra-popular option, as well. Judging by reviews, it would be a rock-solid option to pair up with your 60-watt foldable Newpowa panel.
Who Would Find a Newpowa 60-Watt Foldable Solar Panel Useful
- Car campers and road trippers
- Glampers looking to keep their devices powered up
- Van lifers looking for a portable secondary/backup panel
- Short-distance hike-in campers
Who Wouldn’t Find it Useful
- Van lifers needing a primary solar power source (Go for something bigger and more weather resistant)
- Lightweight day hikers and backpackers (Use a 5 or 10-watt solar panel)
- Homeowners trying to lower their electricity bill (Nice try)
Closing Up Our Newpowa 60W Foldable Solar Panel Review
Thanks for sticking around to finish up my unbiased review of the Newpowa 60W Lightweight Foldable Solar Panel. By all accounts, it’s a rock-solid solution if you’re looking for a portable and effective foldable panel at a fraction of the price of some of its more well-known competitors, like Jackery, Renogy, or Bluetti.
I’ve put this solar panel through its paces during a month of high-intensity hunting, camping, and travel in my home state of Colorado and intend to keep using as a partner to the 100-watt roof-mounted panels on my camper van. As I gain more experience with my Newpowa, I’ll come back here to keep you updated.
I can confidently recommend these ultra-portable and lightweight solar panels to anyone in search of a rock-solid 60-watt panel for their upcoming van living, road tripping, or car camping adventures. They’re a reliable, no-frills solution that’ll get the job done at a seriously approachable price. Though there are a few minor tweaks I would make, I’m still smitten with these rock-solid panels.
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Last Updated on January 17, 2024
Noel lives in Colorado and he spends his days traveling, hunting, hiking, backpacking, and skiing. For him, getting deep into the backcountry as often as possible is when life is at its best.