To many of us camping means wilderness, lack of attributes of civilization like running water and electricity. This is cool because camping gives the opportunity to disconnect from the digital noise and other disturbances caused by cities.
Some people, though, are held back by this lack of comfort and don’t get to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors.
There is great news for them today! People can go camping and still enjoy the comfort of civilization. Solar powered tents are the answer!
Even though solar panels were invented long time ago, they weren’t as popular as they are nowadays. They were quite expensive, less efficient and heavier than today. During the past several years they got cheaper, lighter and more efficient, so people started using them not only of the roofs in their houses, but also in many other places.
In this post I will cover 3 types of solar powered tents so that you can see how you can benefit from the free source of energy – the Sun.
Tents with Integrated Solar Panels
There are several models of such tents on the market. They are great because the manufacturer has figured it all out and designed both the tent and the panels to fit together perfectly. There are various models of solar power camping tents.
One example of such tents is Eddie Bauer Unisex-Adult Katabatic 3-Person Tent with Goal Zero Solar Panel. These are actually two separate products, but they are designed to fit together perfectly. The electricity produced by the solar panel can be stored in either of Goal Zero Sherpa battery pack or one of Goal Zero Yeti Generators.
Not only this extraordinary camping kit is super convenient, it is ultra high quality and heavy duty (therefore not cheap, of course).
Another example is Cinch Pop-up Tent with Solar Power & LED. It is an easy to set up tent. It takes less than a minute to pitch the tent and not more than 3 minutes to pack it away. Check out the video about this tent:
Ready-made solar camping tents are still rare on the market. Perhaps, one of the main causes is that the solar panels aren’t flexible, therefore, bulky. If we could fold solar panels like a tent of a fabric, that would probably give a boost to the development of new tents with solar panels. If you are looking for a solar powered camping tent, you can always make one yourself…
DIY Camping Solar Tents
Today it is easy to make your own camping tent with solar panels. Perhaps it will not be the coolest tent in the world, but it will do its thing – it will generate electricity for you on the beach or in the mountains. Just use your usual tent and add a solar panel to it. Simple as that. Additionally, if you plan to use more devices which use electricity, you can use a power bank, which will store the electricity produced by the solar panel.
Before buying equipment for your solar panel tent, consider the following things:
- Will you only buy the solar panel or also a power bank? In order to make a decision, you have to forecast which electric devices you will be using while camping. If it is only your smartphone and a camera, the solar panel will to its job. But if you are going to use your laptop and charge a camera, a smartphone and something else, consider buying a power bank. There are power banks with different capacities.
- Will you be backpacking or car camping? If you are going backpacking, you know that the size and the weight of your backpack matters a lot. When backpacking, choose foldable solar panels. The smaller, the better. Don’t be lured by high output of larger solar panels, better limit your electric gadgets while backpacking. If you are usually going car camping, the size matters less and the weight doesn’t matter at all, so options are greater in this situation.
- How will you attach your solar panel to the tent? Is is recommended to attach your panels to the roof of the tent. You can also attach them to the tree or other object, but this way you will get frustrated with all the wires hanging around, especially when it gets dark. One of the easiest way to attach the the solar panel to the tent is by using climbing hooks and rubber rope (the usual rope will do the job as well).
Concept Solar Tents
This part of the article is not going to be practical, but interesting, because here I am not writing about solar tents for sale. Most of us like to check out the new stuff created by designers. Even if this stuff hasn’t been manufactured yet. Some talented designers have created these solar concept tents. I am not talking about how practical they are (this is concept yet), so let’s admire the design, which, I must say, is cosmic in all aspects.
Most of us like to check out the new stuff created by designers. Even if this stuff hasn’t been manufactured yet. Some talented designers have created these solar concept tents. I am not talking about how practical they are (this is concept yet), so let’s admire the design, which, I must say, is cosmic in all aspects.
The Surf Shelter Solar Powered Tent
HJC design company from London came up with this futuristic design of a tent which is actually a shelter for the surfers.
The aerodynamic form of the tent has been chosen on purpose – to make a tent withstand strong winds which are usual on many beaches.
Click on the image above to open the gallery
Besides the futuristic exterior characteristics, the solar panels integrated into the tent would provide enough power for comfortable living. The tent utilizes not only the solar power but also the wind power. Simply awesome!
Orange Solar Tent
Also known as Kaleidoscope Ten, Orange Solar Tent is not only existant on designers’ drawings, it was actually made and showcased at music festivals. This tent is pretty cool not only because its ability to generate electricity from the Sun, but because its illuminating feature which makes the tent glow in the dark.
The tent was introduced at music festivals mainly because partygoers’ phones discharge quickly causing massive headache – they can’t take pictures nor call their friends when they get lost. Plus, this is a tent with WiFi.
The tent was originally designed by Kaleidoscope and Orange Communication to celebrate Glastonbury Festival. Check out their promotional video:
Specially coated solar threads are integrated into a tent fabric so there is no need to use traditional flat solar panels to collect the solar energy. The tent is equipped with three directional glides which can be adjusted during the day in order to maximise the amount of solar energy collected. Who would ever think this is possible 20 or 30 years ago?
These days, when solar panels are everywhere, nothing will hold us back from designing our own energy system when camping. It is very easy to set up and extremely convenient to use. Nowadays our smartphones have so many useful apps which can be used during our camping trips. That means that we have take a good care of power supply. Solar energy solves this task perfectly.