Phil has been working as a technical engineer since his graduation, and has never thought of changing his profession. Also, he’s an avid fisherman and camper, so it’s not only work which makes him deal with generators.
Last updated: May 21, 2021
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Ready to get power in any place in an ecological way? If you like to camp, are looking for an alternative energy source, or are in a place with no electricity grid, a solar generator is a solution to consider.
The best solar power generator systems do not make noise or emit smoke, and almost do not need maintenance. You will also have clean and renewable energy. All of these make them so attractive. However, which one to choose among so many options?
I this guide, we’ve covered some of the best models available online, which earned customers’ recognition and proved to be of high quality. We considered some of the most important features of these generators, including battery type and capacity as well as power output and built-in outlets, which all determine what you’ll actually be able to power with this tool. Take a look at these ten models below!
"This portable generator has up to nine power outlets for multiple devices, stores plenty of power, and you can also use it on CPAP machines.1260 Wh capacity.3,300 surge and 1,800 rated watts.30.9-pound weight."
"This 518Wh portable solar generator is ideal as an electrical back-up unit and can be used with all devices whose rated power is less than 500W.518Wh capacity.1,000 surge and 500 rated watts.13.3-pound weight."
"This solar generator is able to yield up to 300 watts continuously and sports several outlets, including four USB ports, one of which is quick charge.280 Wh capacity.500 surge and 300 rated watts.7.7-pound weight."
"This generator is much smaller than most other models on our list, weighs less, and can be carried everywhere; however, it’s high-performing enough for most gadgets.300 Wh capacity.380 surge and 330 rated watts.6.6-pound weight."
"This model can charge all your everyday devices thanks to the three USB ports including a fast charge, and an AC socket is also available as well as three 12V DC outputs.155 Wh capacity.150 surge and 100 rated watts.3.75-pound weight."
"This model allows the connection of many types of devices thanks to a 110V socket, a cigarette lighter socket, and four USB outlets (including two fast-charge ports).280 Wh capacity.600 surge and 300 rated watts.7.3-pound weight."
"The Aeiusny model is pretty powerful for its size and comes with extra features that might be handy for campers, like the built-in LED flashlight.288 Wh capacity.1000 surge and 500 rated watts.7-pound weight."
"The ECOFLOW River Portable Power Station has a lot of ports to connect up to 10 devices at once and features a unique design with a possibility to add an extra battery and get more power.288 Wh capacity.3,600 surge and 1,800 rated watts.11-pound weight."
"The Baldr330 is a small-sized and lightweight solar generator with multiple charging outlets, which makes it ideal for camping and various uses at home.297 Wh capacity.700 surge and 330 rated watts.7.6-pound weight."
Heavily built to meet your electrical needs, the ECOFLOW River is equipped with quite a lot of ports for charging ports and AC electrical power. With an intelligent thermal management system built for safety, there’s something to be happy about. We like the device’s long battery life and the fact that you can use it for indoor and outdoor camping or activities, and even for commercial purposes.
It features an ultra-minimalist design. This makes the model a true work of art. It is also equipped with the latest battery technology.
The portable generator has up to 9 power outlets to keep your devices charged. Thanks to the power of 3,300 watts, you can also use it on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines.
This generator can save up to 100,000 mAh power capacity, thus providing optimum performance. It’s still portable though and you can have it carried in your bag. With 1260Wh power capacity, it’s one of the best solar generators for home use.
What we liked: The 9-outlet system makes it a perfect item for use at home or in the outdoors when you feel like charging multiple devices simultaneously.
What could be better: It’s pricey, and it also can’t handle some power-demanding tools with the high surge.
This 518Wh portable solar generator weighs only 13.3 pounds and is ideal as an electrical back-up unit. It can be used with all devices whose rated power is less than 500W. This portable electric station is equipped with a pure sine wave converter which ensures an excellent alternating current. For example, this generator can charge 40 to 50 times a cell phone; 92 times a GoPro camera.
However, this is not its only function. If you plug a 32-inch TV into the 110V outlet on the unit, it will run for 7 hours. As for your small refrigerator, it can keep your drinks cold for over 39 hours.
On its front face, this solar group has a 110V output, two 12V ports, and a connector for a cigarette lighter socket. It recharges quickly with a solar panel in 14 hours in bright sunshine, on your vehicle’s cigarette lighter in 16 hours, and a standard electrical outlet in 8 hours.
The Jackery Explorer 500 is equipped with an ultra-sophisticated security system that protects all your equipment. Also, its LCD screen provides you with all the useful information at a glance: the power input, the consumed battery, and the percentage of charge. This electric device is also equipped with a powerful flashlight, ultra-practical in all situations where you are not connected to the traditional network.
With a balance between power and weight, this is the best solar generator for camping.
What we liked: With the Jackery Explorer 500, also know that there is no need to invest in a charge regulator. And for good reason: it is already integrated into the machine.
What could be better: Unfortunately, the screen does not offer any visible or audible signal to warn that the battery is completely discharged. Unless you have your eyes on the machine, it is possible to find yourself facing a power outage without having anticipated it.
The Rockpals Rockpower has seven various outputs: one 110V outlet, one 12V/10A carport, fast charge USB ports, a Type-C outlet, and AC outlets.
The battery capacity is 280 Wh. It has a power rating of 300 watts and the maximum UPS Power of 500 watts. A solar panel can be connected to the device.
It’s another high-quality solar generator for its good connections, moderate capacity, and low weight/dimensions. You can connect a portable solar panel to it without much problem and charge a lot of devices at the same time thanks to its multiple USB outputs.
This model has protection systems against overvoltages. Overall, it uses a lithium battery for backup and is suitable for emergency uses, outdoor camping/activities, and adventures.
What we liked: You can charge the generator using the solar panel or connecting it to the grid. it also sports as many as four USB ports for your devices.
What could be better: Power rating too low even for small appliances like toasters or coffee makers, so you’ll have to use it for less demanding devices.
Are you a wildlife photographer, and you want to sojourn on a professional or adventurous trip? Do you want a portable version of a solar generator that can power all your gadgets? This version is much smaller, high-performing, weighs less and can be carried everywhere. Weighing just 6.6 pounds, the FlashFish device is very portable and easy to carry. And the best of all is that you can continue to charge the device using solar panels.
Up to 7 devices can be charged at once with all ports of this generator. With only 300 Wh of the generator’s capacity, it will be necessary and advisable to always carry a solar panel with you.
The device can be used to power and charge your digital camera, smartphone, laptop, a mini-TV, and projector at once. It can also power a drone, GoPro, light, and mini fan. The device supports pass-through charging. That is, you can keep using it while it’s been recharged.
What we liked: Its price is affordable and is perfect for camping or backpacking.
What could be better: The touchscreen takes time to get used to.
If you are a frequent traveler, need to charge some small gadgets but have no heavy gadget, chances are you don’t need something more than 155wh of power, and you just want the most affordable model.
You can discover an excellent product at a low price with the Rainier R150i generator. It is more compact and lighter than all models presented here. At just 3.75 pounds, it’s an advantage that has some limitations. This generator is the least powerful than other more expensive models.
You can charge all your everyday devices thanks to the three USB ports, including a fast charge. A mains socket is also available, as well as three DC outputs of 12V. For smaller budgets, we recommend this portable generator. It has a handle for transport. It is a perfect battery to take camping.
What we liked: We liked its design: on one side, there’s the LCD screen and on the other, a large lamp. This is without doubt the best portable solar generator in this review.
What could be better: Too low power capacity for some users. It does not come with the solar panel or the cables to connect them, but they can be purchased separately.
The Goal Zero brand has been in operation for almost 2 decades now and have honed their name in many cities and countries globally in the production of quality and sustainable power supply through means like solar, rechargeable battery powered appliances as well as their accessories.
The Goal Zero Yeti 400, is one of their products. It is a different kind of generator from the conventional one you’re used to. It uses a rechargeable lead acid battery and produces zero noise or fumes and require little maintenance. The 396Wh battery is strong enough to power about 7 devices like phones, laptops, camera, amongst others at a time.
You can also run other 33Ah batteries to the battery of the generator through chain connection to enjoy longer runtime by the generator. The time it takes to charge the battery of the Goal Zero Yeti 400 depends on what you’re using to charge it.
It could take 5 hours of you’re charging from a wall outlet with the AC charger that cubes with it. Or for 8 hours of you use the monocrystalline solar panels from the Gold Zero brand. And finally, it may take as much as 13 hours if you’re using the car charger. These are the three ways that the battery of the Goal Zero Yeti 400 can be charged.
An added advantage of this generator is the LCD display that tells you how much power you’re consuming and helps you estimate your runtime.
One of the great advantages of the Aimtom SPS-300 is that it allows the connection of many types of devices thanks to a 110V socket, a cigarette lighter socket, four USB ports (two fast-charge ports), all of which can be very practical if you have recent electrical appliances.
You don’t need to buy oil or gasoline – it’s a high-capacity portable battery with 280 Wh power. It, therefore, recharges electrically, which can take between seven and nine hours.
If you want to have the most ecological use possible, it is possible to purchase a solar panel separately.
Note that, unlike the Aimtom SPS-230, the SPS-300 can be used while it is charging.
The power supplied is sufficient to charge drones, a smartphone, or a video camera. It can also be suitable if you like camping, and you want to power a mini-fridge or even a breathing apparatus.
Your devices run no risk thanks to the voltage recreated by the inverter system. With its eco-friendly design, fast-charge ports, long-lasting functionality, and ease of transport, it remains a very attractive choice for nature lovers.
Why is it special? It’s a good option for well-organized travelers. There are numerous sockets for charging cameras, phones, drones, etc.
What could be better: The warranty coverage could exceed its current one-year offer.
Are you looking for a solution that can compete with a thermal generator in terms of power, that is to say, a solar generator with a power of around 1000 watts? Fortunately, some brands like Aeiusny hit the market and managed to offer this type of solution at a reasonable price. This is the case with one of their best products, the Aeiusny 500W, which is capable of delivering 1000 watts of peak power and up to 500 watts of continuous power (rated).
With this power, it is possible to supply many devices simultaneously. You can power common electrical appliances that require stable energy (laptop, phones, etc.). The output current is similar to household current thanks to its built-in pure sine wave inverter which provides clean energy. It has a large LED display to show the state of charge remaining in the generator and the estimated usage time.
One of the lightest solar generators on the market, this generator weighs just 7 pounds.
What we liked: There are lots of built-in safeties – pure sine wave inverter and the most advanced safety operations, ensuring full protection for all devices.
What could be better: The only downside we found is the fact that it loses charge quicker than expected, which might be a concern for people who like being outdoors for long.
If you are looking for another good option to use when camping or in the event of a power failure, this model looks very good. The ECOFLOW River Portable Power Station has an excellent overall design and performance. It has a really good design and a lot of ports to connect up to 10 devices at once.
It can charge a projector for 10 hours, a mini-fridge for 10 hours, a smartphone for 30 times, and a laptop for 10 times, depending on the battery capacity.
As in the previous model, you can also connect a solar panel to charge this generator. The electricity station has up to 500 charging cycles.
Thanks to the proprietary EcoFlow X-Stream Technology, recharging is super-fast. The device can charge from 0 to 80% in just an hour.
What we liked: We like the wide range of charging outputs it has. The USB-C port is also well appreciated by users.
What could be better: One downside is that this model is really expensive. Also, it’s louder than the competition.
The Baldr330 Portable Power Station is a small-sized and lightweight solar generator with multiple charging outlets. Ideal for camping and uses at home, the power station looks compactly built like a first aid box and has a carry handle. Decently built, it can produce a peak power rating of 700 watts and a continuous power flow of 330 watts.
This solar generator is a versatile tool capable of acting as a battery charger for smartphones and tablets. You can use it to power electronic devices such as landlines and cordless phones, gaming consoles, personal computers, video cameras, and cameras.
It can also be used in cases of sudden blackouts caused by bad weather by supplying electricity to lights. In general, it is the perfect solution for outdoor use (during holidays in a camper, caravan, or a sailboat).
The small size of these generators allows them to be stored in the backpack to be carried during a canoe trip, with a mountain bike, or during a mountain excursion.
What we liked: The portable generator can power a 32-inch TV set safely. It’s equipped with overcharge, overvoltage, and overtemperature protection.
What could be better: The rated power could be better. It cannot charge or power gadgets that are more than 330 watts in capacity.
Things to Consider
Although its name may cause some confusion, a solar generator does not generate electricity as its gasoline-powered colleagues do but stores the energy in its battery. Therefore, a solar generator is an entire photovoltaic solar system with a battery, current inverter, charge controller, the status indicator for battery and cables, all within a single product. The only thing you’ll need, in most cases, is the solar panel to charge the system. So, what more can you do with the so-called solar generators?
What can you use a solar generator for?
The most frequent use of solar generators is in campsites and motorhomes. They are also frequently used in weekend and emergency condos. But their versatility doesn’t end there. You can use a portable solar generator where you need electricity. Solar generators are ideal for recharging electronic devices or connecting small low-consumption appliances.
It should be noted that these generators are not convenient in the home or for connecting large appliances. Too high consumption will leave the generator quickly empty.
How does a solar generator work?
A solar generator does not actually generate electricity, it only stores it. A solar generator works by storing energy, generated in the solar panels, in the built-in battery, and then supplying it directly or turning it into alternating currents through an inverter. Therefore, it is a mini photovoltaic power plant.
Features to consider when choosing a solar generator
To make a good purchase and get the solar generator that best suits your needs, there is a list of parameters to take into consideration:
Battery type and capacity
One of the first things you need to look at when buying a solar generator is the battery type and capacity.
It is recommended to choose a generator with a battery that exceeds the consumption of your electrical appliances. So, you make sure you have energy even between recharges in case the sun does not come out. However, if you have to power and charge your digital camera, smartphone, laptop, a mini-TV, and projector at once, the Rainier R150i could be sufficient rather than the 3,330-watt producing EcoFlow Delta. Meanwhile, higher battery capacity means the generator will be able to keep your devices running for a longer period before recharging.
Surge and rated power output
Like all electricity generating sets, the surge and rated power output determine how powerful it is. The surge power is the peak power, while the running or rated power is continuous power your appliances or tools can draw from it. For example, the ECOFLOW RIVER 600 has a power output of 3,600 surge watts and 1,800 continuous watts. The higher the continuous power, the more powerful the generator actually is.
The more the number of outlets, the better. Outlets are also indicative of the power and sophistication of the generator. Powerful models have up to 11 outlets, and some advanced models may include the latest fast-charge USB ports or USB-C types.
Some of the types of outlets to watch out for in any case include the AC, USB-A, SB-A FC, USB-C, and DC car ports.
Size and weight
The weight of the generator is another aspect to consider if you plan to move it from side to side. It is recommended to choose one with handles to be able to transport it without problems. Keep in mind that if you choose a generator with a li-ion battery, it will be much less heavy than one of the same capacity with an AGM or gel battery. Portable solar generators shouldn’t weigh more than 10 lbs. In fact, there are models like the Rainier R150i that weigh less than 4 lbs. These are most ideal for travels, air transport especially.
Other charging options
The best method to recharge a solar generator and what manufacturers recommend is by using solar panels. While it’s not the only option you have, you can also recharge your generator by plugging it into a 220V socket or with your car’s 12V socket (the cigarette lighter).
Recharge with solar panels: A good choice for charging a solar generator using photovoltaic energy is through solar chargers. They are relatively easy to carry and use. These go very well with portable solar generator devices.
220V electrical socket (home electrical socket): In case you don’t have solar panels or you only use the device a few times, charging it at home through the 220V socket is a great option. Therefore, you must use the indicated charger as a battery-powered electronic device.
A solar generator set has a reputation for not being noisy. However, in order not to spoil your peace of mind with an unpleasant hum, it is advisable to scrutinize the sound level of the machine. For information, the values are given, as the main parameter, are for around 23 feet away. Rest assured, though, that they are generally quite quiet.
As we have seen in this review, solar generators are, admittedly, not a type of gadget that is built to last a decade. That’s why many of them come with a limited warranty. However, we wouldn’t advise a warranty for one year, as many manufacturers offer. You may choose models with at least two years of warranty like the Baldr330 Portable Power Station and ECOFLOW DELTA offer.
Although they are less expensive than thermal models, solar generators have a cost generally proportional to their power. Count between $100 and $1,000 depending on the model. Keep in mind that this will be your only investment to generate your electricity. So have no hesitation! Your purchase will quickly pay off and your generator will be your best ally for many years to come.
This depends on how large the power consumption capacity of the appliance and the solar device is. A photovoltaic generator is a versatile tool capable of acting as a battery charger for smartphones and tablets or going to power electronic devices such as landlines and cordless phones, televisions, gaming consoles, personal computers, video cameras, and cameras. It can also be used in cases of sudden blackouts caused by bad weather by supplying electricity to lights and headlights. It is also particularly useful in the garden, supplying electricity during the holidays, to irrigation systems or appliances such as hedge trimmers, lawnmowers, and brush cutters. This type of generator is also useful for supplying energy to electrical devices in the absence of grid systems, such as in campers, isolated cabins, stables, or tool sheds. Finally, it allows you to power wireless scientific equipment such as seismographs or weather stations.
Yes, but you have to ensure the solar generator has the pass-through charging technology. This ensures you can keep using the generator even as it’s been charged. This is a possibility with the Flashfish E300 generator for example.
More people are resorting to the use of emergency energy sources, either for their daily activities, for their office activities, or outdoor outings with their family and friends. With the development of technology and the desire to protect the climate, electronics manufacturers have invented a new type of generator that runs on solar energy. With such a complementary source of energy, you will be able to operate all of your equipment in complete autonomy: laptop, mobile phone, television, fan, lighting, etc.
Our Editor’s Choice is the ECOFLOW DELTA. This portable generator has 1260Wh power distributable to nine power outlets to keep your devices charged. You can also use it on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. It is, without doubt, the overall best solar generator we discovered on the market.
The Jackery Explorer 500 is the best for camping. We like this portable solar generator as it has a 518Wh capacity and weighs only around 13 pounds. It is ideal as an electrical back-up unit and can be used with all devices whose rated power is less than 500W.
Finally, ROCKPALS Rockpower 300 has the best value for money. Sold for an inexpensive price, the battery capacity is 280 Wh. It has a power rating of 300 watts and the maximum UPS Power of 500 watts. A solar panel can be connected to the device.