Our Buying Guide With The 10 Best Portable Solar Generators Of 2018

best solar generator

Solar energy is a resource that builds a better tomorrow. In fact, it’s the most easily accessible form of energy not taxed by anyone. Therefore, you should make the most of it.

If you like to camp or need a secondary power source for your home, then you should get a portable solar generator. These generators use sunlight to produce power. They can help you power-up your household or your camping trips.

We are going to review the best portable solar generators available in the market with their respective features before giving our thoughts. Afterward, we will provide you with a brief guide about what you need to know to buy one in the first place.

So, make sure you stick to the end!

Portable Solar Generator Product Reviews

Following, we are going to share the best solar generators we found. Take your time to go through our list and find the best pick for your needs!

Imuto Digi-Power Cube M5 50000mA Review

This is the most compact 50000mAh battery you will see. It is as a multi-voltage device that comes with a lunchbox style. It’s perfectly safe as it’s made with Class A Lithium-ion. This is designed for people who camp for days.

Features

3 Ways Charting

The portable generator could be powered up by three different ways, AC Wall outlet, DC 12V-24V car cigarette socket, and solar panel. This is designed to be a versatile package with wide applications. This is the reason behind its various ports and tough casing.

Multiple Smart Protection System

This is perhaps the only time we will see a system like this. The portable generator is a bit expensive because it’s been made with top-tier components.  The safe check makes sure your device is safe from issues like over-voltage, over-current, over-charging and short circuit.

Conclusion

The Imuto M5 Cube tops our list for a sane reason; it’s great value for your money. This portable generator has all the qualities, its compact, lightweight, powerful and affordable. It could help you sustain yourself for a while before needing a recharge.

There is the various way you can charge up the whole contraption, so that should make you feel easy.

ECOFLOW RIVER Portable Power Station (500W Mega Capacity) Review

If we are honest, our first reach to the River Solar Series was skeptical. But that changed when we used the 500W equivalent. So yes, we will admit we were wrong about it. Ecoflow river mobile power station series are among the best portable generators.

It deservingly made the second place because of the following reasons:

Features

All Bells and Whistles

The ECOFLOW checks all the boxes, it has all the features you would need from solid solar generator.

The overall weight is 8.5 pounds, and the dimensions are 9.8×6.3×8.2. The company somehow managed to fit in a 114,000mAh, That’s 412 Wh!

Moreover, it features 11 power outlets, 4 USB for a quick charge, 2 USB C, 2 DC, 2 AC, and a 12V car port.

Kudos to the design team.

Small Package

This is an incredibly small package that can sustain you for your camping needs. It is silent and versatile. There is no other solar power generator that packs a digital display with so many ports in a tough casing and small size. It can hold up its charge for up to 1 year.

Conclusion

This would have been our number one pick if it wasn’t so expensive. The ECOFlow is hands-down the best solar portable generator you could buy. Yes, you would need to buy the solar panel separately, but that’s not the only way to charge up this device. You can plug it into your car’s cigarette socket or to a wall outlet.

Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator (All-in-One Solar Kit) Review

This is a heavy one, the device weights under 13 pounds so don’t put it in your backpack. However, it’s perfect for a camping trip. It’s portable and provides just enough power. This thing can be charged with a wall socket, solar energy, and your car’s cigarette outlet.  This is a bit costly, and following we will show why.

Features

150 Wh Generator with Panel

This is an all in one package that comes with a hefty battery along with two solar panels. The panels can charge it up within 3 hours even if you have plugged in something. It’s an excellent option for off-grid and emergency use. The briefcase design makes sure you won’t have any problems carrying it around.

Top Tier Components

Renogy spared no expense when designing this product because it features best in class material and components. The battery is Li-on (NMC), and solar panels are monocrystalline. The built material is polymer carbon. So, yes it can last for years if you are careful.

Conclusion

Renogy Phoenix is an excellent all in one solar generator. It’s portable, small size and has all the features, but it’s a bit costly. If you can afford to spend five hundred bucks on a solar briefcase generator, then by all means, go and buy it.

Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Review

There are many options to avail when it comes to secondary power solutions. Portable Solar Generator is one of them. Goal Zero is a trusted name when it comes to solar energy. Following, we are going to review Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium, a portable solar generator.

Features

Durable and Portable Design

The Yeti 1400 boasts a durable design. It is not encased as a briefcase; rather it’s an enlarged piece of brick with sophisticated tech inside. The device has all the bells and whistles. These include rubber soles, carry handles, lots of ports, and small size.

It’s probably the whole package, except it doesn’t have inbuilt solar panels.

Small Size and Huge Capacity

It is the strongest suit of Goal Zero Yeti 1400. The portable generator has a digital display with a whole lot of ports. The dimensions are 10.1×15.3 x10.4, and it packs nearly 1500W. This is very impressive for such a small size along with fancy stuff like digital meter and rubber soles.

Conclusion

Goal Zero Yeti is a small package designed for people who need massive power, and this makes this an excellent choice for buyers. It got the name Yeti, thanks to its small size but sheer power. We believe the Goal Yeti 1400 is an excellent choice if you need something massive and powerful.

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 Review

Portable Solar generators have left their mark on the power industry. Some of the most respectable solar companies are now investing in portable power stations. Jackery is not behind; it has introduced a solid range of products. We are going to review the best pick from their selection, the 240-Watt Power Station Explorer.

Features

240-Wh

The power station is 67,200 mAh, and this is a lot of power if you need to sustain yourself during camping. It’s a bit bulky, so moving it around can be a challenge. The built is tough, so thumbs up for that.

Quick Recharging

This portable generator is strictly for people who need something for the outdoors. It’s not powerful enough for a household. This is proved by the sufficient battery life and quick recharge time. You can easily charge up the whole battery within 2 hours (Wall-outlet). This is really exceptional.

Conclusion

If you need something compact, affordable and with enough battery for a day or two, then Jackery Portable PowerStation must be your pick. It’s a well-designed product all around. The Battery limit is sufficient, and chassis is strong enough. What more do you need?

Nature PowerPak 1800-Watt Portable Solar Generator Review

Nature Powerpack is a portable solar generator. It boasts a huge capacity that can sustain your camping trip for days. However, it suggests you will need to buy a separate solar panel. This product is not focused on value for your money, but on pure raw power. Following we will tell you what justifies the high premium.

Features

1800-Watt Power

The battery has a huge capacity of 1800 watts. It can provide power to your whole house, but it may sustain your camping for a few days, given your needs are in check. The solar generator can power up your smartphone and laptop for days before needing a charge. It can power up your heater or cooler for hours along with lights and all.

Detailed Display

The Nature PowerPak doesn’t have any LED lights telling you when it’s on and off but it features a proper digital display that tells you everything you need to know. The digital display shows you how much power is available and the current energy source.

Lots of Ports

The portable generator doesn’t have any lack of ports. It comes with a great selection of ports with 6x 120V AC Outlet, 12V DC Outlet, and 2 USB ports. These ports make sure you won’t have a problem connecting the generator to your setup or will have to deal with tangled cables.

Safety Measures

Nature Powerpack has done an incredible job at keeping the battery in check. It uses a 1.5w solar battery maintainer which keeps the battery maintained and ensured that it doesn’t deplete or lose its efficiency.

Conclusion

The Nature Powerpack is not a portable option. It’s hefty, so you can’t carry it around much. The built quality is good, but it lacks a bit when compared to other options. So, we will recommend it as a secondary power source for your home instead of the main power source to power up your outdoor adventures.

HQST Portable Generator (All-in-One Solar Kit) Review

HQST is yet another respectable name in portable clean energy. The company makes its entry in our list. Following, we are going to review one of its newly released product, the HQST Portable Solar Generator, All in One Kit.

Features

Efficient Panels

Perhaps this is the best selling point that HQST portable generator comes with high-efficient solar panels. The off-grid power system is made with top of the line components including battery panels and overall built quality. The panels are monocrystalline, which are best in business.

Tough Built

We realize this is a common mention, but this is critical. The panel is tough, and it’s well protected. The build quality is some sort of poly-carbon. This material is used to build handguns. So, no doubt it’s one of the toughest and affordable built options.

Made to Move Around

Portable Solar panels are made to move around. So, their design needs to accommodate this. HQST generator does it perfectly. The whole thing shaped up like a briefcase, it even includes the panel. It is designed like a military briefcase, so yes it can handle some scratches and scuffs.

The solar panel is carefully wrapped around a metal housing, and the top cover has the second solar panel. So yes, this thing can handle a few bumps, but we don’t advise it.

Huge Capacity in Small Size

The generator can pack up to 175-watt power in its small size. Given the product dimensions are 15.75×12.20×4.13, that’s really impressive considering the batteries and panels are included.   It’s a tough built, and the whole things weigh around 12.8 pounds.

Considering what it offers, we will say it’s compact.

Conclusion

Bear in mind HQST portable generator is a whole package. It encases the panels and battery in a tough chassis. The power capacity is excellent provided the small size, but it’s not mind-blowing. We will say it’s a decent deal because you don’t have to invest in solar panels. It’s easy to carry around even if you are going out on bikes.

So, if you are in need of a really portable small package, then this should be your pick. Otherwise, there are some competitors with better power measures.

Suaoki 220Wh Portable Generator Power Source Review

If you are looking for a portable solar generator, you must look for something with high power capacity, otherwise, you are just wasting your money. However, the story doesn’t end with capacity. You also need to consider a quick recharge time, durability, ports, and efficiency.

Well, we did the hard work on your behalf and brought you something that has it all, the Suaoki 220wh portable solar generator.

Features

Plenty of Ports

We know this is not a groundbreaking feature and not the first thing you should look for, but it’s a whole lot of convenient to have several ports. The Suaoki is very generous as it comes with two 5V/2.1A ports and One 5V/1.0A port. It also features two 2V DC outputs with Two ACT outlets.

Fast Charging

The Suaoki powers up quickly! There are two ways to charge up the generator, Solar and A power. Nothing special here, but the time it takes is great. The generator can full up to its 2000mAH capacity in just 4 hours through a wall outlet, and 5 hours through the solar panel. It’s really exceptional.

Built for the Outdoor Soul

This is perhaps one of the best build portable generators we have ever reviewed. The built quality is really great. We have to give the manufacturer props for it. The generator comes encased in metal-like chassis but that’s the top layer, the inside is tough plastic material (the usual), but it surely feels sturdy. An excellent choice.

Conclusion

Suaoki gives an excellent value for your money. It’s easy to carry around; it has plenty of port and just enough storage capacity. If you have your need in check, and you don’t have any crazy plans, then we would definitely recommend it.

Nature’s Generator- 1800W Solar and Wind Powered Generator Review

Nature Generator is yet another trustable name in the business. We’ve had the privilege of using its products from time to time. We are nothing short of impressed by its built quality. Its appliances are efficient and durable, and 1800-Watt solar generator is no exception. Following we will tell you what makes it so special.

Features

Huge Capacity

The Nature Power solar portable generator is a portable power solution that packs a powerful punk. This is a standalone product that is easy to carry. It has an output of 1000 watts in a small package.

Versatile

This kit comes packaged with everything you need to set up your off-grid power system. It offers you a Powerpack with Six 120V AC outlets. The generator also comes with USB ports and 12V DC Ports. There is also a part of it. Lastly, this thing packages up to three units of 90-watt monocrystalline solar panels for portable power.   

Solar and Wind Energy

The Nature Power’s portable solar generator features a tough built. It is a complete package that supports two renewable energy sources. First one is sunlight and the second is wind power. This is an excellent package for the outdoor spirit.

Making energy from wind ensures that you won’t run out of power if there is no sunlight, you can continuously make energy even if its nightfall. Yes, the solar panel and wind devices are sold separately, but the generator is designed to entertain them both. This makes the Nature Power 1800-watt a must-grab!

Conclusion

We are definitely going to recommend this solar kit. It’s ideal for camping and emergencies. If you want a second power source for your home, this must be your pick.  This solar generator is a bit expensive but it’s worth every cent considering you can also make power with wind energy.

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station Review

   

Goal Zero is a company that focuses on a different type of generator. Their solar generators rely on the sun’s renewable energy to produce power, rather than burning fossil fuels. At one point, their products were sold as all in one kit. But now they’ve updated their battery bank to the latest technology; the Yeti 400 Lithium is a standalone battery.

Features

Portable Design

The device has a modern look, but the center of attention remains its utility. Its enclosure is highlighted with yellow lines. These lines highlight (label) different connections, USB Ports and outlets. Handles, plugs, and button functions are well placed.

Made for Outdoors

The Yeti 400 doesn’t come in a cheap plastic case. Instead, it comes with a rugged shell. At over 17 LBS, it takes a little work to lug it around. Fortunately, the large, curved metal handles make it easy to grip.

Lots of Ports

You can plug it into the Yeti 400 Lithium. You’re provided with two standard 120V outlets, three USB ports, and a pair of 12V connections for use in vehicles. The connectors on the far left are designed to help charge Yeti. You can plug it into the wall to charge it quickly, plug it into the cigarette lighter in your car while on the go, or connect one of the optional solar panels to get free power directly from the sun.

Huge Capacity

All of the corners are strongly reinforced using a thick, rigid plastic that won’t crack if it’s accidentally dropped or knocked against something. For a source of backup power in your home, the strong built of the Yeti is overkill. But if you’re seeking outdoor adventure, you won’t have to worry about damaging.

Conclusion

Lithium battery technology has many advantages over older battery backup systems, and the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium is one of the best options on the market. While it’s a little more expensive than competing options, this is something that will last for many years to come.

Things to Consider 

Are you tired of fumes and noise of gasoline?

Why don’t you try a solar generator then? A portable solar generator has various benefits over a gasoline one.

A Solar generator is environmentally friendly and relatively affordable. Plus, there is a wide variety of options to choose from.

There is a wide selection of portable solar generators available. Some prominent examples are folding chargers, solar generators, mobile charges, lanterns, and god know what else. Manufacturers design these devices to accommodate every customer.

Thanks to the plethora of available options, you might get confused when deciding which one should you buy. Following, we are offering you a buying guide that will help you find the best portable solar generator according to your needs and budget.

Solar Generators offer you clean energy in an affordable way. You pose no threat to mother nature as it doesn’t burn fuel or produce noise. You don’t consume expensive natural resources. Instead, you are only using sunlight, which gets wasted otherwise.

Types of Solar Panel to Consider for Portable Generators

Currently, there are three different solar panels used for the residential sector. These are explained as below:

Monocrystalline Panels: The costliest out of the lot, Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient. They are made with highly pure silicone which adds durability and efficiency.   

Polycrystalline Panels: Polycrystalline Panels stand out, thanks to their blue color. These are made by melting fragments of silicone together. This is a major reason why polycrystalline panels are not as efficient as Monocrystalline ones. Still, they are more affordable and flexible.

Thin Film Panels: Thin Film Panels are best recognized for portable use, thanks to their lightweight. These panels can be folded, and their performance remains under 20 percent. You can install them over curved surfaces as this tech is viable than the heavy monocrystalline panels.

Verdict: If you want the most bang for your buck, then buy monocrystalline panels. They are efficient and durable. But if money is an issue, then Polycrystalline panels should suffice your needs. Both these panels are fragile so make sure your generator takes care of their safety.

The thin film panels are the cheapest and least efficient, but they can handle a few scratches.

Design and Weight

Portability should be your utmost priority. You need something that is easy to carry along. You obviously don’t need anything that will be a burden for your travels. Prefer a suitcase or briefcase sort of design. These are easy to move around.

Make sure the contraction comes with a well-built and sturdy handle as well as wheels for comfortable dragging wherever you go. Fortunately, on the market, we have reviewed nearly every top-tier generator with movable cases.

If you are aiming for top-tier specs, it will be hard to find a lightweight solution. Finding a lightweight model with high energy output is impossible. A High capacity solution will be heavy thanks to hefty components. It will feature more panels, a powerful inverter, and massive battery packs. These will be large and rugged. So, you will need to find a balance between high power and lightweight.

Durability

Besides a small size, the portable solar generator has to be tough if it is going to handle outdoor use. Be careful where you put the generator, don’t put it somewhere wet or uneven. Make sure the surface is clean and sturdy.

If you are an outdoor spirit, look for something that can power up your tent and can handle abuse. The generator should provide power everywhere despite the conditions.

Review the generator carefully and make sure its sturdy inside and out. It doesn’t matter whether the device has integrated or attached with solar panels.  Just consider the built quality.

Yes, some people prefer solar charger over standalone panels because it lets them put the panel anywhere for better sunlight. The rest of the machine could be kept safely in a camping tent.

Expandable Features

Don’t miscalculate your energy readings. If needed, pick something expandable that can accommodate extra solar panels, and battery, this can make the whole contraption heavy, but it can suffice you in case you need more power.

Some models offer excellent expandability. Plug in additional batteries and panel to increase the energy output and storage.

Capacity

If you are investing big bucks on a portable solar generator, you better make sure it has a huge capacity. The generator should feature a deep cycle battery because it will be continuously discharged and recharged. The battery needs to be efficient so it won’t deplete when storing energy. You won’t use the energy always, so you don’t need something that depletes quickly.

Most models use a 12-volt battery with portable solar panels. But they need a solar battery with a higher volt rating if you are going to adjust several different panels.

Regulator

Solar Regulators are responsible for maintaining a steady flow of energy between the panel and the battery. If you don’t have a regulator, the panel will overcharge and most likely damage the battery.

Inverter

The Battery stores DC (Direct Current) Power. The inverter converts DC power in Alternating current power (AC). AC is the type of power appliances put to use.

If you use the 12-volt battery, the inverter adjusts the current voltage for power appliances which run on 120-volt power.

Other Accessories

If you are going to use a portable solar panel, the portable generator will run few appliances. If you are going to invest in camping appliances, consider mini-fridges, stoves, coolers, and lights. Just make sure they run on 12-volt DC power.

It suggests you can power these appliances with a battery and won’t have to buy a separate inverter.

Last Word: Everything you need to look for when buying a portable solar generator is given above. Keep these important qualities in your mind. Portable power market is still growing because people are embracing solar energy.

But if you are a traveler, and you frequently camp, then you can connect to portable energy rather than solar. For this reason, you need to walk through the guide and find the best pick.

How to Setup?

There are two ways to connect a solar generator to your home. You can plug each appliance using individual cords, or you can power up a whole circuit panel with a transfer switch.

Following, we are going to discuss how you can set up a solar generator for first use. Make sure you follow our instructions carefully!

The Connection

You have two choices, cords or a power transfer system. But what’s the difference. Actually, it’s more of convenience and safety concern.

Gen Cords can handle between 3,000-5,000 Watts; therefore, they are best left for emergencies. The individual power appliances and energize only corded appliances. As you would have guessed, they need multiple extension cords.

Power Transfer Systems, on the other hand, can handle 6,000-17,500 Watts. It powers entire circuits and is hardwired or corded.  They connect with single extension cords.   

Making the Connection

It doesn’t matter what sort of solar generator you have; you should always refer to the owner manual. It gives you detail instructions and guidelines about what you need to do. Never plug the generator in a wall socket. This leads to back-feeding.

Gen Cords

  • Take care of the checklist and move the generator outside
  • Connect the solar generator to appliances by running to the cord from generator
  • Hit the Power Button

Transfer System

  • Connect generator to transfer switch using gen cord
  • Hit the power button
  • Flip main breakers in transfer switch from the line to generator power. Turn on the circuits you want to power one by one

Tips to Set up the Whole Thing

Now that we are done with the connection setup for your best portable solar generator. It’s time we discuss how to set it up:

Position the solar generator on the flat ground. Make sure it’s even and stable. If the generator is on a bed of your truck, park the thing on the flat ground. Locate the electric button starter on the control panel and press the power button. Let the whole thing warm up before you power your appliances

Read the amperage requirement on the label of your appliances. Get an amperage meter and put it on the control panel of your generator (in case if it doesn’t come preinstalled). Plug power cords in if you have something demanding to power-up.

The portable generator may get slow at a point, but it will soon return to its original output. Disconnect power cord at the receptacle.

You need to adjust the output of your generator to make sure everything runs smooth. Mind the output and be careful about how you use the whole thing!

Benefits of Owning

You are reading solar generator reviews for a reason. You are going to buy one, sooner or later. It makes sense to have a ready-to-go source of clean power. It’s ideal for a quiet environment and every imaginable scenario. You can power your home appliances without offsetting tranquil balance by silencing noisy generators.

If you still can’t make up your mind, following we are sharing the benefits of owning a solar generator. We hope this helps you make your mind!

Handy for Emergencies

Emergencies can leave you without power and can cut you off from the world. Despite what caused the emergency in first place, having a secondary power source can help you sustain yourself. When your grid is gone, you don’t have any communication and power. So, instead of feeling vulnerable and helpless, you can get ahead of the emergency with a reliable and durable power source. Charge your phone, bring back your communication and hold up till help shows up.

Environmentally Friendly Power

Have you ever thought about having clean energy for your household?

A portable solar generator can emit no fumes and gasses while running quietly. This is a perfect power source if you want serenity and peace of mind.

You can work in peace, and your children don’t have to deal with loud noises while playing. Whatever you do, you have the peace of mind you are not leaving any carbon footprint.

Great for Campsites

If you have an outdoor spirit, then you better get the best solar generator for your money. It will improve the camping experience. This would be a gem for your outdoor adventures. Breathe some fresh air without any fumes in it.

If you are the one for twilight hours, then you must get a solar generator as it won’t bug you Charge your phone using it to catch up with your urban life back at home. The best part of having a solar generator is you can set it up within minutes.

You don’t have any jury cans to lug, fuel to drain or gas smell. This is really a convenient option.

Cheap Power

This is perhaps the biggest benefit of solar energy. You get free energy. You can save a lot of money off the solar generator as you don’t have to pay for gasoline. Sunlight is a renewable natural source. These generators don’t need much maintenance. Just replace crowded wires or inverter once in years, but it’s really cost effective.

Batteries

Lightweight panels aren’t only useful during the day. Yes, solar panels are weather dependent, but that doesn’t mean they are completely useless once the sun sets down. No, these generators come with hefty batteries that pack a punch for darker hours.

This is helpful when you need to power up your lights. With the correct holder or clips, you can energize your household battery. You can also charge a car battery and use it to run 12-volt devices. Calculate the appropriate charging time before you connect anything to the panel.

Easy to Move Around

Well, they are not light as paper. But you are stuck with only one place with a solar power generator. Instead, you can move around them as you please. Solar generators are designed to be portable in general.

These generators are quite small in size. This makes them easy to use over different applications.

Conclusion

A portable solar generator is an excellent investment. It doesn’t matter whether you intend to use it for in-house or outdoors, it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Moreover, if you run into an emergency and suffer from power outages, you have something to sustain yourself which is powered by free resources.

We brought forth the solar generator reviews to make your search for the best portable solar generator a bit easy. We searched through thousands of products to assure we bring forth the best. We have tried to cover every information we could.

If there is something we have missed, do let us know!

Feature image source: Tom Webster