The market for solar generators is flooded with choice. Which is great for us as consumers but also leaves a high chance of buyer’s remorse.
This article covers the best portable solar generators currently on offer by grouping them into categories such as camping, road trips, and power outage emergencies at home.
If you are unsure about which you need, then knowing what a solar-powered generator can run will help you refine your search. Let’s start with the best overall, the Jackery 2000 Plus!
Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus 200W
A versatile and expandable solar generator, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and home emergencies.
✅ Gigantic 2042.8Wh capacity with 3000W output
✅ Ultra-fast charging in just 2 hours
✅ Expandable up to 12kWh
✖️ Relatively heavy at 79.1 pounds
✖️Initial investment may be pricey
✖️May require extra solar panels for optimal charging
The Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus 200W is an impressive piece of equipment that we’ve recently tested. With its massive 2042.8Wh capacity and 3000W output, it can power heavy-duty devices and appliances without breaking a sweat.
Apart from being perfect for outdoor adventures, it’s also a reliable backup power source for home use during unexpected outages or emergencies.
One of its standout features is the ultra-fast charging. We were amazed that it took only 2 hours to fully charge the unit by connecting it to 6 SolarSaga 200W solar panels or wall outlets. Considering its large capacity, this makes for efficient and convenient use, especially when on the go.
What sets the Jackery 2000 Plus apart is its expandability. It supports up to five additional battery packs, increasing the total capacity from 2kWh to 12kWh.
Moreover, by connecting two Jackery 2000 Plus units in parallel, you can expand the capacity to 24kWh and enjoy 240V voltage and 6000W total output.
However, there are a few downsides to consider. Firstly, the unit weighs 79.1 pounds, making it less portable than other options on the market. Also, being a premium product, the initial investment might be relatively high. Lastly, though it charges quickly, you may need to add extra solar panels to achieve optimal charging times.
🎖️ Best Overall: An excellent investment for those seeking a powerful and expandable solar generator. Its fast charging, huge capacity, and expandability make it a top choice for outdoor explorers and homeowners needing a reliable backup power source.
Goal Zero Yeti 200X with Nomad 20 Solar Panel
The Goal Zero Yeti 200X with Nomad 20 Solar Panel is a versatile and lightweight solar generator, perfect for home emergencies and outdoor adventures.
✅ Lightweight and compact design
✅ Versatile charging options with various ports
✅ High-speed charging through USB-C PD
✖️ Some customers experienced charging issues
✖️ Power output may not be sufficient for larger devices
✖️ Return shipping cost for defective units
We recently tried out the Goal Zero Yeti 200X portable power station, and it truly delivers on its lightweight and compact design promise. With 187Wh capacity, this solar generator, accompanied by the foldable Nomad 20 solar panel, is an exceptional choice for home use or camping trips.
One of the aspects we liked the most about the Yeti 200X was its versatility. The power station comes with 4 different port options, including 12V and USB PD, allowing us to charge our smartphones, laptops, tablets and even power some small appliances. We found it quite convenient to have so many charging options, making our experience hassle-free.
When we tested the high-speed charging capabilities of the Yeti 200X, we were not disappointed. The USB-C PD fast charging port quickly charged our devices such as laptops, tablets, and phones.
We also tried charging the power station using the Nomad 20 solar panel, the included 60-watt power supply, and even our vehicle’s 12-volt outlet, giving us various ways to recharge while on the go.
However, we noticed some shortcomings as well, such as the issue with charging the power station, and in some cases, others have claimed it stopped charging after a few weeks of light use.
The solar panel’s power output might need to be increased for larger devices, and users reported the panel worked well mostly for mobile phones. Additionally, be aware of the return shipping cost for defective units, as it can be expensive.
💰 Best Budget: A solid choice for those seeking a lightweight, versatile, and portable solar generator for home emergencies or outdoor adventures. It might not be suitable for larger devices, and there are reported charging issues, but overall, it’s a great addition to your outdoor lifestyle.
Goal Zero Yeti 3000X Portable Power Station
The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X Portable Power Station is a reliable and robust choice for off-grid and backup power needs.
✅ High power output with a 2,982-watt-hour lithium battery
✅ Field-tested to work in diverse environments
✅ Integrated 600-watt MPPT charge controller for efficient solar charging
✖️ Heavy compared to competition
✖️ More expensive than some alternatives
During a weekend camping trip, we recently used the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X Portable Power Station and were impressed with its consistent high power output.
It kept our devices charged and even powered a mini-refrigerator without any issues. The various output ports were convenient, allowing us to connect multiple devices simultaneously.
One thing we noticed, however, was the weight of the unit. At 42 pounds, moving can be cumbersome, especially for longer distances. We recommend planning for transport to avoid straining yourself.
Despite its weight, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has a durable and robust design, showcasing its quality and value.
Knowing that the product was engineered in the USA with precision and safety in mind gave us confidence in its reliability.
🏡 Best for Residential Backups: Even though it comes at a premium price, we found the 3000X to be a worthwhile investment for emergency backup power needs. With its ability to work efficiently in varied environments, we’re thrilled to have this portable power generator as part of our gear.
BLUETTI Solar Generator AC180 with PV120 Solar Panel
A great choice for those seeking a reliable, eco-friendly portable power solution with solar charging capabilities.
✅ Quick solar charging and fast AC charging
✅ 1800W output and 11 outlets for various uses
✅ Reliable UPS and user-friendly App
✖️ Slightly heavy at 37.4 pounds
✖️ Possible radio frequency interference
✖️ Solar panels might ship separately
We recently had the opportunity to use the AC180 with a PV120 solar panel for a weekend road trip.
The included solar panel kit allowed us to quickly charge the 1152Wh power station during the day, giving us ample power to run our devices.
The power station boasts an impressive 1800W output with 11 outlets, allowing us to charge and power multiple devices simultaneously. What we liked even more was the ability to use the BLUETTI App to boost the power to 2700W for our higher needs.
Weighing in at 37.4 pounds, it’s a bit hefty to carry around, but it’s manageable. Be aware that some users experienced radio frequency interference when using the generator for amateur radio equipment.
Also, one aspect we found strange is that the solar panels might be shipped separately, causing potential confusion upon delivery.
🚙 Best for Weekends Away: Apart from these minor drawbacks, the unit proved to be a reliable and eco-friendly portable power source, especially for outdoor use. With its fast solar charging and multiple outlets, we recommend this product for those seeking a versatile solar generator for weekends away.
This highly efficient portable solar generator is perfect for anyone seeking a reliable power source for outdoor adventures or during emergencies.
✅ Fast recharge within 1 hour
✅ Powers multiple devices simultaneously
✅ Portable and lightweight
✖️ X-Boost feature might not work with all appliances
✖️ Pricey investment
✖️ No carrying case included
Our recent experience with the RIVER Pro impressed us with its efficiency and portability. Weighing just 16.8 pounds, the 720Wh power station makes it easy to bring along on your camping trip.
Charging the generator was a breeze, thanks to its patented EcoFlow X-Stream technology, which allowed the generator to reach an 80% charge within just an hour.
With the 160W solar panel included, the generator charged between 7.5-15 hours, depending on the sunlight’s intensity. This proved to be essential during our trip, allowing us to maintain a consistent power source for multiple devices.
The RIVER Pro boasts three pure sine wave AC outlets, enabling us to power up to 10 devices simultaneously. This is an excellent feature for those who need to charge various appliances during a camping trip.
However, we discovered that the X-Boost feature might not work with all appliances, so testing on a case-by-case basis is recommended.
🏕️ Best for Camping: An excellent investment for outdoor enthusiasts. Its fast charging capabilities, portability, and ability to power multiple devices make it a reliable choice for various situations.
When choosing a portable solar generator, several key factors should be considered. This buying guide covers important features to help you make an informed decision. Remember, no single generator will be perfect for everyone, so weigh each feature against your specific needs.
Capacity and Power Output
The capacity and power output of a solar generator are crucial factors. Generators come in various sizes with different wattage capacities.
Make sure to choose one that can handle your power needs, whether it’s for charging electronics or running appliances.
Look for generators with higher watt-hours (Wh) for longer run times and higher maximum wattage for handling larger appliances.
Portability and Weight
A major advantage of portable solar generators is their ability to be moved and transported easily.
Consider the overall size, weight, and any integrated features like handles or wheels to help you assess the generator’s portability.
Heavier units without these features will be more challenging to transport, especially if you plan to take them camping or utilize them during emergencies.
Solar Panel Compatibility
Ensure the generator you choose is compatible with various types of solar panels, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels.
Compatibility is important, as it allows you to expand your setup with different panels over time, optimizing charging efficiency and granting more flexibility.
Battery Type and Life
The type and lifespan of your generator’s battery play a crucial role in overall performance. There are typically two battery types in solar generators: lead-acid and lithium-ion.
Lead-acid batteries tend to be heavier and have shorter lifespans, while lithium-ion batteries are lighter, more efficient, and have longer lifespans.
Consider the battery’s expected cycles and replacement costs when making your decision.
Charging Options and Input Ports
In addition to solar charging, having multiple charging options with your generator is helpful.
Alternatives such as AC wall charging or car charging can be invaluable during extended periods of limited sun exposure.
Furthermore, look for generators that offer multiple input ports, such as USB, AC, and DC, to accommodate various devices and appliances.
By considering these factors, you can make a well-informed decision when purchasing a portable solar generator that meets your specific needs.