Read Our Portable Solar Generator Reviews to Help You Find the Best Unit on The Market!
Generators are often a second thought until the lights go out. Businesses and homeowners often purchase generators to ensure that if the power goes out, they can go about their day without worrying that they’ll be without electric.
Goal Zero 23000 Yeti 400 Solar Generator
Our favorite for 2017
Goal Zero 22004 Yeti 150 Solar Generator
A very close runner-up
LB1 High Performance PB160 Solar Generator Kit w/ 28 Watt Solar Panel Charger – Silver
Very useful when you’re on the go
And when these generators are powered by solar, you don’t even need to worry about fuel shortages.
It’s a safeguard that you’ll come to appreciate even more when you need it.
We’ve had the pleasure of researching and reviewing what we have found to be the best solar generators on the market today. When trying to compare these models, we ask you to keep the following three points in mind:
- Total Wattage: The total wattage of the unit will tell you just how long it will last under a load. A 400-watt unit should be able to power a 40W device for a period of 10 hours, so keep this in mind when making your choice on which model to buy.
- Ports: What can be charged in your desired unit? USB devices, such as a laptop or smartphone, are almost always able to be charged on one of these solar generators. If you want to run a traditional lamp, make sure that there is an output available to do so.
- Charging Options: All the models we’ll list can be charged via solar, but there are other charging options, too. Wall and cigarette lighter charging are offered with many units, and this is something to consider, as solar chargers can be expensive additions. Kits often include the solar charging panels, which is a great choice.
Reviews of the Best Solar Power Generator Models
Goal Zero 22004 Yeti 150 Solar Generator – Goal Zero is an awesome company, and the Yeti 150 is so small that it can be used anywhere. This model is unique because It has a spot for 2 USBs, 12V and 80W inverter built right into it. So, you can plug your lamp into this unit, charge or run your laptop, or plug in your phone with ease.
Ideal for on-the-go and home use, this model can be refueled by plugging it into your car, the wall or by sun.
You’ll need to buy the solar charger separately, but it’s worth every penny. The unit weighs just 12 pounds, and when in direct sunlight, you’ll have a limitless supply of power. If you’re out camping, this is a priceless addition to your arsenal.
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator Kit w/Nomad – Another model by Goal Zero, this unit comes with a 20-watt solar kit that makes it an exceptional buy. This model has a 12V outlet, USB outlet and a 300-watt AC inverter built in. You can refuel via solar or from the wall if you wish, and this unit is powerful.
There is enough power to run a CPAP machine or television with this generator.
Peak capacity of this unit is 396Wh, and that’s more than enough to run a CPAP machine for 10+ hours, or any other machine in the 30 – 35-watt range. A 40-watt lamp would be able to run for hours on this unit.
Laptops can be recharged multiple times off one of the unit’s charge.
Goal Zero 23000 Yeti 400 Solar Generator – The Goal Zero 23000 is the same exact model as the one we just reviewed, but this isn’t the kit version that comes with solar power. You will receive the same great 396Wh of power, and this unit can be chained together with other similar units to provide added runtime.
A wall charger is included, so you’ll need to buy the solar charger separately (highly recommended).
The unit weighs 29 pounds, and with a wattage of nearly 400, this is a powerful little unit. A traditional laptop can be charged 5 times before needing to recharge this unit. Ideal for CPAP and televisions, this unit charges in just 5 hours when plugged into the wall.
Renogy KIT-FIREFLY 20W All-in-One Generator Kit – A complete kit. This generator comes with a 20W solar panel to charge the unit, and there is an LCD display to view the battery life. This model is best for running any device under 150W, and the design of the unit looks a lot like a suitcase – handle included.
This generator can produce 175Wh of energy, and there is a built-in flashlight on the side of the unit for added safety.
USB and AC devices can be plugged into the unit, and there is a DC button, too. The unit features a 150W inverter, and the entire case is waterproof. The weight of this generator is just 12 pounds. For a small, compact unit, this is a kit you must have.
LB1 High Performance PB160 Solar Generator – The LB1 PB160 offers 160Wh of power with a built-in AC inverter. This model has a built-in flashlight with an on and off button, and there is a master switch to cut power to the unit. A cooling fan keeps the unit cool and protects against damage, too.
There is a 2.1 USB port, and a 110 A/C output.
Any USB device or 110 A/C device can be used on this model. You can charge everything from phones and tablets to laptops and even GPS devices. Solar, wall and car charging is offered, and there is an LCD display to monitor the unit’s power. A laptop can be charged on the unit 2 – 3 more times until it will need to be refueled.
With a weight of just 5 pounds, this is a great little portable charger.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Solar Generator for You
Which generator is the right choice for you? That is a question that only you can answer, but there are some pointers that I can recommend to make your choice a little easier. Since these generators work very well, a few of the things to consider when trying to find the right model for you are:
- Weight: Yes, really. If you noticed, the last model on our list weighed just five pounds, making it light enough to be placed in a backpack for a camping trip. You won’t find an 1800-watt solar generator that you can do that with. If you plan on hiking or going camping with a generator, aim for a unit that doesn’t weigh you down too much.
- Kit vs. Standalone: Multiple charging options are always offered. Solar charging is great because you can use the sun to charge your generator. Kits will offer a solar panel for charging, but this does come as an additional cost. Otherwise, you’ll want to buy a standalone generator and buy the solar panels later on down the road when you have the extra cash.
- Charging Times: A metric that often goes overlooked is charging time. The amount of time it takes to charge a generator is something to consider. Look at charging times when plugged into a wall outlet and when placed in ample sun.
You’ll also need to consider the price of a unit (we recommend making a budget) as well as what others are saying in reviews. A solar powered generator is an investment, and it needs to be treated as one.