Best Solar Generator for Camping (2021) – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

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This review of the best solar generators for camping will focus mainly on the power station and will indicate the best solar panel to pair up with every generator.

Chances are you won’t gear up for a mountain expedition as you would for a vacation camping trip. With that in mind, here is an in-depth comparative study of the 12 best solar generators for a camping trip.

This review is aimed at any outdoor enthusiast who would like to know how to power their essentials and more.

Solar generators are popping up everywhere nowadays – on Amazon, you will find more than 25 brands dedicated to power stations and solar generators.

The products that have been selected can be adapted to every need. They have been organized into a best-of list to make the decision-making process easier for you.

If you’re in a hurry, check out the Editor’s picks section – you’ll get all the essential info about the best solar generators for camping in 2021.

An FAQ section that aims to answer the most common and useful questions has also been added.

In this buyer’s guide, a detailed description of how solar generators work. You’ll also learn how to optimize their power output.

Let’s start with the editor’s TOP 6 choices.

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Best Solar generator 90Wh Best for hiking

The smallest capacity but it is not shy to compete with the big boys. Easily fits in a handbag, has 1 AC (110V, 65W outlet)!
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Best Solar generator 150Wh Best For an overnight camping trip

Lightweight, affordable and reliable. This bundle package by AIMTON combines a power station and solar panel for full autonomy in any short camping trip.
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Best Solar generator 250Wh Best all-around

Versatile, powerful, yet light to carry – the JACKERY Power Station 240 is one of the best choice entry-level solar generators.
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Best Solar generator 300Wh Most durable

Planning for a longer trip into the wild? The RENOGY Phoenix 300 Power station will give you the extra autonomy that you need. Best battery life duration.
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Best Solar Generator 400Wh Best for week-long camping trips

With a 400W power output, the YETI 400 can run a refrigerator for a day! Best entry choice, perfect for longer camping vacations.
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Best Solar generator 1kWh+ Best for off-grid cabins

The LYCAN Powerbox by RENOGY is a beast! It comes with a huge storage capacity, it can power all your regular appliances, and it has a very durable battery.
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5 Main Characteristics Of A Solar Generator For Camping

Solar Generators are relatively new to the market, therefore most of you might not be totally familiar with their features and abilities.

No worries!

Here is a summary of the main criteria used to select the best generators.

Solar Generators have three main functions:

  • Produce electricity from the sun
  • Store electricity in lithium batteries
  • Convert electricity into usable USB, DC and AC power

The best camping solar generators come in bundles that combine both solar panels and power stations. This review focuses on the power station and will highlight which solar panel is suited for each power station.

Have a look below at the main criteria that have been considered for the 12 best solar generators for camping in 2021:

  • Storage capacity: One of the most important factors to consider when buying a solar generator, this will determine your autonomy. This specification is rated in Wh. Wh measures the energy, e.g., a light bulb of 5W will consume 5Wh, over 1 hour.
  • Power output: The power that your solar generator can produce will determine the appliances you’ll be able to bring on your outdoor trip. Power is rated in Watt (W).
  • Number and types of outlets: Another important factor includes what you can plug into your solar generator, from the basic USB and 12V output to 110V/220V AC outlets. All the power stations featured in this review offer AC outlets to connect your electronic gadget and appliances.
  • Weight and size: When it comes to camping, the compacity and weight of any object brought on the trip is of the highest importance. Lithium batteries offer the best energy density on the market. Solar generators in this list have been carefully selected – from the lightest for wild expeditions on foot, to the more bulky ones for relaxed camping trips and off-grid cabins.
  • Battery life duration: The short battery life of lead-acid technology can be rather frustrating (less than 2 years). Luckily, lithium batteries are making this a thing of the past. These batteries offer up to 10 years of maintenance-free service.

What Are The Best Solar Generators For Camping In 2021?

In short:

Best Solar Generator For Hiking

SINKEU 88.8Wh|65Watts Portable Laptop Charger

Best Solar Generator For Overnight Camping Trips
AIMTOM 155Wh with 60W Folding Solar Panel

Best Solar Generator for Weekend Camping Trips
RENOGY Phoenix 200 Power station

Best All-Around Solar Generator
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

Best Solar Generator To Charge Phones And Laptops

Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station and Outdoor Solar Generator

Best Solar Generator For Drone Charging

Anker Powerhouse 200

Best Solar Generator For Weeklong Camping TripS

Goal Zero Yeti 400

Best Solar Generator For Off-Grid Cabins

Lycan Power box by RENOGY

Best Solar Generator For High Power Appliances

Goal Zero Yeti 1500X

Best Solar Generator For A Refrigerator

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000

Solar Generator With The Best Durability

Phoenix 300 Power station by Renogy

Solar Generator With The Biggest Capacity

Goal Zero Yeti 3000X


12 Best Solar Generators for Camping In 2021

1

SINKEU 88.8Wh|65Watts

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SINKEU offers the most compact and lightweight solar generator on the market. Let’s take a deeper look at its specifications and features.

When preparing for a hike, what matters most is the weight of your package. Weighing in at less than 500g, the SINKEU is the lightest solar generator yet, with AC output to charge your laptop.

Its compact size comes with a lower storage capacity of 88Wh, but it is still more than useful – it can easily charge a drone two times over, or a small laptop.

This is also the cheapest product of our review, you will find it for less than 85 USD on Amazon.

Pair it with a 30W solar panel and it can charge up fully within 5-6 hours

Tech Specs:

Capacity (Wh):88.8 Wh
Power output:65W continuous
Number of USB outputs:2 USB (USB 1: 5V/3A, 9V/2A max; USB 2: 5V/2A)
Number of DC outputs:1 DC output (9V ~ 12.6V/10A max)
Number of AC outputs:1 AC output (110V/65W)
Weight:500 grams
Size:17cm*7.6cm*4.6cm
High speed charging:Yes – Less than 4 hours
Type of charging:Home charger, DC plug-in, 15V
Car charger, DC plug-in, 12V
Solar panel , 12V ~ 16V
Battery life cycle500+

Key Features:

  • Compacity: Unlike any other solar generator you can easily fit it in your backpack. Bring it on any trip and power your drone, camera, phone, laptop.
  • AC, DC and USB outputs: It is small, but offers the same features as the larger models, 1 AC plug 65W, the classical 5V USB outputs and a 12V DC outlet.
  • High Speed charging: One of the most underated features. Recharging your power station should be smooth and fast. You can acheive high speed charging by coupling the right solar panel to your power station. A 30W solar panel is recommended. It will completely charge your power station in about 6 hours of sun.
  • OLED display: A clear display is important to check the battery state. OLED displays, with their sharp and bright image quality, are perfect for this.
  • Charging Capacity: This solar generator can power a table fan for two hours, charge a drone 2 times over, and even charge A Nintendo Switch up to 5 times.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • Compact size
  • Light Weight
  • AC Output (110V – 65W)
  • 4 hours fast charging with the wall plug – 6 hours with a 30W solar panel
  • Price
Negatives
  • Will drain quickly if charging multiple items
  • No car socket
  • Poor battery durability
  • Limited storage capacity
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2

AIMTOM Power Station SPS-155 with 60W Solar Panel ASP-60

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One of two bundles in this review. This is a perfect example of an entry-level well-balanced, entry-level system.

The power station has a 155Wh capacity. The solar panel is 60W.

If, for example, you are camping in California, you’ll be able to charge your power station in half a day. Make sure that your panels are exposed to full sun at all times.

This system gives you enough power for an overnight camping trip, whatever the weather conditions. It is easy to carry anywhere and its solar panel is foldable.

Bring it to a party for hours of entertainment with a video projector or portable speakers. The power station will last all night.

Tech Specs:

Power Station SPS-155

Capacity (Wh):155 Wh
Power output:100W continuous – 150W peak power
Number of USB outputs:3 USB (5V/2.1A)
Number of DC outputs:3 DC outputs (9~12.6V/15A, 180W max)
Number of AC outputs:1 AC output (110V/100W)
Weight:1.6 kilograms
Size:17cm*7.6cm*4.6cm
High-speed charging:Yes – Less than 5 hours with the solar panel
Type of charging:Home charger, DC plug-in, 15V
Car charger, DC plug-in, 12V
Solar panel , 13V ~ 24V max 2.1A.
Battery life cycle500+

Solar panel ASP-60

Max power output60W
Number of USB output1 USB (5V, 2.4A)
Number of DC output1 DC (12-18V 4.5A max)
Solar cell efficiency22%
Folded Size29x16x6cm
Unfolded Size165x29x1.8cm
Weight1.35kg

Key features:

  • Power everywhere at anytime: the combination of the power station and solar panel gives you the autonomy that you need for an overnight camping trip. If you plan to power only lights, phones, tablets, laptop or speakers then your needs will bemet with this solar generator. You can also decide to charge directly through the solar panel, thanks to the USB output.
  • Pass through charging: An important feature here – you can still charge your devices while the power station is being recharged by solar energy or by the other charging options.
  • Compacity: Both the solar panel and the power station are light and compact, they are easy to handle and fit in a backpack.
  • Emergency light: The power station features an emergency light with SOS – helpful for nighttime emergencies.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • Built-in MPPT solar charger
  • Lightweight
  • 100% autonomous with the solar panel
  • Highly efficient solar panel
  • Well-built
Negatives
  • Not the fastest USB charging output
  • Only one AC output
  • Full charge in 7 hours
  • Poor battery durability
  • No OLED screen
  • Cannot use the solar panel in the rain
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3

RENOGY Phoenix 200 Power station

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An entry-level power station with a capacity of 190Wh. Your best choice for a weekend of outdoor adventure and camping.

Renogy is a well-renowned brand in the world of solar energy with high-quality products. You can trust them when it comes to a solar generator.

The Phoenix 200 concentrates all the connectors and outputs to power up to 7 devices at the same time. The two AC outlets can power appliances up to 150W.

It is recommended that you couple your Phoenix 200 with a 50W solar panel like the E.FLEX 50 PORTABLE SOLAR PANEL. A full charge will take 7 to 8 hours.

Tech Specs:

Capacity (Wh):190 Wh
Power output:150W continuous – 200W peak power
Number of USB outputs:3 USB (5V/2.4A) – 1 USB-C (5V/3A)
Number of DC outputs:1 DC output (9.6-12.6V/5A)
Number of AC outputs:2 AC output (110V/150W)
Cig. plug9.6-12.6V / 10A Max
Weight:2.1 kilograms
Size:18 x 15.5 x 14.3 cm
High-speed charging:Yes – Less than 8 hours with the solar panel or wall plug
Type of charging:Home charger, DC plug-in, 15V, 30W
Car charger, DC plug-in, 12V, 30W
Solar panel , 12V ~ 25V max 30W
Battery life cycle500+

Key features:

  • Multiple power outputs: The Renogy Phoenix 200 offers plenty of connectors and sockets for a total of 200W continuous power. It is worth noting that you will find one high speed USB-C, 2 AC plug 110V and even a cigarette plug up to 10Amps.
  • 3 different way of charging: Charging your power station is easy, you can plug into a wall outlet at home, in a car port or to your solar panel, for a total charging time of 7 to 8 hours.
  • Safety: This power station has multiple safety features – a BMS for the lithium battery, protection from overheating and short circuits.
  • Built-in LED light: This small feature makes all the difference at night. The LED light is powerful and can be adjust to several levels, including an emergency mode

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • 2 AC output 110V
  • 1 cigarette outlet
  • High-speed USB-C
  • 150W continuous power output
  • High-quality material
  • Emergency Led Light
Negatives
  • Drains fast if all outputs are connected
  • Full charge in 8 hours
  • Poor battery durability
  • No OLED screen
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4

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

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A best-seller on Amazon, the Jackery Power Station Explorer 240 is the best pick for an all-around solar generator. The Jackery brand specializes in solar generators, with 9 years of experience.

Their products are reliable, built with high-quality materials, and come with all the safety equipment to ensure a long life duration.

240Wh is a lot of energy, yet the power station is compact enough to be put in a backpack. You’ll be able to power a mini cooler for 18hours!

For complete autonomy, it is advised that you pair the power station with a 60W solar panel, like the Jackery Solar Saga 60. It only takes 6 hours to go from 0% to 80% charge capacity.

Tech specs:

Capacity (Wh):240 Wh
Power output:200W continuous – 400W peak power
Number of USB outputs:2 USB (5V/2.4A)
Number of AC outputs:1 AC output (110V/200W)
Cig. plug9.6-12.6V / 10A Max
Weight:3 kilograms
Size:22.8 x 12.7 x 17.78 cm
High-speed charging:Yes – Less than 7 hours with the solar panel or wall plug
Type of charging:Home charger
Car charger
Solar panel , DC 12V ~ 30V max 42W

Key features:

  • Built-in MPPT and Pure Sine Wave inverter: Jackery have chosen the best built-in equipment for their power station. The MPPT solar charger ensure maximum solar output at all times, and the pure sine wave inverter provides reliable and clean power with high efficiency.
  • Power and storage capacity: With 240Wh capacity and 200W power, everyone will be able to charge their devices. There is also a passthrough charging feature that allows you to charge your devices when the power station is being recharged.
  • High speed charging: Charge your power station from 0 to 80% in less than 6 hours with the solar panel or 5 hours with the wall plug.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • Built-in MPPT solar charger
  • Built-in Pure Sine Wave inverter
  • High-speed charging (45W max)
  • 200W continuous power output
  • High-quality material
  • Smart display for power input and output monitoring
Negatives
  • No USB-C
  • Only 2 USB output
  • 1 AC output only
  • No LED light
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5

Westinghouse iGen160s

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Small for its size but featuring all the latest tech, the Westinghouse iGen160s is the best choice to charge phones and laptops.

Charging your devices can take a lot of time with a regular USB (5V/2A). But in this instance, the Westinghouse IGen160s features the latest USB high speed charging technology (Quick-charge USB 3.0) and 2 AC output for laptop charging. You can charge a Macbook Pro up to 6 times!

Being one of the smallest power stations on the market, you can store it in a backpack and bring it with you on any camping trip.

High-speed charging in 6 hours is available when paired with a solar panel – the 60W Jackery Solar saga is recommended.

Tech specs:

Capacity (Wh):155 Wh
Power output:100W continuous – 150W peak power
Number of USB outputs:4 USB , 2 standard (5V/2.4A), 1 USB-C, 1 QC USB 3.0
Number of AC outputs:2 AC output (120V/100W)
Number of DC outputs:3 DC output 12V
Weight:1.7 kilograms
Size:20.3 x 7.62 x 17.78 cm
High speed charging:Yes – Less than 6 hours with the solar panel or wall plug
Type of charging:Home charger
Car charger
Solar panel

Key features:

  • High speed USB charging: One of the only solar generators offering a USB 3.0 QC plug. Perfect for your latest electronic devices.
  • Multiple plugs and outputs: A total of 9 power outlets. Very impressive for such a small device. You’ll be able to plug in all your phones, tablets, laptop, camera and drones.
  • Built-in Led light: A very convenient LED light for reading or to light up a room.
  • Smart LED screen: A bright and colorful display to monitor the state of charge at all times.
  • Compacity: Super light and compact, it will fit easily into your backpack or hand bag.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • 2 AC outlet (120V, 100W)
  • 4 USB plugs, including 1 USB 3.0QC
  • 100W continuous power output
  • 3 charging ways (solar panel, wall plug, and car)
  • Only 1.7 kg
  • Side and front LED light
Negatives
  • Limited capacity for short trips
  • Not a pure sine wave inverter
  • No cigarette car plug
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6

Anker Powerhouse 200

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The Anker Powerhouse 200 is the perfect companion for you drone enthusiasts out there. As an example, it can fully charge the battery of a DJI Mavic Pro up to 4 times.

With its 2 high-speed USB outlets, it can rapidly charge your phone and tablet in the blink of an eye.

Last but not least, it features high-speed charging when paired with a solar panel (6 hours) or a wall plug (4.5 hours only). The 60W Jackery Solar saga is recommended for this.

Tech specs:

Capacity (Wh):213 Wh
Power output:100W continuous – 150W peak power
Number of USB outputs:2 high speed 3.0 USB – 1 fast charge USB-C
Number of AC outputs:1 AC output (120V/100W)
Cigarette Car output:1 cig output (60W max)
Weight:2.7 kilograms
Size:17.78 x 12.7 x 10.16 cm
High-speed charging:Yes – Less than 5 hours with the solar panel or wall plug
Type of charging:Home charger
Car charger
Solar panel

Key features:

  • Fastest USB charging: Charge your phone, laptop and other electronic device at the speed of light with the latest USB 3.0 and fast charge USB-C.
  • Great storage capacity of more than 200Wh for charging multiple devices at once.
  • Fast charging: One of the fastest charging power stations – only 4.5 hours with the USB-C.
  • Pass through charging: Delivers power even when being charged by solar panels or wall plugs.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • 1 ultra-fast USB-C charging port
  • 2 USB fast-charging ports
  • 100W continuous power output
  • Fast charging of the power station in 4.5 hours only
  • Supports pass-through charging
Negatives
  • No built-in LED light
  • Only one AC plug
  • 100W power output only
  • No DC output
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7

Goal Zero Yeti 400

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Week-long trips in the wild are the best way to reconnect with yourself and with nature. The Goal Zero Yeti 400 will give you the extra comfort you’ll need to make your trip memorable.

This power station is a mini beast! It has all the regular output you will find in other power stations but it comes with a huge storage capacity of 400Wh. Bring a mini cooler with you, LED lights, phone, tablet, and laptop, the Yeti 400 will power all of that.

Couple your power station with a 100W solar panel for complete autonomy. It supports fast charging, and on a bright day, you can fully charge it in less than 5 hours!

We recommend the Goal Zero Boulder 100 solar panel for a charging time of 7-9 hours or the Goal Zero Boulder 200 solar panel for a charging time of 3-6 hours.

Tech specs:

Capacity (Wh):428 Wh
Power output:300W continuous – 1200W peak power
Number of USB outputs:3 regular USB (5V, 2A)
Number of AC outputs:2 AC output (120V/300W)
Cigarette Car output:1 cig output (120W max)
Weight:7.2 kilograms
Size:28 x 15.2 x 17.8 cm
High-speed charging:Yes – Less than 4 hours with a 200W solar panel
Type of charging:Home charger
Solar panel

Key features:

  • Huge storage capacity: More than 400Wh stored in its lithium batteries, gives you enough autonomy to power a mini cooler for a day, while charging your electronic devices
  • Informative LED display: Keep an eye on the power inputs and outputs as well as the battery state of charge
  • Fast charging: Coupled with a 200W solar panel, the power station will be fully charged in half a day!
  • Pass through charging: Delivers power even when being charged by solar panels or wall plugs.
  • Portable: Not the lightest power station out there but its storage capacity still make it posible to carry in a back pack.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • 2 AC outlets
  • 300W continuous power output
  • 1200W surge output
  • Ultra-fast charging of the power station – 4 hours only
  • Support pass-through charging
Negatives
  • No high-speed USB charging
  • Outdated LED screen
  • No built-in LED light
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8

Lycan Powerbox With 300W Solar Panel By RENOGY

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One of the latest products from Renogy, a well-trusted brand in the world of solar energy. The Lycan Powerbox with a 300W solar panel is our best choice to fully power an off-grid cabin.

The power station features all the latest innovations in terms of battery storage and output. With 1kWh of storage and 300W output, the Lycan Powerbox can power a small refrigerator with a freezer for a day, all while charging electronic devices. Plug your LED TV or projector and standing fan, the power station can handle it.

It comes with 3 x 100W suitcase solar panels that can fully charge your battery in 4 to 5 hours! While charging the power station you can still plug in your devices thanks to the pass-through charging ability.

Built with high-quality materials, the Lycan Powerbox is extremely durable with 2000 cycles/ 7-year lifespan.

Tech specs:

Lycan Powerbox

Capacity (Wh):1078 Wh
Power output:300W continuous – 1200W peak power
Number of USB outputs:3 regular USB (5V, 2.4A) – 1 low speed USB (5V, 1A)
Number of AC outputs:3 AC output (110V/300W)
Number of DC outputs:2 DC output (12V)
Weight:25 kilograms
Size:35.5 x 33 x 27.9 cm
High-speed charging:Yes – Less than 4 hours with the 300W solar panel
Type of charging:Home charger
Solar panel
Battery lifeMore than 2000 cycles

RENOGY 100 WATT FOLDABLE SOLAR SUITCASE 

Max power output100W
Maximum Operating Voltage (Vmp)
18.0V
Maximum Operating Current (Imp)5.71A
Solar cell efficiency22%
Folded Size48.6×68.5×5.1cm
Weight12 kg

Key features:

  • Great storage capacity for off-grid cabins: More than 1000Wh stored in its lithium batteries, you can power a small refrigerator with freezer, a TV, table fan and your electronic devices at the same time!
  • 300 W solar panels: Fast Recharge your power station in 4 hours with the solar panels
  • Highly durable: The lithium battery is rated at more than 2000 cycles. This is 7 years if you use it daily.
  • Pass through charging: Delivers power even when being charged by solar panels or wall plugs.
  • Built-in MPPT solar charger and Pure sine wave inverter: The latest technology to maximize the solar output at all times.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • 1kWh capacity
  • 3 AC outlets (110V)
  • 1200W surge output
  • Ultra-fast charging of the power station in 4 hours with the solar panels
  • Support pass-through charging
  • Long battery life duration
Negatives
  • Only 300W output
  • No high-speed USB charging
  • The complete system with solar panels is heavy (total of 60kg)
  • No built-in LED light
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9

Goal Zero Yeti 1500X

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Goal Zero is a pioneer in terms of solar generators. They have been designing power stations for 10 years. The Yeti 1500X is one of the most advanced power stations on the market regarding storage capacity, charging abilities, and output power.

The Yeti 1500X is a real alternative to fuel generators.

This is the best choice if you’re looking to power the most common household appliances for a full day and more.

The Yeti 1500X is extremely versatile!

It can achieve high-speed USB charging for your electronic devices and it is suitable as an emergency backup during a blackout. It’s also great at running power tools.

You can charge your Yeti 1500X power station in about 4 hours when coupled with a 400W solar panel. We recommend two Goal Zero Boulder 200 Watt Briefcase.

Tech Specs:

Capacity (Wh):1516 Wh
Power output:2000W continuous – 3500W surge
Number of USB outputs:2 regular USB (5V, 2.4A) – 1 USB-C (18W) – 1 USB-C PD (60W)
Number of AC outputs:2 AC output (110V/2000W)
Number of DC outputs:2 DC output (12V) +1 Car plug (12V)
Weight:19 kilograms
Size:38 x 25 x 25 cm
High-speed charging:Yes – Less than 4 hours with the 400W solar panel
Type of charging:Home charger
Solar panel
Battery lifeMore than 2000 cycles

Key features:

  • Enormous storage capacity: More than 1.5kWh stored in its lithium batteries gives you the ability to power a regular size refrigerator/freezer for a day while charging your electronic devices.
  • High speed USB charging: Features the latest USB charging technology, 18W USB-C and USB-C PD up to 60W!
  • High power supply: The built-in pure sine wave inverter offers 2000W of continuous power. This is enough to plug in your power tools.
  • Compacity: it is surprisingly light and compact compared to other power station offering less storage capacity, e.g. it is 6 kg lighter than the Renogy Lycan which only offers 1kWh capacity.
  • Built-in MPPT solar charger and Pure sine wave inverter: The latest technology to maximize the solar output at all times.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • 1.5kWh capacity
  • 2000W continuous power output
  • 3500W surge output
  • Ultra-fast charging of the power station in 4 hours with the solar panels
  • Support pass-through charging
  • Compact for its battery capacity
Negatives
  • Only 2 AC output
  • No built-in wheels to move it easily
  • No built-in LED light
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10

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000

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When paired with 2 x 100W Solar Saga 100 panels, this power station will give you the opportunity and peace of mind required to be totally free from grid electricity – you also won’t need to worry about the weather.

Despite its high storage capacity, it is still lightweight (10kg) compared to the 25kg Renogy Lycan, which carries the same capacity.

Tech specs:

Capacity (Wh):1000 Wh
Power output:1000W continuous – 2000W surge
Number of USB outputs:1 regular USB (5V, 2.4A) – 2 USB-C with PD (60W) – 1 quick charge USB 3.0
Number of AC outputs:3 AC output (110V/1000W)
Number of DC outputs:1 Car plug (12V, 10A)
Weight:10 kilograms
Size:33 x 22.86 x 27.9 cm
High-speed charging:Yes – 6 hours with 200W solar panels
Type of charging:Wall outlet (7h)
Solar panel (6-8h)
Car outlet (14h)

Key features:

  • The biggest storage capacity The biggest storage capacity of all the models from Jackery. Perfect for longer off-grid trips.
  • High speed USB charging: Features fast USB charging technology, 18W USB-C and quick charge USB 3.0
  • High power supply: The built-in pure sine wave inverter offers 1000W of continuous power. This is enough to plug in your power tools and refrigerator.
  • Light weight: This is the lightest power station in its category – 10kg.
  • Built-in MPPT solar charger and Pure sine wave inverter: The latest technology to continuously maximize the solar output, and provide clean power (up to 1000W) to your household appliances.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • 1 kWh capacity
  • 1000W continuous power output
  • 2000W surge output
  • Lightweight
  • Support pass-through charging
  • Compact for its battery capacity
Negatives
  • Only 2 AC output
  • Not the fastest charging time
  • No built-in LED light
  • Only 4 USB output
  • Only one DC output (car plug)
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11

Phoenix 300 Power station by Renogy

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When it comes to durability, you can’t go wrong with Renogy.

They make sure to select the best components to build their power stations.

Whereas most of the power stations below 350Wh capacity have a life duration of 500 to 800 cycles, the Renogy Phoenix Station 300 is rated at 1000 cycles. That’s 20-50% more cycles than other brands

Great durability combined with the most recent charging technologies make for one of the best power stations below 350Wh on the market.

A 50W solar panel will charge the Phoenix 300 in about 7 hours.

Tech specs:

Capacity (Wh):337 Wh
Power output:200W continuous – 350W surge
Number of USB outputs:2 regular USB (5V, 2.4A) – 1 USB-C (18W) – 1 USB-C PD (60W)
Number of AC outputs:2 AC output (110V/200W)
Number of DC outputs:1 Car plug (12V, 10 A)
Weight:2.9 kilograms
Size:18.1 x 15.5 x 14.3 cm
High-speed charging:Yes – 7 hours with a 50W solar panel
Type of charging:Wall outlet (5h) through USB-C PD
Solar panel (7h)
Car outlet (6h)

Key features:

  • The latest high speed USB charging: Charge your electronic devices in the blink of an eye with both the USB 3.0 (18W) and the latest PD USB-C (60W).
  • AC output: With two AC outlets, you can power a mini refrigerator for a day while charging your electronic devices via the USB plug.
  • Built-in LED light: For emergencies or to light a small room.
  • Compacity: More than 300Wh of capacity in less than 3kg – one of the lightest power stations in its category. Put it in your backpack and take it anywhere.
  • Built-in MPPT solar charger and Pure sine wave inverter: Benefits from the latest charging technologies with the MPPT solar charger. The pure sine wave inverter will produce the stable power needed for your appliances.
  • Durability: More than 1000 cycles, 20 to 50% higher than other similar power stations.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • 5 types of outlets
  • 1000 life cycles
  • Built-in MPPT and Pure sine wave inverter
  • Light and small
  • Supports pass-through charging
  • Fast USB charging
Negatives
  • 200W power only
  • Only one USB 3.0 quick charge
  • No OLED screen
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12

Goal Zero Yeti 3000X

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The last solar generator of our review is the Yeti 3000X.

With its gigantic 3kWh storage capacity it can power almost everything (except electric oven). Unlike other power stations that might limit your electricity use, this one will last forever. For example, it can charge your iPhone 11 over 250 times, or power a regular refrigerator with a freezer for more than 2 days.

Bring it on a camping trip and feel like you’re in the comfort of your own home. To charge your Yeti 3000X it is advised that you use 6 x 100W solar panels like the Boulder 100. It will take 6-10 hours to fully charge your power station.

Tech specs:

Capacity (Wh):2982 Wh
Power output:2000W continuous – 3500W surge
Number of USB outputs:2 regular USB (5V, 2.4A) – 1 PD USB-C (60W) – 1 quick charge USB 3.0 (18W)
Number of AC outputs:2 AC output (110V/2000W)
Number of DC outputs:2 DC output (12V) +1 Car plug (12V)
Weight:35 kilograms
Size:50.8 x 45.7 x 35.5 cm
High-speed charging:Yes – 6-12 hours with 600W solar panels
Type of charging:Wall outlet (14h)
Solar panel (6-12h)
Car outlet (28h)

Key features:

  • The biggest storage capacity: If you are looking to power multiple appliances at the same time for a day, this power station is the right choice. It can power a refrigerator for 55 hours, or a 42in TV for 30 hours.
  • Extremely versatile: From camping trip appliances, to power tools, this solar generator can do it all.
  • Built-in wheels: Weighing more than 35kg, the built-in wheels are welcomed when moving the power station.
  • High speed USB charging: The YETI 3000X offers all the latest USB charging options, from the classic USB-A to the powerful PD-USB-C (60W).
  • Built-in MPPT solar charger and Pure sine wave inverter: Get the most out of your solar panels with the built-in MPPT solar charger. The pure sine wave inverter will produce the stable and clean power needed by your appliances.
  • Charge in a day: The quantity of energy stored by the power station is huge, yet it can still be fully charged in one day or less when connected to 600W solar panels.

Pros and Cons:

Positive
  • The largest capacity of all solar generators
  • Multiple high-speed USB plugs
  • 2000W pure sine wave inverter
  • Built-in MPPT
  • Supports high speed charging for the power station
  • Built-in wheels
Negatives
  • Only 2 AC outputs
  • Very heavy
  • No OLED screen
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Best Solar Generator For Camping – Buying guide

Solar generators are relatively new to the market and you might not be totally familiar with their features and capabilities.

This section will give you a more comprehensive idea of solar generators and their benefits, compared to the classic fuel generators.

What Are Solar Generators?

Solar generators are bundles combining two items:

  • Solar panel
  • Power station

When exposed to the sun, the solar panel produces electricity that is stored in the power station.

The power station provides electricity to power your electronic gadgets (USB) and your appliances at all times.

Let’s take a look at the two main components:

The Solar Panel

A solar panel is a device that converts sunlight (photons) into electricity. The two main types of solar panels are mono and polycrystalline.

Solar panels also come in different designs: semi-flexible and rigid.

When going on a camping trip, size and weight matter a lot. Solar panels mounted on rooftops are bulky and heavy (usually 12kg per sqm2 for 200W of power).

Luckily many brands have come up with camper-friendly designs:

Some have a suitcase design like the 100-Watt Renogy panel and the Jackery Solar Saga 100

best solar generators
Renogy 100W solar suitcase

Foldable design – the AIMTOM 60W.

solar generators for camping
AITOM 60 – Foldable solar panel

They all come with handles, plugs, and connectors to directly charge your devices.

Based on user experience, the foldable design is the most convenient for a camper, lighter and more compact than the suitcase design.

As our sun is a natural source of energy, its power output varies during the day, and in case of bad weather, the same goes for your solar panel.

In California, a 100W solar panel can produce 500Wh of energy on sunny days in comparison to 150Wh on bad days.


The Power Station

A power station stores your electricity and makes it available at any time for all types of use – from USB charging to power regular appliances.

You might be familiar with power banks, with the ever-increasing use of electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, drones…) we are all looking towards on-the-go charging solutions. Power banks use lithium batteries to store energy and USB ports as output plugs.

Power stations work quite similarly. However, they are much more advanced and offer a larger storage capacity.

A power station is made of the following parts:

  • Solar charge controller: The power station has the ability to use electricity directly from the solar panel. The built-in controller – the state-of-the-art MPPT – allows the highest output at all times.
  • Lithium battery pack with BMS: The main component of your power station, lithium batteries offer the best energy density on the market when it comes to storing electricity. They are light and compact, with long lifespans (up to 10 years).
  • DC/AC inverter: Electricity produced by solar panels and stored in batteries is DC ( Direct Current), however all our appliances work in AC (Alternative Current) mode. The inverter converts DC to AC (110V,50Hz). Power stations usually have a built-in Pure Sine Wave inverter that will produce clean and reliable power.
  • AC plugs: One of the main features of the power station is the AC outlet. You’ll be able to plug in all your appliances.
  • USB connectors: Like a power bank, directly connect your USB devices. Some models offer the latest high speed USB charging.
  • DC connectors: Not used as much as USB or AC, DC connectors can be useful for specific applications like DC appliances (mini ref, fans….)

Benefits of Solar Generators Over Fuel Generators

Classic fuel generators have been used for decades, but it might be the end of their dynasty with the invention of solar generators, let’s see why:

  • No noise: Solar generators are quiet. The biggest models only use a cooling fan. Fuel generators are noisy!
  • No smoke, no pollution: This is green electricity from the sun with zero emissions during production and use.
  • Maintenance-free: The only maintenance you might have to perform is a gentle cleaning of the solar panel.
  • No fuel to buy: Your fuel is the sun, it is free to all.
  • Light weight and easy to move around, some solar generators fit in a back pack.
  • Versatile and powerful: There is a solar generator for all types of campers – from the shortest day hike to the longest stay in the wild.
  • Safe and non-toxic for the user: there are no moving parts, no fluids and chemicals to refill.

Average Cost Of A Solar Generator For Camping

The price of your solar generator is mainly dependent on its storage capacity (lithium battery) – the bigger the capacity the higher the cost.

The actual rule of thumb is 1 Wh capacity equal to 1 USD.

100 to 150 USD: Entry-level prices with capacities from 100Wh to 150Wh, 1 AC plug, and basic connectors. Only charges USB devices, AC laptops, and drones.

200 USD to 350 USD: Medium size storage up to 350Wh, multiple AC plugs, high-speed USB, quality products. Charges all types of USB devices, laptops, drones, small household appliances (cooler, projector, TV).

More than 500 USD: Larger systems of 500Wh and more, for longer trips and all types of home appliances (regular refrigerator, power tools…)

Key Features To Look At When Purchasing A Solar Generator

The technical specification of your solar generator might be confusing, below I have summarized the key features for a wise purchase:

  • Storage capacity: One of the most important feature that will determine your autonomy, it is rated in Wh, a typical phone battery has a 15Wh capacity.
  • Output plugs: The number and type of USB plugs (look for the high speed USB), the number of AC plugs for any appliances.
  • Power output: Look for the maximum power that your power station can produce.
  • Pass-through charging: Check if you can still charge your devices while the power station is being charged.
  • Built-in MPPT and Pure sine wave inverter: MPPT is a type of solar charger that will ensure the best output at all time, pure sine wave is a type of inverter that produces the cleanest electricity for your appliances.

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Generators

Here are some of the most common questions about solar generators.

What Can They Power And For How Long?

It all depends on the specs of your power station. For example, a 350Wh power station with a maximum output of 300W can power a 100W appliance for 3.5 hours.

Are They Waterproof Or Splashproof?

All power stations are built using high-quality materials that are waterproof/splashproof

How Long Does It Take To Fully Charge A Power Station?

Usually, there are 3 ways to charge your power station: through a wall plug, through a car plug, or with a solar panel. On average it will take 7 to 8 hours with a wall plug, 6-10 hours with an adequate solar panel, and 12 hours or more with a car plug.

Can I Bring My Solar Generator On An Airplane?

Commercial airlines only allow up to 100Wh worth of lithium battery. However, it is best to check with your particular airline.

Can I Charge And Use My Power Station At The Same Time?

Yes, most of the power stations allow pass-through charging.

Do You Always Need A Solar Panel To Recharge The Power Station?

Solar panels are one of the fastest ways to charge your power station but you can use a wall plug or car plug instead.

How Can I Store My Solar Generator?

Just store it in a dry and dark place.

What Is The Durability Of My Solar Generator?

The solar panel is highly durable – up to 20 years. Depending on the model, a power station can last from 500 to more than 2000 cycles (full charge+ discharge).

How Do I Maintain My Solar Generator?

The great thing is that there is no serious maintenance required. Just clean your solar panel from time to time.


Final Thoughts

With the recent development of lithium batteries and solar panels, we now have access to the ultimate portable power station – the solar generator. No more fuel, no more smoke, no more noise, no more maintenance. You can enjoy unlimited green energy anywhere, anytime!


Further Reading:

Kyle Browning

Kyle is a researcher and content specialist at Climatebiz. He has a strong interest in green technology, particularly in photovoltaic systems. Kyle believes in a future where everyone has affordable access to renewable energy, regardless of their race, religion, or social status. This ideology led Kyle to found Climatebiz - with the goal to provide free information for anyone, anytime.

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