Gone are the days when campers and outdoor enthusiasts had to deal with weeks without their analog devices, being cut away from the rest of the world, or suffering from loud generators due to lack of electricity. Thankfully, technology has continually provided solutions for several issues, and here’s one of them.
Solar generators, also commonly referred to as portable power stations, use renewable energy, solar. These power stations are convenient because of their small and portable size. They also reduce environmental footprints due to the lack of gas exhaust. Hence, they are pretty necessary when packing for camping.
To help you, we have compiled the ten best solar-powered generators alongside some pros and cons so you can choose the one that’s perfect for you. Let’s begin!
Note – Please know, some of the external links on this page are affiliate links, this means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself.
Features to Look For in a Great Best Solar Generator for Camping
Suppose you love to go camping. In that case, you need to know what to look out for when you plan to purchase a suitable portable power station that suits your need. Below are some highlighted features you should watch out for:
- Charging Ports
- Excellent Display
- Inverters Ratings
- Compact Design
- In-built Protection
We have gone through the several options of solar-powered generators available out there and curated a list of our top ten power stations. We hope the list helps you in making a decision.
1. MARBERO 167Wh Portable Power Station
The Marbero 167Wh Portable Power Station is one of the best camping solar generators out there. The power station has a power capacity of 167Wh and a battery with a power supply of 45000mAh. Its power is sufficient to power your primary devices and appliances such as mobiles, laptops, and even a mini-refrigerator, making it an ideal choice during camping.
However, it’s important to note that the device isn’t strong enough to power any equipment above 100W. The power station, when purchased, is equipped with two DC ports, four USB ports, a 110V AC Outlet alongside a LED display, and a flashlight, which can act as an emergency light source when outdoors.
The solar-powered generator is generally loved for its compact design, making it easy to move around. It takes about 8 hours to charge this generator fully, and you can charge it in various modes through a wall socket, car charger, or solar panel.
- It comes with an emergency LED flashlight
- Portable size
- Features a type C port
- Triple rechargeable modes
- The battery storage cannot handle heavier devices
- The solar panel is not included in the pack
2. FlashFish EA200 Solar Generator
Suppose you love to camp and are familiar with portable power stations. In that case, you should know that FlashFish is one of the top reliable brands for powerful solar generators out there. FlashFish EA200 Solar Generator fulfills all the required requirements of a reliable power station.
The lightweight power station lasts for long duration and offers the convenience of multi-charging when camping. The power station can support light devices, including laptops, mobile phones, fans, and TVs.
It is designed efficiently with a portable and compact size. It has two DC outputs, three USB ports, and a 110-240V AC output. You can charge it in three modes: solar panels, AC wall adapters, and car outlets.
Additionally, the device features all-around protection to shield your devices against overcurrent and overvoltage.
- Compact design
- Good battery life
- Triple rechargeable modes
- Ultra-bright LCD Display
- A solar panel is not included in the package. You would have to purchase it separately
- No flashlight
3. Jackery 240 Solar Generator
Jackery 240 Solar Generator is another top-notch and affordable power station available in the market. Although the solar-powered generator features a 240Wh Lithium battery, two USB ports, an AC port, a DC port, and a Pure sine wave AC UK plug socket which enables it to be compatible with all devices, it doesn’t come with a USB C port.
Jackery 240 has a compact and lightweight design that makes it easier to handle when going outdoors. The power station is built from durable plastic and has an embedded handle and four rubber feet to help steady this device on uneven grounds.
Each port has its own power switch, enabling you to turn off the power of any connected device anytime. However, the power station cannot handle a device with a unit of 200W and it will automatically shut down.
Still, Jackery 240 can handle several devices for about three hours, including your camera, laptop, and a 60W TV.
- Multi charging modes
- Light and portable solar generator
- Easy to read LCD screen
- In-built BMS protection
- Lack of USB C port
- It would have been nice if the charging time was faster
4. BLUETTI EB70S Portable Power Station
If you are an avid lover of spending time outdoors or with nature, you most likely love to go camping. And you might find yourself in a situation where you need a power source when out there. Bluetti EB70S Portable Power Station is an excellent option.
With its enormous 716Wh capacity and 800W rated wattage, it’s easy to power your devices even without a direct power supply on the go. EB70S features two 100W PD ports, four 110V AC outlets, three USB ports, two regulated DC outputs, and four Pure Sine Wave AC outlets.
You can recharge the power station’s ultra-stable LiFePO4 battery with compatible solar panels, AC outlets, or carports. Depending on the recharging mode, the charging duration might take longer.
Yet, you could expect your power station to be fully charged after about five hours when using an AC outlet. This portable power station’s built-in battery management system protects it from short circuits, over-current, or overload, thus improving battery utilization.
- Built-in LED flashlight
- Triple charging mode
- Portable size
- It has a C output port
- The short timeframe of LCD
- Noisy fans
5. Eco-Worthy 84Wh Portable Power Station
In need of a solar generator at a low price? Then Eco-worthy 84Wh is what you need. This power station is over 100 dollars cheaper than an average solar-powered generator and is exceptionally light, weighing only 2.1 lbs.
In addition, the compact design, alongside its easy-to-carry handle, makes it convenient to carry around. This power station embodies several features, including USB DC Outlets, five USB ports, LED flashlights, and 18W solar panels.
It is important to note that Eco-Worthy 84Wh cannot power a computer or heavy appliances. However, it would power your phone and lights when outdoors. Eco-worthy 84Wh has an excellent warranty of 2 years alongside a 90-day full refund service to ensure your satisfaction with the solar generator.
The Portable Power Station doesn’t have a lot of high-end features, but it’s functional and economical. You can charge its Lithium iron phosphate battery through solar panels or USB charging options. The power station has a battery management system to offer safety to your devices when charging.
- LED flashlight
- Compact design
- Multi charging mode
- It cannot handle many appliances
- No USB C Port Output
6. NEXPOW 178Wh Portable Power Station
The Nexpow 178Wh power station isn’t the cheapest option on this list, and it isn’t the most expensive either. This solar-powered generator is sold at an affordable price despite its powerful 178Wh battery, that can charge multiple appliances.
Nexpow 178Wh features 110V AC outlets, 12V DC Ports, and three USB ports, including a USB C port. It can charge your appliances such as laptop, camera, TV, fan, CPAP machine, and many more. This portable power station also comes with a flashlight and a digital readout to show how much power is left on the generator.
The design of the power station is a black metal case that’s not only durable but also lightweight and easy to handle. Nexpow 178Wh has multiple charging modes. It can be charged by a solar panel even though it isn’t included when you purchase the solar generator.
You can also charge it through a wall outlet, car outlet, and a PD 3.0 input. Plus, the built-in battery management system of the power station helps manage voltage and current to prevent overcurrent, overcharging and protect your devices.
- Multi charging modes
- It has a USB C Port
- The DC 12V output sometimes fluctuates to as high as 16.4V
- Lack of the Pure sine wave feature
7. FlashFish G300 Portable Power Station
The FlashFish G300 portable power station is what you need to power your outdoor activities. This solar-powered generator includes a large 60000mAh battery that delivers between 300 to 350 Watts of power.
It has two AC outlets, three USB ports, and two DC outlets that can charge your numerous devices, including your CPAP machine, laptop, TV, fan, fridge, phones, etc. It comes with a Pure sine wave system and cool fan guard to protect your devices from over-voltage and short circuits. This portable power station features a digital monitor that displays the battery life of the solar generator and the output level.
Depending on the charging mode, it can be fully charged within 5 to 8 hours. FlashFish G300 can be charged either through solar panels(purchased separately), wall outlets, or car outlets. The power station weighs around 5.6 lbs and has a convenient handle for moving it around.
- Multi charging options.
- It comes with a C USB port.
- In-built safety protections.
- Lack of built-in solar panels.
- It might take a while to charge
8. Jackery Explorer 300 Portable Power Station
Jackery Explorer 300 has a rugged black plastic that enhances the durability of the solar generator. Still, the power station is lightweight at about 7lbs and has a molded handle for convenience. The bottom of the solar-powered generator has rubber feet to secure it on uneven surfaces.
Explorer 300 comes with a Pure sine wave system. It also features several power ports, including three USB ports with a USB C port, a 12V DC outlet, etc. Each of these power ports has an on/off switch to easily cut off power when you aren’t using it.
The solar-powered generator delivers a maximum capacity of 300 Watts and can power your analog devices and appliances such as mini-fridges, TV, fan when you are out camping. This solar generator has an LCD screen that displays important information such as battery life and power output.
In addition, Explorer 300 can be recharged in three ways, through a solar panel (non-inclusive in the package.), a wall outlet, and a car outlet. You can get a full charge from a wall outlet in about 4 hours.
- Small and portable
- Pure sine wave feature
- Multi charging modes
- It comes with a C USB port
- In-built BMS protection
- No flashlight
- The fan is a little bit noisy
9. MARBERO Portable Power Station
This Marbero portable power station with an 88Wh power capacity can power the basic electronic devices we need when camping, i.e., cameras, fans, phones, etc. It is super slim and weighs only 2.2 lbs. The compact handle makes it easy to carry and move the power station.
This solar generator is equipped with various ports, including a DC port, two USB ports, an AC port, etc. It features a bright LED light and embodies a switch that can be used to revert between constant lighting and strobe.
In addition, the solar-powered generator can be charged in three modes. Either through a wall outlet, car outlet, or a solar panel (which isn’t included in the package). And the power station has an in-built battery management system to protect your devices.
- LED flashlight
- Multi charging modes
- In-built BMS
- Lack of built-in solar panels
- Not very powerful for some appliances
10. Jackery Portable Power Station
Jackery portable power station is one of the best portable power stations. With its power of 200 Watts, it can charge your camping necessities such as laptops, cameras, mobile phones, fans, and many more. Its power station features two USB ports, a Pure sine wave AC outlet, DC outlet and supports pass-through charging.
Jackery Portable power station is not solar panel inclusive. Yet, the station can be recharged with Jackery SolarSaga 60 solar panel due to its built-in MPPT controller that enhances the solar panel to operate at its maximum. The power station could also be recharged through wall and car outlets.
This Jackery portable power station is easy to handle and move around due to its lightweight and solid handle. In addition, the power station is guarded by a battery management system against overcurrent, overcharging, and overvoltage to protect your devices.
- Slim and durable
- Guarded by a battery management system
- Multi charging mode
- Pure sine wave feature
- Not solar panel inclusive
- No flashlight
Buyer Guide & FAQs
Our buyer’s guide and FAQ section are to help you choose the right option for yourself and answer any questions you might have.
What to look for in a best solar generator for camping
What should you watch out for when you plan to purchase a solar generator as a newbie to the market? Below, we’d discuss some features you should look out for to choosing a good solar generator that would accommodate your camping needs.
Compact Size and Design
Regardless of whatever choice of solar-powered generator you choose, the size is the most important factor you should consider. This is because of the inconveniences of carrying a heavy power station anytime you are going outdoors. Panels, frames, and batteries are the major culprits contributing to how heavy your solar generator is, and the total weight can range between 20 to 200 pounds.
For instance, lithium-ion batteries are lighter but more expensive than lead-acid batteries. Thus, sometimes you might have to sacrifice a little lightweight due to your tight budget. However, in these cases, you should consider the compact size and portability of the solar generator.
Even if it’s a little bit heavier, the weight of the power station should be distributed evenly among all components so that the solar generator can feel more compact and easy to handle. You should note that your solar-powered generator should be conveniently lightweight enough to handle when going camping.
Power Input and Outlets
What you power or plan to power with your generator should be a factor in choosing the right power station for you. While using your solar-powered generator releases energy to power your appliances when you are out camping or hiking. Therefore, before purchasing, you should know what you would be powering and the power output you would require.
For instance, if you require a solar generator only to charge your phone, a power station with a few USB outlets is good. However, if you’d love a solar generator that can power more such as a TV or fan while camping, you should consider one with higher power output and more outlets.
The battery capacity of a solar-powered generator is a very important factor to watch out for when looking for a power station to purchase. It’s measured in Watts-Hours (Wh). Different solar generators have varying battery capacity, and it is important to note it when buying because they are primarily responsible for the appliance the generator can power.
A portable power station with good battery storage will power more appliances and last longer. Sometimes, the battery capacity of your solar-powered generator is based on the type of batteries used.
Generally, a solar generator might contain a lithium-ion battery or lead-acid battery. Still, we recommend that you consider purchasing generators that run on lithium-ion batteries because they are stronger and have a longer lifespan.
The inverter rating of the solar-powered generator for camping you plan to buy is also important. The inverter is a component of your solar generator that converts your solar energy to AC. Plus, an inverter rating is responsible for informing you of the highest number of watts that the power station can offer.
Usually, an inverter has continuous and surge power ratings. The continuous power rating determines the power the generator can produce continuously, while the surge power determines the power it provides during startup. Therefore, when you want to purchase a solar generator, you should purchase one whose continuous wattage is higher than the wattage of the heaviest appliance you want the generator to power.
Usually, several solar-powered generators have multi charging options, but mostly, they can be charged through solar panels. Of course! They are solar generators. However, not all power stations come with solar panels when purchased.
You might have to buy solar panels separately, as we have mentioned for MARBERO portable power station and Jackery Portable Power Station above. When purchasing a solar generator, you should not only look for one with solar panels. It would be best to inquire about the amount of output it generates to help you determine how fast it would be to charge your electronic devices.
Generally, solar generators should be charged fully in about five hours or less when charged with solar panels. Still, you can buy an extra solar panel that you can use to extend your power station life when outdoors during camping.
Different types of best solar generator for camping
Aside from our list of top ten best portable power stations, here are some different excellent options you might come across on Amazon or stores.
Jackery Explorer 500
Jackery Explorer 500 is one of the best powerful solar generators for camping you might come across when figuring out the right power station to purchase for your outdoor activities. This mini power station is one of the best overall solar generators because it’s great for camping, emergency power outages in your home, living off the grid, and many more.
The Explorer 500 has 500 Watts of power and can power smaller devices plugged in simultaneously. It has a very quiet cooling fan, and the generator is portable and easy to handle. In addition, explorer 500 can operate safely in high temperatures without dying abruptly due to heat, thanks to its cooling fan.
Unfortunately, the Explorer 500 doesn’t feature a USB C port for charging, so you might want to reconsider buying it.
RockPals 300w Portable Power Station
RockPals 300W is one of the best value power stations out there. It offers reliable performance, has plenty of ports to keep everything connected at once, and has a good display that shows you essential information about your power outputs.
Although the RockPals 300w is affordable, the lack of LED light and noisy cooling fan is a major deal-breaker for the power station. Yet, if you would love to purchase a generator that doesn’t offer much but has many charging ports, this might be the one for you.
Goal Zero Yeti 500x
When it comes to some of the best power stations for outdoor activities, Goal Zero Yeti 500x tops the list. The 505-watt lithium-ion battery pack can handle powering numerous devices such as GPS devices, tablets, CPAP machines, laptops, etc. It has multiple charging points, making it easy to plug devices simultaneously.
The design of the Yeti 500x is top-notch, and although heavy, it is almost 3.5 pounds lighter than the brand’s previous model. However, it is slightly heavy and thus, might not be a suitable size for hiking or outdoor activities that involve backpacking, but it is excellent for camping.
Key points for consideration before buying?
What are the essential things you should know before purchasing a solar powered generator? Is it the duration of the battery or the lifespan or the generator? Let’s find out in a minute.
The energy requirement you need is important to consider before purchasing a solar-powered generator. First, it is vital to know the power you need to purchase. You do not want your device tripping off when connecting some appliances when camping outdoors.
There are tons of solar generator brands, but not all of them provide quality. Thus, to give you a guide towards choosing the right solar generator. We recommend comparing some top brands such as Jackery, Goal Zero Yeti, BLUETTI, Ecoflow-worthy, FlashFish, etc. These brands are well recognized, and each model of solar generators from these companies is quality and unique.
How long does it take your power station to charge? This is important to take into consideration because of emergencies. You shouldn’t only consider your solar generator battery capacity. It would help if you also considered how fast the device charges. It would save you the time of charging for so long and make fully charging easier when you have unplanned outdoor activities.
How long your batteries can last after charging is different from your solar generator lifespan. It is important to note that the lifespan is affected by the battery’s type, model, capacity, frequent use, and many more. Hence, be sure to purchase a brand that assures you of quality components that would aid the longevity of the solar generator.
You can barely find an individual going out without a device or two in this time and age. Thus, if you are planning to purchase a solar generator. We recommend that you go for one with as many charging ports as possible.
Will a solar generator run a refrigerator?
Yes, a solar generator can run a refrigerator. However, most solar generators can only power a mini-refrigerator.
Can you use a solar generator every day?
You could use your solar generator any day and every day. Still, it’s important to note that using your solar generator daily could reduce the lifespan of your solar generator.
How long can a solar generator power for light use?
Different solar generators can power for varying durations due to the difference in energy capacity of the generator. Still, for instance, a 500-watt solar generator can power light use for over 48 hours.
Do solar-powered generators waterproof?
Yes, there are some waterproof solar generators.
How Long Does It Take To Fully Charge A Power Station?
It should take between 5 to 8 hours to charge a power station fully.
Can I Bring My Solar Generator On An Airplane?
Yes, if approved by TSA for flights. However, most solar panels and chargers are approved. Thus you could bring them on an airplane.
Can I Charge And Use My Power Station At The Same Time?
Some power stations do not accept this feature, but some do. Thus, depending on your solar generator, you might be able to charge and use it simultaneously.
Benefits of Solar Generators over Fuel Generators for camping:
The first thought that probably comes to your mind is low costs. That’s right! A significant benefit of a solar generator over gas generators for camping is the low cost. This is because a solar generator does not need fossil fuels. It’s charged in advance or powered by free solar energy. However, there are other benefits of solar generators over gas generators.
A standard solar generator will be more expensive than fossil fuel generators. It is vital to note that solar generators are cost-effective. Not only do you require to spend less money on maintenance since fewer components movement leads to less wear. You also do not have to purchase fuel to power your generator.
You can charge your power station through a wall outlet, car charger, or even the sun! Thus, even though you would spend a high initial cost during purchase, you would save a lot more in the long run.
Less gas equals less exhaust. Solar generators are Eco friendly, unlike their fossil fuel counterparts. Solar generators do not emit harmful carbon dioxide that could lead to air pollution. Solar-powered generators make use of sunlight which the solar panel converts and they rely entirely on a clean energy source. In addition, there is reduced noise pollution with power stations because they are quiet, unlike fossil fuel generators.
Regardless of the varying sizes and weight of both generators, there are a lot of portable solar generators available compared to its counterpart due to their common use for outdoor activities.
Choosing a suitable solar generator that fits your needs can be pretty challenging. That is due to the several jargon terms around it. Still, we hope this in-depth review helps you make a good choice. We recommend that as a beginner, you purchase the Jackery 240 Power Station.
It is our top pick not only because it provides you with the basic energy requirements you need when camping, but it is also affordable and a top-notch brand. However, a common downside of this product is its lack of a USB C port; so, be sure to consider it.