13 Best Solar Generators for Camping – 2022 Buyer’s Guide

Buying a solar generator for camping is a great way to use clean energy to power your vacation. They can provide a primary source of power to bring the comforts of home to the outdoors, or be a great backup power source for necessary medical devices while at home. 

There are a lot of options out there and it can be difficult to figure out exactly what size and features you may need. This buyer’s guide is geared toward helping you make an informed decision on the best option to provide the energy you need. 

A display of a family camping on the beach with a solar generator
Make camping more fun with a solar generator – photo courtesy of Amazon

Solar Generator for Camping – Buyers Guide

Extreme Duty (2000W+)

#1 Extreme Duty
A display of the BLUETTI AC200P portable solar power station.
BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC200P
*2000WH
*2000W
*2.5 hour charge time
*3-3.5 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
#2 Extreme Duty
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pecron-Q3000S-150x150.jpg
Pecron Q3000S
*3024WH (Largest Capacity!)
*2000W
*11-12 hour charge time
*20-21 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
Honorable Mention
Gaol Zero Yeti 3000X
*3000Wh
*2000W
*6 hour charge time
*6 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
Extreme Duty (2000+ Watt)

Heavy Duty (1500W – 2000W)

#1 Heavy Duty
Jackery Explorer 1500
*1534Wh
*1800W
*4 hour charge time
*4 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
#2 Heavy Duty
A display of the EF Ecoflow DELTA portable lower station
EF Ecoflow DELTA
*1260Wh
*1800W
*1-2 hour charge time
*4 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
Heavy Duty (1500-2000 Watt)

Regular Duty (1000W – 15000W)

BEST OVERALL!!!!!
#1 Regular Duty
Jackery Explorer 1000
*1002Wh
*1000W
*5.5 hour charge time
*6.5 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
#2 Regular Duty
MAXOAK/BLUETTI EB240
*2400Wh
*1000W
*12.5 hour charge time
*9-9.5 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
Honorable Mention
MAXOAK/BLUETTI EB150
*1500Wh
*1000W
*7.5-8 hour charge time
*5-5.5 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
Regular Duty (1000-1500 Watt)

Light Duty

#1 Light Duty
BLUETTI EB55
*537Wh
*700W
*3.2 hour charge time
*4.5 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
#2 Light Duty
Jackery Explorer 500
*518Wh
*500W
*7.5 hour charge time
*9.5 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
Light Duty (500-1000 Watt)

Extra Light Duty

#1 Extra Light Duty
Jackery Explorer 240
*240Wh
*200W
*5.5 hour charge time
*7 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
#2 Extra Light Duty
Rockpals Portable Solar Generator
*280Wh
*300W
*6-7 hour charge time
*5-7 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
Honorable Mention
Goal Zero Yeti 500X
*505Wh
*300W
*4.5 hour charge time
*6 hour solar charge time
AMAZON
Extra Light Duty (Under 500 Watt)

What is a Solar Generator

A solar generator is a tool that uses renewable energy from the sun instead of fossil fuels to generate electricity. However, it’s not actually a generator at all. It’s more like a portable power station that converts and stores solar power in a battery pack for later use. 

This means that clean energy can be used to power your devices 24/7 without running a motor or burning fossil fuels. 

A solar generator, solar power station or solar power system are all different terms for the same type of device. 

The solar generator refers more specifically to the part of the system that converts and stores solar power in one package. A true solar generator will have a solar panel as a part of the device or system.

Most solar generators can also be charged using a normal wall outlet at home or a 12V car outlet. However, the preferred charging method is to charge the internal battery with solar panels.  

Why Buy a Solar Generator

Using a solar generator for camping is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. They are environmentally friendly and provide a source of continuous power while enjoying outdoor activities. 

Solar generators are almost completely silent. This makes them perfect for powering devices that may need to be running during the night.

They also provide a great source of backup power at home during a power outage. 

Common Uses for a Solar Generator

Solar generators are most commonly used to provide convenient green power for small devices like cell phones, digital cameras, laptops and tablets. This makes it a great idea to buy a solar generator for camping.

Solar generators can power your medical devices, like a cpap machine, without the noise from a gas generator. This is perfect for tent camping or conserving battery power from your RV. 

They can also power small appliances like a mini refrigerator, air conditioner or power tools. Just be sure to match the appliance or device required wattage with the generator’s wattage output.   

How Does a Solar Generator Work

A graphic showing how a solar generator works.
A solar generator converts energy from the sun into usable power for your devices.

Simply put, a solar generator stores electricity from solar panels in a rechargeable battery. It then converts that electrical power to be used by your equipment and devices. 

Most solar generators have different output ports. They will have AC plugs in the form of a wall outlet and DC ports through a 12V car outlet. Most portable solar generators also have USB ports and USB-C ports. 

The best solar generator for camping will will be portable and have a combination of different output ports for various accessories and devices. 

Parts of a Solar Generator

A solar generator has four primary parts.

  • Solar Panel
  • Solar Charge Controller
  • Battery
  • Power Inverter

Solar Charge Controller 

a display of a stand alone solar charge controller
A stand alone solar charge controller

A solar charge controller regulates the electricity coming in from the solar panels to the battery. This is necessary to keep the battery at a maximum charge without overcharging. Overcharging a battery can cause gassing and damage to the battery, which will shorten the battery’s life. 

There are two types of solar charge controllers.

  • MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) solar charge controller
  • PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) solar charge controller. 

An MPPT solar controller will observe and regulate the flow of energy going from the solar panels to the batteries. This maximizes the efficiency of the panels in different weather conditions.

Also, the solar panel can have a higher voltage than the battery. This allows for a faster charge time and flexibility to grow your system. 

A PWM solar power controller is basically a switch that can be switched on and off at a fast pace to obtain the desired voltage to charge the batteries. With a PWM solar panel controller the voltage of the solar panel should be matched with the battery voltage. 

An MPPT charge controller is about 30% more efficient than a PWM controller, but it’s also more expensive.

A solar power controller also helps to maintain the battery. To maximize the life of the battery inside your generator it is necessary to maintain the charge, especially a lithium-ion battery.

The best way to maximize the life of your battery is to keep it in regular use and maintain a proper charge. A solar power controller does just that. 

Battery

The batteries used in most solar generators are a lithium-ion batteries. However, some solar generators may use a lead acid battery. The battery stores the incoming electrical power from solar panels for later use in the form of Direct Current (DC). 

The battery’s capacity is measured in watt-hours (Wh). A watt-hour is a unit of energy that is equivalent to one watt of electrical power expended for a single hour. Therefore, the higher the watt-hours the more electrical power is stored inside the battery. 

Here is a simple formula to use in understanding watt-hours. Working Time = WhX0.85/Device Operating Power. 

For instance, let’s assume the power consumption of your device is 600W and the solar generator is rated at 2000Wh. The device will run on power from the solar generator for roughly 2.8 hours (2000X0.85/600=2.83). 

Solar generators with a higher watt-hour capacity may have multiple batteries strung together in series to create one larger battery.  Remember, the higher the watt-hours, the longer the run time for your electronics.

Power inverter

A power inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) from your batteries to Alternating Current (AC). Most electronics run on AC power. In order for the power stored in the batteries to be used by most commercial devices and appliances it has to be converted to AC. 

There are two types of power inverters.

  • Pure sine wave inverter
  • Modified sine wave inverter 
A stand alone Pure Sine Wave Inverter
A stand alone Pure Sine Wave Inverter

The output voltage from a pure sine wave inverter is in the form of a sine wave. A sine wave alternates from positive to negative polarity in a very smooth consistent pattern.

This is the same form of AC used by utility companies. Pure sine wave inverters because they produce more reliable electricity that is cleaner, smoother and quieter. 

You will typically need a pure sine wave inverter for most sensitive appliances and devices. Because of this, most solar generators convert the power using a pure sine wave inverter.  

A modified sine wave inverter produces a current that switches from positive to negative polarity more abruptly. This causes a more choppy wave that could have a negative impact on equipment.

If you are powering medical equipment, like a CPAP machine, you can’t use a modified sine wave inverter. 

Related post: Electric Bikes for Newbies – Shop for the right bike

Solar Generator vs Gas Generator

A photographic display showing that a solar generator is cleaner, quieter and easier to use than a gas generator
A solar generator is cleaner, quieter and easier to use than a gas generator – photo courtesy of Amazon

Lets look at some differences between a solar generator and a gas generator.

You can think of the battery inside a solar generator as the gas tank of a gas generator. The larger the gas tank the longer the generator will run. 

Then compare the green power of the sun to the actual gas inside the tank. The larger the battery the more power can be stored. 

Now, compare the gas generator’s motor to the solar panels that convert the power of the sun into usable electricity. The big difference is that solar power provides free green energy that can power your camping trip without any noise or carbon footprint. 

The biggest problem with solar generators is that sunlight has to be available. If you plan a trip at a time when it will be cloudy, then a solar generator may not be the right choice. 

The best system will combine both types of generators. The gas generator would be used at times when the sun isn’t available to power your devices and charge the solar generator. 

During these times power from the gas generator can be routed to the solar generator to charge the batteries for later use. This prevents any wasted fuel. As long as the gas generator is running power can be stored. This makes for a great battery management system. 

A solar generator also doesn’t have moving parts like a gas generator, so you wont have to worry about the generator breaking down.

How to Choose the Best Solar Generator for Camping

When selecting the best solar generator for camping it’s best to know and understand your needs and the capabilities of the many different generators. There are small light duty generators that should only be used to power small devices, and there are larger generators that can power home appliances.  

For instance, you may be backpacking into a remote area with all of your gear. In that case, you want a more lightweight solar generator that will still meet your power needs. 

However, if you are not concerned about weight, a larger capacity solar generator may be the best option. Just remember, the higher capacity the larger and heavier the internal battery will be. 

Another major consideration is the maximum wattage of your devices. You will want to select a generator that meets or exceeds the device with the highest wattage demand. 

Also, understand that if you plan on using multiple devices at the same time, then you need to add the required wattage of all the devices together. 

The Best Solar Generator for Camping in Different Categories

This product guide is designed to help you find the best solar generator for camping and to fit your needs. The products on this list are best paired with appropriate portable solar panels to make them true solar generators.

Many of these portable solar power generators can also be purchased as a solar generator kit that includes matching portable solar panels.

This list is based on reviews and features in five separate categories: Extreme Duty, Heavy Duty, Regular Duty, Light Duty and Extra Light Duty. Each category also lists a Second Place that is often equally as good, and some categories have an “Honorable Mention”. 

Extreme Duty (2000+ Watt)

#1 – BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC200P

A display of the BLUETTI AC200P portable solar generator.
BLUETTI AC200P

The BLUETTI AC200P power station is one of the most powerful portable solar generators on the market. It can power most high-power appliances, such as a fridge, window AC unit, microwave oven, hairdryer, coffee maker, electric grill and heater. 

The AC200P is a great option if you plan on using a portable solar generator for camping with appliances that draw a lot of watts. It’s power and capacity can meet your various needs and give you confidence during emergency situations, such as power outages. 

There are many different output ports available on the AC200P. With all of these ports, the AC200P is ideal for camping, tailgating, parties or as an emergency backup.

Here’s a great video review on the AC200P that does a great job explaining why this solar generator is top on our list.

Features

  • 2000Wh
  • LiFePO4 Lithium-phosphate battery
  • 2000 Watts
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • 3500+ charge life cycles
  • LCD touch screen with real time display of the current, voltage, power, temperature and charging status. 
  • Temperature activated cooling fan to keep the AC200P cool
  • ECO mode to prevent up to 50% wasted electricity
  • MPPT solar controller and inverter

Charge times

  • 3-3.5 hours using 700W maximum input from Solar Panels 
  • 4.5 hours using a 500W AC adapter 
  • 2.5 hours using dual AC adapters
  • 10 hours using a 24V car charger
  • 20 hours using a 12V car charger
  • 2.2 hours using a combination of 700W solar and 500W AC inputs.

Output options

  • 6 – 110V AC outlets
  • 1 – 12V/25A RV port
  • 2 – 15W wireless pads
  • 1 – 60W USB-C port
  • 4 – USB-A ports
  • 1 – 12V/10A car port
  • 2 – 12V/3A car ports

Pros

  • Made by a company with industry leading experience and innovation
  • Built with quality materials designed to be long lasting
  • Built-in battery management system to protect your investment
  • Dual input ports for fast charging
  • A lot of output options
  • LCD Screen

Cons

  • Lowest watt-hour rating in its class

Reviews

4.5 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $1,699. Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

#2 – Pecron Q3000S

A display of the Pecron Q3000S Solar Generator
PECRON Q3000S

The Pecron Q3000S is another great option with a lot of power and a high capacity. It will have no problem powering most anything you need during your camping trip, with fewer charge cycles. 

It’s a perfect option for high-power electrical appliances like microwaves, hair dryers, toasters and ac units. It’s also perfectly suited for long-term outdoor activities due to the high watt-hour capacity. 

Pecron is a company driven by new innovative technology. They thrive on helping their customers use their solar generators to make green energy that is clean and pollution-free. 

Features

  • 3024Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 2000W (4000W surge)
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD Screen
  • Telescoping handle and wheels for easy maneuverability
  • Built-in Battery Management System (BMS) for safe charging
  • Power seven devices simultaneously 

Charge Times

  • 20-21 hours using a 36V 300W solar panel
  • 23-24 hours using a 12V car charger
  • 11-12 hours using an AC adapter 

Output Options

  • 3 110V AC outlets
  • 2 QC 3.0 USB ports
  • 1 – 12V DC car port

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Easy maneuverability
  • Built-in BMS to protect the battery
  • Charge multiple devices at the same time

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Slow charging

Reviews

4.2 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $2,199 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

Honorable Mention – Goal Zero Yeti 3000X

Goal Zero Yeti 3000X

If you have a big job and need dependable power, this is your machine.

The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X is a portable power station designed to be a new way forward in portable energy off the grid. Every feature was built with a purpose in mind. Whether you use it for the campsite, worksite or when the grid goes down, you will have the power you need.

The 3000X is a professional grade portable solar generator that was built to last. It’s been tested from the artic to the home, and has been proven itself to be rugged and dependable when it matters most.

Goal Zero built the yeti with industry leading technology. Integrated into the 3000X is an MPPT solar controller, an oversize power inverter and can even be controlled and monitored with the Yeti App 3.0.

A display of the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X shown while camping.
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Features

  • 2982Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 2000 Watts
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD screen with real time interactive display
  • MPPT solar controller
  • Mounted on wheels for portability

Charge times

  • 6 hours using 600W Solar Panel
  • 14 hours using a 230W AC adapter 
  • 6 hours using a 600W AC adapter
  • 28 hours using a 24V car charger

Output options

  • 2 – 120V AC outlets
  • 2 – 6mm output ports
  • 1 – USB-C input/output port
  • 1 – USB-C output port
  • 2 – USB-A ports
  • 1 – 12V HPP output port
  • 1 – 12V regulated car port

Pros

  • Large charge capacity
  • Advanced technology
  • MPPT solar controller
  • Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • Reliable

Cons

  • Expensive

Reviews

4.6 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $3,395. Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

Here’s a related article: Goal Zero Yeti 3000X vs Bluetti AC200P – 5 Differences You Need to Know

Heavy Duty (1500-2000 Watt)

#1 – Jackery Explorer 1500

A display of the Jackery Explorer 1500 portable solar generator.
Jackery Explorer 1500

The Jackery Explorer 1500 is a portable power station that is easy to use and the perfect option that provides you as much power as you need for most electronic devices and appliances. It’s a solid and practical option for powering your  tools, microwaves, air conditioners, refrigerators and smaller devices while off the grid. 

It has a one-button design that makes it easy to use and operate while camping in an RV or a tent. It’s also a perfect Van Life option or for use in emergency situations. 

The Explorer features Solarpeak TM Technology. This is an upgraded MPPT controller that identifies and maximizes the solar input current to extract the best solar energy under all conditions. This technology adds 30% recharging efficiency and reduces charging time to 4 hours (0-80%) under full sunlight with 4 Jackery Solarsaga panels. 

Features

  • 1534Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 1800 Watts (3600W peak)
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • Smart LCD screen with real time display
  • 500+ charge cycles
  • Pairs with the Jackery Solarsaga solar panels (not included)
  • Solarpeak TM Technology
  • Advanced BMS for safe charging

Charge Times

  • 4 hours while paired with 4 Jackery Solarsage 100 solar panels
  • 4 hours using an AC outlet
  • 13 hours using a car outlet

Output Options

  • 3 – 110V AC ports
  • 1 – USB-C PD 60W port
  • 1 – USB-A 5V/2.4A port
  • 1 – USB-A (QC3.0) 18W port
  • 1 – 12V/10A car port

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Quick charge time
  • Efficient power output
  • High capacity with a portable design
  • Plenty of output options

Cons

  • Should be paired with Jackery panels for optimal performance

Reviews

4.7 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $1,599 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

#2 – EF Ecoflow DELTA

A display of the EF Ecoflow DELTA portable solar generator
EF Ecoflow DELTA

The EF Ecoflow Delta is an advanced solar power station that is designed to outperform. It has a large enough capacity to be perfect for camping, Van Life, emergency power supply or anytime you plan on being off the grid. 

It features a fast charging option that allows the portable power station to be recharged (0-80%) in one hour. This is the fastest charging time in it’s class by far. This is accomplished using Ecoflow’s X-Stream Recharge Technology. 

The Delta is powerful enough to power a wide range of power tools, appliances and electronic devices. It’s also a great option for powering medical devices, such as a CPAP machine while off the grid or during power outages. 

Features

  • 1260Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 1800 Watts (3300W peak)
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD screen with real time display 
  • MPPT solar controller and inverter
  • Overload Protection
  • BMS to protect your battery
  • Universal Solar input (400W max)

Charge times

  • 4 hours using Solar with maximum sunlight (64V/10A max)
  • 1-2 hours using AC adapter 
  • DC car charger adapter included
  • Charge times can be decreased by using multiple recharge options simultaneously 

Output options

  • 6 – 110V AC outlets
  • 2 – USB-C ports
  • 2 – USB-A ports
  • 2 – USB-A fast charge ports
  • 1 – DC car port

Pros

  • Fast Charging
  • Built-in battery management system
  • A lot of output options
  • LCD Screen
  • Highly portable
  • Overload protection

Cons

  • Poor charge cycle life (800 cycles)

Reviews

4.6 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $1,199 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

Regular Duty (1000-1500 Watt)

#1 – Jackery Explorer 1000 (Overall Best)

A display of the Jackery Explorer 1000 portable solar generator
Jackery Explorer 1000

The Jackery Explorer 1000 is the perfect green outdoor power solution for your next adventure. It’s lightweight and easy to handle, yet powerful enough to meet the power supply needs of most high-power electric appliances. 

The size of the Explorer 1000 makes it truly portable. Jackery Solasaga 100W solar panels pair perfectly with the Explorer. Add two panels to maximize charging efficiency and make the Explorer a true solar generator.  

Here’s a great video from Jackery.

Features

  • 1002Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 1000 Watts (2000W peak)
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD screen with real time power display
  • 500+ charge cycles
  • Pairs with the Jackery Solarsaga solar panels (not included)
  • Solarpeak TM Technology
  • Advanced BMS for safe charging

Charge Times

  • 6.5 hours with one 126W Jackery Solarsage 100 solar panel
  • 5.5 hours using an AC outlet
  • 11.5 hours using a car outlet

Output Options

  • 3 – 110V AC outlets
  • 2 – USB-C ports
  • 1 – USB-A 5V/2.4A port
  • 1 – USB-A 3.0 quick charge port
  • 1 – 12V/10A car port

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Quick charge time
  • Efficient power output
  • Lightweight design
  • Plenty of output options

Cons

  • Should be paired with Jackery panels for optimal performance

Reviews

4.8 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $999 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

#2 – BLUETTI Portable Power Station EB240

A display of the MAXOAK BLUETTI portable solar generator
MAXOAK BLUETTI EB240

The MAXOAK BLUETTI EB240  is a 1000 watt solar power station with a huge capacity. That battery cell used in the EB240 is a high rate 3C automotive rated lithium polymer battery cell. This provides for a quality battery that is safe and long lasting. 

MAXOAK/BLUETTI is committed to bringing clean green energy to the world. Their high performance products are easy to use and reliable for all of your off grid adventures. Take the EB240 with you while RV camping, tailgating, tent camping or any other place where you need clean stable power. 

Features

  • 2400Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 1000 Watts
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD screen with real time display
  • 2500+ charge cycles
  • Pairs BLUETTI SP200 200W solar panels (not included)
  • MPPT built-in for fast charging 
  • Advanced BMS for safe charging
  • Intelligent cooling control

Charge Times

  • 9-9.5 hours with one 200W SP200 solar panel
  • Faster solar charging with a max input of 500W
  • 12.5 hours using an AC outlet

Output Options

  • 2 – 110V AC outlets
  • 1 – USB-C port
  • 4 – USB-A 5V/3A ports
  • 1 – 12V/9A car port

Pros

  • Very high capacity
  • Heavy duty build
  • Efficient power output
  • Plenty of output options

Cons

  • Heavy

Reviews

4.6 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $1499 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

Honorable Mention – MAXOAK/BLUETTI EB150

A display of the MAXOAK BLUETTI EB150 portable solar generator
BLUETTI EB150

The BLUETTI EB150 is another great option that has all the features as the EB240, but with a smaller battery capacity. It has a 1500Wh rating with the same 1000W rating. 

The EB250 stores its power in a lithium battery pack, and has huge power for indoor and outdoor use. It’s one of the best solar generators for camping and outdoor enthusiasts. 

Price

Around $999 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

Light Duty (500W -1000W)

#1 – BLUETTI Portable Power Station EB55

A display of the BLUETTI EB55 portable solar generator
BLUETTI EB55

The BLUETTI EB55 has the features to be the best solar generator for camping in its class. It’s fast charging, highly portable and has enough punch to power most of the devices you may need. 

This portable power station can charge 13 devices simultaneously. Use it for everything from a mini fridge to your cell phone. It also supports passthrough charging, so you never have to be without power. 

BLUETTI engineers designed the EB55 to be fast charging. It has two input ports and an internal MPPT solar controller that allow it to be charged with a combination of all the different charging options ( up to a max of 400W of input power). 

Features

  • 537Wh
  • Lithium-phosphate LiFeP04 battery
  • 700 Watts
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD screen with real time display
  • 2500+ charge cycles
  • Pairs BLUETTI PV200 200W solar panel (not included)
  • MPPT built-in for fast charging 
  • Advanced BMS for safe charging
  • ECO Mode to conserve power

Charge Times

  • 4.5 hours with one 200W solar input
  • 3.2 hours with 200W AC wall outlet
  • 6 hours with 12V car outlet
  • 3 hours with a 24V car outlet

Output Options

  • 4 – 110V AC outlets
  • 1 – 100W PD USB-C port
  • 4 – USB-A 5V/3A ports
  • 1 – regulated 12V/10A car port
  • 2 – 12V/3A DC ports
  • 1 – 15W wireless charging pad

Pros

  • Portable
  • Fast charging
  • Heavy duty build
  • Efficient power output
  • Plenty of output options

Cons

  • Lower battery capacity

Reviews

4.9 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $499.99 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

#2 – Jackery Explorer 500

A display of the Jackery Explorer 500 portable solar generator
Jackery Explorer 500

The Jackery Explorer 500 is the perfect lightweight solar power generator for camping in a tent or RV. It’s one of the lightest and most portable solar power stations on the market. Even though it has a lightweight design, it still has 500 watts of power and a battery capacity of 518 watt-hours. 

The Explorer 500 has a built-in MPPT controller that allows for clean green recharging with the Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panel (sold separately). It can also be recharged using a wall outlet, car outlet or an electric generator. 

Features

  • 518Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 500 Watts (1000W peak)
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD screen with real time power display
  • 500+ charge cycles
  • Pairs with the Jackery Solarsaga solar panels (not included)
  • Advanced BMS for safe charging
  • MPPT controller
  • Passthrough charging

Charge Times

  • 9.5 hours with Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panel
  • 7.5 hours using an AC outlet
  • 7.5 hours using a car outlet

Output Options

  • 1 – 110V AC wall outlet
  • 3 – USB-A 5V/2.4A port
  • 1 – 12V/10A car port

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Should be paired with Jackery panels for optimal performance

Reviews

4.8 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $499.99 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

Extra Light Duty (Under 500 Watt)

#1 – Jackery Explorer 240

A display of the Jackery Explorer 240 solar generator
Jackery Explorer 240

The Jackery Explorer 240 has been labeled as the “Best portable power station for use in the outdoors” by Digital Trends. It’s easy to see why. It’s lightweight portable design allows you to take it on any outdoor adventure you have in mind. 

This powerful little generator weighs only 6.6 pounds, and can power a laptop, smartphones, lights, cameras or anything under a 200W draw. 

Features

  • 240Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 200 Watts (400W peak)
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD screen with real time power display
  • 500+ charge cycles
  • Pairs with the Jackery Solarsaga 60W solar panel (not included)
  • Advanced BMS for safe charging
  • MPPT controller
  • Passthrough charging

Charge Times

  • 7 hours with Jackery SolarSaga 160W solar panel
  • 5.5 hours using an AC outlet
  • 6.5 hours using a car outlet

Output Options

  • 1 – 110V AC wall outlet
  • 2 – USB-A 5V/2.4A port
  • 1 – 12V/10A car port

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Should be paired with Jackery panels for optimal performance

Reviews

4.8 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $199.99 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

#2 – Rockpals Portable Solar Generator

A display of the Rockpals Portable  Solar generator
Rockpals Portable Solar Generator

The Rockpals 300W portable generator can meet all your needs for outdoor camping, power outages and emergency situations. It’s packed with technology to provide you with the green power you want in a compact design.  

It has multi-functional output ports that make it applicable to various electric appliances and smart devices. Meanwhile, the lightweight rugged design makes it the perfect solar generator for camping in your car, a tent or RV. 

Features

  • 280Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 300 Watts (400W peak)
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD display with real time power display
  • 500+ charge cycles
  • Pairs with the Rockpals 100W solar panel (not included)
  • Advanced BMS for safe charging
  • MPPT controller
  • Passthrough charging

Charge Times

  • 5-7 hours using solar 
  • 6-7 hours using an AC outlet
  • 6-7 hours using a car outlet
  • 9-10 hours using USB-C PD

Output Options

  • 1 – 110V AC wall outlet
  • 2 – USB-A 5V/2.4A port
  • 1 – 12V/10A car port
  • 2 – DC Ports 12V/5A 60A max
  • 2 – USB 3.1A port
  • 1 – QC charge 3.0 USB port
  • 1 – USB-C PD 20V/1.5A 30W max port

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • A lot of output port options

Cons

  • No regulated DC output

Reviews

4.6 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $199.99 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

Honorable Mention – Goal Zero Yeti 500X

A display of the Goal Zero Yeti 500X portable solar generator
Goal Zero Yeti 500X

Say goodbye to the gas generator. The Goal Zero Yeti 500X can power just about anything, anywhere. Take it with you on your next camping adventure to bring the comforts of home to your campsite. 

Goal Zero was a pioneer in the solar industry and has continued to engineer advanced products for a greener world. 

The Yeti 500X is equipped with the latest charging technology. It includes a high speed delivery port that is capable of charging many devices in a fraction of the time compared to other generators. 

Features

  • 505Wh
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 300 Watts (1200W surge)
  • Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter
  • LCD screen with real time power display
  • 500+ charge cycles
  • Pairs Goal Zero solar panels (not included)
  • Advanced BMS for safe charging
  • MPPT solar controller
  • Passthrough charging

Charge Times

  • 6 hours using 100W solar panels (optional) 
  • 10 hours using an AC wall outlet
  • 4.5 hours using a 12V car charger (optional)
  • 4.5 hours using 120W power supply (optional)

Output Options

  • 2 – 120V AC wall ports
  • 2 – USB-A 2.4A
  • 1 – USB-C 18W
  • 1 – 6mm 12V port
  • 1 – 12V regulated car port

Pros

  • Quality Built
  • 2 year warranty
  • A lot of output port options
  • A lot of solar charging options

Cons

  • Expensive

Reviews

4.6 stars on Amazon

Price

Around $699.95 Check Amazon for the latest pricing.

If you are looking for something a little smaller, then checkout this article on solar chargers.

17 Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking – 2021

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