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The 10 Best Solar Generators (2023 Review)

A solar generator gives you backup energy from the sun if you’re out camping or if you’re experiencing a power outage.  We’ve reviewed the top solar generators here.

solar generator Courtesy EF ECOFLOW

Solar generators convert sunlight into energy to power your devices and appliances when you don’t have electricity. If you’re looking for a portable power source to take with you on a trip, read our review below to see our top picks for the best solar generators.


Compare Top Solar Generators

Product Watt Hours Weight Warranty Dimensions
Product Watt Hours Weight Warranty Dimensions
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 240 5 pounds 2 years 9 x 5 x 8 inches
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 518 13 pounds 2 years 12 x 8 x 9 inches
ROCKPALS Portable Power Station 300 8 pounds 2 years 11 x 5 x 9 inches
EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station 1,260 Not listed 2 years 16 x 8 x 11 inches
BLUETTI Portable Power Station 2,000 61 pounds 2 years 17 x 11 x 15 inches
Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station 505 13 pounds 2 years 14 x 12 x 9 inches
MAXOAK Portable Power Station 2,400 49 pounds 2 years 19 x 7 x 14 inches
ITEHIL Portable Power Station 500 19 pounds 2 years 11 x 9 x 8 inches
EF ECOFLOW RIVER Pro Portable Power Station 720 17 pounds 2 years 11 x 7 x 9 inches
Rainier Outdoor Power Equipment Portable Power Station 150 5 pounds Not listed 10 x 4 x 6 inches

Top 10 Solar Generators


Best For Small Items: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

  • $220
  • $300
  • 27% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This solar generator is lightweight at under five pounds and has a textured handle that makes it easy to carry from location to location. Another unique feature of this generator is that it can charge devices while it’s been recharged, and it can be recharged through a wall or car outlet.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has the most affordable price point out of the models in this review

✔ Can charge and recharge at the same time

✔ Has a built-in textured handle for easy carrying

✘ Criticized by some customers for dying quickly

✘ Has the lowest power output in this review at 200 watts

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers praised this portable power station for producing minimal noise, having a long-lasting battery, and being easy to carry. Others said that they had positive customer service experiences. Unhappy customers noted that this model died quickly and lacked power.


Best Medium Output: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500

  • $499
  • $600
  • 17% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This solar generator has an output of 518 watt-hours and has eight output ports and outlets, allowing it to charge a handful of devices. Additionally, it can be carried with you on a camping or hiking trip due to its small size, and it features an oversized carrying handle.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has the most affordable price point out of the models in this review

✔ Can charge and recharge at the same time

✔ Has a built-in textured handle for easy carrying

✘ Criticized by some customers for dying quickly

✘ Has a low power output of 200 watts

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised this generator for its ease of use and portability. However, negative reviews complained about the fan not working properly and the manufacturer providing poor customer service.


Best Handle: ROCKPALS Portable Power Station

ROCKPALS Portable Power Station

ROCKPALS Portable Power Station

  • $220
  • $280
  • 22% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The carrying handle on this solar generator is rubberized and textured, making it easy and comfortable to hold onto. With its 300 watts of power and 280 Wh, this generator can handle small home appliances and electronic devices, such as lamps, hair dryers, and laptops.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Can be recharged using a cigarette lighter, three-prong wall outlet, USB port, or solar panel

✔ Has one fast-charging USB port

✔ Has enough power to provide about 40 charges to small home appliances

✘ Not sold with the DC converter

✘ Criticized for feeling cheaply made

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers were happy with this portable power station because of its great value for the money, portability, and long battery life. Some said that it met all of the manufacturer’s claims and was easy to use. Negative reviews noted that this model felt cheaply made, not offering much power and struggling to charge devices.


Most Powerful: EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station

  • $1,099
  • $1,399
  • 22% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Two of this solar generator’s six USB ports are fast-charging to ensure your necessary devices and appliances, such as lanterns and phones, stay charged at all times. The generator provides up to 1,260 watt hours for refrigerators, window air conditioners, and other large appliances.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Features patented X-Stream Technology to help it recharge faster

✔ Features two fast-charging USB ports and four standard ports for multiple charging options

✔ Can provide power to a laptop for over 25 hours

✘ Doesn’t have all of the ports and outlets on one side for easy access

✘ Noted by some that the wattage didn’t match the advertised output

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon customers praised this power station for having a lot of power, minimal noise, and responsive technical support. They also loved how lightweight and portable it was. However, dissatisfied customers said that it didn’t provide as much power as advertised and that it broke after minimal use.


Best Outlet Covers: BLUETTI Portable Power Station

BLUETTI Portable Power Station

BLUETTI Portable Power Station

  • $1,599

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This solar generator can run several powerful devices at once with 2,000 watt-hours. It has an intelligent temperature-activated fan that keeps the unit cool and quiet. Plus, all of its outlets and ports feature covers to keep them protected when they’re not in use.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has a touchscreen to control its settings

✔ Includes a car charging cable

✔ Has small carrying handles on either side of its body

✘ Costs the most out of the options in this review

✘ Weighs 60 pounds, making it more difficult to transport than other models

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised this power station for being an excellent value for the money. Many loved its easy-to-use touchscreen and long battery life. Some unhappy reviewers experienced temperature errors despite the model’s fan.


Best For Camping: Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station

Goal Zero Portable Power Station

Goal Zero Portable Power Station

  • $550
  • $700
  • 22% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This generator is a great choice for campers due to its easy operation and 505 watt-hours of operation.  It also includes four different port options, including AC, 12V, and 60W USB-C PD, ensuring you can operate several different devices outdoors without worry.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Can charge in a 180-watt wall outlet in three hours, a 60-watt outlet in 10 hours, or a 120-watt outlet in 4.5 hours

✔ Is made from rugged, durable material that’s perfect for on-the-go operation

✔ Can recharge a phone up to 42 times and a laptop up to 10 times

✘ Has a long auto shutoff timer

✘ AC outlet is sometimes slow to operate

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who were happy with their purchase of this solar generator commented on how simple it was to operate, as well as its long-lasting battery and its lightweight design. However, others felt this generator had issues powering on large devices, and some had issues with the LCD screen.


Most Charging Options: MAXOAK Portable Power Station

MAXOAK Portable Power Station

MAXOAK Portable Power Station

  • $1,299

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This portable power station has an impressive eight ports that include two AC outlets, one car outlet, four USB-A ports and one USB-C port, giving you the flexibility to charge a variety of devices under 1,000 watts. It is also available in numerous color options to match your style.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Can be charged up to 80 percent within 10 hours

✔ Features an intelligent cooling fan to prevent overheating

✔ Can charge a laptop up to 32 times

✘ Wall charger has a slower operation than some other models

✘ Is heavier than many other solar generators

What Customers Are Saying

This generator earned positive reviews on Amazon for its high-charging capacity, and several others were also impressed with its durable design and many charging ports. On the other hand, it was docked by some for its LCD display. A handful of reviews noted that it was hard to read and didn’t display the remaining battery percentage. Others were also disappointed in its 1000-watt inverter, which was lower than other solar generators of similar sizes.


Most Durable: ITEHIL Portable Power Station

ITEHIL Portable Power Station

ITEHIL Portable Power Station

  • $500

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This heavy-duty solar generator is made with aviation-grade aluminum alloy, giving it extra protection and impact resistance. It also comes with a convenient carrying handle that makes it easy to transport and a bright LED light to help you use it in the dark.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Features multiple input and output ports that can reach over 700 watts

✔ Can be charged via wall outlet, car outlet, or solar panel

✔ Includes an LED display and SOS rescue and warning features

✘ Does not include USB-C charging

✘ Does not feature Wi-Fi compatibility

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who left positive reviews for this product were impressed with its charging imports, as well as its LCD screen and its overall design. However, some customers found it was lacking in the overall power level, while others found that it needed to be frequently recharged to work correctly.


Fastest Charging: EF ECOFLOW RIVER Pro Portable Power Station

EF ECOFLOW RIVER Pro Portable Power Station

EF ECOFLOW RIVER Pro Portable Power Station

  • $579
  • $649
  • 11% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

With 720 Wh and 600 watts of power, this solar generator is a good medium-sized option that won’t break the bank. It can charge up to 80 percent in just one hour, and can power some devices of up to 1800w. Additionally, it features three AC outlets and weighs less than 17 pounds.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Features 10 total output ports

✔ Includes a built-in flashlight

✔ Is Wi-Fi compatible

✘ Can be difficult to carry and transport

✘ AC sockets can occasionally be obstructed

What Customers Are Saying

This solar generator earned positive reviews from customers for its low noise level and lightweight, compact design. Several other customers also were impressed with its fast charging ability, noting it completely charged in just over one hour.


Most Portable: Rainier Outdoor Power Equipment Portable Power Station

Rainier Outdoor Power Equipment Portable Power Station

Rainier Outdoor Portable Power Station

  • $133

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This small generator, which features 150Wh, is perfect for charging small electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, drones, lights or speakers. It weighs only five pounds, comes with a built-in flashlight and measures only six inches tall, making it easy to fit anywhere.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Features three USB Ports, three 12V 5.5mm DC outputs

✔ Includes a battery level display for easy tracking

✔ Has a lower price point than most other portable power stations

✘ Not ideal for charging large appliances

✘ Charging times can be inconsistent

What Customers Are Saying

Customers loved how maneuverable and portable this portable power station was, noting it was a great choice for camping or fishing. Several also complimented its durable, long-lasting design. On the other hand, some customers felt this product was overly loud, while some said they had difficulty getting it started.


Buyer’s Guide

Portable generators that utilize solar charging are a reliable source of renewable energy. Read our buying guide below to learn about battery life, portability, and other factors that will help you decide on the best solar power generator.

Type

Solar generators are available as both portable generators and backup generators. Most solar generators are portable, lightweight, and have a built-in handle. The best portable solar generators are used to provide power for construction sites, campers, events, or other settings where access to electricity is limited.

Backup solar generators provide backup power for when an electrical grid fails, providing an efficient alternative for installing a complete system. Backup solar generators provide enough power to turn on appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, and more in the event of a blackout.

In the video below, Ask This Old House master electrician Scott Caron shows how to use a solar generator:

Battery

When examining the battery of a solar generator, you should consider its overall battery capacity (measured in watt-hours) and its charging method.

Life

The lifespan of your generator’s battery depends on the size of the battery and the amount of power required to run your devices. For example, a battery with a watt-hours rating of 150 can run a 100-watt appliance, various power tools, or several small appliances that equal 100 watts for 1.5 hours.

Charging

The amount of time it takes to recharge the battery depends on the size of the battery and the method of charging, as well as the charger's power. Larger batteries take longer to recharge than smaller batteries. Additionally, while solar generators are meant to connect to solar panels for charging, that’s not always convenient if it’s overcast or if you’re pressed for time. That’s why they typically also offer an electric charging function. A quick charge function may also be available on certain models.

Outlets/Ports

Solar generators come with various outlets and ports to run several devices simultaneously. Common plugs include AC outlets, USB and USB-C ports, and car cigarette lighters.

Price

The price of a solar generator depends mainly on the type you’re purchasing and the power output. For portable generators, some lower-end models that will only power small items can cost $200 or under, while higher-end models can cost well over $500 or upwards of $1,000.

Backup generators also vary in price depending on the model, but smaller generators can cost around $1,000, while generators with higher wattage can cost several thousand or more.

Size

To determine what sized solar generator you need, consider how much power you need for your devices. For example, if using a portable generator on a camping trip, do you need to power a portable fridge, television, or coffee maker? Or do you only need power for small items like a mobile phone or a mini fan? The wattage required to run each item may vary, and most portable solar generators can power in the range of 100-500 watts. Smaller units typically have a lower power capacity and can only charge small devices.

Backup solar generators can typically power at least 1,000 watts, which should be enough to power appliances like small lights, a fridge, or a television. However, if you need whole-home power or need to turn on devices like a washing machine or air-conditioning unit, you will likely need a generator with a power level of at least 2,000-3,000 watts.

Brand

To ensure you’re getting a high-quality solar generator, look for trusted brands that make well-reviewed products. Some of the brands that are well known for making solar generators include Jackery, ROCKPALS, Renogy, BLUETTI, EF Ecoflow, Goal Zero, Kohler, Titan Solar and Flashfish.


What Are The Benefits of a Solar Generator?

When shopping for a new generator, there are several unique advantages to buying a solar generator instead of a gas-powered model, such as:

Noise Level

Standard generators can get noisy, which could be a significant factor if you’re using them while camping, RVing, or even running them outside your home. However, one of the benefits of solar generators is that they run completely quiet since they don’t have any of the parts of gas-powered generators.

Maintenance

Solar generators also require little-to-no maintenance to operate. Solar generators are less likely to break than fuel-powered generators and have fewer parts to maintain. The standard maintenance needed for a solar generator is dusting, removing moisture, and checking the connection.

Fuel and Clean Energy

One of the main benefits of solar generators is that they use clean, renewable energy, which is better for the environment. It can also be better for your wallet, as solar generators avoid having to stock up on fuel to run your generator.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth getting a solar generator?

A solar generator may be worth it depending on how you use it. The cost of the generator easily pays for itself if you live somewhere that receives ample sunlight and you utilize the energy from the generator as a home backup. Alternatively, if you frequently go on road trips, a solar generator is also worth it.

Will my solar generator come with a solar panel?

It depends on the model. Some generators come with the solar panels needed to operate them, and some don’t. If you don’t have a compatible solar panel already, it might be worth it to find an all-inclusive kit, as this cuts down on the cost and the number of purchases.

Are there other types of generators?

Yes. Some generators use electricity or gas for power, and all power generators are able to support off-grid living. However, some people prefer solar generators for the following reasons:

  • They’re more eco-friendly because they use energy from the sun as opposed to fossil fuels.
  • They’re cheaper to operate because you don’t have to buy fuel refills for gas generators.
  • They’re better in emergency situations where you might not have access to fuel.
  • They’re quieter.
  • They’re more portable because they’re smaller and lighter.

What’s the purpose of the inverter in my solar generator?

The power stored in a solar generator’s battery is in direct current (DC), but most devices and appliances use alternating current (AC). This inverter converts DC to AC. If your solar generator doesn’t have a built-in inverter, you will need to purchase one separately.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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