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The 5 Best Solar Generators (2022 Review)

A solar generator gives you backup energy from the sun should your electricity fail. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best solar generators on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

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 station to take with you on a trip, read our review below on the best solar generators.

Top 5 Solar Generators


Most Lightweight: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

This solar generator weighs 4.99 pounds. This light weight along with the textured handle make the generator easy to carry from location to location. Another unique feature of this generator is that it can charge devices while it’s been recharged itself.

Key Features

  • 200 watts
  • 4.99 pounds
  • Four types of outlets and ports
  • AC adapter and car charger cable included
  • 24-month warranty

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

This solar generator provides 518 watts of power per hour, allowing it to charge a handful of devices with its eight ports and outlets. Additionally, it can be carried with you on a camping or hiking trip because it is about the size of a basketball and features an oversized carrying handle.

Key Features

  • 500 watts
  • Five types of outlets and ports
  • AC adapter and car charger cable included
  • 24-month warranty

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

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, the generator can handle small home appliances and electronic devices, such as lamps, hair dryers, and laptops. It can also be recharged in four ways, including with a USB port.

Key Features

  • 300 watts
  • 7.7 pounds
  • Six types of outlets and ports
  • AC wall charger and car charging cable included
  • 24-month warranty

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

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 3,300 watts of power for refrigerators, window air conditioners, and other large appliances. Once it runs out of battery, you can use a solar panel, wall outlet, or cigarette lighter to recharge it.

Key Features

  • 3,300 watts
  • Four types of outlets and ports
  • AC wall charger, solar charging cable, car charging cable, and carrying bag included
  • 24-month warranty

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

This solar generator can run several powerful devices at once with its output of 2,000 watts per hour. 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.

Key Features

  • 2,000 watts
  • 60.6 pounds
  • Six types of outlets and ports
  • AC wall charger, solar charging cable, car charging cable, and aviation plug included
  • 24-month warranty

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.


Buyer’s Guide

Read our buying guide below to learn about battery life, portability, and other factors that will impact the solar generator you purchase.

Battery

This refers to how long the generator’s battery lasts and how to recharge it.

Life

The life of your generator’s battery depends on the size of the battery and the amount of power that’s required to run your devices. For example, a battery with a watt-hours rating of 150 will be able to run a 100-watt appliance or several 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. Larger batteries take longer to recharge than smaller batteries. Additionally, while solar generators are meant to be connected 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.

Outlets/Ports

Solar generators come with a variety of outlets and ports to run several devices at once. Common plugs include AC outlets, USB ports, and car cigarette lighters.

Portability

Solar generators are meant to be portable, so they often have a light weight and a built-in handle.

Frequently Asked Questions

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. 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.
  • 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.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.