/ Buying Guide / Portable Solar Generators

Best ​​Portable Solar Genera​tor

Last updated September, 2023

solar generatorSolar technology has been around for quite a while now, but a handful of major new technological advancements have helped the solar powered industry to grow by leaps and bounds – providing people with unique opportunities to use the power of the sun to run everything from a handful of small household appliances to entire properties off of (and everything in between).

Perhaps the greenest of all the great energy options available today, not only are you going to be able to ethically protect the environment by lowering your overall footprint – but you’re also going to be able to save a pile of money by taking advantage of everything that some of the best portable solar generators have to offer. If you scroll down, you’ll find tips, guides, reviews and just about everything related to these useful lithium portable power stations.

Out Best Portable Solar Generator Reviews

Bottom Line
Overall Score
Pros : 1425 wh Lithium Ion battery lasts and lasts. Can power 10 or more devices at once. Inverter handles all of your charging and discharging issues. Wifi connectivity allows for effortless control.
Cons : Big time price tag. Large format and heavy battery.
Bottom Line : The industry leader when you want power on demand no matter what, it doesn’t get any better than this option from Goal Zero.
Overall Score:
​Portability - 8.7
Power - 9.8
​Noise - 9.0
​Efficiency - 10
Pros : Combo monocrystalline solar cells soak up the sun and generate power fast. LION battery tech included, with 16Ah pack. 80% efficiency inverter keeps things running smooth.
Cons : A little bit on the expensive side of things with limited options and features.
Bottom Line : Not quite as feature rich as the Yeti, this is a great solar system for those that want dependable and reliable power wherever they might find themselves off grid.
Overall Score:
​Portability - 10
​​Power - 7.9
​Noise - 9.6
​Efficiency - 8.5
Pros : Three different ways to charge the power bank keeps you juiced up. 300w continuous and 600w peak power for all of your electricity needs. LCD screen readout and controls simplify things a lot.
Cons : Will set you back a pretty penny. Not the most robust power bank system. Could use a little trimming when it comes to weight.
Bottom Line : Quality across the board and easy enough for anyone to use, this is a sold solar system.
Overall Score:
Portability - 7.3
​​Power - 8.6
​Noise - 8.8
​Efficiency - 9.4
Pros : Innovative design spreads solar cells out and makes them more functional. AC wall adapter will power the batteries in 6 hours. Full generator capabilities when off grid. Multi-device capabilities without surge power peaking.
Cons : Solar panels need to be purchases separately. Some quality control issues. Longevity hasn’t been tested yet.
Bottom Line : One of the most innovative products in the space, the excitement over the Jackery is well warranted.
Overall Score:
​Portability - 8.2
​​Power - 8.1
​Noise - 9.4
​Efficiency - 8.3
Pros : 400w LION power plant from Yeti. Portable and efficient. Pairs well with other Yeti power systems. Solar cells made out of tempered glass to provide extra strength and durability.
Cons : Not the biggest power bank on the market. Won’t power all of your devices at once. Works best when coupled with another solar setup, but will work standalone.
Bottom Line : Goal Zero always makes quality solar power products, and this is no exception. It’s just not quite as remarkable as some of the other, larger, and more robust options from the company that has built it’s name on innovation.
Overall Score:
​Portability - 7.8
​​Power - 8.7
​Noise - 8.9
​Efficiency - 9.4
Best Portable Solar Generator

Portable Solar Generator Buying Guide

Small Solar GeneratorPerhaps the greenest of all the great energy options available today, not only are you going to be able to ethically protect the environment by lowering your overall footprint – but you’re also going to be able to save a pile of money by taking advantage of everything that solar powered generators have to offer.

New solutions are being made available on a day-to-day basis that represents big leaps forward for this technology. We are in a brand-new era for green technology in general, and solar is out there leading the charge.

At the same time, because there are so many different options available on the market right now – and because there are a couple of different types of solar technologies you may not be fully aware of or understand completely – finding the best solar powered generator can be a bit of a tall task.

Add in the fact that different solar generators are ideal for specific situations and that there are no such things as “one-size-fits-all” solutions and it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

With the inside information that we provide for you in this quick guide, however, you’ll be able to find the perfect solar generator for your specific needs without any headache or hassle whatsoever.

Let’s dive right in!

Here's How to Find the Best Solar Generator

solar guideThe very first thing you’re going to have to consider before you pull the trigger on a portable solar generator system is how you’re going to use this technology in the future.

As we highlighted above, there are dozens and dozens of different options to suit almost every imaginable need you could come up with. Sifting through all of these options becomes overwhelming unless you know exactly how you plan to use your solar generator moving forward.

It’s critical that you get crystal-clear about how your primary usage of this solar generator is going to unfold. If you’re looking for something that can handle emergency backup power duty for your property or your RV while camping you’ll want to purchase a different generator compared to something that will be “always on” and helping you run a property 24/7 off the grid.

The only way to know that you are buying the right solar powered generator is to first understand exactly what your needs are and then work backward from there. Far too many people go into this purchasing process focused on other details, never realizing that they could speed things up considerably by starting with the end in mind and then working backward from there.

It’s also important that you get a handle on the kind of budget that you are expecting to have moving forward.

Solar powered technology has definitely dropped in price (by almost unbelievable factors) but that doesn’t mean that solar technology is still inexpensive. You’re going to have to pony up some serious cash, especially if you want more advanced and modern systems.

Think about the kind of money you have to invest in this technology – as well as how you’re going to install this system and the expenses that might be involved there – before you dive right in.

Important Features to Focus On

Above all else, you’ll want to determine what type of solar panels you are going to be investing in as far as features to consider before you buy a solar powered generator.

  • Mono Crystalline Panels (MCP) provide the highest level of quality, but they also are the most expensive. You’ll get anywhere between a 15% and 20% efficiency rating when you go with these panels, and if you plan on using your solar powered generator average temperatures are quite warm you’ll get an even bigger bump.
  • Polly Crystalline Panels (PCP) technology isn’t all that far behind MCP solutions. You’re looking at an efficiency rating of anywhere between 13% and 16% but you don’t see the same dramatic increase efficiency in warmer climates with PCP that you do with MCP. The solutions are, however, little bit less expensive which helps to make them some of the most popular options around.
  • Thin Film Panels bring up the rear as far as we are concerned when it comes to solar panel technology. A lot less efficient, less convenient, and requiring a lot more material to capture enough energy from the sun to power a generator these are the kinds of solutions you only want to move forward with if your budget is particularly handicapped.
  • Batteries

You also going to want to think about the kind of battery capacity you’ll need to get out of your solar generator. Smaller systems work in emergency situations, but anytime you’re talking about a generator that needs to power multiple appliances – or multiple drawing sources all at once – you’ll need to make sure that your battery has the watt-hour capabilities to handle the task at hand.

When searching for batteries, consider the highest possible usage you could ever imagine getting out of these batteries as your benchmark. It’s always a good idea to get more battery than you need them potentially having less when you need it most.

Other important factors like the inverter rating (the amount of watts you can pull from your generator any given time), the portability of your solar generator system – or lack thereof – and any extra “bells and whistles” you might be interested in for your specific situation are obviously things you want to research as well.

Some of Amazon's Top Rated Solar Generators

Deal Breaking Features to Avoid

At the same time, there are plenty of things you want to be on the lookout to make sure you aren’t purchasing the wrong solar generator for your needs, too.

Solar power systems that combine panels and batteries into the same set up are the ones you want to avoid more than anything else. This kind of construction method practically guarantees that the heat generated by these solar panels will kill your batteries faster than you ever thought possible. These kinds of systems have nowhere near the durability or longevity you’d expect.

Things to Avoid When Buying a Solar Portable Generator

It’s also usually a bad idea to take advantage of DIY solar panel kits, instructional books, or build your own systems that have used source materials, cobbled together different technologies, and inevitably result in you ending up with a solar-powered system that is nowhere near as cost-effective or as efficient as you’d have liked it to be.

things to avoidCertainly, look for modular systems that allow you to replace different parts and components on an as-needed basis, but try to avoid systems that force you to reinvent the wheel.

It’s also not a bad idea to remain more than a little bit skeptical about solar generator companies that promise the moon and the stars about offering game-changing new technology that you haven’t come across, heard of, or seen mentioned it anywhere else in your research.

There are a lot of modern-day snake oil operations out there pedaling pie-in-the-sky promises without anything to back them up – and way too many people are falling for these cons and learning later just how badly they were taken.

At the end of the day, even just a little bit of research and due diligence will help you protect your investment in solar powered technology. It really isn’t as difficult as someone makes it out to be to find platforms that work wonders, and as long as you use the inside information contained within this quick guide you should be well on your way to finding the right platform for your needs.

Breaking Down The Solar Power Generated Systems

While every solar powered generator kit is unique in and of itself, all of them include most of the same core components and technologies.

You have your solar panels, which absorb UV rays directly from the sun with technology that converts that energy into power sent directly through a “charge controller”. From here, as the energy is redirected into a bank of batteries for storage and collection. After that, the power can be accessed on demand after it is run through an inverter and then later sent directly to the tools or appliances you’re looking to power.

That’s a basic “lay of the land”, though how you plan on using your lithium portable power system and the kind of technology you are investing in will make a world of difference in how everything is set up more specifically.

Off-The-Grid Solar Power Generator Kits

Off-grid Portable Solar Generator

Off the grid systems give you a unique opportunity to completely “unplugged” from the modern power companies once and for all, taking advantage of electrical appliances, tools, and technology without having to pay for every single penny of energy you consume.

Obviously, if you’re going fully off the grid you’re going to need solar technology that is durable and robust MCP or PCB panels are going to be a priority, but you also want to make sure you're investing in a large charging controller that is designed to keep your batteries from overcharging.

Your battery system should be a high amperage our and deep cycle battery, designed specifically to use up most of its carrying capacity before it is recharged (as you’ll be running 100% on battery power when the sun goes down). Inverters are a good idea, and 2000 watt inverters will usually handle most of the heavy lifting you could want to tackle as it can power everything aside from dedicated air-conditioning systems.

You can slash your costs dramatically with this kind of approach.

The Five BIG Benefits of Solar Power Generator Back up[

Obviously, more and more people are taking advantage of lithium portable solar power because it has a lot of benefits – and right now we break down five of the biggest ones you’ll get right out of the box!

  • Right away, you’ll be able to dramatically lessen the environmental footprint you have significantly. Your average household produces just over 58,000 pounds of CO2 every single year. By switching to solar power, you’re able to cut that by just over 6% – and that’s only if you use solar to run your house 25% of the time.
  • Secondly, you’re going to see some financial savings that kick in straightaway (especially over the long term). By using solar to power your house 25% of the time it’s possible to save upwards of $400 or more on energy each year. More on whole house generators...
  • Third, solar generators can be installed indoors with zero fear of toxic fumes or combustible fuel sources that are inevitably associated with traditional gasoline-powered generators. This makes them an amazing alternative for an emergency energy source that you don’t have to worry about having fuel on hand to operate.
  • Fourth, solar power is a 100% silent system that isn’t going to cause any noise pollution. You don’t have to worry about the sound of a generator firing up and you don’t have to worry about loud or constant operating noises, either.
  • Finally, solar power is one of the easiest ways to add a generator to any situation. 100% passive, this is about as close to “set it and forget it” as you are going to get in the generator world and with costs continuing to tumble lower and lower it is a no-brainer kind of decision to make.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you’d have to be at least a little bit crazy not to want to look into solar generator technology at least a little more.

The technology available to is better than it has ever been in the past, more efficient and less expensive. On top of that, battery power technology is better as well – which means you’re spending a lot less money to provide a lot more energy from the sun, a 100% free and completely renewable resource.

Best Portable Solar Generator
The Best Solar Portable Generators on The Market
You’ll need to do plenty of research and due diligence to find the right solar set up for your specific needs. But with more companies getting in on the action, more innovations created every day, and new products are launched all the time you’ll be able to find the perfect solar generator set up for your needs without much hassle or headache.
Available at Amazon

Last update on 2021-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API