Top 10 Best Solar Generators (Reviews & Guide)

Having a generator is essential for most people as they provide power to your important electronics in the event of a power outage.

For those who enjoy camping, having a generator can help to power your phone, cameras, and lanterns on the go. 

Solar generators are the generator of choice for those who camp as they are quiet, can be powered by the sun, and are usually lightweight and easy to carry

Today, we are going to look at ten of the top 10 best solar generators currently on the market and see exactly what makes them so popular.

Along the way I will answer a few common questions about solar generators and see how they stack up against gas generators.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100

Starting off our list is the tiny Goal Zero Sherpa 100. This small solar generator is best suited for those who are wanting to charge smaller items like cell phones, Go-Pros, and even laptops.

The reason the Sherpa 100 is so popular is due to its small size and easy to transport design.

This makes it easy for campers, hikers, and even tailgaters to transport it around without it being in the way.

At only 1.9lbs, you can easily throw it in your backpack without having to worry about lugging around a bunch of extra weight.

*** Solar panels sold separately here ***

Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Charge Times:

  • Wall Charger (45W): 3 hours
  • Car Charger (30W): 4 hours
  • Nomad 13 Solar Panel: 15-30 Hours
  • Nomad 20 Solar Panel: 10-20 Hours

The Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Can Charge:

  • Smartphone 6-8 Recharges
  • POV Camera 18 Recharges
  • Headlamp 16-32 Recharges
  • Tablet 2-4 Recharges
  • Laptop 1-2 Recharges

The Goal Zero Sherpa 100 only has 24 reviews on Amazon at the time of the writing, however, of those 24, they are all 5 star reviews.

This is a promising sign that this solar generator is being loved by all of the reviewers. A perfect score is hard to achieve, but coming from Goal Zero, we wouldn’t expect anything but the best.

They produce high quality generators and have three of the best solar generators on this list alone.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy To Carry
  • Fast Charging Times

Cons

  • Single AC Outlet

Goal Zero Yeti 400

Another solar generator from the Goal Zero family that is popular in the industry is the Yeti 400. The Yeti 400 is the bigger brother of the Yeti 100 and has just about everything you could ever want from a solar generator.

Weighing in at only 29lbs, you can easily carry the 400 around to anywhere you may need it with its integrated handle.

With the ability to charge with three different sources, you can charge it up at home, on the road, or anywhere imaginable with a solar panel.

The Yeti 400’s size is a little bigger than most, but with a square design, storing is quite easy.

The simple layout on the front of the Yeti allows for you to easily find the plug that you need and the color coded outlines help to group each plug type for an aesthetically pleasing display.

The LCD screen is easy to read and makes checking the vitals of the 400 quick and easy.

Goal Zero offers a 1 year warranty on all new Goal Zero Yeti 400 Power Stations

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Charge Times:

  • Wall Charger (72W): 5 Hours
  • Car Charger (30W): 13 Hours
  • Nomad 28 Plus Solar Panel: 23-58 Hours
  • Boulder 50 Solar Panel: 13-32 Hours
  • Boulder 100 Solar Panel: 6.5-16 Hours
  • Nomad 100 Solar Panel: 6.5-16 Hours
  • Boulder 200 Solar Panel: 4-8 Hours (NOTE: Connecting the Yeti 400 to the
  • Boulder 200 Briefcase requires an Anderson to 8mm Connector cable)

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Can Charge:

  • Smartphone 20+ Recharges
  • POV Camera 70+ Recharges
  • Headlamp 70+ Recharges
  • Tablet 10+ Recharges
  • Laptop 3-5 Recharges
  • Light-a-Life 130 Hours
  • Mini Fridge 7 Hours
  • 32 LCD TV 3 hours

Boasting nearly 400 reviews on Amazon, the Goal Zero 400 has definitely made a name for itself. While not all of these reviews are great, it still retains a 4 out of 5 stars which is pretty impressive for the amount of reviews it has.

Taking a closer look at the negative reviews, there doesn’t seem to be on problem that stands out as a common issue. With the one year warranty, I am pretty confident that any issues that may arise can’t be solved pretty quickly.

Pros

  • Very Easy To Use
  • Quiet Operation
  • Very Lightweight

Cons

  • Charging Time Could Be Shorter

Inergy Kodiak 1100W Solar Powerbank

As one of the most powerful solar generators on this list, the Kodiak 1100 watt generator is also one of the lightest. At a mere 20lbs, it’s hard to believe that it is capable of 1100Wh at peak capacity. With this type of power, you can keep larger appliances running longer.

Taking a look at the Kodiak 1100, you can tell just how durable it is. With a shoulder strap and a rugged handle, carrying the Kodiak around is a breeze.

With three different ways to charge this generator, you can easily keep it charged through the included wall charger, your car cigarette lighter, or an external battery pack.

When checking out the available outlets on this generator, you will quickly realize that it offers the most outlets on this list.

You can power up everything you need with 7 AC outputs, 4 USB outputs, 2 12V VDC Outputs, and a single locking 30 amp output.

1100W KODIAK powerbank above solar panels

The Kodiak 1100 Features:

  • Cell Type: Lithium Ion
  • Peak Capacity: 1100Wh
  • 3 Different Ways To Charge
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Shelf Life: Up To 10 Years
  • Power Pack Dimensions – 14″W x 7″H x 8″D
  • AC Outputs – 7
  • USB Outputs – 4
  • 12 VDC Outputs – 2
  • 30 Amp Output – 1 

Inergy offers a 1 year warranty on this Kodiak 1100 Power Station.

The Inergy Kodiak 1100 Charge Times:

  • Wall Charger (45W): 11 hours
  • Car Charger (30W): 5 hours
  • Solar Panel: Unavailable

Looking at the customer reviews on the Kodiak 1100 solar generator, there are a lot of questions that can be raised. With only 33 reviews on Amazon at the time of this writing, it only holds a 3.5 star rating out of 5 stars.

While this isn’t terrible, it’s not as great as others on this list.

Pros

  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Plenty Of Outlets
  • Fast Charge

Cons

  • Price is a little steep

Jackery Explorer 160

Jackery is well known in the solar generator space offering many different sized generators.

Their characteristic black and orange color offers a very clean look and their integrated handle make carrying around this 20lb generator easy.

The Explorer 160 is a great way to charge up your smaller electronics and offers 3 USB ports for most cell phone and small camera chargers.

One big downfall for its size is the single three prong outlet.

However, it does have a built in flashlight to allow for ease of use in the dark. A huge plus if you plan to use this in emergency situations.

*** Solar panel sold separately here ***

woman carrying a portable battery while on a hike

One of the most impressive parts of the Jackery lineup is that they offer an industry leading 2 year warranty on their solar generators.

This really shows how much their company stands behind their products and should give anyone the confidence to run one without any worries.

The Jackery Explorer 160 Features:

  • Cell Type: Li-NMC
  • Pack Capacity: 167Wh
  • LCD Info Screen
  • Weight: 3.84 lbs
  • Power Pack Dimensions – 7.4” x 4.5” x 6.7”
  • Built In LED Flashlight
  • 1 – USB-C Port
  • 2 – USB-A Ports
  • 1 – 12V DC Output 6mm
  • 1 – Charging Input 8mm

Jackery offers an industry leading 2 year warranty on all of their solar generators.

Jackery is well known for their high quality solar generators and the online reviews for the Explorer 160 really back that up. With nearly 240 reviews currently on Amazon, the 160 retains an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars.

To add even more recognition, out of all of these reviews, a staggering 88% of these are a 5 star review. This is one of the highest 5 star ratings I have personally seen.

Pros

  • Very Lightweight
  • Integrated Flashlight
  • Easy to carry around

Cons

  • No Cigarette Lighter outlet

Jackery Explorer 240

If the Explorer 160 just doesn’t give you the things that you need, but you like the Jackery style, the Explorer 240 might be a more suitable fit. With a peak capacity of 240Wh, you get more available power in the same great size. Weighing in at only 6.6lbs, transporting this generator is easy for just about anyone.

The Explorer 240’s power outlets look relatively similar to the 160 except you lose one USB port but gain a cigarette lighter outlet.

This is great for those who need to charge items that are usually charged in a car.

This is a great generator for those wanting to charge small appliances or electronics.

Much like the Explorer 160, you will get three different charging options including using the wall charger, car charger, or an optional 50w solar panel.

The main difference here is the charging time due to the 240’s larger peak capacity.

The Jackery Explorer 240 Features:

  • Cell Type: Li-ion NMC
  • Peak Capacity: 240Wh
  • LCD Info Screen
  • Weight: 3.84 lbs
  • Power Pack Dimensions – 7.4” x 4.5” x 6.7”
  • Built In Handle
  • 2 – USB Ports
  • 1 – 12V AC Output 6mm
  • 1 – 12V Car Cigarette Lighter Output
  • 1 – Charging Input 8mm

Jackery offers an industry leading 2 year warranty on all of their solar generators.

Just like the Explorer 160, the 240 holds the same 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.

The only difference is that the 240 has about twice the amount of reviews as the 160 showing just how popular mid range solar generators are.

This type of rating really drives home the high level of quality you can expect from Jackery. 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Integrated Flashlight
  • Easy to carry
  • List Item #1

Cons

  • No Cigarette Lighter Outlet

Suaoki 150

For those of you on a budget who don’t need just a ton of power, the Suaoki 150 can offer everything you could need in a lower priced generator.

Hovering around the $125 mark, the 150 is a great buy for those needing a simple solar generator that can be used on their next camping trip, hike, or other adventures.

Marketed as a camping generator that can be used for road trips or emergency backup, the Suaoki 150 can easily power up your phone, laptop, radios, and even a few go-pros.

The sleek design helps to compliment the compact design, however, there seems to be plenty of unused space that I think could have been filled in with more power outlet options.

Don’t let the Suaoki 150’s small size fool you, this little generator can keep you and your electronics going throughout your whole camping trip. It is small enough to throw into a backpack but still large enough to hold it’s S270 lithium battery.

The Suaoki 150 Features:

  • Cell Type: S270 Lithium
  • Pack Capacity: 150Wh
  • 3 Recharge Modes
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs
  • Easy To Use Handles
  • Power Pack Dimensions – 7 x 4.5 x 5 in 
  • Foldable Carry Handles
  • Double Barrel Flashlight
  • 4x DC output ports (12V/10A, Max 15A in total)
  • 2x AC outlets (110V)
  • 1x QC 3.0 USB
  • 3x USB ports (5V/2.1A)
  • 2x Flashing lights for emergency
  • 2x Status indicators

Suaoki offers a 2 year limited warranty on all new Suaoki 150 generators purchased from authorized Suaoki sellers.

Another highly rated and very popular solar power station is the Suaoki 150. With a review count of over 400 Amazon customer reviews, this power station is obviously a fan favorite.

With an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars, it’s safe to say that most people do not regret purchasing this solar generator.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact Design
  • Foldable Handles
  • List Item #1

Cons

  • Power Cord Is Too Short

Renogy Phoenix 210

The Renogy Phoenix is unlike any other solar generator on this list. While most solar generators require that you purchase a separate solar panel, the Phoenix 210 has solar panels built right into the generator.

Simply open the briefcase like enclosure and your generator is ready to charge in the sunlight.

Weighing in at only 12.78lbs, the built in handles allow you to take this Renogy solar generator just about anywhere.

At about the size of a dictionary, you could even put this generator into a backpack if you have the room.

This all in one generator features 4 USB outlets, 2 DC outputs, an AC outlet, and one cigarette style outlet.

solar inverter charging a smartphone

It has a relatively quick wall and car charging time of about 5 hours while the built in solar panel take about 15 hours to charge.

You can charge it quicker with an additional solar panel as well.

The Renogy Phoenix 210 Features:

  • All In One Solar System
  • Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • Pack Capacity: 210Wh
  • MPPT Charging Technology
  • Weight: 12.78 lbs
  • Built In Solar Panels
  • Power Pack Dimensions – 16.14 x 13.77 x 3.89 inches
  • DC Output:2 x 12V@3A max (6A Total)
  • USB Output:4 x 5V@2.4A max (6A Total)
  • Cigarette Socket:12V 12.5A

Renogy offers a 1 year warrant on the accessories, and a 5 year warranty on the solar panel workmanship and materials. You also get a 25 year power output warranty.

Due to the all in one solar station that Renogy offers in their Phoenix 210 generator, it is no surprise that it holds a solid 4.3 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. With over 100 reviews, the Phoenix 210 is making its way up to the rankings of Goal Zero and Jackery.

Pros

  • All In One System
  • Included Solar Panels
  • Plentu of Outlets

Cons

  • Single AC Outlet

KYNG 500W Solar Power Station

Leading the pack on outlet selection is the KYNG 500w. This solar generator offers more outlets than any other generator on this list which makes it a great option for those looking to power multiple devices at the same time. 

At a mere 8lbs, this generator looks heavier than what it actually is.

The built in handles allow you to easily move it from location to location with ease. With three different ways to charge this generator, you have the ability to use it just about anywhere. 

With the lightweight and wide variety of outlets to choose from, you would think this was enough for most people.

However, the KYNG 500w also features built in led lights to be used as flashlights for blackouts, camping, or darker situations. 

The KYNG 500w Features:

  • Peak Capacity: 288Wh/500W (1000W Peak)
  • 3 Ways To Charge
  • Weight: 8.3 lbs
  • Plenty Of Outlets
  • Power Pack Dimensions – 14 x 9.4 x 6.4
  • Includes Free Solar Panel Cable
  • 1x 500W Kyng Power Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
  • 1x AC Charging Cable
  • 1x DC Charging Cable
  • 1x MC4 Adapter Cable FREE (solar cable)
  • 1x Car Charging Cable
  • 4x DC 12V Ports
  • 4x USB Ports
  • 3x AC Outlets
  • 1x Cigarette Outlet
  • 1W LED Flashlight

KYNG offers an 18 month warranty on all new KYNG 500w Power Stations.

Checking out the buyer feedback on Amazon for the KYNG 500w solar generator, it seems that it may be one of the undiscovered gems on this list. With a mere 30 reviews, it still shines with a 4.6 out of 5 star rating. I personally think the bulky look may hold this generator back from potential purchases. 

Pros

  • Wide Variety Of Outlets
  • Built-in Lamps
  • Easy To Carry
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Sort Of Bulky

Rockpals 250W

The Rockpals 250w solar generator is a great generator for those who need more power than a sub 200 generator, but don’t need a 500w.

With a nice variety of power outlets, it’s easy to charge any necessities you need during an emergency situation.

At only 8lbs and sporting an easy carry handle, you can carry this solar generator with you just about anywhere.

The size is small enough to throw into a backpack if you don’t mind adding the extra weight. With short charging times and long lasting charges, this generator is going to be perfect for those on extended camping trips away from electrical sources.

The MPPT technology and Lithium Polymer batteries help to make for a solid performing solar generator.

Charging can be done three ways like most of the generators on this list and all of the needed chargers are included minus a solar panel.

The pure sine wave inverter is a little noisy when compared to other generators but nothing that will disturb your camping trip.

The Rockpals 250w Features:

  • MPPT Technology
  • Lithium Polymer Batteries
  • Pack Capacity: 240Wh 
  • Single Cell Equivalent Capacity: 64,800mAh @3.7V
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • Power Pack Dimensions – L 10 x W 4 x H 6 inch
  • Recharges 3 Ways
  • 1 x AC Power Adapter
  • 1 x Car Charger
  • 1 x Cigar Lighter Plug
  • Solar Panel Sold Separately
  • 2 – 120V AC Outlets
  • 4 – 12V DC Outlets
  • 2 – USB Outlets
  • 1 – DC Input

Rockpals offers an 18 month warranty on all new Rockpals 250w Portable Power Stations.

With over 230 Amazon reviews and a 4.4 out of 5 star rating, the Rockpals 250 solar generator is a contender for the best solar generator on this list. Some of the biggest highlights that customers focused on were easy to use, light weight, and a great value for your money.

Pros

  • Pure Sine Wave
  • 18 Months Warranty
  • Quiet

Cons

  • No Cigarette Lighter Outlet

Goal Zero Yeti 1250

Last but not least, one of the most powerful solar generators on our list is the Goal Zero Yeti 1250. At first glance, it may seem like the 1250 is too much to deal with, especially with it weighing in at 103lbs. However, it comes with a handle and cart to make for easy transporting.

Most of the generators on our list are not suited for powering larger appliances so if you are needing something that can power things such as TVs or a refrigerator, this generator might be your best bet. The Yeti 1250 can power a fridge for 20+ hours on a single charge.

The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 has enough power as it is, but if you are needing even more, you can take advantage of its ability to get twice the amount of power.

The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Features:

  • Cell Type: AGM Lead Acid
  • Pack Capacity: 1200Wh (12V, 100Ah)
  • Chainable
  • Weight: 103 lbs
  • Comes With Roll Cart, Handle, And Wheels
  • Power Pack Dimensions – 11 x 16 x 14.5 in (27.9 x 40.6 x 36.8 cm)
  • USB port (output): 5V, up to 2.1A (10.5W max), regulated
  • 6mm port (output): 12V, up to 6A (72W max)
  • 12V car port (output): 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
  • 12V power pole port (output): 12V, up to 33A (400W max)
  • AC inverter (output, pure sine wave): 110VAC 60Hz, 10A (1200W continuous, 1500W surge max)
  • Charging port (input, 8mm): 16-48V, up to 10A (160W max)
  • Power pole charging port (input): 16-48V, up to 20A (320W max)
  • Power pole chaining port: 12V, up to 180A (2100W max)

Goal Zero offers a 1 year warranty on all new Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Power Stations

The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Charge Times:

  • Wall Charger (72W): 18 Hours
  • Car Charger (30W): 44 Hours
  • Boulder 50 Solar Panel: 36-96 Hours
  • Boulder 100 Solar Panel: 18-48 Hours
  • Boulder 200 Solar Panel: 9-24 Hours

To no surprise, the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 only has around 60 reviews on Amazon. It’s not that I think it’s not a popular generator, it’s just that at the higher capacity, the need for one this large is not as great. It boasts a 3.8 out of 5 stars, which is a little disappointing since most people complained of battery life. 

Pros

  • Can Power Larger Items
  • Plenty Of Outlets
  • Easy To Chain

Cons

  • Large Design/Will Require More Storage Area

Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time buying a solar generator, you may have a few questions before making your initial investment.

After all, there is a lot of information to soak in on this article regarding each of these products. 

Buying a generator that is too small can cause inadequate power when you need it the most. Having more power than you need is always a good thing, but how much extra is too much to where you are potentially wasting money?

We are going to look at a few of the most commonly asked questions to help give you a better idea of how a solar generator can benefit you. 

How Does A Solar Generator Work?

A solar generator is a generator that uses solar power to charge up the batteries inside the generator. 

While a solar generator can usually be charged with a power cord or cigarette lighter style plug, a solar panel offers an off-the-grid way to get electricity. 

A solar panel absorbs sunlight and converts it to clean energy through a battery and inverter. These generators are equipped with common outlets such as DC, AC, USB, and cigarette style plugs. 

By using a solar generator, you can charge and power cell phones, cameras, laptops, lanterns, and other small electronics anywhere you have access to sunlight. 

What Size Solar Generator Do I Need?

Solar generators, much like gas generators are sold in many shapes and sizes.

The size of the generator you will need will require you to figure out what you will be powering with your generator. 

For most small electronics, a 150w is going to be the most cost efficient option.

It is small enough to toss in a backpack and will easily keep your phones and POV cameras charged. 

If you are needing to power small refrigerators or a TV, then a 250,500, or 1000w may be a better option. 

This guide lists out many of the most popular electronics and what their charge times will be for each generator. 

You can use my own calculator to estimate your needs.

Should I Get A Solar Or Gas Generator?

One of the most common questions that comes up when people are researching generators is gas vs solar. 

Gas generators tend to be more powerful and are best suited for higher energy demands. Gas generators are great for home backup power and job sites. 

The downfalls of gas generators are that they are loud, will need a gas source, and create dangerous fumes.

Gas generators will require an open air climate to ensure the exhaust gases do not harm anyone. 

Solar generators are a little less powerful and are great solutions for charging up small electronics.

These are ideal for camping or in home use during blackouts as they are quiet and produce no harmful exhausts. 

So if you are needing more power or on demand power for tools, a gas generator will be your best bet. For those who just want to charge up small electronics, a solar generator will get the job done quietly and safely. 

Conclusion

Now that I have reviewed some of the most popular solar generators currently on the market, I hope you have all of the information you need to make a purchasing decision. 

Note that most of these solar generators will require the purchase of a separate solar generator.

You will want to choose a name brand, high quality solar panel to ensure your generator is protected.

Just like gas generators, even the best solar generators will require some maintenance to keep them running efficiently.

So protect your investment with preventative maintenance.

Have you used a solar generator before? What benefits did you notice over a traditional gas generator? What are the most important features you look for in a solar generator?

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