Standard generators are difficult to use, immobile, and produce a lot of fumes. Fortunately, over the last few years, a lot has changed to the extent that we now have noiseless and portable generators. As if that is not enough, there are portable power units that can be carried to picnic, camping, and even relied on in case of emergencies.
However, not all of them live up to their promises; hence you need to choose a top performing unit that will offer a long-term service. This process may involve going through many reviews and comparing ratings, which is quite time-consuming. So to help you avoid this hassle, we unveil a comprehensive guideline on how to find the best portable power station.
When looking to buy, chances of getting a low-quality model are very high. This is because, there are hundreds, if not thousands of options available on the market. However, when armed with the right information, you can easily identify a flop from a distance!
How to Buy the Best Solar Generator
The first thing to check is its Wattage. Depending on what your energy requirements are, this will determine your option. Portable solar generators vary according to watt level; from 4-400 watts- there is something for everyone. However, run away from portable solar generators with low wattage as they will not offer you enough service despite them being cheaper.
The second thing to check is weight especially if you are planning to carry this unit when going for long distance hikes. A solar panel weighing 35 pounds will be a heavier option if you are going for hikes, however, if you are going for camping, it can be a better option.
Lastly, consider additional units that your solar system needs. There are some portable solar generators you will buy that will require the purchase of separate accessories such as an external battery, wall sockets, or USB plugs. A comprehensive solar system is better than one requiring separate accessories, but it all depends on your preferences.
Before we narrow down to the best units on the market, let’s discuss the factors you need to consider when buying a portable solar generator;
Mobility factor should be paramount. Only an easy-to-move portable solar generator is going to ease your burden when traveling and exploring outdoor environment. Our advice to you is to go for a solar generator designed in style of briefcase or suitcase; it makes moving easier.
Ensure it is sturdy and has a collapsible design as well as wheels for easier dragging on rough terrains. Fortunately, nearly all best portable solar generator we have reviewed here have moving-friendly cases.
It is not easy to get a lightweight solar system with better energy output. Nearly all high-power portable solar power systems will be heavy because they pack hefty components. It comes with more powerful inverters, solar panels, and huge battery packs. Its casing will also be rugged and large. Ensure to find a quality product that is not too heavy, and at the same time, powerful enough to meet your power requirements.
Durable And Compact
A portable solar generator is simply for traveling with. It is not made to be placed somewhere on a permanent basis but to power up your hiking and outings into the wild. Hence, one key thing to keep in mind is to ensure it is rugged, durable, and solid.
An outdoor enthusiast should go for a solar generator with a sturdy casing. All the components of your solar generator, both internal and external, should be solid, irrespective of whether it has integrated or attached solar panels.
However, some people would prefer standalone solar panels as it allows them place their units outside where there is better sunlight access. The rest of the unit can be safely kept in condo or camping tent.
Expandable Solar Panels
You may need more energy output in future, and thus you should keep your options open. That’s why you need to pick a model that is expandable; one that can accommodate extra batteries and solar panels. Obviously, it offers you the benefit of adding up to its output when you need more energy. Some models can accommodate additional panels and battery, thus enabling you to increase power output.
There is a wide range of products in solar generator market, and it can be tricky to find a suitable product, and so we are here to help you.
It weighs just 12 pounds with the dimensions of 9 x 5.5 x 9.2 making it your most suitable generator in your next camping trip or as a home back up in case of emergencies. The amazing unit offers 5v DC USB output, 120v AC for regular home appliances as well as 12v DC for battery charging. With the widest voltage, you can depend on it for almost every accessory such as Smartphones, Tablet, iPad, LED lights and HDTV, to say the least. You can also use it in your office for devices such as Printers and projectors.The reputable generator can easily be powered from a DC car charger, solar charger or AC Wall Outlet. For AC wall outlets with 120w, the unit takes just 4 hours to attain full charge. For DC car charger with 48w, you’ll need 8 hours to charge fully. A solar charger with 120w will need 4 hours, and you’re good to go.
The unit also features a durable Samsung Lithium battery cell that offers you excellent service as compared to other brands. This is more durable, safer, and lighter and has a longer lifespan. Better yet, the batter is your source of environmentally friendly and reliable power. The PowerOak Powerhouse 400wh is one of the best portable generators generating 220 watts of continuous power. It includes a built-in AC inverter that offers 300W through two 115volts AC outlets. The additional plus is that there are 4 USB ports for the cell phones and tablets as well as other two DC outlets to power 12V appliances.
“It also boasts numerous other advanced features such as an LED signal that shows the generators’ remaining capacity. Once the charge is full, all the battery segments will be lit. Worried about overcharging? The unit comes with an inbuilt advanced system control to prevent that.
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While this generator is fantastic, it still has some limitations. It has limited power, but that can be expected for generators with the 400-watt-hour range. That means you cannot charge larger appliances like refrigerators and therefore, not a suitable choice if you’re looking for a whole hour backup generator.”
- Very light and easy to move about.
- Has a monitor that’s easy to read
- Durable Li-ion battery
- Has limited power- a 600W version would be excellent.
This portable solar power generator is a small 8-inch system weighing about 30 pounds. It packs a lot of options though. With a sturdy green handle on top, you can carry this unit wherever you are going. However, it can be a bit heavy when you are going for longer trips on foot. It best suits camping activities or for use as an emergency power backup option at home.The Goal Zero Yeti 400 can store 400 watts on a full charge and offer several power options. With two sockets for powering devices such as a TV or CPAP as well as USB option for your laptop or cell phone, this unit is highly versatile.
Once power is stored in this portable solar system, you can charge your small appliances as quickly as an electric wall socket. A device like a headlamp can be recharged for up 100 times, while a laptop can be recharged around 3-5 times. For appliances that require a lot more energy, it might be best to go for a solar power kit that has higher total wattage.
The major concern with Goal Zero Yeti 400 is that it is not a complete solar power kit; it is a power pack. However, connecting a solar panel to this device is quite simple, but you have to purchase it separately. The tiniest solar panels on the market will fully charge this portable solar generator from Goal Zero in 40-80 hours, while larger panels will complete the task in as little as nine hours. This is a versatile machine, but it might not be convenient if you are looking for a lightweight unit to go for hikes with.
“The Goal Zero Yeti 400 is ideal for a camping trip. It can be kept at your camping site while you go on an excursion. It can repower important devices and works with most third-party solar panels. You can charge it in wall socket before leaving for your camping activities. It is a good option for keeping around your home for emergency situations.”Want To View The Reviews Yourself, Click Here
- It can power multiple devices
- Easy to maintain
- Easy to carry thanks to its convenient pop-up handle
- It comes with a USB port, a 12V carport, a 6mm port, a power pole charging port, and an AC inverter; all the ports you need
- Goal Zero offers only six months warranty which is quite a short guarantee
- Could be a bit heavy for people going for long-distance hikes
It produces a beeping sound that alerts you when it is time to recharge your portable solar generator. The fume-free and silent Goal Zero Yeti 150 is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use since it doesn’t have any pesky cords. This small unit works well when it’s dark and cold outside and during power outages.Just like its name suggests, this portable generator is a 150Wh machine that packs a 14Ah battery inside; it is basically a power bank and only becomes a portable solar generator when you attach it to solar panels.
“You can change it either from a car charger or outlet in case you haven’t purchased solar panels. For campers, Goal Zero Yeti 150 is a perfect choice. It is lightweight and very handy for people who are looking for a power generator to charge their small gadgets.”Want To View The Reviews Yourself, Click Here
- Has a super-light design that makes it a perfect mobile solution. Weighing only 12lbs- inclusive of its internal battery, this unit is highly portable
- Has a convenient pop-up handle on its top making it stylish and easy to move with
- USB connectivity makes charging other devices with a USB port a breeze
- It cannot power DC devices
- It offers only one AC power port unlike most of its competitors that have at least two AC power ports
- It is not chainable to another model to increase runtime
The portable unit features a tough, drop-tested aluminum cover that offers an excellent balance between lightness and durability. This is a bonus for something that’s most likely going to be used for outdoor activities like camping and hiking. Better yet, each of the Anker Powerhouse 400w components looks well built from the buttons to the feel. The last thing you want is your most valuable accessory breaking down in the middle of nowhere. To back up the quality guarantee, the Powerhouse unit includes an 18-month warranty and an additional bonus of a lifetime technical support.
The unit also has a Battery Management System (BMS) which aims at protecting your devices as well as appliances. With such power in the battery, it can be a tricky affair if not carefully dispensed. Without proper care, it can shorten the life of the battery itself or even damage your important devices. The BMS offers accurate temperature control and precise voltage depending on the device plugged in. To ensure that your devices are always safe, it has short circuit prevention.
The Anker Powerhouse is also perfect for traveling as it has a compact design. It has dimensions of 7.9 x 6.5 x 5.7 inches but is quite heavy weighing 9 pounds. The good thing is it can easily fit inside your car or boat, and you can carry it by hand for shorter distances.
“The unit offers three power output options to give you freedom in deciding how you power your devices. The main output features a 110V AC outlet that can power devices of up to 120W. This is for smaller appliances like mini-fridges and small fans. The other one is a 12V cigarette-lighter socket which supports small appliances and devices. There are four charging USB ports that can charge any phone where they use PowerIQ technology to power devices quickly and safely.
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Despite its impressive power capacity, Anker Powerhouse 400 doesn’t have a solar charger option which would offer an additional recharging option. The company has promised to offer that which would make this unit amazing. It, therefore, cannot charge larger appliances but it’s a great back up for your home.”
- Offers numerous ports to charge devices
- Has versatile power output
- Has Battery management system for safety
- Cannot charge larger appliances due to limited power
- Quite heavy
This portable solar generator provides safe power unlike conventional generators as it provides pure sine wave same as your electric home outlet. With this unit, you can rest assured that all your electronic devices and delicate appliances are safe.
It is highly versatile and can accommodate most of your devices. With 220v AC outlet that has three spikes, another 220V AC for your home appliances, two 12v DC outlet to charge your electronic devices with batteries, as well as two USB ports to charge your iPads, iPhone, and tablets, this unit is truly versatile.
I guess no one want a noisy generator in outdoor environment in exchange for power. Fortunately, the Suaoki Portable Solar Generator operates quietly, and you can hardly hear it running. You can enjoy camping with your friends and family on a quiet night.This portable solar generator from Suaoki is highly portable and is definitely a favorite option to go for hikes and camping with. With only 2.59KG and dimension of 250mm by 86mm by 160mm, this unit is highly portable. With a highly compact casing design and convenient handle on top, you can carry this unit around with ease.
It is solidly built to withstand rough terrain in an outdoor environment for a long period of time. It doesn’t matter whether you take it for a ride in rugged or smooth places, you can be sure that it will withstand the knocks and scratches on its aluminum alloy shell body while delivering enough power to light up your surrounding and charge your electronic accessories.
The Suaoki Portable Solar Generator offers you two options to charge it. You can either charge it with 15-volt solar panels or plug it into your AC home outlet. However, you should be aware that this unit doesn’t come with a solar panel; you will need to purchase it separately.
“When it comes to operating this unit, you don’t have to be a licensed electrician to operate this unit. It is presented in easy to use form and has no complicated wiring. It provides enough voltage to power your appliances without harming them. When an overload arises, this unit will automatically shut down.”Want To View The Reviews Yourself, Click Here
- It produces cleaner and safer sine wave
- It is a portable power source
- High capacity power
- It is highly compatible with more gears
- Compatible with many third-party solar panels
- Only the DC output can function; USB ports and inverter can only run with solar input
- It is compact and lightweight and comes with a convenient carrying handle on its top
- It produces up to 200 watts through its two AC outputs
- Battery management system extends the life of its battery and reduces the risks of overheating
- Does not come with a solar panel and you need to purchase it separately
Outlets and outputs on this generator can accommodate all the smaller appliances that you need powered in case of a power outage at home. You can easily carry out in camping or hiking activities to power your tablet, medical devices, or laptop. All the outlets are clearly marked.It can recharge your lantern to provide light for up to 45 hours and can recharge a laptop up to two times. You can use the included adaptors to charge it via an electrical outlet or car’s cigarette lighter. It doesn’t come with a solar panel, and you have to purchase it separately to enable it charge while outside.
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- It works with smaller electronics like smartphones, laptop, and tablet
- Has a digital display to show the remaining battery power
- Comes with equipment for recharging it via a cigarette lighter, wall outlet, or via solar power
- It is not strong enough to power large appliances such as microwave and refrigerators
Benefits of Having a Portable Solar Generator
- It is cost effective. Since it uses power of the sun and not fuel or electricity, makes it a cost-effective option.
- A portable solar generator is eco-friendly. We all talk about how air pollution, noise pollution, and harmful radiations are destroying out planets, but do we take necessary steps to minimize these problems? By buying a portable solar generator, you will be making a little contribution towards reducing pollutions. Your little contribution will go a long way towards saving this planet.
- They are easy to maintain. Solar generators do not call for massive repair or complicated installation. They are user-friendly.
- They do not create noise pollution which is a big relief.
The Bottom Line
The best way of avoiding noise, fumes, and ongoing running cost as well as maintenance cost of gas-powered portable generators is to go with a portable solar generator. These above are the top-rated portable solar generators in 2018; they are easy to use and highly efficient. Solar generator is the future and the present as well; you will never have to see dark days outdoors again. It is time to go the environment-friendly way by buying the best portable solar generator now; save fuel and this planet.