The idea of disappearing from the world for a while to get away from all the hustle of modern life is certainly satisfying. However, one of the trickiest aspects of going off-grid is to find a reliable, consistent source of power to juice up your stuff while you cut ties with traditional networks.
Fortunately, you can trust solar generators for a steady flow of clean and renewable energy to keep your gadgets and appliances powered up. These portable devices are quite durable and powerful and often come with impressive features to get you through the worst of weather conditions.
If you are new to this topic and are overwhelmed by the sheer number of options, this guide will cover some tried and tested solar generators, with stellar features, and performance. It should set the stage for all your solar generator, and off-grid living needs.
7 Best Solar Generators for Off-Grid Living in 2022
We have researched and listed some of the best solar generators for off-grid living you can choose from.
There is no one-size-fits-all, so make sure to go through the features, and intricacies of each one, before selecting the one that best suits your requirements.
1. Jackery Solar Generator 1000 – Best Overall
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Jackery is a reliable brand known for its efficient and affordable range of solar generators. This self-powered solar generator is perfect for anybody looking for a portable, off-grid source of power.
It delivers 1000W of power for charging phones, laptops, and other devices and appliances. It features two USB ports and an AC outlet.
The generator itself is quite lightweight and portable and it comes with two solar panels. It packs a massive capacity to power your heater, TV, refrigerator, grill, and other appliances for your outdoor needs.
It is also a clean and quiet generator for a sustainable solution for off-grid living conditions.
- High energy efficiency
- USB connection for quick charging
- Lightweight and portable
- Rugged and durable design
- Includes solar panels
- High price for value
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2. Jackery Solar Generator 240 – Best Value For Money
[amazon box=”B08LDBSGM5″ title=”Jackery Solar Generator 240″]
An excellent choice for those with moderate power requirements for off-grid living, the portable solar generator can be quickly carried to the outdoors for powering up your devices.
It holds up to 240W of power which is sufficient for charging laptops, smartphones, and other small gadgets. With two USB ports, you can charge multiple devices at once.
What makes this generator perfect for off-grid living is its lightweight and portable design. It packs a Li-ion battery that weighs only 6.5 lbs.
It also comes with an ergonomic handle that makes it easy to carry around. It can be recharged with the solar panel and even with a car or wall outlet.
- Portable and lightweight
- Built-in MPPT controller
- Charging and recharging at the same time
- Overcurrent protection
- Affordable price
- Output wattage can be unstable at times
- Cannot charge devices above 200W
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3. Anker Portable Power Station – Best Portability
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One of the most advanced solar generators for off-grid living, this portable power station from Anker provides a 388Wh capacity to facilitate multiple charges to mobile devices and laptops. It comes with a number of ports including a fast-charging USB to power up to 8 gadgets at once.
The solar generator is highly portable and easy to carry around. It has a durable, rugged construction to withstand the wear and tear from outdoor use and weather elements. It even has a big LED display that allows keeping track of key details about your usage.
- High-speed recharging
- Built-in flashlight
- Advanced charging
- Multiple output ports
- Lightweight and compact
- Poor customer service
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4. EF Ecoflow Portable Power Station Delta – Best Versatility
[amazon box=”B083FR3762″ title=”EF Ecoflow Portable Power Station Delta”]
This is a versatile and efficient solar generator that packs a lot of capacity to power all your devices and appliances at once during your off-grid living.
It features six AC outlets and multiple USB ports to charge laptops, cameras, smartphones, refrigerators, and other gadgets without any hassle.
The lithium-ion battery pack can be charged by a solar panel, car charger, or AC wall adapter. With a built-in MPPT algorithm, the power station achieves a full charge in just a few hours.
Moreover, it is extremely lightweight and compact and can be carried to outdoor sites easily.
- Multiple outputs
- Fast recharging
- Triple rechargeable modes
- Handy and portable
- Quiet and clean
- Huge power generation
- Can be unreliable at times
- Quite expensive
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5. Goalzero Yeti 3000X Portable Power Station – Best Charging Speed
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This portable solar generator boasts a high conversion rate which ensures you can charge your devices efficiently and quickly.
With seven different port options including a fast-charging USB, it allows for powering a number of appliances and gadgets at once. You can use it to charge your refrigerators, wood-fired grills, and electric bikes.
Goalzero is one of the most portable and versatile units on this list as it comes with two wheels that let you move it around your campsite without any hassle.
It generates 3000W of power and has an industry-leading inverter that handles surges from appliances. One of the best things about this generator is the ability to monitor and control power usage from a mobile app.
- Durable construction for weather resistance
- Compatibility with a variety of devices
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Efficient and value for money
- Mobile app support
- On the pricier side
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6. BLUETTI Portable Power Station – Best Power
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The perfect choice for those who are looking for a solar generator that can power almost anything, this 2000-watt power station can run a host of devices without any limitation. It is a well-constructed unit featuring a strong and durable steel body with a bracket you can use to stand it up.
The AC200P generator supports AC and solar input and can recharge completely in about 2.5 hours.
It also offers amazing versatility with six AC ports and a number of USB ports that let you charge multiple devices at once. It can power almost all the appliances under 2000W to keep you self-sufficient during off-grid living.
- Quick charging
- Powers 17 devices at a time
- Voltage protections
- Cooling fan
- Efficient recharging
- Hefty and less portable
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7. Westinghouse iGen 600s Portable Power Station – Best Design
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Designed to be feather-light at just 11 pounds, this compact, sturdy, hand-held solar generator is a great companion for outdoor trips where you need to keep your devices charged and ready for action. It is a versatile power station that provides 592Wh of power to address your off-grid needs.
Featuring a convenient carry handle and a lightweight Lithium-ion battery, this model is an excellent choice for off-gridders and campers.
It can keep all your lights, coolers, smartphones, laptops, and drones powered up with multiple USB ports while being quiet and environment-friendly.
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Hand-held design
- Short-circuit protection
- Four charging methods
- Lightweight and compact
- A little on the expensive side
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Advantages of Solar Generators
A solar-powered generator is an excellent way to get consistent energy if you want to work off-grid, or need a reliable source of electricity for an outdoor trip.
These generators run on sunlight, so they are efficient and environment-friendly. They are also designed to be portable and easy to carry around.
Below are some of the most important advantages of using solar generators for off-grid living.
Solar panels allow using free, unlimited energy from the sun to generate electricity with a solar generator. Though it requires an initial investment, these devices prove to be quite cost-effective over time.
Solar energy is also not subject to price fluctuations like other fuels, so once you have your equipment, your cost remains steady.
Moreover, solar energy is readily available as compared to diesel or gasoline, so there is no chance of running out of fuel as long as the sun shines above you.
2. Renewable Energy
Solar generators rely completely on a clean and renewable source of energy. This means you don’t need to worry about the impact on the environment like with other fuels.
Also, they don’t emit any pollutants or make noise, so you can relax knowing that your off-grid living is powered by clean energy.
3. Low Maintenance
Unlike gas and diesel-powered generators, these devices don’t have moving parts. This not just minimizes the amount of noise they make but also reduces the chances of breaking.
Solar generators require quite less maintenance and repair, reducing their running costs to a great extent.
4. No Fumes
The fumes and gases released by conventional fuel-powered generators pose a serious health hazard. Solar-powered generators don’t release any fumes which makes them a safer option for indoor and outdoor use.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Solar Generators
A portable solar power station can prove to be invaluable when you are spending some time off-grid or enjoying an adventure outdoors. They supply clean and reliable energy for your gadgets without producing any harmful elements.
However, there are some factors you should take into consideration when buying a new solar generator, particularly when you are looking to reduce your dependence on the grid. Here are a few things you should consider.
1. Energy Requirements
The top consideration for a solar generator should be the amount of energy you require. If you plan on using it outdoors, you need to calculate how much power your devices and appliances use and then compare it to the capacity of different models to find the best match.
A portable solar generator stores energy captured from a solar panel in a battery and later uses it to power your devices. The battery capacity in Watt Hours decides how powerful the model is.
If you want to run appliances that require higher power, you may need a bigger battery capacity while a small battery is sufficient to power cell phones and cameras.
3. Continuous Watts & Surge Watts
These are the most significant ratings for solar power stations. Continuous watts are the amount of power a generator produces.
See that you add the number of watts per hour required by your devices and multiply it by the number of hours you want to run them to find out how much power you want the generator to produce.
The surge watt rating suggests how well the unit can handle the initial power required to start appliances. This is an important consideration that depends on the appliances you plan to run on the generator.
4. Charge Controllers
These accessories protect the generator’s battery from overcharging and regulate the flow.
Most models use 3-stage charge controllers or MPPT (maximum power point tracking) controllers to avoid damage to the battery from overcharging.
Solar generators come in a variety of designs and weigh in the range of 20 to 200 pounds. The weight of the unit is an important consideration for off-grid living as you need a portable generator that is easy to carry around.
6. Display Screen
Most solar generators today come with an LED screen display to keep you updated about whatever is happening.
With a display, you can know how much electricity the generator gets and stores and the status of the battery.
7. Charging Time
You must pay attention to the time the battery takes to achieve a full charge. It depends on the battery size and solar panel. There are models that can be charged using an AC outlet in the absence of sunlight.
8. Extra Features
You certainly want to get a solar generator that comes with useful features along with portability and capacity.
See that the model you choose has features like power expandability, panels with handles, integrated USB ports, backlit panels, multiple AC outlets, replaceable batteries, and others to add to your convenience.
You can find a wide range of solar generators in the market in different price groups depending on their features and capabilities.
Decent generators are available in the range of $200 to $1000 though they may not include solar panels. Premium models can cost as high as $2000 but boast impressive power capacity.
It is advisable to check the benefits you get from the product warranty. The more reputed the brand, the better perks you are likely to receive for support.
Some of the top options include replacement parts and better warranty coverage. See that you choose a model that has a good warranty period.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we have discussed everything about solar generators for off-grid living, you might have some questions about these devices and their uses. Let us answer a few interesting questions you may want to know.
1. How to calculate the Watts required when buying a solar generator?
Before you decide on the solar generator model for purchase, it is advisable to check what and how many appliances require energy from it. Add the power rating of all your gadgets and appliances like your fan, smartphone, tablet, fridge, laptop, camera, drone, and anything else you want to power up.
Most devices used during off-grid living or outdoor camping have low power consumption, so a portable solar generator with a decent wattage should do the job.
2. What camping gear can be powered using a solar generator?
Solar generators can power up almost any appliance used for camping and off-grid living. The most common gadgets you can power through a generator are flashlights, electric stoves, cooler, coffee machines, mini fans, and others.
3. Can you power appliances in an RV with a solar generator?
Yes, a powerful solar generator should help you power up appliances and devices in an RV when you are living off-grid.
You can power a fridge, TV, blender, fan, music system, stove, and other appliances in an RV with the help of a solar generator.
4. Does a portable solar generator include solar panels?
Not all solar generators come with solar panels included. You must check whether the model includes a solar panel or not before buying it.
If it does not, see if the power station works with proprietary panels or can be connected to solar panels from other brands.
5. Can you run large appliances with a solar generator?
A powerful solar-powered generator can be used to run appliances like TV and fridge. However, they will only run for a few hours, so you should ensure you keep the unit charged properly. If you want to operate bigger appliances, you would need about 2000 W capacity in your power station.
Solar generators are growing in popularity as people look for convenient ways to have a reliable flow of electricity off the grid during outdoor and camping trips.
These best solar generators for off-grid living offer clean energy, low maintenance, sustainability, and portability among other benefits, making them a worthy investment.
However, there are so many options available in the market that it can be confusing to select the best one for purchase. This is why we have created this guide to choosing your solar generator for off-grid living.
Make sure you analyze and compare the features of different models and pick the one that addresses your needs the best.