2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST SOLAR GENERATORS


Finding the Best Portable Solar Power Generator for Backup Power

We all have times when we wish we had just a little more electricity or power. Whether there was a bad storm or a power outage, or we’re just spending a little extra time in the great outdoors over the weekend, we could use a little more solar energy for our cell phones and small appliances.

Purchasing a portable solar power generator can be the right addition to your home, RV, or shed. Solar energy generation allows you to be prepared even in the worst of circumstances. The local utility company may fail us sometimes, but the sun will always be able to help produce more solar energy.

Best Solar Generators

Award Emblem: Best Solar Generators

A solar-powered generator gives you the flexibility to have solar energy right at your fingertips whenever you need it. The question is, how do you know which portable solar generator is going to work best for you?

We’re attempting to answer that question for you with our detailed ranking of the top six portable solar power generator selections on today’s market. With the increase in popularity among portable solar generator choices, we bet you’ll find some of these options fit your needs perfectly.

Want to know more about what solar power generation can offer you and your home? Find out in the sections below.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Solar Generators

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that solar power generator):


Top 6 Best Solar Generators | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Solar Generators

Weight

Price

Duracell Plug ’N Play Solar Generator

30 pounds

$319.99

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator

103 pounds

$1,599.99

Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator

12 pounds

$229.99

Renogy Firefly All-in-One Solar Generator Kit

12 pounds

$499.99

Renogy Solar Suitcase

27.54 pounds

$279.99

Wagan Solar E Power™ Cube 1500 Solar Generator

84 pounds

$1,199.95

Table: Top 6 Best Solar Generators | Above list is sorted alphabetically



Tips for Selecting a Portable Solar Generator

While not all of the top choices for a solar generator are expensive, you’re still looking at making a large investment that you want to last. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just beginning to investigate the usefulness of solar energy or if you’re an old-time pro. You still need to find the right solar-powered generator for your needs.

Solar Generator

Image source: Pixabay

What should you be looking for when shopping for your portable solar generator? Here are a few tips on selling points you should consider before purchasing a unit for solar electricity generation:

  • Weight: While many of the solar power generator options are designed to be portable, some are easier to move than others. Do you want a solar generator you can pack in your backpack? Deciding how frequently and how far you’ll want to move your portable solar power generator makes a big difference in what weights you should consider.
     
  • Shape: You can find solar generators in any number of shapes, depending on where you plan to store them. Some are easily folded and stashed away. Others are heavier boxes on wheels for quicker transportation.
     
  • Wattage: Consider how much wattage you really need from a solar generator. If you only want to charge your cell phone during a storm, you’ll need significantly less than someone who wants to power their RV or home. The more you plan to power, the higher the wattage you need to consider.
     
  • Sound: No one is going to want to keep a solar power generator around if all it does is make a huge racket. The decibel level should be low on any solar generator you’re considering.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the considerations you may want to make before jumping into solar electricity generation and buying a portable solar generator, it’s a good start.

You’ll need to carefully evaluate which features are going to be the most important to you based on your needs. Why do you want to invest in a solar generator? The answer will determine which model best suits your lifestyle and solar energy generation goals.



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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Solar Generators

Below, please find the detailed review of each generator on our list of portable solar generator choices. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these solar panel generator options to score so highly in our selection ranking.

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Duracell Solar Plug ’N Play Review


Consumers who only need a small wattage solar generator will find a perfect fit with the Duracell Solar Plug ’N Play Solar Generator. This generator features a 30 watt 12-volt solar panel that comes with an AC plug wired directly into your battery box. It can produce up to 600 watts of power, allowing you to light up to ten light bulbs.

This won’t last you for a full weekend without recharging, but it would be good enough to generate electricity for a short period of time during an outage. The Powerpack battery that accompanies the solar panel has a 20amp hour battery. This should be enough time, especially if used conservatively, to get you through a short outage or a small trip into the woods.

The panel itself is weatherproof and can remain outside even in relatively inclement conditions. It has water resistance to withstand the rain and impact resistance to withstand potential hailstorms.

This solar generator isn’t terribly difficult to move around, as the name would imply. It certainly isn’t the most lightweight solar generator, but at 30 pounds, it is easy enough for most consumers to find it highly portable. It is light enough to be hidden away in a backpack for a trip or just toted around the yard as necessary.

Cost of Solar Generator

The cost of this Duracell Solar Plug ’N Play solar generator comes in relatively low. That being said, it does also have a low wattage compared to other potential choices in our ranking of solar generators.

You’ll find it for sale from a variety of outlets online, most notably Amazon.com. The cost of this solar power generator comes in just over $300 through the mega-retailer. You should be good to go with this purchase, as the Duracell portable solar power generator also comes equipped with a 25-year warranty.



Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Review


The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator is ideal for individuals who need a slightly more powerful portable solar generator. This has a 1200Wh 12-volt battery capacity, which can be recharged via AC, 12V, or solar power. Depending on the layout of your home and your need for solar electricity generation, you can even use an AC adaptor and solar panels simultaneously.

Portable Solar Generator

Image Source: Goal Zero

Do you know that you need your solar generator coming up in the near future? You may need to begin preparing your solar panel generator now. Charging it with the wall adaptor can take up to 18 hours to issue a full charge.

Advertised to be almost silent, this portable solar power generator will be ideal for charging small appliances, including:

  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • Mini fridges
  • TV
  • Emergency medical equipment
  • Lights

You won’t be moving this portable solar power generator often. For many individuals, the weight will make constant movement of the Yeti 1250 prohibitive. Coming it at 103 pounds, this portable solar generator is bulky but it has enough solar energy to back up that weight.

Cost of Solar Generator

With cost being a deciding factor for many folks when it comes to a portable solar power generator, this Goal Zero Yeti 1250 may be outside of your price range. The price comes in at $1,599.99 list price through the Goal Zero manufacturer’s website. At the time of this writing, this model was also on sale, which brought the grand total to just $1,249.99.

Keep in mind that the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator does not come with the solar panels necessary to recharge it. They sell a variety of panels you can choose from and each will change the recharge time on your solar-powered generator. If you do not already have a model that would be compatible with the Yeti 1250, this will be an additional expense before you can make the most use of it.

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Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Power Generator Review


A much smaller and less powerful version of the Goal Zero Yeti 1250, this Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Power Generator can still pack a pretty powerful punch when it comes to solar energy. The “plug-and-play” Yeti 150 comes with a 150Wh 12V battery capacity that can be recharged similarly to the Yeti 1250: via AC adaptor, 12V, or through the use of solar panels.

Many of the uses for this portable solar power generator are going to involve much smaller items. For example, you can use it to charge tablets and phones, laptops, DSLR cameras, and possibly even small lights.

Not only that, but it doesn’t require much preparation time in order to give this portable solar generator a full charge. When plugged into the wall, it takes less than twenty hours for the battery to reach full capacity. The ability to recharge via solar panels is more difficult to predict as it depends heavily on the model and functionality of your specific solar panels.

This portable solar power generator is much more easily moved than its pricier and more powerful counterpart. For consumers who were hoping to stash a portable solar generator into their backpack for a hiking trip or camping expedition, the Yeti 150 is a better match. This solar generator weighs just 12 pounds, which makes it very easy to carry.

Solar Generators

Image Source: Goal Zero

Cost of Solar Generator

Individuals who are looking for something on the cheap to begin experimenting with solar powered generator choices will love this Goal Zero Yeti 150. It may not be the most powerful solar generator but it also isn’t the most expensive. The list price clocks in at just $229.99.

Currently, you can receive a small discount in time for the holidays, which brings the total to just $179.99.

If you are planning to use this as a solar generator kit, you will also need to purchase additional solar panels. The solar panel generator cannot work without compatible solar panels accompanying it, even though you do have the capability of charging it via the wall adaptor.

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Renogy Firefly All-in-One Solar Generator Kit Review


Specifically designed to be highly portable, the Renogy Firefly All-in-One Generator Kit is great for off-grid usage or emergency situations. It is a 20W 16Ah system that comes equipped with two 10W solar panels and can hold a maximum of 70W input. You can also charge this portable solar generator via an AC power adaptor.

Packed into a neat and durable box, this solar generator kit comes with everything that you need. The waterproof case helps to protect the 16Ah battery from the elements as you carry all of your equipment in this well-organized and easy-to-carry box.

This unit is great for charging any kind of device under 150W that is equipped with a USB drive or an AC adaptor. You can also easily toggle between AC and DC outputs depending on what you need to utilize most often or at the right time. In an emergency, it can produce up to 175Wh of energy and comes standard with a flashlight on the side.

Much like the Yeti 150, this plug-and-play type of portable solar generator weighs just 12 pounds. It is ideal for camping or spending a weekend out in nature because of how easily it can be transported around with you.

Cost of Solar Generator

The Renogy Firefly All-in-One Generator Kit isn’t necessarily an inexpensive option. The total solar generator kit comes in at $499.99. While this is more than some of the competitors charge for their product, consumers have to consider that these solar generators come with all of the necessary equipment.

You will not need to purchase additional solar panels in order to run these solar generators. In that case, you will find everything you need to begin using and manufacturing your own solar energy immediately.

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Renogy Solar Suitcase Review


Another highly portable solution among solar generators, this Renogy Solar Suitcase makes carrying solar panels simple. This is ideal for individuals who want to take solar energy generation with them as they travel or have it available in the event of an emergency but also don’t want to store a battery.

Portable Solar Power Generator

Image Source: Renogy

The 100 Watt 12V system features two 50W solar panels that fold in half over a 10-foot tray table. When not in use, you can fold up this portable solar generator into a neat suitcase that clips closed. This protects your panels when they’re not in use and provides you with an easy storage solution that doesn’t focus on maintaining the surface of your panels.

If you want this to function more as a portable solar power generator, you can use it to charge gelled, sealed, or flooded batteries.

The system weighs just 27.54 pounds. It is impressively lightweight for two solar panels of this size and the power they are able to generate. Its weight and size make it easy to stow away on a camping trip, in a shed, inside your RV, or even in your hall closet for easy access when you need it.

Cost of Solar Generator

This Renogy Solar Suitcase comes in at a reasonable $279.99 to provide solar power generation whenever you need it. The bonus of this product is that its panels are simple to use on a regular basis without worrying about the necessity of constantly recharging a battery.

The major disadvantage to this system is that it does not come equipped with a battery that can hold your charge. Depending on how much solar power you plan to store up, purchasing additional batteries to have handy could be a costly investment when coupled with the purchase price of these solar generators.



Wagan Solar E Power™ Cube 1500 Solar Generator Review


This Wagan Solar E Power™ Cube 1500 Solar Generator portable solar generator comes equipped with everything a savvy consumer needs to charge their batteries using the sun. All you need to do is unfold the cube to reveal the five solar panels that will recharge the 55 Ah AGM/gel hybrid battery. It also comes with a 1500W AC output power capacity.

The initial charging time can take up to 24 hours with an AC adaptor or 16 hours during peak sunlight to make the most of the solar power generator. This portable solar power generator allows your appliances to run for hours. It can power a 3W LED bulb for over 150 hours and a conventional refrigerator for close to an hour.

Compared to some of the larger solar generators on the market, this unit is still relatively portable. It weighs just 84 pounds and comes on wheels for easier movement and transportation.

This Wagan model also comes with a relatively lengthy warranty. Excluding the battery, this model comes with a two-year warranty. The battery itself has just a six-month warranty.

Cost of Solar Generator

Easily one of the most expensive choices on our ranking of the top solar generators, the Solar E Power™ Cube 1500 Solar Generator costs $1,199.95. However, you do have to keep in mind that this unit includes everything that you need for solar power generation.

You’ll have the solar panels, battery, and easy transportability associated with one of the best solar generators in the industry.


Conclusion—Top 6 Best Solar Generators

When your home or trip is in need of a boost without traditional electricity from the utility company, it’s time to consider some of the best solar generators. Perfect for power outages, camping, or running a shed on electricity, you can find a solar generator that meet your needs.

Keep in mind the weight and transportability of your unit before you buy. You can find some that will stow away easily in a backpack or tucked into a closet. Alternatively, you can also find much larger units that, while portable, are easier left as stationary units.

Portable solar power generator choices are plentiful on today’s market that is focused on sustainable sources of energy. When you evaluate what your own needs and wants are in a model, you can have a better idea of which one meets your expectations.

Our detailed reviews should give you the first step of many when it comes to selecting a solar generator. Let us handle the research for you when it comes to weighing your options.



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