Top 10 Picks
Solar Generators
Updated December 9, 2022
1
Jackery Explorer 1000 Generator + 2 Solar Panels
Battery Capacity1000Wh
Wattage1,000W
Power SourceSolarBattery
OutletsUSB-C Port x 2Household Outlet (9A) x 3USB Port x 2Car Outlet
Panels100W Solar Panel x 2
Used ForCampingTailgatingHome
Charging Time80% in 6.5 Hours
Clean and Unlimited Solar Energy: 100% green energy with smart MPPT controller for optimal charging efficiency. The power station can be fully charged with 2 Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panels within 6 hrs or only 5.5 hrs via AC wall outlet charging. Ideal for your camping or family emergency storage.
Easy to Use in Seconds: Just one simple touch to finish setup within 60s to enjoy outstanding charging efficiency.
Safe & Reliable for Outdoor Camping: Features industry-leading cylindrical batteries (popular with manufacturers of Electric Vehicles) that meet UL safety standards. Certified with Impact-Resistance Class 9, passing the UL drop test (withstanding 3 drops from 0.9m height on any surface). The pure sine wave inverter delivers constant voltage that protects equipment from damage.
Power Pretty Much Anything: Power 90% home appliances with 1002Wh (1000W AC output power) and 8 outlets (3*AC outlet, 1*USB-A , 1*USB-A quick charge 3.0, 2*USB-C PD, 1*Car outlet). Ideal for outdoor off-grid activities and home backup power to power refrigerator, TV, mini cooler, electric grill, fan, and more for your outdoor and home needs.
Parallel
Weight
22 lbs
MPPT
9.8
JunkieScore
7
Jackery Generator 300 + 2 Solar Panels
Wattage300W
Battery Capacity293Wh
Power SourceSolarBattery
OutletsHousehold Outlet (2.7A) x 2USB-C Port x 2USB Port x 2
Panels100W Solar Panel x 2
Used ForCampingHome
Charging Time3.5 Hours Outlet4.5 Hours Solar
GREEN POWER SUPPLY: The power station is compatible with the Jackery SolarSaga 100 solar panel. The integrated MPPT controller enables the solar generator set to operate at its max power point, so that it speeds up the battery recharge, making them ideal portable power kits for tent camping, overland journey and etc.
SPEED UP YOUR RECHARGEABILITY: It takes only 2 hours to recharge 80% battery of the power station through the wall outlet and 60W PD USB-C port simultaneously. You can also recharge your power station with an AC adapator when at home, through the car outlet during a road trip or simply use a Jackery SolarSaga 100.
SAFE & STEADY POWER SUPPLY: Armed with a 293Wh lithium-ion battery pack, the Explorer 300 features 2 Pure Sine Wave AC outlets that deliver stable and safe 300W power. The portable power station weighs only 7.1 pounds. You can simply rest assured in outdoor off-grid activities.
POWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS: Featuring 2* AC outlet, 1* PD 60W USB-C port (input/output supported) , 1* fast charge 3.0 port, 1*USB-A port and 1* DC car port, the power station can recharge itself and charge (up to) 6 devices (e.g.Drones, Macbook, Cameras, etc.) at the same time to satisfy your outdoor needs.
Weight
7 lbs
9.2
JunkieScore
8
EF ECOFLOW Solar Generator Delta Max (2000) 2016Wh with 160W Solar Panel, 6 X 2400W (5000W Surge) AC Outlets, Portable Power Station for Home Backup Outdoors Camping RV Emergency
Battery Capacity2000Wh
Wattage5,000W Peak2400W Rated
Power SourceSolarBattery
OutletsUSB-C Port x 2Household Outlet 20A x 6USB Port x 4Car Outlet
Panels160W Solar Panel x 4
Used ForCampingTailgatingHomeRVs & Campers
Charging Time17 Hours
【Endless Solar Power】-DELTA Max(2000) MPPT Controller guarantees full recharge with 160W solar panels with zero pollution emission and zero noise. Use it as a solar powered generator for your home by powering appliances and tools on renewable energy.
【Power Pretty Much Anything】 - 2400W output to power up to 15 devices at once. Power 3400W appliances with X-Boost on. That means during a power outage or blackout, you can continue to power your fridge, dryer, and more. That’s the industry gold standard for a portable power station of this size and capacity.
【Waterproof & Durable】-The 160W solar panel is waterproof to endure all weather conditions, ideal for outdoor activities such as camping, climbing, hiking. You can submerge the panel in water for up to 30 minutes with no detrimental effect to the product.
【Multiple Charging Methods】 - More than a solar generator. Charge with AC, solar, car or the EcoFlow Smart Generator. Charge to full in 1.8hrs via wall outlets. Use Dual Charging to combine AC with the Smart Generator for industry leading speeds. Pair solar + AC, or Solar + the Smart Generator for outdoor use.
9.1
JunkieScore
9
BLUETTI AC200P Solar Generator with Panels Included 2000W Portable Power Station with 3pcs Foldable Solar Panel 120W SP120, Solar Power Generator for Van House Outdoor Camping
Battery Capacity2000Wh
Wattage4,800W Peak2,000W Rated
Power SourceSolarBattery
OutletsHousehold Outlet 20A x 6USB Port x 4USB-C Port x 2RV DC 12VCar Outlet
Panels120W Solar Panel x 3
Used ForCampingTailgatingHome
Charging Time5.5 Hours Outlet3.5 Hours Solar
【Portable Power Station with Solar Panel Included】1*BLUETTI AC200P solar power station (2000Wh/2000W,surge 4800W) and 3 Pcs 120W foldable solar panels(BLUETTI SP120, MC*4 solar charge cable length 118inch) , all the accessories for BLUETTI AC200P( 1*AC Adapter Charger*1,Solar Charging Cable(MC*4 to XT90,about 67inch)*1, Car Charging Cable(Car to XT90)*1,XT90 to Aviation Plug(input)*1, Manual*1).
【BLUETTI AC200P 2000Wh Power Station】-Solar/AC/Car/Generator/Lead-acid Battery Recharge: Wide 35-150V/Max.700W/12A solar Input, MPPT, allowing full recharge AC200P within 3-3.5Hrs(Only if Max.700W solar input). About 5.5Hrs to fully recharge it by One 400W AC adapter & supports 3Hrs by dual AC adapters (need to buy the 2nd adapter+DC7909 to XT90 cable separately).You can fully recharge it by 24V/12Vcar in about 10Hrs/20Hrs. AC+PV recharge AC200P simultaneously in about 2.5Hrs.
【BLUETTI 120W Solar Panel】It’s made of high qualified monocrystalline silicon cells which is 5% higher efficient than traditional monocrystalline. It features with ETFE lamination thus has better light transmittance, more durable, scratch-proof, and easy to clean by wet cloth. Foldable design with handle, weight only 9.48lbs. Convenient to carry around for outdoor camping. Easily adjust the angle by the kickstands for better solar absorption.
【Solar Recharge time】According to the wide open circuit voltage range 35-150V, we recommend you can connect at least 3pcs SP120 solar panel in series, and 5pcs the most in series connection. The actual recharge time may varies from weather condition, temperature or the angle or the location you place the solar panel.
8.8
JunkieScore
Compare Best Solar Generators
Jackery Explorer 1000 Generator + 2 Solar Panels
Jackery Explorer 1500 Generator + 4 Solar Panels
Geneverse 1000W Solar Generator + 2 Solar Panels
EF EcoFlow Delta-Max Generator + 4 Solar Panels
Bluetti AC200P Generator + 3 Solar Panels
Geneverse Solar Generator + 2 Solar Panels
Jackery Generator 300 + 2 Solar Panels
EF ECOFLOW Solar Generator Delta Max (2000) 2016Wh with 160W Solar Panel, 6 X 2400W (5000W Surge) AC Outlets, Portable Power Station for Home Backup Outdoors Camping RV Emergency
BLUETTI AC200P Solar Generator with Panels Included 2000W Portable Power Station with 3pcs Foldable Solar Panel 120W SP120, Solar Power Generator for Van House Outdoor Camping
Jackery Generator 500 + 1 Solar Panel
Title
Jackery Explorer 1000 Generator + 2 Sola..
Jackery Explorer 1500 Generator + 4 Sola..
Geneverse 1000W Solar Generator + 2 Sola..
EF EcoFlow Delta-Max Generator + 4 Solar..
Bluetti AC200P Generator + 3 Solar Panel..
Geneverse Solar Generator + 2 Solar Pane..
Jackery Generator 300 + 2 Solar Panels
EF ECOFLOW Solar Generator Delta Max (20..
BLUETTI AC200P Solar Generator with Pane..
Jackery Generator 500 + 1 Solar Panel
BrandJackeryJackeryGenerarkEF ECOFLOWBLUETTIGenerarkJackeryEF ECOFLOWBLUETTIJackery
Wattage
1,000W
1,800W
2,000W Peak
1,000W Rated
2,400W
2,000W
2,000W Peak
1,000W Rated
300W
5,000W Peak
2400W Rated
4,800W Peak
2,000W Rated
500W Rated
1,000W Peak
Power Source
Solar
Battery
Solar
Battery
Solar
Battery
Solar
Battery
Solar
Battery
Solar
Battery
Solar
Battery
Solar
Battery
Solar
Battery
Solar
Battery
Outlets
USB-C Port
Household Outlet (9A)
USB Port
Car Outlet
USB-C Port
Household Outlet (16A)
USB Port
Car Outlet
USB-C Port
USB Port
Car Outlet
USB-C Port
Household Outlet 20A
USB Port
Car Outlet
Household Outlet 20A
USB Port
USB-C Port
RV DC 12V
Car Outlet
USB-C Port
Anderson Port
Household Outlet (9A)
USB Port
8mm Input Port
Car Outlet
Household Outlet (2.7A)
USB-C Port
USB Port
USB-C Port
Household Outlet 20A
USB Port
Car Outlet
Household Outlet 20A
USB Port
USB-C Port
RV DC 12V
Car Outlet
Household Outlet (4.5A)
USB Port
Car Outlet
Used For
Camping
Tailgating
Home
Camping
Tailgating
Home
Camping
Tailgating
Home
Camping
Tailgating
Home
RVs & Campers
Camping
Tailgating
Home
RVs & Campers
Camping
Tailgating
Home
RVs & Campers
Camping
Home
Camping
Tailgating
Home
RVs & Campers
Camping
Tailgating
Home
Camping
Tailgating
Home
Charging Time
80% in 6.5 Hours
80% in 4 Hours
-
4.2 Hours Solar Panels
1.8 Hours Outlet
4.2 Hours Outlet
3.5 Hours Solar Panels
8 Hours on Solar
7 Hours on Outlet
3.5 Hours Outlet
4.5 Hours Solar
17 Hours
5.5 Hours Outlet
3.5 Hours Solar
80% in 8.5 Hours
Best Offer
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Our #1 Pick in Solar Generators

1
Jackery Explorer 1000 Generator + 2 Solar Panels
Battery Capacity1000Wh
Wattage1,000W
Power SourceSolarBattery
OutletsUSB-C Port x 2Household Outlet (9A) x 3USB Port x 2Car Outlet
Panels100W Solar Panel x 2
Used ForCampingTailgatingHome
Charging Time80% in 6.5 Hours
Clean and Unlimited Solar Energy: 100% green energy with smart MPPT controller for optimal charging efficiency. The power station can be fully charged with 2 Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panels within 6 hrs or only 5.5 hrs via AC wall outlet charging. Ideal for your camping or family emergency storage.
Easy to Use in Seconds: Just one simple touch to finish setup within 60s to enjoy outstanding charging efficiency.
Safe & Reliable for Outdoor Camping: Features industry-leading cylindrical batteries (popular with manufacturers of Electric Vehicles) that meet UL safety standards. Certified with Impact-Resistance Class 9, passing the UL drop test (withstanding 3 drops from 0.9m height on any surface). The pure sine wave inverter delivers constant voltage that protects equipment from damage.
Power Pretty Much Anything: Power 90% home appliances with 1002Wh (1000W AC output power) and 8 outlets (3*AC outlet, 1*USB-A , 1*USB-A quick charge 3.0, 2*USB-C PD, 1*Car outlet). Ideal for outdoor off-grid activities and home backup power to power refrigerator, TV, mini cooler, electric grill, fan, and more for your outdoor and home needs.
Parallel
Weight
22 lbs
MPPT
9.8
JunkieScore

Portable Generator Buying Guide

Author Alex M
Published on October 16, 2022
by Alex M

Every home should have a backup power generator in the garage for many reasons. Hurricanes, snowstorms, wildfires, brownouts, cyber-attacks, or just plain old Billy backing into the utility pole again - all pose risks to the fragile power grid we all rely on. Being left without power during an unexpected blizzard clinging to 10 layers of winter clothes like Survivorman may have its charm. But you better be prepared if you want to be able to keep your house running during emergencies. You don't want to run out and buy a generator after disaster strikes - you want to be prepared ahead of time.

With so many generator choices on the market, which power generator do you actually need? This guide will provide a thorough breakdown so that you can make a smart decision to buy the perfect home generator for you.

Types of Generators

There are many different types of generators, each offering their own advantages and drawbacks.

Portable Generators

Portable generators use gas, propane, or other energy source to spin magnets and generate electricity, allowing you to power your appliances during times of need. These generators can be rolled around using wheels and typically produce between 1,000 and 15,000 watts. Conventional generators are the most popular form of backup power.

Conventional portable generators are good for: homes, job sites, industrial/commercial backup

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are similar to conventional generators, except for a few key differences. Conventional generators contain the combustion engine and the electric generator as separate units. An inverter generator combines them into a single unit so that the combustion engine is also an electric generator.

In summary, inverter generators:

  1. Produce "cleaner" AC power by first converting it to DC, and then back to AC. This helps protect your sensitive electronics like your laptop or TV from power surges.
  2. Are more fuel efficient because they can adjust the speed of the motor to match power demand. Conventional generators operate at a standard speed (typically 3600 RPM) regardless of how much power is being drawn.
  3. Are significantly quieter when running at varying loads. At maximum load, inverters are just as loud as conventional generators.
  4. Weigh a lot less than conventional generators.
  5. Are more expensive than conventional generators.

Inverter generators are good for homes, camping, tailgating, RVs/Campers, or any other place that needs to power sensitive electronics like laptops, computers, printers, etc.

Solar Generators

Solar generators work on the photovoltaic principle to capture light from the sun, convert it into electricity, and store it in the battery for use. Solar generators produce anywhere from 100-2500W of power, depending on model, and typically come with one or several solar panels used to charge the solar generator. Optionally, you can charge the solar generator using your home outlet. The amount of energy you can store in a solar generator is measured in Watt-hours.

Solar generators are good for: camping, boats, powering small home appliances, charging cell phones, powering laptops and small electric devices.

Standby Generators

Standby generators are stationary systems designed to connect to your home's propane or natural gas supply line and provide automatic power in case of an outage. These generators are some of the most expensive but also most powerful ones, providing up to 25,000 watts of reliable power. This is more than enough to fully power a home for an extended period of time.

Standby generators are not meant to be refueled. They work completely passively, kicking in as your power goes out, and staying on until your grid is back online. Most are equipped with an automatic transfer switch to easily switch between propane and natural gas as needed.

Standby generators are good for: powering your entire house, potentially indefinitely

Generator Features

Generator Outlets

The main thing to consider, aside from generator power, are the outlets offered by the generator. Do you use regular household plugs? Look for the 5-15 or 5-20 outlets. Need to connect your RV/Camper? You might need the TT-30, 5-30, or L5-30 outlet. If your RV/Camper has a plug that's different from the generator, you can always buy an adapter that converts, for instance, TT-30 to L5-30 or vice versa. Here's a handy chart that helps break it down.

Generator Outlets Chart
Generator Outlets

You may notice plug names like "5-20R". The "R" explicitly states that it's an outlet, while 5-20 does not. For all intents and purposes, treat 5-20R and 5-20 the same when considering generator outlets.

Electric/Remote Start

If repeatedly start pulling your generator in freezing weather is not your cup of tea, consider investing in a generator with an electric starter. The electric start allows you to easily start your generator by pushing a button. For a more advanced option, look for a generator with a remote start which allows you to do the same thing but from the comfort of your home or RV.

Fuel Gauge

During prolonged periods of power outage, it is useful to be able to discern the remaining fuel level without the need for a flashlight.

CO Shutoff Sensor

Safety features play a major role in a portable generator buying decision. Some of the nicer models feature a carbon monoxide (CO) sensor, which shuts them off if levels around the machine become unsafe. Some of the premium brands offer low CO motors along with the shutoff sensor. Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators is responsible for dozens of deaths annually.

Automatic Oil-Level Shutoff

If the oil level reaches a low threshold, this feature shuts the generator down, preventing a catastrophic engine failure.

Fuel Sources

While most portable generator run on gasoline, there are alternative fuel equipped models out there. Manufacturers offer propane, natural gas, and diesel. Some producers offer adapters and conversion kits.

Portable Generator Safety

  • Never run a gas-powered generator inside a dwelling under any circumstances. 
  • Do not store fuel near the machine.
  • Never utilize typical household extension cords outdoors. Purchase a heavy-duty generator cord and run it inside to a surge protector.
  • Operate the machine at least 20’ from your dwelling and face the exhaust away.
  • Do not operate a generator outside in precipitation. Purchase the manufacturer’s approved canopy, or operate in a carport.
  • Never leave a portable generator running unsupervised.

Miscellaneous Purchase Considerations

The biggest mistake buyers make when purchasing a portable generator for disaster preparedness is waiting until they absolutely need one. As an example, hurricanes create buying frenzies for everything from portable generators to gasoline to fuel cans.

Do you really want to brave hours-long lines and then attempt to assemble and set up a portable generator with no power? Does pull-starting a portable generator in 60 mph winds, dangerous lighting, and torrential downpours sound appealing? Disaster preparedness is a proactive game.

If you may need to utilize the generator sporadically or unpredictably and desire to leave it gassed-up at all times, purchase a bottle of fuel stabilizer and add it to your tank. Hurricane season comes and goes each June through November, so I simply run all of the fuel out of the machine before storing it for the off-season. If you leave unstabilized fuel in them for months or years on end, the gasoline ruins the carburetor, and they won’t start when you need them the most, and they will require an expensive repair.

Keep a spare spark plug and plug wire on hand. Don’t forget, these are simple machines. If you can keep a lawn mower or snow blower running, you are capable of maintaining a portable generator.

Tips

  • Never start the generator with anything plugged into it
  • When using propane, prime the engine by lightly pulling the starter a few times before initiating a full start

FAQ

What is the Difference Between Watts and Watt-Hours?

Watts is the rate at which power is flowing per second. A 50 watt light bulb needs constant 50W of energy per second to stay on. A 500 watt solar generator is able to supply a maximum of 500 watts per second of energy from its battery. Watt Hours (Wh) specifies the storage capacity of the battery. A 1000Wh battery can produce 1000 Watt stream of power for 1 hour (or 3600 seconds).

What is the difference between Starting (Surge) Watts and Running (Rated) Watts?

Some motor-driven products like fridges and circular saws require extra power for a few seconds to start. The starting watts specifies how much power the generator can output for those few seconds to help start those appliances. Running, or rated watts, specifies the continuous power that the generator can supply over long duration. Even though a fridge might consume 700W during normal operation, it might require as much as 2200W to start.

My generator doesn't have a 30 Amp RV outlet. Can I still power my RV?

Yes, you can power your RV using a non-RV-Ready generator using the standard 20 Amp 5-20R outlet but you need to get an adapter to make it work. Obviously, you will only be able to draw a maximum of 20 amps instead of 30.

Which fuel source is cheaper, gasoline or propane?

Watt per watt, propane is about 2x more expensive than gasoline. Propane will also typically provide 85-90% the wattage of gasoline. Keep in mind that those extra 200W could be the difference between starting your RV air conditioner or not.

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