Do you enjoy getting out in nature, setting up your tent, or parking your campervan in the most distant locations, away from the EDF network? But what if you don’t want to give up your comfort? You will need one of the 5 top portable solar generators for camping! These modules, which are mobile, will allow you to simply enjoy clean, renewable, and free energy wherever you are!
If you enjoy going on nature hikes or camping trips, a portable solar power generator could be handy. And, if you intend to get this type of equipment, keep in mind that you will need to emphasize on a few selection factors such as the size, power, and compatibility of your device.
After considering these factors, you will be able to determine how to select the best portable solar generators for your needs. Now, selecting the perfect solar power generator is considered an art. This is because there are so many parameters to select from. So, first let’s begin with a brief review of the 6 top rated solar generators and later on we will move into a comprehensive solar power generator buying guide! For you folks that would like to read the Buying Guide first, you can do so by clicking HERE!
My Suggested 5 Top Portable Solar Generators for Camping:
1. Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240
If you are sort of a techy person who carries a lot of tech devices, the Explorer 240 would be a great choice. It has the capacity to recharge all your tech devices all at once whether you are at a picnic, camping, caravanning or even out for work! Moreover, this solar device would even come in handy during festivals or even long car drives where you would be carrying a lot of chargeable devices.
The Jackery 240 is the most convenient solar power generator out there. I personally found it very compact regarding the output power. Moreover, it even has an LCD screen that will give you all necessary details about power. This solar device comes with a normal charger and an AC adapter for your car. It even carries a zip case for extra convenience and safety.
Regarding the sockets and output power, the Jackery Explorer 240 contains a 12V, 10A car charging port along with a 110V AC socket. Other ports include 2 5V USB-A ports and a DC input port. However, if you want to go completely solar, you can even purchase the solar panel kit for the Jackery Explorer 240. The solar panel goes with the name Jackery SolarSaga 60W and you can purchase it as a combo.
The Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station has been featured as the “Best Portable Power Station for use in the outdoors” by Digital Trends. A classic choice for your pick.
- This portable solar generator weighs just 6.6 pounds. So, it’s easy to carry!
- It contains versatile power output sources which can run or charge almost all of your electrical devices.
- It can be recharged by the Jackery SolarSaga 60 solar panel with a built in MPPT controller. (Optional)
- Accessories include a portable power station, an AC adapter, and a car charger cable.
- It is extremely compact, weighs just 6.6 pounds and has an ergonomic design.
- Multiple charging options like wall, solar or even car outlet source is available.
- Functions as an AC source and is extremely quiet.
- No fast-charging Type-C ports!
2. BLUETTI Portable Power Station EB70S 800W
Regarding its compact size and minimalistic design, and of-course the features it packs, this BLUETTI Portable Power station is a beast. It features an ergonomically designed polycarbonate body with a firm handle that makes it a breeze to carry around! Regarding emergency specs, this portable solar generator boasts a massive LED flashlight that is very powerful.
As far as battery specifications go, the BLUETTI EB70S boasts an 800W Li-ion battery that easily outperforms its competitors. It can even run microwaves, of-course provided they are rated within 800W, above this, the safety system will automatically cut off the output power. Ports include 2 USB 3.0s, 2 USB-Cs and a 15W wireless pad. In addition, there’s an AC output section along with a DC car charger input.
You can even use this BLUETTI EB70s with the PV200 BLUETTI Solar panel. It has the capacity to fully charge the battery in only 4 hours. You can also buy this generator as a combo whit the Bluetti solar panels or simply buy the actual solar generator unit by itself.
- Massive 800W battery capacity
- Multiple output ports like 2 USB-C, 2 USB-A. 12V car socket, wireless pad and 4 AC outlets.
- Can withstand overheating and the battery can function smoothly up to 2500+ full charge cycles.
- You can charge it from 0-80% in just 3 hours either with AC input or even solar panels.
- It also features a powerful LED flashlight for emergency situations.
- Has a 2 year warranty.
- 2 Fast charging USB type C ports with a maximum power output of 100W.
- A large capacity 800W battery that supports solar charging.
- Supports AC output.
- Extremely convenient, portable, and powerful.
- The fan runs often!
3. HSECPTOW 290Wh Solar Outdoor Generator
If you are looking for a heavy-duty portable generator, then this HSECPTOW one is the best in business. With a massive 290Wh battery and 65W USB-C PD support, it can recharge your electronic gadgets in a moment. It also includes a 10W wireless charging pad, 2 AC outlets, 2 USB-A ports, 1 USB 3.0 Port and a DC input as well as output port.
There is a built-in safety system which can protect your battery under extreme loads and weather conditions. Moreover, due to its light weight (7.8 pounds) and an ergonomic carry strap, you can carry this portable generator to almost any place. Other beneficial features include a flashlight that supports 4 modes for ambient lighting and 3 modes for flashlight.
There is also a 30-day money back guarantee and a 1-year warranty, you can contact the company at any time if you have any questions.
- Versatile power output/input options with support for 65W USB-C PD.
- Reliable and extremely safe with built-in safety systems.
- Extremely convenient and lightweight.
- Comes with 4-mode ambient lighting as well as 3 mode flashlight systems.
- There’s also a 1-year warranty on the product.
- Fast charging options up to 65W.
- Versatile power outputs like Type-C ports and a wireless charging pad.
- Built-in battery safety mechanisms.
- Has built-in flashlight and ambient lights.
- 1 year warranty.
- A little pricy!
4. Anker Portable Power Station PowerHouse 200
As far as built quality goes, Anker has hit the nail right on the head. This portable power generator has a metal framing with soft rubber ends. Additionally, there is a soft straddle on top which makes it extremely convenient to move around! As far as power outputs go, you will get a 12V power source, an USB-C PD port, two USB-A posts and a standard 110V/AC outlet. The USB-C PD is capable of power outputs of up to 30W.
The battery has a maximum power capacity of 213Wh which can be fully charged by an AC wall adapter in just 6 hours. This potable power generator also has a great built-in system that shows every statistic possible. For example: you can look for power output, peak power, battery rating, battery capacity and many more.
- Has a versatile power output which can re-charge almost any electronic device!
- There is support for USB-C PD with power outputs of up to 30W.
- You can even recharge this power generator with a 5-22V Dc solar panel charger (of-course you have to buy it separately).
- 1.5 Years warranty and 24×7 customer support.
- USB-C ports for both power output as well as input.
- Great display.
- Extremely portable and light-weight.
- Not the most powerful generator.
5. Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000
This solar charging station perfectly suits nature enthusiasts who prefer to go on long camps, hikes, and trails. With a massive 1000W power output, you can run and charge almost anything on the go! Plus, you can even get the Jackery 100W SolarSaga solar panel set as a combo. This will allow you to top-up the battery even in the extreme wilderness. However, you have to buy the solar panels separately.
As far as charging speeds are concerned, you can top up the battery for 0-100% in just 7 hours and 45 minutes. This is considered as an excellent charging speed regarding the battery capacity. Better yet, it even comes with a built-in emergency LED flashlight which can last for 2 full days if switched on continuously.
Regarding power output ports, there’s support for USB-Type C fast charging, 3 pure sine AC outlets and 2 full-fledged USB-Type A ports. There is also an option for a 12V car adapter.
- Massive battery capacity with an output power capacity of 1000W.
- Features 2 USB-C ports, 1 Quick Charge 3.0 port and 3 pure AC sine outlets.
- Charge this generator on solar power with the Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panels.
- Versatile ports with support for pass-through charging.
- Extremely convenient, noiseless, and durable.
- Plenty of output power ports for a long camping trip.
- A massive 1000W power output.
- Additional option for solar charging with the Jackery 100W SolarSaga solar panel combo.
- It’s a bit heavy due to the massive battery capacity!
Before embarking on the purchase of a flexible or foldable solar panel, the first step is to define your selection criteria. Price, size, power, etc… Here are some of the elements you need to review:
1. What electrical capacity do you need?
Your choice of purchase will first depend on the optimal power you will need to cover your needs. It will not be the same whether you need to power a few small devices occasionally or whether you are in a self-consumption situation.
To determine your needs, make an exhaustive list of the devices you want to run and recharge from your portable generator. Depending on their type, you can assess the power that your generator will have to provide.
2. The footprint of the portable solar system
To choose a portable solar generator, you must consider its size and weight. The idea being to limit its size as much as possible since it is intended to follow you on your travels. Manufacturers are deploying major innovation efforts in this area. The size of some portable solar panels is between the equivalent of an A4 sheet and an A3 sheet, with a thickness of 3 mm. Other portable photovoltaic panels, larger in size, are foldable.
At the same time, do not hesitate to check their weight: it can vary from 150 g to 2.5 kg. Beware, however, of the ease of use: there is no point in having a solar panel that is extremely easy to transport if, once you arrive on site, you are struggling to use it!
3. The multiplicity and type of connectors
To make your choice among the models of portable solar generators, particular attention must be paid to the connectors. How many outputs and cables does the control panel has? This question is important if you have multiple devices to connect. What is the type(s) of connectors?
While older models had universal USB ports, some newer models offer a greater variety of outputs (micro USB, USB type C, MC3, MC4, LC4 type output, etc.).
4. Resistance to climatic hazards
Your nomadic solar panel is intended to follow you on your travels. It is therefore likely to be subject to the vagaries of the weather: wind, hail, snow, etc. It is therefore essential to carefully check the resistance and solidity of the different portable solar panels and generators of your selection. So, remember to check the following points:
- shock protection,
- fall protection,
- lightning protection,
- sealing and permeability
- wind resistance.
Manufacturers compete with innovation to simplify the use of their portable solar panels and generators. Reinforced eyelet systems, suction cup systems, hanging systems: all portable solar panels have a process to facilitate attachment to your backpack, your tent, the roof of your motorhome, etc.
Do not hesitate to test them to find out which method seems the most appropriate for you and your needs.
When you have gone through the two characteristics mentioned above, all that remains is to check the compatibility of the generator with the solar panel. To do this, make sure to check that the input charging voltage of the generator is matching the output voltage of the solar panel(s). To avoid the matching problem between the generator and the solar panel, I highly suggest buying the matching solar panel from the manufacture. Buying the generator and the solar panel as a combo can eliminates a few technical problems.
Once you have gone through these criteria, all that’s left is to compare the prices between the brands and models that you have in mind. It is an essential process before deciding on which product you will buy. By comparing the prices on the market, you can get a good deal and even save money (great price + free shipping to your door). Do not forget that a lower price might reflects on the quality of the items, the more options you want the more you have to expect to pay.
7. What is your budget?
Finally, your choice may be constrained by budget issues. Try to set a reasonable budget, which will allow you to make compromises without compromising on the quality of your equipment.
How to use a portable solar generator?
Now as a viable alternative to electricity, the solar energy has been on the rise these last years. The portable solar generator is increasingly popular with people, not only for its environmentally friendly quality, but also for its great practicality by being easily carried wherever you go.
1. Know which devices you can charge
Although the portable solar panel was designed to transform the energy of the sun into electricity, not all electronic devices can be charged by a solar panel. Thus, for optimal use of your panel, you will charge your daily digital devices such as phones, tablets, camera, MP3 player or any other technological devices as long” as the output voltage of the system matches the input voltage of the device being charged” (this is very important).
2. Know when to use it
This solar charging system is particularly suitable for mobile applications. It is then very interesting and extraordinarily practical when you go on a trip, or on a hike, or if you have decided to go on adventures in camping, in nature, on a boat, etc.
3. Why Use a Generator?
In order to optimize the use of a mobile solar panel, the ideal is to store the energy produced by the device. For this, it is recommended to opt for a solar generator with an internal battery, just like the six best solar generators covered in this Buying Guide.!.
4. Choose the type of portable solar generator
There are a few types of portable solar generators. It will then be important to choose the solar panel according to the characteristics of the generator (voltage, power…). If you plan to use the system for a few devices at the same time or need outlets for AC power for electric items, Simply make sure the system you choose will be appropriate for your needs.
5. Install the portable solar generator
Portable solar generators are very easy to install. You simply have to connect the solar panel(s)to the charging input port on the generator as directed in the instructions, then you install your solar panels in such a way to expose the photovoltaic cells (cell side) facing the rays of the sun. Knowing that the efficiency of the panel decreases when the weather is cloudy, make sure that the panel is well oriented towards the sun in order to increase its efficiency.
6. Maintain the device
In order to guarantee the long-lasting performance of your portable solar generator, it will be necessary to ensure its good condition once in a while. Thus, it would be a good idea to adopt the habit to check everything to make sure all outlets are clean and to store it the proper way to optimize its longevity. Because the panel(s) is exposed to the sun’s rays and therefore in the open air, care must be taken not to scratch it, and wrap it in a blanket when stored in between use.
Care must be taken to avoid breaking the cells of the panel during manipulation. Avoid cleaning the panel with cold water, especially when it is still hot, in order to limit thermal shock.
How do portable solar generators work?
Portable solar generators work identically to the photovoltaic panels system attached to the roof of a house.
Indeed, the surface of the portable solar panel is made up of monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells. The Panel capture the sun’s rays and then transform them into an electrical voltage and direct current. This direct current is then sent to the battery inside the generator allowing it to charge. On this battery is connected the charge controller that convert the voltage to the proper level be 5dc-12dc-110ac volts, so that it can supply your appliances with electricity.
Thanks to the transportable solar systems, you can have access to electricity everywhere, whether you are at home or lost in the wilderness.
The advantages of the portable solar generator
Because they make it possible to generate clean electricity everywhere, from an inexhaustible source of energy(sun) and they do not generate toxic gases, portable solar generators are an ecological response to our mobility. But what are the other advantages of a portable solar modules?
1. Access to electricity, even off the grid!
The main advantage of mobile solar panels is of course to allow their user to have access to electricity everywhere, even when they are away from an electrical network.
But solar panels also have the advantage of allowing users to access electricity even on bad weather days or when the light is not at its best.
2. Ease of installation and use
Portable solar generators are distinguished first of all by their great simplicity of installation and use. Even without experience, it is very easy to install. Simply place the solar panel(s) facing the sun, then connect the panel to your charge controller (or generator) then connect your electronic devices to be recharged in the appropriate port, thanks to the different ports and sockets available.
Note: if you do not own a generator but only have solar panels and a charge controller, it is also very easy to connect one or more batteries to the charge controller for more sustainable access to energy.
3. A comfortable device
Unlike other systems (gas generator type), portable solar generators produce electricity in total silence and do not produce any toxic gases, so, no noise or toxic pollution is therefore to be deplored!
4. Minimal footprint
Manufacturers of portable solar generators compete in innovation to make their models even more compact. They easily find their place under a bed, inside a wardrobe.
5. Easy maintenance
Portable solar generators are easy to maintain, simply make sure they are not broken (physically) and that the outlets are not plugged with dirt or dust. NOTE: Do not insert metal object into the outlet ports as an electrical shock could result, you could also break the inner contacts of the ports. The solar panels only need to be washed with warm water and mild dish soap and covered in something to protect them against scratches in between uses.
If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs and troubleshooting about camping and enjoying the outdoors, here are some additional posts to check out:
So, now that you are well informed on portable solar systems, you know:
- The 6 Best Portable Solar Generators: their reviews, features, pros, and cons.
- How to choose the perfect portable solar generator
- How to use a portable solar generator
- How does a portable solar generator work?
- Advantages of a portable solar generator.
Hence, you are now completely ready to buy your first portable solar generator for your camping, caravanning or even hiking trips. Also, if you are confused about which one to select from this list, well, just go with anyone as all of them are great devices in their particular price range. I can assure that you won’t get disappointed if you choose any from this list. Now the most important…If you think I forgot something or if you simply want to share a story or some advice, feel free to leave your comment below. Be Safe and Happy Camping.!