Living completely off-grid certainly seems like a distant dream since we are heavily dependent on electronic appliances and require an uninterrupted energy supply everywhere we go. But, what if we tell you it is possible to live off-grid even with all of your devices being fully functional? Well, it has become quite possible now thanks to the powerful new generation of generators present on the market.
And if you were to choose one that can be charged directly via a solar panel, you can carry it with you anywhere you go and get the electric power you need without having to pay any bills. Solar generators are basically battery-powered generators that can be recharged via solar panels and can power almost any device you connect to it. Apart from that, here are some fantastic features you can expect from a solar generator.
- Heavy Battery Capacity: One of the best features of a solar generator is its strong battery capacity. With that, a solar generator can act as a highly reliable power bank for small as well as large electronic devices with ease. There are a lot of solar generators that you will find on the market that are capable of powering heavy electronic devices such as a TV, refrigerator, water heater, and other similar items for a long time.
- Lightweight Design: Solar generators are designed to be used outdoors since you will be needing a solar panel if you want to generate free power. And to ensure that, a lot of solar generators these days offer a lightweight design. Once you pair that with a compact design, you can easily pack the solar generator in the back of your car or RV and travel with it without any problem.
- Multiple Charging Modes: Even though solar generators are mainly popular for their capability of converting solar energy into electric energy, they might not be the most ideal option in some situations such as forests or in cloudy weather. For that, most solar generators also offer multiple charging modes, allowing you to recharge the generator battery via other means such as DC or AC connections.
Today, we are bringing you the finest option we could find for a solar generator present on the market right now which is suitable for a completely off-grid living condition. These options are perfect for traveling since most of them feature a compact and lightweight design. And with that, you will also have the benefit of high battery and wattage capacity, allowing you to power almost all types of electronic devices with these generators.
If you want to know more about the crucial properties of a solar generator, make sure you check out our “Buying Guide” for the best solar generator.
Best Solar Generator for off-grid Living
Best Solar Generator for off-grid Living Reviews
When it comes to appliances and gadgets like generators, it is probably a wise idea to go with an option trusted by thousands of existing users. Therefore, we are bringing forth the following option from FF FLASHFISH which is the most popular option for a solar generator.
In our list of the best solar generators, the top position is acquired by FF FLASHFISH Solar Generator since it is one of the budget options as well as a popular choice for a solar generator. This unit offers a built-in battery having 60000 mAh battery capacity and offers up to 300 watts output. So, it can be a reliable power source for powering low to medium-range electronic devices. As for the outlets, the FF FLASHFISH Solar Generator has 2 1120 volts standard AC outlets, 2 12 volts DC ports, and additional USB ports for USB-powered devices.
In terms of build quality, there is a lot going on for the FF FLASHFISH Solar Generator. This unit is enclosed in a silver metal case with plastic ends to make it more durable and suitable for outdoor usage. And since this device measures 14.41 x 13.19 x 5.91 inches in size and weighs about 5.73 lbs, you will surely use it outdoors on your trips. If you are using an AC outlet to charge this solar generator, you will get a fully charged unit within just 6 to 7 hours.
- It has a built-in battery with 60000 mAh capacity
- It measures about 14.41 x 13.19 x 5.91 inches in size
- Offers 300 watts output capacity
- One of the budget options for a solar generator
- Compact and lightweight option
- Durable exterior design
- Battery capacity might be too low for long trips
In the 2nd position, we are putting one more budget option for a solar generator which is the ROCKPALS Portable Generator. Similar to our last option, this option also offers a built-in battery capacity of 64800 mAh with an output wattage rating of 250 watts. Therefore, you can use the dual AC output of the ROCKPALS Portable Generator for various smaller as well as medium-grade applications like charging your laptop or operating a TV or fan in your RV. Once fully charged, the ROCKPALS Portable Generator is capable of charging a standard laptop 3 to 5 times whereas your smartphone can be charged about 25 times.
The ROCKPALS Portable Generator is compatible with 60 and 100 watts solar panels if you want to use solar power to charge this unit. And for a faster-charging performance, you can simply plug it into an AC wall outlet and get the unit fully charged within 8 hours. The ROCKPALS Portable Generator is a pure sine wave inverter, making it a safer choice for all your electronic items. Along with the generator, you will also find a 6.5 ft long power cord with an AC adapter, 1-meter long car charging cable, and a DC to cigarette socket adapter to make it ready to use out of the box.
- It has a built-in battery with 64800 mAh capacity
- It measures about 8.86 x 3.94 x 6.3 inches in size
- Offers 250 watts output capacity
- Offers faster and quieter operation
- It is compatible with 60 and 100 watts solar panels
- Pure sine wave inverter
- Great option in an affordable budget range
You will probably prefer a complete solar generator kit instead of just a solar generator, especially if you don’t already own solar panels. Therefore, we are including this great option from Jackery up next on our list.
In 3rd position, we have the Jackery Solar Generator 1000. It is one of the high-powered options available on this list with a built-in battery capacity of 92300 mAh. And to properly utilize this stored energy, you will get 3 pure sine wave AC outlets, offering a combined power output of 1000 watts. Therefore, you will be able to plug almost all types of electronic devices into the generator without any problem. The best part about the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 is that it comes bundled with 2 SolarSaga 100 solar panels, each offering 100 watts of power output for a faster-charging performance.
Once fully charged, the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 is capable of powering up to 8 electronic devices simultaneously via 3 AC outlets, one 12 volts DC outlet, and 4 additional USB outlets, 2 of which are super fast USB Type-C ports. Since it has a 1000 watts power output rating, you will be able to power many heavy applications via this unit such as a blender, coffee maker, and even an electric grill for off-road barbeque sessions. The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 also features a 2-year warranty which is pretty decent for the price.
- It has a built-in battery with 92300 mAh capacity
- It measures about 11.84 x 7.59 x 9.2 inches in size
- Offers 1000 watts output capacity
- Comes with 2 100 watts solar panels
- Complete set of solar generator and accessories
- High wattage output rating
- Powers up to 8 devices simultaneously
- Very expensive option for the given specifications
Moving on to even more powerful solar generators, we have one coming from MAXOAK. If you don’t already know, MAXOAK is a brand known for its portable generators and it also has a clean-energy option mentioned here.
The MAXOAK Portable Power Station is also a highly powerful unit entering our picks for the best solar generators suitable for off-grid living. This particular unit offers a built-in battery capacity of 101351 mAh with an output wattage rating ranging up to 1000 watts. Thus, powering high-powered devices like blenders, drill machines, hair dryers, and other similarly power-consuming electronics is not a tough job for this generator. As for the outputs, the MAXOAK Portable Power Station features 2 standard 110 volts AC outlets, 1 DC outlet, a powerful 45 watts Type-C USB port, and 4 extra USB ports for standard USB applications.
As for charging, the MAXOAK Portable Power Station supports simultaneous input from up to 2 solar panels at once, each with an output capacity of 200 watts. If you manage to get that, you will be able to charge this generator completely within just 5 to 5.5 hours at best. And with an AC wall inlet, it charges completely within 8 hours. The battery used in the MAXOAK Portable Power Station is especially decent since it has a 2500+ charging cycle life and is secured by a dedicated battery management system.
- It has a built-in battery with 101351 mAh capacity
- It measures about 14.6 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches in size
- Offers 1000 watts output capacity
- Capable of powering a wide range of electrical appliances
- Output wattage capacity is very good
- Great battery capacity
- Charges at a faster face with solar panels compared to an AC outlet
- Not as reliable as a few other options for long term
There are a few brands like GOLABS that manufacture a compact solar charger that offers a reliable battery capacity, and that within an affordable price range. If you are looking for such an option, you should go with the solar generator from GOLABS mentioned here.
The GOLABS R300 Portable Power Station is a compact yet highly reliable option available on our list of the best solar generators. This unit measures only 9 x 6.18 x 7.67 inches, making it as large as a standard portable wireless speaker. But still, it has a built-in battery of 93437 mAh capacity, offering an output of up to 300 watts. With such a power and output rating, you will be able to use the GOLABS R300 Portable Power Station for charging your laptop about 5 times and your smartphone nearly 22 times.
The battery used with the GOLABS R300 Portable Power Station is a LiFePO4 battery. One of the main attraction points of these batteries is their chemical stability with controller temperature design, offering an ultimately safe usage. This battery is ensured for about 2000 charge cycles, making it a suitable option for nearly a decade. Despite being a compact option, the GOLABS R300 Portable Power Station still offers 2 110 volts AC outlets, 2 DC outlets, 2 quick-charge USB ports, and 2 additional Type-C PD ports with 60 and 30 watts output capacity respectively.
- It has a built-in battery with 93437 mAh capacity
- It measures about 9 x 6.18 x 7.67 inches in size
- Offers 300 watts output capacity
- Compact option for a solar generator
- Great option in terms of portability
- Many outlets are provided
- Weighs only 8.37 lbs
- Output wattage should have been better
When it comes to a heavy user, smaller and portable units simply don’t suffice in terms of performance or compatibility. Therefore, we are including this option from BLUETTI on our list that offers a highly powerful set of features.
The BLUETTI Portable Power Station is arguably the most powerful solar generator we have included on this list today. The best feature of this solar generator has to be its built-in battery, offering a total charge capacity of 625000 mAh. And in order to utilize this unit properly, the output wattage for the BLUETTI Portable Power Station ranges up to 2000 watts. Therefore, you will be able to power a refrigerator with this solar generator for up to 28 hours depending on the load. And since this is a highly reliable option, BLUETTI ensures a 3500+ charge life cycle for this immense capacity battery.
Even though large capacity batteries usually take a long time to charge, the battery used with the BLUETTI Portable Power Station is certainly an exception for that. This battery can be charged by a 500 or even 700 watts solar panel, offering a full battery recharge within just 2.5 hours when paired with AC charging. You can also use a dual-AC charging method for this generator for similarly faster charging. The number of outlets on the BLUETTI Portable Power Station is yet another one of its strong suits. There are 17 different outlets present on the BLUETTI Portable Power Station, offering a combination of DC, AC, and USB ports along with a car port and dual wireless charging stations.
- It has a built-in battery with 625000 mAh capacity
- It measures about 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches in size
- Offers 2000 watts output capacity
- Most versatile option in terms of output ports
- Offers the best battery capacity on this list
- Battery is rated for 3500+ charge cycles
- Can be charged within 2.5 hours
- It only has 2 years of warranty despite the expensive price tag
Goal Zero is also bringing a compact yet powerful choice for a solar generator that you can roam with without any problems. The best part about this solar charger is its battery capacity despite its compact size.
If you are still looking for a powerful solar generator that can fit in the glove compartment of your car, you are in luck. The Goal Zero Portable Power Station is one of the most, if not the most, compact options you can find on the market for a solar generator. This solar generator measures only 7.75 x 6.75 x 5.75 inches in size. But still, Goal Zero managed to install a 12500 mAh battery inside this solar generator, making it more reliable than many other larger options. Unlike most other options, the battery used on the Goal Zero Portable Power Station is a lead-acid battery, making it even more reliable in the long term.
However, the output wattage of the Goal Zero Portable Power Station is limited to 80 watts. So, the list of electronic gadgets you can power with this generator is quite short. The same goes for simultaneous applications as it only has a single AC port, one 12 volts DV port, and 2 USB ports for added functionality. Apart from that, there are no compromises made on the build quality or the overall reliability of the product. And since it has a large battery capacity, it can charge a laptop about 3 times and a smartphone about 14 times from 0 battery.
- It has a built-in battery with 12500 mAh capacity
- It measures about 7.75 x 6.75 x 5.75 inches in size
- Offers 80 watts output capacity
- Great battery capacity for the size
- One of the most compact options for a solar generator
- Designed to be portable
- Great option to power crucial gadgets like smartphones or laptops
- Output wattage capacity is too low
In the end, we are bringing yet another great option that can be used as an efficient backup power source for outdoor applications, as well as in your workshop. It is made by LEOCH and made available at a comparatively affordable budget than other similar options.
The LEOCH Portable Power Station is our last choice for the best solar generators for off-grid living. In terms of specification and power, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to LEOCH Portable Power Station. It has a built-in battery of 18620 mAh capacity and works with an output wattage ranging up to 2000 watts. Therefore, this unit can be used for a wide range of heavy electrical appliances such as hair dryers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, and even electric vehicles. As for the outputs, the LEOCH Portable Power Station offers support for up to 13 simultaneous connections with a combination of AC, DC, and USB ports.
Since this is also a premium option, LEOCH has decided to introduce the highly reliable LiFePO4 battery on this unit. This battery offers up to 3000+ charge cycles, offering reliable performance for years to come. It is also backed by a built-in BMS that protects the battery and avoids problems caused by an improper power supply. For clean-energy charging, the LEOCH Portable Power Station can be connected to up to six 100 watts solar panels at a time, bringing the charging time as low as 4 hours even with such high battery capacity.
- It has a built-in battery with 18620 mAh capacity
- It measures about 11.2 x 19.9 x 13.9 inches in size
- Offers 2000 watts output capacity
- Supports charging from up to 6 100 watts solar panels
- One of the best options in terms of battery capacity and output wattage
- Up to 900 watts input supported
- Highly reliable battery performance
- Bulky and heavy solar generator
Buying Guide For The Best Solar Generator for off-grid Living
Now that you have gone through our picks for the best solar generators available in the market, you have probably gathered a lot of information about what these options have to offer around a certain budget range. To help you with that, we have provided detailed specifications and analyses of every solar generator available on this list. With that, you can easily compare multiple options and choose which option can work out for you. But, there might be a lot of users that are buying a solar generator, or a generator for that matter, for the first time. So naturally, the technical specifications and properties of a complicated electronic gadget such as a solar generator must be a lot to handle at once.
If you are also going through the same, we will recommend you go through our buying guide for the best solar generators for off-grid living. This is a beginner-friendly buying guide designed to explain the crucial information and parameters of a solar generator so that you can make the right choice within your budget. We can assure you that after you check out this buying guide, you can easily pick up the option which is best suited for your needs.
1. Battery Capacity
As you may already know, generators powered by fuel like propane or natural gas have a gas-engine that generates electricity which is a pretty fast process. But In the case of solar generators, the overall electricity generation process is very slow and cannot be used indirectly by your appliances.
Therefore, all solar generators come with a built-in battery in order to store the energy and power your devices whenever necessary. Solar generators usually feature a lithium battery with high battery capacity so that you can use the generator for a longer period of time. To put it in simpler words, the built-in battery of the solar generator acts as a fuel tank for these generators.
So with a larger battery capacity, the capability of the solar generator also increases. Therefore, you should try to find the highest battery capacity solar generator available in your budget. But, also keep in mind that while larger batteries last a long time, they also need similarly longer charging sessions. In the case of solar charging, the charging period can be excessively long for such solar generators.
2. I/O ports and Charging Options
As you might have guessed, the primary input method for a solar generator is solar panels that can be connected to the unit directly. Once connected, they can offer quite literally a free-of-cost charging solution for the generator, offering you free energy to use. Even though it sounds like the best input method for a solar generator, it is not always the most practical one as you might be unable to charge the solar generator via a solar panel for some reasons like rainy weather, dark forests, or damaged solar panels, etc. In such a case, an additional input method such as DC input or AC input on the solar generator can be a lifesaver.
Talking about the output ports, these are also equally important as the input ports since they deal with how you can use the solar generator and what devices you can power with it. To make these options highly versatile in terms of applications, a lot of brands offer multiple output ports on the solar generators such as standard 110 volts AC ports, 12 volts DC ports, and some options even have USB Type-A or USB Type-C ports so that you can connect your USB-powered devices directly to the generator. This option comes in handy if you wish to charge your smartphone or Type-C powered laptop from the generator directly.
3. Solar Charge Controller
Even though solar generators are built with extreme precautions and there are little to no chances of failure on these devices, you should still check if the solar generator you are buying has a solar charge controller or an MPPT (maximum power point tracking) installed on the device or not.
While you are charging the solar generator via a solar panel, or an AC or DC outlet, there are always chances of problems like overcharging or overcurrent being supplied to the unit that can severely damage the battery. To avoid that, these charge controllers are put into place. The job of these charge controllers is quite simple.
All they do is limit the flow of current being sent to the generator while it is connected and stop the flow when it is fully charged. Therefore, you can leave the solar generator on charge overnight or throughout the day and it won’t create any problems for the battery. MPPT is a rather newer addition to the charge controllers which are comparatively more energy-efficient and secure than their predecessors.
Lastly, we will suggest you check out the portability factor with every solar generator you are checking out. Even if a certain unit can offer you a tremendous amount of power output, it won’t be the best option for you if it cannot be used outdoors or at locations where you don’t have access to a live AC or DC power outlet.
The solar generators are designed to act as a backup power source for crucial, or in some cases, heavier and entertainment-focused electrical appliances outdoors. Therefore, portability is a pretty important factor for solar generators. One of the major characteristics that affect the portability of a unit is its form factor. As you might have noticed, solar generators feature a powerful built-in battery.
But as the battery capacity increases, its overall size also increases. Thus, large battery solar generators are usually larger in size and more difficult to carry. Another important factor, in this case, is the weight of the unit. If the solar generator is too heavy to carry, you won’t be able to use it outdoors, making it an incompatible option for off-grid living conditions. Therefore, we will suggest you check the size and weight of the solar charger along with their specifications to find the best option for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ans: Maintaining a solar generator is not a difficult or exhausting task. But just like any other heavy electronic devices, there are some things that you should follow in order to keep your solar generator reliable and safe. The first thing you should do after buying a solar generator is keeping a practice charging the battery completely and keep monitoring the battery levels every other month, even if they are not in use for the time being.
Keeping the battery completely drained might result in depletion of the overall battery capacity and its ability to hold current. If possible, you should also use the solar generator every other week even when you are indoors, just to maintain the charge cycle of the battery.
Ans: Each solar generator is designed to work with a specific type of solar panel, or a specific amount of solar energy input to be precise. Therefore, there are selective options for a solar panel that can be compatible with your solar generator. The solar input capacity of the solar generator varies from device to device. Thus, some options can work with 1000 watts solar panels, while some may have a limitation of 100 watts solar panels.
You should also consider the solar conditions in this scenario as solar panels can overproduce or underproduce electrical energy based on the weather. To be on the safe side, you should buy a solar generator that comes with a compatible solar panel included in the package.
Ans: A lot of readers might be confused about solar panels since there are now flexible solar panels available in the market, unlike the traditional ones that were rigid in nature. Apart from the form factor and the basic difference in structure design, there are a few differences between flexible and rigid solar panels.
Flexible solar panels are ultimately slim and they can be bent to fit into a storage space with ease. So naturally, the installation options are more versatile for a flexible solar panel. But, these solar panels are usually less efficient compared to rigid solar panels, offering a slower power generation pace. Plus, these options can easily get scratched and damaged while using them outdoors.
Solar generators are a highly reliable backup power source available for long-distance trips and camping sessions in the middle of nowhere. But ever since solar generators have become a popular choice for a lot of off-grid living enthusiasts, there has been an abundance of options available in the market, designed for a variety of different applications and users. And with that, it has become increasingly difficult to find the right choice, especially for someone who is buying such an appliance for the first time. Therefore, we decided to mark up the absolute best options for a solar generator that are perfect for an off-grid living condition. We have mentioned all of the picks right here along with all the information you need to know before you can buy one. And if you are confused between one or more properties of a solar generator, you can check our buying guide for the best solar generator. We will also drop some handy recommendations right here to help you out with your choice.
- If you don’t wish to put a lot of thought into a basic solar generator and are willing to go with the cheapest option, we will suggest going with the FF FLASHFISH Solar Generator. This is the cheapest option we have on our list for a solar generator, and it still offers a 60000 mAh battery capacity along with 300 watts power rating. It also does not disappoint when it comes to I/O ports. The FF FLASHFISH Solar Generator features 2 110 volts AC outlets, 2 12 volts DC ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports with quick charge support, and 1 standard USB 2.4A port. It is also a lightweight option, weighing around 5.6 lbs.
- When it comes to a reliable battery capacity and power output, basic options simply won’t get the job done. For such applications, we will suggest the BLUETTI Portable Power Station. This is the most powerful unit we have on this list which is capable of powering even industrial-grade electrical appliances with 2000 watts output capacity. The built-in battery of the BLUETTI Portable Power Station offers 625000 mAh capacity, making sure it lasts as long as you need it. You will be able to charge this solar generator via a 500 watts or even a 700 watts solar charger and use its power via 6 AC ports along with many other additional outlets.
- Lastly, we will suggest the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station if you want a compact yet reliable power source for your needs. This solar generator is significantly smaller than many other options, measuring only 7.75 x 6.75 x 5.75 inches. Therefore, carrying this unit around is nothing different than carrying a wireless speaker or a compact toolbox. Still, the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station is capable of offering a long-lasting backup with a 12500 mAh built-in battery. And since it supports up to 80 watts of power output, you can use it for various applications such as charging essential devices or powering bright light sources.