A gas powered inverter generator can be a convenient thing to have at home, however, some people don’t need all of the power that is delivered by a gas generator, and need only a simple device for lighting and charging mobile devices.
Smaller and more convenient devices can also be used for camping where cooking with electricity will not be a requirement.
Solar energy is one of the best ways to get portable electricity without relying on a fuel source, and there are a number of compelling portable solar generators on the market that could be perfect for your needs.
If you think that you could make use of a solar generator, but haven’t started to check out your options, then these four recommended models will be a great starting point.
AcoPower 220Wh Portable Solar Generator
The first unit to consider is the AcoPower 220Wh model, designed for campers or anybody that needs a reliable and lightweight portable power source.
At just 6.7 lbs., this is much lighter than any gas powered generator, which will be a major selling point if you only have modest needs.
220Wh is the equivalent to around 220W discharged over an hour, which makes this a good generator/battery pack for charging a laptop, cell phones, flashlights, or it could even be used as an eco-friendly UPS for a computer in your home.
The AcoPower has a sleek design that is basic in its appearance.
There is no digital display readout, although the functions are quite easy to understand. Included in the unit is a convenient multiple adaptor, a standard AC output, and there are even USB ports for directly connecting your devices.
A full charge from this device would be the equivalent of 5 hours running a laptop directly from the power supply, 4 hours running a small 40W mini-refrigerator, or running a small electric fan for up to 8 hours.
If the device is only used to charge cell phones or other small accessories, then it would be possible to get up to 30 charging cycles for the average smartphone, or 10 – 15 charging cycles for a tablet.
This is definitely one of the most convenient portable solar generators out there, and the simplicity of the unit will be loved by owners. If you want something that is reliable and affordable, and that doesn’t have any unnecessary features that might increase the costs, then this is a great starting point.
Click the link below for more details about pricing and features on Amazon.
Webetop Multi-Function Portable Solar Generators
If you like the look of the AcoPower but want something that has a little bit of extra functionality, then you’ll want to take a look at the Webetop multi-function power generators.
These don’t hold quite as much power as the AcoPower model, but they will still be suitable for the needs of the average camper, or for someone who just needs a backup power supply at home for emergencies.
You’ll notice right away that a Webetop generator is unique, with its built-in flashlight.
This already makes it a great option for an emergency device to have at home, particularly if you live in an area where there are regular power outages or storms.
The Webetop only has 155Wh of power storage, so it doesn’t provide quite as much juice as the AcoPower, however, it’s still quite enough for what the average person would need.
From 155Wh, it would be possible to run the built-in flashlight for 31 hours, recharge a smartphone 24 times, recharge a tablet 8 times, run a laptop for 3 hours, or run a mini-refrigerator (40W) for just under 4 hours.
These figures are quite similar to the AcoPower, so there aren’t too many compromises to be made if you decide you want this to be your portable solar generator.
Like most solar portable generators/battery packs in this class, the weight of the Webetop makes it easily portable. It weighs just 3.53 lbs., so it’s great for camping or even hiking out on rough terrain. Because it is compact at just 7.68 x 3.54 x 6.69 inches, it’s also the perfect size to serve as a UPS for a laptop or low powered desktop computer.
In addition to being charged with the use of an optional solar panel, the Webetop can also be charged through a car, or from regular AC power.
Check the latest price and offers on Amazon by clicking the link below.
Coolis 150Wh Portable Solar Power Inverter Generator
The Coolis is another model that’s worth considering, and it’s comparable to the Webetop in terms of stored power.
Rated for 150Wh, real-world performance will be on par with the Webetop. That means around 24 charging cycles of a smartphone, 8 charging cycles for a tablet or other power hungry device (such as a portable game console), or 3 hours running of a basic laptop.
Again, like all of the portable solar generators that we’ll look at here, this one can also be used as a UPS backup for your computer at home.
Unlike the Webetop, this unit doesn’t have a built-in flashlight, but it does have a number of other compelling features that make it well worth the money.
It features DC outputs for devices up to 12V/15A, and includes two USB outputs that run at 5V and up to 3.5A. This makes them versatile for direct charging a range of devices, even those electronics that need a high amperage power adaptor.
If you need to plug a power adaptor directly into the unit, then that can be taken care of with the universal socket that is compatible with every mainstream household style plug in the world. There’s even an additional AC socket for standard U.S. devices.
The Coolis takes around 7 hours to charge from a standard household outlet, and it can also be charged with a 40W (or higher) solar panel. When charging from a car, the included adaptor will be able to fully power up the Coolis in around 8 hours.
Solar recharge times will vary depending on the intensity of the sunlight and the quality of the solar panel that is used. For camping or even for use at an off the grid home, this would be a great small battery pack/solar generator, and it’s so compact that it will never be an inconvenience.
If you want to learn more about this model and all of the benefits that it provides, make sure you check out our full review here.
You can also go directly to the product page on Amazon, by following the link below.
Paxcess 100W Portable Inverter Generator
The least powerful generator rounds out our list, but don’t let the modest power figure turn you away from this device.
Although it offers just two thirds of the capacity of something like the Coolis 150Wh generator, the Paxcess still has its place, and may be worth considering if you don’t need the higher power storage that is offered by some other models.
What you will get with this unit is enough to charge a smartphone around 18 times, or you could use it to recharge a low power laptop up to two times.
This is also a popular model for people who use CPAP machines, as it’s a great UPS that can be quickly charged and used whenever necessary.
The average CPAP machine will get two to three nights running from this device.
For camping, it’s just as easy to use as any of the other generators on this list. It’s just 3.3 lbs., can be easily carried and stored, and it can be charged in the car on the way to a campsite.
Of course, when used with a solar panel, it can be recharged anywhere that there is sunlight. Even if used at home as a UPS, using solar power would make it an eco-friendly option as you wouldn’t need to rely on power coming from the grid.
The ports on the Paxcess line of portable solar generators are identical to those on the Coolis models. That means two AC connectors (including a universal connector) as well as two USB ports and multiple DC 12V ports.
Check the link below for the latest price and offers on Amazon.
Portable Solar Generators: Solar Panels Are Optional
Any of these battery pack generators can be charged from standard household outlets, or using car adaptors. If you want to use them as portable solar generators, then you will need an optional panel.
This can add to the overall price of the unit, as well as the weight, so you should consider your options carefully before making a purchase.
One option that has been highly recommended by consumers is the ALLPOWERS 18V/12V 50W Bendable Solar Panel.
It’s water and shock resistant, and is portable at just 3.2 lbs. There are also other options on the market, and it pays to shop around to find one that best suits your needs and your budget.
Another popular option is the AcoPower 12V 50Watt Foldable Solar Panel Kit. This has been designed specifically for small applications like portable solar generators, and could be a great investment for anyone who needs solar recharging on the go, or off the grid.