In todays modern world more and more people are converting to a simpler lifestyle and living off the grid. One of the most essential equipment you need to successfully live off the grid is solar panels and some batteries. Together these solar generators supply all the energy you need for your off-the-grid activities.
While solar generators are relatively new technology, they are slowly getting better each year. There are now many different types solar generators. Some which are perfect for situations like camping and others for full off-the-grid living.
No matter what situation you’re in there is a solar generator out there for you. In this article we review the best solar generators out on the market. All of the below devices have been tested and reviewed. So take a look at each and decipher which one is best for you
Solar Generator Comparison Guide
|Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator w/20W Solar Panel
|- 39.1 Pounds
- 17.5 x 15 x 12.2 Inches
|Renogy FireFly Solar Generator w/ 20W Solar Panel
|- 12 Pounds
- 15.2 x 11.8 x 3.8 Inches
|Monerator Gusto Solar Generator w/ 10W Solar Panel
|- 4.9 Pounds
- 11.2 x 9.8 x 5.3 Inches
|Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator w/ Two 30W Solar Panels
|- 116 Pounds
- 21 x 18 x 11.5 Inches
The Best Solar Generators
1. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator w/20W Solar Panel
First on the review is the Goal Zero Yeti 400 solar generator. This is one of the best smaller generators on the market. Since it’s so portable we found it to be perfect when in situations like camping.
The Goal Zero is powered by a 20W solar panel. Since it’s only 20W the panel is on the smaller side. To add on to this the panel is foldable so it is extremely portable. The panel is also built out of durable materials so you don’t have to worry about damaging it.
This solar generator also contains the Goal Zero Yeti 400 battery. This battery provides 400Wh. This is enough energy to power your mobile phone over 30 times or enough energy to power a laptop 3-5 times. Making it one of the more powerful batteries on the list.
The battery itself can power your devices in 3 different ways. There are 2 USB ports to charge your medium-sized devices, there is a 12V output for all your 12V devices, and there are 2 AC Inverters where you plug-in larger devices like laptops or TVs. Overall giving you many different charging options for your different devices.
You can charge the Goal Zero 400 battery by 2 different ways. First you can charge it in just 5 hours through a standard wall outlet. If this isn’t an option then you can charge it from solar within 40-80 hours. Yes, this is a long time, but it makes sense because of the small 20W solar panel and large 400 generator.
Overall this is a great starter solar generator if you need something small, but powerful. We found it to be very effective while doing activities such as camping. On the other hand we don’t think it’s suitable for full off-the-grid living since it takes so long to charge. With that being said it’s a great solar generator and something that you should look into.
Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 15 x 12.2 Inches
Weight: 39.1 Pounds
Battery Capacity: 400Wh
2. Renogy FireFly Solar Generator w/ 20W Solar Panel
Second on the review is the Renogy Firefly solar generator. Renogy is a well-known for their premium products in the solar community. This solar generator sets the bar high as it’s one of the most practical generator on this list.
Unlike all of the other generators on the review, this one has solar panels that are built into the unit. These panels total an output of 20W, which is actually a lot for how small the unit is.
Within the unit itself is a relatively large battery. The battery has a total output of 175Wh. Meaning it can charge larger items like laptops around 1-3 times. This total amount of energy is a lot considering the size of the unit.
On the side of the Renogy Firefly is multiple outputs. There is 1 AC inverter, 1 12V port, 2 USB ports, and ports for other external solar panels. Giving you many options to choose from when charging your devices.
On the other side of the solar generator is a LED flashlight. Allowing you to see when in dark areas. The generator also features an LED display, a handle, and a durable outer casing.
One of the greatest aspects about Renogy Firefly’s is its wonderful durability. It has a hard outer shell to protect all the internal parts. It also has latches for the parts that open from the generator. In combination they make this one of the most durable generators on the list. It’s also water-proof which is another added bonus.
Overall we found the Renogy Firefly to a great value. It’s perfect for those who need a compact solar generator that is super durable. So if you go camping a lot then this a must buy!
Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 11.8 x 3.8 Inches
Weight: 12 Pounds
Battery Capacity: 175Wh
3 . Monerator Gusto Solar Generator w/ 10W Solar Panel
The Monerator uses a smaller 10W solar panel. This is by far the smallest on the review and thus charges the battery very slow. With that being said the solar panel is made out of high quality materials and actually converts energy very fast. If for some reason solar isn’t available then charging from a traditional wall outlet will work.
The battery that stores the energy from the 10W solar panel is very small. It only provides 128Wh of power. Meaning it’s the smallest battery on the review and provides for the least amount of power. When testing it ourself we found that it charges a laptop around 1-2 times. On the battery itself is 3 USB ports, DC output, and 1 AC inverter. Giving you a lot of option to charge from.
The Monerator Gusto claims their battery uses advanced lithium-ion battery technology. Meaning they battery is lighter, safer, and longer lasting than other batteries on the market. Since we only tested this device for around a week, we don’t know if their claims are true. We do believe the battery is high quality though and can charge devices effectively.
Overall this is a great solar generator if you need a cheap and portable option. If you can spend the money then we recommend purchasing a Goal Zero generator as they provide more power and are higher quality products. With that being said the Monerator Gusto is a good solar generator and something you should look more into.
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.8 x 5.3 Inches
Weight: 4.9 Pounds
Battery Capacity: 128Wh
4. Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator w/ Two 30W Solar Panels
Last on the review is the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 solar generator. This is one of the biggest solar generators on the market and is a great choice for those who need to a generator for their whole household.
This generator has two 30W solar panels. While they aren’t the biggest panels you can buy, they definitely provide a lot of power. They are traditional solar panels so they are built out of quality materials and made to last.
The battery for this generator is a Goal Zero Yeti 1250. This a huge battery as it’s built to be a complete solar generator. It weighs a whopping 103 pounds and provides 1,250 of energy. This is enough energy to power a fridge for 12-24 hours.
On the generator itself is 3 USB ports, 1 DC port, and 3 AC inverters. Together they give you all the power options you need when you’re off the grid. There is also an LED display and 2 handles. Since the device is so heavy it comes with roll cart. Allowing you to transport the generator effectively.
Charging with this generator is quick and efficient. It takes a full 24 hours to charge the generator completely from the sun. So just leave the generator out for the day and you’ll have more than enough energy when you come home at night. Since there is no gas you can easily bring this generator outside with no issues.
In the end the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 solar generator is a premium product. It has everything you need when in an emergency or if you just want to live off the grid. Its durable and has many features to make it the best generator possible. So if you’re looking for the biggest and baddest solar generator out there then this is the product for you!
Product Dimensions: 21 x 18 x 11.5 Inches
Weight: 116 Pounds
Battery Capacity: 1200Wh
Solar Generator Benefits
Solar generators have many different benefits, but their most notable is the freedom that they bring. These cool devices allow you to tap into the sun’s energy literally anywhere you go. Allowing you to have energy at all times, even when you aren’t connected to the grid.
As we mentioned above these solar generators have become very popular in the off-the-grid community. They have allowed these people to live wherever they want while still having luxury of electricity. Some of the people in this community like to strictly use solar panels to power their homes while others like the added benefit of a generator battery. In our opinion it’s best to add a battery to a solar system as it will allow you to have electricity while at night.
One cool thing about these solar generators is that they come in many different shapes and sizes. There are some that can power a full house hold and there are others that can simply charge large items like laptops. Whatever situation you are in there is a solar generator out there for you.
These solar devices aren’t only useful for when living off-the-grid, but they are extremely useful when in emergencies. If the power ever goes out then you can bring one of these inside the house to power your appliances. Since they don’t use gas or produce fumes, they are safe to bring inside of your house.