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Top 10 Solar Generators for Camping with All Your Gadgets

Courtesy of the retailer

USED ​​GENERATORS to be loud, smelly, and fueled by gasoline, and unless you were living a survival lifestyle in a cabin in the woods, you probably didn’t have much need for one. However, in these days of renewable energy, we are rethinking the idea of ​​generators. Solar generators (also known as portable power stations or portable power banks) seem to be everywhere now. It’s no surprise: they’re smaller, quieter and more environmentally friendly than their predecessors. They’re also clean enough to work indoors and, given enough sunlight, can be recharged indefinitely. Plus, in our tech-hungry world, just about everyone has a use for them. For campers, in particular, packing a portable power station is just as important as packing a tent, hiking backpack, and proper s’mores kit.

Read More: Best Camping Essentials

If you are reading this, you may already be shopping for solar generators. So by now you know that comparing options can seem impossible without a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. The long list of techno-jargon, things like “MPPT charge controllers”, “lithium iron phosphate cores” and “monocrystalline cells”, doesn’t help either. So, we dove into the best options available to find the better of the best solar generators for camping in 2022. (Pro tip: Despite the name, solar generators aren’t actually generate electricity; they just store it. To recharge yours in the field, you’ll also need one or two portable solar panels.)

    Read more: Best gear for outdoor activities

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Best Solar Generator Overall


Explorer 500 Portable Power Station Solar Generator

Ability 518Wh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions (L x W x H) 11.84 x 7.59 x 9.2 inches
weight 13.32 pounds

best compact solar generator


300W portable power station

Ability 280.8Wh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions (L x W x D) 10.5 x 5.3 x 8.5 inches
weight 7.7 pounds

The best solar generator for Overlanding

zero goal

Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station

Ability 1516 Wh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions (L x W x H) 19x14x14 inches
weight 43 pounds

The best solar generator for motorhomes


AC200MAX Portable Power Station

Ability 2,048Wh LiFePO4 battery
Dimensions (L x W x H) 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches
weight 62 pounds

Best Solar Generator for 12V Portable Appliances


Portable Lithium Battery PLB40

Ability 512Wh lithium-ion battery
Dimension 7.76 x 7.76 x 10.02 inches
weight 16.1 pounds

The best solar generator for emergencies

judy power

1000W/1280Wh portable power station

Ability 1280Wh LiFePO4 battery
Dimension 11.42 x 10.16 x 8.27 inches
weight 30.8 pounds

The best solar generator for high consumption devices


Delta Mini Portable Power Station

Ability 882 Wh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions (L x W x H) 14.9 x 7.2 x 9.4 inches
weight 23.6 pounds

The most versatile solar generator


HomePower ONE: Backup Battery Power Station

Ability 1002 Wh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions (L x W x H) 13 x 9.15 x 9.57 inches
weight 23 pounds

Best Value LiFePO4 Solar Generator for Camping


500W portable power station/solar generator

Ability 518Wh LiFePO4 battery
Dimension 10.85 x 9.1 x 8.4 inches
weight 18.74 pounds

Best Entry Level LiFePO4 Solar Generator for Camping


535 Portable Power Station

Ability 512Wh LiFePO4 battery
Dimensions (L x W x H) 11.5 x 9.9 x 7.4 inches
weight 16.75 pounds

How to buy the best solar generators (for you)

Shopping for electronics can be intimate, especially if you’re not a “techie.” Battery technology can be especially tricky, sometimes making you feel like you need an advanced degree just to compare products. Under the hood, solar generators are complicated little devices. But finding the right model doesn’t have to be impossible. Here are the most important things to consider when shopping for the best solar generator (for you):

  • Ability: In general, it all comes down to capacity, measured in watt-hours (represented in Wh). It is the measure of how much “juice” a particular battery can hold. In automotive terms, the capacity of the solar generator is like the size of a car’s gas tank. Although there are some smaller models, most basic generators have a capacity of 500 Wh. Larger but still portable models store around 1000-1500 Wh. There are even larger alternatives available, but the larger the capacity, the heavier the generator. Anything over 1,500 Wh is likely to weigh more than 60 pounds, which is more than most campers are willing to carry.
  • Your personal energy needs: A complete assessment of your own energy needs can be very complicated. But in general, a 500 Wh solar generator is usually enough for the “average” small family of campers for a long weekend. That’s a group of 3-4, all of whom recharge their smartphones every day and have a handful of other devices (a couple of tablets, laptops, and, say, a digital camera) in tow. For especially tech-savvy groups or extended trips, consider something more robust, like a 1000Wh option. For more detailed information, see the manufacturer’s website. Most rate their solar generators in terms of how many charges that generator will give your smartphone, laptop, iPad, etc.
  • Battery Type: Most solar generators currently on the market use traditional lithium-ion battery technology. It is safe, reliable, relatively light and can be discharged and recharged many times over the years. However, next-generation solar generators are starting to use lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. It’s even safer, more efficient, and lasts much longer than lithium-ion (in some cases, a decade or more). Solar generators powered by LiFePO4 are more expensive, but they are worth the extra expense if they are within your budget.

In today’s modern age, having power, especially when out in nature, is more important than ever. To find the best solar generators for camping, our editors researched, tested, and hand-picked these 10 generators from dozens of options on the market. During testing, we considered everything from size and weight (which can affect your load when camping) to power capacity. We also took into account the overall design, the user experience, and of course the price. The choices above are our top picks for the best solar generators to buy in 2022.

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