Going to the great outdoors and debating the best portable solar generators for camping or hiking?
If your answer to the question above is a resounding “yes” – you’ve landed on the right resource page. Here, we’re going to show you the very best 5 portable solar generators that are super great and awesome enough to go camping or hiking with.
That’s not all: we’re also going to discuss in detail the features of each so that you’ll make the right choice and ultimately choose the exact model that will best serve your energy needs when you leave civilization and the grid well behind and head to the wild where producing power to sustain your gadgets is your sole responsibility and not that of the authorities or government 🙂
However, before we land to the list of the perfect solar generators for camping/hiking proper, let’s see why you even need a solar generator for your camping or hiking spree (in the first place).
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Why You Need A Portable Solar Generator For Camping Or Hiking
Recently, we published 9 solid reasons why you need a solar generator handy.
However, when you’re going camping or hiking, the rules change completely – so does your primary reasons for looking for your own source of power. The basic reason why its a different ball game altogether is because, at that point, a solar powered generator is no longer an option – it becomes a smart necessity; one that you cannot productively do without.
Here are 4 solid reasons why we sincerely believe that you cannot productively do without a portable solar power station when you hit the wild:
a. The Grid Ceases To Exist – At Least For You
This is the grand character of all camps or hikes – and camping/hiking experiences in general: no traditional power from the grid or a wall socket to power the (mostly) hungry smart devices we all rely on today for productivity 🙂
The implication of this is simple but glaring at the same time: you need to provide your own power if you’re to conquer the wild, enjoy the process and most importantly, return home to your loved ones safely.
A quick question: which smart portable power source beats a portable solar generator in this service department?
b. Only The Sun Is A Viable Option For Power Generation In The Wild
From the first point, it is clear that you’re OYO (On Your Own) as far as power generation is concerned during an experience in the wild.
Being on your own means that you’ll need a reliable and renewable energy source that will serve you in an inexhaustible fashion right through your stay in the wild.
In this respect, only the sun can provide such an amazing – and renewable fuel needed to conquer the wild and importantly, blaze the trail.
The good news? There are generators that run not on gasoline, but on pure sun rays: solar power generators. They are the generators whose help you need when you decide on that adventure to the wild.
c. Powering Of Essential Gadgets
The thrill of any camping adventure or hiking experience lies primarily in the experiences that are being felt and the emotions that are captured and later relayed.
For these two to take place, essential gadgets like cameras, laptops, cell-phones, tablets etc all need to be powered on and actively used to the full.
This is where a large ‘power-bank’ – with a capacity to recharge itself comes to mind. This ‘large power bank’ is what some of us who are versed in solar energy technology call, portable solar generators 🙂
d. Assurance Of Safety
There’s no point in venturing to the great outdoors for camping or hiking when you’re pretty sure that safety will be an issue. It doesn’t make sense; or does it?
However, with a smart portable solar generator, you can be rest assured that no harm will come your way. A solar generator on a hike or during camp ensures safety in 3 ways primarily:
- By providing reasonably bright light (directly or via the USB ports by means of a LED dongle). This light scares off reptiles and other wild animals.
- By providing enough power to keep your communication gadgets powered so that you can call out for help – if there arises the need.
- And, finally, by providing special light effects (SOS mode) so that help can be channeled to you. This is especially useful at night.
Having seen sufficiently clear why you need a solar power generator on your camping or hiking trip, let’s now turn our attention to the features to look out for in these handy solar generators.
In essence, what should you look out for when you go shopping solar mobile power for your camp or hike?
What To Look Out For When Shopping For Portable Camping Or Hiking Solar Generators
When you’re out shopping for handy solar generators to use on your next camping experience or hiking exploration, here are the things to specifically look out for:
- Get units that are handy; while this goes without saying, many first time buyers make the mistake of buying units that wind up being too bulky, under the mistaken assumption that they need truly enormous power to survive in the wild.
- Look out for options that have more than one way to carry them. Such generators with multi-carry handles ensure that you tire less on long trails and trail-blazing expeditions.
- If you can, pick up a unit that is weatherproof. However, since this is not always practical, ensure that the unit you’ve picked is properly manufactured in the best manner possible.
- Ensure that you get a unit that has an impressive battery storage. Generally, be sure that you do not pick on any generator that does not have a battery that is rated above 15Ah.
- Finally, be certain that you pick up a unit that charges super fast via solar energy. The advantage of such a unit is that, when you’re out of juice, you can easily recharge it without much ado or fuss.
Now, after taking a look at what you should look out for when shopping for a portable solar generator for camping or hiking, let’s now take a careful look and review of the top 5 best portable solar generators for camping and hiking.
Best Portable Solar Generators For Camping & Hiking: Our Top 5 Picks
The generators featured here all meet the express criteria set out above for generators that are awesome for camping and hiking.
According thus, you do not need to bother yourself with ensuring that the features laid above are met with; the writers of this piece have already done this bit of work for you. All that is left for you is simply to pick up the model that bet suits your needs and budget.
Best of luck as you decide!
1. Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator
The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 solar generator is mentioned first on this list for very good reason: it is the best solar generator that has combined power, portability, function and ease of use in a manner that no other solar generator has been able to – till date. It is Goal Zero’s masterpiece 🙂
Though pricey – for the serious camper (or hiker) who really wants to enjoy life to the fullest on that special camp ground or that hike, this generator is a must have, especially if other campers are in the picture or the entire family is coming.
The reason for the statement immediately above is clear: with a monster 100Ah battery churning out 1200Wh of power and capable of powering a mini fridge for up to 24 hours without being recharged by the sun, this is surely a monster of a camping or hiking portable solar generator any camper or hiker who has serious power needs should consider.
Portable Solar Generators
Specs And Features Of The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator
- Monster 100Ah battery that can literally last the whole day even with appreciable load.
- 3 2.1A USB outlets.
- 3 standard 12V DC ports (for 12 volt devices).
- 3 AC socket outlets.
- Pure sine wave inverter.
- Chainable with another Yeti 1250 (if you desire insane power).
- Digital LED display that lets you know all the vital stats of the generator.
- Truly a hybrid: chargeable by solar, the wall and the 12V cigarette port of your car.
- Various carrying options available – the coolest being a rugged roll cart, complete with really nice tires.
Notable Advantages Of The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator
- The monster capacity of the Yeti 1250 can hardly be matched by a similarly sized solar generator. It is thus a deal you can hardly get anywhere.
- The Yeti 1250 charges fast for its size – just over a day when it’s completely drained and recharged by solar; well under a day by use of a conventional AC wall socket.
- Various DC, AC and USB ports makes the generator a true powerhouse that can really tackle on various loads simultaneously.
- Finally, it has brand appeal – and currently, is one of the most recognized models on the market.
2. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator
Right next to the Yeti 1250 is Goal Zero’s smaller unit: the Goal Zero Yeti 400 portable solar generator.
Though not a ‘giant monster’ like the 1250, the 400 is nonetheless one of the best portable solar generators for camping and hiking, especially if you’re solo, need to power less gadgets or are on a budget (and the price of the 1250 appears intimidating 🙂 )
When you add the fact that the Yeti 400 solar generator is currently the best selling portable solar generator available on the market, you’ll agree and see the point why many campers and hikers recommend it as their power source of choice and importantly, use, rely on and ultimately, swear by it!
Specs And Features Of The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator
- 33Ah 12V battery churning out 400Wh of power. This is backup power enough to juice up all the basic gadgets you’ll ever need on a camp or hike.
- Awesome and very legible LED powered display that shows all the ‘vital stats’.
- Super lightweight that it can be comfortably held with only a hand – the generator weighs only 29lbs (13.2kg).
- Pure sine wave inverter that produces clean AC.
- 2 AC sockets; 2 USB ports and a 12V DC outlet for devices that rely on direct current.
- Chainable to another Yeti 400 to increase run-time (if need be).
- Pure hybrid: rechargeable by the sun, the traditional wall socket and the 12V DC port of a car.
- Fast charging; by solar energy, it takes less than half a day. By an AC traditional socket, just a few hours.
- Finally, the solar panel that the Yeti 400 comes with is foldable; this is super perfect for camping and hiking as it can fit right into any backpack.
Notable Advantages Of The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Solar Generator
- Currently this generator is the best selling portable solar generator on the market.
- At only 29lbs, it is super portable and can be carried without any issues – even when the terrain gets tricky or tiredness sets in.
- The foldable solar panel is an awesome fit for really smart and mobile campers. Nothing beats it.
- It charges really fast – and has an impressive 33Ah battery.
3. Kalisaya KP 601 Portable Solar Generator
The Kalisaya KP 601 portable solar generator is currently the only solar generator available in the market that has an (almost) perfect energy to weight ratio.
What this means that, for its weight, it produces energy that is practically unmatched by any other solar generator of that weight range. While this is indeed a huge claim, we have used an array of clean energy generators, powered by the sun and we must agree that to the extent of our use and knowledge, this statement by Kalisaya is correct.
The good news? A light, yet powerful portable alternative energy generator is the dream of every hiker or camper. Imagine travelling light yet having enough power to tackle all your electronics and gadgets and even smile at the reserve – when you take a look 🙂
This is Kalisaya’s promise. To the best of our knowledge and wisdom, they’ve delivered so far – especially where the KP 601 solar generator is concerned.
Specs And Features Of The Kalisaya KP 601 Solar Generator
- This unit weighs only 14lbs (6.3kg). At this weight, even a kid can comfortably carry this portable generator.
- 38Ah lithium-ion battery – one of the few clean energy generators to deploy such efficient batteries. This battery churns out an impressive 558Wh of power on the go!
- The KP601 has an impressive optional accessory that will delight any serious camper/hiker: a weatherproof coat. When the generator is coated with it, it becomes practically waterproof 🙂
- The KP601 comes standard with a foldable solar panel that makes it easy to backpack and move on.
- Hybrid charging options: the generator can charge on solar, the 12V DC cigarette port of your car and via a standard AC socket.
- Can be managed remotely via a dedicated app that supports both iOS and the Android platforms.
Notable Advantages Of The Kalisaya KP 601 Portable Solar Generator
- Badass energy to weight ratio – it is the lightest, yet one of the most powerful portable solar generators currently available in the market today.
- This generator is the only generator that has a standard raincoat – practically making it waterproof – or weatherproof, depending on the reality.
- Again, this is the only solar generator available in the market that can conveniently be managed remotely via an app.
4. Suaoki 400Wh Portable Solar Generator
There’s always the extra-crazy folk who desires to get more out of everything – and test the limits of the tech and devices that they have.
If you’re that crazy folk, then, the Suaoki 400Wh portable solar generator is the perfect fit for you. Not only is this power station powerful and handy, it has that ‘box appeal’ of a traditional gasoline generator and using it will ring like using an ordinary generator, except that no fuel will need to be added.
However, the most important feature of this generator is its rare ability to jumpstart a dead car’s battery. If you’re using an auto tranny, this remains the greatest feature you’ll love with this unit – especially since it is the only generator out there that sports it.
Specs And Features Of The Suaoki 400Wh Portable Solar Generator
- Monster 120Ah lithium-ion battery churning out 400Wh of power.
- Pure sine wave AC output.
- Numerous and practical ports: 4 USB ports, 2 standard AC sockets, 2 DC ports for lightening, 1 cigarette lighter port for a mini fridge and 1 jump-starter port.
- 3 way charging: solar, AC and the DC cigarette lighter port of a car.
- Smart LED display that features all the vital stats of the generator.
- An impressive Battery Management System (BMS) that ensures a smart use of the battery and intelligent load monitoring.
- Ability to jumpstart a dead car’s battery from the inbuilt battery of the unit.
- Finished with an aluminium shell that ensures that users still have a generator to resort to even after an accident or an unintended fall.
Notable Advantages Of The Suaoki 400Wh Portable Solar Generator
- Ability to jumpstart a dead car’s battery; it is the only solar generator on this list that has this feature.
- An aluminium shell that means less challenges in the instance of an accident.
- An intelligent Battery Management System (BMS) that ensures that incidences of over current, over voltage and other power/battery related incidences are smartly handled, minimizing the risk of damage, frustration or injury.
5. Renogy KIT-FIREFLY 20W All-In-One Generator Kit
The Renogy KIT-FIREFLY 20w All-in-One Generator kit is mentioned last here but don’t be fooled: it is a monster solar generator that even the most careless and completely carefree camper/hiker cannot destroy – it is engineered to meet military specifications!
Designed in a waterproof fashion and further engineered in a typical briefcase fashion, this Renogy generator is not just ultra portable – it also features built in solar panels, making the Renogy the only generator on this list to ensure such an awesome and impressive engineering/design.
Specs And Features Of The Renogy KIT-FIREFLY 20W All-In-One Generator Kit
- 16Ah polymer battery churning out 175Wh of energy.
- Pure sine wave inverter that ensures the ejection of clean, harmless AC power.
- Briefcase design that ensures ultra portability.
- An SOS mode and traditional lights that serve non traditional needs.
- Inbuilt solar panels that complement the generator’s all round portability.
- A waterproof case that ensures that the weather scares users less.
Notable Advantages Of The Renogy KIT-FIREFLY 20W All-In-One Generator Kit
- Engineered to meet military specifications. It is thus more tolerant to extreme abuse and neglect.
- Waterproof. This alone assures peace of mind when the weather changes.
- Built in solar panels – users/explorers need not bother about separate solar panels when preparing for the wild.
Summary & Wrap Up Of The Best Portable Solar Generators For Camping/Hiking
At just under 3,000 words, this entry needs to end 🙂 However, if you’re to really enjoy it, a smart summary is right in order:
- If you’re looking for a monster solar generator (think powering a fridge and drilling machines) and have a car to convey it, go with the Goal Zero Yeti 1250.
- If you’re interested in brand appeal and do not have much load, save a laptop, camera and cell phone, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 will work the magic.
- Looking for the best weight to energy ratio generator available today? Go with the Kalisaya KP 601.
- Thinking of using your generator for other things such as jump-starting a battery? Go with the Suaoki 400Wh portable solar generator.
- Finally, if you’re looking for military grade waterproof solar generator that can handle all abuses you throw at it, your best bet is the Renogy KIT-FIREFLY 20W portable solar generator.
Happy shopping; happy camping/hiking 🙂