Best Portable Power Stations - Solar Generators
Portable power stations, also known as solar generators, feature built-in lightweight but powerful lithium-ion batteries and are able to provide energy safely even indoors since they don't emit smelly or poisonous fumes or gases during operation.
Note: unlike power stations/solar generators, power generators use internal combustion engines and must NOT be used indoors - their fumes contain very dangerous carbon monoxide!
Power Stations/Solar Generators Features and Specifications
When choosing the right portable power station, always choose according to your own needs and requirements, always considering features like:
- Output power: portable power stations usually range from compact units with 50-100 watts to large but still portable 2000-3000 or more watts units. Most units can also withstand 5-10 seconds of surge power, which is usually 50-100% of the nominal/continuous power. Solar generators over 3000 Watts usually come with transport wheels and many other add-ons, like battery expansion packs and similar.
- Energy stored: lithium-ion batteries are lightweight and powerful batteries, but nonetheless, they don't store as much energy as fossil fuels (gasoline, diesel, propane) used in power generators. Thus, stored energy is a limiting factor for power stations, limiting their output power and runtime on a single battery charge. Note that some manufacturers emphasize the battery capacity in Amp-Hours (Ah - not good), while others provide information on the energy (in Watt-Hours, Wh) being stored (good).
- Output ports: usually include 120V AC ports/AC outlets intended for household appliances and similar loads, 12V DC ports (various chargers, batteries, smaller loads), and USB-A and USB-C ports (smartphones, tablets, drones, cameras, etc.).
- Pure sine wave AC output: since AC output ports are controlled by electronics, most solar generators feature pure sine wave AC output, allowing them to be used to power even very sensitive devices, appliances, and gadgets.
- Charging ports: charging ports are used to charge the internal battery. Most portable power stations may be recharged using wall socket battery chargers (120V AC), car cigarette lighter adapter ports (12V DC), or suitable solar panels. A portable power station, in combination with a foldable solar panel, is a common choice for people who like outdoor activities or want to be ready for various emergencies. Because most power stations are designed to be recharged using solar panels, power stations are also referred to as "solar generators."
- Pass-through charging feature ensures that the solar generator can be recharged and can provide power to external loads at the same time. This is a very important feature; just be aware that it also slows down the charging process and sometimes even completely stops it, for example, when external loads require more watts than the charging provides.
- UPS feature: solar generators/portable power stations, even with pass-through charging, are NOT UPS devices - their switchover time is usually too long. However, some units may be used as UPS, but the manufacturer clearly states that.
- Emergency LED flashlights are small sources of light with several light modes, usually High, Low, and Strobe/SOS, that are powered by internal batteries and can come in handy in numerous locations, especially during power outages and similar emergencies. However, it can be used in all other situations when a power station is used and additional light is needed - when camping, tailgating, and other off-the-grid activities.
- Dimensions: smaller portable power stations are compact units, usually with a handle on a top (or foldable handle), and can be easily carried in a hand or even a backpack. They usually weigh less than 5 pounds. Large portable power stations have large-capacity batteries that can be carried by one or two adults via built-in handles. Still, they are usually transported by carts, trucks, RVs, boats, etc. They may weigh 10-20 pounds or even more. If even more energy/output power is required, additional battery packs or even power generators are recommended.
- Safety features: portable power stations commonly include short circuit protection, overload protection, over-voltage protection, over-current protection, low voltage protection, temperature control, and similar. Despite all the safety features that come with the portable power stations, note that they are not toys but serious equipment that must be treated, used, and maintained as instructed by their manufacturers.
- Price and warranty: portable power stations vary in size and features, and thus, their prices also vary from 100 or so dollars/euros for smaller models to a few hundred/thousands of dollars/euros for premium models. The warranty period also varies from 6-12 months to a few years, and it does NOT include damages caused by misuse of the units - if the power station was accidentally dropped from the roof of the RV on the concrete floor, forget its warranty...
Of course, there are other features that may be interesting/important, but these are commonly the most important ones.
Although modern power stations are easy and rather intuitive to use when your new power station arrives, be sure to read the manual thoroughly - better safe than sorry.
For more information, feel free to check:
- Boat, Camping, RV, and Household Appliances Wattage Charts
- Best Solar Panel Kits - 100 Watts, 200 Watts, 400 Watts Kits
- Best Quiet Camping Generators
- How Long Does It Take For Water To Boil?
- Solar Powered Air Conditioner: How Many Solar Panels To Run an AC Unit
Or check our Articles and Guides category.
Here is the list of our portable power stations/solar generators reviews and recommendations, ordered according to the date added or modified.
Duracell 300W Portable Power Station/Solar Generator is a compact and relatively lightweight unit designed for various outdoor activities like camping, fishing, RV, and similar, but also for power outages, emergencies, etc.
Despite the size, the Duracell 300W portable solar generator features a long list of output ports and can be recharged in many ways, helping the user to power various AC and DC (12V, USB) devices.
Published: November 8, 2023.
DenGaWa R200 Portable Power Station is a very compact and relatively lightweight portable power station/solar generator, suitable for traveling, camping, hiking, etc.
DenGaWa R200 Portable Power Station is often considered a very large power bank, but it has everything a good power station/solar generator must have. Obviously, due to its size, it doesn't come with features commonly found on larger models, but it is also much more affordable.
Published: September 7, 2023.
Westinghouse iGen200s Portable Power Station and Solar Generator is a lightweight and compact unit intended for charging smart devices and powering smaller devices like smart TVs, telecommunication devices, multimedia centers, LED lighting, etc., during blackouts and emergencies, but also when camping, fishing, hiking, and generally, when being off the grid.
Thanks to the built-in lithium battery, Westinghouse iGen200s can be used both indoors and outdoors, and if required, it can even be recharged using a smaller solar panel (not included).
Published: June 7, 2023.
ECOFLOW RIVER Pro Portable Power Station is a compact and relatively lightweight portable power station/solar generator designed for use at home in emergencies and blackouts, but also camping, RVs, outdoors, etc.
ECOFLOW RIVER Pro Portable Power Station is a versatile unit, supporting several charging methods, the use of an additional external battery, and pass-through charging, and is able to power a long range of external devices.
Published: October 27, 2022.
Gooloo P600 Portable Power Station is a mid-range portable power station/solar generator, suitable for powering smaller AC devices and for charging various USB charged devices.
With a relatively large lithium-ion battery, Gooloo P600 Portable Power Station is suitable for various situations including camping, fishing, and hiking, but also for emergencies and blackouts.
Published: May 24, 2022.
Bluetti AC200P is a larger, heavy, but also sturdy, powerful, and rather versatile power station/solar generator and one of the most sought-after power stations on the market in its class.
Bluetti AC200P features large and powerful Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, MPPT charger controller that supports various charging methods, 17(!) output ports ranging from a pair of wireless charging pads to pure-sine outlets.
Bluetti AC200P is an ideal zero-carbon solution for any camper or RV enthusiast, but also it can come in very handy during blackouts, emergencies, or any similar situation.
Updated: February 2, 2022.
EGO Power+ PST3040/PST3041/PST3042 2000W/3000W Nexus Portable Power Station is a large, powerful, and configurable high-output power station that may come very useful in many situations, including emergencies, job sites, camping, tailgating, and similar.
With the maximum of 2000 continuous output watts and the maximum of 3000 peek watts, EGO Power+ PST3040/PST3041/PST3042 2000W/3000W Nexus Portable Power Station offers the users a power source that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Published: March 17, 2021.
AIMTOM SPS-300 is a versatile portable power station based on a large lithium-ion battery pack that stores 280 Wh of energy.
Thanks to its compact and lightweight design, several different charging options, numerous output ports, AIMTOM SPS-300 is a very popular mid-range portable power station.
Published: February 22, 2021.
BALDR 330 is a portable power station designed for camping, tailgating, fishing, and other outdoor activities and for indoor applications where a reliable power source is required, even in emergencies and other off-the-grid situations.
BALDR 330 may be used to charge smartphones, tablets, and other USB and wireless charged devices, it can power AC appliances, it features LED light, telescopic handle, and is lightweight and compact enough to be carried to the shorter distances by hand.
Published: February 22, 2021.
Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station is a lightweight and compact, but rather versatile portable power station, suitable for camping, fishing, hunting, tailgating, road trips, and other off-the-grid situations, emergencies included.
Westinghouse iGen160s is powered by 155 Wh lithium-ion battery, can be used indoors since it emits no fumes or gases. Due to its dimensions, its output power is somewhat limited, but it can still power a broad range of smaller home appliances, it can recharge smartphones, tablets, laptops, drones, etc.
Published: February 22, 2021.
Rockpals RP250W is a very popular compact and lightweight portable power station, often used for fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities and off-the-grid situations.
In emergencies, Rockpals RP250W is able to power most essential appliances, various light sources and to recharge telecommunication and other electronic devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets, and similar.
Published: February 22, 2021.
Jackery Explorer Portable Power Stations are a group of very popular power stations with a broad range of the amount of stored energy, output power, connecting ports, charging options, and similar.
Jackery Explorer Portable Power Stations store the energy at the onboard lithium battery - during operation, they produce no fumes, with practically no noise. Also, they may be charged even with portable solar panels, making them almost ideal power source for camping and fishing trips, for emergencies and other off-the-grid situations.
Published: February 22, 2021.