Looking for best solar generator that comes within the budget, has long battery life, and of course, small and portable which would be perfect for your van life journey, But confuse about which one to go with?
No worries as I have compiled a list of “Top 10 Best Solar Generators for Van Life” After very deep research of days and nights and listed the best solar generators that would be a perfect fit for your van journey.
Solar generators are the best option to consider when it comes to spending few nights in a van, RV, or camping with friends in the wilderness. These generators are the easiest and quickest way to charge your smartphones, Laptops, Camera, GPS and to power other essential devices and appliances without any trouble and noise.
The best part is charging these solar generators is not an issue, as these generators come with a triple charging mode. It means solar generators can be charged with
- Solar Panels
- Ac wall outlets
- 12V Car charger
List Of Best Solar generators For Van Life: At A Glance
In a hurry? No problem! Here is our list of “Top 10 Best Portable Solar Generators”. These are picked based on their user reviews, budget, performance, and ratings, However, the numbering of the products is given based on wattage(except the last one). Have a quick look at the below table.
If you are confused about picking one, simply scroll down and read the buyer’s guide. It will help you select the best one according to your need.
|Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Solar Generator||22.04 Pounds||1000 watts||View on Amazon|
|Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Solar Generator||29 Pounds||600 watts
||View on Amazon|
|EF ECOFLOW RIVER 600 (Highly Recomended)||11 Pounds||600 watts||View on Amazon|
|Aeiusny 400W Portable Solar Generator||7.49 Pounds||400 watts
||View on Amazon|
|BALDR 330W Portable Solar Generator||7.1 Pounds||330 watts||View on Amazon|
|ZOOMBROS 330W Portable Solar Generator||8.8 Pounds||330 watts||View on Amazon|
|FlashFish 60000mAh 300W Solar Generator||5.73 Pounds||300 watts||View on Amazon|
|FlashFish 40800mAh 200W Solar Generator||4.08 Pounds||200 watts||View on Amazon|
|Nexpow 48000mAh 120W Camping Solar Generator||3.1 Pounds
||120 watts||View on Amazon|
|Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Solar Generator||43 Pounds||2000 watts||View on Amazon|
Images from Amazon using image link
Top 10 Best Solar Generators: Review
1. Jackery Explorer 1000 – Best Heavy Duty Solar Generator
When it comes to spending few nights in a van, RV, or camping with friends in the wilderness, The Jackery Explorer 1000 comes in 1st place. The unit comes with total output wattage of 1000watts( surge 2000watts) which is more than enough for any outdoor activity.
The unit is small in size and weighs only 22 pounds(9.97 kg) which makes it easier to carry around or to fit in the back of your van or RV.
With its 1002Wh(46.4Ah) lithium battery, you can charge your devices like smartphone, laptop, GoPro, GPS, fans, LEDs a couple of times and can also power other essential heavy devices and appliances including CPAP machine, mini-refrigerator, mini heaters, portable ovens, and coffee makers, etc for a long period.
This unit features 3 standard pure sine Ac outlets, 2 USB ports, 2 Type-c ports, and 1 quick charge 3.0 output port all of which can be used simultaneously without any blinking.
This solar generator can be charged with 3 different charging methods that include charging through solar panels (takes 8-10 hours using 2 solar panels), through an Ac wall outlet(takes 7-8 hours), and by using a 12V car charger( takes 14 long hours ). It is recommended to use Jackery Solar Panel SolarSaga 100 for effective charging, However, you can use other solar panels too without any worry.
2. Goal Zero Yeti 400 – Best Trusted Solar Generator Brand
The yeti 400 offers in two types, one with a lithium battery and one with a lead-acid battery. Both come in the same features and weighs only 29 pounds(13.1kg) with overall output wattage of 400 watts (surge 600 watts).
This solar station comes with 2 pure-sine wave Ac outlets, 2 USB ports, 1 12V cigarette port, and 2 Dc output ports which can charge your phone, tablets, laptops, camera, GoPro, fan, Tv, CPAP machine, and many other high loads (below 600 watts) devices easily.
The best part is, all of its output ports can be used simultaneously which means charging your 7 devices without any blinking.
The most unique feature of Goal Zero Yeti 400 is that it allows you to expand its battery storage capacity by connecting secondary or even tertiary batteries so you can never out of charge again, This is the only feature that very few offer in today’s market.
This solar generator allows you to charge your unit in 3 different ways. 1. charge through solar panels takes around 8 hours, 2. through Ac wall outlets which takes 5 hours, and 3. by using a 12V car charger which takes 13 long hours.
3. Ecoflow River 600 – Best Budget Solar Generator For Camping
This good-looking and modern solar generator is the EF Ecoflow model river 600 that comes with an output wattage of 600W(peak 1200W).
The River 600 has some amazing features that no one else is offering right now. Before jumping into those features, first, let’s dive into its basic features.
This power station has 3 pure-sine wave AC outlets, 1 cigarette port, 2 DC Ports, 3 USB(1 with fast charging) ports, 1-Type-C output port, 1 flashlight on the front, and a stunning Led display. With all these output ports you can easily power up to 10 devices simultaneously, including drone, camera, phone, laptop, CPAP machine, and many other essential devices and appliances with no worries.
This amazing solar generator can be charged with 3 different methods. Can be charged using solar panels(not included), Ac wall outlets, and can be charged with a 12V car charger. Now here comes the best part. Using it’s X-Stream Technology this Ecoflow River 600 can be charged from 0-80% within 1 hour and takes 1.6 hours to charge 100% completely. isn’t this amazing?
You can easily control and monitor your EcoFlow power station remotely with its EcoFlow app. This mobile application can be used on both Andriod and IOS( the app can be found here ).
The storage capacity of this unit can be easily expanded from 288Wh to 576Wh by using an extra EcoFlow battery. The River 600 also use its X-Boost Technology which helps you to power device up to 1800W, that’s why the EcoFlow River 600 is the “Best Budget Solar Generator” for outdoors.
4. Aeiusny 400W – Best Value Portable Solar Generator
Moving in the list we have this amazing solar generator from Aeiusny which is liked by many hardcore campers and consider the best companion throughout the outdoors journey,
The unit has large capacity in a small size that is 296Wh/85000mAh lithium battery with an output wattage of 400 watts.
The Aeiusny added its best value in this solar generator by adding 3 pure-sine wave AC outlets, 4 efficient DC ports, and 4 USB output ports that are far more enough to power your devices including phone, camera, drone, CPAP machine, fans, mini-refrigerator, and more other essential devices.
The unit weighs 7.49 pounds( 3.39 kg ) but the handle on its top making it easier to carry around. The unit also has a small Led on its front top which can be used as an emergency light.
Charging this Aeiusny 400W solar generator is not a worry as the unit can be charged with 3 different charging methods. Can be charged using solar panels (take 12-15 hours), using an AC wall outlet (takes 7-8 hours), and can be charged using a 12V car charger( takes 7-8 hours). The generator can be used while it’s charging that’s also a plus point.
5. BALDR 330W – Best Solar generator For CPAP Machine
Next, we have the BALDR 330W portable power station, a true outdoor companion that comes with an output wattage of 330W.
This budget solar generator can full fill all your need when it comes to camping with friends, spending a couple of nights in your van or RV.
With its small size and lightweight of 7.1 pounds(3.2kg), it can charge pretty much everything including your smartphone, GPS, tablet, notebooks computers, camera, walkie-talkie, fans, mini-refrigerator, CPAP machine, and much more with no worries.
The unit comes with 1 pure sine wave AC outlet, 2 DC outputs, 3 QC 3.0 USB ports, 1 Type-C port, and 1 vehicle output port. It is strongly recommended by the manufacturer that the CPAP users should use DC converter for better results.
The wireless charger on the top makes the BALDR 300 more unique than other solar generators as it kills the fear of forgetting your phone charger when packing for outdoors. The unit also has one bright SOS flashlight that can be used in emergencies.
Its 3 easy charging methods can help you charge your solar generator effectively through, 1. solar panel( takes 5-8 hours), 2. AC wall outlet( takes 5-8 hours), and 3. 12V car charger( takes 7-8 hours).
6. ZOOMBROS 330W – Best Battery Powered Generator For Camping
If you hate loud and noisy generators in your surroundings then this ZOOMBROS 330W solar generator is the best fit for you. this unit comes with an output wattage of 330W( surge 700W).
Its output ports include 1 pure sine wave AC outlet, 2 DC Ports, 3 QC 3.3 USB ports, 1 amazing cigarette port, and 1 Type-C port that can help you power your smartphones, cameras, GPS, fans, mini-refrigerator, drones, laptops, CPAP machine, and many other essential devices for a couple of times.
The ZOOMBROS has one unique 5W wireless charger on the top (compatible with all Qi-enabled devices), Specially designed for those lazy people who always forget their phone chargers when packing for camping or van journey.
The unit has an amazing Led display that can show you your unit status. One flashlight is also designed on the top which can help you in emergencies. Although the unit weighs 8.8 pounds(3.9kg), however, its handle on top makes it easier to carry around in your outdoor activities.
This solar generator can be charged easily with 3 different charging methods that include, charging from solar panels(about 5-8 hours), using AC wall outlets(5-6 hours), or can be easily charged from a 12V car charger(7-8 hour) during your ride.
7. FlashFish G300 – Best Budget Solar Generator For Camping
FlashFish is a well-known brand when it comes to “Best Budget Solar Generator” and the G300 is its more liked model by many hardcore campers. The FlashFish G300 offers in 60,000mAh (3*20000mAh batteries) with total output wattage of 300 watts(surge 350 watts).
The unit is small in size and weighs only 5.6 pounds( 2.6 kg) and has a strong handle on its top which makes it much easier to carry around.
With its 2 pure sine wave AC outlets, 2 DC Ports, 2 QC 3.0 USB ports, and 1 2.4A USB output port it is no longer an issue to power your smartphone, tablet, drones, GPS, vehicle appliances, fans, TV, and CPAP machine, etc.
Like other solar generators, this FLashFish G300 can also be easily charged with 3 different charging methods that include charging with solar panels, with an AC wall outlet, or can be easily charged using your 12V car charger.
This unit comes under many built-in safety protections, short-circuit protection, low-voltage protection, overheat protection, and over-current protection are just the name of a few.
8. FlashFish 40800mAh 200W – Best Small Solar Generator For Camping
Looking for a “Small Solar Generator” with lightweight and high battery capacity? if yes, then this FlashFish 200W unit is the best fit for your journey. The unit comes with total output wattage of 200 watts (surge 250 watts).
This solar generator features 1×2 Prong+1×3 Prong (Pure Sine Wave) AC outlets, 2 DC ports, 1 USB port(2.4A auto), 2 QC 3.0 quick charge USB output ports, and an amazing informative Lcd display.
If we talk about the performance of the unit, it can easily power your phones, laptops, cameras, mini-refrigerator, fans, van appliances, CPAP machine, and much more for a couple of times with no worries.
The unit does not support pass-through charging, however, all output ports can be easily used simultaneously. It has a lightweight that is 5.61 pounds(2.55 kg) that allows carrying your solar generator outdoors more easily.
Thanks to its triple charging mode which helps the FlashFish 200W to charge more efficiently using a solar generator, AC wall outlet, or using a 12V car charger. All these amazing features make the FlashFish 200W the “Best Small Solar Generator For Camping“.
9. Nexpow 120W – Best Small Solar Generator For Camping
We all have that situation where we want to go camping or any other outdoor activity but lack of resources and our pockets don’t allow us. So, for that. I am including the Nexpow 120W solar generator which is the cheapest and is the Best Small Solar Generator For Camping.
This unit has a 48000mAh(178Wh) total battery capacity and comes with an output wattage of 120W (Surge 150 watts). It weighs 3.1 pounds (1.4 kg) which is the lightest and smallest solar generator on this list.
With its output wattage of 150W, You can easily power devices including, smartphones, camera, TV, laptop, mini-refrigerator, fan, CPAP machine or car vacuum, etc.
This solar generator features 1 110v AC outlet, 1 12V DC port, 2 QC USB ports, and 1 3.0 PD output port. With its PD output port, you can charge your MacBook pro13.3, iPhone 12, or other devices directly without having any adapter.
If we talk about its charging, so it can be easily charged with 4 different methods. you can fully charged it through solar panels, AC wall outlet, 12 Car charger, or can be fully charged through its PD 3.0 port( this port works both as input and output).
10. Goal Zero Yeti 1500X – Portable Solar Generator For Refrigerator
Last, on the list, we have the amazing beast from Goal Zero. This solar generator newly introduced back in 17 august 2020. The Yeti 1500x comes with total output wattage of 2000 watts, making it a true beast.
Thus powerful unit has 2 pure sine wave AC outlets, 2 USB-A ports, 1 USB-C port, 1 USB-C PD port(PD port works both input/output), 1 12V cigarette port, 2 DC ports, and 1 12V high output port. All these ports can be easily used simultaneously with no worries.
With its 1516Wh lithium battery, you can charge your phone 127 times and can easily power a full-size refrigerator(1400Wh Per Day) up to 28 hours straight. The Yeti 1500x is also a great companion as it can easily power other essential devices/appliances that include laptop, medical devices, CPAP machine, fans, led, coffee maker, blender, power tools, etc, which make the Goal Zero Yeti 1500x Best Portable Solar Generator For Refrigerator.
Although its 1516Wh battery is can power many devices but also making it quite heavier. The unit weighs 43 pounds (19.5 kg), however, its handle on top makes it easier for lifting.
This solar generator can be charged easily as the unit support triple charging mode which allows you to charge it using solar panels( recommended to use Goal Zero panels for efficient results), using AC wall outlets, or can be easily charged using a 12V car charger. It can be charged and used at the same time without any issue.
Goal Zero also provides an app for Yeti 1500x model which means you can now easily monitor and control your solar generator within your smartphone. The app can be download for both Apple and Andriod here.
How To Choose Best Solar Generator For Van Life: Buyer’s Guide
Solar generators are best when it comes to spending few nights in your van, camping in the wilderness, or using it in emergencies But not all of them. I have mentioned the important factors that need to be considered when buying your solar generator. These factors will also help you choose the best one in your budget. So, let’s dive into it one by one.
1. Wattage/Power Need
The first and most important factor is to determine how much power you will need for your journey. It is important as there are a variety of solar generators offering different output wattages with different price tags.
If the solar generator output wattage is high, the price will be high too and vice versa. It is important not to only check wattage but to also check surge watts as this can save you a lot of money.
In case if you don’t know what surge watt is, here is a quick example to understand surge watts. The EcoFlow river 600 comes with 600 wattage only but due to its surge watts, it can power devices up to 1800W easily.
2. Weight & Size
Usually, all of these solar generators are small in size and light weights But there are very few units that are heavy and the reason is their battery capacity. So, the more the battery capacity the heavy will be the generator and that makes sense right?
Since we will be using these generators in a van, RV, or camping, so, it is important to consider the one that comes with a handle on top. The handle makes the unit easier to carry around.
3. Triple Charging Mode
We go camping and on roads to make special memories But sometimes lack of resources turns these special memories into the worst experience and going out of power is one of the main reasons. No power means no charge for our gears and that sucks right?
Always make sure to double-check these 3 charging modes in your solar generator. 1. Charging through solar panel, 2. Charging through AC wall outlet, and 3. Charging through a 12V car charger.
Quick charge is another feature that can save you a lot of time. The typical solar generators usually take 6-12 hours to charge 100% completely whereas the ones with a quick charge like EcoFlow River 600W can take only 1.6 hours to charge 100% completely. See how big the difference is.
4. Output Ports
Having multiple output ports can save a lot of time as it allows to charge different devices and appliances simultaneously.
Usually, all solar generators come with 2 standard pure sine wave AC outlets, 2-3 DC ports, and 2 USB ports, however, some solar generators come with extra output ports like USB Type-C port, 1 cigarette port, and USB Type-C PD ( PD works both input and output)
Some special solar generators have a unique wireless charger on top, Zoombros 330W and Balder 330W are a few of them.
More money means more facilities right? The same is the case with these solar generators. There are different solar generators offering in different price tags.
An average solar generator usually comes under $150 whereas the premium generator comes around $2000, Goal Zero Yeti 1500x is an example.
One of the main reason people don’t like using gas power generators in camping or in van life is their load noise But do not worry these solar generators are not like those. These are so silent that a human can barely listen, however, there are few which make some noise only when they are using their full power.
Before buying you solar generator make sure that the generator comes with the support of BMS system.
BMS stands for Battery Management System which is used to improve battery utilization, extent battery life, short circuit protection, over-voltage protection, over current protection and is also used to charge your devices more safely.
8. Customer Support
Asking any query is only possible if the sellers provide any customer support. Before buying your generatorit is recomended to once make sure that customer support is open 24/7.
Customer support ensures trust between seller and customer. Goal Zero is one of these sellers that provide 24/7 customer support.
Best Solar Generator For Van Life: FAQs
1. What Size Solar Generator do i Need?
The size of solar generators totally depends on usage of your devices. For some, The 120 watts unit is more than enough as they only need to power smartphones, GoPros, lights, and GPS, etc. But on the other hand, the 2000 watts solar generator is not enough for a few.
Also, read our detailed guide of WHAT SIZE SOLAR GENERATOR DO I NEED?
Click here If you want to calculate your wattage need. After calculating you will be able to determine what size solar generator is best fit for you.
2. Can A Solar Generator Be Used While Charging?
Yes! you can use solar generators while charging But not all of them.
There are very few solar generators that can not be used while charging (does not support passthrough charging). FlashFish G300 and Nexpow 120W are the names of a few.
3. Is it Safe to Use a Solar Generator while Charging?
Yes! it is 100% safe to use solar generators while charging as these solar generators come with BMS support.
BMS stands for battery management system that used to provide safety including short-circuit protection, over-current protection, over-voltage protection, over-load protection, and can charge your devices more safely.
4. What is The Best Solar Generator For Home Use?
There are many solar generators that are good choices for home use. But based on my research from the past few days, I would say the EF EcoFlow DELTA is the perfect solar generator for home use that money can buy.
The features that make the EcoFlow DELTA best for home use are
– 3300 output wattage.
– 6 AC outlets, 2 USB-C, 2 USB-A, 2 USB-A fast charging, and 1 standard DC output port.
– Triple charging mode ( solar panels, AC wall outlets, and car charger)
– Recharge from 0-80% in an hour and up to 100% in 1.6 hours.
– Safety guarantee.
5. What Size Solar Generator Do I Need To Run A Refrigerator?
Different size solar generators are available that can run a refrigerator But how long will it run? depends on what size generator you are using.
The average home refrigerators use up to 700 to 1000 watts to run. This means we need a generator with at least 1000 output wattage in order to run our refrigerator for a long period.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1500x can run a refrigerator(1400Wh Per Day) for 28 hours straight without blinking Whereas the Goal Zero Yeti 6000x can run it for 110 hours. The more the run time, the more high the unit price will be.
The EF EcoFlow DELTA is also highly recommended if you need to run your refrigerator for a long period.
Finding Best Solar Generators For Van LIfe was not an easy task for me. It took my days and night to research and to gather data based on actual customer reviews.
Honestly speaking, the EF EcoFlow made me its die heart fan especially its model River 600 that comes with so many amazing features, It takes only 1.6 hours to charge 100%, while other typical solar generators take 6-12 average hours to charge 100%.
Now, at this point, I believe I have answered all your queries related, How To Choose Best Solar Generators For Van Life.
There are more amazing solar generators that people are using outdoors but unfortunately, I have to pick only the Top 10 Best Solar Generators based on their output wattage, budget, reviews, and performance.
Please let me know in the comment section if I miss your personal favorite or what you think is the best in this top 10?
If you have any query please feel free to ask. Generator Buddy is here to answer your queries. Also, share this article with whom you plan to go outdoors this year.
- How Long Will A 100ah Battery Run An Appliance That Requires 100w?
- Best Dual Fuel Inverter Generators For RV That Everyone Loves
- 5 Best Movie Quiet Generators To Enjoy Show In Peace
- How Many Amps Does A Food Truck Need? Best Detailed Guide 
- 6 Best Dual Fuel Inverter Generators For RV That Everyone Loves 
- How to Flash a Generator With a Battery? [Best Easy Way]