The availability of electricity in our homes is an important feature that makes living easy and fun.
While there may be incidents of a power outage and epileptic power supply, it would not hurt to have a reliable and safe alternative source of electricity.
Over the years, the best alternative has been solar energy in the form of solar panels, solar power stations, and the likes.
As households have different electricity requirements, this article focuses on the best five small solar generators that you can purchase and use to supplement your regular source of electricity.
Apart from this, you can take them with you while camping or exploring the outdoor life. These power stations provide you with clean and safe electricity without you having to break the bank.
|Model||S270||PowerHouse 200||YETI 200X||300||Explorer 240|
1. Suaoki S270 Portable Power Station
This product is one of the top-quality power station designed and manufactured by Suaoki. Suaoki is a reputable name in the business of providing reliable and clean green power.
The S270 power station is one of the brand’s reliable green power solution. Others include solar panels, power stations, camping light, and many more.
The Suaoki S270 portable power station is shaped rectangularly.
Sturdy box-like equipment usually colored black with red tapings at the sides. The power station two hideable handles that allow for easy mobility.
The power station measures a total of 7.26 by 4.31 by 4.67 inches, weighing 1.45kg (approximately 2.9 lbs) in total. This speaks to its portability and lightweight nature. This makes it a preferred choice by campers and lovers of outdoor life.
On the body of the power station, there are numerous ports for both inlet and outlet connections.
These ports include 4 DC output port, each rated 12V, and 10A. There are also two AC port rated 110V each, three USB ports, and one QC 3.0 USB port.
Other features that can be found on the body of the product are two status indicators and two emergency flashlights.
The Suaoki S270 portable power station comes with a lightweight and efficient lithium battery providing about 100 watts of continuous electricity, with the ability to reach a peak of 150 watts.
The output capacity is excellent for its size and price. You can conveniently power your phones, camera, lights, mini-fan, and many other small and medium power gadgets for long hours using this product.
And what’s more, the lightweight and portability mean that you can use and enjoy clean and efficient power output anywhere you want; be it in your home, in camp or on the move.
The Suaoki Portable Power Station, like other power stations, does not generate its electricity by itself. It requires charging to keep it functional. The product has three major ways of recharging.
These charging methods are popular with most power stations. There are charging through solar panels, charging through the wall, and charging with the car.
When you purchase the product, you will find that there are different charging cables for each of these methods.
The wall charging method requires electricity from an AC source rated 110V while charging with solar panels requires a solar panel with a capacity of 60 or 100 watts.
These two methods, especially the 100W solar panel, is the fastest method of the three. The car charging requires a 12V/24V source usually gotten from the cigarette port.
The retail price of the Suaoki Portable Power Station is 125.99 dollars. This is a competitive price as most power stations with equivalent capacity are priced around the same range.
Certifications are a testament to the professional care and expertise that are considered in the design and manufacturing of an appliance or device.
This power station has a UL certification, attesting to the nationally recognized safety standards followed during its design and manufacture.
Pros and Cons
There are numerous advantages to this product. However, it is not without its drawbacks too.
- It is lightweight and portable
- It is an excellent choice for outdoor life
- It is a reliable alternative source of clean and usable electricity
- The output is limited to 100W
- There is very little provision for surge or overload. Plugging appliances and devices that are over 100W can damage the power station.
2. Anker Powerhouse 200
The Anker Powerhouse 200 is another fascinating and amazing power station on our list. It is designed and manufactured by Anker, another household name in the provision of reliable and renewable energy.
Anker Powerhouse 200 has a sleek and streamlined build. Its edges are tapered and rounded, giving it a different look from the conventional rectangular box shape.
It is colored in jet black, although the tapes at the edges have a darker shade of the color.
The powerhouse 200 measures a total of 7.7 by 5.5 by 4.7 inches, with a total weight of 2.7kg. While this may sound a bit heavy, it is not.
From the user’s review and personal experiences, we can tell that it looks portable and lightweight, more like a beatbox. The portability is assisted with the presence of a double latched handle that can be used to carry the power station about.
The ports available on this power station are not much. Unlike what we find we most power stations of this size and capacity, there are only five ports on the power station.
These include three USB ports and an AC port for charging appliances.
There is a LED status indicator that shows the battery life and charging status of the power station. There are also switch buttons that can be used to control the functioning of these ports.
With a battery capacity of 57600mAh and 200Wh, this power station gives a maximum output of 130 watts.
This is not a bad output at all, considering the size of the power station. With that output, you can charge your light and medium devices for long periods with this power station. For instance, your phones get over 12 full recharges while your laptops get fully charged more than five times.
If you power a fan or a mini-fridge with this power station, you get over 12 hours and 4 hours of usage for the two appliances.
Campers and lovers of outdoor lives are in luck with this power station, as your inflatable mattress and camping lights get over 18 full recharges.
This power station is also an excellent choice for emergency medical usage as it can power a CPAP for more than two hours.
The recharging options for the Anker Powerhouse 200 are three, as with most power stations.
These options include charging through solar panels, wall outlets, and a USB type C power delivery. Depending on the source and circumstances surrounding it, the duration of charging may differ.
Charging through an AC wall outlet takes up to 6 hours, 30 minutes to fully charge the power station. However, the solar panel and the USB power delivery system depend on the source’s voltage and power.
For instance, a 30W power delivery source will charge the power station in 8 hours, while the 60W source will take only 4 hours, 30 minutes.
The Anker Powerhouse 200 also has a car charging port that can be used for a pass-through charging process. This means that other devices can be charged through the power station while being charged with the car charging point.
However, care must be taken to ensure that the devices plugged in during the pass-through charging must not exceed the input gotten from the car. If this happens, the power station itself will not get recharged.
The retail price for the power station is pegged around $299 on Amazon. While this is a bit on the high side, users will get value for their money with its power output capacity.
While they are no information about the certification of this product on the manufacturer’s website, other safety measures have been put in place in the design and manufacture of this product. These safety measures include
- Input and output high voltage protection
- Input and output short circuit protection
- Device overcharging protection
- Input and output current regulation
- Output Temperature control
All these measures provided for in the product is to ensure that no harm or danger is caused to you while using this power station.
Pros and Cons
There are numerous advantages to this product. However, it is not without its drawbacks too.
- It has a whopping 130W output capacity making it a reliable power source for keeping your essential devices juiced.
- It has an amazing fast charging technology
- It is relatively heavy. Due to its weight, you can travel with it on an airplane.
- The number of ports available on the power station is not as much as that of other power stations of its size. This limits the number of devices that can be charged or powered by the powers station at once.
3. Yeti 200X Portable Power Station
Over the years, Goal Zero has created a reputable and trusted brand in the world of sustainable energy.
Its products are well known for providing reliable and efficient green power solutions for people worldwide through its solar panels, power stations, and many of their numerous products. Among these numerous top quality products from Goal Zero are the Yeti 200X.
The Yeti 200X portable power station is built in the conventional rectangular shape that is true of most power stations.
Measuring a total of 7.9 by 5.1 by 5.1 inches (20 by 13 by 13 centimeters), it is a portable and suitably sized gadget. It comes with a comfortable and elegantly designed handle that makes it easier to move around.
The major point scored in the build of this device is its weight. This powerful power station weighs an unbelievably five lbs., approximately 2.3 kilograms.
The Yeti 200X is regarded as the lightest of all the products in the Yeti series made by Goal Zero. Combined with its comfortable handle, it makes a great choice for campers and lovers of outdoor life.
Aesthetically, the Yeti 200X was built in a beautiful, yet rugged encasement. The body is made of anodized aluminum metal, its top and bottom painted black, and its handle in a fluorescent green color that can easily be seen in the dark.
The top and bottom sections are made of rubbered plastic, while the mid-section is made of a metal casing.
This encasement is so strong that if the power station is mistakenly dropped within a five-foot range on a relatively hard surface, you can be sure of little or no damage to the body and functionality of the power station.
However, there is no indication that the power station is water-resistant. Although not a necessary feature, it would have been a very nice addition to its features.
In terms of ports and output options, the Yeti 200X comes loaded with seven different port options. Out of which three are USB ports, these ports have varying capacity and uses.
The Yeti 200X has three USB ports (Type A, Type C and PD) each rated 5V 2.4A (12W max), 5-12V 3A (18W max) and 5-20V 3A (60W max) respectively.
Added to this is a 12V car charging port rated 10A (120W max) and an 8mm charging port. There is also a 12V 6mm port and an AC inverter port.
The Yeti 200X power station is a powerful solar station delivering up to 187 Watts hours of electricity. This means that it has a capacity of 37,400 mAh. This is an incredible capacity for a power station of its size and weight.
This implies that it can charge your everyday gadgets like phones, cameras, laptop computers, and the likes comfortably for hours. For instance, the power station will fully charge your laptop computer four times, while your tablet phones get five full recharges.
You can charge your phones up to 20 times and headlamps up to 35 times. And as if that was not enough, the power station can power a portable 12V fridge for more than 10 hours.
Campers are also in luck with the power station as it can charge your camp lighting lamps for several hours. The Light-A-Life lamp produced by Goal Zero for campers and lovers of the outdoor life can be powered for 40 hours non-stop, at the highest setting.
Like every power station, this product does not recharge itself. Provisions are made for its recharging by the producer. These three charging options include solar panels, a wall outlet, and a car charger.
The Yeti 200X power station can be charged fully between two to four hours when plugged to a wall outlet. The 8mm charging port is the appropriate port for this function.
This seems to be the fastest option for charging the power station.
The other options include charging through the cigarette lighter of your car, an endeavor that takes four hours to fully charge, and solar panels, whose duration depends on the capacity of the solar panel.
To charge with your carport, the 12V car port is used. The duration takes charge with solar panels depends on the capacity of the solar panel.
For instance, the Nomad 50 and Boulder 50 solar panels from Goal Zero will charge the power station fully between 5 and 10 hours, while the Nomad 20 solar panel will take up to 24 hours to fully charge the power station.
It should be noted that these durations given are subject to change based on the elevation of the panel, temperature of the region, and the intensity and position of the sun.
Price is a very important feature that users consider when comparing two products. While the price of a product sometimes tells on its capabilities, it sometimes is a function of the manufacturer’s decision.
At a retail price of $299.95 on Amazon.com, the Yeti 200X is not a cheap product at all. It is one of the expensive power stations in the market. However, that price is in tandem with its features and qualities of the product.
It has been established that every electronic gadget requires some level of certification to reassure users that the best practices and professional care have been taken in the design, manufacturing, and assemblage of the product’s components.
Most Goal Zero Portable Power Stations also has met some standard in their manufacture and possesses different certifications, including FCC, RoHS, UN38.3, and many more.
All these certifications are evidence of the quality components and professional expertise put into the manufacture and assemblage of the power station.
It is, however, surprising that no information about the certification for the Yeti 200X is given. The website of the company says nothing about the certification of this product.
While this doesn’t mean that the product is substandard or faulty, it would have been nice to have some reassurances as to the design and manufacture of the power station.
Pros and Cons
The upsides of this product are plenty, but it is not without its downsides too.
- It is light and portable. Easy to carry about.
- Perfect option of outdoor life.
- A clean and reliable alternative source of electricity for emergency purposes
- As stated by the manufacturer, there are no certifications to attest to the standards followed during its design and assemblage.
4. Rockpals 300W Portable Power Station
The Rockpals 300W is one of the powerful and portable power stations available in the market. It is one of the products from Rockpals, a trusted name in the green and renewable energy industry.
Shaped like a rectangular box, it measures 7.48 by 5.5 by 5.9 inches and weighs a total of 3.32kg (approximately 7.3 pounds). It is compact and portable.
Its handle allows for easy mobility. This makes it a good choice for campers and lovers of outdoor life.
On the power station, there are nine ports for input and output uses. The nine ports are three USB ports, one AC outlet, and five DC output ports.
Two of the USB ports are rated 5V and 3.1, while the third one is a QC3.0 fast charging USB port. The DC ports include three 12V/4A rated ports, a 24V/3A rated port, and a 12V cigarette lighter port.
Apart from the ports, other physical features can be found on the power station. These include a broad LED screen with status indicators showing battery life and the charging process. There are also two flashlights located on both ends of the LED screen for emergency lighting solutions.
The battery capacity of this power station is pegged at 75000 mAh, 280WH. This implies lots of electricity for use. So it is no surprise that the total output capacity is rated 300 watts.
This means that all your light and medium appliances and gadgets will get long hours of charging and powering with this power station.
In fact, home appliances like television, mini-fridge, and fans can also be powered with this power station. For instance, your laptop gets a full recharge five times with this power station, while your mini-fridge and CPAP machine get five and seven hours of power, respectively.
Like most power stations, there are three ways of charging this product too. Through the solar panels, a wall outlet, and a car charger. These three methods have different durations based on the source and circumstances surrounding the charging process.
The wall charging through an AC outlet will take between 6 and 7 hours to complete a full recharge, and the same amount of time will be spent when charged with a 12V car charging port too.
However, charging with a solar panel can take up to 9 hours. The solar panels that can be used for charging include 60W or 100W solar panels.
The retail price of the Rockpals 300W power station is pegged at $299 dollars on Amazon. While this is not a cheap product, the features and output capacity adequately accounts for the expense paid to acquire it.
This product has an assertion to the professional care and expertise that was taken during its design, manufacture, and assemblage. This assertion comes in the form of certification.
These certifications include CE, FCC, and RoHS. These certificates reassure users that standard procedures were followed in the design and coupling of the product.
Pros and Cons
- The power station is lightweight and portable, perfect for campers
- It is relatively expensive
5. Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
Starting from the analysis of the product as a single unit, Explorer 240 is a rectangular portable power station shaped like a box, colored in the traditional Jackery colors, Orange and Grey.
The product measures 5.2 by 9.1 by 7.7 inches, making it a sizeable yet, portably sized equipment. And contrary to the expectation of such a powerful station, it is relatively light for its size weighing only 6.6 lbs (approximately 3 kg).
This lightweight, in conjunction with a strong and compact handle built-in with the product, makes it very easy to move and carry about. It is a major point scored with campers and explorers and anyone intending to go out in the wild with this power station.
The ports available on the power station include a carport rated 12V, two USB ports, and a 3-prong AC outlet.
With an output of 280Wh, the Explorer 240 can power a lot of your electronic appliances. All your small to medium AC appliances can be powered comfortably because the product comes with a battery capacity of 67,000mAh.
Appliances like Laptop computers, drones, fans, and portable refrigerators can be successfully powered consistently over a long time, as long as these appliances don’t have huge power ratings.
For example, a small USB fan can be powered for over 40 hours, a portable fridge will be powered for more than 3 hours by this power station, and a drone gets over 4 hours of juice. Your phones and laptops get over 17 and 14 full recharges.
In a similar fashion with the other power stations examined before, there are three main ways to charge this portable power station plus an additional option, which is to charge it with another generator.
These include the use of solar panels, AC wall outlet, and the 12V car outlet. The solar panel recommended by Jackery for charging the power station is the 60W Jackery SolarSaga panel.
This solar panel is expected to fully charge the power station under 10 hours. The AC outlet, car charging port, and the generator fully charge the power station within seven hours.
The retail price of the power station is $220 on Amazon. Again, this is a bit expensive, but you can be sure to enjoy every bit of the dollar spent on the portable power station.
This power station also comes with certification attesting to the standard procedure that was considered during the design and manufacture of the product. These certificates include FCC, RoHS, and UN38.3.
Pros and Cons
The major advantage of this power station is its lightweight, portability, and output capacity.
The drawback of this product is the limited ports on the product.
These five are our picks as the best small solar generators available in the market. These power stations have been compared with their counterparts in the market, and they stood out in terms of quality, price, and value.
As a bonus for reading this article, please enjoy my free eBook on the 30 Best Camping Items to Have While Outdoors. I go in-depth on each item and why it can make your next camping trip exceptional.