With a lot of hype about solar generators these days, there are many different models to choose from. Some of them are very powerful, but with all of that power comes extra weight, which can be a major inconvenience depending on the occasion it is being used for.
For example, one of Goal Zero’s largest solar generators is the Yeti 1250, and it is a staggering 103 pounds! This is obviously not the ideal weight to have to lug around your campsite or tailgate. So that being said, there have been many new solar generators that have a lot of power but are also very light in weight compared to other past models.
The Main Reason They’re So Heavy? Lead-Acid Batteries…
Lead-acid batteries are the past generation of batteries for solar powered generators. They have good power and are reliable, but they are really heavy. Think of your car battery, it is not a light instrument. The Yeti 1250 basically uses a car battery as its power source. The new era of the solar generator battery is the lithium-ion battery, which is used and optimized for the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium, the Suaoki G500, and is also in the Inergy Kodiak solar generator.
A lot of people have trouble with larger solar generators because they are:
- Too Bulky: They are too massive to carry and store in certain places.
- Too Heavy: Like with the Yeti 1250, they can’t be carried easily and are a hassle to move.
- Inconvenient: They are not worth having because they don’t provide easy access and transportability.
A Lighter Solution…
Newer solar generators with lithium batteries are much lighter and portable than previous models. The Inergy Kodiak has a mighty power output and can run a blender and power tools for a long duration, yet is only about 20 pounds! With these batteries, companies are making models of solar generators that can be used frequently and that are more appealing to people because they are so light.
Changing The Game: Solar Generator Comparison
The Goal Zero Yeti 150 solar generator has a small power capacity of 150Wh, yet it weighs about 12 pounds and is the size of a lunchbox. However, the Chafon 288 Solar generator stores almost twice the amount of power and weighs in at 7.5 pounds! The difference of batteries makes a hell of a difference.
With all of that being said, I’ve put together the stats of a small, medium, and large solar generator that uses a lithium battery to give you guys an idea of the ranges of power and weight…
Small Generator – Chafon 288Wh
Power Output – 500 Watts Continuous – 1000 Watts Peak Power
Weight – 7.5 Pounds
- 13 Inch Laptop: 6-7 hours
- 32 inch LCD TV: 4 hours
- 200L Fridge: 6 hours
Medium-Sized Generator – Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium
Power Output – Continuous 300W, 1200 Watts Peak
Weight – 16.5 Pounds
- Mini Fridge: 7 hours
- Tablet: 10+ Recharges
- POV Camera: 70+ Recharges
Large Generator – Inergy Kodiak
Power Output – 1,500 Watts Continuous, 3,000 Watts Starting Surge
Weight – 20 Pounds
- CPAP Machine: 20 hours
- 40″ LED TV: 25 hours
- 16.5 cu ft. Refrigerator for home: 30 hours
These generators are changing the game and can bring you power when you need it most, however, if you are looking for a generator that will give you portable power when you need it on the go, check out my review of the Venture 30 Solar Kit, which uses a small battery that fits in your backpack, and also comes with a small solar panel so that you can charge the battery while backpacking/hiking!