The Best Small Generators for Camping: What Is, Types, How to Pick

Many homeowners choose traditional portable solar generators to charge appliances during an emergency or power outage. Unlike these home battery backups, the small generators for camping are specially designed to turn your primitive camping into a luxury stay in the woods.

jackery small solar generators for camping trips

These small camping generators can be your best option, from powering outdoor lights and heating systems to portable electric grills. Jackery offers a wide range of highly efficient and portable solar generators in various shapes and sizes, ranging from 240Wh to 24kWh.

While the larger capacity solar generators can help you power your entire home appliances, compact-size generators for camping can keep devices like smartphones and radios charged throughout the trip.

Products

Image

Capacity

Noise Level

Size

Power Station Weight

Solar Generator 300 Plus

jackery solar generator 300 plus

288Wh

Less than 45dB

 

9.1 x 6.1 x 6.6 in

8.27lbs

Solar Generator 500

jackery solar generator 500

518Wh

Less than 37.9dB

11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in

13.32 lbs

What Is a Small Generator for Camping?

A small generator (also known as a portable generator) for camping is a compact-size charging solution that powers appliances for long hours. The capacity of a small generator will determine how much power it can store and for how long it can power electrical devices.

For instance, a solar generator with a battery capacity of 518Wh can supply more power than one with a lower capacity (say 300W). Additionally, these robust power stations can withstand harsh weather conditions and keep on charging appliances, even when there's mild rain.

What Are The Pros & Cons of Small Generators for Camping?

You're probably confused about why you'd need a small generator when camping in the woods. However, having a reliable and powerful solar generator for camping acts as a source of power for cooking stoves, lights, and even your phone.

Pros

  • You get the freedom to camp anywhere without worrying about finding electrical outlets.
  • Compared to large, permanently installed generators, the portable solutions are relatively affordable and easy to use.
  • The portable generators can power most small electric devices when you're in the wild and have no access to the main electricity grid.

Cons

  • Some small generators make too much noise while operating. That's why you'll have to consider the noise level before selecting the best small generators for camping.

What Are The Types of Small Generators for Camping?

Mainly, four types of solar generators are available — diesel, gas, propane, and solar. In this section, we will compare and contrast the main types so you can choose the one that aligns with your needs.

Diesel Generator: This robust and durable solar generator works well in freezing temperatures. However, they tend to be bulkier and produce harmful emissions, making them less ideal for outdoor trips like camping.

Gas Generator: Also known as gasoline generators, they are common powering solutions for low-powered appliances and tools. They are the least expensive, but they prove to be more costly over time due to the fuel required.

Propane Generator: They work by converting the motorized power from combusting propane into energy and heat. Campers sensitive to gas smell use propane generators, as they don't have an odor. However, there is one downside of these generators as they can power appliances only for a short period.

Solar Generator: One widely used charging solution for campers and homeowners is solar-powered or battery-powered generators. In order to use these solar chargers, all you need is ample sunlight. They are portable and highly efficient solar systems that power most of your camping appliances.

Small Generators

Pros

Cons

Diesel Generator

- More efficient compared to gasoline generators

- Cheaper to operate than gas generators

- Emit harmful gases that have adverse effects if inhaled

- Noisy charging solution, which is less ideal for camping

- More expensive than gasoline generators

Gas Generator

- Gas (fuel type) is readily available

- Quieter than diesel generators

- Emit toxic gases

- Highly flammable

- Gas is quite expensive than other fuel types

Propane Generator

- Works without any smell

- Powers only a few small appliances

- Not suitable for indoor uses

Solar Generator

- Does not emit any harmful gases

- Suitable for indoor and outdoor uses

- Require little to no maintenance

- Does not emit any noise during operation

- Lightweight and compact, making them a portable choice

- High upfront costs

How Does A Small Generator for Camping Work?

A small portable generator for camping combines a power station and a few solar panels. The energy collected and converted by solar panels is safely stored in the power station or batteries. These solar generators are becoming popular as they supply clean and renewable power to small appliances like phones and lights or larger devices such as microwaves or mini-fridges.

Jackery has reliable solar generators for emergency power supply, backup power, and outdoor trips. They are designed with safety in mind and feature a BMS (Battery Management System). The best part about these portable solar generators for camping is that they offer great value for your money, making them a worthy investment for home or outdoor use.

how jackery solar generator works for camping

What Size of Solar Generator Needed for Camping?

While selecting the best solar generators for camping, you'll need to determine how much power you require during your trip. The best way to find it out is by considering the electronics — microwaves, space heaters, fans, coffee makers, lights, etc. — you'll be powering.

As a general rule of thumb, you'll need a large generator to meet high energy requirements and vice versa. However, buying bulkier and larger is not possible for a camping trip. That's where Jackery Solar Generators come in.

The Jackery Solar Generators are lighter than the other solar solutions with the same battery capacity. However, how long the battery lasts will depend mainly on its capacity and the appliance wattage you want to charge.

For instance, if you have a Jackery Solar Generator 500 and want to charge appliances that consume 100 watts, the formula to calculate the working hours will be:

Working Time = Capacity in Wh* 0.85 / Operating wattage of the appliance = 518Wh * 0.85 / 100W = 4.4H.

Below, we will include three Jackery Solar Generators ideal for camping adventures.

Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus

Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus is one of the most portable charging solutions that weighs only 11 lbs and has a battery capacity of 288Wh.

You can recharge the power station using iPad-sized SolarSaga 40W Solar Panels, wall charging, car charging, or USB charging.

The Jackery Explorer 300 Plus Power Station has dual PD ports capable of producing up to 100W output to charge multiple appliances simultaneously.

jackery solar generator 300 plus for camping

Jackery Solar Generator 500

Those who want more power on their camping trip can consider choosing Jackery Solar Generator 500. It has a battery capacity of 518Wh and 500W inverter power. The seven upgraded output ports can help you charge multiple outdoor appliances simultaneously.

Jackery Explorer 500 has a compact size that resembles a basketball. Unlike gasoline generators, solar generators produce less than 37.9dB that won't disturb your sleep. With the help of SolarSaga 100W Solar Panels, you can recharge the battery backup or power station in only a few hours.

jackery solar generator 500 for camping

Customer Review

"I bought the Explorer 500 + 100w solar panel for my son, who always has his portable TV/DVD player and a fan when we travel and for power outages. This 500 is the best, hands down. Used it for 4 days and only dropped down to 70 percent. I've recommended these to everyone I know who camps with us. — Tawny.

Series

Capacity

Noise Level

Lifespan

Camping Appliances

Solar Generator 300 Plus

288Wh

Less than 45dB

3000 cycles to 80%+ capacity

Camping Light (5W): 49H

Camera (9W): 27H

Bluetooth Speaker (10W): 24H

Phone (18W): 13H

CPAP (30W): 8.1H

Electric Blanket (60W): 4H

Drone (90W): 2.7H

Solar Generator 500

518Wh

Less than 37.9dB

500 cycles to 80%+ capacity

Camping Light (5W): 88H

Camera (9W): 49H

Bluetooth Speaker (10W): 44H

Phone (18W): 24.4H

CPAP (30W): 14.6H

Electric Blanket (60W): 7.3H

Drone (90W): 4.8H

How to Choose The Best Small Generator for Camping?

Having a small generator for camping is a convenient and affordable charging solution, especially for campers who want to camp under the stars. Instead of giving up on the facilities of the modern world, a solar generator will help you charge phones and stay connected with your loved ones.

But with so many choices available in the market, it can be tough to choose the best small generator for camping. Fortunately, considering a few factors can help you select the best small portable generators for camping.

Quiet Operation: Nobody likes to camp beside a generator that produces a loud noise. That's why you need a solar generator that generates little to no noise. Solar camping generators are generally quiet because they do not have internal combustion or any moving parts.

Wattage: The first thing you'll need to ask yourself is, "How much power do I need?" Then, you can choose the right size solar generator to produce enough power depending on your energy requirements.

Fuel Type: As mentioned above, many generators are available, like gasoline, propane, and solar. It's crucial to analyze the fuel costs and availability before choosing the right one.

Efficiency: Solar generators are highly efficient and affordable solutions that can match the power requirements of your camping. Jackery offers highly efficient solar panels and power stations supplying enough electricity to charge most outdoor appliances.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of small generators for camping that might be the perfect companion for your outdoor trip. However, most portable generators have their limitations, like notable noise, weight, and fuel costs.

However, the small portable generators from Jackery make these limitations a non-issue. They are portable, easy to use, and have a high-capacity built-in battery to charge most outdoor appliances when you are away from the electricity grid.


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