5 Best Outdoor Generators for Spring in 2024 Reviewed

There are many outdoor generator options, but the best choices for spring are portable and run on clean, renewable solar energy.

Traditional fossil fuel generators are bulky and often have to be hauled by car, limiting options for springtime activities. Not to mention that they run on fossil fuels, are exceedingly loud, and produce toxic emissions.

Portable solar generators provide the most value and benefits with the fewest drawbacks. 

Unlike propane or gas generators, solar generators are quiet and use clean, renewable energy. They’re perfect for almost any off-grid application — from backpacking to powering your whole home.

Whether camping, backpacking, or backing up your essential appliances at home, a reliable power source is crucial. 

Outdoor solar generators upgrade you from camping to glamping, keep all your personal devices charged, power your appliances, and more.

Here are our picks for the top five solar generators you should consider this spring.

EcoFlow’s Top Outdoor Generators for Spring

1. Best for Backpacking – EcoFlow RIVER 2 + 110W Portable Solar Panel
2. Best for DIY Spring Projects – EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max + 160W Portable Solar Panel
3. Best for Camping – EcoFlow RIVER 2 Pro + 220W Portable Solar Panel
4. Best for RV Trips – EcoFlow DELTA + 160W Portable Solar Panel
5. Best Compact Off-Grid Solar System – EcoFlow DELTA 2 + 220W Solar Panel

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1. Best for Backpacking – EcoFlow RIVER 2 + 110W Portable Solar Panel

The RIVER 2 is a light but powerful solar generator you can easily pack up and take if you need power at the end of your backpacking trip (or for stops along the way!). At just 7.7 pounds and dimensions of 9.6 x 8.5 x 5.7 in (245 x 214 x 142 mm), it’s a small, compact solution for power on the go. 

Don’t let its size fool you, though. You’ll enjoy 300W of AC output power and up to 600W surge watts using X-Boost mode, enough to run up to 99% of consumer electronics. 

That’s plenty of power for things like multiple smartphone phone chargers, a laptop, or a small Keurig — all essentials while trekking in style. 

When it’s time to re-juice with solar power, plug in the 110W solar panel for a full recharge in as little as 3 hours.

If you want a reliable power source to go wherever you’re headed on foot this spring, look no further than the EcoFlow River 2 +110W Portable Solar Panel.

Pros:

  • Super lightweight & compact
  • Fast solar recharge (3 hours)
  • Lightning-quick AC recharge (>60 minutes)

Cons:

  • Not powerful enough to run anything other than personal devices and small appliances
  • Limited electricity storage
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2. Best for DIY Spring Projects – EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max + 160W Portable Solar Panel

If you’re tackling some spring projects requiring more wattage, the EcoFlow River 2 Max and its 160W solar panel are perfect. With 500W AC output power and up to 1000W surge watts using X-Boost mode, you can power appliances like mini-fridges, power tools like jigsaws and drills, and space heaters. 

Whether building a mancave or a she-shed in the backyard to enjoy the season or fixing up old furniture to upcycle them, you’ll need power tools for your spring DIY projects. The RIVER 2 Max can power nearly any tool or small appliance you need.

Plug the RIVER 2 Max into an AC outlet before you head out to work. You’ll love that the River 2 Max can recharge from 0-100 in just 60 minutes — 5x faster than other solar generators on the market. 

Or, if you want to recharge using clean, renewable energy, all this generator needs is about 4 hours of solar charging in direct sunlight to reach full battery capacity.

If you’re worried about not having enough electrical outlets while you complete your projects, rest assured you have plenty of options with the River 2 Max, which comes with 4 AC outlets, car outlets, and several USB-A/USB-C outlets.

Pros:

  • Powerful AC electricity & X-Boost output for small appliances
  • Fast AC & solar recharging
  • Multiple outlets
  • Highly portable

Cons:

  • 512Wh capacity is not enough for heavy-duty power tools like pneumatic drills
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3. Best for Camping – EcoFlow RIVER 2 Pro + 220W Portable Solar Panel

For camping trips, you need a generator to keep your devices powered for extended periods. The EcoFlow River 2 Pro + 220W solar panel is the perfect setup for camping this spring. You can power pretty much anything you need for glamping with a 768Wh capacity and 800W of AC output power (1600W surge power (starting watts) with X-Boost). 

Need to fire up a portable camping grill? No problem. Want to blow up an air mattress to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep? The River 2 Pro can handle it. 

It can run up to 80% of high-wattage home appliances, making it the ideal choice for a weekend trip or extended stay outdoors when you crave the comforts of home.

Recharging your River 2 Pro is fast regardless of how you charge it. You can return to full capacity with AC power in just 70 minutes. With solar, you can go from 0% to 100% in about 4 hours of direct sunlight.

Pros:

  • The ultimate combination of high electricity output and storage capacity and convenience
  • Fast recharge times
  • Can power any appliance needed for camping (or glamping)

Cons:

  • Highest priced solar generator in the RIVER 2 series
  • Heaviest of all RIVER 2 models at about 17 lbs (>8kg)
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4. Best for RV Trips – EcoFlow DELTA + 160W Portable Solar Panel

If you’re planning an off-grid RV trip this spring, the EcoFlow DELTA + 160W solar panel is the best choice for keeping your devices powered up. The DELTA offers a 1260Wh battery capacity, with 1800W of AC output power, which is enough to power almost any RV essential, including an electric oven, air fryer, AC unit, and all your personal devices like smartphones and laptops. 

The DELTA PPS weighs 30.9 lbs (14kg) and has dimensions of 15.7 x 8.3 x 10.6 in (40 x 21 x 27 cm). It’s not something you’ll want to take on a hike. But for an RV, it’s the perfect balance of compact size while still packing a lot of power.

The best part? You won’t have to wait hours at the campground to get a full charge. With the DELTA, you can go from 0-80% in under an hour with shore power, so you can hit the road and see more of the country. 

Once powered up, use the DELTA’s multiple outlets, including six AC outlets, to simultaneously power up to 13 devices.

Pros:

  • High capacity & output power
  • Fast AC recharge time 
  • Multiple outlets for simultaneous device charging and operation

Cons:

  • Pricier and heavier than all RIVER models
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5. Best Compact Off-Grid Solar System – EcoFlow DELTA 2 + 220W Solar Panel

Are you looking to set up an off-grid solar system this spring? The DELTA 2 + 220W solar panel is the way to go. With an impressive 1024Wh capacity and up to 1800W of AC output power, you’ll have plenty of power for your off-grid needs. Plus, you can get up to 2700W surge power with X-Boost. 

Need even more power? Add on the DELTA 2 Smart Extra Battery and achieve 2048Wh of storage or upgrade to the DELTA Max Smart Extra Battery and enjoy a whopping 3040Wh before you must recharge.

Even high-wattage appliances like air conditioners, car fridges, speakers, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines can run on your DELTA 2. It’s the robust but compact solution to enjoy the off-grid life this spring.

If you prioritize energy security and comfort while venturing off-grid this spring, the DELTA 2 +220W Portable Solar Panel is the perfect combination to ensure you’re well prepared.

The best part? There are no toxic emissions or excessive noise like with gas generators, and you can recharge with AC input from 0-100% in just 80 minutes.

You can also recharge the DELTA 2 using just the sun’s power — and don’t worry about cloud cover. Thanks to its bifacial design, the 220W solar panel captures more ambient light and offers nearly twice the surface area for solar energy capture than standard PV panels. 

Pros:

  • Plenty of power for a compact off-grid solar system
  • Recharge quickly with AC input or off-grid with solar panels
  • 220W bifacial portable solar panel captures light on both sides for higher electricity generation capacity with similar dimensions to a standard PV panel

Cons:

  • Higher priced than other models but worth the investment for more off-grid power
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What to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Generator for Spring

Understanding the specs of a quality solar generator will help you make an informed buying decision and ensure you get what you want from your outdoor power supply. 

Before you purchase any solar generator for spring, here’s what you need to know.

Storage (Battery) Capacity

Your storage capacity (wH/kWh) determines how much electricity is available for your appliances before recharging. More battery capacity means you can power more devices for a longer time. 

Storage capacity can impact your recharge times. A battery with higher storage capacity tends to take longer to charge using solar panels. That’s not because the battery is charging more slowly — it simply means that it takes longer to charge 100% because it stores more electricity. 

However, if you want to run multiple high-wattage appliances for extended periods between charges, a high-capacity generator is your best choice.

AC Output and Surge Power (Starting Watts)

The AC output determines the maximum amount of electricity (W/kW) a solar generator can deliver at once. For example, if you want to run a refrigerator with an operating wattage of 700W, the minimum AC output of your solar generator must be 700W or higher.

It’s crucial to note that many appliances require more electricity to start up than they do to operate. Using a 700W fridge as an example, it will constantly consume 700W while operating but may need 2200W of starting watts (surge power) to start.

All of EcoFlow’s portable power stations and solar generators offer proprietary X-Boost technology. X-Boost provides a short burst of additional electricity to get high-wattage appliances up and running.  

For example, the DELTA 2 provides 1800W of running watts and 2700W of starting watts. It can get that fridge up and running with no issues.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that AC output measures the total running wattage a generator can deliver. With 1800W of operating power, the DELTA 2 can power multiple devices simultaneously until their combined running wattage exceeds 1800W.

Being realistic about how many appliances you want to run at once is crucial. For example, the DELTA 2 can handle running most fridges and air fryers simultaneously. But if you want to add a microwave and lighting into the mix, you’ll probably need to look for a solar generator with more AC Output capacity — like the DELTA Pro

Appliance and Device Wattage

Make sure you know what kinds of appliances you will be charging with your generator and how much power they require to work. The wattage should give you an idea of which type of generator you need and is an excellent place to start when shopping.

For example, are you only looking to charge small devices such as a phone or laptop? You can get away with any generator with these needs. Something like the River 2 + 110W Portable Solar Panel will be more than sufficient. 

That said, you’ll need higher storage and power output capacity if you want to power multiple high-wattage appliances at the same time.

Fuel Type

Outdoor generators use various energy sources, from gasoline and propane to solar and wind. The best fuel type for you depends on your level of electricity consumption and your use case.

Some options, like gas generators, require strict safety measures because they produce toxic emissions. If you’re using one at home, you can’t use it indoors, and it must be installed at least 20 feet away from the house. 

The good news is that all the outdoor generators reviewed here rely on battery storage and can charge solar panels, AC electricity, a car adapter, and USB-C. 

Solar generators produce no toxic emissions or greenhouse gases — they’re whisper quiet too.  

Portability, Weight, and Size

Portability is vital if you’re looking to take a generator on the move. Look for lightweight, compact solar generators like the River 2 — especially if you only need to power your personal devices.

If space is an issue, foldable or collapsible solar panels are ideal. They don’t take up much room, and EcoFlow’s portable solar panels even come with a handy carrying case.

If portability isn’t high on your list of requirements, focus on power output and storage rather than size or weight. Aside from loading it onboard for an RV trip, you might not have to move the generator much (or at all!). If that’s the case, a larger solar generator capable of running high-wattage appliances is more versatile, especially for extended trips.

Charging Time

If you’re constantly on the go and don’t have much time to wait for a generator to charge, pay close attention to available charging options and speed. 

EcoFlow’s solar generators offer industry-leading charge times — up to 5x faster than other manufacturers.  All of the RIVER 2 series charge from 0-100 in around 60 minutes and can fully charge using solar panels in 3+ hours of peak sunlight.  

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(Source: Hearing Health Foundation)

Noise Levels

Noise isn’t a concern for everyone, but it probably will be if you travel in an RV or camp. Campgrounds typically have a curfew for generators that exceed 60 decibels because of excessive noise and may face other restrictions.

The average gas generator produces 80-100 decibels (dB) of noise — comparable to the “inside of an airplane or an approaching subway train.”

On the other hand, solar generators are virtually silent — and you can operate them indoors!

Final Thoughts

Spring is the season to venture outside and enjoy your favourite activities in the sunshine. 

Make this spring the best one yet with enough power for all your essential appliances, devices, and equipment, whether you’re planning a road trip or a backyard staycation.

EcoFlow has the right solar generator for whatever your off-grid electricity needs may be. 

Whether you’re camping, backpacking, RVing, staying at home to work on DIY projects, or transforming your shed into an off-grid abode, you have choices with EcoFlow. 

Shop EcoFlow today for the best outdoor generators — and enjoy your spring! 

ECOFLOW
ECOFLOWhttps://www.ecoflow.com/
EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

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