Looking to buy an off-grid solar generator? Solar, needless to say, is the most efficient and reliable off-grid power source. If you are in a place with good sunshine, solar is certainly the biggest green energy source. Of course, for a camper, a solar generator is the best way for portable power. For someone who is prepping up a survival kit, it is indeed an unavoidable gear.
Best Off-grid Solar Generator Face-Off
Here we have a comparison of three top-rated portable solar generators; Goal Zero Yeti 1250, Inergy Solar’s Kodiak generator and SolarPod generator. As you see, all these are powerful, heavy-duty models with output over 1000W. That means they are great for multiple uses like camping, outing, emergency, home, and RV.
Goal Zero Yeti 1250, top-tier model of the series, is absolutely the top seller of the three. It has been there for a long time and has been enjoying a large fan base. The other two items are, in fact, new arrivals on shelves. Inergy realized its Kodiak solar generator through crowdfunding one year back. SolarPod also arrived recently.
We have picked Kodiak and SolarPod for this off-grid solar generator face-off because they have many things in special when compared to Goal Zero’s flagship. Actually, you can see these three machines if you take any top ten heavy duty solar generator list. Yet, it is high time we should inspect what makes each model different from other. It will give you an insight on buying the best off-grid solar generator.
Design and Size
Primarily as an off-grid solution, a solar generator should come handy for campers and other outdoor users. In this regard, Goal Zero Yeti 1250, though comfortable for handling, is a bit hefty. It has a size of 16 x 14.5 x 11.5 inches and weight of 103 pounds. Well, featuring a lead-acid battery, let us see why it is heavier than its Kodiak and SolarPod alternatives. Yes, Kodiak and SolarPod are rather smaller and lightweight.
| Check Price and Buy @ Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Power Station
Coming to SolarPod, it has the size of 15.7 x 10.1 x 10.3 inches and it scales up only 35 pounds in weight. Meanwhile, Inergy’s Kodiak is rather exciting with its small and ultra-light build. Fine, it measures at just 14 x 7 x 8 inches, while it weighs at just 20 pounds. Kodiak and SolarPod respectively have lithium ion and LifePo4 internal batteries, making them lightweight than Yeti 1250.
Performance and Capacity
Here we are up to check the performance of each off-grid solar generator. Actually, it is the area where all these solar generators share something in common. All are powerful enough to produce output over 1000W. First of all, let us check Yeti 1250. As you know, it sports a 1200Wh inverter and 100Ah battery.
Meanwhile, SolarPod solar generator touts a 1000W power inverter and 960Wh battery. By the way, Kodiak generator here also has a clear edge as it sports an 1100 watt-hour battery along with a more powerful 1500W inverter.Overall, along with its small size and ultra-light build, Kodiak can output more energy as well.
Portability and Handling
Needless to say, portability is a vital factor when it comes to an off-grid solar generator. You have all these solar generators with sufficient facilities for easy moving. To begin with, Yeti 1250 touts a pair of side handles and a strong, collapsible middle handle along with wheels for easy dragging. Meanwhile, Kodiak features a shoulder strap plus a centered handle. SolarPod sports a pair of solid handles on both sides.
Compatible Solar Panels
Each of the off-grid solar generator in our list is basically a power bank. Clearly, no model touts a built-in solar unit like Renogy Firefly or Aspect Solar SunSocket. Though hyped as solar generators in general, they act two roles; power banks and solar generators. Well, when you use a wall or car outlet for recharging, they are power banks. But they become solar generators when you connect them with solar panels to charge from the sun.
| Check Price and Buy @ Kodiak Solar Generator
Sure, you need to buy solar panels separately. Makers suggest their own models. For Yeti 1250, Goal Zero proposes a pair of its Boulder 30 panels. Boulder 30 is a high-quality glass panel with an output of 30 watts as its name suggests. Meanwhile, for Kodiak solar generator, Inergy suggests its Predator 50 panel, which unfortunately is not available on Amazon.com, as of writing this.
SolarPod, meanwhile, suggests a 120W folding panel to use with its solar generator, however. It doesn’t mean you need to use the same panel only for each model. You can find any travel-friendly panel to charge the generators. But make sure you buy a model that is powerful enough to charge their built-in batteries.
An off-grid solar generator should support a variety of your gadgets and appliances. Otherwise, it makes little sense, because you would mostly be using it during either an outing or emergency situation. In this case, we have all the three solar generators with a range of ports to plug in all your commonly used gadgets.
| Check Price and Buy @ SolarPod Solar Generator
Goal Zero Yeti features one 12V, three USB and as many AC ports, and above all, an Anderson power pole. It is when Kodiak, the richest in terms of output ports, is equipped with six 110AC sockets, four 12DC ports, eight USB ports, one 30 Amp RV plug and a pair of 12DC base camp LED lights ports. SolarPod keeps only essential ports like a pair of 110V AC sockets, a 12V DC and four USB ports.
If you look at customer feedback, Yeti 1250 looks the winner. It has been on market for a long time. And it enjoys the brand name of Goal Zero, one of the key makers of portable power gadgets. Meanwhile, makers of both Kodiak and SolarPod may not be as established as Goal Zero. But both the products – Kodiak and SolarPod – are more compact, lightweight and powerful, of course.
In summary, we have three awesome solar generators with different capabilities. Yeti 1250 is certainly an industry leader with large penetration to portable power market. Its challenges are, however, never going to be good competitors to the Goal Zero best seller. It doesn’t mean they are not capable to do so.
In several aspects including technical capacities, Kodiak and SolarPod solar generators outdo Yeti. Two other advantages they enjoy are lightweight design and long battery life, thanks to lithium. But after the release of an upcoming lithium variant of Yeti, Goal Zero could probably outplay all these competitions.
Yes, in our off-grid solar generator comparison, we feel that Goal Zero currently stands out its rivals being a top brand. Its collection of portable power products gives Goal Zero an edge. Moreover, the American firm is known for dedicated customer service. It is now up to you to decide what you require for your needs. If you own any machine as of now, let us know what you feel about it in comments below.