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Even though camping is all about enjoying nature and getting away from it all, electricity has become a necessity for many of us. Some people it’s for lighting up the tent at night, checking your email, but for others it can be for health reasons like powering CPAP at night. Having the best portable power generator for camping is crucial to enjoying the great outdoors for some people. For others we just want some of the comforts of home with us, and electricity isn’t always readily available when you’re camping.
In this article we’ve compiled a list of some of the best portable generators for camping out there. Here are our top 3 picks.
Top 3 Picks
Jackery Portable Power Station
- 500W output
- 1 AC outlet/3 USB
Rockpals Portable Generator
- 500W output
- 2 AC outlet/3 USB
NEXPOW Portable Power Station
- 150W capacity
- 1 AC outlet/3 USB
5 best portable power generators for camping
- 1 AC outlet and 3 USB
- Digital battery percentage
- Powers devices rated under 500W
- Versatile and portable
- Charges from AC outlet in 8 hours
- Charges from optional solar panel in 14 hours (not included)
When it comes to portable generators, the Jackery 500 is a beast. It’s perfect for a camping trip and will power all of your small devices with ease. Some examples of what you can charge or power with this generator are laptops, phones, fans, CPAPs, lighting, or even blenders. It can power any devices that use up to 500W of power, any more than that and the generator automatically shuts off.
It’s super easy to recharge at home or you can also buy the optional solar panel that allows you to recharge anywhere. Overall this is a well-made and solid generator that should provide you with years of service.
- 500W continuous output (1000W Peak)
- High Capacity 540WH(10.8V/50Ah) lithium batteries
- Weighs 12.13lbs
- 2 AC outlets/3 USB
- LCD digital display
- Charge from wall outlet, car 12V, or solar panel in 6-7 hours
- Solar panel sold separately
The Rockpals 500W portable generator is another great choice and I definitely place it among the best portable generators for camping. This generator can charge a number of devices like laptops, tablets, phones, lights, fans, CPAPs, TVs, mini refrigerators, bluetooth speakers, cameras, or DSLR battery chargers, to name a few. It’s well built and has a nice design on top of having a very high capacity as well as power output.
I like that this generator has the extra AC outlet, LED light bar, and at just 12 pounds it’s very portable. It would make a great addition to any camper’s inventory.
- 300W continuous power (350W peak)
- 60,000mAh battery capacity
- 2 AC outlets/3 USB
- Lightweight at just 5.6lbs
- Charge via AC outlet, car 12V, or solar panel (not included)
- Short-circuit, low-voltage, over-heat, over-volt, and over-current protection
Don’t let the need for a CPAP keep you from enjoying camping! This mid-tier priced option from FlashFish has a 60,000 mAh capacity and provides 300W of continuous power. It can fully charge in 5-6 hours from the wall or your car and just about 7-8 from a solar panel. It’s very lightweight at just 5.6lbs and can charge a number of devices such as phones, laptops, CPAPs, fans, TVs, and more.
A few of the things I like most about this generator is that it is very lightweight, has a high capacity, and is much more inexpensive compared to other options. It’s another great choice to add to this list of the best portable generators for camping, and won’t break the bank. It’s also regularly on sale so be sure to check the price and see if it’s marked down!
- 1 AC outlet/3 USB/1 USB-c
- 330W output/297wh power capacity
- Fully charges in 5-8 hrs
- Lightweight at just 7.1lbs
- Solar panel compatible (not included)
Another mid-range option is this 330W portable generator from Baldr. It has many of the features that you’d expect from a quality generator for camping such as an LCD display for battery percentage, AC and USB outlets, and an SOS flashlight. This generator even allows for wireless charging of compatible devices, which is a neat feature.
I also like the rugged style and design of this one, as well as the orange and black colors. It’s also a nice mix of price and output/capacity for those of us that don’t need anything too big and heavy. The Baldr will satisfy for your charging needs while camping and then some. It also has great reviews on Amazon, which is something we all look at.
- 150W output/48000mAh capacity
- Very lightweight at 3.1lbs
- 1 AC output/2 USB/1 USB-c
- Perfect for camping or backpacking
For our budget option check out the NEXPOW 150W. At a fraction of the cost of some of the other options on this list it still has a capacity of 48000mAh. It’ll charge your smaller devices such as phones, laptops, cameras, small fans drones, and even CPAPs.
At just 3.1lbs you can easily hold it on the palm of your hand, but it does have a large carrying handle as well. If you’re looking for something small and lightweight, inexpensive, but can still charge your personal electronics multiple times without being recharged, The NEXPOW may be the one for you.
Camping is a serious hobby for many people. It allows us to get away from it all and leave all of our worries behind. Having said that, we do sometimes need pieces of the modern world nearby for various reasons. In order to power our electronics, we need a power source like a generator. The last thing you want is a faulty generator that is going to fail on you miles away from civilization, so you want the best portable power generator for camping that you can afford.
To summarize if you are looking for something high output and high capacity then I’d go with the Jackery or Rockpals as both are solid choices. For a budget pick try the NEXPOW, just keep in mind the much smaller output and capacity. For a compromise of power and value try the Flashfish or the Baldr. Also, any of these generators would make a great gift idea for the outdoorsman.
Don’t forget to pick up a solar panel! (Links to each models compatible solar panels in their descriptions)