Nature’s Generator Review: Is It Worth It?
Updated: August 2, 2023
If you’re on the hunt for a portable solar generator, the past five years have brought forth tons of great options for solar and wind-powered generators. Among these, the Nature’s Generator has gained buzz as a highly-capable off-grid source for electricity… but is it your best choice?
At ShopSolar.com, we like to dissect every green-powered generator that comes on the market. We strive to help our customers with our expertise and passion for solar innovation and feel we must provide a full Nature’s Generator review. Below, we review the features, pros, and cons of the Nature’s Generator.
History of Nature’s Generator
The Nature’s Generator was released in North America by Huntkey USA, a California-based subsidiary of the Chinese electronics company Shenzhen Huntkey Electric Co. Ltd. According to the company, the popularity of its generators has reshaped its structure in response to demand from owners of RVs, tiny homes, and properties subject to natural disaster-related utility blackouts in California and beyond.
At the end of 2020, the company released Nature’s Generator Elite, which has a larger battery capacity, inverter size, and solar input rating.
Nature's Solar Generator Features
At first glance, sophisticated shoppers will recognize one feature of the Nature’s Generator that typically is not standard: the wheeled cart. With durable wheels and a sturdy handle, the weight of the Nature’s Generator is not a hindrance with easy transportation across most surfaces.
After a full review of the Nature’s Generator, it is obvious that the components of this device make it capable of providing large amounts of solar electricity. However, outdated battery technology limits this solar generator in its storage capacity, efficiency, and lifetime return on investment.
Here’s a quick look at what’s included with Nature's Solar Generator:
- Battery Capacity: 720 watt-hours, 60Ah
- Battery Type: Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery
- Expected Battery Life Cycles: 500 to 800 full charge cycles
- Storage Expansion Port: 200A Fuse
- Inverter Type: Pure Sine Wave
- Inverter Capacity: 1800W (Continuous)
- Built-in Charge Controller
- 3 x AC outlets
- 2 x USB Ports
- 1 x DC outlet
- LCD Display System
- On-board Bluetooth App: For iOS or Android
- Wheeled Cart
- Weight (with cart): 90 lbs.
- Dimensions (with cart): 23 × 17 × 22 in.
Beyond the solar generator itself, the company's website and several other online retailers list Nature’s Generator as part of a larger bundle. Nature’s Generator is often sold alongside solar panels, small wind turbines, or extra battery banks.
Nature's Solar Generator Charging Capabilities
Dual charge controllers for solar and wind power are perhaps the most interesting feature of the Nature’s Generator. Most commonly, the generator is paired with solar panels or wind turbines from the same manufacturer.
The Nature’s Generator also has an AC power cord and you can charge it by plugging it into an outlet in your home.
Here are the estimated charge times for a full battery:
- AC wall outlet: 10 - 15 hrs
- Solar panel charge time: 10 - 15 hrs
- Wind charge time: Varies heavily
Here are the Nature’s Generator’s input limits:
- Charging AC Input (90W)
- Solar Input (200W Max)
- Wind Input (300W Max)
What Can the Nature's Solar Generator Power?
The 1800W power inverter is one of the best features of the Nature’s Generator. This output wattage paired with three AC outlets, two USB ports, and a DC plug-in makes it very convenient for powering several small electronic devices at once. Alternatively, the Nature’s Generator can run high-powered equipment, such as construction tools or microwaves.
For each plug-in, here are the Nature’s Generator output limits:
- 3 x AC outlets (wall plugs) - 120V, 1800W max
- 2 x USB ports - 3A of power
- 1 x DC outlet - 240W max
To calculate the approximate runtime of a Nature’s Generator, simply divide the 720 watt-hours of battery capacity by the wattage of your devices. Learn more about the must-know solar generator equations.
Here are the approximate runtimes for some of the most common uses:
Pros of the Nature's Generator
At under $1,000 for the unit, the Nature’s Generator won't break your budget for an emergency source of backup renewable electricity. That said, the Nature’s Generator is so much cheaper than other solar generator options because it uses old, outdated AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery technology (more on this later).
Electricity on Wheels
First and foremost, the rolling cart is a huge bonus with the Nature’s Generator. The durable wheels and product casing allow you to easily transport the device in a home, RV, or wherever electricity is needed.
While the cart is extremely convenient, it is also entirely necessary. Out of the box, this entire system weighs 90 pounds, which is double or triple the weight of similar solar generators from other brands.
Power Output Options
Of course, most of the weight you are lugging around in the Nature’s Generator is the 1800-watt pure sine wave inverter. With this kind of power, you are free to use the three AC outlets without fear of overloading the system. The DC outlet is also a great feature that bypasses the inverter and allows for longer electronic runtimes.
Beyond this, the Nature Generator’s output interface is somewhat limited with only one type of USB port. It is always important to verify the USB type for your phones, tablets, cameras, or other devices before purchasing a generator. Many people find that a variety of USB options may work best.
Solar and Wind Charging Options
Another cool feature of the Nature’s Generator is its wind and solar charging capabilities. While some high-powered generators can handle wind and solar (see the Titan), most green generators in the Nature’s price range cannot.
If you are planning a significant amount of travel or live in an area with limited sunlight, then wind-powered charging may be the only way to keep this device alive off of the grid. Although charging speeds are often slow and highly variable, wind power can keep your batteries running, even throughout the night.
Lastly, chainable battery capacity is one of the primary selling points to the Nature’s Generator. This device makes it easy to charge several battery banks for emergencies and additional power. With this in mind, you can expand the device’s 720 watt-hour capacity by bounds set only by a budget. You can also chain several Nature’s Generators together.
Cons of the Nature's Generator
While there are certainly some strong aspects of the Nature’s Generator, our review of this device found many drawbacks beyond its obvious shortcomings. Considering the investment of nearly one thousand dollars, you must understand the following disadvantages of the Nature’s Generator when considering its return on investment.
AGM Battery Technology
If you’re familiar with off-grid electricity storage, the Nature’s Generator AGM battery is an immediate red flag. Most modern solar generators and off-grid storage systems utilize lithium technology that is lighter and more efficient than AGM batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are generally more expensive upfront, but they also provide longer and more fruitful lifetimes. With this in mind, the cost of lithium battery-based solar generators typically outweighs the cost of replacing lead-acid batteries with shorter lifetimes.
Nature’s Generator users can only expect 500-800 lifecycles on the battery.
With daily use, this means that you will need to replace the battery within two years of the purchase. Although you can replace the battery, this adds more cost and time that you can avoid spending with superior (lithium-based) generators.
Slow Solar Charging and Limited DC Input
Another drawback of the Nature’s Generator is its slow charging speeds. With ideal sunlight, this device charges via solar panels in 10-15 hours, which essentially means that you cannot fully charge it in a typical day. Although you can charge by wind 24/7, highly variable charging speeds make it difficult to fully charge your batteries or predict when they will reach capacity.
The built-in charge controllers limit inputs of 200W of solar or 300W of wind power. Compared to other solar generators, this amount is on the low end of high-powered devices and makes it hard to capture enough sunlight to sustain electricity use in vans, RVs, or off-grid cabins.
If you plan to charge your solar generator at home before camping trips or other outings, then the Nature’s Generator 10-15 hour AC charge time is not ideal. In fact, many solar generators can charge their batteries (often much larger than the Nature’s) in a fraction of the time.
Short Shelf Life
Next, the Nature’s Generator 2-3 month shelf life is extremely limiting to its potential as a convenient source of emergency power. The manufacturer recommends that this device be recharged every two to three months to maintain its power reserve, which can be extremely inconvenient to do four to five times a year.
Of course, the AGM battery is to blame for the Nature’s Generator’s limited shelf life. Lithium-ion batteries of similar capacities generally have shelf lives of six to 12 months within more reliable solar generators.
Lastly, the Nature’s Generator is on wheels; however, it weighs almost 100 pounds, making it extremely difficult to lift the generator in and out of your house, vehicle, or RV. It weighs so much because of the AGM battery inside the Nature’s Generator. Newer, lithium-based generators, like the EcoFlow Delta 1800, weigh just 30 pounds and have more overall battery capacity. As you can see, there’s a big difference in weight between lithium batteries vs AGM batteries.
Final Review on Nature's Generator
We feel that, overall, the Nature’s Generator is not worth it when considering a portable source of power. Although the price is reasonable, the Nature’s Generator is too limited by its outdated battery technology to be a good long-term solution.
If you are building a small electricity system around a solar-powered generator, we strongly suggest that you examine all-in-one options that include a lithium battery and encourage you to read our top 7 solar generators and complete buyer’s guide.
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