Inergy rose to popularity with their original portable solar generator, the Kodiak solar generator. It was an instant hit with customers because of its versatility, compact shape, and lightweight design. I mean, it weighed only 20 pounds!
To give you a rough idea of how light this is, its main competitor weighed more than double at 43.7 pounds. The Kodiak could still supply 1500 watts continuous pure sine wave with a 3,000 watts starting surge. It allowed for 600 watts max input, meaning you could charge up the Kodiak in as little as 2.5 to 3 hours. You could even expand it by connecting it to any 12V lead-acid or AGM deep cycle battery.
The Kodiak solar generator was a beast! Here, we will cover the upgrades and changes that Inergy has put into the new Apex Generator to determine if the new Apex is good as the original Kodiak.
Inergy Apex Solar Generator Pros
Weight & Dimensions
The thing that so many of us loved about the original Kodiak was its compact size and weight. The Apex keeps the same dimensions: 14"W x 7"H x 8"D and weighs only 5 pounds more. You cannot overlook this because the beautiful thing about the Kodiak was the power it could produce for its size. The Apex picks up right where the Kodiak left off, making it a perfect option for virtually any situation. You can use this generator for anything from charging phones and laptops on a 3-day camping trip to being the main power source for your Skoolie / Van / RV. It even makes sense to keep this generator in your home as a backup for crucial appliances if the grid goes down. We don't know of any other solar generator on the market that can produce as much power as the Kodiak in a box so lightweight that your grandmother could carry upstairs from the basement if she needed to.
MPPT Charge Controller
This feature on the Apex is great because Inergy has lowered the maximum input wattage. The original Kodiak supported 600-watt max input, which would charge the generator in around 3 hours of ideal sunlight. The new Apex has a max input of 500 watts; however, thanks to the MPPT, it still charges fully in around 2.5 to 3 hours of ideal sunlight with the right number of panels.
The LCD screen was possibly the only real negative that the Kodiak had. It wasn't terrible, but it was not nearly as user-friendly as something like the Goal Zero Yeti's. Inergy has directly addressed this issue with the new LCD screen upgrades on the Apex. You can now read the input wattage as well as the output wattage. The Apex also boasts a different battery display that shows you the percent of battery you have left, as well as the watts, volts, and amps. You can get a much more accurate idea of what's happening with your Apex.
3-Position Power Switch
Something that was always slightly annoying about the Kodiak was if you wanted to use the USB or USB-C ports, the inverter needed to be running. If you wanted to charge something like your phone, you ended up wasting a lot of electricity keeping the inverter on. With the Apex, you can use the USB, USB-C, and the 12V output without turning on the inverter, making the generator more efficient for real-world use.
Another great feature of the Apex is you can connect it to any 12V lead-acid or AGM deep cycle battery. You should not underestimate this feature, as you can chain up the Kodiak to a few deep cycle batteries and get yourself a substantial power bank. This is something that only the Goal Zero 1250 and the Yeti 400 can do. None of the lithium power banks offered by Goal Zero can be chained to extra batteries.
EC8 Input Plug
Another neat feature that the Apex has is the EC8 connectors. While this is not the biggest upgrade by any means, EC8 adapters give new customers a super simple and straightforward plug-and-play interface, making access to solar power and solar generators much less intimidating for people who are new to solar.
Inergy Apex Solar Generator Cons:
The biggest downside to the Apex was that it no longer supported the Neutrik adapter for third-party panels.
*As of October 2019* Inergy now offers the EC8 to MC4 connecter that allows the Apex to support ANY third-party solar panels. Now, you can simply buy this $24.99 adapter and hook up your existing solar array to the Inergy Apex solar generator rather than having to buy its solar panels as well. It is important to note, though, that the Inergy Apex can only handle a maximum of 500 watts of power input at one time.
500-Watt Max Input
With the release of the EC8 to MC4 adapter, the only real issue with the Inergy Apex is its 500-watt max input. The Kodiak boasted a 600-watt max input which we are sad to see go. With the MPPT charge controller that now comes installed in the Apex, though, the charge times are still super similar. We would have liked to keep a 600-watt input WITH the MPPT, but I guess you can't have everything!
In conclusion, it’s apparent that Inergy listened to customer feedback and continued to innovate. The upgraded screen, MPPT, and 3-position power switch make the Inergy Apex hard to compete with for the other generators on the market. Its 1500-watt continuous output and 3000-watt surge coupled with its lightweight and compact design make this one of the best options on the market. At $1,250 all-in, the Inergy Apex is, by far, the best deal on the internet for a solar generator. If you're in the market for a solar generator, then this is one of the best purchases you can make, especially if you want a reliable and powerful solar generator.