Inergy rose to popularity with their original portable solar generator, the Kodiak. It was an instant hit with customers because of its versatility as well as its compact shape and lightweight; I mean it weighed only 20 lbs! To give you a rough idea, it's main competitor on the market weighed more than double at 43.7 lbs. The Kodiak was still able to supply 1500 watts continuous pure sine wave with a 3,000 watts starting surge. It allowed for 600 watts max input which meant you could charge up the Kodiak in as little as 2.5-3 hours; you could even expand it by connecting it to any 12V lead acid or AGM deep cycle battery. The Kodiak was a beast! In this article we will go over the upgrades and changes that Inergy has put into the new Apex Generator to determine if the new Apex still as good as the original Kodiak.
Weight & Dimensions: The thing that so many of us loved about the original Kodiak was its compact size and weight. The Apex keeps the exact same dimensions: 14"W x 7"H x 8"D and weighs only 5lbs more. This really cannot be overlooked 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 up phones and laptops on a 3 day camping trip to being the main power source for your Skoolie / Van / RV. This generator even makes sense to keep in your home as a back up for crucial appliances in case 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 that your grandmother could carry up from the basement if she needed to.
MPPT Charge Controller: This is a really nice feature on the Apex because Inergy has lowered the maximum input wattage. The original Kodiak could support 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 will still charge fully in around 2.5-3 hours of ideal sunlight for the with the right number of panels.
LCD Screen: The LCD screen was possibly the only real negative that the Kodiak had. It wasn't a terrible screen 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're now able to read the input wattage as well as the output wattage. The Apex also boasts a completely different battery display where you can see the % left in your battery as well as the watts, volts, and amps which means you can get a much more accurate idea of whats happening to your Apex.
3 Position power Switch: Something that was always slightly annoying about the Kodiak was that if you wanted to use the USB or USB-C ports you needed to have the inverter running. This meant that 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 will have the ability to use the USB, USB-C and the 12V output without turning on the inverter which makes the entire generator more efficient for real world use.
Battery Expansion: Another great feature of the Apex is the ability to connect it to any 12V lead acid or AGM deep cycle battery. This really should not be underestimated as you can chain up the Kodiak to a few deep cycle batteries and get yourself quite 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 are 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. This makes access to solar power and solar generators that much less intimidating for people who are new to solar.
Neutrik Adapter: The biggest downside to the Apex is that it no longer supports the Neutrik adapter. The Neutrik adapter made it possible to connect your Kodiak to solar panels that were not made by Inergy. This meant that if you already had solar panels, you could simply buy the $24.99 adapter and hook up your existing array to the generator. Inergy has since done away with this because as they told us, the main problem they were facing was that customer didn’t understand the output of their solar arrays. Customers were buying the Neutrik adapter and hooking up the Kodiak to well over 600 watts. This led to countless customers frying their Kodiaks and eventually Inergy simply decided to make the Apex incompatible with panels that are not proprietary to them. Not the end of the world, but it's frustrating that you are now constrained to only panels that Inergy itself produces.
500 Watt Max Input: The second issue with the Apex is its 500 watt max input. The Kodiak boasted a full 600 watt max input which we are sad to see go. Though, with the MPPT charge controller that now comes installed in the Apex, the charge times are still super similar. We would have like to keep a 600 watt input WITH the MPPT but I guess you cant have everything!
In conclusion, it’s super apparent that Inergy has listened to customer feedback and continued to innovate. The upgraded screen, MPPT and 3 position power switch make the Inergy super 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 small dimensions really make this one of the best options on the market. With the pre-sale pricing of the Apex this is by far the best deal on the internet for a solar generator. If you have the ability to wait til June, 2019 for your Apex or Apex kit then this has to be one of the best purchases you can make if you’re looking for a reliable and powerful solar generator.