It’s not until there is a sudden power outage that we realize how much we take electricity for granted.
So many of the appliances in our homes need to be plugged into a wall socket or charged regularly to keep them running. We all know this, so why is it that when the power does go down, we always end up resorting to candles and cold food.
For some, a power cut is a minor inconvenience at best, and there are many people that are happy to leave their electrical gadgets at home when they go on camping holidays. However, this isn’t always an option.
For instance, a power outage can be much worse for someone who uses a CPAP machine when they sleep, as their machine needs to be functioning throughout the night.
While half the fun of camping is communing with nature, it’s still a good idea to have a working phone with you to call emergency services if necessary.
Builders working in old houses and other types of traveling tradesmen literally can’t afford to be without electricity to power their tools. These are just a few examples of situations where a portable power station can be very useful.
Best Portable Power Stations
Portable power stations are large batteries with inbuilt power inverters for providing instant electricity wherever you need it.
They are used by tradesmen when working in houses where the power has been shut off, campers who want to power a few choice appliances off the grid, and as a backup source of electricity during power cuts.
Below, you can find five of the best portable power stations for the next time you require off-grid electricity for your gadgets and equipment.
The Sungzu is specifically designed for campers who want to travel off-grid and for use during power outages. It has a lithium battery with 1000W power capacity that is capable of powering mini-fridges, toasters, PCs, and much, much more.
There is an OLED screen on the front that helps you keep track of how fast your power station is charging or discharging. You can charge the battery in 5 to 7 hours using a standard AC wall outlet or even a solar panel if you want to go off-grid.
There is a great selection of outputs on this power station, including one pair of DC 12V ports, 2 AC outlets, and 4 USB ports.
With a pure sine inverter providing the output, you won’t have to worry about damaging your phone or laptop when charging them with this unit.
The Sungzu is very quiet while it’s operating, which means it can be used as a backup power source for a CPAP machine without waking you up.
This model includes all the necessary safety features to prevent short circuits, overcharging, over-voltage, overheating, and over-discharging.
In the box, you will receive the power station itself as well as a power cable for charging it, 8 fuse tubes, a micro USB cable, and a cigarette lighter you can plug into one of the outlets.
This item is just over 25lbs in weight, which makes it very portable and suitable for taking with you on camping trips.
- Dimensions (in): 16.06(l) x 6.46(w) x 10.75(h)
- Weight (lbs): 25.35
- Power capacity (w): 1010, 2000 surge capacity.
- Charging time(by wall socket): 5.5-7 hours
- Outputs: 1* 12V DC, 2* 110V AC, 4* USB
- Warranty: 18 months
- Quiet operation
- A portable generator that can be taken camping
- Inbuilt pure sine wave inverter for charging laptops and phones without overheating them
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- Not suitable for powering high-wattage appliances like electric kettles, and microwave ovens
The MAXOAK 500W power station is the smallest on this list and also the cheapest. Don’t be fooled by its size, though, this is a great little unit for anyone who needs a portable power bank on a budget.
It has a 300W battery capacity that may seem too little, but it’s still enough for powering low-wattage appliances like televisions, mini-fridges as well as laptops and mobile phones.
There are 9 different types of output, with one 12V DC carport, two 12V/10A DC ports, four USBs, and 2 standard 110V AC outlets.
This provides plenty of options for charging and running various different appliances, from phones to a mini vacuum cleaner.
The input port is equally versatile, and the single input can accept four different charging methods. You can recharge this unit using a solar panel, wall socket, car output, or by connecting it to a generator.
This power station is incredibly portable and only weighs 13.6lbs, which means you can take it anywhere with you.
Since it doesn’t have the battery capacity for powering drills or other tools, it won’t be great for traveling tradesmen, but it will be perfect for camping trips.
The output is provided by a pure sine wave inverter to ensure this unit outputs clean power that won’t overheat your mobile phone or laptop.
- Dimensions (in): 11.6(l) x 7.5(w) x 7(h)
- Weight (lbs): 13.6
- Power capacity (w): 300, 500wh battery capacity
- Charging time(by wall socket): 6 hours
- Outputs: 1* DC car port, 2* DC 12V/10A outputs, 4* USB ports, 1* PD/45W port, 2* 110V AC outlets.
- Warranty: 12-month replacement or maintenance warranty
- Compact and portable power station
- Fast charging time, with four different potential methods to recharge the battery
- Lots of outputs for use in a variety of different situations
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- Not powerful enough for large high-wattage appliances
The Ecoflow power stations started out as a Kickstarter project and are now widely available on Amazon. This is one of the smaller models, but it still weighs a hefty 30.9lbs, which makes it one of the less portable units on this list.
However, every gram of weight is worth it for a Lithium battery attached to a pure sine wave inverter that holds 1800W, of clean power.
Many appliances like hairdryers, blenders, and power tools will use more power when they start up than they will during use.
This is why most power stations have the ability to temporarily produce a lot more power than their standard output to deal with these surges.
Super Fast Charge
The Ecoflow Delta has a surge capacity of 3000W which makes it very suitable for power tools, and other items with electric motors. It also has superfast charging times that allow this unit to go from 0 to 80% in just one hour.
You can charge this unit from a wall socket, off the battery in your car, or via a solar panel if you have one.
This is a double-sided power station with USB ports on one side under the display and 6 AC outlets on the other side along with a DC carport.
Two of these USB ports are fast charge sockets that will be very useful for quickly recharging your phone, laptop, or another portable device.
All the necessary safety features have been built in to stop this unit from being damaged by voltage or current spikes.
While it’s not the most portable, this power station has enough battery capacity to keep your house running in the eventuality of a power outage.
- Dimensions (in): 15.7(l) x 8.3(w) x 10.6(h)
- Weight (lbs): 30.9
- Power capacity (w): 1800, 3000 surge capacity
- Charging time(by wall socket): 1.6 hours
- Outputs: 1* 12V DC car port, 2* USB-C, 2* USB-A, 2* fast charge USB, 6* 110V AC outlets.
- Warranty: 2 years
- 3000W surge capacity for powering motorized devices that require extra power on start up.
- Ultra-fast charging time.
- Thirteen different power outlets.
- Can be recharged via solar panel, standard wall outlet or off the battery in your car.
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- Heavy unit that isn’t great for camping
This compact power station made by Jackery has a rugged design that is durable and incredibly portable. It’s perfect for people who need to power a few choice devices during a camping trip, and can even handle some larger devices as well.
It’s very quiet, which means you can enjoy portable power without having to listen to a droning fan the whole time.
There are 8 outputs in total, including fast charge USB ports and pure sine wave AC outlets that can power your laptop without overheating it. You can charge the Jackery from any wall outlet, the battery in your car, or using a solar panel.
The miniature display is very easy to read and lets you keep track of how much charge you have left on your power station.
This unit is completely safe with protection measures in place for dealing with voltage or current spikes as well as overheating and short circuits.
The Jackery is unlike many other portable battery generators since it has the ability to support pass-through charging without shortening its battery life.
Pass-through charging is when a device is being charged and discharged at the same time, which would normally cause a battery to lose its maximum capacity.
- Dimensions (in): 13.1(l) x 9.2(w) x 11.1(h)
- Weight (lbs): 22.04
- Power capacity (w): 1000
- Charging time(by wall socket): 6.5
- Outputs: 1* DC car port, 1* fast charge USB, 1* USB-A, 2* USB-C, 3* 110V AC outlets
- Warranty: 2 years
- Compact and very portable
- Durable unit with all the necessary inbuilt protection measures
- Supports pass through charging, so you can use this power station even when it’s being recharged
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- Limited surge capacity means this device may struggle with some devices even if they draw less than 1000W
Another unit by MAXOAK, but this time one with a 1000w capacity and the ability to power larger electrical devices. It has a simple design with USBs and a DC 12V carport under the display and two 110V AC outlets on the opposite side.
With a top-rated lithium-ion battery inside the casing, this unit is built to last over 2500 use cycles and provides a great discharge rate for giving all your devices the power they need.
You can charge this power station of a generator, standard wall outlet, or solar panel through the same input.
The intelligent cooling fan will automatically turn on or off depending on how much energy you are drawing from the power bank.
Even when it’s running, the cooling system on this unit is so quiet you will barely know it’s there. This makes it suitable as a backup power source for your CPAP machine that won’t wake you up if it turns on.
There is an inbuilt battery management system that moderates the unit’s output to prevent it from being damaged by voltage or current spikes.
Weighing in at 37.9lbs, this is the heaviest power station on our list, which means you might struggle to take it with you on camping trips.
It also takes up to 8 hrs to reach full charge via a wall outlet, and even longer when using a generator or solar power.
- Dimensions (in): 14.6(l) x 6.5(w) x 14.4(h)
- Weight (lbs): 37.9
- Power capacity (w): 1000
- Charging time(by wall socket): 7-8 hours
- Outputs: 1* 12V DC car port, 1* PD 45W, 4* USB, 2* AC outlet
- Warranty: 1 year
- Intelligent cooling system is effective and practically silent
- Battery management system to protect from voltage and current spikes
- High quality lithium-ion battery built to last over 2500 recharge cycle
- Has a PD 45W output for charging a MacBook
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- Long charging time
Buyers Guide For Portable Power Stations
A portable power station is a very useful thing to have in your home. Not only are they great for running electrical devices while you are out camping or otherwise off the grid, but they can keep a few choice appliances in your house running during a power outage.
Here are some of the most important things to consider when buying a battery-powered, electrical generator.
In order to know if your power station will run all the devices you wish to use it for, you will need to know its battery capacity. There are two numbers that determine how much electricity a battery can store and provide.
The first is the maximum output of the device, which is measured in watts, which is the maximum amount of electrical energy a generator has stored in its battery.
Secondly, there is the battery’s capacity measured in watt-hours. This is an approximation of how much energy the battery can produce to do work before it runs dry.
Larger devices will use more power and flatten the battery faster, so to run them you will need a power station with a much higher capacity.
The number of outlets on a generator will dictate how many appliances your unit can run at the same time. It isn’t great to use every outlet at the same time, as this will cause your battery to run out very fast.
You also want a power station that has the correct outlets for all the devices you want to use with it. Apple MacBooks can only be charged by a generator with a PD 45W outlet, while other appliances may need a 12V DC carport.
Always check that a power bank outputs pure sine wave power if you plan to use it for charging a laptop, as the modified sine variety may cause your device to overheat.
Always make sure that any power station you buy has protection measures in place to prevent the unit from being damaged by voltage or current spikes.
These can help to reduce the risk of short circuits, as well as ensure the battery in your generator will last a long time.
You will also need to make sure your chosen generator has a decent cooling system, with a fan capable of preventing the unit from overheating without being too noisy.
Portable Power Station Frequently Asked Questions
How To Tell How Long I Can Run A Certain Appliance On My Generator?
There is a simple equation you can use to tell how long a generator will power a specific electrical appliance, which is as follows:
The battery capacity of your power station(in watt-hours)*0.85/ Power consumption of your device (in watts).
What’s The Difference Between Modified And Pure Sine Wave Output?
All the power stations on this list output pure sine wave energy from their 110V AC outlets. This is different from modified sine wave energy, which is an approximation of AC current, unlike pure sine which is unadulterated.
Think of it like this, AC current takes the form of a wave alternating between two points, modified sine power is like a staircase made of steps that follow the wave but only roughly.
This is often called dirty power and while it will work for most appliances, it may cause laptops or phones to overheat.
Pure sine energy will power laptops and computers much more efficiently and won’t risk damaging them in the process.