Portable Power Station – Buying guide

Why Should You Buy a Portable Power Station?

Usually, buying a power station that can last long and has substantial output is essential for everyone. However, you might not have the practical use of a massive and bulky unit. Instead, a portable station might be enough to power common small appliances. Indeed, there are plenty of models that will provide efficient backup while you’re away from home. Besides, you can use them in case of an emergency, too. Portable stations’ main advantage over power banks and laptop chargers is their bigger size and capacity. Moreover, they have more extensive outlet versatility and more durable casings.

Even though they aren’t lightweight enough to carry them around, portable stations are generally maneuverable. Perhaps, they are silent and environmentally-friendly. Ultimately, you can charge them overnight on a wall outlet. When in need, you can easily power your phone, laptop, GPS unit, or other small stuff. Of course, a portable power station can’t offer the same output as a generator. What they can do is provide plenty of output options. As a result, they can support a broader range of devices. If you ever need to power something more massive, go for a generator.

How to Pick a Portable Power Station?

  • Performance

If you have no idea how to pick the best portable power station, start from the wattage. Looking at the power output rating might give you an overall impression of the particular product. A score of at least 200W would be an excellent pick for the class. That way, you’ll be able to power most smaller electronics. On a side note, you should look at the battery capacity, too. If you’re going to buy a device with a long-lasting life, you should look for something with at least 300 Wh. In other words, you should get a gadget that can run a 300W device for one hour. When you do the math, you’ll get to support a laptop for several hours non-stop.

  • Durability

Of course, we can’t help but mention the quality of the design. Since you’re looking for a portable power station, it should have a maximum weight of 50 pounds. Anything more substantial would be hard to move around. Also, make sure the unit has comfortable handles and heavy-duty wheels. If you plan on using the station outdoors, look for a construction that’s resistant to casual wear and tear.

  • Versatility

Undoubtedly, a portable power station’s best trait is versatility. Therefore, you should make sure your device of choice has various output options. Typically, it should have at least one AC outlet, two fast-charging USB-A ports, and one other type of socket. Although all portable stations have battery meters, you can go for a more tech-savvy version.

Portable Power Station – Buyer’s Guide

  • Performance

Generally, portable units rely on performance instead of power output. In this respect, you should look for a mobile power station that has multiple applications. For example, you might need to jumpstart your car or charge up your smartphone. Therefore, you should carefully consider your options before you buy one.

  • Power Output

Of course, power always matters. Still, don’t expect too much from portable power station units. If you have the finances, it might be a better idea to bet on more robust products. That way, you’ll be able to power different appliances when off-grid. However, that may mean a bulkier construction.

  • Compatibility

Last but not least, every portable power station should have multiple outputs. Most of all, they should be of different varieties for optimal functionality. Before you choose a unit, you need to check whether it’s compatible with your primary category of appliances.

Best for powering low-demand appliances for DIY projects, parties, or camping

1. EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station

  EcoFlow is a pioneer in portable power. Their mission is to make new technologies available for inclusion that will help raise the standard of living in regions with power shortage.

Design and Build

The EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station cum Solar generator uses Lithium-ion batteries. This portable power station comes with three types of  USB ports – Quickcharge 2.0, C-type and the regular. There are two AC outlets, two DC outlets and a 12-volt carport. These outlets can power 11 devices at one time. This generator, when coupled with the EcoFlow solar panel charger, turns this device into a backup generator. The in-built battery can hold charge up to 1 year. The advanced, smart technology regulates efficient charging of the station and the devices you plug in. This unit has a built-in smart power surge protection and is water resistant.

Functionality

The EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station is ideal for road trips, off the grid living, RV campers, etc. It is not only useful for camping, home, commercial use but also for medical purposes such as CPAP power.

 

Portable Power Station - Buying guide

Capacity

The EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station takes 9 hours to charge using a car battery. It recharges in 10 – 15 hours using a solar panel and 6 hours using a wall socket. It can run a projector or a mini fridge for 10+ hours, a light bulb for more than 100 hours and an electric guitar for more than 20 hours and can charge a drone 4 – 8 times, a GoPro more than 80 times, a phone more than 30 times and a laptop more than 5 – 9 times – not suitable for coffee makers, full-size fridges, heaters, hair dryers and water pumps as these devices pull more than 500 watts of power thus this station cannot power them in a reliable manner – comes with a 114000 mAh or 412Wh capacity. The total output is 500 watts of AC and DC power.

Additional Features

The EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Operates between -4 to 140 F
  • Portable & operates anywhere
  • Lightning recharge
  • 114000mAh capacity in 11 pounds

Cons

  • QC issues
  • Wouldn’t operate a flood light or cooktop

Best for for  camping, RVing, tailgating

2.  Jackery Explorer 500 Solar Power Station

The Jackery Explorer 500 Solar Power Station might be suitable for your needs. This portable solar power station comes with lots of amazing features and it’s budget-friendly as well. But we recommend taking a look at the detailed review of this portable generator before you make a purchase. And that’s what we’ve brought for you. So, without wasting any time, let’s take a look at the review. Pros

  • Built-in LED flashlight
  • Comes with Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • Equipped with the LED display
  • Car Charging cable and AC Adapter included

Cons

  • The battery is slow to recharge

Design and Build

Jackery Explorer 500 is a portable and lightweight generator that comes with a sturdy and easy-to-carry handle. Although the overall design isn’t very attractive, it comes with all the essential ports that can be used to run multiple devices. The power station is equipped with an LED flashlight that provides the essential amount of light at night. Moreover, the built-in fan helps with maintaining the temperature of the generator when you’re charging multiple devices.

Functionality

Jackery Explorer 500 gives you the freedom to recharge your smart devices using its 2.4A USB outlets. This power station can easily manage your needs with the two 6mm outlets and a cigarette lighter outlet. No matter whether you’re willing to recharge your laptop or want to run your electric appliances during a power outage, this power station is the ideal option for you.

You can run several other electric appliances using this portable power station. But make sure that you check the wattage of the device before connecting it to the power station. Some items like Space Heaters, Air Conditions, Blenders, Electric Hot Water Heaters, and Toaster Over, require too much power. Therefore, you shouldn’t connect them to the power station otherwise, its lifespan will be ultimately reduced.

Portable Power Station - Buying guide

Capacity

Jackery Explorer 500 is equipped with a 518Wh large capacity battery that can be used to charge the laptops 7 times. You can also use this power station to run your blender or TV for 6-7 hours. The best part is that the CPAP machine can be powered for 23-40 hours with this power station.

Charging the Battery

The battery can be recharged within 7.5 hours when it’s connected to the 120v wall outlet. If you’re using a car adapter, it will take around 11.5 hours for a full recharge. And if you’re using Jackery SoloSaga 100W solar panel, it may take around 9 hours for a full recharge.

Conclusion

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 is very popular among RV travelers. And the homeowners also like using it as it doesn’t generate any noise. It’s a high power portable generator that can accommodate your electricity needs for a long time. The best part is that you can get this portable power station at a very affordable price.

Best for emergencies, power outages and outdoor trips

3. TACKLIFE P50 500Wh Portable Power Station

Whether you like going off the grid or you need a reliable backup, a portable power station can do wonders. Such a tool can become handy in all types of situations. Perhaps, its ability to power small-demand electronics can make for an indispensable addition to your tool collection. Arguably, TACKLIFE has one of the best portable stations on the market.

The P50 500Wh mobile unit is roughly the same size and weight as a small microwave. Surprisingly, it holds an impressive max output, along with a wide selection of ports. Thanks to its features and rugged exterior, this portable power station stands out from the competition. If you want to learn more about the TACKLIFE P50 pros and cons, we’ve provided a thorough breakthrough. Besides, you might need a bit of knowledge about the benefits of portable stations. In your assistance, we’ve added a brief guide that will help you pick the best unit.

 

Portable Power Station - Buying guide

 

TACKLIFE P50 Specifications

When you first open the package and hold the P50 in your hands, you’ll notice its lightweight build. The proof that the power station is really portable is its mere 15.5 pounds of weight. Moreover, it has a nice and rugged rubber body to provide durability. Just grab it by the handle, and you’re ready to go! In terms of power, the machine has a rating of 300W with a surge peak at 450W. Overall, it has a capacity of 500Wh, which is enough to power multiple devices for hours. Perhaps, the best thing about this power station is its display.

It allows you to monitor the amount of power the station provides in real-time. That way, you can maximize its performance and runtimes. Besides, it wouldn’t be portable if it wasn’t versatile, too. The TACKLIFE P50 comes with plenty of outputs that allow for an easy charge. You can use either power its battery via a car socket, solar, or wall charger. Of course, you don’t have to worry about safety issues. This device has all the protection needed for seamless work. Last but not least, it provides a pure sine wave, which is beneficial to sensitive electronics.

Pros

  • Lightweight and Durable

Firstly, we should mention the lightweight and durable design of the P50. It has a sturdy boxed build that weighs merely 15.5 pounds. This feature will allow you to bring it everywhere you go.

  • Versatile

Moreover, this unit is versatile enough to power all your devices. It has four USB-A ports, two DC outputs, and one USB-C port. Best of all, it comes with two pure sine wave AC outlets. Also, you can use the wireless charging option or the optional solar panel to recharge the battery or other devices.

  • Powerful Output

Give its compact size, this gadget shows formidable power output. It comes with standard 300w production and 450W surge power for the impressive 500Wh.

  • Safe and Reliable

Finally, the TACKLIFE P50 portable power station will never leave you behind. This small device has a multi-protection system for optimal safety during exploitation. This system consists of short circuit prevention, and overvoltage, temperature, and surge protection.

Cons

  • Expensive

In terms of disadvantages, this portable power station has virtually no flaws at all. If there’s one thing that may hold you back from buying it, it’s the price. Of course, the P50 may show great value for the money. However, it’s almost twice the price of gadgets with similar specs.

The Verdict

All in all, the P50 is an excellent pick for a portable power station. Arguably, this device is capable of charging and running multiple devices at the same time, without any effort. Of course, you’ll have to spend a small fortune on this piece of art. Still, you’ll forget about it as soon as you start using it!

Best for powering low-demand appliances for DIY projects, parties, or camping

4. BALDR 330W Portable Power Station

Nowadays, bringing a portable power station to your camp or trailer can do wonders. Perhaps, there are plenty of models and brands on the market. Since every product comes with different features, finding the best machine can be a little daunting. Arriving at your assistance, the 330-Watts BALDR is the perfect off-grid power station. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best products in its category. With this gadget, you can charge smartphones, car vacuums, and other small power supplies. If you’re in search of a portable power station, this one might be it. Take a closer look at the pros and cons of the BALDR 330W power station.

Key Specifications

As a starter, let’s look into the power output of this portable station. The BALDR product comes with 330 Watts of power supply. While it’s not much, it perfectly fits into the category requirements. Moreover, the device has excellent compatibility with all kinds of electronic devices. Perhaps, this sleek portable unit can successfully fit in your home, car, or trailer. What’s more, the power station shows flawless versatility with its three-way charge option. You can charge up the 82500Mah lithium battery cells via a wall socket, or a 12V car socket system. Besides, you can buy an optional solar panel for a green-power recharge.

The 100W solar panel can fill the battery for seven hours.  In terms of charging other items, the power station has a convenient wireless system. All in all, the portable device is ideal for powering low-demand appliances for DIY projects, parties, or camping. The rugged unit guarantees protection from casual wear and tear. Moreover, the casing features a flashlight for additional illumination during nighttime. Since this gadget weighs merely 3.23 kilograms, it won’t be a hassle to move it around. It also comes with a management system for the battery. In short, it protects the unit from short circuit, voltage, and temperature control.

Portable Power Station - Buying guide

Pros

  • Lightweight and Compact Design

No doubt, the most noticeable feature on the BALDR power station is its compact and lightweight design. As previously mentioned, the device weighs just a little above 3 kilos. You can quickly bring it everywhere with you. Moreover, the sleek design makes it blend seamlessly in your car trunk, trailer, or home garage.

  • Multifunctional

In terms of flexibility, this power station beats the odds. Arguably, there’s a wide selection of output ports to use. Overall, there are 1 AC and 3 USB 3.0 sockets, 1 C type, 1 vehicle, and 2 DC ports. Most of all, the BALDR gadget has a wireless charging system and a built-in flashlight for extra functionality.

  • Safe and Reliable

Apart from the high-quality execution, the manufacturer has ensured there’s optimal protection. Indeed, the power station shows formidable reliability when it comes to safety and durability. The portable power bank has a battery management system. Consequently, it protects the unit from short circuits, overvoltage, overloads, and overheating. Most of all, it doesn’t use any gasoline or toxic fumes, which makes it environmentally-friendly.

Cons

  • Low Power Output

Even though it has a higher power capacity than other items in the category, it may still fall short on some devices. Before you buy it, you should pay attention to the appliances it can power.

  • No Automatic Charge Switch Off

Another minor downside regards the automatic switch-off feature.  Although the manufacturer states it clearly, many customers have complained that the overcharging protection doesn’t work. Moreover, the manual explicitly recommends users not to leave their units plugged after they have been fully charged. While it’s not a huge issue, it may be a bit annoying.

The Verdict

Finally, you should consider buying the BALDR 330W Portable Power Station. The unit showcases excellent all-round specs that fit perfectly to its purpose. Perhaps, the portable energy bank shows a balanced mix of compatibility, portability, and power output. Moreover, you won’t have to splurge on a bulky and heavy piece. After all, a 330W of power is more than enough for a picnic, or a phone charger.

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