If you are planning to go camping with family or friends, you need to make a list of what you will bring along on the trip. It’s inevitable that you will use certain electric devices such as your phones and lights. Therefore, it’s best to include a portable power station on your checklist.
But what model should you buy?
This post will help you answer that question by offering a comprehensive guide on choosing the best portable power stations for camping.
Here are the best portable power stations (Jan 2021 Update):
- Best For Lighting: WAWUI Portable Power Station
- Fast Charging: Energizer Portable Power Station, PD 45W USB-C
- Best For Small Appliances: AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station
- Best For Short Camping Trips: VITCOCO 167Wh 100W Peak 120W Portable Power Station
- Ultra-Lightweight: SUAOKI Portable Power Station
- Most Durable: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240
- Best For CPAP Machine: FlashFish 40800mAh Solar Generator 200W
- Quiet: BUTURE 300W Portable Power Station
- Best For Mini Heater: MAXOAK Power Station 500Wh Solar Generator Bluetti AC50
- Best For Mini Refrigerator: Portable Power Station RAVPower
- Best For Medium-Sized Power Needs: BALDR Portable Power Station 330W
- Best For Long Camping Trips: Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station
|12 Best Portable Power Stations|
Best For Lighting
|WAWUI Portable Power Station|
|Energizer Portable Power Station, PD 45W USB-C|
Best For Small Appliances
|AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station|
Best For Short Camping Trips
|VITCOCO 167Wh 100W Peak 120W Portable Power Station|
|SUAOKI Portable Power Station|
|Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240|
Best For CPAP Machine
|FlashFish 40800mAh Solar Generator 200W|
|BUTURE 300W Portable Power Station|
Best For Mini Heater
|MAXOAK Power Station 500Wh Solar Generator Bluetti AC50|
Best For Mini Refrigerator
|Portable Power Station RAVPower|
Best For Medium-Sized Power Needs
|BALDR Portable Power Station 330W|
Best For Long Camping Trips
|Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station|
Best For Lighting: WAWUI Portable Power Station
- Easy to carry, lightweight, and portable
- Suitable for extended camping trips – run by replaceable and rechargeable battery solar generator system
- Perfect for lighting - 3 bright white LED bulbs and 2 lights of two levels
- Stable performance - constant current IC driver
- The carrying bag could be more quality
The WAWUI Portable Power Station is the most suitable for camping.
It is easy to carry, portable thanks to the handle, and importantly, it boasts a replaceable and rechargeable battery solar generator system. The whole weight is pretty light - half the size of the classic worker's lunchbox.
It does an excellent job of lighting up a tent and the campsite with four LED lights after dark and can last until midnight. Plus, it’s powerful enough to charge a smartphone at a time.
A reliable choice for extended camping trips with stable performance and constant current IC driver. Your purchase will also be backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee and a one-year product service.
|WAWUI Portable Power Station Specifications|
3 lights: 7+ hours
2 lights: 10 hours
1 light: 24 hours
run by replaceable and rechargeable battery solar generator system
3 bright white LED bulbs and 2 lights of two levels
constant current IC driver
With its own lights of two settings and run by a replaceable and rechargeable battery solar generator system, we find no contender out there could beat the WAWUI Portable Power Station for lighting at your campsite.
Fast Charging: Energizer Portable Power Station, PD 45W USB-C
- Fast charging - unique DC port processing technology
- Safe to use - LiFePO4 - Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery
- Sustainable - passed the violence test & the temperature ranges of 23-131 degrees F
- No cables for solar
- The fan for heat protection makes this generator louder while operating
- Make solar panel alignment impossible - The display shows bars show the percentage of charge left
The Energizer Portable Power Station, PD 45W USB-C stands out from the competition for its insanely fast charging capability. For a constant, stable runtime of 2-4 hours, it only requires charging for 6 hours while other similar counterparts commonly need up to 8 or 10 hours.
It is a big thank you to the unique DC port processing technology, which features integrated MPPT, real-time tracking of the max energy point in solar panels.
This amazing technology also avoids sparks efficiently by boosting the max efficiency of solar panels.
Without sacrificing your safety, it is built with LiFePO4 - Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery – the safest and most stable battery type at the current.
Regardless, this generator passed the tests of harsh temperature and violence successfully that it can operate smoothly at the high temp of 131 degrees F or low down to 23 degrees F.
|Energizer Portable Power Station, PD 45W USB-C Specifications|
unique DC port processing technology
LiFePO4 - Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery
passed the violence test & the temperature ranges of 23-131 degrees F
Rose on top due to its incredibly fast charging capability, the Energizer Portable Power Station takes a slot in our review list this year.
Best For Small Appliances: AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station
- Ideal for charging small appliances - an IMMENSE 42000mAh 155Wh power capacity
- Protect you from over-temperature, overvoltage, and overcurrent – a cooling fan & advanced battery management system
- Lightweight and portable – the weight of 3.48 pounds & an ergonomic handle
- Feature no solar panel option
- No cover over the DC output
Highlighting an IMMENSE 42000mAh 155Wh power capacity, this portable power station is best for charging/running small appliances at your campsite.
Meanwhile, it protects you well from hassles, such as over-temperature, overvoltage, and overcurrent, all thanks to the advanced battery management system along with an integrated cooling fan. A big difference from other counterparts that also use fans for heat dissipating is that this model runs more quietly.
We also love how lightweight and portable it is. In fact, this power station weighs only 3.48 pounds and it’s built with an ergonomic handle.
|AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station Specifications|
an IMMENSE 42000mAh 155Wh power capacity
a cooling fan & advanced battery management system
the weight of 3.48 pounds & an ergonomic handle
If you only have some small appliances charging while camping, we highly recommend the AIMTOM 155Wh Portable Power Station.
Best For Short Camping Trips: VITCOCO 167Wh 100W Peak 120W Portable Power Station
- Manage over-temperature, over-current, and over-voltage protection - BMS System
- Provide lights for multi-use - integrated LED flashlights of 3 levels
- Convenient charging – three ways to charge this power station
- Take a long time to recharge
This portable power station might be what you’re after for those short camping trips when some of your appliances require powering to run, like CPAP machines, in-car appliances, fans, drones, light, and electronics.
While doing that, it can give you some bright light, thanks to the integrated LED flashlights of 3 levels that can last up to 83 hours at full charge.
Use it with peace in mind; this power station is designed with a BMS System that manages decently over-temperature, over-current, and over-voltage protection.
But what we like the most is its multiple ways of charging – exactly three: through an AC wall outlet (7 hours of charging), through a carport (10 hours), and under the sun. While charging, its LCD screen will tell you about the progress, from 0 to 100 percent.
|VITCOCO 167Wh 100W Peak 120W Portable Power Station Specifications|
integrated LED flashlights of 3 levels
three ways to charge this power station
For short camping trips, the VITCOCO 167Wh 100W Peak 120W Portable Power Station is hard to beat.
Ultra-Lightweight: SUAOKI Portable Power Station
- Ultra-lightweight – 2.9-pound weight
- Convenient to use - ten outlet ports, three charging ways, and two handles
- Safe and multi-use - BMS – Battery Management System, UL certification, and LED flashlights of 2 levels
- Cheap handles
- It features a blue bar light scheme, not an LCD Power Display
While all of the power stations here are portable and lightweight, their lightness is only suitable for place-it-then-leave-it. But this one is outstanding! It is ultra-lightweight (2.9 pounds) which is perfect for carrying it and running it.
The size of two coffee mugs even makes it more portable.
It is also quiet while running and convenient – featuring ten outlet ports, three charging ways, and two handles.
Designed with safety in mind, it utilizes the BMS – Battery Management System for advanced safeguards and passed UL certification. Some integrated LED flashlights of 2 levels will give you more peace in mind.
|SUAOKI Portable Power Station Specifications|
ten outlet ports, three charging ways, and two handles
BMS – Battery Management System, UL certification, and LED flashlights of 2 levels
As long as you need an ultra-lightweight, portable power station, the SUAOKI Portable Power Station is a shining contender.
Most Durable: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240
- Tougher and more efficient than regular Lithium-ion batteries – powered by automotive 18650 Lithium-ion batteries
- Last long – up to 20-hour runtime
- Extra convenient – multiple outlets and ports & 4 charging ways
- The limited 40-watt input rating
- Wish it had one extra AC outlet
We like the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 for its superb durability by using automotive 18650 Lithium-ion batteries which are considered to be tougher and more efficient than regular Lithium-ion batteries.
It lasts up through dozens of charge times, being played with a bear, and collisions.
Regardless, it can power up to four appliances at a time while offering up to four ways of charging for your convenience.
The DC carport, USB-A ports, and AC outlets play a huge role to make that wonderful performance possible. It’s safe, by the way, thanks to the pure sine wave inverter technology.
|Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 Specifications|
powered by automotive 18650 Lithium-ion batteries
up to 20-hour runtime
multiple outlets and ports & 4 charging ways
For those campers who love survival camping trips, the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 is worth considering.
Best For CPAP Machine: FlashFish 40800mAh Solar Generator 200W
- Convenient to run CPAP machine – provide two methods of charging
- Multi-Use – features one USB ports (2.4A auto) and two QC 3.0 quick charge USB port
- Safe while charging and using - all-round protection
- Not auto-shutoff when it is fully charged
This portable power station gives you two methods to run your CPAP machine – 12V DC plug or 110V AC plug. Besides, it provides one USB port (2.4A auto) and two QC 3.0 quick charge USB ports for your electronics.
It’s safe, stable, and powerful enough to charge multiple devices at a time: a pure sine wave output, a silent and gas-free generator, and a built-in lithium-ion battery cell.
While connecting via car, AC wall socket, or solar charger, it is able to pass-through charging. Its all-round protection function also saves you from over-temperature, overvoltage, and overcurrent.
|FlashFish 40800mAh Solar Generator 200W Specifications|
provide two methods of charging
features one USB ports (2.4A auto) and two QC 3.0 quick charge USB port
The FlashFish 40800mAh Solar Generator 200W offers two ways for charging the CPAP machine. If that’s also what you are looking for, then pick it.
Quiet: BUTURE 300W Portable Power Station
- Ultra-quiet - a Smart and Silent Cooling Fan & a gas-free design
- Safe for electronics - 2 Pure sine wave AC outlets
- Unclear manuals
While using a cooling fan to dissipate heat like most other power stations would do for overheating prevention, this one is slightly outstanding.
It utilizes a Smart and Silent Cooling Fan which will be automatically turned on if the machine gets hotter, which means it doesn’t run all the time. Another reason for its quiet performance, besides, is the gas-free design, and this also makes it operate eco-friendlier.
The 2 Pure sine wave AC outlets ensure safety for your vulnerable electronic devices while being charged by this machine.
|BUTURE 300W Portable Power Station Specifications|
a Smart and Silent Cooling Fan & a gas-free design
2 Pure sine wave AC outlets
Out of numerous candidates, we were pleasantly surprised by how quiet of this portable power station.
Best For Mini Heater: MAXOAK Power Station 500Wh Solar Generator Bluetti AC50
- Safe & high discharge rate - the auto-level 3C rated Battery Cell
- Easy to recharge - MPPT solar charge mode
- A bit pricey
- The USB-C is one way PD only
The MAXOAK Bluetti AC50 offers 108w at 11.9V, which is ideal to power up a mini heater and keep it running at 20W for a longer amount of time than others.
Its battery – the auto-level 3C rated Battery Cell – is what impressed us the most. It is also safer, delivers lower heat, and has a higher discharge rate than ordinary battery cores. Notably, its cycle of life is 1000+.
This power station allows you to operate two AC-powered devices at a time.
Recharging isn’t a real matter with this machine as it is built with MPPT solar charge mode for up to 99.5% more efficiency.
|MAXOAK Power Station 500Wh Solar Generator Bluetti AC50 Specifications|
the auto-level 3C rated Battery Cell
MPPT solar charge mode
It’s the MAXOAK Bluetti AC50 or nothing when it comes to choosing a portable power station for charging mini heaters.
Best For Mini Refrigerator: Portable Power Station RAVPower
- Able to be recharged while you’re in wildlife - the DC-in supports Solar charging
- Ready for emergencies – 4 LEDs
- Easy to slide in a car trunk - Rectangular Slim Profile
- The carrying bag isn’t waterproof
- No LED digital display
- The AC plugs could have been in the sides
The Portable Power Station RAVPower is designed to capably power any small appliance under 250W, such as a small fridge for a few hours.
It’s compact, lightweight, and easy to carry.
After fully charging, it can run constantly for five hours, and if you’re into the woods where there are no direct AC wall outlets for recharging, that is when the stock solar panel comes into place. The charging time is around 4 hours and 50 minutes.
It is also ready for emergencies thanks to the directional yet powerful LED light of different lighting modes.
|Portable Power Station RAVPower Specifications|
4 hours 50 minutes to 6 hours
the DC-in supports Solar charging
Rectangular Slim Profile
The Portable Power Station RAVPower gives you all the power needed to charge your small appliances under 250W, such as small fridges.
Best For Medium-Sized Power Needs: BALDR Portable Power Station 330W
- Ideal for medium-sized power needs - 297wh power capacity
- Extend battery service life & improve battery utilization – BMS
- Safe and come in handy during emergencies - an additional multi-mode flashlight and a wireless charger
- Unable to charge input power or the battery while the inverter is running
By boasting 297wh power capacity, the BALDR Portable Power Station 330W is an exceptional choice for medium-sized power needs. If compared to other camping batteries, it can power the same number of appliances in a hugely long time.
The BMS plays a huge role in extending battery service life as well as improving battery utilization.
What we love the most is the additional multi-mode flashlight and a wireless charger for emergencies or charging your smartphone faster.
|BALDR Portable Power Station 330W Specifications|
297wh power capacity
additional multi-mode flashlight and a wireless charger
For medium-sized power needs, the BALDR Portable Power Station 330W is a nice pick. It offers 297wh power capacity that can be used for camping, travel or home after fully charged
Best For Long Camping Trips: Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station
- Ideal for powering different devices/appliances - 20% more power in a 20% lighter and smaller shell
- The optimum solar charge for unlimited power - MPPT charge controller
- Charge electronics faster - latest charging technology
The Yeti 500X Portable Power Station is professionally manufactured to offer 20% more power in a 20% lighter and smaller shell than its previous siblings. It’s perfect for powering different devices/appliances.
The biggest selling point is you can charge it from the sun while in the wildness for unlimited power. Rest assured, its MPPT charge controller optimizes the solar charge.
Another notable thing is its latest charging technology for higher-speed charging capability, no matter whether it's a phone, mirrorless cameras, tablets, or USB-C laptops.
Above all, your purchase is under a 2-year warranty, which is engineered and supported by their US-based team.
|Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station Specifications|
20% more power in a 20% lighter and smaller shell
MPPT charge controller
latest charging technology
Looking for a reliable and safe way to power your appliances during long camping trips? The Yeti 500X Portable Power Station is your best choice.
How To Choose The Best Portable Power Station?
The battery capacity of a power station tells you the amount of electricity it can produce, measured in watt-hours. From the battery capacity, you can figure out how many devices and for how long the station can run.
For instance, if you have a 100Wh power station and a 1W device, the station can run it for 100 hours.
Therefore, you need to estimate the amount of power you need by considering the number of devices you will use and how much electricity they consume, and adding them up. Keep in mind that if you charge other devices with the power station, it can drain the electrical output faster.
In most cases, you need at least 300 Wh for basic use, but there are models that produce over 1,000 Wh too.
The output rating, measuring in watts, indicates what devices a power station can or cannot run. That’s why before choosing a power station, you need to figure out the most power-consuming device you have and choose a station with a larger output rating than that.
For instance, a phone charger requires 2 to 6 watts while a laptop charger requires 65 to 90 watts.
A television requires 80 to 400 watts and an electric chainsaw requires 1,100 watts.
In the case of camping, you should bring at a power station with at least 200W of output rating, which can provide power for your phone chargers, lights, and some basic appliances.
You won’t be using the power station every day, so you should get a warranty duration long enough so you can use it before it expires. Find at least one year of warranty, considering that the battery life usually reduces after that amount of time.
Weight and portability
We always want to pack light when going camping, especially, the power station can’t be too heavy for you to carry around.
Regarding this, we recommend that the maximum weight for a power station is 50 pounds. Any station heavier than that is likely too hard to unload from a car and to move around.
For the sake of safety, you should always opt for a power station with a pure sine-wave inverter. It turns the direct current (DC) from the battery into the alternating current (AC) which is essential to power most devices.
This inverter produces clear, smooth waveforms like the AC from wall sockets.
There are also modified sine-wave (MSW) inverters that cost less but generate choppier waveforms.
These inverters work fine for charging devices and running those with a power brick on the cord, but not suitable for anything with a powerful motor. They can result in heat buildup, inconsistent speeds, or damage to your appliances.
- Display: many existing power stations come with a battery meter to show you the power you have left, find the ones that show this data in percentage to know the exact remaining charge.
- Socket: having at least one car power socket is also important.
- Outlets: choose a power station with at least one or two AC outlets so you can use basic devices like a desk lamp or oil diffuser.
- Port: what you should look for on a power station includes a pair of USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a 6mm DC port so that you can charge more devices.
Which Brands Make The Best Portable Power Station?
Since 2015, this brand has been offering environmentally friendly charging solutions for the world, specializing in solar panel chargers and energy storage power sources. Here, you will find the perfect portable power station for your camping trip.
Over the past 8 years, this brand has acted as a pioneer in terms of portable power supplies. It’s trusted for focusing on technology and innovation.
This company is proud to be one of the largest portable battery-powered devices makers in the world. It offers a wide range of products with innovative solutions to serve you the best.
Founded by a team of engineers, this brand is dedicated to improving designs and electronics to create the most powerful, eco-friendly products for consumers.
Do you need a portable power station?
Yes, a portable power station will come in handy and offer several benefits:
- If you spend a day or two in nature where there isn’t a source of power available, it will supply electricity for small devices and appliances as well as let you change your phones, for example. This is especially useful when you go camping, van living, or traveling.
- Not just charging phones or powering lights, you can also charge your laptops to work remotely from the middle of the woods or on the go.
- You will thank yourself for carrying a portable power station when it comes to an emergency. Imagine if you’re in the middle of nowhere and your car battery dies, the power station will be a difference.
- Right at home, a portable power station already shows its value if there’s a power outage. It will keep your fridge running to preserve food, keep the lights on to illuminate your house, and more.
How long does a power station last?
The answer to this question involves battery longevity. Most power stations have their own battery cycle rating with many citing 80 percent after 400 cycles. A cycle is defined as the number of times the battery runs out of juice before being recharged.
Let’s say you use the power station twice a month, with the aforementioned battery cycle rating, you would be able to use it for 8 years before its capability reduces to 80% of the original state.
How does a portable power station work?
It’s like when you charge a battery, filling it with electricity, it will become a portable power bank. It often features several outlets of different types that you can plug devices in.
So, a portable power station is basically a large battery that provides power for your appliances on the go. But better than a battery, a portable power station often has durable casings, offers water resistance, as well as other add-ons.
How long will a portable power station run a refrigerator?
This relies on the specific power requirement of the fridge and the power capacity of the power station. But in general, it can run a refrigerator for 13-44 hours.
How long should a portable power station be fully charged?
Depending on the capacity of the power station, the charging time can range from 12 to 24 hours.
Can you run a 12-volt fridge from a solar panel?
You can, but only if the fridge is designed for that, which often costs a lot of money.
How many batteries do I need for a 2000-watt inverter?
A 2000W inverter usually requires 24V to produce power, meaning you will need 2 12V batteries.
What can a 300-watt solar power station run?
A 300W solar power station can run LED lights, laptops, TVs, and stereos.
Are Jackery batteries Lithium?
Yes, it uses lithium batteries for many of its power stations.
What type of battery is best for a power station?
Currently, the best and also the most commonly used type of battery used for a power station is a lithium-ion battery, which is at least 95% efficient. Some models use acid batteries but they are only 80 to 85 percent efficient.
Through our complete guide, we hope that you have had an idea of how to choose the best portable power stations for camping for your next trip with your friends and family.
Each of the factors we listed in this post is important, so remember to consider them carefully before making any decision. Good luck!