Reviews | The Drive

Best Portable Power Stations: Plug in Anywhere

Bring your backup power on the go with one of these handy devices.

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

youtubefacebookinstagram

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BYZach Faulds/ LAST UPDATED ON September 5, 2022

Tired of watching your batteries run down while you’re far from home with no access to electricity? Whether you’re trying to use power tools, run camping gadgets and gear, or simply want to keep your smartphone or laptop fully charged on the go, a portable power station is the solution you need. Available in various power levels, sizes, and weights, you can find a portable power station that will satisfy even your most power-hungry gadgets and appliances. The best part, though, is that these devices are made to make it easy to carry electricity wherever you might travel, whether you’re hiking miles or headed to an isolated campsite. And you’ll even find options that pack generator-level power as well as eco-minded solar alternatives.

Best Overall

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500

Summary
This portable power station supports a large variety of AC-reliant devices and electronics like TV, blenders, laptops, etc. It contains a standard 12V/10A carport and three 5V/2.4A USB ports.
Pros
  • Can be powered through a carport, a typical AC wall outlet, or solar 
  • Safe, effective, and sustainable 
  • Hassle-free
Cons
  • Quite loud while in use, especially if all AC ports are being used
Best Value

Anker Powerhouse 200

Summary
Features one AC port, two USB-A ports, and a DC 12-volt port. It can be recharged using USB-C, AC, or solar power.
Pros
  • Weighs 6 lbs but holds a lot of power
  • Can charge a laptop over five times, a smartphone over 12 times
  • Runs small appliances for over four hours
Cons
  • Not the most durable option
  • Has been known to have a shorter lifespan than comparable models
Honorable Mention

Westinghouse iGen200s Portable Power Station

Summary
With an array of options for your different gadget plugs and ports, this portable power station can recharge and power almost anything—within its power limit, of course.
Pros
  • A wealth of versatile outlet choices
  • LED data center for easy-to-read insight
  • 4 recharging methods
Cons
  • Not ideal for medium-sized appliances
  • No solar panel included
Best Portable Power Stations: Plug in Anywhere
If you enjoy the great outdoors, consider these portable power stations for your overnight trips. Deposit Photos

Summary List 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Our Methodology

To choose the best portable power stations, I took a look at well-known and reputable brands within the portable power space. From there, I sought out travel-ready, easy-to-carry, and on-demand power stations that worked for the most common types of plugs and adapters (specifically, AC, DC, and USB connectivity). The power stations that were light enough to carry, reliable enough to work consistently even in unpredictable environments, and versatile enough to support—and, more importantly, power—a variety of different items. Plus, I also considered key travel details like the durability of the station and its housing, its ability to withstand weather and outdoor elements, and protection for its ports. 

Best Portable Power Station Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Wattage: 500 watts
  • Dimensions: 11.84 in L x 7.59 in W x 9.2 in H
  • Power Source: Carport, AC outlet, or solar panel

Pros

  • Includes a wealth of outlets and ports
  • Versatile charging options
  • Handle small and medium gadgets or appliances
  • Stable and reliable performance

Cons

  • Loud while in use

We chose the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 as the best overall option. It supports a large variety of AC-reliant devices and electronics like TV, blenders, laptops, etc. It contains a standard 12V/10A carport and three 5V/2.4A USB ports to charge your smaller devices, while the Jackery’s 110V/500W AC outlet can support any device under 500W. Not only is it versatile in the items that can be charged, but it’s also versatile in terms of charging. It can be powered through a carport (with a full charge around 16 hours), a typical AC wall outlet (standard full charge time around eight hours), or through a solar option (solar panel not included). Either way, this Jackery Portable Power Station is a safe, effective, and sustainable way of powering all of your electronics without hassle.

Specs

  • Wattage: 100 watts
  • Dimensions: 7.48 in L x 5.47 in W x 4.69 in H
  • Power Source: AC outlet, USB port, or solar panel

Pros

  • Charges multiple devices simultaneously
  • Fits easily into a backpack
  • Versatile charging options
  • Quick recharging

Cons

  • Not the most durable
  • Somewhat shorter lifespan than competitors

The Anker Powerhouse 200 is the perfect portable power station in case of an emergency. This product features one AC port, two USB-A ports, and a DC 12-volt port. It can be recharged using USB-C, AC, or solar power. At a weight of just six pounds, it is an ideal option to fit inside your backpack while hiking, camping, fishing, or just enjoying a day at the beach. For its compact size, the Anker portable power station holds a lot of power. When fully charged, this product can charge a laptop over five times, a smartphone over 12 times, and can even run small appliances like mini-fridges for over four hours. You can also charge multiple devices at once without sacrificing charging power or speed. It should be noted that this product will not support large devices with a power rating of over 100 watts.

Specs

  • Wattage: 150 watts
  • Dimensions: 8 in L x 3.6 in W x 7.36 in H
  • Power Source: Carport, AC outlet, or solar panel

Pros

  • A wealth of versatile outlet choices
  • 3 lighting modes
  • LED data center for easy-to-read insight
  • 4 recharging methods

Cons

  • Best for small gadgets and appliances, not medium to large
  • Solar panel not included

The Westinghouse iGen200s Portable Power Station gives you plenty of options, options that can be especially handy when you aren’t sure what you’ll need when you’re without power. This device features 300 peak watts and 150 running watts, and its compact 4-pound weight makes it easy to tote anywhere. It features six outlets total, which includes two 120-volt household outlets, a USB port, a USB-C port, a USB quick charge port, a DC outlet, and even a cigarette lighter outlet. A single charge allows this power station to run for up to 194 hours on its rechargeable lithium-ion battery, meaning you can recharge or power up again and again. As an added bonus, there are three illuminating flashlight modes and an easy-to-read LED screen. However, it’s worth noting that this portable power station isn’t the biggest or most potent when it comes to running power-hungry gadgets. For example, it’ll handle smartphones and laptops just fine, but it may not deliver enough wattage for items like blenders, CPAP machines, or microwaves. Plus, if you want to recharge this power station via solar, you’ll have to purchase a compatible solar panel separately.

Specs

  • Wattage: 1,800 watts
  • Dimensions: 18.5 in L x 13.9 in W x 14.1 in H
  • Power Source: Ryobi interchangeable 40V battery

Pros

  • Works within the larger Ryobi tool system
  • Power small electronics and appliances
  • 9 different outlets
  • Parallel kit capable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy and bulky

If you need a lot of power, you’re going to love the premium-level wattage and features that come with the Ryobi 40V 1800-Watt Portable Battery Power Station. This device delivers 1,800 continuous watts of power, and it can run everything from your smartphone’s charging to TVs to fans to refrigerators. With pure sine technology and relatively quiet portable power, you’ll be able to run multiple electrical appliances without worry. Plus, there are multiple AC, USB-C, and USC-A outlets available to use. You’ll be able to monitor your power usage easily thanks to the LCD screen, which shows the battery level and load level. And extra features like remote shutoff and reset, power monitoring in a smartphone app, and LED lights make it one top-tier choice. However, with such a powerful device comes a hefty price – and this portable power station is quite costly. Additionally, it’s heavy and large in size, making it a challenge to carry for long distances. While it’s camping ready, you may not want to take it backpacking.

Specs

  • Model: 200 watts
  • Surfaces: 7.1 in L x 6.1 in W x 5.6 in H
  • Weight: Carport, AC outlet, or solar panel

Pros

  • Multiple output ports
  • Designed to outdoor use
  • Built-in LED lights with 4 light modes
  • Rugged, durable housing

Cons

  • Solar panel must be purchased separately
  • Solar panel may require additional accessories

If your primarily purpose in buying a portable power station is to bring backup electricity along on your outdoor adventures, the Renogy Phoenix 200 Portable Power Station is a solid choice. Featuring outdoor-ready housing and a compact, carry-ready design that won’t weigh you down, this power station can easily be taken along with you. It’s designed for small electronics and gadgets, with AC, USB-C, and quick-charge USB outlets for most devices. It delivers up to 200 watts of power, and it’s easy to recharge in your car, at home, or even via solar power when you’re running low. The handy (and bright) LED lights also make it a breeze to use at night, and the four lighting modes allow the device to double as a flashlight. However, it’s important to note that while this portable power station advertises its solar capability, you can’t actually recharge it via solar power right out of the box. The solar panel has to be purchased separately, which comes at an extra cost. And you may find that you need additional separate accessories to run the solar panel, like the right connective cords.
Best Quick Charging
SEE IT

Specs

  • Model: 500 watts
  • Surfaces: 11.8 in L x 7.5 in W x 7.3 in H
  • Weight: AC outlet or solar panel

Pros

  • Lightweight, travel-friendly design
  • Charges and powers up to 7 devices at once
  • Digital LCD screen shows real-time performance
  • Works with available solar panel accessory

Cons

  • Solar panel meant to extend run time, not replace full recharging

Sure, plenty of portable power stations will leave you waiting anywhere from 6 to 12 hours – or longer! – to recharge your dead devices. However, the Klein Tools KTB500 Portable Power Station is one speedy device. This quick-charging power station is built to allow pass-through charging, which means you can charge or run your devices or tools while also charging its own lithium-ion battery. With 500 watts, you’ll have plenty of running power to operate devices and even small power tools with rechargeable batteries. And the perks of this power station are far-reaching. It offers two 12-volt outlets, four different USB ports, and a 12-volt car port. You can monitor real-time performance stats via the digital LCD screen, and a 5,000-lumen work light lets you illuminate in up to 8 hours of dim light or darkness. And for added portability, the lightweight design and collapsible handle make your work even easier. If you plan to power this portable power station via its solar capability, it’s important to note that adding a solar panel isn’t meant to offer a complete recharge. Rather, you can use a compatible panel to extend its run time, but it’ll recharge pretty slowly compared to your typical AC outlet.

Our Verdict

Designed with portability in mind, yet powerful enough to handle medium-sized gadgets and appliances, the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 gives you plenty of power options when you’re far from home. Plus, it’s reliable and able to be recharged pretty much anywhere, even in sunlight alone. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly price and great all-around value, the Anker Powerhouse 200  is another standout pick that’s sleek and small in size. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Power Station

Portable power stations come in many different styles and sizes, with varying wattages and available outlets or ports. Choosing the best fit for your needs really depends on how much power you need, what you’re looking to run off the power station, and where you’ll be using it most often. 

Key Features

Lightweight

Portability is perhaps the most important feature of this product, so that you can take it with you on the go. While these power stations may be lightweight, they can provide enough power to charge your electronics and personal devices on long camping, hiking, and fishing trips, and while participating in many other outdoor activities. 

Quiet

If you are using your portable power station on an overnight camping trip, it is important that your purchase is not too loud. Most battery and solar-powered stations are extremely quiet. They will not keep you up at night or force you to shout to your friends and family over a campfire. 

Safe

Safety features are critical when considering which portable power station is best for your needs. Battery and solar-powered stations are the safest options because they produce no toxic fumes. They can safely be used inside your vehicle, tent, or RV, without having to worry about carbon monoxide gas.

Portable Power Station Pricing

If you can find a portable power station for less than $300, you are getting an excellent value purchase. It’s rare to find reliable, well-built options for just $100 to $200 total. Spend $300 to $500, and you’ll find products that can charge multiple electronics and devices at once. These power stations often come with a solar-power option. And for more than $500, portable power stations in this price range are extremely durable and long-lasting. They are often of the gas-powered variety.

FAQs

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What is the best portable power pack for camping?

A: The best portable power station for camping is one that can hold a substantial charge and is lightweight enough to carry with you while traveling. There are a variety of options available that meet these criteria.

Q: Is there such a thing as a battery-powered outlet?

A: Yes, a battery-powered outlet stores electrical energy from a wall AC outlet in its built-in battery. Portable power stations are considered a form of battery-powered outlet.

Q: How long does a portable power station last?

A: A typical portable power station can last anywhere from three hours to 13 hours on a fully charged battery. The lifespan depends on the battery's age, type of battery, size, and the number of electronics used with the power station.

stripe
stripe