Best Portable Power Station for Camping (Reviews)

The Top Picks for the Best Power Station for Camping, Or any Off-Grid Activities

As technology advances and our reliance on electronic devices grows, it’s becoming crucial to have a reliable and efficient means of keeping them powered – Wherever we may find ourselves.

Today’s review includes the Best Portable Charging Station for Camping, and the top-rated power station brands and features we rely on to charge our devices remotely.

The Rise of Portable Charging Stations

It’s no secret that the expansion of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other portable gadgets has truly transformed how we live and work.

However, the challenge lies in keeping these devices charged and operational when we are away from traditional power sources.

This is where portable charging stations step in, addressing the need for a convenient, on-the-go charging solution – with a Versatile Power Source for Outdoor Adventures.

Additionally, portable chargers are safe indoors or outdoors and are often used as an Emergency Power Supply for Home Use.

Another practical feature of a portable power station is the availability of a wide range of different-style plug-in ports (Aux. AC, DC, USB, USB-C), allowing nearly any portable electronic device to be easily plugged into it. 

This article will show you how portable charging stations operate, their features and benefits, the best options available, like solar panels, the power stations we’ve tested, and the overall best portable power station choices you can buy.

Do You Need “Solar Panels” to Charge a Portable Charging Station?

Image of the Jackery 500 Solar Powered Charging Station
Jackery 500 Solar Powered Charging Station – besthomegear.com

Those who have never used a power station often ask about the need for portable solar panels to charge a portable charging station.

Buying and using solar panels to operate a portable charging station is not a requirement, as they are easily charged using a standard 110v household current or a car charger cable.

Unless you are remote (off-grid), a solar-powered charging station is the only option!

However, as your portable power supply does deplete, those seeking to be “off-grid” for any extended period would be well-served to consider buying the solar panel option available from each manufacturer.

With most portable charging station manufacturers offering solar panels to recharge power stations, we think solar panels are possibly the best option when selecting portable power stations for camping.

And because of that available option, we include a link to view the Solar Panels (if offered) for each Recommended Portable Power Station featured below:

Top Picks in Portable Charging Stations (500 Wh+)

Now that we’ve outlined the essential features, let’s check out the Best Portable Charging Stations for Camping (or Outdoors) in 2024:

  1. Editors Choice:  Goal Zero Yeti (500 Wh)
  2. Runner Up:   Jackery 500 (518 Wh)
  3. Best Value:   Litheli B600 (562 Wh)
  4. Fastest Charging:  Eco Flow River 2 (512 Wh)
  5. Best Upgrade:   Bluetti AC70 (768 Wh)
  6. Best Lightweight Power Station:  Jackery 300 (293 Wh)

Editors Choice:  Goal Zero Yeti 500

Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Station, Yeti 500, 499 Watt Hour LiFePO4 Battery, Water resistant & Dustproof Solar Generator For Outdoors, Camping, Tailgating, & Home, Clean Renewable Off-Grid Power

Our Editor chose the Goal Zero Yeti 500 power station as the best overall pick for value, features, and price.

The model we’re testing is the updated version of the older 500X model. The new Goal Zero Yeti 500 power station featured here is a few dollars less—and yet it includes an industry-best “Aluminum Case” (vs. ABS Plastic, with even more benefits!

In addition to the 90-minute fast-charging capability, The Yeti 500 power station now includes a very smart hinged mud flap – keeping power outlets clean and providing the ultimate protection for demanding off-grid environments.

Suggestion: If you don’t plan on doing a lot of off-roading or camping but primarily use a power station for indoor use or as a support for a mobile office—and for easier access—we suggest the 500X model without the weather-resistant flap.

While Goal Zero builds more powerful portable power stations than this one, the Yeti 500 model checks all the boxes and then some.

Based on the vast array of features and benefits, we found the Yeti 500 to be an outstanding and very “affordable” choice.

PROS:

  • Aluminum Case
  • 10 – Power Outlets
  • Includes 110V Wall Charger and Car charging cable
  • IXP4 Water Resistant Rated.
  • Hinged Mud/Dirt Outlet Flap
  • 500Wh battery storage power
  • Extended Life Batteries:  “LiFe PO4” Lithium-Ion
  • 500-watt power to run Pellet Grills, portable fridges, and Air pumps.
  • 90 Minute Fast Charging Capability

CONS:

  • Nomad 100 Solar Panels are excellent but expensive (Option: DOKIO 3rd Party compatible Solar panels)  
  • It does not have wireless charging for mobile phones.

WEIGHT:  12.9 Lbs

Goal Zero Yeti 500X Video:

 

While many 500-600Wh portable power stations are on the market, Goal Zero offers three outstanding features that most others lack: 90-minute charging (100V house current), an aluminum case, and a water/mud-resistant flap.

If you’re looking for a portable power station with multiple USB ports, Goal Zero includes four of them, along with (2) AC 300W outlets,(1) 12-Volt Car Port, and (1) 6mm—12-Volt port.

Goal Zero – Yeti 500 Portable Power Station

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>

Recommended:  “100W Portable Solar Panels” (Goal Zero Yeti 500)

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Runner Up: Jackery Explorer 500 

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet for Home Use, Emergency Backup,Road Trip Camping (Solar Panel Optional)

Jackery is one of the leading power station brands you can buy, producing a wide array of high-quality charging solutions for every need.

The Jackery Explorer 500 offers 518-watt hours of storage capacity, 110V/500-watt A/C charging, BMS (Lithium Battery Management System), and seven multiple charging ports.

Its sleek design and reliable performance make Jackery power stations a top choice for many remote-power users.

This Jackery Solar Generator features everything most campers or RV travelers could hope for, including 500 Watts of portable power, direct hook-up to solar panels for camping, or an eco-flow fridge.

However, if 500 Watts doesn’t satisfy your need for power, consider the Jackery 1000, rated as a power station with 2,000 Watts of portable power.

PROS:

  • The most popular charging station on the market
  • 7- Charging Ports
  • Brand Reliability
  • 518 Wh Battery Storage
  • 500 Watts available Output Power
  • Includes: 1- AC adapter, 1 – Car Charger Cable, 1- user manual.

CONS:

  • 7.5 hours to charge at 110V household current
  • Not as many outlets as some Charging stations
  • It does not have wireless charging (For mobile phones)
  • Plastic (ABS) case – Not Aluminum

WEIGHT:  13.3 Lbs.

Jackery Explorer 500 Video:

 

Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>

Recommended:  “100W Portable Solar Panels” (for Jackery Explorer 500)

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Best Value:  Litheli B600 Portable Power Station

Litheli Portable Power Station 600W, 562Wh Portable Power Generator with 100W USB-C PD Fast-Charging, 110V/600W AC Outlet Solar Generator for Outdoor Camping(Solar Panel Optional), RV

Litheli is considered a leading Outdoor Cordless Power Tools brand but a relative newcomer to the portable power station market.  However, that duration on the market hasn’t altered our opinion of the Litheli 600-watt – 562 Wh portable power station.

For my Review of the Litheli power station, they, like other manufacturers, graciously provided us with test samples for the Litheli B600 Power Station and the Portable Solar Panel.  

I was very impressed with the shipping protection Litheli builds into their packaging – and the products arrived without any damage.

Included: The Litheli B600 power station boasts eight available power outlets plus a 15W Wireless Charging station on top (for mobile devices), allowing for the simultaneous use of nine.

image of the Litheli B600 Charging station
Litheli B600 Charging Station connected to 100W Solar Panels – www.Besthomegear.com.

In addition, the B600 includes (2) 4v portable lithium U-batteries, a 12v car charging cable, a solar panel charging cable (not shown) with quick-click connections, and a fast-charging USB-C/AC Wall Charger, restoring you to off-grid power quickly.

Litheli B600 charging station accessories
Litheli Power Station Accessories – www.besthomegear.com

The owner’s manual for the B600 and the 100W Solar Panels is very straightforward and user-friendly. Once you know all its functionality – the Litheli B600 charging station is extremely easy to use.

Setup Time: After a cursory look at the instructions, Our complete first-time Unboxing and Setup (with Solar Panels) for the Litheli B600 was 12 minutes.

Charging Duration:  The Litheli B600 includes 3 Power Charging Options:

  • 110V – 100W AC adapter:  Estimated Charging time 6.0 Hours
  • 12V DC Car Charger:  Estimated Charging time 7.0 Hours
  • 100W Solar Panels w/100w Charging Cable:  Estimated Charging time 7.4 Hours*  Solar Panels shown below on my patio – are Optional)

*UPDATE (February 15, 2024):  Using 100 Watt Solar Panels for the first time charging of the Litheli B600 Charging Station: “Test Results” below:

solar powered charging station image
B600 Charging Station at 4.2 Hours Solar Charge – besthomegear.com

Out Testing Location:

  • Location:  Arizona
  • Elevation: 2,900 Feet
  • Conditions: Full Sun
  • B600 Charge at the start (Factory) = 51%
  • 100 Watt Solar Panels to Full Charge (100%) = 4. 2 hours
image of a 100W Solar Panels for a Portable Charging Station
Testing Litheli 100W Solar Panels – www.Besthomegear.com

PROS:

  • Also a respected name in Cordless Power Equipment
  • Solar Panel Charging Test (see above) 100% Charge @ 4.2 hours
  • 8 + 1 Power Outlets (including wireless mobile device)
  • Battery Management System (BMS)
  • 562Wh lithium Ion battery storage
  • (2) 4V – U-Battery Modules (For Charging Small Devices Remotely) 
  • USB-C charging cabler
  • Solar Charging Cable
  • 100 Watt Adapter
  • Car Charging Cable
  • 3 – Year Warranty on B600 station
  • 500 Watts available Output Power

CONS:

  • 6.0 hours to charge at 110V household current
  • Not as many outlets as some Portable Charging stations
  • Plastic (ABS) case – Not Aluminum

WEIGHT:  12.9 Lbs.

Litheli B600 Power Station Video:

 

Of Note: Litheli is the only manufacturer in this category (500-700W) that provides removable U-Batteries, which can charge your phone on a hike or in your tent.

Based on our testing and practical design, quick-solar panel charge results, easy carry handle, 9-device functionality, three different charging options, and overall sought-after performance, we found the Litheli B600 power station an excellent choice for off-grid, remote power users.

Litheli B600 Portable Power Station

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>

Recommended:  “100W Portable Solar Panels” (for Litheli B600)

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Fastest Charging:  EF Ecoflow “River 2 Max”

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station RIVER 2 Max, 512Wh LiFePO4 Battery/ 1 Hour Fast Charging, Up To 1000W Output Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) for Outdoor Camping/RVs/Home Use Black

The Ecoflow River 2 Max, with a one-hour charging time and 512 Wh battery storage, is one of the best-value portable power stations available. 

Offering an impressive 512 Wh, 1000 Watt maximum output, Life P04, long-life batteries, and a fast charge of only 2.5 hours, the River 2 Max checks all the boxes.

In addition, the Ecoflw River 2 includes 110V/500-watt A/C charging, BMS (Battery Management System), and eight charging ports. Its sleek design and reliable performance make it a top choice for remote power users.

PROS:

  • Top Rated Brand
  • Eco-Flow “Fast Stream” technology: 1-hour fast-charge 
  • Eight (8) available power sources (USB, USB-C, 300-Watt AC outlets)
  • 500 Watts available Output Power
  • Includes: 1- AC adapter, 1 – Car Charger Cable, 1- user manual.

CONS:

  • Optional Solar Panels are more expensive
  • It does not have wireless charging (For mobile phones)
  • Plastic (ABS) case – Not Aluminum

WEIGHT:  13.3 Lbs.

ECOFLOW River 2 Max Unboxing Video:

 

Ecoflow River 2 Max – Portable Power Station

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>

Recommended:  “Solar Panels” (for Ecoflow River 2 Max)

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Best Upgrade:  Bluetti AC70 – 768 Wh Battery Storage

BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC70, 768Wh LiFePO4 Battery Backup w/ 2 1000W AC Outlets (Power Lifting 2000W), 100W Type-C, Solar Generator for Road Trip, Off-grid, Power Outage (Solar Panel Optional)

We found the Bluetti AC70 capable of producing maximum battery power and meeting outdoor electronic needs.

Starting with an outstanding 768 Watt Hours (Wh) battery duration, 1000W Inverter, and 2000W powerlifting, this unit can take on any remote device or small appliance you can have in the field.

It’s perfect for your RV and the toys you bring, like a Pellet Grill, Insta-pot, or Small Fridge, while easily servicing your mobile devices.

The Bluetti charger meets all your electrical needs. It includes seven multiple-type charging ports, including DC auxiliary, USB, USB-C, and AC outlets.

PROS:

  • Bluetti is a Top-Rated charging station brand 
  • 1.5 Hour Fast-Charging (AC 110V Current)
  • Customer Service and Brand Reliability
  • Remote Control (App)
  • 5- Year Warranty
  • 500 Watts available Output Power
  • Includes: 1- AC adapter, 1 – Car Charger Cable, 1- Solar Cable connecter, and 1- user manual.

CONS:

  • Solar Panels are better made but more Expensive
  • It does not have wireless charging (For mobile phones)
  • Plastic (ABS) case – Not Aluminum

WEIGHT: 22.0 Lbs.

Bluetti AC70 Power Station Video:

 

Bluetti AC70 – Portable Power Station

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>

Recommended:  “120W Solar Panels” (for Bluetti AC70)

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Best Lightweight Power Station:  Jackery 300 (293 Wh)

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300, 293Wh Backup Lithium Battery, Solar Generator for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Blackout (Solar Panel Optional)

For those who like to pack for long hikes or treks to a campsite, short trips to the beach, or work out of their vehicle – only needing to power a few devices – the Jackery 300 is the ideal lightweight power station.

As a result, we also rate the Jackery 300 as the Best Power Station for Traveling.

Weighing in at only 7 lbs but boasting a helpful 293 Wh of battery storage, the Jackery 300 power charger includes seven various power outlets, allowing you to power up to 6 devices simultaneously.

With a fast charge of only 2.5 hours, the Jackery 300 will quickly get you out the door. With the included Car Charger, you can connect and charge this power station from your cigarette lighter!

The Jackery 300 charging station isn’t going to power up the most demanding equipment (pellet grills, portable fridge), which is a task designed for larger and more expensive charge stations. 

However, the Jackery 300 will more than satisfy the needs of those looking for a dependable, lightweight, easy-to-pack power station that will meet all their small appliance and mobile device needs.

PROS:

  • Top Rated Brand
  • 2.5-hour fast-charge 
  • Seven available power sources (Aux., USB, USB-C, AC outlets)
  • 300 Watts available Output Power
  • Includes: 1- AC adapter, 1 – Car Charger Cable, 1- user manual.

CONS:

  • It does not have wireless charging (For mobile phones)
  • Plastic (ABS) case – Not Aluminum
  • Limited Battery Storage (293 Wh)

WEIGHT:  7.0 Lbs.

Jackery 300 Power Station Video:

 

Jackery 300  – Best Lightweight Power Station

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>

Recommended:  “100W Solar Panels” (for Jackery 300)

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE >>>


Buyers Guide For Portable Power Stations:


Top 10 Devices Used with a Portable Charging Station:

  1. Smartphones: Charge your smartphone on the go to stay connected.
  2. Tablets: Keep your tablet powered for entertainment and productivity.
  3. Laptops: Ensure your laptop stays charged during work or travel.
  4. Smartwatches: Keep your wearable devices ready for use.
  5. Digital Cameras: Charge camera batteries for extended photo sessions.
  6. Headphones: Power up your wireless headphones for uninterrupted music.
  7. GPS Devices: Ensure navigation devices are ready for your journeys.
  8. Portable Speakers: Keep the party going with charged portable speakers.
  9. Handheld Game Consoles: Charge gaming devices for extended playtime.
  10. Flashlights: Power up portable lights for emergencies or outdoor activities.
  • Honorable Mention: Portable Refrigerators, Drones, Pellet Grills, Small Air Compressors (air mattresses, bike tires, etc.)

“Key Features” of the Best Portable Charging Stations

  1. Capacity: One of the primary considerations when choosing a portable charging station is its capacity or power bank size. The higher the capacity, the more charge cycles it can provide. Look for units with capacities ranging from 200V – 700V for optimal performance.
  2. Compatibility: The best portable charging stations are versatile and compatible with various devices. They should support various charging protocols, including USB-A, USB-C, and wireless charging, ensuring you can simultaneously charge multiple devices.
  3. Fast Charging Technology: Time is of the essence, especially when you’re on the move. Portable charging stations equipped with fast charging technology, such as Qualcomm Quick Charge or Power Delivery, can significantly reduce the time it takes to recharge your devices.
  4. Portability: The whole point of a portable charging station is its ability to be carried effortlessly. Consider the size, weight, and design of the unit. Sleek, lightweight designs with compact form factors are ideal for travel and everyday use.
  5. Durability: A robust and durable build is essential for a device to accompany you on your adventures. Look for charging stations with sturdy materials and features like shock and water resistance to ensure longevity.
  6. Number of Ports: The best portable charging stations cater to your multitasking needs. Opt for units with multiple ports, including USB-A and USB-C, allowing you to charge various devices simultaneously.
  7. Display and Indicators: A clear and informative display is beneficial for monitoring the charging status and remaining battery life. LED indicators or digital displays help you stay informed about the power bank’s performance.
  8. Safety Features: Overcharging, overheating, and short circuits are potential risks associated with charging devices. To mitigate these risks, the best portable charging stations incorporate safety features like surge protection, temperature control, and overcurrent protection.

“Benefits” of Portable Charging Stations

  1. Convenience: Portable charging stations’ primary advantage is their convenience. Whether camping, traveling, commuting, or spending time outdoors, having a reliable power source ensures your devices stay charged and ready for use.
  2. Emergency Preparedness: Portable charging stations are invaluable during emergencies or power outages. They provide a lifeline for communication, allowing you to charge your phone and stay connected with loved ones or emergency services.
  3. Productivity on the Go: A portable charging station is a productivity-enhancing tool for constantly moving professionals. It ensures that your devices, including laptops and tablets, remain powered, allowing you to work seamlessly from any location.
  4. Cost Savings: Investing in a quality portable charging station can save long-term costs. Instead of relying on disposable batteries or purchasing multiple chargers, a single portable charging station can meet all your charging needs.
  5. Environmental Impact: Disposable batteries contribute to environmental pollution. Using a rechargeable portable charging station reduces the need for disposable batteries, promoting a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to power consumption.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the Most Important Features In a Portable Power Station?

Portable power stations are handy for camping or as a backup power source at home. When choosing a portable power station, you should consider These Features:
  • Capacity: Battery Capacity is one of the primary measures of a portable power station’s performance.
  • Power Output: List the electronic devices, small appliances, or equipment you plan to use with a portable power station. With that list, you can cross-reference the available models and select the power station that delivers your power needs – Off-Grid.
  • Weight and PortabilityIf you plan to carry the power station for outdoor activities, camping, or traveling, consider its weight and dimensions for easy portability

What is the difference between a Power bank and a Portable power station?

Portable power stations are more powerful than power banks. They have a higher battery capacity, ranging from 100-2,000 Watts, while power banks range from 1000 to 50,000 mAh.

Additionally, Power banks are rated with battery capacity measured in mAh, which converts to only 3.7 to 185 Watts. 

Portable power stations are designed to power larger electronic devices such as laptops, televisions, and refrigerators. They typically have a capacity between 300Wh and 2,000Wh (Wh = Battery Storage Capacity) and can be charged using solar panels or an AC outlet. 

On the other hand, power banks usually use USB inputs for small mobile devices like phones or tablets.

What is the Best Portable Power Station to Buy?

There are many portable power station choices available, however, the best one to buy is the one that offers the features, and power you plan to use it for.

Any of the top-rated power stations in our reviews (above) meets most of our camping, beach, or travel needs, but each user has different needs.

What are the Best Ways to Charge Portable Power Stations:

The Three Best ways to charge a portable power station are as follows:

  1. Charging with standard household (110V) AC electrical current (fastest method)
  2. Connect to Car Auxillary DC Power Outlet (Cigarette lighter)
  3. Connect to Solar Panels (Sold Separately: Not Included with Purchase of Power Station)

Conclusion

For many, portable charging stations have become an indispensable power source – in our tech-centric lives.

The best ones combine high-capacity power storage, fast charging technology, portability, and durability to provide a reliable power source.

Whether you’re a frequent traveler, outdoor enthusiast, or professional, investing in a quality portable charging station ensures your devices stay charged, keeping you connected and productive whenever and wherever you need them.

We suggest you explore the available options, consider your specific needs, and make a choice that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences.

And with the right portable charging station, you’ll never have to worry about running out of power again.

Thanks for Visiting Best Home Gear – And don’t forget to leave us a comment! *Also shared on our Twitter home page

Further Reading & Resources:

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carrollhttps://www.besthomegear.com
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

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Thanks for Visiting Best Home Gear - Your One-Stop-Shop for Expert DIY Guides, and the Best Products and Equipment Reviews for Your Home.

Image of Kevin Carroll, author and publisher @ Besthomegear.com
Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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