Table of Contents
- Portable Power Station Buying Guide
- Review of the 6 Most Powerful Portable Power Stations
Alternative ways to generate energy are a trending topic in the media these days. Although most of us grew up in a society that was mostly fuel-powered, the climate change problem that it’s been suffered worldwide has made technology experts develop alternate ways to keep our lives moving, by producing state-of-the-art-devices that might help us to power our appliances, personal gadgets or to help us make breakfast on that camping weekend!
Portable generators or individual power stations that use solar panels are a response for the user that wants a charging station that is environmentally friendly and that doesn’t come with the complications that a fuel-powered engine can imply for the users that prefer to operate with gasoline-powered generators.
In this buying guide, we will help you find the best portable power station that might suit your needs, by touring you around the main features that emergency charging stations include and by answering the most common questions shoppers ask when looking for an efficient power station that will adjust to their budget.
Portable Power Station Buying Guide
What is the best portable power station?
Power stations are usually generators of a light size that can be charged via the power grid or by using solar panels. (Mostly both). The units come with a variety of outlets and here’s where you can do personal research online to find the wattage capacity of each model; their pricing and the functionality of their receptacles.
For example, you might need a charging station for your kitchen’s appliances, electrical grills, your backyard workshop, or your home office; knowing your devices in advance will be of great help when checking out how many USB or AC universal ports the stations include to choose the one that will suit your gadgets adequately. A great advantage of solar power stations is that unlike fuel-powered ones, they can be used indoors.
Recommended brands: Kyng, Bluetti, Jackery, Goal Zero, Ecoflow, Allpowers.
How much do portable power stations cost?
Solar-powered generators might seem a bit expensive at the beginning (prices starting from 1,000 up to 3,000 dollars) considering that some might include or not the solar panels/cables needed to recharge them, also, some portable power stations do not include a wheelset or a dolly to be dragged along the ground (Like fuel-powered ones usually do).
Nevertheless, in the long run, an Eco-friendly generator can save you large sums of money by ‘dragging’ power directly from mother nature without the need to re-supplying fuel for your unit. They are cleaner as they work usually with an internal lithium battery, whereas the fuel-powered ones resemble cars in their functions because such generators usually work with lead-acid batteries and oil.
Solar power stations can be purchased online in-stock stores like Amazon, directly from their manufacturers or in department stores. Their compact designs make them easier to be ordered online, as the shipping cost would probably be lower due to their reduced dimensions and weight.
What Other Features Power Station Can Offer?
Interestingly, portable power stations seem to be modern devices that are more digitally powered than mechanical due to their internal sophisticated mechanisms. Solar power stations might include LCD luminous panels in which you can check the overall status of your unit like the battery percentage, the voltage used, the fan temperature among other data (Most power stations work with 100 volts.).
Companies like Goal Zero, Kyng, have developed smartphone apps to be able to control their units remotely. Bluetti nevertheless has developed smart-touch screens for their generators making it easy for the user to change the settings of the charging station by using the touch-screen technology.
Most emergency generators of alternate energy are built for powering high-tech devices such as tablets, cellphones, drones, among the common home appliances that can be plugged by using a common AC outlet. (Blenders, coffee makers, etc.).
Starting/setting on a power station implies more intellectual effort than a physical struggle. We recommend you read through a user’s manual online (Of the model you’re interested in) before purchasing your power station to get a general idea of the features you’d need to install-learn before acquiring it.
In the article below we will review 6 outstanding portable power stations that are available on the market at affordable prices and that give astounding service to the common user that is environmentally conscious and that is pragmatic enough to have an emergency device in stock for outage contingencies or just for outdoor fun with family and friends.
Review of the 6 Most Powerful Portable Power Stations
Wattage and Battery type: Goal Zero surprises us with this portable power station that works with solar panels and the 2000W AC Inverter technology to make it environmentally conscious and efficient enough to produce 3000 watts by using a lithium-ion battery (Included with the device) and that is capable of charging your phone for approximately 253 times; it also can charge any brand laptop for about 61 times, lets you run appliances like blenders, speakers, grills and it can power a full-sized refrigerator up to 55 hours.
Outlets: The Yeti 3000X is a very convenient piece of equipment when it comes to power personal devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones as it includes two USB-A ports, one USB-C 5-12V port, a USB-C Input/Output Power Delivery 5-20V port, and two 120V AC Inverter outlets where TVs, internet modems, medical devices among other electronic gadgets can be plugged into.
Recharging Modes: Goal Zero allows their devices to be charged in different modes; you can use solar panels to recharge your unit or you can simply charge it from the wall. You can use your 230W AC Wall Charger to plug it into any wall socket. It takes the Yeti3000X approximately 14 hours to be fully recharged from the power grid. You can also charge its solar panel by placing it strategically where it can get as much sunlight as possible; you can insert the blue-ringed solar plug into one of the input ports of the station, or you can also connect the unit to solar panels by using the Anderson Power-Pole port. It can take up to 600W of solar energy through the AP port.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This charging station measures 25 x 19 x 23 inches and weighs 78 pounds, although it is not exactly a light portable device, it comes with a dolly that is wheeled and helps you move it everywhere.
Display: The unit includes a switch-controlled display LCD screen that gives important information to the user, such as the battery level, input watts, and output watts. The LCD luminous mini panel is of great use to keep you aware of the device’s working state.
Safety: This solar power station is equipped with over and under-voltage internal protections, temperature protection and it includes a battery management system that is able to monitor the battery pack’s health.
Other Features: The Yeti3000x is a very modern device that includes the Yeti App 3.0 on its features. The app can be downloaded from the App Store or the Google Play store and can be installed on your smartphone turning your phone into a ‘remote control’ that can manage some functions of the power station remotely.
Wattage and Battery type: Kyng proudly presents its latest power station, the Monster 2000W, a mini generator of lightweight that is powerful enough to produce continuous 2000 watts with a surge power of 3300 watts. Do not be fooled by its small size, as this charging station can charge your laptop approximately 35 times, it is ideal to power your outdoor fun time as this solar generator is easy to operate. It can power a drone battery up to 40 times. Cameras, smartphones are easily plugged into the Kyng Monster 2000W for more hours of family leisure on a camping day.
Outlets: This emergency charging station comes in handy to power a multitude of devices as it comes with 4 universal AC outlets for house appliances, 1 12V Car port outlet (Cigarette lighter auxiliary outlet), a USB Type-C output port, 4 USB A Outputs (QC3.0 Quick Charging ports), and a Solar Panel input (Anderson Power-Pole port) for solar recharging.
Recharging Modes: Kyng thinks of everything, as this unit is capable of recharging from the power grid: Use the included AC wall charger to plug it into any socket for 6/8 hours for a full electricity charge or you can recharge it via solar panel by placing the device’s solar panel under the sunlight for approximately 9 hours. The Monster Kyng 2000W comes with a Lithium-ion battery that makes its performance outstanding.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This super-light practical charging station barely measures 14.8 x 9.8 x 9.6 inches weighing no more than 14 kilos. Although it doesn’t come with a dolly to drag it along the ground nor it has integrated wheels, the Kyng2000W kit includes over $400 dollars in extra accessories that make the station easier to operate.
Display: The Kyng2000w comes with a display LCD screen that showcases important information for the user such as the battery level, AC output power, the remaining power time and displays a small icon to show the fan temperature.
Safety: This mini generator provides Pure Sine Wave output which means it produces power output that makes it compatible with all the AC electric devices in your home. The Pure Sine Wave inverter allows the charging station to safely power almost any appliance under 500 watts in your home or your outdoor reunion.
Other Features: The Kyng Monster 2000W is capable of operating by Bluetooth from your mobile phone: The instruction manual features a QR code for the Kyng Monster 2000W app. The App can be downloaded from the Google Play store and the App Store and it supports operating systems: iOS 9.0 or above and /or Android 4.3 or above.
Wattage and Battery type: Bluetti, a company often concerned about environmentally friendly generators has released their new power station: The AC200P; a powerful unit that can produce continuous 2000Watts and a surprising 4800Watts of power surge! The AC2000P efficiently charges a variety of appliances like AC devices, hairdryers, microwave ovens, fridges, coffee makers, electric grills among others. It is capable of storing 2000W hours for all your power needs.
Outlets: The AC2000P is a well-designed compact unit that comes with a wide range of receptacles that can adapt to many different gadgets: It includes 6 AC universal outlets to plug any common electrical device into, one 12V/10 car port (Cigarette lighter port), a 12V/25A RV outlet, two 15W wireless pad, one PD 60W USB-C, four USB-A ports, and two 12V/3A receptacles.
Recharging Modes: Bluetti, always a step ahead in functionality gives us 5 surprising options to recharge this very adaptable unit: Either you just connect your generator to a common AC outlet and charge via wall socket, or you can also recharge from the solar panel with a working voltage of DC 35V-150V by connecting it via solar charge cable included. Other advanced charging methods include: Charging the unit from the car’s lighter port, or another fuel-powered generator (Diesel, gasoline, or propane), and finally, it gives us the option to charge it directly from a lead-acid battery.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This elegantly designed charging station measures 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches and weighs 60 pounds, it’s relatively lightweight, it can be carried by a single person and its compact design makes it suitable to be placed on a kitchen bar, a working desk or an RV dining table due to the great variety of outlets it offers and the little space it takes. It can charge 17 devices simultaneously.
Display: The unit includes a state-of-the-art touchscreen that allows the user to customize the settings of the charging station with the touch of their hand. It shows the AC output frequency, among other options. The panel can even be used to change the date & language input!
Safety: This solar power station is equipped with the exclusive brand’s “Bluetti ECO” mode that can prevent up to 50% of wasted power loss. The generator will automatically shut down when the output is lower than 50W for approximately 4 hours, just in case the user forgets to turn it off.
Other Features: This station is considerably more advanced than other solar charging stations of similar characteristics as it is equipped with an interactive smart-touch LCD that offers product information and even multiple languages to be operated by, presenting as well the novelty of 5 different ways of recharge.
Wattage and Battery type: ALLPOWERS presents their Monster X Portable Power station, a very useful generator that can work as an emergency backup battery for electric vehicles, a must for the electric car owner as it supports/charges an electric vehicle for about 15 kilometers. With a 2000 wattage output and 1500Watt hours of runtime, (405405 mAh) the power charging station is also capable of recharging up to 11 electrical gadgets at the same time.
Outlets: The Monster2000X is a very adaptable station as it comes with four 110V/60Hz AC universal outlets (Pure Sine Wave Inverter), two TYPE-C ports, (PD 5-20V,60W max.), four USB ports of quick charge 3.0, and one 12V/ cigarette car lighter port. The unit adapts to electric cars as a support battery or it can be used to power electrical appliances in an RV. The possibilities are many.
Recharging Modes: The Monster 2000X comes with a lithium-ion battery and presents 3 different recharging methods as it can be plugged into a wall outlet with 400W maximum and it will be charged within 4 hours, it can also be charged via a solar panel with 200W maximum (Anderson Pole Port or DC optional) and it will take the device approximately 6 hours to fully recharge, the type-c outlet with 60W can charge the unit in 24 hours, however, in a hurry the power station can be quickly recharged by 3 outlets simultaneously (600W max) and it will only need 2.5 hours for a full recharge.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This charging station measures 24.8 x 16.14 x 16.54 inches and weighs barely 14 kilos, it comes with two side handles that makes it easy to transport it everywhere; its compact design comes in handy whenever the station is used as an emergency battery for an electrical car, as it can be placed on a car’s trunk and it wouldn’t take much more space than what a common lead-acid battery would.
Display: The LCD screen that this unit includes allows the user to check the battery level on the charging station; the percentage of remaining power, it indicates the usage of the ports, plus it shows the fan cooling service and it alerts of overload/heating if its use exceeds the overall charging capacity of the device.
Safety: ALLPOWERS has also integrated the Pure Sine Wave technology in their solar generators, which means that the output waveform (pure sine wave) of their devices is the same as the AC power waveform of your house power grid which allows electronics to run smoothly, preventing internal voltage damage in them.
Other Features: The Monster 2000X can be operated via Bluetooth and it comes with an app that can be installed on your personal cellphone and that must be downloaded from the App Store or the Google Play store allowing the user to operate some functions of the power station remotely.
Wattage and Battery type: EF ECOFLOW has released their portable generator EFDELTA; an environmentally friendly solar generator that offers 1260W hours of energy storage capacity. It is adaptable to most electrical appliances needed for outdoor RV camping, in-car appliances or it can power a wide array of gadgets at once: A microwave oven, a laptop, and it might be of great help for patients that suffer from sleep apnea, as this charging power station can efficiently run CPAP machines if those are away from the power grid. With an output of 1800Watts this generator meets the standards of any AC wall outlet, plus it is compatible with any solar panel input up to 400Watts.
Outlets: The EFDELTA charging power station is capable to power 13 appliances at once as it is equipped with six AC universal outlets, plus four USB-A (fast charge) and two USB-C receptacles, and one 12V standard cigarette lighter car port. Its lightweight makes it ideal to be taken on a road trip without sacrificing communications as it can recharge several smartphones at once without overloading.
Recharging Modes: EF ECOFLOW has developed three different charging modes for their compact EFDELTA station that comes equipped with a lithium battery pack, as it can be charged via solar panel (10-65V, not included) and of course it can be charged via AC outlet, and finally, the station can get the charging energy it needs to power appliances by charging it via car charging cable.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This super practical charging station barely measures 15.7 x 8.3 x 10.6 inches and weighs 14 kilos (30.9 pounds) and although it doesn’t come with retractable handles, its ergonomic design and lightweight makes it easy to be carried and transported in any vehicle without taking much space. The kit includes an EF DELTA bag that can be reused to cover the unit when not in use.
Display: The power station is equipped with a display LCD that indicates the charge/discharge rate, it also informs us about the inner temperature of the unit (Cooling fan), the battery level plus it provides power readings to protect your gadgets and appliances from voltage overloading.
Safety: This charging station also works with the Pure Sine Wave technology that is capable of producing power output that makes it compatible with all the AC electric devices in your home, making them run efficiently and preventing voltage damage in those.
Other Features: We should note here that the station is equipped with the X-STREAM technology, patented by Ecoflow that allows the unit to be quickly recharged in just 2 hours by using a standard AC charging cable making it 10 times faster to recharge than similar solar generators of other brands.
Wattage and Battery type: The Explorer 1500 by Jackery can produce 1800 continuous wattage and with a 1534Watts hour capacity, the charging station is well efficient to power large devices such as electric stoves, air conditioners, and large-sized refrigerators. Also, it’s powerful enough to charge up to 7 house appliances at once. It is the ideal charging station for your home in case of a sudden blackout as it can be used indoors. It can recharge your smartphone 150 times and give you up to 60 hours of fun by powering your game console! It works with a Lithium-ion battery.
Outlets: The Jackery Explorer 1500 offers a variety of outlets to power a multitude of different gadgets and appliances. It comes with three universal 110V AC ports, one USB-A port, a Quick Charge 3.0 Output receptacle, a USB-C port, and a standard cigarette lighter car port (12V), this small unit is capable of powering a refrigerator for 15 hours with a simple AC cable.
Recharging Modes: This compact solar generator by Jackery can be recharged via Solar Saga 100 solar panels (four panels for 9.5 hours for full recharge) it can also be recharged using the power grid (AC wall socket) and in case of outdoor excursions the generator can be plugged into any car for recharging.
Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: This charging station measures 14 x 10.4 x 12.7 inches and weighs 16 kilos (33 pounds), the unit is lightweight and compact-sized considering its outstanding runtime when powering bigger appliances.
Display: The station is equipped with a switch-controlled smart monitor (LCD mini screen) that indicates if the station is being charged via wall socket, via solar panel, or by car. It also informs about the appliances that are being charged by the unit and sets alerts for high temperatures (cooling fan).
Safety: The Jackery Explorer 1500 is equipped with an MPPT (A solar charge controller or regulator) which is essentially a solar battery charger that is usually connected between solar panels and the lithium battery. The controller’s job is to regulate the battery charging process and make sure the battery is not over-charged.
Other Features: Jackery works with the Solarpeak Technology, and it is recommended to use recharge this power station by using Solarsaga 100 solar panels, (four) as they will boost 30% more in recharging efficiency.
The good news for the environmentalist enthusiast is that solar-powered generators have a lifespan of 25+ years if well taken care of. Solar panels can keep producing energy for decades as well if those don’t break and are periodically cleaned.
However, the overall use of your solar generator is what will determine the number of years that it will be with your family. Whereas lithium batteries have a useful life of 5/7 years, the number of charges and discharges your unit suffers throughout the time will add or subtract years of life to it. Also, look out for the radiation levels on your device, it is recommendable to keep a distance of at least 20 centimeters when operating your station, as any electrically powered device can generate ELF radiation (Extremely low-frequency radiation).
The popular Jackery 1002WH small power station is known for being rated for more than 500 cycles of charge (up to 80% discharge, it uses a lithium-ion battery), which means that the station is made to last for approximately 6 years, however, if you are up to use the battery to maximum discharge every day, the lifespan of the device might reduce considerably (2, 3 years of useful life).
When in use this mini station can power up a coffee maker or a microwave oven for 45 minutes, and a mini-fridge for 17 hours.
Whenever we read about mAh in a power station we are referring to the battery capacity that is rated by milliampere hours (mAh). The average battery capacity in portable solar power stations is between 20,000 and 40,000 mAh.
Most solar generators work with lithium batteries that are made to last for 5/7 years, you can get more mAh and Wh (Battery capacity and watt-hours) in bigger devices, (whole house generators) although you’d be sacrificing lightweight and portability in them. And the cost would be much more expensive.
Emergency generators are always a great choice for you if you live in an area that is prone to suffer power outages often, if you are an RV owner, (Or you live in a mobile home) or if you are a work tool fan that keeps a wide array of power tools in the shed for house maintenance issues, as portable charging stations promise you extra power supply that doesn’t entirely depend on the power grid.
However, the source of such extra energy is what you can choose, depending on your personal needs. Whereas fuel-powered portable generators might be more powerful when sustaining a complete house during an electricity emergency, those have to be handled with precaution due to their fuel combustion/consumption, plus, gasoline-powered portable stations can’t be operated indoors.
Solar stations provide a good runtime of energy when powering appliances, are safer to use by all members of your family; however, they imply managing solar panels and being (patient) when recharging the units.
To sum it up, both types of generators have their pros and cons, but the one thing you must keep in consideration is that the unit you choose should adapt to your lifestyle otherwise in the long run you might think you made a bad investment of time and money by purchasing one.
There are outstanding brands in the market for each type of portable generators, make sure you read reviews online and do research about the manufacturers, before choosing the station that will suit your immediate power needs and that is affordable and doesn’t exceed your budget.