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There’s a great selection of portable power supplies available. I’m going to show you the most reliable portable power supplies for camping and emergency power.
When you’re camping in the great outdoors, making sure you have portable power for essential items like cell phones, flashlights, your Bluetooth speaker and radios used to require a bulky inverter and tapping into your vehicles power supply. Not any more. Depending on your needs and the length of time you’ll be away from civilization there’s a mobile power supply just right for you.
I’ve grouped the portable power supplies in how many days of camping they will be able to be used before you have to recharge the power supply. Keep in mind, the larger the devices you recharge and how frequent, the more quickly the portable power supply will empty.
All the portable power supplies I’ll list here are gas free.
How Long Do Portable Power Stations Last?
It all depends on what you’re using the portable power station for and how long. A phone will take much less power to charge and operate than a mini fridge, for example.
For 1-2 day camping trips, a 150 Watt Hour power station will be sufficient for charging phones, radios, bluetooth speakers and other small accessories.
For 3-4 day camping trips, a 250 Watt Hour should cover you and finally for 4-5 day trips, i’d recommend anything above 300 Watt Hours.
What are Watt Hours? Think of it this way. If a portable power station lists 150 Watt Hours, it can supply 150 Watts for one hour. A typical LED 60 Watt equivalent lightbulb uses maybe 9 Watts of Power.
What Type Of Devices Can I Charge With Portable Power Stations?
Technology has progressed quickly. Modern portable power stations can charge and power most small devices.
AC Output Ports – AC power is the same that supplies your home (unless you live in the UK, where it’s DC). Small items like a laptop, fan, drone and even a mini-fridge can all be powered with these portable power supplies
DC Output Ports – DC power is used in vehicles, so items like an inflator pump, cooler, a bright light for night time or recharging your GPS can all be done with almost any portable power supply.
USB Ports – Treat these just like you would use a USB port in your home. Recharge any small devices, like phones and mini power banks if you’re going on hike, for instance.
1-2 Day Camping Trips
The Suaoki portable power station has great reviews on Amazon. IT’s a 151 Watt hour gas free portable power supply.
To give you an idea of the battery size a typical phone power bank might be 1000 to 10,000 MaH, the Suaoki portable power station is huge, at 40,500 milliamp hours.
The Suaoki portable power station has tons of output ports to power pretty much any device:
- 2 AC Outlet (Max 100W)
- 4 DC Port (Max 180W/15A)
- 1 Quick Charge 3,9 USB port (18W Max)
- 3 Regular USB ports (10.5W Max)
There are two built in LED lights on the back of the Suaoki portable power supply which would be handy when you’re fumbling around for your phone in the dark or need to light up a wide area.
This is an AMAZING product! – Rose W
It’s a small unit, measuring approximately 7″ x 4.5″ x 7″ and weighs only 2.9 pounds. Two fold away lifting handles (red in the product photo) make carrying and handling the power supply easy.
When it comes time to recharge the portable power bank, you have three different options.
- Use a portable solar charging panel. Recharge using this method is approximately 6-8 hours (sold separately)
- Plug it into a regular wall outlet (8 hours for a full recharge)
- Use your car 12v socket – the 12v car charger adapter is included.
With all the inputs and outputs – and varying levels of power the Suaoki portable power station can supply, it’s important that some on-board safety controls are built in. Fortunately, this power supply does:
- Battery Management System -Voltage regulation and control
- Temperature and overheating shut off
You get an 18 month warranty and good after-sales customer service.
Check out the Suaoki Portable Power Station on Amazon here.
The output ports are:
- 3 12v DC Outputs (Max 180W)
- 2 x 110 V AC Outlet (Max 100W)
- 2 USB 5v port
Like the Suaoki model, you can recharge the Paxcess portable power supply three different ways
- Use the included wall outlet adaptor (7-8hr recharge time)
- Use solar panel (sold separately)
- Use your vehicle’s 12v power supply to recharge the power station.
Safety is also built into this power station with a battery management system, voltage control, temperature monitoring and control and other integrated safety elements to keep you and your family powered up and safe.
If you use a CPAP machine, you can expect the PAXCESS portable power station to deliver up to 2-3 nights of power.
The unit isn’t as sleek looking as other portable power stations, but at only 3.3lbs and a car battery look, it should travel well and hold up to life’s beatings.
definitely a great buy – AstroMaestro
If the power station were to fail within a year of purchase, PAXCESS will send you a brand new unit. You also get a 30 day no questions asked return policy, so try it risk free.
You can check out the PAXCESS Portable Power Station here on Amazon.
2-3 Day Camping Trips
The Rockpals 250 Watt Portable Power Station has fewer charging outputs like it’s lower powered 150W models. Keep in even though manufacturers use the term “generator” in their portable power supply product titles, it is in no-way a power generator, it’s just a huge battery.
With a large 250 Watt powerful AC output, 2 USB (2.1A) and 4 DC (12V) ports, it should cover any small device that needs power while you’re away from home.
It’s a little heavier than smaller power supplies due to the larger battery capacity, but it’s still very portable at 5.5lbs.
To give you an idea of what 250 Watts of portable power can do for you, check this out:
- Recharge smartphones – 25 times
- Recharge Laptops – 3-5 times
- Power 32″ TV 2-3 Hours
Impressive for such a compact device.
A must for CPAP users – Bob
One thing I didn’t see while researching the Rockpals 250 Watt Portable Power Station is a 12 volt recharging input for the power station it’s self. You can charge the power supply with a regular wall outlet in about 8 hours (average) or use a 50-100 Watt solar panel. Hopefully I overlooked something or Rockpals did as recharging with your vehicles 12V outlet is super handy.
Cancel that! It does come with a 3-foot car charger cable, they missed it off the spec sheet.
You can use any or all of the outputs on the power station. If you use a CPAP machine, expect to get at least 3 nights of use – as long as you use the DC Converter and turn off the heater/humidifier.
You can check out the Rockpals 250 Watt Hour Portable Power Station on Amazon here.
The Jackery Portable Power Station 240 has a built in LCD display screen – something few of it’s other portable power supply stations miss. This is super handy to see the battery level – other portable power supplies don’t show this. How do you know how long you have left until it needs a recharge?
Inside the Jackery Portable Power Station sits a lithium 240 Watt Hour battery that supplies
- 12v Car Cigarette Lighter
- AC Outlet (110V/200W)
- 2 USB Outlets
This is the first portable power station that has built in surge and short circuit protection. Other have a somewhat vague “battery management system” but fall short of saying if that includes short circuit or surge purge protection. The last thing you want is to fry your phone, bluetooth speaker or laptop while you’re in the middle of no-where.
A compact portable power station at only 5″ wide and 6″ tall and weights 6.6lbs, you are somewhat limited on outputs unlike the other portable power station’s I’ve shown you.
The unit feels solid overall. – Jeffery Smith
The Jackery portable power station has good reviews for being used with a CPAP machine while camping:
Over 90% of people that bought the Jackery power station gave it a 5 star review.
You can check more details and current price on Amazon here.
3-4 Day Camping Trips
This is a beast. Almost 350 Watt hours of portable power, the Chafon rechargeable power supply can even act as an emergency back-up power supply for your CPAP machine or desktop computer.
Here are the outputs:
- 3 x AC 110v outputs (500 Watt Max)
- 4 x DC 12v ports
- 4 x USB ports
- 1 Watt built in flashlight
what seems to be a trend in mobile portable power stations – three ways to recharge the device its self.
- Use a regular wall outlet
- Use the included adapter and your vehicles 12V (cigarette lighter) port
- Use a solar panel between 40W-100W
Chafon added safety features to their big power supply like short circuit protection, overcharging protection, overload protection, environmental protection (heat/cold) and even using fire-proof ABS material in the construction of the mobile power station. Good stuff, especially if you are using it for important tasks like keeping your CPAP machine running camping or making sure you don’t loose and corrupt files on your desktop machine.
This unit was my power supply during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. – Amazon Customer
With a larger battery you can expect some added weight to the Chafon portable power station. It’s 7.4lbs and comes with an easy carry handle. One extra (extra) bonus is that this power station can be used as a jump starter for your car. This is one of those things that is worth the asking price alone of the entire unit if you’re stuck in the middle of no-where with no power and no vehicle.
Chifron supplies 5 different accessory cables to make sure you can connect to any type of electrical device and power it up. Here’s what the jumper cables look like, with a special adaptor to connect your car battery and the Chafon portable power station.
The Chafon 346 Portable Power Supply is one of the more pricey units, at around $350, but with the huge battery, multiple connection options, jump start and the options to use as a CPAP backup battery for power failures, it has a lot to offer. 75% of purchases have given this unit a 5/5 star rating.
You can check out the Chafon 346 Watt Hour Portable Power Supply on Amazon here.
If you need portable power and a lot, get this monster power station. At 500 Watt Hours, the Suaoki G500 Portable Power Station is one of the largest portable gas-free power stations you can get. Don’t be scared to charge your small devices like smart phones and tablets, it can handle big and small.
The power outputs on the G500 look like this:
- 1 x 12V/10A Car port (cigarette lighter)
- 2 x 12V DC ports (use an adapter)
- 2 x USB QC 3.0 Ports
- 2 x AC Outlet ports (300W)
I was interested how they expect someone to use the 2 x 12v DC ports without an adapter. Seems like some users are having an issue as they aren’t the standard size (5.5mm x 2.1mm). It also isn’t clear if the DC output connectors are center positive – essential information for powering anything and you could risk of short circuiting and killing whatever device is plugged into them.
Update: Suaoki has posted that you can buy an adaptor separately to convert the built in 5.5mm x 2.1mm DC power suppliy conectors to the standard 5.5mm x 2.5mm connector. In response to a customer review, Suaoki even offered to refund the reviewer the extra cost ($2 maybe?) for the adapter cable. A nice gesture, but I think for over $500, it should have been included.
Again, the three most common ways to charge mobile power supplies apply to the Suaoki G500 Portable Power Station
- Use a regular wall outlet in your home
- Use a solar panel (max 100W, sold separately)
- Use the included adapter to charge with your vehicle’s power supply
Long term reports from people that have already purchased the Suaoki G500 Portable Power Supply are very good and they are happy with their purchase – used for a 9hour outage and then during a 38 hour outage, using the solar panels to recharge during the day. They were happy with the performance they got.
Works like a charm, no noise at all and great customer service! – XB
The portable power supply is heavy. Much heavier than any of the previous portable power supplies I’ve shown you – 22lbs. The battery is huge, which contributes significantly to the weight, but I wouldn’t want to carry this for very long. It’s made to be portable – I think more specifically it’s made for picking up and sitting down in one place for hours. Not something you can whip out and use, then store away easily.
No short circuit protection, enviromental protection or surge protection. It does have a “Battery Management System” which protects the battery from operating outside it’s safe working area. I’d of liked to seen more though. For such a large battery – and larger asking price, it falls short in this area.
You can check out the Suaoki G500 Portable Power Station on Amazon here.
My pick would be the Chaffon portable power station – for CPAP users and outdoor recreationalists that need a solid reliable power station that will get you through a weekend away from civilization. It has tons of safety features, enough juice to recharge most devices that will be with you (phones, tablets, radios, GPS) and even includes a jump starter incase your car battery is dead. The dual function of the Chifon mobile power station – as an instant power backup supply for CPAP machines is invaluable, you might even find yourself using the Chifon power station in your home every night, as a CPAP machine safety back up power supply.
As technology advances, mobile power is getting cheaper and more compact. Keep in mind none of the mobile power stations here are gas power generators – you really can’t compare any of them to on (a gas generator supplies waaaaay more power than any of these) – but it’s gas and you’ll have to deal with the fumes, noise and checking the fuel and oil levels periodically.