They have changed dramatically since portable power stations were developed. They started out as simple big power banks that you could plug in and get power from. But now, they have more practical features, with various types of USB ports, solar panel inputs, wireless charging and more. Some even let you connect multiple devices together to get more power and connect to your home settings in case you need emergency backup power.
Traditionally, where electricity is needed, gas generators are your main option, especially in some temporary situations such as camping if you don't have an RV or other power supply to your campsite. As more and more electronic devices fill our daily lives, the need to keep them powered and online is increasing. This can be difficult when you don't have access to grid power. Portable power stations are the perfect solution to keep our electricity portable.
We tested each power station and took into account factors such as battery life, power output and input charging options, as well as output options for charging my devices. (Power stations that use only AC sockets and force you to use adapters don't work anymore.) Each is more than a mobile phone charger or luxury camping must-have. These powerbank enforcers have a wide range of uses, from building to keeping in touch with the office or home to using emergency lighting and power wherever you wander or call home.
So, you can find the best portable power station to suit your needs.
How many years a portable power station lasts depends on three key factors-how well the product is maintained, how often it is used, and the type of battery.
We conducted research and communication, and most of the equipment has a life of 500 cycles. In some cases, like the Anker 757, it can use LiFePO4 batteries and provide up to 3,000 or more cycles compared to the more common lithium-ion batteries. A cycle means going from full charge to zero charge (or at least 80% in some cases). So if you use your portable power station a few times a week, it might only last a year or two. But if you don't use it regularly, it may last longer.
Can a power station run a refrigerator? The standard refrigerator, for example, is estimated to consume 608 kilowatt-hours of energy per year. That's 1.67 kilowatt-hours per day, or 1,670 kilowatt-hours per day. 1,670 watt-hours per day, which translates to less than 70 watt-hours per hour. If you have a short blackout, just power your fridge, and a 200-watt hour power station can keep it running for nearly three hours. You need a power station with a higher watt-hour forecast to keep your fridge running longer. Mini refrigerators last much longer than big ones. Be sure to confirm the electrical requirements for specific refrigerators and portable power stations, especially the peak and start-up power of the refrigerator, before trying.
Portable power stations are typically designed for smaller electronics and appliances, from mobile phones and desktop fans to heavy-duty work lights. Please note the estimated watt-hours provided by each brand in its specifications to determine which model is best for the power supply you want.
If a company says its portable power station has 200 watt-hours, it should be able to power a 1-watt output device for about 200 hours. I'll cover this in detail in the "How We Test" section below, but consider the wattage of the device you want to power, followed by the wattage hours your portable power station needs.