Best Portable Power Station 2021: Everything You Need to Know

Best Portable Power Station 2021: Everything You Need to Know

Are you looking to charge maybe a laptop computer or two while you are camping? Or maybe you want to power a camping fridge or a portable fan in your campervan? If you are not too keen about using gas-powered generators to power these camping essentials, solar power is your best option. After all, solar power is the most accessible and environmentally friendly method of keeping your electronics charged and ready to use.

And this is where using a portable power station comes in. They are the perfect power sources to take on camping trips or long road trips. You do not have to be too techie to operate one and you can keep your laptop or phones fully charged while you are off the grid.

What is a portable power station?

A portable power station is basically a battery system enclosed in a box. This is not a gas-powered generator, let us not get confused. Portable power stations do not generate power like a well- like a generator or a solar panel. What it does is it stores electricity that you can use. And yes, they can be charged using solar panels or by connecting them to a power outlet. Think of it as a plug and play power system.

A portable power station usually comes with almost everything you need for a full electrical system. It has a battery, an inverter, a battery monitor, a charge controller and all the wires in one neat packaging. The only thing it does not come with is a solar panel.

A portable power station can be sued with other portable solar panels or the fixed caravan solar panels on top of your vehicle. They can also be used as a backup battery for your caravan or current outdoor power system.

Who is a portable power station for?

Campers or frequent road trippers get the most benefit out of using a portable power station. These devices can be charged from a power outlet at home and packed in your car so you will have backup power throughout your trip. You can use the portable power station to charge e-bikes, keep a portable fridge running or running a fan. Basically anything in your campsite that can run on 12V power, you can run on this device.

If you are a camper that is not keen about setting up a complicated portable electric system, power stations take away all that hassle. Yes, you can still attach it to your caravan solar panels or portable solar panel to charge laptops and other devices, but the best thing about power stations is they take away all the wiring and electrical components. Basically, you have one box that holds an electrical charge and you can use it while you are outdoors. It is that simple.

What are the benefits of a portable power station?

Safe to use You do not have to be an expert about electrical wiring and portable power systems to use a power station. All you need to learn is how to keep track of the charge levels.

Super quiet Unlike portable generators that you can hear from a mile away, a portable power station is like a solar panel in that it is quiet and you will be able to sleep in peace while camping with it.

Easy to use - It is a plug and play system. You do not have to worry about assembling anything because the battery, the inverter, monitor, wiring and everything is packed in one simple component. Just plug your phone or laptop directly into the box and you are good to go.

Does not emit fumes Because it does not require petrol to work, you can rest assured that your portable power station is not going to emit fumes or smoke. This is great because you would not bother fellow campers.

Very portable Small and relatively lightweight, portability is one of the biggest advantages of a power station. It does not take up a lot of space in your vehicle and can be easily stored in your garage when not in use.

Hassle-free maintenance When properly stored and charged, a portable power station is able to hold charge for several weeks or even months without the need for maintenance.

How do you charge a portable power station?

There are three ways you can charge a portable power station: using a solar panel, plugging directly into a power outlet or with a 12-Volt car outlet.

If you do not have access to the main power grid, charging on solar panels is your best option. While some brands will have recommended solar panels, the solar components of these power stations are fairly universal as long as you are using panels that fit the power station's specs. We recommend using fixed caravan solar panels or folding solar panels the suitcase-type.

If you will use the portable power station for just the weekend, charging it on a household outlet is enough. For shorter trips, simply charge the power station the night before you leave, and charge it again when you return home.

When it comes to charging using a 12V car power outlet you have to manage your expectations. At best it can tickle charge the power station since car plugs only have 5-10 amps of output. So, not really the ideal way to charge a power station, but one you can use while you are on a long drive. Do not charge the power station through the car plug if you are not driving. Otherwise, you risk draining your car battery.

Final thoughts

A portable power station is great for weekend campers and people who simply do not want to deal with all the hassles of setting up electrical wiring on a portable power source. Keep in mind though that these devices would cost more than your typical generator or solar panel system, but it more than makes up for the cost in convenience and peace of mind.

Looking to buy a portable power station for the first time? Let us know by giving our team at Outbax a call. We would be happy to answer any questions you have and help you find a portable power solution for your next camping trip.

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