A good battery pack is probably one of the top must-haves for any outdoor adventure. Whether it's for backup, powering appliances, or charging gadgets, having a handy source of power is essential, especially for off-grid camping. Battery packs actually come in different battery forms. It could be the small lithium-ion battery packs inside your mobile phones or laptops. There are also electronic vehicle batteries and power banks. Portable power banks are usually the most associated with the term battery pack. These are handy power packs that are bar-shaped and can range from 2,000mAh to 20,000mAh. They are used not just for outdoor trips but every day as well for convenience since they easily fit in almost any bag.
Let's focus on battery packs used for outdoor activities such as camping battery packs, caravan batteries, and even boat batteries. These look like battery boxes and have various types as well, with the most popular ones being AGM batteries, wet lead-acid batteries, sealed lead-acid batteries, gel batteries, and lithium batteries. Among these, lead-acid is the cheapest but also the one that requires the most maintenance. They lag in terms of performance as well and last for a couple of years only. Meanwhile, AGM batteries are still widely used up to now since they provide a good option for short camping trips and are on the affordable side as well. In terms of overall quality, lithium batteries are currently at the top despite being one of the new battery types to enter the camping field.
Is LiFePO4 a Good Battery?
Lithium batteries, particularly LiFePO4 batteries, have been continuously making a name in the battery market. These portable lithium battery packs are backed by modern technology that addresses most battery issues. Number one is weight. Lithium battery boxes are significantly lighter than conventional batteries, and even have slimline battery versions to allow for more space on your campsite.
Second, they are highly efficient. Unlike lead-acid batteries that can only be discharged up to 50%, you can use most of a LiFePO4's capacity, making it great both as an off-grid battery and battery backup. The increased capacity means it's less likely for you to need a second battery, while the high discharge rate also allows you to run more appliances for a longer period of time. Lithium battery packs also charge faster so you don't have to spend too much time recharging or chasing the sun continuously if you're using solar panels. The best part? These rechargeable battery packs have a built-in battery management system (BMS). It serves as automatic protection against overcharging, undercharging, overheating, and short circuits for an extended lifespan and improved user safety. The BMS also ensures that every cell in your battery is in optimal condition for superior performance. On top of this, LiFePO4 batteries do not catch fire or explode, even when punctured. It's currently considered the safest battery on the market and requires minimal maintenance, perfect for a variety of applications.
Are Cheap Lithium Battery Packs Good?
Perhaps the only downside of LiFePO4 batteries is their expensive price. Lithium battery prices can go from $1,000 and above depending on their parameters. Because of this, users either opt for another battery type or find a supplier of cheap lithium batteries. While there are stores that offer more affordable batteries, it’s very important to be careful when buying cheap batteries so you don’t end up wasting your money or adding more safety risks because of an inferior lithium power pack.
A cheap LiFePO4 pack that doesn't fare well with quality could have a cheap BMS that easily melts or overheats, devaluing one of the primary purposes of a battery management system and may harm the user as well. These batteries are usually poorly sealed so moisture can easily penetrate the inside, and the cables are not sturdy enough for the current that passes through them. While initially, you might feel like you got a good deal, low-quality batteries will actually cost you more in the long run either because you need to replace them after a short time, it caused damage to your appliances, or worse, caught fire/exploded while you were using it.
Buying a more affordable battery pack is not impossible though—there are actually suppliers who offer quality ones at a competitive price. When buying yours, make sure that it has all the necessary IEC certifications, look for lithium battery reviews about your provider, and always ask for the specs sheet as well as warranty. These are primary indicators of your supplier's reliability and their products' quality.
More from Outbax
If you're really keen on looking for wallet-friendly battery packs, Outbax is your best choice. Our portable power packs are all LiFePO4-based for the most excellent quality plus, they all retail for a competitive price. We have 12V lithium battery packs, 100Ah lithium batteries, deep-cycle batteries, and transparent-case batteries so you can see the high-class battery materials in one glance. Whether it's for your caravan battery setup or even home battery, Outbax has something for you. Want to upgrade your power source? Pair it with one of our solar panels or try our inverter generators as backup.