What makes the best portable power station? Not to be confused with the power banks, which can recharge your smartphone quickly (but usually not much else), the best portable power stations offer a whole lot more. We're talking about many times the capacity of pocket devices, which are designed in all shapes and sizes, but all serve one purpose; powering up your gadgets when off-grid.
Although a great reason to invest in one of the best portable power stations, and not in the best power banks, is so you can cope with a sudden outage at home, they're ideal for taking away with you on trips to rural areas. That said, don't consider them only for some expeditions. Yes, you can buy a big, heavy portable power station you can find and head off-grid for a long time, recharging while you drive and/or from a connected solar panel (we have a separate guide to the best solar chargers if that's your plan).
However, you can just as easily find a portable power station that's big enough to fuel gadgets for a week or two yet small enough to shove in the boot of your car or campervan for a road trip or camping holiday. This guide rounds up the best portable power stations around. We'll start with buying advice before moving on to our top picks.
The best portable power stations you can buy right now:
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The BaseCharge 1500 unit is user-friendly, and despite not being weatherproof or particularly rugged, it can be used at home and on camping trips as long as you can store it somewhere without getting wet. It's light enough to be hauled around easily, and we love the clearly-displayed information on the LCD Smart Dashboard.
At 26.5 lbs (12kg), it's not terribly heavy, and it comes with two decent-sized handle holes, making it pretty easy to carry the unit around (it measures 14.4 x 12.2 x 8.2 inches). There are plenty of ports allowing you to charge multiple devices simultaneously; however, this might trigger the cooling fans, which are pretty loud. They make a whirring noise similar to small drone propellers. It's not massively annoying, but it's certainly audible.
During testing, we ran our 800W vacuum of it while charging our smartphone via the wireless port, and the BaseCharge 1500 didn't even blink an eye. We charged three drones, one drone controller and a laptop on another occasion, and that also seemed fine. An exemplary portable power station overall!
Read our full BioLite BaseCharge Home Emergency Kit review, of which the BaseCharge 1500 is a part of
If you can’t decide whether you need a grab-and-go portable battery for weekends away or something more substantial, then the EcoFlow River Max is what you need. Uniquely modular, the River Max has a total of 576Wh yet is essentially a chassis upgrade over EcoFlow’s smaller 288Wh-capable River. Rather neatly, the EcoFlow River Max has two 288Wh batteries inside, one of which can be removed if you need something lighter on occasion.
In either configuration, it’s quick to charge, with EcoFlow’s ‘X-Stream’ using a smart inverter to recharge from 0-80% within an hour and fully charged in just 1.6 hours. You can also increase the AC output to up to 1800W if you need to power a home appliance or DIY tool. Loaded with ins and outs and with a built-in carry handle, cables to charge it while you drive, and the ability to use two 110W solar panels make the EcoFlow River Max an attractive option for short trips off-grid.
Read our full EcoFlow River Max review
Do you need some serious off-grid power? Highly capable, hugely customisable, and one of the heaviest power stations we’ve ever tested, the Bluetti AC500 + B300S is worth considering in several different guises, depending on your intended use.
With lots of ins and outs, a massive storage capacity and a useful modular design for future expansion, the Bluetti AC500, together with at least one B300S battery, is one of the best portable power stations ready to take on power cuts, outages, motorhomes, serious camping trips, off-grid cabins and glamping sites.
You can add solar panels for total off-grid freedom and upgrade by adding B300S units as you need them, with its 15 outputs – including five or six AC sockets – creating a truly versatile system. Build quality is excellent, and there are built-in handles, but even with its most basic architecture, this two-pronged product is heavy.
Read our full Bluetti AC500 + B300S review
Goal Zero’s flagship portable power station is for committed off-gridders and van-lifers. Huge and heavy, it contains a lithium-ion NMC battery rated at a mighty 1,516W hours. It’s a treasure trove of ins and outs, with highlights including two PD USB-C slots (one 60W to recharge a laptop and one 18W Quick Charge to quickly refuel a phone), a 12V cigarette lighter charger and standard AC.
There’s an excellent LCD display that shows you exactly what it’s up to and what charge remains, and there’s even an app that connects over the Yeti 1500X’s own WiFi network. Capable of charging lights or even a fridge, there are a couple of Anderson inputs that can be hooked up to a maximum of 600W solar panels (though you mustn’t exceed 50V), one of which is underneath a flap on the top that also gives you somewhere to store cables neatly. There are two useful handles on either side of the unit, but all that great stuff means the Yeti 1500X is a very heavy product.
Read our full Goal Zero Yeti 1500X review
The Zendure SuperBase Pro 2000 is a beast of a battery in every sense of the word. It can power anything from cell phones to a toaster oven you will likely need on a trip, doubling as an emergency power backup for vital devices at home. It’s a powerful, flexible, and portable power source for multiple devices.
Portable is a relative term, though: It is darn heavy. The wheels and extendable handle help, making it easier to move over flat surfaces and around the house, but the 46.7 lbs weight is a lot to carry around if you are camping or travelling.
The Zendure SuperBase Pro 2000 offers excellent value for money and gives you a lot of storage capacity compared to other portable power stations. It is heavy, so you should ensure you need that much power before you start lugging it around.
Read our full Zendure Superbase Pro 2000 review
The Ego Power Power+ Nexus Portable Power Station offers one big hook: you can use the same batteries to run Ego Power tools and power your camping trip. So, it makes a lot of sense if you are already an Ego Power user: you can save money by using the batteries you already have.
If you want more power storage, you’ll need to buy more batteries, which adds to the weight and bulk of an already large and heavy device. So, the price you pay for the double-duty job of offering portable power and charging batteries for your garden tools is that it is bigger, heavier, and less convenient. Is that worth it? It might be if you already use Ego Power tools in your yard. But if you don’t, you would be better off looking at a dedicated portable power station that offers more bang for the buck.
Read our full Ego Power Power+ Nexus Portable Power Station review
How much power do you actually need? This entry-level portable power station offers 500Wh, which is about 40 recharges of a smartphone and seven recharges of a laptop. If that sounds enough then there’s a lot to like about this pared-down portable battery, which can cope with 11 devices simultaneously. That can include up to four smartphones cabled-up, but an additional device on the top thanks to the PowerOak AC50S’s unusual provision of a wireless charging pad.
There’s also an LED lamp on the rear in case you need some light around camp at night. It takes about five hours to recharge the PowerOak AC50S via a PowerOak SP120 solar panel, a wall socket or via a 12V car outlet, the latter making it perfect for a road trip. As a nice bonus you also get a bunch of cables, though there’s nowhere to store them.
Few power stations worth having are as portable as the Jackery Explorer 500, which boasts a 518Wh lithium-ion battery pack that’s big enough for casual use while being slightly lighter than the competition. It’s one of the lightest portable power stations around and underlines that with a large built-in handle that’s easy to carry.
It’s got enough ins and outs to charge everything from phones and cameras to a TV or mini-fridge. It can be charged at home in about 7.5 hours, from a car’s 12V cigarette lighter in eight hours and from a solar panel in 9.5 hours in perfect conditions (it’s also available bundled with Jackery’s SolarSaga 100W solar panel). However, what it lacks is a USB-C PD slot for fueling a laptop.
How to choose the best portable power station for you
The portable power stations are much more than just high-capacity batteries. Although the capacity is all-important, the best portable power stations have a plethora of ins and outs. Do you need a USB-C PD slot that can refuel a laptop? Easy. A mains plug to attach a regular wall plug? No problem. Anderson connectors to cable-up a solar panel? That depends on the product.
However, aside from connections there are other extra features to look for. For example, some portable power stations take their outdoorsy nature to heart and provide campers with a built-in LED light. Others have moulded-in carry handles so you can go easily from car boot to camp. Some can be charged-up with solar panels of varying sizes. Most now have LED screens that tell you exactly how much charge is left and what the current status is. You often now get an app, too.
Exactly how portable your power station is depends on the capacity. It’s always a trade-off between weight and portability; don’t obsess over buying the one with the most watt hours (Wh) and then expect to be able to easily carry it across a campsite (unless you don’t mind investing in a hand-truck). Just be careful to buy the correct socket version for you, whether that be the UK, US or EU, because the best portable batteries do tend to come in region-specific versions.
We've chosen a wide range of the best portable power stations here, from the largest and most powerful ideal for extended off-grid trips to relatively small examples that are nevertheless perfect for a road-trip or campervan adventure. Read on for the very best portable power stations on the market today.