The Best Portable Power Stations for Emergencies or Camping Trips

Our favorite is the Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station

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General Electric volt meter

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Portable power stations provide electricity where and when you need it, whether during a power outage, on a weekend camping trip with the family, or anywhere else.

We examined dozens of power stations, from big solar power stations to ultra-portable power banks, looking at key factors like battery capacity, power output, size and portability, and feature sets to identify which ones stand out. Our favorite power station, the Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station, delivers ample battery capacity, can power just about any device or appliance, and is compact enough to transport or store easily.

Here are the best portable power stations.

Our Top Picks
01
of 10

Best Overall: Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station

Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station.

Amazon

What We Like
  • Large battery capacity and rated output

  • Plenty of ports and outlets

  • Easy to carry, transport, and store

  • Expandable with optional second wall charger and solar panels

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Doesn’t use lithium iron phosphate batteries

  • Doesn’t include solar panels

Whether you’re looking for a backup in case of emergencies, something that can power your tools on the job site, or a way to keep your electronics up and running on an extended camping trip, the best overall portable power station is the Jackery Explorer 1500. This power station strikes the perfect balance between affordability, portability, and utility. It is a little on the expensive side, but it’s ready to handle just about anything you throw at it. Need to keep the food in your freezer safe during a power outage? The Jackery Explorer 1500 could have you covered for up to 15 hours, depending on the power consumption of your freezer.

After a short charge, the Jackery Explorer 1500 is ready to go right out of the box, and it comes with everything you need. It includes a fast charger that you can plug into a wall outlet and a slower charger that you can plug into an accessory outlet in your car. The wall charger will take the battery from zero to full in about four hours, or significantly less if you add a second optional charger. The car outlet takes much longer, but it’s a helpful option to have. Though this unit doesn't come with solar panels, you can add up to four if you need power off the grid.

The best thing about the Jackery Explorer 1500 is its utility. It features three AC outlets, and it can put out 1500 watts continuously. That’s enough to run power-hungry devices like a hairdryer or a curling iron on a camping trip, run a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for several nights, brew coffee, or even pop some microwave popcorn during a power outage. It’s also compact and light enough that it’s easy to carry around, position exactly where you need it, and store away when you don’t.

Dimensions: 14 x 10.4 x 12.7 inches︱Weight: 35.2 pounds︱Power Source: Lithium-ion battery︱Ports: 3x AC outlets, USB-C Power Delivery, USB-A Quick Charge 3.0, USB-A, 12V Car

02
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Best Budget: Westinghouse iGen160s Portable Power Station

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment iGen160s Portable Power Station

Amazon

What We Like
  • Small and portable

  • Good price

  • Built-in flashlight

What We Don't Like
  • Modified sine-wave inverter

  • Doesn’t show battery percentage

The Westinghouse iGen 160s is a basic little portable power station capable of keeping your electronics charged during a brief power outage or camping trip. It’s extremely portable, weighing in at under 4 pounds, and it has enough power to provide two or three laptop charges, up to 14 total smartphone charges, or power your AC devices that draw less than 100 watts. For example, you could plug in a 25-watt mini projector for a four- or five-hour movie marathon in the backyard and still have power left over.

This portable power station is a good option if you’re working on a tight budget because it provides more power than the competition does at the same price point. It does have limitations, though, including a modified sine wave inverter. That means you can’t use it with some devices like CPAP machines.

Dimensions: 8.14 x x 3.77 x 7 inches︱Weight: 3.75 pounds︱Power Source: Lithium-ion battery︱Ports: 2x AC outlets, 3x USB-A, USB-C, 3x DC output

03
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Best Compact: ECOFLOW Delta Mini Portable Power Station

ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA mini

Amazon

What We Like
  • Compact and lightweight

  • Good battery capacity for the size

  • Fast charge option

  • Great app

What We Don't Like
  • No wireless charging

  • No emergency light

The EcoFlow Delta Mini packs a lot of power into a relatively small and lightweight unit, which is why it’s our favorite compact portable power station. There are smaller and more powerful options, but the Delta Mini does a great job providing a large continuous output, big battery capacity, and a great selection of input and output ports. It manages all of that in a package that’s small enough to tuck away in your closet for emergencies or toss in your car or RV for a road trip.

Weighing about 23 pounds, the Delta Mini has a big 882-watt-hour battery capable of keeping your phone and laptop charged through an extended power outage or powering your hairdryer, microwave, or even portable air conditioning unit for a short time. If you’re worried about an incoming storm that might knock your power out, this power station has a fast-charge feature that can take it from zero to full in a little over an hour and a half. The only problem with this power station is that it lacks creature comforts, like wireless charging for your phone, and there’s no built-in emergency light.

Dimensions: 14.9 x 7.2 x 9.4 inches︱Weight: 23.6 pounds︱Power Source: Lithium-ion battery︱Ports: 5x AC outlets, 3x USB-A, USB-C, 12V DC Car, 2x 12V DC barrel

04
of 10

Best for Phones: Nimble Champ Portable Charger

Nimble Champ Portable Charger

Best Buy

What We Like
  • Efficient and compact GaN battery

  • Fast charging

  • Made with recycled plastic and aluminum

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t include a wall charger

  • Deceptively heavy

If the only thing you need to keep powered up is your phone, the Nimble Champ is the best option. This compact little power bank doesn’t have any of the features found in bigger portable power stations, but it’s tremendously small, easy to carry, and is made from recycled materials—including sustainable packaging. This portable device has enough juice to keep your phone running through about three days of heavy use and supports both 18-watt power delivery and Quick Charge 4.0 for rapid charging. It also has two USB ports, so you can charge two devices at once or charge one device with the USB port plugged into a wall outlet to charge the Nimble Champ simultaneously.

The Nimble Champ uses a gallium nitride battery that provides more power than you’d get from lithium-ion, but the catch is that it’s also heavy. While this diminutive power bank is smaller than a pack of cards, it weighs more than an iPhone 13. It’s still highly portable, but you’ll feel it in your pocket. It also doesn’t come with a wall charger, so you’ll have to supply your own.

Dimensions: 2.2 x 0.99 x 3 inches︱Weight: 6.4 ounces︱Power Source: Gallium nitride battery︱Ports: USB-C, USB-A

05
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Best Wireless: ECOFLOW River Mini Portable Power Station

ECOFLOW River Mini Portable Power Station

Amazon

What We Like
  • Very portable

  • Secure wireless charging platform

  • Basic UPS functionality

What We Don't Like
  • No carrying handle

  • Glossy black case attracts fingerprints

The EcoFlow River Mini is a flexible little power station with built-in wireless charging. It's small enough that it’s perfect for desk use, but it’s also easy to take along on a road trip despite a lack of a carrying handle. The top of the power station includes a built-in wireless charging pad with a slightly cupped shape to provide a secure platform for your phone. Unlike many other wireless chargers, there’s no chance of accidentally knocking your phone off this one. However, the case lacks a handle and is shiny, so it collects fingerprints easily.

In addition to providing 210 watt-hours of backup power, the EcoFlow River Mini can also function as a basic uninterruptible power supply (UPS). You can set it on your desk, plug in mission-critical equipment like your modem and router, and the River Mini will automatically switch to battery backup if your power goes out. It also uses the same power inputs as other EcoFlow power stations, so you can charge it via AC power, plug it into your car, or plug in a solar panel.

Dimensions: 9.8 x 5.5 x 5.2 inches︱Weight: 6.3 pounds︱Power Source: Lithium-ion battery︱Ports: 2x AC outlets, 3x USB-A, USB-C Power Delivery, 12V Car

06
of 10

Best for Emergencies: BLAVOR Solar Charger with Foldable Panels

BLAVOR Solar Charger with Foldable Panels

Amazon

What We Like
  • Built-in solar charger

  • Bright flashlight

  • Qi wireless charging

What We Don't Like
  • Solar charging is slow

The Blavor Solar Charger with Solar Panels is an excellent little power bank to have on hand in case of emergencies. It’s a little bigger and heavier than a typical cellphone, but it has enough power to charge your phone several times before recharging. It also has a built-in Qi wireless charger in addition to USB-C and USB-A ports for wired charging.

It is great for emergencies because it has a built-in flashlight and a fold-out solar panel array. While the foldable solar panel is convenient, the solar charging is a little on the slow side. It's wise to plan on charging this panel by plugging it into the wall. The solar array is primarily for adding a little extra power if you find yourself in an extended emergency or you’re out camping off the grid.

Dimensions: 7 x 3.5 x 1.6 inches︱Weight: 1.54 pounds︱Power Source: Lithium polymer battery︱Ports: USB-C Power Delivery, 2x USB-A Quick Charge 3.0, Micro USB

07
of 10

Best for Camping: ISSOMI Portable Power Station

ISSOMI Portable Power Station

Amazon

What We Like
  • Waterproof

  • Wireless charging pad

  • Built-in LED light

What We Don't Like
  • Only one AC port

  • No 12-volt car accessory port

The ISSOMI Portable Power Station is the perfect option for camping because it's portable, powerful, and it’s water-resistant. That last factor is the most important because very few portable power stations offer this protection, and you’re likely to run into rain sooner or later if you spend enough time outdoors. This power station has an IP63 rating, which means it’s completely sealed against dust and can withstand spraying water.

While many portable power stations are light enough to carry along on a camping trip, the ISSOMI is very well suited to the purpose at under 11 pounds. In addition to being dustproof and water-resistant, it has plenty of reserve power to keep your devices running on an extended camping trip. It has enough power to charge your phone more than 30 times, and you can also use it to power other low-wattage electronics like a portable projector or a fan to keep you cool at night. It only has one AC port, though, so you are limited to plugging in one non-USB device at a time.

Dimensions: 11.41 x 9.05 x 7.28 inches︱Weight: 10.87 pounds︱Power Source: Lithium-ion battery︱Ports: AC outlet, DC port, Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A, USB-C Power Delivery, 2x USB-A

08
of 10

Best Solar-Powered: Jackery Solar Generator 1000

Jackery Solar Generator 1000

Amazon

What We Like
  • Good selection of outlets and ports

  • Lots of power available

  • SolarSaga panels have built-in USB charging ports

  • Light and convenient

What We Don't Like
  • SolarSaga panels are a little awkward to set up

  • Needs eight hours of sun to fully charge

  • Expensive

The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 is a complete solar-powered portable power station package. It's Jackery's second-biggest power station, with a big 1002-watt-hour battery, plenty of outlets, and a relatively light 22-pound weight that's easy to carry around and place wherever it's needed. It also comes with two of Jackery's powerful SolarSaga 100X solar panels that can charge the battery in about eight hours. Each SolarSaga panel generates 100 watts, and you can use them separately or together. You can also use the panels without the Jackery 1500, as each panel includes both USB-C and USB-A outputs to charge your electronics directly without going through the portable power station itself.

This turnkey system can deliver 1000 watts of continuous power, with peak surges of 2000 watts, so it can run most of your devices and electronics in an emergency, on the job site, or during an extended camping trip. For example, it has enough juice to keep a mini-fridge or a CPAP machine running for about 17 hours, even without hooking up the solar panels. If you have plenty of sun available during the day, the solar panels will keep your most crucial gear powered up even longer.

Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 inches︱Weight: 22.04 pounds︱Power Source: Lithium-ion battery︱Ports: 3x AC outlets, 2x USB-C Power Delivery, 2x USB-A, 1x 12V car

09
of 10

Best Splurge: EcoFlow Delta Pro Portable Power Station

EcoFlow Delta Pro Portable Power Station

Amazon

What We Like
  • Lots of battery capacity

  • Capable of powering most devices

  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity

  • Expandable system

What We Don't Like
  • Big and bulky

  • Expensive

Whether you need emergency battery backup for your house, power when camping off the grid, or any other reason, the EcoFlow Delta Pro is more than equal to the task. This big unit weighs nearly 100 pounds, but the built-in wheels make it easy to move around. It weighs so much because of the massive 3.6-kilowatt-hour battery. That’s enough to keep a power-hungry appliance like a microwave or hairdryer running for over an hour or even keep a portable air conditioning unit on for an hour or two. You could even plug a fridge and a freezer in during a short power outage and have power to spare.

The thing that sets the Delta Pro apart is its flexibility. You can take it camping or on a road trip, use it under your desk at home as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), or even wire it into your home for a whole-house battery solution. You can use it alone, in conjunction with an optional additional battery, or even in a system with multiple Delta Pro units connected to your home’s electrical panel. You can also monitor it through the EcoFlow app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. There’s no denying that this is an expensive unit, but endless possibilities make it an excellent splurge option.

Dimensions: 25 x 11.2 x 16.4 inches︱Weight: 99 pounds︱Power Source: Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery︱Ports: 5x AC outlets, 2x USB-A, 2x USB-C, Car, 2x DC5521

10
of 10

Best for Automotive Use: Stanley J5C09

Stanley J5C09

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for jump starting cars

  • Includes a 120 PSI air pump

  • Charges via any extension cord

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t include a charging cord

  • Bulky

  • Short air hose

The Stanley J5C09 is the best option for automotive use because it includes several features that can come in handy on the road. The primary function of this unit is to jump-start cars, which is why the manufacturer specifies its amperage output and amp-hour capacity instead of giving numbers in watts. This unit clamps to the battery terminals of a vehicle that has a dead battery and provides a ton of power at once, allowing the vehicle to start, and it does that job very well.

The other two key features that make the Stanley J5C09 good for automotive use are the light and the air compressor. If you find yourself dealing with a flat tire in the dark, this is the perfect unit to take care of that. You can also use it at the beach to blow up inflatables or anywhere else you need an air compressor. It only has one USB port and one 12-volt car accessory port, though, and it doesn’t include a charging cord. The primary charging method is plugging into an extension cord, which is handy, but could be an annoyance if you don’t own any extension cords.

Dimensions: 11.25 x 8.3 x 13.5 inches︱Weight: 18 pounds︱Power Source: Lead-acid battery︱Ports: USB-A, 12V car port

Final Verdict

The Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station is our top choice for emergency or travel use based on its large battery capacity, portability, and power. It's capable of delivering enough juice to power devices like TVs for up to 21 hours. If your power needs aren’t quite so grand and you prefer a turn-key solar generator system, the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 has everything you need to keep your devices powered by sunlight right in the box.

What to Look for in a Power Station

Size/Portability

Portable power stations are all technically portable, but some are decidedly more portable than others. The size of the battery largely dictates size and portability. Portable power stations with large battery capacities will always be physically large, and there isn’t much room for innovation there. Some manufacturers manage to make their portable power stations a little smaller than others or design them in a way as to make them easier to carry or store, but you should always consider battery capacity and output before size. If a power station doesn’t have enough power to keep you going or isn’t capable of running your devices, it doesn’t matter how small, light, or mobile it is.

Battery Capacity

Battery capacity refers to the amount of power that the portable power station can store. This capacity is measured in watt-hours, as it indicates how many hours you could run a 1-watt device or the maximum wattage you could run for one hour. For example, if you connected a TV that draws 60 watts to a portable power station with a 600-watt capacity, watching the TV for 10 hours would completely drain the battery. You'll lose some power to inefficiency, heat, and other factors, so never expect a portable power station to run exactly as long as the math suggests it would under perfect conditions.

Output

Portable power station output comes in watts, and there are two numbers to look at. Continuous output is the wattage that the power station can deliver on an ongoing basis, while peak output is the highest safe wattage that it can output for a short time. Some devices, like air conditioning units and refrigerators, use far more power when they're first turned on than when running, so a high peak wattage rating allows you to connect such a device safely.

In general, you’ll want to check the wattage of each device that you want to connect to your portable power station and select a power station that can handle them all. If you think you’ll need to have two more devices plugged in at once, add those wattages together and an additional 10 to 20 percent for safety, and use that as your baseline.

Charging Speed and Options

The primary methods of charging a portable power station are plugging into a wall outlet, connecting a solar panel, and plugging into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter or 12-volt accessory socket. Charging via a wall outlet is usually the fastest, and it’s also the most ubiquitous. For example, a portable power station that charges in two hours plugged into the wall in your house might take eight hours to charge in your car.

Look for a power station that lets you plug in two 110-volt chargers at once for the fastest charging possible. Charging via the cigarette lighter socket in a car can be a useful option to have, but it’s also very slow. The speed of charging via solar panel varies depending on the wattage of the solar panel, the current weather, and your latitude. The most powerful solar chargers are faster than plugging into your car but slower than plugging into a 110-volt outlet in your house.

Ports

Portable power stations include a variety of ports, including 110-volt outlets, USB and USB-C ports, 12-volt accessory ports, and 12-volt barrel connectors. Some include one or more of these options, while others only have USB ports, 110-volt outlets, or various combinations. If you expect to need to plug in two or three 110-volt devices at once, then make sure to select a portable power station that includes at least that many outlets. If you have devices like phones and laptops that can quickly charge over USB-C, make sure your portable power station has at least one USB-C Power Delivery (PD) port.

FAQ
  • When is it worth splurging on a portable power station?

    If you have room in your budget, you should always consider splurging on a portable power station. It’s important to identify how much reserve capacity and output you need to power all of your devices before purchasing a portable power station, but what if your power needs increase? Or what if you find yourself in an emergency and need more power than you thought? For this kind of purchase, it’s always a good idea to figure out precisely what you need and then splurge on a little extra if you can afford it.

  • Where should you store a portable power station?

    Your portable power station should be stored in a cool, dry place whenever it isn't in use. Don't store it in any location where it could get hot or become exposed to humid or damp conditions. It's fine to keep your power station in your car or RV during a trip, but storing it there all the time will shorten the battery's life.

    In addition to keeping your portable power station in a climate-controlled space, it's also a good idea to store it with about 40 to 50 percent charge, as that's better for battery life than storing it with a full charge. The exception is that if you live in an area that's prone to power outages from winter storms, hurricane season, or other natural disasters, you'll be better off keeping the battery charged during those times. It's more important to have your portable power station ready to go for an emergency than it is to maximize the battery life.

  • How often do portable power stations need replacing?

    The frequency you can expect to replace a portable power station depends on how much you use it. Every portable power station has a duty cycle rating, which refers to how many times it can be fully discharged and recharged before the battery capacity drops below 80 percent of the original capacity. Most people can use a portable power station for at least two to five years before the capacity drops noticeably, but high use can reduce that drastically.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Jeremy Laukkonen, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. He’s had experience testing and reviewing a variety of portable power stations and power banks throughout his career, including hands-on experience with several of the options featured on this list. In addition to The Spruce, his reviews can be found in other outlets, including Lifewire and Digital Trends.

Relying on extensive first-hand experience and research, Jeremy considered battery size and type, power output, port selection, size and design, and a number of other factors in order to identify the best possible portable power stations in a number of categories.

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