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    Best portable power stations: 5 top picks from Jackery and more


    Sep 14, 2023
    Best portable power stations: 5 top picks from Jackery and more
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    Portable power stations can be game-changers for outdoor adventures or provide peace of mind during power outages. Essentially, these devices are sizable batteries that can power a wide range of equipment, from laptop chargers to household appliances, and even crucial life-saving equipment like CPAP machines.

    High-end portable power stations can output as much as 3,500 watts of electricity. However, such a top-end capacity often comes with a hefty price tag – so, when shopping for one, it’s important to consider both your potential power needs and your budget. For instance, consider the energy requirements of your everyday items: charging a laptop typically demands around 60 watts, while a large appliance like a fridge might need around 700 watts. Thankfully, there are many portable power stations available that can suit your specific needs.

    Here are our top picks for the best portable power stations, chosen based on factors like wattage, the number and types of outlets, affordability, and reviews from online retailers.

    The best portable power stations: Our top picks

    The Jackery Explorer 1000 is our top choice among portable power stations, and for good reason: its cost-effectiveness. Compared to many other models in its class, the Jackery Explorer 1000 is more affordably priced, yet it doesn’t compromise on performance. It boasts the ability to power larger appliances, making it suitable not just for simple camping trips but also for situations where more substantial power needs arise. While the Jackery Explorer 1000 tops our list, we also found other commendable options worth considering. At $719, it offers the best set of high-end features without breaking a thousand dollars.

    It uses an MPPT controller for charging efficiency, allowing it to fully charge with just two Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panels in 6 hours (or in 5.5 hours via an AC wall outlet). It has a 1002Wh capacity and eight outlets, including three AC outlets, two USB-C outlets, one USB, USB-A quick charge 3.0, and car outlets. The Explorer 1000 weighs 22 pounds and has a convenient handle for portability. Like most of the other high-end Jackery power stations, the Explorer 1000 promises to last around 10 years even if it’s used weekly.

    The EcoFlow DELTA 1300 can be bought for just $769, or 30 per cent off its usual price tag, which is a steal for a solid high-end portable power station.

    The DELTA 1300 has a 1260Wh capacity and matches standard wall outlet performance with an 1800W output. It offers six AC outlets (with a peak output of 3300W), two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, two USB-A fast charging ports, and one standard DC 13.6V port, which should let you power just about anything you need. The Delta 1300 also offers three ways to charge, including rapid charging with the ability to go from 0 to 80 percent battery in one hour. You can juice up the EcoFlow DELTA 1300 with solar panels, too, but those are sold separately.

    Yes, the $1,400 price point might be a bit steep, but the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro is normally $500 more, and it packs a ton of energy and options into a relatively compact package.

    Weighing 43 pounds, The Explorer 2000 is just 12.1 x 15.1 x 10.5 inches in size. It has a 2160Wh capacity and can be recharged in just two hours with its AC port. You can also charge the Explorer 2000 with Jackery’s SolarSaga panes. Six of the panels will charge the portable power station in just 2.5 hours. The Jackery Explorer 2000 has three AC 2200W outlets as well as two USB-A and 2 USB-C outputs. Between the fast charging and outlet versatility alone, the Explorer 2000 stands out as a top portable power station option for off-the-grid living.

    The Westinghouse iGen 160 is our pick for the best portable budget power station because it’s just $125. It weighs a mere 3.75 pounds but can power up to nine different devices simultaneously with its various outlets (including two 120V outlets four USB ports including a USB-C and QualComm Quick Charge 3.0 USB outlet, and three DC outputs). It boasts a 155Wh battery capacity, which is enough to juice up your phone 17 times. It can reach an 80 per cent charge in six hours using a standard outlet, and it has solar panel compatibility.

    The Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station offers a 240 kW lithium-ion battery capacity in a compact design weighing 6.82 pounds.

    Equipped with a Pure Sine Wave AC outlet (110V 200W 400W Peak), two USB-A ports (5V, 2.4A), and a 12V DC car port, it can charge a variety of devices excluding major appliances. For eco-friendly charging, it’s compatible with the SolarSaga 60 or 100 solar panels. While its recharge time is 4.5 hours, longer than pricier Jackery models, it provides outstanding value for those seeking a Jackery power station without the hefty price tag. It’s currently on sale for $179 at Walmart (normally $300).

    Best portable power station: The bottom line

    The best overall portable power station to buy is the Jackery Explorer 1000.

    Priced at $719, it provides a stellar combination of affordability and performance – with a 1002Wh capacity and a variety of different outlets. It is efficient in charging and promises durability with an approximate lifespan of 10 years even with weekly use. Not only is it ideal for casual camping trips, but its capability to power larger appliances also makes it a reliable choice during power outages or more significant power needs. Its features and price point offer a balanced value proposition for those seeking high-end features without breaking the bank.

    How we picked the best portable power stations

    In selecting the best portable power stations, I combined thorough research with personal experience. Having camped alongside my father-in-law, a proud owner of multiple Jackery power stations, I’ve witnessed the impressive performance and reliability of these units. He consistently boasts about their efficiency and longevity, sparking my interest and trust in the brand. This insight, coupled with a comprehensive analysis of wattage, outlet variety, affordability, and online reviews, formed the foundation for my curated list of the best portable power stations.

    What to keep in mind buying a portable power station

    The most important factor to consider when buying a power station is how you’re planning to use it. An online wattage calculator can help you get a better idea of your exact needs – as the amount of power a portable power station can output will increase the price of the unit. Power stations can be more expensive than high-end gas generators. But gas generators will cost you more in fuel, and they’re less eco-friendly. For instance, a 5,000-watt generator can use 0.75 gallons of gas per hour while running.

    Another advantage of portable power stations over generators is their reliability and mobility. A few years back I lost power during a bad storm, and my basement began to flood. I had a few-years-old enormous generator that needed to be lugged from the garage into the rain, and then it wouldn’t turn on. Where that generator used to sit, there’s now a medium-sized power station loaned from my father-in-law that can run a sump pump in an emergency.

    What is a portable power station?

    A portable power station is essentially a large battery that can power various devices and appliances. It’s designed to be portable, making it perfect for outdoor activities, emergencies, or situations where access to the power grid is limited or unavailable.

    Is it safe to use portable power stations indoors?

    Unlike gasoline generators, portable power stations do not emit harmful fumes and are generally safe to use indoors. They operate silently and don’t produce any exhaust. However, always ensure good ventilation and keep the station away from flammable materials.

    How do you maintain and store a portable power station?

    For longevity, it’s best to store your power station in a cool, dry place. If not in regular use, charge it every three to six months to maintain battery health. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific care and maintenance instructions.

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