The rise in popularity of camping, van-life and touring has seen more people than ever needing to charge their gadgets on the road. Portable power stations are a fantastic way of doing that. No longer do you need to find campsites with charging hook-ups or go and sit in the local coffee shop for two hours to charge your kit. On top of that, the current energy crisis and threat of power cuts has meant people are looking to be prepared for blackouts and power outages. Having a portable power station at home is great for this. So we thought we’d do a quick comparison of our favourite portable power stations for camping, van-life and road-trips.
Up until recently, these portable power stations have been prohibitively expensive, but not any more. Now, there are a great range of options available for all budgets. We’ve not gone too cheap, as we want the units on our list to be from highly rated brands and to be able to handle an adventure. At the same time, there are portable power stations available that cost a fortune, so we’ve tried to keep it real. Let’s get to it.
The portable power stations up for comparison today are as follows:
- Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
- Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station
- Anker 521 Portable Power Station
- Anker 535 Portable Power Station
- BLUETTI EB3A Portable Power Station
- BLUETTI EB70 Portable Power Station
- Ecoflow River 2 Pro Portable Power Station
Portable power stations for camping, van-life and road-trips – Spec Comparison and Price Checker
Related: Fancy using a hammock to sleep outdoors, or just chill out in, on your adventures? Check out our Budget camping hammock setups article for some great suggestions. Also, for a fast brew/meal on the go, our Fire Maple vs APG cook systems (UK only) article features some excellent budget cook systems.
Related: Also, thinking of taking the family away camping this summer? Check out our guide to How to choose a family tent for some useful tips and advice.
Looking at the specs, you can see that you pretty much get what you pay for. If you can manage with one AC outlet, a couple of USB-A ports (if you need to use USB-C then you’ll simply need one of those USB-A/USB-C dongle thingies) and a car port, and don’t need a load of power, then the Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station is a great buy, particularly of you just need power for one or two people on shorter trips. If you are planning to go away for longer road-trips and have a whole family’s tech to charge, then you’re probably better investing more (if you can afford it of course) on one of the BLUETTI or Ecoflow power stations where you get more oomph and a few more ports. That being said, it’s unlikely everyone on your trip will want to charge everything at once, so you could still save a lot of money and go for something that costs less. By the way, if you’re looking to film your adventures, check out our Akaso Ek7000 vs Akaso Ek7000 Pro article which features two awesome budget action cameras.
So that’s our favourite portable power stations for camping, van-life and road-trips. Get a decent one and it should last you for years. As mentioned, we’ve only included portable power stations from Jackery, Anker, BLUETTI and Ecoflow which receive great reviews. These units are a considerable investment, so you do need to have a think about how the power unit will be used now and in the near future. We will do a further article at some point on the matching solar panels too – essential for going off-grid and getting away from it all.