Portable Power Station – Expert Reviews (With Comparison Table) - Mountain IQ

Portable Power Station – Expert Reviews (With Comparison Table)

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Portable Power Station

Looking for the best portable power station to take along on your next adventure?

Portable power stations are a useful piece of equipment that you can use while camping or hiking to power up your devices.

Our comprehensive guide will point you in the right direction and help you pick which power station is best suited to your needs.

Best Portable Power Station
(Our #1 Choice)

The Anker PowerPort Solar 2 takes the prize for the best overall portable power station due to its incredible durability, its light weight design and solar panels which charge your devices on the go.

Portable Power Station for Camping and Hiking - Comparison Table

Power Station

Rating

Weight

Ports

Size

Price

#1

Anker PowerPort Solar 2

(Best Overall )

0.9 pounds

Dual USB ports

11.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches

1.2 pounds

Both the Nomad 7 and Guide 10 have USB ports

6.5 x 8.8 x 0.8 inches

1.5 pounds

Two USB ports

6.3 x 1.1 x 11.1 inches

#4

Dark Energy Poseidon

(Best For Adverse Conditions)

0.6 pounds

Two USB ports

6 x 0.8 x 3.5 inches

#5

K-TOR Pocket Socket

(Best For Little Sun)

0.9 pounds

Standard US two prong interface

6.8 x 2.2 x 2.5 inches

1. Best All-Purpose Portable Power Station

Anker PowerPort Solar 2

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The Anker PowerPort Solar 2 takes the prize for the best overall portable power station due to its incredible durability, its light weight design and solar panels which charge your devices on the go.

Being ultra-thin and light the Anker is an ideal choice for long hikes and adventures. Equipped with stainless steel eye-holes in each corner, the device is easy to attach to your backpack or your tent.

Compatible with Apple, Android and other USB charged devices, the Anker is ideal if you need to keep your smartphone alive while away in the wild.

The power station’s multilayer solar panels make for a faster charge.

Being solar charged means that the station has to be in the sun to work correctly, but even in cloudy conditions the panels work sufficiently.

Main Features
  • 3 multilayer industrial strength solar panels
  • 2 USB ports
  • Short circuit and surge technology
What we like
  • 18 month warranty
  • Being lightweight and thin it easily fits into a backpack
  • Can charge two devices simultaneously
What we dislike
  • The device is one of the pricier options
Key Takeaway

All in all, the Anker PowerPort Solar 2 is an efficient, lightweight power station that can effectively charge your devices off the grid. As long as there is sunlight the Anker is good to go. 

2. Editor's Choice Portable Station

Goal Zero Guide 10+ Solar Recharging Kit

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel is our pick for the editor’s choice.

The Nomad 7 Plus is a lightweight, portable solar panel that is weather resistant that, in combination with the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus, charges AAs from the sun.

With a portable, rechargeable AA battery pack with a USB, the Guide 10 has a USB port for charging your devices.

The AAs themselves can be used for headlamps and flashlights, and the pack has a flashlight itself, making it easy to find in the dark.

The Nomad 7 Plus panels charges the Guide 10 plus in roughly 3 to 6 hours in the sun.

The best part of the Nomad 7 is its smart charging feature. This means that the Nomad recognises whether your device is fully charged or has disconnected due to environmental causes - automatically connecting the later.

You can use just the Nomad 7 Plus to charge your devices, but the panels can’t hold power (this is what the Guide 10 is for) - it only generates charge when exposed to the sun.

Main Features
  • USB port for external devices
  • Flash light
  • 2,300mAh Battery Pack
  • Removable, rechargeable batteries
  • Solar Intensity indicator
What we like
  • 1 year warranty
  • Smart charging
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Both the panel and the battery pack can charge your devices
What we dislike
  • You need both the Nomad 7 Plus and Guide 10 Plus – it’s not one unit
  • Slightly price
Key Takeaway

The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel is a versatile kit that will definitely come in handy on longer treks. With two options to keep your devices charged, you can’t go wrong with this more expensive set up.

3. Best Budget Power Station

Nekteck 21W Solar Charger

4/5 Overall Rating

The Nekteck 21W Solar Charger is the best budget portable power station.

Being made from canvas the device isn’t much to look at, but it makes up for this by being sturdy and lightweight. 

Being solar panels, there has to be direct sunlight for the station to charge devices properly.

However, the panels are highly efficient and can provide enough power to charge to devices at once.

The solar panels scored well in terms of efficiency, as the ports are equipped with technology that identifies your device and maximises its charging speed.  

Steel rings in the canvas allow you to easily hook the panels onto your backpack, meaning you can charge your devices on the go - provided that there is sunlight.

Main Features
  • 3 solar panels
  • Panels are water resistant
  • Compatible with USB supported devices
  • plus
    2 USB charging ports
  • plus
    Fast charging technology
What we like
  • Light weight
  • Sturdy construction
What we dislike
  • Require full sunlight to work well
  • Can only charge using the sun (can’t store charge)
Key Takeaway

The Nekteck 21W Solar Charger is a durable, lightweight solar panel charger that is good value for money and works efficiently, provided there is sunlight.

4. Best For Adverse Conditions

Dark Energy Poseidon

5/5 Overall Rating

Out of the all the portable power stations, the Dark Energy Poseidon earned itself the title of the best in adverse conditions.

Semi-indestructible, the Poseidon is drop-proof, waterproof and crush-proof making it a pretty good choice if you plan on putting yourself into tough situations.

The battery holds 10,000 mAh of portable power (Around 3 to 6 phone charges), and on top of being military grade durable, the station has a built-in light - so it’s easy to find in the dark.

With two charging ports, the Dark Energy Poseidon can charge virtually anything with a USB port, from phones and tablets, to GPS units and bluetooth speakers.

Not only is the power station sturdy, but it comes the USB charging cable is ultra-durable, so the whole kit is pretty difficult to destroy.

Able to withstand both freezing cold and hot temperatures, the Poseidon is a good choice if you often expose yourself and your gear to extreme temperatures.

Although it doesn’t come with one, you can use solar panels (Such as the Nomad 7 Plus) to charge this power station.

Normally the device takes about 6 hours to fully charge, so make sure you charge it ahead of time if you are heading off into the wilderness.

Main Features
  • Rated at MIL-STD-810-G
  • Waterproof
  • 2 charging ports
  • Flash light
What we like
  • How sturdy both the USB cable and the station are
  • Size, it’s not big or bulky
What we dislike
  • Have to buy solar panels separate
Key Takeaway

If you plan on roughing it the Dark Energy Poseidon is definitely the power station for you. Being waterproof and crush proof, the station outperforms all others in terms of durability.

5. Best For Emergencies And Little Sun

K-TOR Pocket Socket Hand Crank Generator

3/5 Overall Rating

This crank generated pocket power station is the probably option best suited to emergencies or area’s with little sun exposure.

Perfect if you need electrical power immediately, the K-TOR Pocket Socket requires elbow grease to charge your gear.

In order to charge anything, you have to crank the stations handle, as it will charge devices as long as you keep turning it.

The Pocket Socket comes with a standard US two prong interface (you can buy an international adapter) so you can plug your devices into it - however, a USB port maybe have been more convenient in terms of hiking.

While the design could have been more ergonomic, it gets the job done.

However, the amount of manpower needed to crank the handle and generate charge means, that although it is a convenient power station, it is best left for situations where there are little other options.

Main Features
  • Crank handle 
  • Standard US two prong interface
What we like
  • More affordable
  • Good for emergencies
What we dislike
  • Very effort intensive
Key Takeaway

The K-TOR Pocket Socket  is a very effective in an emergency situation, where you quickly need to generate energy. However, for longer trips it may be better to consider options that are more energy efficient

Buyer's Guide for Portable Power Stations (Key Features)

With today’s world being so reliant on technology it is comforting to be able bring portable power stations along on your adventures, so that even when you are far from civilization you are still able to charge your devices.

If you are planning on hiking for several days at a time, these chargers are definitely worth adding to your gear.

Here are the key features you should look out for when buying your portable power station.

Charge

The power source of your portable device is something that you have to take into consideration.

The two main power sources being solar panels or a rechargeable battery/power bank.

Portable power stations that just use solar won’t be able to generate charge when there is no sunlight. However, they are very convenient as you don’t need to worry about them running out of energy. 

If you are hiking or camping in sunny areas a solar powered device may be all that you need.

On the other hand, you get power/ battery banks that charge your devices from a USB port or something similar.

Power banks are easy to use, as you just plug your devices into them to charge them.

You just have to keep in mind that your power bank also needs charging - either from a power outlet or from a solar panel (if the battery bank supports this).

Durability

There are many power stations available on the market, however, many of them aren't geared towards hiking and camping.​

If your charger will be spending time outdoors it is essential to look at how well it can stand up to the elements.

Being waterproof, or at least water resistant, is an important aspect that is worth taking into consideration before your purchase.

Another aspect to consider is whether or not the portable power station is dust resistant, as spending time outdoors means that chances of getting dirty are high.

Weight and Size

Both the weight and size of the power station is something to take into consideration.

If you are only camping this is less important than if you are carrying all your gear on a multi-day hike.

This is especially important if you are taking your power station on long hikes with you.

Smaller, lighter power stations that are easily folded or packed away definitely have an advantage in this regard.

Solar panel chargers have the advantage of being much flatter and lighter, and generally can fold up neatly when not in use.

Another advantage of the solar panels is that they often have clips so that you can clip them onto your pack back - this way you can use them, and they won’t be taking any valuable space.

Battery bank chargers aren’t quite as convenient in terms of size, but they trump the panels as they can charge regardless of the weather. 

Most battery banks aren’t too sizeable and will easily be able to fit into pockets in your pack.

Versatility

Portable power banks are a versatile piece of equipment that can easily be used beyond camping and hiking.

While your typical camping/ hiking power bank may have additional qualities (such as being waterproof) to your standard power bank, you can definitely use these devices when not on the trail.

If you have a power outage at home or you are spending a busy day on the road, these portable stations can come in handy anywhere.


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