Portable Rechargeable Power Supply – Perfect for Camping
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all live in a power based world. We all have cell phones and laptops, digital cameras, and other devices, even when we are off the grid. That is why there are so many people who try to find the perfect generator. Many put a lot of effort into searching and researching generators that are portable yet quiet. However, not everyone wants a fuel powered generator. Fortunately, large power banks are becoming available which are silent yet provide AC power.
A battery powered electrical outlet is not able to produce enough power to run your entire house. Although they may not be able to run your central heat and air unit, they are able to power smaller electronics. For example, power supplies can power items such as a television and mini fridge as well as your sensitive cell phones and laptops. These units run quietly and many have more than one outlet. Power supplies can be recharged by using a wall outlet or your vehicle’s 12V cigarette lighter. These power supplies work the same way as cell phone power banks, just on a larger scale. We’ve reviewed quite a few of these, some more in depth than other. Directly below are our most in depth reviews [with video reviews].
[Updated February 2020] The MaxOak is the most advanced portable power station we have tested to date. The wireless charging feature present on the top of the power bank sets this unit apart from competitors. The MaxOak can be charged via wall outlet (AC Power) DC (cigarette lighter in a car) OR via solar panels. Another feature on the MaxOak 50AC that we rarely see on other power stations is a LED Lamp. Unlike many other power banks which often have an underpowered and underwhelming flash light, this is a proper lantern/lamp. Coupled with the wireless charging station on top, this is the ultimate setup for tent camping.
15 Watt On CPAP Machine
One of the most common questions we receive in regards to portable rechargeable power supplies is in relation to CPAP Machines. Many are curious if the power bank will provide enough AC power to sufficiently power a CPAP Machine. We put this to the test, and the MaxOak handled the task with no problem. The LCD display on the front of the Bluetti provides readouts of Watt Consumption. The CPAP machine we tested only consumed power (according to the Power Bank LCD) on inhale and it was consistently 10-15 watts. Needless to say this power bank should be able to power a CPAP Machine for multiple days worth of use. This makes it the perfect backup power supply for those with Sleep Apnea AND can power other camping electronics like drone batteries, phones, laptops etc.
MaxOak Power Supply
We also tested the MaxOak on an external monitor (30 inch screen) and a macbook pro. While charging both the laptop and powering the external monitor, the MaxOak LCD displayed roughly 70-80Watts. This should provide insight to those that would be interested if this power bank would work for tailgating to power a small TV. After our testing, this should handle the duration of a tailgate without any problem. For those lighter users powering only phones and laptop, I believe that one full charge of the MaxOak should provide enough power for multiple days of camping, even for multiple campers.
The biggest selling point of this inverter generator bank is the noise output. The MaxOak produces virtually no noise, aside from minor fan noise under heavy use. See video below. Many of our readers compare these types of power supplies compared to gas powered generators. There is absolutely no comparison between the two. Yet, for most of the average tent campers powering small electronics, the MaxOak should suffice. Needless to say, the MaxOak is the latest and greatest in terms on features offered in an ultra portable rechargeable power supply.
When testing the G500 Power Station, we had already tested the ANKER (review below) so we had a baseline to compare to. The Suaoki is a much larger unit compared to the Powerhouse. Having said that, it does offer an additional 100watt hour charge. The biggest selling point [for us] of this larger unit was the DUAL AC receptacles. This is a nice touch to be able to charge two laptops at the same time. On the topic of laptop charges, we tested how many full charges the Power Station could provide. When charging a 2012 Macbook pro while editing videos (like the one below), we experienced 4 full charges. We considered a full charge from 20% to 100%. This a full charge and a half more than we experienced with the ANKER. When charge a more efficient Macbook air, we recorded well over 8+ full charges while editing video. Charging iPhones, drone batteries, and other small items hardly put a dent in the Power Station’s reserve bank.
Inflating Kayak With Suaoki
One minor difference on the Power Station which we found to have a massive impact on practical usage was the output of 2.7amps. The ANKER only puts out 1.09amp which prevented us from running many necessary electronics. Most notably, the Power Station gave us the ability to power a portable inflator/deflator for floats, inflatable kayaks and air mattresses. It was amazing how many more small electronics we could power with an additional amp output. We plugged the Power Station in over night and it was fully charged by morning. The best feature for us was the fact that we could charge two laptops at the same time WHILE knowing it was Pure Sine Wave output. We have already fried several Macbook batteries due to cheap inverters. This now our favorite camping accessory to keep us working while on the road (or in the mountains).
We tested the ANKER Power House 400wH power bank under real world circumstances. We work on the road, traveling in our travel trailer, so portable power is essential in getting work done. Even more important is the noise level our power supply emits. State campgrounds, National Parks and many other camp sites require generators to be shut off at a certain time in the evening. This has been an issue for us as we work in the evenings and early in the morning, yet we are unable to run our generator at these times. The BIGGEST selling point of the ANKER is the fact that it is silent, yet powerful enough to juice up our laptops. In fact, this was the test we ran; how many Macbook charges can we get out of a fully charged Anker Power House?
Turns out, the length of output is highly dependent on what is being powered. A 2012 Macbook pro battery is less efficient than a 2013 Macbook air. We experienced (as shown in video) 2.5-3 full Macbook pro charges (old version with bad battery) while using resource intensive editing software. The Macbook air on the other hand can be fully charged 6-8 times depending on which applications are running. An iPhone, power bank, or hotspot can be charged significantly more times.
We really didn’t know how much we would use this power bank, but we quickly realized that it is significantly more useful than originally thought. Whether its charging a laptop in the truck while driving or charging our phones at night when a generator is not practical, the ANKER has earned two thumbs up.
The Power Station by Suaoki is the largest portable power bank we have tested. At 500 watt-hours, the G500 packs enough juice for 8+ full Macbook air charges, while heavily using the laptop. Additionally, the power pack outputs more amperage than most smaller units. The additional amperage allowed us to power even more electronics while camping. The ability to power our inflator has cut the setup time of our inflatable kayak by over 50%. Most importantly, this is one of the very few portable power solutions which provides TWO AC receptacles. These two receptacles allow us to charge two laptops at the same time. This is one of the larger, not only in stored power, but physical size as well. However, this is not an inconvenience [for us anyways] considering the additional stored power & power output. For those really looking for an off-grid option, the G500 is solar panel compatible.
This lithium Ion battery can be charged by an AC outlet or solar panels. It is versatile and portable. It comes with a variety of outputs so that you can power different devices. This one rechargeable battery holds enough power to charge an iPhone 10+ times, but it can also power laptops, televisions, and even mini-refrigerators. It has a battery indicator, a carrying handle, and an aluminum alloy shell.
This generator is very portable and can connect through 12V car ports, AC, and USB outputs. It is great for off the grid power supply needs when camping or enjoying other things. It can power laptops, televisions, lamps, and small refrigerators with ease.
This power source has a total of five outlets so that it can power multiple devices at one time. It is a sealed, 51Ah AGM battery and recharges easily using any AC wall outlet. It also has a digital LED display to tell you what kind of power it has left.
This power station has 2 AC, 1 DC, and 1 USB port. There is an on-board cable and clamp storage area. It has a keyless on and off switch. You can trust in an alarm that warns against improper battery connections.
This one device can operate or charge many 12v devices ensuring that you always have the electronics you depend on. It can also inflate tires and air mattresses as well as other inflatables easily. You can charge it using your car or a wall outlet and it comes with many accessories to make all jobs easier.
This small 100-watt portable generator is ideal for tablets, laptops, fans, televisions and other small electronics. It is very compact making it easy to move virtually anywhere. The overall size measures 6.5 x 3.1 x 6.9 inches and weighs only 3.3 pounds. It has three 12V DC ports, two 110 AC outlet inverters, and two USB ports. It charges when plugged into a wall outlet in only 8 hours, but it can also be charged in your vehicle using the 12V adapter. This unit boast 150 watt hours, that is capable of recharging via solar panels which can be purchased separately.
This generator provides up to 1,500 watts of household power. The surge power rating is 3,000W. On board providing power is a 51Ah AGM battery. AC and DC plugs are included. Although this is larger than most portable power supplies, it is very easy to transport thanks to its unique, wheeled design. Many owners agree that it is a great alternative to traditional generators. However, it is heavier than some portable generators at 60 pounds. What makes this better than an actually generators is the fact that the Xpower Powerpack does not produce any noise or fumes. There are also no moving parts. It can be used at home to power refrigerators and all smaller appliances, but can also work well on the job site where you may need to power lights and saws.
This 500Wh portable power station has an 110V/300W AC Inverter. It has a huge capacity to power up devices. For example a smartphone can be recharged 40+ times on a single charge [of the unit]. A solar panel can provide a complete charge in 7 hours or less, depending on the amount of sunshine or you can plug it into a wall outlet and charge it in about 6hrs. Jackery offers a 24-month warranty and a customer support team that is available 24/7. Lastly, it has several charging options including a car socket, AC outlet, and two USB ports.
This generator works as a jump starter, so there are Sure-Grip clamps that can work with top or side mount batteries. You can store it easily and it is maintenance free. It is lightweight at only 24 pounds and measures only 12.2 x 12.5 x 12.1 inches. It runs very quietly, however the air compressor does make noise when you first turn it on. There are two 12v, two 110, and one USB plug available, but it is the one machine that can do more than power up appliances.