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The best portable power stations for camping: Expert tested

We tested the best portable power stations for camping to power your most essential devices, whether you're tent camping or staying in an RV.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer
Jackery Explorer 2000 Plus | Best portable power station for camping overall
Jackery Explorer 2000 Plus along with an add-on PackPlus E2000 Plus battery pack
Jackery Explorer 2000 Plus
Best portable power station for camping overall
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EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra | Best portable power station for RV camping
EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra
EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra
Best portable power station for RV camping
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EcoFlow River 2 Max | Best portable power station for overnight camping
EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max
EcoFlow River 2 Max
Best portable power station for overnight camping
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Bluetti AC70 | Best budget portable power station for camping
Bluetti AC70
Bluetti AC70
Best budget portable power station for camping
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Anker 757 Powerhouse | Best versatile portable power station for camping
Anker 757 Powerhouse
Best versatile portable power station for camping
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The joy of going camping is usually found in going off-grid for a few days and reconnecting with nature. However, having creature comforts like light and warmth and even access to life-saving devices like a CPAP machine make it worth having power.

That's where portable power stations come in. Power stations range in power capacity and size, but you can find a portable power station for every type of camping, whether you're a backpacker, a car camper, or an RVer. 

Also: The best portable power stations you can buy

What is the best portable power station for camping right now? 

We've tested dozens of portable power stations in a lab setting, and have also done hands-on testing during camping trips and road trips. Based on both experiences, our pick for the best portable power station for camping overall is the Jackery Explorer 2000 Plus, thanks to its versatility and the amount of power it provides. As an avid camper myself, I've also included other portable power stations from brands like EcoFlow, Bluetti, and more, so you can improve your next camping experience.

Also: Everything you need to upgrade your camping trip

The best portable power stations for camping in 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Clean, easy-to-read LCD display
  • Expansion battery modules
  • Solar panels are durable and highly efficient
  • Wheels make moving it a lot easier
  • Expensive
More Details

Jackery is a well-known brand in the power station space, and for good reason. Its versatile power stations consistently rank among our best products, thanks to the enormous power these devices provide and their flexibility in setup, especially in a camping scenario.

Steve Conaway, the Director of CNET Test Labs (at our sister site), has tested dozens of power stations, and said the Jackery is one of his top picks. "The versatility of modularity is what makes this power station so impressive," Conaway said. "You can choose to take just the one unit for regular camping, but if you wanted a bigger setup to power a cabin, you could easily add on more units."

Review: This portable battery station can power your home for 2 weeks

In our lab testing of the 2000 Plus unit, we found it charged devices at 17.76Wh per minute, and it took 48 minutes to charge a device to 50% and one hour and 18 minutes to charge a device to 80%. Plus, you can add on the PackPlus E2000 Plus battery pack for additional 2042.8Wh of electrical storage capacity to the system.

Remember that the more additions you add to this setup, the heavier it will be. On its own, it weighs 41.9 pounds but can reach well over 100 pounds with more units. Despite the weight, Reddit users note the solar additions in particular have been useful in camping and outdoor situations.

Jackery Explorer 2000 Plus specs: Watts/hr: 2042.8W | Continuous watts: 3000W | Surge watts: 6000W | Solar input (W): 1400 | Ports: 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, 4 AC | Weight: 61.5 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Expandable to up to 90kWh
  • Consumption insights in EcoFlow app
  • Modular design
  • Expensive
  • Heavy
More Details

Not everyone camps the same way, so for those who head to the outdoors in an RV or to a remote cabin, the EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra (DPU) is a powerful option. EcoFlow debuted the Delta Pro Ultra at CES this year, and compared to the EcoFlow Delta Pro model, the Ultra has double the power and charges, a dedicated 4G LTE modem port to access the app in remote areas with weak Wi-Fi signals, and a 32-minute faster recharge time.

ZDNET editor Maria Diaz went hands-on with this unit, and called it the "Swiss Army Knife of home backup systems," and its impressive specs back that claim up. The single unit has a 6kWh capacity, 7200W output, and 5.6kW of solar input, allowing it to run an entire RV or cabin, especially when stacked with other units for increased capacity.

Review: The EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra is the home backup system we needed during a recent storm

This great power packs a lot of weight --186.4 pounds, to be exact. However, it can be divided into two pieces: the inverter (top portion) is 70 pounds, and the battery (bottom portion) is 116. Diaz noted that her family experienced a power outage recently, and her husband was able to transport the battery part much easier by separating the pieces.

EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra specs: Watts/hr. 7200W | Continuous watts: 6kWh | Surge watts: 10.8 kW | Solar input (W): 5.6kW | Ports: 2×USB-A, 2×USB-C (100W), 6×AC Output, 1×DC output | Weight: 186.4 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable build
  • Inexpensive
  • More limited ports and power
More Details

Looking for something more compact for overnight camping or hiking? The EcoFlow River 2 Max weighs just 13.4 pounds but has a battery capacity of 512Wh. In addition, you can recharge the unit using one of four methods -- AC, solar, 12V in-car, and USB-C. If you choose AC, the unit can go from zero to 100% in an hour, which means you can leave charging to the last minute while camping.

The company claims that one full charge of the River 2 Max can charge an iPhone 41 times, a drone 10 times, and an electric blanket eight times.

Review: I found the Goldilocks of portable power stations

ZDNET contributor Adrian Kingsley-Hughes tested this unit, and called it "compact enough to be portable, big enough to be practical." "If you want to go totally off-grid, EcoFlow offers a 160W solar panel that can recharge the River 2 Max in about four hours," he wrote. "The panel is durable and waterproof to IP68, so it's the perfect adventure companion for the River 2 Max."

Verified Amazon customers note that this compact unit has been helpful for everything from camping festivals to powering a CPAP machine in primitive areas.

EcoFlow River 2 Max specs: Watts/hr: 512W | Continuous watts: 500W | Surge watts: 1000W | Solar input (W): 220W | Ports: 3 USB-A, 1 USB-C, 4 AC | Weight: 13.4 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Turbocharge feature
  • Affordable price
  • Some of the better features are only available by using the app
More Details

Portable power stations can get pretty pricey, but this one from Bluetti retails at $449, making it a great budget pick. Plus, it charges quickly, especially when utilizing its turbocharging feature. In our lab testing, the AC70 took only 33 minutes to charge a device to 80% battery in turbo.

Hughes tested this model as well, and praised this unit for delivering enough power to energy-intensive devices during a road trip. "It has enough capacity to meet the needs of a small group for several days," he wrote, adding, "I've relied on the power station to charge my smartphone, cameras, drones, and laptops efficiently."

Review: I tested one of the cheapest portable power stations and it made road-tripping a breeze

He also found in his testing that charging the station from a car's 12V outlet is particularly efficient for keeping the unit charged, as long as the battery is not drained too much.

Verified customers praised the AC70 on Bluetti's website, with most of the reviewers saying they bought it for camping and were pleased with the experience of using it for this purpose. 

Bluetti AC70 specs: Watts/hr: 768W | Continuous watts: 1000W | Surge watts: 2000W | Solar input (W): 500W | Ports: 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, 2 AC | Weight: 22.5 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Ergonomic design
  • Lots of ports
  • Large display
  • Solar charging could be better
More Details

What makes this portable power station so versatile for camping is the amount of power and port options. There's a 100W and 60W USB-C port on the front, along with four USB-A ports, so all your devices are covered. There is also a 12V car socket capable of outputting 120W of power, and six AC outputs each capable of 1500W or 2400W in a power surge.

Hughes tested this unit, and said in his review that the Anker 757 Powerhouse is "well thought out, not overly complicated, built with ergonomics in mind, and packs quite a lot of power." 

Review: Anker 757 Powerhouse

That power is demonstrated in our lab testing, too: the 757 took 40 minutes to charge a device to 50% and a little over one hour to charge a device to 80%. 

Customer reviews note that adding portable solar panels allows for greater battery charge retention, especially while camping. Hughes said that while he wouldn't carry this unit too far (it weighs 43.9 pounds), the ergonomic handles distribute the weight well.

Anker 757 Powerhouse specs: Watts/hr: 1229W | Continuous watts: 1500 | Surge watts: 2400 | Solar input (W): 600W | Ports: 4 USB-A, 2 USB-C, 6 AC | Weight: 43.9 pounds

What is the best portable power station for camping?

Based on our hands-on experience and in-lab testing, the best portable power station for camping is the Jackery Explorer 2000 Plus. Its modularity makes it a versatile option for all types of camping.

Which portable power station for camping is right for you?

It depends on the type of camping you are looking to do before you choose which portable power station will fit your needs. Consider what devices you want to bring with you and keep powered and whether you will be staying in an RV or cabin vs. a tent.

Choose this portable power station for camping...

If you want...

Jackery Explorer 2000 Plus

The best overall option. It packs a lot of power at 3000 continuous watts, and its modularity makes it versatile for camping.

EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra

A powerful portable power station best for RV camping. It can run an entire RV or cabin, especially when stacked with other units for increased capacity.

EcoFlow River 2 Max

A compact portable power station for camping. It weighs just 13.4 pounds and is rated IP68 for water- and dust-proof.

Bluetti AC70

A budget-friendly portable power station for camping. This unit also has a turbocharging feature which allows for super fast charging.

Anker 757 Powerhouse 

A versatile portable power station for camping with lots of ports. It also has an ergonomic build, making it easier to carry despite its weight.

Factors to consider when choosing the best portable power station for camping:

Power stations are a significant investment, but they can ultimately upgrade your camping experience to allow for power off-grid. Before making our top picks, we considered several factors.

  • Weight: Bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to camping. Will the portable power station be wheeled down a paved trail, or will you be moving it from your vehicle to your camp? Do you want something you could carry in a backpack for a day? 
  • Battery capacity: If you plan to power an RV or bigger devices from your power station, you want as much battery capacity as you can afford, but for off-grid adventures, it's important to bear in mind that there's a penalty here in the form of weight.
  • Cost: Some units cost several thousand dollars, while others cost a couple hundred. Plus, add-ons like battery packs and solar panels also increase the price.
  • Charging: How do you plan on charging your power station? Are you mostly going to use AC power from an outlet, or do you want the independence of solar?
  • Battery Chemistry: Lithium-ion (Li-ion) is the traditional battery technology, but the newer lithium iron phosphate batteries (LiFePO4) are safer and have a much longer lifespan.

How did we test these portable power stations for camping?

When making our top picks for the best portable power stations for camping, we combined our hands-on experience as well as lab testing data to make our top picks. When testing a portable power station, ZDNET staff pays attention to battery capacity, charge and discharge times, and how they handle overloading. We also make sure each unit is safety tested to make sure that it is safe for prolonged, heavy use.

In addition, we have tested some of these units in lab-controlled settings, conducting capacity tests and charging performance. 

What features are the most important to keep in mind when using a portable power station for camping?

Again, this entirely relies on the type of camping you'll be doing. Conaway says mobility and size are essential features.

"Sometimes, it helps having smaller pieces/modular components so you can leave part with the RV, and take the other power with you," he said.

Conaway said solar features would be ideal for tent camping, and lots of connection ports would be good for RV camping since you'll likely be running heat/AC in this case. 

How long will a power station last while camping (based on its watts)?

Conaway provided a basic formula to determine how long a portable power station will power your devices while camping.

Device A.  Wattage x number of hours = Power A
Device B.  Wattage x number of hours = Power B
Device C.  Wattage x number of hours = Power C
PowerA + PowerB + PowerC = Total daily power or (TDP)

"My general recommendation is to match solar panels (if you plan to recharge by solar) roughly equivalent to your daily power consumption, then choose a power station with a capacity of at least 2x the capacity you need for 24 hours," Conaway said. "If you're only planning two-to-three-day trips, you can cut down on either total capacity or solar recharge."

He said that once you calculate your TDP, divide that into your total capacity to determine how long you'll have power.  

"It is rarely a straightforward answer since devices are likely to be charged at different times/intervals anyway," Conaway added. "You're usually going to see somewhere around 85-90% usable capacity of whatever the power station's stated capacity is."

What is the difference between a power station and a power bank?

The main difference between portable power stations and portable power banks is the amount of power and what they can charge. Power stations have AC outlets and allow you to charge more and bigger devices, including life-saving ones like a CPAP machine, a cooler, or a floodlight for the campsite while going off-grid.

Power banks are much smaller and are best for charging devices like phones, headphones, smartwatches, etc. 

Other portable power stations we've tested:

We've gone hands-on with other power stations that are portable enough to take on your next camping trip. Here are a few other worthy mentions. 

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