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This portable power station has a standout feature that makes camping safer than ever

The Anker Solix C800 Plus has a trick up its sleeve that I wish more portable power stations had.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Anker SOLIX C800 Plus

Anker Solix C800 Plus 

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Anker Solix C800 Plus portable power station is currently available on Amazon for $600 (with the clip-on coupon).
  • It's a powerful, well-made power station that delivers on everything it promises, and the camping lights are a useful addition.
  • I just wish it was weather-resistant and the top compartment was less fiddly to close.

Power stations have totally flipped the script on how I get things done when I'm off the grid. Hauling around a robust box packed with power has been a complete game changer. Plus, the ability to hook it up to solar panels for a recharge? That's the kind of freedom I used to only dream about. 

Also: The best portable power stations you can buy: Expert tested

But now, we've hit a point where, aside from the brand and how much power they can hold, there's not much that sets one power station apart from another. That is until someone decides to shake things up. And guess what? Anker went and did exactly that with the Solix C800 Plus, the first portable power station with detachable 3-mode camping lights.

Note that I am testing the UK version, so the AC ports are different from that found on the US version. 

View at Amazon

Anker Solix C800 Plus tech specs

  • Capacity: 768Wh
  • AC Output: 1200W (SurgePad 1600W)
  • Ports: 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A, 5x AC Output, 1x car socket
  • AC Output: 120V~10A, 60Hz, 1200W Max
  • USB-C Output (100W): 5V⎓3A / 9V⎓3A / 15V⎓3A / 20V⎓3A / 20V⎓5A (100W max)
  • USB-C Output (30W): 5V⎓3A / 9V⎓3A / 12V⎓2.5A (30W max)
  • USB-A Output: 5V⎓2.4A (12W Max) per port
  • Car Charger Output: 12V⎓10A
  • AC Input: 750W standard, 1100W UltraFast charging, 1440W max in Bypass charging mode
  • XT60 Input: 300W max
  • Battery Type: Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)
  • Accessories: 2 x camping lights (8 – 130 hour runtime), 3.3 ft/1 m retractable pole
  • Dimensions: 14.61 x 8.07 x 9.96 in/371 × 205 × 253 mm
  • Weight: 24 lb / 10.9 kg
  • Operating Temperature: -4°F-104°F / -20°C-40°C
  • Charging Temperature: 32°F-104°F / 0°C-40°C
  • Warranty: 5 years 

The Solix C800 Plus, at its heart, is a power beast, stuffed with durable LiFePO4 batteries that can stash a whopping 768Wh of power. Plus, it's got ten ports ready to charge up all your gadgets. It's like the Goldilocks of power stations; it's just the perfect size, packing plenty of punch without being a hassle to lug around.

The SOLIX C800 Plus falls into that Goldilocks zone -- not too big to be a pain in the back to move, but not too small as to make is useless!

The Solix C800 Plus falls into that Goldilocks zone -- not too big to be a pain in the back to move, but not too small as to make it useless!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

That said, at 24 pounds, it's not something you're going to slip into a pocket or be carrying for miles, but it is light enough to haul about a home, workshop, or camp.

Also: I tested the world's smallest power station, and it's a solar-charging beast

The interface on this unit is exactly what I look for in a power station -- just a few buttons to manage powering it on and off, controlling the AC outputs, turning the front-mounted LED light strip on and off, and enabling and disabling Bluetooth. Additionally, it's got this super-clear LCD panel that's a breeze to read day or night.

Big, easy to use and easy to understand buttons

Big, easy to use and easy to understand buttons

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

When I review power stations, I put them through the wringer to check if they really live up to what's promised on the spec sheet -- and that means testing battery capacity, how quickly the unit recharges (it takes just under an hour), what each port can actually output, and see if the AC can handle a bit of overload without freaking out or exploding. Since you've already read the headline, you can be sure that the Solix nailed all these tests with flying colors.

The unit is also incredibly well-built. Anker has housed the Solix C800 Plus' industrial-grade components and advanced circuitry in a tough, drop-proof, unibody construction shell. I can stand and jump on this unit and it doesn't flex or creak or seem like it's going to implode, which is good.

Also: The most durable power station I've tested dares Mother Nature to do her worst 

But this is all pretty standard for a good-quality power station. Where the Solix C800 Plus shines are the accessories hidden inside a flip-top compartment on the top of the unit. 

Inside this compartment are two battery-powered LED lights and a telescopic pole. 

Two battery-powered LED lights and a telescopic pole

Two battery-powered LED lights and a telescopic pole

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The lights have variable brightness and can be switched between candle, floodlight, or flashlight mode, and these have a duration of between eight and 130 hours depending on the brightness. 

Super useful camping lights

Super useful camping lights

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

These lights recharge automatically when housed in their compartment.

Tucked in there with the lights is this cool telescopic pole. It expands out to 3.3ft (about one meter) and attaches securely to the power station through a custom attachment point. 

The telescopic pole attaches to the power station

The telescopic pole attaches to the power station

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The real stroke of genius is in how the lights hook up to the pole. It's straightforward but brilliant! At the pole's tip is a metal ball, and the light snaps on with a magnet. What's cooler is that you can angle the light any which way you need.

Also: The best portable power stations for camping in 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

This setup is fantastic. Sure, lots of power stations come with a light, but having a light down on the ground isn't always the brightest idea. It's way more useful to have it up at hand height, right where you're working.

Cool swivel feature

Cool swivel feature

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

At first, I thought this feature was just a flashy gimmick, but being able to elevate the light from the ground to a more practical height turned out to be incredibly handy.

I'm totally sold on this feature now!

ZDNET's buying advice

The Anker Solix C800 Plus is not your ordinary power station; it's got a special twist. At first glance, it looks like your run-of-the-mill, sturdy power station built for top-notch performance and durability. And after a few weeks of putting it to the test, it hasn't disappointed me at all. It's managed to power up everything I've needed, from kitchen gadgets to hefty power tools.

But here's where it gets interesting -- the addition of the camping lights. These aren't just any lights; they could double as work lights or be a lifesaver during a blackout. What's cool about them is their adjustable brightness and their surprisingly long battery life, even on the highest setting. Trust me, having lights that can move up from the floor to wherever you need them is way more handy than you'd think.

For $600 -- there's currently a $50 off coupon on Amazon -- this is a fantastic power station that won't disappoint and will give you years of service. 

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