Best Portable Power Pack for Camping (Buying Guide)
Many campers choose to go completely off the grid on their trips to the backcountry, using limited or no electrical devices. On the other hand, plenty of RVers and tent campers use portable power packs to give them a little more freedom and comfort on their camping trips. Portable power supplies are super convenient, they allow you to keep your devices up and running even when you’re away from city power. Camping power packs are also good to have around for safety reasons, they’re very useful in emergency situations.
When you’re camping with your family, a small portable power bank to recharge your phone isn’t enough. You’ll need a power station with a high capacity, enough to fully charge everyone’s devices. Just like you need a 6-person tent for a group camping trip, you need a power supply with enough juice to take care of everyone. There’s a huge selection of portable power stations on the market, all catering to different needs. After explaining the important information you need to know, we’ll reveal our selections for the best portable power pack for camping.
What is a portable power station?
A portable power station is a compact electrical device that is fitted with Lithium-ion batteries and charging docks, sometimes in the form of USB ports or AC outlets. The power stations or power packs can be charged using mains electricity or by wind or solar energy. They are considered a more environmentally friendly option because they do not require combustibles or fossil fuels such as wood, charcoal, or gasoline.
What are the benefits of using portable power for camping?
When out in the backcountry, many campers enjoy the feeling of being disconnected from the outside world, and just getting back to nature. However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a camping trip while still connected to modern conveniences.
A portable power pack is the best way to charge your devices while away from home, to keep your laptop and smartphone running. In emergency situations, a reliable power supply means you’ll be able to contact help, make phone calls, or use GPS. Some portable power packs even have enough juice to jump dead car batteries or power small appliances, such as a mini-fridge.
Having a power supply when camping gives you an extra layer of comfort and security, so campers can enjoy a slightly more sophisticated camping experience without having to worry about charging phones.
Best Portable Power Pack for Camping – Overview
- 396Wh lead acid battery portable power station can power up to 7 devices at once (33Ah @ 12V)
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 is an excellent way to get power at the campsite. It can power up to seven devices at one time, with several 2.1A USB ports perfect for charging up everyone’s iPhones and tablets. Cameras, laptops, and all the rest of your camping gadgets can be recharged, and the power pack can also provide backup power for lights and small appliances. At just under $500 dollars on Amazon, this power station is higher-budget, but its superior capacity makes it a worthwhile investment for the frequent camper.
This power station can be recharged using AC power, 12V can power, or solar panels (sold separately). This ideal camping power supply is an obvious improvement from gas-powered generators, with no noise, fumes, or maintenance needed. The Goal Zero Yeti 400 is a high capacity power station and will keep all your devices charged up and ready to go while camping. With a 396Wh lead-acid battery, this portable power bank has an output of 33Ah at 12V.
This portable power supply can charge a smartphone 30 times, a laptop 5 times, or even run a small appliance like a mini-fridge for several hours. The variety of charging ports allow for 7 devices to be plugged in at the same time, in USB ports, AC outlets, and 12V car outputs. This means on multi-day camping trips, you’ll be able to stay charged up the entire time, without a thing to worry about. The power station can be fully charged in 5 hours from a wall outlet and is completely safe and silent on the campsite.
One thing we don’t like about this power pack is its weight; at a hefty 29lbs it’s fine for car camping, but far too heavy for backpacking. Also, some useful cables and accessories line the 12v car charger must be bought separately, as they do not come with the device. This is a great dependable power supply if you can transport it to your campsite, if not we recommend you consider another option on our list.
- Can charge 7 devices simultaneously
- High capacity, will last your whole trip
- Limited storage capacity for the 12v system
- Cables and accessories are not included
2. Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
- Founded in California in 2012, Jackery specializes in providing outdoor green power solutions for explorers. Jackery portable power station, power outdoors.
The Jackery Explorer has a 240Mh lithium battery, designed specifically for camping, hunting, travel, and other outdoor use. Jackery provides a green power solution for campers and explorers, there’s no fuel or flames needed. This portable power station is specially made to power and charge laptops, mini-fridges, drones, and other outdoor electronics. It features 1 AC outlet, 2 USB ports, and 1 DC car port. Optionally, users can add solar panels for recharging the power bank, making it all the more portable and eco-friendly.
This particular camping power bank features a solid carry handle, adding to its ease of transportation. It weighs only 6.6lbs, a huge decrease from the previous power bank we discussed. This portable power supply is a much better option for backpackers and lighter-weight campers, charging and powering any device operation at less than 200 Watts.
A handy LCD screen displays battery life and status, meaning you can stay up to date on how much charging time you have left. This portable power bank is small but powerful, it even has the capability to power a window A/C unit. Campers will find this power bank very useful for charging their iPhone, or iPad, or keeping their fan spinning on a hot day. An electric fan is one great way to stay cool in the summer, for more read about how to stay cool while camping for some useful hot-weather tips.
With the Jackery Explorer’s highly portable size, users must make concessions when it comes to power. Unlike other power stations on this list, this one just doesn’t have enough juice to power a TV or any other appliance over 200 Watts. This puts a limit on its usefulness, those who can carry larger equipment may want to think about a more powerful camping solution. This portable charger is available for $249.99 on Amazon, with a solar charger sold separately.
- Very lightweight
- Easy to transport
- Lots of charging power for its size
- Higher output would be useful
- Beeping noise made by the device can be annoying
3. SUAOKI S270 Portable Power Station
- 【BE COMPACT, BE EFFICIENT】 SUAOKI S270 is not only the most compact power station in the market, but also features as many output ports as possible, think of it, size of two coffee mugs hold 150wh...
If you need a compact and portable power source with lots of charging outlets, consider the SUAOKI S270. It’s one of the most efficiently sized power stations on the market and has 10 outlet ports of various types. Weighing only 2.9 lbs, this ultra-portable battery pack is an excellent choice for a camping power supply. A capacity of 150Wh can charge through 4 USB ports, 4 DC ports, and 2 output plug sockets. The range of options makes this product ideal for outdoor use, it can power cameras, smartphones, laptops, festival lights, and any other device that runs under 100W.
This low wattage is again the price campers must pay for portability. This power station is highly convenient, easily portable, and can charge a range of devices. However, it just doesn’t have as much juice as some other options. If you need to keep a few small devices fully charged, this SUAOKI model is ideal. On the other hand, if you need to power devices with a much higher wattage, you’ll need one of the heavier-duty power banks.
A solar charger is sold separately for this power station, so you can recharge in an eco-friendly way. This zero-emissions solar generator is a great way to get power at your campsite, without harming the environment, and easily too! Otherwise, plug it into an AC wall power output or 12v car port to be back at full power within 8 hours.
This power bank will fully recharge your smartphone during a power outage, but it’s not big enough to power any small appliances. Another issue is that the solar panel will likely take much longer to fully charge the power bank, depending on the weather conditions. Some users have also called into question the quality of this portable charger, as the USB ports have been reported to be misaligned. It might be worth it to shell out for a better-known name brand, but for a budget option, the SUAOKI S270 is a good choice at $125.99.
- Very lightweight with great portability
- 10 different power outlets to charge all your devices
- Can only power devices at 100 Watts or less
- Not as high quality as other brands
4. AIPER 167Wh Portable Power Station
- 【Large Capacity Battery Power】: Comparing to 42000mAh items, Aiper Smart 45000mAh 167Wh portable generator provides larger power capacity, that means it can efficiently power up the same...
This portable power station also doubles as a solar generator, with a respectable 45000mAh capacity. The power output is 167Wh, ideal for power outages and other emergencies as well as camping. With this high capacity, a camper could recharge their iPhone 8 fully 20 times. The AIPER portable power station weighs only 3.52lbs, and a convenient carry handle gives it great portability.
For outdoor enthusiasts, this power bank makes a great travel companion. It’s lightweight and will keep your devices running when you’re away from home. Eco-conscious campers can purchase separate solar panels for recharging in an environmentally friendly way. Plenty of safety features mean you can put your mind at ease with this charger, there’s no dangerous fuels or fumes, and short-circuit protection is installed.
Perfect for powering small devices such as lights and radios, this little power supply will make your campsite feel like home. A selection of AC, DC, and USB power outlets gives you lots of versatility, and you can recharge the power bank using AC power or a 12V car port. At $149.99 on Amazon, this power bank is a good middle-of-the-road product. Unfortunately, it’s not large enough to fuel high-power appliances like refrigerators, so if you need a power source with more juice you’ll need to consider a different option.
- Good selection of power outlets
- Not powerful enough for small appliances
- Capacity might not be as high as advertised
5. Anker Powerhouse 200 Portable Rechargeable Generator
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million+ powered by our leading technology.
Anker is a leading name in portable power and charging, with over 30 million users worldwide. Their brand has earned a stellar reputation with its high value and high-quality products. Campers must always make sure their equipment is reliable, as being trapped in the backcountry with no power can turn into a sticky situation. Buying from a trusted brand like Anker means you can rely on your kit to recharge and power your devices just as it should.
The Anker Powerhouse has a 57600mAh, or 200Wh capacity, enough to charge a Macbook Pro 5 times. This portable power source can also run small appliances, for example, a mini-fridge would run for 4 hours before needing a recharge. Use an AC power outlet or USB car or wall charger to replenish your Powerhouse once it’s out, and the cables are included. This process takes 6.5 hours with the supplied AC adapter.
This portable generator promises clean and silent power at the campsite, and weighing only 6 pounds it’s an easily transported item. Unfortunately, there are some downsides to this power pack. Fast charging isn’t supported for some devices, and some Bluetooth headsets and other small devices with an input below 50mA aren’t compatible.
Anker’s Powerhouse packs a fair punch considering its small size, but in actuality, it’s not as efficient as some of Anker’s other power banks. Comparing the weight and battery size, an Anker Powercore might be a better choice for some campers. For $299.99 from Amazon, campers can rest easy knowing they have a reliable power source.
- High capacity for the size
- Reliable name brand
- Clean and silent power
- Low capacity for weight in comparison to other Anker products
- Fast charging may not be supported
- LONG-LASTING HEAT - The high capacity, insulated 11-liter soft Helio tank heats water using sunlight; Heated water stays piping hot for hours so you can clean up on your schedule
This portable charger is the best available for recharging small devices. The high 4.8 amp output means this power bank will charge your phone, tablet, music device, and pretty much anything else charged using a USB cable. The Anker PowerCore delivers the fastest possible charge to your devices, up to twice as fast as your regular charging cable.
This portable power source is perfect for campers who just need to keep their phones charged. The power capacity is incredibly high compared to its weight of 0.8lbs, making it much more efficient than the previously mentioned Anker Powerhouse. However, the reason for this is that two USB ports are all the Powercore has to offer, there are no AC or DC outlets on this power source. This means that powering small appliances is out of the question, this charger is only for smaller personal devices.
We recommend this power bank to anyone who needs some extra charging juice on the go, for campers it’s perfect. The Anker Powercore will recharge your phone time after time, making long multi-day camping trips easy. For less than $50, you’ll never have to worry about your phone running out again. However, if you need to power a cooler or mini-fridge, a larger power station will be required.
- Highly efficient
- Lightweight and portable
- Best for charging smartphones
- USB outlet only, no AC plugs
- Can only charge smaller devices, max output 4.8 amps
When out on a camping trip, there’s a range of reasons you might need a portable power station. If you just need to recharge your phone and perhaps power a few LED lights, a lightweight unit with a smaller capacity is enough. On the other hand, high capacity power banks can power mini-fridges, laptops, even TVs. A variety of power outputs with a range of capacities are available, so decide what kind of power source you need.
Being away from the AC outlets in your home might make you think there’s no chance of charging your laptop, but there are plenty of options for the camper in need of electronics. The best portable power packs for camping are all listed here, so one of these should make a great addition to your collection of outdoor gear.
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 has the highest capacity and we recommend this power pack to campers who use a lot of energy in the backcountry. With the ability to charge 7 devices simultaneously, it’s a definite high-power option. However, the heavy weight and hefty price tag mean this option is a no-go for those on a budget, and it’s not as portable as other options.
The Anker Powerhouse is lighter and comes from a reliable name brand, and it’s smaller cousin the Powercore provides for those who don’t need as much juice. One of these Anker devices should fulfill your needs; they’re both lightweight and can charge USB only, or USB, AC, and DC devices depending on your choice.
Power supplies when camping no longer needs to be a problem, it’s so easy to bring a portable power pack along. Armed and equipped with your new charging gadget, you’ll be ready to take on the backcountry fully prepared.
Bonus tip: Watch this short clip to find out more about the Anker Powerhouse!