The best portable power station brands deliver efficiency and reliability at an affordable price.
Usually, electricity in South Africa is accessed from the grid through power supply companies like Eskom. Sometimes, power supply companies can ration power as a management measure. In this case, you can store that electricity in portable power stations and use it during blackouts or loadshedding.
Portable power stations are units with rechargeable batteries that provide electricity off the grid. They are like power banks except they have bigger capacities to store electricity.
Over the years, access to power remotely has become a need for those who want to use electrical appliances outside areas serviced by national power grid. For instance field content creators like wildlife photographers need portable power stations to power their equipment out in the wild. These devices are also useful when you need to use electrical appliances during power outages.
Like any other product, you need to buy the best portable power station for your use. Read on as we discuss the best products for you to consider buying.
What Makes a Good Portable Power Station
Portable power stations are ultimately judged by how much energy they can cram into the smallest size in comparison to its competitors. The energy is measured in Wh, which is ideally how much wattage it can output every hour. Depending on your appliances, the time will vary though. This is because different appliances consume different levels of energy (Wh). Larger capacity portable power stations might read in kWh, which is 1000Wh per unit. For perspective, a laptop battery is measured in Wh with the largest being 99Wh.
For convenience, portable power stations are also gauged by how many output ports are available and the types. At the higher ends where they start to get expensive, convenience is increased by the system’s ability to fast charge. Durability and ease of transportation also factor in when talking about convenience. Recent models also come with the ability to solar charge.
And so brands that have consistently had portable power stations that balance out these features at competitive prices are the best brands. This article will highlight these standout companies by taking a look at what makes their products better than the rest. From the list, you will find portable power stations that are convenient for any use case.
Jackery is a Silicon Valley-based tech company that was founded in 2012 with the aim to increase the use of green energy. As well as portable power stations, the tech company also specializes in solar batteries. Over its lifetime, Jackery has made several inventions towards green energy and got several recognitions globally for their effort.
In 2016, for example, the company made the first portable Lithium power station. Lithium-ion and Lithium-polymer batteries are currently the world standard for rechargeable batteries. They are used in electric vehicles, solar home batteries, and laptop batteries just to name a few. With the introduction of this groundbreaking technology, Jackery took portable power stations to a new level.
As for the recognitions Jackery has garnered, just recently, in CES 2023, it got 4 awards. Jackery’s Jackery LightTent-AIR got the CES 2023 Innovation Awards Best of Innovation while its Jackery AIR-W, LightCycle-S1, and Jackery Solar Power Generator 2000 Pro got the CES 2023 Innovation Awards Honeree. Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the two biggest yearly trade shows in the world. It highlights consumer preferences in tech products so it is a good benchmark for the best tech products worldwide.
For years, Jackery’s portable power stations have been ranked among the best by tech reviewers. In 2023, the Jackery Explorer 2000 plus stood out in reviews from wired.com and digitaltrends.com. With this product, Jackery decided to prioritize capacity to store power over size and weight. It can store 2kWh that is expandable through 5 additional battery packs of 2kWh each. It weighs 28Kgs and each additional battery pack is 19Kgs. To make it easy to handle and transport, the unit has recessed side handles, a telescopic handle at the top, and wheels at the bottom. The global has 3 types of AC output ports which include a carport with a 120W output, two 18W USB-A ports, and two 100W USC-C ports.
EcoFlow is also a US-based green energy company. It started out in 2017 through the collective efforts of battery engineers. Today, EcoFlow has invented over 522 technologies in the green energy sector, and its products are sold in over 100 countries worldwide. EcoFlow’s power stations are known for their portability and the good value they give for their price.
For instance, EcoFlow’s Delta Mini is one of their most popular products. The power station which was released in the third quarter of 2021 is currently one of the best options for those who need a source of remote power for regular outings. It is so popular because it has a good array of outlet ports, a high power output, fast charging, and a good size 882Wh battery.
Another popular power station from EcoFlow is the Ecoflow River 2 Pro. The River 2 Pro is part of their River series of portable power stations that focus on providing light and easily transportable remote electricity. It weighs 7.8kgs and has about a 700Wh battery capacity. It also has fast charging and enough output ports. Admittedly, EcoFlow epitomizes a diverse product range approach to sales in the portable power station sector.
Another well-performing brand building portable power stations is a UK-based company called Bluetti. Bluetti’s EB55, for example, won the iF Design Award for 2022. The 537Wh unit has four AC output ports that can charge more than 20 smartphones or 10 laptops to full capacity from 0. Another one of the brand’s products, the Bluetti’s AC200P, is a larger capacity 2kWh unit. It is one of the preferred units of this size on sale right now even though Bluetti is almost stopping its production. It uses an improved battery technology (the lithium iron phosphate battery), supports wireless charging, and has 6 AC outputs.
From the year 2000, Togopower traded in gas generators. In 2019, Togopower company was founded with a focus on green energy solutions including the manufacture of portable power stations. The Togo Power 365Wh portable power station is preferred for its compact transportable form. The added advantage of the Power 365Wh is that it has better battery capacity than most compact power stations. Togopower managed to squeeze USB-A ports and even wireless charging in these units. Despite lacking USB-Cs, they are still popular because USB-As are still widely used.
Zendure, another good choice of brand for a portable power station, was founded in 2017. Since then, founder and CEO, Bryan Liu has steered its growth to become a global brand. He was inspired by his rural upbringing to have an appreciation for electricity, something he lacked while growing up.
The Zendure Superbase Pro 2000 is one of their standout portable power stations. It is ideal as a backup source of power for important electrical appliances that should not be cut from power. This is due to its backup mode having as little transfer time as a UPS for when the main source of electricity goes out. The Superbase Pro 2000 is connected to the main sockets and to the device it is supposed to backup and its 2.1kWh capacity will kick in when required. Additionally, the power station has plenty of other ports for any other appliances you might want to connect.
Anker (Anker Innovations Co. Ltd) is a Chinese electronics company that not only specializes in different types of batteries but also in headphones, earbuds, cables, screen protectors, 3D printers, and torches among other electronics. One of its best portable power stations is the Anker 555 Powerhouse, a 1024Wh capacity unit made using lithium iron phosphate technology. It has 2 USC-A ports, 3 USB-C ports, and a car outlet.
Ugreen is a brand that specializes in consumer electronics and accessories. It sells its products in 100 countries and has 40 million users. Ugreen’s Power Roam 600 is their best portable power station. It comes with a 680Wh capacity battery with fast charging capability. It has 12 ports in total which include a car outlet, two USB-As, two USB-Cs, two DC5521 ports, and five AC ports. The power station comes with a foldable 200W solar panel at no extra cost.
This list of brands for portable power stations simplifies the choosing process. Going through them, you will find trusted products from brands that will not disappoint. The notable features to keep in mind are the capacity you need, how portable you want your power station to be, and which ports you need to be able to connect your appliances. The list has bulky units that have a high energy capacity as well as portable ones that are good for outdoor leisure activities. There are units with fast charging capability and others that come with solar panels for solar charging. They all have their customer bases because they cater to different needs. The brand you pick will depend on the convenience the product offers, its price, and its availability in the country.