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Being out and about without access to an outlet or power supply is one of the worst possible scenarios. For example, maybe you travel regularly and don’t always have a way to power your laptop or electronic equipment. An easy solution to this problem is finding the best portable power station.
When you have a portable power station, you can go anywhere without worrying about your electronic devices losing power. It’s time to learn all about how you can find the best portable power station.
What to Look for in a Portable Power Station
Portable power stations are simple because it all comes down to your preferences. There are certain amenities that are great to have, but you’ll want to focus on finding one that fits your needs best. Here are some factors that will help you determine which portable power station is best for you.
Watts Per Hour
The most important thing to understand about portable power stations is how the power is calculated. Almost every common portable power supply is listed in watts per hour.
Watts per hour refers to the number of hours a power supply can remain powered while using one watt over the course of one hour. For instance, a power station with 300 watt hours is able to offer power for 300 hours, once fully charged, when utilizing only one watt per hour.
When you need to use items that require more power than the power station can offer, you will have to perform quick calculations. Look at your device to see how many watts it requires per hour.
So, if you have an item that requires 30 watts and a power station that is 300 watts per hour, you’ll need to divide the watts per hour by the number of watts being drawn by the item. This will leave you with an approximate time that your power station will be able to supply to your equipment.
Power stations will most often offer a 3-prong outlet and it is becoming more popular to include USB connections as well. Generally, if you have a higher number of watts per hour, you will require more output points because the power station can handle a larger power output.
You should be able to charge your power station anywhere that has power itself. You can plug it into most power outlets as well. Some companies even offer solar-powered power stations.
However, you will need to purchase solar panels directly from the companies that offer the solar-powered power stations in order to ensure full compatibility. Companies like Jackery create multiple types of solar panels that offer different levels of power, which ultimately determines the charging speed of power stations.
While they are described as portable power stations, these devices can be quite cumbersome due to their weight. Most if not all power stations come with handles for transportation purposes, making it easy to carry the devices.
However, the weight may start to slow you down when you have to transport it across long distances. Luckily, with some of the larger power stations, companies will design them in a way where they have wheels, making them very portable.
The Best Portable Power Station
Remember the details that we have mentioned as you begin your search for the best power station. The options listed below are not the only choices when it comes to power stations, but they are some of the absolute best power stations on the market.
Jackery is one of the more popular brand names for portable power stations. The company sells high-quality batteries and attachments, but the devices come with a higher price point than most other power stations out there. However, Jackery offers a wide variety of battery sizes, meaning you can choose from 167 watts to 2,060 watts, depending on what you need for your devices.
- Wide selection of charging options
- Compatible with protective covers and solar panels
- Relatively expensive
- Not waterproof
- Between $139.99 and $2,099
- Averages $1 per watt per hour
Goal Zero is another popular choice even though it is also the most expensive option on this list. The company’s prices reflect the quality of the power stations because Goal Zero makes many products with extremely large batteries, and the power stations even come with wheels for ease of transportation.
- Large batteries
- Solar-powered options
- Wheels for ease of portability
- No replaceable parts
- Very expensive
- Larger power requirements
- Between $299.95 and $4,999.95
Westinghouse is a well-established company that has been in the electronics industry for decades. The company’s portable power stations are a great choice, especially because of the way their products are affordable. They offer lower watts per hour than other options on the market, but their power stations are still a great choice, especially for people on a budget.
- Light design
- Some come with built in flashlights
- Takes longer to charge than initially stated
- People on a budget
- Between $139.99 and $999
The Ego Nexus is an option for construction workers and people who work in high voltage environments. With the Ego Nexus, you’ll have 4 ports, which will allow you to plug in batteries that will then power the power station.
This is great for days where you are away from outlets for long periods of time and you need to keep things continuously powered. The only downfall to this item is that you have to purchase the batteries separately, which will result in an additional cost on top of the price of the power station.
- Replaceable batteries
- High output values
- Possibility for parts to be sold separately
- Interchangeable batteries
- $499 for the power station alone
- $999 for the power station and two batteries
Do Your Research
Although you will likely run into many different power stations, all of which have different price points, choosing the right power station regardless of price will make a world of difference. Power stations are an amazing solution in the event of power outages.
This is especially true for people who need a CPAP machine or anything similar. While not every need is as drastic as this, there are many ways that a portable power station can help you no matter your exact needs.
When researching power station companies, you may find that there are many similar styles and builds of power stations. Some companies even use parts from the same factory. And while it may seem as though you will save a couple bucks by buying the cheaper alternative, you could be paying slightly less for a product that is drastically inferior. So, make sure you conduct thorough research prior to making any purchases, especially when it comes to the cheaper power station alternatives.