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A good power pack is one of those trusty accessories you don't know you need until you don't have it. Find the best one for you with Steph's guide
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Steph C

There’s nothing like a camping trip for getting away from it all. It’s great to get off-grid, kick back and immerse yourself in nature 24 hours a day. But unless you want to do an Ed Stafford and completely isolate yourself from the outside world, chances are you’ll still want your digital creature comforts.  

If evenings for you are all about relaxing with a cold beer or three, reading something on the kindle or playing some tunes on your speakers, then you'll be wanting to avoid the dreaded low battery notification. And it's not necessarily a luxury to have a power pack. If your camping trip involves being wild or hiking, we also highly recommend having a charged phone with you in case of emergencies.

Luckily there’s a whole range of portable power packs out there. From smaller, more portable packs for charging your smartphone battery to larger powerhouses that’ll power practically anything you need for a great getaway. Want to take your camera and a fridge to keep those beers chilled without having to ensure you've got hook up at the campsite? There’ll be a power pack for you.

There’s a bewildering choice so it can be tough narrowing it down. How do you choose the best power pack for your next camping trip? Worry not, we’ve done the research for you. Read our buying guide and start planning your adventure.

portable battery and power bank solar panel power supply

Best Camping Power Pack: Our Top Picks

Best for: home and outdoor use – Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Station

Best for: warm environments – Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station

Best for: weekend breaks - Bluetti AC50S Solar Power Station

Best for: ultralight backpackers and trail runners – Biolite Charge 20 Portable Power Pack

Best for: extreme sports - Outdoor Tech Kodiak Plus 2.0 Portable Power Pack

Best for: glamping - Solarpod 240 Portable Solar Generator Battery Pack

Best for: car camping – EcoFlow Delta Portable Power Station

Best for: family camping trips - AllPowers 288Wh Portable Power Station

Best for: longer hiking trips – Anker PowerCore Essential 2000 Power Bank

Best for: more extreme environments – Powertraveller Condor 100 Power Bank

Best for: those on a budget who need a decent power capacity – Charmast 26800 Power Bank

Best for: those short on space - Anker PowerCore 5000 Compact Mobile Phone Charger

portable power station best camping power pack

Best Camping Power Pack: Buying Guide

You’ll need to consider a few things when choosing a camping power pack;

Battery capacity

The battery capacity will be one of the deciding factors. Simply put, the more powerful the battery, the longer you’ll be able to use it for and the more devices it will power. You’ll need to think about how long you’re going to be away for and what you’ll need to power when you’re there.

Bigger batteries tend to come in larger units with heftier price tags so you’ll also need to bear this in mind. Lugging a huge power pack for a weekend camping trip just so you can charge your smartphone a couple of times may be a tad overkill.

All those numbers can be confusing but you don’t need a degree in electronics to determine your power pack’s battery capacity. To keep things easy, check out the watt-hours (Wh) or the Ah rating. The larger these numbers are, the more powerful your battery.

Outlet options

Different models offer different outlet options for charging devices. If you just want to charge smaller devices such as a phone, Go Pro or Bluetooth speakers then standard USB ports or micro USB ports will be fine. If you want to charge phones, tablets and larger devices or just charge two devices at the same time, you’ll need more options. Bigger battery capacity camping power packs come with a better choice of outlet options, including AC, DC, USB-C and car cigarette lighters.

Confused? You’re not alone. Basically USB-A ports are the typical USB outlets that you’ll be familiar with. USB-C is a newer type of port which allows for a 100 watt, 20-volt connection that’ll power larger devices. It allows for a much higher data transfer rate than standard USB ports and supports better quality video delivery. Some kindles, phones and tablets also require a micro-USB cable, so make sure you've got the right power pack for you, or at least the right adaptor!

AC is the most common method of charging appliances through a mains supply, it delivers an alternating current. A power bank with an AC outlet will power larger appliances like mini-fridges, toasters or kettles, as long as they can cope with the wattage capacity.

With more outlet options, you need more battery power as you’ll need a higher capacity. And with more battery capacity comes bulkier, heavier power packs and a heftier price tag.

What’s Watt?

Watts or W as it’s often written is the power your camping power pack delivers. If you want to power something that runs at, say, 1800W AC, your power pack needs to deliver at least 1800W (or 1.8kW) of alternating current through an AC port. In fact, it’s worth having a bit of a buffer, so a 2000W power pack would be ideal.

Wh is short for Watt Hours. This is a different kettle of fish entirely (we know it’s confusing) and refers to how much capacity your camping power pack has. To put it simply, how long would it take for it to run out of juice when charging a device. A power pack with a 30Wh capacity could charge a 30-watt device for one hour before calling it quits.

If you just want to charge smaller devices on an overnight camp, then you’ll be good with a 25 – 30Wh battery. If you’re going on a longer trip or need to charge larger devices like a laptop or DSLR camera, you’ll need 200 – 300Wh.

Aha… so what’s Ah? And what about mAh?

Ah is short for amp-hour and refers to the storage capacity of the battery. The battery capacity of larger power packs is measured in amp-hours, but because smaller units have much less storage capacity they tend to be measured in milliamp hours, or mAh for short. 1000mAh is equal to 1Ah.

A battery with an 1800mAh capacity (or 1.8Ah) could deliver a current of 1800mAh (or 1.8Ah) for one hour. The higher the Ah or the mAh number, the more capacity the battery has.

Don’t get too hung up on the numbers. As long as the power pack has enough power to charge what you want it to charge and has enough battery power to last your trip, you’re good to go.

Solar panel charge for best camping power pack

Finding the Right Power Pack: FAQ

How do I increase the capacity of my power pack?

It takes more energy to charge a device that’s less than 50% charged, so don’t let them drop below this if you can help it. Making sure you fully charge your devices before leaving the house will give you a head start. Switching your smartphone onto airplane mode will use less battery.

Try not to use your power pack while they’re charging up as this uses more power. Studies have shown that for optimum performance and battery life it’s best to avoid letting your power pack’s charge fall below 20% if you can.

As soon as your devices are sufficiently charged, unplug them. Constant topping up sucks the life from your power pack.

Don’t let the unit get too cold, this’ll slow its performance and reduce its lifespan.

How do I charge my portable power station?

There are three main power source options for charging your power pack;

USB charging

The smaller power packs tend to offer only USB or micro-USB charging, typically plugging into a laptop or into a mains socket with a USB port or by using a charging plug.

Solar panel charging

As well as USB charging many larger units offer charging through solar panels, and compatible solar panels are usually sold separately. Solar panels are a great environmentally friendly option, although if you’re camping in Scotland you may not see much sun!

Mains charging

Larger units will charge from a mains outlet or a wall charger, so can be fully charged before your trip. If you’ve got an electric hook up you could utilise this.

Car charging

Many devices will charge from your car’s cigarette lighter outlet. Be aware though, some of the larger units could drain your car battery pretty fast, especially if it’s not running. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat car battery and an empty power pack.

How do I store my power station safely?

Keep it in a dry place, away from any heat sources such as radiators or boilers.  Don’t keep your power bank in a bag containing metal objects as they can short the device.

To keep a power bank in good working order, it should be charged every three months or so. For best portable power pack performance and a longer life, charge it up to 80% rather than 100% and don’t let it drain completely empty.

ourComparison

Anker PowerCore 5000 Compact Mobile Phone Charger

a sleek and ultra compact shape that fits easily into any bag

Charmast 26800mAh Power Bank

a slim and stylish piece of kit with a huge capacity that won’t break the bank

Powertraveller Condor 100 Power Pack

we love the distinctive triangular design

Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 Portable Power Bank

Lightweight yet powerful, it’s one of the best portable power banks for remote hikes in the wilderness

AllPowers 288Wh Portable Power Station

great when space is at a premium but you still need the portable power

EcoFlow Delta Portable Power Station

a real powerhouse of a unit, it’ll charge anything you can think of

Solarpod 240 Portable Solar Generator Battery Pack

it’s very stylish; the carry box wouldn’t be out of place in a Bond film

Outdoor Tech Kodiak Plus 2.0 Portable Power Pack

It’s rugged and tough yet still compact enough to take anywhere

Biolite Charge 20 Portable Power Pack

One of the lightest power packs we’ve seen

Bluetti AC50S Solar Power Station

A great mid-range power pack that’s ideal for short trips

Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station

great capacity and enough outlets to keep everyone happy

Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station

easy to use straight from the box, it’s lightweight but heavy on features

final score

85

%

final score

82

%

final score

87

%

final score

84

%

final score

82

%

final score

82

%

final score

82

%

final score

84

%

final score

91

%

final score

88

%

final score

84

%

final score

86

%

The Good

  • Small, compact, and slots in anywhere
  • Surge and short circuit protection
  • Recognised brand

The Good

  • Smart identification USB ports automatically detect and adjust charging current for best performance
  • Intelligent Safety Protection helps prevent over charging and power surges

The Good

  • Unusual upright design takes up less floor space in a tent or campervan
  • Charging ports will automatically detect and supply appropriate power to avoid over-charging

The Good

  • Trickle-charging mode allows optimised charging of low-power devices such as Bluetooth earphones
  • LED power display lets you see at a glance how much juice is left

The Good

  • Intelligent CPU control mode
  • Battery Management System (BMS) for voltage and temperature control

The Good

  • Display shows how much energy is used and generated plus how much energy is still available
  • AC cables, car charging cable and solar charging cables are all included

The Good

  • 3 outputs: 110V AC, 12V DC and dual USB allows you to run a laptop whilst charging another device
  • Comes with a stylish brushed aluminium case. It's certainly the poshest portable power packs we've seen

The Good

  • Waterproof and shockproof, it’s one of the best portable power packs for standing up to abuse
  • Quick Charge 3.0 technology for faster charging

The Good

  • 4-level LED power indicator lets you see at a glance how much power’s left
  • Multiple ports lets you charge several devices simultaneously, which is unusual for a device this small

The Good

  • Built-in intelligent advanced cooling system protects it from overloading and overheating
  • Wireless charging pad is a nice addition

The bad

  • Can roll around easily in your pocket making the buttons hard to locate
  • Charging cables aren't supplied

The bad

  • Doesn’t support Quick Charge high speed charging
  • Some users are wary of buying a less well-known brand

The bad

  • Not the lightest for its size
  • On the pricey side

The bad

  • Power Delivery charger isn’t supplied, you’ll need to buy it separately
  • It’s quite bulky

The bad

  • The mains sockets are rather flimsy and plugs can easily become disconnected
  • Cable for in car charging isn’t supplied

The bad

  • It’s heavy, and the two carrying handle construction can be awkward as you’ll need both hands
  • It’s not silent; the fan is noisy and tends to run most of the time it’s in use

The bad

  • The LED display doesn’t give much indication of how much charge is left
  • Solar panel is sold separately and is quite expensive

The bad

  • Only two USB outlets
  • The power capacity isn’t that great for its size

The bad

  • Designed to power smaller devices only. It won’t power your laptop
  • Indicator lights could be brighter as they are difficult to see during the day

The bad

  • A carrying pouch for cables would be useful
  • No power cables included

Features

80

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

90

%

Eco friendly

85

%

Features

90

%

Charging time

75

%

Portability

85

%

Eco friendly

80

%

Features

90

%

Charging time

80

%

Portability

85

%

Eco friendly

95

%

Features

85

%

Charging time

75

%

Portability

90

%

Eco friendly

85

%

Features

85

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

80

%

Eco friendly

80

%

Features

85

%

Charging time

95

%

Portability

70

%

Eco friendly

80

%

Features

85

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

75

%

Eco friendly

85

%

Features

80

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

90

%

Eco friendly

80

%

Features

85

%

Charging time

95

%

Portability

95

%

Eco friendly

90

%

Features

90

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

85

%

Eco friendly

90

%

Power output

5000mAh

Size and weight

1ocm x 3cm

Price

$$

Power type

Micro USB/mains

Power output

26800mAh

Size and weight

19.68 x 9.4 x 1.4 cm, 399g

Price

$

Power type

Micro USB/mains

Power output

99.9Wh or 27000mAh

Size and weight

17.2 x 8.6 x 8.6 cm, 800g

Price

££

Power type

mains power supply

Power output

20000mAh

Size and weight

15.8 x 7.4 x 1.9 cm, 346g

Price

£

Power type

Micro USB/mains

Power output

288Wh or 78000mAh

Size and weight

20.6 x 16.5 x 11 cm, 4kg

Price

££

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Power output

1260Wh

Size and weight

39 x 19.4 x 26.4 cm, 14kg

Price

£££

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Power output

240Wh or 20Ah

Size and weight

25.5 x 19.5 x 11cm, 4.3kg

Price

£££

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Power output

10000mAh – charges up to 2.4 amp

Size and weight

11.9 x 8.1 x 2.3 cm, 290.3g

Price

£

Power type

Micro USB/ mains

Power output

18W or 6000mAh

Size and weight

12.8 x 7.5 x 1.4cm, 165g

Price

£

Power type

Micro USB/ mains

Power output

500Wh or 24Ah (21.6V)

Size and weight

26 x 19.1 x 19.6cm, 6.1kg

Price

£££

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Why we like it

a sleek and ultra compact shape that fits easily into any bag

The Good

  • Small, compact, and slots in anywhere
  • Surge and short circuit protection
  • Recognised brand

the bad

  • Can roll around easily in your pocket making the buttons hard to locate
  • Charging cables aren't supplied

Power output

5000mAh

Power type

Micro USB/mains

Size and weight

1ocm x 3cm

Price

$$

Anker have long been in the game for reliable, great quality tech, and this ultra compact charger is no exception. Its cylindrical style means it slots in easily to any bag, pocket or rucksack without taking up more room than a tube of fruit pastilles.

Using two different charging technologies, the PowerCore 5000 has lightning speed charging time and will have your phone or tablet back up to 100% in no time.

Features

80

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

90

%

Eco friendly

85

%

final score

85

%

Anker PowerCore 5000 Compact Mobile Phone Charger

Check latest price

Charmast 26800mAh Power Bank

Best for: those on a budget who need a decent power capacity

Why we like it

a slim and stylish piece of kit with a huge capacity that won’t break the bank

The Good

  • Smart identification USB ports automatically detect and adjust charging current for best performance
  • Intelligent Safety Protection helps prevent over charging and power surges

the bad

  • Doesn’t support Quick Charge high speed charging
  • Some users are wary of buying a less well-known brand

Power output

26800mAh

Power type

Micro USB/mains

Size and weight

19.68 x 9.4 x 1.4 cm, 399g

Price

$

Okay, Charmast may not be a brand that’s on your radar but hear us out. This 26800mAh power pack has a truly massive battery housed in a tiny body. Its tardis-like capacity will charge an average iPhone over 8 times, and a MacBook twice (not MacBook Pro). Unlike other smaller power banks it’ll even charge a Kindle Fire or Nintendo Switch.

The Charmast power bank comes packed with features such as USB-A and USB-C outlets and the ability to charge up to four devices simultaneously. There’s a built-in LED power indicator and it supports pass-through charging, which means you can charge and use your device whilst the power pack's being charged.

It’s only 14mm thick so it’ll slip in your pocket, although it’s quite long, longer than an average smartphone. The Charmast is pretty tough; a built-in rubber cover protects it against knocks and scratches. It’s the cheapest power bank we’ve seen but you get a whole boat load of power and features you’d expect to find in much dearer units.

Features

90

%

Charging time

75

%

Portability

85

%

Eco friendly

80

%

final score

82

%

Charmast 26800mAh Power Bank

Check latest price

Powertraveller Condor 100 Power Pack

Best for: more extreme environments

Why we like it

we love the distinctive triangular design

The Good

  • Unusual upright design takes up less floor space in a tent or campervan
  • Charging ports will automatically detect and supply appropriate power to avoid over-charging

the bad

  • Not the lightest for its size
  • On the pricey side

Power output

99.9Wh or 27000mAh

Power type

mains power supply

Size and weight

17.2 x 8.6 x 8.6 cm, 800g

Price

££

The Condor 100 is distinctive and solid looking, yet still only weighs in at a fairly portable 800g. It contains enough juice to charge a smartphone up to 10 times, a DSLR camera up to 6 times and a laptop twice.

The Condor 100 is a versatile piece of kit; as well as two standard USB ports and a USB-C outlet, there’s also an AC output for charging a whole range of mains electricity-driven equipment up to 110V/220V. One outlet is capable of high speed Quick Charging, and you can charge up to four devices simultaneously.

It’s as tough as it looks. The Condor’s IP65 certified, meaning it’s dustproof and waterproof to a point, so you can take it pretty much anywhere. Its unique upright design makes it easier to transport and it’s small enough to fit in a backpack although it’s rather overkill for solo backpacking trips.

Comes with a colourful carrying strap and 4 LED lights which indicate battery level at a glance.

Features

90

%

Charging time

80

%

Portability

85

%

Eco friendly

95

%

final score

87

%

Powertraveller Condor 100 Power Pack

Check latest price

Why we like it

Lightweight yet powerful, it’s one of the best portable power banks for remote hikes in the wilderness

The Good

  • Trickle-charging mode allows optimised charging of low-power devices such as Bluetooth earphones
  • LED power display lets you see at a glance how much juice is left

the bad

  • Power Delivery charger isn’t supplied, you’ll need to buy it separately
  • It’s quite bulky

Power output

20000mAh

Power type

Micro USB/mains

Size and weight

15.8 x 7.4 x 1.9 cm, 346g

Price

£

Anker are one of the big names when it comes to powering smaller devices and the Anker PowerCore power bank certainly lives up to their reputation. The 20W USB-C port charges devices super-fast; it’ll juice up your average smartphone in less than two hours. With a capacity of 20000mAh, this bad boy has enough juice to fully charge an iPhone 12 five times and an iPad mini two and a half times.

The PowerCore power bank supports Quick Charge technology which slashes its charging time from 20 hours to 6.8 hours. You’ll need to buy the 18W USB-C Power Delivery Charger separately though.  

The Anker PowerCore power bank is compatible with almost all phones, tablets and small devices and comes complete with both a USB-A to USB-C charging cable and a USB-C changing cable. It’s light enough to be slung into a backpack for a hiking trip or in your bag for recharging your devices when you’re out and about.

Features

85

%

Charging time

75

%

Portability

90

%

Eco friendly

85

%

final score

84

%

Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 Portable Power Bank

Check latest price

AllPowers 288Wh Portable Power Station

Best for: family camping trips

Why we like it

great when space is at a premium but you still need the portable power

The Good

  • Intelligent CPU control mode
  • Battery Management System (BMS) for voltage and temperature control

the bad

  • The mains sockets are rather flimsy and plugs can easily become disconnected
  • Cable for in car charging isn’t supplied

Power output

288Wh or 78000mAh

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Size and weight

20.6 x 16.5 x 11 cm, 4kg

Price

££

One of the smallest and lightest of the higher capacity units on the market, the high-density lithium-ion battery allows for a slimmer and more compact design. It’s quite the powerhouse. The super generous 288Wh/ 78000mAh capacity is capable of powering everything you need for a luxury get-away. It’ll charge a smartphone up to 40-50 times and power a 40W mini-fridge for over 6 hours, so make sure you bring the beers! Need a new camping fridge to keep 'em cool? Check out our buying guide.

It boasts 2 12V/15A DC outlets, 3 fast-charging USB-A ports, one USB-C port, 2 AC sockets, 12V cigarette lighter socket and offers wireless charging via Bluetooth technology so there’ll be no falling out over who gets to charge their device first.

With an easy-to-read LED display and short circuit/ surge protection this is a great power pack for camping trips and family holidays.

Features

85

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

80

%

Eco friendly

80

%

final score

82

%

AllPowers 288Wh Portable Power Station

Check latest price

Why we like it

a real powerhouse of a unit, it’ll charge anything you can think of

The Good

  • Display shows how much energy is used and generated plus how much energy is still available
  • AC cables, car charging cable and solar charging cables are all included

the bad

  • It’s heavy, and the two carrying handle construction can be awkward as you’ll need both hands
  • It’s not silent; the fan is noisy and tends to run most of the time it’s in use

Power output

1260Wh

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Size and weight

39 x 19.4 x 26.4 cm, 14kg

Price

£££

The Delta is somewhat revolutionary. It’s powerful 1300Wh lithium ion battery can be charged to 80% power within just an hour and fully charged in two. The EcoFlow boasts an impressive 13 output ports, including 4 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C ports, a 12V car outlet and 6 pure sine wave AC outlets for charging the heavier duty stuff.

It’ll charge an average smartphone more than 85 times, or keep a cool box cool for several days. The EcoFlow Delta is more than capable of charging power-hungry appliances like televisions, microwave ovens and kettles too so it’s a great option for a longer camping break or as a back up for power outages at home. Heck, it’ll even charge an electric car for up to 4 miles.

The sturdy construction and water-resistant cover mean peace of mind if you’re camping and things get a little gnarly. It’s one of the heaviest units though so it’s best for using the car or a campervan.

Features

85

%

Charging time

95

%

Portability

70

%

Eco friendly

80

%

final score

82

%

EcoFlow Delta Portable Power Station

Check latest price

Why we like it

it’s very stylish; the carry box wouldn’t be out of place in a Bond film

The Good

  • 3 outputs: 110V AC, 12V DC and dual USB allows you to run a laptop whilst charging another device
  • Comes with a stylish brushed aluminium case. It's certainly the poshest portable power packs we've seen

the bad

  • The LED display doesn’t give much indication of how much charge is left
  • Solar panel is sold separately and is quite expensive

Power output

240Wh or 20Ah

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Size and weight

25.5 x 19.5 x 11cm, 4.3kg

Price

£££

The Solarpod is a complete lightweight and compact power station which is designed to be used with a foldable 60W solar panel. It delivers a powerful charging punch for its size, more so than other similar size units. The 250W Modified Sine Wave is capable of charging a smartphone up to 40 times or a laptop for an impressive 7 hours.

This tremendous power means it’s capable of charging higher powered devices smaller units can’t handle, such as fridges, coffee makers and games consoles. This makes it ideal for a weekend family getaway or even a glamping trip.

A handheld charge controller is included, which protects the battery from overheating and overcharging. Like other units of its type it’s not particularly weatherproof so you’ll need to bear this in mind and protect it when it starts raining sideways.

The portable solar battery pack is housed in a sleek brushed aluminium case with a padded carrying handle and rubber feet so you’ll cut quite a dash even if you’re in a muddy field.

Features

85

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

75

%

Eco friendly

85

%

final score

82

%

Solarpod 240 Portable Solar Generator Battery Pack

Check latest price

Why we like it

It’s rugged and tough yet still compact enough to take anywhere

The Good

  • Waterproof and shockproof, it’s one of the best portable power packs for standing up to abuse
  • Quick Charge 3.0 technology for faster charging

the bad

  • Only two USB outlets
  • The power capacity isn’t that great for its size

Power output

10000mAh – charges up to 2.4 amp

Power type

Micro USB/ mains

Size and weight

11.9 x 8.1 x 2.3 cm, 290.3g

Price

£

Kodiak have revamped their popular Kodiak Plus and packed it with even more features in a smaller body. Its rugged design means it’s pretty much dust and shock proof, so it’ll survive plenty of hard knocks. It’s also waterproof to a large degree.

The 1000mAh battery will charge an iPhone up to 4.5 times or a Go Pro or head torch 8 times. Dual USB ports lets you charge two devices simultaneously; USB port 1 has high speed charging of 5V/2.4A and USB port 2 has a charging speed of 5V/1.0A. Use port 1 if you’re charging one device and if you're charging two devices plug the second device into port 2.

A built-in flashlight with three settings is a handy feature if you’re backpacking and at only 290.3 grams it can be carried pretty much anywhere. And if all that wasn’t enough, this bad boy comes equipped with intelligent charge technology which determines the optimal power outlet for your device.

Features

80

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

90

%

Eco friendly

80

%

final score

84

%

Outdoor Tech Kodiak Plus 2.0 Portable Power Pack

Check latest price

Biolite Charge 20 Portable Power Pack

Best for: ultralight backpackers and trail runners

Why we like it

One of the lightest power packs we’ve seen

The Good

  • 4-level LED power indicator lets you see at a glance how much power’s left
  • Multiple ports lets you charge several devices simultaneously, which is unusual for a device this small

the bad

  • Designed to power smaller devices only. It won’t power your laptop
  • Indicator lights could be brighter as they are difficult to see during the day

Power output

18W or 6000mAh

Power type

Micro USB/ mains

Size and weight

12.8 x 7.5 x 1.4cm, 165g

Price

£

The Biolite Charge 20 is an extremely compact yet pretty powerful pack that’s light enough to be slung into a backpack or even carried in a pocket on long hikes. With 2 USB-A ports and 1 USB-C port, it’s designed with the next generation of devices in mind.  

Due to its small size it won’t give you power for days on end, but the 6000mAh capacity is capable of approximately 1.5 smartphone charges or 5 head torch charges. More than enough for an overnighter or to get you out of trouble. It’ll also charge other smaller devices such as Go Pros, cameras and GP units, and it even supports Quick Charge. This little pocket rocket will let you hike with the confidence that it’ll have your back if you need it.

The stainless-steel body and silicone gasket means it’s rugged and waterproof so it’ll cope with pretty much anything you throw at it.

Features

85

%

Charging time

95

%

Portability

95

%

Eco friendly

90

%

final score

91

%

Biolite Charge 20 Portable Power Pack

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Bluetti AC50S Solar Power Station

Best for: weekend breaks

Why we like it

A great mid-range power pack that’s ideal for short trips

The Good

  • Built-in intelligent advanced cooling system protects it from overloading and overheating
  • Wireless charging pad is a nice addition

the bad

  • A carrying pouch for cables would be useful
  • No power cables included

Power output

500Wh or 24Ah (21.6V)

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Size and weight

26 x 19.1 x 19.6cm, 6.1kg

Price

£££

Compact, lightweight and easily transportable, the Bluetti AC505 will charge almost all devices up to 300 watts. It has a range of different connectors, including USB-A, USB-C and AC 230V which makes charging different devices super easy. It weighs in at 6.2kg so whilst it might not make it into your backpack, it’s certainly light enough to be carried easily from place to place. With eleven multi-outputs for charging there will be no squabbling over who gets to charge their device first.

Its small size makes it ideal for a tent or small campervan and it’ll power a TV, electric cool box and maybe even a small kettle, so it’s perfect for a weekend getaway. It also comes with an in-built three-setting light; bright, dim or flashing SOS in Morse code which could be pretty handy in an emergency. No, running out of beer doesn’t count!

Features

90

%

Charging time

85

%

Portability

85

%

Eco friendly

90

%

final score

88

%

Bluetti AC50S Solar Power Station

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Why we like it

great capacity and enough outlets to keep everyone happy

The Good

  • Built-in flashlight is handy at night or as a back-up light source in case of a power outage
  • 12V car port and three USB ports for charging multiple appliances

the bad

  • Digital power display turns off after a few seconds so you need to manually activate it each time
  • No USB-C slots

Power output

518Wh or 24Ah (21.6V)

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Size and weight

30.1 x 19.3 x 24.2cm, 6.35kg

Price

£££

The Jackery Explorer 500 packs an impressive punch when it comes to capacity. It has an amazing 518Wh, enough to charge an average smartphone 53 times and a tablet 20 times. It’ll also charge a TV and mini-fridge, perfect for longer trips or family getaways. It’s versatile too. You can charge it four ways, using a compatible solar panel, a 12V car charger, a wall socket or an electric generator.

The Explorer has multiple outlets and three USB ports so you can charge several devices at the same time, as long as you don’t overload it of course. That’ll keep the kids happy. It’s also good in the heat; it can operate at temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius thanks to the in-built low-power cooling fans that kick in as the mercury rises.

The Explorer 150 also has built-in protection against overcharging, power surges and short circuits so you can use it with peace of mind.

Features

85

%

Charging time

80

%

Portability

80

%

Eco friendly

90

%

final score

84

%

Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station

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Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station

Best for: home and outdoor use

Why we like it

easy to use straight from the box, it’s lightweight but heavy on features

The Good

  • LED battery display lets you check charging capacity at a glance
  • Great choice of charging options including an AC outlet, 12V output and two USB ports

the bad

  • Car charger lead isn’t included
  • Not designed for higher powered appliances such as fridges

Power output

168Wh or 14Ah (12V)

Power type

Solar panel, 12V car adaptor and mains

Size and weight

19.7 x 14.6 x 17.2 cm, 5.4kg

Price

££

this super smart and eco-friendly power pack is lightweight and just about portable enough to be carried in a backpack. The small size of the Goal Zero Yeti makes it ideal for camping trips or less demanding hikes. The carry handle makes lugging it around a whole lot easier and it’s quite sturdy with some degree of water resistance, so it’ll hold up to some rough treatment. The Goal Zero Yeti doesn’t take much storage space so it’s also great to just to have handy around the house for those days when the summer weather just begs you to work outside.

The Goal Zero Yeti 150 can be charged three ways, including through solar panels, which gives you greater flexibility over where you can use it. Unlike other power banks which will only produce 5V DC, the Goal Zero Yeti 150’s capacity to deliver a 12V DC, 5V DC or 110V AC current means it’s compatible with a whole range of devices from smartphones to laptops.

Features

85

%

Charging time

80

%

Portability

85

%

Eco friendly

95

%

final score

86

%

Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station

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