Gear, Reviews, Tips, Uncategorized, Van life

The best portable power station – UK Edition

the-best-portable-power-station-uk-edition

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Portable power stations are a great back-up power source in case of mains supply disruptions. Luckily the UK doesn’t have many environmental disasters, but with portable power supply you will be prepared in an unexpected emergency. I think they are also great to use if you go off-grid or use on a construction site. They are a real camping game changer, because of their versatility and small compact design. Some of them are capable of generating as much electricity as a traditional gasoline generator. But portable power stations are much quieter and lighter with fewer maintenance issues. They are also far more sustainable than gas generators, as they don’t burn fossil fuels and don’t produce fumes. For an even greener option, I suggest using solar panels with them.

In recent years it became very popular to use portable power stations for camping for a good reason. They are essentially “fancy” leisure batteries. You don’t need an inverter, because they have one built in. You should add it to your wild camping checklist if you have a van. In this guide, I summarize 5 power stations available in the UK with the aim to find the best portable power station for your needs and budget.  

 

Table of Contents

What is a portable power station?

Most of you probably have a portable power bank. You use it to charge your phone and ipad on the go. However, if you are away for several days, and also want to power a TV, kettle or fridge then you will need something more powerful. Essentially a portable power station is is a very big power bank with a built in inverter. 
Power stations have various outputs, so they can be used for USB, DC or 230-volt devices.

The main things to consider before you make a purchase are performance, compatibility and power output. This comparison chart should help you make a decision. At the bottom of this post, I also include a performance chart, which will show you how long each unit is able to power your various devices.

portable power station with solar panel is another way to charge your unit up, when it is running low on juice. All of the devices are review are portable solar power stations, so you will be able to purchase solar panels at an additional cost. It’s the most environmentally friendly way to charge up your devices and I would highly recommend getting panels for them.

Comparison chart of the top portable power stations

  • Jackery Explorer 500
  • Anker Power House II 400
  • PowerOak Portable Power Station 500Wh
  • Allpowers Portable Generator 288Wh
  • Beaudens Portable Power Station 166Wh
  • ECOFLOW DELTA Portable Power Station 1260Wh
Jackery Explorer 500Anker Power House II 400PowerOak Portable Power Station 500WhAllpowers Portable Generator 288WhBeaudens Portable Power Station 166WhECOFLOW DELTA Portable Power Station 1260Wh
££
££
££
£
£
£££
Output Power500W300W300W300W150W1800W
Battery Capacity518Wh388Wh500Wh288Wh166Wh1260Wh
Battery Life Cycle5005001000+3002000800
Weight6.04 kg4.62 kg‎6.02 kg3.98 kg2.2 kg14 kg
Size30.1x19.3x24.2 cm25.5 × 14.8 × 13.9 cm29.46 x 19.05 x 19.56 cm20.6x16.5x11cm28 x 22 x 13 cm40 x 21 x 27 cm
USB Ports3 3 (2.4A Max)4324
USB C Ports11112
AC Power Outlet1 1 2214
Solar Panel Support
Surge1000W300W450W500W200W3300W
See PriceSee PriceSee PriceSee PriceSee PriceSee Price

A quick summary about which is the best portable power station in the UK for different needs

Best overall: Jackery portable power station Explorer 500

Best for vanlife: Jackery portable power station Explorer 500

Best for power cut:  ECOFLOW DELTA Portable Power Station

Best for bikepacking/hiking:  BEAUDENS Portable Power Station 

Best budget option:  ALLPOWERS Portable Generator 

Best for comfort:  ECOFLOW DELTA Portable Power Station

Reviews of the Best Portable Power Stations in the UK ​

Jackery Portable Power Station 518Wh Review

Jackery has been a top brand is the US for many years and they finally launched in the UK as well. They are one of the highest rated power stations on Amazon. The company currently sells 240Wh, 500Wh and 1000Wh units in the UK. Jackery’s main customers are outdoorsy people, who want a reliable way to power their electronics on their adventures. The company is well regarded and has excellent customer service. This model is best to power smaller devices, like your phone or laptop. This portable power station will likely be sufficient for a long weekend trip, but for continuous use, I suggest buying a solar panel with it.
A huge advantage of this model over some of the competitors is that is it very quiet, even with the cooling fans on. It is probably the best s
olar power station out there on the market right now. One downside is that this unit doesn’t have a USB-C port.

Anker PowerHouse II 400 Review

Anker portable power banks already showed their reliability and now the company came out with a power station as well.
Anker’s colours are more subtle than some of the competitors’. It has a smart display, that tells you about the current run time and when on the charger how long you need to a 100%. It also supports pass-through charging.
A neat feature is a light at the back, which has 3 levels of brightness. It works great on a dark evening around the campfire or eating around a table. 
This particular model is probably unable to power things like a hairdryer or microwave. So for more juice, you will need to look for something bigger. 
Another thing that is worth noting is that it can’t output the normal UK plug & USB at the same time. So this means you won’t be able to charge a laptop with a standard UK plug at the same time you charge your phone with the USB port. 
Overall I think the Anker PowerHouse is great for road trips and short camping trips, as it has a very compact size and neat features.

POWEROAK Portable Power Station 500Wh Review

Another fantastic portable power station, that is compact in size and has a solid construction. This model has handles, that can fold away, which makes it even smaller. The orange edges are a rubbery, plastic material, which protects the unit from tear and wear. If you do a van conversion, but don’t want to faff about with a fancy electrical system, this might be a good solution for you. It also comes with integrated light on the back of the unit, which has multiple brightness settings. You can plug in multiple devices to charge at once and still not reach its power limit. However the maximum output is 300w, so you won’t be able to use a hairdryer or kettle with this unit. 

ALLPOWERS Portable Generator 288Wh Review

This unit is on the smaller side when it comes to power. But it will recharge perfectly while you are driving on a road trip. This is a great budget friendly option if you just want to have some back up power on your outdoor adventure. The unit has wireless fast charging as well, which is a great way to charge your phone. 

BEAUDENS Portable Power Station 166Wh Review

This is the smallest portable power station I review both in size and in performance. It is a great entry-level unit. It weighs 2.2 kg, so might be a possibility to take it with you on a bike packing or even backpacking trip. Another great reason to buy this over some competitiors is that the product is made in Britain. A greatb way to support the local economy and more sustainable than a unit from overseas. It has an integrated light as well, so you can use it as a torch.

 

ECOFLOW DELTA Portable Power Station 1260Wh Review

ECOFLOW is a well-regarded company in the US. Their products are not that well-known in the UK yet, but they are top quality. The ECOFLOW DELTA can power almost any device, including those with sensitive electronics. While the price might seem steep at first, it is a one-time investment type of product. When you think about how it will make your adventures more convenient and give you peace of mind at home, that you have a back up power for emergencies, it is not expensive at all. A huge bonus over its competitors it that it takes less than 1 hour to charge from 0% to 80%.
Keep in mind, that this unit is not light or super quiet, but that is to be expected if you think about the performance it can provide.

Performance chart

A common question when buying a portable power station is how long it will run your devices. The chart below should give you an idea, about what to expect. Please note, that this performance chart is only approximate. Actual time will depend on the exact device you want to run and how much W they use. 

If you want to calculate an estimate for your device use this method:

Working time = power station’s Watt  * 0.85 / operating power of your device. 

For example, assuming the power consumption of your device is 60W (might be a mini cooler), and you want to use the Jackery Explorer 500 to run your device. The working time will be 518wh*0.85/60w=7.3 hrs (roughly calculated) .

  • Jackery Explorer 500
  • Anker Power House II 400
  • PowerOak Portable Power Station
  • Allpowers Portable Generator
  • Beaudens Portable Power Station
  • ECOFLOW DELTA
Jackery Explorer 500Anker Power House II 400PowerOak Portable Power Station Allpowers Portable Generator Beaudens Portable Power StationECOFLOW DELTA
518Wh
388Wh
500Wh
288Wh
166Wh
1260Wh
Phone 52 charges23 charges42 charges20 charges11 charges110 charges
Laptop7 charges5 charges7 charges4 charges2-3 charges16 charges
LED Lights45 h33 h45 h20 h15 h90 g
Mini cooler9 h6 h10+ h5 h2,5 h20 h
TV7.5 h3 h8.5 h3 h2 h15 h
Electric Kettle
Hair dryer
Fan14 h9-10 h14 h7 h5 h30 h
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