Best Portable Camping Power Sources

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Top Portable Power Supplies To Go Off Grid

Ever get the urge to take a break and just get away from your usual day to day? Sometimes it’s just the thing you need to recharge from the regular routine. Perhaps for you, a change of scenery is already a part of your normal routine and you just need to figure out ways to make your outdoor experience more comfortable.

One way to do that is by having access to your usual electronics and appliances even when you’re outdoors. Whether it’s camping, a day trip or just going off road for the weekend, having a good, reliable power source to take with you simply makes the trip better.

When we think about a rechargeable power supply, we often think of portable battery generators and power packs but there are actually a lot of great options to choose from. Later we’ll explore the best portable power options on the market but for now here is an overview:

Product Name & BrandDimensionsBest Use
ALP Propane-Powered Generator by ProPower18-1/4″ L x 10-1/4” W x 14” HSmall to large portable devices such as lights, refrigerators or electric coolers, camera gear and more
Portable Power Pack by National Luna20″ L x 10″ W x 12″ HSmall to medium portable devices such as phones. Secondary power source for modern vehicle
Portable Lithium Battery by Dometic7.76 ” H x 10.02 ” L x 7.76 ” WPortable 12v appliances such as powered up coolers
Goal Zero Solar Panel13” W x 8.75” L x 0.5” HSmall USB devices such as phones and tablets
BigBlue Solar Panel11.23” W x 6.3” L x 0.71” HSmall USB devices such as phones and tablets
Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Station11” W x 9” L x 8” HSmall to medium portable devices such as phones, laptops, lights and tablets
Jackery Portable Power Station9.1” W x 5.2” L x 7.9” HSmall to medium portable devices such as phones, laptops, lights and tablets
EF Ecoflow River Portable Power Supply11.7” W x 7.3” L x 7.7” HSmall to large portable devices such as lights, refrigerators or electric coolers, camera gear and more

First, let’s talk about why a portable power supply is always a good decision for anyone interested in outdoor activities and is even useful indoors too.

Uses For A Portable Power Supply

Portable power sources have the same main function which is to add power to your electronics and appliances. Where they differ most is in how they work to give you this power and which devices they can actually be used with.

Top portable power supply

Outdoor

Portable power sources are used to add the comforts of home to an outdoor activity. For example, generators and power stations are your best options when you want to power up the larger devices during your trip. Use it to add electricity to your campsite and lighting to your roof top tent or plug in your portable appliances such as a refrigerator, power coolers, stove tops and more.

On the other hand, solar panels are great for charging your smaller electronic devices such as phones, cameras, tablets and more for a short day trip. You can even use a portable power supply such as a power pack to work as an alternative energy source in your RV or as a secondary battery in modern vehicles.

Indoor

Portable power isn’t just for the outdoors. They are the best way to stay prepared even at home or at the office in the event of power shortage or blackout. Depending on what type of portable power supply you use, you can power up your whole home or you can just keep essentials like lamps and mobile devices available. A generator is a popular device to have at home to enjoy even television when the normal electricity is out.

Emergencies

If you’ve ever seen emergency workers in action, then you know portable power sources are very important in the case of emergencies too. Whether it’s a health professional using a power pack in an ambulance or you needing power for helpful tools while off road like a radio to contact for help – there is always a good use for a portable power supply.

Features To Look For

You would think choosing a power supply would be a no brainer because they all do the same thing, right? Nope, there are definitely some factors to consider when looking for the best portable power sources for you with the main being what exactly you need to power up. Once you know how you will be using the power supply, the other features to keep in mind are:

Runtime

How long will you be off the grid? For example, having a generator which can keep you powered up for over 30 hours would definitely be more attractive for a weekend camp trip versus a power pack which will only get you through half a day. Be sure to look at run times before committing to a portable power option.

Voltage

Are you trying to power up a portable appliance which requires 12V or are you just trying to keep your camera gear charged to capture some memories? Making sure you match up the power voltage you will need to the capabilities of the portable power source you want to get are crucial.

Input and Output Ports

What type of ports will you need and how many? Will we need to recharge the device while outdoors and if so, how will we be able to do so? Does it have a port to recharge using the off-road vehicle? If you need to charge or power multiple devices at once using different types of ports, then you may need to go with options like a power pack or generator which are usually portable power with outlet and USB ports; over smaller options like a solar panel which usually only offers USB ports.

Size and Capacity

Of course, we also have to think about the size, capacity and weight of the power supply you’re using. We wouldn’t want to pack a heavy, power pack on in our bags for a hiking trip and we wouldn’t want to bring along a small battery to power our whole campsite. Be sure you get the portable power supply can provide with the power you will need and is best for where you need to store it while in and out of use.

Cost

Portable power sources can range from affordable options to costlier ones. If you’re an avid off roader, then a more expensive option may be the right investment for you. Whereas someone who may only be doing a day trip ever so often should look for a more cost-friendly choice.

Portable Power Supply Review

ALP Propane-Powered Generator 1000W

ALP Propane Powered generator

This ALP Propane-Powered Generator ticks a lot of boxes and is a great option for portable power. If you’re going overlanding or maybe you want to set up a campsite for the weekend, this portable generator is best for powering your lights, portable fridge and more.

ALP created a lightweight, super quiet, long-lasting power source with multiple ports, 1000 watts capacity and over 60 hours runtime when used with a 20lbs tank. That is 60 hours of comfort, 60 hours of entertainment and 60 hours of fresh, cool food and drinks without the use of gasoline; just to name a few uses.

Pros:

  • EPA and CARB approved
  • 30 lbs portable and lightweight design
  • Multiple charging options
  • Ultra-bright emergency light
  • Pure sine-wave technology
  • 1-year Limited Warranty
  • Incredibly quiet

Cons:

  • Higher long-term costs for propane
  • Larger in size and heavier weight

Product Dimensions: 18-1/4″ L x 10-1/4” W x 14” H

Weight: 30 lbs

Price: $529.99

Purchase by clicking HERE.

Portable Power Pack – National Luna

National Luna Portable power back

This Portable Power Pack by National Luna with its built-in split-charge isolator, is perfect to power up your 12-volt appliances like an electric blanket, rope lights and even a portable refrigerator. National Luna is so confident in their product, that it is backed by a 3-year comprehensive warranty.

It comes with everything you need for easy installation so purchasing additional supplies for use like a cable kit is not necessary. The power pack is a removable battery box and also works great as a backup power source for your more modern off-road vehicle.

 Pros:

  • Simple Installation
  • Removable & Portable
  • Built-In Battery Monitor & Input Voltage Monitor
  • Slide-Lock Lid
  • Bolt-Down or Strap-Down Design
  • Can Accommodate Standard Automotive Battery Types
  • Fuse-Protected Plugs & Connections
  • Fully-Automatic Split-Charge Isolator
  • Additional Battery Terminals & Hardware Supplied
  • USB Charge Ports, Additional DC Output, NL5 Charger Input

Cons:

  • Limited to small devices and some medium appliances

Product Dimensions: 20″ L x 10″ W x 12″ H

Weight: 12lbs

Price: $490.00

Purchase by clicking HERE.

Dometic Portable Lithium Battery

Dometic portable lithium battery

This sleek and compact Portable Lithium Battery by Dometic is a super convenient power source for whichever type of adventure you want to have. Use it to recharge your mobile devices during a day trip or keep your meals fresh at the camp site.

This lithium battery received the 2019 Red Dot Award for Best Design and was created to be the best power source for its portable electric coolers, like the Dometic CFX. Just one charge and you’ll be good to go all weekend!

Pros:

  • Enables you to travel off-grid for longer
  • Three-way charging via 12 V DC socket, solar panel or AC home power
  • Lightweight, ergonomically designed stainless steel carry-handle
  • Built-in LCD screen displays: capacity, charging status and output
  • Specifically designed for Dometic CFX and other powered coolers
  • Powerful battery cells provide 512 Wh of energy, 40 Ah
  • Designed to power a Dometic CFX for a weekend or longer

Cons:

  • Not suitable for larger appliances
  • Expensive in cost

Product Dimensions: 7.76 ” D x 10.02 ” H x 7.76 ” W

Weight: 16.10 lbs

Price: $849.99

Purchase by clicking HERE.

Goal Zero Solar Panel

Take advantage of our most natural power supply, the sun, with this Goal Zero Solar Panel. This power supply is available in 3 options and the price ranges from about $125 to $250 making it one of the more affordable portable power sources on this list so far.

For recharging your smaller devices like mobile phones, digital cameras or 10-30 watt rechargers, we would recommend a solar panel like the this from Goal Zero. No fuel or electricity needed, just angle the panel using the detachable kick stand for optimal charging and you’re all set.

Pros:

  • Charge phones and USB devices directly from the sun
  • Dynamic auto-restart and intelligent electronics that optimize output to match the device
  • Easy-to-read LED indicator displays strength of solar conditions
  • Detachable kickstand provides optimum angle placement, natural shade for charging devices
  • Vented pocket for temperature regulation
  • Weatherproof layering easily sloughs rain and snow
  • Auto restart that is smarter than anything else on the market

Cons:

  • Not suitable for use with medium devices or larger appliances
  • Cannot be used during poor weather conditions

Product Dimensions: 13” W x 8.75” H x 0.5” D (Nomad 7 Plus)

Weight: 0.80 lbs (Nomad 7 Plus)

Price: $124.99 – $249.99

Purchase by clicking HERE.

BigBlue Solar Panel

BigBlue was launched in 2015 and has since committed to creating affordable, consumer friendly electronics like this BigBlue Solar Panel. This 28W solar panel was designed to keep your electronic devices available for use even when you’re away from home and is compatible with most phones and tablets.

Attach this portable solar panel to your backpack while doing outdoor activities such as hiking and keep up to 2 USB devices charged up even when you’re on the go. This lightweight, waterproof and compact solar panel folds neatly to fit inside most bags too.

Pros:

  • Built-in ammeter of this 28w solar panel charger can measure the current real-time value
  • Exclusive Smart IC Technology: With the built-in intelligence chip, our solar phone charger detects your device then deliver its fastest possible charging speed
  • The total output of two output ports is 5V*4A=20W Max
  • High Conversion Efficiency: SunPower Solar Panels with higher solar conversion efficiency by up to 24%
  • Special PET Polymer Surface: Industrial-strength PET polymer fabric protects your portable solar panel charger and your devices from occasional rain or wet fog

Cons:

  • Does not store up energy. Must be used while facing sunlight
  • Limited use to small USB devices
  • Cannot be used during poor weather conditions

Product Dimensions: 11.23” W x 6.3” H x 0.71” D

Weight: 1.31 pounds

Price: $69.99

Purchase by clicking HERE.

Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Station

Goal Zero is also a great option when you’re looking for a portable power station. This Yeti 200x Portable Power Station uses industry leading technology to give you 200-watt-hours of portable power. There is also a 500x option if you need even more power. Not only can you use electricity at home or power from your car to charge up this power station but it also has solar panel charging capabilities.

This portable power station works great in just about any condition. Use it outdoors for multiple recharges for your camera gear, mobile devices, laptop and more or use it at home for smaller items like internet modems and lights. It’s also useful for important medical devices.

Pros:

  • Built to last and field tested in varied environments, from Arctic locations to jobsites to homes
  • Various output ports include USB-A, USB-C, and USB PD ports, 6-millimeter port, 12-volt car port, and a 60-hertz AC inverter port
  • Dependable portable battery power you can rely on in any situation
  • Over- and under voltage protections, temperature protections, and a battery management system to monitor individual cell and battery-pack health
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • Not suitable for use with larger appliances like portable refrigerators or heaters
  • Solar panel cannot be used during poor weather conditions

Product Dimensions: 11” W x 9” H x 8” D

Weight: 5lbs

Price: $299.95

Purchase by clicking HERE.

Jackery Portable Power Station

Name the Best Portable Power Station for use in the outdoors by Digital Trends, this Jackery Portable Power Station is definitely a go to portable power source. With over 9 years in the industry, Jackery is trusted for its reliable and versatile portable energy devices.

The lightweight design makes it easy to carry and use during your trip. It’s has three options for charging including with solar panels (sold separately), using your car or via an electric outlet. It’s also a favorite because it is a portable power supply with an outlet making it easy to plug in your laptops and other electronic devices, even without just a USB.

Pros:

  • Easy to carry around for outdoor adventures such as Tent Camping, Road Trip, Backyard Camping, etc
  • Equipped with a 240Wh lithium-ion battery pack
  • Versatile power source. Features 1* Pure Sine Wave AC outlet (110V 200W 400W Peak), 2* USB-A ports (5V, 2.4A), and 1* 12V DC car port
  • Recharge with the Jackery SolarSaga 60 solar panel. Its built-in MPPT controller enables the solar panel to operate at its max power point.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for larger appliances like refrigerators, blenders and portable stoves
  • Additional cost to add solar panel

Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.2 x 7.9in

Weight: 6.6lbs

Price: $199.99

Purchase by clicking HERE.

EF Ecoflow River Portable Power Supply

EF Ecoflow River Portable Power Supply is versatile, lightweight and a great choice for just about any situation which calls for portable power. This rechargeable power supply is a go-to for boating, camping, tailgating, overlanding and more.

This portable power supply can power 10 devices at once, up to 1800W using various ports including USB and a plug-in outlet. It is fast-charging and quiet, plus it also has solar panel (sold separately) charging capabilities. You can also keep safe indoors during emergency power situations.

Pros:

  • EcoFlow’s patented X-Stream Technology; fast recharge in less than 1 hour from 0% to 80%
  • Switch to a quieter charging condition by turning on the “Quiet Charging” status on the APP
  • Power most heavy-duty kitchen appliances and tools (up to 1800W)
  • Double the capacity from 288Wh to 576Wh with Extra Battery
  • 24 months product warranty

Cons:

  • Not suitable for larger appliances such as microwaves, heaters and air conditioners
  • Higher cost compared to some other options

Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 7.3 x 7.7 inches

Weight: 11lbs

Price: $349.00

Purchase by clicking HERE.

Let’s Wrap It Up

If nothing else, I hope we’re taking away all the ways a portable power source can improve our lives. Whether it’s making us more comfortable during our outdoor adventures or keeping us safe during emergencies, having access to a portable power supply is always a smart decision.

Remember to pay attention to some key features like runtime, voltage and size when choosing your portable power source and be sure to focus on how you intend to use it. A simple way to do this is to note that the bigger the portable power supply, the more it can normally handle. For example, a larger portable battery generator is sure to give you an extra boost of power over a smaller solar panel.

Don’t be afraid to get a few options for optimum comfort levels and various uses. Imagine never running out of power because you have a portable battery to charge your phones while on the go in the week and also a power station for your weekend off road trip.

You can never go wrong with a little extra power so choose wisely and always be prepared.

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