Guide to the Best Portable Power Station UK
Welcome to your guide to the wonderful world of portable power stations! In this guide, you’ll learn all you need to know about these handy devices – from selecting the right model for your needs, to safely using it and maximizing its efficiency. So, let’s get started!
What is a Portable Power Station?
The Best portable power station is a device that stores or “banks”, electricity. is basically like having your own power plant in a box. You can charge the device up either with an AC wall outlet or a solar panel, and then use it to power your electronics wherever you are. Portable power stations are great for camping trips, outdoor concerts, picnics, or anywhere else you might need a reliable source of power.
How do portable power stations work
Portable power stations work by converting energy from either an AC wall outlet or a solar panel into DC electricity that can be used to power your devices. The device itself will include several ports for plugging in devices, and the number of ports available will depend on the model you choose. When it comes time to store the device, make sure it is fully charged, as this will help to extend its lifespan.
How to choose a portable power station
When choosing the best portable power station, it’s important to consider your needs. Think about how much power you need, what types of devices you’ll be powering, and the environment that you’ll be using the device in (such as extreme temperatures or high levels of moisture). It’s also helpful to read reviews from other customers to get an idea of the device’s quality and performance. Finally, make sure to check the manufacturer’s warranty before making a purchase.
Table of Contents
What Features to Look For
When shopping for the best portable power station, there are several things to keep in mind. First and foremost is capacity: how much power can the device store? You’ll also want to consider charging speed as well as the number of ports available for charging multiple devices. It’s also important to check the type and size of batteries that are used in the device, as this will determine its overall lifespan.
Tips on Safely Using a Portable Power Station
Now that you know what features to look for, it’s time to discuss how to safely use a portable power station. First of all, you should always read the instructions that come with your device before using it. Make sure you know how to properly charge and discharge the battery, as well as any other safety precautions outlined by the manufacturer. You should also make sure the device is kept away from moisture, extreme temperatures, and open flames.
How the security industry use a portable power station
Portable power stations have become increasingly popular the security industry. They provide a reliable source of energy for all kinds of surveillance equipment, including cameras, motion sensors, alarms and access control systems. The best Portable power stations are also ideal for remote locations that may not be accessible to traditional power sources.
With their ability to store and deliver large amounts of energy, they are perfect for powering security systems in both permanent and temporary locations. Additionally, since most models are powered by rechargeable batteries, they offer a more eco-friendly alternative compared to traditional sources of electricity.
Benefits of a portable power station
The benefits of having a portable power station are plentiful. Not only can these devices provide you with reliable, on-the-go power, but they can also save you money in the long run. Additionally, since most models are powered by rechargeable batteries, they are an eco-friendly choice compared to traditional sources of electricity.
What size portable power station do I need?
Knowing what devices you plan to run on your power station is the first step in selecting the right size. You should also be aware of their power requirements, as this will help you narrow down your choices. To determine the wattage required for each device, check their instruction manuals or other sources of technical specifications. Once you have a list of all the required wattages, you can add them up to get an idea of what size portable power station you need.
|Portable Power Station Size
|For outdoor office/remote working, power during a light Weekend getaway
|Emergency backup power supply for your home essentials, versatile power for travelling
|Heavy-duty sustainable power usage, power for extended weekend trips, and reliable home backup power
|Daily power tool usage, lengthy car or van trips and home backup power for extended periods
What can you run on a portable power station?
The types of devices you can run on a portable power station depend on the model and its capabilities. Generally speaking, these devices can be used to charge laptops, smartphones, tablets, cameras, lights and other small electronic items. Some models may even be able to power larger appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners.
Advice on Maximizing Efficiency
Once you have the best portable power station, it’s important to practice good energy conservation habits. Make sure you always charge the device fully and discharge it completely before storing it away. This will help to keep the battery healthy and maximize its efficiency over time. Additionally, make sure to unplug any devices that aren’t being used, as this will help conserve energy and keep your device running longer.
Anker Portable Power Station
The Anker Portable Power Station has a big capacity, which will make it especially useful for charging the more power-hungry portable devices (laptops, etc) while on the go.
This device has a capacity of 388Wh, which can easily charge any mobile phone, tablet, smartwatch, or bodycam multiple times. It will charge a Macbook Air roughly 5 times, an iPhone 11 23 times, an iPad Air 11 times and a digital camera over 20 times (depending on the camera).
The power station itself can be charged via a mains socket, or even directly from the car. The device comes bundled with 12V cables that connect just as easily to either outlet.
Charging occurs quickly, taking about 1 hour 20 minutes to fully charge a laptop, which is a lot faster than most laptop chargers. You can monitor the progress of the charge via the clear, easy-to-read display. The display is illuminated and rather large, making it one of the more user-friendly features of this device.
The Anker Portable Power Station is capable of charging as many as 8 devices simultaneously. It features a 300W AC power outlet, a 60W USB-C port, a car socket and 2 DC ports, so most of your needs will be covered.
On the downside, the power station can’t output a regular UK plug and a USB device at the same time. So, when a device is simply plugged in to charge from a regular plug, it cannot also charge a USB device. It will charge either, but not both simultaneously. We’re honestly not sure why this is, but it isn’t exactly ideal. The USB charger is also somewhat temperamental and doesn’t work quite as well as we might reasonably expect.
The power station also lacks a wireless charger which, though not a deal breaker, would be very useful.
This power station uses a pure sine wave inverter, which means that the power output is very stable and can even reduce the noise emitted by electrical products such as fans, speakers, docking stations, and other sensitive devices.
The power station itself is very chunky and sturdy, with all corners strengthened to protect against accidental droppage and the general wear and tear that comes with outdoor use. Covers on the outlets also help to keep it safe and secure. However, despite being very tough and well made, this power station is rather light and portable. It even has a handle for extra convenience.
One feature we liked was the addition of solar panels, meaning that some of the power from this device (about 55 – 60W in direct sunlight, but only 15 – 20W on a cloudy day) comes directly from the sun. This is a great feature that makes this device even better suited for outdoor use.
It is possible to boost this solar function by simply connecting an extra solar panel (sourced separately) to this device, which can more than double the amount of solar input received by the power station. The more powerful the panel, the more solar energy this device can absorb.
The only negative point here is that the plug used for the solar charging point is not a UK cable, so some alterations or additional purchases will need to be made if you want to make this feature work.
All told, this is an excellent device mired by one or two minor flaws. The potential to harvest and re-distribute a considerable amount of solar energy is great, but hampered by the need to purchase additional tech and modify the cables somewhat.
Also, the finicky USB port and inability to charge mains devices and USB devices at the same time are less than ideal features.
However, in general, this device is multi-faceted, well-designed, and totally versatile. It’s really quite amazing.
Can be charged via a main socket as well as in the car with 12v cables
Has a convenient ambient light on the back, a spot light on the side & a sturdy carry handle
The display provides a constant readout of the output & time left as well as the battery percentage
Jackery Portable Power Station
This light, portable power station has a big capacity of 500Wh and can power up to 4 devices at once. It features an array of connections, including 1 AC power outlet, 2 USB A ports and 1 DC car port. It’s specifically designed with outdoor devices in mind, so is very useful for lights, torches, drones, coolers, and other portable electronics such as laptops, tablets, and phones. It also has an input for solar panels.
The station makes good use of a clear, easy-to-read display that tells you exactly how much power each device is using at any given time. Another clever feature is the ability to charge the power station itself at the same time as it charges other devices. Not every power station can do this, so that’s a great feature.
As we’ve seen, there’s quite a lot to like here. However, there are a few drawbacks as well. For example, the inverter drains 10W as soon as it is activated. If it is not switched off when not in use, it will eventually drain the entire battery in this manner. There is no automatic feature to switch it off.
The internal fan is also quite noisy. Additionally, the device takes rather a long time to charge, roughly 4 or 5 hours for a complete charge. This is still better than many others we’ve seen, however. It also takes longer than we might like to charge devices as well.
The power station doesn’t stand very well when plugged in. This is because the vast majority of British plugs have a strain reliever at the bottom of the plug (the rubber bit that covers the uppermost part of the cable as it reaches the plug). This power station was not designed to incorporate this, which means that the power station is off-balance whenever it is plugged in.
The solar panels (available separately, although only Jackery’s panels will work) function well, able to gain around 11w from the sun, even on a cloudy or overcast day. Some users have stated that they can get between 60 and 79W from the sun, which is more than you’ll get from the mains. This makes it great for use in summer or on holiday (if you’re lucky enough to be somewhere sunny).
However, a massive disappointment here comes in the form of the solar panels not being waterproof. Essentially, this means that, if it rains, the solar panels are going to be ruined very quickly. For the UK-based user, this falls very short of ideal.
In general, this is a good power station. It can fully charge a phone roughly 24 times, a laptop between 3 and 4 times and can, according to the testimony of one user, power a fridge for 5 hours.
The problems with it mainly come from the fact that it clearly wasn’t designed for use in the UK. It doesn’t comfortably fit with our plugs and the only solar panels it’s compatible with will die very quickly in adverse weather.
It also doesn’t charge as many devices as some others we’ve seen and makes rather a lot of noise as well. Its inverters also drain a lot of power unless you remember to switch them off. These and other issues mean that, although this is a decent product overall, it probably wouldn’t be one we’d rush to recommend.
Each section has its own power on/off switch
Can be charged while also having devices charging off it
The display shows you how much power each device is using
POWEROAK Portable Power Station
This high capacity 500Wh power station boasts a lifespan of up to 1000 hours. It can fully charge a laptop between 7 and 8 times and any smartphone around 50 times.
Any device with a capacity below 300W can be efficiently and reliably charged by this device. However, it’s worth noting that a device above this capacity cannot be charged by this one.
The indicator screen is clear, easy-to-read, and logically laid out, with all the pertinent information displayed in a very efficient manner. This can help you to ensure that you haven’t crossed the 300W threshold. The screen is very well-lit, with LEDs that tell you when the device has finished charging, or when the power station itself becomes low on power.
Although it takes around 8 hours to fully charge, it can be charged at home or in the car. Solar options are also available.
This power station can charge up to 11 different devices. It includes 2 UK power points, 2 USB power points, and a wireless charging pad. All outputs can be used simultaneously, which is good. Of course, this will only work if all attached devices have a combined capacity smaller than 300W.
Poweroak have made safety a top priority with this power station – and that’s something we can always admire. The lithium-ion battery is top quality, featuring excellent heat dissipation, while the device itself features in-built BMS protection, which guards against short circuiting, excessive voltages and overheating.
To make things even more impressive, the outer device is coated with flame retardant chemicals that will ensure that, if anything does go wrong, the power station itself is not a huge fire risk.
The sine wave AC converter also helps to protect your devices from similar problems.
On the downside, the 12V socket is not regulated, which has the unfortunate side-effect of making some 12V accessories unusable. In fact, the 12V charger doesn’t work especially well at all, we’re disappointed to say.
This power station weighs a chunky 7KG, making it slightly heavier than we might like. However, it is still relatively small and portable and won’t be too difficult to carry around. The fan is also very loud, making this power station somewhat disruptive for use indoors.
It also shows error messages at seemingly random intervals (though often this is due to the 300W threshold being breached).
The solar charging options are also something of a mixed bag. This power station has a built-in MPPT controller that allows the station to maximise the amount of solar energy it takes in. This is a good feature, but even with the much ballyhooed 40% increase in charge speed this offers, the solar option still takes a very long time.
In addition, if the station is plugged into a power source that drops power (such as it would if left to charge via the solar panels after sundown), the device places itself on standby and slowly begins to lose power. The solar panels will need to be switched off until morning, lest the device lose significant amounts of power. This requires a degree of vigilance on the part of the user that may not always be possible or desirable. It feels like an unnecessary bother to us.
This is a power station that means well and, most of the time, works well. However, it is somewhat temperamental and misses the mark in one or two key areas. It’s a shame, as a bit more attention to the little details and basic functionality would have made this a much better product.
Built in display which tells you when it finishes charging or if you are running low on power and battery life.
Includes Wireless mobile phone charger on top of the power station
Comes with a Zip bag to carry the unit and all the extra cables
ALLPOWERS Portable Generator
This Allpowers portable generator can charge 10 devices simultaneously and has a capacity of 288Wh. It features 2 AC ports, 2 DC ports, 1 USB-C port, 3 USB ports, a wireless charger, and a car socket, so there are a lot of charge options. It also comes bundled with a lot of cables, which is nice.
The generator is portable and reasonably lightweight, featuring a folding carry handle that makes it easy to take from one place to another, as well as a crystal-clear screen that displays all the pertinent information in a clear and concise manner.
It also includes 2 built-in LED flashlights, which is a great idea if you’re using the generator at night (e.g., whilst camping). The lights even include an ‘S.O.S’ mode.
The battery life is truly excellent and can fully charge a lot of devices before it needs charging itself. It will also last roughly twice as long as most other lithium-ion batteries, being rated for 1000 cycles, as opposed to the usual 500.
The solar panels generally work well but will take at least 8 hours (even on a sunny day) to reach a full charge. Nevertheless, this power station benefits from 4 different recharging methods (solar, mains, car, and USB-C).
This power station also comes with an app that works well and allows you to remote control the device and monitor its charging progress remotely. The app allows you to connect your devices via Bluetooth technology (if you can decipher the confusing and garbled instructions, that is). It’s a nice feature, though we’re not entirely convinced that it’s essential.
The USB ports work as well as any we’ve seen, but the mains sockets are genuinely dreadful. Thanks to the shoddy, rushed design of this generator, plugs don’t fit into the sockets correctly, meaning that they can simply fall out of them at times.
Even if the plugs don’t fall out, they can easily become disconnected and fail to charge. All it takes is a slight knock to the generator and the device can stop charging entirely, with no warning or notification because, as far as the generator is concerned, the device has simply been unplugged.
There is, quite frankly, no excuse for such an egregious oversight. At its most basic, a generator or portable power station needs to be able to pass stored energy onto other devices. That’s literally what these things were invented to do. That this device has been designed without adequate space for a simple 3-pin plug is astounding.
It gets worse, because the placement of the plugs obscures the display, as well as restricting access to the buttons beneath them.
Additionally, the AC port is limited by the wattage it can output in one go. This means that the AC can’t charge certain devices (and not even large, power-hungry devices, just anything above about 500W) because their output is simply too high for it to handle.
The wireless charger also misses the mark a lot of the time, stopping and starting at seemingly random intervals and, according to some reviews we read, even overheating.
Although this generator does have one or two cool features (a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone app, a great battery, built-in flashlights), it is ultimately let down by generally poor design. For our part, we simply cannot recommend a generator that is so ill-considered as to fail at the simple task of having devices plugged into it.
USB ports all work well, charging up to 3 devices simultaneously, including phones, tablets, and a battery charger
Multi USB ports for phone charging
Compact unit with a sizeable folding carry handle. It is light enough that it can be carried for some time and has a good clear display on the front showing charge or discharge rate, charge state, and time left to fully charged
Powkey Portable Power Station
This high-capacity (500Wh) portable generator is awkwardly shaped and heavier than we might like, but does benefit from having a 1000-cycle lithium-ion battery and a built-in flashlight with 3 light modes (‘S.O.S’, ‘strobe’ and regular light).
Its other cool features include a rapidly charging solar function, which will fully charge after just 5 hours or so of direct sunlight. The downside to this is that the solar panels are sold separately and will therefore represent an extra investment on your part.
In addition to solar power, it can also be charged via the mains or in the car. Because this generator supports 15V/9A max fast charging, any method you use will see this device charging faster than most of its contemporaries.
This generator features AC, DC, and USB ports, all of which work well (though the AC will need to be switched off when not in use, as this can drain the battery). There is also an internal fan that helps cool the device if it begins to overheat. This works automatically and kicks in once the generator reaches a certain temperature.
On the negative side, the blue LCD screen is difficult to see in the light and the generator becomes very noisy after continuous use.
All things considered; this is a decent all-rounder that sports a lot more benefits than drawbacks. It has an excellent battery that lasts for ages and charges quickly, a built-in flashlight and automatic provisions to keep it from overheating. It is heavy and cumbersome, however, with an unorthodox design that makes it hard to carry/store and a screen that is sometimes difficult to see.
LED flashlight has 3 light modes: Light, SOS, Strobe, Short press the light button to change them easily
Power station is well built and comes with a lot of features on it.
The Anker Portable Power Station is probably the best of the bunch. It has a reasonably high (though not the highest) capacity and suffers from only one or two minor flaws (such as its inability to charge certain types of devices at the same time). It’s also very sturdy and well built, so is well-suited for outdoor use.
The Jackery Portable Power Station is OK but evidently wasn’t designed with UK-based users in mind. Its outer casing suffers from a couple of related issues, such as the fact that it can’t stay balanced when used with UK-style plugs. It also doesn’t charge as many devices as some others we’ve seen.
Moving on, there’s the Poweroak Portable Power Station. This is a generally good device, with a pretty high capacity and the ability to connect to a lot of devices. It can be temperamental, however and suffers from a few annoying design flaws that may cause some irritation.
The Allpowers Portable Generator isn’t one we would recommend, as the plugs can simply fall out of it, and it suffers from several other issues that range from basically annoying to downright infuriating. It does have some cool features and a high capacity, however.
Finally, we have the Powkey Portable Generator, which is a good, if unspectacular all-rounder. It has a great battery and charges well, boasting a high capacity and an array of innovative features. It does suffer from heaviness and a clunky design, however.
If we were to pick an overall favourite, it would be the Anker, the first model featured here, as it has fewer negative points than the others and generally works well in most, if not all, situations.
None of these devices are perfect, and all have their downsides, but all are at least capable of doing what they were designed to do. As usual, the choice lies with you.