Portable Power Supply for Camping

Are you looking to buy a Portable Power Supply? Need more information to help make your decision? We've created this detailed guide to answer all of your questions about the Best Portable Power Supplies.  

You can check out the Pros and Cons, check Customer Reviews, FAQ's and more. Check our quick navigation links to quickly find all the information you need to choose a Portable Power Supply right here. 

Portable Power Supply : Different Types

Camping Battery

Smallest Portable Power Supplies that are great for short day or weekend camping trips to power your communication devices or a small TV/mini Fridge.

what can a camping battery power?

Portable Power Pack

Medium sized Portable Power Supplies for weekend or longer camping trips with power for more devices like a Drone or your PSP / Xbox.

what can a portable power supply power?

Portable Power Supply

Portable Power Supplies that have the most power.  Able to power a regular refrigerator or a Desktop Computer. For more power check out Solar Generators.

what can a portable power supply power?

Best Portable Power Supply 

Portable Power Supply for Camping :  Like it or not, smart phones, laptops and digital cameras have become a staple of our lives. 

Nowadays, a small silent reliable Portable Power Supply, is essential gear for any outdoor camping trip.

Portable Power Supply aka Peace of Mind : The unobtrusive, compact and silent Portable Power Supply gives you peace of mind and provides a safety tether to the mainland during your camping trip to the wilds. 

See the best models by clicking on the box / link.

See the top Portable Power Supplies  for camping - all these models are top rated and reviewed by customers

Portable Power Supply

Who needs a Portable Power Supply ?

Portable Power Needs :  If your power needs on a camping trip  are limited to ONE Tablet and a couple of Phones, you will be better served by a regular Solar Charger. A Portable Power Supply might be overkill.

If you plan to just use your Smart Phones while you are hiking the trails a Solar Phone Charger will do the job very well.  

So who really needs a Portable Power Supply for camping? 

Camping Power Supply  :  A Portable Camping Power Supply is usually a shared resource for two or more Campers on a camping trip for a couple of days.

Your power needs include the standard charging of your Laptops and smart phones.

In addition you plan to have a couple of lights and perhaps even listen to your boombox during the campfire and power an Electric Blanket or a CPAP machine.  If you answer is yes to most of the above, you are a good candidate for a Portable Power Supply.

If your power needs are going to be more than the scenario I described or if your trip is going to be longer, or if you are just not sure if the Portable Power Supply will do it, you might like to see their more powerful cousins the Portable Solar Generator.

Best Portable Power Pack for Camping

Portable Power Pack for Camping :  A Portable Power Pack is a medium sized Portable Power Supply.

Portable Power Packs have enough power to run your XBox or PSP while you are out in the woods.

A 32" TV is also game as well as Laptops and smart phones plus ipads. 

Using them smartly could take you through a few days or more in the outdoors : many can also be powered by Solar Panels.

Consider buying external Solar Panels if you plan to use them on long trips without power.

These are essentially a compact electronically packaged unit designed to provide power for various camping / outdoor activities.

Whats inside? :  The Portable Power Supply has three electronic components : In built Battery, Charging Power Supply for the Battery and an Inverter to convert the Portable Power Supplies DC Power to AC.

Here is a quick selection of the Best Portable Power Packs for Camping.

Top Portable Power Pack for Camping

See the top larger Portable Power Supplies  for camping - also called Portable Power Packs for Camping

Portable Power Pack for Camping

Best Camping Battery

Camping Battery :  Smaller Portable Power Packs  are also called Camping Batteries.

See a few of the Top Camping Batteries by clicking on the box .

Battery Care : Avoid over charging or discharging of your camping battery to get the most out of them.

Avoid using the Portable Power Supply till it dies; at that point you have completely discharged the battery.

Similarly when you charge your Portable Power Supply, don't keep charging it for hours on end. 

You will end up overcharging the camping battery.

See the top smaller Portable Power Supplies  for camping - also called Camping Batteries

Camping Battery

How to choose a Portable Power Supply ?

The first question you need to answer is how much power do you need on your Camping Trip?  

Can you do with a 100 watt Portable Power Supply for Camping or do you need a larger Camping Battery?  This section will help you decide on the right size for your needs.

Size your Power Supply

Weight of your Portable Power Pack  :  Be very careful not to over size your Power Pack.  

It just might not be worth the effort of lugging it around on rugged uneven camping terrain. 

Does the Portable Power Pack have a carrying case ? What are its dimensions, can it be easily packed into a rucksack?  

Who will be in charge and will the portable power supply be an easy load to carry on your camping site terrain? 

Choosing the Inverter and Battery 

Portable Power Supply for Camping

Camping Battery :  The Battery is simply the most critical component of the Camping Portable Power Supply unit. Choose wisely, you will need to balance the cost of the Portable Power Supply Unit, with its weight and power.

The smallest size and weight are reserved for Lithium Ion Battery based Portable Power Packs.  However, Lithium Ion based Camping Batteries are more expensive.  

You might find an AGM battery based Portable Power Supply for Camping could work well for your budget and weight requirements. So dont rule out AGM based Portable Power Supplies just because they have an AGM battery.

The Inverter is a critical component of the  Portable Power Supply. Its best to get a Sine Wave Inverter as they provide clean power for your devices.

However, Portable Power Supplies like the Goal Zero Yeti 15o are amazingly popular and it produces modified sine wave power.  Modified sine wave is fine for laptops and are likely to cause problems in more sensitive higher end audio and similar devices.

Pros & Cons 

PROS

  • Use indoors or outdoors. 
  • Multiple charging options : Recharge batteries with Solar Panels ( usually not included) or direct from a wall outlet or cigarette lighter charger on your car.
  • Environmentally friendly, clean and silent, no spills or fumes.
  • Easy to use and very portable.
  • Great for camping, Tailgate parties and as a power backup to run your lights, phones, tablets and computers.

CONS

  • They lack power with the largest ones producing 500 watts or less.
  • Solar Panels will add to power capability, but they are sold separately.
  • All Batteries will run out within 3 to 5 years.
  • Some units have batteries that are difficult or impossible to replace. You would have to throw them after they die. 

TOP selling Portable Power Supplies

Sale
Renogy Phoenix Portable Power Supply
Renogy Phoenix Portable Power Supply
107 Reviews
The Phoenix has won awards for its slick design and integrated technology. With a high efficiency 20 watt mono Renogy panel to power it, this is Solar Powered Portable Power Supply that can run continuously.

For true grid independence you would be better served by adding more solar panels (100 watts max ).  The briefcase sized Phoenix is light at about 13 pounds.

The internal Lithium battery has a capacity of 210 watt hours and is able to deliver 150 watts of AC power through its single 110 volt AC outlet. In addition, you have 4 high-speed USB ports and 2 DC outlets.

Positive Word of mouth and great reviews for this unit have been growing and this is now officially a BEST SELLER. A little pricey, but with in-built Solar Panels, excellent design and high quality workmanship you have a winner in your hands.
Sale
Chafon 346 Portable Power Supply
Chafon 346 Portable Power Supply
250 Reviews
The Boombox sized 7.6 pound Chafon 346 has been blitzing the Portable Power Supply market. Light weight and Powerful with increasingly positive word of mouth, the Chafon 346 is ringing up the sales.

The Lithium ion Battery belts out over 500 watts of steady AC power with an instantaneous surge capacity of 1000 watts.

The 500 watts of AC power allow you to power many high power tools which other Battery Generators are not able to support.

With 346 watt hours of capacity, it will not be able to power bigger tools for long; perhaps 20 to 30 minutes.

But with its four 12 V DC Ports and four fast charging USB ports this will last for a few days on a regular camping trip.

The Emergency Car Jump Starter and Emergency Light and in-built battery protection circuits round out a very capable Portable Power Supply.
Sale
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Supply
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Supply
398 Reviews
This is one of the original top selling Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Supplies. The Yeti 400 is powered by AGM batteries is slightly heavy at 29.6 pounds.

That is a small price to pay, the price tag for the Yeti 400 is significantly lower than competitors. Power capacity is more than adequate at 396 watt hours.

It has a plethora of outputs : 2 Pure Sine wave AC outputs at steady 300 watts / One 12 V DC Ports for lighting / Three fast charging USB ports to charge mobile devices/ A cigarette lighter socket for Mini Fridge or Mini Air compressor.

Backed by US based Goal Zero Customer Support and a 6 month warranty, this has been a long time favorite with Campers and Outdoor enthusiasts.

If you are willing to take care of its AGM battery by not overcharging it, and making sure it is used often, you will have one very reliable Portable Power Supply.
Sale
Anker Powerhouse 400 Portable Power Supply
Anker Powerhouse 400 Portable Power Supply
120 Reviews
The Anker Powerhouse is just 9.26 pounds and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

That incredible size to power ratio makes the Anker Powerhouse 400 a winner in this Portable Power Supply line up.

One 120 watt pure Sine wave AC output, two 12 V DC Ports for lighting and other devices, Four fast charging USB ports to charge mobile devices and a cigarette lighter socket for your Mini Fridge or Mini Air compressor.

Anker is a powerhouse brand backed by over 10 million users. This battery generator has an 18 month warranty plus a protective Battery Management System (BMS) to control current, voltage and temperature for complete device and Portable Power Supply protection.

The Anker PowerHouse Battery Generator kit comprises of the 434Wh Portable Power Supply, a 10ft AC adapter to charge the battery, a 2ft Micro USB charging cable, a welcome guide and friendly customer support.
Sale
Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Supply
Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Supply
65 Reviews
The Yeti 400 Lithium is a new Portable Power Supply from Goal Zero, the makers of excellent Solar and Battery Generators.

Designed with power and portability in mind this 16 pound unit can deliver 300 watts of Pure Sine wave power through 2 AC outputs.

And it has a huge 1200 watts of AC surge power (that's the initial jolt of extra power required to start some AC Tools). Mind you, it will only run Tools that consume 300 watts or less in regular use.

Add one 12 V DC Ports for lighting, three fast charging USB ports to charge mobile devices and a cigarette lighter socket for Mini Fridge or Mini Air compressor, viola you have a powerful Portable Power Supply Solution in the Yeti 400 Lithium.

US based Goal Zero Customer Support with 12 month warranty are added benefits and its 428 watt hour power capacity makes it a great mid sized Portable Power Supply.

FAQ's 

What is a portable portable power supply ?

An integrated electronic device built around an internal battery, usually Lithium ion based, but some older varieties use AGM batteries as well. 

The electronics control how the internal battery is charged: thru a wall outlet, or a cigarette lighter charger or for many, using solar panes.

The device has sophisticated integrated circuitry, called a charge controller, to control the battery charging process. 

The internal battery then powers your devices like your smartphone, laptop, mini fridge, TV, Xbox etc when you are on a camping trip or outdoors away from power.

The Portable Power Supply has output options such as a regular AC plug, USB ports, DC outputs and sometimes cigarette lighter charger outputs as well.  

The Electronic controller that makes sure the batteries power is perfectly controlled and output to the various devices without causing damage is called the Inverter.

What can a portable power supply power?

A portable power supply is an effective source of power for small AC and DC devices.  Powering your mobile phones, smart phones, laptops, camping lights,  CPAP machine, small fridge, a fan or a desktop computer etc.

They are not suitable for heavier tools like a power saw or for a window AC. Those are better powered by Heavy Duty Solar Generators or by regular Generators.

How is a portable power supply different from a regular portable solar generator?

Portable Power Supplies are useful as a power backup solution for compact devices.  Many of them are paired with Solar Panels and are then called Portable Solar Generators.  

We have another article on MySolarHome.us that looks at different types of Portable Solar Generators.

What size Portable Power Supply should I buy?

If your needs are purely for your personal electronics, the smaller ​Camping Batteries will work for you.

For use with appliances with power requirements of more than a 100 watts but less than 300 watts : like a Drone, DVD player, XBox etc the Portable Power Packs would be best.

The larger Portable Power Supplies are slightly more powerful and can be used for a desktop computer and printer or to power a small cabin with lights and a small fridge and a fan. They will provide power for much longer as compared to the smaller units.

What kind of batteries do they use and how long will they last?

Portable Power Supplies use either AGM or Lithium batteries.

AGM batteries are slightly heavier and need to be kept regularly charged. They should last for 2 to 4 years.

The more advanced Lithium ion batteries require much less care, they are lighter and they last longer, between 3 or 5 years. However, they are more expensive.

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Top Portable Power Supply / TOP Camping Batteries / TOP Portable Power Packs for Camping – end of the article

Last update on 2019-09-15 at 20:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Author: Michael Bennet

A Solar energy professional with ten years of marketing and installation experience. Avid and passionate about the adoption of solar and related technologies in all homes. Blogs about all things solar and sustainable at MySolarHome.us.