Best Portable Power Station For Car Camping

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Millions of people love to go car camping. While there are standard options such as tents, campfires, and s’mores, many campers now bring portable power stations for car camping.

Our top pick is the Jackery 500 with solar panels. It can power a mini cooler for at least 7 hours and can be charged via solar or DC charging.

At first, I never paid any attention to these systems because I don’t bring many gadgets when I go camping. The only gadget I bring that needs charging is my phone.

However, after the Texas freeze of 2021, I invested in one so that we could have Internet access and run some lights.

I bring my Jackery on my campouts now when I need to run my fan. It is amazing how well this thing works. And it’s so quiet.

Jackery

Jackery has become the top-rated brand for portable power stations in the past decade for very good reason. They are simple to set up and can be charged relatively quickly via solar panels, making them ideal for those who love the outdoors or who live in more rural areas where power outages are more common.

Additionally, these portable power stations can run almost anything you need - from small electronics like phones to larger appliances like a mini fridge - which is perfect for emergencies or extended camping trips.

In short, Jackery’s portable power stations have become essential for many people in various situations, and it’s not hard to see why they’ve become so popular in recent years.

Pro:

  • Solar powered
  • Quiet
  • Provide power to almost anything you own

Whether you need to run a fan, a laptop, a CPAP, or even a small fridge, and a 60 watt electric blanket you can do that using a Jackery.

Anker

Anker is best known for their line of portable phone chargers, which are popular with travelers and people who are always on the go.

Now, the company has expanded its product line to include portable power stations. These small, lightweight devices can charge phones, tablets, and laptops, and they come with various features that make them ideal for use in any number of situations.

Portable power stations are perfect for camping trips or days spent at the beach and can even be used as a backup power source in an emergency. With Anker’s new line of portable power stations, staying connected has never been easier.

It provides comparable features to the Jackery while claiming they charge faster. I am excited to get my hands on one to compare to my Jackery.

Pro

  • Trusted brand
  • New features for faster charging
  • USB-C port

If you want to learn more about Anker, then check them out here.

GoalZero

Gasoline generators have long been the go-to choice for those needing a reliable power source for extended periods.

However, solar-powered generators are increasingly becoming a viable option for many people.

Solar generators rely on energy from the sun to generate power, making them more environmentally friendly than their gasoline counterparts.

In addition, solar generators are quieter than gasoline generators and often come with various features that make them more user-friendly.

While they may require a larger initial investment, solar generators can save money in the long run and provide a more sustainable power source.

This option is the best for long-term camping. If you want to go camping in the backcountry for 14 days on BLM land with a working house fridge in your van, then you need a GoalZero.

The company Survival Frog now offers this GoalZero power station in their selection of survival products that can do everything for you.

Pro:

  • Long-term camping option
  • Can run big appliances

I want to emphasize that this is heavier and larger to carry but will fit into your SUV.

If you are looking for an option for long-term camping, then look at the GoalZero.

Why You Need A Portable Power Station For Car Camping

A portable power station for car camping is a great way to have power while you are on the go. This way, you can keep your devices charged and continue to enjoy your time outdoors. Just because you are car camping doesn’t mean that you need to completely rough it.

A popular use case for these power stations is to run fans in your tent at night. That’s my primary use for the Jackery. A single charge, and I can run my fan all night long.

But many people also use these power stations to run a portable electric cooler or mini-fridge. That way, you are not worried about running out of ice or having to keep your food in a bear-resistant container.

Most portable power stations can also charge your devices like phones and laptops. So if you are car camping with friends, you can all charge your devices simultaneously.

Better Than Traditional Generators

Traditional generators require diesel, propane, or gasoline to operate. This can be expensive and is also not very eco-friendly.

Portable power stations are much more efficient and use lithium batteries. These batteries can be recharged using solar panels or from a standard outlet.

Traditional generators are also very noisy. This can be a problem if you are car camping in a national park or other quiet areas.

Portable power stations are very quiet and will not disturb your neighbors.

What Is The Difference Between A Portable Power Station And A Power Bank

Power banks and power stations depend upon rechargeable batteries to work. The biggest difference is the size of the battery in the device. Though a power bank often has additional electronics that allow the power bank to protect the batteries better than a power bank.

A power bank is a small, lightweight device easily carried in a pocket or bag. It typically has a USB port to charge devices and a small LCD screen to show how much power is left. A portable power station is larger and heavier.

Still, it has a higher capacity battery, more output ports, and sometimes AC outlets to power larger devices like TVs and refrigerators.

Portable power stations are also useful for camping or backup power during outages.

What To Look For In A Portable Power Station

When shopping for a portable power station, remember a few things.

First, consider how much power you need. If you are just using it to run a fan at night, you don’t need as much power as someone who wants to run a mini-fridge and charge several devices.

Second, think about how you will be recharging the power station. Solar panels are the most eco-friendly option, but you need direct sunlight to recharge. If you are car camping in a cloudy area or during the winter, you may want to choose a power station that can be plugged into a standard outlet.

Third, consider the weight and size of the power station. If you plan backpacking or hiking to your campsite, you will want a lighter and smaller option.

You go camping to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but you still want to be able to stay connected and powered up.

It’s no secret that camping can be a great way to unplug from the grid, but sometimes you just need a little bit of power to keep your devices going.

A portable power station for camping is the perfect solution for all your power needs. This compact, lightweight generator can run fans, refrigerators, laptops, phones, and projectors so you can stay connected and entertained even when you’re off the grid.

Can You Run A Heater Off A Portable Power Station?

Unfortunately, heaters and even electric blankets require too much power to run off a portable power station.

Your best bet would be to bring a propane heater or invest in a quality sleeping bag.

Some car campers also like to use a 12-volt mattress pad. This goes under your sleeping bag and uses your car’s battery to provide warmth.

Can You Run An Air Conditioner Off A Portable Power Station?

Sorry, no, you cannot.

The best way to keep cool while camping is to use a fan. Fans use very little power and can significantly affect the temperature of your tent or RV.

If you are car camping in a hot area, you may also want to invest in an evaporative cooler. These coolers use water to create a cooling effect and can lower the temperature by several degrees.

A portable power station is a perfect way to stay powered up while camping. This compact, lightweight generator can run fans, refrigerators, laptops, phones, and projectors so you can stay connected and entertained even when you’re off the grid. Whether you are car camping in a sunny area or during the winter months, there is a portable power station that will suit your needs.

Finally, our recommended pick is the Jackery 500.

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