The 5 best portable power stations we tested in 2021

Author: Kraig Becker

As more electronic devices pervade every aspect of our lives, finding ways to keep them charged and functional wherever we go has become increasingly important. As a result, there are now a dizzying array of power stations and high-capacity battery packs on the market, making it easier than ever to never stray too far from a source of power. 

Whether you need to keep your electronic devices functioning on a weekend camping trip or are looking for an emergency power supply for use at home, there are dozens of models to choose from. Some power stations are rugged, durable, and built for the outdoors, while others are more refined and sleeker in design. By providing hours of extra juice wherever and whenever you need it, portable power stations are a convenient tool to have at your disposal, particularly in times of unexpected power outages.

Their versatility can't be understated, either. In testing the power stations featured in this guide, I've used them in just about every situation imaginable. Not only do I make sure to pack at least one while camping, but I stash a portable model in my backpack while in the backcountry and have a more robust station at the ready should the lights in my home start to flicker. As with most tech products, sorting through the variety of portable power stations can be confusing and time-consuming. To help you figure out which one best meets your needs, I tested an array of what's currently available and narrowed the field to the best worth owning — many of which have been my go-to power sources for years.

The best mid-sized power station

Compact and lightweight, the EcoFlow Delta 1300 is a feature-packed portable power station that offers plenty of charging ports, including six AC wall outlets.

Pros: Able to power up to 13 devices at once, still portable despite its 31-pound weight, recharges quickly
Cons: Power can drain rapidly when charging multiple devices

The EcoFlow Delta 1300 is my favorite power station when it comes to charging the most devices at once. All told, it comes equipped with no fewer than 13 individual ports, including two standard USB-A ports, two USB-A quick-charging ports, and a pair of 60-watt USB-C PD ports. Additionally, it features a 12-volt car port and six (yes, six) AC wall outlets, making it easy to keep a large number of gadgets and tools functioning at the same time. Powering the Delta 1300 is a 1260 watt-hour battery, which pumps out enough juice to recharge smartphones and tablets dozens of times and extend the life of a laptop by nearly 24 hours. The 1800-watt AC outlets can also power a small refrigerator, an LCD TV, a toaster, and even a hairdryer. That gives this particular battery pack a level of versatility that you won't find in most other mid-range power stations — and made it a highly useful thing to pack on car camping trips. Considering the size of its battery and the number of ports that it offers, the Delta 1300 is surprisingly small. Compared to other power stations in this class, it's relatively compact, making it easier to carry around. A pair of integrated heavy-duty handles aid in that process, although its 31-pound weight will still likely give you pause when having to carry it too far.One thing to keep in mind when using this power station is that because it can charge up to 13 individual devices at once, the battery occasionally runs out of juice fairly quickly. Thankfully, I didn't really have the need to recharge that many gadgets at once, although it was nice to know I could if needed. Thankfully, to help compensate for a potentially rapid power drain, EcoFlow gives the Delta 1300 the ability to recharge itself quite fast. When plugged into a power outlet, it would often regain around 80% of its power in about an hour and would fully recharge in a little more than 90 minutes. The Delta 1300 is a bit pricier than other models with a similar capacity, though this is due, at least in part, to a large number of charging ports. If you don't need to power 13 devices at once, there are less expensive alternatives available. But if you're looking for the best all-around product, this is the one you'll want.

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