CAMPING & HIKING

Best Portable Power Supply: Your Guide for 2017

Tourists using portable power
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Have you experienced being outdoors and suddenly there’s power outage? You can’t use any of your electronic devices or appliances since you don’t have any power supply. It can be quite problematic, right?

And unlike before where the only way was to use loud, expensive and heavy generators, there are now portable power supply that allows you to charge any device. Choose among the best portable power supply and you never have to worry about power outage.

Power outages can occur anytime and anywhere. To prevent experiencing problem when it happens, you might as well be prepared. You will never know when it is going to happen so having a portable power supply is a big help.

What to Consider

When it comes choosing the best portable power supply, it really depends on what you need. And just before you buy one, it helps that you have a guide so you know what to look for and factors you have to take into consideration.

Size and Weight

One of the most important things that you have to factor in would be the size and weight. If you are going to use it for outdoors and you are always traveling, you need a really lightweight and portable unit.

Ease of Use and Operation

The next thing you have to check is the ease of use and operation. Most portable power supply units are specifically designed to make it easy to recharge any device without any hassle. But keep in mind that every portable power supply varies when it comes to technical specifications so not all units can be easy and simple to use.

Portable power supply

Capacity

Some may need a portable power supply not just to recharge their small devices. For instance, if you need it to jumpstart your car then you need to have a unit that has a more power capacity.

Ports and Plugs

Examine the ports and plugs so you know what kind of devices you can charge. There are some units that allow you to charge only smartphones, tablets, etc. while there are other portable power supply units that enable you to charge appliances and other electric powered devices.

Additional Features

How about safety features? In as much as you want to save on the price, you wouldn’t want to compromise your safety so it helps that you find a unit that has a safety system. There are also units that have other useful features like LED lights, battery charging indicator, fast charging, etc.

Portable power

To help you in choosing the best portable power source for camping, we have reviewed some of the best units that you can find in the market today.

Our Best Picks of Portable Power Supply

Goal Zero Solar GeneratorGoal Zero Solar Generator

Recharge by: AC, 12V, Solar

Power Output: USB, 12V, AC

Best Use: TV, CPAP, Laptops

Capacity: 400Wh, 33Ah

A portable power supply designed for base camps and in cabins, the Goal Zero Solar Generator is a very useful device during unexpected power outages.

When you are camping in the woods, you still get to have access to power with the use of this generator. And since it is a solar generator, you never have to worry about the fumes and the loud noise that you would experience if you are using traditional generators. It comes with a12V outlet, 1.5 ampere USB outlet, 300 watts since AC inverter.

In using this generator, there are 3 ways to recharge:

  1. Connect to a compatible solar panel
  2. Recharge by plugging it into a 12V adapter
  3. Plug it in a regular outlet

Pros:

  • Operates smoothly and quietly when use
  • You never have to worry about fumes since there are various ways for you to recharge it.
  • Perfectly safe for indoor use
  • Can be used for CPAP, TV and Laptop
  • A portable power supply that have long runtimes when you experience power outages outdoors

Cons:

  • The generator is hazmat and when you buy it is non-returnable.
  • Only 6 months warranty coverage

Check the price on Amazon

Schumacher ProSeries Portable PowerSchumacher ProSeries Portable Power

Item Weight: 18.5 pounds

  • 1800 Peak Amperes
  • 280 Cranking Amperes
  • 12 Volt DC Power Outlet

Weighing at just 18.5 pounds, the Schumarcher ProSeries Portable Power is much lighter compared to the previous model.

This portable power unit has 225 cold cranking ampere, 280 cranking ampere and 1800 peak ampere. Designed to supply apower source for 12V DC accessories, you never have to worry about apower shortage. It has some amazing features that you can find really useful.

For instance, it comes with automatic charger and charging status LEDS so you can see the charging status. Storage is also made easier and simpler with its polypropylene case. When you buy the Schumarcher PSJ-1812, it comes with 4 gauge 12 in. cables. This is a unit that is 18Ah professional grade with high output battery (AGM).

Pros

  • The Schumarcher PSJ-1812 has a lightweight design which makes it really portable and easy to use when you encounter power outage.
  • Comes with a polypropylene case for easy storage and maintenance
  • Features charging status LEDS and automatic charger so you can monitor the charging status of the unit
  • Has 225 cold cranking ampere, 280 cranking ampere, and 1800 peak ampere
  • The clamps are protected so you never have to worry about accidental touching.

Cons

  • No shutoff switch

Check the price on Amazon

Suaoki Powerhouse Portable GeneratorSuaoki Powerhouse Portable Generator

Battery: Lithium ion, 20,000 mAh, 11.1V

Item Weight: 5.5 pounds

Inputs: 15V 4.5A

Outputs: USB 1A, DC12v/5A, AC100V/50Hz

If you are looking for a more power and feature packed portable generator, the Suaoki Powerhouse Portable Generator might just be the one you need.

It is a versatile powerhouse that comes with 200W pure sine power inverter and 2DC outlets as well as a cigarette socket cable. What is so nice about this unit can charge USB devices and AC appliances.

Featuring a 20,000mAh battery, this gives you high capacity that allows you to charge smartphones 20 times along with other electronic devices and appliances (AC Output). For better battery utilization, the brand uses BMS or Battery Management System to avoid overcurrent and over temperature. It is also very easy to use and to handle with its convenient handle.

Pros

  • Suaoki is a very efficient and portable power supply unit that features zero emissions
  • Very easy to use and to operate, you never have to deal with complicated electrical know-how since you can just charge the unit through the AC wall adaptor
  • A gas-free generator that can power up any device from smartphones to appliances
  • Has amazing safety features to avoid overcharging and overheating
  • Comes with 20,000mAH battery that has highcapacity
  • Perfectly suitable for any outdoor use

Cons

  • The LED lights in the charge indicator has some odd behavior.
  • Concern about customer service

Check the price on Amazon

Stanley J5C109 with Compressorstanley battery maintainer 2

Item Weight: 18 pounds

Product Dimensions: 11.2x8x13.5 inches

For those who are looking for a portable power supply for their car, the Stanley J5C109 is the one for you.

This portable power supply comes with a compressor and it features 5000 amps of starting power and 1000 peak amps. This unit is very convenient to use and very useful to jumpstart the battery of your car. It is very easy to use since you can just connect the hook the clamp to the battery.

And since it comes with a safety system, if ever you done it the wrong way, there is an alarm. What is nice about this portable power supply is that it is very versatile. With its built-in USB port, you can also charge your mobile phone. Perfect for multiple uses, it features 120 PSI compressor, 12V DC ports with bright LED light and portable power with USB.The LED light is high-powered and it rotates 270 degrees.

Pros

  • Comes with a reverse polarity alarm that will alert you if you make the wrong connection
  • Features 500 instant starting amps and 1000 peak battery amps
  • Has high-powered LED light that can also be rotated 270 degrees
  • Comes with 120 PSI compressor that has backlight gauge
  • Has 12V and USB outlets that allow you to charge different devices
  • Suitable for multiple uses whether you need it for your car or other units

Cons

  • None

Check the price on Amazon

Clore Automotive Jump-N-CarryClore Automotive Jump-N-Carry

Item Weight: 18 pounds

The Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry features 1,700 peak amps and 425 cranking amps that gives you the power you need to recharge any device.

This is a high-powered unit that you can use for your recharging needs. In fact, you can also use it to recharge your vehicle. Known for its PROFORMER battery, you get to have a unit that can give you max. power density, a unit that is durable and cast for a long time.

And unlike other power supply units where you can get really worried about your safety, this unit comes with heavy duty cable and industrial-grade clamps that are designed to make sure that you have a unit that has built-in safety features. With its compact and very light design, you will not have a hard time carrying the unit anywhere.

Pros

  • It is very flexible since you can use it for automotive and even industrial purposes.
  • Has safety features with the unit using industrial-grade clamps and heavy duty cable
  • The battery does not overheat or overcharged even when it is connected for a long period of time.
  • Very compact and light which allows you to carry the unit with one hand
  • Features 1,700 peak amps and 425 cramping amps

Cons

  • This is much more suitable for heavy duty use so if you are searching for a more portable power supply for camping this may not be the best choice.

Check the price on Amazon

NOCK Genius BoostNOCK Genius Boost

A powerful and very compact lithium-ion jump starter, this unit can give you 7000 joules of power. With its spark-proof technology, you never have to worry about safety.

It is very safe to use since it comes with various levels of safety. By using Nock Genius Boost, you can now recharge smartphones and other devices.

It has a 2.1A USB OUT port where you can plug in your device and it also has a 2.1A USB IN port. Now, you never have to worry about losing battery or power by using this portable power supply.

On top of that, it has a flashlight with SOS so if you need to change your tire or if you need to check the engine of your car, you also have a reliable source of light (7 built-in light modes) as well as emergency strobe and SOS.

Pros

  • The design is very compact and yet it can give you enough power with its 1000 amp capacity.
  • It is efficient and safe to use with its reverse polarity protection feature and spark-proof technology.
  • Very flexible since you can use it for your vehicle and for your mobile devices
  • Comes with 100 lumens LED flashlight that has 7 built-in light modes as well as emergency strobe and SOS
  • Very easy to use and to operate

Cons

  • Some consumers reported problems with jumpstarting their cars.

Check the price on Amazon

Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSRSchumacher PSJ-2212 DSR

Item Weight: 26.4 pounds

Item Dimensions: 14×4.7×15.2 inches.

  • 12V DC Power Outlet
  • 22Ah Professional Upgrade

Another portable power supply that made it to this list is the Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR.

This unit features 2200 peak amps, 275 cold cranking amps and 330 cranking amps. You can use it to recharge any device (12V DC accessories).

It also has amazing features which include a built-in automatic charger (3 amp), 4 gauge 50-inch cables, a rubber base that is high impact among many others.

Unlike other units that can be dangerous, this unit has safety features. For one, it uses heavy duty clamp as well as copper jaws that are replaceable. For additional safety, it also comes with polypropylene vented case. Using the Schumacher PSJ-2212, you never have to stranded or to worry about power outages.

Pros

  • A portable unit that makes it easy and efficient for you to power up any device
  • Comes with a reverse hook-up alarm
  • Very safe to use since it uses heavy duty clamp and it also has high impact rubber case
  • Great for outdoors activity since it is a source of power for 12V DC accessories
  • Features 2200 peak amp, 275 cold cranking amperes, and 330 cranking ampere

Cons

  • Some experienced problems with the digital readout.

Check the price on Amazon

Chargetech Portable AC Battery PackChargetech Portable AC Battery Pack

If you are into outdoor activities, most of the time you simply need a power supply that is really light and compact, a unit that you can use for your devices. Among one of the top rated items in this category is the CargeTech Portable AC Battery Pack.

This features an AC outlet that you can always take when you are on the go. With its 27,000 mAh capacity, you never have to worry about running out of battery.

Whether you want to charge your tablet or mobile phone, you can do it anywhere with this unit. It is a perfect balance of portability and power that allows you to power even your digital camera and laptop.

One of the best points of this unit is that it uses FastCharge technology that allows you to have rapid charging. ChargeTech comes with AC outlet that will supply power to any device. Plus, this is also a very travel friend power supply since it is TSA and airline approved.

Pros

  • Features 27,000mAh capacity which can power up any device including laptop, cameras, phones, etc.
  • Comes with a built-in AC outlet to make charging efficiently
  • Very lightweight and portable which makes it easy to carry and to use anywhere you go
  • TSA and airline approved so you can carry it when you are traveling
  • Features FastCharge Technology for fast charging

Cons

  • Suitable for travel and camping but if you want more power capacity, this may not be enough

Check the price on Amazon

Charge up

Your choice of the best portable power supply would depend on different factors and personal preferences. The following units in this review are just some of the best that you can find in the market.

If you need to use the unit for outdoor activities and you are always on the go, you have to purchase the one that is lightweight and in this case, ChargeTech reigns supreme.

Electrical devices charging

But on the other hand, if you are in search for a power supply unit that you can use for heavy duty then you can go for other brands like Stanley, Nock, Clore Automotive, Suaoki and Shumacher.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • john Andrew‬‏

    This is one of the problems that I am having so much the lack of energy source, especially when using a mobile phone and Sometimes it happen when the
    Power outage in the house So I have questions
    Are there power generators for homes?
    Are there any portable power supplies units recharge by solar energy?

    • Dennis Owens

      There are plenty of home generators out there to use. Solar energy is a great source for charging various electronics bot portable and home electronics. Choose the best option in terms of how big your house is or the portability of the generator. Price range as well is to be considered most especially if you want to go for solar energy.