The Ultimate Guide to Portable Power Stations for Camping

The Ultimate Guide to Portable Power Stations for Camping


bluetti ac180 power station for camping

When most of us go camping, we aim to unplug. We find a tranquil spot and embrace the serenity and the simplicity of being in nature, away from it all.

But no matter how much we love the idea of being off-grid, we often find ourselves confronted by the undeniable pull of modern conveniences. It’s the little things in life that impact our comfort levels, whether we’re at home or in the wilderness. Sometimes, those little things require electricity.

A consistent, reliable power source is a game changer for stress-free camping trips. Being able to charge devices and laptops, run a fridge, and stay warm… all these are much easier with a power source on hand. Even better if it’s compact, easy to charge, durable, and suitable for use outdoors.

Yes, even in the middle of nowhere, the pulse of electricity has its place. Sometimes, being able to charge up a laptop and get a couple of hours of work done might even mean being able to extend the camping trip. The benefits are immeasurable.

So, let’s get you powered up. This is your ultimate guide to buying a portable power station for camping. We’ll unravel the what, the how, and the why of these crucial camping companions, equipping you with the knowledge to choose the perfect power station that suits your needs. Your ideal camping getaway is about to get even better.

What is a Portable Power Station?

A portable power station is an efficient, durable, rechargeable battery, usually with in-built inverters, controllers, cooling fans, and multiple power input and output options.

Since power stations can safely store and deliver a large amount of energy, they’re perfect for campers, caravanners, and van lifers. Their durability means they are well suited for tent floors, dusty car parks, and being packed into your van. Many power stations can even be charged using solar panels, making them even more well-suited to outdoor adventuring.

Essential Factors for Selecting a Camping Portable Power Station

bluetti portable power station for camping

How do you know which portable power station is right for you? That depends on your needs – everyone camps differently. So it’s a very good thing that there are plenty of camping power stations to choose from.

A whole bunch of factors will influence which power station will be the best fit for you. Let’s go over some of the most important ones.

Charging Options

When considering what charging options you need, you should consider both input and output – how you are going to charge your power station and what devices and electronics you want to charge / power from it.

Some power stations only provide the option to charge them up using your home (AC) wall socket, so if you want to charge on the road from your vehicle’s 12V (DC) port, make sure you buy one with the right input. Similarly, if you’re also looking to buy a solar panel for charging up your power station at camp, you’ll need to ensure you buy a power station with a compatible DC input socket.

For charging and powering up your devices away from home, there are power stations that’ll provide the full spectrum of outlet options – from 24V to 12V to USB and even wireless charging for your smartphone. Think about the type and number of devices you might want to charge or power simultaneously and make sure the power station you choose has enough of the right outlets.

Battery Capacity

Firstly, you should know that when you see, for example, a 600-watt power station, that’s a measure of the total continuous output capacity of the power station. Dig a bit deeper, and you’ll find the power station’s surge power (aka peak power or maximum output), which is the maximum power it can output in a short burst. Those figures can help guide your choice of power station, especially if you plan to run any appliances with a large draw – like a blender for those campsite smoothies.

The battery capacity is measured in watt-hours. If you want to be 100% sure you’re buying a power station that will meet your needs, this is the figure you need to consider.

Some people will find calculating the battery capacity they’ll need an easy task, but for others (like me), there’s a knowledge gap that first needs to be overcome. For this reason, we won’t cover all the details of that in this article. Very briefly, the process can be broken down into three not-so-simple steps:

  1. Figure out what devices you want to charge or power and for how long.
  2. Gather information about how much power those devices will draw and how long they’ll be plugged into the power station.
  3. Combine those figures and calculate their total watt-hours.

Battery Type

You’ll find portable power stations equipped with two main types of batteries: Li-ion (Lithium-ion) and LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate). The best portable power stations on the Australian market use the latter, most notably due to their massive lifespan.

Where the majority of Li-ion power stations using Li-ion batteries claim a 500 charging cycle lifespan, LiFePO4-based power stations can boast between 2,000 and more than 3,500 charging cycles.

While LiFePO4-battery technology is more expensive, it can be balanced out by how often you need to replace the product. That’s not to mention the environmental costs of the production and disposal of all those extra batteries.

For several reasons, LiFePO4 batteries are also the safest way to store power. They won’t catch fire, even if punctured, are not as prone to overheating as other battery types, and the materials they’re made from are non-hazardous.

Side note: Eco-conscious adventurers will want to keep in mind that batteries can be recycled in places where such services are available and should look to their local waste disposal services for advice on how to go about that.

Finally, where some batteries should only ever be discharged to 50% to avoid degradation, LiFePO4 batteries can safely be discharged to 20% without degradation.

Safety First

Safety is always the highest priority when out and about in the great outdoors. Storing large amounts of power isn’t something you want to cut corners on, so it’s essential to ensure that the power station you choose has all the features you need to keep you safe. Think overload protection, short circuit protection, and temperature control as a bare minimum. Some units on the market may have other features that go beyond the basics. 

Recommended Portable Power Stations: Which One is Right for Me?

Beyond the specifications we’ve covered above, safety, trust, and reliability are the keys to choosing a portable power station. Established, tried-and-tested brands like Bluetti provide you with peace of mind. Their products, customer service, and reputation speak for themselves.

Next, we’ll outline the pros and cons of three of Bluetti’s most popular portable power stations. With a versatile selection suited to every outdoor situation, you can maximize your power and rest assured that the power station you choose will go the distance.

Comparison table


Bluetti EB3A 600W Portable Power Station 

Bluetti EB70 1,000W Portable Power Station

Bluetti AC200P 2,000W Portable Power Station


LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate)

LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate)

LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate)

Surge power

1,200 W

1,400 W

4,800 W


268.8 Wh

716 Wh

2,000 Wh


2,500+ Cycles to 80% Original Capacity

2,500+ Cycles to 80% Original Capacity

3,500+ Cycles to 80% Original Capacity


- AC wall socket (268W max)
- Solar (200W max, VOC 12-28VDC, 8.5A)
- Car lighter outlet (12/24V, 8.5A max)

- AC wall socket (200W max)
- Solar (200W max, OCV 12-28V, 8A)
- Car lighter outlet (12/24V)

- AC wall socket (500W max)
- Solar (700W max, OCV 35-150V, 12A)
- Car lighter outlet (12/24V)

AC Outlets

1 x 220V-240V/2.6A Outlets (600W total)

2 x 220-240V AC Outlets (1,000W total)

2 x 220V-240V Outlets (2,000W total)

USB Outlets

- 1 x USB-C (100W max)
- 2 x USB-A (5V/3A)

- 2 x USB-C (100W max)
- 2 x USB-A (5V/3A)


- 1 x USB-C (60W max)
- 4 x USB-A (5V/3A)

DC Outlets

- 1 x 12V/10A (Car Outlet - regulated)

- 2 x 12V/10A DC 5521 (5.5mm outlets - regulated)

- 1 x 12V/10A (Car Outlet)

- 2 x 12V/10A (DC5521)

- 1 x 12V/25A (RV Outlet - regulated)

- 1 x 12V/10A (Car Outlet - regulated)

- 2 x 12V/3A (5.5mm Outlet - regulated)

Wireless charging pad

1 x 15W pad

1 x 15W pad

2 x 15W pad


4.6 kg

9.7 kg

27.5 kg


255 x 180 x 183 mm

320 x 216 x 221 mm

420 x 280 x 387 mm


24 Months

24 Months

48 Months

BLUETTI EB3A 600W Portable Power Station 

bluetti eb3a portable power station

The EB3A Portable Power Station is perfect for short road trips or camping trips, long days at the beach, or park picnics that stretch until twilight. It’s got a LiFePO4 Battery with 2,500+ Life Cycles and a 268 Wh capacity, eight charging outputs, and connects to the Bluetti App for monitoring and smart controls.


  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Compact and easy to pack
  • Solar, car, generator and AC charging
  • Easy on the wallet


  • Won’t be suitable for running electronics like fridges
  • Output option might feel limited with only three USB outlets

BLUETTI EB70 1,000W Portable Power Station 

bluetti eb70 portable power station

The next level of BLUETTI portable power stations is the EB70. Still cost-effective, this model provides more bang for your buck with a 716Wh capacity, 10 outputs, and a wireless charging dock.


  • Reasonably priced for its capacity
  • Can charge and discharge simultaneously
  • AC, solar, car, and generator charging
  • Quiet and eco-friendly


  • No app connection
  • Quite heavy at almost 10 kilos

BLUETTI AC200P 2,000W Portable Power Station

bluetti ac200p portable power station

This bad boy is a powerful workhouse power station that still looks sleek and cool. It’s got a 2,000Wh capacity with a LiFePO4 battery boasting 3,500+ charge cycles. If you’re venturing into the wilderness and need something fast charging and long-lasting, the AC200P might be just what you need.


  • Fast charging via solar or AC power
  • Fast charging via solar or AC power
  • Connects to the Bluetti app and the Bluetti expansion battery


    • Can be a bit louder than smaller models (up to 54db)
    • Charging via 12V/24V car outlet (100W/200W) will be slower (≈10 or 20 Hours)
    • Heavier than smaller models, topping out at 27.5 kilograms

    Maximizing Your Camp Power

    Once you’ve found your ideal portable power station, you need to maximize its battery life and health to ensure you get the most from your investment. Here’s how…

    • Manage your power usage as best you can and prioritize which devices need charging or powering.
    • Power stations aren’t waterproof and shouldn’t be stored in humid environments
    • Store your power station upright, not on its side.
    • Use (charge and discharge) your portable power station every 3-6 months.
    • Charging properly is the best thing you can do for your battery. Charge it to full capacity every time.
    • Try not to run it right down to 0%.
    • If your power station does get to 0%, aim to recharge it as soon as possible. 

    The portability and durability of our Bluetti Portable Power Station, combined with a solid, trustworthy product, has led to our Bluetti Portable Power Station being the very first thing we pack for any trip, whether it’s a day trip, a weekend of camping, or a week-long road trip.

    The comfort and luxury of knowing we can bring enough phones and laptops for the whole family – or even throw in a sneaky wall-powered heated blanket for those freezing nights – is priceless. Not to mention having it on hand for home use as well – it’s perfect for working from the park and was a sanity saver during a recent power outage. Keeping the family comfortable while we’re camping leads to less whinging from the kids, less stress, and a better time had by all. All things considered, the sticker price of a Bluetti Portable Power Station is a small price to pay.


    What is the difference between a power station and a power bank?

    A power bank is a smaller, less powerful option compared to a power station. A power station is more durable, lasts much longer, allows charging via multiple energy sources, and is suitable for outdoor use. A power bank may be perfect for adding some charge to your phone on the go, but it won’t cut it for a week-long camping trip. It certainly won’t charge a laptop.

    Can a portable power station run a camping fridge?

    The short answer to this question is yes. You can run a camping fridge on a power station.  Depending on the wattage of your fridge and your power station’s output, the run time for your fridge will vary. If your fridge is a fixture in your campervan and you plan to leave it permanently running, you’ll want a more permanent power solution. A portable power station is more suitable as a temporary option.

    How long will my portable power station last?

    This really depends on how often you use it and how well you maintain it. Power stations have a limited number of ‘cycles’ (the number of times you charge and discharge the power station), but by ‘limited’, I mean around 500 cycles for a typical Li-ion-based power station. For some LiFePO4-based power stations, this can be 2,000 to more than 3,500 cycles. If you’re using your power station daily, it will wear out much more quickly, but most can still be expected to last a few years.

    Why wouldn’t I just buy a generator?

    Nothing disturbs the serenity of a campsite quite like the sound of a generator (not to mention the resulting diesel fumes). Be kind to your fellow campers and the environment by choosing a power station instead. While generators certainly have their uses, power stations are cleaner, quieter, more convenient, and much more efficient.

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