7 best power stations in Australia 2021: Portable batteries

What is the best portable power station you can buy in Australia? Here’s how to choose the right battery pack for your next camping or 4WD trip.

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The best power stations in Australia

There's nothing better than getting out of the big smoke and into nature, but we can't always be completely without electricity for long periods of time. Not in the modern day. Be it phones, portable fridges, cameras, LED lights or even your sound system, there are plenty of reasons to be able to plug in – even in remote areas.

Thankfully there is an option for campers who want to be well off the beaten track, but not without home comforts. They're called power stations. These power stations can be charged through a mains connection at home before you leave on your trip, via your car battery on the way or through portable solar panels in situ.

These are portable power stations capable of storing deep wells of electricity that can be accessed on demand. And they're laden with ports for every device you can imagine. So, what are the best power stations you can buy in Australia? Let's plug into the conversation and power-up a list.

How did we pick this list?

Our editorial team selected the best power stations in Australia based on several factors. These include the average customer rating at established ecommerce sites like Amazon and eBay (as of March 2021), user reviews on sale portals like Snowys, Anaconda, Tentworld and BCF, the opinions of other professional review sites and tradies, and our own personal experiences and tests.

Read more detail on our methodology below.


Best camping power station: Companion Rover Lithium 40Ah

Pros

  • Direct solar charging with power passthrough
  • Lots of ports
  • Very portable

Cons

  • No AC output
  • Limited to 10amps of output at any one time
  • Bit slow to charge

Where to buy:

Amazon price: From $559.00
eBay price: From $599.00
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

There's no shortage of sunlight in Australia and many campers can successfully turn to solar power to keep their electricity flowing. If you're looking for a power station that can harness that sunlight and store it for you, the Companion Rover Lithium 40Ah is a winner. Its in-built solar MPPT controller means you can plug your solar panels directly into the power station with no fuss. And it can store excess electricity while powering anything that's plugged in.

This is a highly portable power station, too. At 6.3kg and with a relatively small footprint – and easy carry handle – it's well-tailored for camping and four-wheel driving. However, it's less suited for caravanning. With a 140W maximum output, it's not going to run bigger appliances and indeed doesn't even come with an AC port as a result.

However, it's more than capable of running camping fridges, lights, small fans and the like for days. It can charge phones, laptops, speakers, tablets and such devices, too. Its two fast-charge USB-A ports, USB-C port and dual 12V ports are impressive for this sized device. There are also two connectors for directly running LED lights and you can also output via an Anderson plug.

Just note that this power station is capped at a maximum output of 10amps, so depending on your devices you may not be able to charge everything simultaneously. On the flip side though, with 2,000 lifecycles, you'll be using this product for many years to come.


Best premium power station: EcoFlow Delta 1,800W Power Station

Pros

  • Astonishing power gives it a lot of use case versatility
  • Huge number of output options
  • Incredible recharge rate

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only 800 lifecycles
  • Australian stock can be hard to get

Where to buy:

eBay price: From $499.00 to $2399.00
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

If money isn't an object, you simply cannot go wrong with the EcoFlow Delta. This thing is a beast, and realistically is too much for just general camping. However, it's a great option for campers looking to also use it for work, emergency backup power at home or for serious four-wheel driving trips, such as doing The Lap.

It ticks every box imaginable. With 1,260Wh and the ability to deliver 1,800W of continuous AC power (and surge power of 3,300 Watts), it can power all household appliances let alone your camping kit. It recharges incredibly fast, too: 80% in just one hour via mains and in just four hours via 400W solar. Indeed, you can power up to 11 devices if you want simultaneously via its four AC ports (Aussie plug), four USB-A ports (two of which are fast charging), two USB-C ports and its 12V output.

As you can imagine, such grunt comes with a cost in size, weighing in at 17.5kg. And we would have liked to have seen a bit more than the 800 lifecycles at this price. But still, you can't get better than this in Australia.


Best budget power station: AIMTOM Portable Solar Generator

Pros

  • Great price
  • Can accept direct solar charging
  • Very light and portable

Cons

  • Only a day or so of battery life
  • Need US to AU AC adaptor
  • Only 500 lifecycles

Where to buy:

Amazon price: From $247.00
eBay price: From $339.99
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

If you're tight on budget and just want a power solution for relatively short camping trips, the AIMTOM Portable Solar Generator is your best bet. Despite going for around the $250 mark, you get quite a lot for your money.

As well as mains power, it has a built-in MPPT controller for easy solar charging, too. There are three DC outputs and three quick charge USB outputs, as well as an AC output which is very handy at this price range (although you'll need a US to AU adaptor to plug in local devices). It has a front-mounted LED light and is only 1.6kg with a very small footprint.

So, it's suited to short trips away from power when you're not asking it to power any complicated devices. Anything that requires more than 100 Watts of continuous power will struggle.

You get what you pay for. Despite its 42Ah capability, you only get 155 Watt-hours which isn't a heck of a lot of juice. And it takes a bit of time to get there, taking around 8 hours via DC charging such as via your car's cigarette lighter. The 500 lifecycles are also on the low end. But with near unanimous positive reviews on Amazon, it's clear you still get good bang for buck.


Best CPAP power station: Commodore Premium 500W/1000W

Commodore Premium 500W/1000W

Pros

  • Excellent 3,000 lifecycles before 80% limit
  • No shortage of power
  • All the expected ports

Cons

  • Awkward design
  • Only USB 2.0 ports
  • Can only buy direct

Where to buy:

Buy at Commodore website

Why we chose it

For Australians who rely on a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine while they sleep, power stations while camping are vitally important. You want to overshoot a little when determining power needs so you can be sure you won't run out of power in the middle of the night. And ideally you want to easily be able to charge it up.

We've opted for the Commodore Premium 500W/1,000W as the best CPAP power station. It offers 40Ah of battery storage, which will run most CPAP machines for at least 10 hours. You can then solar charge it in less than a day (ideally with around 200W solar panels) so it's ready for the next night. It also promises a fantastic 3,000 lifecycles before it drops below 80%, so you can rely on it.

It's no slouch for other activities either. You've got three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, an AC port and a DC port. And with 500W of continuous output (and 1,000W surge output) it can run the vast majority of appliances, too. Throw in a two-year warranty and the fact it's Australian owned, and it ticks a lot of boxes.


Best battery box: Giantz Chieftain Battery Box

Pros

  • Super cheap
  • Enough ports to get you by
  • Sealed for use in the elements

Cons

  • Plastic case could be a little stronger
  • No carry handle in design
  • No dedicated LED light output or USB-C option

Where to buy:

Amazon price: From $71.70
eBay price: From $66.63 to $197.95
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

The alternative to getting a power station is to grab a battery box. So, what's the difference between a power station and a battery box? Well, a battery box doesn't come with a battery; it's literally a box. You then buy a deep cycle battery – such as one you might purchase for a car, boat or trailer – and place that in the box.

So, why do you need the battery box? The Giantz Chieftain Battery Box not only protects it from the elements, but connects the internal battery to an array of ports. There are two Anderson plugs, which can be used to output power or input power via solar panels. There's also a 12V DC port and two USB-A ports – one of these being fast-charging. There's even a little LED screen that provides a small amount of information.

You can pick up the box for around the $75 mark and then you can of course make your choice in battery. It's not as easily portable and is a bit more unwieldy than a power station, it's true. And it doesn't feel as safe. But it works well, is reviewed favourably by customers and will give you power on the go while camping.


Best Australian made power station: iTechWorld ITECH500P

Commodore Premium 500W/1000W

Pros

  • Australian owned
  • Light and portable
  • USB-C charging

Cons

  • 500 lifecycles to 80% reduction
  • Fan can get a bit loud under big draw
  • No passthrough of power via AC

Where to buy:

Buy at iTechWorld website

Why we chose it

It's always good to buy Australian owned products when you can and the 45AH ITECH500P is just that. It's built by iTechWorld, a family-run company out of Perth. They have three power stations in their line-up, but with the 1,000W a little out-of-date, we recommend the 500W for those who want to keep their Aussie dollar down under.

At just 5.8kg and with a highly portable design, this is a power station that serves campers as much as 4WD adventurers. We like the design, with the big and useful LCD screen, and individual power buttons for the three main outputs. That's the AC output, the DC output and the USB outputs. The latter includes two normal USB-A ports, one quick charge USB-A port and a 45W powered USB-C port.

The 500-Watt continuous power capability also comes with a 750-Watt surge limit for starting mid-level appliances. Meanwhile, the overall 45Ah and 505 Watt-hours is super solid and you can expect to get a full charge in eight to nine hours.

It's worth noting that the fan can get a little loud under full draw. Plus, a charge only passes through to DC and USB ports, not to the AC port (as in, you can't charge the station and use AC at the same time, just the DC and USB).


Best all-rounder power station: Goal Zero Yeti 500X

Pros

  • Excellent design
  • Fantastic array of ports
  • Long-lasting with 46.8Ah and 505Wh

Cons

  • Only 500 lifecycles to 80% charge
  • A little expensive for 300W
  • Doesn't comes with all the desired cables

Where to buy:

eBay price: From $1086.86
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

The Goal Zero Yeti 500X power station is an all-rounder in almost every sense. It's middle of the road in price and in output, delivering a more than solid 300W of continuous power with 1,200W of surge power capability. You may not be able to run the highest of high-end appliances from it, but the vast majority of devices work great.

It's also ticked just about every box in terms of features. It has a built-in maximum power point tracker (MPPT) controller for direct solar charging. You've got two DC (cigarette and 6mm), two fast-charging USB-A, an AC and three USB-C outputs. One of those USB-C is 60W, too, meaning you can quickly charge something like a laptop through that port.

You've got to love its design, too. It's squat and has a fold-down handle for easy packing and storage, weighs only 5.85kg and has both front and back charging ports. You even get a two-year warranty. It does let itself down with only 500 lifecycles before it drops below 80% charge. And it's worth nothing there are some other options in the market that deliver more power in this price range.


How to choose a power station

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There are a few key things to think about when choosing a power station. The most important is understanding your power needs. What are you going to be doing with your power station? Think about the products you are connecting to the power station and find out their amp consumption. Then work out how many you will want to use at the same time. And from there you can begin to calculate your likely consumption.

For many of you, it will be a case of running a fridge that likely runs at around 3Ah. If you run it for 12 hours without charge – say overnight – that will consume 24Ah. Maybe charge a phone for a couple of hours at 2Ah as well, so that might be another 6Ah. Run some LED lights at 1Ah for six hours… so you get the idea.

This gives you an idea of your general consumption.

But you also need to think about the required Watts of the devices you will be running. Portable fridges, CPAP machines, LED lights and the like don't need many Watts. Laptops, fans and TVs may need more Watts. Things like heaters, kettles and toasters need a lot of Watts. And some devices require a surge of Watts to start, before cooling off to need fewer continuous Watts of power to keep running.

Other key things to consider are:

  • Is it heavy or is it easy to carry?
  • What ports does it have?
  • Where are the ports placed?
  • Does it have a solar MPPT controller built-in?
  • What cables come in the box?
  • Does it have an LCD screen?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How long does it take to recharge?
  • What is the lifecycle (usually measured until 80% capacity drop) expectation?
  • Can the power passthrough to ports when charging?
  • Is power throughput regulated to prevent surges?
  • What other battery protection features are in play?
  • Is the length of the warranty good?

Amazon prices last updated on 26 October, 2021 at 06:00 am
eBay prices last updated on 26 October, 2021 at 01:01 pm

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