How to choose a portable power station?
Mother nature left 2022 with a bang in the US. Starting from Christmas eve leading up to the new year across the country a massive winter storm battered the country with frigid temperatures, high winds, and heavy snow, leaving at least nine people dead, knocking out power to over a million people in households and wrecking holiday plans from coast to coast. The matter deteriorated in places like Washington State where over 14,000 people suffered power outages on Christmas Day following burglaries and a series of vandalisms at different power stations as reported by the New York Times. It followed the trend of six similar attacks across power stations in Oregon, North Carolina, and Washington earlier in the same month at dusk of 2022. This has sparked alarming attention to situations on what to do and how to handle power outages. During such unprecedented emergencies, portable power stations come as lifesavers! Thoughtfully engineered, powerful, and versatile power stations like the Fanttik EVO 300 checks the boxes of all requirements for these urgent situations besides being environmentally friendly and a great companion for outdoor travel such as camping.
Things to look for in a portable power station
1. High battery capacity (> 300Wh): A watt-hour (Wh) is the measure of watts per hour, so a battery with a 300Wh capacity offers the equivalent of running a 300W device for one hour. Put another way, that’s like running a 60 W device—such as a MacBook Pro, projector, or tabletop fan—for five hours.
2. Impressive output power rating (> 200W): To separate the portable power stations from their smaller, less powerful counterparts (USB power banks and portable laptop chargers) the output powers have to be higher. Lower outputs are fine for charging phones and most other electronics, but if you want to charge a few devices at a time (especially if one is a high-powered device like a laptop), you need 100W or more.
3. Practical weight (< 40lbs): Most portable power stations are too big and heavy for the average person to carry for long distances on foot. But even so, I like to set a weight limit at 50 pounds, a heft that one strong could reasonably carry. Anything heavier than that can be hard to load and unload from a car, or to carry around a house in a blackout.
4. Rugged and portable: A portable power station’s exterior materials, as well as any extra features like wheels or handles, are important for trivial reasons. Handles are a necessity to lift something bulky, and since in some cases you’re going to be moving these around quite a bit and using them outdoors—in a backyard or at a campsite, for example—I want them to be resistant to scuffs and scratches.
5. Informative display: Though most portable power stations have a battery meter so you can see how much charge you have left; it is preferred that the display has additional information with high precision.
6. AC Outlet: A single AC outlet is a bare-minimum requirement since the majority of gadgets—from desk lamps to baby monitors—run on AC power. So, the higher the better.
7. Multiple fast-charging USB-A ports: Any USB-A port worth its value should support 2A (10W) charging or higher. Anything less, and you’ll notice your phone, tablet, and other devices charged up extremely slowly. Some USB-A ports also have faster Quick Charge technology. Having these ports means small devices such as phones, tablets, and portable Bluetooth speakers won’t take up an AC outlet that you could use for more power-hungry items.
8. Other ports like USB-C port, 6 mm DC port, and/or car power socket: The best power stations are those that offer one or more USB-C ports, 6mm DC ports, or car power sockets (a.k.a. “the cigarette lighter”) to let you charge a wider variety of devices.
9. Charges from an AC wall outlet: At a minimum, they should be chargeable via an AC wall outlet as USB-only charging is too slow for batteries so big. You can charge some portable power stations via solar attachments (like my favorite one), which is a nice bonus, especially if you’re frequently off the grid for more than a couple of days.
10. Good warranty and customer support: This is not an everyday-use kind of device. At least a reliable warranty ensures that you actually get to use the thing before its warranty expires. At the direst times of need, you would also want helpful customer support.
Why the Fanttik EVO 300?
Extremely Powerful with Compact Size: With two AC outlets, the EVO 300 provides up to 300W pure sine wave power and 600W surge power, offering a sufficient and stable power supply for camping, hunting, or emergencies. It can power most of the essential home appliances and devices rated under 300W. It has a clear peace-of-mind aspect to it.
Versatile Compatibility in Charging: It has 9 AC & DC outputs which are way more than I ever need. The EVO 300 supports multiple devices and multiple scenarios at the same time. From car refrigerators, desk Lamps, fans, smart speakers, mobile phones, and laptops – it has served me amazingly during cameoing and trips. It can be recharged by a 90W wall outlet and USB-C PD 60W simultaneously, and it takes only 2 hours to reach the green range.
Precision Display with Real-Time Monitoring: The EVO 300 is equipped with a large 7-inch screen. As such, the EVO 300 makes it easy for me to read clearer and more comprehensive metrics than any other power station about power usage, remaining charge, AC/DC indicator, troubleshooting alert, and so much more. I should add, I have eye myopia. It really lets me camp without anxiety.
Clean Energy: As an environmentally conscious person, green energy is important for me, It can be charged with several solar panels, making it a complete solar generator with one of the highest conversion rates (23%) in the industry, to produce clean, and sustainable energy directly from the sun. Fanttik themselves have a companion solar generator.
How to use the Fanttik EVO 300 (and several other options):
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I feel a video is the best representation of showing what it actually looks like and how it is used. Down2Mob Overland – the 100K+ subscribed channel gives a rundown of how it is used in a camping trip here:
I only trust reviews of people who actually bought something directly with their own money. After that, I put a stock on influencers. So, here are a few excerpts from “verified customers” from Amazon.
Dave H. writes, “Love this portable power station. Solid quality product. Build quality is rock solid. I tried it for an outdoor event where we needed to use an external mic for a few hours. This thing worked seamlessly for 4 hours. I also charged my laptop for a few hours around the same time. I also used it during camping to power a tube light and it worked really well.
The lights at the back with SOS are icing on the cake :)”
In another review, Jon Glaubitz wrote, “Using very little gasoline now and T.V. at night and in the morning in R.V. SOLAR. during sunlight. Early am coffee I fire up my genny...then OFF it goes.”
Besides the customers, there is a myriad of YouTube reviews for the EVO 300. Christopher Lawley has an excellently comprehensive presentation on his experience in this video. A technical testing video is showcased by the Tools, Electro, DIY channel in their video.
If you are in the market for a portable power station, it may be worth your while to consider it.
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