1. Electronics
  2. Batteries and Charging

The Best Portable Power Station

By Sarah Witman
Updated August 12, 2021
Photo: Sarah Witman

If you’re going off the grid or prepping for an emergency, the Jackery Explorer 1000 can keep your electronic gear running for hours—or even days—at a time. It’s roughly the same size and weight as a small microwave, and it provides a steady stream of power without the noise or exhaust of a gas-powered portable generator. After 73 hours spent testing 16 portable power stations, we found that the Explorer 1000’s impressive max output, wide array of ports, easy-to-use interface, and rugged exterior helped it stand out from the competition.

Our pick

Jackery Explorer 1000

The best portable power station

This unit packs lots of power into a portable, durable, easy-to-use package. Plus, it has more AC, USB-A, and USB-C ports than most portable power stations we’ve tested.

Buying Options

$1000 $820 from Wellbots

Use promo code WIREXPOWER

The Jackery Explorer 1000 is light enough for the average adult to lift and carry safely, yet it managed to run even the most power-hungry appliances in our tests. It also had one of the highest battery capacities among the models we tested, suitable for keeping most devices, such as a laptop or CPAP machine, running all day (or all night) long. We love its easy-to-read screen, which shows input/output wattage and how much power is left in reserve. Plus, it has more output ports—three AC, two USB-A, and two USB-C—than almost any portable power station we’ve tested, allowing you to charge a variety of gadgets ranging from laptops to cameras to GPS units.

Rated max output: 1,000 W
Rated capacity: 1,000 Wh
Weight: 22 pounds
Body dimensions: 12.5 by 8 by 8.5 inches

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Runner-up

Anker Powerhouse II 800

Lighter and cheaper, but slightly less powerful

This model has a great capacity, good output, and plenty of port options. Plus, it weighs less than 20 pounds and costs less than other top contenders.

The Anker PowerHouse II 800 has a lower max output than our top pick, so it might not be able to power your highest-wattage appliances, such as a vacuum or window AC unit. But its capacity is almost as good, and it’s a few pounds lighter. Like the Explorer 1000, it has a tough exterior, a highly portable design, an informative display, and output ports (two AC, four USB-A, and two USB-C) that provide plenty of charging options for a wide array of devices. And, as of this writing, it’s about $150 cheaper.

Rated max output: 500 W
Rated capacity: 777 Wh
Weight: 18 pounds
Body dimensions: 12 by 8 by 7 inches

Budget pick

Jackery Explorer 300

Great performance for the money

If you don’t mind sacrificing a little power, the Explorer 300 offers a wide range of port options and has the same sturdy build as our top pick. Plus, it’s light enough for a small child to tote around.

Buying Options

$300 from Amazon

May be out of stock

Nearly identical to its larger, more powerful sibling, the Jackery Explorer 300 weighs just 7 pounds and has two AC outlets, two USB-A ports, and a USB-C port—more than most other lightweight options we tried. We like to bring it to a beach, park, or campsite to inflate an air mattress, run a fan, or charge a phone, camera, portable speaker, lantern, or headlamp. You lose some of the power and capacity you get with our larger picks—don’t expect to run an air conditioner or charge multiple laptops—but you save on space (and money).

Rated max output: 300 W
Rated capacity: 293 Wh
Weight: 7 pounds
Body dimensions: 9 by 5 by 8 inches

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Jackery Explorer 1000

The best portable power station

This unit packs lots of power into a portable, durable, easy-to-use package. Plus, it has more AC, USB-A, and USB-C ports than most portable power stations we’ve tested.

Buying Options

$1000 $820 from Wellbots

Use promo code WIREXPOWER

Runner-up

Anker Powerhouse II 800

Lighter and cheaper, but slightly less powerful

This model has a great capacity, good output, and plenty of port options. Plus, it weighs less than 20 pounds and costs less than other top contenders.

Budget pick

Jackery Explorer 300

Great performance for the money

If you don’t mind sacrificing a little power, the Explorer 300 offers a wide range of port options and has the same sturdy build as our top pick. Plus, it’s light enough for a small child to tote around.

Buying Options

$300 from Amazon

May be out of stock

I’ve been a science journalist for more than seven years, covering a wide variety of topics from particle physics to satellite remote sensing. Since joining Wirecutter in 2017, I’ve reported on rechargeable batteries, power banks for phones and tablets, portable laptop chargers, solar chargers, and more, and I spent 73 hours testing portable power stations for this guide alone.

Photo: Sarah Witman

A portable power station is the best option if you need to juice up common personal electronics and small appliances while spending long periods of time away from household AC outlets, or if you want to have backup power ready to go in case of an emergency.

These devices are basically large batteries in protective boxes, with AC outlets and other ports built in. They’re much bigger, heavier, more powerful, and generally more rugged than our power bank and portable laptop charger recommendations. That gives them more versatility for activities like camping with lots of electronic gear, working in a remote corner of your home, screening a movie in your backyard, or staging a scenic photoshoot.

In an emergency, they offer some major advantages over gas-powered portable generators, despite not being as powerful. Portable power stations are silent and free of emissions, which means you can use them safely inside a house during a blackout. And since there’s no motor, you don’t have to keep gas handy, or perform the oil changes or other minor maintenance a combustion engine requires. Battery-powered generators are a good alternative for projects requiring heavy-duty power tools, but they tend to be bigger and heavier (and have much lower capacity) than the top contenders in this guide.

With one of these being roughly the size of a standard plastic milk crate and weighing up to 50 pounds, you’re probably not going to be carrying it around in a backpack or briefcase. But you can charge your portable power station overnight on a wall outlet (charging most of them from empty to full takes 12 to 24 hours), pack it into a trunk with the rest of your gear, and bring it with you—keeping your phone, laptop, camera, projector, GPS unit, breast pump, drone, or other electronic device powered for hours at a time. Portable power stations usually offer more output options than just AC and USB, too, such as 6 mm DC ports and car power sockets, to support a wider range of devices.

Although a high-wattage portable power station can be a great backup in an emergency, even the best of breed have limitations compared with gas generators. These units can’t keep refrigerators or other large appliances powered, and anything that generates heat is likely to overload them or drain the battery too fast for them to be useful. A high-quality generator can power space heaters and hair dryers safely, but otherwise you should only plug them into an indoor wall outlet.

Some people use portable power stations to run CPAP machines (which treat sleep apnea) and other electronic medical devices while camping. If that’s your situation, we advise getting one of our high-capacity picks to keep your device running smoothly for as long as possible.

If you plan to travel, keep in mind that in most cases, portable power stations have to travel by ground. The FAA doesn’t allow passengers to bring batteries rated for more than 160 Wh in carry-on or checked luggage, so you can’t fly with any of our picks.

Photo: Sarah Witman

To find the most popular portable power stations available, we scanned the top results on Amazon, Google Shopping, and major retailer sites such as Home Depot, REI, and Walmart. We also considered models recommended by editorial outlets like Business Insider and Popular Mechanics.

We took stock of features and specifications for each model we found, and then narrowed our search based on the following requirements:

  • A battery capacity of at least 300 Wh: A watt-hour (Wh) is literally the measure of watts per hour, so a battery with a 300 Wh capacity offers the equivalent of running a 300 W device for one hour. (For a variety of reasons, less than 100% of a battery’s designed capacity is actually available for use.) Put another way, that’s like running a 60 W device—such as a MacBook Pro, projector, or tabletop fan—for five hours. We made this a requirement for our main picks, and strongly preferred it for our budget and lightweight contenders. When it comes to batteries, capacity is king.
  • An output rating of at least 200 W: To separate the portable power stations from their smaller, less powerful counterparts (USB power banks and portable laptop chargers) we required each of our main and budget contenders to be rated for at least 200 W, and we wanted the lightweight (under 5 pounds) contenders to be rated for at least 100 W. 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 100 W or more.
  • A maximum weight of 50 pounds: Most portable power stations are too big and heavy for the average person to carry them for long distances on foot. But even so, we set a weight limit at 50 pounds, a heft that one (strong) person or two people 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.
  • A rugged and portable design: We assessed the quality of each portable power station’s exterior materials, as well as any extra features like wheels or handles. Handles are a necessity to lift something this 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—we wanted them to be resistant to scuffs and scratches.
  • An informative display: Though most portable power stations have a battery meter so you can see how much charge you have left, we preferred displays that provided an estimated percentage of the charge over vague displays that consisted of just a few line segments.
  • At least one 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. None of our picks for the best USB power bank have an AC outlet, and our favorite portable laptop chargers have just one outlet that can power only lower-wattage gear. Though we considered some models with a single AC outlet for this guide, we preferred models with at least two, allowing you to power two AC-powered devices at the same time.
  • At least two fast-charging USB-A ports: Any USB-A port worth its salt should support 2-amp (10 W) charging or higher. Anything less, and you’ll notice just how slow your phone, tablet, and other devices charge up. Some USB-A ports also have faster Quick Charge technology, which we preferred but didn’t require. 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.
  • At least one USB-C port, 6 mm DC port, and/or car power socket: We didn’t require each model to have all three, but we did prefer those that offered one or more USB-C ports, 6 mm DC ports, or car power sockets (what my parents, former smokers, incorrectly call “the cigarette lighter”) to let you charge a wider variety of devices.
  • Charges from an AC wall outlet: At minimum, we required that each model be chargeable via an AC wall outlet—USB-only charging is much too slow for batteries so big. You can charge some portable power stations via car power sockets or solar attachments, which is a nice bonus, especially if you’re frequently off the grid for more than a couple of days.
  • Contains a pure sine-wave inverter: A battery’s sine-wave inverter turns its direct current (DC) power into alternating current (AC) power, which is necessary to power most devices. We required each model to contain a pure sine-wave (PSW) inverter, which produces electrical waveforms as clear and smooth as the AC power coming out of any wall outlet. Modified sine-wave (MSW) inverters, such as the ones found in some of our favorite portable laptop chargers, are typically less expensive but produce choppier waveforms. These are generally fine for charging other gadgets or running most devices with a power brick on the cord, but you shouldn’t use them to run anything with a powerful motor. MSW inverters can cause inconsistent speeds, heat buildup, or damage to appliances like corded drills, vacuums, and blenders. By requiring our picks to have pure sine-wave inverters, we aimed to expand the range of devices you can safely plug into them. (We preferred, but didn’t require, a PSW inverter for the smaller contenders, since they aren’t powerful enough to run the appliances that would need one anyway.)
  • At least a one-year warranty: This is not an everyday-use kind of device. A one-year warranty ensures that you actually get to use the thing before its warranty expires. We also took brand reputation into account, and studied online customer reviews to rule out models that were likely to break or die right after the warranty is up. No battery lasts forever, and the capacity will usually diminish after the first year, but our picks should keep working well after the warranty has run out.
  • Readily available customer support: We contacted each company anonymously to gauge how difficult it would be to get in touch with someone and obtain help should a problem arise.
  • Good value: Instead of setting a hard price cap, we looked at capacity (in Wh) per dollar. While prices can fluctuate, this helped us quantify the bang-for-your-buck factor using hard data.

Taking all of the above into consideration, we ended up with a short list of 16 models for testing in 2021:

Photo: Sarah Witman

We spent 73 hours testing all 16 portable power stations in both the dingy basement of a coworking space and a (slightly less dingy) home office. We tested the performance of each model in a few key areas, including the following:

  • Battery run time (hours): We turned on each portable power station and its AC outlet, plugged in a 127 W room fan (our runner-up pick), and let it run on high until the juice ran out. Then we recorded the number of hours that elapsed between fully charged and fully dead. (Note: The fan we used operates at 70 W, but with a 0.55 power factor that made the effective power draw on the battery 127 W.)
  • Peak power output (W): We turned on each portable power station and its AC outlet, plugged in a Kill A Watt power meter, and then plugged 50 W halogen bulbs into an array of 10 light-bulb sockets—one after another, recording the measured increase in wattage after adding each bulb—until the unit overloaded and turned off. If all 10 bulbs weren’t enough to overload it, we replaced the array with our favorite surge protector and added lamps and other appliances until it cried uncle. For some of the more robust portable power stations we tested, after every other combination of appliances failed to overload them—and after we permanently damaged a microwave—we plugged in a power-hungry clothing iron. (We did so only with a fire extinguisher within arm’s reach, and we do not recommend trying this at home. You should always plug electronics with an open heating element—irons, hair dryers, space heaters, electric kettles, and the like—straight into a wall outlet, as they can overheat quickly and catch fire when plugged into an extension cord, a surge protector, or a portable power station.)
  • Look and feel: As a natural part of the testing process, we handled each unit quite a bit. We also made a point to pick them up and haul them around from room to room, as well as to inspect every inch of their outer surfaces.

In earlier testing rounds, we’ve used a BitScope digital oscilloscope to visualize the electrical waveforms of each portable power station. This process helped us eliminate models that produced a choppy waveform, causing devices to run inefficiently. However, we decided to forgo this test in our latest round of testing because all of our top-pick contenders were made by brands that performed well in previous tests.

Photo: Sarah Witman

Our pick

Jackery Explorer 1000

The best portable power station

This unit packs lots of power into a portable, durable, easy-to-use package. Plus, it has more AC, USB-A, and USB-C ports than most portable power stations we’ve tested.

Buying Options

$1000 $820 from Wellbots

Use promo code WIREXPOWER

The Jackery Explorer 1000 is the best portable power station for emergency backup power or outdoor activities like camping and tailgating. It’s one of the most powerful units we’ve tested, it offers a wide variety of port options, and it’s lightweight enough for most people to tote around without developing a hernia (something that certainly cannot be said of heavier models). We also love its user-friendly interface and sturdy, rugged build quality.

In our testing, the Explorer 1000 was able to power our tabletop fan for an impressive 14 hours—longer than all but the biggest, heaviest units we tested (the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X and the Jackery Explorer 2000). In our peak-power test, we measured a max output of 1,370 W, which is plenty powerful for most devices.

The Explorer 1000 has a compact, streamlined design that makes it easy to stow in a closet or car trunk. At 22 pounds, it weighs about as much as a large watermelon. And while the two-handled units we tested are generally easier to carry with both hands (or with another person), we like that the single handle on top of the Explorer 1000 is sturdily built, with an ergonomic shape that’s comfortable to grasp. The unit’s exterior is covered in a hard, durable plastic, and it has four rubber feet to protect the bottom from getting scuffed up. Like other portable power stations, it shouldn’t be exposed to much dirt or moisture (especially its charging ports and screen), but it’s still rugged enough for campfire-side charging.

The 22-pound Explorer 1000 is light enough for the average adult to carry safely. Photo: Sarah Witman

The unit comes with an AC/DC wall charger and a car charger, plus a neoprene carrying case for all your charging cables. Unlike some models we tested, the Explorer 1000’s wall charger has a grounded, three-prong plug to ensure a safer, more stable connection. The unit also comes with an adapter to connect its Anderson Powerpole jack to one or two solar panels. (Jackery sells a 100 W solar panel individually or as a bundle, and Generark makes an identical model—both worked equally well for us in testing.) Jackery sells a separate padded carrying case for the Explorer 1000, which most people probably don’t need but may find helpful to protect its screen and uncovered ports from the elements in particularly stormy or dusty locales.

Like our other picks, the Explorer 1000’s display is informative and easy to interpret, showing the remaining battery life and the input/output wattage. The unit has three AC outlets, two USB-A ports (one of which supports fast charging), and two USB-C ports (both of which support Power Delivery, or PD, charging). It also has a car power socket with a protective, hard-plastic cover. All of the ports are well spaced on the front of the unit and should be able to accommodate most plugs, even those on the bigger side. It also includes a built-in flashlight, which most models lack. While it isn’t very bright, it could be handy for a quick nighttime task.

The Jackery Explorer 1000 comes with a neoprene case to hold all of your cables and other charging accessories. Photo: Sarah Witman

The Explorer 1000 has a pure sine-wave inverter, so it can power sensitive electronics such as CPAP machines or appliances with powerful motors. Jackery offers a two-year warranty—as long as every other model we’ve tested, with the exception of the Generark—which should give you ample time to decide whether your unit is a dud. And, in our experience, Jackery’s customer support team has been knowledgeable and speedy, usually responding right away by phone and within a few business days by email.

The Explorer 1000 isn’t the most powerful of the models we tested—several bested it when it comes to capacity, max output, or both—but it still offers an impressive amount of power for the price. Plus, it’s much lighter than those models, so it’s more practical to lift into a trunk or carry to the backyard.

Lastly, this unit’s screen isn’t quite as large or brightly lit as the one on our runner-up pick. If you tend to squint at small screens, you’re probably better off with the Anker.

Photo: Sarah Witman

Runner-up

Anker Powerhouse II 800

Lighter and cheaper, but slightly less powerful

This model has a great capacity, good output, and plenty of port options. Plus, it weighs less than 20 pounds and costs less than other top contenders.

If our top pick is unavailable, the Anker PowerHouse II 800 is another great option. Though not as powerful as the Explorer 1000, it’s just as ruggedly built, it has similar charging and recharging options, and it’s a few pounds lighter. Plus, as of this writing, it’s around $150 cheaper.

In our tests this model was able to keep our tabletop fan running for 11.5 hours, which is just a few hours shy of our top pick’s 14-hour run time. The Anker’s maximum output was pretty disappointing—we measured 462 W in our testing, less than its claimed 500 W output rating, and about a third of what we measured from the Jackery Explorer 1000—but it’s still plenty powerful for most devices. For instance, most laptops need only 100 W to charge at top speed, a portable movie projector uses about 150 W, and a portable washing machine requires about 350 W. Just don’t plan on using the Anker for power-hungry appliances like an air conditioner, a dehumidifier, or an upright vacuum, all of which usually need at least 500 W.

The Anker weighs just 18 pounds, so like our 22-pound top pick, it’s possible for most adults to carry it one-handed. Its shape isn’t as sleek and streamlined as that of the Jackery models, and the handle is flatter and less comfortable to hold, but the design is still fairly elegant. It’s also relatively rugged, with a scuff- and scratch-resistant hard-plastic shell, and two thin, rubber bumpers on the bottom to protect it from dirt and moisture. Plus, it’s the only one of our picks that has a protective flap over its AC outlets as well as its car power socket.

Like the Explorer 1000, the Anker comes with both an AC/DC wall charger (with a grounded, three-prong plug) and a car charger. It also comes with two charging cables (one USB-C–to–USB-C and one USB-A–to–USB-C). Unlike the Jackery models, it doesn’t come with an accessory case, and Anker doesn’t sell a case for the unit itself, but neither is really a necessity. Like our other picks, to charge this unit through solar power you’ll have to buy a panel separately (or multiple panels to catch even more rays).

This unit has the largest—and one of the brightest—screens of any model we tested. It’s easy to read and informative, displaying input/output wattage and percentage charged (as do the screens on our other picks), as well as the estimated number of charging hours remaining. It has protective flaps over both AC outlets as well as its car power socket, which helps to keep out moisture, dust, and other debris that could damage the internal components. It has two USB-C ports, both of which support PD charging to power phones and other devices at top speed, and four fast-charging USB-A ports (more than every model we tested except the EcoFlow Delta). Like the Jackery Explorer 1000, the Anker can be recharged via a DC input port, an Anderson Powerpole jack, and either (or both) of its USB-C ports, and it has a small flashlight built into the side. In addition to two brightness settings, the flashlight has a blinking mode that you can use in case of emergencies (or as a makeshift strobe light).

The Anker PowerHouse II 800 has a wide array of input options, including a car port, two USB-C PD ports, a DC port, and an Anderson Powerpole jack. Photo: Sarah Witman

Like our other picks, the Anker Powerhouse II 800 has a pure sine-wave inverter to create a smooth stream of power akin to what comes out of a wall outlet, meaning it can run sensitive electronics (like a CPAP machine) safely. It’s backed by an 18-month warranty, which should give you plenty of time to try out all of its features and ensure you don’t have a dud. (And if you do run into any issues, note that we’ve had only good interactions with Anker’s customer support team.)

Photo: Sarah Witman

Budget pick

Jackery Explorer 300

Great performance for the money

If you don’t mind sacrificing a little power, the Explorer 300 offers a wide range of port options and has the same sturdy build as our top pick. Plus, it’s light enough for a small child to tote around.

Buying Options

$300 from Amazon

May be out of stock

If your main priority is portability—followed closely by plentiful power and port options—there’s no better option than the Jackery Explorer 300. It’s light enough for the average person (or even a child) to tote around without breaking a sweat. It has a great capacity and maximum output for the price, and nearly as many input/output ports as our larger picks. And, since it’s essentially a miniature version of the Explorer 1000, it has the same rugged and streamlined design.

In our testing, the Explorer 300 was able to run our tabletop fan for 6 hours, which is as long as any other lightweight (under 10 pounds) contender. The Anker PowerHouse II 400 had the same run time, the Aukey PowerTitan 300 lasted 5 hours, and the Jackery Explorer 160 lasted 2 hours with the same fan. In our max-output test, the Explorer 300 produced an impressive peak of 384 W—well over its 300 W output rating, and slightly higher than what we measured from the other lightweight options we considered.

Like its bulkier sibling, the Explorer 300 has a hard-plastic shell, four rubber feet on the bottom, and a sturdy handle on top. At the same time, it weighs just 7 pounds, or about as much as a newborn baby—our top and runner-up picks weigh 22 and 18 pounds, respectively, or about as much as a 1-year-old—so it’s much less strenuous to carry around. Plus, it takes up less space in a car trunk or closet.

Like our other picks, this unit can be recharged from a wall outlet or car power socket with the included chargers, as well as from a separate USB wall charger or solar panel. The wall charger is the same as the one that comes with the Explorer 1000, except its plug has only two prongs—we’d prefer it to have a third, grounding prong to ensure a more stable connection, but we didn’t consider it a dealbreaker. Unlike the larger Jackery model, the Explorer 300 doesn’t come with an accessories case, but for added protection you can buy a case for the unit itself.

Like all of our picks, the Jackery Explorer 300 can be charged from a solar panel (sold separately). Photo: Sarah Witman

The Explorer 300 has the same informative, backlit screen and easy-to-use interface as the other Jackery models we’ve tested, and its ports are adequately spaced on the front of the unit. However, it includes fewer ports than our other picks: two AC outlets, two USB-A ports, a USB-C PD port, a car power socket with a protective cover, and a DC input port. It also lacks our other picks’ built-in flashlight, which can be handy in a pinch, but we generally prefer a standalone flashlight or headlamp anyway.

Like the Explorer 1000, this model is backed by Jackery’s two-year warranty and responsive customer support team. And, like our other picks, it has a pure sine-wave inverter, allowing you to use it with sensitive devices safely.

In June 2021, Goal Zero launched the Amazon-exclusive Yeti 1000 Core. Costing $900 as of this writing, it weighs 32 pounds and has a pure sine-wave inverter, a 1,000 Wh capacity rating, and a 1,200 W output rating. The same month, BigBlue announced a portable power station available for preorder, the Cellpowa500 ($400 as of this writing). It weighs 17 pounds, contains a pure sine-wave inverter, and has a 538 Wh capacity rating and a 500 W output rating. Both of these models have two AC outlets, two USB-C ports, and two USB-A ports. We’ll test them against our picks and update this guide with our thoughts as soon as we can.

We’d also like to test Goal Zero’s Boulder and Nomad 100 W solar chargers against the ones we like from Jackery and Generark, as well as the 63 W, 80 W, 100 W, and 120 W versions of our favorite portable solar charger from BigBlue.

To maximize the lifespan of a portable power station, store it in a cool, dry place. Most are rated to operate in temperatures ranging from 10 °F to 100 °F, but long periods in extreme temps (below freezing or above 86 °F) can cause permanent damage to the battery.

To ensure your portable power station is charged up and ready to go when you need it, you can store it plugged into a wall outlet. If there’s no outlet nearby, it’s also fine to store it unplugged—all batteries lose their charge over time, but healthy lithium-ion batteries lose only a small percentage each month.

Never use a portable power station to run high-drain devices for long periods of time, or any devices that exceed its output rating. Large power tools (such as a circular saw or jackhammer) or appliances that generate heat (such as a space heater, a curling iron, or an electric griddle) can damage the internal components and void the warranty.

When your portable power station reaches the end of its life, you should recycle it. While most Americans recycle plastic, metal, paper, and cardboard on a regular basis, less than half recycle their used batteries and other electronic waste (also called e-waste). This is unfortunate, since batteries that end up in landfills can leach heavy metals and other harmful chemicals into local soil and water systems. It also means more raw materials must be mined to make new electronics, rather than salvaging usable components from old ones. Here are some of your options for recycling portable power stations and other e-waste:

Lightweight models

If you’re on a tight budget, Aukey PowerTitan 300 is a good alternative to the Explorer 300 (especially if it goes on sale). It has about the same capacity and output as the Explorer 300 (it’s rated for 288 Wh and 300 W, respectively) and similar port options (two AC outlets, a USB-C port, and three USB-A ports), but it’s two pounds heavier, less ruggedly built, and less comfortable to carry.

The Aukey PowerZeus 500 and EcoFlow River Pro are both great options if you want something lighter and cheaper than the Explorer 1000 and PowerHouse II 800 models but more powerful than the Explorer 300. Both performed well in our testing, and they’re relatively sleek, streamlined, and intuitive to use. The PowerZeus 500 has a 518 Wh capacity rating, a 250 W output rating, two AC outlets, a USB-C port, and three USB-A ports, and it weighs 13 pounds. The EcoFlow River Pro has a 720 Wh capacity rating, a 600 W output rating, three AC outlets, a USB-C port, and three USB-A ports, and it weighs 17 pounds.

A former pick, the Jackery Explorer 160 is comparable to some of our favorite portable laptop chargers—particularly the Anker PowerHouse 100 or RavPower RP-PB055—but some people might prefer its upright, handled, rubber-footed design for camping. The Anker and RavPower models have output, capacity, and port options similar to that of the Explorer 160, they cost about the same, and they’re about as rugged. Plus, both are smaller and lighter and have pure sine-wave inverters (the Explorer 160’s inverter uses a modified sine wave). But if you’re not planning to carry it in a backpack, and you can live with a slightly choppier sine wave, the Explorer 160 is a great option.

Full-size models

The EcoFlow Delta used to be our top pick, and it’s still an excellent option if you want more port options than the Explorer 1000, or if you intend to use it to power high-drain devices for shorter lengths of time. The Delta has six AC outlets (three more than the Explorer 1000), two USB-C ports, and four USB-A ports (two more than the Explorer 1000), and we measured its maximum output at 2,040 W (compared with the Explorer 1000’s 1,370 W). However, it performed worse than our top pick in our run-time test, keeping our tabletop fan running for 11 hours compared with the Explorer 1000’s 14 hours, despite having a higher capacity rating. It also costs more ($1,200) as of this writing.

The Jackery Explorer 1500 is a good alternative to our top pick or runner-up should they go out of stock, or if this one drops significantly in price. It has a higher output (rated for 1,800 W) and capacity (rated for 1,488 Wh) than the Explorer 1000, but it’s not our top pick because it’s heavier (33 pounds), has fewer USB-C ports (just one), and costs a lot more ($1,600) as of this writing.

The Jackery Explorer 2000 performed well in our testing, offering the absolute highest capacity (rated for 2,060 Wh) and output (rated for 2,200 W) of any model we tested. It’s a great option if power is your sole priority, but it’s probably overkill for a tailgate party or camping trip. Plus, it’s relatively heavy (43.5 pounds) and expensive ($2,100 as of this writing).

Lightweight models

The Anker PowerHouse II 400 is the heaviest (10 pounds) and priciest ($400 as of this writing) of our budget contenders, and it has only one AC outlet.

The ChargeTech 125K performed fairly well in past tests, with a max output of 432 W and a run time of 5 hours. But the build quality (especially its metal handle, which we fear could rust or snap off) isn’t very rugged, and its one-year warranty is shorter than that of our picks.

The EcoFlow River 370 (discontinued) used to be our budget pick, but it failed to measure up to newer contenders in terms of run time and max output.

When we tried the Goal Zero Yeti 200X in a past round of testing, it had the lowest max output of our lightweight contenders (128 W) and one of the shortest warranties (one year). Also, its angular body and handle design made it less comfortable to pick up and carry around than the others we tested.

We previously dismissed the Goal Zero Yeti 400, which is bigger and heavier than comparable models, lacks USB-C ports, and has a clunkier design overall.

At $700 as of this writing, the Goal Zero Yeti 500X is too expensive to be a budget-pick contender, and its capacity, output, and port options are much more meager than any of our main picks (it has a 505 Wh capacity rating, a 300 W output rating, two AC outlets, a USB-C port, and two USB-A ports).

The Jackery Explorer 500 used to be our budget pick, but we dismissed it in our latest round of testing because it has only one AC outlet and no USB-C ports.

We dismissed the Suaoki G500 (discontinued) in a previous round of testing because it seemed like a cheap knockoff of the Yeti 400. The material felt chintzier, its handle was flimsier, and the screen didn’t indicate the battery level; rather, a light on the charging brick turned green and the battery symbol on the screen stopped blinking when it was fully charged. The G500’s output, capacity, and run time were decent, but not enough to justify overlooking its flaws. Plus, we had a hard time getting in touch with the company, and when we tried emailing customer support anonymously (no phone number is listed on the website), we received no response.

The Suaoki S200 (discontinued) had the highest max output (170 W) and longest run time (3 hours) of our lightweight contenders in a past round of testing. However, it also had one of the shortest warranties (one year), as well as a slightly less rugged design.

Full-size models

The Duracell PowerSource 1440W is sturdily built, has a great output, and is made by one of the biggest names in batteries. But it’s much heavier than other models we’ve tested (58 pounds), and its capacity is bafflingly low—despite its large size, it’s rated for just 660 Wh. Plus, it has a modified sine-wave inverter (limiting the devices it can power safely), and it doesn’t have any USB-C ports.

On paper, the Generark HomePower One is almost identical to our top pick: It weighs 23 pounds, it’s rated for 1,000 Wh (capacity) and 1,000 W (output), and it has three AC outlets, two USB-C ports, and two USB-A ports. But it costs $100 more than the Explorer 1000 as of this writing, and it performed significantly worse in our run-time test, keeping our tabletop fan running for just 5 hours compared with the Jackery’s 14. It also has a clunkier design overall.

The Goal Zero Yeti 1000 and Goal Zero Yeti 1400 WiFi used to be our top and upgrade picks, respectively, but they’ve been discontinued.

Other than the Jackery Explorer 2000, the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X is the most powerful model we’ve tried; it has a 1,516 Wh capacity rating and a 2,000 W output rating, and it performed well in our testing. However, at 46 pounds, it’s also the heaviest (aside from the Duracell PowerSource 1440W) and has only two AC outlets, which is less than any other contender for our top or runner-up pick.

About your guide

Sarah Witman

Sarah Witman has been a staff writer at Wirecutter since 2017. She has been a science journalist for over seven years, covering a wide variety of topics, from particle physics to satellite remote sensing. Since joining Wirecutter, she has researched, tested, and written about surge protectors, power banks, lap desks, mousetraps, and more.

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