Bring a Little Glamp to Your Camping Trip With These Portable Power Stations
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Bring a Little Glamp to Your Camping Trip With These Portable Power Stations

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Speaker 1: If you need something between a full on generator and a dinky little battery pack, a portable power station might fit the bill, turn your camping trip into a glamping trip, or don't go out and enjoy nature, dammit, but keep your stuff charged and bring some niceties while you do it. This category has blown up recently and now you can find units with USB inputs of all flavors, solar panel inputs, [00:00:30] wireless charging units that you can link together for more power and even systems. You can tie into your home for emergency backup power. Here's how you can find the best portable power station to fit your needs. Speaker 1: Look, your time is valuable. I'm gonna skip straight to the punchline. Here are our favorite models. The blue T brand shined in our testing. These $1,600 AC 200 B is the [00:01:00] best large model. The $400 50 S is the best mid-sized and the $300 EEB three a is our best value pick. Now I know what you're thinking. That's a lot of blue D you may be surprised to learn that we tested models from other brands too. And bootie did not. In fact sponsor this video. We actually tested 18 different models. Our top pick for a small portable power station is the Togo power 3 46 [00:01:30] w the $1,400 anchor powerhouse 7 57 is great. If you want backup power for important equipment and the $1,000 eco flow Delta mini is our favorite. If you need one for a camping trip, there you go. Those are our favorites links below if you wanna buy stuff. Speaker 1: But now if you're curious, we're gonna talk a little about power stations. We actually made a whole video about them. It's it's this one. [00:02:00] We're gonna talk about what to look for when you're buying a power station in general, then we'll go into more detail on our top picks. And finally, we'll give the floor to testing guru, Steve Conaway. Who's gonna talk about our testing process, and he's not even going to push me into a pool this time. As, as far as I know, broadly speaking with power stations, you wanna look for how many, what hours you're going to get out of your machine. The go sun power bank, 1100 [00:02:30] has 1100 wat hours. So if you plug in a work light that uses 110 Watts of power, you can expect to be able to run that light for 10 straight hours. And I wasn't even a math major in college. Speaker 1: You also wanna look at how much power it can give at once. Part of the reason we like the blue T AC 200 P is that it has a 2000 wat hour capacity and a power rating to match. So it can put out 2000 Watts at once, [00:03:00] meaning you can run your 1800 wat miter saw on it, and it has a 4,800 wat capacity for surge power. That's really important if you wanna run something like a fridge off of one of these, because big tools and appliances often surge, and take that much more power when they start running. And if your power station can't take it, it's probably not gonna be something so dramatic as your power saw turning against you and chasing you final destination style. [00:03:30] But at the very least your power, station's gonna stop running. If you want to know more details about the category as a whole check out our earlier buying guide video from Brian Cooley. Honestly, even if this is enough details for you, you should check out the video just to be soothed by Brian's T tones, and then come back here and we'll talk about the specific models. Speaker 1: There are a lot of great small affordable options. The Togo power, [00:04:00] 3 46 1 in part, because we tested it at a crazy 98.95% of its stated 346 wat hour capacity, no station reaches a hundred percent of its stated capacity. They need to power these screens and such. We run the machines in a standardized test to see how long they actually last. Steve's gonna talk more about this later, but we usually look for them to hit 80 to 85% of their stated capacity. Those numbers qualify [00:04:30] as good. So a machine that hits 98.95% is awesome. And this Togo has an AC plug, 12 volt socket, S B a USBC connections, and it offers wireless charging. Speaking of charging with its capacity, you can expect it to run a generic 50 inch TV for a little over two and a half hours, and it could charge your iPhone 13 up to 28 times honor roll mentions in [00:05:00] this category with a lot of strong contenders, the $220 Jack Explorer is still a solid performer with slightly fewer bells and whistles. Speaker 1: The blue T E B three a is our top value pick at $300 for 268.8 wat hours, which is a little steep at face value, but it's a very reasonable price given that it has a nifty newish, lithium [00:05:30] phosphate battery, most models have a lithium battery with a stated life cycle of roughly 500 charges. That should be plenty for most people, but if it's not the newer lithium phosphate batteries are expected to have a life cycle of up to 3000 charges and beyond wasn't it buzz light ear that said to roughly 3000 and beyond inspiring stuff, but really years and years of usage for everybody long enough to see Pixar [00:06:00] spin off a dozen more toy story movies, blue T models finished as our top mid-sized and large picks. And yes, it's pronounced blue T not blue Eddie like spaghetti, both the mid 50 S and the large AC 200 P have a great dollar to wat hour ratio. Speaker 1: They perform well tons of input and output options. I mentioned the crazy surge rating on the AC 200 P look, they're really good machines. [00:06:30] The $400 50 S with 500 wat hours can run a TV for 3.4 hours and charge an iPhone 35 times the $1,600 AC 200 P with 2000 stated, wat hours can charge your phone 154 times and can run a TV for 14.7 hours. So you can kick back and binge through all of moon night. Most of a season of [00:07:00] stranger things, Richardson, whatever you want. We called the anchor powerhouse 7 57, our best for backup power, because it has a mode called ups mode, which has nothing to do with delivering new packages. Instead, it means it can provide power to important equipment. In case of an outage that said a dedicated pro level ups machine has a transfer time of zero to 12 milliseconds. Speaker 1: This anchor model is supposedly less than 20. It performed well in our [00:07:30] tests, but be careful about using it to replace your dedicated ups machine or your dedicated FedEx machine. I'm so sorry. It can run your TV for 8.1 hours and charge your iPhone 1385 times two. So plenty of capacity and no apple didn't sponsor this video either. It's just a common phone. Finally, the thousand dollars EcoFlow Delta mini is our camping pick. It's relatively easy to lug around given its capacity. And it really hits [00:08:00] a good sweet spot in terms of balancing capability, features and price. It's probably not enough for glamping, cuz it'll only run your TV for 5.8 hours, but it can charge your phone a whopping 61 times. You're not paying a thousand dollars to charge your phone a bunch. And it still has plenty of power to do other power station. Things like run a mini fridge or a fan or a light or all of them. Now, how did we arrive at these [00:08:30] stunningly great recommendations? Well, speaking of stunning, this is Steve Conaway. He designed the testing and is the actual expert here with loads of knowledge on the subject. How do we test these things go Steve, Speaker 2: For portable power stations, we typically have two different lab tests that we run. The first is a battery charge test. We plug the unit into the wall, see how long it takes to get 50, 80, and 100% charge. The next is a battery capacity test. We take these 110 wat [00:09:00] work lights. They are very bright. Plug them into the unit, see how long it lasts. Now for this go sun rated at 1100 wat hours. We would expect the 110 wat lights to last 10 hours, but you don't always get that. The power used by the lights is often less. So we monitor that output throughout the test and get an actual percentage of the usable battery capacity. And what hours now, speaking of what hours, the basics here, we've got voltage, which is the measure of electric potential comes in two flavors, DC like the 12 volt system in your car or AC [00:09:30] like you have in your home. We also have amperage, which is basically the strength of that voltage. If you multiply the two together, you get a measure of power that is in Watts. For example, if we take a computer, plug it into the wall at 120 volts, let's say it's rated at two amps, multiply the two, you get 240. If we want to run that off of a portable power station, you take that 240 Watts multiplied by the two hours and we need a portable power station with 480 wat hour capacity. Speaker 1: Thank [00:10:00] you very much for watching. Please hit that thumbs up button. If you enjoyed the video and subscribe to CNET YouTube channel for much more, once again, I've put the links below. If you're ready to buy one of our recommendations, I've also linked to Steve's written best list. If you wanna read more about all of it, thank you. Again, stay tuned to CNET for much more.

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