The Best Portable Power Banks for Camping

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Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and the wilderness, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to leave all your electronics behind. Smartphones, tablets, portable speakers, action cameras and laptops often make the trip with us. I have to admit that I also bring a cordless vacuum cleaner these days—kids track in a lot of sand and dirt.

All of these devices require power to charge their batteries or they’re useless after a day or two, but not all campsites have electrical outlets. The answer is to bring along a portable power bank (something that can do double duty as an emergency power supply back home). 

Here are some of the best portable power banks for camping.

Goal Zero Venture 70

Goal Zero is a leader in portable power solutions, and many of its products are aimed at outdoor use, making them ideal for camping. I reviewed the company’s Yeti 1400 portable power station and its battery kept my full-size refrigerator running for over 12 hours. Unfortunately, at 45.6 pounds and costing nearly $1,800, the Yeti 1400 is not exactly aimed at the camping crowd.

However, Goal Zero has great camping options, including the Venture 70 Power Bank. This compact and rugged portable power bank has a 17,700mAh battery, weighs just 1 lb. and is dust- and IP67 waterproof. A pair of high-speed 2.4A USB ports (protected by overcharging and low-battery circuitry) can recharge most smartphones six to seven times, or an action camera ten times. Tangle-free mini charge cables are included. The Venture 70 also features a built-in 65 lumens LED flashlight.

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Poseidon 10,000 mAh Portable Charger

I bring Dark Energy’s Poseidon 10,000 MAH Portable Charger with me on every camping trip. As the name implies, the heart of the Poseidon is a 10,000 mAh battery. That’s enough to charge a smartphone three times or more using the fast charge port, which usually takes about an hour. 

What makes this one so great for camping is that it is highly portable and virtually indestructible. With an IP68 waterproof rating, it can survive being briefly submerged in 6 feet of water, so rain is not an issue. It is also extremely rugged with a MIL-STD 810G rating, which means it will survive a 6-foot drop onto concrete and can withstand 1,000 pounds of distributed pressure. A carabiner clip is included, making it convenient to clip to a belt or backpack when hiking.

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BioLite BLXL Solar Kit

BioLite knows a thing or two about camping gear and the company has put together a package (the BioLite BLXL) that combines a USB power bank, LED campsite lighting and a Solar panel to keep everything charged even when off the power grid.

At the heart of the system is the BaseLantern XL, which is a combination flat-pack LED lantern and 12,000mAH portable power bank with dual USB output. BioLite also includes a set of SiteLite Mini string LED lights that plug into the BaseLantern XL. In addition, the package features BioLite’s Solar Panel 5+ to keep the BaseLantern charged. The solar panel actually has its own integrated battery as well, with USB output and a 2200mAh capacity that can top up a smartphone. 

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EcoFlow RIVER 370 Portable Power Station

I reviewed the original EcoFlow River Portable Power Station several years ago, and the follow-up EcoFlow River 370 offers a series of improvements. 

The 100,000mAh/370Wh capacity lithium-ion battery provides plenty of capacity (that’s roughly 37-plus smartphone charges, 12-plus tablet charges, 6-plus laptop charges or 23-plus Nintendo Switch charges). Plug a fan into one of the RIVER 370’s electrical outlets and you’ll get over 20 hours of run time. The number of output ports is mind-boggling, including USB-A, USB-C and AC110V—and EcoFlow says you can charge nine devices simultaneously. At 11 pounds it’s not light, but it’s ergonomically integrated handle makes it easy to carry. The aluminum and plastic case isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, it makes the River 370 IP68 water-resistant.

This is definitely a top pick if you want a potent power bank that’s well suited to camping.

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Honda 290 Portable Power Station by Jackery

The Honda 290 Portable Power Station carries a familiar logo, but it’s actually made under license by a company called Jackery that specializes in portable power banks. And the Honda 290 is a pretty attractive option. It has a pair of 5V USB Type-A ports, a 12V port and a 110V AC outlet. That last one means you can plug equipment in directly as though it were an electrical outlet. Inside is a 292Wh Lithium-ion battery. 

In testing (you can read my full review here), I powered a 27-inch iMac with the Honda 290 for nearly three hours. That’s pretty impressive. Alternately, that battery could charge your smartphone 17 times. All of this is in highly portable package that weighs just 6.6 pounds, and currently goes for around $300.

The Achilles heel of the Honda 290 Portable Power Station is water. If you bring this device camping, you’ll need to keep it out of the rain.

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Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight

If you’re looking for a power bank with modest capabilities—one that simply ensures your smartphone is always charged—Goal Zero has a pretty nice alternative that makes a great addition to any camping setup. The Goal Zero Torch 250 is an LED flashlight, with spotlight, floodlight and emergency light capability.

It also has a relatively high-capacity 4400mAh battery and the ability to charge portable devices using a USB port. That’s more than enough to fully charge an iPhone XS Max. What makes the Torch 250 unique are the integrated solar cells covering one surface that recharge its battery. In addition, you can use the built-in hand crank, with one minute of turning the handle generating enough power for two minutes of light. 

I’ve included a Torch 250 as part of my camping gear for four years now, and I don’t recall ever having to plug it into an outlet to charge during a trip, despite regular using it as a flashlight and an occasional top-up of phones. I just leave it on a sunny surface during the day.

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