Ultimate Guide to the Best Portable Power for Camping

The latest and greatest portable power for camping enables you to stay plugged in and fully charged on all your outdoor adventures.

These camping gadgets range from solar-powered or even wind-powered devices to battery packs, generators, and power inverters for your car.

There are fully fledged solar kits for your camper van, portable power packs for every situation, lightweight solar panels for backpacking, smartphone cases with built-in backup batteries, and everything in between.

Our guide breaks down portable power for camping in more detail to help you can find the best gadgets to keep your electronic devices charged.

* Don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to the best solar power for camping if you already know a solar panel or solar charger is what you’re looking for!

Portable Power Buyer’s Guide

Using Alternative Power When Camping

Everyone wants something different from their portable power supply.

Think about your individual needs and preferences before making a decision. Learn what to look for in portable power devices to ensure you select a quality product from a reputable brand.

If you already know what type of portable power device you need, skip down to our best portable power supply reviews below. Otherwise, our buyer’s guide will help point you in the right direction.

Portable Power Benefits

Why do you need portable power for camping in the first place?

The most obvious answer is convenience. A portable power supply is the best solution for keeping smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices up and running during your camping trip.

Portable power is also essential for emergency situations. Need to make an emergency phone call? Rely on GPS for directions? A portable power bank ensures your devices are fully charged when you need them most.

Some portable power devices are even designed to jump dead car batteries. You no longer have to worry about a dead battery leaving you stranded miles out in the wilderness.

Finally, a portable power station provides an extra degree of comfort. Not everyone wants to rough it while camping. The right device can power lights, a fan, a heater, or even small appliances like a mini fridge or microwave.

Before You Buy

The most important factors to consider before buying portable power for camping include:

  • Type of Device – What do you intend to power? Your smartphone, laptop, a television, a refrigerator?
  • Power Output – How much power do you need? Most manufacturers measure this in mAh (milliamp hours). About 10,000 mAh translates to 3 complete smartphone charges.
  • Type of Camping – Are you backpacking, car camping, or boondocking? Backpacking requires a small, lightweight portable power device outlet while boondocking has few size/weight limits.
  • Frequency of Camping – How often do you camp? If you camp on a regular basis, it’s probably worth investing in a more powerful device (even if it costs more upfront).
  • Camping Location – Solar power for camping is hot right now. Yet it’s not right for every location. You’re better off with battery power in many locations.

Your answers to these questions dictate, at least partially, what type of portable power bank for camping is right for you.

Additional Considerations

A few additional factors to keep in mind while shopping for your portable power supply include:

  • Number of Users – Will only you be using the power device? Or do you need one capable of powering devices from several users?
  • Age of Users – Those with children should select portable power devices that are safe for youngsters to use.
  • Emergency Backup – Not all portable power devices can jumpstart a car. If that’s something you want, select one with this emergency capability.

How to Choose Portable Power For Camping

Now that you have a better idea of what type of portable power device is best for you, it’s essential to be able to weed out the lackluster products from the quality ones.

Here are a few tips that will further help you narrow down your search for the best portable power for camping:

  • Power Type – How is the device powered? Popular options include solar power, wind power, gasoline power, and rechargeable electric (at home or with your car’s 12V cigarette lighter).
  • Battery Storage – Does the portable power source simply recharge devices or does it store a charge itself? The inclusion of an in-built battery is valuable, especially for solar chargers.
  • Capacity – How many charges does the device provide? Power output is usually measured in mAh (milliamp hours), but most manufacturers also list this in more usable terms.
  • Size/Weight – How big and heavy is the portable power gadget? Small size and lightweight are of utmost importance for backpacking. Remember that larger devices usually have a higher power output/capacity.
  • Durability – Camping takes a serious toll on outdoor gear. Ensure your power source is prepared for hot sun, snow, and rain as well as bumps and bruises.
  • Features – How many charging ports does the device have? Are these standard power outlets, USB ports, or something else? Solo campers might be fine with one portable power outlet while family campers should look for a device with multiple charging ports.

Consider all of these factors ahead of time to narrow down the options to the type of portable power for camping that matches your personal needs and preferences.

Best Portable Power for Camping Reviews

Not all portable power devices are created equal. We’ve done the legwork for you, reviewing dozens of portable power stations of all types.

Here are our recommendations for the top 10 portable power for camping devices currently available.

1. Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus

Portable Power for Camping - Solar Charger

The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus is the best solar portable power for camping, period.

It’s lightweight, foldable design makes it easy to pack on backpacking trips. At 12.8 ounces (8 ounces without the kickstand), it’s even lighter than its already lightweight predecessor, the Goal Zero Nomad 7.

Waterproof construction ensures durability while camping. The weatherproof outer layering not only defends against normal wear and tear but stands up to rain and snow as well.

Highlights of the Nomad 7 Plus include an LED screen that indicates current solar strength, a kickstand for optimal solar angle placement, and a vented pocket to regulate temperature.

The lack of an internal battery for power storage is a definite negative. Yet the solar charging works so well, it’s not a problem for those carrying only a single device.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight construction
  • Waterproof (/weatherproof) design
  • Top quality materials
  • Easy-to-read LED screen
  • Kickstand for optimal charging angle

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No internal battery
  • Only one USB charging outlet

Buy the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus now.

2. Nekteck 20W Solar Charger

Portable Power for Camping - Nekteck Solar Panel

The Nekteck 20W Solar Charger is perfect for those that want a low-cost way to charge multiple devices at once while camping.

The lightweight design increases portability for backpacking. The device is just 18 ounces. It’s approximately 6.3 inches by 11.1 inches by 1.06 inches when folded.

The Nekteck 20W Solar Charger utilizes two fast-charging USB ports. These automatically maximize device charging speed. The high-efficiency solar panel is powerful enough to charge two devices at once.

Durability is also at the forefront of this solar charger’s design. High-quality materials are used to prevent damages. The canvas outer layer protects the device from bumps and bruises. It’s also waterproof.

The charger’s biggest disadvantage is the lack of an internal battery. There’s no way to store power for charging when solar conditions aren’t optimal.

What We Like:

  • Low price
  • 2 USB outlets
  • Charge multiple devices at once
  • Durable, waterproof construction
  • Fast-charging technology

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No internal battery
  • Heavier than other models

Buy the Nekteck 20W Solar Charger now from Amazon.

3. Anker 21W Solar Charger

Solar Charging Panel

The Anker 21W Solar Charger is one of the most powerful portable solar chargers for camping on the market.

At 21 watts, the solar charger boasts 21.5 to 23.5 percent charging efficiency. Fast-charging technology enables it to automatically replicate your device’s charging protocol to increase the speed of charging.

All of this is available in a small, lightweight package. The Anker 21W Solar Charger is just 14.7 ounces overall. It’s only 11.1 inches by 6.3 inches by 1.1 inches when folded.

Though industrial-strength solar panels and a rugged canvas outer layer mean damage is unlikely, the incredible 18-month warranty has you covered if an accident does happen.

The only downside to the device is the lack of an internal battery. You can only charge devices with this charger when it’s set in the sun.

What We Like:

  • Powerful charge
  • Fast-charging technology
  • Durable solar panels and exterior
  • Lightweight design
  • 18-month warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No internal battery
  • Gets very hot in the sun (black color)

Buy the Anker 21W Solar Charger now from Amazon.

4. Xantrex XPower Powerpack 600HD

Portable Power for Camping - Powerpack

Not a fan of solar chargers? Then the Xantrex XPower Powerpack 600HD might just be for you.

This powerful portable power station accomplishes something the above-mentioned solar chargers cannot: it actually stores a charge.

Charge your devices at any time with this powerpack. It works much like a gasoline generator, except it’s 100% electric. Charge up the powerpack at home before a camping trip or in your car’s 12V cigarette lighter.

The Xantrex XPower Powerpack 600HD has enough juice to power multiple devices at once. In addition to charging devices, it can also power small appliances. You can also use it to jumpstart a dead battery in a car.

The downside is weight. This portable power pack weighs 27.6 pounds. It’s a good choice of portable power for camping, but not for backpacking.

What We Like:

  • 600-watt inverter
  • Run multiple devices/appliances at once
  • Jumpstart a dead car battery
  • Built-in AM/FM radio
  • Rugged design for durability

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Bulky and heavy
  • No way to continue using when juice runs out

Buy the Xantrex XPower Powerpack 600HD now from Amazon.

5. Duracell DRPP600 Powerpack

Portable Power for Camping - Duracell Powerpack

The Duracell DRPP600 Powerpack is another top-quality option for portable power for camping for those that prefer a portable power station over a solar charger.

It’s one of the most reliable backup power sources for camping we’ve ever used. It’s perfect for both regular camping use or just to have on hand for emergency situations.

Charge the device at home or with your car’s 12V cigarette lighter. It holds a big enough charge to power multiple devices at once, or even jumpstart your car. An AM/FM radio, small light, and digital alarm clock are included.

The device works just as well as you’d expect from any Duracell product. It performs flawlessly in the field. It charges quickly, holds the charge for a long time, and efficiently powers/charges all your devices.

Like the Xantrex XPower Powerpack, the biggest downside to the Duracell DRPP600 Powerpack is its large size. It’s a good option for car camping, but much too heavy and bulky for backpacking.

What We Like:

  • 600-watt inverter
  • 1 DC outlet, 3 AC outlets (3-pronged)
  • Overload/overtemperature protection
  • Built in AM/FM radio
  • Incredibly durable construction

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Bulky and heavy
  • No way to continue using when juice runs out

Buy the Duracell DRPP600 Powerpack now from Amazon.

6. Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator

Portable Power for Camping - Goalzero Yeti

The Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator holds a whole lot of charge capacity in a reasonably small, portable package.

It combines the best of both worlds of solar charging and a portable power bank. Charge the device at home, from your car’s 12V cigarette lighter, or with a Goal Zero solar panel.

The best thing about the Yet 150 is that it stores a lot of power. A full charge contains enough juice to power all your devices including laptops, smartphones, and more. A single charge can power a 12V light for 50 hours or provide 15 recharges for a normal smartphone.

Like all Goal Zero devices, the Yeti 150 is as burly as they come. This portable power outlet is capable of withstanding all the wear and tear that comes with camping.

However, the Yeti 150 isn’t waterproof. It has open ports that must be kept dry. This means it’s not necessarily the best option for car camping or remote living.

What We Like:

  • Pop-handle for portability
  • Rugged, durable design
  • Charge with wall outlet, 12V car port, or solar panel
  • 168-watt hour battery capacity
  • Long battery life

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not waterproof
  • Too bulky/heavy for backpacking

Buy the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator now from Amazon.

7. Anker PowerCore+ 26800 Portable Charger

Portable Power for Camping - Battery

The Anker PowerCore+ 26800 Portable Charger is basically a smaller version of a power bank or portable power generator.

It’s small, lightweight design makes it ideal for backpacking and camping. Yet it still holds enough power to quickly charge all your devices in one sitting.

In fact, the PowerCore+ 26800 is heralded as the world’s highest capacity portable charger. It’s capable of charging an iPhone 6s just under 10 times on a single charge. The battery capacity is 26,800 mAh.

Other highlights include the durable design, small profile (only 17.28 ounces), fast-charging technology, and 18-month warranty.

The downside is the lack of waterproofing. Unlike most other products on this list, this portable charger isn’t specifically designed with camping in mind. This makes it best used when car camping over backpacking.

What We Like:

  • Huge capacity (26,800 mAh)
  • Fast-charging technology
  • Slim, lightweight design
  • Multiple charging ports
  • 18-month warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not waterproof
  • Ports don’t match with holes

Buy the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 Portable Charger now from Amazon.

8. Anker Astro 6700 mAh Ultra-Compact Portable Charger

Portable Power for Camping - Portable Charger

Not everyone requires 26,800 mAh of charging capacity. For many people, the 6700 mAh battery capacity of the Anker Astro 6700 mAh Ultra-Compact Portable Charger is more than enough.

As the name implies, this portable charger for cammping is as compact as they come. It weighs in at just 4.8 ounces, roughly the weight of a baseball. It measures 3.7 inches by 1.8 inches by 1 inch, roughly the size of a candy bar.

Despite its small size, the portable charger can fully charge an iPhone 6s 2.5 times on a single charge. It has a 2-amp max charging speed.

The device utilizes Anker’s exclusive PowerIQ Technology to charge your device as quickly as possible.

The biggest drawback is the limited capacity. The portable power bank is perfect for smartphone users but doesn’t hold enough juice to charge laptops or even tablets.

What We Like:

  • Premium quality components
  • Provides 2.5 full smartphone charges
  • Very small (candy bar size)
  • PowerIQ technology
  • 18-month warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Can’t fully charge laptops
  • Not waterproof

Buy the Anker Astro 6700 mAh Ultra-Compact Portable Charger now from Amazon.

9. Snow Lizard SLXTREME Smartphone Case

Portable Power for Camping - Solar Smartphone Case

The SLXTREME Smartphone Case from Snow Lizard is the perfect device for portable power for backpacking when space is at a premium and portability is of utmost importance.

It’s constructed from thick, rugged poly-carbonate for extreme durability. It’s waterproof up to 6 feet deep so you can wade through creeks without breaking a sweat.

The device fits on your smartphone like a normal case. The difference is its built-in 3000 mAh battery that stores an extra charge.

The main highlight, however, is the built-in solar panel. Though it’s not as powerful as others on this list, it does give your smartphone a convenient trickle charge for emergency situations.

The biggest negative to this smartphone charging case is poor sound quality. It makes it hard to hear those talking on the phone. It also muffles your own voice.

What We Like:

  • Drop proof rated 810G 6 feet
  • Waterproof up to 6 feet
  • Rubber for better grip
  • 3000 mAh battery
  • Built-in solar panel for trickle charge

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Poor sound quality
  • Heavy and bulky design

Buy the Snow Lizard SLXTREME Smartphone Case now from Amazon.

10. Unifun 10400 mAh Smartphone Power Bank

Few smartphone cases are as durable as the 10400 mAh Smartphone Power Bank from Unifun.

The smartphone case was designed from the ground up as a portable power supply for camping. This means that in addition to extreme durability, it also has a high capacity battery.

The 10400 mAh built-in battery can fully charge standard iPhones over 3 times. 4 LED indicators tell you how much of a charge is left.

Yet it’s durability that really sets this smartphone case apart. It’s waterproof, dustproof, anti-shock, and skid resistant.

The only negative for outdoor enthusiasts is the portable power station’s bulk. The case is huge. It’s hard to carry in your pocket like normal. You’re better off stowing it in your backpack.

What We Like:

  • Waterproof
  • 10400 mAh built-in battery
  • Charge two devices simultaneously
  • LED power status indicator lights
  • Built-in flashlight

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Extremely bulky
  • Long recharge cycle (over 6 hours)

Buy the Unifun 10400 mAh Smartphone Power Bank now from Amazon.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, few companies do portable power for camping better than Goal Zero.

There’s no denying their products are expensive – but you get what you pay for. The quality of Goal Zero portable power products are above and beyond the competition.

Goal Zero also offers one of the most extensive product lines. They make solar generators, lithium portable power stations, solar panels, solar chargers, portable chargers, and so much more.

Shop Amazon’s selection of Goal Zero products to find the absolute best device for you.

What about you? What do you use for your portable power supply while camping? What’s your favorite portable power bank?

Camping Power

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  1. Solar Power is definitely the way to go! You shared some great information that will be a big help to many who read your blog! You mentioned solar power in the event of an emergency – I was told a story of a family that had solar powered backpacks and got separated somehow. The ability to plug in the phone to the solar backpack was a life saver – literally. Keep up the good work!

  2. Will the yeti 150 power a drinks fridge for around 4-5hours with one charge? Or do you have any other suggestions.

  3. Hi,

    Great article, I’m looking for a power source and perhaps you can shed some light. I would like something around 30lbs give or take that I can bring on short canoe camping trips (unload car, load canoe, canoe for a spell, unload canoe camp). My requirements is that it power a speaker or 4 as well as recharge phones and some mild lighting, if it has a little power left over, that would be great. I am open to pre charge or solar options. Would you happen to have recommendations for such a gadget?

    Thanks so much,



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