The Best Portable Power for Camping in 2020 (Ultimate Guide)

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.

Here is the best portable power for camping in 2020 and beyond!

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, including solar panels, solar chargers, power packs, and more.

Here are the top 11 best portable power devices for camping and backpacking in 2020:

1. Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus

Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus

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
  • Quality Components
  • Easy-to-Read LED Screen
  • Kickstand for Optimal Charging Angle

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No Internal Battery
  • One USB Charging Outlet

2. Nekteck 21W Solar Panel

Nekteck 21W Solar Panel

The Nekteck 21W Solar Panel 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 21W Solar Panel 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
  • Heavy

3. Anker 21W Solar Charger

Anker 21W Solar Charger

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
  • Lightweight Design
  • 18-month Warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No Internal Battery
  • Gets Very Hot in Sun

4. Suaoki S270 Portable Power Station

Suaoki S270

Looking for something a little more powerful than a solar charger? Then this Suaoki portable power station might just be for you.

What sets this portable power supply apart from our top three selections is the fact that it can actually store a charge while the above-mentioned solar panels cannot.

Charge your devices whenever wherever with this Suaoki portable power pack. The compact device (around the size of two coffee mugs) boasts 100 watts capacity with 10 total outlet ports of various types.

Perhaps best of all is this device’s weight. It clocks in at just 2.9 pounds, making it a truly portable power device for camping. The user-friendly handle makes it easy to carry from place to place.

Although you can charge this Suaoki power station via a standard wall outlet before leaving home, it can also easily be paired with a portable solar panel so you can easily recharge it in the field. Yet another option is to recharge it using a 12V car port.

What We Like:

  • 100 Watt Capacity
  • 10 Outlet Ports
  • Weighs Just 2.9 Pounds
  • Very Compact
  • Durable Construction

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Takes a While to Recharge
  • No Built in Storage for Cables/Adapters

5. Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station

Jackery Explorer 240

The Jackery Explorer 240 is another top-notch portable power station specifically designed with camping in mind.

It’s a highly reliable portable backup power source. It works just as well at home, such as part of a home emergency kit, as it does at the campground.

The lithium ion battery provides up to an 240 watt-hour output. It’s capable of running constantly for about 6 hours when used in the power-saving mode.

This Jackery portable power station can be charged several ways. You can charge it with a wall outlet at home or a car outlet on the go. It can also easily be paired with a portable solar panel, like the Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel.

The Explorer 240 is a bit bulkier than other portable power devices on this list at 6.6 pounds. But it’s certainly not too heavy to easily pack for a car camping trip.

What We Like:

  • 240 Watt Hours
  • Lithium-Ion Battery
  • 3 Charging Ports
  • Built-In LCD Screen
  • Weighs Only 6.6 Pounds

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Not waterproof

6. Goal Zero Yeti 150

Goal Zero Yeti 150

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 solar panel, like our top-rated Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus.

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
  • Bulky/Heavy

7. Anker PowerCore+ 26800

Anker PowerCore+ 26800

The Anker PowerCore+ 26800 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
  • Fast-Charging Technology
  • Slim, Lightweight Design
  • Multiple Charging Ports
  • 18-Month Warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not Waterproof
  • Ports Don’t Match w/ Holes

8. Anker PowerCore II 6700

Anker PowerCore II 6700

The Anker PowerCore II+ 6700 might be small but it packs a big punch.

The ultra-compact portable charger is ideal for campers, hikers, backpackers, and others on the go who want to charge their smartphones and other small devices without lugging around a solar panel or bulky portable power station.

Most notable about this portable charger is its capacity-to-size ratio. It clocks in at just 5 ounces (roughly the weight of a baseball). And it measures only 3.7 inches by 1.8 inches by 1 inch (roughly the size of a small candy bar).

Despite its small size, this portable phone charger can charge a smartphone between one and three times, depending on the model. For example, it will fully charge the iPhone 7 two times on just a single charge itself.

Anker complements this portable power bank’s great performance with a sleek, stylish finish. The device looks great. It has also 6 bright LED Lights that let you know how much battery juice is left before you need to recharge it.

What We Like:

  • Premium Quality Components
  • Provides 2 Full Smartphone Charges
  • Lightweight and Small
  • PowerIQ Technology
  • 18-Month Warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not Waterproof
  • Can’t Charge Larger Devices Like Laptops

9. Snow Lizard SLXtreme

SnowLizard SLXtreme Case

The SnowLizard SLXtreme is a solar-powered smartphone charging case that makes the perfect portable power device for backpacking when space is at a premium.

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. Models are available for most of the most popular current smartphones.

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

10. Unifun 10400 Power Bank

Unifun 10400 Power Bank

Few portable power banks are as durable as the Unifun 10400 Power Bank.

The portable charger 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 portable power bank apart from the rest. It’s waterproof, dustproof, anti-shock, and skid resistant.

The only negative for outdoor enthusiasts is this portable charger’s bulk. It’s much larger than others on this list. It’s hard to carry in your pocket like normal. You’re better off stowing it in your backpack or clipping it to your belt.

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)

11. Goal Zero Yeti 400

Goal Zero Yeti 400

The Goal Zero Yeti 400 is, like all Goal Zero devices, incredibly well built.

The robust portable power station isn’t exactly lightweight at almost 30 pounds but it still makes a great option for car camping as well as RV camping.

It boasts a 400Wh, 33AH (12V) battery capacity that’s capable of keeping all of your essential devices charged when you’re in the field. It has two USB ports, two AC outlets, and a 12V outlet for all your charging needs.

Best of all, this portable power station is quiet and efficient. It quickly charges your devices without nary a sound. And it holds enough juice to power them several times on a single charge. For instance, it can power a standard smartphone more than 20 times before you need to recharge it.

The Yeti 400 pairs easily with other Goal Zero products. For example, many campers pair it with a portable solar panel, like the Goal Zero Nomad 28 or the Goal Zero Boulder 50.

What We Like:

  • Reliable
  • Robust Construction
  • 400Wh
  • 5 Charging Ports
  • Pair with Solar Panel

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heavy
  • Slow Recharging Time

Benefits of Portable Power for Camping

Solar Charger for Camping

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.

Portable Power Buyer’s Guide

Solar Charger in Snow

Everyone wants something different from their portable power supply. Think about your individual preferences before making a decision. Learn what to look for in portable power devices to ensure you select a quality product that matches your needs.

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.

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Emergency Backup – Not all portable power devices can jumpstart a car. If that’s something you want, select one with this emergency capability.

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.

Portable Power for Camping FAQ

Portable Power for Camping Near Backpack

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (with answers) about portable power for camping.

Q: Will my portable solar panel work in cloudy weather?

A: It’s true that camping solar panels, like all solar panels, work best in bright, sunny weather. That said, they still perform in cloudy conditions, although at a slower rate (roughly 25% of total charging output depending on the model).

Q: How do you charge a portable power station?

A: You can charge your portable power station in a variety of ways. Most of the best models reviewed above can be charged via a wall outlet, 12v car port, or even a portable solar panel.

Q: How much power output do I need from my portable power device for camping?

A: This all depends on your needs. For short trips, you might only need enough power to recharge your smartphone once or twice. For longer excursions, you might prefer a robust portable power station that can keep all your devices and even small appliances charged for days on end. A solar panel is another good option for longer outings (or when weight/space are at a premium).

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have more questions about finding the best portable power for camping or backpacking.

Final Thoughts

Best Solar Panel for Backpacking

Now you know what it takes to buy the best portable power for camping or backpacking.

Remember that even more important than selecting the best device is selecting the device that best meets your camping needs and preferences, more specifically your weight/space requirements and required power output.

If you have any more questions on how to find the best portable power, please reach out to us in the comments below!

Camping Power

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8 COMMENTS

  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.
    230V
    85W

  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,

    Robb

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