Whether you enjoy taking on a camping trip on the weekend or live in a district where power outages are common, purchasing a portable power station is one of the best investments you can make.
Not only do they work as a reliable power source with built-in USB outlets, AC inputs or otherwise, but they can also be easily transported that allows them to go anywhere.
Imagine owning a device with the ability to recharge iPhone 8 for around 50 times, GoPro Camera for 90 times and 12-inch MacBook laptop for at least 8 times.
(This comparison is based on the highest capacity portable power stations at the market, the model we review in this article provides half less power)
The model for this review is PICOWE 250 W Power Station – one of the most versatile and compact power stations in the industry.
- Charge Time: DC 15V: 7-8H: It takes 7-8 hours to fully charge the product while other 250W power stations require 8-10 hours when using a wall outlet
- AC Continuous Output: 250W
- Input Recharging: DC 15V/ 4.0A
- AC Power: Continuous Power Output: 250W (Max Power Output: 350W)
- Battery Capacity: 250Wh: The market offers standard 160/240/520 Wh models regarding consumers’ needs. Weight and price increase with watt-hour capacity
- Large Capacity: 67500mAh, 3.7V
- Weight: 5.9 lbs (~2.7 KG): The average weight of a 240 Wh power station varies from 3 to 6.5 lbs
- Dimensions: L 10.2 x W 3.9 x H 6.2 in (26 x 10 x 15.6 cm)
All power stations commonly used for car camping or as some customers reported they would work for a biking trip. I wouldn’t recommend them for backpacking.
For the price (at least $20 less than many power banks in this class), the PICOWE 250 is an intriguing choice. Ignoring its technical details, people mostly love this product the fastest charging times. This hint works for all 3 possible ways to charge the power station.
RECHARGING THE PICOWE 250
There are 3 possible ways to recharge PICOWE 250:
- 120 V standard household outlet: This is the fastest way to charge any power station. Plug it in and wait about 7.5 hours to charge it to full bars.
- 12 V car adapter: Regular car adapter charges at about 45watts. It allows charging the battery in 11-12 hours
- Solar panel: The amount of wattage that the product gets depends on sun angle, cloud cover and, of course, the solar panel itself.
However, PICOWE power stations have the greatest solar charging efficiency, they don’t come with a solar panel, so you have to buy it separately. Which is a failure comparing to competitors like Jackery, who offer their solar panels for some extra?
This is much larger and heavier than a regular power bank we got used to, but still, be truly portable. It’s easy enough to carry in one hand, has a comfortable handle and it perfectly fits on a 12-inch storage shelf until needed.
Unlike a gas generator, it can be safely used indoors and it makes no sound when charging a device, so there are no worries about fumes or excessive operating noise.
For its $129,99 price, the PICOWE 250 is a perfect choice for most cases. It has solid emergency power credentials to support any device less than 250W, at a more affordable price point than most comparable solutions.
It also frequently used in emergency situations such as a hurricane, snows storm, earthquake, etc. The advertised working temperature of the product is 15-104*F (-10~40C).
Also mentioned in promotional material is the power bank’s potential to support a CPAP machine running.
Most outdoor experts recommend the PICOWE 250 being used in camping situations. However, the negative side of this exact model and all power stations is open ports.
Experts also advise to hide it from direct sunlight, avoiding moisture, keeping it away from fires, avoiding extreme temperatures, and avoiding exposure to vibrations.
But these are the most common scenarios when camping… Manufacturers should make some serious steps to make power stations more popular, for example upgrading them with some water-proof cases or lockable ports.
That being said, we recommend to use safely PICOWE 250 outdoors in optimal conditions mostly for car camping or even biking, and as an emergency backup battery, this is a 100% perfect choice.