For campers and remote workers alike, it’s great to have an external portable AC power supply for your laptop, cellphones, small appliances and smart devices. In addition to a 120V AC plug, these also have USB power ports built in. We review our top 5 picks, including RavPower, Mophie, Krisdonia, Jackery and Goal Zero. Prices range from under $100 to around $500, depending on how much battery you want.
Top Pick – RavPower 30000
The RAVPower AC Portable Charger 30,000mAh 100W Power Bank 60W PD 3.0 Output Charging AC Outlet Laptop Travel Charger (about $125).
We like this RavPower has a 100W (150W peak) output capability, which is one of the highest available in this size powerbank. It is also one of the only to have a standard 3-prong AC outlet, rather than the 2-prong.
This means you can plug in any of your basic electronics just like you do the at home.
It’s most useful for recharging and powering laptops. For example, it will fully charge your:
- Macbook Pro 15.6” within 4 hours
- Macbook 12” within 3 hours
- Lenovo Laptop within 2.5 hours
For portable devices, you could get nearly a weeks worth of use before needing to recharge the powerbank. Take your iPhone from 0 to 100% about 5 times, or a Galaxy S10 about 6 times.
Note that you can only use either the AC or the USB; You’ll have to choose which devices get the power since they don’t operate at the same time. This is standard for all of the portable charges of this size.
The RavPower gets charged up in under 3 hours with a 45W PD charger (unfortunately, not included with the powerbank – you can get one for about $25 on Amazon. Great to have around the house / office for general use since it fast charges all your other devices as well). The USB-C charging cable is included, and this works with all standard USB charging plugs.
If you aren’t near the grid, or concerned about extended power outages, you may consider waterproof, foldable solar panels to charge the powerbank, or your electronics. We can recommend the
RAVPower Solar Charger 21W Solar Panel with Dual USB Port (about $35).
Here are the Technical Specifications so you’ve got all the info:
- Battery Capacity: 30,000mAh
- PD Input: 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A, 45W Max
- Ismart1 Output: QC3.0 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A
- Ismart2 Output: 5V/2.4A
- PD Output: 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3A, 60W Max
- AC Output: 110V~120V/60Hz 150W Max 100W Rated
- Rated Capacity: 5,100mAh 20V/3A
- Dimensions: 5.4 x 6.7 x 1.4 inches
- Weight is just under 3 pounds.
If the 30,000mAh isn’t available, the RavPower 27,000mAh has all the same features for about $10 less in a smaller size (5.31 x 6.89 x 1.38 inches). The major difference is this one is rated for 85W (100W Max) compared with 100W (150W Max) for the larger RavPower.
Here are the links to Amazon for more info and ordering:
RAVPower AC Portable Charger 30,000mAh (about $125)
45W PD charger (about $25)
RAVPower Solar Charger 21W Solar Panel (about $35)
Runner Up – Mophie Powerstation
The Mophie Powerstation AC (about $195) 22,000mAh rechargeable universal battery is good alternative to the RavPower, although it’s a lighter battery at a higher price.
We like that Mophie provides the safety of a GFCI protected outlet for the 3-prong AC. Like the RavPower, this supports 100W (150W peak) output.
Charging the Mophie is with the included USB-C cable; It can also charge in under 3 hours if you have 30W PD fast charger (Aukey 30W PD is a good one for about $30, great to have around the house for your other devices).
We like the fabric wrap covering – it makes it less likely to slip off the table and keeps from scratching other devices when tossed into a carry bag.
Expect to run a smartphone for about 100 hours, a tablet for about 20 hours or a laptop for 15 hours.
Item Dimensions 4.49 x 1.1 x 7.48 inches
Item Weight 1.67 lbs
Value Priced – RavPower 20000
If don’t need quite this much battery, and want to save on the price (and weight), check out the RAVPower AC Portable Charger 20000mAh (about $85). This is an 80W AC Portable Charger. One thing to note is that the AC outlet is a 2-prong rather than a 3-prong. This may matter a lot depending on what you are looking to power, so check first.
Highest Capacity – Krisdonia
At the top end of the battery capacity range for portables, is the Krisdonia AC Power Bank (about $270). This packs 60000mAh in a little under 4 pounds (3.91 to be precise). It handles up to 130W AC devices, which is just about anything you would be carrying around with you (unless you bring your microwave along in your back-pack).
We like the variety of USB ports on the Krisdonia:
- 2 x Quick Charge 3.0 USB ports ( automatically output 5V/9V/12V )
- 1x USB-C port (5V/9V/12V )
The feature we found on the Krisdonia, but not on the other portables, is “pass through” powering. With this activated (just press the button for 2 seconds) while the powerbank is charging you can also power your devices. So you can use / recharge your electronics at the same time you are recharging the Krisdonia from the grid electricity.
This powerbank lets you use as many, and in any combination (including AC and USB simultaneously), outputs as you like. You just can exceed the max power limits, or the port with shutdown.
There are mixed feelings on the DC charging port – it’s the small round cylinder plug from a dedicated wall-wart adapter rather than a USB input. While this allows for 19V/2A charging of the Lithium-ion Polymer battery, you always have to remember the charger.
One nice feature is the LED display that shows the battery level. You don’t have to guess or interpret some LED bars to know the power status.
Item Dimensions 8.66 x 5.94 x 1.57 inches
Item Weight 3.9 lbs
Bigger Battery – Jackery and Goal Zero
If these don’t pack enough power for what you’re looking to do, something along the lines of the Goal Zero or Jackery might be more to your liking.
The Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 is a 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional). It’ll cost you about $500 and weighs in around 13 pounds.
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station is a little smaller at 400Wh and about $50 less than the Jackery. The trade-off is the Yeti has a lead-acid battery (like your car) and weighs in around 30 pounds (which gets heavy, fast if you are carrying any distance).
Read more about both of these, as well as other options, in our reviews about the Jackery Portable Power Stations and Solar Re-Charge Power Stations .
Pick up any of these portable AC power stations, and you won’t have to make a home-grown battery out of root vegetables (note: the carrot and cheese block combination in the image doesn’t actually work).