Portable battery packs, once considered pleasant accessories, have become an essential part of our adventures through advances in capacity and miniaturization. With most sizes of phone batteries and even laptops, capable of being covered with solutions that you can fit in your pocket, our attention has now turned to keeping things once thought to be connected to the wall for the entire time in operation.
Massive battery packs, such as the RAVPower boiler, can do this by powering ordinary home appliances for hours in a surprisingly compact and easy-to-carry package. I recently started testing this portable boiler around my house and I liked to have a convenient battery, always ready, waiting for any crazy use case. Whether it’s charging my iPhone, powering smart home accessories, or being available only in an emergency, the charging station is more than just a battery pack from the mill.
RAVPower portable power plant
Bottom line: The massive capacity and portability of the RAVPower Port Station battery offers an excellent solution for camping trips, meetings and more. If you need serious portable power, the power station is definitely worth a look.
- Massive battery size
- Travel bag included
- Built-in handle
- Includes USB-C cable
- Integrated LED light
- Fan noise when charging
Power for days
RAVPower portable power plant: features
As its name suggests, the RAVPower portable power plant comes in a compact, speaker-like form factor that measures just over seven inches high and five inches wide. The plant weighs about five and a half kilograms, thanks in part to its 252.7 Wh battery, 70,200 mAh, but includes a built-in handle to facilitate transport. In addition, the battery is included in a travel bag for extra portability and storage, along with a detachable carrying strap, charging adapter and USB cable.
Around the left of the battery are four total USB ports, three of which are USB-A and one USB-C port with Power Delivery. One of the three USB-A ports has a slightly larger output than the rest, coming from 5V / 3A to 18W, while the other ports are limited to 5V / 2.4A to 12W maximum. The USB-C port ramps things up to 60 W, which RAVPower announces is capable of charging a MacBook Pro in three hours.
On the right side of the battery, there is a single power button to switch the entire operation, as well as an integrated LED light. The white LED light is capable of displaying a permanent LED light, as well as an SOS pattern and a faster strobe effect. While I have not been able to follow the exact specifications of the light, I would match it with an LED flashlight and it is not something that will fill the whole room with light. The front of the battery has no ports or buttons, instead offering only five small status indicators.
The handle mentioned above can be found at the top of the battery, parked near a set of two 110V AC sockets with weatherproof covers. Output points can be used to power appliances and other devices up to 300 W, but the ports do not have a ground slot, which limits some applications. While actual AC operating times will vary, RAVPower lists things like refrigerators and lights that last several hours. The AC outlets use their own power button, which is located between the pair, and also have their own status indicator.
Charging takes place at the back of the battery, through a single continuous barrel-style input, which works with the included wall adapter. Although not included, the DC input works with solar panels and car chargers, in addition, next to it is a continuous output of 12V / 10A at 120W max. Near the rear tip, the portion is an exhaust outlet used to expel heat through a small fan when loading the package.
RAVPower portable power plant: What I like
Make no mistake about it, the star of the show here is the extra battery capacity. Now, large battery packs are not a new thing, however, the boiler is the first in my household and just the fact that I have it around I constantly think about all the potential it unlocks. Including AC outlets only fuels my imagination, and I’ve already done things that weren’t possible before, such as powering a smart camera with a smart wire, in a location that didn’t have an outlet.
Including the LED light on the battery pack is also a favorite feature of mine, as I intend for the station to always be charged and ready to operate in an emergency. RAVPower could have left the light entirely and could still have been a compelling product, but the fact that you have it on board really helps to tell the story of how the battery can be used and is generally handy.
Including AC outlets only fuels my imagination, and I’ve already done things that weren’t possible before, such as powering a smart wired camera in an unplugged location.
Other amenities include luggage storage and a USB-C cable. The included bag is not just a cheap garment with the purchase, because it has a premium look and design. The bag has a lot of compartments for accessories, and the divider inside clearly shows the optimal positioning for all the pieces of the puzzle, so you never have to wonder how to place everything so that everything fits. A detachable shoulder strap and the built-in handle on the bag are great for carrying everything around, and the USB-C cable, while not universal so far, is nice to have anywhere you go.
Finally, although the battery does not have a ton of ports, it includes the most important ones. With four total USB ports and two AC outlets, the battery is able to cover several needs simultaneously and I can easily see that it is a great success at outdoor meetings. On-board charging ports are also important, with passthrough capabilities that allow it to charge itself and other devices at the same time. The possibility of charging by direct current in the car, or even with a solar panel, is just ice on the cake.
Not a “fan”
RAVPower portable power plant: What I do not like
As we could imagine, because the battery in the RAVPower Portable station is absolutely massive, it comes with some design compromises. The first of these is that the whole package is heavy for the category, reaching just over five kilograms. The other is that PowerStation is not something you can just throw in your pocket or gearbox when you are ready to go because of the overall size. This makes the gas station one of those products that is best suited for specific tasks, such as camping trips or in an emergency kit, and not one that you will want to carry all the time.
The large capacity of the battery also means that the boiler generates heat when charging. Although the heat itself is not a problem, because the power station is usually connected to an outlet while it is being powered, but it inserts a fan into the mixture. When the fan is running, it is categorical visible, even in rooms with typical household activities. In fact, when loading the package for the first time, I didn’t think the sound came at all, because it sounds more like one of the air purifiers we have at home. Also, the fan did not start immediately after charging, it hit it a little after connecting it, which again led to a slight confusion.
Switching to the on-board LED light, which is really a great feature, but actually turning it on wasn’t very intuitive. Yes, there is a massive power button right next to the light; however, pressing the button once or pressing and holding it does not light up. To go to work, I had to resort to the included manual, which I didn’t expect to do on a battery pack. Only then did I find out that by pressing it twice quickly, I activated it. The same goes for AC outlets at the top of the battery, which have their own power button and require a long press to turn them on.
My final complaint about the power station is its expensive price. At a list price of $ 270, it takes the battery out of the momentum or out of the purchase territory for once and really makes the whole package somewhat of a niche product. I would definitely like to see the reduced price at a more affordable level, as the battery could be handy in a lot of situations and although I like the travel bag and the included cable, they are nice perks, not necessities.
RAVPower portable power plant: Bottom line
Although expensive, the RAVPower comes with everything you need to keep your devices running for hours, including laptops, phones and even on-board appliances. Accessories such as an integrated LED light, USB-C cable and premium travel bag are really touching touches that show you their full potential.
With the right accessories, such as a solar panel or a DC charger, this already flexible battery pack gets even better, allowing for an off-grid experience while still connected. The plant is certainly not for everyone, but for those who need serious power while walking, you will be hard pressed to find a better overall blend of portability and power.
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