Prep for bad weather: Best emergency power banks for 2024 (2024)


By Jason R. Rich

/ Essentials

CBS Essentials is created independently of the CBS News editorial staff. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.

Prep for bad weather: Best emergency power banks for 2024 (2)

When bad weather hits, it's all too frequent to lose power -- up to days at a time. While a home generator can keep everything running smoothly in the event of a power failure, these can cost upwards of $10,000 or more. But to keep a computer, printer, mobile hotspot and all your devices fully charged, or to run small appliances during a power failure (or while camping or tailgating), an emergency power bank is a much more affordable -- and portable -- option.

Best of all, even the best emergency power banks are more powerful than ever. Most even offer a solar-fueled option. Even if you don't live in an area where winter storms can wreak havoc on your home's power, heavy rain or wind storms can cause power failures anywhere. Being prepared will make those headaches much easier to manage.

Whether you need to know about emergency power banks, the latest TVs, TV soundbars,computers, smartphones, tablets, home projectors, or any other types of consumer technology, you can turn to our in-house tech team for the most informative, timely and accurate info.

The 5 best emergency power banks

An emergency power bank is a large (and somewhat heavy), but portable rechargeable battery. When it's charged, it can keep small appliances, computers, mobile devices, lights and other equipment functional for hours or even days. These power banks typically include multiple three, prong-power outlets, USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports. They're easy to set up and are extremely useful.

Our team of in-houseconsumer technology expertshave done the testing and research to curate this roundup of the five best emergency power banks that are versatile, affordable and portable. Regardless of where you live, an emergency power bank is something we believe every household should have. And they're particularly useful for RVers and people who enjoy camping or tailgating as well.

  • Best emergency power bank overall: Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro
  • Best budget emergency power bank: Jackery Explorer 300
  • Best expandable emergency power bank: Mango Power E Home Backup and Portable Power Station
  • Best emergency power bank for a home office: EcoFlow Delta Max
  • Best basic emergency power bank for most households: Oupes 600W Portable Power Station

Best emergency power bank overall: Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro

Prep for bad weather: Best emergency power banks for 2024 (3)

Capacity: 3,024Wh (Watt-Hours) | Power Output: 3,000-watts | Voltage: 120 | Recharge Time (via AC Outlet): 2.4 hours | Number of Outlets: 4 | Number and Type of Ports: 2x USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C, 1x AC TT-30P | Smartphone App Control: Yes | Battery Type: Lithium | Dimensions: 18.6 x 14.1 x 14.69 inches | Weight: 63.9 pounds | Cycle Life: 2,000 |Optional Accessories: Solar panels, Extra battery packs

Need power in a pinch? The Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro has got it. This power bank recharges using solar panels for generating clean energy. It's a great emergency power source during a blackout, too. Plus, this system offers more than a dozen safety features.

While it's a bit on the heavy side, it's nicely designed with wheels and a handle, so you can position it where it's needed and then remotely monitor and control it's operation using your smartphone.

The Explorer 3000 Pro was made for powering multiple devices at once. You get four traditional power outlets, USB ports and a collection of other ports. And it's 3,034Wh capacity can power a full-size refrigerator for up to five hours, a television for more than 35 hours, or keep your laptop and other home-office gear functioning for days.

The Explorer 3000 Pro is easy to set up and maintain. The display helps you manage your power consumption needs in an emergency situation, during a power outage or whenever you're off the grid. And when you need to recharge this power bank, simply plug it in to an AC outlet for about 2.4 hours or use the solar panels to fully recharge the battery in less than four hours.

Maybe best of all: With the purchase of the Explorer 3000 Pro, you could be entitled to a tax rebate up to $840.

$2,599 at Amazon

Best budget emergency power bank: Jackery Explorer 300

Prep for bad weather: Best emergency power banks for 2024 (4)

Capacity: 293Wh (Watt-Hours) |Power Output: 300-watts |Voltage: 110 |Recharge Time(via AC Outlet): 2.5 hours |Number of Outlets: 2 |Number and Type of Ports: 2x USB Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, 1x 12V DC (10A)|Smartphone App Control: No |Battery Type:Lithium|Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches |Weight: 7.1 pounds |Cycle Life: 500 |Optional Accessories: Solar panels

If you want to ensure your mobile devices and laptop stay fully charged and functional during a power failure, or want to be able to power a few LED lights or other small pieces of equipment, the Jackery Explorer 300 is a viable and very affordable option.

For less than $250, you get a power bank with a 293Wh capacity that can support up to six devices at once using a single, portable and lightweight device that can be set up in any room or used outdoors to provide power during a tailgating party, while camping or in an RV.

If you want to generate clean energy, instead of recharging the Explorer 300 using an AC power outlet, take advantage of its optional solar panels. During a power outage, the Explorer 300 could recharge your smartphone up to 16 times, if this were the only thing you used it for.

$249 at Amazon

Best expandable emergency power bank: Mango Power E home backup and portable power station

Prep for bad weather: Best emergency power banks for 2024 (5)

Capacity: 3.53 kWh (Kilowatt-Hours)|Power Output: 3,000-watts |Voltage: 120 |Recharge Time(via AC Outlet): 1.5 hours |Number of Outlets: 4 |Number and Type of Ports: 6x USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C, 2x DC 12V, 1x Car Port, 1x AC TT-30P|Smartphone App Control: Yes |Battery Type:CATL Battery Cell|Dimensions: 17.8 x 13.6 x 19.4 inches |Weight: 120 pounds |Cycle Life: 6,000+ |Optional Accessories: Solar panels, Additional battery packs

Designed to keep a variety of small appliances or mobile devices operational during a power outage, or if you need significant power when you're off the grid, this Mango power station is extremely functional on its own, but it also can be expanded with additional battery packs (sold separately) that get mounted on top of the main Power E unit.

On its own, the Power E power bank can recharge a smartphone 540 times, recharge a laptop computer 100 times or keep a full size refrigerator running for up to 96 hours in the case of a power failure.

While the main power bank has a capacity of 3.53 kWh, each extra battery pack provides an additional 7.06 kWh of output. Or you can use two Power E stations together. And with the purchase of this system, you may be entitled to a 30% tax credit.

Powering multiple devices simultaneously is easy, thanks to the Power E's four three-prong power outlets and collection of other ports. And when it comes to keeping the unit fully charged, you can plug it into an AC outlet or use optional solar panels to generate clean energy. This is the most powerful and versatile power bank featured in this roundup.

$4,250 at Amazon

Best emergency power bank for a home office: EcoFlow Delta Max (1600)

Prep for bad weather: Best emergency power banks for 2024 (6)

Capacity: 2,016 Wh (Watt-Hours) |Power Output: 3,200-watts |Voltage: 120 |Recharge Time(via AC Outlet): 3 hours |Number of Outlets: 6 |Number and Type of Ports: 2x USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C, 2x DC5521, 1x Car Port |Smartphone App Control: Yes |Battery Type:NCM |Dimensions: 19.6 x9.5 x 12 inches |Weight: 48 pounds |Cycle Life: 800 |Optional Accessories: Solar panels, Delta Max smart extra batteries (up to 2 supported)

For people who work from home and can't afford to be held back due to a power outage, the EcoFlow Delta Max 1600 provides enough power to keep your laptop computer, desktop computer, printer, personal Wi-Fi hotspot and mobile devices going for at least one or two full days with uninterrupted power. On its own, this power bank could recharge your laptop computer up to 26 times, or your smartphone up to 140 times.

Plus, with the use of the optional solar panels, you can recharge the Delta Max using sunlight to create clean energy. And if you need more capacity than 2,016Wh, you can add up to two extra Delta Max smart batteries (sold separately) to increase the system's overall capacity by up to 6 kWh. In all, you power up to 15 devices at once.

The on-board display or mobile app keep you informed in real-time about remaining battery power and provides other details to help you get the most out of the power bank.

$1,000 at Amazon

Best basic emergency power bank for average households: Oupes 600W Portable Power Station

Prep for bad weather: Best emergency power banks for 2024 (7)

Capacity: 595Wh (Watt-Hours) |Power Output: 600-watts |Voltage: 110 |Recharge Time(via AC Outlet): 3.5 hours |Number of Outlets: 2 |Number and Type of Ports: 2x USB Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, 1x DC, 1x Car Port, 1x AC TT-30|Smartphone App Control: No |Battery Type:LFP (LiFePO4) |Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.76 x 9.73 inches |Weight: 15 pounds |Cycle Life: 3,500+ |Optional Accessories: Solar panel

The Oupes 600W is a portable power bank designed for in-home use during a power failure. It can keep mobile devices and small appliances running for hours -- whether it's a laptop computer, smartphone, tablet or LED lights. The system is easy to set up and offers 600-watts of power, which is enough to keep a TV running for 4.5 hours, an LED lamp running for 40 hours or a CPAP machine running for 12 hours.

This Oupes power bank can be recharged via an AC outlet, by connecting it to a vehicle (using a supplied cable), or an optional solar panel. One feature that makes this device stand out: On its back side, there's an LED emergency light. Another thing we like about this power bank is that it's lightweight and has a built-in handle, so you can set it up in any room, or take it on a camping trip or to a tailgating party.

$289 at Amazon

What to look for in an emergency power bank

Not all emergency power banks are alike -- far from it. They range in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and have vastly different capacities and power output capabilities. While some can power one or more major appliances for several hours, other keep your computer(s) and mobile devices running. We found that some of these devices are best for in-home use during an emergency or storm, while others are better suited for outdoor use when you're off the grid.

Before you start shopping for a portable power bank, consider what you'll be using it for, where you'll be using it, what you'll need to provide power to, how long you need to keep the selected equipment running, and what features are built into the power bank that will benefit you the most in the event of a power failure.

Once you determine your needs and how the power bank will be used, here are seven important things to consider to help you choose the right equipment:

  • Capacity: This is how many milliamp hours (mAh) the power bank can hold per charge. The larger its capacity, the longer it can power devices. Each power bank will offer a chart that offers a sampling of what types of equipment, such as a TV, portable heater, or laptop computer, it can power and for how long.
  • Output power: This is measured in volts and amps and it determines what types of devices and equipment the device can power. Some less expensive power banks can keep a laptop computer running for several days, or recharge a smartphone multiple times, can't handle a mini fridge, portable heater or television set.
  • Portability: The overall design, weight and dimensions of the power bank will determine how portable it is. Beyond just how easy it is to move around, consider how easy it is to set up and how much space it'll require. If the device is particularly heavy, determine if it has a built in handle or wheels to make it easier to move.
  • Charging options: All of the emergency power banks can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet. How long it takes to fully recharge will vary based on make and model. Some also allow you to recharge the device from your vehicle or with solar panels.
  • Number of outlets andports:All of the emergency power banks we evaluated for this roundup offer at least several traditional, three-prong electrical outlets, along with multiple USB Type-A and/or USB Type-C ports. Some also offer other types of ports. The more outlets and ports that are built into the emergency power bank, the more devices it can power simultaneously. With this in mind, the more devices that are consuming power from the power bank, the faster its battery will deplete.
  • Safety features: Some of the key safety features to look for include short-circuit protection, overcharge protection and temperature management.
  • Expandability and accessories: Some of the best power banks allow you to plug in optional battery packs to increase capacity. Others offer optional solar panels that can be used to create clean energy. We also like power banks that have a proprietary mobile app that allows you to monitor, control and manage its usage.
  • Noise level: Power banks that rely on rechargeable batteries are much quieter than traditional generators. However, they typically have one or more built-in fans to keep them from overheating when charging and when in use. These fans make some noise, but for the most part, it's barely noticeable unless you're directly next to it.

What's the difference between a power bank and a generator?

Power banks and generators are designed to serve the same purpose -- provide power when and where it's needed. A power bank, however, relies on rechargeable batteries. Once the batteries within the power bank are depleted, they need to be recharged. This takes time and an external power source.

A power generator relies on gas, diesel or propane to create electricity. They typically generate much more power than power banks, so they can handle larger appliances and equipment that consume more electricity, and keep them running longer. Generators are more expensive than power banks and they're often much louder to operate. This is particularly true of portable generators. They can run for as long as necessary, as long as you keep fueling them. Because they rely on fuel, they're potentially more dangerous to operate and the main generator is often limited to outdoor use. To power equipment indoors, you'd run a power cord into the house or have the generator directly wired into your home, depending on its size and capacity.

Jason R. Rich

Jason R. Rich ( is an internationally recognized consumer technology expert with more than 30 years' writing experience. He's also an accomplished author and photographer. One of his most recently published books, The Remote Worker's Handbook: How to Effectively Work From Anywhere ($24.99, Entrepreneur Books) is now available from Amazon and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for reading CBS NEWS.

Create your free account or log in
for more features.

I'm Jason R. Rich, an internationally recognized consumer technology expert with over 30 years of writing experience. I've authored numerous books, including "The Remote Worker's Handbook," showcasing my expertise in the field. My depth of knowledge extends to a variety of consumer technologies, making me well-equipped to provide insights into the concepts discussed in the article you provided.

The article discusses the importance of emergency power banks, especially during power outages caused by bad weather. It highlights five best emergency power banks, each catering to specific needs. Let's delve into the concepts covered in the article:

  1. Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro (Best Overall):

    • Capacity: 3,024Wh
    • Power Output: 3,000-watts
    • Voltage: 120
    • Recharge Time (via AC Outlet): 2.4 hours
    • Features: Multiple power outlets, USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports, smartphone app control, lithium battery, optional accessories (solar panels, extra battery packs), and safety features.
    • Use cases: Powers multiple devices, suitable for emergencies, camping, and RVers.
  2. Jackery Explorer 300 (Best Budget):

    • Capacity: 293Wh
    • Power Output: 300-watts
    • Voltage: 110
    • Recharge Time (via AC Outlet): 2.5 hours
    • Features: USB Type-A, USB Type-C, and 12V DC ports, lithium battery, optional solar panels, affordable, and portable.
    • Use cases: Keeps mobile devices and laptops charged during power failures, suitable for outdoor activities.
  3. Mango Power E Home Backup and Portable Power Station (Best Expandable):

    • Capacity: 3.53 kWh
    • Power Output: 3,000-watts
    • Voltage: 120
    • Recharge Time (via AC Outlet): 1.5 hours
    • Features: Multiple outlets and ports, smartphone app control, CATL Battery Cell, expandable with additional battery packs, optional solar panels, and tax credits.
    • Use cases: Powers small appliances, expandable for more capacity, suitable for power outages and off-grid use.
  4. EcoFlow Delta Max (Best for Home Office):

    • Capacity: 2,016 Wh
    • Power Output: 3,200-watts
    • Voltage: 120
    • Recharge Time (via AC Outlet): 3 hours
    • Features: Multiple outlets and ports, smartphone app control, NCM battery, optional solar panels, and expandable with smart extra batteries.
    • Use cases: Ideal for home office setups, powers multiple devices, optional solar charging.
  5. Oupes 600W Portable Power Station (Best Basic):

    • Capacity: 595Wh
    • Power Output: 600-watts
    • Voltage: 110
    • Recharge Time (via AC Outlet): 3.5 hours
    • Features: Multiple ports, lightweight, LED emergency light, LiFePO4 battery, rechargeable via AC outlet, vehicle, or optional solar panel.
    • Use cases: In-home use during power failures, portable for camping or tailgating.

The article also provides a guide on what to look for in an emergency power bank, including factors like capacity, output power, portability, charging options, safety features, expandability, and noise level. It distinguishes between power banks and generators, highlighting their differences in design, fuel source, power output, and noise level.

Feel free to ask if you have any specific questions or if you'd like more information on any particular aspect mentioned in the article.

Prep for bad weather: Best emergency power banks for 2024 (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 6064

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-12-23

Address: 4653 O'Kon Hill, Lake Juanstad, AR 65469

Phone: +494124489301

Job: Marketing Representative

Hobby: Reading, Ice skating, Foraging, BASE jumping, Hiking, Skateboarding, Kayaking

Introduction: My name is Cheryll Lueilwitz, I am a sparkling, clean, super, lucky, joyous, outstanding, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.