Large(ish)/Medium Power Banks

Please share your personal experience medium sized (300-600Watt) power banks. EX. Goal Zero, Jackery, Anker, EcoFlow

Likes? Dislikes? What are you powering? How are you recharging? Etc??

Hi. I have a Goal Zero 500W. My experience with these power banks are limited so I don’t have any comparisons for what is good/normal/bad performance. But I can tell you what I know from a few weekend camping trips. We used it to charge our phones, watches, and headlamps. Worked very well for this. Started the weekend at 100% charge and ended both times in summer at about 60%, and the one time in cold weather at 40%. Multiple plug in options. I’m not very impressed with it keeping its charge. Although you can turn off plugs and lights, the display is always on and it slowly drains the battery over time (100% loss in 10 days or so). This is not a battery that your charge and can rely upon if you lose power to your home, not unless you constantly keep it plugged in. For a short car camping trip though, it does its job.

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I’ve had a Goal Zero 1000(Li) for two years, after looking at Goal Zero 400 closely for our needs. After measuring, I was able to to fit the bigger unit under the backseat of our van but I think the strengths/weaknesses are nearly the same as the smaller unit. We recharge from a couple solar panels we put on the roof of our passenger van. It primarily runs a Dometic refrigerator and recharges devices and laptops.

STRENGTHS. It is an all-in-one unit with inverters for 12v and 120V devices built in - everything you need is one cube. It comes with a built-in charge controller (we also upgraded to their MPPT one). It has lots of adapters for charging from a wall outlet and cigarette lighter as well, but our 200W of solar is more than enough to keep up with our use. Build quality, ease of use and support are all high quality. The think the Yeti 400 (lead acid) can also be expanded with additional batteries.

WEAKNESSES. Cost is a big factor, Goal Zeros are always priced as a premium brand and if you’re willing to do some DIY you can do it for less money. Watch for sales also, I bought all my GZ stuff at REI during a 25% off sale. I think the fact that you need a special adapter to trickle charge from a cigarette lighter port is bad design too (and unique to their 1st gen Li versions).

But overall, I am super happy with ours and it was our main power source during a 9-week and 4-week car camping trip, along with numerous shorter trips.

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