As the world faced shut down after shut down due to the pandemic, many of us forged into the great outdoors, but not without a little help in the form of battery power. The Anker PowerHouse II 800 portable power station packs in 11 charging ports, 777 watt-hours, and a sleek rugged design that offers simple plug-and-play usability. Here is what we thought of its performance.
Let’s talk looks
The PowerHouse II 800 is pretty cute as far as power stations go. Softly curved corners are heavily reinforced give it a pleasing form factor along with a reassuring sturdiness to handle the bumps of unpacking at the campsite or the jostle of the trailer. It also features an almost unbelievably long LCD screen that provides loads of information so you don’t have to play the decoding game that other power stations make you play. While some have questioned the efficiency of such a big screen, the ease of information it offers is totally worth it. Nothing is worse than having to pull out a manual from your chaotically packed bags in the dark, or worse yet, forgetting the manual. All you need to know is on this screen.
Another feature that you will either love or hate, is the arching handle on top of the power station. At first glance, it looks like it would be collapsable but when you grab it you will quickly notice that it is very sturdy and does not collapse at all. That means it is a bit more of a diva to store, taking up more space, but on the other hand, it is very rugged and not likely to break as a flimsy collapsable one would.
Let there be light
The side of the power station has a flashlight beam with three modes, but the real appeal is in the sidebar ambient light. Nothing quite ruins the vibe on a campsite like a bright cold battery light. The ambient light is a warm diffused bar that runs the length of the power station and has three brightness levels. It is downright pleasant to illuminate the inside of the tent or camper as a nightlight without blinding anyone or being an eyesore or even overly draining to the battery.
Bring on the charge up
For a full charge up before you hit the outdoors, you are looking at about 8 hours if you plug it in at home. Cut that in half using the USB-C input simultaneously. A third option for charging up once you are off-grid is using the dc cigarette lighter in your car or any DC port available to you in your rig. For boondockers with a solar setup, the PowerHouse II 800 has Anderson ports to keep you juiced up as well.
More power to You
Although it is called the PowerHouse II 800, it is actually rated for devices under 500w. That excludes things like a microwave, toasters, or a hairdryer. The “800” in the name likely comes from the 777-watt hours it can provide. With 11 outlets (2 AC outlets, 2 USB-C ports, 4 USB-A ports, one vehicle-class outlet, and 2 DC outlets) at your disposal, you can charge up a wide variety of things. You could use it to power a mini fridge for 11 hours OR 58 phone charges, to give you some frame of reference. Charging is fast too, with a Macbook Air hitting 50% in about 40 min.
Other practical essential uses could be powering a CPAP machine so loved ones with sleep apnea can still enjoy being off-grid, or for those of you permanently tethered to the internet, you can run a router to keep your connection pumping. Whatever your needs are, it will take some planning to carefully decide how to use the power and what kind of recharge you will need depending on your time off-grid. Knowing what the PowerHouse II 800 offers in frank detail is immensely helpful in planning the outing.
If you are looking into power stations for your adventures outdoors, then you likely already know exactly what you want to power. Having a plan is key to choosing the right power station for you. The Anker PowerHouse II 800 offers 11 charging ports, fast charging, potential compatibility with solar setups, and an attractive yet rugged design. Best of all, it is easy to use with a large informative LCD panel and a simple plug-and-play approach.