A 500W power station strikes the ideal balance of portability and capacity for many users. For some context, that size of battery can run a 50-60 watt device like a pump or mini cooler for around 8-9 hours, or recharge a typical smart phone about 50 times. This makes it arguably the most versatile size of power station, perfect to keep in the car or home in case of emergencies or to take with you to tailgates or outdoor adventures, providing power for devices ranging from drones and camcorders to portable coffee makers and coolers.
The best 500W portable power station for you will depend on how you plan to use it. If pressed to pick a winner, we’d say the Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station offers the most versatility and is the best all-purpose option in terms of its capacity, reliability, and total outputs (>>> Check on Rockpals). That said, the Rockpals Rockpower 500 is smaller and lighter, while the Goal Zero Yeti 500X can be recharged more quickly. Read on to find out which one is best for you.
- Jackery Explorer 500
- Rockpals Rockpower 500
- Goal Zero Yeti 500X
- Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station
The Best 500W Portable Power Station – Top Picks:
|Jackery Explorer 500||Rockpals Rockpower 500||Goal Zero Yeti 500X||Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station|
|Item Weight||13.3 pounds||12.5 pounds||12.9 pounds||14.3 pounds|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||11.8 x 9.2 x 7.6 inches||11.8 X 7.9 X 7.6 inches||12.3 X 14.4 X 9.1 inches||12 X 7.9 X 6.9 inches|
|Price||Find on Jackery.com|| |
Find on Rockpals.com
|Check on Amazon||Find on Rockpals.com|
All of these power stations have a mix of AC, DC; and USB charging options, but their configuration and count for each differs. The Goal Zero Yeti 500X and Rockpals Rockpower 500 are strong in this category, with both including 2 AC outlets and both USB-A and USB-C options (compared to the Jackery, which only has one AC outlet and no USB-C ports).
For the most total outputs, the Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station is the winner, with 11 total options. Its two AC outlets can handle a full 500 watts and are well-spaced to accommodate different plug styles, and it also has a USB-C port, 3 USB-A ports, 4 5.5mm DC ports, and a car charger.
Most output variety: Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station
All of these power stations have a capacity that’s around the 500Wh mark, but there are slight differences between them. The Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station has the highest capacity on the list, holding 520Wh when fully charged, with the Jackery Explorer 500 close behind it at 518Wh. This means they’ll give you a bit of extra juice compared to the other options, whether that means an extra 5-10 phone charges or an extra 30-60 minutes of runtime for appliances.
Highest capacity: Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station
None of these power stations weighs more than 15 pounds, and they’re all small enough to load in the car trunk or even keep in the backseat during a road trip. For the maximum portability, though, you want the Rockpals Rockpower 500. It’s both the lightest and the smallest option on the list, with a folding handle that saves a few extra inches for packing into suitcases or tight gear.
Most portable: Rockpals Rockpower 500
All of these power stations have a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) system to optimize recharging through a solar panel, but not all of them have a system with the same level of efficiency. You’ll get the fastest solar charging with either the Goal Zero Yeti 500X or Rockpals Rockpower 500, both of which can fully charge in around 6 hours with the right conditions and solar array.
These are also the fastest models when it comes to outlet charging. The USB-C plus outlet option on the Rockpals Rockpower 500 drops its recharge time down to around 5.5 hours. For the absolute fastest charge, you can plug the Goal Zero Yeti 500 into a car charger and fill it up in about 4.5 hours.
Fastest recharging: Goal Zero Yeti 500X
Jackery Explorer 500
The Jackery Explorer 500 is the perfect portable power station for road trips, camping, and other outdoor uses. The sturdy plastic housing has an integrated textured handle for easy carrying, and the entire unit weighs less than 15 pounds and is compact enough it won’t take up much space in your trunk or gear.
With its 500-watt continuous load capacity, the Jackery Explorer 500 is best used for smaller devices and electronics. The 3 USB ports, AC outlet, and DC charging ports can be used simultaneously, so you can charge your phone at the same time you’re powering a light, air pump, or other gear.
Now, the Explorer 500 isn’t the fastest-charging power station out there. If you’re using a 100-watt solar panel, it can take up to 10 hours to fully recharge it, even in ideal sun conditions. It recharges more quickly using a wall outlet or car charging port, around 6 hours from empty to an ideal 80% capacity, and it’s about the same time frame to recharge it from an electric generator. For our more in-depth review of the Jackery Explorer 500 click here.
- Easy to carry using built-in handle
- Good variety of outputs
- Detailed, easy to read digital display
- Four recharging options, including electric generators
- Built-in pure sine wave inverter and MPPT controller
- Only one AC outlet
- Slow to recharge, especially through solar panels
Rockpals Rockpower 500
At just over 10 pounds, the Rockpals Rockpower 500 is one of the lightest 500-watt power stations out there. While the plastic handle isn’t quite as comfortable to carry long-term as some of the other options on the list, the sturdy housing and compact design still make it a great choice for outdoor uses. It’s one of our favorites for things like tailgates or backyard movies because of its ample output options, with two AC plugs as well as 4 total USB ports.
Those extra ports also give the Rockpower 500 a speedy recharge time. By using both a wall outlet and the USB-C port, you can fully recharge it in as little as 5.5 hours. The USB-C port can also be used in conjunction with a solar panel, though its sophisticated MPPT system gives it a relatively fast solar panel recharging time even without this option, around 6-7 hours on average in ideal conditions.
Another strength of the Rockpals Rockpower 500 is its reliability. Both outlets provide pure sine wave power so you never have to worry about damaging your devices. There are also ample safeguards on the battery, including short-circuit protection, temperature control, and voltage control, maintaining the long-term health of the power station so you know it’ll be ready when you need it. Click here for our more detailed RockPals RockPower 500 review.
- 2 pure sine wave AC outlets
- Fast-charging USB-C output
- Large backlit display
- Quick solar recharging with professional MPPT
- Sophisticated battery management system
- Long outlet recharge time without the USB-C port
- Handle isn’t as comfortable to carry
Goal Zero Yeti 500X
The Goal Zero Yeti 500X is a top choice for RVs, road trips, and family travel. This starts with its variety of outputs, with dual USB-C ports as well as 2 AC plugs and 2 USB-C ports. That’s plenty for everyone to keep their laptops, iPhone, or tablets powered while you’re on the go. The Yeti 500X is also easier to fit into suitcases or backpacks since the handle folds down when you’re not using it, saving space compared to the models above.
Unfortunately, the Goal Zero Yeti 500X isn’t as ideal for uses like backyard movie nights or powering appliances at a campsite. Its AC plugs are only rated for a total continuous output of 300 watts, limiting the types of devices that it can power. It can still handle things like lights and small portable coolers, but may not be suitable for appliances like blenders and coffee makers, or A/V electronics like projectors or speaker systems.
There are 3 ways to recharge the Goal Zero Yeti 500X: a car charger, a wall outlet, or a solar panel. The fastest option is the car charger, another reason it’s a great choice for road trips, with a full charging time of less than 5 hours. Its solar charging system is also very efficient, and with a 100-watt panel and good sun conditions you can fully recharge the power station in around 6 hours.
- Fold-down handle for easier storage and transportation
- Efficient solar recharging
- Holds charge well in storage
- Good variety of outputs
- Pure sine wave AC power
- AC outlets have a max continuous load of 300W
- Long recharge time through wall outlet (up to 10 hours)
Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station
Rounding out the list, here’s another top choice from Rockpals, and a versatile power station that can be used equally well outdoors or around the home. With a capacity of 520 watt hours, it’s the longest-lasting power station on the list, able to charge a typical smart phone 60 times or more. That power is reliable, too, with 500 watts of pure sine wave power from the AC outlets and built-in safeguards like overcurrent and over discharge protection.
We appreciate the design of the Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station. Having the AC outlets separated makes them more flexible for large or oddly-shaped plugs and chargers. The backlit display is easy to read in any conditions, while the fold-down handle allows it to fit into tighter spaces. While it’s the heaviest power station on the list it still weighs less than 15 pounds and is nicely compact and portable overall.
This Rockpals 500-watt power station is average when it comes to recharging. For a full charge, expect around 7-8 hours when using a wall or car outlet, or 8-9 hours using a 100-watt solar panel in full sun. It is a bit speedier than most when charging up electronics, though, thanks to its fast-charging USB-C and USB-A ports, which charge phones and similar devices up to 50% faster than through a wall outlet. Click here for our full Rockpals 500W Portable Power Station review.
- Convenient design with fold-down handle
- Detailed backlit display
- Higher overall capacity
- Pure sine wave power with ample safety protections
- Fast-charging type-C port
- Heaviest option
- Handle feels less sturdy than other models
So What’s the Best 500W Portable Power Station?
Any of these power stations could be an excellent choice for the right type of user. Think about the types of devices you’ll be recharging or powering, where you plan to use it, and how you’ll typically recharge it. Whichever one you buy, you’ll get on-the-go power in a convenient package.