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REVIEW – Living in the middle of nowhere means that you have to be self-sufficient. While I don’t live off the grid, large storms can easily knock out my power for hours. It isn’t bad enough that I need a backup generator but I still need to be able to charge phones and lanterns while powering a few lamps for light. So a large portable power station is a necessity. It needed to have multiple output ports and support powering multiple devices at once. The BALDR portable power station 500W fits all the criteria, with multiple ways to charge and an abundance of different output ports means it is super flexible for any type of application. While I was not provided the solar panels for this review, it is important to note that it is compatible with them and can be purchased separately which I’m planning to do. This is another key feature for me as I often go camping in the summer with my family in areas that don’t have electricity and we need to be able to charge our lanterns and batteries.
What is it?
The BALDR portable power station 500W is a large battery capable of powering multiple devices at once.
What’s in the box?
- BALDR portable power station 500W
- AC wall plug charger
- 12V Car charger
- 18V MC4 charger
- User manual
- Battery: 18650 lithium battery
- Capacity: 461Wh (22.2V 20.8Ah)
- Dimensions: 290 x 201 x 200 mm (11.4″ x 7.9″ x 7.9″)
- Weight: 6.1 kg (13.4 lbs)
- Charging Temp: 0 – 40° C (32 – 104° F)
- DC Input: 12 – 28V 100W max
- AC Outlets (2): 120V, 60Hz 500W, 1000W surge
- Cigarette Lighter Port: 12V/10A
- DC Ports (2): 12V/10A
- USB-A Ports (3): 5V/9V/12V, up to 3A, combined 54W max
- USB-C Port: 5V/9V/12V/15V/20V, 3A, 60W max
- Wireless Charger: 10W
- LED Lightbar: 0.5W
- Flashlight: 1W
Design and Features
The BALDR portable power station is a little power horse, at just under a foot wide and eight inches tall and deep, it is surprisingly small for what it is capable of! The design of it is simple dark gray and black plastic body with a few orange rubber/silicone accents. The front has all of the ports and screen while the back just has the information sticker. The handle lays perfectly flat on the top of the station and is comfortable enough in the hand to carry a fair distance due to the rubbery silicone orange grip and the finger indents.
Both of the sides have air vents to prevent overheating while the left side also has a flashlight.
The wireless charger is located on the top of the power station. The LED light bar is on the handle along with the button to turn on and off both the LED light bar and the flashlight on the left side. One press of the button on the handle will turn on the flashlight, a second press will turn on the LED light bar and turn off the flashlight and a final press will turn everything off. If you press and hold the light button for three seconds it turns on SOS mode. In SOS mode the flashlight on the left side will automatically blink SOS in Morse Code repeatedly until the button is pressed again. One thing to note about SOS mode is it won’t start flashing until you let go of the button. When I first tried to turn on SOS mode, I held the button down for over ten seconds without anything happening. Once I stopped pressing the button it started flashing. While this isn’t a huge issue, it can be quite confusing for a first-time user. It is not possible to have both of the lights on at the same time. However, you do not need to turn on the whole power station to use the lights, just press the button on the handle. You do need to turn on the BALDR portable power station to utilize the wireless charger.
Above is a conglomerate of multiple photos put together to show all of the ports at once. From left to right are the DC ports, USB ports, AC ports, and top right is the charging port.
The LCD screen provides a ton of information while being simple and easy to understand. The top photo shows what the screen looks like once you turn the power station on with nothing connected to it. On the center of the screen, it shows the battery percentage along with a graphical representation of the battery charge. The second photo shows what the screen looks like when the station is in operation. The top number shows how long the battery will last while powering the devices plugged in. The bottom number indicates the wattage being used as well as what ports are currently turned on. In this photo, I turned on all of the output ports but in the picture below I only have the AC ports turned on. The last photo above shows what it looks like when the power station is being recharged. The top number indicates the number of hours till the station is fully charged while the bottom number indicates wattage as well as the power type. It does support pass-through charging which means itself can be charging as well as providing power to other devices connected to it.
When the BALDR portable power station reaches 20%, the low battery alarm “TO EMPTY” appears below the battery percentage. Per the instruction manual, you should try to charge it as soon as possible once the low battery alert is on. This will prolong the overall battery life of the station. If the station is completely dead, a battery with an exclamation mark is visible on the screen indicating low voltage. As it is advised for the health of the power station to prevent it from completely dying, I did not discharge the station to this point so there is no photo of this icon. While all of my photos show the screen with the backlight on, the backlight does turn off after two minutes. The screen itself will turn off after three hours.
Another icon I wasn’t able to take a photo of is the temperature alarm. This will show as an old-fashioned thermometer bulb and indicates that the power station is outside of its safe operating temperature. All of the input and output ports will be disabled and inoperable until the station is back within the safe range.
Operating the power station is super easy, just press the power button, turn on the output ports you wish to use and that’s it! In the photo above you can see that it’s fully charged with the AC outputs on pulling 50W. At the load it currently has, it will power the device plugged in for nine hours. For this photo, I actually was powering my large smart tv just to see what kind of lifespan it would have and it thoroughly impressed me. After about four hours it was at about 60%, the next day I used it to power my work laptop for a whole day before it needed to be recharged.
It is important to note that while it is built rugged, it is not waterproof so using this out on a boat is probably not a good idea. It also cannot power a hairdryer, space heater, tea kettle, or crockpot. This is due to the watts needed to power these types of devices. But these are deal breakers for me.
What I like
- Easy to read LCD screen
- Able to choose which ports are on to save power
- Built-in wireless charger
- Bright built-in flashlights
What I’d change
- SOS mode starts automatically without needing to release the button for it to start flashing
I am absolutely in love with this little guy. It has plenty of power to keep your devices charged and running yet it doesn’t weigh a ton or take up much space. The built-in wireless charger is a great perk to have, you can easily drop your phone on there while it’s charging another device for a quick boost of power. For anyone who is looking for a flexible portable power station, the BALDR portable power station 500W is definitely the way to go.
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was provided by BALDR