When Bluetti sent me the popular EB70S Portable Power Station to review, It hadn’t occurred to me that I would need something like it as a travel accessory. It is essentially a box that includes a battery and inverter, allowing one to charge it up and take it anywhere to power just about anything, within reason. Applications might include backup power in a grid outage or portable power for camping or remote, off-grid work (office at the beach, anyone?).
The EB70S is about the size of a double lunchbox and weighs a tad more than 20 lbs. It has a folding handle for easy carrying and a no-nonsense, simple display that shows real-time input power, output power, and level of charge. The small, integrated LED light would be handy when you’re fumbling around in the dark during a power outage or at a late camp arrival. The simple controls won’t overwhelm you and the multiple ports give plenty of options for charging.
I decided to put it right to the test (a major one) by plugging in our full-sized refrigerator. I was surprised that it handled the load easily, running for 7 hours before reaching less than 20% state of charge (SOC). That such a small battery backup could handle a load like a refrigerator or small chest freezer was a pleasant surprise, and I could see breaking this out during the spring storm season to save a freezer full of food. That said, the EB70S isn’t really up to this kind of task for longer than a few hours, but will do the trick when you’re in a temporary bind. The solution for a real home backup would be to trade up for a larger Bluetti unit that is actually designed to handle those loads.
A few days later, we took it along on an outdoor video shoot on a rural ranch. While there was power available in some of the outbuildings, we were shooting too far away from the outlets to plug in our LED lighting kit. The EB70S gave us the flexibility to plug in our lighting wherever we wanted and, since the LEDs draw so little energy, we could keep shooting into the late afternoon without worrying about losing power. Thinking ahead, we plan to shoot on the banks of a river and in the woods. We’ll be far from grid electricity, so this little power station will make it possible for us to keep our cameras, gimbal, drone batteries, and even our laptops going.
Bluetti makes a range of quality power stations in many different sizes, from small stations to run electronics like tablets and laptops all the way up to whole-home backup and off-grid solutions. The EB70S specs are on the heavy side of their smallest line, delivering 716 watt-hours of electricity to items requiring up to 800 watts of continuous, pure sine wave AC power. It features a surge rating of 1400 watts, which means something like a small compressor, which will require higher wattages on startup, won’t trigger an overload. If you do happen to overload the EB70S, it’s no big deal. The unit simply stops delivering power and the “overload” indicator lights up.
There are plenty of outlets for various charging needs. It sports 2 x USB-A, 2 x USB-C, 4 x AC, 2 x DC5521, a 12-volt DC car outlet, and even a 15-watt wireless charger on the top to charge your phone or tablet. It can be charged by plugging it into an AC outlet in your home (4 hours to 100% SOC) or the 12-volt DC outlet in your car (8 hours to 100% SOC). To extend your remote power possibilities, it also has an onboard solar charge controller for charging with solar panels (12-volt to 18-volt MPPT). A 200-watt solar panel in full sun can charge the EB70S in about 4 hours. The actual battery is a sturdy, stable LiFePO4 battery that Bluetti claims can be recharged, empty to full, 2500 times, and still maintain 80% of its original capacity.
We plan to regularly charge our EB70S in our recently built solar shed, which also charges all of our lawn and shop tool batteries. Because the EB70S is so plug-and-play in nature, it makes the little powerhouse a natural gateway for regular folks to dabble in renewable energy by adding portable solar panels. Looking forward, I’m interested in using it to go all-electric on my next car camping adventure. While testing it with an induction hotplate, I found that it could boil water for coffee for two and cook a simple dinner while leaving plenty of power for a small electric cooler, lights, and phones.
The future of portable power is here, allowing us more and more flexibility for energy security, work, and play.
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As of the publishing of this article, the Bluetti EB70S retails for $499 and the Bluetti EB70S Solar Generator package with 200W solar panel is on sale for $789.