Power Bank vs. Portable Power Station: What is the best solution for you?

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - June 21st, 2024
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Most of us heavily rely on technology to get through the day, whether it’s for work, study, or entertainment. In case of a power outage or scenarios when there’s no power outlet in sight, it’s always worth it to have a portable power solution to keep your devices juiced up.

When it comes to portable power solutions, two main options are power banks and portable power stations. While they operate similarly, there are some very distinct differences between them. If you’re unsure of which one to get, we will help you decide!

What is a Power Bank?

A power bank is essentially a portable charger specifically designed for your everyday essentials. They are compact and lightweight, easily fitting in your bag. Measured in milliamp hours (mAh), their capacity determines how many times they can charge your device.

They typically offer just one or two USB outputs, making them ideal for topping up smartphones, tablets, or other smaller electronics on the go. Think of them as a convenient pocket-sized power source to keep your devices juiced up throughout the day.

At PB Tech, we sell a wide range of power banks, with capacities ranging from 5,000mAh (suitable for charging your smartphone and/or earbuds once or twice) to 30,000mAh (capable of charging smartphones, tablets, and handheld gaming devices many times over). Read more about our Top Power Banks over here.

What is a Power Station?

A portable power station is essentially a large battery that you can easily take with you. If you need a powerhouse for serious charging needs, a portable power station is your answer.  These devices boast a significantly larger capacity measured in watt hours (Wh), allowing them to handle high-wattage devices like laptops, cameras, and even some appliances.

Portable power stations are equipped with various ports (AC, DC, USB) to charge a multitude of devices simultaneously. Some even offer advanced features like solar charging. While they’re less portable than power banks, their versatility and greater power capacity make them ideal for camping trips and outdoor adventures, or keeping at home in case of emergencies or power outages.

PB Tech sells a range of power stations to power up your entire arsenal of electronics. Our smaller capacity options are perfect for powering up essential electronics and small appliances for your camping trip, while our larger capacity power stations are capable of powering up even larger appliances, like refridgerators, for hours or days on end!

What are the key differences?

The first step is understanding what sets power banks apart from portable power stations. 


  • Power banks are champions of portability. They're typically compact and lightweight, easily fitting in a purse, backpack, or even a pocket.
  • Portable power stations, on the other hand, prioritise power over compactness. They tend to be larger and heavier, making them better suited for situations where you have a designated carrying space, like a car or camping bag.


  • Power banks are measured in milliamp hours (mAh), indicating the total amount of charge they can store.  They're ideal for topping off smartphones, tablets, or other smaller devices with lower power requirements.
  • Portable power stations, however, are measured in watt hours (Wh), boasting a significantly larger capacity. This translates to powering devices with higher wattages, like laptops, cameras, and even some appliances.


  • Power banks typically offer just one or two USB outputs for charging low-power devices.
  • Portable power stations are the ultimate multitaskers. They come equipped with various ports (AC, DC, USB) allowing you to charge a wider range of devices simultaneously.  Some even boast additional features like solar charging capabilities or the ability to act as a power source while being recharged themselves (pass-through charging).

Charging Options

  • Power banks are recharged using a standard wall adapter.
  • Portable power stations offer more flexibility. They can be recharged with a wall outlet, car charger, or even solar panels, making them ideal for off-grid situations.

What Option Should You Choose?

Now that we're clear on the key differences, it's also clear which scenarios each is best for. This is what we recommend:

Power Bank

If you primarily need to charge smartphones, tablets, or other small electronics on the go, a power bank is a perfect choice. Their portability and focus on low-power devices make them ideal for everyday use. They're also a great option if you prioritise a lightweight solution for occasional charging needs.

Pros Cons
  • Portability: Powerbanks offer pocket-sized power. They're compact and lightweight for on-the-go.
  • Limited Capacity: Lower mAh restricts charging to smaller devices and may require multiple charges for larger ones.
  • Wallet-Friendly: Affordable option to keep your essentials juiced.
  • Low Wattage Output: Primarily USB ports limit power for high-wattage devices like laptops.
  • Simple to Use: Easy plug-and-play functionality.

Portable Power Station

If you need a more robust power source, a portable power station is the way to go. They're a great choice for powering laptops, cameras, drones, or other high-wattage devices. If you love going on camping trips or outdoor adventures, this is also the prime choice! Additionally, you can rely on a power station to provide a long-lasting power solution during emergencies. The ability to power multiple devices simultaneously and the wider range of recharging options also adds great versatility.

Pros Cons
  • Higher Capacity and Output: High Wh capacity allows extended use of larger devices like laptops and even some appliances.
  • Size and Weight: Significantly larger and heavier, requiring a designated carrying space.
  • Multi-Device Charging: AC and USB ports provide power for a wider range of electronics simultaneously.
  • Pricey Investment: Higher upfront cost compared to power banks.
  • Emergency Backup: Valuable tool for outages, keeping critical devices powered.

Power banks and portable power stations are both valuable solutions for staying powered up  on the go (or even at home). They both serve best in different scenarios so you might even find it worth it to have both of them! Head over to PB Tech to browse our full range of Power Banks and Portable Power Stations

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Staff Writer

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