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CAMPING - POWER & LIGHTING

BLUETTI PORTABLE POWER STATION
Like all such devices this one has no powerful in-car charging option.

 

We’ve evaluated this power station on the basis of the supplied specifications, but we didn’t test it, for reasons that are spelt out below.

We get asked regularly if lithium-battery portable power stations can replace petrol generators. They can, if you have access to mains charging at regular intervals – say every two days.

OTA was invited to do a review on the Bluetti EB3A power station. This is a compact unit, intended more for powering electronics than current-greedy electrics (coffee machines and kettles), having only 268Wh/600W capacity.

As with all the portable power stations we’ve checked out, this one also relied heavily on AC and solar charging, not in-car charging. The optional in-car charging cable can handle only cigarette-lighter socket outputs, up to around eight amps.

Many power staton buyers are happy with the fact that in-car charging is virtually non-existent, but we take great pains to point that out, because these devices are just not suitable for the typical long-distance trips that OTA website visitors do – away from mains electricity support.

Bluetti must have thought the OTA website was an ‘influencer’ site, where people say what is expected of them in return for gifted products or commission. We don’t work like that.

This the proposal Bluetti put to us, in exchange for a free test unit:

“The article (blog post) should be permanent on your site; Words: at least 800 words; Images: 2-3 images for the physical product; Please add the URL links provided by Bluetti; Send the draft for a preview and the expected lead time is three weeks after receiving the product.”

Here’s OTA’s reply:

“We’re old-fashioned journalists here, so we don’t do any testing that can be described as ‘collaboration’. Nor do we accept conditions that spell out how long our story will be and how many pics will be in it. We certainly don’t submit our test findings to the maker for his or her approval.

“We also insist of return freight being pre-paid, because we don’t keep test products. If they’re any good, we buy them.

“Just reading through the specs for the Bluetti, we can tell you how the test would go. It’ll be fine for overnight camping, provided mains charging or powerful solar charging is available in the next day or two.

“The in-car charging we expect to be limited to eight amps, which won’t be enough to recharge it while the vehicle is driving.”

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