I’ve reviewed more than a few portable power stations, and some are better than others, but our massive winter storm gave me a good reason to break out one I have been waiting to try — the EcoFlow Delta Power Station ($1,399).
My wife and I had a few power outages during the storm, but we were spared from the multi-hour or all-day outages that were common around town. In fact, the power went out while I was filing this story.
Portable power stations are big rechargeable batteries with power outlets to keep your devices, tools and appliances running when the electricity is out or out of reach.
These large batteries are a big investment. Having one on hand for a power outage is good, but letting it sit for months and months seems a waste. They are also handy for camping trips or picnics — or even movie night in the backyard.
The Delta is one of the sturdier power stations I’ve reviewed, and it’s smaller than most power stations with similar capacities.
It has 1,260 watt-hours of power and 13 assorted ports to charge your stuff.
There are six AC plugs to power everything from a refrigerator to a space heater to C-PAP to a lamp.
The inverter behind those AC plugs can provide up to 1,800 watts of power with a 3,300-watt peak.
The peak power refers to the extra power some devices need to start up; after that, they settle down and use less power to stay running.
The inverter produces pure sine wave energy, which is clean power with less electrical noise.
There are four USB-A ports. Two of them are fast charge ports (28 watts), and two are regular ports (12 watts).
There are two USB-C ports (60 watts). These are handy for my MacBook Pro.
The Delta also has one 13.6v car port (8 amps max).
Really fast charging
One of the best features of the Delta is how fast it charges.
The Delta can charge from an AC outlet faster than any other power station I’ve reviewed.
I ran the battery down to 1% and plugged it into the wall to charge.
After 30 minutes, the battery charge level was 48%. After 60 minutes, it was 85% charged.
A full charge takes an hour and forty minutes, which is really fast.
For comparison, a Jackery Explorer 1000 Power Station takes seven hours to charge from an AC outlet.
Unlike other power stations I’ve reviewed, the Delta has its power supply built into the case. There is no big power brick to carry around. The Delta’s power cable is the same type that powers desktop computers. They are easy to find and cheap if you ever need to replace one or want to buy a spare.
Why is charging fast important?
Think about rolling blackouts. If you need to use the Delta during a power outage, and then the power comes back on, plugging it in to recharge means you’ll be ready to go with an 85% charge in one hour. This quick turnaround means the battery will be ready faster if you need it again.
The Delta can also charge from solar panels.
EcoFlow says with four of its 110w solar panels ($399.99 each), you can charge the Delta in four to eight hours in full sun.
You can also charge the Delta from your car’s 12v port in 10 hours.
The Delta has a nice color LED display showing the amount of energy going in and out as well as the charge level of the battery. There’s a gauge showing how much time you can expect to get before the battery runs out of juice.
What can it charge?
During the storm, I used the Delta to power a shoebox-sized electric heater. The heater has an adjustable temperature switch to crank up the heat. As you turn the dial to increase the heat/fan, the amount of electricity used increases as well.
We usually keep the heater at about 30%. Because the Delta’s display shows the power used, it was easy to see that the heater was using 1,000 watts of power.
Gadgets that produce heat use the most electricity. The Delta was able to power that small heater for just 90 minutes before the battery drained.
I could have stretched the run time if I had turned down the heat.
EcoFlow says the Delta can power a CPAP for 18 to 22 hours. You can power a 150-watt refrigerator for 7 to 10 hours and a 110-watt TV for 9 to 18 hours.
But if you absolutely have to use a 1600-watt hair dryer, you’ll only get 40 to 180 minutes.
The Delta can charge your cellphone more than 100 times and keep the average laptop running for around 16 hours.
A few more specs
The Delta measures 15.7 by 8.3 by 10.6 inches and weighs 30.9 pounds.
It can be used in temperatures down to -4 degrees.
The 1,260 watt-hour lithium-ion battery can hold a charge for up to a year, and the battery should still perform at 80% capacity after 800 cycles.
The internal X-Stream charger can provide up to 1,200 watts of power for the fast charging.
The car charge port can provide 1108.8 watts of power.
The Delta also comes with a fitted cover (like a jacket) to keep the unit dry if you use it outdoors. It also includes a solar charging cable, AC charging cable and car charging cable.
The EcoFlow Delta is impressive. It is small, relatively light and charges much faster than any other power station I’ve reviewed. It has 13 output ports, and you can use them all at the same time. You can use it while you charge it, so if you want to plug your C-PAP into the Delta, and keep the Delta plugged into the wall, your C-PAP will keep working if the power goes out.
I’ve tested several power stations of this size, and the Delta is the best so far. The powerful inverter and fast charging time put the Delta out in front for me.
Pros: Big battery, lots of output capacity, super fast charging.
Bottom line: You’ll be thrilled to have the Delta when the power goes out.