The Happy Camper: Reviewing The New BLUETTI AC2A Portable Power Station

I’m definitely not an RV camper who packs multiple plug-in devices that need to be charged up every day with a large-scale 2000-Watt power station. I sleep in a tent while staying at a campground, pay for the cheaper non-electrical sites and, on occasion, need to boost my phone or camera batteries. Rather than steal power from some camper’s electrical outlet in the middle of the night, I got myself the newly launched BLUETTI AC2A Portable Power Station. Three hundred Watts is all this camper needs.

It hasn’t been out on a trip yet. I’m still waiting for the ice to melt and the spring flowers to bloom. But I’ve tested the power station at home, including a day when my power went out, and so far, it’s doing exactly what I want it to.

First off, the weight is comparable to a three-season tent. I gotta say though, it seems a heck of a lot lighter than what the company states (7.9 lbs/3.6 kg). The size and shape (9.8×6.2×6.9 in/250×150 x180mm) remind me of a compact version of my boombox I had in high school that blared out Loverboy while balancing on my shoulder. Thinking back to when power chargers first became a thing for campers about 15 years ago, the same wattage station would be ten times the size. With the minimal weight and size of the AC2A, I’d even consider packing it on a backcountry canoe trip—with limited portaging, of course. Just don’t get it wet. The AC2A does not have an IP rating.

The big bonus of the AC2A is the total of six outlets: two AC outlets, two USB-A ports, a 100W USB-C port and a 12V car outlet. It was the two AC outlets that made me choose this power station over any other.

BLUETTI’s AC2A may be small, but it provides plenty of power to charge items, from your phone to your drone. It ran my laptop for over four hours on one charge, and charged it twice full until it reached zero per cent. The battery capacity is set at 204.8-Watt hours. It’s got 300W power capacity, plus 600W surge capability if needed. I tested it on my hair dryer, and it worked great except it drained the battery quite quickly (20 minutes). I doubt I’d ever use the 600W surge since 300W is good enough for my phone, cameras and more.

Another cool thing is that the AC2A shuts down when the device you’re powering exceeds the watts required—it doesn’t overheat. For example, I ran my power drill. It worked for a while but then shut down. No issue, since I doubt I’d use a power drill on a camping trip.

The display screen shows various information including battery capacity, Bluetooth connection, eco mode, low battery alert, overload alert and charge and discharge status. BLUETTI’s larger AC70 displays separate AC/DC input and output. The smaller AC2A only displays a generic input and output.

The power charger can be run off your phone by using the BLUETTI App. It’s a great option but take note that it runs off Bluetooth—not Wi-Fi. It gave me control with my phone up to 30 feet away.

There are three main ways to charge the power station. The first is AC power direct from your wall socket. I tested this out a number of times and it took on average just over an hour to fully charge. It was set on turbo mode. That’s fast, but using turbo all the time will wear down the batteries much quicker over time. The other two settings, silent and normal, are a bit slower. Normal mode was just under double the time and silent mode took three times as long (but the fans that cool the unit were “silent” while running). You can also charge it with a solar panel or a vehicle’s 12V cigarette lighter port. I don’t have a solar panel, so I’m not sure how long that would take to charge. My car isn’t old enough to have a cigarette lighter, and there was no cable included with the unit, just a cable for the wall outlet and one for solar. I’m also guessing it would take much longer, as it only provides 100W of power, and you’d have to keep your engine running while you charge so you don’t drain your car battery. If the car battery gets below a certain point, charging stops.

One last bonus point about the AC2A that many other reviews don’t seem to mention: there’s a grounding screw on the side. That can come in handy for campers when powering up something during a lightning storm. Not a bad addition.

The price is great at $279 Canadian and it comes with a five-year warranty.