Cheapest portable power stations to fight load-shedding

South African residents looking to escape load-shedding by powering a few essential appliances can get a portable power station for as little as R2,399.

MyBroadband compared pricing, capacity, and charging times for the cheapest portable power stations available in the country.

We split the options into three categories based on their storage capacities — small (around 300Wh), medium (around 500Wh), and large (1,000Wh+) — and limited the comparison to five options per category.

However, we also included an option from EcoFlow for each category. While the power stations are more expensive than the others listed, they offer some of the fastest recharge times on the market. This allows you to better compare the trade-offs between price, capacity, and charging time.

Charging time is an important consideration for systems intended to help weather load-shedding.

Portable power stations offer a more modest alternative to backup power systems like inverter trolleys and battery and inverter backup installations.

They are also far more portable than inverter trolleys, the second-most mobile option available to South African consumers.

This makes portable power stations useful for various scenarios in addition to providing backup power at home.

For example, they provide a power supply for construction workers without access to a main power supply or a generator.

They are also helpful tools for those who enjoy camping and overlanding.

For home use, affordable power stations won’t power energy-hungry appliances like kettles and microwaves.

However, they can keep your TV, Internet connection, and some lights on for a few hours during load-shedding.

Important aspects to consider when buying a portable power station to power essential appliances include your appliances’ usage and the power station’s capacity, power output, and recharge time.

We found five small portable power stations available in South Africa for less than R3,200.

The cheapest is PowerUp’s 300W unit, which provides a power output of up to 300W and can store 296Wh of power for R2,399 from Bob Shop.

The portable power station has the slowest charging time of the lot at six-and-a-half hours.

The fastest-charging option is the Elecstor Core 300W unit, which fully recharges in four hours. It provides a power output of 300W and a 311Wh capacity for R2,999 from iStore.

Stepping up in battery capacity, the cheapest option in the medium category is PowerUp’s 500W unit at R3,999 from Takealot.

It offers a power output of 500W, storage capacity of 5128Wh, and fully recharges in nine-and-a-half hours.

For just under R700 more, South African residents can get CTECHi’s 500W unit, which charges in three to six hours, depending on the method used. Charging options include AC, fast USB-C, and solar.

Luce’s 600W portable power station offers the largest storage capacity in the category at 560Wh. It charges in four to five hours and is available from Takealot for R5,999.

The large category offered a broader range of storage capacities, ranging from 999Wh to 1,568Wh.

The most affordable option is Magneto’s 1,200W unit, which provides a capacity of 999Wh and charges in six hours. Game sells the portable power station for R9,999.

Tig Fox’s 1,000W portable power station offers the fastest charging time in the category at one-and-a-half hours.

It provides a power output of up to 1,000W and a storage capacity of 1,000Wh for R10,999 from Makro.

BitByte’s 1,500W portable power station offers the largest capacity of the lot at 1,568Wh for R11,999 from Takealot. It provides a power output of up to 1,500W.

The company doesn’t specify charging times for the unit.

The table below compares pricing, capacity, and charging times for the cheapest portable power stations you can buy in South Africa.

Cheapest portable power stations
Power station Capacity Charging time Price Store
Small (~300Wh)
PowerUp 300W Portable Power Station 296Wh 6 hours 30 mins R2,399 Bob Shop
Alti 300W Portable Power Station 346Wh 5 hours 30 mins R2,999 Takealot
Elecstor Core 300W Portable Power Station 311Wh 4 hours R2,999 iStore
Switched 300W Portable Power Station 307Wh Not specified R3,199 Takealot
Gizzu 300W Portable Power Station 296Wh 6 hours 30 mins R3,199 Builders
EcoFlow River 286Wh 1 hour (0–80%) R5,998 Takealot
Medium (~500Wh)
PowerUp 500W Portable Power Station 518Wh 9 hours 30 mins R3,999 Takealot
CTECHi 500W Portable Power Station 518Wh 3 – 6 hours R4,659 Takealot
Gizzu 500W Portable Power Station 518Wh 9 hours 30 mins R4,999 Takealot
Hagenz Generation-2 500W Portable Power Station 536Wh Not specified R5,499 Takealot
Luce 600W Portable Power Station 560Wh 4 – 5 hours R5,999 Takealot
EcoFlow River 2 Max 512Wh 1 hour (0–80%) R7,999 Incredible
Large (~1,000Wh)
Magneto 1,200W Portable Power Station 999Wh 6 hours R9,999 Game
Gizzu Challenger Pro 1,000W Portable Power Station 1,120Wh 1 hour 48 mins (AC) | 6 – 7 hours (DC) R10,999 Builders
Tig Fox 1,000W Portable Power Station 1,000Wh 1 hour 30 mins R10,999 Makro
Lotex 1,000W Portable Power Station 1,000Wh Not specified R11,999 Takealot
BitByte 1,500W Portable Power Station 1,568Wh Not specified R11,999 Takealot
EcoFlow Delta 1,260Wh 1 hour (0–80%) R15,799 Takealot

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Cheapest portable power stations to fight load-shedding