If you are looking at getting a portable power station, you certainly have lots of options to look at. We have explored the products from Goal Zero and Jackery many times on our blog. Here we have another brilliant product; Blackfire portable power station. That is a different 546Wh battery-style solar power station.
Amateur adventurist Justin B. McBride calls it an underdog as he picks it up instead of the excited Goal Zero Yeti 400 or Jackery Explorer 500. Here we would like to check out why you should get this incredible solar power station, though it looks to have failed to gain in as much popularity as a Goal Zero or Jackery.
Like Goal Zero and Jackery, Blackfire is not an established maker of portable power stations.
It has been a key innovator of outdoor tools since 2008, and its collection of products is largely mixed. They mainly include clamp lights, outdoor LED lights, wireless speakers, multi-tools, etc. PAC500 is the only portable power station it offers. But that is an incredible product of its kind for several reasons.
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Blackfire Portable Power Station PCA500
The Blackfire is an amazingly stylish and high-capacity portable power station. With a storage capacity of 546Wh, 24.8Ah @ 22V, it could perfectly run most of your emergency electronics. Having dual 120V pure sine wave AC sockets, it could neatly power up your household appliances under 300 watts.
The Blackfire portable power station inverter is capable of delivering 300 watts continuously through its dual AC sockets. At the peak, they could output 600W. Further, the device has got four USB sockets that include two USB-A and as many USB-C ports. Check out the button below for its latest price.
But unlike a Goal Zero, a Jackery, or other popular power stations, the Blackfire misses out a 12V cigarette lighter charger. But with the dual USB-C ports, you could ideally rely on this to charge your advanced USB-C devices like phones, tablets, drone control units, Go-Pros, and more.
Moreover, the device integrates a pretty and large display. The indigo-shaded figures on the screen against the black outer case give it just an excellent look. By the way, the overall power station, as you see, is very stylish in design with honeycomb patterns above and below the control panel.
Above all, it highlights a collapsible handle that is very strong and durable. And it contributes much to the increased portability of the 14.8-lbs power station. Plus, there is a facility for mounting a wireless speaker on one side. You need to buy the magnet-based wireless speaker separately, though.
- 546Wh Portable Lithium Solar Power Station.
- 24.8Ah @ 22V Lithium LG Solar Cells.
- Dual AC Outlets with 300W and 600W Surge Power.
- Four USB Ports – Two USB-C and Two USB-A Ports.
- Large and Pretty Display with Indigo-Shaded Figures.
- Ideal for Camping, Tailgating, and Emergency Uses.
- Facility for Mounting Bluetooth Wireless Speaker.
Compatible Solar Charger
Blackfire doesn’t provide a solar panel with its power station. But any panel of up to 80 watts works nicely with the machine, by the way. There is a wide range of brilliant solar panels under 80W. Being a portable and survival power station, it would be ideal to use it with a solar panel that is rather portable.
Hence, we would like to suggest you buy a unit of Rockpals 80-watt folding solar panel. The four-layered semi-flexible solar panel is foldable into a handy briefcase form after use. Meanwhile, you could place it on its built-in kickstands when in use to place it at the right angle for better sunlight exposure.
Well, this solar charger is designed to work with the power stations like the Blackfire’s. For that, it comes up with a variety of DC cables and connectors that are compatible with the products from leading brands including Rockpals. The brand also avails the solar charger in a number of other power options.
At the same time, it is also a USB phone charger as it equips a Quick Charge 3.0 2.4A USB port. Added with a built-in smart IC chip, it is a superb way to juice up any of your USB devices directly under the sun. The solar panel is made of highly efficient solar cells that could make it offer a conversion of up to 20%.
Why Should You Buy
1. High-Capacity Power Station
With a 546Wh, 24.8Ah @ 22.02V lithium battery, the Blackfire portable power station is absolutely a high-capacity device in its segment. The built-in high-quality LG solar cells ensure a charging cycle of 500 times. And it could offer higher output to run all your emergency electronics smoothly.
2. Dual AC Outputs with 300W Power
The Blackfire integrates dual 120V AC outlets. Thanks to the best quality inverter inside, both the outlets are capable of delivering 300W electricity continuously and 600W at the peak. That means you could run two household AC appliances at the same time.
3. Multiple USB Outlets
Like all similar products, the Blackfire highlights all the basic USB ports. They include two Type-C USB ports and as many USB-A ports. They will help recharge and power up your small USB gadgets. A fully charged Blackfire could recharge a phone around 40 times and a drone around five times.
4. Large and Pretty Display
Compared to most of the similar models in the segment, the Blackfire has got a large and beautiful display. That could show all the important system information like battery charge status, input and output data, empty or full info, and more. The screen’s indigo-shaded figures against the black case add to the charm.
5. Wireless Speaker Mount Option
There is a wireless speaker mounting facility on one side of the device. Blackfire is a top maker of various outdoor tools including a unique wireless speaker. You could just attach the magnet-based speaker to the device to amplify your favorite music. It could be easily recharged from the power station, by the way.
6. Lightweight, Compact, and Stylish
Needless to say, Blackfire is compact and lightweight. With a weight of around 15 lbs and a size of 7.5 x 7.25 X 11.75 in, you could take it anywhere hassle-free. It features a collapsible handle to make its moving rather easy. Made with ABS plastic, it is indeed much durable and friendly for rough outdoor uses.
Blackfire PAC500 Vs Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium
It is here we would like to put up a comparison of Blackfire portable power station against a Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium. As you see, Goal Zero is a recognized player in the portable power market. It has got a great ecosystem of products apart from just a power station as it is with Blackfire.
Well, being in the portable power market for over a decade, Goal Zero has been offering a line-up of power stations, compatible solar panels, and other accessories. Yeti 400 Lithium is actually the entry-level variant of its Yeti Lithium power stations, and it has got three high-end models. Check out the latest price below.
First off, Yeti 400 Lithium stands out the Blackfire with an inverter surge output. Its 500W inverter could offer a maximum surge of up to 1200W through its dual AC sockets. Meanwhile, Blackfire is not necessarily built with such a surge power and what it offers is 600W via its dual AC sockets.
A high surge output helps comfortably run high-surge devices like a power tool, coffee grinder, or blender. On the flip side, Yeti 400 is a bit heftier than Blackfire as it weighs around 16 lbs. Even if, it integrates only the least output of 428Wh compared to the latter’s 546Wh, which weighs below 15 lbs.
Also, Yeti 400 lacks USB C ports. You have it equipped with only three 2.4A USB ports. The Blackfire, in the meantime, has two USB-C ports out of its total four USB outlets.
Coming to price, there is a difference of around $100. You need to spend $100 bucks more to get a machine that has relatively less output, but you are paying a big amount for a high surge, though.
Anyway, when it comes to the price and output, Blackfire has a clear edge over Goal Zero, but at the same time, it misses some elements including a cigarette lighter charger port as well as a brand name.
For compatible solar chargers, the brand offers a series of Boulder and Nomad solar chargers.
Comparison – Pros and Cons
++ Higher Storage Capacity – 546Wh Vs 428Wh Batteries.
++ Dual USB-C Outlets Vs Three 2.4A USB Ports Only.
++ Slightly Low Weight – 14.8-Lbs Vs 16-Lbs.
++ Large and Pretty Display with Indigo Figures.
++ Available at Significantly Lower Price.
– – Lower Surge Power – 600 Watts Vs 1200 Watts.
– – Missing Cigarette Lighter Charger.
– – No Exclusive Solar Charger Vs Boulder Solar Chargers.
Blackfire PAC500 Vs Jackery Explorer 500
Next, we would like to pit Blackfire portable power station against Jackery Explorer 500. As you see, this is the middle variant of Jackery’s famous Explorer power stations. Though not as popular and established as Goal Zero, Jackery is a leading vendor of power stations ranging from an Explorer 160 to Explorer 1000.
This Jackery Explorer is actually a 518Wh solar power station with an amazingly lightweight profile. With a weight of just 13.32lbs, you could easily handle it in the wild. The inverter is a 500W model and the surge is 1000W, but it has only one AC socket that is a 110V unit. Check out its latest price on the link below.
Coming to other charging points, the Jackery misses out USB-C ports. It has got three 2.4A regular 5V USB ports, but not a single USB-C. But it has got a standard 12V/10A cigarette lighter charger that the Blackfire lacks. Overall, the Jackery is a lightweight and compact power station to run your emergency electronics.
The Explorer, by the way, integrates a small LED flashlight on one side. That is a cool way you could use it to light up your camping trails or tent in an emergency. It is not such a bright light, but a mild one that you could just rely on to attain a little bit of emergency lighting.
The handy design, alongside its lightweight profile is another attraction. The pentagon-style power station has got an easy-to-carry built-in handle, which features grips for stable carrying. But according to Justin B. McBride, the ‘solid-state’ handle makes it harder to fit the device in various places.
For compatible solar chargers, the brand avails multiple SolarSaga solar chargers. They appear in 50W and 100W units in the foldable designs for easier moving.
Comparison – Pros and Cons
++ Higher Storage Capacity – 546Wh Vs. 518Wh Batteries.
++ Dual USB-C Outlets Vs. Three 2.4A USB Ports Only.
++ Large and Pretty Display with Indigo Figures.
++ Dual 120V AC Sockets Vs. Single 110V AC Socket.
++ Squarish Stackable Vs. Pentagon Unstackable Design.
– – Slightly Higher Weight – 14.8-Lbs Vs. 13.32-Lbs.
– – Lower Surge Power – 600 Watts Vs. 1000 Watts.
– – Missing Cigarette Lighter Charger.
– – No Built-In LED Flashlight for Lighting.
– – No Exclusive Solar Charger Vs. SolarSaga Chargers.
That has been our take on the Blackfire portable power station and a comparison against its main rivals on the market. As you have come across, the Blackfire has some significant advantages over both the Explorer and Yeti power stations in its segment. Remarkably, it stands out with high output and a stylish stackable design. That means it is engineered to let you stack things on top of it.
In the meantime, its honeycomb design patterns may gather dust as it is basically meant for outdoors. You will have to wipe them off regularly. But the honeycomb patterns enhance its look brilliantly. Overall, you get one of the best portable power stations with the Blackfire model and a serious threat to the Goal Zero and Jackery on the shelves. Share your thoughts in the comments below.