With power outages, global instability, wars, and cyberattacks becoming the norm, many families are looking for a little peace of mind. Ideally, you’d get something to take care of your whole house. Rooftop solar, battery backup, and electrified appliances are a great way to deal with this, but it’s not cheap and it’s usually just not an option if you rent. Plus, it’s nice to have something you could take along camping in good times or to bring along during an evacuation. This is where the Fanttik EVO 300 solar power station comes in.
We’ve reviewed a number of power stations here at CleanTechnica. We’ve done everything from small 100W pocket-sized power banks to large units on wheels that can replace a hefty genset, and everything in between. They’re all boxes with plugs, of course, but there’s usually some things that make each of them unique. Some have great build quality and ruggedness. Others have a variety of charging options, including wireless plates, 2-way USB-C, etc. Others have great integration with solar panels, while others are designed to work with third party panels exclusively.
There are several things that make this particular station special.
First off, you probably noticed in the featured image that it has a big, beautiful display. It goes the full width of the unit, has big numbers, and shows great detail. It shows the percentage, watts in and out, plus time left at current power draw so you can plan accordingly. It also gives you an estimated charging time left to full. Finally, it shows you what plugs (DC and/or AC) are active. Perhaps most importantly, it’s very visually appealing. It looks great on a desk, or out at a campsite.
Like several other units in its size and power class (300 watts out, for almost an hour), it has bi-directional USB-C PD charging. This means that it can power everything from phones to laptops that have a USB-C port, and also charge using those devices’ chargers. It comes with its own charger, but it’s nice to be able to plug it in using what you already have ready to go. It also comes with a car charger and a double-ended USB-C cord.
Another cool feature is the solar panel it’s designed to work with. The charging port for both solar and the wall or charge plugs are on the back of the unit, which makes it a lot easier to deal with. If you get your solar panel from Fanttik (you can find it here), it comes with a nice cord that’s detachable from the solar panel. There’s a pouch that straps to the solar panel when it’s closed up that also helps keep it closed, plus there’s a magnetic latch that keeps it from coming open when you’re not planning on it. The panel is rugged, a little flexible, and looks great with the Fanttik EVO 300 power station. It also put out 75 watts, which is what you’d expect from a 100-watt panel in less than ideal situations.
In the above photo, you can see a small pouch tied to the station. This is a surprisingly cool feature. It gives you a good place to store the charging cables for the wall and the car that stays attached to the station. That way, if it’s floating around your house or closet, or sitting in a vehicle on a camping trip, you don’t misplace the chargers. Like I said, it’s a small touch, but it makes it a lot more usable for the average person.
One final cool feature is the small lantern light on the back. Unlike the other stations with this feature, it’s very well diffused. You can’t see the individual LED arrays, just a solid band of white light coming from the back.
Plus, the light is bright enough to be very useful without being blinding or annoying in the corner of your eye. After we received it, we needed to set up a shed that I haven’t had a chance to set up since I moved to a house I bought last year. It gave plenty of light to do most of the work, and used only a couple percent of power over several hours. The efficiency was extremely helpful.
With all of these features (the solar charging, the display, and the useful lantern/work light), it’s not just useful for emergencies. At home, for camping, and for serious work, the Fanttik EVO 300 checks a lot of boxes.
I gave this power station my normal ham radio test, and it worked great for that as well. Its 12-volt power output can do up to 10 amps, so you won’t be running anything big and powerful with it, but for the QRP radio I usually do, it’s got more than enough. I didn’t notice any interference or other problems.
One of this unit’s greatest strengths gives it one weakness. While the big, beautiful display is great indoors, it’s kind of hard to see in sunlight. If you come up close and remove sunglasses, and then shade it a big with your hand, you can see what kind of charging power it’s getting from the solar panel, what’s left in the battery, etc. But you can’t just look at it easily like you can other power stations.
Another minor downside is that it doesn’t have any wireless charging. It’s an inefficient way to charge things, and it’s slower than charging with a cable, but it’s nice to be able to charge devices if you forget to bring cables. On the upside, you can use the included cable pouch and the USB-C cable to charge up most things.
The Fanttik EVO 300 is a great all-around power station, especially if you purchase the matching solar panel. It doesn’t come with every bell and whistle, but it does all go together nicely and seems reasonably usable outdoors or indoors. If I didn’t already have too many power stations on hand, I would keep it, but I did pass it to a family member to help us keep testing it for a long-term review. Make sure you’re subscribed to CleanTechnica or follow us on social media to see more of this station in the future.
Featured images and other images by Jennifer Sensiba.
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon. Advertisement
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.