You can scroll to the bottom of this page to watch the review video I made at the time.
Bluetti is one of the pioneers of lithium portable power stations and the Bluetti EB3A is their entry level product with enough power to run your smaller devices but in a compact size and a price point around $500 to $600.
So what is a Portable Power Station?
If you're new to the world of lithium portable power stations then I'll give you a quick overview of what they are.
Essentially a portable power station is a lithium battery in a box with some very clever technology that enables it to be charged from a number of different power sources while simultaneously sending power out to charge or power other devices.
Power outputs include 12 Volts DC, USB-A and USB-C and 240 Volts AC power (240V in Australia, may be different in other countries). All of them can be working simultaneously.
Units like the EB3A have a built in 'inverter' that ensures the AC power it delivers to power & charge devices is 'clean' and stable so it is able to power sensitive electronic devices like laptop computers, phones, cameras, drones, appliances and other electronic devices which are vulnerable to power fluctuations.
This feature is often referred to as 'sine wave power'.
Power inputs to charge your portable power station can include mains AC power (240 V in Australia), 12 VDC from your vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket and also solar power.
When you’re out camping you can have a portable solar panel setup (like the PV120 or PV200) and plugged into the EB3A trickling power in to charge the EB3A battery, while at the same time have your devices plugged in and drawing power from the EB3A.
What is the Bluetti EB3A?
The Bluetti EB3A is Bluetti's entry level portable power station weighing in at just 4.7kg and with an AC output capacity of 600 watts and a 268WH battery capacity (or 12 amp hours).
The internal battery uses lithium ion phosphate technology which gives it a very long lifespan.
It can be drained and recharged up to 2500 times while still retaining around 80% of its original capacity. So in theory you could recharge it every day for over 6 years.
This is a stark contrast from old style lead acid style batteries that would not last anywhere near that long after being drained and recharged on a regular basis.
Features of the Bluetti EB3A
One feature I love about the Bluetti EB3A that makes it a contender for best compact portable power station is that it has all of the inputs and outputs on the front panel.
Not needing to fumble around trying to plug things in and out of the back or side makes life a lot easier when on road trips and camping.
The EB3A also has a carry handle on top which folds down flush into the case out of the way leaving a clean and flat top. This will make it easier to fit into tight spaces when you’re packing your rig.
The case itself is a rigid plastic that feels tough and durable and the satin finish will avoid scuffing and scratches over time.
For an entry level product the quality feels great.
The digital display panel on the front is clear and easy to read. The panel switches off automatically quite quickly to save power and I would like to see it stay on a little longer but it’s easy enough to turn it back on again just by pushing any button on the front.
There is an internal fan that comes on automatically when the system is working hard and while it isn’t super quiet, I didn’t find it to be too distracting.
The 12V and 240V panels have buttons to power the panel on and off and it’s worth keeping them powered off when you don’t have anything plugged in as they will ‘leach’ power out of the battery and flatten it faster even when nothing is plugged in and charging.
There’s also a light on the front panel which is bound to come in handy.
What can you power with the Bluetti EB3A?
With 600 watts of AC output, the EB3A has enough to power to run or recharge most smaller electrical or electronic devices including:
- Laptop computers
- Camera batteries (DSLR, drone, GoPro etc)
- Small camping fridge
- LED lights
- Rice cooker
- Internet modem
- CPAP machine
Just make sure the total power usage of the devices you want to power doesn't exceed 600W.
The Bluetti EB3A will not run these devices as they generally draw more than 600W of power:
- Air conditioner
- Induction hotplate
What power outlets does the Bluetti EB3A have?
In Australia the EB3A has 8 outputs connecting multiple devices at the same time.
|AC Outlets:||1 x 220V-240V/2.6A Outlets|
600W In Total
|Inverter Type:||Pure Sine Wave|
|USB-C Port:||1 x 100W Max.(enough to power a laptop)|
|USB-A Port:||2 x 5V/3A USB-A|
|DC Outlets:||1 x 12V/10A (Car Outlet)|
2 x 12V/10A DC 5521 (5.5mm Outlets)
|Wireless Charging Pad:||1 x 15W Max.|
You can add a power board to the 240VAC outlet to add more outlets but keep in mind that the total power used at the same time can’t exceed 600W.
How can you charge the Bluetti EB3A?
You can charge your EB3A from a solar panel, 240V AC power outlet or a combination of both at the same time for faster charging.
You can also buy the optional Car Charging Cable so you can top up the EB3A from your car cigarette lighter socket while you're driving.
|AC Charging Cable (Standard Mode):||268W Max.|
|AC Charging Cable (Turbo Mode):||350W Max.|
|Solar Input:||200W Max, VOC 12-28VDC/ 8.5A|
|Car Input:||12/24V from Cigarette Lighter Port（8.5A Max.)|
|Maximum Input:||430W, with AC and Solar Input Simultaneously|
It’s worth keeping in mind that the capacity of the EB3A is 268WH which would be enough to charge and run all of your small devices through a typical day and night but isn’t enough to keep them all going for multiple days without some recharging power coming in.
The idea of a system like the EB3A is that you are constantly topping up the battery at every opportunity either with a solar panel like the PV120 or PV200 that trickle power in through the day or with AC power when it is available (or both at the same time!)
Can the Bluetti EB3A power a fridge?
I would suggest that if running your camping fridge is your main goal then I’d look for a higher capacity system than the EB3A.
Having said that, the EB3A should run your small camping fridge in cooler weather when the fridge isn’t working too hard and it will most likely have enough power to keep it running through the night.
If you have a small fridge that can run as a freezer, you may be better to use the freezer mode and switch the freezer off completely at night. In cooler weather it should stay frozen until morning when you can switch it back on again and take advantage of solar power to keep the EB3A battery topped up. During the day, transfer freezer bricks and frozen food from the freezer to defrost in a cooler bag or small esky/ice box.
If possible, run your fridge/freezer from the 12VDC outlet on the Bluetti EB3A instead of the 240VAC outlet and it should run longer.
The EB3A has UPS mode
UPS stands for ‘uninterruptible power supply’ and the EB3A has it.
What this means in plain English is that when you’re at home you can keep your EB3A plugged in to mains AC power and topped up so it’s ready to use anytime.
At the same time you can have devices like your Internet modem plugged into it and if you have a power failure at home the Bluetti EB3A will immediately switch to battery mode and keep your modem or other electrical device running.
When the power in your home comes back on, the EB3A will automatically recharge up to 100% and then continue to pass power through to the modem (or other device) continuously.
It’s the same idea as the backup generators that hospitals and computer data centres have but in a very compact device.
Are there any problems with Bluetti EB3A?
So far I haven’t found any significant issues with the EB3A other than its limited capacity.
Keep in mind that this is an entry level product which has most of the features of the larger units (EB70, EB200P) but in a compact package and with a fairly small battery capacity and limited power output.
If you don’t have the need to power bigger devices and want a system that’s small, affordable and capable then it’s a winner.
If you expect to have plenty of sunshine when you’re camping then coupling it with a fold up solar panel like the PV120 or PV200 makes a lot of sense because you’ll be able to keep the battery topped up.
Bluetti EB3A vs Ecoflow River - which is the best compact portable power station?
Ecoflow make great products and I have their larger Delta Max 2000 which is a workhorse when it comes to portable power.
But for the compact unit I prefer the Bluetti EB3A for several reasons:
- The EB3A has all outlets on the front panel
- The EB3A handle folds flush into the case
- The EB3A has a wireless phone charger on top of the case
- The Ecoflow River is good for 500 charge cycles with 80% battery capacity remaining compared with 2500 charge cycles and 80% battery capacity remaining on the EB3A
- The EB3A is around $100 cheaper