Many portable power stations claim to be rugged enough to survive in harsh conditions, but few actually back it up with proper specs.
When the first power stations hit the market more than 15 years ago, they proved an instant game changer for anyone who needed on-the-go charging. Those early models boasted eco-friendly power in a compact form that could be carried anywhere.
But as the market evolved and new models have been introduced, that focus has shifted to increased capacity and power output, usually at the expense of size and weight. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to find a device that offers modern features and performance that also adhere to those original design principles.
But the Bluetti AC60 claims to build on the first- and second-generation power stations by marrying rugged design — an IP65 dustproof, water-resistant rating — without sacrificing portability.
In short: Compact and lightweight, the Bluetti AC60 is a fantastic option for outdoor adventurers in need of portable power. This unit comes with a solid array of charging ports, as well as decent power output and capacity at an affordable price. But what really sets it apart is its IP65 rating for dustproofing and water resistance, making it much more durable than most of the competition.
- Dimensions 11.4” x 8” x 9.2”
- Weight 18.95 lbs.
- Battery capacity 403Wh
- Power output 600W (Peaks surge: 1,200 W)
- Charging time 0-100% in 1 hour
- Ports 120V AC x2, 12V/10A DC x1, USB-A 5V/3A x 2, USB-C 100W x1, wireless charging pad 15W x1
- IP65 dust- and water-resistance
- Compact and lightweight
- The wireless charging pad is a nice touch
- Expandable capacity
- Small battery
- Only one USB-C port
Bluetti AC60 Review
Powerful and Portable
Unlike most other power stations I’ve reviewed in recent months, portability was clearly Bluetti’s primary concern when designing the AC60. To keep size and weight to a minimum, Bluetti used a smaller battery in this model, giving it a 403Wh capacity and 600W of sustained output, with a surge capacity of up to 1,200W.
Those are relatively modest numbers, but it allows the unit to weigh in at under 19 pounds, while still capable of powering phones, laptops, portable refrigerators, electric grills, and other small appliances.
Because of its size, the AC60 doesn’t carry a large number of charging ports. That said, it still offers plenty of options to meet most people’s needs, particularly while on the go.
Those ports include two 120V AC outlets, a 12V DC vehicle port, two USB-A 5V ports, and a single 100W USB-C port. As usual, I’d like to see at least one more USB-C port, but the power station does have a built-in 15W wireless charging pad, which helps to make up for this oversight.
This combination of battery capacity and charging ports allows the AC60 to recharge a smartphone 30+ times, a laptop up to eight times, or a headlamp 80+ times. It can also power an LCD TV for 4+ hours, run a portable fridge for 15 hours, and light up a lamp for up to 35 hours.
In other words, the power station offers a decent amount of capacity in a small package that can easily go just about anywhere.
If you find the AC60’s standard specs don’t always meet your needs, Bluetti added a measure of future-proofing to the device.
The unit is compatible with the company’s B80 battery expansion pack, which adds 806Wh of additional storage capacity. This power station can connect two of these add-on batteries simultaneously, bringing its total storage up to a respectable 2,015Wh.
I’ve seen other power stations that support external battery packs in the past, but it is unusual for one as small as the AC60 to have this capability.
This gives the unit added versatility not found in other models in this size and price range, allowing owners to expand its functionality to meet their changing needs.
The B80 battery pack can also function independently of the power station, offering an additional 12V DC port, along with a USB-A (18W) and USB-C (100W) port.
As part of my test kit, I received a B80 battery to use with the AC60 test unit. The two devices worked seamlessly with one another, creating a modular ecosystem that proved both simple and efficient.
And since the battery pack weighs 21.8 pounds, it didn’t significantly hamper portability for vehicle-based exploits.
IP65 Water and Dust Resistance
One of the more unique and valuable features of the Bluetti AC60 is its IP65 rating for water and dust resistance. For those unfamiliar with the International Electrical Commission’s rating system, an IP65 designation indicates that the power station is completely dustproof, preventing particles of sand or silt from reaching its interior. It also means the device is protected from jets of water sprayed at it from any direction.
In other words, you can’t submerge it entirely in water, but it will survive if caught in a rainstorm.
The most obvious place for water to seep into a power station is through its open charging ports. To protect those points of ingress, Bluetti equipped the AC60 with heavy-duty rubber port covers that lock into place when the outlets aren’t in use. These rugged seals add extra protection for the delicate circuitry inside the device, keeping it safe in demanding environments and wet conditions.
Very few other models on the market offer this same level of protection, particularly at this size and price point. This helps the AC60 stand out from the competition and makes it one of the best small power stations currently on the market.
The AC60 has several features I’ve come to expect from a power station, like a bright LCD screen for monitoring performance, remote operation via a smartphone app, and quick-charging capabilities (fully recharge in under an hour).
It can even be set up to switch over if grid power unexpectedly cuts out, serving as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for critical devices like refrigerators, CPAP machines, and others.
Like many other portable power stations, the AC60 has a built-in light that can illuminate a campsite after dark. But unlike mny other models that use a single LED bulb, this unit has a large light strip that stretches across the back of the device. The light has two brightness settings and a flashing SOS mode, which may come in handy in an emergency.
As with most power stations, the AC60 can recharge via a 120V AC wall outlet, a 12V DC vehicle port, or using a 200W solar panel. But it can also accept a charge by connecting directly to a lead-acid battery like the one found in a car.
This isn’t a feature I’ve seen on any other power station before, and while it wouldn’t be my preferred method of charging, it is always nice to have additional options in a pinch.
Bluetti utilizes lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries in all of its power stations these days, including the AC60. This type of battery is safer than the lithium-ion power cells used in the past and has a longer lifespan.
LiFePO4 batteries can power cycle more than 3,000 times, a significant improvement over previous generation models. Bluetti even backs the unit with one of the best warranties in the industry, covering the device for 6 years after purchase.
The Goldilocks of Power Stations
In many ways, the Bluetti AC60 stands in the Goldilocks spot among power stations. It isn’t too big or too small, and it offers an almost-perfect set of charging ports. It isn’t the lightest model on the market, but it’s not very heavy, either. And considering all of the features and performance it brings to the table, it will likely fall into the “just right” category for most users.
Car campers, van lifers, and outdoor enthusiasts who need portable charging will find this device an excellent addition to their gear closet. Its size and weight give it excellent portability, and it provides plenty of power and capacity for the needs of most users.
Its fast-charging capabilities allow the AC60 to remain functional in the field, and its rugged construction helps it resist the elements better than most other models.
Priced at $699, the Bluetti AC60 power station has a “just right” price tag, too. Few other models offer as much value in such a small package, especially when you factor in the IP65 rating and expandable capacity. All of that makes this device an easy recommendation for anyone who needs on-the-go charging.