Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ Review | A High Capacity Portable Power Station For Camping, Blackouts & More

With super-fast charging, a light, portable profile and a high capacity, learn more about this Biolite portable power station's key features, performance, capacity, pros and cons in my in-depth review.

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All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links, we may earn a commission.

The Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ is a 1521 Wh rechargeable power station designed for you to access home-standard power in off-grid environments, whether that’s at home during a power cut, camping or while you’re on the road traveling.

I’ve reviewed a number of portable power stations here on Trail & Kale, the best of which are featured in our portable power stations buyer’s guide, so I was excited to see how Biolite’s newest power product stands up to the competition.

This Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ review covers all the key features, what I love/dislike about it, and how it performs in a variety of scenarios. I also explain the key differences between the BaseCharge 1500+ (launched in July 2024), and its predecessor, the BaseCharge 1500, which I’ve also used in the past.

If you’re not familiar with Biolite then you should be! They’re a quality brand that makes some of the most well-designed portable power and lighting solutions I’ve encountered, including their excellent running headlamps, which you can learn more about in our other Biolite reviews on this website.

MORE BIOLITE REVIEWS: BioLite HeadLamp 750 Review / BioLite HeadLamp 200 Review / BioLite HeadLamp 330 Review / Biolite AlpenGlow Lantern Review / BioLite AlpenGlow Mini Review

Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ Review by Trail and Kale for web 1
The attractively-designed BaseCharge 1500+. But how does it perform? Read on for my thoughts in this review.

Overview of the Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ power station’s key features

The BaseCharge 1500+ is a neat, relatively lightweight and compact rechargable portable power station designed for a range of uses in and around the home as well as for camping, traveling and off-grid use.

Here are its key features and differentiators.

It has a wide range of outlets, from regular household 110v AC to USB-C ports and 12v outlets

You can connect as many devices as you want (up to the maximum output capacity) using the variety of outlets which total 11 and are located on the front of the power station.

Wireless charging on the top deck for phones and small devices

In addition to the outlets mentioned above, you can also charge one device on the top deck using its wireless charging capability.

A maximum output of 1200W, which goes up to 2,400W in Surge mode

You can easily monitor the combined output of all connected devices using the clear, easy-to-read LCD screen.

Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ Review - The easy to use LCD screen on this portable power station
Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ Review – The easy to use LCD screen on this portable power station

The LCD screen allows you to easily monitor energy usage and consumption

As well as monitoring how many watt-hours have been used and how much time you have until the device needs recharging, you can see live the current watts on the input (if you’re charging it) and output (based on what’s using its power) in the top right of the screen.

I find this very helpful when using the BaseCharge to power devices as it helps predict when the power station will need to be charged up.

I also use it when testing electronics for other gear reviews on Trail & Kale (such as my recent reviews of the Lomi and Reencle composters) as it gives me a good idea of their energy consumption while in use.

It has a handy resettable energy odometer

You can reset the number of watt-hrs used by pressing the reset button shown to the right of the screen.

You can also turn off the screen display or toggle it back on again by pressing the ‘display’ button that’s on the left.

You have a range of options for recharging

Compared to other portable power stations, including its predecessor, the BaseCharge 1500, the 1500+ can be recharged incredibly quickly, especially when you consider this is a large, 1500+ Wh capacity unit. It can be charged from low to 80% in 3 hours, using a wall outlet or solar panels.

To charge it on a wall outlet, the BaseCharge comes with its own 120v AC adaptor that simply plugs in to the charging input shown in the picture below.

However this isn’t the only way to charge it!

The new Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ has 11 inputs and a wireless charging pad for your phone and other wireless charging devices

You can charge the BaseCharge 1500+ using a vehicle’s 12v outlet while driving – you just need to get the 12v charging cable to do that.

Solar panels are the cleanest way to charge this power station – and, similar to wall charging, you can get it up to 80% in around 3 hours (depending on how many panels you use, and the efficiency of the solar input).

If you plan to use it off-grid or in an RV, campervan or camping, then you can actually buy it bundled with one, two or four solar panels (the maximum number you can connect) – and these bundles represent great value deals compared to buying them separately (more on pricing etc later in this review).

Whichever way you charge it, you can still use it at the same time to power your devices – but of course that will slow down how quickly the battery gets to fully-charged.

It’s designed to be portable – no wheels required

The two handles on the sides provide a comfortable and secure grip.

Biolite BaseCharge 1500+  - at 28.5lb, this is a much lighter weight and truly portable power station compared to other options on the market.
Vents and grab handles on either side of the BaseCharge 1500+

At 28.5lb it’s not super light but easily portable for taking places and getting in and out of your vehicle, for example. It’s also worth noting that this is still significantly lighter than other portable power stations with similar capacities.

Picking up the Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ is easy given the compact size and shape of this lithium power station.

By the way, it’s also worth noting that Biolite sells a range of other portable power options, such as pocket-sized power banks and a smaller portable power station, the BaseCharge 600+, so if you feel you don’t need to power devices for as long, or that require as much intensive use of power, then that smaller model could be a good option to explore.

Learn more about the BaseCharge 600+ on Biolite Energy’s website (including a comparison to the 1500+ model).


Battery life – How long does the BioLite power station last between charges?

How long the BaseCharge will last between charges really depends on the mix and intensity of what you plug into it.

Examples include refrigerators, power tools, medical devices, laptops, portable coolers for camping, charging batteries for cameras, drones and other gadgets, and powering power tools when you’re working on home or backyard improvement projects without easy access to a home outlet.

Biolite BaseCharge 1500+ Review - some uses include home backup in blackout and power outages, charging cameras, drone batteries, headlamps, laptops
Using the BaseCharge 1500+ power station to charge devices including a camera battery and Biolite headlamp.

If you’re considering this as a backup power supply for the event of a power blackout then the stats given on Biolite’s website include that it could power a refrigerator for 20 hours, or a CPAP machine for 31 hours. It could charge a laptop 22 times or a smartphone 117 times!

There are loads more examples of how it can be used, together with battery life for those uses, on the BaseCharge 1500+ product page.


How many devices can the BaseCharge power at once?

You can use it to power or charge as many devices as you want, at the same time, assuming that:

  • you have enough power ports for them
  • the total power required to charge/power them all is within the BaseCharge’s max output wattage.

This is where the live monitoring on the LCD screen comes in handy, as you can see how close you’re getting to its maximum output limit, as you connect/turn on each device.


How to recharge the BaseCharge power station

There are 4 ways to recharge the power station.

1. Wall outlet

Charge it on a regular wall outlet. The BaseCharge comes with an AC charging adaptor to do this, so it’s going to be the easiest method for most people.

Using the wall outlet takes less than 3 hours to get up to 80%, assuming your BaseCharge has a very low battery. While this is a very quick charging time (and one of the key differences to the previous version, the BaseCharge 1500), the time will be even quicker, of course, if it’s not really low when you plug it in.

The transformer on the charging unit is fairly large, but it’s worth it for the rapid recharging time it delivers.

2. 12v DC (in-vehicle)

Another popular option is to charge it in your vehicle using a cigarette lighter-style DC carport adaptor. The adaptor is available as an optional extra accessory you can buy.

I have not used this method with this particular portable power station, but I have with others – and this is by far the easiest way to charge if you’re traveling around or road tripping in a car, campervan or RV as you just plug it in and charge it up while you drive!

3. USB-C

If you have a way to charge it using USB-C, and a suitable cable then this is quicker than regular charging from a regular wall outlet, around 8 hours.

4. Solar panels

The last, and most exciting option for off-grid use of the BaseCharge, is to charge it using solar power.

You can buy the BsaeCharge 1500+ bundled with 1, 2 or 4 (the maximum) solar panels, from Biolite.

If you go for all four panels, which are 100w each, Biolite states you can get a full charge from solar in around 4 hours (assuming ideal conditions). This is crazy fast charging!

With just one solar panel, the stated charge time is up to 80% in 12 hours. That’s still pretty good!

If you’re familiar with lithium batteries, including electric vehicles, then you’ll appreciate that it’s a lot quicker to get up to around 80% of full – the last 20% of charging time always takes disproportionately longer.


Cost and where to buy the BaseCharge 1500+

The BaseCharge 1500+ costs $1,299 and is available directly from Biolite Energy on their website with free shipping and a 2-year warranty.

This is a really nice, premium portable power station at a very competitive price, and it’s a super versatile option for many people given that its capable of powering most gadgets and appliances you’d want to use it with, whether that’s for home backup, camping, working outdoors or any other use you may have for it.

Like many other Biolite products I’ve used and reviewed, the BaseCharge 1500+ feels premium, is well-made, and, in my opinion, is worth the money.

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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