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To check out other options too, head to the best overall portable generator in our DeWALT DXGNR7000 review, or you can find the best portable generator for camping in our Champion Power 75531i review.
Here's everything you need to know about the RYOBI 18V ONE+ Powersource.
RYOBI 18V ONE+ Powersource: What you need to know
The 150-watt Powered Inverter Generator from Ryobi provides two USB ports and one 120 volt power outlet which all run off a single 18 volt ONE+ battery. It's important to note that you’ll need to purchase the battery separately, but the generator will work fine with any ONE+ compatible battery you may already own. If you already have a RYOBI power tool then you may already own one.
The running wattage is quite low at 150 watts, so you can’t use the RYOBI 150 for running large appliances like air con, power tools or fridges, but the included LED flashlight hints at its true purpose as a great little power source for camping trips. If you’re looking for a portable generator to charge your phone, run a small appliance or keep your laptop charged on your next trip then this is ideal.
RYOBI 18V ONE+ Powersource: Price
The list price for the RYOBI 150 is $79.95, but don't forget you'll also need a ONE+ compatible battery. The batteries come in different capacities, which are measured in Amperage Hours (AH). For example, a 3AH battery costs $79. You can also purchase various combinations of batteries and charger together, so shop around.
RYOBI 18V ONE+ Powersource: Features
Running Watts: 150
Starting Wattage: 250
Power Type: Battery
Outlet type: 1 x 120-volt, 2 x USB
Operation volume: 0 db
Run time: Depends on battery
Weight: 1 lbs
CA (CARB) Compliant: Yes
Warranty: 3 years
The RYOBI 150-watt Powered Inverter fits right in with the similarly colored RYOBI family of portable power tools, which all use the ONE + 18-volt battery system.
To use, you simply plug in an 18-volt ONE+ battery and the latches on the side snap into place. Once the battery is installed you press the power button on the top and you’re good to go. With a battery plugged in the RYOBI is a free standing unit and fairly compact with a length of only 5.25-inches and a height of 3.25-inches. There’s a rubber overmold which means it fits right in your hand It also weighs only a single pound, so it’s very portable.
You can use the inverter for powering a single 120-volt appliance like a fan or light, and two devices using USB ports, with a total of 2.4 amps charging power, which is fine for charging a tablet or phone.
There’s also a built-in flashlight which is really handy if you’re out camping, or using the unit in a dark room. We love the design of this product. Our only complaint is that there’s no battery level indicator.
RYOBI 18V ONE+ Powersource: Performance
Since the RYOBI uses an external battery the amount of power you can count on depends on the strength of the battery you’ve attached. Battery strength is measured in Ah (Amperage Hours) and essentially represents the capacity of the battery to hold power. With a small, lower-rated battery, like a 1.3Ah, you’re going to be able to charge a cell phone 2.1 times, a tablet 0.4 times and a laptop 0.3 times using the RYOBI, while with a larger 9Ah battery the RYOBI can charge a cell phone 14.2 times, a tablet 3.2 times and a laptop 2.3 times.
In real world usage, one user reported that the RYOBI kept a laptop going for 5 hours and 21 minutes before it switched over to the laptop's internal battery
One of the usual concerns with any power source is how loud it is. The good news is that because the RYOBI 150 watt inverter is battery powered it’s completely silent.
It should be noted that the 2.4 amps of power listed for the USB ports is shared between both outlets, so each one can only reach 1.4 amps if two devices are charging simultaneously. This means that if you’re charging two phones it will take longer than just charging one at a time.
Since the RYOBI only delivers 250 watts as a starting wattage and 150 watts of running wattage it’s a bit of a stretch to compare this to a proper generator that can produce thousands of watts, but it’s perfect if your power demands are low.
RYOBI 18V ONE+ Powersource: User reviews
On Home Depot's website the RYOBI averages extremely highly with 4.7 out of 5 in customer reviews. Users are saying it’s great if you’re looking for ways to power or recharge your electronics when camping, or you’re out for the day and you don’t want to have to worry about your phone running out of power.
One thing that several people picked up on was that this is a low power inverter, so you need to remember its limitations. People also love the size of the unit. It stores away easily and is a breeze to take with you.
A lot of the customers seemed to already be signed up to the RYOBI family of products, so they already had the battery and charger. Having the ability to switch out batteries is really handy, with several people saying they keep a few ONE+ batteries fully charged so there’s always a fresh battery ready and waiting.
Should you buy the RYOBI 18V ONE+ Powersource?
If you’re looking for a power source to take on that next camping trip then the RYOBI 150 is ideal. It should be sufficient to run small appliances for a few hours (if you really have to watch TV, for example), but its real strength is in the two USB ports, which means you can charge two tablets and phones simultaneously. That should keep the youngsters happy while you get on with making the fire.
You’ll need to factor in the extra expense of a battery of course, but the advantage of being able to plug a new battery in is that… you can plug another battery in, effectively doubling the amount of time you can use it to power your devices.
Alternatives to the RYOBI 18V ONE+ Powersource
If you're after a smaller generator that you can carry with you on camping trips or just when you're on the road then consider the Yeti 400. It runs off a lithium battery so it's completely silent when running and it's great for charging phones, laptops and tablets and you can even power it using solar panels.
Having a Honda motor comes at a price, and the Ford FG2200iS offers much of the performance of the Honda but at a much friendlier price point. This model is slightly less powerful, but comes with a USB port as standard. The Ford FG2200iS is gasoline powered and has a pull cord to start it up.
If you want a really quiet inverter generator then consider the Honda EU3000is Handi. It doesn't have the most advanced features, but its Honda motor is the chief selling point and it's super quiet for a gasoline-powered generator. There is a starter motor built in, so it's easier to start than a pull cord generator.