Companion Rover 100 Lithium Ion Power Station: Tested
For vehicle-based travellers after a lightweight, portable, and simple camp power solution, the Companion Rover 100 Lithium Ion Power Station is a versatile alternative to wiring up a dedicated dual-battery system in your vehicle.
Portability has several benefits when it comes to an electrical power source, including the fact you can transfer it from vehicle to vehicle, or use it to power electrical items without a vehicle nearby, which can come in handy at campgrounds with bollards where your campsite might be some distance from where you can park.
The Companion Rover 100 Lithium Ion Power Station is extremely portable thanks to its compact dimensions (410mm (l) x 325mm (w) x 370mm (h)), its light weight (just 11.45kg) and its sturdy carry handle. But despite being small and light, the Rover 100 packs plenty of power thanks to its 100Ah lithium battery.
Depending on ambient temperature and use, 100Ah should be enough to run a decent-sized 12V DC portable fridge for two to three days, along with a few other electrical items, before recharging is required. In the case of the Rover 100, there are two 10-amp (a) ciggy-style power outlets, two 10-amp Anderson outlets, two 5V 3a USB outlets and two 5V 3a USB-C outlets. In other words, it’s ideally suited to powering a wide range of electrical items as well as charging phones, tablets, laptops, and camera batteries. If you want to power 240V AC equipment, you’ll need a separate inverter.
The Rover 100 also has a couple of DC jacks so you can plug in LED strip lighting, and it features an inbuilt LED torch light in the handle and a 5W LED area light on the back of the unit that is ideally suited to lighting up a campsite. To monitor power usage, there’s a screen on the front that displays the battery’s state of charge as a percentage, how many volts are remaining, and amps in and out.
In the field
When the Rover 100 needs recharging you have several options. It is supplied with an AC adaptor and cable so it can be plugged into a 240V AC power point allowing you to fully charge it before you leave home. It is also supplied with a fused 12V DC cable so you can charge it from your vehicle’s 12V ciggie outlet while travelling. For those with solar panels, the Rover 100 also has an inbuilt 10a MPPT solar controller and it is supplied with a short cable that allows connection direct to a solar panel or solar blanket via an Anderson plug.
If you want an idea of how fast battery tech is advancing, it was only five years ago that I bought a 44Ah Portable Power Pack that contained two 22Ah AGM batteries and weighed a hefty 16kg. That’s less than half the capacity of the Rover 100 but 4.55kg heavier than it!
The 44Ah unit’s small capacity and the fact it wouldn’t properly charge from a 12V DC power source meant it was never a genuine alternative to a wired-in dual-battery setup in a vehicle, but that is not the case with the Rover 100. Thanks to its 100Ah capacity, and ability to recharge from different power sources, including solar, you could almost power a small campsite indefinitely.
The final word on the Companion Rover 100
Not only does the Rover 100 pack a powerful punch, it’s also well packaged and loaded with features. For those looking for an alternative power source to an in-vehicle second battery system for their camping adventures, this portable powerhouse is a fantastic option. Being relatively light in weight and compact – plus the fact you can utilise solar panels (and they’re easy to set up with it) for additional basecamp power – the Rover 100 could be considered a very smart buy.
RRP: $1630 (also available on sale online at some stockists for a limited time). See Companion Outdoor for more info on this and its other portable power products.