I Tried Anker’s Solix F3800 Portable Power Station with 240V Power

Updated: Feb. 20, 2024

From welding to washing clothes, we put the Anker portable power station to the test for the job site, home and camping. Here's how it worked.

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Portable power stations have become integral to my partner’s and my life. We use them while working off-grid to run tools and charge batteries. We rely on them, coupled with solar panels, to power our camping van conversion. And when a recent storm knocked out our home electricity, we plugged in our fridge to save hundreds of dollars in groceries. But until now, there was one thing our power stations couldn’t do for us: run our 240V welding machine. So when we heard that the Anker power station was coming out, we eagerly anticipated its arrival.

But that wasn’t the only treat this beast of a portable power station had in store. We soon learned many of its other strengths, including its capabilities as an affordable route to home power backup, which is one of the main chores Anker had in mind when they designed it.

“The frequency of power outages has surged by 64% over the past two decades, prompting individuals to seek more dependable energy solutions,” an Anker spokesperson told Family Handyman. “The F3800 can serve as a backup for homes that draw on AC power or solar. Just as importantly, it can also be used by apartment residents and home renters who cannot install a full solar solution, but still want peace of mind when the power goes out.”

If you’re considering portable power for home backup, work or recreation—and especially if you’re looking to replace your noisy gas or diesel-powered generator—here’s our take on whether the Anker Solix F3800 portable power station with 240V power is up for the job.

What is the Anker Solix F3800?

Anker's Solix F3800 Portable Power StationKaruna Eberl for Family Handyman

The Solix F3800 is Anker’s newest high-capacity portable power station, featuring 3,840 watt-hours (Wh) plus 120V, 240V and 30-amp outlets. It’s designed to power tools, work trailers and RVs at off-grid sites, plus functions as a home backup system. It recharges via a standard wall outlet, portable or fixed solar panels, and a DC-DC converter installed in a vehicle.

Over the last year, we’ve tested at least a dozen portable power stations from various manufacturers, and Anker is consistently among our top brand picks, as the company is usually ahead of the game with its technology-to-cost ratio. For a while, our tried-and-true setup has been Anker’s Solix F2000 (formerly model 767), coupled with portable solar panels and, when necessary, an expansion battery. So when the dorm-fridge-sized box containing the F3800 arrived, we were anxious to find out if the new model would replace our current beloved arrangement.

Something Old

Off the bat, the Solix F3800 has many of the same hallmark features of other Anker power stations, like:

  • An anodized aluminum frame for durability if you happen to drop it
  • LFP (LiPo) lithium-based batteries protect against thermal runaways and provide many times the charge-cycle lifespan over some other manufacturers’ NMC batteries
  • Built-in fast-charging module, so there’s no bulky box on the power cord and it can draw in enough juice to charge it up in record time
  • A convenient, pleasantly warm-colored work light on the front panel

Something New

The Solix F3800 also incorporates some features new to Anker power stations:

  • 240V split-phase current, which can run power tools and appliances up to 25 amps
  • EV charging capabilities
  • Plug-and-play backup capabilities in case of a grid failure, with their add-on Home Power Panel and transfer switch accessory
  • Massive expansion capabilities: add up to six 3840Wh expansion batteries (or double that, if you link it together with a second F3800 and six more batteries), which all together is enough to power a typical 2,000-square-foot home, including lights, appliances and HVAC, for a couple of days (or to give an electric car another 87 miles of range)

It also looks a bit different than other Anker models, with a vertical (vs. horizontal) configuration. The look reminds me of a piece of carry-on luggage with four bottom wheels and a pull handle. Also, it stows away unobtrusively in the corner of the room, which is notable because even though it has similar watt-hours to our current setup, the F3800 takes up less room.

Knowing all of this, we had high expectations when we set out to test the Anker power station. Here’s what happened.

We Tried It

Anker Portable Power Station

Reliable and long-lasting, the Anker Solix F3800 can power several appliances simultaneously and is portable to take that power anywhere.

Solix F3800 Features

Ankers Solix F3800 Portable Power Station featuresKaruna Eberl for Family Handyman

  • 3,840 Wh (3.8kWh) of built-in LFP battery capacity (expandable up to 53.8kWh)
  • 6,000-watt built-in power inverter for continuous use (12,000-watt capacity available by connecting two F3800 units)
  • Surge power peak of 9,000 watts
  • 240V split-phase current socket
  • Full uninterrupted power supply (UPS) capability (two 120V sockets in UPs mode)
  • Outlet sockets: 30-amp 120V, six 120V, USB-A, USB-C and 12V (auto-style)
  • 1,800W max input from AC charging
  • 2,400W max input from solar charging (up to 80% charge in 1.5 hours)
  • Solar inputs ports: XT 90 ports for portable panels, (two ports, 1,200W each)
  • 3,000-charge-cycle life
  • 5-year warranty, 10-year life expectancy
  • App (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) for advanced feature controls
  • Home backup power integration system available (starting March 2024)
  • Equipped with NEMA 14-50 and L14-30 EV and RV charge outlets
  • Built-in solar charge controller
  • Four wheels, plus two stow-able pull handles so that it can be conveniently team-carried
  • 132 pounds

How We Tested It

Ankers Solix F3800 Portable Power Station testedKaruna Eberl for Family Handyman

We didn’t ease into our testing with the Solix F3800. Instead, we went straight for the welder to see if it could run for a reasonable amount of time. We ran our Miller 180 aluminum welding machine (which draws 240V and requires 21 amps) straight for two minutes. During that time, it ate up a little less than 300 watt-hours. That means the F3800 could run the Miller continuously for more than 30 minutes. That’s ample time to complete minor field repairs. Pretty impressive!

Tools and Appliances

We then ran the F3800 through its paces on a series of other tool and appliance tests, including:

  • A power drill and chop saw, with which we built a scaffolding so we could reach our stairwell ceiling to paint it
  • Our electric lawnmower and weed whacker to clear our quarter-acre lot
  • A reciprocating saw to cut up firewood for a few nights of camping
  • Our clothes washer and dryer (it did a full cycle with both on less than a single charge)
  • Various other household items, including a hair dryer, microwave, cell phones and laptops

We also timed how long it took to recharge the unit to ensure the claims of superfast charging were accurate. They were. At our house, it recharged from dead in less than three hours, at 1800 watts per hour, from a standard wall outlet. However, we’ve learned that if your grid charging outlet is 20 amps, charging will be limited to 1440 watts per hour.

There are still two tests we would have loved to perform: using it to charge an EV and using it in conjunction with the home power panel accessory. We don’t yet have an EV, but we fully plan to test the home power panel once it’s available. So, stay tuned for the results on those, plus how the Anker power station performs on our upcoming 4,000-mile camping trek down the Baja California peninsula!

Ankers Solix F3800 Portable Power Station wheels closeupKaruna Eberl for Family Handyman

Pros

  • Versatile and pro-capable, thanks to 120V and 240V outlets
  • Constant discharge rate regardless of the unit’s charge level
  • Highly intuitive and informative display
  • Sturdy, compact vertical design
  • Very mobile for its size with ample wheels and moving handles
  • Superfast AC charging at 1800 watt-hours, full charge in under three hours
  • Excellent company customer service
  • Affordable compared to other types of home backup systems

Cons

  • Expansion battery cables use a lot of space as they do not have 90-degree plugs
  • Only two 120V receptacles work when the unit is in UPS mode
  • Heavy for moving on and off of a work truck all day (though it’s still on the lighter side for a unit with this many watt-hours)

FAQ

Ankers Solix F3800 Portable Power Station portsKaruna Eberl for Family Handyman

What is the difference between a portable power station and a power bank?

The term portable power bank generally refers to small devices that hold enough power to charge a smartphone, laptop or other personal electronic equipment through USB ports. On the other hand, portable power stations contain larger batteries, plus inverters, which (depending on the model) are capable of running appliances, power tools, CPAP machines, home lighting and more. Most portable power stations also integrate solar charge controllers so they can be recharged with solar panels.

How long does the F3800 last?

The Anker portable power station’s longevity depends on what you’re powering with it and how long. The Solix F3800 contains 3,800 watt-hours, which means if you’re using an 800-watt coffee maker, it will last for 4.75 hours (800 watt-hours x 4.75 hours = 3,800 watt-hours). However, if that coffee maker only needs to run for five minutes to brew a pot of coffee, that means you could brew 57 cups of coffee with those 3,800 watt-hours.

What Other Reviewers Had to Say

Dung B., a verified Anker buyer, writes, “Bought this a few weeks before the flood, and without it, I would be in the dark using candles. Instead, I was brewing specialty coffee gaming on my PS5.”

Five-star Amazon reviewer, Ronald Rivet, writes, “We bought ours and we love it because it powers our entire cabin! It’s whisper quiet…My bathroom fan is like 10 times louder. I get over an entire day with the F3800/expansion battery and we plan on adding one more expansion battery.”

Product Comparison

So far, Anker makes the only portable power station in this class available in the U.S. By “in this class,” I mean a truly portable station with 240V and a powerhouse 6,000W inverter. The closest other options are:

  • Bluetti, which makes a 240V model that’s only available in Europe
  • EcoFlow’s Delta Pro advertises that it can support 240V, but to do that, you have to buy two of them, then hook them together using a “double voltage hub” (a phase converter, which will also boost the system to 7.2kWh with the equivalent of a 7,400W inverter). Otherwise, the Delta Pro features 3.6kWh and a 3,600W inverter, compared with the F3800’s 3.8kWh and 6,000W inverter.
  • A few other companies make power stations that support 240V, but they’re meant solely for use as home backup systems, not to double as portable power stations for work and recreation.

This isn’t surprising. Anker has been at the forefront of power station innovations for years, including being one of the first companies to use the safer LFP battery technology and to integrate features like built-in fast chargers.

Final Verdict

Ankers Solix F3800 Portable Power Station easy to carryKaruna Eberl for Family Handyman

The Anker Solix F3800 portable power station with 240V capabilities is a cutting-edge, pro-level, versatile piece of equipment. It can power anything you need during a home electrical outage while remaining nimble enough to carry to remote sites to run tools, portable refrigerators, RVs and even give a boost to EVs. It’s durable, reliable, aesthetically charming and intuitive to use.

Another aspect we appreciate is Anker’s upfront advertisement of its features. There are no hidden accessories required to get it to charge at the speeds they promise or otherwise perform to top specs. Plus, Anker has truly helpful customer service and is the real deal when it comes to product research and development. That’s increasingly rare these days in this rapidly emerging technology sector, rife with pop-up companies eager to slap their brand on inferior products.

Where to Buy the Anker Power Station

We Tried It

Anker Portable Power Station

The Anker Solix F3800 is a power station with high AC output power and capacity and 120V/240V dual-voltage support to provide power for your entire home.

Currently, the F3800 is available on the brand’s website where it retails for $3,999. You can also find it on Amazon and Shop Solar.