Whether you need to charge your smartphones, power a fridge, or even a c-pap machine, a battery box helps you access the best of the outdoors, without sacrificing critical appliances.
This guide is meant to serve as a comprehensive review of the best battery boxes currently available in Australia in 2022.
When evaluating each battery box we took four main factors into account: design, outputs, charging methods, and warranty provided.
After extensive research and testing, we concluded that the Engle Smart Battery Box (Series 2), is the best battery box currently available in Australia.
There are lots of quality battery box options, but the Engels 240v inverter, in-built DC to DC charger, and ability to function with a lithium battery made it stand out amongst the crowd.
✔ DC to DC Charger
✔ Can Jump Start Car
✔ Dual Anderson Ports
The following battery boxes have been reviewed in detail throughout this article. You can click on a link to go directly to a product of interest, or keep scrolling and see what takes your interest.
Choosing A Battery Box
Choosing a battery box can be overwhelming given the sheer number of available options. These factors will help you narrow down on the features you need, so you can then assess which battery box might be useful for you.
Battery Type and Size
The two most important factors to consider with your battery box battery are the battery chemistry type (Lead acid/gel/lithium), and the size. (Ah). Lithium batteries for battery boxes are becoming more and more normal now, and most battery boxes are designed to handle lithium batteries, but make sure of this, before locking in your purchase if you want a lithium battery box. Size-wise, most battery boxes are designed to fit N70 size batteries which will tend to be around 100Ah, potentially up to 120Ah, but if you want an even bigger battery, check the dimension of the battery you want, and make sure it will fit inside the box casing.
You need to know how you want to charge your battery box before you leave home, and while you are away. Most battery boxes can be connected in a variety of ways (Wall charger, car adapter, solar panel).
But keep in mind that when you are away from home, 12v power out of a vehicle will not fully charge your battery unless you have a DC to DC charger, due to the voltage level. Some boxes have this built-in, whereas others do not include this.
One of the most important considerations is the number and type of outputs a battery box has. Do your homework to get clear on what type of outputs you need (Anderson plug, USB-A, USB-C, 12V DC Cigarette, 12v DC pin, 240v etc), and how many of each, and then compare these against each battery box you consider.
Most battery boxes come with a 12-month warranty, but a few manufacturers offer a 24-month warranty. If you really want to make sure your product is protected for the longest period of time then pay close attention to the warranty for each battery box.
Best Battery Box – In Depth Reviews
Kings Battery Box (Best Value Battery Box)
The Kings Battery Box is great value and compares well to other similarly priced products, and is a top battery box. Designed the fit deep cycle N70 batteries, the box is fitted with molded handles, removable lid, and versatile charging, the Kings Battery Box turns your battery into a portable power station.
- Dual Anderson Ports
- +/- Terminals
- Limited Display Information
The Kings Battery Box has a resettable circuit breaker built in to protect both your battery and any appliances you plug in against unexpected surges.
This combined with the isolator switch gives you good control over the power flow and the ability to completely shut the unit down if you want or need it. If you are looking for a camping battery box on a budget, this is definitely worth considering.
The battery box is equipped with a cigarette plug output and two USB ports. Compared to other units at a similar price, the addition of USB ports is a big plus.
If you need additional 12v outlets, you can just buy a 12v splitter and plugin 2-3 devices, depending on the splitter you purchase.
The box is built with two separate charging mechanisms. There are two weatherproof Anderson plug ports situated on the lid of the box, and there are positive and negative charging ports also included in the unit.
These terminals and Anderson plugs provide great versatility and could support a range of solar, 12v, and 240v charging methods.
Before we leave on a trip, I fully charge it using an automotive battery charger and then top it up while we’re away using a solar blanket plugged into one of the Anderson plug inputs.
The Kings Battery Box offers an LCD digital display so you can get an accurate reading of your battery voltage at any time.
If the unit is switched on, the voltage will appear by pressing the accompanying red push button. This push-button operation prevents the LCD display from burning out due to constant operation.
The Kings Battery Box is covered by the Adventure Kings Standard 12 month warranty, so if you experience any issues within 12 months, you can take it back for follow-up.
Kings Maxi Battery Box (Biggest Battery Box)
The Adventure Kings ‘Maxi’ Battery Box is the larger of two battery boxes on offer. If you think you will need more battery storage than the deep cycle N70, it might be best to look at a bigger box and one of the best battery boxes at this price.
- Dual Anderson Ports
- +/- Terminals
- Limited LCD Display Information
- Very Heavy
As the name suggests, it is built to handle a larger battery, which should give you an extended power quantity.
Made out of durable polypropylene material, the box can handle a variety of different battery sizes and includes a spacer you can insert inside the box, to fit the battery length, and minimize the battery movement within the box.
These boxes are built tough and often can be found mounted on utes, caravans, and camper trailers, but we tend to use ours in a mobile way and place it where ever it best fits around the campsite.
In terms of outputs, the Kings Maxi Battery Box has a single 12v output, as well as 2 x USB ports. I personally usually require multiple 12v outputs, so I bought a simple splitter that gives me 3 x 12v DC ports for my lights and other things.
You can attach your solar panels directly to the box (assuming they are regulated), or else you would need to feed your panels into a regular, and then into your battery box.
(In case you are unsure what the ‘regulator’ does, it takes the energy from the solar panel and ensures it is flowing to the battery at the right voltage so as not to damage the battery.
Many panels have this built-in or attached, but in some cases, you will need a separate unit.)
I also picked up the Adventure Kings 138Ah battery to go with the unit, and this is a huge battery that fits the box perfectly.
Even though I didn’t need the spacer, I wedged it right in the end, just to remove any possibility of movement.
Beware that this is heavy once fully assembled. Connecting the battery to the box is quite simple, and anyone could do it following the provided instructions.
The unit has a handy ON/OFF switch so you can completely shut down all devices, and there is an inbuilt LED display that can give you a reading of your current voltage.
We have had the unit on a few trips and, apart from the weight, have found it extremely user-friendly and effective.
It’s a great way to power our LED lights and keep our devices charged day on end whilst we don’t have access to power.
Even if you don’t have solar panels, you can hook up your car battery charger for the twenty-four hours before you leave and get the battery topped up to last most of your trip.
KT Portable Battery Box (Affordable Battery Box)
The KT Portable Battery Box transforms a deep cycle battery into something easy to transport and plug your 12v and USB devices into for charging. The KT Battery Box is great value for money and one of the best entry-level units.
- Entry Level Pricing
- Limited Outputs
- Limited Charging Methods
Designed for batteries between 100Ah to 120Ah in size, the unit comes with straps and fittings to hold the battery securely inside the box, even if it does not fill up the whole space provided.
The KT Portable Battery Box includes high-speed charging terminals that allow a high flow of electricity from your charging device (solar panel, 240v charger) to the battery to reduce the time it takes to charge.
The KT Portable Battery Box includes an LCD voltmeter to give you an indication of your battery’s level of charge at any time. This feature is not always included in battery boxes in the cheaper price range, so this is a notable inclusion by KT.
Like most battery boxes, the KT has a removable lid that you pull off while installing the battery and then connect to the relevant battery terminals.
It’s manufactured with robust ABS plastic, so it can safely be used on the back of a ute, in a boat, with a caravan, or as a mobile unit, you carry around your campsite.
It has a heavy-duty handle incorporated into the lid design which I like because I find these units with side handles can be tricky to carry, given the weight, whereas I much prefer the folding top handle like the KT Portable Battery Box.
KT Portable Battery Box Outputs
The KT Battery Box includes two 12v Marine Grade Cigarette Outputs and two USB outputs (1 x 1 Amp and 1 x 2.1 Amp) which is a generous number of outputs for a battery box in this price range.
Many other boxes at comparable prices only have a single 12v output, and may not include USB outputs. So to have two of each puts the KT unit above many others.
The KT Battery box is equipped with two high current battery terminals (positive and negative) that you can use to hook up a variety of different battery chargers.
I charge my battery box using my standard 12v automotive battery charger, and that works ok, but there are a variety of dedicated chargers available for 240v charging of these types of units.
The main requirement of any charger is that you can connect alligator clip type attachments to it, as you need to attach these alligator clips to the battery box terminals, whether using a solar, or 240v power source.
KT Battery Box Warranty
The KT Battery Box is covered by a standard 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. If you experience any technical difficulties in the first 12 months, take it back to the place of purchase.
In summary, as far as entry-level battery boxes go, the KT Portable Battery Box is a standout for the generous number of outputs and inclusion of the voltmeter, which you don’t always get at this price.
The sturdy design with a folding carry handle is a bonus, in my opinion, and the capacity to fit a 120Ah battery inside should cover most basic needs.
Projecta Battery Box
- Entry Level Pricing
- No USB Ports
- No Anderson Ports
- No LED Voltage Reading
The Projecta Battery Box is a no-frills, entry-level battery box that will house an N70 battery safely and securely.
Its simple output set and display functionality will power one or two 12v devices, but if you are looking to hook up multiple different devices of different types, then you might need to look at some more expensive options.
Its function set seems fair, for the low price point, and it is one of the cheapest battery boxes you will find in Australia.
The Projecta battery box does not have an inbuilt voltmeter, so you are not able to get an exact reading of the batteries voltage, but it does have a range of different LED’s that provide an approximate state of charge (full, medium, low, flat), and an LED that lights up when charging.
The Projecta Battery Box is a standard box design with a removable lid that you tie down with a steep once the battery is fitted inside.
Weighing in at 2kg, it’s made from strong polypropylene, which is the standard material for many boxes of this type. Carry handles are molded into the bottom section of the box for easy transport and maneuvering.
This box includes two different 12v outputs. One 20A heavy duty merit socket, and a 10A cigarette socket.
This unit does not include a USB port, which would be very handy for phone and tablet charging, but you could easily get an adapter to convert either the cigarette output or merit plug output to USB if that was a high priority for you.
Charging the Projecta Battery Box
The Projecta Battery box comes with two terminals (positive and negative) that you can hook up a variety of charging devices too. As long as your charger has alligator clips on the charging leads, and delivers voltage at the right level, that would be a big range of potential options.
If you have a standard automotive battery charger at home, you could use that to charge it at home before you leave on your trip, and while away could hook up solar panels (through a regulator) to top it up while you are away.
Projecta offer a range of chargers, including the Projecta Pro-Charge 6 Stage Automatic 12v Charger, which would be a perfect charging solution, retailing for around $150, but you could achieve a similar impact with a simpler and cheaper automotive battery charger if you have access to one that will meet most of your needs.
The Projecta Battery Box is covered by a standard 12-month manufacturer’s warranty, so if you experience any issues within the first 12 months, take the unit back to your place of purchase to initiate the support sequence.
The Projecta Battery Bow is an affordable, entry-level battery box that will give you a safe way to power your off-grid campsite.
It lacks a voltmeter, and USB output, but if you have no use for these, then this unit could be a good match for you. However, there are some other units at a similar price that do offer you a bit more in terms of output and display functionality.
Hard Korr Heavy Duty Battery Box (Best Battery Box For Camping)
- Four Anderson Plugs
- Can Jump Start Car
- Ergonomic Carry Handles
- Lid Screws Down Very Securely
- 2 Year Warranty
The Hard Korr Battery Box is a great way to get portable power to your off-grid campsite. Like any battery box, this product is just the outer shell and requires a battery to be purchased and fitted inside the box to make the unit work.
The benefit of battery boxes over other portable power supplies is that if you ever want or need to change the battery, it is easy to do so. Whereas many other units are sealed and all-in-one, so if the battery malfunctions, the units become almost useless.
The box is large enough to fit a battery between 60Ah up to 130Ah, with internal dimensions of 33 x 17.5 x 22 cm. It is wired to work with all different types of batteries, including wet cell, AGM, Gel Cell, and Lithium.
The wiring of the Hard Korr Battery box allows you to both draw power with your appliances and charge simultaneously. With this, you can still use your fridge throughout the day whilst charging it with your solar panel to make the most of the daylight while you have got it available.
There is an LCD voltmeter on the front control panel, which gives not only a readout of the current voltage but also an overall ‘charge’ indication with a graphic depiction of a battery and bars that decrease inside the battery as it gets flatter.
Hard Korr Battery Box Design
The Hard Korr Battery Box is made of tough ABS plastic and is designed to last you for years. The plastic meets UL 94V-0 standards for flammability of plastic products providing further peace of mind. This makes it a great battery box for camping.
Once your battery is placed inside the unit, you secure it inside with a velcro strap. This is important as you may have a battery that does not fill up the entire space, and you do not want the battery to be moving around inside while you are transporting the battery box.
This would be bad for both the battery and the battery box plastic, and likely to lead to damage to both. Once the battery is fixed firmly inside the battery box, the lid is secured to the base with four screws.
I really like this aspect of the design as a battery box I purchased previously does not have screws, but a strap that goes around the entire box to hold it together. Though this worked ok, I like the idea of screws much more, and it is a more stable way to hold the lid more securely.
Though the box should prevent splashes of water getting in, I would not rely on it being considered ‘weatherproof’, and would always have it under cover of some sort in your campsite. This advice would stand for all battery boxes.
The Hard Korr Battery Box is manufactured in two colors, black or white, so you can pick the color that best matches your vehicle.
There are numerous ways that you can charge your Hard Korr Battery Box. Regardless of which one, you need to have a way to connect these different sources to an Anderson plug port.
Solar is one of the most common ways to charge a battery box, and the Hard Korr Battery Box is no exception. If you are set up and stationary at a campsite, then you can hook your solar panel up to the battery to charge.
Just make sure you have a solar panel regulator in between the panel and the battery box, so the power is delivered to the battery at an acceptable voltage.
If you have the ability to wire an Anderson plug into your car somewhere or have a cigarette plug adapter, then you are able to charge your Hard Korr Battery Box while driving.
The level you can charge the battery to will depend on the make of your vehicle and the electrical setup you have configured.
Note About Car Charging
Many newer vehicles do not produce enough voltage to power an additional battery, so you would need to connect a DC to DC charger to your car.
However, if your car alternator does produce sufficient voltage to charge the battery box, then it would be worthwhile considering the addition of a voltage-sensitive relay (VSR). This allows power to flow to the battery box when the car is running but cuts off the flows of power when the car stops.
This also means that you won’t accidentally drain your car battery flat overnight, if you leave your battery box connected to the car, and drain all of its additional power.
Hard Korr manufactures a VSR that you can fit directly into your battery box, seamlessly. They used to include it in the box by default but did not include it in the most recent version as most people had either a DC to DC charger already installed, or had external VSR’s already fitted in the engine bay.
You can also charge your Hard Korr Battery Box with 240V power, as long as you have the right adapter.
You need to get either a transfer that converts 240v current to alligator clips at the right amperage to fit this unit or use a car battery charger with Alligator to Anderson plug lead converter in order to hook it up. This is easy once you have the right gear, but it might take a little bit of homework and understanding in order to get set up initially.
The Hard Korr Battery Box includes two 12v cigarette plug outlets and two USB outlets on the front control panel. In addition to this, it includes five different Anderson ports on the right-hand side of the box.
These ports can be used for both charging the unit and feeding power out of the unit.
A unique feature of the Hard Korr Battery Box is that it can be used to jump-start a car if needed. The majority of portable power packs are not capable of delivering enough cranking amps to turn over a vehicle engine.
However, if your battery has the power, the Hard Korr Battery Box can be used to jump-start a car.
You will need a dedicated accessory that has alligator clamps on one end, and a 175 Amp Anderson plug on the other end to go into the relevant port on the battery box.
Hard Korr manufactures and sells this accessory, but you should be able to find aftermarket alternatives as well if you want to look around.
The Hard Korr Battery Box comes with a 24-month warranty so if anything goes wrong within the first two years of purchase, return t to the place of purchase to initiate the support process.
For almost $200, the Hard Korr Battery Box is a really sturdy piece of gear, and set apart by its 175Amp Anderson plug, meaning you can potentially jump-start your vehicle if needed.
Otherwise, it’s a pretty standard battery box, available in two colors, so you can match it as closely as possible to your vehicle’s color.
National Luna Battery Box (Customisable Battery Box)
- Unique Orientation
- Limited Charging Options
The National Luna Auxillary Battery Box is a high-end battery box, with a unique design and feature set. Capable of handling up to a 110Ah battery, it is pre-configured with six outputs with the capacity to add another four outputs if you choose.
Available in blue or black colors, the orientation of the outputs and voltmeter could open up location placement possibilities not usually available in traditionally oriented battery boxes.
Breaking away from the conventional battery box style, though it is still a box with a lid, it is a sleek, flat-top shape.
All controls and gauges have been built into the box (as opposed to the lid like most designs) and have been placed on one of the short ends of the unit, as opposed to one of the long sides as they typically are.
This could be useful if you have a similar shape space available for a battery box but were struggling to mount it due to the orientation of the controls on most battery boxes.
It comes in blue or black color, and these two different units are largely similar, except the blue is slightly longer in shape.
The six outputs that come pre-configured include one cigarette plug, one hella plug, two USB ports, and two 50Amp Anderson plug outputs. In addition, there are four further spots, pre-wired, that you can choose to add further outputs to.
You can purchase the additional outputs directly from National Luna, and they provide instructions on how to connect the additional outputs.
The National Luna Auxillary Battery Box has a built voltmeter, so you can easily get a read of how much charge is in the battery at any time.
Charging Your National Luna Auxillary Battery Box
By default, the National Luna auxiliary battery box will need to be charged via the 50A Anderson input port. Whether you are using a solar panel or your vehicle, it will need to be fed through that Anderson plug.
The battery box does include an additional charging port which you can hook up a National Luna NL5 Intelligent Battery Charger too. This is an optional additional accessory that provides 240v charging capability to your National Luna Auxillary Battery Box.
There are numerous accessories available for purchasers to compliment your National Luna Auxillary Battery Box.
We have already spoken of the National Luna Intelligent battery charger, which brings 240v charging capability to your battery box in addition to the solar and vehicle options you already have through the Anderson plug.
We’ve also already covered off the fact there are four empty output slots, and you can buy additional outputs and fit these spots for increased versatility.
In addition to these, there is also a specific in-line fuse holder to protect your gear and your car from an unexpected power surge.
And National Luna also manufactures an ‘Intelligent Solenoid’ which acts as a voltage-sensitive relay, ensuring the car’s main battery is being charged first before drawing a charge to the auxiliary battery.
The National Luna Auxillary Battery Box is covered by National Luna’s extended three-year warranty. This is three times longer than most battery box warranties, giving an indication of the confidence National Luna has in the quality and longevity of its products.
The National Luna Auxillary Battery Box stands out from other battery boxes in its design and flexibility in the way you can add extra ports if you wish.
It definitely provides a larger number of ports than many of the cheaper boxes but is priced around $400. I’m not personally convinced the extra ports and unique design are worth that much.
If I was going to spend that much on a battery box, I would look at the high-end offerings by Projecta and Engel that include inverters and 240v AC chargers. But there might be a handful of people who can use this shape in a unique way that makes it worth the extra money.
Obviously, it is a high-quality unit, with the best warranty (three years), but for me, the value still isn’t quite there to justify the current price point, and it could not be considered one of the best battery boxes.
Projecta Power Hub (Best Lithium Battery Box)
- Pure Sine Wave Inverter
- Heaps of Outputs
- No Charger Included
The Projecta Power-Hub (PH125) turns your deep cycle battery into a portable power hub capable of charging and powering all your off-grid camping appliances. Made with the latest technology, you can power your fridges, lights, and other electronic devices, and keep a close eye on the voltage and battery life remaining.
This battery box with inverter and ten different outputs, is one of the best (and most expensive) battery boxes in Australia.
The Projecta Power-Hub is ideal in caravan and camping setups to power your fridge radio and lighting, and could also be used to charge your other electronic devices like laptops and power tools you might have with you if you are just 4WDing for the day.
It will also add value to being used as a dual battery system, but one where you can remove the battery and place it away from your vehicle if needed.
As it is a battery box, and not an all-in-one unit, the battery is not included and would need to be purchased separately. A typical battery recommendation for a unit like this would be a 120Ah AGM battery which will cost anywhere from $270 to $500+ depending on the brand. But the unit can fit any N70 size battery.
With this unit retailing for $399, you will be looking at the cost of $700 minimum for a working unit, depending on how much you wanted to spend on a battery.
Manufactured with Glass Reinforced Plastic, the Projecta Power-Hub is a sturdy unit you could safely transport in the back of your ute, or inside the car. The lid lifts off so you can install and strap in the battery, then screw the lid down with a screw in each corner of the box.
The screw-down lid is a great feature, in my opinion, as many battery box lids are held on with straps, which can come loose and create difficulties when carrying around and setting up.
The unit is fitted with carrying handles on each side of the unit, making maneuvering and placement if you need to get it in and out of your car or caravan. These soft-touch handles can also be used as tie-down points if you are trying to fix your unit onto your ute tray, dual cab, or in your caravan somehow.
Given the Projecta Power-Hub is equipped with so many outputs, they have distributed them in two different locations on the front and back of the unit.
There is logic in the configuration of the outputs as the 240v outlet and fridge connection which are less likely to be changing throughout the day, are placed on the back of the unit out of the way.
Then some of the other ports (USB, cigarette) that you may use more interchangeably are situated on the front for easy access, near the LCD screen, so you can stay up to date with your battery’s critical information.
Both the front and back output areas have covers that pivot up and down, with room for the cables to come out of the bottom, so you can have covers down and protect the outputs from any inclement weather that sneaks up on you.
It also has gutters molded into the top housing, which allow water to drain away from vital electrics.
The Projecta Power-Hub comes with ten outlets to connect all your camping appliances. If you connected ten at once, then your battery is likely to drain very quickly, but it is a possibility.
- 2 x 15A Merit
- 2 x 2A USB
- 1 x 10A Engel
- 1 x DC Terminal
- 1 x 50A Heavy-Duty
- 2 x 10A Cigarette Lighter Sockets and a
- 1 x 240v AC outlet with on/off switch
Aside from the sheer number of available outlets, the inclusion of a 240v inverter is a standout feature for the Projecta Power-Hub.
There is only one other unit on the market with this feature. This 300w pure sine wave inverter can power many small household appliances in addition to the 12v outputs already included.
The inverter has a dedicated on/off switch, so you can isolate it when not in use as it will continue to drain power from your battery even if you don’t have anything plugged in.
Charging Your Projecta Power-Hub (no charger pack included)
The Projecta Power-Hub is fitted with an Anderson plug and positive and negative terminals you can use to charge the battery. The unit does not include any solar panels or 240v charging gear, just these ports that power can be connected to.
Using these ports, you could choose to connect regulated solar panels, your car’s 12v electrical system, or a 240v multi-stage charger, such as the Projecta PC400.
The Projecta Power-Hub is equipped with a 2.4inch full-color LCD screen that includes a patented intelligent battery monitoring system. This system can provide you comprehensive information on the battery’s state of charge, battery health, time to full charge (when charging), and time to empty (when in use).
You can also program alarms and alerts to warn you when the battery reaches certain levels at which you wish to intervene and commence charging, or reduce consumption.
This patented system takes into account the size of the battery and the chemistry to give you an accurate and up-to-date snapshot of the state of your battery at any time.
Projecta Power-Hub Compliance
The Power-Hub is EMC Certified to meet AS/NZS 61000.6.3 and safety tested to meet AS/NZS 4763.
The Projecta Power-Hub is covered by a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. If you experience any issues with your Projecta Power-Hub within that period, simply return it to the place of purchase to make your warranty claim and have your unit looked at.
The Projecta Power-Hub is a real standout in the world of possible battery boxes. With ten outputs, a pure sine wave inverter, and a smart LCD digital display along with its practical weatherproof features, this would be a great asset to any camper in need of some off-grid power!
Engel Smart Battery Box – Series 2 (Best Battery Box With Inverter)
- 240v Inverter
- Inbuilt DC to DC Charger
- Battery Time Tracking
- Optional Mounting Brackets
- Modified Sine Wave Inverted
(not Pure Sine Wave)
The Engel Smart Battery Box Series Two is by far the most advanced battery box currently available in Australia. With its onboard inverter, AC charger, DC to DC charging ability, and the unique time tracker technology, the latest offering from Engel provides functionality that is usually seen in the best portable power packs, not battery boxes.
The best functionality does come at a cost, with the box being the most expensive on the market, but if the outputs provide the required connections for you, you can save money by not requiring some of those other items like inverters and DC to DC chargers. But if you need a battery box with DC to DC charger, then this is the best available option.
The Engel Battery Box has a sophisticated LCD digital display that gives you a variety of information on your battery’s performance and condition. In addition to the LCD display are some manual buttons for on/off and menu navigation, as well as an alarm sound when critical attention is required.
When you first install your battery, you will be prompted to indicate the type of battery you have installed (AGM, Gel, Calcium, Lithium, etc.) and how much storage capacity it has (amp hours).
The Smart Box stores this information and uses it to provide you with more valuable information on measuring how much voltage is left and how long that is likely to last for you.
The main information provided on display is the current voltage, the overall level of battery charge (%), the number of hours left in the battery, and what kind of cycle you are currently using (charging, float, boost, discharge).
You can toggle between different screen displays, using the up and down arrows to show the information that is of most relevance to you.
The box is programmed with three different potential alarms. It will make a loud noise if it is getting too flat, if it is getting too hot, or if it is getting overloaded.
If any of these conditions are left unattended, then the damage could be caused by the battery. So if you hear any of these alarm noises, you should intervene promptly.
Engel Smart Battery Box Time Tracker Technology
Time tracker technology is a unique feature of the Smart Battery Box in that it is constantly gauging how much voltage is left in the battery, how much power you are using, and then providing a reading of how much more time your battery can sustain that level of use.
This is handy information as you are trying to plan and predict how long your power supply can run your connected appliances.
The Engel Battery is a compact, sleek design battery box. The lid is hinged at the back and doesn’t need a strap to tie it down or hold it together like many cheaper battery boxes.
The onboard inverter and DC to DC battery charger, and battery management system are the standout features of this battery box, making it clear up there with the best.
The box is fitted with two side carry handles for transporting and relocating the unit. Some users have mentioned that a top lifting handle would have been helpful.
However, given the weight that these boxes can reach with a big battery, I can understand why a top handle may not have been possible due to the pressure it would have placed on the latch.
When lifting out of your car, or off of a table and the unit is already at waist height, it should be quite manageable, but anytime you are lowering down to or lifting up from ground level, be sure to use the correct lifting procedures to avoid injury.
It is also equipped with a battery isolator switch if you wish to turn the whole unit off and prevent any power from being used in any of the circuits. This is best when not in use or traveling and not having any appliances or gadgets connected.
For all the features of the Smart Battery Box Series 2, it is actually quite low on the number of outputs available.
- 1 x 12V 10A cigarette plug output
- 1 x two pin Engel socket.
- 1 x 240v AC output from the onboard inverter
- 1 x USB port
- 1 x 50A Anderson socket
The 240v output is the major selling point of the Engel Smart Battery Box, as no other battery box, or portable battery supply has an inbuilt inverter.
It is a reasonably small inverter, only designed for 150w to 300w, but still provides options you don’t have with traditional 12v outlets.
Regarding the inverter, it is best practice to have the inverter turned off using the isolator switch when not in use, as even if you don’t have anything plugged in, it still draws current from the battery, slowly draining your battery capacity.
The Engel Smart Battery Box can be used to help jump-start a car if you have a cold cranking battery installed.
If you are using a deep cycle battery, you can still try and use it, but are better off connecting the deep cycle battery to your primary battery to charge that up for an hour or so, before trying to start the engine.
Having your Engel battery at maximum capacity will greatly aid the success of any jump-starting attempts.
Remember that the Engel Battery Box Series 2, is a battery box, not an all-in-one portable power pack. It does not have a battery included.
The box can handle a battery with a storage capacity of between 60Ah-140Ah. You can use a deep cycle battery, automotive, or marine battery, and it can handle all the popular led acid and lithium variants. This includes wet cell, calcium, gel, and AGM lead-acid batteries, in addition to lithium iron phosphate batteries.
The internal dimensions of the box are 180mm wide x 330mm long x 238mm high, so your battery dimensions will need to be smaller than that to fit inside the provided space.
Engel Battery Box Series 2 Charging Options
One of its best features is its charging options. The Engel Smart Battery Box Series 2 has a variety of charging options based on where you are and what your activities are going to be throughout the day.
The Engel Battery Box can be charged while you use it simultaneously, so you are limited to doing one or the other (using it or charging it).
The benefit of this is that whether you are driving or stationary at a campsite, you can have all of your devices hooked up and working (fridge/tv/laptop charger) and still have it charging from your car, or solar panel, or even 240v AC.
240v AC Adaptor
The Engel Battery Box has an onboard 240v transformer, with an adapter included. So you can have it plugged in at home to charge before you leave for your trip. Many recommended leaving it plugged in full time while at home, to keep the battery in the best possible condition.
12v DC Car Adaptor
If you are going to be driving, you can connect to your vehicle’s standard cigarette plug, with the provided adapter. This way, you can keep your fridge plugged into the Engel while driving and connect the Engel to your car 12v supply and charge it as you go.
The Engel has onboard DC to DC charging ability meaning you can fully charge your battery regardless of the type of alternator (the part of your engine that charges your car battery) in your car.
Many newer vehicles have had to decrease the output of their alternator to meet efficiency targets meaning they don’t produce enough voltage to fully charge a 12v battery.
To get around this, you usually need to purchase an additional accessory called a DC to DC charger, which is able to convert the lower level of energy into the required amount of charge to top up your battery to 100%.
These DC to DC chargers can cost an additional $500, so the fact that the Engel Smart Battery Box has this functionality inbuilt is massive.
The other main way to charge your Engel Smart Battery Box is with solar power, which is best when you have set up camp somewhere. You can connect a solar panel to the box via the Anderson port on the side.
You need to ensure your solar panel has an in-built regular, or you have one ‘in line’ before connecting your solar panel to ensure the power is fed into the unit at the right voltage and eliminate potential damage.
For those lucky enough to have a generator, you could also hook up to your generator and charge whilst off-grid. This would be especially handy if you are going to be stationary for a few days, and the weather is not providing enough sunlight to top up with your solar panel.
The primary accessory you can consider for the Engel Smart Battery Box Series 2 is the Slide-Lok. The Engel Transit Slide-Lok is designed to help you mount the box on a flat surface and secure it so it cannot move around.
The Slide-Lok kit and associated adaptor are great in the back of the ute, or a dual cab, where you might have some drawers or a cupboard you want to secure it to.
The Engel Smart Battery Box Series 2 is covered by Engel’s 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. So if you experience any issues within the first 12 months after purchase, return it to your place of purchase to initiate the support process.
In summary, the Engel Smart Battery Box Series two comes with some advanced features that would really make life off-grid much simpler. Given the onboard inverter and DC to DC charger, in addition to the smart display, this is a feature-rich piece of gear.
It does not have a huge number of outputs on board, though, so you would either need to look at some adaptors or another unit if you need extra outputs.
The Engel Smart Battery Box is really user-friendly and would serve you well.
Though there are some other cheaper options on the market, if the DC to DC charger and inverter are something you were looking at anyway, you could actually save money by investing more money into this high-end battery box, and then you have the technology to take with you wherever you go.
Comparing the Battery Boxes
Dimensions & Design
There is little separating the boxes in terms of dimensions. All were designed for a similar size battery and could comfortably accommodate up to an N70 in size.
Design-wise they are all made of hard plastic, have either side or top carry handles, and tend to increase in weight as the number of included outputs increases.
The only major difference in design between the five units is the orientation of the National Luna. Whereas the other four units have the voltmeter and outputs available on the front of the unit, on one of the long sides, the National Luna Battery Box incorporates all outputs and controls onto the narrow end of the unit.
This is a unique feature and could be valuable if you have a very narrow space you are trying to fit your battery box.
Charging (including Solar)
Most battery boxes will be equipped with positive and negative power terminals that you can connect to multiple different battery chargers.
In my case, I just connect my 12v automotive battery charger to the ports, and that works fine, but you can also purchase dedicated additional chargers for this purpose that have variable voltage options and can adjust how much power they are feeding the battery based on its level of charge.
You can also hook up solar panels to these ports if you have alligator clip connections on your solar panel regulator.
The three cheaper models are equipped with positive and negative terminals that you could hook multiple power sources up to (including solar, 12v, and 240v volt chargers), while the Hard Korr and National Luna models need power connection via Anderson plug to charge.
The power source could be the same and for the positive and negative terminals but would need to be able to connect via Anderson plug.
The Kings Battery box stands out in that it incorporates both Anderson plug and the positive and negative terminals giving you versatility at an affordable price.
The Hard Korr Battery Box can also be powered by an optional Voltage Sensitive Relay (VSR). A VSR is a battery isolator that helps you utilize charge from your car’s electrical system to charge your battery box and eliminates the risk of your auxiliary battery flattening your primary battery if you flatten it.
The National Luna has an additional charging port you can hook a National Luna charging accessory to, but priced at $399 already. I could not personally justify further expenditure on an additional charger.
Battery Box Display
Keeping track of the level of charge in your battery is important to make sure you know when your battery is getting flat and can charge it, and also to make sure you can monitor and adjust your consumption if you find it is going down a lot quicker than you expected.
Nearly all battery boxes listed above are equipped with a digital voltmeter that gives you an instant readout of the level of charge remaining in your battery.
The Projecta Battery Box is the only unit listed that does not include a voltmeter, and instead, it provides a range of different LEDs to give an approximate indication of the level of charge.
The Hard Korr Battery box comes with a voltmeter and LED, which indicate other information about your charge status (full, flat, charging, etc.).
The nature and number of devices you hope to connect to your battery box are going to be determining factors in the best battery box for you. Think about your minimum viable setup, and what you must have power for, no matter what, and work from there.
For us, our main power needs are 12v connections for our LED lights and USB ports for charging phones and tablets, etc. But many others find a fridge to be the number one appliance, and lights and USB issues are secondary.
When looking at the above comparison table, there is a trend, that as price increases, so does the number of provided outputs.
It Rang from just a cigarette and merit plug, up to a massive nine outputs provided by the Hard Korr Battery Box. The National Luna only comes with six ports, but with wiring to add more, if you want to buy extra components and add them.
Again, I do not see the value for the National Luna. As the most expensive unit, it doesn’t have the most ports, or any other redeeming quality, and to increase the number of ports, you need to pay more money.
Other Notable Features for Camping
There was a further feature of the Hard Korr Battery Box I wanted to highlight, in that you can use it to jump-start your car if your box has enough charge. With the 175A output connected to alligator clips, the unit is capable of discharging enough power to support the cranking of your vehicle engine.
Most similar units have fuses that prevent this much power from being discharged and don’t have wires and circuitry to support this much flow, but the 175A fuse and Hard Korr design make this possible.
The included warranty of the battery boxes increases with price. While all the battery boxes listed under $100 have a 12-month warranty, the Hard Korr warranty is double that, at 2 years, and the National Luna model is extended again at 3 years.
Best Battery Box – Summary Recommendations
It is hard to identify a single unit as the ‘best battery box’ given the price difference between them. But if you are looking to spend less than $100, my personal recommendation is the Kings Battery Box.
What I like about the Kings Battery Box is that it is nearly the cheapest, provides both Anderson Plug and positive/negative terminals for charging has an inbuilt voltmeter, and includes USB charging ports, which the other cheaper models do not.
You could argue the Projecta Battery Box is better value for money, and it can be found for a slightly lower price, but with a voltmeter and USB ports and Anderson plug, I think the Kings Battery Box is much preferable.
But if you can afford it, the Engel Smart Battery Box has so many amazing features included. It really does justify the price.
And given that it is a battery box, if you ever have battery issues, you just replace your heavy-duty deep cycle battery and get more life out of the unit.
The number of outputs, plus the versatile charging options and inbuilt inverter, really make the Engel Smart Battery Box stand out from the crowd and will make off-grid camping a breeze.
Battery Box Frequently Asked Questions
Is a battery box necessary?
No. You can easily camp or go fishing without a battery box. But a battery box provides a great source of power, and the ability to access it through a variety of outputs (USB/12v) to power and charge a variety of devices.
How does a battery box work?
A battery provides a safe and convenient way to connect your devices to a 12v battery. You place the battery inside the box, attach the lid, and wire the box to the relevant battery terminals, which then funnel the power through the various outputs the box is equipped with.
How do you install a battery box?
Battery boxes can be installed in multiple ways. Often they sit inside a tray of some sort to stop them from sliding around, and then there is a strap that goes over the top of the box to hold it down and prevents bouncing and tipping.
In some cases, though, just a strap is used, and in other cases, people leave them free and just pack other things around them so they can be removed and used in a mobile way.
What’s better than a battery box?
It depends on your situation. Some people prefer portable power packs/banks, but if the battery ceases functioning in one of these, then you have to throw the whole thing away. Whereas when a battery dies in a battery box, you just change the battery, and the box can still be used.
How long will a 100ah battery run a fridge?
It depends on your fridge and how well charged your battery is. Find out how much current your fridge draws, and then convert that to amp hours and divide 100 by that number.