You don’t want to do without the convenience of your little electronic helpers when camping? Then a power supply is essential. Unfortunately, not every campsite has a suitable power socket. You will look in vain for one when camping in the forest or away from the beaten track. A mobile energy storage unit is the solution. As the dream of van life and traveling on four wheels becomes more and more popular, the demand for power stations is also increasing immensely. These are now available in a wide range of sizes. In the Foxtheon iGo 3600 test, we take a closer look at a model that does a lot differently from the competition. Due to its immense storage capacity, it is not only suitable for the next camping trip. It also has a modular design, which is a huge advantage in terms of portability and flexibility. What’s more, it can be used at home as a modern emergency power generator. Let’s take a closer look at this jack-of-all-trades.
|3.600 Wh (2x 1,800 Wh)
|Constant output power
|Up to 3,200 watts
|AC: Up to 2,200 watts
Solar: Up to 400 watts
|AC: approx. 2 hours
Solar: approx. 10 hours (at 400 watts)
|24.3 kg (with batteries installed)
|E-Ink display 2 operating buttons
|Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
|Yes, 20 ms response time
|Scope of delivery
|– Foxtheon iGo3600 Power Station
– Protective cover for power station
– 2x batteries
– 2x protective covers for batteries
– AC charging cable
– Car charging cable
– Solar charging cable
– Alligator clip plug
– Instruction manual
Scope of delivery
The Foxtheon iGo 3600 scores points with its extensive equipment. This applies not only to the technical data, but also to the scope of delivery. In addition to the power station itself and the two rechargeable batteries, the heavyweight packaging also contains other exciting accessories. I think the four transport bags are really cool, as they make a really great and, above all, robust impression. They hold the Powerstation, both batteries and the necessary cables. You also get a commendable selection of cables, which you can use to charge the Powerstation via AC, solar or even your car.
Foxtheon iGo 3600 test: design and workmanship
At first glance, the Foxtheon iGo 3600 looks downright martial. The angular and robust design gives the impression that this is a military gadget. But the iGo 3600 proves that appearances can be deceptive. After all, this is definitely the lightest 3,600 Wh power station I have ever seen. How does Foxtheon make this possible? With a smart design trick, among other things!
The manufacturer has opted for a modular design that allows you to insert and remove the two batteries as you wish. As the storage cells are known to make up the lion’s share of the weight of a power station, you can regulate this perfectly. The workmanship of the power station is of a good standard. Apart from the handles, which are apparently made of metal, the housing is made entirely of plastic. On the whole, it makes a robust impression.
Here and there, however, it seems a little thin-walled. The practical cable compartment in particular seems a little vulnerable and could have been deburred a little more. You shouldn’t be too rough here if you want to enjoy the device for many years. The AC input and DC input and output come with a cover. However, given the outdoor look, I would have preferred covers for the individual connections. Fortunately, the manufacturer includes a set of practical bags.
A glance at the inner lining and the rubberized zippers suggests that they are waterproof. So if there is a sudden storm, the Powerstation itself and the two batteries are in good hands in the corresponding bags. The bags themselves can be easily transported from A to B thanks to the carrying handle. On top of that, an elastic band on the back ensures that you can lash the Powerstation in the car. Very well thought out!
Foxtheon iGo 3600 test: More flexibility is hardly possible
Anyone choosing a power station should base their decision on various parameters. The battery capacity also plays a role that should not be neglected. Fortunately, models are now available in a wide range of sizes. From compact power stations such as a Bluetti EB3A(test) to medium-sized devices such as a Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro(test) and large models such as an Oukitel BP2000(test), the market has plenty of choice.
If you want an all-rounder, you always have to make a compromise. Sometimes the capacity is too low, sometimes the power station is too heavy due to its large capacity. Things are different with the Foxtheon iGo 3600. You can flexibly adjust its battery capacity. Of course, the weight also plays a major role here. The whole thing is made possible by a modular design. Strictly speaking, the total 3,600 Wh of the mobile energy storage unit is made up of 2x 1,800 Wh batteries. In practice, this brings great advantages.
When fully equipped, the Powerstation may weigh just under 23 kg. Of course, you don’t want to carry this heavyweight across the campsite. So you simply remove the two batteries in one easy step and carry the housing, which weighs just a few kilograms, to the desired location. Then you insert either one or both batteries and you’re ready to go. In this way, Foxtheon avoids complex transportation gadgets such as a Zendure SuperBase V(test).
Foxtheon iGo 3600 test: batteries serve as power banks
If you are simply planning a weekend backpacking trip without a lot of luggage, the rather large power station is of course hardly a suitable companion. But that’s where the modular design comes into play again. This means you can use the two batteries on their own as a practical power bank when you’re out and about.
A battery capacity of 1,800 Wh each should easily be enough to supply your smartphone, notebook and other electronic helpers with the energy they need for a few days. You can then easily connect the electrical devices via 2x USB-A (1x QC 3.0) and 1x USB-C (PD with 60W). The two practical small battery pouches are then used to prevent soiling.
Foxtheon iGo 3600 test: connections
We have already discussed six of the connections when I talked about the ports for the two batteries. These can be accessed via the front when installed and are therefore also ports on the power station. In addition to the 4x USB-A and 2x USB-C ports, you will also find 4x AC household sockets.
There is also a DC output. Conversely, you will find an AC input and a DC input (solar or car) for charging the power station itself. Other models certainly offer a larger selection of connections. However, the iGo 3600 portfolio should certainly be sufficient for many people.
Foxtheon iGo 3600 test: Solar module on the top
But that’s not all of the revolutionary ideas that Foxtheon has put into practice here. A look at the top of the power station not only gives the impression of a solar module. This is actually one! Many manufacturers of mobile energy storage devices refrain from giving the housing cover a helpful function. Instead, they always argue that a pleasingly flat top can be used perfectly as a shelf.
AlphaESS is certainly an exception to the rule with its BlackBee series. For example, a BlackBee 2000(test) comes with two inductive charging surfaces on the top. Although Foxtheon does without these, I also think the idea of the solar module is great. Of course, you shouldn’t expect the two large batteries to be charged via the mini panel. The power would hardly be enough for that. Rather, the solar module should prevent the two batteries from discharging too deeply if you don’t use the device for a long time and don’t charge it.
Even in poor lighting conditions, the solar module should be able to collect enough energy to counteract a deep discharge. This is particularly interesting for occasional users! Of course, it is important that you do not use the power station as a storage unit during longer breaks. If you do, the feature is likely to work more poorly than well. A pleasant side effect: the module gives the Powerstation an even cooler look!
Foxtheon iGo 3600 test: Operation
At the heart of the operation is the display. Contrary to common practice, this is not located in the top center, but in the top right-hand corner of the device. Here you can read the most important status information about the power station. This includes the remaining battery capacity, of course, but also the output and input power. Foxtheon uses an E-INK panel, which is familiar from e-book readers, among other things. The big advantage is that you can still see everything clearly even in the strongest sunlight. In addition, the display’s energy consumption is almost zero. For this reason, you can easily leave it switched on without having to worry about high battery consumption. There are a total of two buttons to operate the Powerstation. In addition to the power button, there is also the AC switch button. There are no other buttons for enabling individual connection groups.
The same applies to an app connection. Control or monitoring via your smartphone is therefore not possible. If you don’t want to do without it, you should keep this in mind. If you are looking for a kind of menu for advanced settings, you have to take a small detour. To do this, first switch off the device by pressing and holding the power button. If it has been switched off, switch it on again and press the AC switch button four times in succession during the start-up process. Once the Powerstation has started up, press the power button twice. You will then find yourself in the menu. Various settings can be made here. Among other things, you can regulate the input power. I think it’s a shame that the menu is only accessible via this cumbersome detour. Why isn’t there simply a third button for the settings? A somewhat clumsy decision, if you ask me.
Foxtheon iGo 3600 test: practical experience
In the practical test, I first took a close look at the feature with the two rechargeable batteries. I immediately noticed how easy the whole thing is to use. To install the battery, simply push it into one of the two compartments until it clicks into place. However, if you want to remove the battery again, you first have to press the power button twice. Then press the AC switch button. You will now hear a soft motor noise as the battery is ejected. It could hardly be easier! But the iGo 3600 also scores points as a conventional power station, starting with the input power. You can charge it with up to 2,200 watts at your home socket.
After just under 2 hours, the entire 3,600 Wh are fully recharged. You can regulate the individual input power in the menu. A rotary control such as that offered by a FOSSiBOT F3600(test) would have been much less complicated here. Alternatively, you can also charge the Powerstation using solar power. Foxtheon has also sent a suitable solar panel with 200 watts of power for testing purposes. Foxtheon speaks of a maximum input power of 400 watts.
This is of course not a peak value and other manufacturers deliver significantly better results in this respect. It should take 10 hours for the Powerstation to be fully charged with sunlight alone. Provided the weather plays along! There is hardly anything to complain about in terms of output power. I tried out a number of electrical appliances from my household, from smartphones to hot air blowers, electric grills and the Flex.
As Foxtheon has explicitly advertised the charging of electric cars as a possible use on its own website, I quickly connected the power station to my plug-in hybrid as a test. And that also worked very well. The constant output power of an impressive 3,200 watts speaks for itself. The UPS (uninterruptible power supply) feature should also be emphasized. Here, the Powerstation is used as an emergency power generator, so to speak, in the event of a power failure.
Foxtheon iGo 3600 test: Unfortunately no LiFePO4
To be honest, the battery technology used by Foxtheon for its flexible power station makes me a little wistful. Although no outdated lithium-ion batteries are used here, there are unfortunately no LiFePO4 battery cells either. Instead, the manufacturer relies on solid-state batteries. First and foremost, these offer an impressive energy density. This is 42% higher than that of conventional lithium-ion batteries. They also promise fewer safety risks and greater stability.
However, the major disadvantage compared to LiFePO4 batteries is their longevity. While some modern power stations with LiFePO4 technology can last for 3,500 charging cycles and more, the iGo 3600 should only be able to last for 1,500 charging cycles until the maximum battery capacity is 80%. With average use, this still corresponds to a service life of around 10 years, but LiFePO4 simply has the edge here. Conversely, the compact design of the 3,600 Wh monster is no coincidence. Here you simply have to weigh up what is more important to you.
Compact, flexible, powerful – these three adjectives are probably the best way to describe the Foxtheon iGo 3600. Here you get a robust power station that has many exciting features up its sleeve. I’m not just talking about the revolutionary modular design with the two rechargeable batteries. I also like the easily recognizable E-INK display and the practical solar module on the top, which prevents the batteries from deep discharging. The device also offers an impressive power output of up to 3,200 watts and a really powerful capacity of 3,600 Wh. Charging via the socket is surprisingly fast with up to 2,200 watts, while charging via solar power with a maximum of 400 watts leaves something to be desired.
The same applies to the battery technology. I would have been happy to see LiFePO4 batteries as the new standard. However, that is probably the price you have to pay for this pleasingly compact design. The fact that there is no app support, on the other hand, doesn’t carry too much weight in my opinion. However, Foxtheon should have rethought its operating concept. Unfortunately, the menu can only be accessed via a complicated detour. I would have liked at least one more separate button for regulating the input power or direct menu access. But these are just minor teething troubles that Foxtheon will surely be able to iron out with flying colors in the next version.