Recently I was offered for review one of Jackery’s newest off-grid products. The Explorer 500 portable power station. The product looked pretty sweet and boasted decent power capacity via a 518 watt-hour lithium battery and a 500-watt pure sine inverter plus 120 watts max DC power output ports.
I decided to take Jackery up on their offer as I know it is one of the brand leaders in the portable power box product segment.
(Check out the features and specs on the Jackery website) During the review video, I will also be comparing it with the Lensun 510Wh power station I reviewed back in March.
*Fair Disclosure* I received the Jackery Explorer 500 free of charge in exchange for a review. However, I’m not being sponsored by Jackery and received no monetary compensation. Opinions are my own.
Video Review – Jackery Explorer 500 Power Station
- A sturdy case and large easy-grab handle
- Simple control buttons with a good feel to them
- Wide case design and large rubber feet make the Explorer 500 hard to knock over
- LCD backlit display has real-time input/output wattage and accurate battery gauge
- Cigarette style 12V power charge cable and output socket
- Lithium battery with 518 watt-hours – great capacity considering the Explorer 500 small size
- 500 watt (1000W surge) pure sine wave inverter with 110 VAC outlet
- Sophisticated built-in safety shutdowns
- The internal fan runs any time the AC is turned on – annoying for small loads
- Limited information or cables for the 2 DC output 7A output jacks
- Slow to recharge – 7 1/2 hours using the AC power supply and longer using vehicle DC power socket or optional SolarSaga 100 watt panel
- Charge life cycles ≥500 cycles to 80% seems a bit low to me
- External AC power supply runs hot
- Draining at near max inverter wattage use caused high temp shutdown – had to wait to recharge
The Jackery Explorer 500 is a well-built power station with substantial power output considering its compact footprint and 13 lb weight. The biggest drawback is the long recharge time. Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend it to someone that routinely powers larger wattage items and then needs to have it completely recharged quickly for the next use. In my opinion, its a poor choice as a primary off-grid power source for power-hungry or larger RV owners. Though, it may be useful as an add-on item to a larger boondocking power system.
However, I do believe the Explorer 500 is well suited for users that only need to power low wattage loads with the occasional short high wattage use. Or, if they don’t need to have it completely recharged in a timely manner. I can see it being terrific for temporary home power backup, for peoples electronic devices, weekend tent or van campers, or even long term RVers with meager power requirements.
Amazon Products in Video:
- Jackery Explorer 500
- Jackery SolarSaga Panel
Uni-T Amp Meter
- Fluke Multimeter
- IR Temp Gun
- Renogy 100W Solar Panel
- True North Heater
- VIAIR Air Compressor
What’s the Jackery Explorer Look Like Inside?
Disclaimer: Doing what is depicted in this video will void your Jackery Explorer 500 warranty!! It is also very dangerous! Don’t copy what I’ve done. This video is for entertainment/informational purposes only. You are warned. I accept no liability. – Ray
Review Update & Quick Look at the New 1000 Model
In this video, I let you know how the Jackery 500 power box has performed for us after around 6 months of use. While boondocking this winter, I tried to use it for various tasks, and it performed well. The only major downside to these boxes is the slow recharge time in the neighborhood of 8-12 hours and the price $499 isn’t exactly cheap!
At the end of the video, I give you a peek at their latest offerings they sent me for review. The new bigger, and more powerful 1000 model along with the Jackery 100 watt folding solar panel. Stay tuned as I will be reviewing them soon,