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While cities bustling with life can seem appealing to some, all of us could use a break, a detox if you will, once in a while to get our minds, bodies, and spirits back into alignment. Whether it’s going to a cabin in the woods to spend time away from your chaotic schedule or going on a 3-day road trip with your friends and family.
“Well, I’d still have to carry my laptop with me. How am I going to charge my electronics if we go camping?”
Perhaps this concern would’ve been valid a decade ago. In 2021, however, it is a complete nonissue – a portable power station is a one-stop shop for all your portable power consumption needs.
Today we take a look at and review the Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station.
Briefly About Jackery Brand
Jackery is a pioneer of portable power sources in the consumer electronics industry based out of Fremont, California. The company was established in 2012 by a former Apple senior engineer in Silicon Valley. It gets its name from the first-ever product they designed, a battery jacket for the Apple iPhone. Their brand philosophy revolves around being safe, environmentally friendly, and providing consumers with portable solutions.
Jackery launched the world’s first lithium portable power station in 2015 specially designed for outdoor enthusiasts. Jackery has a stellar reputation to manufacture high-quality, lightweight, consumer-friendly products, with excellent back-end customer service.
Review of the Jackery 500 Portable Power Station
The Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 is a mid-tier 518-watt hour lithium-based portable power station. Currently, it is one of the lightest and most portable, rechargeable lithium-based battery generators on the market at its size. It comes in a grey and orange color that work surprisingly well together.
Inside the Jackery Explorer, 500 is a 500-watt pure sine-wave inverter that is capable of handling power surges up to 1000w. It has a more than sufficient battery capacity to keep all your devices charged when there’s no other power source available.
You can plug in multiple devices to charge simultaneously. The 500Wh capacity translates very well into seemingly infinite power. Under constant load, the power station’s inbuilt cooling fan will turn on automatically. At around 44 – 48 dB, the fan provides a decent amount of cooling while remaining relatively quiet.
Upon Unboxing, you should find the Power Station itself, a car charger cable, two parts of an AC cable, and a user manual with instructions and safety tips, and procedures.
While most other companies ship their power stations with an AC cable only, Jackerys unit has an Ac cable as well as a 12v DC cable for charging support. The Explorer 500s AC outlet rated at 110V can be used to keep essential appliances running even during power outages in a hurricane or flood-prone areas.
The Jackery Explorer 500 is loaded with features. It has a rugged, tough design that’s built to last even with extensive outdoor usage.
AC/DC/USB Outlets. Explorer 500 features a 1* AC outlet (110V 500W 1000W peak), 3*USB-A ports, 2* DC ports, and 1*car port to run low to high-powered appliances. It is rated to be able to run mini-fridges, air pumps, laptops, and even TVs on the go! Photographers seem to find a ton of value in these units, as well as an explorer 500, can charge a GoPro approximately 90 times on a full charge! Its multitude of outlets allows for quick access charging of various types of electronic devices.
Multiple Charging Options. The Explorer 500 can be charged through a regular power outlet, Solar panels, Car charges, or even electric generators. If you wish to charge it through Solar Panels, the Jackery Solar Saga 100W Solar Panel (Sold separately) might be a good investment for you. It can be paired with the Power station 500 with ease, and the power station’s high-quality built-in MPPT charge controller allows for quick and easy solar recharging. This makes for a very reliable system, especially for an off-the-grid living experience.
Convenient and user-friendly. It has an LCD display that acts as a battery indicator, so you can see how much charge the power station has. It even has a built-in flashlight on its side in case you ever find yourself in a situation off-grid or on the road where you might need a light source!
The Jackery Power Station 500 is perfectly designed for portability. The portable power station is no bigger than the size of a regular basketball with a solid handle to lug it around with. The Explorer 500s Lithium-ion battery is one of the primary factors which makes it really lightweight.
Its easy-carry functionality, multiple charging mechanisms, relatively high capacity, and compact form factor make the Jackery Explorer 500 perfect for road trips, weekend escapades, and even Van life enthusiasts!If you wish to become the ultimate digital nomad you could also invest in the specially designed carrying case for the E 500 power station.The EVA case acts as a durable protector for your Explorer 500 Portable Power Station and provides a boost in portability.
According to its user manual, a new Jackery Explorer 500 must be plugged into a reliable power source and fully charged once before being put into use. There are a few important safety tips and general regulations while using the Jackery power sources.
- Avoid Extreme temperature;
- Avoid dropping or trauma to the device;
- Do not disassemble the power station to try to make modifications;
- Do not expose to liquids, the power station is not waterproof or water-resistant;
- Keep unit away from dust and dirt;
- Keep unit away from children and pets;
- Use certified cables and chargers only;
- Do not keep the unit close to fire or expose it to direct sunlight;
- Always store the unit in a clean and moisture-free environment;
- The Jackery portable power station explorer 500 is not permitted on aircraft;
For more safety instructions check the Jackery Explorer 500 User Manual Instructions.
The Explorer 500 has a warranty period of 24 months that starts from the first date of purchase by the original owner. A sales receipt is required in order to establish and confirm the date of purchase and subsequently claim the warranty. Jackery will either repair or replace any product that fails to operate within the warranty period as a result of a manufacturing defect, a defect in workmanship, or material.
For troubleshooting or queries, Jackery offers a lifetime of consumer tech support through their website. According to several user reviews online, customer support is prompt and reliable.
Appliance Run Times On The Jackery 500*
*(Appliance times may vary between brands and types)
How long the Jackery 500 power station lasts on a full charge is based on the appliance you are using it to charge. It can charge a smartphone with an average-sized battery approximately 45 – 50 times and charge a laptop 5 – 8 times. If your power usage needs are for something relatively less energy-hungry, like LED lights, for example, you should be able to run these devices for several hours without any worry.
Four Ways to Recharge: The Explorer 500 has a high-quality built-in MPPT charge controller. This allows quick and easy green solar recharging when paired with the Jackery Solar Saga 100 solar panel (sold separately). You can also recharge the Explorer 500 with a wall outlet, car outlet, or an electric generator.
While the Jackery 500 has no problems when it comes to charging a mini-fridge or a small to medium-sized bar refrigerator, it may run into issues when it comes to trying to charge a full-sized commercial refrigerator. If your power needs require a fridge with a relatively larger form factor to be charged, you may consider some of the other, more high-end Jackery power stations.
Jackery is a well-known, well-established brand in the portable power industry. They’ve pioneered several technological advances in the industry. For example, they launched the world’s first lithium-ion battery-based portable power station in 2015 and subsequently released their SolarSaga Series solar panels in 2018. They are a reliable, environmentally conscious brand with some great technology.
Yes, the Jackery Explorer 500 could be used to charge other products while being recharged.
Jackery’s Portable power station lineup allows for rechargeability through solar panels and generators, making it a sustainable power option. You can use a general solar panel with the power station or purchase one of the solar power solutions that Jackery offers with their Solar Saga Monocrystalline Solar Panels which they sell separately.
You can purchase the Jackery 500 through Amazon, through the Jackery.com website, or through any certified offline retail stores near you.
How long it takes this power station to charge depends on the charging method you’re using. Listed below are the most common ways the power station can be charged.
Through a wall charger – A generic wall charger should be able to charge the Jackery 500 power station from 0 – 100 in approximately 7 – 9 hours.
Car charger – if you decide to use your car charger to charge the Jackery 500, it should take you between 10 – 12 hours to charge it from 0 – 100%
Solar panels – It’s harder to estimate how quickly Solar panels would charge the Jackery 500 as this depends on a few different factors, the most prevalent of which are – the size of the solar panels, the amount of direct sunlight available, and temperature. According to the user manual on their website a 100-watt solar panel should be able to charge the unit in around 9 hours, given that sunlight conditions are ideal.
Electric generator – An Electric generator should be able to fully power the Jackery 500 in approximately 7.5 hours.
Jackery Explorer 500 power station sits at around $499.99 on the jackery.com website, although prices may vary based on region, retailer, E-Commerce site, and overall shipping and delivery costs. You might find one for a substantially cheaper amount on sale at times throughout the year as well.
The Jackery Explorer 500 is the full package. For its price point, it sits at the sweet spot between quality and affordability. Single-handed use, reliability, resourcefulness, portability, and a plethora of extra features make it an excellent value proposition for consumers throughout the spectrum. All these bells and whistles combined with a 2-year warranty and exceptional customer support seals the deal. With over 5000 customer ratings with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, we can see why this device gets (and deserves) all its hype.