HomeReviewsJackery Explorer 500 Power Station Review: Power Up Your Camping Holidays

Jackery Explorer 500 Power Station Review: Power Up Your Camping Holidays

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Road trips and camping are fun until your gadgets run out of power. Whether it’s camping or a weekend getaway, what you need is a reliable power source to keep your gadgets up and running. That’s where the Jackery Explorer 500 outshines everyone else. With the ability to charge up all your essentials, the Jackery Explorer is one of its kind power sources to look out for.

We’ve put the Jackery Explorer 500 portable power station through some serious testing. Here’s our complete and comprehensive review of the new Jackery Explorer 500.

Jackery Explorer 500: Overview

The Jackery Explorer 500 is a super portable Power station that runs on rechargeable Li-ion batteries. It’s quite powerful enough and offers a max power output of 518Wh. The 24Ah, 21.6V Jackery Explorer is always ready to meet all your needs. Be it the outdoors or the indoors, you can seamlessly seek the aid of the Explorer to charge up your smartphones, laptops, and other medium-sized gadgets.

Jackery Explorer 500 Overview

This power station comes with three types of output ports, standard USB A, a 12V, and a 120V power plug. The USB ports are to charge your USB-powered devices, including smartphones, cameras, media players. The 12V, as well as the 120V power plugs, are suitable for medium-sized gadgets and certain home appliances. A thing to note is that if you’re connecting anything that draws up more than 500W, the Power Station automatically cuts off.

When it comes to recharging, you can plug in the Explorer 500 via the provided charging cable. You can charge it via the wall port at your home or using the car charger. You will be getting both the charging cables with the full delivery. Also, Jackery has moved a step further and incorporated an option to use green energy. That’s right, you can recharge the Explorer 500 with the help of solar panels. But yet, you’ll have to get these separately. We’ll talk about the design, specs, charging and power outlets, and all other aspects as we move on.

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Jackery Explorer 500: Specifications

Before we move on, let’s take a look at the overall technical specs of the Jackery Explorer 500.

SpecificationsJackery Explorer 500
Battery Capacity518Wh (21.6V, 24Ah)
PortsAC Output: 110VAC, 60Hz, 500W (1000W Surge)
USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A 
Car Output: 12V, 10A
DC Output: 12V, 7A (6.5mm*1.4mm)
DC Input: 12V-30V (100W Max)
Dimensions11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in (LxWxH)

Explorer 500 Design

The Jackery Explorer 500 doesn’t fancy much on the design and that’s a plus point for me. The whole unit arrived nicely packed and insulated. The power station flaunts a boxy look, which matches the convenience required for a portable power station. It sits nice and flat so that it stays put. The Explorer 500 includes all the ports right at the front. You will find 3 USB 5V ports, a 12V DC port, and an AC 110V power socket.

Jackery Explorer 500

Just above these port arrays, you can find a small LCD screen. The input plug port is also situated at the front but I felt there is a real issue of poor cable management when each port gets occupied. Apart from that, it’s easy to carry around and comes in handy during your road trips and camping sessions.

Jackery Explorer 500 Front Design

One thing that liked was that the Jackery Explorer 500 was lightweight. It is fairly the size of the lower Explorer 300 but packs more power and that’s a plus. Additionally, there is an emergency flashlight mounted on the side that comes in handy during camping and hiking.

Jackery Explorer 500 Side Design

The Jackery Explorer 500 is powerful enough to keep yourself up and running during your camping sessions. It comes packed with a heavy-duty Li-ion 500W rechargeable battery. we’ll be talking more about the power output, recharging methods, and many more as we go on.

Related: 15 Cool New Gadgets to Gift for Holidays

Battery and Ports

We’ve also got a list of the number of ports and their consolidated power output for you. The Jackery Explorer 500 includes both the DC as well as the AC power outputs. The output AC is pure Sine-based. Hence all your AC appliances like a 60W mini cooler or a 100W Travel Mug works perfectly fine.

The ports include;

  • 3x USB Ports
  • 1x DC port
  • 1x AC power

The Explorer 500 has three types of outputs as you saw above, the USB, a 12V DC, and the 120V AC. The USB ports are pretty much useful to charge your smartphones, iPhones, cameras, and many more. But the game-changer is the Pure Sine AC.

Being an alone tourer myself, I prefer working on the roads. Hence the biggest advantage for me is the 110V AC power outlet. Apart from the laptops, you can even operate a heating blanket, an electric kettle, or a mini cooler which are below 500W. A big drawback with the Explorer 500 is the lack of advanced ports, like the USB Type C.

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Explorer 500 Output Power

The Jackery Explorer 500 offers 518Wh consolidated power. Talking about the power output keep in mind that no appliances or gadgets that are rated above 500W operate once you plug it with the Explorer 500. Anything above that simply shuts off the main power outlet and the power station simply switches off. Still, I was able to operate some of those essential gadgets and travel appliances with the Explorer 500.

A 50W air pump or a 60W mini cooler that’s essential for your road trips managed to pull out an average runtime of 6 to 7 hours. With the power station fully charged, you can charge your iPhone 8 or your DSLR cam quite a number of times. Also, the important stuff, like my laptop managed to get fully charged twice even when other ports including the USBs were occupied.

Explorer 500 Recharging Methods

Recharging the Jackery Explorer 500 is pretty simple and straight. You have 4 options to recharge the power station. These include;

  • AC Wall Outlet
  • 12V Car Charger
  • Electric Generator
  • Solar Panel

All four modes of charging are equally important and come in handy in quite a lot of scenarios. The AC wall outlet charging takes between 7 to 8 hours to fully charge up the device. Also, there was the AC charging cable available with the whole delivery. The surprising thing was that the package included a 12V Car Charger. The Car Charger took a bit more time to charge up to 100% during our tests.

The use of solar panels can be quite useful if you’re planning to take the Explorer 500 Power Station with you for your camping trips. When coupled with solar panels, like the SolarSaga 100, you can fully recharge the power station in under 16 hours. But keep in mind that the availability of sunlight can affect the total recharge time to a great extend. Also, you should get a compatible solar panel if you really think solar charging could come in handy.

Explorer 500 Stand Out Features

The Explorer 500 comes with some great and innovative features that are pretty much useful. Apart from the 518Wh battery pack, other standout features include pass-through charging, inbuilt LED emergency light, and many more. Some of the add-on features that I loved on the Explorer 500 are:

Pure Sine Wave Inverter

The Jackery Explorer 500 is one of the few budget-friendly power stations that have the ability to produce pure sine wave outputs. These inverters let you plug in or charge your sensitive gadgets that require the right amount of power.

Emergency LED Light

The emergency LED light is a great add-on feature and most of the power stations nowadays come with one. But the placement of the LEDs and the easy accessibility make this one pretty useful.

Digital Display

The Explorer 500 comes with a 2-inch backlit display that shows all essential battery status and data. It shows both the input as well as the output voltages, battery power left, and the battery temp indicator. The device also includes a low battery warning too.

Pass-Through Charging

The best thing I liked about the power station is that it supports pass-through charging. It’s cause most of the budget-oriented power stations lack pass-through charging over all the available ports. When it comes to the Explorer 500, you can recharge or power up all tour gadgets even when the power station’s docked for charging.

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Pros and Cons

Here are a few things we liked and disliked about the Jackery Explorer 500 portable power station.

What We Like:

  • Multiple outlets for simultaneous charging
  • LED SOS Light
  • Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • Sturdy design and has an inbuilt carry handle
  • 4 modes of recharging
  • Pass through charging
  • Quiet operation
  • Compact and Lightweight

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not waterproof and weatherproof
  • The LCD display shows minimal data
  • No advanced output ports like the USB C
  • Needs to equip the solar panels separately

Key Features: 518Wh Power output | Li-ion battery | Sturdy design | Compact and Lightweight | 3x USB A ports | 12V Car Charger | 110V AC outlet | Pure Sine Inverter | SOS LED Light | Pass-Through Charging | 2″ LCD display | 4 Modes of recharging

What’s in the Box

The Jackery Explorer is a great portable power station that supposedly will not burn a hole in your pocket. We’ve got the power station with us and let us take a look at the accessories and add ons that come with the full package

With the full delivery, you will be getting;

  • The Explorer 500 Power Station
  • 12V DC Car Cable
  • AC Charging Cable
  • Warranty and User Manual

Pricing and Availability

The Jackery Explorer 500 is a solid, well-designed portable power station. What makes it one of the best is its heavy-duty internal battery as well as its rugged looks. With a consolidated power output of 500W and that too at a fair price. There’s no doubt the Explorer 500 will give a tough time to its competitors. If you wish to get this portable power station, then it’s the right time to head on to Amazon.

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Final Verdict

Jackery Explorer 500 is an excellent power station that’s powerful enough to charge up all your gadgets during your camping sessions. The power station’s lightweight, portable design makes it easy to carry around everywhere. But the lack of USB C power ports is a real drawback.

If you feel the lack of USB C and 500W power doesn’t suffice your need, then there’s the option to go for the Jackery Explorer 1000. On the whole, the Explorer 500 does have what it takes to be your next portable power station.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design and Portability
Connectivity and Ports
Battery Range

Summary

Jackery Explorer 500 is the perfect camping gadget that will help you power up your gadgets and essential camping gear. With the battery back up up to 9 hours, you can keep everything in order during the holiday camping.

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