Jackery Explorer 500 Review vs Goal Zero Yeti 400 & SUAOKI G500

Last Updated on September 25, 2020 by Scott

Jackery 500 Review

Electronic goods play such a big role in our lives that when left without them, we can feel a bit lost and uneasy. That’s why emergency power supplies, such as the Jackery Explorer 500, are fantastic to have for the times you need electricity away from home.

This lightweight and portable power station has the capacity for charging a laptop or phone battery, powering a radio, mini-fridge, hairdryer, and more. It is perfect for camping trips, long drives on the road, tailgating and beach days. The ability to charge through solar panels takes away the stress of needing to find an electricity port on your trip.

Even if you’re not particularly an outdoorsy person, the Jackery 500 is a useful item to have in your home, for when you need a versatile power supply, or for power outages.

If you’re considering getting yourself a 500-watt range portable power station, then keep reading to get in-depth information about this handy portable device.

Jackery 500 Unboxing

In my unboxing video of my Jackery 500 I also bring out my Jackery 1000 to compare size and weights in a realtime first impression:

Jackery Explorer 500 Unboxing & Size vs the Jackery 1000

Jackery 500 Specifications

A product is only as good as its functions, features, and specifications! In this section, we’ll break down all the juicy details about this power station.

  • Weight: This power station is light, weighing 13.3 lbs.
  • Size: With dimensions of 11.8 (L) x 7.6 (W) x 9.2 (D) inches, the Jackery Explorer 500 is compact for its capacity class, making it easy to carry around or store away after use. I can easily pick it up with one arm.
  • Battery: This lithium power station has a battery capacity of 518Wh and a very strong battery life. While stored, it has a lifespan of 3-6 months before it’s time to recharge.
  • Ports: The Jackery 500 features 3 USB ports, an AC outlet, and a DC carport. This means you’ll be able to have multiple devices charging at once.
  • LCD Display: With the LCD screen, you’ll have a clear understanding of the battery life status and the charge/discharge data. It shows how many Watts are being put into the device when charging (input) and how many out going out when discharging (output).
  • Safety: This Jackery portable power station is safe by design with a built-in battery management system (BMS). This helps to protect the rechargeable battery by managing temperature, voltage control, and allowing short circuit protection.
  • Warranty: Jackery offers a 30-day money-back guarantee as well as a 2-year warranty on the Explorer 500 portable power station.
  • Additional Features: To further ensure safety and effective control over this portable power station, there is a switch light feature that indicates whether the device is on or off for output port charging.

What Can You Power with It?

The Jackery Explorer 500 isn’t a power station that you will be running large electronic devices on constantly, that’s not what it is for. But you can power almost any small electric appliances through it. So, for devices that need charging, or appliances that need power from a few minutes to a few hours, the Explorer is a great guy for the job.

Below you can see some of the items that you can power with the Jackery Explorer 500, and roughly how many times you can do so within each charge:

  • Laptops – 7+ times
  • Smartphones – 34+ times
  • Mini fridges – 8+ hours
  • USB small fan – 40+ hours
  • Cameras – 60+ times
  • Drones – 6+ times

These are just a few examples of popular items you can charge a range of other small-scale electrical appliances including CPAP machines, projectors, and RV ceiling fans and lights.

It’s worth noting that the input power of your devices should be no more than 500W and that the Explorer 500 power is limited to 1000W Peak and 500W Continuous.

Jackery Explorer 500 Against Its Competitors

Most, if not all, products on the market have competition, no matter how good the product is. This holds true for the Jackery 500 as well. To get an idea for what’s out there, it’s useful to look at some other similar products and how the Jackery Explorer 500 portable power station compares. It’s only then that you’ll be able to compare products, consequently, leading you to the best one.

Goal Zero Yeti 400 vs Jackery 500

goal zero yeti 400

goal zero yeti 400 vs jackery 500

The Goal Zero Yeti 400 and the Jackery Explorer 500 are almost exactly the same price. It is a strong contender with 7 output ports, meaning you can power 7 devices at once. The wattage is slightly lower on the Goal Zero Yeti, which means the battery life will be slightly shorter than the Explorer 500 power station.

The Goal Zero Yeti 400 also has a solar panel option, which makes it a green power solution, like the Jackery, and also quiet when working. Something that does put the Goal Zero down is its weight. The power station weighs in at 5 more pounds than the Jackery.

You can charge the Goal Zero through seven different methods, which works in favor of versatility. You can do this through a wall charger, car charger and through varying solar panel options including the Nomad 28 Plus and the Boulder 50. There are only 3 ways to charge the Jackery Explorer, which can take around 7.5-9.5 hours. The Goal Zero Yeti 400 can take anywhere between 5-32 hours, depending on your charging method.

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station, 400Wh Battery Powered Generator Alternative with 12V, AC and USB Outputs
  • 396Wh lead acid battery portable power station can power up to 7 devices at once (33Ah @ 12V)
  • Continuous 300W, 600W surge pure-sine wave inverter, 2.1A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
  • Charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and most small devices. Backup power for small appliances, lights, and more

SUAOKI G500 vs Jackery 500

Suaoki g500

Suaoki g500 vs Jackery 500

There’s something about the aesthetic of the SUAOKI G500 that is enviously sleek, which may appeal to some over Jackery’s more toolbox appearance. The SUAOKI is more expensive, at nearly $50 more. Apart from the higher price and more classy appearance, the Jackery Explorer 500 portable is similar to this lithium battery portable charger.

You can charge the SUAOKI three ways, and the battery life is around 7-8 hours when charged in the wall or car, which is slightly less than the Jackery model. Whilst the SUAOKI isn’t incredibly heavy, it does weigh 2 more pounds than the Jackery Explorer 500 portable power.

In terms of the number of ports, the SUAOKI triumphs over the Jackery having 2 AC outlet ports and 2 DC outlet ports, which can be useful when camping with a group of people. What’s also quite desirable with the G500 is its maximum power point tracking function (MPPT) which converts energy from the solar panel in an efficient way. This can help shorten charging time.

Bottom Line

The SUOAKI G500 and the Goal Zero Yeti 400 are both good power packs and compare closely with the Jackery Explorer 500. There are definitely some perks of the Jackery over the other two like price and weight, but it really depends on what you want out of an outdoor portable power station. There are dozens of options to choose from circling the market. One thing we know for sure, the Jackery Explorer 500 is well worth the purchase!

Pros

  • 500W Power: The strong power rating is high enough to ensure you will be able to charge several small devices all at once.
  • Eco-Friendly: The solar panel option is great for endless power when in the outdoors. Not to mention it’s great for the environment!
  • Portable & Compact: This solar power portable station is lighter than others on the market making it easy to transport.
  • LCD Display: An LCD screen is useful for keeping track of battery life.
  • Wallet-Friendly: It’s a decent price for what you get.
  • Noise Level: The station is quiet when generating electricity compared to power stations that are not solar powered.

Cons

  • There could be more output ports, especially when compared with similar models.
  • If you need to power something over 500W, this isn’t for you.
SUAOKI Solar Generators, G500 Portable Power Station 500Wh Camping Generator Lithium Battery Pack Power Supply with 110V/300W (600W Peak) Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter for CPAP Emergency Outdoor
  • 【500WH ULTRA-HIGH CAPACITY】 500Wh (11.1V, 45,900mAh/3.7V 137,700mAh) portable battery pack is powerful enough to charge iPhone X 42 times, JBL GO speaker 120 hours, mini fridge(40W) 9 hours, MacBook Air 6 hours, mini projectors, GoPro, drones, box fans, Xmas lights, CPAP machines, TVs etc., which is the ideal choice for camping, fishing, off-road weekend trips, van life, overlanding voyages. As well as for use at home and office as a backup power source for any unexpected blackouts, hurricanes.
  • 【300W PURE SINE INVERTERS & VERSATILE DC OUTPUT】 2* 110V/300W (600W surge) pure sine wave AC outlets provide significantly higher efficiency for sensitive devices like laptops, speakers, TVs and CPAP machines. 3* QC3.0 quick charge USB ports (2* USB-A, 1* USB-C, 18W MAX), 2* 12V/3A outputs for mobile devices like tablets, phones, cameras, walkie-talkies, bulbs, also has a 12V/10A car port to power up your in-car devices when you’re not around the car.
  • 【EASY 3 WAY RE-CHARGE】 Fully recharged the mobile lithium power supply from a wall outlet about 7-8 hours (AC adapter included); use SUAOKI 100W solar panel (NOT INCLUDED) to charge the portable generator within 7-8 hours in full sun, MPPT solar charge controller and PV cable included; the camping generator can also recharged by 12V/24V car port (charging cable included), you will never be without power. Battery Management System (BMS) enables voltage, current and temperature control.

What Are the Reviews Saying?

On Amazon, the Jackery Explorer 500 portable has 4.8 out of 5 stars, and that is from 1,515 reviews. If you ask me, that’s pretty impressive. On the Jackery website the power station has 4.5 out of 5 stars, but only 10 reviews. If you explore the web, it proves difficult to find any negative reviews about this portable power station.

Sale
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure
  • Founded in California in 2012, Jackery specializes in providing outdoor green power solutions for explorers. Jackery portable power station, power outdoors.
  • VERSATILE OUTDOOR POWER SUPPLY: featuring standard PURE SINE WAVE AC outlet this Jackery Explorer 500 portable power station provides stable power to a wide range of AC-relied devices from TVs, projectors to small blenders, a pellet smoker, etc. which rated under 500 watt(surge 1000W). Standard 12V/10A carport and 3*5V/2.4A USB ports power/charge all your car appliances and small electronic devices like car coolers, air pumps, car vacuums, laptops, phones. Enjoy a camping party like no others.
  • PORTABLE POWER STATION RECHARGED ANYWHERE: can be quickly (1)recharged under the sun with Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar panel (Sold Separately) within 9.5 hrs (in full sun) while living outdoors; (2)recharged from a carport within 16 hrs while on-the-road/off-road (charging cable included); (3)or recharged from an AC wall outlet within 7.5 hrs (charging cable included).

The Final Verdict: Good, not great

The previous line says it all; there’s not much to criticize with the Jackery Explorer 500. This lithium battery power station doesn’t just excel over gasoline and propane generators but leaves the tough competition for other solar-powered generators on the market. The option for solar panels means you can have fume-free electricity which creates no noise pollution either.

The remarkably lightweight design of the 500 portable power is perfect for every scenario, meaning bringing your power pack out with you won’t be a nuisance. You might argue that the Explorer 500 could do with another pure sine AC or DC output, but at the respectable price of under $500, 5 seems generous.

The Jackery Explorer 500 can provide next to limitless power and enables a sense of comfort and freedom when venturing the great outdoors. If you want to stay connected, stay mobile, and keep powered up then the Explorer 500 can help you.

Jackery 500 vs Jackery 300 vs Jackery Explorer 1000

I will say, of the Jackery Explorer line, the 500, while a value for its capacity, is one of my least favorite Jackery products. The Jackery 1000, while significantly heavier, is not that much larger but offers much higher capacity, and also a 60-Watt USB-C output.

The Jackery 500 is an older model than the 1000 or the new Jackery 300. I would recommend those two newer models before the 500 unless you really need the 518 Wh for a specific capacity purpose. If you can get by with less, go with the 300. If you could use more, splurge on the Jackery 1000. It’s a fantastic solar generator and well worth its higher price.

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000, 1002Wh Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) with 3x110V/1000W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Emergency
  • Founded in California in 2012, Jackery specializes in providing outdoor green power solutions for explorers. Jackery portable power station, power outdoors.
  • With a higher 1000W wattage and larger 1002Wh capacity, the Jackery Explorer 1000 features 3 standard PURE SINE WAVE AC outlets, which provide extra capacity to power more AC appliances simultaneously. Note that the total rated wattage should be under 1000w (surge 2000w). 2*USB-C and 1*Quick Charge 3.0 port can charge all your small digital devices like tablets and phones effectively.
  • Power your outdoor recreation time from this instant solar generator. Designed for: (1) RV-ers: With no extra setup, powers your mini space heaters, cooling fans, mini-fridges, portable ovens and coffee makers, etc. (2) Outdoor parties: Power blenders, pellet smokers, small household ice shavers, and TVs to extend your grilling and game time. (3) Home backup power: Support emergency appliances such as refrigerators, CPAP/Bi-PAP, computers, radios, and phones to help keep your life as normal.

Last update on 2020-10-20 Affiliate links & images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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