If you are looking for a portable, solar powered battery, then you may be considering the Jackery Explorer 500. Although we have noted that the Jackery is a convenient solar generator for camping or tailgating, it is worth considering your alternative options as the Jackery Explorer 500 may not be your best option.
Currently, the Jackery Explorer 500 is listed for $499, direct from their website. At this price point, there are many other options for solar generators that outperform the Jackery in one way or another. In this article, I am going to highlight three great Jackery Explorer 500 alternatives that will save you money (and frustration) on your next portable power station.
RockPals 500 Portable Solar Generator
The RockPals 500 solar generator retails for slightly less than the Jackery 500, and is also packed with premium, bonus features. To start, the 520wH battery is slightly larger than the 518wH battery in the Jackery, however the entire unit weighs over a pound less. Plus, it takes less time to charge via solar panels, AC or DC electricity!
The RockPals 520 also has a much larger variety of outlets to use. With two AC (wall) outlets, 4 USB ports (1 type C), and 2 DC outlets, you can charge more devices simultaneously. Like the Jackery, the RockPals 520 has a 500W/1000W output potential and a built in LED flashlight.
Lion Energy Safari LT 500
Although the Jackery 500 is extremely convenient, the Lion Energy 500 may just about have it beat. Built to last, and only weighing 11 pounds, the Lion Energy 500 is a highly capable solar generator that comes at a similar price point as the Jackery.
The most exciting things to note about the Lion Energy 500 are the unit’s shelf and cycle life. Rated for over 1000 charge cycles (over 3 years of daily use), Lion Energy delivers one of the longest lasting, small portable generators available today. Plus, this product has a shelf life of over a year, which means that the Lion Energy 500 is a great backup source of power for emergencies. Although the battery life is slightly less than the Jackery 500, the Lion Energy 500 charges faster and has the same output capacity, with even more outlet options.
Renogy Phoenix Solar Generator
If you do not need a ton of power, but want a convenient source of electricity for camping, festivals, or tailgating, the Renogy Phoenix 300 is a great choice. This shockingly light (6.4 lbs) solar generator is great proof that a little bit of power can go a long way.
It is true that Jackery 500 can power more things, longer than the Renogy Phoenix. The Phoenix is limited by a 200W inverter and a 337wH battery. With that said, the Phoenix is still a high powered machine that can run portable CPAP for 28 hours, charge smartphones 21 times, or laptops 5 times. It also has 2 AC outlets (1 more than the Jackery) and a D-Tap port, which makes it perfect for charging digital cameras or handheld gaming devices.
Splurge option: EcoFlow Delta 1300
Of course, as a solar generator enthusiast, I am always going to recommend you consider splurging and investing in a great, reliable piece of equipment. If you are interested in the Jackery 500 for long-lasting portable power, then why not consider upgrading to something even more capable? The EcoFlow Delta 1300 is one of our most popular solar generators, and for good reason.
To start, the EcoFlow Delta has a battery capacity that is almost three times as large as the Jackery 500 at 1300wH. The Delta has over triple the output capacity of the Jackery with a built-in 1800W inverter, and also has many more plug-in options. Although the EcoFlow Delta weighs 30 lbs, it can power more things (even a small AC unit) for longer than the Jackery 500.
Plus, the Delta can charge it’s massive battery in as little as 2 hours, when plugged into an AC (wall) outlet. If you were considering the Jackery as a convenient way to bring power on the go, the Delta can be charged ridiculously quicker and will last longer when charging your devices.
A Quick Overview of the Jackery Explorer 500
The Jackery 500, from Honda, is one of the most recognized brand names in small, portable solar power generators. The Jackery 500 is a lightweight and convenient option to power things like laptops, lights, speakers, phones, CPAP machines, or televisions. Whereas it is a great little machine, the Jackery 500 is simply not the best option for a long term power solution. The Jackery is limited in lifespan, and hindered by slow charging and limited output options.
Pros of the Jackery Explorer 500
- 500W Inverter is powerful enough for most small electronic devices.
- Lightweight and easy to use
- 2 year manufacturer warranty.
Cons of the Jackery Explorer 500
- Limited Plug-in Options: Only 1 AC (Wall) Outlet and no USB class C
- Approximate 9 hour solar charge time for only 518wH of storage
- 7.5 hour AC (wall) outlet & 11.5 hour DC (car) outlet charge time
- Only 500 lifecycles guaranteed at 80% capacity