In this article, I have given an honest Jackery Explorer 500 review based on its performance and charging capability after using it for 9 months.
Jackery Explorer 500 Quick Overview
Jackery Explorer 500 Review After 9 Months of Use
I am writing this review after using this product for 8 months for Overlanding and camping. I am also using SolarSaga 100W panels with this little boy.
Jackery Explorer 500 uses powerful and reliable lithium-ion battery packs and has enough outlets to charge your cellphones, laptops, and other essentials under 500-watt appliances.
Jackery Explorer 500 is a middle-tier power station by Jackery with a battery capacity of 518Wh/144,000mAh.
This explorer 500 is a super lightweight, compact, and portable power station with a 2-inch LCD that tells you the battery percentage, input and output power, and other essential information.
I like the flashlight. It doesn’t drain the battery, it is super convenient for camping. You don’t have to carry extra torch lights with you and has a decent beam.
Camping and outdoorsmen will know the importance of a built-in flashlight in a power station.
Unboxing of Jackery 500:
So much like other Jackery models, you will get the following from the box:
I love the user manuals Jackery provides with their power stations. Everything is written and explained in detail. Even a non-technical guy can understand the charging and other things.
Design of Jackery Explorer 500:
Its design is rugged and even. It will hold up to wear and tear of the roads. I usually drive off-roads so it is perfect for me.
It doesn’t take much space and it is lightweight. It fits easily in the back of the truck near. I like the handle, it makes Jackery 500 ergonomically sound. It is easy to carry around.
All the ports are on the front. There is an LCD that tells battery percentage, input/output power, and other essential information. There is a flashlight on the side as well which comes in handy during the night.
I saw a review saying Jackery Explorer 500 is not your average battery pack and it is not something you want to carry around.
It weighs only 13 pounds guys and generates 500 watts of continuous power. It is like a dream for an outdoor enthusiast like me who wants to save space and power multiple things at once.
How Many Ports Does It Have?
- x3 USB A ports
- x1 110V AC outlet
- x2 12V DC outlets
- x1 car outlet
How Do You Charge a Jackery 500?
There are three options to charge your Jackery. I have tried all three of them and the results are:
I use the SolarSaga 100W panels. The input was 100 watts and it took about 7.5 to 8 hours to charge 80% from zero.
I tested it again using 100W solar input on a bright sunny day this time. Jackery Explorer 500 took 9.4 hours to fully charge.
This is not super fast but considering the 100W solar input, it is fine. I use my power stations while charging anyways.
Wall Outlet Charging:
I don’t usually charge my power stations from the wall because I spend most of my time outdoors nowadays, but I have tested the wall charging as well.
From a 110V wall outlet, this solar generator takes about 7 hours and 50 minutes to fully charge from 0 to 100%. This is fast.
This is the charging method I use mostly because I use and charge the power station while I drive.
It takes about 15 to 16 hours to fully charge it from 0 to 100% while you use it. Of course, I don’t drain close or more than 500 watts while it charges, otherwise, it won’t charge because I am using more than it charges.
What Appliances Does Jackery Explorer 500 Will Charge?
- Cellphone: 50 to 55 charges
- Camera: 20 to 24 charges
- Mini cooler: 7 to 8 hours
- Lamplight: 38 to 42 hours
- TV: 7 to 8 hours
- Laptop: 4 to 5 charges
Charging 15-inch MacBook Pro
- The first Jackery fully charged my 15-inch MacBook Pro from 0 to 100%, it lost 20% of its charging.
- The second time, it lost 19% of its charging.
- Thirds time, it lost 20% of its charging.
- The fourth time, it lost 23% of its charging.
- The fifth time, it lost 18% of its charging.
What is the Performance of the Jackery Explorer 500?
According to the manufacturer, this device can operate between temperatures of 0 to – 40C. I have used this power station for 20 days in a city where the temperature ranges between 40 to 48C during summer. I had no issue at all.
I wasn’t like using it directly under the scorching sun, but it can withstand high temperatures.
I usually charge small devices like cell phones, laptops, drone batteries, and navigation devices, but I think is constantly hooked up with the small fridge that I carry while I drive.
I tested Jackery 500’s battery capacity by hooking it up with my small fridge after charging it fully.
Jackery Explorer 500 was able to run my fridge for 2 days and 13 hours without getting recharged while maintaining 12V.
This thing can hold the charge pretty well. The MPPT charge controller is close to 96% efficient. The BMS doesn’t eat much charge so good overall.
Fortunately, I got other power stations with me all time to charge and power my videography equipment, but I would’ve loved it if this device had more than 3 USB ports.
I have talked to Jackery about his issue and suggested an upgrade in the future models.
Load Test of Jackery Explorer 500:
This thing is rated at 500 watts continuous, and 1000 watt peak. I gave it a total load of a small electric blanket (200 watts), and incandescent lights (300 watts).
It ran both things at the same time without shutting down. During my load test, I got about 521 watts of power which is more than advertised. These Jackery models are fantastic.
Should I Buy a Jackery Explorer 500?
You should buy a Jackery Explorer 500 if you are a casual camper or you just like to have a small backup power source. It supplies sufficient power to keep many devices running for a day. It is portable, compact, and lightweight. It is ideal for camping life if you have another bigger power station like Jackery Explorer 1000 to run high-power appliances.
What I Like
What I don’t
Alex Black is a seasoned electrical engineer with a remarkable 8-year track record specializing in appliances, generators, and transfer switches. With extensive hands-on experience in the field, Alex possesses a deep understanding of electrical systems and their intricate workings. Throughout their career, Alex has consistently demonstrated expertise in designing, troubleshooting, and maintaining various electrical appliances.