Power on the Go: Jackery Explorer 300 Portable Power Station Review
Having backup electrical power is a necessity for my peace of mind while on the water. A large housebank of batteries, solar panels, and wind generators are all potential solutions, but perhaps the easiest and one of the most cost effective alternatives are lithium ion portable power stations such as the Jackery Explorer 300. Charging phones, powering fans, and even running my onboard hardwired battery charger are all common uses for our little Jackery.
The thing that makes the Jackery Explorer more than just a large capacity (293Wh) lithium ion battery pack and really useful away from shorepower is the built-in sine wave inverter with two 300W (500W peak/surge) AC outlets. Running a fan at night or just topping off the housebank without starting the gasoline powered generator are nice options. There's also a 60W USB-C input/output port, 2 USB-A output ports, and a 12V car outlet. I've found that charging the Jackery 300 with a wall outlet is fairly quick and in line with what Jackery lists in their specs (~3.5 hours for 0-80%). Even faster charging is available through the wall outlet and the USB-C input, but I don't have the cable for that method so I've never tested Jackery's 2 hour (0-80%) charge time claim. Yet another charging method is to use a solar panel, but Jackery's proprietary input port for charging means you need to purchase a solar panel from Jackery. I've seen a few people who have found the matching proprietary male plug end on Amazon and spliced it to their solar panel output cable, but I haven't tried that yet either.
If you need to run AC electronics requiring more than 300W of power, Jackery has plenty of larger portable power stations, but I find that the Explorer 300 is a nice compact size that does what I need it to do on the boat and also serves as a perfect little power companion in the offseason for running a crockpot and television at fall tailgates. For less than $300 you're getting a well-made, versatile power supply and inverter that doesn't require any installation or even much thought for running your electronics off the grid.
Pros: Lots of output ports including 2 AC outlets. Compact size/weight. Built tough.
Cons: Proprietary input port makes using existing non-Jackery solar panels for charging difficult.
Bottom Line: If you don't have an inverter onboard or simply want another source of reliable electricity for charging and running low power equipment, the Jackery Explorer 300 is a nice choice.
Weight: 7.1 lbs (3.2 kg)
Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.2 x 7.8 in (23 x 13.3 x 19.9 cm)
Power capacity: 293Wh (14.4V, 20.4Ah)
Charge time: 3.5 - 4.5 hours with AC wall adapter
Lifecycles: 500 cycles to 80% capacity (24 mo. warranty)
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