If you are looking for a light, compact and high-capacity solar generator for your outdoor adventures, the Jackery Explorer Powerpro is one of the best.
The Jackery Power Pro 500 provides versatile input and output options to suit different needs and situations. For around $400 more you can even get one with a 102W solar panel for outdoor use.
With an energy capacity of 500Wh, it is powerful enough to charge mobile devices, lighting and some small appliances. You can even use it as a home backup for essential tools and appliances in case of a snowstorm, hurricane or any other emergency.
Keep reading this page for my in-depth review.
If you’d like to compare the Jackery Explorer with other portable solar generators, read my portable solar generator guide.
Best Features of the Jackery Explorer 500
Ideal for Mobile Devices and Small Appliances
For its size and weight the Jackery Explorer 500 is powerful.
The 500Wh capacity is enough to power a wide range of devices and small appliances including smartphones, laptops, drones, mini-freezers, CPAP machines, and lighting.
It’s perfect for camping, a road trip or a day at the beach.
At home, it’s ideal as a backup for essential devices such as mobile phones during an emergency.
The Explorer 500 is one of the lightest and most compact solar power generators of its capacity.
It weighs just 12 lbs, light enough to carry by hand or in a pack. The ergonomic heavy-duty handle makes it easier to lift and carry the generator.
It’s also quite compact measuring just 12 inches long, 6.5 inches wide and 10 inches high. It won’t take up much space among your camping gear.
Versatile Output and Input Options
You’ve got plenty of ways to charge the Jackery Explorer 500 and just as many to draw power from it.
Let’s begin with the charging.
The 500 can be purchased with our without a solar panel, and you can hook it up to your own.
You can buy the combined Jackery 500 Solar Generator (with solar panels) for less than $1,000.
If you are using it for home backup, you can charge it from a standard wall outlet using the included AC adapter. It takes about 6 hours to fully recharge the battery.
As for powering your devices, you have four options.
There is one 110V AC outlet into which you can plug in small appliances of up to 300W. You can power a CPAP machine, portable freezer or TV.
There are two 6mm DC ports as well as a 12V DC lighter socket for things like lighting.
For your smartphone, iPad and other small devices there are two 5V USB ports. This allows you to charge two devices at once.
Battery Management System
The Jackery Explorer 500 ensures complete protection for your devices from power surges, overheating and short-circuiting.
The generator itself is splash-proof to prevent any hazardous water damage especially when you’ve plugged in a device or appliance.
LCD Power Display
A small LCD screen on the side of the Explorer 500 keeps you aware of all the power vitals.
It displays battery consumption, charging or discharging status, battery load as well as the amount of power coming in when charging.
This allows you to optimize charging (e.g., position the solar panel more effectively for faster charging) and track usage to ensure the battery lasts longer.
As a bonus, the Explorer 500 comes with an integrated LED flashlight that’s perfect for outdoor activities.
Limitations of the Jackery Explorer 500
Few USB Ports
Most portable power generators have at least 4 USB ports. The Powerpro has only two.
This is alright if you are the only one who’ll be using the generator. But for family back up and outdoor trips, having only 2 USB ports is a bit limiting.
There will probably be more than two smartphones that’ll need to be charged and perhaps other devices like a tablet or kindle.
No Car Charger
Another limitation is that you cannot charge it from your car. It doesn’t come with a car cigarette lighter adapter.
The only option is to buy your own DC to AC adapter.
Whether you need a light and compact solar generator that will serve your outdoor needs or a high-capacity easy-to-use home backup for your devices, the Jackery Explorer 500 is an excellent choice.
It’s affordable, versatile and packs a lot of power for its size.