There are many brands and manufacturers of solar generators today, but Jackery is among the chief manufacturers of portable power stations in the U.S. and in the world. They are popular for making innovative outdoor energy power stations.
They offer many portable power stations ranging from different sizes and capacities, designed to retain a charge for six months. Today, two of Jackery’s finest power stations, the Jackery 500 and 300, are our topic of discussion. They feature simplistic designs, wonderful performance, and also have good reviews from happy customers in the United States and abroad.
The Jackery Explorer 300 is better than the Explorer 500 because it has an additional AC port, a USB-C PD port, and is 6.22lbs lighter than the Explorer 500. The Explorer 300’s AC output is less powerful than the Explorer 500, but its 300W of continuous power can still charge multiple devices simultaneously.
Jackery 500 Portable Power Station- Overview
The Jackery Explorer 500 features a lithium-ion battery with a 518Wh capacity. Its AC port is rated at 500W continuous with 1,000W of surge power. It’s equipped with an AC outlet, three USB-A charging ports, two DC outlets, and a DC carport, allowing for versatile charging.
That means you don’t have to worry about your devices and gadgets running out of battery when you are out of the house.
These are features all of Jackery’s products share; it makes charging easy and is fit for different equipment like tablets, smartphones, and laptops, as well as other small appliances such as fans, electric blankets, and small refrigerators.
Key Features of the Jackery Explorer 500
The LCD display allows you to know the exact amount of power coming in and going out of the power station, as well as the state of charge of the Explorer 500’s battery.
Here are more of its features and specifications:
|Size||11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in|
|Battery type||Li-ion NMC|
|Battery capacity in Wh||518Wh|
|Battery capacity in mAh||144,400mAh|
|Output USB||3x USB-A (5V, 2.4A)|
|Output DC||2x DC Output (12V, 7A)
1x Car Port (12V, 10A)
|AC Output||1x AC Port: 110VAC, 60Hz, 500W (1000W Surge)|
12V-30V (100W Max)
|Operating temperature||-10°-40° C|
|Recharge time via AC||7.5 hrs|
Jackery 300 Portable Power Station – Overview
This device brings 313Wh of charge power that can fully charge mobile devices over and over, power mini-fridges, and even TVs. Devices like the Jackery 300 are suitable for unexpected power situations like a blackout. This means you don’t need to worry about keeping your devices on until the power is restored. The Jackery 300 can charge your basic devices multiple times over. It can charge your smartphone over 30 times, for example.
The Jackery Explorer 300 also provides reliable and safe backup power. With clean lithium-ion technology, the Explorer 300 is safe and eco-friendly. The Battery Management System (BMS) and a pure sine wave inverter protect your sensitive devices from damage as well.
Jackery 300 – Key Features
The Jackery 300 has certain features that make it versatile; an example is its multiple USB ports that allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously. It takes about four hours to reach 80% battery capacity and can be recharged with a solar panel, car, or wall outlet.
Below are the features and specifications that this device boasts.
- 293 watt-hour (46.4Ah) lithium battery
- 2 x AC port (300W continuous, 500W surge)
- Quick Charge 3.0 port
- 60W USB C power delivery port
- Standard USB-A port
- 12V car output port
- LCD display
- Recharge from AC wall outlet, 12V car outlet, or solar panel (optional)
- Pure sine wave inverter to protect sensitive devices
- Full recharge in 5-5.5 hours
|Size||9.1 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches|
|Battery type||Li-ion battery (NMC)|
|Battery capacity in Wh||293Wh|
|Output USB||1x 60W USB-C PD, 1x QC3.0 USB-A port, 1x USB-A port|
|Output DC||1x Car Port: DC 12V, 10A, 120 Watt|
|AC Output||2x AC outlets (300W, 500W Peak)|
|Input DC||1 x Charge Port 8mm: 12V-30V (90W Max)|
|Operating temperature||-10°-40° C|
|Recharge time via AC||5 hrs|
For more information on the Jackery 300, I recommend reading my review of it, which includes more features and compares it to similar solar generators: Jackery Explorer 300 Review (Comparison & Analysis).
General Comparison: Jackery 300 vs 500
Although the Jackery 300 has a heavy outlook, it is nonetheless a compact and relatively lightweight power station. It is fit for camping trips or when a power emergency arises at home. The Explorer 300 features a 293Wh battery, most appropriate for charging small appliances and low-demanding devices.
Quite similarly, the Jackery Explorer 500 features a 518 watt-hour lithium battery. It features a highly durable Li-ion NMC battery, like every other Jackery power station, and requires little maintenance.
The Jackery Explorer 500, too, is a versatile portable power station. It features multiple USB ports that allow you to charge several devices at once. You can use it at home when there is a power outage, or you could take it with you hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities.
Jackery 300 vs 500 – Weight Differences
The Jackery Explorer 500 weighs just 13.32 pounds, which makes it extremely lightweight when you consider its capacity. It also features an easy-transport handle, which makes moving it around quite easy.
The Explorer 300 weighs only 7.1 pounds, which is a little lighter than the 500. Despite their compact features, the Explorer 160 and 240 do not compare in terms of efficiency, though they are about the same size.
As seen from the information above, the Explorer 300 clearly wins this category.
The charge capacity of a solar generator is the number of times it can power your equipment. The Explorer 300 can charge your smartphone 30 times over, a digital camera 54 times, and a laptop four times. It takes just about 20 hours to charge your mini-fridge, 4.5 hours to run your TV; your 20W fan can run for over 15 hours.
The Explorer 500 is a 518Wh unit that offers outstanding battery capacity. It can charge your smartphone 34 times over; tablets get 28 charges; laptops can take seven charges and more; a mini-fridge would run over eight hours, and the USB Mini-fan would run for over 40 hours.
From its much larger battery, the Explorer 500 wins this category.
The Jackery Explorer 500 offers a superb battery life and multiple charge options (USB, AC power output, etc.). It can run a number of devices simultaneously. The Explorer 300 offers excellent quality and a lightweight charger with excellent battery capacity.
Both the Explorer 500 and 300 are portable and compact in size. They both feature high-quality designs, strong batteries, and robust makeup materials.
The inclusion of MPPT technology in both devices offers quicker solar recharge rates when used with a solar panel system.
They are also both good investments in terms of value for money and should suit most outdoor lifestyle energy needs.
Both of these power stations charge slowly from any of their charging methods. This is not good for anyone needing to consistently use its battery for long periods of time.
Also, the input to charge from solar panels is a proprietary plug from Jackery. This means that you will need to buy an adapter for a third-party solar panel in order to use it with either the Explorer 300 or 500 models.
Cost Variability Between Jackery’s Explorer 300 and 500
When you compare both devices to other portable power stations available on the market, you will find that the Explorer 300 and 500 are affordable. The Explorer 300 costs $299.99, and the Explorer 500 is $499, but you can sometimes find it with a coupon on Amazon or on Jackery’s website.
Comparatively speaking, the Yeti 200X from Goal Zero costs $299.95 and has 187Wh of battery capacity. The Explorer 300 costs nearly the exact same amount and has over 100Wh more battery!
Stats Comparison – Explorer 300 vs 500
|Model:||Explorer 500||Explorer 300|
|Solar Input Max:||100W||90W|
|Output:||500W Continuous, 1000W Surge||300W Continuous, 500W Surge|
|Battery Lifecycles:||500 to 80%||500 to 80%|
|Dimensions:||11.84 x 7.59 x 9.2 inches||9.1 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches|
|Where to Buy:||amazon.com||amazon.com|
Additional Elements of the Explorer 300 & 500
The Jackery 300 and 500 are both lithium battery-powered portable power stations with multi-charging capacity, making them both a great choice. They provide you with adequate power to run your devices of up to 300W and 500W, respectively.
If you are the outdoorsy kind, they are both perfect for outdoor vacations, as well as an emergency power backup during a blackout.
The MPPT technology makes the solar recharge efficient, but not much quicker than other portable power stations in the market. The Jackery 300 and 500 are perhaps the most desired models in all of Jackery’s collection. They may not seem very big, but they still have a large watt-hour capacity. If you ever need a go-to power station for your remote work, these devices will serve you well.
If you are ever in need of a sizable amount of watt capacity and can’t afford any of the bigger solar generators, the Jackery Explorer 500 could be a perfect alternative, although it does not have a USB-C port.
Also, some users have complained about the Explorer 500’s recharge time taking longer than usual after a while. The Explorer 1000 offers twice the capacity and only takes 30 minutes longer for a full recharge from the wall.
I have an article dedicated solely to the Jackery Explorer 1000 where I discuss its power, weight, price, and additional elements.
This may be a good read for you if you want to know more about higher-powered solar generators than the Jackery 300 and 500. Check it out here: Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station – Review and Analysis.
Why Do You Need a Portable Power Station?
Portable power stations like the Explorer 300 and 500 provide you with portable, renewable power to run a number of devices and appliances wherever you are. For someone who is regularly on the road or loves the outdoor lifestyle, a portable power station is an ideal device for you to ensure you never run out of power.
If you are considering a power station, one with the ideal battery size and port layout will make a great choice.
Depending on what you’re using the solar generator for, you may want to choose a higher or lower-powered system.
Below are some articles of mine that will be able to steer you in the right direction in terms of the type and size required for specific power needs:
- Cabin Solar Generators – Sizing, Setup, and Cost Guide
- 3 Best Solar Generators for Your Fridge (With Run Times)
- Can a Solar Generator Run a Furnace? (Furnace + Generator Examples)
- Can a Solar Generator Run an AC Unit?
- Top 15 Best Solar Generators for Camping (Small to Large)
How Heavy Should a Power Station Be?
This really rests on why you are buying a power station in the first place. You can decide whether you want to use your power station just for powering your phone and tablets, or whether you need it to run more powerful appliances.
You should also consider the amount of charge time each model requires when fully charged to help you decide which is most suitable. The Jackery Explorer 500 and 300 are fairly powerful battery generators. There are other available options with smaller capacities that are more suitable for trips and hikes.
If you are interested in a portable device but need to run powerful equipment like a CPAP machine while on a camping trip, you need to make sure you choose an appropriate wattage level. The Jackery Explorer 500 is well suited for such tasks, however, the Explorer 300 is not.
Customer Service and Warranty
The quality of great customer service is determined by how timely they are in resolving complaints and keeping customers happy and satisfied. Users from Amazon suggest that Jackery offers exceptional customer service and fair warranties and guarantees on their products. If you have any problems with your Jackery product, feel free to contact their customer service support desk.
It is never an easy decision when it comes down to buying anything, but when you want to buy the equipment you really need and a piece that will be essential, you will need all the help you can get with all the specifics and intricacies.
The Jackery Explorer 300 and 500 are made of superior quality and design, which means that it would always boil down to what you really need and why you need it. For instance:
The Jackery Explorer 500 and 300 provide you with a fairly high amount of power compared to any normal power bank, but they are small-medium in size when compared to other solar generators.
The multi-charge capacity feature is present in both devices, so you can simultaneously charge a number of devices. They also offer a longer battery cycle life of 500 cycles to 80% capacity, which means both are quite durable and can last you many years if properly taken care of.
Overall, the Explorer 300 (Amazon affiliate link) is my personal choice and is probably the ideal choice for the majority of users. Why? Because it has a USB-C PD port. It is also lighter and has an additional AC port.
The Explorer 300 is an ideal size because it is still much larger than a standard power bank, but it is not an overwhelming amount of power that is unnecessary for someone looking to power smaller devices and electronics.
You can find the Explorer 300 via the links below.
If you’d like to see all current Jackery solar generators compared to several Goal Zero models, I recommend checking out my article that compares each similar power station. Find this post here: Goal Zero vs. Jackery – Battle of the Brands (Cost/Specs/Analysis).