Jackery Explorer 500 review – 518Wh portable power station
The Jackery Explorer 500 is an all-in-one solution to a campervan electrical system. It combines a lithium leisure battery, a pure sine wave inverter and a solar charge controller in one portable unit and weighs in at only 6kg, making it perfect for van life.
It can be charged via a mains plug socket or by connecting to a Jackery 100W Solar Saga solar panel, and it features 12V DC and USB charging points, and a 230V AC plug socket.
We put it to the test whilst working remotely from our campervan in France – read on to read our Jackery 500 review.
The Jackery Explorer 500 gives us the flexibility as digital nomads to work wherever we travel
The Jackery Explorer 500 is comprised of a lithium-ion battery, a pure sine wave inverter, and a solar charge controller. Its screen shows power input, output and state of charge, and its face is covered in various charging ports. The unit has a built in handle, making it easy to move about.
The Jackery 500 has a built-in 518Wh (24Ah) lithium battery. This is enough to charge a laptop using a 60W charger 5 times, or a phone using a 10W charger around 50 times.
The Jackery Explorer can be charged in 3 ways:
- A mains power wall plug (~7-8 hours)
- A car cigarette lighter (~7-8 hours)
- Solar Saga 100W solar panel (~9-10 hours using a 100W solar panel)
The Jackery Explorer has a range of different power outputs:
- 1x 12V DC car cigarette lighter charger
- 3x 12V DC USB chargers
- 1x 230V AC mains power plug sockets
The 230V mains power is supplied from an internal pure sine wave 500W inverter, meaning the unit can power up to a mains power product with a total wattage under 500W.
Once you have plugged in your appliance, you can swap between the different type of outputs (AC, USB and DC) by using the buttons on the main face.
Solar Saga 100W solar panel
The Jackery Explorer 500 is perfect for someone converting a smaller campervan who doesn’t want to install a full electrical system, but still wants access to 12V and 230V power. Paired with the Solar Saga 100W solar panel, it makes a great little off-grid setup with zero installation requirements.
We also rated the Jackery Explorer and Solar Saga panel as a great van life working setup, to provide extra flexibility for remote working. When it’s sunny, we love to work outside on our laptops, and the Jackery Explorer meant we didn’t have to retreat to our van when our laptop batteries were low. It would also be useful as a backup power bank for those with a lower spec electrical system.
The Jackery Explorer 500 weighs 6kg and the Solar Saga 100W solar panel weighs 4kg, so at a total of 10kg it’s not a significant weight to add to your conversion, and would also be perfect for car camping.
Where to buy the Jackery Explorer 500
So now that you’ve read our Jackery 500 review, if you’ve decided it’s the right powerbank for you, where can you buy it?
We now have all of the Jackery powerbanks and solar panels for sale on our webshop! Plus we’ve benchmarked all of our prices to ensure we’re cheaper than competitors.
Jackery 500 FAQs
How much is a Jackery 500?
The Jackery Explorer 500 costs £502.99 when you buy it from Climbingvan, which is cheaper than Amazon and we offer free delivery on orders over £50.
What can a Jackery 500 power?
The Jackery 500 can power any 230V appliance with a power draw which is below 500W, such as a SUP board pump, a speaker, a TV, an outdoor light, or hair straighteners. It can also charge devices such as laptops, cameras and phones.
How long does Jackery 500 last?
The Jackery 500 power station will last for 25 hours if it is powering something which draws 20 watts, such as a phone charger. It will last for 5.5 hours if it is powering something which draws 90W, such as a drone charger.
How long to charge a Jackery 500?
The Jackery 500 will take 5-6 hours to fully charge when it’s plugged into a mains socket. It can also be charged from a car’s cigarette lighter socket (5-6 hours) or from portable solar panels (7-8 hours using a 100W solar panel).
How many years will a Jackery 500 last?
The Jackery 500 battery will last for 10 years if you use it around four times per month (on average). The Jackery 500’s battery has a cycle life of 500 cycles. After 500 cycles, the battery’s capacity will be reduced to ∼80% of its original capacity, meaning it will still work, but won’t hold as much charge.