Portable power stations are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. They offer a reliable source of power for camping trips or as an emergency backup during unexpected blackouts. However, choosing the right one can be a bit tricky.
Understanding battery capacity and the different types of battery technology, such as Lithium-ion versus LiFePO4, can pose challenges to potential buyers. It’s not always easy to know what will best suit your needs.
In this article, we’ll be comparing two top models: the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and the Jackery Explorer 300 Plus. We aim to provide you with detailed insights into each model so that you can make an informed decision on which is the best option for you.
Before diving in, we recommend you check out the helpful comparison tables on the EcoFlow and Jackery websites to get a feel for where these products sit in their line-up:
Battery Specs and Features
Battery Capacity (Wh): The EcoFlow RIVER 2 has a capacity of 256Wh, while the Jackery Explorer 300 Plus boasts a slightly higher storage at 288Wh. This spec is vital as it indicates the amount of energy each device can hold, measured in watt-hours. A greater number suggests that more devices can be powered for longer durations. Therefore, if your power needs are substantial, opt for a model with increased Wh.
Battery Type: Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus utilise LiFePO4 batteries. This indicates that both models are designed for safety and longevity, making them ideal for regular use or important applications. The choice of battery type suggests these units will operate safely and have a longer lifespan compared to those using standard Lithium-ion batteries.
Life Cycles: Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus offer a similar lifespan, with up to 3000 cycles before their capacity drops to 80% of the original. This indicates that both models provide comparable durability and longevity in terms of battery life. Therefore, either product could be a cost-effective choice over time due to less frequent need for replacement.
Expandable Capacity: Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus lack this feature. This means neither model offers the option to connect additional batteries for increased storage capacity. It’s a bit of a letdown, especially if you’re planning on being off-grid for a while.
AC Output (W): Both of these portable battery power stations have a maximum continuous power output of 300W from their AC outlets. This is adequate for running low to medium-powered devices. However, if you’re intending to operate high-powered appliances such as microwaves or power tools, these models may not be sufficient. A unit with a higher wattage rating would be necessary in that case.
Surge Power (W): Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus have a power output of 600W. This indicates that they can both handle devices requiring a short burst of high power upon start-up, such as fridge compressors. The surge power for each model should be able to meet these demands adequately.
Ports and Outlets
AC Outlets: Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus models have a single 230V AC outlet. This means they can each power one device at a time. It’s vital to ensure that the voltage and amperage of your devices are compatible with these units.
USB-A Outlets: Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus models have a single outlet with an output of 5V, 2.4A. This indicates that they offer identical charging capabilities for low-power devices such as smartphones and tablets. The number of ports and amperage are key factors in determining charging speed and versatility, but these two models are on par in this regard.
USB-C Outlets: The EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus both utilise USB-C, the latest standard for charging larger devices like laptops. However, there’s a noticeable difference in their wattage ratings and number of outlets. The Jackery model offers higher wattage at 100W Max and two outlets, compared to the EcoFlow’s single outlet with a maximum of 60W. This suggests that the Jackery can charge devices quicker and accommodate more gadgets simultaneously.
DC5521 Outlets (5.5mm): The EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus both lack specialised DC outlets. This could be a potential drawback if your devices require this type of connection.
Other DC Outlets: Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus models feature a single car outlet. This is particularly useful for charging devices that require specialised plugs or car chargers. If you utilise such devices, this aspect should be taken into account when choosing between these two models.
AC Charging (W): The EcoFlow RIVER 2 has a higher max power input at 360W compared to the Jackery Explorer 300 Plus which sits at 300W. This suggests that the EcoFlow model could potentially charge faster, given its ability to accept more power from a wall outlet. However, it’s important to weigh this against each unit’s total battery capacity for an accurate comparison.
DC / Car Charging: Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus support charging from a car or other DC source, making them handy for road trips or situations where an AC outlet isn’t accessible. The key difference lies in their additional features. While the EcoFlow RIVER 2 supports a straightforward 12V/24V, 8A input, the Jackery model adds USB-C charging to its capabilities.
Solar Charging (W): The EcoFlow RIVER 2 boasts a higher maximum wattage intake at 110W, compared to the Jackery Explorer 300 Plus which sits at 80W. This suggests that the EcoFlow model would charge faster via solar panels, making it potentially more efficient for off-grid or emergency use.
Maximum Input (W): The EcoFlow RIVER 2 boasts a higher input wattage at 360W AC, compared to the Jackery Explorer 300 Plus which maxes out at 300W. This suggests that the EcoFlow model may offer faster charging times.
Wireless Charging Pad: Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus models lack wireless charging capabilities. This feature, while handy for charging smartphones or other devices without cords, isn’t considered essential by all users.
Smart App Control: Both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus models offer smartphone app control, enhancing user convenience with features like battery status updates and power monitoring. They both connect to the app via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, indicating a similarity in their connectivity options.
Warranty: The EcoFlow RIVER 2 offers a warranty period of five years, while the Jackery Explorer 300 Plus provides three years with an additional two. This suggests that EcoFlow may have more faith in their product’s longevity and reliability. However, it’s always wise to scrutinise the terms and conditions before making a decision based on warranty alone.
EcoFlow RIVER 2 vs Jackery Explorer 300 Plus Comparison Table
|EcoFlow RIVER 2
|Jackery Explorer 300 Plus
|Battery Capacity (Wh)
|3000 cycles to 80%
|3000 to 80+%
|AC Output (W)
|Surge Power (W)
|1 Outlet – 230V
|1 Outlet – 230V
|1 Outlet – 5V, 2.4A
|1 Outlet – 5V, 2.4A
|1 Outlet – 60W Max
|2 Outlets – 100W Max
|DC5521 Outlets (5.5mm)
|Other DC Outlets
|1x Car Outlet
|1x Car Outlet
|Wireless Charging Pad
|Solar Charging (W)
|AC Charging (W)
|DC / Car Charging
|Supports 12V/24V, 8A
|Supports Car charging (12V/24V) + USB-C charging
|Maximum Input (W)
|Smart App Control
In conclusion, both the EcoFlow RIVER 2 and Jackery Explorer 300 Plus have their strengths and potential drawbacks. The EcoFlow model offers a higher wattage intake, potentially faster charging times, and a longer warranty period. It may be more suited to those who prioritise quick charging or plan on using solar panels for off-grid use.
On the other hand, the Jackery model boasts slightly higher storage capacity and superior USB-C capabilities. Its compact size might make it a better fit for those with limited space or who value portability.
However, neither model provides an option to connect additional batteries nor do they offer wireless charging capabilities. Both models are similar in terms of battery life cycle, power output and connectivity options. Ultimately, your choice between these two should hinge on your specific needs and preferences.