This is the Ultimate TopNotch Jackery Explorer 240 Power Station Review 2020….
Sowhat’s the best value solar power station?
Let’s cut to the chase… we tested the top 10 portable power stations on the market and the best value product on the market is the Jackery 240.
Want to know why? Well, in this comprehensive review we’re going to cover…
- Main features
- Power output
- Overall reliability
- Lots more…
The Jackery 240 turned out to provide perfect on-the-go power that ticked all the right boxes for us.
The Jackery 240 is it.
If you want an affordable solar battery with superb performance, you’ll love this guide.
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- Light and portable build
- Effective battery management system
- Advanced inverter technology
- LCD display indicating battery status
- US standard AC outlet
- Offers great value
- Waterproofing would have been nice
- Charging time could have been faster
Jackery Explorer 240 Power Station
There aren’t many products that strike the perfect balance between performance and value.
The good news is: This Jackery 240 power station is one.
In fact, it’s exactly what an outdoor lover would look for in a portable power station: a solid lithium-ion battery, a pure sine wave discharge, great efficiency, and a bright LCD display.
On paper, everything seems perfect.
A few other power stations with great specs on paper, just couldn’t live up to them in reality.
But not the Jackery power station.
In our tests, the 240W power station gave a solid all-round performance.
Now, if you’re looking for fancy features, this device ain’t it.
That said, it’s simple enough to offer first-time users a buttery-smooth experience.
At the same time, you get the perfect combination of AC, DC, and two USB ports for charging a variety of electronics.
Another thing we loved: the excellent discharge efficiency of the Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station.
Something else that really shines is the TopNotch portability. Just throw it in a corner of your RV or at the back of your vehicle when you head out.
Lastly, there’s an excellent range of safety features and the superb Battery Management System.
Honestly, I guess we would have liked the charging time to be faster. Also, there’s no waterproofing or protection for the outlets.
But the truth is, considering the fantastic value it represents, we can overlook a couple of things.
In the end, the picture was crystal clear. This portable power station beat all the competition to emerge as the TopNotch Best Value product.
So what do you think? Is this power station worth a closer look?
Here we go…
Related: 10 Best Solar Generators
Analysis Comparisons and Test Results
Our review trip with the ten portable power stations was a bit of a break with tradition.
We had a veteran from the solar industry along for the ride – to point out the best and worst features of each.
To tell you the truth, with the Jackery 240 portable power station, the cons were hard to find.
You may feel the power delivery is on the lower side.
But hold on a second here…
In reality, this product is designed for light users. So you can use it to charge smartphones, tablets, mini coolers, and even small fans.
And for more power requirements you have heavyweights like the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 as the TopNotch Top Pick.
So let’s check out the 240W portable power station in more detail.
Value for Money
This is one metric under which the Jackery 240 power station was a clear-cut chart topper.
Firstly, you can charge a whole range of gear. The AC and DC ports along with the two USB outlets mean it’s super easy.
Value for Money Rating
Also, the US standard AC outlet guarantees it’s totally compatible with all your electronics.
Next, recharging is simple. You can use compatible solar chargers, an AC wall socket, or a car battery.
Point to be noted: A third party solar panel will come with an MC4 connector. To connect that you’ll need an adapter for the 8mm connector on the Jackery.
In addition, there are also built-in solar charge controllers for smooth charging.
Let’s talk about safety features.
The battery management system is super effective at keeping it effective against overcharging and short circuits.
You get pure sine wave inverter technology. So a clean power supply for all your electronics – particularly good for the sensitive ones.
One more thing we loved is the LCD status screen. Quite simply, it puts all the key data at your fingertips.
The overall power delivery is steady and the power station showed minimum power loss in our tests.
The excellent portability is another thing that makes it perfect for the Great Outdoors.
Obviously, the lithium-ion battery is much lighter than lead-acid ones. At 6.6 pounds, the Jackery 240 portable power station is super light to carry around.
Really,nitpicking , we felt that a USB port with the quick charge feature would have been useful.
But considering everything else, it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
Let’s be honest.
With 240 Watt-hours output, this portable power station isn’t going to charge big thirsty devices anytime soon.
But from laptops to drones, it’ll power anything under 200 W.
Output Power Rating
The Jackery will cut off automatically if the load is exceeded.
We tested it from 100 % power until it ran out of charge.
We connected it with a 50W laptop, a smartphone, and a small USB fan.
It delivered almost 95% of the rated output with very little power loss.
In other words, a great performance and a big thumbs up from the TopNotch team.
What about charging time?
Actually, there’s an in-built charge controller that optimizes the charging efficiency pretty well.
Unfortunately, we found the charging speed was a bit on the slow side. Whether you plug it into an AC outlet or your car, the battery will take almost 8 hours to get fully charged.
Connected to a solar panel (let’s say with a 50 W solar panel) it’ll take around ten hours.
Naturally, the exact charging time will depend on the amount of sunlight the panel receives.
One more thing…
You can use the battery for charging while it’s connected with a solar panel or AC outlet.
But it will take more time to achieve a full charge.
On the whole, the power output is perfect for campers and for emergency backups. It’ll also work well for medical devices like CPAP units.
If you need more power than this, try the other options listed in our TopNotch Top Picks.
Durability & Workmanship
I have to say that the overall build quality of the Jackery portable power station is very good.
The plastic shell is sturdy enough to withstand a few knocks and bumps. We handled it pretty roughly and it stood up well.
Also, all the ports are solidly made and the connections feel secure to handle.
Durability & Workmanship Rating
But, it’s not a product that is “survival” grade or shock-proof. So I wouldn’t drop it from a height if you can avoid it.
It comes with rubber feet to keep it stable.
The handle is well designed – carrying it is straightforward.
Next, let’s check the dimensions.
At 9.05 x 5.24 x 7.87 inches, the Explorer is pretty compact.
Here’s what really enhances the user experience….
… the LCD screen that displays battery levels as well as input and output wattage.
Additionally, the screen is backlit. So seeing it clearly on a bright day isn’t an issue.
Each power outlet can be turned on independently with the push of a button – adding to the overall safety.
Beyond that, the Explorer power station didn’t overheat at all at higher output.
We tested it by charging and discharging at the same time – it just got a tad warm.
Keep in mind that it isn’t waterproof. So don’t leave it outside on a wet day.
In the end, it was one of our top performers under this metric.
Dependability & Reliability
Without a doubt, the Jackery Explorer 240 is quiet, safe, and reliable.
It has inverter technology to keep your electronics safe – with a steady output.
On top of that, there’s the battery management system that makes the overall power delivery super-secure.
Dependability & Reliability Rating
And don’t forget, the Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station comes with a 24 month warranty.
Complete peace of mind for you.
Here’s an important insight…
Commercial airlines have a maximum allowance of 100Wh when it comes to power stations. So you won’t be able to fly with the Explorer 240.
It showed no signs of stress or overheating when connected to multiple electronics. So you can easily use all the ports simultaneously…
… as you don’t cross the wattage limit.
One thing I must mention is the high quality lithium-ion battery. Its TopNotch performance really impressed our solar expert.
So we dug a bit deeper.
And guess what we found?
Jackery co-founder and CEO Mr. Sun (very appropriate!) was one of the pioneers in the design and development of Li-battery technology.
Moving on to accessories, you get one AC Adapter and one car charger cable in addition to the standard user manual.
Now I’m not nitpicking, but we wished the user manual was a bit more detailed.
All in all, the portable power station ended up in the second position under this metric.
One big advantage of solar power is that it’s pretty silent.
All the power stations we tested were silent performers. So peaceful when compared to the gas-powered generators we’d tested earlier on in the year.
But the thing is…
A few of them were really quiet. I mean we were bowled over by their super-silent operation.
And the Jackery portable power station was one of them.
Of course, we tested its noise limits from all angles.
We connected it with multiple electronics to stretch the output levels close to the limits.
As if that was not enough, we connected it to an AC socket for charging – at the same time.
And the result?
The Explorer 240 power station was not super-silent.
It was ultra-silent!
Some of our other chargers emitted a fan noise at times. More so when they were heating up a little of course.
However, that wasn’t the case with the Jackery Explorer 240.
Needless to say,TopNotch quality is one reason behind this stellar performance.
So the Explorer 240 power station stood at the top of the list under the metric.
Note – Two other options, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 and the Goal Zero Yeti 1400, were equally good performers in the noise department.
Our Final Verdict:
Jackery Explorer 240 Power Station
Jackery Explorer 240 Power Station
In short, we loved using the Jackery 240 power station.
We used it within the specified power band and honestly, it was a superb performer.
To start with, the overall price to performance ratio is TopNotch.
The power delivery is smooth and you can easily connect multiple electronics.
Bonus feature – you get two USB ports.
The build quality is TopNotch and it’s perfect for outdoor use.
Having said that, it’s not completely waterproof. But neither are any of the other products in this price range either.
It’s a super quiet device and you can charge it in three different ways – a very flexible operator.
On the whole, it’s the perfect off-grid camping buddy for you.
Also, it’s great for beach parties or family picnics.
So is the Explorer 240 the right choice for harnessing solar power at an affordable price?
Definitely. 100% it is.
Just make sure your power needs are within the specified limits.
What if you need more power?
There’s the Goal Zero Yeti 1400, our TopNotch Top Pick for you.
So that’s all about it from our end.
Now you’re all set to make the right choice – over to you.
Jackery Explorer 240 Power Station
The Jackery Explorer series is designed for light, medium and heavy users.
While the Explorer 240 is for medium users, the Explorer 160 is a lighter device. It offers 100 W of steady power and multiple connectivity options. As expected, it’s super-lightweight and weighs circa 4 pounds.
For moderate to heavy users, there are two models. The Explorer 500 and the Explorer 1000.
While the former offers a 500W of power output, the later offers 1000W. Both products have all the necessary features making them ideal for outdoor use.