The Jackery Explorer 300 is a capable portable solar power station. But with so many options out there, is this the right one for you?
I’ve owned power stations from several brands and tested them while overlanding, camping, and spending plenty of time off-grid.
Jackery has continued to be a solid option for me over the years. But, they do have a few (minor) downsides I’ll talk about as well.
Here are my thoughts on the Jackery Explorer 300:
Jackery Explorer 300 Pros & Cons
Let’s take a look at the good and the bad of the Jackery 300.
- Small and easy to carry
- Very durable
- Excellent customer service
- Fast charging speed
- Up to 95% of wattage is usable (many competitors only get 70-90%)
- Regulated 12V output for CPAP machines
What I like about the Jackery Explorer 300 is that it’s small, easy to carry around, and has multiple ways to charge up. It’s also extremely reliable—Jackery is like the Toyota of the portable power station world.
You can plug it into a 60W PD USB-C charger and the 90W AC wall outlet charger at the same time, meaning it can charge to full in just 2.5 hours!
It has an MPPT solar charge controller, pure sine-wave inverter, and every kind of outlet you may need. The AC output port can put out up to 300W with a 500W peak surge. It has two of these AC outlets as well as every type of USB port and a 12V outlet.
The 12V outlet is regulated, which means that no matter what the battery percentage of the Jackery is, the output will still be 12V volts—there’s no fluctuation, so it’s safe for CPAP machines. In fact, I found out from Hobotech’s review video that the 12V outlet can output up to 13 amps (156 watts) without losing any voltage!
It can take a solar charging input of up to 30V and it can intake up to 125W at a time, which is fast for a generator of this size. If you have one of their 200 watt panels, you can cap out this 125W. But the 100W panel can still charge the unit to full in about 4-.5 to 5.5 hours, so I wouldn’t get the 200W solar panel unless you have other solar power stations to charge and would use it for them as well.
Overall, the Jackery solar generator is an excellent power bank with enough power output for most camping and basic off-grid needs.
- The charging cable has an inverter, rather than it being built-in to the unit
- It doesn’t have a flashlight
- The LCD screen doesn’t give much information
- You can only use 8mm solar input cables (no MC4 connector)
- There is no app
While the Jackery Explorer 300 portable power station has a lot going for it, there are a few drawbacks to note.
First, it doesn’t have a flashlight, which to me isn’t a huge deal (I always carry one anyway). But for a solar generator of this size, it would make sense to include one.
But the biggest complaint is that Jackery uses the 8mm input connection rather than an MC4 connector. That means you either have to use their panels or you need to buy an adapter, which may be hard to come by.
Besides that, their LCD screen only shows battery percentage and input/output wattages. It doesn’t show how many hours it will continue for like some of the EcoFlow products do.
The charging cable has the inverter on the cord, which makes the cord a bit of a pain to take around. But that’s only for AC port charging, not for solar or car charging.
Finally, there isn’t a bluetooth app to keep tabs on it and control it from your phone. But with a portable power station of this size, that really isn’t a big deal.
Overall, the drawbacks are pretty minimal. It doesn’t have any glaring issues, just minor stuff.
The Solar Panels
One of the most common complaints of the Jackery products is their use of an 8mm input port for charging. Most solar panels come with an MC4 connector, not 8mm, so you need an adapter to use most non-Jackery panels.
However, their solar panels are extremely lightweight, durable, easy-to-use and reliable. Again, you’re getting a premium product that you can take anywhere. I’ve literally left these panels out in the rain and freezing temperatures and they still work.
I did need to replace one panel after a leak, but Jackery replaced it for free right away with no questions asked. So I believe they are worth the premium price!
With the Jackery Explorer 300, I recommend getting a 100W Solar Saga solar panel.
Main Competitors to the Jackery Explorer 300
OK, so the Jackery Explorer 300 is awesome. But where does it stand compared to its competitors? Why not go with someone else?
Some of their bigger competitors include:
- EcoFlow River, which is much more expensive.
- Bluetti AC50S, which is more expensive.
- Balder 330, which doesn’t have 12V regulated output.
While you can get a slightly fancier product with a bit more features, it will cost you more money. Or you can choose to save money and go with something that isn’t as reliable. It depends on what you personally care about.
Jackery 300 Specs
Here’s a look at the specs, if you’re curious:
9.1 x 5.2 x 7.8 in.
Black and orange
293Wh (14.4V, 20.4Ah), Li-ion NMC, 500 cycles to 80%+ capacity
110VAC, 60Hz, 300W (500W Surge Power)
Car Charger Output
Quick Charge 3.0 Output USB-A
5-6.5V, 3A / 6.5-9V, 2A / 9-12V, 1.5A
USB-C PD Output
5V, 9V, 15V, 20V, 3A
12V-30V (90W Max)
Solar Charger Input
Car Charger Input
USB-C PD Input
Maximum Charging Input
BMS, Over Voltage Protection, Short Circuit Protection
Conclusion: Who’s It For?
The Jackery Explorer 300 is a compact power station that’s great to have on hand for power outages, camping, or off-grid use. It’s reliable, durable, and their customer service is excellent.
This solar generator is perfect for anyone who wants a reliable portable power station for small devices and electronics that can be recharged quickly.
It’s not for you if you need more than 300W or don’t want to be forced to use Jackery’s solar panels or buy an MC4 to 8mm adapter, but that’s a minor issue in my opinion.
If you need more wattage, consider the Jackery 1000. I also own the Explorer 1000 and it’s just as fantastic as the smaller 300 watt power station.
Overall, I’m very pleased with my Jackery products and plan to use them for many years to come. It’s a great way to power outdoors.