We don't realise how much we rely on power until we're far from home and the batteries in our various electronic devices start running low, especially when we find ourselves out longer than expected. Sometimes not being able to use the gadgets we depend on for navigation, communicating with the wider world, or simply obtaining some home comforts away from home, can land us in hot water. At best it's a frustration, but at worst we could be talking life or death situations.
Jackery's Explorer Portable Power Stations and SolarSaga solar panels offer a much needed lifeline, enabling you to source power wherever you are and keep everything going until you're safely back home.
Powering all the things
Ideal for camping trips and other outdoor pursuits, the Explorer 240 Portable Power Station is the middle model in a range that includes the lower-capacity Explorer 160 and higher-capacity Explorer 500, here offering a 240Wh lithium-ion battery in a tough yet easily portable 6.6lbs shell. With a convenient carry handle it is the perfect travel companion.
We particularly like the Power Station's 110V AC outlet, which lets you plug in any electronic device provided it draws less than 200W. That's going to rule out things like your hairdryer or electric heater, but for lower-power devices - phones, laptops, cameras, drones and so on - it will quickly prove its worth.
It's powerful enough to charge your smartphone 18 times, or a GoPro more than 40 times. This Power Station can give your iPad at least seven full recharges, and save your laptop from running out of power four times. It'll even power a mini cooler for up to 5 hours.
The Power Station also has two full-size USB outputs and a 12V car port, plus an LCD screen that provides real-time stats of power going in and out, plus how much battery remains.
Jackery's Explorer 240 Power Station is available for $249.99 from Amazon.com, making it a must-have for any camping or hiking enthusiasts.
Endless power for all your devices
For the ultimate portable power solution the Power Station works best when paired with a solar charger that can keep it topped up indefinitely. No matter how high in capacity is its internal battery, it is eventually going to run out of power. For planned trips that's mostly going to be fine, because you will have planned for this before you depart, but for more unexpected excursions you could find that even with the Power Station you don't have enough power to get you by.
It's commonly believed that solar panels work only in extremely sunny conditions, but while they might work better on a hot, sunny day, they can collect power from the sun even on a cloudy day.
Jackery has a range of solar panels, with this $179.99 60W SolarSaga panel the middle option in a range that also includes $199.99 50W and $299.99 100W panels.
The SolarSaga panel stands out for its high conversion efficiency (up to 23.7%) and its convenient and durable design. This panel folds down to a third of its outstretched size, and a rubber handle makes it easy to carry along with your other belongings. You'll barely even notice it's there, weighing just 3.3lbs.
Jackery has also designed this solar panel to be easy to mount on an RV or tent, and it includes a kickstand for adjusting the angle and ensuring you can achieve the optimum position for catching the sun's rays.
The Explorer 240 Portable Power Station and SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel make the ultimate portable power bundle, but these devices also work well independently of each other. The solar panel includes a full-size USB port and a USB-C output, allowing you to directly connect devices you wish to charge.