If you’re buying a portable power station for road trips, camping, and other outdoor adventures, you want to find a model that gives you a lot of juice in a compact package. Two models rise to the top for these buyers: the Bluetti AC50S vs. Jackery 500.
The Bluetti AC50S and Jackery Explorer 500 both weigh less than 15 pounds and have a variety of outputs and recharging methods for users. Looking at overall performance, most buyers will find the Bluetti AC50S is a better value, but the Jackery 500 could be the better choice for some. Take a closer look at this side-by-side comparison if you’re not sure which one to buy (>>> Check on BluettiPower.com).
Bluetti AC50S vs Jackery 500 Side by Side:
|Bluetti AC50S||Jackery Explorer 500|
|Item Weight||14 Pounds||13.3 pounds|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||10 x 8 x 8 inches||11.8 x 9.2 x 7.6 inches|
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|Find on Jackery.com
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The capacity of these power stations is similar. The Jackery 500 is slightly higher at 513 watt hours (compared to 500 for the Bluetti AC50S), but they’ll provide similar run times and recharges for devices.
The main difference here is the amount of power they can put out at once. The Bluetti can handle loads up to 300 watts, while the Jackery has a max output of 500 watts. This slightly expands its device compatibility. More importantly, it widens your options for simultaneous power. As an example, if you have a 300-watt projector and a 200-watt soundbar, the Bluetti could power either individually, but the Jackery can run both at the same time.
More power: Jackery Explorer 500
Most people who need a power station plan to run more than one device at a time. The Jackery 500 has 7 total ports, including AC, USB, and 12V options. Its 3 USB ports are great for recharging phones or powering Bluetooth speakers, though it only has one AC outlet.
The Bluetti AC50S has 5 total USB ports, with USB-C as well as USB-A. It also has 2 AC outlets and 12V charging options. Not only can it power more things at once, it has more outlet formats so it can power a wider range of devices.
Better outlet variety: Bluetti AC50S
These two models share a lot of excellent portability features. They’re similar in overall weight and size and have a sturdy overall built that makes them suitable for outdoor use.
The Bluetti AC50S takes a slight edge in this category thanks to its handle design. The Jackery 500 has a built-in handle, too, but it’s a one-piece unit, so that handle adds to its overall height. The handles on the Jackery fold down flat, so it’s easier to pack into your gear and can fit into tighter spaces.
More portable: Bluetti AC50S
Both of these power stations can be recharged in 3 ways: a wall outlet, a car outlet, or a solar panel. Their performance is similar when recharging through outlets, with a similar 5-6 hour recharge time.
Where these two units differ is their solar recharging. The Bluetti AC50S comes with a 100W folding solar panel and is more efficient at storing solar power than other models. With the right light conditions, you can recharge it in as little as 4 hours with a solar panel. That’s much faster than the 7-10 hours for the Jackery 500.
Faster recharging: Bluetti AC50S
The Bluetti AC50S is an excellent portable power station for road trips, camping, and other on-the-go use. It has a compact cube design with fold-down handles for easy storage and transportation. The included solar panel is just as easy to transport, with a foldable design that’s scratch-proof and easy to clean, so you can take it on the trail without worrying about damage.
You can recharge the Bluetti AC50S relatively quickly. Its solar panel uses monocrystalline silicon cells with ETFE lamination. This improves the light absorption and makes it more efficient than other designs, fully recharging the AC50S battery in about 4 hours. It can also be recharged using a car port or wall outlet, with a 5-6 hour recharge time using AC power.
As far as its output, the Bluetti AC50S is great for recharging electronics or powering small tools and appliances. Its capacity is high enough to run a 40-watt device for 10 hours or longer, or to recharge a smart phone 40 times or more. This balance of power to weight is why it’s one of the best power stations on the market for wilderness camping, or anywhere you need power you can carry with you easily. Click here for our more detailed Bluetti AC50s review.
- Powers up to 11 devices at the same time
- Built-in lantern with SOS function
- Compact and portable design
- Comes with a solar panel included
- Efficient solar recharging
- Good variety of outlets and ports
- Not suitable for large appliances (300w max load)
- Long recharging time through car outlets (up to 15 hours)
Jackery Explorer 500
The Jackery Explorer 500 has a capacity of 518 watt hours and can power devices up to 500W. This makes it a great choice for tailgates and backyard movie nights, running things like a projector or electric grill for the duration of the festivities.
You can take the Jackery 500 with you on the road, too. It weighs about 13 pounds and has a solid exterior design with a comfortable built-in handle. The integrated MPPT controller makes it a user-friendly power station, automatically managing the power being sent to the outlets, with a digital display that shows the current power load and the remaining charge.
Outlet power is the fastest way to recharge the Jackery 500. It can be fully recharged using a wall outlet or car charging port in about 5-6 hours. It’s not as efficient when it comes to solar charging, however. Depending on the solar panel and light conditions, expect anywhere from 7-10 hours for a full charge. You’ll also need to buy a panel to use this function since it doesn’t come with one included.
- Runs 7 devices simultaneously
- Lightweight with built-in handle
- Powers devices up to 500 watts
- Detailed, easy-to-read display
- Recharges in 5-6 hours through car or wall outlet
- Solar panel has to be purchased separately
- Long recharging time with solar panels
Solar panels don’t come cheap, with most falling in the $150-$300 price range, so the inclusion of one with the Bluetti AC50S is a big value add. Its portability and outlet versatility are also strong points in its favor, and the reason we’d say it’s the best choice for most buyers (>>> Check the current price on Amazon).
This isn’t to say the Jackery Explorer 500 is a bad power station by any means, though. Its higher power load makes it a better choice for many around the home uses like backyard movie nights or outdoor use of power tools. Consider where you’ll use the power station and what you plan to charge or run. That should help you decide which one best matches your needs.