A lithium-ion portable power pack is an excellent tool to have on hand in an emergency. They can be just as useful in everyday life, letting you use all your devices even when you don’t have easy access to a power outlet.
Looking at the Jackery Explorer 500 vs. Goal Zero, both have the capability to power a range of appliances, tools, and electronics. Overall, the Goal Zero Yeti 500X is the better portable power pack, with a high capacity and compact, versatile design. Let’s take a closer look at the key features so you can see how they stack up side by side. (>>> Check on Amazon)
Jackery Explorer 500 vs Goal Zero Side by Side:
|Jackery Explorer 500||Goal Zero Yeti 500X|
|Item Weight||13.3 pounds||12.9 Pounds|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||11.8 x 9.2 x 7.6 inches||13 x 15 x 10 inches|
|Price||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
The capacity of the battery inside the power pack determines how long it will be able to power the devices plugged into it. Both the Goal Zero and the Jackery Explorer use lithium-ion batteries, which have an excellent power-to-weight ratio and gives them an impressive capacity for their size.
This is one place where the Jackery Explorer takes a slim lead. Its 513-watt capacity just edges out the 505 watts of the Goal Zero Yeti 500X. As we said, though, it’s a close contest and both will provide a lot of power.
Higher capacity: Jackery Explorer
The Jackery Explorer is relatively portable and lightweight, at just over 13 pounds. The built-in handle is comfortable to grip and carry, and its plastic exterior is relatively durable and resistant to impacts and vibration. You can also charge it anywhere since it can get power from a solar panel or car battery.
Here, it’s the Goal Zero that takes the slim lead. Its handle is foldable, making it more compact, and it has a rugged metal housing that’s better able to withstand damage during transport. It can also be charged through an outlet, car, or solar panel, so you’ll get the same versatility of charging options.
More portable: Goal Zero Yeti 500X
How fast a portable power pack charges depends on what charging method you’re using and how much the battery has been depleted. The Jackery Explorer can be recharged to 80% capacity in 7-8 hours using a solar panel, or about 5-6 hours through a car or wall outlet.
The charging technology in the Goal Zero is more efficient. With the right equipment, the Goal Zero Yeti 500X can be fully-recharged to 100% capacity in as little as 6 hours using a solar panel. Through an outlet, that drops to as little as 4-5 hours.
Faster charging speed: Goal Zero Yeti 500X
Most people will find the Jackery Explorer gives them the number and style of outlets they need for their devices. It has an AC outlet, 2 DC ports, and 3 USB ports for devices like laptops and phones. These can all be used simultaneously, so you can power up to 6 devices at once.
The Goal Zero expands on this with 4 USB ports (2 type-A and 2 type-C) as well as dual AC outlets, along with 12-volt and 6mm DC ports. This means it can power both a wider variety of devices and more devices at the same time.
More outlets: Goal Zero Yeti 500X
Jackery Explorer 500
The Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station is built to give you reliable power no matter where you are. It’s an excellent choice for camping and road trips. It weighs less than 15 pounds and has a compact design with a sturdy carrying handle, so it’s easy to take on the go. It’s quiet when it’s running, too, so you can use it anywhere without intrusion.
This is also a versatile power station. It can be re-charged through a traditional wall outlet, which is the fastest way to refill its battery. You can also charge it using your car’s battery or by attaching a solar panel. Keep in mind the solar panel doesn’t come with it and it can take a while to recharge this way (as much as 8 hours), but that’s a great option to have when you’re camping or traveling.
The Jackery Explorer is just as versatile when it comes to the devices it can charge. It has enough outlets to power 6 devices at the same time, with 3 USB ports that make it perfect for recharging laptops, hand-held gaming systems, and other electronics while you’re on the road. It can power devices up to 500 watts, so its suitable for running devices like mini fridges or projectors.
- Can be charged through an outlet or solar array (not included)
- High capacity for longer-lasting power
- Powers multiple devices simultaneously
- Wide range of plugs for a variety of devices
- LED display shows remaining capacity
- Lightweight and portable with built-in handle
- Can’t support devices over 500 watts
- Can take a while to recharge after use
Goal Zero Yeti 500X
The rugged housing of the Goal Zero Yeti 500X is built to withstand shakes, impacts, and drops, and that’s something you want in a portable power pack for camping and outdoor use. We also appreciate the design of the handle, which is hinged to fold flat when you’re not using it. This makes the Goal Zero portable power pack more compact than most, and easier to fit into your car’s trunk or camping gear.
The Goal Zero Yeti 500X works well with Goal Zero brand solar panels in both permanent and portable set-ups. The recharging speed depends on which panels you use but is overall more efficient and faster than most, needing as little as 6 hours for a full recharge through a solar panel. It’s even faster to charge from a car or wall outlet.
The variety of outlets on the Goal Zero power pack let it power or recharge up to 8 devices at once. It provides a lot of power, too, enough to run outdoor lights for over 100 hours or fully recharge the average smart phone about 40 times. This combination of versatility and portability you’ll get with the Yeti 500X is worth the investment for anyone who needs long-lasting, reliable power outdoors. Click here for our more in-depth Goal Zero Yeti 500X review.
- Large capacity
- Powers up to 8 devices at once
- Rugged and durable build
- More efficient solar panel charging
- Hinged handle folds down when not in use
- Good variety of recharging and device options
- Screen makes it easy to see the battery’s status
- Can’t be used to power mini fridges
- Higher cost
What’s the Bottom Line?
Choosing the best portable power pack really comes down to how you plan to use it. You’ll get a similar power capacity from the Goal Zero and the Jackery Explorer, and either one will provide the reliable, versatile power most people need.
For campers and travelers, the efficiency and portability of the Goal Zero Yeti 500X will be especially appealing. That said, it’s also a bit more expensive. If you don’t need the extra outlets, the Jackery Explorer could get the job done for less. In either case, you’ll get power anywhere you need it. (>>> Check the current price on Amazon)