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Our Unbiased Jackery 240 Review

Abnormal and adverse weather conditions are becoming more frequent and intense due to man-made climate change. In the midst of these events, we can lose the power we depend on for light, warmth, or even food.

You don’t have to be completely in the dark though – a solar generator can ease the inconvenience until things return to normal.

The Jackery Explorer 240 is a small solar generator with just enough power to keep the bare necessities working for a few hours to a day or two when used properly. Whether you’re experiencing a blackout or need some power in the great outdoors, this handy item has you covered.

Keep reading to learn more about Jackery as a company, and generators that don’t use gas, specifically the Jackery 240. 

7.7
Jackery 240 Ratings
Design & Features7
Battery Capacity9
Outlets/Ports9
Charge Time7
Warranty/Reputation9
Value5

What Are Some of the Specs and Features?

The durable, plastic housing of the Jackery Explorer 240 contains exactly what you need from an outdoor, green power supply. A lithium-ion (Li-ion) NMC battery with a capacity of 240Wh will hold an 80% charge for up to 500 cycles of charging and depletion.

The battery and the rest of the electronics are protected from problems like over voltage and short circuiting.

Aside from the impressive stats on the battery for an entry-level generator, here are some of the more important aspects of the product:

Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
8/10Our Score
  • Portable: This entry-level portable power station is equipped with a 240Wh lithium-ion battery pack, weighing only 6.6 pounds. The solid handle makes it easy to carry around for outdoor adventures such as Tent Camping, Road Trips, Backyard Camping, etc.
  • Capacity: Can hold an 80% charge for up to 500 cycles of charging and depletion 
  • Provides power from small devices: It can power plenty for most essentials when out on a camping trip or during an emergency but has limitations to some appliances
  • Dustproof display screen: Displays how many watts are going in and out of the generator as well as showing you a percentage charge next to a symbol of a battery
  • Power multiple devices simultaneously: Contains four ports that you can charge 4 devices at once, but it is recommended to set only 2 devices at once for best results
  • Weighs just 6.6lbs
  • 9.05 x 5.24 x 7.87 inches in size
  • A total of 4 outlets (2 USB-A ports, 1 pure sine wave AC American standard port, 1 12V DC car port)
  • Recharge times under 8 hours
  • Display screen for inputs, outputs, and current battery level
  • A battery management system (BMS) to protect the battery and electrical system
  • Comes with 2 USB-C outputs, a 12V DC carport, and an AC outlet (like one you’d find in your home)
Jackery 240

What Kind of Items Can You Charge With the Jackery Explorer 240?

The USB-A outlets are well-equipped with MPPT charge controller technology (like the rest of the ports) to ensure fast charging for devices like smartphones.

The standard AC outlet is only meant to power items that operate below 200W output total, but this is still plenty for most essentials when out on a camping trip or during an emergency situation.

Some of the most common items you might want to power or charge are listed below, along with information on how many charges or hours you can expect from the Jackery Explorer 240:

  • Laptops/Macbook: up to 10 hours per charge (roughly 3.5 charges)
  • Smartphones/tablets: 24 charges
  • TV: 3 hours
  • LED lights: 40 hours
  • Fans: 15 hours

Be careful what you try to use with the Jackery Explorer 240 if you want to get the longest lifespan out of your product. Some bigger models have the power to support appliances like blenders, microwaves, and refrigerators, but the 240 model does not.

What Can I Expect in My Jackery Explorer 240 Package?

Jackery is very upfront about everything that comes in the box when you buy one of their products. In this case, you will receive the rugged Jackery Explorer 240 generator/bank itself, a car charger cable, a two part AC cable, and a user manual.

Cost and Solar Options

You may have noticed that there are no photovoltaic cells on the Jackery Explorer 240 despite being a solar generator and that’s because the suggested Jackery SolarSaga 60 panel is an optional addition to your purchase.

The two products are sold separately for $219.99 and $179.99 respectively so buying one of each will cost you a total of $399.98 before shipping and taxes.

While it’s not exactly cheap for an entry-level emergency preparedness generator, they are still relatively inexpensive compared to many competitors on the market.

How Do I Recharge the Jackery Explorer 240?

Jackery’s official webpage for the 240 model advertises four different ways to keep your generator powered but only discusses three. We suspect that this is because other models include a USB-C input/output that allows for quick charging of mobile devices or can supplement another charging method.

The other three methods to consider involve plugging the Jackery into:

  • A wall socket
  • A car outlet
  • A compatible solar panel like the SolarSaga 60

How Long Does It Take a Jackery To Charge?

If you’re looking at different sources, you might see different numbers for how long it takes to charge the Jackery Explorer 240 and it’s possible that all of those numbers are accurate. Jackery themselves advertise two different sets of numbers that consumers can expect to wait while charging the 240 model.

man with a jackery power station

If you’re looking to get the most juice out of your generator, you can expect to wait:

  • 5.5 hours when plugged into an AC wall outlet of standard voltage
  • 6.5 hours when using the included 12V car adaptor
  • 7 hours when you have a SolarSaga 60W panel(s) plugged in

If you’re not particularly concerned about needing the entire battery or think in terms of cycling that battery (reaching a charge of at least 80%), your times are slightly different:

  • A wall outlet will only take 3.5 hours
  • Outlets in the car will take 5 hours
  • Optimal solar input takes about 5.5 hours

The difference comes not only from the amount of charge you are putting into the Jackery but also the resistance to charge once you reach higher capacities. Differences in charge times could come from the age of the unit and how well the unit has been taken care of.

How Do I Know How Much Charge the Jackery Explorer 240 Has?

A feature that should be standard on all devices like the Jackery Explorer 240 is the dustproof display screen. It details exactly how many watts are going in and out of the generator as well as showing you a percentage charge next to a symbol of a battery. The battery has five slits so presumably each part indicates approximately 20 percent charge.

jackery power station at home
Pros
  • Power multiple devices simultaneously
  • Green power option
  • Operates in extreme temperature
  • Pass through charging support
  • Reputable brand
  • 2-year warranty
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • No built-in flashlight
  • Not waterproof
  • LCD display turns off quickly
  • Expensive

Jackery Explorer 240 Positives

Power Multiple Devices Simultaneously

With a total of 4 output ports, you can have all your favorite devices charging at the same time but doing so could drain your power pretty quickly. Stick to charging two devices like smartphones at a time if possible and only as necessary for the best results.

Operates in Extreme Temperatures

Looking at the notes for the Jackery Explorer 240 you can see the impressive range of temperatures that it can operate at. From -20 up to 45 degrees Celsius (-4 to 113 Fahrenheit), you’ll be covered in the most common temperatures for much of the planet.

Green Power Option

If you’re trying to be more environmentally conscious, getting the Jackery Explorer 240 and a compatible solar panel are a great way to offset some of your carbon footprint while keeping the comfort of modern power at your fingertips.

Compact Size and Portability

Sometimes imagining the size and weight of an item is hard to do through an online specification, but the Jackery Explorer 240 design is meant to be taken with you wherever you go on an outdoor adventure. The weight and dimensions reflect that while keeping everything inside safe with shockproof technologies and manufacturing.

Pass-through Charging Support

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not necessarily a feature of all solar generators. Being able to charge your Jackery Explorer 240 and passing some energy to another device at the same time is great for getting things done while you wait for the generator to finish charging.

jackery solar power station beside a couple

PROS

In summary, the Jackery Explorer 240’s perks are:

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Easy carry handle
  • Quiet operation
  • Eco-friendly power
  • LCD display lists charge at a glance
  • Can charge multiple devices simultaneously
  • Safety features to protect the battery
  • Can handle most temperature ranges

Jackery Explorer 240 Negatives

No Built-in Flashlight

Unlike some of Jackery’s other models, there is no built-in flashlight. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker but it was a handy extra we liked on other models.

No Waterproofing

This seems to be a gross oversight on Jackery’s part. When you get a device specifically catered towards camping, the outdoors, or even emergency preparedness, you should expect it to be waterproof because weather conditions are out of our control and can quickly change.

Neither the Jackery Explorer 240 nor the SolarSaga 60W solar panels are waterproof, so you have to pack up and, potentially, stop using them even when there is a drizzle of rain. This is incredibly inconvenient.

jackery power station beside a car

LCD Display Turns Off Quickly

In an attempt to reduce the power consumption from the LCD screen, Jackery has a ridiculously short timer that makes reading the screen difficult at times. Compared to what the entire generator stores, the power draw from the screen must be so small that you probably use more power turning it on multiple times to read it than if you just left it on for longer.

CONS

Few products are without flaws these days but some of these features really need to be considered if Jackery makes newer models:

  • Waterproofing the power station and solar panel design is essential for future models
  • An adjustable screen timeout and brightness to give control to the user
Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
8/10Our Score
  • Portable: This entry-level portable power station is equipped with a 240Wh lithium-ion battery pack, weighing only 6.6 pounds. The solid handle makes it easy to carry around for outdoor adventures such as Tent Camping, Road Trips, Backyard Camping, etc.
  • Capacity: Can hold an 80% charge for up to 500 cycles of charging and depletion 
  • Provides power from small devices: It can power plenty for most essentials when out on a camping trip or during an emergency but has limitations to some appliances
  • Dustproof display screen: Displays how many watts are going in and out of the generator as well as showing you a percentage charge next to a symbol of a battery
  • Power multiple devices simultaneously: Contains four ports that you can charge 4 devices at once, but it is recommended to set only 2 devices at once for best results

Comparison with Other Brands

GeneratorPeak WattsCharging TimeTotal Number of CyclesCost per CycleDimensionWeight
Jackery Explorer 240400W3.5 hrs.500$0.39.05 x 5.24 x 7.87 in6.6lbs.
EcoFlow RIVER Mini300W2 hrs.500$0.49.7 x 4.4 x 5.2 cm6.27lbs.
Anker 521200W1.5 hrs.3000$0.088.5×8.32×5.67 in9.57lbs.
Yeti 200X200W2 hrs.500$0.67.9 x 5.1 x 5.1 in5lbs.
Renogy Phoenix 200400W1.5 hrs. 500$0.47.1 x 6.1 x 5.6 in4.6lbs.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Portable Solar Generator

How Much Power Do You Need?

A major point to consider before buying any portable solar generator is how much power you are expecting to use on a regular basis. If you just want something to charge your phone when you go on camping trips, a low battery capacity like the Jackery Explorer 240 will work great.

jackery solar power station

If you want to be using multiple appliances with high wattages, consider getting solar solution with a higher capacity and working wattage threshold so your devices don’t cause a surge and turn off while operating.

Do You Have Compatible Solar Panels?

Not all solar panels and power stations are created equal. For various reasons, they aren’t compatible with one another but it is possible to use solar panels that aren’t the Jackery SolarSaga brand. Jackery’s guidelines on this are:

  • The generated voltage of the panels must be between 12 and 30 volts
  • The plug size must be 7.9mm in outer diameter, 5.5mm for inner diameter, and 0.9mm inner needle diameter (empty)

Even if a third-party solar panel meets these connections to charge the Jackery Explorer 240, Jackery doesn’t advise mixing products.

Do You Have To Charge Multiple Devices at Once?

No, it is entirely up to you how many devices you choose to charge simultaneously. Don’t go crazy plugging in extension cords and power hubs for extra outlets though.

How Long Do Jackery Explorer 240s Last?

All Jackery power stations are fitted with lithium-ion batteries that are rated for about 500 complete charge cycles. Jackery estimates that this is the equivalent of 2 or 3 years of daily use.

women holding jackery solar generator

If you did use deplete and charge the Jackery Explorer 240 on a schedule like that, after the 2-3 year mark you will still have about 80% of the battery’s original capacity whenever you next charge and use it. You can continue to use the generator with diminishing returns over the years or you can replace the battery and be good to go for another 2-3 years.

Jackery recommends charging and using your unit at least once every 3 months. If you’re storing it for a long time, charge is about halfway and leave it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

Can You Overcharge a Jackery?

The Jackery Explorer 240 has overcharge protection built in to its circuitry, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it plugged in forever. Things can unexpectedly fail with use so try to monitor your Jackery and unplug it when it reaches full charge.

Are Jackery Power Stations Worth It?

The number of people who swear by the Jackery portable power station products is considerable. Only you can truly decide whether or not the power stations are worth the money but that involves spending your hard earned cash first.

You might not think the Jackery power stations are worth it at their full retail price but it might be the best purchase you ever make when there is a discount or coupon for the products.

Is There Anything Better Than a Jackery?

What is good and bad can be pretty subjective when it comes to brands, but there are several alternatives to Jackery when it comes to portable solar generators/power stations.

Some reputable solar generator brands include:

  • EcoFlow Delta
  • Lion Energy
  • Renogy Phoenix
  • RockPals

Is Jackery a US Company?

Jackery is, indeed, a US-based company. Found in the state of California over 10 years ago, they are a leader in the solar generator industry.

Jackery 240 Specifications

Capacity240Wh (14.4V, 16.8Ah)
Power Outputs110VAC, 60Hz, 200W (400W Surge Peak)
DC Charging Input12V-30V (65W Max)
Auto ShutoffNo
Size23 x 13.32 x 20 cm
Weight6.6 lbs (3 kg)
IncludedCar Charging Cable,AC & AC Cable (2 Parts),User Manual
Warranty2-Years Warranty
Optional AccessoriesJackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel
Measurements9.05 x 5.24 x 7.87 inches
Maximum Output Power400W Surge Peak
AC Output Voltages110V
AC OverloadsYes
AC Output Frequency60Hz
AC Cooling FanYes
Charging Rates60W,44W
Charge Times5.5 Hours
FlashlightNo
12V DC Output Voltage12V, 10A
LCD MetersYes
Self DischargeNo

SolarSaga 100W Specification That Use To Charge Jackery Explorer 240

Peak Power100W
Weight10.33lbs.
Dimension (folded)24 x 21 x 1.4 in
Dimension (unfloded)48 x 21 x 0.2 in
Cell Efficiency23%
Charging Time of Jackery Explorer 2404.5hrs.

What Can It Power?

DevicePower Drawn (KW)Time It Can Be Powered
air conditioner1.758 minutes
air fryer1.7258 minutes
amplifier1.212 minutes
boat battery0.7519 minutes
battery charger0.01516 hours 
computer/cpu0.528 minutes
cooler0.054 hours 48 minutes
car battery0.5526 minutes
coffee maker1.212 minutes
cpap machine0.436 minutes
dryer (cloth)1.59 minutes
electric fan0.046 hours 
extension cord1.69 minutes
water filter0.064 hours 
fuel pump1.113 minutes
freezer0.231 hours 2 minutes
oil fryer1.78 minutes
heater/room heater/small heater/space heater1.59 minutes
hair dryer1.8757 minutes
iphone0.0455 hours 20 minutes
ipad0.064 hours 
induction cooktop0.916 minutes
inverter generator0.038 hours 
inverter battery1.212 minutes
juicer0.038 hours 
keyboard0.002596 hours 
kettle1.59 minutes
keurig1.59 minutes
laptop0.151 hours 36 minutes
lightbulb0.064 hours 
microwave0.916 minutes
mini fridge0.073 hours 25 minutes
mixer0.32544 minutes
normal room0.528 minutes
off grid cabin5.52 minutes
oil cooler0.916 minutes
oven1.1512 minutes
electrical panel0.054 hours 48 minutes
pc0.2557 minutes
projector0.3541 minutes
full size refrigerator0.436 minutes
router0.0124 hours 
speaker0.348 minutes
sump pump0.191 hours 15 minutes
tablet0.046 hours 
thermostat0.0124 hours 
transmitter0.0212 hours 
turntable0.0212 hours 
tv0.151 hours 36 minutes
ups battery0.624 minutes
vacuum cleaner1.410 minutes
vacuum pump0.2557 minutes
vape0.12 hours 24 minutes
water pump0.7519 minutes
water heater1.4410 minutes
xbox0.12 hours 24 minutes
xlr microphone0.0212 hours 
yacht17
rivian0.181 hours 20 minutes
Dish washer1.4410 minutes
Dehumidifier0.5526 minutes
Pressure Cooker114 minutes
Water Dispenser0.12 hours 24 minutes
Play Station 50.21 hours 12 minutes
Sandwich Maker0.7519 minutes
Treadmill2.55 minutes
basement2.55 minutes
battery (ups)0.624 minutes
breaker box1.88 minutes
DC motor with Arduino0.054 hours 48 minutes
garage0.348 minutes
fire place1.59 minutes
gas stove0.151 hours 36 minutes
GFCI outlet1.88 minutes
heater1.59 minutes
jetski24
joy con charging dock0.21 hours 12 minutes
kitchen aid mixer0.2557 minutes
kitchen faucet0.046 hours 
travel trailer2.55 minutes
universal remote0.00548 hours 
upright freezer0.12 hours 24 minutes
utility pole0.046 hours 
electric car75
vent0.5526 minutes
well pump1.212 minutes
zero turn mower16

Not the Right Jackery? Check out our other reviews:

Jackery 2000 Pro

Jackery 1500

Jackery 1000

Jackery 1000 Pro

Jackery 880

Jackery 500

Jackery 550

Jackery 300

Jackery 290

Jackery 160