Jackery Explorer Vs Suaoki G500 – The Power Station Battle Continues
Both of these portable power stations, also known as solar generators, have features that stick out when you compare them to each other. But is it features that matter, and does it make it a better product in the end for the customer? That’s what we’re going to find out.
In addition to the comparison, I will help you find the best solar panel options for both these power stations, and show you how you can connect third-party panels to them as well.
If you’re interested in certain parts of the comparison, use the table of contents down below to navigate the post.
Feel free to leave a comment with any questions or opinions you have on the post, I want it to be as accurate as possible.
Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to see the whole table.
The Differences & Similarities Between The Jackery Explorer 500 And Suaoki G500
The table makes the different specifications clear, but what do they mean? Let’s make it easier and break it up in seven categories.
To make it clear which product is which, the Suaoki power station is the G500, and the Jackery power station is the Explorer 500.
It’s 500 vs 518 watt-hours, so the Jackery Explorer 500 has about 3.5% more battery capacity. Since it’s such a small difference, it’s not a big deal.
The inverter changes the 12V DC battery power to 120V AC power to power the AC outlet. They’re about 85-90% efficient in doing so, which means that it’s a good idea to use the USB/DC ports to charge your devices if possible.
There is a clear difference between the two when it comes to how powerful the inverter is, Suaoki 300W vs Jackery 500W. That’s a 66% increase, but what does it mean to you?
Well, it means you could run a device that requires 500W with the Jackery Explorer 500, but not with the Suaoki. It also means that you could run ten 50W devices with the Jackery, compared to the six 50W devices the Suaoki would power.
If you’re only going to power a TV, a laptop, a phone, and a tablet at the same time, the Suaoki will be fine. But if you’re going to power a desktop PC or a TV and gaming console, the Jackery is a better choice.
It’s also possible to plug the Jackery Explorer 500 into a smaller RV camper/travel trailer with a Camco 15A to 30A adapter, I wouldn’t do that with with the G500 unless it’s a teardrop trailer.
To know whether you need 300W or 500W, you should write down the devices you want to be able to use at the same time and how many watts they require. You can usually find this information on the device itself or its power supply/brick.
Both power stations have pure sine wave inverters, which is better for sensitive electronics than modified sine wave inverters.
Suaoki has put two AC outlets on the G500, while the Explorer 500 has one. You could plug a power strip into the Jackery and power several devices, but that’s an inconvenience in comparison.
Both of them have regulated 12V DC ports, so you can use 12V coolers and similar items with the cigarette port and they’ll run fine until the battery is empty. There are also two DC outputs on each where you can plug in your CPAP if you have a DC adapter for it.
The DC outputs on the Jackery are more than twice as powerful at 7A vs 3A.
Both have three USB ports, but the Suaoki made one of them a USB C port, where the Explorer 500 has three USB A ports. On the Suaoki G500, the USB ports are QC3.0 compatible and can output up to 15W. Note that the USB C port is not a USB C PD port.
The Jackery Explorer 500 has a screen that tells you input/output watts, and the state of charge in both bars and a percentage.
The Suaoki G500 tells you input/output watts and state of charge with bars in 20% increments.
Both are great screens, and being able to see input/output watts is a feature I wish all solar generators had. But I also like being able to see how charged the battery is in a percentage, so Jackery has done a better job.
The Suaoki can handle up to 150W solar input (14-40V), and the Explorer 500 can handle up to 100W (12-30V). That’s a big difference, and to put it in an easy-to-understand way, you could recharge the Suaoki in 3.3 hours if you max out the solar input, while the Jackery would take 5 hours (if we ignore the 3.5% battery capacity difference). That’s 50% faster charging.
In addition to that, the Suaoki G500 has an MPPT solar charge controller, and the Explorer 500 has a PWM charge controller.
What this means is that the Suaoki will do a much better job at utilizing the solar panels you plug into it, and the charging efficiency between the two is noticeable.
The Suaoki G500 does a better job not only in general when using solar panels, but especially in the morning, evening, during wintertime, and on cloudy days.
Suaoki has put an APP (Anderson Power Pole) port on the G500, and the Jackery has an 8mm input. This doesn’t make any difference, although there are more portable foldable solar panels on the market that come with the 8mm connector than the Anderson power pole.
In The Box
Suaoki includes a wall charger, a car charger, and an MC4 to APP adapter so you can use third-party panels with it straight out of the box.
Jackery includes a wall charger and a car charger. If you want to use third-party panels with MC4 connectors with the Explorer 500, you’re going to need a SolarEnz MC4 to 8mm (click to view on Amazon).
The car charger Suaoki includes is capable of outputting 120W, while the Jackery one does 32W.
Both the G500 and Explorer 500 have built-in handles, but Suaoki has made one that folds down, which makes it easier to store than the Jackery.
The Explorer 500 weighs 13.3 pounds, versus G500’s 15 pounds.
In volume, the Suaoki takes up less space in total, mostly due to the handle on the Jackery that sticks up.
What do you prefer, weight or total size? I’m going to have to call it a tie. The Jackery weighs less, but the Suaoki’s handle folds down and takes up less space overall.
Conclusion And Recommendations
The total score is 3-3 and a tie. So how do we pick a winner?
Well, here is the thing. Which power station is the best depends on what you need and how you’re going to use it.
It’s hard to make it any more clear than this:
The Jackery Explorer 500 has more battery capacity (3.5% more) and a larger inverter, so if you want to power several devices that require more than 300W in total, it can do it.
The Suaoki G500 has two AC outlets instead of one, a USB type C port, QC3.0 USB ports, an MPPT solar charge controller, and supports 50% more solar input watts. The Suaoki would be my choice due to these features.
What it comes down to is, is the larger inverter (200W larger) on the Jackery worth it over the better/more modern ports and much faster solar/car charging on the Suaoki?
If you plan on plugging it into an RV camper or run a desktop PC with a monitor connected, my answer would be yes to the question above. In all other cases, my answer is no.
Both are great choices, and if you’re looking for a portable solar generator to bring camping that will power your laptop, a fan, lights, tablet, phone, a TV, and a CPAP, you’re going to be happy with either.
Solar Panel Recommendations
I have written posts about solar recommendations for both of these.
Best Alternatives To The Suaoki G500 And Jackery Explorer 500
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium – The most popular portable power station brand, Goal Zero, makes the Yeti 400 lithium which has 428 watt-hours battery capacity, two AC outlets, three USB ports, unregulated 12V output, and a PWM charge controller.
Rockpals 500W – A great alternative to the two, 540Wh battery capacity with a 500W inverter, two AC outlets, three USB ports, one USB C port, and an MPPT charge controller. It doesn’t have a regulated 12V output though which makes the port useless if you want to power a 12V fridge or anything like it.
MAXOAK 500Wh – 500Wh, 300W inverter, MPPT charge controller (max 120W solar), two AC outlets, four USB ports, one USB C PD port, wireless charging pad, and DC outputs. Unregulated 12V cigarette port.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Suaoki G500/Jackery Explorer 500
Can You Use The AC/USB/DC Ports While The Battery Is Charging?
Yes, both are capable of this. But if you want to use them as a UPS battery backup (uninterrupted power supply) you can’t use more energy than what they can input.
Will The Suaoki G500/Jackery Explorer 500 Run My Device?
The Suaoki can output up to 300w in total, and the Explorer 500W.
Whether your device can be powered or not depends on how many watts it requires. You can usually find out by looking at the device itself, or its power brick. If you can’t find it, you can use a P3 Kill A Watt (click to view on Amazon) that you plug your device into and it will tell you exactly how many watts it’s using.
In general, 300 and 500 watts is enough to power TVs, laptops, fans, lights, gaming consoles, speakers, tablets, phones, and CPAPs.
Neither of them will power space heaters, air conditioners, or microwaves.
Can I Charge Them With Goal Zero Solar Panels?
You can charge the Suaoki G500 with Goal Zero panels that have an Anderson output, like the Boulder 200 briefcase.
Can I Bring Either On An Airplane?
No, the max TSA allows is 100Wh, and these batteries are 500Wh and 518Wh.
Is The 12V Output Regulated On Either?
Yes, both of them have regulated 12V cigarette ports. So you can use a 12V fridge even if the battery is at a low state of charge.
The DC output ports (except the cigarette lighter port) on the Suaoki are not regulated, and it’s unclear whether they’re regulated or not on the Jackery.
How Do I Use Third-Party Panels With The Suaoki G500/Jackery Explorer 500?
The Suaoki has an APP input and comes with an MC4 to Anderson Power Pole adapter.
The Jackery has an 8mm input, so the adapter you need is the SolarEnz MC4 to 8mm.
Both these adapters accept solar panels with a positive male MC4 connector, and a negative female MC4 connector, which is exactly how these panels are wired: Renogy 100W / HQST 100W / Newpowa 100W / Eco-Worthy 100W.
Can I Plug My RV Into Either Of Them?
When I plug my travel trailer into my Goal Zero Yeti 1000 power station, it powers the AC outlets in the trailer and starts charging my 12V RV batteries. This usually uses between 70-400W.
I would feel safe plugging my travel trailer into the Jackery (500W output), but not with the Suaoki (300W output) unless it’s a teardrop trailer.
If you have a small teardrop trailer with a regular 15A cord, you can plug it straight into the outlet. But if you have a 30A or 50A trailer plug, you’d need to use either a Camco 15A to 30A, or a Camco 15A to 50A.
Neither of them will run the RV AC or microwave.
Note that plugging a power station into an RV will charge your RV batteries with a battery, for that reason, I recommend using a solar panel like the Acopower 100W (click to view on Amazon) which is capable of charging both 12V deep-cycle batteries and solar generators. I have written a post about this panel and what it’s capable of, click here to view it.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions.