Jackery Explorer 160
Easy to use9.6/10
Value for money9.2/10
- Lightweight and portable design
- Comfortable to carry along with an easy-carry handle
- Efficient and versatile power source for outdoor uses
- Can be charged in a car’s cigarette lighter port or USB port
- Multiple safety features implemented
- Does not support fast charge capability
Prevalent since 2012 in the industry, Jackery holds expertise in delivering outdoor green power solutions for explorers. One of the most useful types of products from this brand is portable power stations. Jackery portable power stations are rechargeable battery-powered generators. Incorporated with a DC carport, AC outlet, and USB charging ports, Jackery Explorer 160 portable power station keeps all your devices charged. You can charge your devices like laptops, smartphones, CPAP machines, electric grills, coffee makers, mini coolers, etc.
Prominent benefits of using Jackery Explorer 160 portable power stations include safety, rechargeable, ease of use, quiet operation, and zero maintenance cost. Throughout the operation, they don’t make pollution. Now let’s get deep into the following Jackery Explorer 160 portable power station review to get the most suitable portable power station meeting your needs.
Jackery Explorer 160 Portable Power Station
As one of the best portable power station from Jackery, this Jackery Explorer 160 portable power station is versatile and efficient. It is extensively used for camping, fishing, and emergencies to deliver efficient power output. It can work as a backup power supply with a 110V/100W AC outlet. Moreover, it can power small electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, LED lights, cameras, mini-fridges, etc.
With weight being identical to that of a standard bag of fruits, this power station is quite easy to carry around. The ability to carry an AC outlet along offers great flexibility for outdoor uses.
When you are camping or involved in outdoor activities, the power may go off at night. During such cases, this generator will not disappoint you. Within an hour, it gets charged to a high capacity. You can plug your small electronic device at midnight and when you wake up in the morning, it will get fully charged. Furthermore, you can charge it a car’s cigarette lighter port or a USB port. The accessories you get are an AC adapter, a car charger cable, and a user guide.
- Its design features an AC outlet (110V/100W), a USB-C port, a standard DC 12V port, and 2 USB-A ports. So, it can power up to 5 devices at once.
- The power station can be recharged through an AC power source or solar power or vehicle’s battery power.
- Built-in 167Wh lithium battery gets fully charged within 4.5 hours. When charged with a car charging dock or a wall outlet, it takes 5 hours to get fully charged.
- The Incorporated LED flashlight supports an SOS mode. It can be activated with a long press.
- The SOS mode makes sure you stay relaxed when bringing this power station to outdoor places.
- 3 buttons are included with the lights indicator. You can press a specific button to turn on/off the specific output port charging
- Battery management system (BMS) provides short circuit protection, temperature control, voltage control, and more advanced safety operations.
From this Jackery Explorer 160 portable power station review, it is now easy to get the best portable power station meeting your needs from this renowned brand. Jackery Explorer 160 is reliable enough to efficiently charge your electronic devices. With multiple ways of charging, it provides you flexibility on the go. Despite packing in a massive power, Jackery Explorer 160 power station is lightweight and portable, it keeps your electronics and other appliances charged and running for a long time.
Top 10 Jackery Explorer 160 Portable Power Station Reviews
1. Jackery Explorer 160 delivers on the promise
I decided to try Jackery’s newest and most portable offering when looking for an effective and versatile power source for camping that wouldn’t be as bulky or heavy as packing a 40lb car batter and power inverter. I wanted to charge all my handheld devices, and be able to run a 110v LED flood light, an LED projector, or a large power hungry dell i7 laptop with a 90W power supply.
The Jackery Explorer 160 delivered on the above and pleasantly surprised with more features that weren’t advertised like ability to use it WHILE PLUGGED IN the car as a 110V outlet, essentially also acting as a dedicated car power inverter! The reason this is a pleasant (and unadvertised) discovery is because a decent dedicated inverter is an extra $100. Also, most other portable power stations and usb power banks don’t allow for being charged and for drawing power at the same time like the Jackery Explorer 160.
As an electrical engineer, its nice to see a product deliver on its promise and consolidate multiple individual products in one easy to use device for cheaper than buying the devices individually. I no longer have to lug a car battery and an inverter with me when I go camping, and can easily use this as a constant 110v power source while in a running car. I’ll be checking out more Jackery products and looking into the new Explorer 440 for extended off the grid outings.
Additional technical findings and future ideas for product enhancement:
- Output power wattage is spot on when using the unit while purely on battery power. I measured the current and compared to actual wattage of devices and it matched exactly. That means when it says 25w output, it’s really 25w output.
- Output and input wattage at first didn’t make sense to me when I ran 110v devices off the unit while the Explorer 160 was plugged into 12v power in the car (essentially using it as a pure inverter). Readings would show 0W output and 10-15W input. After some calculation, the readings made perfect sense. The unit is not using any internal battery power so current is being passed directly through, while the difference is used to charge the power station itself, thus the lower input wattage. The station was getting charged while producing power. Makes sense !
- The unit is very capable and already takes away market share from multiple otherwise dedicated devices. If Jackery added a dedicated “car jumping” port and leads to jump start a car battery, it would combine even more devices in one. I have yet to try the dedicated 12v out port, but it can possibly charge a dead car battery with custom wire leads.
2. An Outstanding Lightweight Power Supply!
This is an easy to use, lightweight power supply with great power output. I used it primarily to light a string of LED lights at our cottage by our firepit down by the Lakeshore where I have no AC power. It works like a champ! A whole evening (probably 4 or 5 hours) down by the firepit and these lights only used about 12% of the battery power. I also charged my cell phone at the same time. It’s a great product that I highly recommend.
3. 8 Full Hours of Power for my CPAP
After the Hurricane, I needed something reliable to get me through the night until I could start my big generator up. Power typically goes out at night. This Jackery Explorer 160 portable power station did not disappoint. Fully charged in less than 1 hour. Plugged my CPAP into it at midnight and woke up at 6 AM with 33% power still remaining! The Jackery Explorer 160 is light, portable, can be charged in your car’s cigarette lighter port or USB port. I can’t believe I hit the jackpot. I’ve been using computer back-ups for years and they lose power quickly, beep every second they are off of regular power and are of no use. This generator solved all those problems.
4. Great for CPAP and Phones during Power Outage
We got this Jackery Explorer 160 power station to prepare for Hurricane Florence so we could charge our phones and run my CPAP if our power went out for a few days. It worked really well, and I’m so glad we got it. Jackery also sent me a complimentary portable power bank once they saw I live in eastern NC and would be in the path of the storm (though that didn’t affect the content of this review). Very thoughtful company, and a great product.
5. Excellent Solar Generator if you have realistic expectations
I bought Jackery Explorer 160 intending to use it for short car camping trips. This is a REALLY nice solar generator with great build quality and a solid set of outputs. I appreciate the LCD Display that indicates input and output wattage. The unit itself is super small and light. It’s also quite durable feeling with a hard plastic shell. The little flashlight is surprisingly handy!
The battery charges quickly from the wall or a 12V car adapter. From a Solar panel it’s slower but still good enough if you leave it out all day while your on an adventure. The battery has enough capacity to charge my Razer Blade 15 laptop twice, cell phone multiple times, camera batteries, Mavic Air Batteries, headphones, and still have enough left to run a small USB powered fan all night for sleeping.
The only thing you need to know is that this unit does not support pass-through charging. Meaning, it cannot be charged while using the outputs simultaneously. The DC output will simply disable itself if you plug in a power source. The USB and AC inverter both work like this but Jackery states that using this unit in pass-through mode can damage the battery and doesn’t recommend it.
Overall its an awesome compact power source for energy efficient campers. Hard to beat in this price range!
6. No joke
So, after reading so many positive reviews for Jackery Explorer 160 on Amazon. I thought I’d give it a try. First off, I was pleasantly surprised how fast it came. I ordered the unit through Amazon Sunday Morning with no additional shipping charges. It arrived Monday around 11am.
My main use will be to supply power to my laptop and USB powered speakers while playing examples of my work at trade shows for my video production business. My laptop battery typically lasts around 2 hours, so, I needed help. Now, with this little baby, I can play videos on my big screen laptop non-stop through USB powered speakers, all powered by my Jackery 160, for over 8 1/2 hours. And, that still leaves my laptop battery for backup.
My plan is to leave it plugged in always at home, like it suggests in the manual, so, it’s always ready. Awesome unit!
7. Exceeded my expectations, great Jackery Explorer 160
Jackery Explorer 160 has exceeded all of my expectations. It’s very lightweight (I can easily pick it up with just my pinky finger), durable, and functions perfectly.
I use this to charge my MacBook Pro when I’m camping. I love that since it has a USB-C port, I can just detach the USB-C cable that comes with my MacBook Pro power adaptor and plug that in directly. It has an inverter, but it’s much more efficient to use the DC-DC USB port. This gives me 15 watts of charging power, which is almost enough to keep my laptop at 100% while I use it. I say almost because my internal laptop battery does run down, but very slowly – after a few hours of use, my laptop will be at 90% battery. If I take a break for half an hour and put the laptop to sleep, it will charge back up to 100% while it’s not in use.
I purchased a 40 watt solar panel to charge this while camping, and it worked great – just make sure that you get a solar panel with an 8mm DC connector (the one I got on Amazon is called ‘Solar Charger 40W Portable Solar Panel Foldable High Efficiency 5V USB 18V DC Dual Output Charger Laptop Tablet GPS Cell Phone’, from KINGSOLAR). As you can see in the picture, it charged the Jackery battery at 29 watts on a bright but cool day, with the sun not directly overhead.
The LCD display is so much better than other batteries that just have some lights to show you in 25% increments how much charge you have. The LCD display lets me see precisely (to 1%) how much charge is left, as well as how much power I’m drawing and how much I’m charging. This gives me much greater confidence when using the battery.
It comes with both male and female car cigarette lighter adaptors – so you can charge it from your car’s battery, and you can also plug in appliances made to use your car battery. Using it with a ResMed S8 CPAP machine (without a humidifier), along with the optional DC adaptor to use the cigarette lighter adaptor (which is much more efficient than plugging in a household 110 volt power cable to the inverter port), it ran for 8 hours and still had 60% battery left.
The only missing feature that I can think of is to jump-start a vehicle. I bring a separate jump-start portable battery with me when camping, just in case, and it would be nice if this battery could make the separate jump-starter unnecessary.
I’m thrilled with this Jackery Explorer 160 portable power station – the size, weight, and features are terrific. I would highly recommend it.
8. Does the function and capacity outweigh the size and weight?
First impressions. Weighs 3bs 15oz, just under 4lbs, love the size and build of the 160 Power Station. About cube-like size, 7″ long x 4 3/4″ wide x 6 3/4″ high including the handle.
Included with the unit are a DC to car adapter cable, Car Adapter charger, AC Charger wart and separate detachable AC cable, User manual, and zipper pouch.
The Jackery Explorer 160 is the only Power Station of Jackery that has the USB C port. My 6P charges at over 2.4A when the battery gets low, so pretty fast for a phone with charging issues. USB A charges at standard rate of 1.4A for my phone, typical of what I see with other USB A chargers.
AC recharges the 160 at 42W. If the user is charging their devices, the screen will show wattage input minus wattage output. For example, if I am charging the Jackery and at the same time, I am charging my phone at 13W, the display will show 29W in (42W-13W=29W). I think that’s pretty neat feature.
Digital screen – lit, user can press the display button to have it light up for 13 secs for easier viewing.
Led light is very efficient, no drop in percentage on the display with over 3 hrs constant ON. Station feels cool, fan did not come on, Station did not get warm.
120v outlet has slot for ground so plugs with ground can also be inserted, no need for an adapter to convert to 2 prong. The 160 can handle up to 100W constant and has a 150W rating for surge.
Anytime the user switches on the AC outlet, the fan automatically comes on. This is regardless of how much draw your device pulls, even if it is off, even if nothing is plugged in. Fan is not loud, fairly quiet, but is constant ON, my guess is it is a feature for safety and keep the 160 from overheating. The fan will also use 3W once button is switched on. If you are one to be bothered by fan noise, it’s a good idea to position the Station either further away or at the very least with the fan facing away from you.
I find the zippered pouch a little too small/tight for packing all the accessories in it. The pouch fits all the accessories easily and will fit in the separate charging wart and charging cable, but that’s dependant on how neatly one wraps up the cables and such. Would have liked to see a larger pouch.
While I do not camp much, I still find the Jackery Explorer 160 very useful when we’re out and about. It’s small and light enough, plus strong enough capacity that friends and family can all either utilize it’s charging capacity for their each individual device, whether a toy, notebook, tablet, phone, etc. Also, I love having this small unit to keep small pumps running for example on my fish tanks during power outtages. I have used this to charge up and run my 14″ notebook off it. Even charged up and ran a large 17″ gaming notebook. While I haven’t tested the 17″ notebook running a game, general usage appears fine. YMMV depending on device/model, of course.
I would have loved to see some sort of jump starter inclusion but this is too small of a unit. Perhaps on a future or larger Jackery Power Station. I would definitely buy one so I don’t have to carry this and a lithium battery jump starter in my vehicle. Jackery, paying attention?
Note, this smaller unit does NOT have pure sine wave so if anyone is looking for the pure sine wave, you will have to go with the next larger Jackery Power Station. Jackery’s 240 and the 500 both have pure sine wave. The 240 is twice the weight so for camping and outdoor traveling use, that is something to consider. This Jackery Explorer 160 is the only one that has the newer USB C port, I don’t see USB C on the 240 and 500 units.
Finally, Jackery is very quick and helpful when I tested and contacted them with questions and for information. This is very important because I base my purchases not purely on price, but pre-sale and post-sale support as well.
9. Review of Jackery Explorer 160 – Small but mighty
I have owned the Jackery Powerpro 500 for almost a year and have been very pleased with it. With that in mind, i decided to try Jackery’s smaller offering, in hopes that it would be as handy. Below are a few tests I ran to determine its usefulness:
Charge test for Apple MacBook Pro 2014 model.
MacBook was charged to 54%. I plugged it into Explorer via the outlet. Turned off the MacBook and output hovered around 60-68w. After a few minutes it went down to 55w and stayed there while charging. The Explorer has a low fan sound while charging via the plug.
After charging for one hour and 20 mins the MacBook was charged to 100% and the Jackery was at 63%.
Fan Test: Whirlwind LASKO on med was drawing 40-45w so I estimate it would last about 3 hours. During this test I also plugged in my iphone to the USB and it charged it as well, it didn’t affect the output wattage much. The wattage output with my ipad, iphone and the fan hovered around 56-57 watts, while watching a movie on my ipad.
Drone charge test: Using my Fstop Labs Rapid Parallel Battery Charger for DJI Spark, 6 in 1 Intelligent Charging Hub I was able to charge my Spark battery within an hour.
Just to try: I attempted to charge all three batteries and my remote at the same time. Output quickly jumped to 77w, so I knew I wouldn’t get very far, but it held charging all four items. and after 30 mins the Jackery was down to 70%. After an hour it had charged the 3 batteries to 75% and the remote to full.
iPad Test: The 160 did well charging two ipads while they were being used. Output was 8w
Results: The Jackery Explorer 160 is a super portable and handy device, it adequately can be used a drone, laptop, phone charging solution while on the go.
10. A Work Horse
After reading a number of reviews I had buyers remorse. I wanted to find something wrong with it and couldn’t. Mine came 38% charged so it took a few hours to fully recharge. Then I charged my iPhone and my Bluetooth headset. It was at 95%. The next day I charged my iPad and a portable DVD player. It was 87%. The next day I charged my iPhone, iPad, and an android phone. Then I charged another iPhone using the AC output and another device using the 12V output and a car charger. I finally ran it down to 20% before recharging it. It’s a work horse. I’m looking forward to using it camping and car trips.
Enjoyed this Jackery Explorer 160 review? Then be sure to check out the other guide of the Best 300W Portable Power Station.