Jackery Explorer Pure Sine Wave Portable Power Station, 240-Watt
Last updated date: May 27, 2020
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We looked at the top Portable Generators and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Portable Generator you should buy.
This portable generator offers an easy-to-move compact generator for all your electrical needs when outside the house. The large handle makes it easy to carry this product from place to place. In addition, it features outlets for AC, auxiliary cables, USB ports and a DC port. In our analysis of 34 expert reviews, the Jackery Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station, 240-Watt placed 1st when we looked at the top 17 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note May 27, 2020:
Checkout The Best Portable Generator for a detailed review of all the top portable generators.
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An Overview On Portable Generators
It’s never a good time for a power outage. Chances are the weather isn’t ideal, leaving you to either swelter or freeze in your house for hours or, worse, days. You can’t even use a fan or space heater to keep your family comfortable. As you watch the battery on your smartphone slowly die, you continue to monitor your local utility company’s online outage report, to no avail.
A generator can keep you up and running, whether an outage lasts an hour or three weeks. Just fill up a gas can at your local station, bring it home and fill up the generator to get started. Depending on the type of generator you buy, filing up one gas can may be enough to last you multiple days, and refilling is easy.
One decision you’ll need to make before you start shopping is whether you want an inverter or a conventional generator. Although inverter generators are more expensive, they’re generally quieter, more efficient and have a longer runtime than their conventional counterparts. If your home suffers only the occasional power outage, it might not be worth the extra price to have those benefits, but you’ll appreciate them if your power ever goes out for days at a time.
How you’ll connect up your generator is also important. You can set up a small generator in a safe area of your house and individually connect the items you use directly to it. Your generator will need to be at least 10 feet from any openings to your house to keep you safe. At that point, you can run one long extension cord from the generator into your home, and then plug multiple items into that. You can alternately run several extension cords into your home for the different appliances you’ll need to use, depending on the power outlets available on your generator.
The other way to use a generator is to hook it up to the transfer switch for your house. This is the safest method since the cord method requires ensuring you have the correct gauge and length of wire. You’ll need a power transfer system, which will have everything necessary to connect a portable generator to a home. The benefit of these systems is that you won’t have to connect individual appliances. You can run the items you need as you normally would, although you’ll still want to conserve energy to avoid multiple trips to the gas station during your outage.
DWYM Fun Fact
The average power outage lasts only four hours, although natural disasters pushed that number to 7.8 hours in 2017. When natural outages were factored out, though, the average was back to four hours. This can vary by state. California consistently has the most power outages, and Texas and Vermont also topped the list in 2017. The worst power outage in history came in 1965, when more than 30 million people were left without electricity due to human error. One of the strangest power outages happened in 2017, when a truck carrying a load of chickens overturned near a power pole.
The Portable Generator Buying Guide
- If your power goes out, chances are you’ll be using your generator for only those things you absolutely need. Still, it’s important to check the capacity.
- For those who live in colder climates where conditions like ice storms tend to cause extended power outages, a unit with cold start technology helps to ensure you can still run it when the temperature drops.
- One common issue with generators is a fluctuation in power that can make it difficult to run appliances and electronics. A generator with automatic voltage regulation keeps those fluctuations at bay.
- When it comes to capacity, wattage is everything. Look for generators with a higher wattage if you’re concerned about keeping your refrigerator going while also intermittently using devices like your stove, toaster and smartphone.
- If you plan to connect your generator directly to appliances rather than hooking it up to your home’s transfer switch, pay close attention to the electrical outlets included.
- If you’ve ever heard a generator, you know they can be distractingly noisy. Generators are getting better about this, though. Check the dBA of generators you are considering. The lower the dBA, the quieter the generator will be.
- In the event of an outage that lasts days, fuel capacity will be more important than any other factor.
- Before you buy, consider whether portability is an issue. If you plan to leave it in one place most of the time, you probably won’t prioritize that feature.