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EcoFlow River 2 Pro Review: A fast-charging power station with lots of polish. River solar generator

EcoFlow River 2 Pro Review: A fast-charging power station with lots of polish. River solar generator

    River Max Series 2 Portable Generator

    Power up to 11 devices simultaneously wherever you go with EcoFlow’s Rivermax Series 2 Portable Power Sation. The power station’s lightweight and durable design make it the perfect on-the-grid or off-the-grid power generator when paired with the optional 160w solar panel. If you’re looking for on-the-go reliable power this is the power you’ve found it in this generator.

    ︎ Portable Durable Design

    ︎ Long Lasting Sustainable Power

    ︎ Solar Panel Connectivity

    The World’s Fastest Portable Charger.

    Power up to 11 devices simultaneously wherever you go with EcoFlow’s Rivermax Series 2 Portable Power Sation. The power station’s lightweight and durable design make it the perfect on-the-grid or off-the-grid power generator when paired with the optional 160w solar panel. If you’re looking for on-the-go reliable power this is the power you’ve found it in this generator.

    ︎ Portable Durable Design

    ︎ Long Lasting Sustainable Power

    ︎ Solar Panel Connectivity

    RIVER MAX SERIES 2 PRODUCT DETAILS:

    Solar Charging Input: 160 W

    Charging Input/Output: 500W/500W

    Dimensions: 10.6 x 10.2 x 7.7in

    • Total Outlets: 11
    • Output/Xboost: 500W/1000W
    • Capacity : 512Wh
    • Charging Input/Output: 500W/500W
    • Net Weight: 13.2 lbs
    • Solar Charging Input: 160W
    • Battery Chemistry: LFP
    • Dimensions: 10.6 x 10.2 x 7.7in

    UNMATCHED POWER

    Power With Peace Of Mind

    Power up to 11 essential devices with the ability double the output speed with X-boost for even faster-charging capabilities. All with the peace of mind of the advanced battery management system that self-regulates to keep your portable power generator performing at its best when pushed to its maximum limit.

    CHARGE FASTER WHEN IT MATTERS MOST

    Fast charge from 0 to 100% in under an hour in any standard AC wall outlet with advanced X-Stream charging.

    SOLAR CHARGING Utilize the natural power of the sun to fully charge in under 3 hours by linking EcoFlow 160W Solar Panel

    Plug directly into your car to charge in under 6.5 hours while on the road.

    Power Devices On Or Off The Grid

    Capture long-lasting energy with high-efficiency solar cells to unlock the true portable power of EcoFlow’s River Max anywhere you go. With the addition of a single durable and foldable 160w travel solar panel, you can now create the perfect power couple by utilizing the energy of the sun with the solar panels’ highly efficient monocrystalline silicon cells. Specifically designed for portability this power couple provides you with sustainable energy anywhere, anytime, in any conditions.

    PORTABLE POWERFUL ENERGY ANYWHERE

    Add an optional 160W Solar Panel for on-the-go or on the grid with Ecoflow’s solar panels to change the definition of portable power. Now, with EcoFlow’s solar panels, you can charge your River Max Portable Generator fast and reliably anywhere you are. Due to their ground-breaking foldable design and IP67 waterproof membrane you can harness sustainable energy on the go without the fear of your panels bending or breaking. Never leave home again without knowing that you’ll have fast sustainable power in any condition wherever your adventures may take you.

    Highly Efficient Solar Cells

    Convert more rays into power with highly efficient monocrystalline silicon cells that utilize the Maximum Power Point Tracking algorithm to auto-adjust for sustainable power.

    Lightweight Foldable Design

    Ideal for camping and outdoor activities, EcoFlow’s solar panels are a must-have for any camping trip to ensure sustainable endless energy is always at your fingertips.

    Durable Long-lasting Materials

    Protection from water, dust, and debris with an advanced IP67 waterproof membrane and an additional layer of fiberglass. Perfect for wilderness travel.

    SEE WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

    Great Little Unit IMO, This unit is top tier. It charges via any source faster than any other solar generator that I’ve seen. Anytime I camp with friends that own other solar generators they’re always commenting on its speed of charging. Flaco. 02/21/2022

    Purchased this last year for a week-long road trip, kept our devices, GPS unit, and radar detector powered up. Only topped off twice the whole trip. A year later it’s still a life savor. I just recently purchased the solar panel as well. Regmeister

    Couple of days ago we had a big winter storm that took out the power for several hours. I used my EcoFlow to keep critical systems up and running it was awesome. I will be buying a bigger unit soon to have for the next storm. Thank you for building a great product. Dave Mount

    OUR PROMISE TO YOU:

    If you’re not satisfied with the quality of your order, we’ll make it right. That is our promise to you. We feel so strongly about our food. we stand behind it 100%. After all, it’s the same food we feed our own families. Our U.S.A.-based customer success team is ready to help you with any questions you may have.

    We will accept returns within 30 days of purchase. Once the product is returned to the warehouse, you will be refunded the product cost minus shipping within 14 days.

    All EcoFlow products come with a limited warranty that varies based on the product. All EcoFlow Solar Panels have a 12-month warranty, and the River Max and Delta series portable generator has a 24-month warranty. The warranty applies to quality-related issues, purchases with valid proof of purchase, non-refunded products, defects or damages not caused by exposure to heat liquids or external causes, and items within the warranty period.

    EcoFlow River 2 Pro Review: A fast-charging power station with lots of polish

    In my ongoing quest to keep my gadgets fully juiced in the inevitable collapse of civilization, I’ve stumbled upon the EcoFlow River 2 Pro, a midtier power station small enough to toss in the trunk, but large enough to power many household loads. EcoFlow is well-established in the power station space, so I was pretty excited to give its latest and greatest a shot.

    Let’s start with the basics. This pack has:

    • 4 AC outputs, up to 1600 watts
    • DC output, 126 W
    • 3 USB-A outputs, 12 W
    • 1 USB-C input/output, 100 W
    • XT60 solar/car input, 220 W
    • AC input, 940 W
    • 768 watt-hour capacity, up to 800 W out

    The whole package is 17 pounds. Fully charged, it has enough power to keep my laptop, external monitor, and mobile devices buzzing along for a workday comfortably. My full-sized TV and gaming PC made it about an hour running on this battery pack.

    At this point ,I’ve played around with enough midsized power stations to know what I don’t like. So far the EcoFlow River 2 Pro manages to evade several common pitfalls.

    For one, the hardware layout is sensible. A flat top is important for stacking and packing, which was a significant pain point with the Anker model I reviewed last year. Common power inputs in the back make it easier to have stuff charging through the outputs in the front at the same time. The AC outlets are well-spaced, raised, and flap-free, making them accessible for plugs of various sizes.

    Almost completely mobile-friendly

    EcoFlow has a slick mobile app. Many power stations don’t, and the few I’ve tried have been janky as heck. Setup over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth was painless, and the interface is uncluttered. Settings like minimum and maximum charge levels and activity timeouts are useful for maintaining battery health. Wireless charging on the top of the hardware and maybe one more high-speed USB-C slot would have made the EcoFlow River 2 Pro even more mobile-friendly.

    Need for (unnecessary) speed

    A major selling point on this model is its charging speed. I’m used to waiting around three hours to charge batteries in this class. By contrast, I was able to top up the EcoFlow River 2 Pro in about an hour. Our Emporia Smart plug clocked around 600 Wh between a few full charges and discharges, which is shy of the 768 Wh rating on the box. It’s a small enough discrepancy that I’d be willing to chalk it up to a safety buffer or inconsistency in the Smart plug.

    Now, given that speedy charging is cool, I’m not often in a spot where I’m on the clock and I have to charge a large battery pack as quickly as possible. I bump into those demands far more often with phones and laptops. I’m sure the battery management system on the River 2 Pro mitigates the risk caused by the extra heat of quick charging. Still, I would trade in that speed for a few more cycles if the stress of fast charging reduces the battery’s overall lifetime. As it stands, the five-year warranty affords some long-term peace of mind.

    Better outdoors

    Let’s dig into use cases a bit. This pack isn’t really built for home power backup, although there is a handoff feature that can quickly kick in battery power when the lights go out. The EcoFlow River 2 Pro failed to run my microwave, contrary to some of the marketing. It was able to get the electric kettle to a boil using about 10% of the battery’s charge. EcoFlow’s Delta family is better-suited to the task of home power backup thanks to higher output and capacity.

    I think framing the River 2 Pro as a camping companion makes a lot more sense. It’s small enough to be portable, and big enough to keep everyone’s phones and drones powered for a few days while out in the boonies. It’s got an IP68 waterproof rating and a degree of independent security certification, which gives some confidence in its outdoor performance.

    Solar-ready

    Solar compatibility gives the EcoFlow River 2 Pro additional outdoor chops, especially if you intend on staying out for more than a few days. It’s easy to see a portable solar setup like this working in an RV situation. EcoFlow does have a bundle that includes a 220W portable solar panel, though I didn’t get to test it.

    I was able to connect another brand’s solar panel to it without any issue, however. Solar charging times in general vary wildly depending on the size of your panel, direct sunlight coverage, how much you’re willing to babysit and reposition the panels, and whether Mercury is in retrograde. It’s black magic all around, so I won’t dare to provide charging time estimates, but if you’re going to bother, make sure you get panels that are a decent size.

    The LCD display covers all the bases, including estimated charge and empty time, input and output rates, and warning messages. It would be nice to have an audio alert when the battery is about to die, but otherwise, there aren’t any complaints about the hardware interface.

    The EcoFlow River 2 Pro is using a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry, which is common enough in this category. It’s a bit less energy dense than the batteries you’ll find in phones and laptops, but LiFePO4 batteries have the benefit of avoiding problematic cobalt supply chains. EcoFlow tells us that it holds their suppliers to “high environmental protection standards,” and that it encourages suppliers to get ISO 14001 certification. Unfortunately, the doesn’t tell us much about specific environmental benchmarks. For a brand with “eco” in its name, I was hoping for a bit more information on sustainability. On the upside, EcoFlow does have a trade-in program to handle products at the end of life.

    I’m eager for the snow to finish melting so I can get outdoors more. When that happens, I could easily find room in my trunk for the EcoFlow River 2 Pro. A polished and useful mobile app combined with a sensible layout help it stand out from other power stations in this class. Fast charging is definitely cool, but only useful to a small group that’s on a tight schedule and has high remote power demands.

    EcoFlow River 2 – Full Review | Ultra-Fast Charging with Maximum Power

    The EcoFlow River 2 is a new portable power station designed for outdoor use and reliable home backup power.

    Its light weight and portable design let you take it anywhere. Plus, it has enough power to fuel your fun! Charge your phone, laptop, computer, camera, drone, CPAP machine, mini-refrigerator, and more!

    EcoFlow is one of the most trusted brands in the industry and consistently receives top reviews from our readers.

    Here is everything you need to know about the EcoFlow River 2. Including a full review and buyer’s guide to see if it is right for you!

    EcoFlow River 2. Full Review and Buyer’s Guide

    We conducted a full review of the EcoFlow River 2 based on its hardware, specs, design, battery capacity, power, and safety features.

    Additional Information

    ecoflow, river, review, fast-charging

    Perfect for Camping, Outdoors, and Home Back Up Power in an Emergency

    -60min Charge

    -Can Power 6 Devices at Once

    -Use it for CPAP Laptop Computer Phone Tablet

    Lights Blender Coffee

    and more

    -Affordable, well-priced

    -Solar panels available

    EcoFlow River 2. Maximum Power with Ultra-Fast Charging

    The EcoFlow River 2 is an affordable, lightweight, powerful solar generator that you can use at home or on the go.

    At only 7lbs, you can take it anywhere and power just about anything. including your phone, laptop, camera, CPAP, blender, microwave, and more! Perfect for daily use to save money, on camping trips, and in emergency situations like blackouts and storms.

    See why it is a best-seller on Amazon and why our readers rave about it!

    What’s In the Box

    • Ecoflow River 2 portable power station
    • AC charging cable
    • Car charging cable
    • User manual

    Battery Capacity and Power

    EcoFlow is known for its state-of-the-art power.

    The EcoFlow River 2 offers 256wh capacity with 300W output. That means you can power all of your essentials such as your phone, tablet, computer, coffee maker, CPAP, drone, and more!

    Perfect for the outdoors or at home during an emergency.

    Plus, it has X-Boost technology to power 600W appliances without overloading the system. The unit has a ton of safety measures such as surge protection and a Battery Management System.

    Port Selection and Performance

    The EcoFlow River 2 has enough ports for all of your devices!

    It can power 6 devices at once and has 2 AC outlets, 2 USB-A ports, a USB-C, and a car outlet!

    Plus, it has an auto-switch that will kick in to keep appliances running if the power goes out. This is an awesome feature that sets EcoFlow apart from other brands.

    Best of all, the EcoFlow River 2 is built to last over 10 years! That is 6x longer than the average portable power station and will get you over 3,000 cycles.

    Design Features

    Our readers love EcoFlow’s sleek design. The silver and black look blend into any environment and the LED display is bright and easy to read.

    Also, it features an app that lets you control and monitor the usage from your phone anywhere at any time. It connects to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy, convenient control in the palm of your hand.

    Weight Size

    This unit is small, compact, and only weighs 7.7lbs. Easy to carry but still provides a ton of power. It is the smallest device in the River 2 lineup and is the most affordable.

    EcoFlow River 2. Combo Pack with Solar Panel

    The EcoFlow River 2 includes solar panels in a convenient combo pack! The solar panel plugs right in to give you 100% clean energy from the start. Easy to use and no complicated plugs or setups.

    No more paying for electricity, just harness the power of the sun!

    Charging

    Finally, there are 4 ways to charge the unit anywhere at any time.

    The ultra-fast charging is a huge pro. This model charges from 0 – 100% in 60 minutes! You can plug it in right before a storm or a camping trip and have peace of mind knowing you can power your essential devices.

    What We Like – Pros

    We love that the EcoFlow brand is reliable and a good value that isn’t overpriced.

    • Lightweight
    • Portable
    • Well-priced
    • Lots of ports
    • Includes USB ports and AC outlets
    • Provides maximum power
    • Trusted brand
    • Sleek look
    • Reliable App
    • Long lasting
    • Awesome design and thoughtful safety features

    What We Would Change – Cons

    As for what we would change, we wishEcoFlow had thought to add wireless charging pads so you could set your iPad or phone directly on the unit and charge without any cords.

    Final Thoughts and Rating

    Overall, the EcoFlow River 2 is a great unit that is affordable, easy to use, and provides a good amount of power and ports.

    It is small enough to use around the house or take on a camping trip. You can power 6 devices at once and the fast charging is huge for those that want to use the unit right away instead of waiting around.

    We give it 5 stars based on the value for the price and all of the advanced features and multiple quick-charging options, including solar.

    Alternatives

    EcoFlow Delta Max. Power For Days

    It can easily power 15 devices at once! Including your full-sized refrigerator, cooking supplies, washer, dryer, air conditioner, heater, TV, router, and more.

    Bluetti AC200P. Wireless Charging Pads

    Alternatively, the BluettiAC200P has wireless charging pads and can power 16 devices at once!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is EcoFlow the best portable power station?

    In our opinion, EcoFlow is the best portable power station because of its ultra-fast charging, sleek design, excellent battery capacity, and reliable power. It frequently gets the best reviews on Amazon and was featured on Time Magazine’s Top 100 Inventions list, a prestigious and unique honor.

    A close second is Bluetti and in third place is Jackery.

    Where can I buy a portable power station?

    You can easily buy a portable power station online on Amazon. There are tons of reviews and comparisons to help you find the one that fits your needs.

    Alternatively, you can go directly to the manufacturer’s website or your local hardware store such as Lowe’s or Home Depot.

    Is EcoFlow affordable?

    EcoFlow is incredibly affordable. You can purchase starter models to power small devices such as your phone and laptop for a few hundred dollars. On Amazon there are often sales and coupons available to help save money.

    Which is better Ecoflow or Jackery?

    Jackery is another popular brand that sells portable power stations. While we love that it is lightweight, rugged, and affordable – EcoFlow beats it on charging times, extra features such as X-Boost, number of ports, and design. Our readers usually rank EcoFlow above Jackery.

    Does the EcoFlow River 2 have LifePO4 batteries?

    Yes, the EcoFlow River 2 includes LifePO4batteries. LifePO4 batteries are often higher-quality and last longer. The best portable power stations typically have LifePO4 batteries.

    Does the EcoFlow River 2 include solar panels?

    You can purchase the EcoFlow River 2 with solar panels on Amazon in a convenient combo pack. Otherwise, the unit does not normally include solar panels.

    How long does EcoFlow last?

    EcoFlow portable power stations last 10 years and over 3,000 cycles.

    Can EcoFlow power a refrigerator?

    The EcoFlow River 2 can power a mini fridge for 3-6 hours. However, the EcoFlow Delta 2 and Delta Max can power a full-sized refrigerator for up to 3 days during a power outage, storm, or emergency.

    Does EcoFlow support pass through charging?

    Most EcoFlow models supports pass through charging, including the EcoFlow Delta, EcoFlow Delta Pro and EcoFlow Delta Mini. Pass through charging means you can use the unit to power your devices and charge it at the same time.

    Does EcoFlow have a USB-C port?

    The new EcoFlow River 2 series include USB-C ports for additional convenience and quick charging.

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    About the Author Staff Writer

    Our writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them. their passion for sustainability.

    ECOFLOW River Review: Don’t Buy before you read this

    Recently, I reviewed the Jackery Explorer 500. Very shortly afterwards, Ecoflow contacted me and suggested I might be interested in reviewing their River 600 Max powerbank.

    I’ll be honest, I was intrigued. Jackery are prolific in their marketing, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Ecoflow units too, especially the newer generation.

    So I thought I’d find out for myself and see how they compared…

    DISCLAIMER: Ecoflow supplied us with the Ecoflow River Max free of charge, on the strict understanding we would return the kit if we didn’t think it was worth reviewing. We received no other compensation for this review and all opinions are entirely our own.

    And, while we’re doing disclaimers…

    ecoflow, river, review, fast-charging

    We work hard to make this the best motorhome blog and road trip website possible, full of helpful content for you. The website is supported by our readers, so if you buy through links on this site we may earn a commission- at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

    If you find this post useful, you can also treat us to a coffee – we promise to enjoy it while creating more useful content like this- we might even indulge in a biscuit (or two!)

    Ok, now that all the legal stuff is out the way, let’s get on with this Ecoflow River Max review.

    Portable Powerbanks- why are they useful in a motorhome, RV or campervan?

    Let’s start with the ‘why’. When you have so many other essential motorhome accessories and probably already have a solar panel fitted to your van (as well as a leisure battery), why do you need a portable power bank?

    The answer is, if you’re ONLY ever planning to use campsites with electric hookup, you probably don’t. Save the weight on the payload and spend your money elsewhere.

    If you enjoy, or want to try spending time off-grid/ wild parking with your motorhome or campervan, or even staying at campsites which don’t have electric (like grass fields near a beach), then you will more than likely need a way of creating, storing and using electricity while you’re ‘off-grid’.

    Don’t forget to grab your free motorhome wild camping checklist here to help you set up your van to stay overnight without electricity or facilities.

    Some people install a second leisure battery onto their van, which is fine but leaves you with the same constraints as before. You’ll also need an inverter to be able to use the battery power to charge your devices.

    Working outside

    The biggest drawback we’ve found with having a fitted battery instead of a portable power bank is that you can’t use it outside. Personally, I LOVE working outdoors whenever possible- part of the magic of travelling in remote places. But to do that, you need something portable you can take outside with you.

    NOTE: The Ecoflow power stations aren’t built for hiking with. They’re quite large and fairly hefty. Think of it more like a second, moveable leisure battery. Having said that, you CAN detach the Ecoflow ‘bottom’ battery, which makes it a lot lighter and more portable.

    Why do we need a portable power station?

    Personally, both myself and my husband work from the road. We use a LOT of power. Between us, we have two laptops, 3 ipads, 4 phones, plus a drone, camera, Wi-Fi and several other devices which need power to recharge.

    When we’re driving all the time, it’s easy- we charge things as we drive using an inverter. However, when we’re camped up in one place for a few days (like at the top of Tre Cime in the Dolomites), we need a way of creating electricity for all our devices.

    Yes, we carry a portable motorhome generator, but that’s noisy and pretty heavy. You also need to carry fuel for it. We do have a small power bank, but it’s now 6 years old and isn’t holding its charge so well. So a portable power bank like the Ecoflow has a lot of advantages.

    Benefits of a solar-powered power station over a normal generator

    There are some HUGE advantages to having a solar-powered system over a fuel-powered one (and a couple of disadvantages too.)

    PROS of a portable solar generator:

    • Quiet- no noisy engine
    • No need to carry fuel cans- easier to store (some countries like Portugal make it illegal to carry fuel cans)
    • Cheaper to run- solar is free!
    • No smell of fumes
    • Better for the environment
    • Doesn’t need maintenance – great for motorhomes and vans which are used as holiday vehicles.
    • Quick and easy to set-up and safe to use

    CONS of a portable solar generator:

    • Need to store the solar panels somewhere safe
    • Sunshine is essential if you want to charge and you’re off-grid.

    Who are Ecoflow?

    EcoFlow began as a group of former DJI engineers. They ended up raising millions on Kickstarter and to develop new powerbanks and technology which could run without fuel.

    Although they’ve only been around since 2016, the technology and products are already touted as one of the market leaders for renewable power sources.

    They offer a range of portable power stations/ home batteries, including the Ecoflow Delta and Ecoflow River Series. They also offer solar panels, solar generators and other accessories

    Ecoflow River Max Review: What’s in the box?

    When you open your River Max box, you’ll find the following:

    • EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station
    • DC5521-DC5525 Cable
    • 1.5m MC4 to XT60 Solar Charging Cable
    • 1.5m AC Charging Cable
    • 1.5m Car Charging Cable
    • User Manual
    • Warranty Card

    I really liked how the unit was presented and how it worked straight out of the box. Also, I was pleased with the packaging; very secure, very little plastic and not lots of wasted space.

    Ecoflow River Max Specification

    We were sent the Ecoflow River Max portable power station. The specs of this unit are:

    • Net Weight: 17 lbs (7.7kg)
    • Dimensions: 11 x 6.9 x 8.8 in (28 x 17.5 x 22.5 cm)
    • Charge Temperature: 0 to 45°C (± 3°C)
    • Discharge Temperature:.20 to 45°C (± 3°C)
    • Capacity: 576Wh
    • Cycle Life: 500 Cycles to 80% capacity
    • Types of outlets: 2 x AC, 2 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A Fast Charge, 1 x Car Power Output
    • Charging Methods: AC Wall Outlet, 12V Car Charger, Solar Panel
    • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
    • Shelf Life: 1 year (after fully charging the device)
    • Warranty: 24 months

    What Management systems/ protections does the Ecoflow River 600 have?

    Over Voltage Protection, Overload Protection, Over Temperature Protection, Short Circuit Protection, Low Temperature Protection, Low Voltage Protection, Overcurrent Protection

    See the Ecoflow River Max in action

    Watch the video below to see me using the Ecoflow in a campervan (and using it to power my electric blanket!)

    Ecoflow River 600- pros and cons

    So, what’s it like actually using the River Max?

    Pros of the Ecoflow River Max

    The answer, in a nutshell, is easy. Straight out of the box, it worked and has continued to work ever since.

    I even took it to Norfolk with me and ended up in.4c temperatures. The Ecoflow powered my electric blanket every single night and honestly was my lifesaver. I also used it to power a small electric heater AND it charged up my laptop several times without needing a recharge.

    I love the wide array of sockets and that you can use them all at the same time AND they’ve positioned them cleverly, so you can plug in oversize plugs without worry.

    NOTE: You need to turn the unit on, and then TURN ON the AC plug sockets before they’ll work. This can be a bit of a pain if you forget, because you then need to remove the plug, but it takes less than a second to do.

    I am also a BIG fan of how quickly it recharged. In my experience, it took around 70-80 minutes to get back to 80% charge, but the conditions were REALLLLLLLLY cold, so I’ll let them off. Compare this to the Jackery, which would have taken several hours, and you’ll see why I liked the Ecoflow so much. In the time it took to grab a coffee, it was pretty much recharged again.

    I love the LCD display- I found it clear and easy to understand. I liked knowing what watts I was drawing/ charging and how long I had until the battery was flat. Even better, the battery didn’t ‘wane’- you can power 600w all the way until the battery reaches 0%

    Cons of the Ecoflow River 600 Max

    However, there are a few things to be aware of:

    • No case is included; you need to buy that separately
    • It’s not waterproof. At all. So keep undercover in damp conditions
    • I actually quite like the light effect on the Ecoflow, but some may find it annoying (although you can control this on the app.)
    • Only lasts for 500 cycles. And there’s no way to replace the batteries. If you live in your van and charge it every 3 days, that’s only 1500 days (just over 4 years). It might be worth getting the River Pro in this case, which has a much longer life.

    I don’t know if this is a downside, or just a point to note, but you need to turn on the unit in order to use the torch, which is a bit of a pain in the dark when you’re freezing cold and trying to figure out which button to press (ask me how I know…!)

    How long does the Ecoflow River last?

    This is obviously a ‘how long is a piece of string question’. If you don’t power a lot of devices, the Ecoflow River Max is going to last weeks. If you have huge amounts of things to charge, it’s going to run out pretty quickly.

    You can charge up to 9 devices simultaneously, and it doesn’t matter whether you charge them one at a time or all at once, the amount of power drained will be the same.

    ecoflow, river, review, fast-charging

    Here are some guidelines for you:

    • MacBook Air (my laptop): 10 recharges
    • Phone: 42 recharges
    • 1200w Hairdryer: 0.8 hours (yes, it can power up to 1800w devices for a short time)
    • 110w motorhome Television: 4-6 hours
    • 40w CPAP machine: 10 hours
    • 65w projector: 6 hours

    You can choose to unbolt the bottom of the unit, which will remove the second battery. This makes the unit smaller and lighter (if you want to hike with it), but obviously will decrease the length of time you can use it for.

    Ecoflow X Boost- what is it?

    Ecoflow units use something called ‘x-boost’, which allows you to use devices over 600w.

    Now, I’m in no way an electrician, so let me try to explain this to you in simple terms.

    One of the biggest issues with life on the road for a girl is using a hairdryer, and most inverters/ power banks couldn’t even DREAM of powering a decent hair dryer (no, the 12v ones do not work on long, thick hair!)

    So you can imagine how excited I was when I learned the Ecoflow might be able to power one for me.

    Let me be clear, if you just plug in a 1200w hairdryer into the Ecoflow and use it, the unit will shut down and say ‘Overload’.

    HOWEVER, on the app, you can turn on ‘X-Boost’, which means it can power devices above 600w but at a much lower power. Here are some useful things to know:

    • X Boost doesn’t increase the output of the unit, it LOWERS the power of the device being used. So it will run the hairdryer on about ‘half’ power, so it may take longer to dry your hair than you might expect.
    • Only power one device at a time using X-Boost
    • Don’t use it while charging, especially from a wall.

    Ecoflow Solar panel

    Ecoflow offer a range of solar panels to go alongside most of their products.

    With the River Max, you can connect up to two 110w solar panels and they (assuming they have full sunlight), will recharge the unit in under 3 hours.

    They also now offer a 160w solar panel, which will recharge it a little faster (assuming full sunlight).

    Ecoflow App

    Ecoflow have an app, which you can use to control the unit from your phone. I’ll be honest, I didn’t use the app at all for the first few weeks- it’s perfectly possible to use the unit without the app. However, there are some advantages to using it.

    Firstly, this is how you’ll need to upgrade firmware for the unit, which is useful. You can also turn sockets on/off and turn on/ off the X-Boost via the app (I wish you could do this on the unit itself).

    These are the instructions to set up the app:

    • Step 1: Download the EcoFlow App connect to the RIVER Max.
    • Step 2: Turn the RIVER Max on.
    • Step 3: Turn the Wi-Fi on your phone/ device on
    • Step 4: Find your device in the app. Then, you can start controlling your RIVER Max remotely.

    NOTE: You need Wi-Fi to set this up, or a hotspot if off-grid.

    Ecoflow River vs Jackery | Which is better?

    Ahhh, the million dollar question. If you’re in the market for a portable power bank or power station, should you buy an Ecoflow or a Jackery?

    Like anything, there are pros and cons to both. My husband LOVES the Jackery. He uses it all the time at his motorcycle storage unit.

    Still, there are some things which are undeniably better about the Ecoflow River Max over the Jackery:

    • Faster charge time. Much MUCH faster
    • Two AC plug sockets
    • USB-C socket (which I use all the time)
    • The unit works even when the main display is switched off (useful at night)
    • 600w (and can power devices above this) instead of 500w

    Personally, I prefer the Ecoflow. It suits the way I live off-grid better. However, the Ecoflow is heavier and more expensive than the Jackery, so if you’re not worried about fast charging or a variety of sockets, it might not be for you.

    Ecoflow discount codes

    Ecoflow UK sometimes offer discounts and deals on their Portable power stations. See the latest deals and discounts here.

    Ecoflow River Max Conclusions

    There’s no denying that the Ecoflow technology is getting better and better- and the Ecoflow River Max is one of the best powerbanks we’ve used.

    The fast charging is probably the biggest selling point and for that reason alone I’d recommend it to anyone who values power and getting it quickly (like us vanlifers).

    I also love the X-Boost and the fact that you can control the unit with the app (and get updates.) The wide array of sockets is great too.

    As I mentioned above, the River Max is mid-level and great for ‘occasional’ use. If you plan to use it 2 or even 3 times a week to charge devices, it will last you years and years.

    If you’re a heavier user, staying off-grid and relying on this regularly instead of using campsites, I’d probably recommend the River Pro with its larger power output and longer life.

    But if you’re looking for a robust, portable power bank which is easy to use and to give power in your van/ car/ house when not plugged into mains, this is definitely the range to explore.

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