Today I want to talk about yet another portable battery bank or solar generator. Whatever you want to call it, it’s basically a battery that you can use to power various devices that use DC or AC. You can also recharge it using various sources. I’ve reviewed a few of these before since I do a lot of work on locations where I don’t always have the ability to plug in my camera, lights or laptop and in many cases I’m completely off grid.
The unit I am going to talk about today is the EcoFlow River 2 Max. This was sent to me by EcoFlow to test out but I am not offered any money to make this video. Also EcoFlow doesn’t have a say in what my final opinion on their product is. Is it any good? Well, if you don’t have time to read the whole post then in short, YES it is but with some limitations to keep in mind. I’ll talk about the good and the bad a bit later but first let me share some of the specs of this particular unit. Remember that I am only talking about the EcoFlow River Max 2 and not some of the other products that EcoFlow makes such as the larger Delta series portable power stations or the other River series batteries.
The River 2 Max is an easy to carry portable battery with 512wh capacity. It is also a power station with an AC inverter. This means that you can plug in both DC and also AC items. The AC inverter essentially converts the DC or direct current battery into standard household AC or alternating current. In short you have 4 standard household plugs that you can use to power your coffee maker or laptop, tv, even a fridge. For me these types of battery systems were crucial specially this year as we had a very active hurricane season in Florida that caused various power outages. The worst case was when we got directly hit by Hurricane Ian. We had no water or power in our house for a week afterwards. Which means that if it wasn’t for these portable solar generators and Starlink satellite internet then I wouldn’t be able to do any work. Not to mention that while many of our neighbors had no way to power their fridge and had all their food spoiled, we lived in relative comfort. We had lights at night. We had a way to power our fridge and also I was able to power my computer and get work done. Of course don’t think that you can power your whole house with just the EcoFlow River 2 max. This is meant to be used more as a backup to power a device like a laptop or small fridge. It can also be great to use outdoors when camping or traveling in an RV. If you want enough juice to power a whole house and let’s say an Air Conditioning unit then you will need to get one of the larger options that EcoFlow sells.
So the most often asked question I get whenever I review one of these solar generators is “What can I power with it and for how long?”. The best way to answer that for you is to look at the device that you plan to power and see what the power rating is on it. You can find that out by looking at the back of your laptop or power adapter. Let’s say it’s a laptop that uses 100wh. Since the EcoFlow River 2 Max has a battery capacity of 512 wh, it means it will power that laptop for around 5 hours before the battery reaches zero. A simple way to calculate how long the battery will last is to take the battery capacity, which in this case is 512wh and divide it by the power rating of your device. 512 divided by 100 comes out to 5.12 hours. Of course whenever there is conversion from DC to AC power there is always some loss. In my tests the EcoFlow River 2 Max has a true battery capacity of 76%. That’s based on my various tests where I would discharge the battery from 100% to 0% and I was averaging around 390wh out of 512wh.
Another thing to consider is what size of device you can power. The EcoFlow River 2 Max has a pure sine wave inverter rated up to 500 watts AC. This means you can’t plug in a device such as an electric stove that draws 2000 watts and think that this small portable battery will power it. Now in my various tests I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out that the EcoFlow River 2 Max was able to power my electric heaters which draw over 500 watts of power and the inverter still worked without shutting down. It powered my heaters all the way until the battery reached zero. Also keep in mind that the included AC inverter is rated at a constant draw of 500 watts but it also has a surge rating of 1000W. So when powering a fridge for example that may only draw a 100 watts normally but every so on it will spike up the wattage in order to power the compressor, as long as that spike is not more than 1000 watts you will still be okay to use the EcoFlow River 2 Max.
Get the EcoFlow River 2 Max here:
➡Amazon (11% off): https://amzn.to/47BHeWO
(Use code KOT29X6Z for an extra 5% off on River 2 max and other EF products)
➡Also you can get the EcoFlow 160w Solar Panel here (42% off): https://amzn.to/45fpUW1
(Use code BPBKFFLF for an extra 5% off)
So what are some of the good things about the EcoFlow River 2 Max? First is its overall design. It’s pretty small for the amount of power it provides and also it’s only 13lbs or 6kg in weight. It means that I can easily take it with me on location to power a couple LED lights and my camera. The unit is designed with an easy to read display that shows you how much battery you have left and also how much power is coming in and how much is going out. On the left side of the display you see how long it will take to either fully discharge or charge the battery at the current rate of usage. On the top left you have various USB ports. On the top right side is the DC Car plug that is regulated at 12.6volts and 3amps or 36watts. Plus there are also 2 DC ports. Below that are the standard AC plugs.
Another thing I love about it is all the different ways I can charge it. First of all the unit has a built in power adapter so you just need to connect the provided AC power cable. No extra heavy and bulky power brick to carry around. Also when charging using a standard AC outlet this battery will charge up to a whopping 660 watts. This means that it can charge this whole battery from 0% in 1 hour. For comparison, all my other portable batteries that are similar in size take 3 to 5 hours to fully charge. You can also charge the River 2 Max using the provided car cigarette lighter plug. This will obviously take longer since the max draw using that method is 100watts. So it would take about 5 hours to fully charge. Another way to charge the battery is through the 100watt UCB-C bi-directional port on the front. You can use this plug to power your laptop or in turn to also charge the EcoFlow River 2 Max. Now this is called a solar generator because it will work with most solar panels. This is how I was able to keep the battery charged whenever we lost power in our house during a hurricane. Using the 160watt portable solar panel that I also got from EcoFlow. I would consistently get around 120watts of power on a sunny day. That means it takes around just over 4 hours to fully charge the River 2 Max using this solar panel. This panel is great in that it’s light to carry. It comes with a carrying bag that also acts as a stand, so you can position the solar panels to face the sun at the right angle. You can also use this solar panel not just with this battery but with any solar system, since it uses the standard MC4 connections.
The EcoFlow River 2 Max can charge even faster using solar panels up to 220 watts. Which is 11 to 50 volts at 13amps. This means if you connect larger solar panels, like I did when I used the EcoFlow River 2 Max with my DIY Solar Golf Cart. I was able to fully charge this battery using the sun in just 2.5 hours. Just keep in mind that in order to connect any standard solar panels you will need a MC4 to XT60 plug adapter. That’s because the only way to plug in solar panels or the car charger to the EcoFlow River 2 Max is using the XT60 plug on the back.
The EcoFlow River 2 Max is also very quiet. The whole unit is cooled using the small vents that are hidden around the front panel and also the exit fans on the side. I could only hear the fans go into higher speeds after a few minutes when I pushed the AC inverter to the max.
This battery also has a EPS Feature. Which stands for Emergency Power Supply. In my tests it was actually fast enough to be used as a UPS or Uninterrupted Power Supply. EcoFlow advertises the switch-over speed to be under 30ms. When plugged to an outlet the River 2 Max provides pass through power to your devices while it also maintains your battery. When I unplugged the EcoFlow River 2 Max it would quickly switch to the battery power without causing any flickers or shutting down my desktop computer. I did similar tests with my internet router and monitor.
The only negative thing I could find about the EcoFlow River 2 Max is that there is no option for an expandable battery. So if you want to increase the battery size you would have to get the larger EcoFlow River 2 Pro. Or even better buy some of the other EcoFlow portable power solutions like the Delta Pro, which has a much larger battery and an option to expand it. Of course that comes at a much bigger size and weight. So if you want a much more portable solution then I can highly recommend the EcoFlow River 2 Max.
This unit also comes with wifi and bluetooth connectivity which allows it to be fully controlled and customized using the EcoFlow mobile app. Plus it comes standard with a 5 year warranty which is above what other companies offer. I assume this has something to do with the advanced BMS or battery management system in the unit that balances the charging and discharging of the battery along with temperature and anything else that could negatively affect it. In fact the EcoFlow River 2 Max has a LFP Battery with 3000 Charge Cycles. Which means you can use it normally everyday and the battery will last around 10 years before it starts dropping its capacity.
In conclusion The EcoFlow RIVER 2 is one of the best, small portable power station under 1kwh that I’ve had a chance to use. Even though it was provided to me in exchange for this review, I can honestly recommend it since I use it now in my work. I’m also now considering getting the larger EcoFlow power systems for my off grid studio that I am starting to build. The River 2 Max is a perfect solution for any outdoor, travel use, or even a basic assurance for home backup. If you are interested in it then EcoFlow is running the biggest Black Friday promo of the year as we speak till November 28th. Check out the links below to enjoy up to 50% off!
Get the EcoFlow River 2 Max here:
Amazon (11% off): https://amzn.to/3hQ6Yt0
(Use code KOT29X6Z for an extra 5% off on River 2 max and other EcoFlow products)
Also you can get the EcoFlow 160w Solar Panel here (42% off): https://amzn.to/3Aqui7f
(Use code BPBKFFLF for an extra 5% off)