Looking for a truly portable power station? The EcoFlow River 2 delivers grab-and-go power

Closeup of EcoFlow River 2

The EcoFlow River 2.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Power banks have given way to power stations.

And while I really like the colossal capacity offered by behemoths, such as the new Zendure SuperBase V, sometimes I want something I can grab quickly to take with me on a job or in an emergency.

The EcoFlow River 2 fits the bill exactly.

EcoFlow River 2

$299 at Amazon

 

EcoFlow River 2 specs

  • Capacity: 256Wh
  • Net Weight: Approximately 7.7lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 8.5 x 5.7inches
  • AC Input: 100-120V 50Hz/60Hz, 360W Max
  • Solar Input: 8A Max,11-30V 110W
  • Car Input: 12V/24V, 8A, 100W Max
  • USB-C Input/Output: 5/9/12/15/20V 3A, 60W Max
  • AC Output: 120V 50Hz/60Hz, 300W (Surge 600W)
  • DC Output: 12.6V 8A, 100W Max
  • USB-A Output: 5V 2.4A 12W Max
  • Cell Chemistry: Lithium iron phosphate
  • Cycle Life: 80%+ capacity after 3000 cycles
  • App Control: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Discharge Temperature: -10°C to 45°C (14°F to 113°F)
  • Charge Temperature: 0°C to 45°C (32°F to 113°F)
  • Optimal Operating Temperature: 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F)
  • Storage Temperature: -10°C to 45°C (20°C to 30°C is best)/14°F to 113°F (68°F to 86°F is best)

The striking thing about the River 2 is how light it is — 7.7lbs feels like nothing after some of the power stations I’ve been handling lately. On top of that, the handle is ergonomic and comfortable.

I could see this being a power station that I’d be happy to carry for a few miles if I needed that sort of power for drones, or cameras if I was on a shoot.

With a capacity of 256Wh, this is small enough to allow the River 2 to be portable, but enough to run a 100W load for close to 2.5 hours. The AC output can handle a sustained output of 300W (which would drain the River 2 in under an hour) and surge loads up to 600W.

As for recharging, the River 2 can use four methods — AC, solar, 12V in-car, and USB-C. Using AC, the unit can go from zero to 100% in an hour, which means less time hanging around waiting for it to be ready.

Using portable solar panels, you could have the River 2 charged up in about 3 hours, which is very respectable.

Worried all that charging and discharging is going to wear out the River 2?

Don’t be!

If you were to completely charge and discharge the River 2 six times a week, EcoFlow claims the lithium iron phosphate batteries would last for 9.6 years before their capacity drops to 80%.

The unit features a built-in fan to keep things cool when charging and discharging at high wattages, and this fan reaches some 62db, which is the sort of sound level you’d get from a household dishwasher.

Another job that the River 2 can be used for is as a backup device for when the power goes out. It can detect that the power has gone out and switch over to the battery in 30ms, so devices will keep on running as though nothing had happened.

For example, a typical Wi-Fi router draws about 10W, which means this unit can keep it going for almost 8 hours.

The unit is rugged and well-built and shrugs off the knocks and bumps that it will inevitably get when being used.

Currently available for $299 (there’s a $60 off coupon at Amazon), this is a very competitively priced power station, and is highly recommended for those looking for a truly portable power solution.

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