The Best EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max Review

Contributor

Mike Fox

Favorite Trip

6-week Summer Tour of the Northeast from Niagara Falls to Acadia National Park

Home Base

Atlanta, GA

Favorite RV

2014 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 35QBA

About Contributor

Mike is married with two children and a dog and absolutely loves the outdoors. He thrives on exploring mountains, lakes, and forests with his family and truly cherishes the time they have together on their RV journeys. You can find more of the family’s product reviews, campground reviews, trail reviews and overall adventures at instagram.com/pineforestadventures.

Camping World donated this product for the purpose of review.

Have you ever sat down to squeeze in a few hours of work before an epic hike to discover that your laptop or phone battery is nearly empty? In this EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max review, we’ll highlight how we solved this remote work issue without dragging out a 25’ extension cord and plugging into the power pedestal every time we want to work outdoors. 

Fuss no more and “power up” with the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max, a high-capacity, portable power station that packs a punch in a compact and lightweight form. Equipped with over 500 watt-hours (Wh) of capacity, this power station keeps your devices charged and running for many hours, even days, depending on the devices. 

For those who enjoy camping off-grid, this EcoFlow portable power station is a must-have RV accessory.

EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max with Solar Panel Specs 

We’ve compiled these basic EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max specifications to help you compare them to other portable power stations for sale. They are separated for the power station itself and for the accompanying solar panel. 

Power Station Specs

  • Capacity: 512 Wh
  • AC Output Power (Power Station): 500 watts (1000 watts in “X-boost” mode)
  • Weight: 13.2 pounds
  • Size: 10.6” x 10.2” x 7.7”
  • Expected Life: 10 years, 3000 recharge cycles

Solar Panel Specs

  • Output Power: 160 watts
  • Weight: 15.4 pounds
  • Folded Size: 26.8” x 16.5” x 1.0”
  • Unfolded Size: 26.8” x 61.8” x 1.0”

See the full list of specs and features for the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max. 

What Can I Power with my EcoFlow River 2 Max?

Ecoflow portable power station powering laptop in RV campsite
Photo by Mike and Alison Fox

I was initially skeptical about this power station’s practical use as an addition to our RV gear collection. But after just two days of use, I’m totally sold! 

As I work next to our RV overlooking the southern tip of the Blue Ridge mountains, the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max’s convenience can not be overstated. I plugged my laptop into the AC outlet and my phone into the USB-C outlet and worked all day without a hiccup.

The X-boost mode temporarily boosts the typical 500-watt AC output up to 1000 watts. This is perfect for my 800-watt portable water kettle that boils water in 60 seconds to make coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or ramen.

Some RVers also use portable power stations to power CPAP devices while camping off-grid. The EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max is perfect for that application as well and could power such a device for 1-2 full nights of sleep, depending on your specific pressure and humidity settings.  

What about high-draw devices like hair dryers and vacuums?

Many vacuums would be just fine for a quick clean with the X-boost mode. You’ll need to check your specific vacuum to make sure it is under 1000 watts of power draw. If you want to power a hair dryer though, you’ll want to go for a beefier power station like the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Pro, as hair dryers tend to pull between 1200 and 1500 watts. 

The other application I envision using most often is charging our tech while we’re driving, or when we venture away from the campsite on a day trip. Typically while I drive, my wife and kids jockey for our RV’s single inverted outlet connected to our house battery. The EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max has given us another solution to this problem, making for smoother travel and reducing our need to run the generator while driving. 

As for day trips, we often take our truck to find some good rafting or hiking. These can be long days with no facilities. Keeping the power station in the truck gives us plenty of power to recharge our phones, cameras, speakers, GPS units, or even electric coolers.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max?

In my time with the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max, I have definitely become a fan. There is plenty that EcoFlow has to brag about here, and not much that I would wish to be different.

Pros

  • Compact. The size was the first thing that struck me about this power station. I expected something much larger but was pleasantly surprised to find that it is smaller than my favorite mini-cooler. 
  • Lightweight. The 13.2-pound weight spec is deceiving, as the handle is designed with ergonomics and weight distribution in mind, making the unit seem lighter when carried.
  • Versatile. The flat top serves as a mini-table for placing phones and other small devices while charging.
  • Fast Charge Time. Maybe its best feature is the incredibly fast charge time. When plugged into AC power, it goes from 0 to 100% in roughly 1 hour!
  • Solar Ready. The included solar panel is a great benefit for RV living. The solar charge time varies based on cloud cover. With direct sunlight, expect the unit to charge from 0 to 100% in about 4-5 hours. I tested the solar panel on a partly cloudy day.
  • Bluetooth Compatibility. With the EcoFlow app, I could see the peak solar input of 160-170W during moments of full sun and the mediocre input of 20-40W during more frequent cloudy moments. During a span of two hours, I charged the unit from 25% to 52% in suboptimal conditions. Overall, I’m happy with this performance and expect it to charge completely without issue during days of full sun.
  • Durability. Having no experience in this area, I expected it to be quite fragile. It isn’t! It is made of durable, weatherproof plastic with monocrystalline solar cells. That means rough driving conditions, rain, and blowing dust won’t damage these panels, and the solar cell technology gives you the most efficient solar charging capability available today.
  • Portability. The solar panel’s carrying case, which also doubles as a stand, is perfect for storing it in a storage compartment while driving.

Cons

  • Handle Design. My biggest frustration with the EcoFlow River 2 Max is the design of the handle. This may come as a surprise after I just finished praising the ergonomics of it. However, when carrying this unit, the front of it, with the display and the power outlets, faces down. This makes it quite awkward to then set the unit down on the ground properly without scraping the front of it. While I find this annoying, it is an aspect I’m happy to overlook given the benefits and convenience.
  • Max Power. While the max output power is more than sufficient for charging personal tech and also works great for small kitchen appliances, it falls just a bit short for power-hungry appliances like hair dryers. This is hardly a deal breaker for our family as we do not often use such appliances off-grid, but that may be a factor to evaluate in regards to your needs.

EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max Features

EcoFlow River 2 Max power station with foldable solar panel setup in RV campsite
Photo by Mike and Alison Fox

These are the standout features of the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max portable power station:

  • Flexible Charging Options. Charge up the power station with standard AC power (fastest option!), solar power, DC power from your car (standard 12V ‘cigarette lighter’ plug provided), or USB-C.
  • Convenient Mobile App. With a glance at your phone, you can check the remaining power and estimated hours of runtime for devices currently plugged in. You can also see power input and output, which is especially useful when charging via the solar panel and determining the best angle to orient the panel for optimal charging.
  • Multiple Outlet Types. It includes 120V AC, 12V DC, USB-C, USB-A, and DC5521 power outlets.
  • 5-year Warranty. I didn’t even think to check for this feature when comparing power stations, but a generous 5-year manufacturer warranty sure is a nice perk for great peace of mind. EcoFlow means business when they say their products are reliable, and they stand behind them!

Would You Recommend the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max?

Electronic devices plugged into Ecoflow portable power station
Photo by Mike and Alison Fox

The EcoFlow RIVER2 Max offers impressive portability, power output, charging speed, and a range of features that make it a versatile choice for outdoor adventures and off-grid living. Its intuitive interface and multiple charging options further enhance its appeal. 

Considering its capabilities and reliability, the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max is worth the investment for those who prioritize quality and performance. If you’re looking for a dependable portable power station with a strong feature set, it’s a solid choice.

FAQs About This EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max Review

Man showing recharge time remaining for EcoFlow River 2 Max Review
Photo by Mike and Alison Fox

Whether you’re considering purchasing this power station, or just seeking to learn more about this product category, I have compiled a short list of questions and answers to help.

How long does the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max battery last before needing to recharge?

The answer to this question is highly dependent upon the devices you are powering with the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max, as each type of device varies in the amount of power it draws. I find it more convenient to discuss the number of times you could recharge some common devices, such as:

  • Mobile Phone: 35+ charges
  • Laptop: 4-7 charges
  • GoPro: 100+ charges

How long does it take to charge the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max?

The time it takes to fully charge the EcoFlow River 2 Max will vary. 

  • Charging from AC power will be the quickest, taking about one hour. 
  • The EcoFlow solar panel can charge the power station in about 3-6 hours of direct sun. 
  • Charging by DC power from your car or USB-C will take approximately 6 hours. 

Can you leave EcoFlow RIVER 2 plugged in all the time?

Leaving the EcoFlow River 2 Max plugged in all the time is not dangerous per se, but EcoFlow advises against it as this setup is not ideal for the battery’s health. 

How Does the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max Portable Power Station Compare?

There are two similar products in this price range and power capacity that are worth learning a bit more about before making your final decision:

Jackery 550 with SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel
Photo by Camping World

Jackery 550 with SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel

With a nearly identical weight and battery capacity to the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max, one may be tempted to simply price compare these two products against each other. However, several differences give the EcoFlow a big advantage. First, the EcoFlow has 4 AC power outlets, 2 of those for 3-prong AC plugs, while the Jackery only has 1 AC power outlet. Second, the Jackery takes nearly 7x longer to charge from AC power, requiring nearly 7 hours compared to EcoFlow’s 1 hour. Third, the Jackery Solar panel is only rated to provide 100W of power as compared to EcoFlow’s 160W solar panel, which again allows the EcoFlow to charge faster on solar power. Finally, let’s not forget about that massive 5-year warranty from EcoFlow! Jackery also provides a warranty, but only for 2 years.

Southwire Elite 500 with Solar Panel
Photo by Camping World

Southwire Elite 500 with Solar Panel

I was initially attracted to the Southwire above all others as I thought it would be easier to get my wife’s approval. The Southwire aesthetic is a bit less industrial which is nice when used indoors. It also weighs 2 pounds less than the Jackery and EcoFlow, which can be significant for a device that will be used and loved by the entire family. Following along this theme, the Southwire solar panel collapses down much smaller than the EcoFlow and Jackery for easier portability and storage. All that said, the Southwire only has 2 AC power outlets, and it requires about 3 hours to charge from 0 to 100%. Even though I could not find any details about a manufacturer warranty from Southwire, if portability and aesthetic design are a priority for you, this power station from Southwire could be a decent alternative to the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max.


The EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max with the solar panel offers a robust and versatile portable power solution for outdoor and RV enthusiasts. With the convenience and sustainability of solar charging, this EcoFlow portable power station proves to be well-rounded and highly efficient.

For more insights and information on outdoor gear and accessories, you may be interested in these related posts:

Have you tried any of these products? Do you have any additional thoughts after reading about them? I’d love to hear them – drop a note in the comments!

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