In this EcoFlow River 600 review, I will be investigating the Max Portable Power Station. The review will include the foldable 110w Ecoflow solar panels. These solar panels are a natural accompaniment for the River Max. Together becoming a 600w solar power kit, also known as a portable solar power generator.
Product: EcoFlow River Max Portable Power Station
The Best place to buy: EcoFlow
Dimensions: 11.4 x 7.3 x 9.3inch/28.9 x 18.4 x 23.5cm
Product: EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel
The Best place to buy: Ecoflow
Price: $399.00 each
Solar panel dimensions:
Folded: 20.2 x 16.5 x1.0inch/51.4 x 42.2 x 2.4cm
Unfolded: 20.2 62.5 x 1.0inch/51.4 x 158 x 2.4cm
Solar Panel Weight: 8.8lbs/4kg each
Solar Generator Price:
With 1 x EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel *$998.00
With 2 x EcoFlow 110w Solar Panels *$1397.00
Warranty: 2 Years on all products
*There are discounts available for purchasing a solar generator. (solar panels and station together)
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
EcoFlow River 600 Review – The Max Portable Solar Power Station
It’s official gasoline powered portable generators are dead. Solar power has hammered the last nail into that dirty, smelly, dangerous and noisy coffin. Well not quite yet, but portable solar power is here to stay and we had all best get used to it.
One of the latest coffin nails is provided by EcoFlow, a company that arrived on the scene in 2017. Born from entrepreneurs, who emerged from a leading drone development company.
Launched in May 2020, the River 600 range of portable solar products are now well-established. As an alternative high tech solar solution to companies like Bluetti and Jackery. The 600 max’s dual personality and solar panel kit will blow your socks off !!!
What Is The EcoFlow River 600 Max
As you know, the way to produce electricity on the go, is with a portable gasoline generator. Unfortunately they are heavy and difficult to transport. They need constant maintenance and frequent fuel top ups. Not to mention the potentially lethal Co2 emissions and environmental damage they cause. But, there is a cleaner and more efficient way to generate off-grid electricity. HURRAH!!!. And its through sunlight the most abundant energy resource on the planet.
Many people don’t realize that solar power technology has moved on over the last 10 years. And you don’t need thousands and thousands of dollars to enjoy energy freedom. Now you can power your campsite or day trip with a portable power station and a solar panel or two. Without breaking the bank.
The Ecoflow River 600 Max is completely silent and eco-friendly. And it won’t blow your tent up or poison you with carbon monoxide. Because, the EcoFlow 600 Max is a battery which stores the power gathered by the solar panels. And converts it into usable electricity for either DC or AC rated appliances
What’s Inside The River 600 Max Portable Solar Station?
The River 600 Max has an attractive industrial design with built in ambient lighting. It has a molded carry handle to make it easy to move around. This unit is a top quality, well-made and designed piece of kit. It looks high tech for sure, but is in fact very easy to use.
The River 600 Max’s battery has a dual personality
This EcoFlow battery has personality. Unlike other power stations in its class the River 600 Max has two batteries. Making it the most versatile unit on the market today.
The batteries have a lithium-ion chemistry with both batteries producing 288wh (watt hours). When both batteries are used together the total watt hours are 576wh.
*Don’t know what watt hours are?
The higher the watt-hours the longer electrical appliances can be charged or powered. If you powered a mini cooler with a wattage rating of 60w the calculation would be. 576 divided by 60 = 9.6. This means you would be able to power the cooler for 9.6 hours before the batteries are completely drained.
The big benefit of having two batteries is that you can use the River 600 Max for two different things. So, say you want to go to the beach and keep your drinks cold and charge your Kindle. You could detach the second battery making the River 600 smaller and lighter.
EcoFlow have made it easy to detach the second battery. All you need to do, is unscrew the 4 screws holding the second battery in place. These are located underneath the bottom of the River 600. Once detached, to keep the screws safe, screw them back in to the bottom of the Max.
If you are taking the EcoFlow 600 camping, leave the second battery attached to enjoy the full 576wh.
One of the coolest things about the River 600 Max’s batteries, is that they will hold there charge for up to 12 months. Most other manufactures recommend a 6 months. The River’s superior charge holding, allows you to store it for longer than other makes.
Controller: Controls the amount of electric current delivered from the solar panels to the battery. This protects the batteries from over charging. Overcharging will reduce the batteries performance and life expectancy.
This maximizes the energy collected by the solar panels. And efficiently charges the River 600’s twin lithium-ion batteries
The River 600 Max is equipped with a 600w inverter.
*If you don’t know what an inverter is:
It converts the DC current produced by the batteries. Into AC current used by domestic appliances.
It will power DC appliances up to a 600w rating . And is capable of powering AC appliances up to 1200W, using EcoFlows X-Boost technology.
The River 600 Max is brilliant for providing electrical power for days out, camping and RV’s. And very capable of powering smaller appliances and power tools around the home.
The LCD screen is bright and easy to understand.
- The basic display shows:
Remaining charge and discharge time displayed in minutes.
- Battery level indicator:
Shows the remaining power and the icon rotates while charging.
- Battery level percentage:
If it displays 0% the River 600 needs charging.
- High temperature indicator:
A high-temperature warning icon will appear on the screen. Switch off and let the Max cool down.
- Low temperature indicator:
A low-temperature indicator icon will appear on the screen. Warm the River up properly before use.
- Fan Indicator:
The fan speed is intelligently controlled and the displayed speed is related to the fan speed.
- Current Input:
Shows the current input power in watts.
- Current Output:
Shows the current output power in watts.
- Overload Warning:
The overload icon and corresponding icon indicate the corresponding overload module.
- Port Usage Indicators:
Indicates the usage status of each port.
The River 600 Max has a total of 13 ports, 10 output and 3 input
- AC x 3 full Sine-Wave
- USB-A x 2
- USB-A fast charge x 1
- USB-C x 1
- DC car power x 1
- DC 5521 13V/3A x 2
- AC charge power – X-Stream
- Solar charge
- Car charger
- Battery overload protection switch
- USB-A overload protection
- Recharge protecton
- Discharge potection
- High temperature protection
- Many more protection features explained in the manual.
How Useful is the River 600 Max
For such a small portable solar power station it has many uses. The River 600 Max is suited to charging electronic devices and 12v DC appliances. Powering AC appliances at home and great for emergency power during short electricity outages.
What will it charge?
Any electronic USB charged device. Including: Pones, I-pads, watches, Kindles, cameras and hand held game consoles and more.
Most devices charged through an AC wall socket. Including Laptops, Mac book Airs and electric toothbrushes and more.
What will it power?
- Most DC appliances. Including coolers, mini-fridges, grills, hairdryers, kettles and more.
- AC appliances up to a 1200w rating. Including TV’s, electric blankets, air pumps, CPAP and more.
The River 600 Max is capable of powering AC appliances with up to a 1200w rating. By using the built in X-Boost technology. But, if you remember the earlier calculation a 150w refrigerator would run for 3.84 hours. Calculation – 576wh divided by 150w = 3.84.
During a power outage, it will run the refrigerator. But the River 600 Max would quickly run out of charge. Especially if you were powering or charging other devices at the same time. So it is more suited to providing power during temporary power outages.
But, as a general home backup EcoFlows’ 600 Max portable station can be useful. Charging electronics and laptops and powering small appliances and power tools. And a great way to start to becoming energy self-sufficient.
The unit is easy to move around because it’s about the same size as an average car battery. Lightweight 17lbs/7.7kg. Many of the River 600 power stations competitors are much bigger and heavier. There are no problems with transporting the unit in the car.
EcoFlows x-stream technology, offers one of the fastest recharging rates. It can recharge from 0-80% within an hour using a AC wall plug.
The River 600 Max uses 3 types of recharging methods. The rates shown below are from 0% charge:
Solar Panels: (full recharge rates dependent on cloud conditions)
- 1 x solar panel 4.8 to 9.6 hours (with full sun)
2 x solar panels in parallel 3-6 hours (with full sun).
- 12/24v car adapter 6.5 hours.
- AC wall outlet 1.6 hours. No hanging around waiting for the magical 100% bar.
You can have the River 600 Max charged before you reach your destination. By charging from an AC wall outlet, but this isn’t very environmentally friendly. Or, charging through your car adapter while on the way there. Either way, you will be set up and ready to use the Max straight away.
And if you have taken a tent for camping there is a built in light to illuminate your evenings.
The EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel
I am a great believer in, were possible to couple the same manufacturers products together. The main reason is not because it looks cool, but you know they will probably work together as specified. And the EcoFlow power station and solar panels aren’t any different.
Solar panel folded
The EcoFlow 110w solar panel is made of 4 separate monocrystalline panels boasting a 21 – 22% efficiency. The industry standard being 17% to 19% according to solar.com. They fold concertina style into a flat compact unit for transportation.
The folded dimensions are 20.2 x 16.5 x1.0inch/51.4 x 42.2 x 2.4cm. Along with a rubber handle this gives the solar panel superior portability. And it comes with an attractive solar panel carry bag.
Easy to move around because the panel weighs 8.8lbs/4kg. And you can fit the panel into the average size car along with the River 600 Max.
Solar panel unfolded
Unfolded the solar panel dimensions are 20.2 62.5 x 1.0inch/51.4 x 158 x 2.4cm. The MC4 connectors make it easy to attached to the River 600 Max. The solar panel can be chained in parallel. This is very handy to achieve the best recharge time with two 110w solar panels for the River 600 Max.
You can angle the adjustable kickstand from 0-180 degrees. This means you will be able to adjust the tilt to find the perfect angle. And absorb the maximum amount of sunshine.
The solar panels are completely waterproof, able to withstand all weather conditions. No need to worry about having to run out in the rain to retrieve the panels. Stay put and have another beer !!!
What’s Good About The EcoFlow 600 Max
The EcoFlow Max is the most versatile power station on the market. Because you can remove the second battery making it lighter and smaller. This means it can be transported in a small car for a day out or short trip. You will not be able to power anything larger than a small camping cooler. But you will be able to charge your phone and laptop and it’s good to have the option.
Most manufacturers say the maximum amount of time you can store their power stations is 6 months. Before you need to recharge. Not the River 600 Max though. EcoFlow say the power station can be shelved for up to 12 months. This is handy if circumstances mean you are not going to use it for a while.
Undoubtedly, the 600 max is a well-made, top quality piece of kit. Hardwearing and durable, backed with a 2-year warranty. It’s 500 cycles will ensure it’s performance for many years to come. Although I will say, because of the cycle lifespan I would think carefully if using it for living on the road.
What’s Not So Good About The EcoFlow 600 Max
To be truthful I am scratching around a bit, to find things that are not so good about the River 600 Max. The power station can be used for home backup, but in a limited way. In reality when it comes to powering larger household appliances for any length of time. It does fall short. But, so do all the other 500 to 600w power stations on the market. So no real surprise there.
If you are looking for a portable solution to provide temporary power for longer term outages. Look at the Bluetti AC200p. This comes with a much heftier price tag though.
The 100w foldable solar panel feels a bit pricey at $399.00 each. But there is a $150.00 discount if you buy the River 600 max and 2 solar panels together. That would bring the price down to $324.00 each.
You could always plumb for the in between alternative:
EcoFlow 160W Solar Panel coupled with the River 600 Max. Check out the solar generator price
There is a direct comparison the Powerwerx FSP 110w that is $229.99. Not sure if it is in the same quality and workmanship league though.
There are 100w alternatives. The Jackery SolarSaga $361.06, the Renogy Suitcase $188.86 and the Dokio Suitcase $184.69. They are options but, I don’t think the Dokio is in the same league as the Jackery and Renogy. And as I mentioned earlier. I believe matching products with the same manufacturer works best.
Solar Power Has Some Limitations
Solar power is fantastic, because it provides an environmentally friendly energy source. Let’s be honest. Without solar panels the world would be relying on smelly, noisy gasoline generators. You just need to be aware of a few things.
- When it is overcast, the PV cells will receive less light. Reducing the rate of charge, meaning it will take longer to charge the EcoFlow 600 River Max. This isn’t a major problem, if you reduce the amount of devices you are using during these periods.
- Shade will stop charging altogether. Keep an eye out for this now and again and move the panels into the sunlight if necessary. This is important if you are near an overhang or obstruction such as in and around a forest. You will need to check for shade more often.
Is The River 600 Max Any Good
Without question, the River 600 Max is the most versatile solar power station in its class. EcoFlow have taken great pains to design an attractive looking unit that works. You can see the thought and workmanship that has gone into the product. And the two battery adaptation works a treat it’s like having 2 power stations in one.
Sure, like all products there are a couple of minor niggles. But for generating off grid electricity on it’s own or as a solar power generator. The 600 max is perfect for a day out, camping, RV trips and around the home. And a great temporary power source during short power outages. A versatile alternative to the Jackery, Bluetti and Goal Zero offerings. Is the River 600 max worth the money? I’d say so.
I hope you enjoyed this review and have found it useful. If you have any questions about the River 600 Max portable solar generator. Or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment below