Honda HLS290 Portable Power Station Review – The Ideal Machine for Outdoor Adventure

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  • Battery Capacity
  • Warranty
  • Price
4.8

Summary

Overall, the Honda HLS290 portable power station is a very impressive, practical equipment to have in your possession. It is a solidly designed device that is fitted with an excellent display. The HLS 290 simply works to give you the best that it offers. For instance, it has got all the ports anyone would need for a night out. If you hate fiddling with stuff, you will find that the Honda HLS290 portable power station is a great, fiddle-free product! You just need to plug your items in.Next, press the “on” button and, voila! You are good to go!

Pros:

  • Very good price – we got it here
  • Great Brand Collaboration – Honda and Jackery
  • Comes with 2 Years Warranty

Cons:

  • There is no audible warning that power is low

The Honda HLS 290 portable power station, which is manufactured by Jackery, is a fully licensed lithium-ion power station that is easy to transport. The device features a 292 watt-hour energy storage and is a beautiful machine to have at home. The HLS290 power station is a product made by Jackery. It offers a safe and quiet, mobile power that is suitable for people going places, no matter where the adventure is.

With this machine, you can charge all your favorite electronics, including smartphones, drones, cameras, and a host of other essential recreational equipment. This is a solar-ready machine that is well suited for an active outdoor lifestyle. It is capable of providing a reliable power supply in emergencies.

As noted, the Honda HLS290 is a popular product that is officially licensed by the respected Honda Motor Co. Moreover, it is manufactured, designed, and distributed by Jackery Inc. Jackery is a quasi-subsidiary of Honda that was specially chosen to build this high-quality power station.

Pass-through Charging

Its small size, portability, and light weight, in combination with the car, wall and solar charging options, make this machine your ideal camping partner. Admittedly, the HLS290’s versatility is greatly limited by its 200-watt power. Regardless, the device can still charge a phone or power other units like Wi-Fi while also being charged. Jackery calls this a pass-through charging.

This means that it can simultaneously charge the devices connected, while it is being charged by a car or solar panel. The HLS290 portable power station contains a series of cylindrical 18650 lithium ion battery cells. These are packaged as a battery with high energy density.

Safe, Quiet, Mobile Power

This power station offers 292-watt-hour energy storage. It also produces a 200-watt power output. The device can provide you with safe, quiet, mobile power to let you go places, no matter where adventure takes you. You can even charge activity-electronics including your smartphones, drones, cameras and other recreational equipment.

If the battery is full, it can charge a tablet to a maximum of 14 times. It can also charge the mobile phone up to 17 times. It will power a 32-inch TV or a mini-fridge for 3.4 hours. It can, similarly, power the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine for a maximum of 4 hours.

How can you fully charge the unit? It depends on  the  amount of charge existing in the device, and your chosen method of charging. If you are using an AC wall outlet, a full recharge should complete in 8 hours. If it is a 12–volt car adaptor, this should also take 8 hours. A 50-watt solar panel with the full sun should take about 10 hours to fully charge.

A Caveat

The portable power station is well-suited for lovers of outdoor events that require portable power to do a variety of things, such as contacting friends or charging cameras. You can also use it with an LED light source. Its powerful built-in LED flashlight can light your tent or make the fishing expedition more enjoyable. Take this caveat, though. This machine is not designed to perform such tasks as running the microwave or starting a car. That was never its purpose.

Inverter Technology

What important factors should you consider when planning to buy a portable power station? To understand that, let us first consider three basic kinds of inverters. We will also consider why it is essential to understand this technology.

Inverters generally function by generating a 60 Hz sine wave, coming from the DC voltage in the battery and amplifying it to 110 Volt. A simple way to generate the pulse is accomplished with a set of switched transistors. These generate a square wave pulse. This signal is, in turn, passed through a transformer which amplifies it. Unfortunately, with this method, you only get 110VAC square wave of 60Hz. You do not get what an alternating power device was meant for.

Prohibited

Keep in mind that, grid power is usually produced by generators that have a pure sine wave. This is exactly what AC equipment is designed for. Many devices, however, heat up when used with a square wave inverter. They also make humming noises. Because of this, some European countries have prohibited the use of square wave inverters. Such inverters may only be legally used with AC motors.

Regardless, an improved version of this technology generates a simulated sine wave. This simulation follows the sine wave in a pattern described as stepped square wave. Although this is better, it is still not acceptable for use with sensitive equipment like computers and similar utilities that use computerized controls. Such units may be described as delivering a Modified Sine Wave. They usually have around 85% inverter output efficiency.

This means that 15% of the battery energy is lost in the process of conversion when delivering a 110-VAC. Modified sine wave units, however, generate unwanted heat in most AC devices. This can result in permanent damage. Most manufacturers of such portable power stations are seemingly oblivious to this. As a result, they may only warn against using these devices with medical equipment.

Overpriced?

Significantly, a true sine wave inverter produces a pure sine wave that works with all AC devices. It does not cause harm or generate undue heat. This is the best solution that everyone would wish for. Not surprisingly, portable power stations that have true sine wave inverters proudly indicate that, both on the units and in all documentation. Such equipment are usually expensive. Indeed, when comparing prices, you may wrongly consider them as unreasonably overpriced.

Favorite Features:

  • Peak Capacity: 292Wh, 81200 mAh / 3.6V.
  • Battery: (BAK 2900mAh x 28 cells) Lithium ion.
  • Chemistry of the cell: Li-ion NMC.
  • Lifecycles: ≥500 cycles to 80%.
  • Shelf-life: Charge after 3-6 Months.
  • Management System: Over Voltage Protection, BMS, Short Circuit Protection.
  • Charge Methods: Solar Panel (optional), AC Wall Outlet, 12V Car adaptor.
  • Full Recharge Time: 8 Hours (12V Car Adapter) 8 Hours (AC).
  • 10 Hours ( 500w solar panel, Full Sun).
  • Product Weight: 6.6 lbs (3 kg).
  • Warranty: The Honda HLS290 comes with a 2- year warranty as a guarantee of quality.
  • SOS mode with Powerful built-in LED flashlight.
  • Battery-life status indicated. LCD screen with charge/discharge.
  • Output Port charging, Switch with on/off indicator lights.
  • Brand Power: Jackery was selected by American Honda Motor Co., Inc for this task. The aim was to develop the best‐in‐class outdoor portable power stations. These would be an eco-friendly source of lithium-ion portable power, well-suited for people on the move.
  • Versatile Design: The portable charger features two USB ports, an AC port, a 12V input, and a separate port to connect a solar panel. This offers an option for more sustainable charging. The lithium- battery pack affords great versatility for lovers of the outdoor lifestyles.
  • Premium Battery: This emergency power back-up features a powerful lithium battery. The battery has a 292- watt-hour energy storage. It is designed for optimal efficiency. Not only does this offer longer battery life, it also gives a safe and silent source of portable power.
  • Portable and Convenient: The portable power station is designed for ultimate portability. It has a convenient carrying handle that makes it pretty easy to transport the battery pack. It is 9 inches long and weighs just 6.6 lbs. This makes the portable power station a favorite accessory for great adventure.

Control Panel and Form Factor

The Jackery Honda HLS290 features a nice handle, big in size, designed on the top. The handle is very convenient and makes the power station easy to transport anywhere. Its lightweight, compact size makes you feel like you are merely carrying a full lunch box item! At the front, there is an informative LCD display. There are various ports located around the display. Here is what the ports are meant for:

  • 8mm Input port – This is for charging and also works with products of the Goal Zero type.
  • 12VDC Output – This is a cigarette lighter- type DC output that is ideal for 12V devices.
  • 110VAC Inverter – This is a 200-watt to 400-watt peak inverter with pure sine wave, ideal for powering sensitive electronics.
  • 2x USB Ports – This are for directly charging cameras, phones, and other smaller devices.
  • The Jackery Honda HLS 290 is manufactured from strong material. The plastic feels durable, and in spite of being dropped and knocked around in a car boot, it still maintains its stature. Its durability is guaranteed, knowing the Honda quality history. Nevertheless, remember that any Lithium Ion battery must be handled with utmost care. It is best to avoid exposure to extreme heat or cold conditions.

Battery Capacity and AC Inverter – What can it power?

We should start by emphasizing that this power station cannot support devices that are more than 200 watts. For this reason, if you need to power equipment or devices that exceed 200 watts, it is advisable to use small inverter generators. One of these is the Honda EU2200i. This machine has the capacity to power such higher watt equipment without a problem.

The Jackery Honda HLS290 can power a 55-inch LCD TV and Roku, without a hassle. Ordinarily, this draws around 120 watts of power. Indeed, if you are unfamiliar with the workings of electricity and how these types of batteries function, you may get confused. The most important factor to note is the battery banks and watt-hour capacity. Literally speaking, this refers to the number of watts that the battery is able to produce within a given duration or hour before it gets depleted.

The following devices and equipment can be powered using the Honda Jackery HLS290 portable power station:

  • Air Mattress Pump (12 VDC)- 150 w to 200 w ( a few minutes).
  • Razor blade 15 advanced laptop: Use 80wh battery for 3 full charges.
  • USB-LED strip light- More than 10 hours running on 5-continous watts.
  • 12 VDC oscillating fan. 10 hours running on 8-watt continuous while sleeping.
  • 12VDC electric cooler- Running on 40 watts continuous for between 6-7 hours.
  • 55-LED TV- Running at 125 watts for about 2.5 hours.
  • Garmin Forerunner Watch- Can be recharged over 100 times.
  • DJI Mavic Air Batteries- about 10 to 11 full recharges.
  • Mini-fridge- 120 w- about 2.5 hours.
  • GoPro batteries- around 50 full recharges.

Unsuited for Who?

This solar generator is, however, NOT ideal for people who want to power tools or other high-power appliances for a long period of time. Note that the peak wattage is just 200 watts and it offers 100 watts of continuous power.

Therefore, if you get into a situation where you require power to charge electronics that are 100 watts or less, the Jackery  Honda HLS 290 will offer you this, plus safety and security.

It is essential to note that the generator works best in weather conditions ranging from 32 degrees to a little over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is good advice to ascertain the temperature of your destination before you start off. This will help you decide whether it would be appropriate to use the device in either very hot or cold temperatures.

What the Honda HLS290 Cannot Power:

  • Hair blow-dryer- max 1500 watts peak.
  • Heat guns, drills, saws and similar AC power tools- max 3000 w peak.
  • Coffee maker- Max 1000 w peak.
  • Space heaters- between 1500 to 3000 watts.
  • Gaming desktop PCs- 500 watts max.
  • Dehumidifiers-3000 watts.

Recharging Options

The Jackery Honda HLS290 features a car- adapter in the box. One major limitation of the HLS290 is that it offers a maximum 42-watt input for charging. It means that it takes considerably longer to recharge, compared to competitors like the AC Wall outlet that takes 8 hours or a car’s DC adapter. The solar panel takes 10 hours to charge, if you are using a 50-watt panel.

Some creative users of the Honda HLS290 portable power station experiment by leaving the Jackery HLS 290 plugged into the car accessory 12v port. This is energized only when the car is on. In this case, any time the car is driven, the HLS290 automatically charges. This strategy works well and keeps the battery topped off most of the time. In worst case scenarios, the HLS290 might even be carried into a coffee shop to be topped off! This is possible thanks to its small size.

Dashboard

Do you want some free energy? You can use a 50W foldable solar panel. This is great for multi-day trips that work wonderfully well with the Jackery Honda HLS290. If, for example, you decide to use the Paxess 50w Solar Folding Panel in the full sun, you can get about 30-40w of power. This could take between 9-10 hours to attain a full charge. It might not be quite practical. Nevertheless,   this still works, even if you are out on a hike and simply leave the panel on the dashboard to charge.

Warranty

The Honda Jackery HLS290 portable power station comes with a 2- year warranty. This is both reasonable and practical since the user can benefit in case an issue arises that needs the manufacturer’s input.

What Do We Know about Jackery?

Jackery was first established in 2012. It is a highly reputable company that is based in the USA. Jackery is famous for developing designs and manufacturing portable power equipment while pioneering effective energy solutions.

What is the origin of Jackery? Jackery, as an institution, was first co-founded by Z. Sun. Mr Sun is a former senior quality engineer with Apples, who later rose to become the CEO of the world-renown company. Indeed, Z. Sun is a pioneer in the development and design of Li-battery technology. Z. Sun, who is the originator of this revolutionary invention, has more than 17 years’ experience in this field.

Jackery first developed a new battery jacket that was specially designed for use with the Apple iPhone. This gave birth to the name Jackery, the celebrated brand. Jackery’s well-known safety- by- design philosophy is their guarantee of a safe, portable solution that is, at the same time, environment-friendly.

Over the decades, Jackery has earned the trust of millions of customers who are happy to take Jackery mobile chargers, whether on their way to work or play. Also, Jackery’s innovative energy storage products have led to multiple awards earned by the company. Today, Jackery continues to design new energy solutions that power the life experiences of millions of enthusiastic users worldwide.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Honda HLS290 portable power station is a very impressive, practical equipment to have in your possession. It is a solidly designed device that is fitted with an excellent display. The HLS 290 simply works to give you the best that it offers. For instance, it has got all the ports anyone would need for a night out. If you hate fiddling with stuff, you will find that the Honda HLS290 portable power station is a great, fiddle-free product! You just need to plug your items in.Next, press the “on” button and, voila! You are good to go!

Most users have thoroughly enjoyed using this equipment on their car camping trips to power utility devices like laptops, fans, lights, and for charging the phone and watches. It can be a great companion to your drone, keeping its batteries fully charged. You can also use it during power outages to entertain the kids and charge your devices. What is more, you may even be able to watch the TV for a reasonable while!

A little caution here: The Honda Jackery HLS290 portable power station isn’t designed for such activities as lightweight hiking or backpacking at 7 pounds or so. You could do this, of course, if you really wanted to! Whatever the case, if you are an emergency prepper, van-life enthusiast or a car-camper, it is highly advisable to check this product out! If you are careful enough not to try powering inappropriate  equipment like the air conditioner, coffee maker or the circular saw, the Honda HLS 290 should suit your power requirements without a hassle.

Alexey P. , Qualified Electrician and Website Founder

Alexey P. , Qualified Electrician and Website Founder

My name is Alexey P. I was born in Poland but later moved to the USA in 1998. As a well-qualified and fairly experienced electrician, I love working with generators. After my family, the generator could easily be my next love in life! No wonder, I am constantly working with this widely used and very fascinating machine. As a result of my professional training in the field of electrical engineering, I am well versed with the key elements of the trade. I am generally knowledgeable with all inspecting codes and important regulations governing electrical components and repair. I presently live in Monticello, Minnesota, USA. Want to know a little about my life outside work? It is no wonder. If you encounter any challenges with your portable generator while on that camping expedition, you can count on me to help deal with that decisively. I love life. I love people. And yes, I love generators, of course!

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