The sharp reduction in the price of lithium-ion batteries over the last decade has been critical to making zero emission electric vehicles more affordable and has also opened the door for a completely new generation of portable power stations.
EcoFlow has been designing and building portable power stations since 2016 and sent us their smallest portable unit, the EcoFlow River Mini Wireless to run it through the paces. At 9.8″ x 5.5″ x 5.2″ and just over 6 pounds, the River is a compact unit that’s hardly larger than a small stack of paperback books. In that compact package, the River stores 210 watt-hours of capacity and packs the ability to push that power out a pair of AC outlets at 300 watts each, with surges up to 600 watts.
Disclaimer: EcoFlow provided the River to the author for the purposes of this review.
In practical applications, the River is unique in that its high power output capabilities paired with a useful amount of storage capacity make it the best option on the market for a wide range of applications. This is specifically true in cases where electricity is used for heat. For example, the EcoFlow River can power a small hot water kettle or even a small coffee pot. It was plenty of power to use my 300 watt single serving hot water heater mug though you wouldn’t be able to run it more than once or twice per charge.
More mundane tasks like recharging phones, laptops, tablets, phones, and the like are trivial for the EcoFlow River Mini Wireless. These typically pull less than 100 watts with most living at the very low end of that range. My travel tablet pulls around 15 watts in fast charge mode and my smartphone drinks around 5 watts, for example.
As the name implies, the River Mini Wireless also boasts an integrated “rooftop” wireless Qi charger for smartphones. The charger is dished at the top to make it easier to set your phone up top without it sliding off. It’s a handy feature that not only adds wireless capabilities to the device, it also means one less cable to bring with you. That’s huge for a portable power system.
The EcoFlow River Mini Wireless packs a powerful punch for such a small device, with the capability to charge not only from a standard wall outlet, but also from a single 100 watt solar panel at 11–39V, 8 amps. With a 100 watt solar panel, the EcoFlow River Mini Wireless should recharge fully in 3-6 hours. It sports a covered panel for charging that makes it easy to plug in a cable to the wall that, surprisingly, does not require a charging brick. It’s a straight cable that just plugs right in.
The ability to charge from solar panels makes it an option for extended off grid situations. Camping for a week? Bring a fully charged EcoFlow River Mini Wireless and a solar panel and you’re good to go. It’s worth testing all your devices before any trip like this to ensure the solar panel charging works as expected and produces enough power for all your devices. EcoFlow’s support even said it would be fine to use one of their 160 watt solar panels with the system for a full charge in 1-2 hours.
It’s also worth confirming the River will charge your devices. I wouldn’t expect any issue with low power and USB devices, but for more specialized or higher power devices, they might have some funky behavior that could prevent them from pulling power. Appliances like refrigerators, compressors, etc often use non-standard power startup curves. Better safe than sorry.
For folks looking for more storage capacity, EcoFlow has a range of larger packs in the River and Delta product families with tons of great features. For more information about the EcoFlow River or to purchase one for yourself, head over to its official website.
All images credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
- Capacity: 210Wh (25.2V)
- Weight: 6.3lbs
- Price: $349.99
- Dimensions: 9.8 x 5.5 x 5.2inches
- AC Input: 100-120V~ 50Hz/60Hz, 6.0A Max
- DC Input: 11-39V 100W, 8A Max
- DC Output: 12.6V 10A
- USB-C Output: 100W, 5A MAX
- USB-A Output: 5V 2.4A
- AC Output: Pure Sine Wave, 300W total (surge 600W), 120V~ 60Hz
- Wireless Output:- 15W Max
- Cell Chemistry: NCM
- Cycle Life: 80%+ capacity after 500 cycles
- Shelf Life: 1 year (after a full charge)
- Discharge Temperature: -20°C to 45°C
- Charge Temperature: 0°C to 45°C
- Optimal Operating Temperature: 20°C to 30°C
- Storage Temperature: -20°C to 45°C
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