You wait for a product for ages and then two turn up in quick succession, I’m eager to get my hands on and write my EcoFlow River 2 review and find out just what it’s capable of.
I’ve recently reviewed the Delta Mini and that was fantastic, I’m hoping this has been built to the same high standards as it’s sibling. Here’s what I’ll be covering in this comprehensive review:
- First Impressions
- Build Quality
- Power & Charging Performance
- How Much & Where To Buy
- Summary & Verdict
The EcoFlow River Series 2 has been designed to be more portable than anything they’ve put to market so far. It’s also EcoFlows attempt at making an entry level power station which means it’s more affordable for customers.
I’m interested in seeing just how portable they can make a unit without sacrificing too much in terms of power. I was thoroughly impressed with the Delta Mini and I’m hopeful this will be great too.
EcoFlow River 2 Review
Let’s start this off as I usually do, with my first impressions.
The EcoFlow PR team arranged delivery and it arrived really quickly, I’d expected it to take around a week but it arrived within 2 days, so a big thank you and shout out to EcoFlow for trusting CodeWithMike to review their latest product.
Once I’d taken delivery of the parcel I opened it up without hesitation. It was shipped directly in its branded box so it was a bit tatty by the time it arrived, but the EcoFlow River 2 inside remained in pristine condition.
As packaging goes, it’s basic but functional. There isn’t much in terms of excess packaging, they’ve used just the right amount of foam to keep the unit safe and prevent it from becoming damaged. Apart from two bits of packaging foam and an LCD screen protector there is no other single use plastic used. Which is great!
That’s a noticeable improvement over the Delta Mini; that unit included a useless plastic sticker advising of its eco credentials, which was so unnecessary.
The unit itself is quite a lot smaller than I expected it to be. I didn’t actually know which of the River Series 2 line up they’d send me. I’d asked them to send me any available unit. I got the smallest available power station.
I made a comment to my wife that it didn’t look like it’d provide much power, but we’ll find out further down the review, no spoilers just yet.
Overall then, my first impressions have left me feeling intrigued, I want to find out what I can power with it. Has it been built to the same standards as the other model I’ve reviewed?
And, will it prove to be as rugged as EcoFlow’s promotional video shows it to be? Let’s find out.
Build Quality & Features
EcoFlow provides customers who buy the River Series 2 with a 5-year warranty! That’s incredible and certainly makes it clear that EcoFlow have made this unit with longevity in mind.
The River series 2 weighs in at 3.5KG which makes this the perfect on the go power companion. Because it weighs hardly anything it’s super portable, you could, at a push squeeze this in your backpack with your other kit.
The River Series 2 feels a bit more plastic than the Delta Mini, now obviously it is made of plastic, but it doesn’t feel as thick.
To test if it’s strong I wanted to perform a scratch test. I took a sharp knife and using only the weight of the blade, I traced a straight line with the tip.
It left quite a deep scratch and not one you can buff out. The Delta Mini on the other had a very faint scratch that you could hardly tell was there.
Comparing the Delta Mini to the River Series 2 might seem a bit unfair, but I think both devices should be at least made of the same quality plastic body. Particularly when the promo video shows the River 2 in the desert, where sharp sand or rocks could cause all sorts of micro abrasions.
At the top of the unit you’ll find one carry handle and a sort of flat tray to store your smaller devices such as your smart phone or Nintendo Switch. It’s got curved, raised edges so your devices shouldn’t fall off.
The carrying handle is thick and comfortable to hold and does have a sort of secondary function, which I’ll discuss when I talk about charging performance further down the review.
I found the visible over-sized screws to look utilitarian and rugged, I hope they’ve been left visible on purpose as they really set the tone well.
At the front of the EcoFlow River 2 you’ll find the charging ports. It’s here where the designers have done a fantastic job of contrasting silver and black plastics, it’s a classic combo and looks great.
It not only looks great, it’s practical in its design too.
I thought that the A/C socket orientation was a mistake at first because it appears to be upside down. But, when testing this unit I found it a lot easier to plug things in with the port upside down.
The USB-A and USB-C ports sit slightly recessed into the plastic body, which I think is a good idea. It helps guide the connector into the port and also helps protect the port itself from damage if you try to shove it in too quickly.
It’s got the same LCD display as other units and is bright and easy to read regardless of your viewing angle.
The front panel has a gap around it, I assume to aid the release of hot air blown out of the River 2 from the cooling fans. This leaves me with one thought.
That promo video I mentioned above, shows two people using this unit in the desert. The air flow gap around the front panel would let sand into the inner components.
I’m not sure how this would affect performance and I’m unable to test it as I don’t live anywhere near a desert, but in the interest of openness, I wanted to include that point.
Power & Charging Performance
It’s got 5 output ports on it which include; 2 USB-A, 1 USB C, 1 12V and 1 A/C port. That’s plenty of ports for a weekend of camping or a road trip. You’ll be able to re-charge your phone, Nintendo Switch and at the same time provide power to your LED lights in your tents.
The 12V port on the front is a great addition, If you’re using a standard 12V mini fridge it’ll last around 5 hours. But, use a mini compressor fridge and it should last the full day and night, depending on the power consumption.
I mentioned about the handle having another purpose in the build quality section.
When charging my Nintendo Switch I plugged the cable into the console charging port and then routed the cable back through the handle and then round to the front of the River 2 unit.
I’m not sure if the handle was purposely designed to help tidy annoyingly long cables out of the way, but it’s a good secondary use for the handle nonetheless.
Pair the River Series 2 with an EcoFlow solar panel and your low power mini compressor fridge will last pretty much as long as you need it to. A compressor fridge, once up to temperature, hardly uses any power at all, which is why I want to upgrade mine.
Another great feature is the APP, I’ve covered it in a lot more detail over on my EcoFlow Delta Mini 2 Review. The reason I really like the app is you can sort of turn a basic USB light bulb into a sort of smart bulb.
Plug the USB-C light bulb into the USB-C socket and you can then turn it off or on via the app. Perfect if you don’t want to get out of your sleeping bag to turn the lights off while camping.
Here’s what I was able to power with the River 2:
|appliance:||Socket:||Powered It:||How Long:||Power Draw:|
|USB light bulb||USB-A||Yes||99 Hours||3w|
|Nintendo Switch Charging||USB-C||Yes||19 Hours||14w|
|Nintendo Switch Docked||A/C||Yes||15 Hours||16w|
|55” Phillips Ambilight TV||A/C||Yes||4 Hours||75w|
|Car Fridge||12V||Yes||5 Hours||59 w|
It has an EPS auto switch that’ll provide power to your device in less than 30ms of detecting a power outage. This means it can be used as a basic UPS (uninterruptible power supply). It should really only be used with devices that aren’t super sensitive to power cuts. It’s perfect for back-up power to your TV, router, fish tank or CPAP machine.
What makes this already great unit more impressive is that it will re-charge from 0% to 100% in just one hour via a 240v socket. That means, if you’re like me and you forget to charge your devices when you need them the most, you won’t have to panic. Plug it in and get it charged up within 60 minutes.
There are a couple of other options for recharging. You can also charge it via the EcoFlow solar panel kit or a 12V car socket. I like the variety, where ever you are you’ll be able to re-charge it.
How Much And Where To Buy
The EcoFlow River 2 sells for around £249, which makes it one of the more affordable portable power stations available on the market with this set of features.
You’ll find that it’s available from EcoFlow’s official store or from Amazon. Use the buttons below to go to your preferred store and check the latest deals and prices.
Summary & Verdict
While it does have a couple of minor things I’d change, this more portable version of EcoFlow’s amazing line up of power stations is perfect for solo camping.
Or pair it with EcoFlow’s 160w solar panel kit and you can enjoy a full weekend of camping knowing full well that you’ll be able to keep the kids occupied by making sure their Nintendo Switches or smart phones are fully charged.
Initially I had reservations about how useful a smaller capacity power pack would be. But, after having tested it, I fully understand its limitations and actually now really rather like it.
If you’re either going solo camping or you can’t quite afford the asking price of the Delta Mini, then I thoroughly recommend this as an option for your portable power needs, just keep away from sand storms!
If it was made with the same thick plastic as the Delta range and didn’t have an open front panel that let’s sand in, it’d probably get a 10/10.
I am taking both this and the Delta on a camping trip soon, I’ll update both reviews if I have anything useful to add.
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CodeWithMike is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com
The EcoFlow River 2 was sent to us in exchange for an honest review. We have not been paid for our opinions.