As someone who has been through a hurricane and had a few close calls with tornadoes, I’ve experienced my fair share of power outages over the years. That’s why I know how important it is to have a backup source of power, such as the Lion Energy Safari ME Power Generator. Fortunately, the company was kind enough to lend us one for review.
The Safari ME is essentially one large 45-pound Lithium Iron Phosphate battery with two AC outputs, two USB Type-A outputs, a 12-volt cigarette lighter output, and two USB Type-C outputs. It measures in at 18.7 x 12.8 x 12.8 inches and includes two handles on the top of the unit to make it easier to pick up and relocate.
That covers all of the output ports, but the Lion Energy Safari ME also includes an Anderson-compatible input for solar panels, an input for an optional expansion pack, and a built-in AC power cord for charging.
On the front of the Safari ME, there is a display used to show the current battery level, as well as an estimate of how much time is remaining before it’s completely drained. This helps you stay aware of how much power is left of the 922Wh the Safari ME is capable of holding. It’s also important to note that the Safari ME is capable of outputting a sustained 2000W of power and one of the outlets can even handle a surge of 4000W.
Lion Energy states that the Safari ME is lightweight considering how much power it is capable of holding, however, it’s still a chunky 45-pounds. Thankfully, the handles make it easier to carry, especially if you have a second person to lighten the load.
Once you get it situated, using the Safari ME is quite simple. Just plug in the device you want to run or charge into any of the many available outputs, press the main power button, and toggle on the output with another button press.
During my time with the Safari ME, I have used it to charge several mobile devices, as well as run my laptop, TV, fan, lamps, and more off of the AC plugs. In fact, I’ve even run my laptop and TV at the same time.
Had this been a true emergency then the Safari ME would have been invaluable, and I was extremely impressed with how it performed. While streaming a movie on a 46-inch HDTV, the display showed that only five percent of the capacity had been used after an hour of watching.
Furthermore, it ran silently the majority of the time because the fan only runs intermittently while powering devices. For example, the fan kicked on around two hours into streaming a movie while powering a TV. It would also run more consistently when trying to power two devices at once through the AC outputs.
However, the fan will run constantly when charging it through the included AC power cable, which can be quite loud. In regards to charging, Lion Energy states that the Safari ME will charge fully from 0 to 100% in around 83 minutes when using the AC cable, it’s also capable of retaining its charge for up to a year. Although, Lion Energy suggests using it every few months and recharging it.
In my experience, I found the charging times to be accurate. I was able to plug in the Safari ME and when I’d check on it 90 minutes later it would be sitting at 100%. I was unable to test out charging with solar panels though because I don’t own the proper cables and panels to do so.
A backup source of power can be a huge convenience, or even a lifesaver, in an emergency situation. It can also be an interesting way to add some fun to the outdoors when tailgating or using a projector while camping. Speaking of, if you have a CPAP machine, then a power generator is your friend while on a camping trip.
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The Lion Energy Safari ME worked great for me during my testing and I’d heartily recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative source of power. My one criticism would be the price, at $2349 the Safari ME is going to be out of many people’s budgets. However, it does deliver a rugged portable way to stay powered up, and compared to traditional power generators, it has a lot going for it.
For starters, you can use it indoors without worrying about fumes, you don’t have to go somewhere to buy fuel for it, you can charge it up freely with the sun, and it’s expandable with the Safari ME XP. If price is an issue, then you could always consider picking up the smaller and more affordable Safari LT as well.