Stage ZERO in South Africa

Having an EcoFlow portable power supply is like never being far from stage zero in South Africa. Picture: Ray Leathern/File/Fotor.

Go Stage ZERO in South Africa with a portable power supply

Now that load-shedding is back, go stage zero in South Africa with a portable power supply like the EcoFlow RIVER 2 MAX.

Stage ZERO in South Africa

Having an EcoFlow portable power supply is like never being far from stage zero in South Africa. Picture: Ray Leathern/File/Fotor.

Well, stage zero in South Africa was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? After an 18-day hiatus without load-shedding, the dreaded click of the power going out was heard all around South African on Tuesday 2 January 2023.

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The Minister of Electricity was pretty chuffed about the 18-day record – the longest uninterrupted run of power in 2023. However, as we wrote, we anticipated stage zero in South Africa to run a little longer, possibly 21-days.


stage zero in South Africa
The EcoFlow RIVER 2 MAX weighs 7kg and can recharge in less than one hour. Picture: Ray Leathern.

Nevertheless, I was actually a little relieved to see load-shedding back this week, because it gave me the chance to test the EcoFlow RIVER 2 MAX I had been sent in December for evaluation, which I introduced you to last month.

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That’s just my luck, isn’t it, the moment the portable power supply arrives, we move to stage zero in South Africa and I’m left using it as a doorstop and paperweight. However, I am happy to report I did a fair bit of testing on the device since we last spoke (during load-shedding and not) and there is plenty I can share.


stage zero in South Africa
The view I see often. Night time with the lights out running a television and laptop. Picture: Ray Leathern.

As mentioned in my initial article, I’m by no means a tech journalist, so I’m not going to spout a bunch of product stuff to keep the manufacturer happy. Below is what I discovered while using the EcoFlow RIVER 2 MAX, as simple as that.

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When we still enjoyed stage zero in South Africa, I endeavoured to at least learn something about the EcoFlow RIVER 2 MAX. So, I went around testing items around my house to see their energy usage and which ones the portable power supply could handle. This is a helpful exercise to get you accustomed to how much energy household items consume on a daily basis.


When the draw is too large, it merely says Overload and won’t activate. This was a kettle. Picture: Ray Leathern.

The above list is by no means comprehensive, it’s just what I use regularly:

  • LED lightbulb – not even 1 watt
  • Cellphone charger – 10 watts
  • Laptop charger – 25 watts
  • Gaming console – 55 watts
  • Toaster – 500 watts
  • Kettle – Overload
  • Microwave – Overload

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I would say the EcoFlow RIVER 2 MAX is medium in size and weight, tipping the scales at 7kg. This means I have no issue moving it around the house when required. My wife, however, does find it harder to carry. Nevertheless, it’s a perfect size for outdoor pursuits like camping, too.


stage zero in South Africa
You soon get used to the cooling fan that runs at 54 dB. Picture: Ray Leathern.

Not being au fait with portable power supplies, I was surprised when its cooling fan started up (this can happen while charging or discharging) one evening. I found it pretty loud initially and measured it with an iPhone decibel app. It registered 54 dB, which is the equivalent, Quora tells me, of the noise level of a normal conversation at home or in an office.

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It’s perhaps louder than I would’ve like but you soon get used to it and after a while it’s seems less intrusive. I’ve fallen asleep with it running on a few occasions. And, hey, if the fan keeps overheating at bay then it’s a small price to pay for a two-hour slice of stage zero in South Africa.


stage zero in South Africa
A very practical, well-made product to keep load-shedding at bay. Picture: Ray Leathern.

I’ve been impressed at how quickly the EcoFlow RIVER 2 MAX can recharge when low. Even when capacity is down in the teens it won’t take longer than an hour to get back to 100%. The multitude of sockets on offer (USB, two- and three-prong) are also infinitely useful.

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My most common configuration, now that load-shedding has returned, is the television and laptop running at the same time. With these both plugged in the usage is 120 watts and the battery will last more than three hours. Which works for me. Go to the website HERE and pick up the 500W power supply, with one-hour quick recharge capability, for just R7 999. That’s a R5 000 saving from the original R12 999.

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Are you ready for stage zero in South Africa? If you’ve got any EcoFlow products, be sure to share your thoughts and experiences with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.