I spend the majority of my life on the road. I don’t like to sit still for very long and my life has been blessed enough that I don’t have to.
As minimalistic as I’ve tried to become, there are still some modern-day advantages that are integrated into my lifestyle.
Disclosure: This post has links to 3rd party websites, so I may get a commission if you buy through those links. See my full disclosure for more.
Electricity gives me the ability to work on the road and the Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station has been my sole supply of power for over a year.
It is a lithium-ion battery, charge controller, and inverter all in one convenient package.
After using this product for so long I am finally comfortable contributing my two cents worth about how the Jackery Explorer 1000 has performed in every season and under various conditions.
My initial thoughts before buying this were about getting a device that could provide me free power for extended periods of time with enough inputs to charge as much as I possibly could at once.
I knew Jackery existed before I bought anything and after watching a few videos on the products, I decided to give it a try.
This product has opened my eyes up and the positives and negatives have taught me what to look for in future prospects; however, it has done the job as advertised and you can’t really ask for more than that.
Let’s dive into this review with some specifications of the Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station.
Table of Contents
An Impressive Design, Some Ideas For Improvement
Overall I am pleased with the design and materials used in the Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station.
Having used it for over a year there are next to no marks on it from accidents like backpacks falling on it.
It was designed to be used as a portable unit and Jackery has shown to understand that concept well.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that the build quality is excellent. The plastic housing doesn’t feel cheap and the matte finish gives it a more rugged appeal.
When you’re carrying it there is no fear of it slipping from your hand. It’s about the size of a miniature cooler at 13 inches by 9 inches.
This device should not get wet as there are multiple access points for moisture to get through and damage the internal components.
The solar saga panel that you get with it should be kept out of the rain as well since it is water-resistant and susceptible to precipitation.
It’s a good thing the handle is well built because this unit isn’t light. Weighing in at just above 22 pounds, there is a little bit of awkwardness carrying it longer distances.
The weight is due to the lithium-ion battery inside the unit. While this unit is portable, it is not recommended to carry it long distances by hand.
I spent a lot of time near my truck so carrying it was never an issue for me. I would recommend getting a smaller version of this unit if you need portability without the weight.
The display is simple enough with a battery monitor and input/output measurements to let you know how much power you’re using.
I think it would have been a good idea for them to include a temperature gauge and an approximate time until the battery is discharged enough. It is a backlit display to make it easy to see in the dark.
There are several inputs on the front to accommodate different chargers, these include:
- 2 x USB-C Ports
- 1 x USB-A Ports At 2.4A
- 1 x Quick Charge 3.0
- 3 x 110V @ 1000 watt (2000 watt peak)
- 1 x DC 10A Input
As you can see there are plenty of ways to charge all of your devices.
One thing I would like to see is one less USB-C port and another quick charge 3.0 port just because I have multiple devices that use that fast charging capabilities and I only have single-ended USB-C cords.
The only other thing that I would change about the port placement is that the AC outlets are quite close to each other and that can be an issue for plugs that have fuses or something attached to them.
The Random Flashlight
This unit also has a flashlight on the side which can be activated by a button next to it.
I have used this function on occasion if I were transporting it from my truck to the tent while it was dark out. It is bright enough for you to navigate and works well in a pinch.
Although, I wouldn’t regularly use a 22-pound 1-watt flashlight as my regular source of light. Still, a nice touch to add to the functionality.
Internal Fans And Noise
There are multiple internal fans that are designed to pull in the cool air on one end and push it out on the other end.
They aren’t noisy and only come on when there is a heavy draw of current. The fans are powerful enough to blow a significant amount of hot air through so there was never a worry of the generator overheating.
If you turn on the 110V AC button you will get a brief sound of the fans starting up but that is common among all inverters.
Otherwise, there is no noise that comes from this generator. The internal battery is charged through solar or domestic inputs so there is no noise like you would get from a gas generator.
Specifications At A Glance
|Battery Capacity||1002 Wh|
|AC Output||3 x 110V AC|
|DC Output||12V at 10 Amps|
|USB Output||2 x USB-C1 x USB-A1x Quick Charge 3.0|
|Operational Temperatures||14-104°F (-10-40℃)|
|Unit Dimensions||13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 inches|
What Can It Power?
This unit has a 1000W Pure Sine Wave inverter that can handle a peak of 2000W, making it capable of a wide variety of charging needs. Pure sine wave inverters provide cleaner energy that is required to power sensitive electronics like computers and phones.
There are safety features included in the Jackery 1000 that stop the unit from overheating or short-circuiting itself. Regardless of if the draw is too high or the temperature is outside of the operating range, the unit will automatically turn itself off.
The product was solid in my experience with this unit. There were never instances of glitches or random shutting down.
The lowest temperature I exposed it to was -10C and it started up fine. The display was a bit sluggish but that is normal with LCD screens in cold temperatures.
I was mindful so the unit was kept out of adverse conditions as much as possible but some scenarios are unavoidable.
The Jackery Explorer 1000 is heavy for a reason, it houses an enormous battery. Boasting a 1002Wh lithium-ion battery.
This means it can run 100 watts for 10 hours, you can use that example to help you gauge if the capacity is enough based on your electronics.
The battery boasts 1000 charging cycles (discharge and recharge) which means it will last a long time if you don’t use it often.
If you charge it 4 times a month that will get you just over 20 years of usage.
If you’re someone like me and are charging it every couple of days it significantly lowers the life span.
If my calculations are correct I will get about 6 years of life out of my unit, going with their claim. Afterward, the battery will charge no higher than 80%.
Jackery recommends you don’t let the unit stay below 20% as is the case with any deep cycle battery.
I haven’t had any issues however I can understand it being detrimental to the battery over a long period of time as it may activate the dormant mode usually found in lithium-ion batteries.
Here is a chart that has information directly from the Jackery website that gives you an idea of what a single full charge of a Jackery 1000 unit can power and for the length of time it can handle the item.
|Camera Batteries||50 Charges|
|Drone Batteries||17 Charges|
|Laptop Batteries||8 Charges|
|LED Light||76 Hours|
|Mini Fridge||17 Hours|
|Coffee Maker||50 Minutes|
|Electric Grill||50 Minutes|
If you’re like me and need to use your heat gun, it will run for about 3 minutes at 1100 Watts before giving up.
Not bad since I was expecting the unit to not run it at all since heat guns are notorious for needing a lot of power.
Charging Your Jackery
Not only can the Jackery Explorer 1000 Power Station charge a lot of things at once, but it also has a myriad of ways to charge the unit itself up.
Charging Using AC 110V
Using the included AC charger you can use any household power source to recharge the battery. The power brick will hold the input at about 160 watts with little fluctuation.
To fully charge the battery inside it generally takes a little over 8 hours. If I’m staying somewhere I will leave it overnight while I sleep and wake up to it fully charged.
DC 12V In Your Car
I use this charging method when I am on the road for extended periods of time. All you need is a cigarette lighter and you can charge your unit as you drive.
I found a car charger was giving the unit about 75 watts consistently which would get charged fully in about 10 hours.
Every percentage counts when you’re out in the middle of nowhere and there hasn’t been sun for 5 days, the car charger definitely came in handy.
100 Watt SolarSaga Solar Panel
Jackery uses their Solar Saga 100-watt solar panels to charge their units, although they are sold separately.
These are weather-resistant solar panels which makes them not ideal to use if there is water involved.
On a single panel, I was able to consistently get 120 watts of energy into the Jackery and was able to charge my unit in under 10 hours.
It performed exceptionally during the longer days of summer when the sun is strong.
The Jackery Explorer 1000 is actually capable of handling 200 watts of solar power as they include a splitter for two of them in the package.
This means you can double the rate that your Jackery 1000 can be charged.
The solar panels come equipped with power cables but you are able to wire your own using the Anderson Power Pole connectors which opens up the capability to use solar panels from another provider.
The built-in MPPT charge controller can handle all of the background inputs for your solar inputs if you can connect them to your device.
An MPPT charge controller is far more efficient at processing energy than a PWM controller that you see on lower-end solar systems.
These units will run you north of $1,000 USD and I would say that it’s well worth the money for what you’re getting included in the package.
With the additional costs of the Solar Saga Solar Panels, it can get pretty expensive as the panels are above $200 each.
If you are an off-grid enthusiast like me then it only makes sense to invest in a unit that will give you the best bang for your buck and this product has done that for my lifestyle.
If you are using it for backup power in an area where you don’t really see many power outages, then you might benefit from a smaller version of this.
Pros And Cons
Here is a snapshot of the pros and cons that I have experienced with this unit.
These are subject to my own experience and may not necessarily reflect the general consensus, but they should give you an idea of what to expect.
|Rugged construction||More information on the LCD screen (such as time left in a charge based on usage)|
|Solar panels are more efficient than advertised||More USB-A ports (not just USB-C)|
|Quiet unit||More space between AC 110V outlets|
|Simple interface||It’s a heavy unit at over 20 pounds|
|Large battery capacity|
|Charges quickly for its size|
|2 year warranty is included upon registration|
|Lots of port options|
|A variety of ways to charge it|
|The added flashlight|
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions I had when purchasing this unit and some questions I’ve answered in my travels for those curious to ask about it.
Yes, this unit supports pass-through charging, however, it is not recommended to use it unless necessary as it will diminish the amount of power charging the battery and cause it to take longer to attain a full charge.
If you are going to do it make sure the output wattage doesn’t exceed the input wattage and you should be fine.
No, it is not weatherproof. This unit should not be used in the rain or snow because the vents on the side could allow precipitation inside the compartment.
The Solar Saga 100-watt panels are water-resistant and won’t be able to withstand a lot of moisture. Be sure to keep these products in a dry place.
The Jackery Explorer 1000 has no inputs for a wind turbine to be able to transfer any power so it’s best to just stick with solar panels and the provided inputs.
You can use a power bar with this unit but you have to remember that it only outputs up to 1000 watts of power. You won’t be able to supersede this by adding a power bar into the mix.
I have quite a bit of gear that I take with me on my travels, things like cell phones, laptops, camera gear, power banks, and other various electronics.
This unit has been able to power all of these items and more with no issues that I have come across.
I don’t usually spend a lot of money on items but felt that this one would be an investment that would be helping me for years which is why I decided to take the plunge and get one.
The convenience factors of multiple charging methods and various outputs alone, it has enabled me to live my life off the grid.
The Jackery 1000 has cut down on battery costs for my devices because I no longer need as many since I can charge them all on the go.
I would recommend this unit to anyone looking for a little electrical freedom and the ability to go on extended off-grid adventures without having to manage your charging resources.