Looking for an EASY way to power your laptop, CPAP, portable DC refrigerator, or other electronics while traveling or camping off-grid? The new Jackery Explorer 1000 portable lithium power station may be exactly what you need.
The Jackery Explorer 1000 has double the capacity of its predecessor the Explorer 500. It also has more power outlets, USB ports and recharging options.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about the Jackery Explorer 1000 while testing and using it to help you decide if it’s right for you. Let’s start with benefits of owning a portable power station.
- Jackery Explorer 1000 Overview
- What Can You Run With 1000 Watt Hours of Capacity?
- Is the Explorer 1000 a Solar Generator?
- How Portable Is It?
- Is it Easy to Use?
- How do you recharge the Jackery Explorer 1000?
- How Long Does It Take to Recharge?
- Can It Be Recharged From Two Sources At Once?
- Is it worth the price?
- What Would Make It Better?
- Continue Reading
Jackery Explorer 1000 Overview
Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station
PROS: It’s large battery and 1000 watt pure sine inverter make it suitable as a primary or auxiliary power source for small RV/Camper applications. It is highly portable, attractive looking and priced similar to other comparable units.
CONS: Recharge times are slower than some other models. The 10 amp max on solar charging prevents faster charging. Finally, it can’t be combined with a second unit for expanded capacity.
OVERALL: The Jackery 1000 is a powerful and compact unit with a very portable and appealing form factor. I enjoy using it more than the Bluetti because of its size, portability and car charging features. So far it’s been very reliable.
What Can You Run With 1000 Watt Hours of Capacity?
There’s a lot you can power with a 1000 watt pure-sine inverter. Since it provides the same clean AC power you get at home, just plug anything into the AC outlets and you’re up and running.
Is your CPAP preventing you from boondocking? This power bank can easily power a CPAP for several nights.
Laptops, TVs and portable refrigerators can be powered for multiple days as well.
You could run a coffee pot, hot plate, induction plate or small microwave for short periods of time as long as the total power level doesn’t exceed the 1000 watt rating on the inverter. The inverter can surge up to 2000 watts for short periods. So if you do go over 1000 watts briefly, it’ll be ok.
Finally, if all you need is to recharge your small electronics, then the battery charge will last a very very long time. In fact you could even go for a smaller unit like the Jackery Explorer 500.
Is the Explorer 1000 a Solar Generator?
The definition of “Solar Generator” is highly debated online. So I won’t bother adding to the confusion. Can you recharge the Jackery Explorer 1000 from solar? Yes.
Jackery recommends their 100 Watt Solar Saga Portable Solar Panel for solar recharging. But you can also use your own solar panels for recharging. I’ll talk more about this in the recharging section below.
How Portable Is It?
When I first received the Explorer 1000, I was surprised how compact and small this was. I expected it to be bulkier and heavier given all of the components that were inside. But the size seemed just about right — not too big and not too small.
It’s about the size of a 12 pack of beer and weighs in at only 22 pounds. I found it very easy to lift, carry around and stash away.
In comparison, the larger Maxoak Bluetti weighs roughly 38 pounds which is about the same as a small portable generator. Sure it has more capacity than the Explorer 1000, but the difference in weight and dimension is noticeable. Watch my Maxoak Bluetti Power Station product review video for details.
Is it Easy to Use?
YES. Simpy power on the battery pack, plug in your electronics and make sure the AC, DC or both sections are enabled. It’s that easy.
The power ports, buttons, and status display are clearly marked and all accessible from the front panel. With no receptacles on the back or side, you can easily tuck it into a corner. The only thing on the sides are cooling vents and a built in flashlight.
The AC and DC sections are separated. You can turn power on or off to each section with a push of a button. I recommend only enabling the sections you need in order to conserve power.
There are three 120 Volt AC power outlets in the AC section. So you won’t have to use a power strip for multiple electrical cords.
The DC section has four USB ports. There are two USB-C ports plus two standard USB ports. The bottom USB port is designated for quick charging. There’s also a cigarette lighter style DC power plug in the DC section that provides a steady 13.2 volts.
Finally, the status display shows you the exact percentage of capacity remaining plus the amount of power (in watts) coming in and going out.
How do you recharge the Jackery Explorer 1000?
Charge From Household AC Outlet
Recharging using the AC charger (provided) is the fastest way to recharge the Explorer 1000. Just plug it into a standard household AC outlet. The transformer outputs 24 volts DC generating a steady 164 watts of charge until full.
Charge While Driving (Car Charger)
A DC charging plug and cable is included. So you can easily charge the Explorer 1000 while driving. Just plug it into the cigarette lighter socket and get free power while you travel.
I noticed that the input maxes out at roughly 80 watts.
Charge from Solar Panels
There are two ways to recharge the Explorer 1000 from solar. The first option is to use Jackery’s Solar Saga portable solar panel (not included). The cord included with the Solar Saga will plug directly into the 8mm charging port of the Jackery Explorer 1000.
The second option is to connect one or more solar panels to the Anderson Power Pole charging input. There is no cable included for this, but you can buy them online. Here is a link to the Anderson Power Pole to MC4 adapter cable I picked up from Amazon.
How Long Does It Take to Recharge?
Charging times vary depending on the source. The fastest way to recharge the Explorer 1000 is to use the AC power charger. Charging from solar would be the second fastest option.
One or more solar panels could generate the same amount of power as the AC charger. However, limited sun exposure throughout the day will limit the charge duration.
Here are rough recharge times
|Power Level||Time to Full Charge|
|AC charger||160 watts||7 hours|
|Car charger||80 watts||14 hours|
|100 watts solar||80-100 watts||10 hours|
|200 watts solar||160 watts (10A max)||7 hours|
Can It Be Recharged From Two Sources At Once?
NO. You might have thought it possible to charge from both the 8mm charging port and Anderson Power Pole input simultaneously for faster charging. Well, that’s not the case. I tested that option and here’s what I found.
When power is applied to both charging inputs, the Explorer 1000 uses the 8mm charging port. Only when there is no power coming in from the primary charging port will the charger accept a charge from the Anderson Power Pole input.
You can keep both cables plugged in though and the internal charger will switch accordingly.
I keep the car charger plugged in to the primary charging port and also plug a roof mounted solar panel into the Anderson port. While the car is running, it charges from the alternator. With the engine off, it takes the charge from the solar panel. There’s no need to keep switching cables around with this setup.
Is it worth the price?
Compared to other Jackery Explorer products, Explorer 1000 seems appropriately priced. The retail price for the Jackery Explorer is $999. That’s twice the price of its predecessor the Jackery Explorer 500 which has half the capacity and fewer options.
How does it compare to other 1000 watt or better lithium power stations? Similar power stations like the Bluetti, Suaoki, ECOFLOW, and Goal Zero Yeti are all priced around $1 per watt.
Add up the price of the components included in these power stations and you’ll see why they are priced at or above $1000. The combined cost of a large lithium battery, battery management system, battery monitor, 1000 watt pure sine inverter, and MPPT charge controller alone would put you over that amount.
What Would Make It Better?
Overall, I am pleased with the Jackery Explorer 1000 and believe it will be a good product for Jackery. I’ve used it regularly to power my portable DC refrigerator 24/7 and prefer it over the Bluetti primarily because the Bluetti lacks a car charging option.
Jackery does not provide an Anderson to MC4 adapter to use with non-Jackery solar panels. Considering the price you’ll pay for this power station, I believe Jackery should throw in this adapter cable so you wouldn’t have to find and buy one.
Outside of that…the compactness and portability of this unit is a big plus as are the multiple recharge options. It’s not the largest unit out there but, with the multiple recharge options, I’m able to keep it regularly charged up.
Here is a link to the Jackery Explorer 1000 to get current pricing and product information.