Jackery Explorer 1000 Solar Generator - Full Review
The Jackery Explorer 1000 Review
Since the term solar generator was coined, Jackery has been one of the most prevalent names in the entire industry. The company’s Jackery Explorer 1000 continues the manufacturers’ mission to provide low-noise, emission-free, and portable solar electricity. But is it worth it?
For years, our team at Shop Solar has tested and analyzed every solar generator that we can get our hands-on, with the Jackery Explorer 1000 as no exception. In this complete review, we will break down the Jackery Explorer 1000 part for part in order to determine its value and compare it to some of the other great solar generators available today.
Background on Portable Solar Generators
The Jackery Explorer 1000 is a portable solar generator, which is another name for a battery-backed power station with solar charging capabilities. Solar generators are recognized as a great low-noise alternative to traditional gas generators and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
About the Jackery Explorer 1000
For the past decade, Jackery has specialized in manufacturing small, durable power stations that are easily recognized by the brand’s orange and black color scheme. While Jackery boasts off-grid capabilities as one of the Explorer’s selling points, the product is simply one of many great solar generators on the market today.
Here are the Specs of the Jackery Explorer 1000:
|Battery Capacity||1002Wh (21.6V, 46.4Ah)|
|Battery Chemistry||Lithium-Ion NMC|
|Inverter Capacity||1000W (2000W Surge)|
|Lifecycles||500 cycles or more to 80% capacity|
|Shelf-life||Charge every 3-6 Months|
|MPPT Charge Controller||Yes|
|Weight||22.04 lbs (10 kg)|
|Size||13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 in (33.3 x 23.3 x 28.3 cm)|
|Operating Usage Temperature||14-104F (-10-40℃)|
Our Jackery Explorer 1000 Review
The Jackery Explorer 1000 carefully toes the line between a small source of convenient backup power and a fully capable solar generator. While it is certainly a step up from small solar cell phone chargers, the device is still far from high-powered devices such as the Titan solar generator.
Although being “just right” in the middle worked for Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this may not be the case for the Jackery Explorer 1000. At a premium price without all of the premium features, it is easy to overlook this generator in search of a better portable power option. In fact, the Jackery Explorer 1000 was listed as one of our solar generators to avoid in 2021.
Below, we will break down the Jackery Explorer 1000 to showcase whether or not it is the right solution for your indoor/outdoor electrical needs.
Jackery Explorer 1000 Battery - How long does it last?
The battery is the core of a solar generator, and the Jackery is no exception. Each unit comes standard with a high-quality lithium-ion battery rated for 1002Wh of clean electricity delivery. 1000Wh (or 1 kWh) is actually a lot of electricity for such a small device, but unfortunately, it is not designed to last long-term.
With a shelf life of 3-6 months, the Jackery 1000 must be recharged several times per year in order to retain its capacity. For this reason, it is not ideal for an emergency backup source of power. Throughout its lifetime, the Explorer 1000 is rated for 500 lifecycles (at 80% capacity), which is also quite low when compared to the expected lifetime of other top brands.
Jackery Explorer 1000 - Inverter
The Jackery Explorer's 1000W inverter is one of the best features of the device, with enough capacity to power small tools, kitchen appliances, and more. With 2000W of surge protection, the Explorer can handle start-up loads quite well but unfortunately cannot guarantee long runtimes due to the limited battery life (see our collection of power inverters).
Currently, the Jackery Explorer sells for a retail price of just under $1000 (perhaps that’s where they got the name). While this may seem like a reasonable investment for renewable energy everywhere, this is still a large asking price when considering the device’s limitations.
For instance, the battery is rated at 80% capacity after 500 lifecycles. If you plan on using the Jackery’s full battery capacity each day, then you will have to replace the system for efficient power in less than 2 calendar years. Conversely, if you are only planning to use the Jackery every once in a while, then $1000 is likely going to be too expensive in exchange for a small luxury outdoors.
Jackery Explorer 1000 Inputs & Outputs
Inputs - How can you charge the Jackery Explorer 1000?
The Jackery Explorer 1000 can be powered in three different ways, each with its own expected charge time.
- Solar panels: 8 hours with 200W of input
- AC wall charging: 7 hours in ordinary conditions
- DC car charging: 14 hours @ 12V
Outputs - What can the Jackery Explorer 1000 power?
Neatly arranged on the compact user interface, power users have the choice of the following outputs on the Jackery Explorer 1000:
- 3 x 110V AC (wall plugs)
- 2 x USB0C
- 2 x USB (1 each 2.4A and 3.0A)
- 1 x 12V (10A)
With 8 different ports and 1000W of continuous AC power to work with, the Jackery Explorer actually has quite a bit of output variety and ability. While we would never recommend this device for full-time use, it can be very handy for charging many small devices at once.
The Jackery Explorer 1000 can power:
|Car Fridges||66+ Hours|
Pros and Cons of the Jackery Explorer 1000: A Review
Both on paper and out in the wilderness, the Jackery 1000 station is actually a very capable device. As a convenient and somewhat powerful little machine, the Explorer 1000 is great for camping trips and backup power for small devices. Of course, it costs nearly $1000 to purchase, so many people have difficulty justifying the investment only for occasional use.
- Lightweight, compact, and easy to transport
- Durable design with convenient carrying handle
- Easy to use system with digital battery capacity display
- Good outlet variety (3 ACs, 4 total USBs, and 1 DC port)
- Solar, car, and wall charging possibilities
- Built-in BMS system with safety features
- 2-year warranty
- Too high of an asking price for power capabilities
- Slow solar charging time (8 hours with 200W of input)
- Slow AC charge time (~7 hours)
- Limited use times for high-powered devices
- Low lifecycle rating (500 cycles or more to 80% capacity)
Verdict: Should you buy the Jackery Explorer 1000?
While the Jackery Explorer 1000 is a fully capable and durable solar-powered generator, unfortunately, we cannot recommend it for a long-term solution. Retailing around $1,000 there are simply too many higher capacity and longer-lasting solar generators available that would make for more sensible investments for sustainable electricity.
Although it is a very capable device, there are simply too many better solar generator options for us to seriously recommend the Jackery Explorer 1000.
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