Jackery Solar Generator 1000 (Explorer 1000 + SolarSaga 100W) | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Jackery Solar Generator 1000 (Explorer 1000 + SolarSaga 100W) | Review

The Outdoors Magic test team has been out with this portable solar / power station and have been left impressed with how user friendly and efficient it is

With more and more people looking to get away from mains hook ups, whether that’s for campervan trips or large basecamp setups, there’s no doubting that portable power solutions have come a long way in recent years and one company that seems to be at the forefront of this portable battery development is California-based Jackery. From what we’ve seen, their ‘Explorer’ range of all-in-one solar power stations are able to harness the sun’s energy extremely effectively and efficiently. 

Since 2012, Jackery has been creating a range of power stations, solar panels and accessories to ensure you’re never left without juice when you’re overnighting well away from a traditional power supply. The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 comprises of the Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 and two SolarSaga 100W units that aim to create a (theoretically) permanent source of green power from the sun’s rays.

Explorer 1000 Power Station

First of all, let’s take a look at this technical battery. Now, battery power might not seem like the most interesting tech out there, but there’s a fair bit going into this battery to help protect the otherwise vulnerable lithium cells from damage, so bear with us as we get a little geeky. Protective systems include: over/under charging blocks, heat and shock protection and, as you’d expect from an outdoor-focused battery, IP65 water resistance.

Related: How to Convert a Van Into An Off-Grid Camper

The Explorer 1000 is equally kitted out on the power front, too. As the name suggests, the power station comes with a 1,002Wh capacity meaning you’ve got more than enough power to cover yourself and your electronics for multiple days away from a mains supply. This power, Jackery claims, is enough to charge a camera 50 times, a phone 100 times or keep a five watt light going for 76 hours.

Power comes from various output ports that are found on the front of the battery pack. These ports include two USB-C and two standard USB ports (one of those being Quick Charge 3.0). Then, in terms of 230 volt ‘mains’ power, two standard plug sockets are featured to help keep higher capacity appliances, such as mini fridges or coffee makers, powered up. Both the AC (230 volts) and DC (12 volts) power can be turned on and off through simple press buttons found about the outputs.

Speaking of AC/DC power, the Explorer 1000 comes with an impressive inverter that can comfortably handle both. This inverter has been rated to 1,000 watts which, to us, is more than enough to power even the most demanding appliances. If you do find yourself needing more wattage then the inverter has a surge rating of 2,000 for emergency use.

Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel

Then, taking a look at the SolarSaga, the solar panels feature a handy weatherproof zip pocket on the back that houses a USB-A and USB-C port to charge any other devices directly from the panel. Also found on the back are two stands that help to keep the panels propped up alone and that also ensure they’re at the optimum angle to harness the sun’s rays.

Charging wise, the two SolarSaga 100s offer the most efficient and, of course, green solution to charging the battery pack. Jackery claims that the SolarSaga can recharge the 1002Wh battery pack within eight-hours with a cable that can daisy chain the two panels together to boost their charging power. To put that into perspective, the wall charging solution is said to take 7.5 hours from 0 to 100 percent, while the car adaptor will do it in 14 hours.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been using both the solar panels and the battery for the past two months, and they have both quite simply been a solid bit of kit that you can rely on. The 1002Wh capacity is best suited towards two days if you’re looking to go without charging the battery. I’ve been using the battery in my van while hooking it up to high-wattage appliances such as a single induction hob and the large capacity of the battery has been able to keep up. This is of course on top of the usual charging of various phones while powering the 12 volt lighting within the van.

As I said, this capacity is best suited for two days of use but, if you’re looking to go for longer stints in the middle of nowhere then the solar panels will be able to provide you with further charging capabilities. Jackery claim the solar panels will kick out 135 watts of power (in direct sunlight, of course), and this is consistent to what I got whenever I checked the input wattage.

Joining the two panels together can be easily done through a handy cable that does all the hard work for you. If you’re also using the generator  in a van then you’ll also have the option, like I did, to plug the battery into a 12V car charging plug. As mentioned earlier, Jackery claims that this takes 14 hours to charge the battery to full capacity. I never used this method to charge the battery from flat, but found this claimed time to be roughly correct when I did plug it in during long motorway stints.

The portability of the battery and the included 230 volts home charger is also really handy as it allows you to carry the battery pack into your house and charge it up ready for your next trip.

When not in use, the solar panels fold up handily to be stashed out of the way, while the magnets on the top of the handle are perfect for keeping the panels locked together, particularly when you’re looking to store them upright, as I did in my van.

One final mention has to go to the impressive durability of the power station. I’ve been pretty careful with the battery, but it’s had to endure the usual scuffs and knocks you can expect from repeated shunting into the back of a van. I’ve also tried to keep the battery out of any rain and strong direct sunlight and I’d definitely recommend taking care to store the power station in a safe place at all times.

The solar panels have had to endure a bit more of the elements (as expected), such as getting caught out in a few rain showers. They shrugged off the odd shower without fault which has led me to confidently leave them unattended for long periods without too much worry about losing them to a freak rain shower (as we so frequently get out here in the UK). That’s all not to say that these would survive a full-on downpour, but you wouldn’t be using these solar panels in those conditions in any case.

The full package is relatively economical at £1,638 for the full setup, especially when you consider the costs of a separate inverter, batteries, solar panels and solar controller that you usually require to build a full power setup in a campervan. Bear in mind that you can get the full package for up to 30% off during 12 to 13 July, or wait for the Prime Day deals over on Amazon

All in all, the Solar Generator 1000 brings all of this together into a portable and durable package that takes the headache out of wiring up your own electrical setup.

Price: 1,637.99
Weight: 10kg (power station), 4.69kg (solar panel)
More Info: ​​uk.jackery.com

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