Jackery Explorer 1000 - Do you need it for Overlanding?

I’m Matt, and I want to review the Jackery Explorer 1000. I did a comparison review on the Jackery Explorer 500 versus the Goal Zero Yeti 500X. In that guide, we mainly have looked at how long would the power station run a fridge for Overlanding, you know, putting a refrigerator in the back of your rig while you’re out on the trail for several days, weeks, months, whatever.

Comparison Between Jackery Explorer 1000 and 500

Jackery Explorer 1000 is a little different beast, as it is quite a bit larger. The form factor is identical to Jackery Explorer 500. Both units are the same; 1000 is a little more grown-up.

Jackery 500 has a 518-watt-hour battery inside, and Jackery 1000 has a 1012-watt-hour battery inside. The Jackery 1000 should do twice as much as the 500 does. Jackery 500 has a 500-watt pure sign inverter with a peak of 800 watts, and on the hand, the Jackery 1000 has a thousand-watt pure sign inverter with a peak of 2000 watts.

So if you’ve got things that run off AC power, the Jackery 1000 will be what you want as far as comparing the two. They both have AC outlets, but Jackery 1000 has three, while Jackery 500 has only one. The Jackery 500 has three USB-A-type ports, while Jackery 1000 has two USB-A and two USB-C. One of the USB-Cs is a PD port, a power distribution port with a bit higher wattage.

Unfortunately, this one maxes out at 18 watts, which is a bummer because some of the competition, like the Goal Zeros, have a USB-C PD port that peaks out at 60 watts, and the Bluetti, peak out at 45 watts.

So if you want fast charging by USB-C running your laptop, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, this one maxes out at 18 watts, so that it will be slower than other power station brands. One good thing I like about the Jackery 1000 that was a complaint of mine on the 500 is they’ve got the little dust cover. If this thing’s rolling around the back of your rig, getting in dusty, maybe windy environments outside, I like that it has a dust cover.

The Jackery 500 has an eight-millimeter input port, and Jackery 1000 has an eight-millimeter and an Anderson input port for some solar panels. That’s handy, and we’ll get into solar panels in just a minute. For whatever reason, both have the janky little LED lights on the side.

I don’t know what you would use these for, as it’s not particularly bright. You have a 22-pound flashlight, for whatever that’s worth, and these are not very functional. Goal Zero does not even have a light on their power station. Bluett puts a good usable light on theirs.

Performance Test for Jackery Explorer 1000

If you go back and read our review for the Jackery 500, the power station ran our Dometic CFX 355 refrigerator for 55 hours and 56 minutes, so almost 56 hours, well into two days. We did the same test, variables inside the house, temperature setting, the ambient temperature inside the house, and two water bottles inside the fridge to keep everything exactly.

Even the fridge is pre-chilled down the 34 degrees, where we will set the temperature, and the ice maker is off. The Jackery 1000 is at a hundred percent, and we’ll see how long the Jackery 1000 will power the fridge. So it’s over 50 hours, and the Jakcery is at 44%. Well, here’s the dilemma. Every time I do these tests, I’m going to start it later in the day or late morning and hope it’ll end, you know, at a reasonable time.

However, it’s now 12:38 AM on Friday. Well, technically Saturday morning, December 6th, I’ve been waiting for two and a half hours, and the Jackery 1000 has been sitting at 2% for that long. I thought it would surely be dead by now, but it’s not. So I will have to go to bed and set the alarm for 2:00 AM to see where it is or stay up. I don’t want to do either of those, but I do it for the sake of the test.

It finally died at 7:21 AM on Saturday the sixth, and the fridge is dead. The Jackery spent almost nine hours between two and one percent battery. So, the result is the Jackery 1000 ran the Dometic fridge for 93 hours and 39 minutes. That’s a whole lot of time just running your fridge.

No other power sources, only on Jackery 1000, and it did a fantastic job. This is purely opinion, you know; take it for what it’s worth, but if you are strictly Overlanding and that’s all you wanted for to charge your laptop, camera batteries, drone batteries, your GoPros and keeping your fridge running when you’re not on the move.

Honestly, the Jakckery 500 is the sweet spot. If you need something more for Overlanding and car camping, you may want something around the house for emergencies such as power outages. We had a massive snowstorm that came through Arkansas a couple of weeks ago and dropped a foot of snow on us. There were a lot of people without power and power companies doing rolling blackouts to conserve energy, that sort of thing. In that case, this is what you want around the house, and it can do double duty for your Overlanding trips, car camping, and all that sort of stuff.

Features of Jackery Explorer 1000

Both in the box come with a handy-dandy little storage bag and your standard wall charger. It also includes a car charger, which is nice because, like Goal Zero, they don’t include this. Charge times on the Jack 1000, they say, plugged into a wall outlet. This thing will recharge from zero to full in about seven hours.

It says 14 hours when plugged into the solar panel That seems long to me, but it’s better than not being able to. On solar, this thing can accept up to 125 watts which are handy. And if you can get the max input into this, you can recharge this between seven and eight hours. I know what people will say in the discussion, but Goal Zero can accept 180 watts, and that’s true if Goal Zero can accept a lot more input than Jackery 1000.

Goal Zero is also a lot more expensive and needs to have near the AC inverter that this Jackery 1000 has. So you know, you’re going to pick your pros and cons and decide what works best for you. The price point on this is alright. It’s currently at $999 for just the Jackery 1000, or you can get it in a Jackery 1000 kit that includes two of their Solar Saga 100 panels, giving you that maximum input into this thing for $1499, which is two solar, 200-watt solar panels.

Hair Dryer Performance Test

That’s a good deal, and that’s not bad at all. So just for fun, I wanted to see what all this thing would power. So let’s do a hair dryer. If you’re like me, I love it when my wife goes camping with me; she doesn’t have particularly long hair, so she’s never needed this on the trail.

Since we’ve got this, she said it would be nice to take one with us on our trip to Utah because we’ll be gone for ten days, probably showering on the trail, and she may like that, but if your wife has long hair, it just takes forever to dry. So, better to bring the hair dryer with you.

I add this on medium heat, and we’re going to go low speed and see what happens—pulling about 425 watts between 420 and 430. With medium heat and low fan speed, that’s not bad. Let’s go high heat and keep it on the medium fan; we are up to 580 watts putting out some heat, which would come in handy. The Jackery 500 is not capable of running this.

Let’s see what happens when we jump it up to high heat and high-speed fan. The hair dryer used around 1400 watts. It’s holding it right around 1415 watts. Remember, the Jackery 1000 has a peak of 2000 watts, but it can’t sustain 1400 watts, but with high heat, the medium setting will work around 600 watts max, so it is okay.

Other Appliances on Jackery Explorer 1000

When we take the kids out, we need an air mattress. The air pump is super handy to have, or maybe you’ve got an inflatable kayak or all kinds of things but let’s see if Jackery 1000 will run this. The air pump only uses 171 watts, and that’s not a problem. That’d be super handy to have.

What if you’re out on the trail and have a flat, need to fix a wheel hub, or that sort of thing happens to have your electric impact wrench to resolve the issue? Let’s see if this would work for it. It used about 330 watts and worked fine. That would be handy if you’re out on the trail and need a repair.

What about a waffle maker? It’d be cool to have waffles at camp. I’ve never had waffles camping before. We’ll see how that does. It started at about 812 watts and maximum at 820 watts. You can make waffles for the family with this. That much wattage does make the fans come on. That may be a thing, waffles at camp.

What about a big old, just standard house blender? Make smoothies during camping or whip up salsa at camp. I’m very impressed as it only used about 360 watts out of the Jackery 1000. You could run the blender off the Jackery 500, but you could run it longer with Jackery 1000.

What about power tools? You could work somewhere remotely and, you know, use battery-powered tools, but those go out, so a backup power station like this would be a great addition. Will this run the power drill?

It peaked at about 1000 watts but dropped to around 600 watts when I ran it. You could make that work.

We covered waffles. What about pancakes? It started at 900 watts and went up to 989 watts. The waffles maker pulls a lot of power. So 989 watts is about where that’s settling. Once it gets to temperature, it’ll level out at 989 watts. So you’re only going to get 45 minutes to an hour of run time for cooking pancakes.

You may have lost your grill for your stove, or you ran out of propane while you were out camping. This could work, and you can have pancakes.

As I was setting this up, I thought we had our camper, and on top of the camper was an air conditioner. The air conditioner on the camper will not work off, just battery power alone. It would be best if you were plugged into a generator or shore power to use the air conditioner and the heater inside. Will the air conditioner run off the Jackery 1000? Because if so, that will be a game changer.

I plugged the shore power cord into the Jackery 1000 with an extension cord, and I’m going to turn the air conditioner on and see what happens.

This is awesome. Right now, it’s on a low cool, pulling 113 watts. So if we’re camped in Utah, in the desert, and it’s hot, we’re sleeping there. We could run the air conditioner all night long and be very comfortable. Let’s turn it up to high.

On high, it’s pulling about 170 watts. This is going to work fine. What about the heater? I turned the heater, and it’s on 1500 watts, and after a while, it tripped. So it will run the air conditioner on both high and low, but it will not run the heater because that draws too much power. But I’m super excited that the Jackery 1000 will run the air conditioner.

Solar Panel for Jackery 1000

I’ve got both Solar Saga 100 panels and put them in direct sunlight. Its temperature is about 60 degrees, so it should be ideal. Let’s plug one of these in and see what kind of input we get, and then let’s plug both of them in and see what happens. One solar panel puts out 79 watts to 80 watts, which is what you would expect.

So at 80 watts, if you drained the Jackery 1000 entirely, you’re looking at about 15 to 16 hours to recharge this fully. Let’s plug both solar panels together and see what we can get. It says the Jackery 1000 has a max input of 125 watts, and the solar panels should recharge it in eight hours.

And for this purpose, they give you the adapter to plug both eight millimeters in, and then you can plug into the Anderson port. After we have connected the solar panels, we can see the input climbed; we’re settling in at about 120 watts, so almost right there at that 125-watt max input.

If you need maximum input, going with two panels is the way to go. I’d go with one panel if you don’t need maximum input. But if you need the maximum input to recharge this thing, two panels are definitely the way to go. There may be some efficiencies like if it was a cloudy day, so using two solar panels give me a better chance to charge the Jackery 1000 much faster.

My Verdict on Jackery Explorer 1000 and Jackery Explorer 500

Well, I hope you found that helpful with briefly going through the specs of the Jackery 1000, checking out the solar panels, and doing some actual world tests on what you can run off this thing. But what it all boils down to is which one should you get? The Jackery 500 or the Jackery 1000? And that’s just going to depend on what you need.

Do you only need it for running your fridge, keeping your electronics charged, and everything running while you’re on the trail? If that’s the case, I will go with the Jackery 500, but if you have higher power needs, running the air conditioner on your camper, running some power tools, running, you know, the hair dryer for your wife.

Bring home appliances, like a blender and stuff, to make margaritas at camp; then you want the Jackery 1000. The smaller brother, Jackery 500, can only handle some of that high-power appliances. It depends on your needs. But I am super excited to have the Jackery 1000 because, with this one, I can throw in the back of my Jeep, hit the trails for a long weekend, and know that this thing’s going to keep my electronics charged and other, you know, lights and stuff like that running.

But glad to have this one because when we’re out in Utah for ten days this summer, the puppy’s going with us. And there’s a valid case for this, such as a home disaster, emergency power outage, and that type of situation. So they’re both fantastic. Whichever one you should get depends on your needs.

But anyway, if you found this article helpful, give it a like. I’ve got more tests like this coming out. I get a lot of feedback saying that these guides or articles are beneficial. I’m not an electrical guru, and I’m going to dig into only some of these power stations’ wattages, voltages, inputs, and outputs.

I’m going to give you real-world examples of what they can power, how long they’ll take to charge, what you can do with them, and that sort of thing that’s helpful to you. But anyway, thanks for reading. I appreciate it.