Jackery Explorer 1000 Watt Generator Review: Read This Before You Buy (2021)
I love camping and being outdoors, but I also like reading a book at night or watching a movie on my laptop without worrying about the remaining charge while I’m in the middle of nowhere.
Most importantly, I like having emergency backup power whenever there’s a violent storm that brings down power lines and disrupts traffic across my state.
After reading quite a few positive user reviews, I decided to get the Jackery Explorer 1000 Watt Generator.
For me, the selling points were the rugged shape and solar charge options.
But is that all this portable power box has to offer?
Here’s my sincere and unbiased review of the Jackery Explorer 1000.
What Is the Jackery Explorer 1000 Watt Generator?
The Jackery Explorer 1000 Watts Generator is the current flagship model of Jackery’s portable solar generators lineup.
The size of a small 12-pack cooler, the Explorer 1000 comes in a sleek orange and grey body with a sturdy integrated handle.
It pairs seamlessly with Jackery SolarSaga 100 watt portable solar panels for eco-friendly off-grid charging.
How Long Does Jackery 1000 Last?
Jackery does a great job showing the run time or number of charges for different appliances.
With the Jackery Explorer 1000 generator, you can run:
In my own test, this generator has lived up to expectations.
On a 4-day camping trip a few months back, four of us barely made a dent in the battery, with two solar panels charging all day.
Even my bread maker with 450 watts power rating took the battery only down to 73%. And as the solar panels kept taking charge, the battery went back to 100% by lunch.
What Can a Jackery 1000 Power?
A Jackery 1000 can power almost anything you can pack in your trunk for a comfy camping trip. It has three 110V pure-sine wave outlets so you can power your blender, coffee maker, or a mini-fridge.
Pure-sine wave means the inverter generator is safe to use with sensitive electronics like your TV, computers, or DVD player.
You can charge your gadgets directly through two USB-A and two USB-C ports. You can even charge your car’s GPS using the 12V outlet.
Is Jackery the Best?
No, Jackery is not the best portable solar generator you can buy, but it’s a top-shelf choice.
When it comes to generators like this, the differences really come down to personal preferences.
The Explorer 1000 has a good capacity battery and advanced inverter, which together give it solid overall performance.
It definitely needs a more efficient solar battery charger though. If Jackery upgrades their next model with better input and bigger portable panels, they could have a much more capable product.
There are better generators than the Jackery 1000, but while other inverter generators outperform in surge wattage or weight, they may underperform in other areas.
If you need a reliable generator for weekends out of town or as a backup power supply at home, you can’t go wrong with Jackery in that price range.
Can You Use Jackery While Charging?
Yes, you can use Jackery while charging. The Jackery 1000 generator has a pass-through charger, which means you can run your items and top up the unit at the same time.
This inverter generator has a handy input and output display so you can see how much power you are using and putting in at the same time.
Jackery Explorer 1000 Watt Generator Benefits
The Explorer 1000 is a compact powerhouse that can power even your refrigerator in a pinch, as long as it runs below the 1000-watt mark.
This feature makes this generator a reasonable choice as a backup power supply in case of emergency.
In case of a statewide blackout, such as the one that hit Texas in February, it’s good to know that the Jackery 1000 can pull its weight — in this case, keep your food from spoiling.
What’s more, when the power to your stove goes down, you can simply plug a slow cooker or a similar appliance, and get your meal underway.
For example, if you use a 300-watt rice cooker for 15 minutes, the generator’s battery will lose only 4% power.
The two USB-C ports deliver 18 watts of power, which is enough for most smartphones and tablets. For your laptop, it’s best that you charge it using the three AC outlets.
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
The Jackery Explorer 1000 comes with a 1000-watt pure sine wave inverter that allows you to safely plug equipment with delicate electronics.
Your power tools and appliances with an electric motor will also run more efficiently with generators that come with pure sine wave inverters like this.
The Jackery 1000 is literally bristling with ports of all types, which means you can really make the most out of this generator in a blackout.
Even if you use the three 110V ports for food preparation and lighting, there are still plenty of low-voltage ports for charging the family’s phones.
The Jackery 1000 gives you:
You can also charge your Jackery 1000 from your car’s 12V outlet.
While you may never use this feature in normal situations, imagine a scenario when you need to relocate because of a flood, hurricane, or another extreme weather event.
It’s good to know you can top up your generator on the road, so you have it 100% charged when you reach the higher ground.
Clean and Quiet
If you’ve ever used gasoline generators, you know how noisy they can be, not to mention how smelly.
Now imagine throwing an outdoor event or a romantic camping weekend with a fossil fuel rig rumbling in the background.
The Jackery 1000 is designed to operate quietly even with cooling fans running. It won’t disturb you or the campers next to you.
More importantly, the Jackery 1000 inverter generator can charge on clean solar power that doesn’t require an engine and fuel tank.
This way you won’t have to deal with dangerous fumes or a fire hazard.
You can buy a Jackery 1000 with a pair of SolarSaga 100-watt solar panels which you can use to charge your battery.
Now solar panels that you can buy in a kit with Jackery may not be enough to power your entire home until the relief arrives, but they’re enough to keep the lights on and charge your cell phones, so you know what’s going on.
Jackery claims you can fully charge the Explorer 1000 in 8 hours, but 10 is more realistic.
But that’s not an issue for me, as I can use it and charge it at the same time.
Customer Service and Warranty
Jackery provides both a phone number and an email on their website if you have sales questions or you need help with the unit you bought.
Most importantly, the Jackery Explorer 1000 comes with a two-year warranty from the date of purchase.
The warranty also covers free shipping and returns, so you can easily send the generator back if you have any issues.
See our Green Store for more products like this.
Jackery Explorer 1000 Watt Generator Shortfalls
My problem sometimes with my Jackery 1000 is the charging speed. At home, it takes me just short of 7 hours to get to 100% full charge.
While that’s even faster than advertised, it’s still a long time.
Especially when compared with its main competitor, the EcoFlow Delta 1300. When plugged into a standard 110V outlet, the Delta 1300 generator goes from zero to 80% in only one hour.
Also, this is a hefty box to lug around.
At 22 lbs, it may not be a problem for people who buy it to use with their boat, RV, or an emergency home kit.
However, I planned to use this generator on my camping trips, and let me tell you, with all the gear to schlep around, I never managed to get far from my car.
Other People’s Thoughts
To give you a more realistic review of the Jackery 1000 generator, I included quotes from other user’s reviews. Some of these reviewers are my friends who gave me their opinion firsthand.
Why use heavy loud generators, carry the fuel tank, deal with all that monotonous nonsense, when you could literally live off the Jackery Families products. I say Family because over the years I’ve had multiple email contacts and numerous phone calls with them, and every interaction was amazing.
Shane, U.S. Servicemember
It can run my space heater for over 1 hr. Or more if I do it intermittently. I was also able to run my Panasonic Xpress toaster oven rated @1300 watts for more than 5 min without cutting out.
Annie, Jackery 1000 User
Suffocating plastic smell while under load. The fan kicks in every now and then, but the plastic smell persists. Maybe it will taper off after some time. So far the unit went through 4-5 discharge-recharge cycles.
Rick, Jackery 1000 User
I like the plastic casing. It’s light, it’s strong, it hasn’t scratched up even with all of my use. Even with riding in the back of my truck, bouncing around in Colorado, this thing has held up really well.
Luke, Reviewer at The Outdoor Gear Review
Things To Consider Before Buying a Portable Solar Generator
What Power Capacity and Wattage Do You Need?
The capacity of the portable generator is the amount of power load it can take. It is measured in watts (W), which when applied to power usage translates to watt-hours (Wh).
The more watts, the more appliances you can hook to your generator. You can find wattage for any divide on the sticker at the bottom.
What Charging Options Does It Offer?
A good portable generator should give you multiple charging options.
- Utility grid — You simply plug one end of the cable with the inverter into the wall socket and the other end goes into the AC socket on the generator
- Car charging is another option worth having. A 12V car adaptor plugs into the cigarette lighter socket so you can charge your generator on the go.
- Solar panels — Finally, if you really want to be independent of the grid and 100% eco-friendly, look for a generator you can charge with portable solar panels.
Can It Charge Different Devices at Once?
The earliest portable generators had only regular 110V outlets because back in the day, there was little to plug in other than a camping lamp, hot plate, and perhaps a radio.
But now a portable generator features multiple USB-A, USB-C, and AC outlets. Some generators can even charge car devices that use the 12V cigarette lighter plug.
How Durable Is It?
Although many products are advertised as “portable,” not all generators are sturdy enough for you to haul them with your camping gear.
Look for a product with quality plastic housing that can take some abuse.
Yes, a 1000 watt generator can run a refrigerator if the starting wattage is under 1000 watts. A refrigerator has a much lower running wattage but will suck up more power at startup because of the electric motor.
You need five or seven 1000 watt inverter generators to run your house. A home of average size needs between 5000 and 7000 watts to power the essential appliances and lighting. In an emergency, you’ll only want to run the most essential equipment, so in reality, one or two generators will do the job.
Yes, a 1000W generator will run a space heater up to 750 watts. Most space heaters run on 1500 watts but have a lower power 750 watts setting.
No, a 1000W generator won’t run an air conditioner. Even if you have a modest 30-amp air conditioner, you need a generator with at least 14000 running watts.
A 1000W generator can run lights, laptop and desktop computers, a coffee maker, small fridge, flat-screen TV, dishwasher, blender, slow cooker, portable fan, and even some power tools.
The Jackery Explorer 1000 Watt Generator: Should You Buy It?
The Jackery Explorer 1000 allows you to stay online even in the middle of nowhere and charge essential appliances in your time of need.
Paired with SolarSaga panels, this generator lets you pitch your tent off the beaten paths or provide emergency backup electricity for your home while staying 100% sustainable.
With 1000 watts of output power and a total of 8 plug points, you can rely on this whether you’re planning a road trip in your van or you’re caught unaware in your home in the middle of a statewide blackout.
Just grab this baby and you're ready to go.
Quiet yet powerful, eco-friendly yet compact, this portable generator has a ton of useful features and only a few shortfalls.
All this considering, I would recommend the Jackery 1000 as a great choice for your next camping trip or home emergency kit.
THE JACKERY EXPLORER 1000
Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen’s readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.