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Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station review: Portable power source

Jackery Portable Power Station With Solar Panels Hero
(Image: © Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

Our Verdict

Bottom line: This mega-battery will charge up your iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and much more on a single charge. It can even power small appliances.

For

  • Charge your iPhone and other devices up to 100 times
  • Power small appliances
  • Can be charged via solar panel
  • Built-in light

Against

  • Won't power appliances that need a lot of power
  • Very pricey, especially since solar panels are sold separately
  • Solar panels need direct sunlight to work

The Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station is a huge rechargeable battery-powered generator that you can use to power all of your electronic devices on your next camping trip or outdoor adventure. It has AC outlets, a DC carport, and USB charging ports. You can also use it at home in case the power goes out. Charge it up by plugging it into your wall, your car charger, or even solar panels (sold separately.)

Sun power

Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station: What I like

Jackery Portable Power Station Lifestyle

Jackery Portable Power Station Lifestyle (Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

On a single charge (which takes about seven hours from a wall outlet or 14 hours via car charger), the 1000-watt Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station can charge your smartphone 100 times, a camera 42 times, or your laptop more than a dozen times. It can provide up to 76 hours of light. Power a mini cooler for up to 66 hours. It can even power a CPAP machine, electric grill, refrigerator, electric blanket, fan, and blender. Unlike some power generators, the Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station makes no noise and doesn't create any fumes. If you use the solar panels (sold separately) to charge it up, it's a source of green, renewable energy.

The Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station is great for camping, RV living, tailgating, and backyard parties. It's also nice to have in the house in case the power goes out! Where I live, the power sometimes goes out for hours at a time (overnight even), and I'm always fearful of my iPhone running out of power before the electricity comes back on. If you have the Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station at home, even partially charged, you definitely don't need to worry about your phone running out of juice.

Limited

Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station: What I don't like

Jackery Portable Power Station Lifestyle

Jackery Portable Power Station Lifestyle (Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

While I did not test every item on Jackery's list, I did find one that didn't work for me: the blender. While the Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station can power a blender, it cannot power MY high-power Vitamix (which is a professional-level blender that basically has an airplane engine in it.)

There's no getting past the price point. This battery is expensive, especially if you get the solar panels! Of course, you don't need the solar panels at all, and you can charge up the Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station by plugging it into the wall or your car charger. But the solar panels are what make it a truly off-the-grid source of power.

The solar panels are amazing, and they really do work but plan on a full day of sun to fully power up the Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station. The panels need to be facing direct sunlight the whole time, so you'll have to keep an eye on them and make adjustments to follow the sun as needed. I tested this with two 100-Watt solar panels (in the autumn) in the northern U.S., so the solar panels may need a lot less tending in a sunnier time and place.

The competition

The Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station isn't the only big portable battery out there. Take a look at the less-expensive Powkey 200Watt Portable Power Bank.

Powkey Portable Power Bank Lifestyle

Powkey Portable Power Bank Lifestyle (Image credit: Powkey)

You also might consider the RAVPower Portable Power Station, which we reviewed previously.

Ravpower Power Station

Ravpower Power Station (Image credit: Christopher Close / iMore)

Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station: Should you buy

Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station Lifestyle

Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station Lifestyle (Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

You should buy this if ...

You need to run small appliances by battery

Whether you're at the campground or at home in a power outage, the Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station can provide power to your small appliances.

You need a battery to charge up your electronic devices

Whether you're away from home or home without power, you can charge your smartphone, laptop, tablet, and other electronic devices many times over.

You want green energy

You'll need the solar panels (sold separately), but if you're going green or off the grid, you can power up the Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station using only the sun as your source of energy. As long as you have sunny days.

You should not buy this if ...

You're on a tight budget

The Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station is pretty pricey, especially the higher wattage models. The solar panels are sold separately and add to the price.

You need to power larger/higher power appliances

The Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station was unable to power my high-end, powerful blender. So I wouldn't count on it to power anything that requires a lot of power.

If you're like me and you fear your smartphone running out of power in an extended power outage, or if you're an outdoor adventurer that needs power on the go, or if you live in an RV and need a portable power source, the Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station is a good choice. It's solid and dependable. It makes no noise and emits no fumes like some generators do.

The Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station is a great item for someone who enjoys camping, RV living, and tailgating. It's also to have at home, charged and ready to go in case of a power outage or simply to bring into your backyard to use where there's no outlet nearby. It'll charge up your electronic devices many times over, plus it'll run some of your smaller appliances for hours. If you want a greener power solution, I'd recommend purchasing at least one solar panel as well.

Karen S Freeman
Contributor

Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer, social media manager, and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for AppAdvice and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is a wife and mom (and dog mom) who is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to travel the world and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.