A few weeks ago, Jackery sent me one of their Explorer 1000 Pro power stations to review (full disclosure: Jackery let me keep it after review). This isn’t the first time Jackery has sent me an Explorer 1000 power station (reviews of these are here and here), but this time it’s the “Pro” model. So readers and people buying a Jackery powerhouse are probably wondering what makes the “Pro” better than the standard 1000 model.
In this article, I’ll cover some of the most important differences and discuss who should jump for the Pro and who probably shouldn’t.
The important difference: more input power
Like the non-Pro Explorer 1000, the maximum sustained power output is 1000 watts and it can do that for about an hour if you start with a full battery. But the biggest functional difference for the Pro is the power you can put into it. If you buy the full package with four 200 watt solar panels, you can charge the unit from dead to full in less than two hours.
This translates in off-grid situations to the fact that you can get significantly more power from the unit over the course of a day. With 800 watts of power draw, you’ll get about 5 recharges during the day. If you keep your power consumption below what the solar panels put up, you could run a heavy load on the Explorer all day and never turn it off.
And really, that’s what “Pro” is. If you’re a casual user who just wants to be able to charge phones and run a small fridge and some lights at a campsite, you can get away with using the cheaper non-Pro model with a few hundred watts of power and that’s fine. But, if you’re using larger loads, like circular saws, air compressors, nail guns, medical equipment, etc., you’ll want to make sure that periods of heavy use don’t drop the device out of power. .
Additionally, if you are charging the unit at home or from another AC power source, the Pro units do not use a transformer to charge through the solar inputs. Instead, it has a power outlet like a desktop computer and can draw enough power from the wall outlet to recharge in less than two hours. Obviously if you’re at home you’ll be able to just use the wall outlet, but if you’re coming and going to carry power for an event or something, being able to quickly charge it makes it much easier to use .
Another important difference: it uses different panels
One thing that may not be obvious is that Jackery sells two different classes of solar panels. The older 100 watt panels have a slightly different plug, with a smaller center conductor, which is not compatible with the Pro models. The Pro models (available in 80 watts and 200 watts) have a larger center conductor and you won’t be able to plug them into the non-Pro models.
Jackery probably does this to avoid damaging some of the older Jackery models that can’t handle the full power of a 200 watt panel. So if you have a bunch of Jackery 100 watt panels be sure to get a new set for the Pro or contact Jackery about adapters if you want to use them with a new Jackery box.
A great practical feature: a more pleasant and complete display
Another advantage of the Explorer 1000 Pro over the non-Pro version is that it has the same screen as the Explorer 1500. It’s a multicolor screen with a black background, which is more visually appealing, but this is not all.
Perhaps the most important thing is that the better display gives you much more detailed information about your power flows. Like the non-Pro version, you can see the amount of energy going in and out, but it also gives you a current estimate of how long it will take to shut down or refill. Sure, you can do the math and figure that out, but when the solar power and power you’re using can vary from moment to moment, you’ll be spending a lot of time pressing the calculator keys on your smartphone just to track.
So again, if you’re running something critical and need to know how much time you have left at your current power levels and want to be able to make quick adjustments, get the Pro. If it’s not a big deal to have that extra info, you can probably get away with the non-Pro version.
A more practical form factor
One thing that’s great about Jackery power stations is that they have a built-in handle. This makes them much easier to move, especially the larger ones. But, having that big, easy-to-grip handle on the top makes them a little tricky to store.
When you’re going to put non-Pro Jackery power stations in your closet or stack them with your camping gear in the back of your commuter utility vehicle, you better put the Jackery on top unless you’re really good at balance things out. . That handle just isn’t a great place to stack that next gear, that old box of clothes, or your beloved stamp collection between uses.
But, don’t worry, it still has a handle that’s just as sturdy and easy to use as the older Jackery models. It simply folds up and folds flush with the device when you’re not using the handle.
A more high-tech aesthetic
Finally, I would like to discuss something that is just a matter of taste. I think the Pro Jackery units are just a lot cooler. They have a darker color, and they just look more modern and high-tech than older units. I’m sure there are people who would prefer the look of the original Explorers, but to me, I think the Pros just look good.
For people on a budget who aren’t doing anything that needs more power, knowing when they’ll run out, or other critical needs, the Explorer 1000 is a good choice. If you need or want the best features of the Pro, I would definitely choose the Pro.
All images (including featured image) by Jennifer Sensiba.
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