Is This a Legit Option for Vanlife?

If you’ve spent any time perusing #vanlife on Instagram or Youtube, chances are you’ve heard of Jackery. Their portable power stations have made quite the splash in the van camping world, in no small part because of their aggressive outreach to various influencers in the space.

Even though we don’t do sponsored content of any kind, when Jackery reached out about sending us a Jackery Explorer 1000 power station and two of their SolarSaga 100W portable solar panels to test out, we decided to take them up on it so that we could see how these units actually perform.

Jackery Explorer 1000 Power Station

With a 1002Wh lithium battery, 1000W pure sine inverter, and the ability to charge via solar, the Explorer 1000 is a top notch solar generator for basic power needs.

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Although it’s tough to beat the flexibility and expandability of building your own campervan electrical system, there’s no denying the easy appeal of portable power stations (or “solar generators,” as they’re sometimes called) to new and part time vanlifers. Even though they’re super easy to use, we’ve generally been skeptical of the ability of all-in-one units like the Jackery to keep up with the demands of full time vanlife – especially for the cost. 

But how does the Jackery Explorer 1000 perform in the real world? Can it realistically power the necessities of life on the road, or is it better suited for weekend camping? And how does it compare to DIY electrical systems, in both cost and capacity?

To answer these questions and more, we put the Jackery Explorer 1000 and the SolarSaga 100W foldable solar panels through their paces with a battery of tests designed to reflect the variety of scenarios you might encounter on the road. Read on for our in depth review and honest opinion of the Jackery 1000 portable power station.

Disclaimer: Jackery was kind enough to send us an Explorer 1000 and two of their 100W SolarSaga foldable panels for this review. However, our thoughts are our own, and the content of this post is not sponsored by Jackery.

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