REVIEW: Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station
Over the past few years, the portable power station market has become an increasingly competitive one in the outdoor and travel space. As the number of gadgets that we take with us on our adventures grows, so too does the need to keep them charged and functioning wherever we go. After all, without a charge our smartphones, GPS devices, digital cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices are simply dead weight that are better left at home.
When selecting a power source to accompany us on your journeys, be sure to go with an option that comes with plenty of charging ports and a battery pack that provides an ample amount of power. That’s exactly what you’ll find in the Jackery Explorer 1500, the latest and largest addition to company’s growing line-up of portable power stations. As you would expect from Jackery, this unit is rugged, feature packed, and easy to use. But in expanding the size of the Explorer’s battery has led to some sacrifices being made in terms portability.
Capacity (5) ★★★★★
With its 1500+ watt-hour battery pack, the Explorer 1500 packs a lot of punch into a relatively small package. When combined with its ability to produce as much as 1800 watts of power, that level of capacity greatly increases what this power station can do while in the field. Jackery claims that it can run small appliances such as an electric coffee maker or microwave oven for more than an hour on a single charge. More importantly, it also means you can recharge a smartphone or tablet dozens of times, with plenty of juice for laptops, cameras, and other items too. In our testing, this proved to be the case, providing plenty of capacity for a small group of campers with multiple devices each on a weekend camping excursion.
Charging (5) ★★★★★
Out of the box, the Explorer 1500 is capable of charging as many as seven devices at once. It comes with three AC power outlets, a 12-volt car outlet, two standard USB-A ports, and a single USB-C port. While we would have liked to have seen an additional USB-C port or two added to the mix, the three AC wall outlets bring an incredible level of versatility to this power station. Those ports can be used to not only power things like a flat panel TV or an electric cooler, they can also increase the number of USB ports that are available through the use of adapters. Recharging the Explorer 1500 itself is easy too, with options to plug it into a wall outlet at home, a 12-volt port in a vehicle, or Jackery’s solar panels while in the field.
Portability (3) ★★★
While the Explorer 1500 does offer excellent capacity and plenty of charging ports, it also weights a hefty 35.2 pounds. That means that it isn’t easy to lug around, particularly if you want to take it into the backcountry. If you’re looking for a portable power station for those situations, you’ll want to look for something smaller and lighter for sure. That said, this model is a great choice for car campers, overlanders, or at base camp on an extended expedition. It is also perfect for use in emergency situations at home when extended power outages may leave you scrambling to stay connected. When paired with a solar panel, it is possible to have an almost-unlimited supply of power wherever you need it.
Overall (5) ★★★★★
The Jackery Explorer 1500 delivers everything you could ask for in a portable power station, and then some. It has enough capacity to stay off the grid for days at a time and it features plenty of charging ports to keep an entire family’s gadgets up and running. It’s bright, clear LCD display makes it easy to monitor current battery levels and charging capacity both in and out. It’s durable construction means it can survive even in harsh conditions, while its overall versatility make it a wise choice for use at home, the job site, or the campsite. As long as you recognize the limitations to portability that come along with its weight, this is a power station that will keep you functioning no matter where you go.
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