Jackery Solar Generator 1000 review

Keep your camera charged and post-production workflow up and running while you’re off-grid

Jackery Solar Generator 1000
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 easily has enough capacity to keep laptops and cameras topped up with free energy from the sun. Obviously you’re at the mercy of the weather, but even in dull conditions, the panels should generate enough juice to keep you going.

Pros

  • +

    Charges your kit with free solar energy

  • +

    Wide array of AC and DC outlets

Cons

  • -

    Battery tech doesn't come cheap

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From landscapes to wildlife, a lot of the photographs we love to take are outside. If you’re on an extended trip outdoors, keeping your camera powered up can be a real problem – and coming home from a long road trip can mean having to wade through thousands of images on your return. If only there was a way to top up your electronics and keep your post-processing workflow under control in the wilds…

A panel shows how much power is used and generated, plus remaining capacity. (Image credit: Future)

The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 kit combines a 1000-watt rechargeable Jackery Solar Generator 1000 power station and a pair of Solar Saga solar panels, each rated at 100 watts, to recharge it from the sun’s rays. You can also charge it via the mains or from your car’s 12-volt outlet via supplied adapters. 

Output-wise, there are a pair of standard UK three-pin 240-volt sockets. (US and European models come with their own domestic AC sockets.) There are also two pairs each of USB-A and USB-C sockets, plus a standard 12-volt car-style socket. You need to activate the AC and DC outlets by pressing a small button, confirmed by an LED light, to save wasting power when nothing is plugged into the unit. 

The solar panels themselves each sport an additional USB-A and USB-C socket, although of course these will only produce power when there’s sufficient light. As well as being sold in kit form, the Explorer 100 power bank, and the SolarSaga 100W solar panels, are available separately.

 There are a pair each of USB-A and USB-C sockets, plus a car-style 12-volt output. UK and European versions come with two AC sockets, while the US model has three.  (Image credit: Future)

Handling

An LCD readout tells you how much charge is left in the battery, as well as the current power input and output in watts. It’s quite fun to see how the input wattage leaps up in bright spells. At the front of the unit is a small torch; it’s pretty dim, but okay for emergencies. 

We took it on a camping trip for our review; as well as charging camera batteries and keeping our MacBook Pro topped up, it recharged phones, illuminated camping lanterns and kept our perishables fresh in a powered icebox. 

In addition to the outlets on the Explorer generator, the solar panels include an additional USB-A and USB-C socket.  (Image credit: Future)

We found that while the solar panels were rated at 100 watts apiece, that’s the theoretical maximum; in use on a bright summer’s day, they topped out at around 130 watts in combination. Still, that’s more than enough to completely recharge the generator over the course of a sunny day – repositioning the panels every now and again to maximize exposure to the sun. 

A small torch comes in handy while carrying the generator around in the dark. (Image credit: Future)

The Jackery Explorer is a smartly turned out unit, with a built in carry handle to lug it around. It’s about the size of a drinks cooler, but weighs in about 22lb (10kg), so needs to be within a short distance of a car rather than taking on hikes. The Solar Sage panels fold for storage to a reasonably compact 610x535mm, opening up to 1220x535mm, and have pull-out stands to keep them in the optimal position for catching sunlight.

A pair of fold-out solar panels is included, each rated at 100 watts maximum. (Image credit: Future)

Verdict

The Solar Generator 1000 easily has enough capacity to keep laptops and cameras topped up with free energy from the sun. Obviously you’re at the mercy of the weather, but even in dull conditions, the panels should generate enough juice to keep you going. It doesn’t come cheap, although can often be found discounted.

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Adam has been the editor of N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab) for almost 12 years, and as such is one of Digital Camera World's leading experts when it comes to all things Nikon-related. 


Whether it’s reviews and hands-on tests of the latest Nikon cameras and lenses, sharing his skills using filters, tripods, lighting, L brackets and other photography equipment, or trading tips and techniques on shooting landscapes, wildlife and almost any genre of photography, Adam is always on hand to provide his insights. 


Prior to his tenure on N-Photo, Adam was also a veteran of publications such as PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab), so his wealth of photographic knowledge isn’t solely limited to the Big N.