When comparing the Explorer 1000 and the 1500 head-to-head, we have to think about what your use case might be. If you are someone who loves to travel around the country in your little RV, or you like to set up for a week's camping, then the 1500 is all you will ever need. It can power your hot plate, fridge, even a mini air-conditioning unit for a decent stretch of time, and all the while — as long as you have the solar cells plugged in — you will still be generating more power to keep it charged.
Meanwhile, the 1000 is perfect for weekends away and day trips. The solar panels and the generator are much lighter, making it easier to move around when you are having a beach party or setting up the tent for a night or two. I love that the panels for the 1000 — SolarSaga 100s — have their own USB-C and USB-A ports — something missing from the SolarSaga 200 on the 1500 — making it easy to just grab one for a short trip to the beach without ever needing the battery. I find the 1000 the more versatile and useful product because of its comparatively light weight and size.
Jackery Explorer 1000: A balance of cost and usability
Solar generation is often subjective, and living in the sunshine of Southern California means I get a little better results than most. The solar cells on the Explorer 1000 are 100-watt cells and are considerably easier to move around as the sun moves than the giant 200-watt cells on the 1500. While the capacity of the 1000 is less than 1500 — you guessed it, one is 1000Wh and the other 1500Wh — The added 500Wh isn't a deal-breaker if you are using the generator for shorter trips. Its portability makes up for the power deficit in a lot of situations. The storage amount isn't always a factor either, as the solar cells keep the generator from ever really dying in the first place. If you are out at a campsite and you have the solar cells set up in the right place, you could easily power a mini-fridge or all of your laptops and phones without really dipping into battery power.
|Explorer 1000||Explorer 1500|
|Weight||22.04 pounds (10kg)||35.2 pounds (15.5kg)|
|AC output||110VAC, 60Hz, 1000W (2000W Surge)||110VAC, 60Hz, 1800W (3600W Peak)|
|DC output||1x 2.4a USB-A, 1x Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A, 1x USB-C (PD60W), 1x car outlet||1x 2.4a USB-A, 1x Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A, 2x USB-C (PD60W), 1x car outlet|
|Max solar recharge time||8 hours||5 hours|
|Max number of solar panels||2x 100W||4x 100W or 2x 200W|
|AC adapter charge time||7 hours||6 hours|
Adding to the versatility of the Explorer 1000 is the extra USB-A port and the High-Power-Port (HPP) for the solar cells. This gives it an advantage over the 1500 because you can power more modern devices and use third-party solar cells. One of the main uses for a generator like this is being able to charge your laptops, phones, and even portable USB-C power packs for hiking, and all of them need USB to function. It seems like a mistake to take one away from the 1500.
Jackery Explorer 1500: When you need all the power
When comparing the Explorer 1000 to the Explorer 1500, you have to ask yourself, "is the extra 500Wh worth the $1,000 or more price difference"? Getting 50% more power from a generator like this will open up opportunities that the 1000 just can't offer. While the 1000, coupled with the solar cells, is excellent, the 1500 is a capable generator even without the solar cells and can be used to power appliances independently as needed. This handy chart gives you a perfect example of why you would want the extra power. If you are going to be camping in the shady woods for a week, the difference in these numbers makes the Explorer 1500 a more enticing buy.
|Explorer 1000||Explorer 1500|
|Cellphone||100 charges||150 charges|
|Laptop||8 charges||12 charges|
|Mini cooler||17 hours||21 hours|
|Electric grill||50 minutes||1 hour 15 minutes|
|Blender||13 hours||19 hours|
|Coffee maker||1 hour 28 minutes||2 hours 10 minutes|
The Explorer 1500 has the ability to power full-size appliances like a home refrigerator or even a Tesla car, though you aren't going to get a lot of miles from it. It could get you to a supercharger in a pinch, though! Being able to power home appliances makes the Explorer 1500 especially helpful if you live in a place where power cuts are prevalent. I spent eight hours without my power in July, and the Explore 1500 powered my home refrigerator the entire time, saving me hundreds of dollars in food waste. It even powered a fan to keep me cool. The Explorer 1000 doesn't have the peak load to power a full-size refrigerator, so it isn't as helpful at home as the 1500.
Jackery Explorer 1000 vs. Jackery Explorer 1500: Which should you buy?
While I think that the Explorer 1000 is the clear winner, I know that sometimes power comes first. For almost every situation, the 1000 is ideal. Whether camping, RV vacations, or just powering all your phones at a beach party, the 1000 and its solar cells are up to the challenge.
If you are serious about your camping, though, and you want to be away from the grid for weeks having that extra 500Wh from the Explorer 1500 can come in handy. It's just a little too bulky to make it my top choice.
For my use case — the occasional weekend camping trip, parties in the backyard, as well as day trips to the lake — the Explorer 1000 suits me to the ground.
A camper's dream
Jackery Explorer 1000 solar generator
My favorite generator
The Explorer 1000 is the best mix of usability and energy capacity that you can buy. While it is weighty, it is still manageable at a campsite. The solar panels can even be used independently for short trips to the beach.
Perfect for power cuts
Jackery Explorer 1500 solar generator
If you are serious about having access to a lot of energy when you are without main power, then the Explorer 1500 bundle is the choice for you. With two 200W solar panels, this generator seems impossible to empty.
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