As a lover of the great outdoors, I enjoy stepping out of the house and touching grass. At the same time, I prefer staying connected with my electronics, playing with my battery-powered toys, and using other electric gadgets while I’m out there, and I can think of no better way to accomplish all that than with a Solar Generator by Jackery.
When you think of a generator, gas-powered units probably come to mind. But these days, we can harness energy from the Sun to such great extents that it can power our lives, and the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro uses this innovation by packing it into a portable powerhouse that you can take with you and use almost anywhere you go, even while trekking the great outdoors.
Packed with a massive 1,002 watt-hour battery unit, the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro doesn’t mess around. This behemoth can power a 100-watt projector for around eight hours or a 900-watt power tool for around two hours. If you’re using it as a power bank, then you can recharge your MacBook almost 120 times or your iPhone almost 130 times.
If you need even more power, then this is where the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro’s solar generation function comes in handy. You can ultimately choose which solar panels you wish to pair with it depending on your power needs and what you want to spend, and I opted for the 160 watt (2x 80 watt) solar panel bundle. This feeds a continuous power supply to the unit whenever it’s sunny and keeps your stuff powered all day.
I/O offers limitless possibilities
The first thing you see when glancing at the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro are the three tri-pronged AC power outlets. You’ll also notice an automotive style DC power outlet, two USB-A Quick Charge 3.0-capable ports, and two USB-C Power Delivery-capable ports. An on-demand high-power LED also stands out so you can see what you’re doing when you plug things in, and the built-in display shows live power consumption stats.
I really like the display because it shows how much power (in watts) that the Jackery unit takes in and pumps out simultaneously. It also displays how much power remains in the unit as a percentage, much like the icon at the top-right of your iPhone’s Status Bar. That’s user-friendliness if I ever did see it.
In case you were wondering, the specs for the ports on the front of the unit are as follows:
- AC Output: 3x 120V, 60Hz, 8.33A Max, 1000W (2000W peak)
- USB-A Output: 2x Quick Charge 3.0, 18W Max 5-6V⎓3A,6-9V⎓2A,9-12V⎓5A
- USB-C Output: 2x 100W Max 5V⎓3A, 9V⎓3A, 12V⎓3A, 15V⎓3A, 20V⎓5A
- Car/DC Output: 12V-17.5V⎓8A
On the back of the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro are two DC input jacks for connecting solar panels that can charge the unit from empty to 80% in as little as 7 hours and one AC input jack that can charge the unit from empty to full in as little as 1.8 hours. If you choose to charge the unit with your car’s DC outlet, you can accomplish that in as little as 4.4 hours.
You may have also noticed that many of these ports are covered by rubber boots, which can protect them from the elements. While the USB ports and three-pronged power outlets aren’t covered, you can buy inexpensive third-party covers that get the job done and will universally work with your other devices as well.
Solar power on Sunny days
The massive battery pack that the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro behaves like is nothing to scoff at, but if you really want to stay off the grid for extended periods of time, then you can connect solar panels. Third-party solar panels are a dime-a-dozen on Amazon, however the SolarSaga panels that Jackery offers for its units are by far the most efficient and well-built.
Here, we have two of the 80-watt SolarSaga panels that can provide a constant 160-watt power source when placed at an optimal 40-60º angle in direct sunlight. These panels come in a reflective case that directs more of the Sun’s rays at the panel instead of the ground, and it doubles as a stow away case for storage. A metal prop keeps the panel aimed at just the right angle when the Sun is out.
You’ll also notice that the corners of the SolarSaga panels are well-padded. They feel like they can handle a significant drop without any significant damage – not that you’ll be dropping them very much thanks to the beefy folding carry handles.
Jackery says that the SolarSaga panels come with IP68 water and dust resistance and carry a 25% power efficiency. Each one takes less than 60 seconds to set up and use.
Several use cases
The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro is capable of many demanding tasks. I typically use mine so that I can have a fun day outside without raising my electric bill. I’ve so far used it to power my XGIMI Horizon Pro projector and Nintendo Switch to play outdoors on cool nights, to charge my Ninebot MAX electric scooter for rides, and to power a mini fridge to keep the beers cold while I conduct outdoor projects.
While the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro is ideal for camping/glamping when you know you won’t have much access to power, it also excels as a mobile power source for where your extension cords won’t reach and as backup power in natural disaster emergencies. I’m vividly familiar with the latter here in Florida where we see hurricanes regularly and lose power as a result.
If you spend any time doing any sort of handywork, you can easily throw this unit and the solar panels into a truck bed and work right out of it. For what it is, it’s very portable and weighs much less than a traditional gas-powered generator. Everything folds up into a conveniently movable package when not in use, which makes both storage and transport a sinch.
Jackery knows its products will be used outdoors and for demanding tasks, so the company built the Solar Generator 1000 Pro with durability in mind. The unit itself is drop proof and the handle’s beefiness are a testament to that. The solar panels even have a high durability feel to them that will make you feel confident when you sprawl them out on the lawn.
The cables that come supplied by Jackery for the Solar Generator 1000 Pro and the SolarSaga solar panels are made with thick gauge wire, so it doesn’t seem possible to wear them out quickly or to shear them without intentionally grabbing a pair of wire-cutters to snip them.
Weighing in at almost 30 pounds, the Solar Generator 1000 Pro is on the heavier side compared to portable battery packs, but none of those will even come close to what this machine is capable of. In case you were wondering, the solar panels weigh around 10 pounds each.
The built-in LED light is a very thoughtful feature, and with the 1,002-watt capacity, it will never really have an opportunity to run down your battery. It’s useful for seeing in the dark or for lighting your way when you try to plug things in.
A device like the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro is perfect for time outdoors with the family where you believe you might need to power small electric devices and when you don’t expect you’ll have any kind of power supply. You don’t really need to worry about depleting the batteries inside of the unit because of the ability to connect solar panels.
I’ll discuss some of the positive and negative things I experienced while using the Jackery Solar Power Generator 1000 Pro below:
- Many different outlets and ports to power different types of items
- Massive 1,002-watt battery capacity laughs off most tasks and charges quickly
- Support for solar power charging means you never run out of power
- Intuitive display gives you a real-time readout of what the unit is going
- Button controls can turn different sections of the I/O on or off on demand
- Rugged and reliable design that won’t fail you when you need it most
- Highly portable and easy to store when not being used
- The unit and the solar panels are costly compared to some smaller brands
- Stores power for only one year before needing to be re-charged again
- Could offer more USB ports
Getting a Jackery Solar Generator
The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro can be had on its own from Amazon for $1,100, while the SolarSaga solar panels are $250 apiece. If you desire a solar panel bundle package, then the 160-watt bundle option I have in this review clocks in at $1,600, while a beastly 800-watt option comes in at an eye-watering $4,000. Keep an eye out for coupons too, as Jackery likes to offer discounts here and there.
For most people, the unit itself will be enough. The solar power comes in handy when you put heavier loads on the unit and want to keep it charged for extended periods. The smaller 160-watt solar power works for smaller devices and toys, but if you plan to use power tools or anything significant with your unit then you should probably up the ante and get the 800-watt option to make sure it keeps up without discharging too quickly.
If a battery pack with USB ports just doesn’t cut it for you, then the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro will. I and some friends of mine enjoy using ours, and we’re equally confident in the product’s ability to perform. The sheer amount of power it packs, and what you can do with that power, are some of the most exciting features.