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First look: Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro Portable Power Station

Power for all your devices, wherever and whenever you need it -- and get $240 off the price.
The Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro portable with the handle lifted, outdoors next to a car

The fold-down handle helps make the Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro portable.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I've had some great adventures with my old Jackery Explorer 1000 portable generator. 

I took it with me to Scotland on a two-month-long adventure, and it performed great there. 

It has also performed spectacularly ever since.

This is why I was enthusiastic to test out Jackery's new portable power station -- the Explorer 1500 Pro.

I've been testing this portable power station for the past few weeks, and I have to say that the Explorer 1500 Pro is a very impressive upgrade. 

Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro tech specs

  • Capacity: 1512Wh
  • AC output: 3x 120V, 60Hz, 15A Max, 1800W (3600W Peak)
  • USB-A output: Quick Charge 3.0, 18W Max 5-6V⎓3A,6-9V⎓2A,9-12V⎓1.5A
  • USB-C output: 100W Max 5V⎓3A, 9V⎓3A, 12V⎓3A, 15V⎓3A, 20V⎓5A
  • Car output: 12V⎓10A
  • AC input: 120V, 60Hz, 15A Max
  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • Rated charge cycles: 2000
  • Light: Front-mounted LED light
  • Weight: 37.5 lbs/17 kg
  • Dimension: 15.12 x 10.59 x 12.11 inches/38.40 x 26.90 x 30.76 cm
  • Operating temperature: 14-104F/-10-40℃

Note: I've been reviewing the UK version of the Explorer 1500 Pro, which has different power outlets and input and output voltages, but it's otherwise equivalent to the US version.

Also: The 5 best portable power stations

The Explorer 1500 Pro is huge. More than a cubic foot in volume, and weighing in at close to 40 pounds, it's a monster. 

The Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro outside on the ground

The Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro is huge.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

On the top there's a fold-flat handle, which comes in handy when moving the power station.

There are a few things things that I look for when testing a power station.

First, the inputs, outputs, and rated capacity need to match up with the published specs (see the specs list above). 

The Explorer 1500 Pro passes this test with flying colors. 

Also: Looking for a truly portable power station? The EcoFlow River 2 delivers grab-and-go power

The power outlets had no problem supporting a continuous load of 1,800W, and handled 3,600W with no problem. Push the power station beyond this, and the Explorer 1500 Pro powers down gracefully.

Closeup of outputs on Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro

The Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro's outputs.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Under heavy loads, there are fans that kick in to keep everything cool (which also come on when charging the unit), but the Explorer 1500 Pro can handle an 1,800W continuous load without any difficulty.

It's a well-designed unit.

The USB and 12V outputs also live up to the specs. The 100W USB-C ports are particularly useful for those of us who may charge and power our laptops off a power station.

Also: The 4 best home battery and backup systems

The 1,512Wh capacity is huge. It can charge up your iPhone over 60 times, or run a mini fridge for over 10 hours.

It's a lot of power.

Charging is handled by a main power and solar panel inputs on the back of the unit, with AC power capable of fully charging the unit in 2 hours.

Closeup of inputs on the rear of the unit

The inputs on the rear of the unit.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I have also been sent a 200W SolarSaga solar panel with the Explorer 1500 Pro by Jackery for testing, but because I live in the UK, and it's winter now, it's hardly the best time to test it. 

However, when I was in Scotland with the Jackery Explorer 1000, I was keeping the unit charged up using two 100W SolarSaga solar panels with no problems, so I'm expecting the single 200W unit to perform just as well and be more convienient (one panel to put up and take down rather than two). 

Also: This backup power station could come in handy 

According to Jackery's data, a single 200W solar panel can charge the unit in 9.5 hours, with two panels dropping that time to 5 hours. Connect up six panels, and the unit can charge up in as little as 2 hours. 

I also like to test durability. Jackery has had the Explorer 1500 Pro certified shockproof to level 9 UN/UL.

As for my own testing, the unit has been thrown into the back of a truck, dragged around different places, and dropped a bit roughly more than once without any ill effects.

It's a really rugged product.

Closeup of Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro

The handy light on the front.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Now, don't expect the Explorer 1500 Pro to be happy outdoors, it is, after all, a box containing a lot of power that can output AC power, so you'll need to keep it out of the rain.

However, another big upgrade is that the 200W SolarSaga solar panels are rated IP67, which means they are waterproof and dustproof (the 100W SolarSaga panels had to be put away when it rained, which in the UK means they needed to be put away a lot).  

There's also a bag of accessories -- a charge cable, a car charge cable, and two DC7909 to DC8020 connectors for solar panels. 

Also: The 5 best camping gear and tools: Tech to help you get away

I really like that the charge cables are a bright orange -- stops them from getting lost or absorbed in with my other cables.

Orange charging cables on top of the Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro

Brightly-colored charge cables.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Another thing I like to test is longevity. Nothing beats taking it into the wild and relying on it for several weeks. I've not been able to do that yet, but I have been using the Explorer 1500 Pro as much as possible, and put maybe a dozen charge cycles through it, and so far it's holding up well.

Everything is well-built and tough, it takes being knocked about, and it delivers what it promises without needing to rely on extreme, over-inflated specs.

The Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro is a really solid portable power station and a worthy upgrade from the Explorer 1000 I was using previously. If you're in the market for a power station, either for in-home use or for your outdoor adventures, the Explorer 1500 Pro is an excellent choice that should give you years of use (and if problems do befall your unit, you can fall back on Jackery's five-year warranty).

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