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Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro review: All the power you need to go off-grid

Our Rating :
£2,099.00 from
Price when reviewed : £2099
inc VAT

The Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro is a compact, convenient power source that can keep you going for weeks - providing the sun comes out


  • Rugged, portable design
  • Can power a wide range of devices
  • Effective solar charging with one panel


  • Solar charging dependent on sunlight
  • Slightly noisy when in action

If you’re planning to head off-grid for a short break or a camping holiday, the Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro could be the gadget you never knew you needed. It’s one of a new breed of heavy-duty power banks labelled solar generators, with massive lithium-ion batteries designed to be charged either from the mains or using portable solar panels.

With standard three-pin AC outputs, 12V car outputs and USB charging ports, the Explorer 1500 Pro can keep not just your smartphones and tablets charging, but power TVs and portable projectors, laptops, monitors and even some kitchen appliances. Provided you can position it and the accompanying solar panels safely somewhere in the sunlight, it can then recharge throughout the day. Even when you’re away from the mains, you don’t have to lose the trappings of civilisation.

Jackery is one of the big names in solar generators, with its Explorer portable power stations coming in capacities from 240Whr to a colossal 3,024Whr. The Explorer 1500 Pro is the mid-range option, with a 1,534Whr capacity that should be enough to charge and power a family’s devices for a couple of days or more without needing to be topped up, in a format that’s still portable enough to be loaded into a car or campervan.

Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro review: What do you get for the money?

You can buy the Explorer 1500 Pro unit on its own for £1,499, while the model reviewed here, which comes with a 200W solar panel, will set you back £2,099. You can also buy the solar panels separately, with the 80W option available for £219, the 100W option costing £273 and the 200W panel priced at £629.

The unit itself is relatively chunky, measuring 384 x 306 x 269mm (WDH), and weighing a heavy but not unmanageable 17kg. A very solid handle folds out from the top to make carrying and stowing it as easy as possible. On the front, you’ll find two 230V AC power outlets, two USB Type-A ports and two USB Type-C ports, with the latter able to output a maximum of 100W for charging.

On one side of the central LCD screen, there’s a rubber flap covering an LED light, which emits a glow to help you see what you’re doing in the dark, while on the other, there’s a second flap to protect a 12V car output. Whatever you need to charge or power, as long as the wattage isn’t too high, there should be a way to charge or power it with the Explorer 1500 Pro. The inputs are at the rear, and enable you to charge the lithium-ion batteries either directly from the mains at home or from up to six of Jackery’s SolarSaga portable solar panels.

The screen on the front is invaluable, telling you not just the current level of charge both in Whr and as a percentage, but the current input and output in watts and the time remaining to fully recharge at the current speed. With a 200W panel running at close to full whack, you’re looking at around seven to eight hours. Charge from the mains, and you can have the Explorer 1500 Pro juiced up in around two hours.

Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro review: What do we like?

We tested the Explorer 1500 Pro with a 200W panel consisting of four panels that fold over each other to create a package roughly the size of a large art portfolio folder. The panels unfold into a 2.3m strip supported by three fold-out kickstands, and if you want to make the most of the available daylight, it’s crucial to have it at the right position and the right angle to the sun.

Even on a sunny day, this can make the difference between 90 to 120W of power coming in and getting closer to the maximum 200W. Even flattening out or raising up the angle can sometimes make a difference of 20W or more, while any shade covering one or more of the panels can knock off 20W to 50W with ease. The more space and the fewer trees, walls or houses you have to deal with, the easier and faster the solar charging gets. Obviously, you can use your common sense to point the panels in the right direction, but using the data on the screen to adjust the position and angle can have a real impact.

Once you have the Explorer 1500 Pro charged, powering or charging your devices is as easy as plugging them in and clicking in one of the small switches next to that particular bank of sockets. There’s enough power to charge two 100W USB PD devices at once; the two USB-A ports support 18W charging through Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, and you can have up to 1,800W of total output at any one time. Again, the screen helps you track what you’re charging or powering and how much battery capacity you have left.

We pushed the Explorer 1500 Pro to the extreme by running a 2kW ceramic electric heater on its first power level – at full power, surges to over 2.2kW pushed it way beyond its 1,800W per output comfort zone. Running at roughly 1.16kW, the Explorer 1500 Pro gave us 62 minutes of heating before running out of charge. Do the maths and that’s not quite 1,534Whr, but this was an intense, short-term drain rather than a more typical mixed-use scenario.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the top home EV chargers available

Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro review: What didn’t we like?

There’s really not that much to grumble about. We found that the battery drains a very small amount if you unplug devices and forget to physically turn the switch off, and you might be annoyed by fan noise while the Explorer 1500 Pro is at work. We measured this at 38dBA, rising to a maximum of 41dBA, so it’s not hugely annoying, and it only kicks in when the generator is charging or when it’s powering high-wattage appliances.

Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro review: Should you buy one?

This is a big investment, with the generator alone coming in at £1,500 or with a 200W solar panel for £2,099. However, you’re getting a relatively compact, well-built power source that can keep a wide range of devices charged or powered up for a week or more, as long as you can get enough sunlight to give it a daily refuel.

Of course, you could pay for a lot of mains hookups at a regular campsite with that money, but the Explorer 1500 Pro allows you to go just about anywhere. It also makes sense as a backup power source if you live somewhere with unreliable power, and it’s a whole lot easier on the ears and on the planet than the equivalent petrol generator.

If you need more capacity, you could look further up the range or at the excellent Anker PowerHouse 767, but for most people, the Explorer 1500 Pro is the solar generator to buy.

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