Scouting Report: Jackery’s Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station provides superior solar power on the go for campers, van-lifers, or remote workers.
When I first went remote and took to the location independent lifestyle some 13 years ago, there were two major limitations to where I could bring my work: WiFi and electricity. Increasingly expansive data networks took care of the former, but I still needed a place to plug in my laptop, so heading off the grid was out of the question. The Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station changed all of that. In fact, I would venture to say that it’s perhaps the most game-changing piece of gear I’ve ever used.
Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station
Portable power stations with solar capabilities have become popular among the van-life, camping, and remote work crowd, and while there are several on the market, this particular station stands out to me for three reasons. First, its capacity is massive. At over 1500 watt-hours, I’ve found that a fully charged Explorer can power my van-home — laptop, lights, fans, electric kettles, devices, guitar amp, et al. — for days without recharging. And that brings us to the second major plus: when it comes time to charge, the station charges fast. Capable of charging via wall socket, DC car outlet, or optional solar panels, it sucks up the juice needed to power your electronics with unmatched speed. While I have four of Jackery’s portable 100 watt panels, I’ve found that with just two I can have it completely topped off within several hours — sometimes even in dubious sunlight. Finally, I tend to be somewhat rough and tumble with my gear, and the Jackery seems to be pretty durable. I’ve encountered no issues that would make me think that it’s going to give up on me any time soon.
I’ve been waiting for over a decade to find a solar power source that could reliably allow me to work anywhere, and the Jackery delivers. While it’s currently being used primarily by campers, van-lifers, and people who require off-grid power for work sites or emergencies, the potential offered by extremely reliable, highly portable, relatively affordable solar power is pretty substantial. Today, the Explorer is helping van-lifers road trip with greater ease, but tomorrow I could easily see it arriving in remote villages to provide the renewable electrification necessary for light, education, and entrepreneurship.
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