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Some of you have read my reviews of Jackery products. I continue to test them and use them on the farm because they have been very reliable sturdy. We have done a lot with Jackery products on our farm over the years.
I was presented with the opportunity to test out the latest power center in the Jackery line of products. This is a much larger power center than any I have tested thus far. It is going to be released shortly to the public. It is an excellent choice for those that want a lot of power in a lightweight package.
For those that are looking for a simple off-grid power solution for a cabin or similar, this power center is a reasonable option that you can just buy and start using immediately with no fuss. For total off-grid use you need to have a solar panel to keep it charged up. If you add two panels at 100 watts each you can use a lot of power at an off-grid site.
This means practically unlimited lighting and the ability to run some small appliances. Keeping a laptop going and some other small devices is not at all a problem. Back when Matt and I were living with very little electricity in our camper, this would have been very nice to have and could have replaced a lot of our power needs entirely.
Note: Jackery only sells through Amazon at this time. Here is the link to the Jackery 1000 if you decide it is something you want. That may change by the time you read this. The 1000 just came out so it is highly unlikely that there are any used ones for sale.
As someone that has lifted a lot of car batteries over the years, I really appreciate how lightweight the Jackery Lithium Battery power centers are. The Jackery 1000 weighs around 22 lbs which is comparable to the much smaller lead-acid Goal Zero 400 power center we have. I strongly recommend lithium battery power centers for most people. They are much more practical and they are very affordable now.
- 14 Hours (12V Car Adaptor)
- 8 Hours (Using two SolarSaga 100W Solar Panels simultaneously with full sun)
- 7 Hours (AC)
Remember that you can use other brands of solar panels with the Jackery as long as you have the correct cables. The advantage of the Jackery panels is that they are very lightweight and portable. Professional MPPT technology provides faster solar recharge rates. It is really great that Jackery uses MPPT charging technology in this larger power center. Just for the record this is what larger and more expensive solar arrays use to regulate the charging and flow of energy. When Matt and I built our house we bought an MPPT charge controller for our house and it was not cheap. Even a decade ago I believe it was around $750. Not every power center out there is going to offer you this feature.
Good Variety of Outlets
- Two USB-C
- Two USB
- One DC carport
- Three AC outlets
One thing that I immediately noticed about the Jackery 1000 is that you get three AC outlets. That can be really nice at times. Sure you can use a splitter with other Jackery products or power centers from other companies but that is just another hassle and more things to carry. You also have to be careful and not overload the outlet.
The Jackery 1000 is very modern and up to date in terms of the outlet configurations offered. For example, you get two USB-C outlets. For those that use I-Phones or have newer and flashier Chromebooks, the USB-C charging system is something you are familiar with. I like USB-C because it charges things fast.
The keyboard I am typing this can be operated as a wireless keyboard or a wired keyboard. The main input into the keyboard is USB-C and it works great. Although this charging system is still not as common as regular USB, it is certain that we will be seeing more of it so it is great that Jackery added in a few outlets in their most up to date power center.
I cannot help but point out that Jackery has twice the warranty of other comparable products. You get a full 2 years but from my experience I really doubt that you will need it for any reason at all. If you do, you will find that they are fast to respond. Even though I have conversed with very specific people at the company, I have always found they respond quickly and are proud of their products.
Very quiet operation and you can use it inside safely unlike gas generators.
There are some neat gas generators out there but as Jose explained in his article, they are really loud or at least loud enough to attract attention during an SHTF situation. The Jackery 1000 can be used in small and confined spaces and only has a small fan that you cannot hear through a wall or anything like that.
You really have to be right next to the power center to even hear it at all. This is the first power center we have owned that had enough power stored in it and capability to seem like a good substitute for some gas-powered generators. Plus you can use solar to keep it going rather than depending on reliable gas supply.
With the Jackery you can use a portable electric pole saw and other tools at remote sites.
It is really nice to be able to take advantage of the low cost of electric tools. We really like the electric pole saw we got for trimming things around the farm but we had to be really careful how much we used it when driving around in the Kawasaki Mule because we only had a Jackery 500 and another battery plus an inverter. The set up was a bit cumbersome to use but it worked. With the Jackery 1000, we can just go out and use the saw whenever we want.
Matt used the power center to run our electric tin snips when building a small outbuilding.
It was really nice to be able to just use the tin snips away from the house rather than using manual cutters. The Jackery also allows you to keep batteries charged up when using cordless power tools so you can just cut boards on site instead of running back and forth so you can use power or to get a new battery.
Jackery power centers are great for those that want an option that works right out of the box with no hassle.
The Jackery is ready to use when you get it with one exception. No battery pack is fully charged when you get it. In Jackery’s defense they do not make claims that you get your power center fully charged. When ours arrived it was only 33% charged so we plugged it in and in 4 hours or less it was at 100%. I didn’t time it precisely but the charging time when plugged into a standard 110V outlet was right in line with the charging times they advertise. It is nice when a company doesn’t make claims they don’t deliver on. Charging times for Jackery products are accurate in all their advertising.
Do take the time to charge your power center up to 100% when you get it. Even the best made batteries and power centers do better if they are not allowed to deplete entirely.
Compatible Solar Panels
Jackery makes several portable panels for use with their products but you don’t have to just use those. If you have other panels you can hook them in too. The Jackery 1000 even comes with the option to hook wires in directly to charge the power center which makes it different than the smaller power centers that they sell.
I do think that Jackery makes a decent solar panel but they are quite expensive for what you get. While I am a big fan of their power centers and small battery banks, I maintain my opinion that they need to find a way to reduce the price of their panels because they are substantially higher in cost than basically any brand I have run into except for maybe Goal Zero.
Yes I realize that some panels perform better than others so there is justification for a higher price but in this case I don’t see the difference being that substantial. Matt and I have not noticed that the Jackery panels have any better output than panels that cost a fraction of what they charge. Yes they are super convenient but I can buy a flexible portable panel for half the price on eBay that works just as well.
Smaller Power Centers
I have reviewed several of the smaller Jackery power centers. Many preppers and adventure seekers find that they like to have more than one power center and that they often like to have a smaller one for hitting the trail or smaller tasks.
The smaller power centers I reviewed include the Jackery Explorer 240 and the Jackery 500. I have not reviewed the smallest offering they have, the Jackery 160, but I will say that I am confident it would be great for someone that likes to set up their office outside sometimes or hike back into a place to type on a laptop or just listen to some music. The smallest offering from Jackery weighs in at a mere 6.7 lbs so it is small enough for day packing trips or overnight backpacking excursions. It packs plenty of power for keeping small devices topped off and enjoying some music out in the great outdoors. If you combine it with a small portable panel you can keep the power going for even longer.
Jackery power centers are fantastic back up for emergencies like hurricanes, winter storms, and other power outage situations.
There are so many times when having some backup power is handy. I remember when I was a kid in the North Cascades and how often windstorms would knock the power out. This was long before the internet or cell phones so when the power went out you were literally back to using oil lamps, flashlights, and just reading books. If you were lucky you had batteries for a radio but there were no rechargeable batteries back then and the regular batteries cost a bit of money.
You could easily go through a few sets before the power came back on. Of course, if you wanted to choose your music you were stuck using a boombox that took 6-8 D Cell batteries and that meant just 8-12 hours of music. Not cheap tunes.
Now we live in an amazing world where we can just buy a power center, some rechargable batteries, and a few cheap electronics and have all the entertainment and music we want or even a computer with an internet connection! It is not too hard to set up your cell phone to be a Wi-Fi Hot Spot for your tablet or lap top. Heck with some of the larger Jackery power centers you could run a desk top if you wanted to!
All this is a far cry from what was available in the 80s and 90s regardless of where you were located or your financial resources.
My point is that even a little bit of backup power means a lot during any event where power outages are an issue.
Sometimes you just want to party a little bit. Jackery allows for easy tailgating and parties in the great outdoors.
Let’s face it. While some of us don’t really mind just getting out in the great outdoors without all the gadgets or things that take electricity, some people are easier to get to go places if they have a few amenities.
Jackery power centers are a great gift for those that like to tailgate at games or concerts. If you like a good music festival sometimes then a power center probably makes a lot of sense. While I am not the type to go to a 3-day music festival, I know plenty of people that like to do that type of thing at least a few times a summer.
Trade shows that are work related or anywhere that you might want to set up a booth to sell things are all times where some portable power might be nice to have. A lot of homesteaders and preppers have side gig businesses or they have businesses where they need to be out there weekly selling produce and items they produce at home. Some places charge you if you choose to have power at a booth but there are no rules about bringing your own. In a situation like that, your power center may pay for itself sooner rather than later.
It gets really hot in the South where I live. If I had to sit out and sell things at a tailgate market or similar, it would be awful nice to have at least enough power for a few fans to keep the bugs off the produce and provide some relief from the heat to both myself and any customers or potential customers that happen to wander on by.
So how does the Jackery compare to other power centers?
The only other brand of power center we own is a Goal Zero Yeti 400. It is a lead-acid battery version rather than lithium. This means it is a lot heavier. To be fair they offer a lithium version that is comparable to the Jackery. My problem is that it costs substantially more and I don’t think it is worth the added expense. On the other hand, there are plenty of other brands of power centers out there that are less expensive than the Jackery but I have never tested those out and I am suspicious of a lot of the reviews on Amazon for off-brand products made by companies that don’t specialize in power centers.
I am not saying that a company that makes a ton of other products cannot make a good back up power center but I do think that it is work likely that you will get a quality product that lasts for many years to come without causing you too many headaches if you go with a company that specializes in a specific type of product.
What back up power center options do you use? Have you had a poor experience or a great experience with any particular brand or model?