Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro solar generator review: Bigger and better
This powerful portable power station has enough juice to keep you comfortable off the grid.
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The Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro takes the brand’s already outstanding portable power platform and expands it to offer greater capacity and more useful features. With one of the industry’s best capacity-to-mobility ratios, it makes its 3,024 watt-hours of juice supremely simple to lug around, meaning it is a perfect choice for your van-life conversion, RV, home emergency backup, or off-grid worksite. It certainly isn’t cheap—on its own, the base unit goes for a hefty $2,799, while the solar generator package that includes two of the company’s SolarSaga 200W panels brings the total up to $3,999. If you’re in the market for the utmost in portable power, however, it’s worth every penny.
What is the Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro?
The Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro is a 3,024Wh portable power station with an output of 3,000W and a surge potential of 6,000W. Simply put, that’s huge—enough to keep a full-sized efficiency fridge operating for several days or to charge the average phone more than 100 times.
Some brands gear their portable power stations toward home backup power while others lean more toward mobile uses like van conversions or RVs, but the Jackery 3000 Pro is well suited for both situations. At just shy of 64 pounds, it’s a bit heavy to pick up and lug, but wheels and an extending handle make it easy to move around. Plus, sturdy handles are integrated into the case to give a solid grip when lifting it.
In terms of ports, it offers four AC 20A max outputs and one AC 25A max output, two USB-C and two USB-A outputs, and a 12V car plug. That’s plenty of plug options for any average user. It can be controlled and monitored via smartphone app, and its operation is whisper-quiet and safe thanks to its quiet canyon nine-sensor cooling system and upgraded Battery Management System with 12 forms of protection.
I’ve extensively tested both the Jackery 1500 and Explorer 2000 Pro, having built two different van conversions around them, and I can tell you that the 3,000+ Wh capacity is a game-changer. I’m planning a summer of road trips now, and I know from experience that the 3000 Pro will power my setup—fridge, lights, laptop, and a few other devices—for a week between charges, likely with room left over to top off my ebike.
Charging the Jackery 3000 Pro
The Jackery 3000 Pro charges quickly, which is essential given its capacity. When plugged into the wall, it takes about 2.4 hours—the same speed as most power stations two-thirds its size—and with its full solar panel setup properly leveraged (more on that in a moment), it will take between 3-4 hours. Realistically, however, you’ll run a pared-down solar array in less-than-ideal sun conditions, meaning it can take more like 8-10+ hours.
Getting the most out of the 3000 Pro’s solar charging capabilities requires three things: six of the company’s 200W panels, unobstructed sun, and the understanding of how to position the panels best to make use of the sun. You likely won’t have either of the first two, while the last part comes with tinkering and experience. Jackery’s 200W panels are prohibitively pricey, clocking in at $699 each. And while they work great once they’re in place, their four-panel foldout design can be a bit of a pain to get standing—and they love to fall down, especially in the wind. I wouldn’t want to mess around with trying to set up six of the things in any case.
More likely you’ll be using one or two of the 200W panels or a smattering of 100W alternatives. While that doesn’t necessarily translate into rapid charging, leaving the Jackery in place all day will do the job. And if you’re van-lifing, you’ll be less concerned with charging it up all the way than continually charging up a bit as you go.
That two-buck-fifty wall charging time is lightning fast by any standard. If you need to fill up on electro-juice while on the road, stop off for a long cup of coffee and plug in like you would a laptop.
Is the Jackery 3000 Pro portable or not?
I suspect that the biggest question many potential buyers will be mulling involves portability. The Jackery 3000 Pro isn’t exactly lightweight, but its clever suitcase design makes it very portable. For how much capacity it offers, it’s not actually all that heavy—only about 30% heavier than the Jackery half its capacity. About the size of two stacked shoeboxes, it doesn’t eat up a lot of space. And as I mentioned above, its wheels, extending tow handle, and integrated handles make it easy to move around. On top of all that, its perfectly boxed design with no protruding parts makes it a snap to fit into any camper setup. Its lack of protrusions prevents it from getting caught up as you move it in and out of storage.
Less convenient is the SolarSaga 200W, which is a bit unwieldy to deploy as it takes time to get them unfurled and free-standing. There’s not much getting around that, however. The only alternative is to use the smaller SolarSaga 100s, which are easier to set up but require more panels or time in the sun to collect the same amount of wattage. You’ll have to decide which of those slight inconveniences you prefer.
All in all, the Jackery 3000 Pro is one of the best high-capacity solar generators available. I, for one, look forward to including it in my next van build.
So, who should buy the Jackery 3000 Pro?
All that capacity and its supreme portability make the Jackery 3000 Pro a great choice for virtually any mobile power needs. It might be more than a low-tech tent camper needs, but for vans or RVs, it’s an outstanding option by every metric. Its high capacity and wattage output also make it a solid choice for home backup power or anyone who frequently requires off-grid electrification for power tools or other equipment. If you need lots of power on the go, the Jackery 3000 Pro is arguably the most reliable, portable, and user-friendly station we’ve seen.