Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro review: A bigger, better portable power station
A little extra weight. A lot of extra power.
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The Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro Portable Power Station is the company’s largest and most versatile solar-compatible generator yet. Its massive storage capacity, durable build quality, and user-friendly experience make it easy to rely on for mobile or backup power. At $2,299 for the base unit and $3,599 to $6,199 for various packages with up to six solar panels, it’s a major expense. That said, having tested the Explorer 2000 Pro extensively, as well as a range of other solar generators, it’s clearly worth the investment if you need lots of portable, reliable power.
What is the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro?
The Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro is a 2,160-watt-hour (Wh) power station capable of producing 2,200W of AC power, with peaks up to 4,400W. That’s a lot of power. To translate that into real-world situations, it’s enough juice to keep an efficient car fridge running for 2-3 days, or power a full-sized house fridge for nearly a day.
Jackery markets the Explorer 2000 Pro as a sort of power-all solution for camping, overlanding, or home use, and I’d say that it suits each of these well. While it might be a little bit oversized for short weekend camping trips, it’s a great power station for longer trips or vanlifing. It’s also a solid option for at home when the power goes out.
The Explorer 2000 Pro is equipped with four core temperature detectors and dual battery protection to ensure that it doesn’t overheat, which is essential for a product that will often be sitting in the sun or in a hot vehicle with thousands of watts flowing through it. It comes with all the cables and adapters necessary to operate it in pretty much any circumstance. It offers a comprehensive range of ports, including three 120V AC outputs, two USB-A Quick Charge 3.0 ports (18W max output), two USB-C ports (100W max, up to 5A), and a 12V car port output. It’s more than enough for most portable setups.
The Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro is brand new, so I haven’t had the opportunity to push it to its limits yet. After using the smaller Explorer 1500 edition extensively, however, I can say that the Explorer 2000 Pro’s 2,160Wh capacity is an enormous upgrade. On a full charge, it’s enough to power my live-in van setup for 2-3 days uninterrupted without recharging. My rig is equipped with a high-efficiency fridge, lights, a fan, laptop, and a few other random devices. With that much power, I can live more comfortably on the road than with any other generator I’ve tried. (And I’ve tried a lot).
Charging the Explorer 2000 Pro
Charging the Explorer 2000 Pro from empty to full takes between 2-2.5 hours if plugged into the wall or receiving full sun via its expanded, six-panel solar generator setup. That’s really fast for a battery this big. By contrast, the Explorer 1500—PopSci’s former top solar generator pick, which could only use a four-panel setup—takes twice as long to charge a smaller battery.
The combination of massive power storage and such rapid charging time is very impressive. One of the most challenging things about using a portable solar generator on a road trip involves the constant need to top it off. Being able to plug in and power up within a couple of hours is a major improvement. For the sake of comparison, the older Explorer 1500 model took twice as long to accumulate 3/4ths as much juice.
To charge the Explorer 2000 Pro using solar power, you’ll also need solar panels. Jackery sells packages pairing the generator with two, four, or six of its 200W 18V SolarSaga panels, though you can also connect your own if you have panels from another generator.
More panels, more portability problems
Comparatively speaking, the Explorer 2000 Pro is also surprisingly portable. At 43 pounds—roughly the same weight as a car battery—it’s only 8 pounds heavier than the Explorer 1500 and not all that difficult to move around a campsite or lift in and out of a van. The 2000 boasts a retractable handle, which makes it easy to lug around when you have to. Its cube shape is easy to fit into a van, RV, or storage space. While a moveable handle is potentially easier to break than a fixed one, the more packable shape is worth the risk. The raised, fixed handle on the 1500 always made it a little tricky to fit into a jam-packed van.
The solar panels, on the other hand, can get a bit unwieldy in some situations. Using six 200W panels delivers incredibly fast charging but deploying all six feels somewhat frustrating. Each individual unit is made up of four foldable square sections, and these need to be unfolded, positioned, and angled for the sun … then adjusted as the sun moves. If that’s a small task with a couple of Jackery’s more petite, 2-segment, 100W panels, it becomes a chore with six sprawling panels. Likewise, each panel is light on its own, but the weight stacks up when you’re unloading them.
If you’re going to camp in one place with a large truck or an RV, it won’t be difficult to pack so many panels. Likewise, if you’re using the Explorer 2000 Pro as backup emergency power at home or on a job site. But for vanlifers or “overlanders”—who are picking up and moving constantly and are arguably the people who most seek out portable solar generators—it might be too much hassle. Even though your charge time will go up, you may find yourself using fewer panels to make things easier on yourself.
So, who is the Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro for?
The Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro is an incredibly versatile portable power station/solar generator. If you need a lot of compact current, it will work wonders for you. Given its size—portable for a generator, but still over 40 pounds—it makes more sense for vanlifers, road trippers, and long-term campers than for your average camping trip (unless you really expect to recharge your phone 260 times). It’s also a great option for backup power for people who live in blackout-prone areas or on an off-grid worksite. While the full six solar panel setup might prove unwieldy and dissuade you from maximizing its hyper-fast recharge time, it’s still the easiest, most powerful solar generator we’ve tried.