August 24, 2021
The Jackery Battery Is Cheaper Than Goal Zero: But Does it Work?
Big external batteries don’t need an argument in their favor, right? By now, we know all too well about power outages, preventive electrical shutdowns, evacuations, floods, fire, and the like, all of which make backup power part of home life as well as camping life. In the outdoor space, Goal Zero has been the dominant, or at least most visible, player of the last decade, and while their stuff is flashy (lime green FTW!), it’s also expensive. Goal Zero batteries cost from $1.30 to $1.50 per watt-hour. The popular GZ Yeti 500X will set you back $700, or $1.40 per Wh.
Goal Zero is no longer the only name brand in portable power storage, though. Anker makes a wide range of batteries, Ecoflow offers ultra-fast-charging units, and Jackery is starting to make waves, too. All of them offer storage around $1.00 per watt-hour and that’s exactly the rate on our choice, the Jackery 1000.
The 1000 stores, yes, 1000Wh at a cost of $1,000, at 46.4 amps, with a max output of 1000 watts. It weighs 22 pounds and is plenty small enough to fit behind a car seat or haul around camp (12 x 8.5 x 8 inches). It has three AC outlets, four USB outlets, and one 12V outlet. Jackery estimates you can get 100 phone charges or 17 hours with an electric cooler. I recently used it camping and over three days running my Dometic fridge and topping off a few phones, we still had 20 percent capacity on Sunday noon when we broke camp. On the four-hour drive home, we charged the Jackery from the car’s 12V outlet and the fridge from the Jackery; upon arrival at home, we had 65 percent.
Of course, you can charge the Jackery with solar panels and I can heartedly recommend Jackery’s own. The price of their 100W panel is $300 (compared to Goal Zero’s at $400); I mated my unit with two Jackery panels and filled the battery from zero to full in about eight and a half hours, just a bit more than the brand claims.
$1,600 is a lot of beans, but living in the West, where everywhere is wildfire country, having a backup seems like baseline resilience. That the Jackery and its panels are also ideal for camping is a bonus-one that I’ll happily take.
– Steve Casimiro