My Infatuation With Jackery Portable Power Stations
It began like any other purchase. I begin the research, let it sit, further research, and eventually, I filter out the inferior products and buy the best in quality that I can afford, at least for the larger ticket items.
That, however, didn't quite work out with my Jackery obsession. I first bought a 160 model, which is a small, easily packable 160-watt unit, very light and portable, and very capable for day trips.
My wife and I at a Cape Cod Beach. My Jackery 160 (between us on the table) powers the ambient lights, music, and phones. A fantastic evening of star-gazing I might add.
Next was a 290 (290 Watt Model), which was purchased at Harbor Freight in Sacramento, CA just after landing from CT and before heading to Yosemite NP. That was needed to charge my camera batteries while at Curry Village. Most of the tents there don't have outlets. You can watch that here:
Yosemite Ep. 1 (this will bring you to the scene where we visit Harbor Freight)
That makes two Jackeries. Sometime later, my wife needed a power solution while at a Farmer's Market for her Kombucha business. So I gave her the 290 which can power her POS system, iPad, two USB fans, and whatever else she throws at it.
My wife's 290 Jackery at a Farmer's Market
Well heck, I can't take it back now, she loves it. Awe geez, I'll have to buy a replacement. Meet the Jackery 300, works quite handy for camping off the grid and gives me additional power beyond my camping trailer's batteries.
A New Collaboration Some time afterward, Jackery discovered me on YouTube and inquired about interviewing me for a new marketing program they call "Jackery Stories".
Even as a smaller channel, I get plenty of offers from all sorts of companies. I kindly turn down 95% of them, especially if I don't use their products, or don't see my viewers having much interest in them.
Jackery was not one of those companies. I use and love their products. So we made arrangements and interviewed via Zoom, which they published soon afterward. You can read that here:
During this time, I discovered Jackery's new line of portable generators, the PLUS series. Meet the 300 Plus. Yeap, if you're counting, that now makes 4 Jackery's if you include my wife's 290. Well, hot dang, I'm all "Jacked up".
The Plus series uses LifePo4 batteries or Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. They are the safest, of all the Lithium chemistry batteries on the market, and they have a fantastic recharge life cycle that can sometimes double that of other types of Lithium Batteries.
Furthermore, the built-in display now comes in color, is much easier to read, and gives a bit more vital information like how much time till discharged. The handle is collapsible with a flat top. Convenient for books, phones, etc. Although I'd love to see Jackery integrate a wireless qi charger. You can now also wirelessly connect your smartphone for remote operation. I'm a sucker for these sorts of things, I guess I just like the tech.
The newer Plus series uses LifePo4 Batteries which double the recharge cycles of the Pro series.
Later that year, Jackery asked me to do a livestream. I was on board. I wasn't aware they had planned on flying Kevin, from California to my house in CT. Yeah, you heard right. And that's exactly how it went down. My good friend Sam Carr stopped by and did all the fun work, flying drones, recording video, stills, etc. - Thanks Sam!
After setting up my camper in my driveway, we went live and gave away two Jackery 300s for Christmas. Kevin also brought with him, their new 100W Plus.
HANG ON! I said Kevin brought with him a 100 Plus. What I did not mention, is he flew carry-on with the 100 Plus. Batteries under 100 watts, in most cases, can be carried on! Hello! A Jackery Portable Battery reporting for flight duty! I'll take it!
The 100 Plus has to be the coolest little portable battery pack I've ever seen!
Where was I? Oh yeah, the new 100 Plus... OMG, so freakin cute, I wanted one and it just so happens Kevin planned to give me this one! Have you ever seen someone get so excited over a battery? If you're counting... #5
Now with two Jackery collaborations, I began realizing the Jackery Stories were really about getting to know their customers better. Honestly, you can't say that about many larger companies, I mean, yes, they want to sell more units, of course, but to fly one of their marketing guys (Kevin) across the country for two live streams? That's impressive.
Kevin told me, "Mark, this is all about you", and I paraphrase, you can plug whatever you'd like, say whatever you feel. There was no contractual agreement where I couldn't say this, or couldn't say that. It was more like setting up with a friend for a live stream and pressing record. Needless to say, I have respect for the company and I hope they continue to focus their efforts by putting their customers first and listening to our needs. So far, so good.
Jackery compensated me for the time and I couldn't help putting it towards a Jackery 1000 Plus - that's a pretty big boy I might add, I purchased an additional 100W SolarSaga Panel so now I own two, and two or more are recommended for the 1000 plus. Have you lost count? That makes a half dozen, sixfold, a sextet of Jackery's in charging harmony. 🤪
WTH is wrong with me, do I need all of these? Well, not really, but it sure is nice how it all worked out. It wasn't planned that way. The 1000 Plus is really where I wanted to take my portable generator needs. If I were to do it again, I would first buy the 1000 Plus, then perhaps purchase the little bugger, the 100 Plus and that would make for a nice duo.
The 1000 Plus is nearly perfect for my camping needs. I can now power Kitchen appliances (it has a 2000-watt AC converter!) which will earn me points if my wife is camping with me, or I can have plenty of extra power for my MacBook Pro when video editing if I'm solo camping. The 300 Plus does well but my Macbook will chew through when I'm feeling inspired - we're talking hours of video editing here.
The 100 Plus would then be used for charging my phone, wearables, perhaps ambient tent lighting and such. This configuration frees up my two 100Ah Trailer Batteries so they can strictly be used for the fridge, a little TV at night, lighting, and other onboard camper utilities, internet, water pump, roof fan, etc.
The 1000 Plus has plenty of power to handle activities throughout the day. Blow-up beds, streaming music, charging drone batteries, camera batteries, fans, and even charging the 100 Plus if needed.
One last thing. I should mention that my Jackery 1000 Plus has been powering my MacBook Pro while writing this blog. There's nothing like testing out your new gear at home, silent, stable power, solar charged. Who knows, perhaps my electric bill will reward me.
In a nutshell, these are the future of outdoor generators. While I have nothing against gas generators, other than the noise they emit while camping, these are simple and clean to use, they can be recharged via the sun, your car's 12V Socket, or an AC Outlet, and furthermore, they can be used in, and outdoors with no worrying about hazardous fumes.