It never fails. Every time we go camping, within a day or two our cell phones are dead, and we find ourselves running the car engine or driving around aimlessly so we can charge our phones. As much as we enjoy a break from technology, we still want to be able to check in with the dog sitter or look up directions to a trailhead, and you can’t do that with a dead phone. And it’s not just cell phones you might want to charge on your adventures – many of us carry GPS units and personal locator beacons on the trail these days, and they won’t do you any good if they run out of juice. Enter the SunJack 14W+8000mAh Battery solar charger.
The Sunjack is a comprehensive system that comes with a solar panel, battery pack, and two fast-charge USB cables. Everything is contained in one durable unit for ease of portability. The solar panels fold up into a self-contained, book-sized case, and the attached mesh pocket holds the battery pack and cables. I love how simple but effective the case is, keeping everything together but easily accessible.
To use the Sunjack, you unfold the solar panels and place in direct sunlight. Inside the mesh pocket, you connect the battery pack or your USB device to the solar panels via the built in USB ports and wait while the magic of the sun charges your gear. In full sunlight, the battery pack will fully charge in 5 hours.
You can charge your devices directly from the panel, or if the sun isn’t out, use the battery to charge your device, then recharge the battery when conditions improve. You can also charge the battery pack via a wall charger before you head out, so you’ll have plenty of options for power once you’re on the trail. 14 watts means your gear will charge quickly, even in less than ideal sunlight.
The Sunjack 14W+8000mAh Battery holds enough of a charge to power 4 cell phones or 1 tablet on a single charge. It weighs in at just over 2 lbs, which might be a bit much for a long backpacking trip, but is perfect for car camping or shorter excursions. Sunjack has other models available with more or less power capacity and weights, depending on your needs.
If you don’t want to sit around camp all day waiting for your equipment to charge, you can use the two provided carabiners to attach the panel to your pack and charge as you hike. The case has numerous loops so you can play around with the configuration and find what’s most comfortable for you. I found the addition of a third carabiner at the top helped to keep the panels from hanging too low on my day pack, and once it was on I pretty much forgot it was there.
And like all good camping gear, the Sunjack 14W+8000mAh Battery doubles as a great emergency preparedness tool. Being able to easily charge your cell phone, rechargeable flashlights, or any other electronic device is a huge boon when the power goes out for prolonged periods.
If you’re looking for a convenient and reliable solar charging option, the Sunjack 14W+8000mAh Battery is a powerful, well-designed solution for keeping your electronics charged no matter where you are.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Sunjack 14W+8000mAh Battery for free from GigaWatt Inc. in consideration for a gear review