Thursday, July 21, 2016

Gear Review: SunJack 14W+8000mAh Solar Charger & Battery

Folded up, the portable SunJack 14W+8000mAh Battery attaches to a backpack with ease.

Harnessing energy is awesome! The power of the sun gave strength to Superman, so why not use solar energy for our own transportable power in the backcountry? For years I have used my cell phone, GPS unit, and other electronics in the field and have needed to rely on battery power alone. More than once, I ran out of juice and it was tiresome. I needed a reliable source of power, and that is where SunJack comes in. I was given the opportunity to field test the SunJack 14W+8000mAh Battery for the past few weeks and living in an area with the sun shining all day long, I figured it was one I could not pass up. This is a solar charger and it comes with a rechargeable battery.

Unfolding the SunJack 14W is simple.

The SunJack zippered compartment holds the battery, carabiners and a little room left over.

Here is what came in the box:

  •     SUNJACK Portable Solar Charger with USB output port
  •     SUNJACK Fast-Charge Battery Pack
  •     SUNJACK Fast-Charge Cable
  •     SUNJACK Carabiners (2)
  •     Quickstart Guide
The website description states: Every SunJack provides wall outlet charging speeds in direct sun, and can charge a smartphone in just 90 minutes.

14W + 8000mAh Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Battery - Ideal for the typical phone or tablet user. Fully charges SunJack battery in five hours of direct sun and holds enough juice for 4 smartphones or 1 tablet.
One of the things that intrigued me about the SunJack was the battery pack that comes with it. I found that the SunJack was actually more efficient that the website claims. That's a good thing! In fact, the first time I set the solar panels out, it was cloudy. The battery pack charged in nearly 6 hours. On a cloudy day in SoCal (there are a few), the battery charged and that was a good thing. We don't usually see many cloudy days, but they do come around from time to time. In full, direct sunlight the battery pack charges in just under five hours.

Usually, when I am hunting, I don't need to charge my phone until later in the day or evening after my hunt. When I charged the battery full a second time, I disconnected the battery and it sat for a few hours as I wanted to be sure it wouldn't lose the charge. It held a full charge for hours and then I plugged in my nearly dead iPhone. I was able to charge my phone and my wife's phone on one battery charge with plenty of power to spare. What impressed me even more was how quickly they charged up. The phones charged in just over an hour. That's from being near fully drained of power. Impressive!

There is also a built-in flashlight that works very well in a pinch. I didn't use it that often, but it's a great little added feature that can come in handy in the woods.

Here I charged the SunJack battery and my Action Cam at the same time.

There are two different USB ports that you can use at the same time. I attempted to charge up my Action Cam and the SunJack battery at the same time. I loved being able to charge two things at once, but that was short-lived. The issue with this is that you MUST keep the solar panels facing directly into the sun at all times, and it works much better when the sun is strongest. One of my tests was to try and charge the battery and my Action Cam in the evening. The sun was strong, so I connected both units and left them out for two hours. The battery charged some and the Action Cam only charged a quarter battery life. At first I was disappointed, but I figured out that at that time of day, you may not get a full charge. Plus, once I connected the battery to the Action Cam, it charged to full in less than 45 minutes with plenty of charge power left. The battery is where it's at! You can also charge up other battery units with the SunJack, which is another plus.

The claims for charging four smart phones or one tablet are pretty much right on. I charged four smart phones on one battery charge and still had a bit of power left over. I also charged up my daughter's Kindle from 10% to 100%, all while she was still using it, and I still had a quarter of the power left in the battery. I used that to charge my phone to full. Again, charging up the battery is the key, in my opinion.

Unfolded SunJack attached to my pack.
The SunJack takes up some real estate, but soaks up solar energy quite well.

The physical size and weight is not going to be for the ultralight backpacker, but for a hunter it should be no problem. The entire set up weighs nearly two pounds, but if you are planning on being in the backcountry for more than a day, it would be well worth packing to have power. Unfolded, it is REALLY long (31"), and while you can keep it on your backpack while hiking, I am not sure I would do that regularly because of the movement and also the need for direct sunlight. I would be afraid of sun glare for the folks behind you, or the solar panels being damaged. I am going to test out folding the panels in half, from four to two, and see if that works to charge the battery while I am hiking.

The unit is very rugged and took a beating. I dropped it, tossed it, and stood up to the torture. Everything is built well, too. The case and all is structurally sound and the zipper pocket works great.

I also wanted to mention that SunJack has a Full 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, which means if for any reason you are not satisfied, contact them and they'll take care of you.

Overall, I was pleased with the performance and usefulness of the entire kit. Would I recommend it to my fellow outdoorsmen and women? Not only would I recommend it, I highly encourage you to pick one up. The SunJack 14W+8000mAh Solar Charger and Battery retails for $150.00 and that's a reasonable price for what you get and how well it functions. I am considering an extra battery, too. The extra battery is $30 and would give my just a bit more power. That way I can have one fully charged BEFORE I hunt, just in case there isn't much sun on any given day. These are great for hunting, fishing, camping, and any other excursion outdoors where you need battery power. As always, if you have any questions, please leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading!

Want to buy?SunJack has offered my readers a 15% discount on anything in their online store
Just use the code " SoCalBowhunter " at check out! 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the SunJack 14W+8000mAh Battery for free from SunJack in consideration for a gear review. The reviews on The SoCal Bowhunter are solely my honest opinions. I receive no monetary compensation in exchange for these reviews.  All content © The SoCal Bowhunter. No reproduction, in any form, w/o explicit written permission.

1 comment:

  1. Good write up. That thing is LOOOOOOOOOOONG, you would have to fold it in half to be able to carry it in the field. I like that you said they are very well built and tough, it needs to be before throwing it in a pack. Going to give them a very close look. Thanks for the write up.