Over the summer, we’re finally going to unpack the tent and take it out on its first Canadian trip. As a relative camping novice, Stewart expressed concern a few weeks ago when he had the sudden realisation that there would be absolutely no way at all to charge his iPhone or GoPro whilst sitting in a tent. Both of these eat battery like he eats pizza, so to make sure we capture the trip we needed a solution. As it turns out there is a way of charging these devices, which is where our awesome new bit of tech, the SunJack 14W+8000mAH Battery, aka an amazing solar powered charger, comes in!
The SunJack charges phones, tablets, cameras or anything else that charges via USB, as well as its own removable battery, using just the power of the sun. Not only can it charge your devices directly, but the battery enables you to keep your devices powered even after the sun has gone down for the day.
The cool thing about the SunJack is that you’re basically carrying around a miniature solar farm in your backpack. When folded up, it’s not much bigger than an iPad, but opening up the pack reveals 4 solar panels ready to get down to business. On the reverse of one of the panels, is a meshed zip-up pocket where you’ll find two USB ports – you can use just the one, or you can use both at the same time to charge any combination of the SunJack battery, smartphones, cameras or other USB connected devices – and two carabiners.
You can attach the carabiners to loops on either end of the unfolded solar panels, meaning you can securely hang the SunJack from a variety of places, whether on the go from your backpack, or on the outside of your tent whilst you relax.
Putting it to the test
Whilst we’ve yet to take the SunJack camping or on a proper adventure, we have been trying it out in our day to day lives. It spends its days sunbathing on the patio chairs on our balcony. Yes, you really can sunbathe in Canada.
With no choice but to sit there charging its battery once we’ve secured it to the chairs with the carabiners, the SunJack’s battery will have enough charge to fully recharge our iPhones the following two evenings. In fact, we’ve not had to charge our phones from a wall socket since the SunJack has been in our lives. We’ll be gutted if we don’t see a reduction in our electricity bill next month!
It is incredibly easy to use. Either attach the battery or your device to one of the two USB ports, unfold the SunJack so that the panels are exposed to sunlight, and the battery or devices will begin to charge. The charge of the SunJack’s battery is indicated by a five light display panel. In full sunlight it takes 5 hours to fully charge the battery.
The SunJack works best when the panels are directly exposed to sunlight on a bright, sunny day. Its performance is reduced when charging through glass or in the shade.
To charge a device from the SunJack’s battery, just connect the battery to your device via its USB cable, push the ‘on’ button on the battery, and enjoy the sun’s energy!
It really is easy to carry around too. When folded-up, the tablet-sized SunJack easily slips into a backpack. It’s not heavy either, weighing in at 0.8 kg with the battery included. Being portable and lightweight, the SunJack makes for a really great solution when travelling.
Our final thoughts
We can’t wait to use the convenience of the SunJack when we go on our camping trips this summer. It is going to save time, and prevent the hassle and worry of finding somewhere to charge our devices.
The SunJack costs US $150 and is available directly from SunJack’s website.
It is a pricey product, but ultimately its convenience will pay for itself, plus it’s good for the environment!
Stewart and Emma
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the SunJack 14W+8000mAh Battery for free from SunJack in consideration for a gear review. As always, our opinions are entirely our own and we would highly recommend SunJack.