Gear Review: SunJack Portable Solar Charger

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With our reliance on portable electronics, a huge concern is what will we do when the power is out and our batteries are dead?

This is true not only for our phones which provide a vital link to the outside world, but for our tablets, and electronic readers, too.  Think about it.  We all have hundreds if not thousands of documents that will help us muddle through if the grid goes down.  Barring printing them out and setting up a massive library system, we will be stuck unless we have some way to power up our gizmos.

Enter the SunJack Portable Solar Charger which will not only charge up and power your devices, it will also store reserve power in a battery pack.

Sunjack Solar Charger Review

Today I am posting a brief review plus, as always, am giving you an opportunity to win the SunJack Portable Solar Charger and a the companion Camplight LED Bulb for free.  More about the giveaway in a moment because first I want to tell you about the SunJack itself and how it works.

SunJack Portable Solar Charger – The Basics

The SunJack consists of a fold-up set of solar charging panels nicely packaged in a compact case that has a zippered mesh pocket for holding the included battery, charging cable, and two USB ports.  Closed up, it measures about 9” by 6.5” which is smaller than my iPad.  It comes with an external battery pack that once charged, can be carried in a pocket or backpack to provide portable power on the go.  Or, if you like, you can connect your devices directly to the panels themselves.

sunjack compact

This means that with a fully charged battery pack and some sun, you could effectively power or charge four devices at once, 2 on the battery and 2 on a direct connect to the panel.  I can not imagine the need to charge more devices than 4 but extra battery packs are available for a very reasonable price.

As you can see in the photo below, the SunJack comes with built in hooks as well as some carabiner clips so that you can hang the SunJack to face the sun in the most optimal manner.  I hung the panel vertically but there are hooks on all sides so you can choose the method that works best for you.

sunjack hanging on hook 250

So why am I so crazy about the SunJack?  One of the reasons is that the instructions were a single sided sheet of paper measuring 8.5” x 5.5”.  It was titled “Quick Start Guide” and included everything I needed to use the SunJack.  Not once did I get confused or need to go online to get additional operating instructions.  To me, a very detail oriented person that likes to do things the right way, this was huge.

The Nifty Camplight LED Bulb

The 4 watt Camplight LED Bulb is equally impressive.  Plugged into the USB port on the battery, it gave off a respectable amount of light.  Of course you could also plug it in to any USB source including a wall outlet or even your laptop.

sunjack camplight

It has a hook at the top plus a long, 7 foot cord which will give you lots of options for placing the Camplight exactly where you want it.

Extra Credit

I thought I would mention that in addition to charging my old cell phone any my brand new, one day old iPhone, the SunJack charged an iPad, iPad Mini, Sony Reader, Nikon camera, and perhaps best of all, a Goal Zero Guide 10 battery charger for AA batteries.

sunjack-iphone-ipad

I could not get a decent photo of my electronics charging since, logically, there was too much glare.  The photo above is from the SunJack website where you will also find additional technical information about the SunJack.

This graphic, also from the SunJack website, says it all:

chargetime

Although it is always best to have full sun available when charging a solar device, most, including the SunJack, will charge up in the shade, but the time it takes will be considerable longer.  Still, with our NW skies, this is good to know.

A nice feature of the SunJack battery is that it has 5 very bright blue LEDs on the front that tell you the charging status of the battery.  Each of the LEDs represents 20% of the battery capacity so when they are all lit, the battery is at 100% capacity.

Something else I want to mention is that the SunJack battery has a built in LED that can be turned on and used as a flashlight.  A single LED is not expansive enough to light up a room – that is what the Camplight is for – but it is bright enough to help you find your way around a dark room or, if you are like me, find the treasures hidden in the bottom of your pack.

The last thing, for now, is to remind you that it is always a good idea to pick up some extra cables for your devices.  I have extra cables for my phone, iPad, and eBook reader and like to keep them stashed where I can get to them in an emergency.  For example, I keep a set in my bug-out-kit and now, I have put a set in the mesh pouch of the SunJack.  Just be sure that since so many cables that look alike these days, you tag them with a label.

How to Enter the SunJack Giveaway – The Rules

This is the part you have been waiting for!

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is to select one or more of the options on the Rafflecopter form below.  You can sign in with your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.  The best way to start is by clicking on “Easy Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

Please note that the winning item can be shipped anywhere – there are no restrictions.  Is SunJack a great company or what?

The giveaway will end at 6PM on Thursday, September 11 and the winner will be notified by email on or before September 13.  Note that the winning entry will be verified and the winner will have 48 hours to respond.

The “Rafflecopter”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Final Word

When it comes to my stuff, I prefer to use gear and electronic devices that simply work.  All the better if you don’t need to consult a manual or your teenaged neighbor for  help.

The packaging, the usability and flexibility of the SunJack Solar Power Charger is impressive. At 2 pounds, it is light enough to carry in a backpack and gives new meaning to good things come in small packages.  As a matter of fact, I was so very excited about the SunJack that fifteen minutes into unpacking and setting it up, I said to Shelly “Wow!  This is the greatest thing since sliced bread!”.  Can you believe I really said that?

I love SunJack and you will too.  Be sure to enter the giveaway to win one for free!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

If you enjoyed this article and this giveaway, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!

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Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items mentioned in today’s article.

SunJack Portable Solar Charger:  SunJack® helps mobile users stay charged on the go anywhere the sun shines. The SunJack® is able to fully charge its internal battery pack in about 5 hours of direct sunlight, or directly power any USB device. When the sun isn’t shining, users can still energize their devices from the powerful SunJack® battery, which holds enough charge to power up to 4 iPhones.

SunJack CampLight USB Bulb:  This 4 Watt USB LED light is bright and ultra portable at just over 3.5 ounces. It is highly durable – shatter, shock, and vibration resistant. Will fully illuminate a tent at night. Power it from any standard USB source – compatible with all USB wall plugs, USB batteries, and laptops.

SunJack 8000mAh UltraSlim Battery:  Super compact portable battery that has enough power for 4+ full iPhone charges at wall-outlet charging speeds. Compatible with all phones, tablets, and other USB devices.

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus USB Power Pack:  With the Guide 10 Plus Recharger you have a portable, rugged charging kit that will charge AA batteries from the sun or any USB port.  With the charged up batteries, you can also power your phone, MP3, GPS, or tablet.  Just to be clear, the Guide 10 Plus USB Power Pack can be charged by connecting it to any USB power source, including Goal Zero Nomad Solar Panels, a wall USB charger, or car USB charger.  And yes, it works with the SunJack!

AmazonBasics USB A to Lightning compatible Cable – Apple Certified: I have never had a failure with the cables from Amazon Basics.  Never.  They do cost a bit more than those cables you can get for a buck or two from China, but honestly, these work 100% of the time and are about half the cost of similar cables direct from Apple and other manufacturers.

Amazon Basics Cables:  Not everyone has an Apple device.  Here are some more cables from Amazon Basics.

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Comments

Gear Review: SunJack Portable Solar Charger — 289 Comments

  1. I would love to have one of these. We spend a lot of time camping without power and water while preparing for what may come. This would be great to help keep us up to date on the things happening while we are “in the backwoods”.

  2. This would be great to have to have access to all the information I have saved on my tablet about survival. Thanks for the offer.

  3. I have a ton of things I would charge like a kindle, ipad, cell phone, lap top, etc. This would be a handy thing to bring along on an extended trek. Just hang it off the back of your pack to pick up so solar rays!

  4. I would charge my phone, tablet that I store my books on and devices to keep the kids calm and busy. Awesome review super excited.

  5. Phone or Kindle. That’s a tough one. If satellites are down I would choose my phone but most of my survival books are digital. Food for thought!

  6. If I had this charger it would depend on what the emergency was. But, probably charge my Baofeng ham radio first, then my tablet. Radio for communications and tablet for the books on it. Then make sure the battery pack is fully charged so the light could be used at night.

  7. If I could charge anything in an emergency situation it would be either my daughters portable dvd player so I have a way to keep her entertained.

  8. I would love to have this for the emergencies that arise and for regular use in preparation for the big one! I remember when the tornado came through and knocked out power for 3 days and how handy it would have been.

  9. I would use this to power my weather radio, they broadcast for national emergencies besides just local weather hazards. I really REALLY hope I win this one!:)

  10. your blog entry had some good information for this rather low tech person. I would use this solar charger to keep my smart phone charged and ready for use no matter what what was going on.

  11. I have never used a laptop, cellphone or tablet or any solar type chargers for these electronics. I would love to experience all these gadgets – even once! If I win – I will hurry to learn how to use them all before SHTF. And this would be a blessing then.

  12. If limited to one item, that would have to be my iPad. Plenty of extra books and reading, camera feature for documenting storm damage, plus if we actually have internet, I can make phone calls from it.

  13. Very unique and I see the potential to keep emergency ham radio equipment such as the handy HT charged in an emergency and even a low power long range shortwave ham radio. When the stuff is in the fan, cell phones and all most likely will not work well if at all.

  14. IT would have to be our phones. As we are the “go to” place that would be critical for the family trying to get here to be able to stay in touch.

  15. I would maintain my radio! Will need to know how the “world” is surviving.
    I have NO chance of winning any giveaway on this site because I can not utilize pintrest, but I enjoy the product reviews and increase items on my wish list.

    • Peggy – Not true. Many of the winners have won based on the “Free for Everyone” entry. The selection is random. You still need to enter an email address though because if you do not, I have no way to contact you. Please do not be discouraged.

  16. If I had to choose just one device it would have to be my laptop to enable the retrieval of family information i.e. medication requirements, historic medical data, general documentation – drivers license, passport, house loan, credit cards. I also have lots of survival information, water purification, editable plants, food storage, recipes, first aid etc. Furthermore, if the internet was still up you could receive communication, news, weather, & warnings.

  17. If i could only charge 1 thing – it would be my old laptop that accesses all my survival info – LOL! Hope it works.

    Thank you very much for this contest & the chance to win!

  18. Well let’s see, my CCrane radio is already solar powered, so that’s taken care of. I don’t have a smart phone and usually leave my $10 Samsung turned off, so the power on that is good for the long term. My Blackberry Playbook is cranky at the best of times and in a power outage, would I have access to my server for email? Kind of doubt it. I also have copious hardcopy books available, so no need for a reading device. In my opinion, the best use of this device would be to keep the little LED lightbulb charged, to avoid stumbles in the night. That, at least, is affordable and I’ve added it to my wish list. Thanks for spotlighting another great product.

  19. If I could only charge one thing, it would be my Kindle. I have tons of survival books on there…first aid, cooking, etc. This would be a lifesaver!

  20. I would have to charge my ebook reader (Kindle) because that is where I keep copies of all my prepping books. If you want to stay alive long enough to use or continue using a cell phone it would help if you knew how! Get off the damn phone you idiots and read a book.

  21. Gaye, I appreciate your review of this product. I’ve been looking at many different types of solar charging products and this one definitely goes to the top of the list. Thank you for a great blog too. It’s not about all ‘doom and gloom’, but realistic. I can read your blog to the family and not get them all worked up, but still excited to prep. You have a great writing style. Thanks again.

  22. This is a great review. I would charge my kindle, it has a lot of eprep ebooks on there. Though I try to get print books whenever I can, there are so many free ebooks I just can’t pass up, it would be very sad to not be able to access them in an emergency.

  23. A solar changer would be very useful for living off grid or for power outage. I would use it to charge my iPad and iPod to communicate with others and access new and whether updates. Thank you for this opportunity, good luck everyone!

  24. I think the single most useful device for me to charge would be my phone. This is assuming that the telecommunications system was working.

  25. It depends on whether my family were with me. If not, I would charge my phone so I could text them & my out of state contacts. if so, I would charge my kindle ereader – copies of prepping books on my kindle. I have a hand crank radio for info.

    • Jess – New Zealand is one of my favorite places; I spent almost a month there is 2006. I am pleased that you noticed this giveaway is open to everyone, regardless of where they live!!

  26. Thanks for the review — I’ve been looking for this type of device and having your review for consideration is very helpful.

  27. If i could only charge one item it would be a tablet so i can see what is going on in the news and relax with music from the stress of apocalypse

  28. I am building out my library of prepper materials and ebooks to tablets and have been researching different charging options. Thank you for the great review.

  29. I would charge my spair 12 Volt Deep Cycle Battery than I could run just about anything with the inverter in my Motor home… Just saying…M… (EVIL ZJ)

  30. I would use it for my phone, but very importantly for my kindle so that I can access the volumes of informational books and documents I have…for every possible situation.

  31. my Kindle Fire, can’t beat the wealth of information it contains with all the books…PS Thanks and keep he free ones coming!

  32. I would charge my phone. I bought a farm in southern Virginia and we have a lot of electrical outages during storms and there is virtually no phone access. This would be a great asset.

  33. While charging a tablet or phone would be great, I’d love to have it to charge rechargeable batteries, like AAs, so I could use other, larger devices. How sturdy is it?

  34. I hope I could use it to charge my Kindle. My cell phone is so old it doesn’t have a USB port so I doubt I could use this for my phone.

  35. I would charge my ham radio. Cell phones have not worked in any disaster I have been in. Usually because of too many people using their phones and jamming the system.

  36. I have a LOT of information on my Kindle reader – much of it downloaded from suggestions found on Backdoor Survival as well as a lot of stuff on Pinterest. In an extended grid down situation being able to access that information is desirable if not essential.

  37. It is amazing how portable solar panels have advanced. There still needs to be improvement on the size, but that will probably take note decade. But, for a good portable recharging station, this is hard to beat.

  38. I would use it to charge various thing at various times. Always have sunshine but not always near an electrical outlet or computer.

  39. This would be really great as when storms hit the electricity goes out and takes forever to come back on. what a great device for emergency or off grid situations.

  40. First, great idea about having duplicate cords. 🙂 Since I don’t do cell phones. I’d using it to charge my ‘other’ battery charger and ham radio alternately. Couldn’t decide, both literally popped into my view at the same time.

  41. I would use it to charge my cell phone to stay connected to family members, also a portable emergency radio to keep tuned to world events. Great giveaway to have in uncertain times!

  42. Assuming the cell network is not down, I’d charge my cellphone. Otherwise, I’d charge my tablet which has a lot of my survival documents.

  43. Obviously, this looks awesome. Since in a SHTF situation or grid down situation, I would use this to power small lights or the Kindle. I have many prepping books on the kindle I would rather not lose them for a long period of time and will need to get at them.

  44. I would have to charge my tablet! Too much info stored on it that is faster to access than digging through my books and notebooks.

  45. It would depend upon the situation….so, either my phone or my laptop or tablet. This looks like a great product to have on hand.

  46. My first choice would be my phone since I have all sorts of downloaded info on it about survival, first aid, and all my phone numbers and addresses.

  47. I have so much information saved on my iPad that this would be perfect so i wouldn’t have to worry about not knowing what to do in a situation.

  48. If I could only charge one item it would likely be my cell phone. I’d rather have a way to get in touch with help in an emergency while out of the house, plus if needed I could use it to get information online. Just, very slowly. lol

  49. My phone first, then my ereader which has books and games for my kids. then any other device I need charged. It would be a great way to save a little money on my electric bill, too.

  50. I would probably charge my cell phone. Living off grid, you never know when a emergency will happen and you need that cell phone!

  51. If only one device with Sun Jack Solar Charger, it would be the Sun Jack battery — I could then use the battery to charge multiple other devices. 😀

  52. If I could only charge one thing, it would have to be my phone. You never know when an emergency may arise and you need to call someone.

  53. Thanks SunJack for a chance to win! I would use it first to charge my tablet that has tons of books that would be needed in a time with out electricity. Resources and info!!

  54. I would use it for my Kindle Paperwhite, which has a TON of my ebooks & PDFs on survival, gardening, how-to’s, etc for living off-grid on it!

  55. I, too, have been looking for a small yet powerful solar charger. This one sounds fantastic. However, I was surprised to see only three reviews about it (all 5 stars!!) on Amazon. Why only 3? Is the product brand new? I will also check the internet for reviews. Almost sounds too good to be true. You are usually right on the mark, though, Gaye! Wishing I’ll be the winner- then I’ll be reviewer #4!! Love your website and practical advice. Thanks for taking time from your busy life to help us all be better prepared- for whatever the future holds.

  56. Hopefully it can be used to power a scooter and if so I would use it to power my husband’s scooter that he needs to get around with because his back is so bad.

  57. If I could only charge one thing with the solar charger it would have to be my laptop computer. That way I can access all of my saved e-books and notes I have gathered.

  58. Wow… what a great product. Like everyone else this would be super in my families preps. I want to work a bit harder on getting our electricity needs met in case of a breakdown.

    Thank you for the the give away opportunity.

    Mama Valey

  59. My answer could possibly vary depending on what type of situation I was in, but overall, I think I would be most likely to charge my iPad if I could only charge one item. I have survival and other books on the Kindle application on it, PDF documents on it, personal documents on it, and some games on it. If email capabilities were possible, I would be able to communicate with others on it also.

  60. Depending on the situation…I would first charge my phone if there was service. Otherwise, I would use the power for some of my other preps.

  61. I enjoy backdoor survival and have learned from the articles you post. I would appreciate winning this charger as would many other people. Keep posting the great information. Thanks.

  62. I would send to my Marine son who has been deployed. If these work well in their conditions, I think it may be something to invest in…but I wonder how one would hold up with the dust?

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