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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.
Today I am posting a brief review plus, as always, am giving you an opportunity to win the SunJack Portable Solar Charger and 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.
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 connection 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.
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 into any USB source including a wall outlet or even your laptop.
It has a look 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.
I thought I would mention that in addition to charging my old cell phone and 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.
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:
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 considerably 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 to 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 6 PM 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 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 are 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!
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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. Willfully 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!
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.
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