SunJack Solar Charger Review
The 14W SunJack Phone solar charger and high-capacity battery deliver high-output power to multiple devices on off-grid adventures.
As much as I love the off-grid escape that a backcountry adventure offers, I carry power-hungry gear to photograph, map and document trails for this site. In the past, I carried extra batteries for my electronic gear, but with the solar technology advancements in recent years, I’ve been keeping my gear powered with compact, portable and durable solar products during multi-day outdoor trips.
The 14W SunJack Phone solar charging system includes a high-output, four-panel solar charger that’s wrapped in tough, durable canvas and designed for outdoor use. The system also includes a high-capacity battery that delivers multiple charges to our electronic gear and recharges quickly when connected to the panel. We’ve been testing the SunJack in the Georgia backcountry, and I’m impressed with the Sunjack’s blend of thoughtful design and power.
Our SunJack Phone (14W) Solar Charger Review
The SunJack solar charger delivers the highest power output, 14 Watts, of the solar panels we’ve tested. The tradeoff for SunJack’s extra power capability is its size and weight: it’s slightly heavier and its packed size is slightly larger than our other panels. But the SunJack’s impressive power outperformed other solar panels in our trail tests when we needed to recharge multiple devices quickly.
The 14W SunJack solar panel delivers power via two 5V, 2A USB outputs that charged devices with speed comparable to a wall outlet in our tests. The included 8,000mAh battery has two USB outputs as well, and packs enough power to charge my iPhone 5S multiple times, or my iPad mini more than once.
The SunJack 14W solar panel is wrapped in a handsomely stitched, durable canvas material that’s backed with padding to aid in shock absorption. The solar panel itself is comprised of four rigid panels that fold up when not in use: folded and secured with a velcro closure, the SunJack measures 6.75″ x 9.25″ x 1.75″. Unfolded, the panel stretches to nearly 31″ in length.
The SunJack 14 package weighs in at around two pounds: the solar panel weighs 1lb 9oz, the battery 6oz, and the included accessories (hanging carabiners and charging cord) bring the total packed weight to just under 2lb. While we find the weight total a little heavy for weight-conscious backpacking trips, we love packing the SunJack system for camping trips – and think it’d be a fantastic power solution for multi-day outdoor festivals and concerts.
In our trail tests, the SunJack was powerful enough to draw current from the sun on cloudy days, in dappled sunlight, and even in partial shade. The SunJack delivers its fastest, full-throttle charging speeds in direct sunlight; however, it’s reassuring to know that the panel will still deliver power in less-than-optimal sunlight out on the trail. Our tests in full sun delivered a full charge to the included 8,000 mAh battery in 5.5 – 6 hours.
Why charge the external battery first, instead of charging gear directly from the solar panel? Unless my iPhone is in need of an emergency power top-off, it’s much easier to set the SunJack panel in full sun with the battery connected, especially since many smartphones and tables are heat-sensitive. I usually charge my iPhone and iPad mini overnight when I’m on-grid, and the SunJack battery allows me to do the same from my cool, rain-proof tent at night.
Like the solar panel, the SunJack battery features two USB outputs, allowing me to charge two devices at the same time. High-powered gear, like my iPad mini and iPhone 5s, charge fastest in the USB output labeled ‘2’, which delivers 2A of charge (output ‘1’ delivers a less-powerful 1A charge). The battery also features a bright, integrated LED flashlight, which I’ve found handy to have around the campsite as a spare.
SunJack also offers the lightweight, USB-powered CampLight as an accessory. It’s a low-energy 4W bulb in a textured, shatter-resistant coating that delivers the equivalent light output of a 40W bulb. It’s a great add-on to the SunJack, and with its integrated 7’ cord, easily hangs for light at a campsite or as in-tent lighting.
SunJack Phone 14W Review: Bottom Line
The SunJack Phone 14W solar charging system delivers off-grid power when we’re on multi-day outdoor trips and we’re untethered from the power grid. Durable construction and powerful performance deliver dependable power in a nicely designed, compact package that’s perfect for camping and other off-grid adventures.
So Where Can I Get One?
While we were provided with a sample SunJack Solar Charger to test, all opinions above are our own, and based on our own, trail-tested experience.