For the last few months, I have been using a new solar panel kit while on the road. The Sunjack 14W Solar Charge kit is a major upgrade over my old Goal Zero 10 solar panel kit. Being newer, the Sunjack provides higher output and it comes with a lighter battery pack that has near triple the battery capacity.
The Sunjack kit comes in nice retail package that contains everything that it needed to function. With the panels folded, the size is 9″ x 6.5″, about the size of a Apple iPad, but of course Sunjack is much thicker. The solar panels are mounted on a fairly thick fabric material with good stitching. The flap has a build-in loop and it uses a magnetic latch under to keeping it close.
The Sunjack kit comes with a 8000 mAh lithium battery pack and standard size micro USB cable. In comparison, my old Goal Zero 10 uses a non-standard cable and its power bank is provided by 4x rechargeable NiMh AA size battery that only rated for 2700 mAh.
The Sunjack battery pack is even better than my Snow Lizard 7000 mAh battery pack that I used to replace the AA battery pack that came with the Goal Zero 10. In addition, to has higher the battery capacity (8000 mAh) the Sunjack unit is smaller and lighter. Its build-in LED light that could come in handy. The LED is turn on or off by holding down the power button for 3 seconds. Its 2 USB ports are both rated for 5V 2.4 Amp outputs. Which is higher than the more common 2.1 Amp, and that’s because the 2.4 Amp rating are needed for the latest tablets and smartphones with large and high resolution screen. In my test, the Sunjack lithium battery pack could charge up my iPad Mini almost as fast as using the Apple wall charge. It has enough power capacity that it recharged my iPad Mini twice with still some juice left.
The first USB port on the Sunjack power pack could also output to 9V 1.67A, which is the power requirement for car accessories. However, unlike the Goal Zero kit, the Sunjack didn’t come with a car power outlet (cigarette lighter) adapter.
With the panels unfolded. Those solar panels are rated for providing up to 14W of 5 volt USB power under a bright sun. It’s a substantial bump over my old Goal Zero 10, which only provides half of that. The included lithium battery pack and extra cables are carry in a full size mesh pocket hidden in the back side.
The Sunjack kit comes with two lightweight aluminum D-ring (or carabiners) for attaching the panels to a backpack. I which the Sunjack panel comes with more loops like the Goal Zero panel for better attachment options.
The Sunjack’s panel size is about the same as the Goal Zero’s but it has 4x panels instead of just 2. While it could power my iPad Mini directly under the hot Arizona sun, but the charging is very slow with the direct attach method. The Goal Zero 10 panel couldn’t even do that because its panels by itself could only output 7W. As in the Sunjack’s instruction, it’s always recommended to plug into the included battery pack to charging a mobile device. During my test, the Sunjack panel was able to recharge its completely depleted 8000 mAh lithium battery pack in 3 hours 52 mins. The performance varies depends on the condition, and the sun’s brightness.
A quick tip. If you are plan on using your solar panel inside of a vehicle, make sure that it’s put under clear glass window. What I found out during my test was that my car’s rear windshield and side windows are laminated with a clear polarizer film, which when I left the Sunjack panel under those, it led to much lower power output.
The Sunjack 14W Solar Charger kit carrying on a backpack. The Sunjack kit performed better than I expected and it’s well made. Although, the panels are seems to be well sealed, but not the output USB port module at the back nor the included lithium battery pack. So, try not to use it in the rain or swimming with it. Overall, the Sunjack 14W Solar Charger kit not a bad deal for $139.
Even the dog like the Sunjack 14W Solar Charger kit.