I was excited to hear that EnerPlex was coming onboard as a UintasHike16 partner – I am often away from charging opportunities, both offered and during work trips. Carrying portable power packs has become the norm for me. Being able to carry the means to create the stored power really ups my game. EnerPlex provided us both the Kickr IV and the Jumpr Slate 5K-L to test out on our trip.
The Kickr IV is a portable foldable flexible solar charger designed with CIGS solar technology, which allows for the ability to place solar on a plastic backing, making it extremely light. This is a direct contrast with other options, whereby monocrystalline panels are placed on a glass substrate, making the units extremely heavy, rigid, and susceptible to breakage. The CIGS technology is patented by EnerPlex’s parent company, so it’s only found on their products. How rugged is this set-up? Enerplex states that it is water-resistant, can withstand shocks, drops, minor punctures and still works. Nice. It comes with small bungees for attaching the panels to your backpack while on the move, but I only used this while we were stopped. Hiking with any tree cover can be frustrating, as the panels stop charging when in shade, but EnerPlex has a solution forthcoming – keep your eye out for that.
The EnerPlex Jumpr Slate 5K-L is an ultra thin 5,100 mAh portable battery. It’s very thin and light, and has remade holds to place in a binder (for work or school). An additional feature is a tethered Lightning cable for charging your Apple It also has a USB port through which you can charge other devices of your choosing. Super light and compact, this was easy to keep close at hand, before, during, and after the hike.
I pre-charged the Jumpr Slate 5K-L, just on the off-chance we’d have inclement weather and the solar panels were not an option. Once on the hike, I used the pack to recharge my iPhone 6 several times, quickly and with only a minor drop in the power stored. I haven’t done extensive tests to determine the full capacity, but so far so good. During the hike I also took the opportunity to charge up the Jumpr Slate 5K-L using the Kickr IV solar panels. One time the charging happened so quickly I almost didn’t believe it was done, while another time I chased the sunlight around camp and thus, the charging happened more slowly. That’s always going to happen with solar – the situation will dictate the performance.
These two EnerPlex products work great together, so it was fun to test them in tandem. At .6 pounds for the solar panels and .4 for the power pack, this is a no-brainer to bring along anytime you’ll be in sun and on the move. I was so happy with the performance of the power pack that I carried it with me all week during ORShow – during the Open Air Demo, I shared it with two other participants and ended the day with power to spare. Recommended.
*These products were provided for testing purposes – all opinions are my own.