Enerplex batteries come in different shapes and sizes to power technology on the trail or in the backcountry. Some batteries are shaped like a phone, others like a tablet, still others like a bar and certain models can stack together. The array of Enerplex batteries, such as Jumpr Stack or Jumpr Slate, can store energy from solar chargers like the Enerplex Kickr IV.
Jumpr Stack Power Bank
The three Jumpr Stack models, 3, 4 and 6, are rectangular shapes that mimic a smartphone. They come equipped with two tethered output cables; one is a Lightning cable, the other is micro-USB for output. The device can be charged from the wall or a solar charger through a micro-USB input. The Jumpr Stack has a set of LED battery status indicators on the end.
One unique feature is that multiple Jumpr Stack batteries can be stacked together, connecting the magnetic charging conductors to provide additional energy. Tiny metal inductors can be depressed by touch on the front of the Jumpr Stack. These inductors fit into small holes on the back of the next battery to connect them. There is no limit to the number that can be stacked but the company recommends a maximum of three as there are small power losses compared to using a cable. Using no more than three will maximize efficiency while minimizing additive power losses.
Field Test: It took 2.5 hours to charge a Motorola Android smartphone using a Jumpr Stack 6 and it still had three out of four bars lit. Another time it charged two Android smartphones with a small amount of power left over (1 bar). Stretching its capacity, it charged 60% of a Kindle in 3 hours.
The Jumpr Stack 6 is ideal for backpacking trips due to its favorable weight to efficiency ratio. One small device can charge a phone at least twice plus a partial charge the third time. If the phone is left off during day except for occasional GPS checks and is used for reading or listening to podcasts at night the Android phone tested can go about three or four days without a charge. That means that the phone can be powered for more than nine days with the Jumpr Stack 6 without needing electricity or solar, depending on usage. The Jumpr Stack 6 was tested over a period of six months, including a week of backpacking in Peru, with no issues.
Jumpr Slate Power Bank
The three Jumpr Slate devices are very thin (the Jumpr Slate 10K is only 6.7 millimeter thick) rectangular tablet-shaped batteries. Two tablets or smaller devices can be charged simultaneously as each has 2.4 amps output. Holes in the side allow the Slate to be slipped into a binder or suspended from a pack using rope or carabiners. It can slide into a thin space against the rear of a pack. It can provide up to 30 hours of talk time on an iPhone 5s battery.
Field Test: Two phones charged in two hours with a Jumpr Slate 10K and there was still enough for a partial charge of 40% for a Kindle Fire tablet. Another test showed that it charged a Kindle Fire tablet and one phone fully.
The Jumpr Slate 10K has the most capacity of the three Jumpr models and is a bit heavy, at 12.32 ounces, to take backpacking. However, for extended camping, boating, kayaking or canoeing trips or for any travel to remote regions where electricity is limited or nonexistent, the Jumpr Slate is a good choice. The Jumpr Slate is more efficient than the Jumpr Stack, charging two phones in just two hours, and having enough juice to charge a Kindle Fire.
Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger
The Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger folds out to display four square panels to the sun. It can charge devices as fast as a wall outlet. It doesn’t have an integrated battery but it can charge a separate battery or such devices as a phone, camera, music player or GPS unit. A standard USB cable is used to connect the charger to other devices.
Field Test: The Kickr IV solar charger was tested during an eight day canoeing trip in the Yukon. The days were mostly overcast but were also long, with sunset happening at 11:30 pm. When the sun peeked out the charger was deployed during lunch breaks and rapidly charged an Android phone with a partial charge. It was impressive that it continued charging at 9:00 pm under overcast skies, though more slowly than in bright sunlight.
Enerplex batteries and solar chargers are well made, function efficiently and maintain performance over time.
Jumpr Stack 6
Power Output: 1A/2.4A
Battery Capacity: 6,200 mAh
Battery Cell: Lithium Polymer
Weight: 0.44 lbs (7 oz)
Recharge by 0.4-2A Micro USB or Stack, Charge, & Chain Port
Jumpr Slate 10K
Dual Power Output: A: 5V/0.5-2.4A; Output B: 5V/0.5-2.4A
Battery Capacity: 10,000 mAh
Battery Cell: Lithium-ion Polymer
Dimensions: 21.3×14 cm; 6.7 millimeters thick
Weight: 0.77 lbs (12.32 oz)
Four folding panels
Power: 6.5 watts unregulated, 6 watt and 5 volt system regulated
Output: 1.2 Amp Output (STC)
Dimensions: Unfolded: 30.5”/7.3″/0.08; Folded: 8.8″/7.3″/0.08″
Weight 0.65 lb (10.4 oz)
Disclosure of material connection: I received a sample for testing purposes but the opinions expressed are solely my own.