Living in such a wired world, it’s hard to imagine life without a mobile phone. It’s become so bad that I’ve seen friends act like heroine junkies in need of a “fix” when accidentally leaving their iPhone at home for the day. EnerPlex is an innovative company with several products geared for the electronic junkie that’s on-the-go. The company offers portable power solutions, batteries, solar panels and even backpacks with integrated solar panels. Not all of these products are just for the mobile consumer, there are several military, tactical and hunting applications as well.
I first received the EnerPlex Kickr IV which is a rugged yet flexible portable solar charger. The company advertises that it will charge devices as quickly as an outlet so I was a little skeptical. Years ago, I had used a Brunton solar charger on a kayak expedition that took longer to charge my AA batteries than to grow a full beard. I quickly put the charger into play while golfing with my son to see what this panel was capable of. My iPhone 6 battery status was 22% when we first teed off. Additionally, we like to stream music to a portable speaker while playing which further taxes the iPhone battery. Before we finished the front nine, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the phone was almost fully charged. So far, so good.
Fast forward to the wood line. While on an overnight backpacking trip, I strapped the Kickr IV to the back of my Osprey backpack. One thing I almost always forget to do is charge my Garmin Tactix GPS watch the night before moving out. It’s a bad habit, I know. Having served as an RTO for a short time while in the 75th Ranger Regiment, I should know better. With the EnerPlex Kickr IV lashed to the back of my pack, I was able to connect the Garmin USB cord to the solar panel and stuff the GPS watch into the top pocket of my pack while getting topped off by good ‘ole Mother Nature. Sure enough, within 2 hours, my Garmin battery was registering 100%. When not in use, the EnerPlex Kickr IV conveniently folds up and is easily stored in any flat pocket of a backpack (or golf bag).
EnerPlex Kickr IV specs courtesy of goenerplex.com:
- Unfolded: 774mm(30.5″)/185mm(7.3″)/2mm(0.08)
- Folded: 225mm(8.8″)/185mm(7.3″)/2mm(0.08″)
- Weight: 292.9g (.65 lb)
- Power: 6.5 Watts Unregulated/6.0 Watt, 5 Volt System Regulated
- Solar Cell Type: CIGS
- Output: 1.2 Amps (USB Port)
- Color: Black or Multicam
- Warranty: 1 Year
- MSRP: $99.99
The Jumpr Slate 5k is another handy item I received from EnerPlex. This .3″ thin 5100 mph Li-Po battery that fits into a binder was just what I needed while recently attending a long range shooting class. During the course of training, students were required to make several calculations for ranging targets as well as utilize ballistic calculation apps to plot shooting solutions. This modern technology is fantastic and it takes most of the guess work out of shooting at extended ranges. Add a moving target and wind to the mix and the math starts to get pretty serious. Ballistic calculators speed up the process but the constant use will drain the battery on your phone.