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Solar Power Review by Grow Your Heirlooms

Posted: 9/29/2014 11:26:58 AM by

EnerPlex Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger Review

My continued quest to maintain independence during grid failure.

I’ve been in dozens of situations that make me uneasy. The last one being a five day outage at home due to a wind storm in Southern Oregon. From then on, I’ve been on a quest to provide my family with uninterrupted power when (not if) the grid goes down again.

For the last few years, I’ve reviewed multiple portable solar devices, however I only recommend ones that I deem worthy of our attention.

The EnerPlex Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger is one of those devices.

Although I believe my demands are not too unreasonable, there are a few requirements that need to be met.

#1. I need a solar charger that will keep my Galaxy S3 cell phone completely juiced during the duration of the outage.
#2. I need enough power to keep my Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp fully charged.
#3. I would like to have a fully charged external power pack like the Jumpr Slate Power Bank

The Ascent Solar Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger Specs.

Product Dimensions:
Unfolded: 774mm(30.5")/185mm(7.3")/2mm(0.08) Folded: 225mm(8.8")/185mm(7.3")/2mm(0.08")

6.5 Watts Unregulated/6.0 Watt, 5 Volt System Regulated

Solar Cell Type: CIGS

1.2 Amps (USB Port)

The built in USB Port will give you 1.2 amps of charging power. Although this will not be enough to charge an iPad or the Galaxy note 10, it’s certainly enough to charge most widely available portable power packs.

Samsung-S3_thumb.jpgCharging my Samsung Galaxy S3

The first test was my cell phone.
I awoke at 7am, (in Alaska that’s late)
I let the phone run down to 10 percent, set the solar charger in full sun and plugged it in.

Total Charge Time:
Phone turned off – 2 hours 15 mins
Phone turned on – 3 hours 45 mins.


Revolt-Headlamp_thumb.jpgCharging the Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp

Next, I ran my headlamp down to about 10-20 percent. Plugged it into the solar charger in full sun.

Total Charge Time:
3 hours 20 mins


Charging the Jumpr Slate Jumpr-Slate-5k_thumb-(1).jpg5K

With about 25 percent juice left in the power bank, I plugged it into the solar charger under full sun.

Total Charge Time:
6 hours 10 mins

As you can see, I was able to charge all three devices in one full day. We do however have longer summer daylight here in Alaska. But if you’re in an area that can give you 11 hours of daylight, you should have the same results.


Comes in recyclable packaging
Faster charging than other solar chargers I’ve tested in it’s price range and size
Foldable and lightweight, great for carry.
Grommets to secure while unattended or for hanging.
Able to charge multiple power banks

Has trouble putting out a charge under low light conditions, like dawn, dusk and cloudy days.
USB port too close to the pad making it difficult to slide the cable in and out.

Final analysis
The fact that I’m able to charge multiple power banks, makes me glad to own this charger. For its size, it packs a wallop, folds nicely into a backpack, is lightweight and durable.

If you’re looking for a powerful portable solar charger for backpacking, camping or piece of mind when the grid goes down, you should take a serious look at the Ascent Solar Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger

GYH Rating 4.5/5 stars





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