After my first review of their product, EnerPlex was kind enough to send me their upgraded solar charger, the Kickr IV.

First look

If you’re looking for something small and compact to add to any emergency kit, the Kickr IV is your device. Similar to it’s brother, the Kickr IV gives you 6.5 watts of power from the sun.

EnerPlex Kick IV

I really like the compact nature of the charging pad. The solar charger sits about 9 inches by 7 inches, and is roughly 1 inch thick. That means it’s ultra light and portable. We took this to the waterpark with The Tots, and we captured every moment of fun without worrying about the charge.

A word of caution

“Trickle charge” is a kind way of describing this device’s charging speed. “Snail’s pace” is a bit too cliche, but works. If you’re looking for a swift and speedy power up, go someplace else. Unfortunately, converting solar energy into usable device energy takes time. A lot of time. Realistically, you should expect this to charge your device about half as fast as a wall outlet. EnerPlex says it’s the same rate, but I haven’t found any situation where that was the case.

Be warned that a number of factors effect the charging rate, including whether you’re using the phone and the “quality” of the solar. I found “quality” improved if the pad had direct sunlight, as opposed to sunlight filtered through a clear, pane glass window.

But it’s $129.99!

At $129.99 ($87.99 | Amazon), the serious question to ask is whether this charger brings added value. I believe that’s the case. Anyone who’s serious about emergency preparedness needs this charger (or you can get the Kickr 2).

During 2013’s violent tornado attack, residents were stuck without cell phones because of battery loss. I heard a number of stories of folks who couldn’t ccontact insurance companies, relatives, or others because their cell phones died while they were cleaning around their property. No power also means no charging.

The Kickr IV easily fits in a trunk, camping box, backpack, or even under a car’s seat. Don’t wait for a disaster, or even an uncharged device on a beautiful summer day.

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.

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