We are always keeping an our eyes out for really good products for people in the 4×4 community, those who camp, and people who need products beyond what you can find at your local shopping center. Recently, we ran across an off-roader who was setting up a camping site as part of an overnight trip — this rider had it set. He had his laptop running, refrigerator, and a few other things going, but no generator was to be seen. We found out he was using an ArkPak and decided to look into it right away so we could review it on the site, here’s what we came up with…
What is the ArkPak?
The ArkPak is a portable power source that comes with both a 12V car charger and quick release mounting brackets. This product is essentially a battery box that turns a plain ole’ deep cycle battery into a multi-use portable power pack.
Through the use of a built-in 150 watt inverter, USB charging port, and 12V accessory ports, this device can come in handy at a campsite, during a power outage, or even while tailgating — so it definitely has it’s appeal with the off-road crowd.
When you use a deep cycle, high capacity battery, the ArkPak will offer 120V and 12V power for extended periods of time. It all depends on what you are using it for, but some large items can even run off the ArkPak for almost two weeks. The ArkPak will recharge from a 120V outlet or 12V vehicle accessory ports. You can also even recharge the ArkPak with solar panels (not included, but adaptable) — most solar panel kits run about $50 and up from the local retail stores. Included with the ArkPak is also a 50 amp Anderson plug for recharging.
How is it Powered?
The ArkPak does not come with a special battery, so you are free to use any standard 12V lead-acid battery group 31 or smaller in the device. ACM, calcium, gel, or “wet” lead-acid battery types are all compatible. The manufacturer does, however, recommend that you use a zero maintenance deep-cycle RV or marine battery.
Wondering more about this solar charging features? We don’t blame you, because it’s pretty cool. The ArkPak is able to be recharged with solar panels, but you have to use a charging controller too. You may be able to completely recharge your ArkPak daily this way, but it depends on the battery and the panels you are using — this makes it a very environmentally friendly product and keeps you from having to charge the battery at the wall so often.
The uses are vast, but most commonly, people use the ArkPak as a secondary power source for vehicles, electric winches, electronics, and like we mentioned before, camping.
While there are other products like it on the market, the ArkPak is the one that stands out to me, it makes the most sense.