Solar on the Go: GoalZero Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit
The World is ending, so get ready. Not really.
As I entered CostCo, there it was... a cornicopia of solar powered widgets. There were flashlights, speakers, batteries, and panels that immediately drew my eye, heart, and mind. As we all prepare for doomsday, the greater the need for alternative methods for charge our electronic devices.
Ok, I know that's an oxymoron, because if there is anything THAT catastrophic, then there's no reason to charge my SmartPhone. (Except for the downloaded games like Jewels, Angry Birds, and Fruit Ninja. Gotta stay entertained in the Zombie Apocolypse.)
But, suppose you're a hiker, biker, or someone else that simply enjoys getting lost, and would like the ability to keep your GPS full of electrons. How many times have you heard the lost hiker story where they watched their mobile phone go black and they knew they were a goner. Well, those days are over as there's no longer any excuse to not have a fresh and beaming mobile phone, flashlight, or radio.
Thanks to GoalZero, this dream is a reality, as they provide multiple solar panels, battery packs, lighting devices, and all the conversion widgets that you could dream.
Remove the solar, and there's still value.
Let's suppose that you never see the sun, and you had an endless stream of electrons. The Guide 10 Kit still has value. My kit came with the 4 Pack Battery Charger, the Luna LED light, and the Lime Green laced Rock Out Portable Speaker. All of these things can be charged using any USB compatible charging, which is simple to find. So, even without the solar panel, you get value that can be used in "On the Grid" situations.
Personally, I carry the Rechargable Battery Pack when I go to play poker. When my mobile phone gets low, I can plug in the charged battery pack, and get another hour out of my phone. The Luna LED light is now attached to my laptop as an additional light. (Although my laptop has a lighted keybooard, I've found the light to be rather handy for several situations. (As an independent consultant, I don't mind waking up at 3am and working.)
The Rock Out speaker is about the only thing that I personally don't find much value, but I do work outside a lot, and this may be a good replacement for headphones. Personally, I wish that it was BlueTooth enabled, but that would burn more electrons, and cost much more. But, again, it has its own battery, which can be charged by 110v.
Just to reiterate the usefulness of the battery pack, it can power the LED light and/or Speaker as needed. The interchangability is a nice feature, and the coupe de grace is that it has a little flashlight on it, too.
Solar Panel, the heart of the operation
The Guide 10 Kit comes with the Nomad 7 foldable panel. It's lightweight and conveniently folds up to protect the panels during transport. I also like all the little loops around the outside such that it could be hung in nearly every configuration to point it at the sun.
Now about that pointing at the sun concept. I've mostly used it inside, because its cold outside, but when trying to set it up to charge my phone, it has been rather fickle in trying to find the charging sweet spot. If I were to translate to trying to hang it outside with the wind blowing, I don't really know how much charge you would get. But, if you put it on the South face of your tent and secured it properly, I think you could easily maximize the electrons gathering process.
Needless to say, once you start to use one, you immediately want a bigger one. It appears the company offers numerous sizes and shapes, so if you're looking to get "off the grid", then do the cost-benefit analysis of what size and the power it delivers. I liked that the Nomad 7 folded up, so am happy with it. The manual states that you cannot chain the Nomad 7 panels togethers, but I don't know about the others.
My Only Gripe
The only gripe I have so far is that all of the devices use the old-school Micro plug, instead of the new-fangled Mini plug. So, as of now, there isn't the only cord fits all concept. I almost boxed up everything and took it back because of this, but since I'm not that petty, I'm going to hold onto it and suffer through it.
Namely, the battery pack charges through the Micro plug. So, I currently carry it around with the Micro in and the Mini out cords attached to it like insect antennae.
Best Selling USB Solar Charging Kit to keep yourself powered on the go
- Keep your power hungry phone juiced and ready for you to use.
- More Angry Birds! Power up your tablet for 25% longer.
- Never buy batteries again. Recharge up the AA or AAA batteries right from the sun.
- Just add sun. Small and compact enough to carry with you always and power up anywhere.
- Handy built-in LED flashlight to help you search in your dark backpack or purse.
- AA rechargeable batteries included.
I don't work for GoalZero, and had never heard of them until that stroll into my favorite big box store. I know that solar is becoming more prevalent, and look to obtain more Green Friendly bits and widgets, and will definately spend more time on their website. I found the pricing to be decent and their products to be simple, yet innovative. There are plenty of positive and negative reviews on their site, so please read them, as your results may vary.
My Solar Future
Although I'm only 3 days into this solar experiment, I'm quite happy with the fit, finish, and functionality of the items, so far. I was planning to update this posting with more pictures, but their website is overly informative, as you can get lost reading every detail, and seeing diagrams of everythings. Great job, there, too.
Moving forward, I would like to recharge the batteries on my Roll-off Dumpster Trailer, so finding something that is relatively durable. The batteries already piggy-back off one of the truck batteries, but sometimes that drains the battery and make the truck hard to start. A constant solar trickle charge would increase the life of the batteries and ensure a full-charge on each voyage.
After that, I have a Water Well Pump that doesn't have a battery backup. Again, this is where I think one the Yeti or Sherpa could help, but I don't even know what they do... yet! Stay Tuned.