Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gadget Tech Review: Goal Zero 41022 Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit

Rating: GREAT Product. Highly recommended. 4/5 stars
This is a great recharging kit. It is so worth it.
Items in this review (all complimentary for the purpose of a review):

The first part is the Nomad 7: two (2) small solar panels (3.5 watt high efficiency solar panels) are covered by rugged nylon fabric. The entire thing is 8 inches high and 2.5 inches high. They are small enough to leave in the car but not for carrying around. It has loops around the panel so you can attach it to something (a backpack whilst hiking?). I wouldn't rely on this for making sure my electronics get charged whilst hiking thought. It just takes too long. The item also has a mesh pouch for the cables. This is also where the connectors are.

Guide 10 Plus Recharger: The kit comes with a charging case for 4 rechargeable batteries (AA batteries included, 2300mah 1.2v NiMh Goal Zero brand)(this is super useful). The battery charger has an adapter (included) for AAA batteries (not included). The battery pack also has an LED for emergencies that works even when the battery is running low. It comes with a USB adapter and a 12V car charger adapter. You will need you own cables for Apple devices and for micro USB.

I am always out of the house and on my phone and other electronics and I commute a lot for work. I sometimes have to charge my phone 2-3 times in one day. I have several chargers to get me through the day, but sometimes I have to charge the chargers as well! I normally use the Energizer iPhone Charging Case and I also have an external battery pack to charge the phone. This is a life saver and I love it. But after I run out of my 1st charge and then the charge on the case as well, I am out of luck. Well, ever since getting this solar charger, things have been better. I leave my uncharged Energizer case in the car attached to the panel and when I come back it is mostly* charged. I also leave the battery pack attached so that I will have 2 emergency sources of battery power. This has helped me greatly.

You are using solar power to charge the devices, so it is not going to be super fast. Don't buy this with the expectation that it is going to charge your phone super fast. I still keep an extra battery pack fully charged for emergencies. But, this is helpful. If the conditions are right, and it is a cloudless day, you can get your phone charged (not all the way, at least not for me...took too long) from the panels. Instead I charge my charger case and the battery pack, which can then be used to charge your phone. This has worked well for me. You can charge several devices at the same time. I leave the panels with the devices attached inside the car exposed to the sun. When I get back I have gotten some charge on the devices.

The one thing that I do not like about this charger is that the panels to not clip together or zip closed. This makes carrying cumbersome. If they just add one zipper to zip the panels closed, this would be perfect.

But overall, this is a great product. It has so much, it is very comprehensive. You can charge so many different ways. You can charge your items directly from the panels or through the battery pack (which you can charge from the sun. It is a pretty self-contained kit. ANd you power is free!

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