Who needs a solar powered tent ???

8:02 a.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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Solar tent

Too geeky for me, I prefer to camp unplugged, as probably most folks on this forum, but I can see a market for this for sure. It looks like somebody put a lot of work and thought into the design.

8:21 a.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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Interesting. Not exactly very backpacker friendly though. Sounds quite heavy to say the least.

For a more portable solution to power needs, check out the Power Pot. I just posted a review of it yesterday. I was very impressed with it.

10:21 a.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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No one.  Being unplugged is one of the most important things about the backcountry.  Low tech equipment rarely fails.

11:22 a.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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Nice for car-camping and probably lighter than carrying a portable generator. 

But don't we go out into the bush to get away from all that?

3:12 p.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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YES!  Now I can take my electric chair camping.

Ed

5:42 p.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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peter1955 said:

Nice for car-camping and probably lighter than carrying a portable generator. 

But don't we go out into the bush to get away from all that?

This is not a backpacking tent. It was designed for music festivals (that is what Glastonbury is, a big outdoor festival) and similar events, so bashing it because it isn't your idea of a backpacking tent makes no sense. I can see this being very useful for research expeditions where power for instruments and sat phones would be important. These could also be useful during natural disasters as shelters for emergency personnel who need power for computers and phones or maybe even battery powered medical equipment.

6:27 p.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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Goal Zero products seem like a better backpacking alternative(imo.)

8:59 p.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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Wasn't bashing it, Tom. I know what Glastonbury is. 

I'm pretty sure I said "But don't we go out into the bush to get away from all that?", which unless the comment is being deliberately misunderstood, I translate to mean that it's not relevant to what most of the TS members do here. Basically the same things The Rambler and ppine said, too. 

Your points about a value for remote research stations or for use at a disaster scene are well-taken, although obviously the size of the tent and the amount of power generation would have to greatly increase. Once it gets out of the 'Concept' stage, of course. 

11:24 p.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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Not just picking on you Peter, but the whole tone of the thread. Too often I see gadgets that are bashed because they don't fit the ideal of how someone uses  an existing alternative. Granted, many of them are pretty ridiculous, and no, I wouldn't buy one either unless I was putting up a base camp somewhere and someone else was paying for it. Make one the size of the tents used at Everest Base Camp and you may have something.

3:33 p.m. on January 22, 2013 (EST)
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For a long trip like a month or a base camp for working, having 12v power would be a plus.  Portable solar panels can be attacked to the outside of a pack while traveling or set up in camp and adjusted during the day.  Having one attached to a tent seems like a bad idea.

12:40 a.m. on January 23, 2013 (EST)
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There are new flexible panels being developed, plus more efficient panels. I think having them on a tent is a good idea since they can be oriented in any direction and the tent is going anywhere. Plus, these panels can be really large, which also is a plus. Remember, this tent is just a concept, not in production yet.

9:21 p.m. on January 28, 2013 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Goal Zero products seem like a better backpacking alternative(imo.)

 I second this.

10:16 p.m. on January 28, 2013 (EST)
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Maybe the article is not all that clear about the intended use of this tent , but from :

 "The Concept Tent was thought up because of festivals and the fact that partygoers always need to keep in touch with mates while they’re camping and roaming around the festival site"

 I somehow get the idea that it is a concept (not even a product yet...) aimed at Festival Partygoers , so nothing to do with backpacking... I could be wrong.....

 

 

10:34 p.m. on January 28, 2013 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Goal Zero products seem like a better backpacking alternative(imo.)

 The Brunton foldable panels, like the 28 watt version that both Bill Heiser and I have, is a less cost and less weight than the equivalent Goal 0. I have used mine in Antarctica, among other places, and Bill H used his on his Muir Trail hike last summer. I have a small Goal 0 panel that the claim is can charge a cell phone. But I find it inadequate to do so, even in direct high-noon California sunlight, plus it won't charge the camera batteries on even my tiny pocket camera. Also the Brunton panel weighs less than the small Goal 0 plus battery storage unit. I used both during my gear review of the AllClear water treatment system, with the Brunton being much much faster to get a full charge than the Goal 0 (you can see both in that review).

However, solar panels, especially the Goal 0, are pricey, to say the least. Unless you are going to be really remote for a long period of time, it is cheaper and more efficient to just carry a batch of AA Ultimate Lithiums (they are lighter than AA alkalines, as well as longer lived and more resistant to cold)

11:29 p.m. on January 28, 2013 (EST)
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Bill-Which Goal 0 are you referencing(model?) If you are talking about a smaller lightweight model the bigger of the 2(power wise) with the Nomad 7 panel is only 7 watts. Kinda unfair to compare it with a panel that is rated at 28 watts don't ya think(if we are referencing the same unit of course.)

I think the Nomad 27 or Boulder 30 would be a better comparison.

As long as price isn't a factor lol...

Of course with any panel positioning, haze, clouds, so on and so forth can also be a big factor in regards to performance as I am sure you are aware but just wanted to throw that out there for those that may be somewhat unfamiliar with this tech.

11:48 p.m. on January 28, 2013 (EST)
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In case you are wondering why bother having the panels on top of the tent, this picture might just answer that :


Musicfestival_zps9f09c993.jpg

funny thing is that usually if you organise a music festival it will rain.

3:43 p.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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Rick,

You caught an omission on my part, namely not clearly designating what size of solar panel I was referring to. My intention was actually to point out that one needs to match the size/output of the panel to the intended use. Many of the companies selling solar chargers tend to publish statements that imply that their charger will supply "all" your backcountry needs. Goal 0, in fact, is not clear in their ads or catalog about the appropriate model for various applications, though they are much better than certain charger manufacturers that imply that their tiny fold-up chargers will rapidly recharge your headlamp, MP3 player, and smartphone, when in fact the ones shown in their ads won't recharge a basic cell phone in a full summer day with cloudless skies.

Comparing my Brunton to Goal 0's similarly sized foldable panel, the Brunton is available at lower cost from several sources than what I have found for the Goal 0, plus it is lighter weight. Goal 0's ads for the small Nomad 7 with the storage battery to comprise the "10" package you referred to, imply that you can keep your smartphone fully charged for your extended multiday hike, when in fact I have found it does not do so even on bright, sunny summer days. What you can do is store charge in the little storage unit (the 4 NiMh cells), then transfer the charge to the smartphone to regain 2 or 3 hours of talk time. Since I use my smartphone to control my inReach, I can use the smartphone to just turn on tracking, then turn the phone off and at the end of the day, turn it back on to transfer the track points and relay them and a text message home. That minimal usage can be recharged, though the AA batteries in the Goal 0 storage unit don't have enough charge at that point to run the inReach tracking for a full hiking day. The combined Nomad 7 panel and tiny storage unit comes close to the Brunton foldup panel (though the Brunton doesn't include a storage unit). I can fully charge 4 Eneloops and 2 of my Nikon batteries in half a day for only a few ounces more weight by hanging the Brunton panel on the back of my pack with the Delkin battery charger inside the top pocket of my pack.

So the bottom line is that you do have to match the panel, charger, and battery combination to the application. And that requires digging beyond the hype that most of the solar charger companies are putting in their ads. Goal 0 does have setups that work well for even expedition applications (including the $2000 setup they had at the OR Show that will run a small refrigerator). There are some other companies out there that have been around for years and offer state of the art solar power for less, though.

Does the average backpacker need it? Not really. A large package of Ultimate Lithiums weighs and costs less for the week-long trek. Even a pack of Duracell alkalines will do for a weekend backpack.

7:30 a.m. on January 30, 2013 (EST)
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I agree with the above 100%. 

4:41 p.m. on January 30, 2013 (EST)
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guess I'm a hillbilly. I prefer to rough it. if my cell phone or camera die I simply soldier on. I guess I'm someone who doesn't rely on technology that much.

July 30, 2014
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