User Review: Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Mobile Kit
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89
This panel can collect up to 7 WATTS! (far more than most other systems – but even then it takes about 4 hrs of FULL sunlight to fully charge the 4 AA 2200ma batteries in the Guide 10 plus from empty).
This kit is an awesome value! I did a good amount of research before buying this and am quite convinced that in Q1 of 2012 this is the BEST solar charging kit on the market in terms of BOTH performance and value. (The whole thing weighs about 1.5 lb and I hope to have surplus power to help recharge devices of others around me on the trail as well as my own devices.)
I got mine from Amazon for about $90. It includes the GoalZero Nomad 7 solar panel and the GoalZero Guide 10 Plus. (as well as 4 high capacity NMH 2200 AA batteries) It has multiple attachment points on the Nomad 7 panel making it easy to attach the panel to the top/back of backpack. It has 3 connectors coming off the panel for feeding the Guide 10 power pack, USB out for charging USB based chargers, and a 12Volt car type connector for charging small devices off the panel.
- Highest power panel I could find
- monochrystalline panels are the kind you need. Other tech is not quite there yet.
- Weight. 1.4 lb for "full system" including batteries in power pack
Some people have reported finicky charging behavior with iPhone / iPod. I was able to successfully establish a charging connection with a couple of co-workers' iPhones, but will be using Android based phone myself. (Holding off waiting for a Sprint variation of the Galaxy Note or Galaxy SIII.)
I have not yet taken it on an extended trip but am quite happy with the kit so far. Do not waste time on the other options out there. This is the one to go with if you want a solar charging / power pack solution.
This whole kit ($90) was cheaper on Amazon than just the Nomad 7 solar panel by itself if purchased directly from GoalZero.
I was so impressed with the GoalZero Guide 10 kit that I hope to add the Nomad 13.5m panel for about $120 that is daisy chainable with other GoalZero panels for faster charging. (I will not use the 13.5m for backpacking but keep it around "base camp" when the grid is not available) The Nomad 7 daisy chained with a 13.5m should be able to fully charge the Guide 10 plus power pack in less than 2 hrs in FULL sunlight.
I may eventually want to get a Sherpa 50 as a power station when car camping / 4 wheeling to supply city slickers with "juice" for their electronic gizmos. (With 5 times the capacity of the Guide 10 Plus it should be able to charge almost every gizmo in camp)