Goal Zero Guide 10 Power Pack

2 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   1

Reviews

5

The biggest "con" to the Guide 10 Power Pack is that…

Rating: rated 1 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $50

Summary

The biggest "con" to the Guide 10 Power Pack is that the consumer is left to guess whether or not his/her electronic device will be compatible. Goal Zero does warn that not all all electronic devices will work well with their products, but it's a $50-gamble for the consumer to take.

Pros

  • Good customer service

Cons

  • Only works with some devices
  • Does not perform to its published claims

March 2014 update--For "closure" on my entire Goal Zero experience, please check this review: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/goal-zero/usb-smart-adapter/review/30704/

Above is the video review of the Guide 10 Plus. Here is the email exchange with tech support. I’ve removed names for privacy. 5-stars on the customer service.

1/28/14 My email to Goal Zero (8:00am)

I purchased the Guide 10 Plus to go with the Nomad 7 Solar Charge I had previously purchased. I have now tested it twice, and I can't get nearly the performance out of it that is listed on the website and in the printed material that came with it. I have charged up the pack to 100% twice using a USB connection to my computer. The first time, I charged it up until the light turned a solid green. The second time, I left it connected overnight (a full 10 hours).

I own a Motorola Razr (not the Maxx). In both tests, the phone was kept dormant throughout the charging period, except for a quick battery check every 30 minutes to see where it was at in the charging. On the second test, I disabled both WiFi and Mobile Data to further conserve batter life.

On the first test, I ran the phone's battery down to 3%. I connected it to the Guide 10. After ninety minutes, the Guide 10's light was a solid red, and the phone indicated it was no longer receiving a charge. It was charged up to 61%. This morning, I connected my phone at 1% and the Guide 10 charged it up to 68% before stopping.

Normally, I wouldn't be disappointed with this performance. I can get a lot done with 68% charge. But the technical specs state the Guide 10 will charge a 5-7watt smartphone twice, and I'm not even getting one full charge. What am I missing on this?

Thanks!

1/28/14 Response from Goal Zero (11:10am):

 Thanks for contacting Goal Zero!  Sorry to hear you are experiencing issues. 

-Did you remove the plastic ‘pull’ tab between the batteries and the Guide 10 Plus?

-Are you using the Goal Zero NiMH AA batteries?

-Have you tried charging other USB devices?  Are you getting the same result?

I look forward to helping you!

 Matt

Customer Advocate & Snow Surfer

My response 1/28/14 (11:15am):

Matt,

Thanks for the quick response. I wasn't expecting to hear from anyone so soon. Regarding your questions, I have removed the plastic tab, and I'm using the unit exactly as it was sold to me (with the Goal Zero NiMH AA batteries). I have not tried any other USB device.

Am I misunderstanding the expectations of the charge? Do the batteries need to be charged and drained a few times to reach maximum efficiency? Could the pack or the batteries be defective?

Thanks for the help.

Goal Zero, 1/28/14 (11:45am)

Can you please provide your physical address and contact information?  We have found that some Motorola phones have trouble recognize the USB port on the Guide 10 Plus as a charging device.

 I would like to send you a USB Smart Adapter which will allow your phone to recognize the device.  You can view the adapter here: http://www.goalzero.com/p/200/usb-smart-adapter

 Thanks for your patience!

Matt

Customer Advocate & Snow Surfer

Technical Description from provided website:

Phones have different needs when it comes to charging. The phone checks its power source to be sure it will not by damaged by over powering and sometimes to prevent it from charging from different brands of chargers. Almost all devices are different when it comes to this. The Smart Adapter will communicate with the two, the power source and phone, and make the correct adjustments to the power source meets the charging requirements for the phone. The thing is that currently ALL USB ports are 5v, but some devices want 0.5 amps and other want up to 2 amps, the smart chip will sometimes tell the device what to expect so that it know and will then accept the charge.

My response, 1/28/14 (12:00pm)

Matt,

My address is….

Thank you very much! I was expecting more of a "big company runaround," instead of actual help.

Goal Zero, 1/28/14 (6:04pm)

Thank you for providing us with the necessary info that we need to get the ball rolling! We’ve placed an order for one of those USB Smart Adapter’s to be sent your way! You will receive email confirmation and a tracking number as soon as that’s left our warehouse. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s any way that we can be of further assistance.

Have a lovely evening!

Take care,

 Jasmine
Solutions Center Representative

UPS, 1/30/14 (6:00pm)

This message was sent to you at the request of Goal Zero to notify you that the electronic shipment information below has been transmitted to UPS. The physical package(s) may or may not have actually been tendered to UPS for shipment. To verify the actual transit status of your shipment, click on the tracking link below or contact Goal Zero directly.

It arrived a few days later.

David Drake

Awesome review, G00SE! You're kidding me? I mean, I'm sure you're not but in regard to Goal Zero… you're kidding me? I had only had my small digital Sanyo camera plugged into the Guide10/Nomad7 system and could not understand why I lost battery life so quickly. In addition, hiking with my camera's USB cord attached to the battery pack caused the USB cord to disconnect from the USB cord connector on the second day of my trip heading back out of the Grand Canyon. I thought this may have been the reason I lost the charge… because the cord literally pulled from its connector, from the constant movement I would imagine… makes sense, right? But day 1, heading into the canyon, I lost the charge rendering the camera useless. Thus, I carried my camera and the Goal Zero without being able to use either of them. But wait… I still have the charge on the battery pack to rely on, I figured. It must have been charging while I was hiking, right? When I returned to camp, following the two day hike, and attempted to charge a device from the battery pack, I had nothing! No charge on the battery pack either. Essentially, what has happened is that the Goal Zero not only didn't charge the battery pack as I was hiking but it didn't charge the camera either, not only the first night down at the bottom of the canyon but not at base camp either the night I hiked out of the canyon. And, hiking out of the canyon, with my camera attached to the battery pack and the battery pack attached to the Nomad7, I not only didn't obtain a charge on the camera but a damaged USB camera cord. Now, it all makes total sense… thanks, G00SE, for the hard work and insight!


6 months ago
Joseph Renow

Great review Goose!...I don't think I've ever seen an email correspondence in a gear review before? it is unfortunate that the Guide 10 doesn't work for you...because it performs as advertised for me (2 charges). The reason I suspect has to do with the fact that the battery on my phone has a much smaller capacity than most (also...my phone is about as old as the Guide 10). I would add this this...in all fairness I think it is unrealistic to expect a relatively small company in the solar-charging industry to keep up with the craziness that is the cellular phone industry (who does whatever they want...can...must...to take advantage of a multi-billion dollar market). Put differently...it doesn't surprise me at all that Goal Zero has had to develop additional amp converters in a hopeless attempt to maintain compatibility with the thousands of different cellphones available...perhaps at some point incompatibility issues will require a greater degree of standardization in the future...but for now we're stuck with mePhones:-)


6 months ago
G00SE MODERATOR

Joseph, I see your point. Here is a review of the adapter, which is basically a summation of my experience: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/goal-zero/usb-smart-adapter/#review30704


5 months ago
0

Very well thought out piece of gear. Will charge my…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40

Pros

  • Uses AA rechargeable bat
  • Works with the Nomad 7
  • Small, lightweight
  • Batt cell can be replaced after their life spend ends

Cons

  • Not enough batt to fully charge iPad

Very well thought out piece of gear. Will charge my phone two times with a full charge on the Guide 10. On a cloudy day might be lucky to get half charge, but guess you can't bet that. I mean it's all free energy.

I really think Goal Zero did a great job!!!!

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

Ultra lightweight USB solar charging system the Goal Zero Guide 10 Power Pack fits in your pocket.

- EMS

Freedom from the outlet: Ultra lightweight USB solar charging system that fits in your pocket. Use as a single unit power pack to power your device or as a power source to recharge thebatteries for use in any AA or AAA battery powered device.

- SunnySports

The Goal Zero Guide 10 USB Powerpack lets you carry electricity into the backcountry without adding much weight or bulk to your load. This compact power-storage device will take a charge from solar panels or a USB cord and store that power until you need it.

- Backcountry.com

Goal Zero Guide 10 Power Pack

previously retailed for:
$29.95 - $34.98

The Goal Zero Guide 10 Power Pack is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen May 11, 2012 at EMS.

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