Monday, July 11, 2011

Goal Zero Provides Portable Power to Brighten Dark Moments

I'm reading: Goal Zero Provides Portable Power to Brighten Dark MomentsTweet this!

It seems that every few years we lose power as the result of a storm. And in the last three years, it seems we've headed to the basement because of tornado warnings more than I can ever remember doing in the past. While there's something cozy about the family gathered together in one room, blankets and flashlights at the ready (it's a cold basement), we have modern worries beyond, say, whether the food in the refrigerator will spoil if the power fails.

What about our gadgets?!

Granted, Tweeting a tornado isn't a priority for me, but keeping some form of communication with the larger world is important during an power outage. That's where GoalZero comes in. I met these leaders in the portable solar technology field at the Travel Goods Association Show when they passed along a handy solar-powered flashlight.

Goal Zero was founded by an entrepreneur who saw a need for renewable power and light based on his work with a nonprofit in the Republic of Congo.

They sent me a Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit to review* play around with and share some thoughts. The Kit consists of a Nomad Solar Panel and the Guide 10 USB Power Pack. It will charge cell phones, PDAs, PSPs, iPods or MP3 players, and USB devices as well as AA and AAA batteries. Other models will charge laptops, and even TVs or fridges.

But back to the Guide 10. It allows us to charge from the solar panels (as pictured above) or from the battery pack. According to GoalZero, we can charge the battery pack, which also functions as a LED flashlight, in 3-5 hours. The pack can also charge a cellphone 1-3 times per charge. (Note to self: if I want to use this in emergencies, I need to make sure to keep it charged up.)

Confused? This video explains it all.

The ability to use the solar pad directly to power or charge devices, gives us some geek chic cred. In fact, I might just bring it with to the beach today. Though I fear then my son's teen friends will want to play killer zombie games, rather than in Lake Michigan, so maybe not.

This is a very portable system, with its lightweight, foldable design and weather-resistant finish. It has a built in flap to store, say, a cell phone or iPod but it doesn't have a pocket for storing the other cables and adapters included in the kit. This does not make mama happy.

In our techy household we already have a whole mess of cables and adapters, and it irks me to add to the mess. Plus, if we were to use the Guide 10 Kit for camping, it could be even more of a challenge not to misplace anything.

Other than that, the Guide 10, our first foray into portable solar power, if pretty cool. You can find Goal Zero products at a variety of outfitters and sporting goods stores. Retail price for the Guide 10 is around $139.95.

Also, if you like to camp, check out my air mattress giveaway over at Reluctant Renovator.

*Disclosure: I had the option to keep this product for a set amount of time and then return to the company or purchase it at a steep discount. The teen ponied up the money to keep it.

We lost power AND this tree in a local park.

1 comment:

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

That was some crazy wind this morning, right?

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