Monday, July 10, 2017
GOAL ZERO GUIDE 10 PLUS
Introduction: These days it seems everything is going digital and even when we are on the water or hiking down a steam fishing we are never truly “unplugged,” as we rely on our smartphones, GPS or headlamps to keep us fishing and get us home safely. Goal Zero produces a variety of portable power devices and is a self-proclaimed leader in consumer solar power systems designed to power everything from your handheld devices to a complete mobile camp. One of their smaller and more affordable products is the GOAL ZERO GUIDE 10 PLUS which is a portable charging kit that can not only charge AA or AAA batteries but also support your small USB powered electronic devices on the go.
Impressions: All of Goal Zero’s products have a clean utilitarian design that also exhibits a rugged build quality. These products are designed to be employed in the harshest of environments and the company has been empowering people in third world countries since 2009 with a way to create sustainable power systems. Robert Workman, the company’s founder, originally thought of the idea to create solar powered systems back in 2007 when witnessing the first hand need for helping people out of poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His revelation led to the design of his first solar power packs and two years later Goal Zero was officially launched as a business. Their mission: to empower people by putting reliable power in the hands of every human being, based on a mantra of Zero Apathy, Zero Boundaries, and Zero Regrets.
The company is very involved in many humanitarian undertakings and has been there helping people through some of the most challenging natural disasters in recent history. Examples include providing Goal Zero batteries and lights to locals after the Haiti 2010 earthquake, donating hundreds of lighting kits and solar panels to families in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and giving out over half a million dollars in portable power, solar panels and lights to Americans living in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The premise of most of the company’s systems is simple, use a solar panel or wall plug to collect power, and then utilizing a power pack device to store that power and ultimately plug it into your gear and power it. The Guide 10 Plus Recharger looks like a traditional battery recharger but there is no plug on the chassis. Instead the batteries are recharged via a special cable that plugs into the company’s portable solar panels or via a USB cable.
Real World Tests: We purchased two Guide 10 units direct from Tackle Warehouse, one as a standalone unit and another in what the company calls the Guide 10 Plus Adventure kit which comes with both the recharger and a Guide Zero Nomad 7 solar panel. To test the Guide 10 Plus Recharger we packed it with us on a range of activities ranging from long distance travel to fishing in the backcountry.
Operation: The Guide 10 is relatively compact at 2.5 x 4 inches in size and only .75 inch in width. It also feels solid but weighs .4lbs. when it is fully loaded up with batteries. This made it easy to stow the Guide 10 in a backpack but I found it is a little on the heavy side to stow in a jacket or vest pouch. Overall the unit does look and feel quite well built.