Solar chargers. Solar battery packs. Solar generators. If you’re striving for total off-grid independence, the options can be overwhelming. Well, GoalZero wants to make running on clean energy easier, not more complicated. That’s why they’ve released the Guide 10 Plus, a portable solar recharging kit that includes absolutely everything you’ll need to stay powered–from campsite to corner office.
I had the very great pleasure of taking The Guide 10 Plus for a test-drive over the weekend. Like all of Goal Zero’s solar products, it’s built to be rugged, yet aesthetically-pleasing. Folded into a fabric-covered case that’s smaller than an iPad are two Nomad 3.5 solar panels, a battery pack, and multiple output connections. All this gives the Guide 10 Plus kit an impressive punch: Use it to charge AA/AAA batteries from the sun or any USB port, then power your phone, MP3, GPS, or perk up other devices in a pinch.
The great thing about the Guide 10 Plus is that its unique battery pack allows you to store solar energy in batteries that can then be used in non-USB devices, like remote controls or headlamps. Just unfold the solar panel case and angle it so that both panels are in direct sun. Then, connect the battery pack (which looks a lot like the device you probably use now to juice up your rechargeable batteries).
It only took about 2 hours of direct sunlight for the Guide 10 Plus battery pack to be almost completely full. Then, connect the battery pack to your phone, and you’ll have full power in about an hour. If you’ve got the time, you can also charge the pack via a traditional USB power source and then just use the panels to maintain power while off the grid.
The Guide 10 Plus solar charging kit also includes an ultra-bright LED (it’s on the battery pack, not the solar panels case) that’s capable of running for 150+ hours per charge, as well as a 12V cigarette-lighter adapter in case you’d rather juice the pack in the car.
Available for $135