Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit

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Manufacturer Description

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 the batteries for use in AA or AAA battery powered devices. Recharge you cell phone 1-3 times per charge with the Guide 10 Power Pack. Charge up the Guide 10 Power Pack with the Nomad 7 Solar Panel in 1.5 hours or via USB in 6 hours.

 Features

  • Ultra lightweight USB solar charging system that fits in your pocket.
  • Functions as a Power Pack and a Battery Charger
  • Interchangeable batteries (AA and AAA compatible)
  • USB and 12V output
  • Built in LED Flashlight that runs 20+ hours per charge
  • AA rechargeable batteries included
  • Charging times for Guide 10 Battery Pack
    • USB (DC) – 6 hours
    • Nomad 7 (Solar) – 1.5 hours
  • Retail – $160

Guide 10 Battery Pack

  • Output port – USB, 2.5 watts, (5V:0.5A)

    Guide 10 with AAA Adapter
  • Measured weight – 173 g w/ AA Batteries (6.1 oz)
  • Dimensions – 6 cm wide x 10 cm tall x 2 cm deep (2.5 in x 4 in x 0.75 in)
  • Warranty – 12 months
  • Optimal operating temperature – 0-40° C (32-104° F)
  • Optimal storage temperature – 0-30° C (32-86° F)

Nomad 7 Solar Panel

  • Input Source – 7 watt mono-crystalline solar technology

    Nomad 7 Panel Opened Up
  • Output Ports
    • USB output – 5 volts
    • DC output – 12 volts
  • Measured weight – 372 g (13.2 oz)
  • Dimensions
    • Folded – 15 cm wide x 23 cm tall x 2.5 cm thick (6 in x 9 in x 1 in)
    • Unfolded – 48 cm wide x 23 cm tall x 0.25 cm thick (19 in x 9 in x 0.1 in)
  • Warranty – 12 months
  • Optimal operating temperature – 0-40° C (32-104° F)
  • Optimal storage temperature – 0-30° C (32-86° F)

YMMV Review

I wanted to test out a solar charger that took things one step further. Looking around I noticed Goal Zero and they let me do a review of the Guide 10 Adventure Kit. The Guide 10 Adventure Kit is actually one of their smaller kits. If you need more power, they have it.

The Full Kit

Design/Construction ★★★½☆

The Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit is made up of two main parts: the Guide 10 battery pack and the Nomad 7 Solar Panel. The included pieces are an ultra charge solar cord, 12v cigarette adapter, USB charging cord, AA battery adapter, and 4 rechargeable AA batteries. For the most part the Guide 10 Adventure Kit is solid. The only issue I have had with the construction was the Guide 10 pack had a little rattle from some soldering coming loose on the inside. I was able to open it up and remove this piece and now all is good. The solar panels themselves seem very durable.

The Guide 10 Battery Pack is a power pack and battery charger in one unit. The Guide 10 can be used to charge 4 AA or AAA batteries. In order to charge the AAA batteries there is an adapter for the pack.

The Nomad 7 Folded Up

When charged you can either use the batteries or leave those in the Guide 10 to use as a power pack. The Guide 10 can be charged two different ways. It can be charged through the Nomad 7 solar panel or by USB to your computer. Charging the Guide 10 fully takes about 6 hours by USB and 1 1/2 hours with the Nomad 7. When charging via the Nomad 7 the time will vary based on the angle of sun and any clouds in the sky. The Guide 10 has a led light that can last 20+ hours on a full charge. There is a switch on the bottom that must be turned on to charge a device and then can be turned back off to preserve power. The Guide 10 has a LED lighting system on the bottom as well to give estimations on how much power is in the pack. It also has a USB output for charging other device and can be used to run several Goal Zero add-ons. On the back there are instructions for using the Guide 10 in case you forget. The Guide 10 can recharge NiMH rechargeable batteries. The unit comes with four AA and Goal Zero sells other sizes a well.

Bottom of the Guide 10

The Nomad 7 is a three section panel. It can be folded up when not in use or open up to capture the sun. Of the three panels, two of them are solar panels and one has a pocket and a Solar Port. This Solar Port has three different outputs: 12 volt, USB, and Guide 10. The 12 volt output is similar to a car charger. The appropriate cable comes with the kit. The Guide 10 can be charged with an included solar cable. You may also plug USB charged devices directly into the solar panel to charge from the sun. The Nomad 7 has 8 loops around the panels to give many places to hang it from. The Nomad 7 also has a pocket as mentioned above. This can be used to house the Guide 10 or other devices while they are charging. You do not want to leave other devices in the sun while they are charging as it is not good for them. The Nomad 7 is very durable and made to last a long time. The fabric covering the panels is made of a high denier fabric to last longer than the panels’ lifespan.

Performance ★★★★☆

I unfortunately have been testing this kit during the fall months when the sun has not been as high but nonetheless the Adventure Kit has served me well. I really appreciate that the unit can charge batteries for use in other devices on top of being a battery pack. I find this most useful on my GPS unit as it does not have rechargeable batteries and seems to burn through them quickly. A major drawback with the Guide 10 is that it needs all four batteries in it to work. Too bad there was not a small internal battery as well. To get around this it would be useful to have a couple extra batteries that can be used in devices while the battery pack still has four for charging and power.

The Nomad 7 Solar Port

I do like how the system can be used for both AA and AAA batteries. I find the Nomad 7 is easy to use and with all the attachment points, it is easy to hang as well. The Nomad 7 has many optimal uses but two that come to mind quickly are bike tours and hiking trips. The Nomad 7 can easily hook onto a rear bike rack or on a backpack to supply power while you are on the go. The whole system weighs less than 1 1/2 pounds and can be used almost anywhere the sun is out. The Guide 10 is handy for when you need extra power on the go or when charging by solar does not make sense. You can charge the Guide 10 and have power to go until the next sunny day or you make it back to a computer. The Guide 10 when fully charged can charge a Smartphone a couple times on a full charge.

Goal Zero also has several interesting add-ons for the Adventure Kit including a light that can be run off the Guide 10. While the Guide 10 already has a single LED light, you can purchase much more robust options. In my tests of charging the Guide 10 and using it to charge electronics I found the times posted by Goal Zero to be similar to real world applications. Even the astounding 1 1/2 hour charge time of the Guide 10 from solar panel proved to be pretty close. With the sun lower here in the fall that may be the reason for the slightly longer time I found. The last annoying issue I have had with the Kit is that sometimes while using the Guide 10 to charge devices I get a buzzing noise from the unit. According to Goal Zero this is just a harmonic from the relatively slow frequency that is used for the power conversion. It still is kind of annoying.

Instructions on the Back of the Guide 10

Overall ★★★★☆

Overall I have been really impressed with the Goal Zero Adventure Kit. I think it would be excellent on longer trips like bike touring and through hiking. The whole system is rather light and very adaptable. I really think the battery charging aspect is a great option. The system works best if you have a couple extra batteries on hand as you need the Guide 10 to be full to work. The Nomad 7 produces a surprisingly large amount of power and even works on cloudy days, albeit a bit slower. While Goal Zero only let me borrow the system for the review I think I am going to get an Adventure Kit of my own. The Adventure Kit retails for $160 but over time can save you a bunch of money if you used the system and batteries. The Nomad 7 has a 6-8 year lifespan so there is ample opportunity to make your money back. Goal Zero also makes larger systems but the best bang for the buck for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts I believe is the Adventure Kit. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Fast charging times from the sun
  • Recharges batteries
  • Durable
  • Many options for charging

Cons

  • Sometimes buzzes when charging from USB on Guide 10
  • Need all 4 batteries in the Guide 10 to work

Adventures

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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