It seems like the recent coverage of “preppers” has brought alternative power sources into the mainstream. I have been extremely interested in solar power lately, but not because of some impending zombie apocalypse. With the upcoming hurricane season approaching, most gulf coast residents at least think of their plans if a storm does arrive. While I am usually far enough inland to be able to ride out these storms, one major concern is electricity. Solar power with batteries can allow my family some comforts and even save some food if we are without power for a few days. I also do not have a power source at my country place where I hunt. If I take the camper out there for the season, solar power is one option to keep the camper batteries powered so we have lights and some basic functionality. My deer feeders and game cameras keep a charge thanks to solar energy, and I plan on installing an option to keep my phone charged when I am in the blind. Goal Zero has introduced two new products in the portable solar category that look promising for anyone wanting to generate cheap power.
The Sherpa 50 Recharger focuses on portability and sustainability. The revamped and redesigned charger boasts a 50% smaller footprint, LCD display and 50 watt hour capacity. It can power up an iPad for up to 15 hours, a laptop for 1 to 3 hours, and a DVD player for more than 10 hours.
Users can charge the Sherpa 50 from the wall in just 2-3 hours or from the sun with the Nomad 13 in 5-10 hours. Goal Zero also offers a bolt on inverter that allows users to plug devices directly into the Sherpa 50 like they would a wall outlet with the device’s AC adapter.
Don’t let the small size fool you—the Switch 8 recharger packs some serious power. It’s smaller than a roll of quarters weighing in at a light 4 ounces making it the perfect accessory to toss into a backpack or a purse. There is no need to lug around a bulky product to give your cell phone or tablet an extra boost. The recharger allows travelers to enjoy apps, games and music up to 8 hours longer on a smartphone when traditional power is not accessible.
The Switch 8 can be fully charged in just 4 hours via USB connection or in 6-12 hours from the sun when purchased in a kit that includes the Nomad 3.5 Solar Panel. Additional charging tips and lighting accessories will be available for the Switch 8 in the coming months, including Micro & Mini USB, Apple, and the Firefly flashlight.
For more information, check out www.goalzero.com.