I have become a huge fan of solar technology. Since I spend considerable time in the outdoors off-grid, solar products allow me to keep my devices connected. I have several solar products and jumped at the chance to review the Goal Zero Switch 10 Mutli-tool Kit. The $119.95 kit is an all-in-one solution for a pack or on the go.
The Switch 10 Multi-tool Kit includes the Switch 10 3,000 mAh rechargeable battery, micro tip adapter, flashlight, fan, and Nomad 7 solar panel. The kit can add solar capability to any backpack or be used anywhere it can catch sun, and has become a staple in my trips to the farm or in the woods.
The heart and soul of this kit is the Switch 10 rechargeable battery. The replaceable battery provides a 1.5A output capable of charging a phone, GoPro, or digital camera, or giving a tablet around a 25% battery boost. Since the battery is replaceable, there is always the option to carry multiple batteries to ensure all of your devices stay charged.
The Switch 10 is lightweight, but also rugged, and is small enough to easily fit in a pocket. What I love about the battery is that it has a standard USB interface and not a proprietary connection that would limit it to Goal Zero products. The unit is also self contained, not needing any cords to charge. The male USB end flips open allowing the battery to be directly plugged in to a computer, USB wall charger, or the Nomad 7 solar panel. On the same end is a charge indicator that will light up when charging or display the charge with the push of a button on the side. A small light is also included on toward the charging end which is switched on via a small button.
The charging end of the Switch 10 is simply a USB port that can accept any kind of cable or device. There is also a plastic housing that slides up and down that is used for the supplied flashlight and fan accessories.
The flashlight accessory is actually much nicer than I had imagined. Simply connect the USB end into the battery and screw the plastic housing until it is secure. You now have an adjustable LED flashlight that is really bright and can run for 8 hours on a full charge. I usually leave the flashlight in place when I am out and about then remove it when it is time to charge.
The other accessory included is a handheld fan. The base connects in the same method as the flashlight, then simply slide the rubber blades on. The fan comes in pretty handy on a hot day sitting in a bow hunting blind.
The final included accessory is the Micro Tip adapter. The adapter connects like the others and provides a tangle free micro USB cord. The cord is high quality and just as rugged as the Switch 10 is.
The Nomad 7 solar panel is an awesome product. The panel folds up small enough to fit nearly anywhere and includes an accessory pouch on the back to hold the Switch 10 and accessories. The junction box containing the charging ports is located inside this pouch. It houses a USB, 12V, and Guide 10 cords, as well as a port to chain multiple panels together for added power.
The ultra portable Nomad 7 is lightweight and weather proof, making it perfect for just about any situation. I actually left mine outside one night (not on purpose) and it weathered a huge rainstorm with no problems. To convert any backpack into a solar pack, simply attach the panel and let it go to work while you hike.
I absolutely love the Goal Zero Switch 10 Mutli-tool Kit. The entire kit is made tough for the outdoors out of high quality materials. Having the ability to recharge my phone while away from a power source is convenient and could even be life saving in certain situations. The sun comes up everyday and this kit allows users to harness that clean, free energy to keep their devices charged while on the go.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I like: Rugged, ultraportable, all-in-one personal solar solution. Simply awesome.
What can be improved: I would have liked some included clips to make attaching the Nomad 7 to items easier.