Goal Zero SHERPA 100PD Power Bank Review: It Saved the Day When the Power Was Out

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The Lowdown

The Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank is a beast. It has Qi-wireless charging and USB-C PD

Overall
4

Pros

  • Solid
  • Huge battery capacity
  • Includes Qi-wireless charging
  • USB-C PD keeps laptops charged
  • Includes charging and low-battery protection

Cons

  • Qi—wireless charging limited to 5W
  • Heavy
  • Does not include wall adapter for charging
  • No cables built-in
Goal Zero SHERPA 100PD Power Bank Review: It Saved the Day When the Power Was Out Listen to this article

A storm some weeks ago left us in the cold, literally. We had no idea how long the power would be out, but my wife and I still needed to work. Thankfully, we’d been sent the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank and Yeti 200X Portable Power Station for us to check out; these power sources kept our phones, tablets, and computers going until our electricity returned.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank

The Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank is a beast. Its solid metal build and overall heft took me a bit by surprise. I’ve used large external batteries but nothing quite like this. And this is the smaller of the two batteries Goal Zero sent that we’ll be looking at.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank

Inside the box, you get the Sherpa 100PD and a 39” USB to USB-C Connector Cable. The company does not include a wall adapter. That was a bit of a bummer, especially considering the price. Fortunately, most of us have plenty of wall adapters we can use. If you don’t, assume you will have to spend additional money to purchase one.

The company describes the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank this way:

It’s our best-selling power bank, slimmed down and dialed. With 94.72 Watts of power delivered to your most crucial devices in a fraction of the time, the Sherpa 100PD is made for action-packed days when every minute counts. Charge USB-C laptops, tablets, phones, mirrorless cameras, and more.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank

The smooth, aluminum metal used in the battery’s case has a nice feel. Plastic end caps are solidly affixed tone side.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank

The “business side” of the battery is where you will find all the powers and indicators.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank

A USB-C input/output port can deliver up to 60W to keep phones, tablets, and even laptops charged. There are two 2.4A USB-A, so you can use almost any of the cables you have laying around to charge additional devices.

When using the USB-C PD port and a 60W adapter, the battery takes two and a half hours to charge. A 45W wall adapter will require three hours before the battery is full. You can also use the USB-A port, but that will take up to nine hours. Finally, Goal Zero sells solar chargers that work with the Sherpa 100PD. Depending on the model, the solar charging takes nine to fourteen hours.

A small power button turns the battery on and off while also illuminating the small battery meter indicating the amount of charge left in the battery.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank

The final button turns the wireless charging functionality on and off. You read that right- the large, flat surface of the Sherpa 100PD is a Qi-wireless charger. Yes, it is only a 5W charger. However, it is still nice to have this functionality since it means you can use this single battery to charge your laptop via USB-C, your smartphone via Qi-wireless charging, and two additional devices so long as you have the appropriate cables for them. It also means you can keep your phone charged even if you left all your cables at home.

Inside the metal housing is a battery array equivalent to a single 25,600mAh battery. That’s some serious power delivery in a package that, while substantial, is still small and light enough to take on your next adventure. Plus, the battery is equipped with charging and low-battery protection, so your devices get charged safely.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.7 x 1.0 in
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Charging Times: USB-C PD (60W): 2.5 hrs; Wall Charger (45W): 3 hrs; USB-A (2.4A): 9 hrs
  • Ports: Wireless Qi (output): 5W max; USB-A: 5V, up to 2.4A (12W max), regulated; USB-C PD port (input/output): 5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V up to 3A (60W max), regulated
  • Battery Details:  Li-ion, Single Cell Equivalent Capacity: 25600mAh @ 3.7V
  • Shelf-life: Charge every 3-6 months
  • Management system: Charging and low-battery protection built-in

Before digging a bit deeper into what the Sherpa 100PD offers, let’s step back for a moment and talk a bit about PD, aka Power Delivery. It is an important technology that is changing the way we use our mobile devices but, too often, people assume everyone knows what it is. Goal Zero explains it this way:

Power Delivery (PD) is a specification for handling higher power and allows a range of devices to charge quickly over a USB connection. It operates by facilitating a conversation between two devices to negotiate a power contract so they can determine how much power can be pulled from the charger. Power Delivery starts at the 5V setting and is configurable up to 20V. Using a standard USB-C cable, it can handle up to 60W, and will go up to 100W using a designated EMCA cable.

Another point of interest regarding Power Delivery is that it allows for power to flow both ways, with no set direction based on circuit or connection. For example, if you were to connect two phones that support Power Delivery with a USB-C charging cable, one phone could charge the other and vice versa.

In other words, Power Delivery not only means one port can be used to charge the battery AND let the battery charge other devices, but it also means there is enough smart tech built-in that the devices will get the amount of charge they can safely handle. PD is convenient, it is smart, and it is another way to ensure devices stay as healthy as possible. And the Sherpa 100PD has it. But that’s not all.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank Features

  • Airline approved, travel-ready: Lightweight, sleek design fits easily into packs, bags, and camera cases. Ideal for travel where space is limited.
  • Charge quickly on the move: Fast-charging Power Delivery gives you more power in less time. Charge USB-C laptops, phones, and tablets using the 60W USB-C Power Delivery port.
  • Fast-charging: Power Delivery gives you more power in less time. Charge USB-C laptops, phones, and tablets using the 60W USB-C Power Delivery port. Learn about PD charging.
  • Ditch the cables if you can: Charge your Qi-compatible phone from the integrated Qi charging pad for an entirely wireless experience.
  • No device left behind: Two 2.4A USB ports are useful for devices with proprietary charging, such as fitness trackers, GPS devices, and micro/lightning phones.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank

The Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank came in quite handy when the power went out. It kept our phones going, which, in turn, allowed us to create hotspots for our laptops. At one point, late in the morning, Raina’s laptop was running on fumes. The Sherpa 100PD came to the rescue and let her keep working.

Sure, at 1.4 pounds, the Sherpa 100PD is rather heavy, but if you are worried about a power outage, are taking a long trip, or are simply heading out for the day, isn’t it good to know you’ve got more than enough power for all your devices?

And, if you need something even more substantial… you’ll want to check out the second part of this two-part review when we take a closer look at the Goal Zero YETI 200X!

The Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank sells for $199.95; it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Solid; Huge battery capacity; Includes Qi-wireless charging; USB-C PD keeps laptops charged; Includes charging and low-battery protection

What Needs Improvement: Qi—wireless charging limited to 5W; Heavy; Does not include wall adapter for charging; No cables built-in

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.