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Showing 11-20 of 118 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 136 reviews
on April 9, 2012
Loses one star due to inability to provide sufficient power for iPad charging (anything requiring more than 0.5A).

Otherwise this is a superior product at a great price:

Pros:
- VERY easy to use. the Guide 10 battery charger/power kit is extremely useful and the included batteries are excellent low-discharge 2300mah type.
- I was able to charge three sets of low discharge AA batteries in an afternoon.
- Panels will directly charge my iPhone and the AA batteries at the same time.
- I Norther California I had zero issues with overheating. Instructions tell you how to avoid this as well.
- instructions are very simple and easy to understand.
- Comes with 12V adapter, mini USB adapter (fits most GPS units), and battery charger cable.
- Folds up into a nice package for simple transport.

Cons:
- Had to purchase Guide10 Plus separately in order to charge slightly higher demand devices. (iPad or devices requiring more than 0.5A).

Overall I am extremely pleased. This will enable us to have charged phones in any instance (as long as there's light) as well as GPS charging. VERY useful solar station at a reasonable price.

Hope that helps.
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on October 25, 2011
Great for on the go charging. This stuff is tough

The solar panel doesn't disappoint either even when overcast my phone gets a slow charge which is great. I does take a bit longer then charging versus the guide 10 when the panel is in direct sun however. Oh it does scratch easy but I haven't noticed any effect on charges with the few minor ones on mine. The panel can get take a light shower of rain but I still keep the connectors area covered with ziploc bag just to make sure

The guide 10 is amazing, I thought that it being plastic would make it easy to break or damage, I was surprise this thing has traveled with me everywhere and get knocked and dropped only thing happened is a few scratches. It does charge other nickel metal hudride (niMH) batteries too but I found that the ones that it came with work the best for holding a lasting charge.

For someone that adventures and needs a light system to keep your small electronics charged this is the system for it

Hope this helps you
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on September 24, 2012
I read all the reviews about this solar panel before deciding to buy this one. When it showed I started playing around with it to see what it could charge up just from the usb port. Well with it sitting in my back room and just thru the window it charged up my mp3 player in about 1 1/2 hours. Not bad since I had to keep moving the panel to stay in the light. When I took the unit outside and recharged the Guide 10 pack, had the batteries charging up much faster in full light and also tested the mp3 player again out in the light. This time it only had one bar to go to full charge but, got it back while on my lunch break, 30mins.
I also found that most windshields will slow down or stop the charging as they block the UV rays. Found that if you start the panel off charging in direct light and then move it to the car seat to finish, it keeps charging as long as the panel stays in the light. Worked well to finish charging the Guide 10.
The Guide 10 with just the in package charge out of the box was able to charge my Droid phone from 5% to 80% in just 20 minutes before it drained. with a full charge on the pack I think this will be a great addition to the outdoor gear.
While the unit all together is a bit heavy for the hard core long haul hiker, for the weekend or car camper this will be perfect for keeping your GPS or the kids DS up and working. If you can find a multi ended usb cord that has all of your plugs I would recommend that. The little pocket on the panel is just that, little. Good for maybe one or two small cords or the Guide 10 and its charge cord. Most of my items use the same plug so I have two usb cords and I am good to go.
I have done all my testing in warmer weather and I know that will help the charging, have a trip in Nov to N.Pa. that I am going to see how it handles the cooler weather while inside a cabin window. Know I need to keep it from freezing so it won't be out in the car.
My over all rating of 4 stars, lost one for the weight. They really push it is for the outdoors and yes just don't see too many with the heavy battery pack. Maybe the panel and charge directly only.
Overall---This is a buy and I have recommended it to friends all ready.
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on September 14, 2011
I got this to put in my emergency kit, it'll recharge batteries for my ham radio. The fact that I can use it to recharge a cell phone, ipod, or other usb powered device is just bonus in my opinion. I haven't been able to give it a good field test yet, but I have used it in sub-optimal conditions and it still charges the batteries up (certainly much more slowly than it would under prime conditions). I'm going to have to save up for one of the more powerful kits to power my CPAP in the event of a disaster, I'll definitely be using for camping as well. All in all, a great product. The quality is quite apparent, it doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart in your hands and in fact, gives the impression that it could hold up to quite a bit of abuse (although, I for one won't intentionally test it in this regard). The battery charger works great with or without the solar panel. I've been able to plug it into a usb port and charge batteries up without any issues. It also works as advertised in that it can supply power through the built in usb port. I completely recommend this for people looking for backup/emergency power for small electronic devices.
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on March 16, 2012
Pros:
Power Pack took a couple of hours to charge - during the early part of the morning.

The Power Pack was able to charge two completely discharged iPod Touchs.

The instructions say the panels are rain & snow proof, I have yet to test this. The Power Pack says only use in dry locations - so I'm not sure if you can charge on the go while it is raining/snowing.

I'm testing to see if it will charge other name NiMh brand batteries. I started late afternoon on a cloudy day, so far only the red light blinks at least that is an indicator that it is charging.

08.03.12 - update
This does charge other rechargeable battery brands.

I always fold the battery pack underneath the panels, to prevent heat exposure from the sun or I cover the battery pack side with a white cover / something reflective. This prevents the batteries from overheating. This is important because of the intense heat from the sun, sitting for hours.

Cons:
The box says the AAA insert is included. There is no AAA insert in the box. If you need to charge AAA batteris - you will need to purchase the AAA battery set - that comes with the insert.

08.03.2012 - update
I'm using the solar charger indoors - the light is from a skylight (hot summer day). So far charging is going as planned, however due to the limited angle of the Sun with the skylight, the time available is limited - but it works!
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on July 26, 2013
I bought this charger since I knew I would be away from 110 v AC outlets for multiple days and needed my smart phone. The solar panels work great if you can leave them in the direct sun light pointed at the sun. Takes multiple hours to charge the battery pack. I did not find charging the phone and the battery pack at the same time worked well. The batteries sucked up the bulk of the power and the phone did not charge significantly. To resolve this I recommend that you purchase a second charging pack so you can charge your phone off a battery pack, while the other battery pack is being charged. The solar panel hangs nicely on the back of a backpack and does charge some while you are hiking.The system is rugged and is water resistant. I found this a life saver in the wild.
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on March 12, 2012
The portable panel that comes with this kit is capable of collecting up to 7 watts! (I almost paid over 50% more for a 5 watt system that did not have the extra capabilities of this system)
I confirmed with GoalZero that the serial # of the Guide 10 I just received does not have the overheating problem. It is a well designed device. I put it in the window at work instead of direct sun and it was able to get a weak charge. In order to charge an Android based smart phone I used/use the Guide10 to supplement the panel. I was planning on carrying 4 "extra" NMH AA batteries with me anyway so letting them live in the Guide 10 lets them do double duty. I am looking forward to being able to use the power pack to give a little boost to devices around camp at night once in a while and then just let the battery pack recharge during the next day of hiking.
Have had the kit for a couple of weeks now and am still quite happy with it and would recommend it to others. From my research this is pretty much the BEST price / performance Solar Charging system available in early 2012. The panel .8 lb and the fully populated battery pack .8 lb (1.6 lb total) is a bit heavier than I would like but I justify it based on multiple use. (The extra power should allow me to use Android based smart phone as my Technical Reference Library, Trail Guides, GPS / Navigation system, backup music player, video game, movie / video player, phone, journal, etc without it turning into a paperweight because of the power draw.)
I like the multiple attachment points that make it easy to attach to a backpack while hiking. I tried to charge the battery pack early morning before the sun came out and did not get quite enough light to charge.
I contacted the manufacturer because I did not get the Guide 10 manual with the kit. If I had simply flipped the GUIDE 10 device upside down it has a HUGE CHART permanently printed on the bottom that explains everything you need to know in one concise list. (Very nice touch - something tells me that people actually USED these in the field before / when designing them)
I had read a number of reviews with people complaining about problems charging iPhone. I took a colleague's phone and hooked it straight to Nomad 7 panel in good sun and it instantly started charging. (I would "daisy chain" it off Guide 10 if trying to charge while hiking so the power pack can "hide" or mask shady spots or variable light conditions while hiking.)
They have other panels that are able to "daisy chain" with each other, the Nomad 7 can only be the "caboose" in a daisy chain of multiple panels. (allowing for faster charging / more power)
I will be watching GoalZero to see what else they come up with, because they really get the usability thing.
IF you insist on looking for cheaper / lighter options then make sure the panel you select is capable of collecting at least 5 watts (if you plan on charging smart phones) and be aware that unless a panel uses MONOCRYSTALLINE silicone panels (the more expensive kind) - the only type that give BOTH good power and portability.
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on August 7, 2012
The guide 10 pack was very flaky, failing to indicate a charge, and eventually completely failing (not even powering the USB with known charged batteries). Goal Zero replaced with a working Guide 10 Plus and I have been happy ever since - the Guide 10 can give a single full charge to my LG Thrill. While there are more cost-effective solutions, this is the only one on the current market that seems to adequately run virtually any USB device while using commodity user-replaceable batteries (competition currently uses integrated batteries that are not replaceable when they wear out). Not a smart charger - you must monitor to help ensure you dont overcharge. 12v option worked great charging my power station/jump starter, but only gave a partial charge when using the 12v through a LiPoly charger to charge an RC plane battery. I suspect that many 12v chargers require more wattage to work properly. I treated the fabric and panel with a UV protectant (slightly degrades performance) and hope to get many years of life out of the kit.
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on July 18, 2012
I was very pleased with Goal Zero Guide 10 product. I used this product to keep my IPhone 4S and Garmin watch (track mileage/altitude) charged during a 12 day backpacking trip at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in New Mexico. I was able to keep both devices charged the entire trip. I typically charged both the Garmin and IPhone daily straight from the Goal Zero solar panel during extended breaks from backpacking or in the afternoon while setting up camp. The panel size was very easy to store in the top of my pack so I could pull it out quickly and easily set it up during breaks. While I originally intended to backpack with it attached on the outside of my pack, I never used it in that manner. I also never experienced any issues charging the IPhone 4S directly from the solar panel even with intermittent breaks in the sun from the clouds as reported by other product reviewers. I did experience some issues in using the battery pack to charge the IPhone. The phone would not consistently start charging when I turned on the battery pack. I would disconnect/reconnect and turn on and off several times and it would eventually work. While very pleased with the product, I rated four versus five stars due to the issue using the battery pack. In summary, I was pleased with my purchase and the devices performance on my trip. In summary I was pleased with the devices performance on my trip.
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on October 3, 2011
I ordered this for backpacking (via amazon), as I have a Droid with the Backcountry Navigator/GPS app. It's small enough to tie onto the top of my pack while I'm out, and versatile enough to give me some options. I bought some extra rechargeable AA and AAA batteries. I can charge all 3 sets via USB with the included cable before heading out... plenty of power for a weekend trip. There's also a DC connection for the car chargers, and a cable from the solar panel to the included battery pack. (You can also charge directly to the phone, but I prefer the battery pack if it's possible) Unlike many chargers, this does charge the battery pack all the way, and can recharge my Droid fully. I haven't had the chance to see how well the solar-only portion works, but I'm happy with the results so far. There are cheaper models of chargers with mixed reviews, but I just didn't want to take a chance when on extended hikes. This one has the best reviews, and it was worth it for the peace of mind. Being able to communicate when there's a signal available is a God send. Even without a signal, I can still get my GPS and downloaded maps. Just keep it all dry!
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