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Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Solar Panel
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- Built-in Micro USB Tip Tangle-free charging for phones and tablets; Certified cables for efficient charging
- Solar ready built-in charging tip, no extra cables to lose; Charge up in 4 hours from USB - in 9 hours of full sun from the Nomad 7
- Waterproof while active: dunk it, spray it, use it in the rain; power that handles whatever Mother Nature can throw at you
- 30 Wh, 7,800mAh power pack can power phones (2-3x), tablets (1x) and more; Lightweight and packable from the airport to the trail
- High-speed USB 4.8A across dual ports; Two high-speed ports capable of dishing out the fastest charge possible, at the same time; Power two devices at once or share with a buddy; Integrated Flood Charge optimizes your charging time
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From the manufacturer
Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit
The most rugged, durable, weatherproof phone and tablet recharger on the market, no rubber plugs needed. Charge up from USB or included solar panel. The Venture 30 packs the power you need to keep those small devices, cameras and tablets charged no matter the elements you may be out battling. With an IPX6 weatherproof rating and 7800mAh the Venture will keep everything running smoothly.
Bring It On Mother Nature
Waterproof in Use. Dunk it, spray it, use it in the rain; Power that handles whatever Mother Nature can throw at you.
Charge Two Devices at Once
High-speed USB 4.8A across dual ports Two high-speed ports capable of dishing out the fastest charge possible, at the same time; Power two devices at once or share with a buddy; Integrated Flood Charge optimizes your charging time.
Solar Ready Built-in Charging Tip. No extra cables to lose. Charge up in 4 hours from USB - in 9 hours of full sun from the Nomad 7.
The Venture 30 is more than just a battery, it's a lifeline to adventure, a conduit for exploration. Use it to keep the moment alive, to push the limits of your creation, to keep the essential charged and ready for what happens next - no matter the weather. Phones, cameras, tablets, whatever else you need to follow your passion, keep it all going from one adventure to the next.
Top customer reviews
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My favorite solar charger/battery used to be another product, that was submersible, practically bullet proof, and was an all-in-one unit. But it had three problems: It was cumbersome, it only had one port, and that port worked inconsistently.
Still, no other company really had what I wanted:
- Truly weatherproof and reliable (dust, dirt, rain, snow, temp)
- Submersion level waterproofing
- Highly ruggedized
- Usable when wet (don't have to worry about drying it out
- Efficient solar panel (relatively)
The Venture 30 bundle is all these things and more.
Let's start with the solar panel. The Nomad 7 is the smallest solar panel you can get from Goal Zero, and while it is not nearly as efficient as the Nomad 13, it is much lighter, and still much more efficient than many all-in-one designs. It's smaller size also means that it fits onto small backpacks more easily, whereas the Nomad 13 dwarfs smaller backpacks (and adds weight). Many internal frame backpacks today have tie-outs on top at the corners. But they are not ideally located for the Nomad 13 loops. The Nomad 7's tie-down loops are very close to the tie-outs on top of my Berghaus Centurio 45, Gregory Baltoro 75, Tatonka Lastenkraxe Packsack, and Twin Peaks Pocatello 75. With its lighter weight and tighter tie-downs, the solar panel doesn't move much on the pack, which also means hiking with the nomad 7 is much easier than with the Nomad 13.
The battery itself is really a sign that Goal Zero has listened to backpackers and finally understands what backpackers really want.
I have both the Sherpa 50 and Sherpa 100, but I only take these camping when I'm sure the trail will be easy and the weather will be good. If there might be some rafting involved, possibly crossing water, I definitely won't bring the Sherpa batteries as you never know how wet the pack might get. As great as the features of these units are, it's just not worth the risk as the field ruggedness and waterproof just aren't there. These units are also heavier. Understandable as there are many more features, physical ports for flexibility (along with an option for AC power, and a smarter display. But all those features pale in comparison to the importance of reliability in the field. I love the Sherpa batteries but really only use them on business trips, or days when I'm running around in the city all day.
The Venture 30 lacks many of the Sherpa battery features, but it takes into consideration what matters most to backpackers:
- Three USB ports (two std and one micro),
- A built in cable that won't tangle up easily but is also removable.
(NOTE: the micro USB port goes in sideways, so won't fit smart phones in a case)
- Minimal weight and size impact in a backpack
- Enough storage for about two smart phone charges
- Field reliable: highly ruggedized and waterproof (usable when wet)
There is really only one thing that I would want to add to this, and that's is a slim belt clip on the back. This would allow the Venture 30 to clip to should straps or a belt to make the light easier to use, and also easier to leave hooked onto backpack or belt when charging for a more hands free environment. It's true, you could put this in a "case" which has a belt clip, but it's already ruggedized, so a case would just add unnecessary bulk. A slim belt clip on the Venture itself would make it considerably more convenient.
Of all the Solar panel/battery setups I have, this has become my new favorite for backpacking and I look forward to several trips with this unit.
The biggest factor that most people look at is the capacity of a power bank. Usually the more you can get the better people rank it. The Venture 30 is a 30 Watt hour or 7,800mAh power bank. At $90+ the Venture 30 is anywhere between 2-4 times more expensive than its capacity rivals. I will say right now that if you are looking for the highest capacity for your money then look elsewhere. The Anker power core series is a reputable line that offers around the same (if not more) capacity as the Venture 30 for much less.
What the Venture 30 attempts to do is offer more than just capacity. The power bank is ruggedized and is engineered well. The outer shell is a nice hard plastic combined with rubber bumpers. Also the unit is IPX6 rated for water resistance (not submersible but can handle splashes and quick dunks). The USB ports are also IPX6 rated. This means you don't need a rubber boot to cover the ports. The ports are water and dust resistant on their own. Of course you'd want to clean them out before plugging something in but it is nice to know you are protected without being concerned with a rubber cover.
The Venture 30 has an interesting way to address the "changing speed" issue. A lot of power banks advertise some sort of intelligent charging scheme to get the fastest charge for your device. Goal Zero also implemented this but they allow the user to calibrate it if they want. You simply plug in your device and hold down the battery button for 5 seconds. The unit will go through all the different charging profiles and select the fastest one for your attached device. It will then remember this charging profile for that port so you don't have to do it again. I have measured the different charging rates with my multimeter and found that this only helped get me a faster charging rate a handful of times with a couple devices. Out of the box I found that the charging rate was within 300 milliamps of the maximum possible so I just leave this feature alone most of the time.
I have tested the USB power and found that while the manufacturer specs say 2.4 Amps is the max per port I was able to get up to 3 Amps from one port before the power bank shut itself off to protect itself. This is a good sign since I have seen power banks that let me draw 3-5 Amps and they wouldn't shut down to protect itself. Another good thing to note is that the output voltage never dropped below 5.00 volts during the load testing.
The case is very rugged and can take a hit. There is a rubber outer trim that protects the power bank and also a very thick rubber microUSB cable integrated. The integrated cable can be used to both charge the power bank and also charge a microUSB device. The cable stores into a slot around the power bank and is very tidy. There is also a built in LED light with different flashing modes.
In the end you need to decide what is important to you. I wanted a power bank that could take rough handling and that offered fast charging. The IPX6 rating was also a deciding factor for me. I have owned cheaper power banks with more capacity but they fell short on the build quality and even sometimes lied about the capacity. In the end I still think the Venture 30 is a little too expensive for the total package. If it were priced 10-20% less then I would give it 5 stars.
I own several Goal Zero products and found them all to be of high quality and well thought out. You do pay a premium, sometimes a very hefty one, for their products but I found that in some cases it is worth it. I have several instances where I did not go with the GZ solution since I found a cheaper or better way to get my needs met. That said Goal Zero is a company that knows what they are doing and I find their products to be easy to use. If cost were no option I would probably go with GZ for a lot of my power needs but I do need to keep cost in mind and I will spend it when it counts. I occasionally receive products for review from other companies but I've purchased all of my Goal Zero products with my own money.
I like it and may even buy another one but we would defiantly shop around.
For setting up camp I usually mount the Nomad 7 onto the tent and run a longer USB cable along the bottom and set the Venture 30 in the vestibule of the tent, within a pocket.
One time I left it behind while charging and purchased a replacement right away. Pretty useful for a variety of outdoor scenarios, and of course all the perks of a typical indoor charge unit.