Published on February 26th, 2015 | by Greg


Goal Zero Switch 10: A Solar Multi-Tool Kit

Consider this optimism, a sign of hope that winter is leaving and brighter days coming. Staff in Hawaii and San Francisco report clear skies and sun, but here in New York City, we’re still buried in snow, sleet, and plenty of clouds. With Spring fast approaching though (fingers crossed), it’s time to start planning your camping trips and settling on your gear for the new season. We’ve had a chance to do some skiing and snowboarding , and while it’s not quite the same, it’s still a great chance to test out some outdoors technology.

The Goal Zero Switch 10 Multi-Tool Kit is definitely ideal for overnight trips, since it includes a nifty flashlight- but there is also a unique fan, the Switch 10 battery pack, and their Nomad 7 Solar Panel. Altogether, you’re only looking at a little over five ounces of weight in total, and you’ve got the ability to power up your phone, or anything else that is USB-chargeable. The pack holds up to 3,000mAh, and can put out 1.5 amps total, with a touted quick-charge function. And we loved the tiny-but-powerful electric fan- simply attach it to the battery pack, which is ergonomically-shaped for holding, and you can cool off quick.

The Goal Zero kit also includes tangle-free device-specific cables for phones and tablets (though no Lightning cables for the iPhone 6 or 6+). The flashlight itself also slips onto the battery pack, and puts our 110 lumens, enough to cut through even the darkest conditions. It doesn’t have a lot of options- no red color for saving night vision though red lenses are available separately- but does offer low/high power controls and a nicely wide angle beam. You can expect up to five hours of fan use or four hours of flashlight power from a single battery charge, but charging the cells is fast if you can find direct, bright sunlight (we were able to get the battery back full in about six hours). For those with more serious needs, Goal Zero offers a wide range of solar panels, including more sizes in the foldable Nomad line. And the panel has loops for easy hanging and adjusting to better align with the sun.

When we last checked in with Goal Zero, we got some serious use in harsh conditions, so we know their products can hold up well. This one isn’t rigid, so you’ll need to find a way to keep it flat, but it is weather-resistant. Available now, and priced at a very reasonable $120, perfect for anyone looking for power on the go, a top-notch solar panel, and a few accessories that set it apart from the rest of the market.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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