Goal Zero’s latest portable recharger solution may be lightweight and affordable but is definitely big in power. The magic marker size Switch 8 fits in your pocket and when paired together with the Nomad 3.5 solar panel, will keep you fully powered up wherever you go.
The Switch 8 portable recharger is USB in and USB out so will work with any of your electronics that have a USB compatible charger such as your mobile phone, iPad, or even rechargeable headlamps like the upcoming Black Diamond ReVolt.
Goal Zero took it one step further with the Switch 8 and created a variety of customized caps that enable you to power lots of different mobile phone types or various gadgets directly. This means you can leave all those different charging cords at home when you hit the trail.
The Nomad 3.5 pocket size foldable solar panel delivers power to the portable recharger, fully charging it in 6-12 hours depending on the amount of sunlight available. The lithium battery can also be charged from your car, wall outlet, or even your computer. Pockets on the solar panel let you stow your gadgets while they are charging to protect them from falling off rocks or tents.
The Switch 8 portable charger retails for $50 by itself or $120 as part of a kit with Nomad 3.5 solar panel. Both will be available early this fall.
I am curious if everyone prefers the solar panel and portable recharger to be separate units as in the Goal Zero approach, enabling you to bring one or the other or both depending on the length of your backcountry trip, or do you prefer the solar panels built into the battery pack like the Brunton Restore?