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Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack Review

Posted by on March 6, 2013

Overview:

“Ultra lightweight USB solar charging system that fits in your pocket. Use as a single unit power pack to power your device or as a power source to recharge the batteries for use in any AA or AAA battery powered device.” – Goal Zero

Guide 10 Plus

The Deets:

Charge Time:

  • 8-10 hours (from any USB power source),
  • 2-4 hours (from Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel)

Outputs:

  • 4x AA or AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries
  • Standard UBS port (5W, 1A max)

Physical Size: 2.5 x 4 x 0.75 in

Weight: 0.4 lbs

MSRP: $39.99

 

The Review:

The GOAL ZERO Guide 10 Plus battery pack served me very well by keeping my smart phone and other small electronics charged throughout a five-day long power outage in the wake of Snowpocalypse 2013! This pocket-sized power-pack carries four AA (or AAA) NiMH rechargeable batteries and is capable of outputting 5W via a standard UBS port to charge small electronics (cell phones, smart phones, GPS, radios, ect). The packs batteries can be charged directly from the GOAL ZERO Nomad 3.5 Solar Panel, Nomad 7 Solar Panel or from any USB power source. Overall, I was impressed with the performance and versatility of the Guide 10 Plus and feel that it is a great choice for backcountry use and emergency preparedness! Here is a breakdown of my experience with charging devices from the pack, charging the pack, and my other thoughts:

The blizzard was raging for the first two days of the power outage and I was unable to use my Nomad 7 Solar Panel to recharge the NiMH AA batteries that came with Guide 10 Plus. During this time, I decided to replace these batteries with standard alkaline AA batteries in an attempt to keep my HTC Droid Incredible 2 smartphone charged. Let’s just say that I was tearing through these standard alkaline batteries with each set of four AAs providing only a 60% charge to my smartphone with 2 hours of charging.

Using the Guide 10 Plus to charge my HTC Droid Incredible 2 smartphone

Using the Guide 10 Plus to charge my HTC Droid Incredible 2 smartphone

I was able to charge the included NiMH batteries when the sun came back out on days 3-5 and these batteries performed much better. The fully-charged NiMH batteries were able to provide a 100% charge to my phone with 2 hours of charging and still had a bit more “juice” in reserve. Just for your reference, GOAL ZERO claims that the Guide 10 Plus can “recharge you cell phone 1-3 times” on a fully-charged set of NiMH batteries. Please consider that the number of full charges and the charge times are dependent on the device being charged.

I had the chance to charge my Guide 10 Plus via a GOAL ZERO Nomad 7 solar panel a few times on days 3-5 of the power outage. The Nomad 7 solar panel was able to provide a full charge to the included NiMH AA batteries in 2.5 hours in direct sun and 3.5 hours in mixed sun and shade. (Note that GOAL ZERO recommends that only NiMH rechargeable batteries be used when charging the battery pack.) The Guide 10 Plus is also compatible with the Nomad 3.5 solar panel which has a slightly smaller footprint but a much longer (6hour+) charging time.

Charging the Guide 10 Plus via the Nomad 7 Solar Panel after the blizard!

Charging the Guide 10 Plus via the Nomad 7 Solar Panel after the blizzard!

Aside from solar charging options, the Guide 10 Plus may be charged directly from any USB power source with estimated charging times in the 6-10 hour range. I wasn’t able to take advantage of this during the power outage but I can appreciate the versatility that this charging option provides. I could totally see myself charging up my Guide 10 Plus in my car when paddling in the nether-reaches of Maine!

Overall, I am very impressed with the performance and versatility of the Guide 10 Plus battery pack! After my experiences with it during the power outage I’m excited to bring it along on my next extended paddling trip where I may need to charge small devices such as radios and cell phones mid-trip. I envision making use of the Nomad 7 during a mid-day siesta to store a charge on the Guide 10 Plus to recharge the radio at night.

I recommend adding the AAA battery adapter kit to increase the versatility of your Guide 10 Plus

I recommend adding the AAA battery adapter kit to increase the versatility of your Guide 10 Plus

Furthermore, the small size of the Guide 10 Plus power pack makes taking it along a no-brainer; it will replace and be huge upgrade over the extra AA batteries that are presently in my kit. After the storm, I decided to pick up the GOAL ZERO AAA NiMH battery kit as it contains the adaptor needed to charge AAA batteries via the Guide 10 Plus. This should come in handy for keeping things like headlamps running on the water trail!

Bottom line: The Guide 10 Plus is an impressive little power pack that deserves a place in the sea kayakers extended-trip kit. It has a small footprint, offers numerous charging options, and provides more than enough power to keep your small electronics running!

Keep the Power On!

-Kayak Dave

 

Pros: Multiple charging options (USB and solar). Reasonable charge times. 5W USB output to charge small electronics. Charges both AA and AAA NiMH batteries. Includes flashlight.

Cons: AAA battery adaptor sold separately. Standard alkaline batteries don’t perform as well.

BETA: Be sure to test the compatibility of the Guide 10 Plus with all of your small electronics prior to your trip and be sure to bring along all of the required charging cables. The Guide 10 Plus power pack is also available as part of the Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit which comes with the Nomad 7 solar panel for $119.99 MSRP.

Kayak Dave Rating:

4 and a half paddles

 

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