The Goal Zero Switch 8 solar recharging kit combines the Switch 8 battery pack with a Nomad 3.5 solar panel, allowing you to gather and store solar power, and recharge your devices almost anywhere.
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This item contains hazardous or flammable materials and is restricted to surface shipping only. Online orders for shipment to Alaska must be picked up at the Anchorage REI store (follow options for Free Shipping to REI Store when ordering); shipment to any other Alaska address is not offered. Sorry, this product cannot be shipped to Hawaii, APO, FPO or international addresses.
Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kitis rated3.7778out of5by18.
Rated1out of5byCrankyspokefromNice Idea...Poor ExecutionAs an REI Member I rely heavily on reviews when purchasing equipment. In this particular case I was sorely disappointed in both the equipment and Goal Zero's response regarding the Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit that was ordered on February 28, 2014. I purchased this product for a cross country bicycle that will originate at the Vietnam Memorial and end in Seattle, Washington commencing April 10, 2014. At 65 years of age I felt that having a smart phone was a must for safety reasons and that the Switch 8 was exactly what I needed to keep it charged. Initially the Switch 8 worked well and I was pleased. Unfortunately, after only three charges the battery seemed to be losing life and would not charge the phone. While I received a quick response from Goal Zero, they had little to offer except to say the battery was bad. I followed up with a telephone call to a very polite Goal Zero representative and in this case they suggested purchasing a more expensive unit as a solution.
I was not satisfied with this product...it simply does not work...but I am pleased that I purchased it from REI so that it could be returned albeit after paying $16 in shipping. With this particular product, the concept is great, the unit size and configuration wonderful, but unfortunately the product simply does not work and battery would not charge an IPhone. The unit ceased to perform after several charges. Very unhappy with its performance and Goal Zero's response.
Date published: 2014-03-20
Rated3out of5byRusmanfromSurvival Use OnlyAs a hiker and backpacker, I would categorize this as a minimalist or survival version of Goal Zero solar power options. It works fine to charge a phone or GPS for short-run emergency use only, but not so functional for continuous power needs like GPS tracking or always-on applications. Why? With my testing/results, it takes 10-12 hours in continuous good sunlight with the Nomad 3.5 to charge a depleted Switch 8, and I can only get one full iPhone 4S charge from a fully charged Switch 8. Hiking in the SouthEastern USA in mostly tree cover, I've yet to get a full charge in a day. When backpacking, I use my iPhone on very minimal power consumption primarily for GPS route tracking to record and catalog my routes. On anything more than a two-day/night hike, I'm losing usage to power-charge ratio. I really wanted this to solve my multi-day needs with light-weight functionality, but it falls short.
However, the weight is pretty light and manageable for backpacking, good. The loops are not sewn into the package well at all, bad. I do not trust them. I use Nite Ize Gear Ties to secure the kit to my pack using the loops to hold position only (no stress), works. The zip mesh and connections are functional to keep things tidy and secured, good.
The Guide 10 7-watt version could probably handle my multi-day needs, but it is too bulky and heavy for preference. Maybe this is just the limits of current solar technology. You need to prioritize your needs and preferences for these products. Depending on your watt/time needs, I would recommend the product with consideration to its limitations.
Date published: 2014-03-18
Rated5out of5byhikingbootsfromWorks as advertisedI was able to use the Switch 8 battery pack to charge my iPhone5 from 30% to 95% and it only used up half the battery. I did the same the next day. It took about 6 hours of sunlight in direct sun to fully charge the battery with the solar panels. I'm pleased with the results.
Date published: 2013-11-20
Rated5out of5byfoto808fromVery good all aroundIm in the Army and bought this so that I could charge my phone, ipod, and my gopro while I was training away from the comforts of my room.
I bought this off of a suggestion from one of the people working at REI. I needed something light weight and small. And this is exactly that. The solar pannel it self is small and the battery pack is even smaller and very versitle. If there is not enough sun outside, I could charge the battery pack from any usb charger.
The solar pannel itself folds up nice and neat. It also has little loops around the solar pannel so its easy to hang it or attach it to a backpack. Another nice thing about the solar pannel is that theres a small zipper pocket on the back side of the solar pannel. It can fit the battery pack and the usb cable to charge the battery pack along with 2 more cables.
The battery pack holds a very good charge and for a good amount of time. Its also very small.
The only con that I have is I'm affraid that I'm going to break the solar pannel. I'm in the Army so I do a lot of rough training compared to the average civilian camper or hiker.
Bottome line, I would reccomend this to my friends if they every wanted something like this.
Date published: 2013-10-30
Rated3out of5byRachPTfromVersatile, but slow solar chargeIt takes a long time in the sun to fully charge, but it is quick to charge your phone/camera/etc. It did the job, but just not quite as efficiently as I had hoped.
Date published: 2013-08-28
Rated5out of5byDaryl LaffertyfromGot me through the John Muir TrailI took this on the John Muir Trail, 220 miles and more than three weeks. It kept my smart phone charged the whole way, with enough left over for an occasional charge for companions' phones and for my rechargeable SteriPen.
To be fair, though I never turned it off, my phone was in Airplane Mode the whole time except for occasional GPS readings. I did use it to read books at night in my tent. I would estimate that on an average day I used 20 - 30% of the phone charge.
At the beginning of the hike there were clouds in the sky and we were often in the forest. On those days I got barely enough to charge my phone. But on later days with full sun, hiking above the tree line I got plenty of charge.
The solar panel comes with strings on each corner. I used those strings to tie the panel to the top of my backpack. Two of the strings tore loose while I was hiking and I had to tie to different ones. That was the only defect I encountered.
Date published: 2013-08-15
Rated4out of5bysandyannfromBackpackers Score AgainI purchased the Switch 8 to take on the JMT for a backpacking trip. I purchased a couple Nite Ize Gear Ties (at REI) to attach the panel to my backpack so I could hike and charge at the same time. The panel charged even in indirect light. I was able to keep my phone charged for the entire trip.
So I charged the battery pack during the day while hiking and the battery charged my phone pretty quickly at night.
I plan on using this on all future camping, backpacking, and road trips.
Date published: 2013-08-08
Rated2out of5byXMan714fromDisappointing performanceI tested this product on two separate days, one fully sunny 90 degree day, one partly cloudy 90 degree day. Performance was fairly equal. The issue is that the charger is very slow and with a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, its best work was able to charge it 50% capacity. I think this product would be more effective if the solar panels were twice as large in surface area and the lithium ion battery had at least triple the capacity.
Date published: 2013-07-31
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Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit Customer Reviews