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  #1  
Old 08-13-2013, 3:22 PM
ricemanff ricemanff is offline
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Default Backpacking solar panel

I am looking for a backpacking solar panel something like a Goal Zero. I am looking for opinions and brands you guys have used.
Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2013, 4:50 PM
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Goal Zero is hard to beat. Amazon sells a small panel that is made by the same company that makes Goal Zero. It is Coleman brand. I have both and they both work great. I gave my son who lived in Alaska one of the Coleman ones and he never has had a problem with it.
http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-22007...=coleman+solar
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Old 08-13-2013, 7:56 PM
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Do you need this for outdoors trip or just as a backup charger for everyday use?

If you need it for the outdoors take a look at the BioLite wood stove it has a charger built in and put out a steady 2 watts. Its a charger and a stove as well. It could come in handy while packing around in the outdoors, not so much around town though. Not cheap at $130 but it is pretty hand while camping out of a backpack to charge things like a gps unit, cell phones, and led lights.
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Old 08-13-2013, 7:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorn5150 View Post
Goal Zero is hard to beat. Amazon sells a small panel that is made by the same company that makes Goal Zero. It is Coleman brand. I have both and they both work great. I gave my son who lived in Alaska one of the Coleman ones and he never has had a problem with it.
http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-22007...=coleman+solar
I just purchased that, thanks for the link.
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  #5  
Old 08-13-2013, 9:09 PM
ricemanff ricemanff is offline
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It is for a week long deer hunting trip. In the past I have just turned off my phone, but this year I am taking my son. My wife is a little worried. Funny thing was she never worried when I went....
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricemanff View Post
It is for a week long deer hunting trip. In the past I have just turned off my phone, but this year I am taking my son. My wife is a little worried. Funny thing was she never worried when I went....
well that stove would come in handy but I cant help you with the wife. maybe you can quilt her into buying you new optics or better yet that camp stove
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Old 08-14-2013, 4:35 AM
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I was going to recommend this since it's inexpensive and works:
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-watt-...ger-60449.html

However, that Coleman model seems way better!

(Goalzero has always been overpriced IMO)
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2013, 5:43 AM
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I use the GoalZero Nomad for backpacking. Works good. May be higher priced than the Coleman, but GoalZero has superior customer service and is becoming a really innovative company.

As for the BioLite stove... It's too heavy to backpack with. If you're going to be in one spot, it would be a good, but expensive possibility.
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2013, 6:03 AM
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Harbor freight, don't forget to bring their 20% coupon from newspapers or magazines with you.
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Old 08-14-2013, 6:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCU1670 View Post
Harbor freight.
Not really worth it IMHO.

Coleman- 7.5w- $34.24
Harbor Freight- 5w- $39.99 (coupon drops it down to around $32)

Coleman = more bang for less buck.

Last edited by Nor Cal Scot; 08-14-2013 at 6:33 AM..
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  #11  
Old 08-14-2013, 4:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd_shooter View Post
I was going to recommend this since it's inexpensive and works:
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-watt-...ger-60449.html

However, that Coleman model seems way better!

(Goalzero has always been overpriced IMO)
Goal Zero is overpriced but if you catch them on sale at Amazon or at the Costco road show promotion they are priced reasonably. The Harbor freight solar panels are a different design then the Goal Zero and Coleman. They won't last as long.

I have a real small Goal Zero, panel I think it is 5 watts, that I use just for a rechargeable LED light. The light uses an 18650 (I think) battery and is a flame thrower. It's nice to leave it plugged in during the day with the small panel on a pack to charge.

I with that little panel was for sale by Coleman too.
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  #12  
Old 08-14-2013, 5:41 PM
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I used the goal zero on a backpacking trip last year, and their brand of AA charger for it (the "plus" version). I'd have to give a mixed review on it.

Basically it is a great setup if you just use AA's for one or two flashlights. If you need it to also keep a phone charged (for pics), charge AA's for a GPS, etc, you won't get enough power out of it. The charge times are overly optimistic.

Also, if you are mounting it on your backpack you need to consider the direction you're hiking. Hiking south for example will mean you have limited sun on the panel if mounted on the back or top of your pack.
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Last edited by stix213; 08-14-2013 at 5:44 PM..
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2013, 4:28 AM
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I use a backpack made by Voltaic or something of the other. My wife bought it for me, one of the best geek toys she got me other than my macbook. I use both everyday. Anyway, the backpack model i got they discontinued, but its a smaller backpack that only fits the laptop and not as bulky. It is shown as a solar panel backpack that is small enough to attach to another pack. It has MOLLE too, which attaches to my plate carrier. Mall ninja unite!
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  #14  
Old 08-16-2013, 8:04 PM
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I used a Goal Zero Nomad7 with a Guide10 Plus AA battery pack and kept my iPhone charged for a week in the Grand Canyon in April. I used the phone for photos, video, GPS maps, and reading at night. It worked perfectly. It charged my batteries in 2-4 hours but YMMV; I was in full sun every day. It's important to note that the panel will charge the AA battery pack much faster than it can charge through the usb port.
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2013, 6:47 AM
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Goal Zero is a good one the San Diego Craigslist had a great deal on one
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2013, 7:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorn5150 View Post
Goal Zero is hard to beat. Amazon sells a small panel that is made by the same company that makes Goal Zero. It is Coleman brand. I have both and they both work great. I gave my son who lived in Alaska one of the Coleman ones and he never has had a problem with it.
http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-22007...=coleman+solar

I'm not sure if they are made by the same company, but I can say for sure, the GoalZero is weather resistant (not directly being rained on, but in a wet environment), but the Coleman was not. Some guy named Greg posted a few pictures and a basic review.
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  #17  
Old 08-24-2013, 8:33 PM
ricemanff ricemanff is offline
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Well I bought the Goal Zero nomad 7 with the guide 10. I not sure I like it. I guess I can always take it back if it doesn't hold up like I want it to.
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