Imagine hiking out in the woods, falling down a hill and injuring your leg, leaving you unable to move. You whip out your smartphone to call for help but it's dead and there's no way to charge it. That's the kind of scenario Goal Zero is tackling with the launch of its Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit, allowing users to keep their smartphones, tablets and other gadgets charged by using the sun.
Goal Zero's new kit includes the portable Switch 8 Recharger, the Nomad 3.5 solar panel, and the Luna LED light to help keep users powered up and illuminated wherever they go. The Nomad 3.5 solar panel juices up the Switch 8 Recharger with sunlight in six to twelve hours – not ideal for emergency situations, but it prevents users from being totally without their device.
The Switch 8 Recharger itself contains a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from any USB source in less than four hours. That way users can load up the recharging device before leaving on a camping trip, and then recharge it again using the Nomad 3.5 solar panel while out in the wilderness. This charger can supposedly replenish your device's battery in less than three hours.
"It’s not what our products do, but what they empower you to do," said Joe Atkin, President and CEO of the Utah-based company. "The Switch 8 Recharger is a great example of conveniently giving people the freedom to go anywhere and do anything without worrying about the battery life of their gear."
Also included in the kit is a 9-inch bendable USB-based Lune LED light cord to illuminate anything from a tent to a keyboard. A 1-watt LED with 10 bulbs produces bright, white light and is rated for 20,000 hours of use.
Goal Zero's solar recharging kit sells for $99.95, and can be purchased from REI here.