Field Test: Goal Zero

I recently signed up for Reliant Energy’s Power-on-the-Go plan because we had to change our electric company. In addition to a lower rate than our previous company, we received a Goal Zero Sherpa 50 and Nomad 13 Solar Kit as a promotion. I took it with us our recently family vacation to Austin for bit of fun field testing and I’m writing up my thoughts on it here.

This thing is cool. Its small, ultra-portable, and not that heavy (2.8lbs according to Goal Zero’s website). I used it to recharge my little Proto-Z micro-drone for some fun in the park. This was a good pairing because the flight time on my little quadcopter is only 5 minutes. We got plenty of flights in with the Sherpa. I wasn’t perfectly timing it because I had two little kids running around, but recharge time took about 5-8 minutes for another 3-4 minutes of flight time. Not a 1-to-1 ratio, but not bad either.

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For full disclosure I’m brand spanking new at both solar kits and drones, but we had a lot of fun with these two together. If you like flying drones, a Sherpa will keep you flying. I can’t say how well it would do with a larger drone, but with our little one, we charged it 5-6 times and the battery level indicator didn’t budge.

Another cool feature is the solar panel. The panel that comes with the Sherpa 50 Kit is the Nomad 13. It has a few cool features, one of which are loops along the outside of the panel for easy attaching to a backpack so you can charge your Sherpa while you hike. The panel comes with two small carabiners to accomplish this, and a magnetic flap to keep it closed when packed away. All in all a solid little panel.

You can find the full features list for the Sherpa and the Nomad at the links on this page.

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