Goal Zero ‘Multi-Tool’ Of Power

It can charge your phone. It can light up a dark campsite at night. In another mode, the Switch 10 will work as a tiny personal fan for hot days.

Goal Zero calls its new device a “multi-tool.” The small cylindrical unit at its core is simply a battery pack. But the company sends snap-on “tips” with a Switch 10 purchase, including a light and a fan.

I tested this new kind of multi-tool last month and was happy with the product’s ease of use. From backcountry hikes to airports where I couldn’t find a wall outlet, the USB-compatible unit offered a no-fuss method to restore power to my phone.

The flashlight head, which clicks into place on the end, offers 160 lumens of glow — enough LED light to see 100 feet down a dark path.

See our test of the similar Switch 8 Recharger from last year


Switch 10 used as a charger for an iPhone

Its fan function is the most unexpected piece. Snap on the mini “air conditioning” tip and you get green rubber blades twirling and moving air for relief on a hot day.

(I did not find many scenarios this fall where the fan was needed, but I could see the appeal on hot summer trips or in a warm tent at night.)

Goal Zero ships a solar panel in the Switch 10 package. It gives 7 watts of power from two fold-out panels.


Solar panels included with the Switch 10 package

In optimal sun you can use the panels to recharge the Switch in about four hours, Goal Zero cites. I tested that claim on a crisp but sunny October morning; the panel sucked in the solar rays and fully charged up the unit before noon.

The solar panel also has plug-ins on back for multiple input types, letting you use it directly on devices including cameras and GPS units.

Easier than solar, you can simply plug the Switch into a wall outlet at home before heading on a trip. Indicator LEDs on the side of the Switch give you a power read-out and a quick visual check on how much juice is left for future charging.


Converts to a fan!

In my test, it gave about one full charge to a dead iPhone. It can charge a camera like a GoPro about twice.

Goal Zero sells the Switch 10 kit for $119. It’s a nice power solution with extras you might need in the field.


Flashlight mode — up to 160 lumens bright!

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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