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Goal Zero Guide 10 Rechargable Battery Pack and USB Charger

Portable chargers certainly were useful the morning after Hurricane Sandy (see earlier post), but as the outage continued even these backup batteries eventually ran dry, leaving us to hunt for a friend or a business with live wall jacks, to charge both our devices and our chargers.

But we probably still have plenty of potential power in our homes, just locked up in various batteries in drawers and closets. What we need, then, is batteries with a USB jack so they can be connected to our devices -- something like the Goal Zero Guide 10 Rechargable Battery Pack.

This is a rechargable battery pack that you can use as a battery charger -- or, once loaded with charged batteries it also serves as a power pack with the integrated USB port. It can charge a cell phone up to 3 times, and even have the amps to charge tablets and iPads.

The Guide 10 uses four AA or AAA batteries, and comes with AA NiMH cells with a shelf life of 12 months. It recharges through a miniUSB connector in 8 to 10 hours.

Plus Goal Zero is a solar energy company, so you can recharge the Guide 10 using solar panels, including the Nomad 3.5 in 6 to 8 hours, or the Nomad 7 in 2 to 4 hours. (The Goal Zero Nomad 7, for example, is a compact 7 watt panel that folds to 6 x 9 x 1 inches and weighs 0.8 pounds. It can charge handheld devices directly, including smartphones in 2 to 4 hours. It's available for around $80.)

As a bonus, the Guide 10 has a built-in LED light that runs over 100 hours as an emergency flashlight. It's weather-resistant, with a snap-close cover for use on the move. And it's compact, at 4 x 2.5 x 0.75 inches and 0.4 lbs.

The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus is available for around $40 to keep you powered on the go, or during prolonged outages.

See my Holiday Gadgets 2012 coverage of Portable Accessories for more on chargers and other useful and fun ideas.

Find the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus on Amazon.com


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