Regular readers here know that I am a quality over quantity kind of guy. Sometimes to a fault, my wife would say. 🤣
My wife also loves me and lets me splurge every now and then…so for Father’s Day I bought what is now my new favorite power bank…the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD.
This isn’t the first power bank that I own. A couple years ago I purchased the Anker PowerCore+ 26800mAh PD…and it is arguably better in some ways. The Anker power bank gives you the same capacity and also comes with a 60W charger for faster charging of the power bank. (the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD does not)
The Anker is great for traveling and saving every bit of space you can, it feels VERY durable, and just works.
I didn’t think this was a feature that I would care much about but now that I’ve used it a few times…it’s my absolute favorite feature. I don’t have to dig through my multitude of cables for the right one – some USB-A, some USB-C. I just press that blue “wireless” button set my phone on top, and BAM! it’s charging my phone. It’s not the newest, fastest wireless charging that comes with Apple’s new wireless chargers…but it works consistently and very well.
Plus the Goal Zero has the battery read-out that tells you how much charge is left in your power bank.
Should You Get One?
Now that I own this Goal Zero power bank…I am surprised at how much I use it, even at home. I can be working on my laptop and see my phone needs a charge and just set it on top of the Sherpa 100PD and know that when I pick my phone back up, it will be charged.
It is a bit more expensive than its Anker competitor, so if $199 for the Goal Zero is out of your price range, you can currently get the Anker over on Amazon for $129.
BUT…I can now highly recommend the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD power bank. It’s definitely a quality piece of gear and I expect it to last me a very long time and throughout many upcoming travels.
It is my new favorite power bank and worth every penny.
If you look at the screenshots above, you can look up a location (or your current location) and see where the sun will be in advance. The more I have filmed over the years, the more I realize that I need (or want) to know where the sun will be when I am shooting.
Some of the reviews talk about how useful it is when/if you are looking to buy or rent a new house…as you can use this to see when the sun hits your house at various times of the day.
If I am not going out to shoot at golden hour, then this app will be in my tool belt for sure. It does cost $9.99…but for something so useful, I think it’s worth it.
If you want to download it or are curious, I recommend at least checking it out.
Goal Zero is known for it’s consumer friendly and quality solar solutions to gas generators.
I’ve been eying Goal Zero stuff for a while, and had even bought an older version of the Guide 10 Kit back in the day. As these power stations got more popular with the rise of overlanding and the #vanlife, my interested was renewed.
I really wanted to go for the Yeti 500x or even Yeti 1000…but I could not justify them for my budget…ie. my wife. 😂
As much as I dream about gearing up and knocking out a bunch of overloading trips with my family, my real world use case is still more along the lines of a long weekend trip.
In reality, I needed to be able to recharge phones, apple watches, and power some cool led light strips I bought for my car and/or campsite. The Yeti 200X actually fit the bill perfectly.
On my last camping trip, I was able to recharge phones, smart watches, headlamps, even my DSLR camera batteries for the whole weekend…and I only ever got down to 47% or so. I did buy the Goal Zero car charger, charging it for a quick jaunt to a nearby damn overlook.
Solar Panel to Go With It
I also bought the Nomad 50 Solar Panel to go with the 200x. I wanted to buy the Nomad 100…but I wanted a solar panel that had a USB direct charger to it…and for some reason the Nomad 50 does and the Nomad 100 does not.
It can charge the Yeti 200X in about 5-10hours with full sunlight. Enough to top it off or bring it up throughout the day if you’re worried about it.
Highly recommend checking out this little powerhouse. You’re starting to see Goal Zero’s Yeti “X line” (as I call them) which has USB-C ports as well as USB-C power delivery for fast charging.
A couple weeks ago I wrote about BioLite camp lights and all of the various options they have.
I took them with me on a recent camping trip and the SiteLiteMinis were a huge hit with my family. We strung them inside of our big family sized REI tent and when it was raining in the later afternoon and evening on a couple of the days, I had the Minis powered by the Base Lantern XL that I got on sale over Memorial Day weekend.
Part of what I was trying to figure out was what all we would actually use and what would end up staying in the bin of camping gear. The minis and the baselantern worked great.
Before the trip, I broke down and bought my kids new rechargeable headlamps from BioLite too. I was tired of the batteries in their cheap headlamps running out and having to buy new batteries.
These were another hit with the family as my kids loved having their own headlamps …and I didn’t have to worry about them running out of juice since I could just recharge them from the BaseLantern XL.
I like them.
They’re a super fun addition to the campsite, not completely necessary (except headlamps in my opinion) but they are nice to have.
I liked having the BaseLantern XL as that also serves as a powerbrick should I need to recharge basically anything…plus the light it puts off is great.
If you’re looking for a fun campsite addition to your gear box…I would recommend these lights for sure.
I started researching outdoor lighting back when I stumbled across the Biolite Mini and I was planning my first real camping trip with my whole family.
I had actually book marked another led light string (from Lightforce that I’ll link here) that I purchased…but like most research I do on gadgets…I couldn’t stop. Somehow I stumbled across a top 10 list and the Luminoodle caught my eye.
This was actually a Kickstarter campaign back in 2015 and the company has continued to grow from the original product line.
The Basecamp version is 20 feet long, has a remote to control brightness and colors, and runs off of a 12v socket (or 12v battery pack…not all usb battery packs are 12v).
Let me tell you…1000 lumens of leds really lights up a campground.
I know that Father’s Day isn’t until the 21st, but since I’ll be out camping with my family that day…Happy Father’s Day!!
Funny enough I was talking to my mom recently and asked her about the first time I went camping as a kid…thinking we had started when I was about 7 or 8. She laughed and said that my younger brother was still in diapers when we first camped (we are 20 months apart).
My mother told me that she just stripped us both naked and we played in a creek for a whole day in the Sequoia National Forrest. And she got to read a book for the first time in 5 years.
Hearing that just made me smile and realize even more how much a part of being in the outdoors is a part of me.
Being with my mom and dad camping are some of my fondest memories of my childhood, so I am incredibly excited to start forming those same memories with my own kids.
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you know that my handle is @patagoniadad (or a slight variation)…and I’m proud to have that dad part of me out there.
To all the fathers out there that are trying make sure they keep their kids alive, fed, happy, and socially well-adjusted…thank you.