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December 15, 2019 Comments Off on Review: GoalZero Flip 30 USB Charger Blog Entries, Reviews

Review: GoalZero Flip 30 USB Charger

The GoalZero Flip 30 is a battery pack about the size of a deck of cards that will charge your electronics when there’s no other power source available. I picked it up as I began to rely on my phone to do double duty as both a camera and GPS on my recent trips.

Unit Specs

The unit currently retails for $29.95 at GoalZero.com which I find to be a pretty reasonable price for what it is. Lesser units from unknown manufacturers are now given away as freebies at tech conferences, so having a brand, and an outdoor centric one at that, behind it gives it a little more credibility as far as pack fodder. As battery technology evolves prices will continue to fall on these backup battery units. That said, the $30 price point is about right for a unit that claims to recharge the following devices:

Smartphone 2-2.5 Recharges
POV Camera 5 Recharges
Headlamp 5-10 Recharges
Tablet 1 Recharge

Source: GoalZero.com

I can attest for sure that it will indeed charge a cellphone for nearly three charges. Presumably the POV Camera is a GoPro style, which it will charge quite well, close to their cited specs in ideal conditions. I can’t speak to the headlamp or tablet because the tablet never goes in the woods with me, and I’m a caveman who still uses AAA batteries in my headlamps.

Weight: 6.8 oz
Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.4 x 0.83 in
Daisy Chainable: No
Battery Type: Li-ion NMC
Battery Size: 28.1Wh (3.6V, 7800mAh)
Operating usage temp.: 32-104 F (0-40 C)
Warranty: 12 months

What’s in the Box?

  • GoalZero Flip 30 battery pack
  • USB to Micro USB Adapter
  • Manual / Warranty Card

Usability

Well… you plug it into a USB port to charge it, wait for the blue lights to illuminate to “full” and you’re ready to rock and roll. Make sure you have the proper USB pigtail for the devices you’re looking to charge. For me, I had to buy a separate USB Type-C adapter to charge my phone before the unit was able to be useful for me. Don’t worry though, they have you covered on adapters, cords, and cables.

Customer Service

Bottom Line: My GoalZero Flip 30 Charger failed during it’s second camping trip with no moisture to speak of. It no longer takes a charge, displays status, or discharges. I’d used it on dozens of hiking day trips but it was disappointing that the unit failed on an extended trip like this.

I wrote their customer service department given that my wife had bought this as a gift from REI and within two days someone responded asking for shipment information to get me a return label. Within a week I had another unit in my hands in time for my next backcountry hunt. I’m happy they were able to respond so quickly and take care of me. The new unit, albeit in a different color serves my purposes makes sure I have portable battery power in the field.

Overall Experience

At 6.8 ounces and $30 the unit goes pretty much everywhere with me as a safety net for when my cellphone battery is depleted. It goes in my hiking daypack or in my truck on long trips. I was disappointed when my first unit failed, but the customer service was awesome and got me a replacement unit quickly. The Flip30 might not be the right amount of power for everyone, but GoalZero makes products smaller and larger. It’s about perfect for what I need, but I wish they would have put a USB wall wart in the box to sweeten the deal. I don’t have USB ports at our cabin in Pennsylvania, but it’s a small price to pay.

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