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GoalZero Switch 10

- published June 2016

82

2016

RATINGS

Battery Life
5
Power/Size
7
Durability
8
Features
7
Value
5
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
82

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$39.99
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Excellent durability
  • Excellent battery life
  • Outstanding power per cubic inch and ounce
  • THE BAD

  • Relatively high cost per minute of power
  • Questionable water resistance
  • THE VERDICT

    The Switch 10 from Goal Zero scored in the top three in nearly all measures. Better water resistance is really all that keeps this from being a perfect device. 

    FULL REVIEW

    Battery Life
    The Switch 10 ties the myCharge AllTerrain 3000 for third place in best battery life for small-size portable chargers, delivering a full 184 minutes of power during our intensive, ‘real world’ tests. Discharge rates are on par with industry averages among competitive devices.

    Power/Size
    Best-in-class among small-size chargers for battery life per cubic inch and ounce.  

    Durability
    Build quality is outstanding. Solid aluminum/alloy construction. Scored a very close second place for overall durability in impact and compression tests. The durability design could only be theoretically improved by removing the rotating head to allow for a solid unibody construction.

    Water resistance is really the only feature on the Switch 10 that could be improved. Replacing the device’s rotating head with a more single unibody construction, and rubberized caps for the charging ports, would reduce the seams and surface area for potential water/moisture intrusion.

    Features
    The Switch 10 boasts an integrated LED light and USB connector in addition to the standard 1 amp charging and a power level indicator. However, the Switch 10 can be extended into other devices, such as a more powerful LED flashlight or portable fan, thanks an array of compatible attachments from GoalZero.  

    Value
    In terms of battery life and power per dollar spent, the Switch 10 is only average for its size/weight class. However, when accounting for its excellent durability, build quality, and versatility, it could be considered the best value in its category.

    Gear Institute Battery/Power Test Results

    Discharge rate:.5% per minute

    Overall battery life:184 minutes

    - Per cubic inch:64.28 minutes

    - Per ounce:46 minutes

    - Per cubic inch/ounce:16.07 minutes

    - Per dollar:4.6 minutes

    How We Tested It

    Battery Life & Power Efficiency
    All portable power banks were charged for 24 hours prior to tests and were tested on standardized android hardware and software platforms, running custom software designed to drain the battery.  A 24-hour long internet video was also played continuously to maximize power drain from the processor, screen, and network chipset, and simulate intense field use.  Custom software was used to log and measure total charge capacity, discharge rate/time, and milliamp per cubic-inch/pound.  All devices used their own cables during both charge and discharge tests.  Devices were also retested for accuracy and impact of durability tests on battery life and performance.

    Durability

    All portable chargers were subjected to standardized torsion and compression stresses and an array of drop and impact tests.  More durable devices were also tested for temperature resistance.  For low temperature tests, devices were placed in a sealed container to limit moisture exposure, and placed in a freezer for one hour.  High temperature tests consisted of placing devices in an oven at 125F for 30 minutes.  Devices that survived this without issue were then retested in an oven at 150F degrees for 30 minutes.

    For more reviews beyond this Spring 2016 test check out other travel charger tests as well as related travel gear tests

    The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

    About the Author

    Dave Thibodeau

    Dave Thibodeau

    Dave Thibodeau is a veteran world traveler whose jaunts have taken him on journeys through Nepalese mountains and monasteries, Scottish castles, Bosnian war zones, Mayan ruins, Malecon discotheques, and Philippine beaches. He tests travel apparel for the Gear Institute and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Shop for the Goal Zero Switch 10 Recharger

    MSRP
    LOW PRICE

    $39.99
    Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

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    MSRP
    LOW PRICE
    $39.99
    Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

    RATINGS

    Battery Life
    5
    Power/Size
    7
    Durability
    8
    Features
    7
    Value
    5
    GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
    82

    Specs

    • Power Rating: 3000 mAh
    • Length: 4.5"
    • Volume: 2.86 cubic inches

    Weight

    4 oz

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