|Rating:||8.5 / 10|
|Weight||1.8 / 2.5|
|Durability||2.2 / 2.5|
|Versatility||2.3 / 2.5|
|Value for Money||2.2 / 2.5|
For most hikers a power bank of any size is not a consideration with many preferring to disconnect when out on the trail. As someone who blogs as well as records and edits podcasts in the middle of nowhere, I can best be described as a heavy power user. For my shorter hikes where I know I’ll be hitting civilisation roughly every week, I can usually get away with a smaller power bank if I carry one at all. However when I am out bush for an extended period (for periods of anywhere up to two weeks at a time) I need a bit more grunt in my power supply.
In 2020 I was originally planning on doing 26 days on the Australian Alps Walking Track and while the walk never eventuated due to fire closures on the trail, this was a prime example where I would need to recharge but wouldn’t have access. This meant I needed to factor in an alternative recharge option into my planning.
My power usage is the following (the battery life of each of these items is based on my average use):
Now there really is no end to the brands and models of power banks available so when choosing a model, how do you make a decision? My criteria for choosing a new power bank included the following:
When choosing a power bank knowing your requirements up front will help selecting what you need easier. I did say easier and not easy!
I already have a number of power banks of varying sizes but like many pieces of equipment there are always new products available. When it came time for the purchase of a new unit I had already identified the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank as the way to go and here’s why.
First and foremost it met all my selection criteria. This included being airline friendly which is something that most people I talk to don’t even think about. If you are carrying spare batteries or a power bank on a plane it needs to be in your carry-on luggage and not your check-in bag.
Capacity wise this power bank will charge just about anything including laptops and while this isn’t a consideration for me when hiking its handy to have as a spare when I’m travelling in the car.
Size wise this unit is the smallest but its comparable to other similar capacity power banks on the market at 191mm x 94mm x 25mm and weighing in at 654 grams. Both of these figure surprised me with the 100PD just a bit bulky and heavy but in reality it’s very comparable to other units I own. This brings in the discussion on weight. For the average hiker 654 grams is more than most are willing to carry and if I wasn’t blogging I would still carry a power bank but wouldn’t go as large. The other bonus with this unit is that it’s robust.
This unit comes with two USB-A charging ports and a USB-C port which is typically what you use to charge laptops but is also used for charging the unit. From dead flat to full charge is between 2.5-9 hours depending whether you use the kit USB-C or a USB-A to charge so you may need to stay somewhere overnight if you really need power. Goal Zero also make compatible solar panels and if you are car camping they are a good option but not always the best options if you are trying to travel light as a hiker.
In regard to charging electronics I will usually set up at the end of the day and plug in what I need and then shut the down ready for the next day. As I’ve indicated above this is very infrequent.
These days I work out my requirements at the start of the trip and usually carry a USB-C to USB-A for charging the unit (comes in the box), a USB-C-Lightening to charge my Apple devices, a USB-A to mini USB cable, and USB-A Suunto charging cable. I’ve had power banks in the past that struggle with charging fitness watches as they tend to draw so little power they don’t register. This unit also has a Wireless Qi charging pad which is an additional charging option and one that is still not so common on many power banks these days. As I have recently upgraded my phone to a compatible one I can almost put everything on charge at the same time.
Now let’s look at the negatives. We have already discussed the weight of this unit and given its size you aren’t going to get something much lighter if you are after a power bank of this size. It just is what it is. The other negative is cost and at $299AUD this is not a cheap unit. Yes you can find cheaper options around but if you want one with the features that the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD has you are looking at a similar price bracket.
Overall the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD is a great option for heavy powers users but if that’s not you, then look at some of the smaller units available.
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD in the box
What it charges
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank out of the box – unit with cable
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD showing the parts
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD charging and iPhone 12 mini through cable
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD with wireless charging on. The blue light on the side shows that the wireless charging pad is on but there is nothing connected. This image also shows the unit being with 100% charge
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD with wireless charging in action. The little light on the right shows that the iPhone 12 mini sitting on top is being charged
iPhone 12 Mini wirelessly charging
A heavy duty power bank for big power users that will quickly charge compatible tablets, laptops as well as just the little stuff like phones, cameras and GPS
Goal Zero make a large range of power banks and charging accessories for users of any size
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If you have used the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD USB-C Power Bank or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below
$299.95 AUD RRP
This review was done with product purchased by Australian Hiker from a retail store