Goal Zero Switch 8 Kit

Priced: $78.95 - $119.99 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 18 reviews.
Goal Zero Switch 8 Kit -

An ultra-lightweight power supply charges smartphones and USB gear anywhere.

Goal Zero Switch 8 is the perfect pocket-sized companion and won't weigh you down, only charge you up so you're always connected.

Switch 8 Usage:
Use with most USB powered devices. The Goal Zero Switch 8 is best used with your smaller USB power devices. The chart below gives approximate power given to the most common devices the Goal Zero Switch 8 Recharger.

Approx. Charge Time:






  • Foldable, portable Nomad 3.5 panel design makes it easier to fit into a pack, hang in a car window, or strap around your trusty dog


  • Due to federal shipping restrictions regarding products with hazardous or flammable materials, this product can only be shipped via ground transportation. We’re sorry, but Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air, USPS Priority or Express shipping are not available for this item. Additionally, this product cannot be shipped to Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Catalina Island, Puerto Rico, APO, FPO or international addresses. Thanks for your understanding.
  • Durable, weather-resistant construction of this kit provides worry-free backcountry operation
  • Reflective nylon loops on Nomad 3.5 panel make it easy to hang the panel from your backpack, in car window en route, or in any convenient spot at camp


  • Small size makes it easy to take everywhere—1 x 1 x 5 in. (2.5 x 2.5 x 7 cm)


  • Lightweight, sleek, and slim Switch 8 recharger easily slips into a pack side pocket for ultimate portability
  • NOMAD 3.5 Solar Panel allows you to solar charge your SWITCH in 1-2 hours. Foldable, rugged design. Pocket protects gear while charging.


  • State-of-the-art monocrystalline technology in Nomad 3.5 panel delivers more power per square inch than any other solar technology available
  • Weighs only 3.2 oz. (91 g)
  • Simply lay out the light and portable Nomad 3.5 solar panel and use the sun's power to charge the Switch 8 battery pack
  • Small but mighty, the Goal Zero Switch 8 portable recharger breathes life into your phone, music player, or tablet; bring it wherever your adventures may lead
  • Personalize your Switch with interchangeable tips (sold separately)
  • Compact, lightweight Nomad 3.5 panel puts out 5V/2.5W (USB) or 7.5V/3W (solar)
  • LED battery indicator lets you know when the Switch 8 needs to be recharged
  • SWITCH 8 Portable Recharger is tiny, powerful, and endless for what it switches on, without a cord. Charge lithium battery from wall, solar, or car. USB in and USB out.
  • Chain multiple rechargers together for more power
  • Sleek, compact Switch 8 recharger has an output of 5V/5W (USB) for plenty of power to revive your mobile phone, GPS, or audio device
  • ~mp3 players and cell phones—3 recharges per full Switch 8 charge
  • USB in and out offer a simple and straightforward design for easy use
  • Power your phone, iPad, GPS and more
  • Compact, weather-resistant solar panel is smaller and more powerful than comparable panels
  • Recharge the Switch 8 from the solar panel in 5-10 hours (depending on solar conditions); Switch 8 can also be recharged from any standard USB port in 4 hours
  • ~ e-readers—50% power boost per full Switch 8 charge
  • Powerful lithium ion battery is light and powerful and holds a charge for up to 6 months; charge it up from the included Nomad 3.5 solar panel, wall plug or a car outlet
  • High efficiency monocrystalline solar panel. Rugged,
Backcountry.com (Spring 2014)

It's almost too easy: while you soak up the vitamin D, let the Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit soak up the sun's power and then charge up your electronic essentials. The ultra-portable Nomad 3.5 solar panel charges up your device directly or powers the Switch 8 recharger for energy to go. Weather-resistant and rugged enough for any backcountry condition or activity, the solar panel boldly goes with you anywhere. And the Switch 8 puts the sleek and sexy into solar power, with its slim, light design and efficient powering capabilities. Now there's no reason to send smoke signals, read tree bark, or sing lame songs no one can dance to; recharge your cellphone, GPS, flashlight, or audio player for safe, civilized travel. 

Stay powered up wherever you go with the GOAL ZERO Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit. Use the kit to charge your devices from the wall, a car, or the sun. The kit includes a portable recharger and the Nomad 3.5 solar panel. A high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panel is rugged, lightweight and fold to a small travel-friendly size. A pocket is included to protect your gear while charging. Use the kit to power your phone, iPad, GPS unit and more. Use the sun or a USB source to power your cordless batteries. The included Nomad 3.5 Solar Panel will charge a Switch 8 recharger in approximately 5-10 hours. A cell phone or MP3 player requires approximately 2-5 hours.
Manufacturer model #: 41001.


The SWITCH 8 Kit from Goal Zero includes the SWITCH 8 Portable Recharger and the NOMAD 3.5 Solar Panel, keeping you powered up wherever you go. From wall, car, or sun, charge your phone or boost an iPad®. With customized caps, switch on lots of handy accessories without cords.


The Goal Zero Switch 8 solar recharging kit combines the Switch 8 battery pack with a Nomad 3.5 solar panel, allowing you to gather and store solar power, and recharge your devices almost anywhere.


Solar recharging kit includes the Switch 8 portable recharger and the Nomad 3.5 solar panel, letting you charge your USB-powered devices anywhere in the world. Use the Nomad 3.5 to charge your handheld device from the sun or charge the Switch 8 and store power for later. The Switch 8 can also be charged from any USB power source.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS)
An ultra-lightweight power supply capable of charging a Smartphone in just one hour, the Goal Zero Switch 8 is the perfect pocket-sized companion to keep you charged and connected.
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Any USB Power Source:4 hours
Battery Capacity:3.6V, 2.2Ah (8W)
Battery Type:Lithium-ion (NMC)
Battery included:Yes
Battery storage capacity (mAh):Sun: 5-10 hrs USB: 4 hrs
Cell Type:Monocrystalline
Charge time (hrs):5-10 hours
Converting Efficiency:16-17%
Dimensions:(Switch 8) 5 x 1 x 1 / (panel) 10 x 5 x 1 inches
External charge:USB / Wall
GOAL ZERO Nomad 7 (solar port):3-5 hours
Included USB Standard Port:5.0V, 1.0A max (5W)
Life-span:Hundreds of cycles
Optimal Operating Temp.:32-104 F (0-40 C)
Outputs:6mm 12V ports, USB
Power Type:Solar
Power output to device (mA):USB: 5V 1000 mA DC: 13V 1000 mA
Shelf Life:Charge every 3-4 months
Solar cell output capacity:USB: 5v 1000 mA (5W)
Time To Charge 12V devices (satellite phone, GPS):2-5 hrs
Time To Charge USB devices: cell phone, MP3 player:2-5 hrs
Upc, Ean, Isbn:847974000670
Weight:(Switch 8) 3.2 / (panel) 8 ounces

Similar Products:

Goal Zero Switch 8Goal Zero Switch 8$29.99 - $49.99
Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit Includes Solar Panel and USB Battery ChargerGoal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit Includes Solar Panel and USB Battery Charger$99.95

Subcategories of Batteries & Chargers:

Related Categories:

Goal Zero

Goal Zero Switch 8 Kit Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Great but slow ultra-light charger

I picked this great little charger up at REI after spending 6 weeks backpacking through the Himalayas and constantly struggling to keep my electronics charged (Camera, ipod, headlamp, GoPro). With sporadic access to unreliable electricity, and with extreme cold temperatures that kill your batteries quickly, this would have been the PERFECT piece of gear for that situation. (I also plan to use it on my cross country motorcycle trips, where I don't have a cigarette lighter charger available).

I chose this particular charger because it seemed to be quite a bit lighter weight than its larger siblings, while still charging at an acceptable rate. (The larger the panels, the faster the fuel cell will charge, but then when you plug your electronics into the fuel cell, it charges at the same rate as the larger panels). I have only been testing it for a couple days now on mostly sunny days and it seems like it takes a good 10-12 hours to charge the Switch 8 (the fuel cell), which in turn gives my smart phone (or camera, ipod, headlamp) a good full charge in just a couple hours. So, this is pretty much the perfect solar recharging gadget for excursions when you are looking to recharge your electronics every few days on long excursions or travles. Small, light weight,sleek and cool. But if you are going to need to charge multiple gadgets a day, then this isn't the one for you. You'll need bigger, heavier, faster charging solar panels.

Lastly, it's pretty awesome that you can charge the Switch 8 before you hit the road or trail simply by plugging it into your wall or any USB charger to give it a nice full charge in just a couple hours.
Lost Creek Wanderer at REI on 03/03/2013

Good for backpacking

Upon the recommendation of an in-store staffer, I purchased this kit for my most recent backpacking trip. I pre-charged the Switch 8 at home and topped it off on the drive to the trailhead. I used the solar panels to charge the Switch 8 and charge my phone in the mornings as I got ready and when I took long breaks (over 30 mins).

I noticed, like others, that the Switch 8 is a bit slow to charge using the panels (7-8 hours as indicated on the instructions), but I'm OK with that since I also charged my phone while charging the Switch 8. My smartphone (which is also my camera and notetaking device when traveling and backpacking) charged quickly from the Switch 8, and I was able to get a full day's use from the phone in airplane mode with only 45-60 mins of charge time.

I found the loops for attaching the panels to my backpack to be too small, so I didn't charge the Switch 8 that way. My clips for my pack are about 1" wide, and the loops don't expand that far, so I would have had to attach caribeeners or velcro loops to make this work, which I was not inclined to do this time around.

I like that the kit is self-contained with a zipper panel for the Switch 8 and my cables. I recommend keeping all the cables plugged into the ports since I ended up accidentally denting my USB port for my phone connector and had to try to straighten it out in the backcountry with my pocketknife (not perfect, but it connects now).
DebK at REI on 07/07/2013

Very good all around

Im in the Army and bought this so that I could charge my phone, ipod, and my gopro while I was training away from the comforts of my room.

I bought this off of a suggestion from one of the people working at REI. I needed something light weight and small. And this is exactly that. The solar pannel it self is small and the battery pack is even smaller and very versitle. If there is not enough sun outside, I could charge the battery pack from any usb charger.

The solar pannel itself folds up nice and neat. It also has little loops around the solar pannel so its easy to hang it or attach it to a backpack. Another nice thing about the solar pannel is that theres a small zipper pocket on the back side of the solar pannel. It can fit the battery pack and the usb cable to charge the battery pack along with 2 more cables.

The battery pack holds a very good charge and for a good amount of time. Its also very small.

The only con that I have is I'm affraid that I'm going to break the solar pannel. I'm in the Army so I do a lot of rough training compared to the average civilian camper or hiker.

Bottome line, I would reccomend this to my friends if they every wanted something like this.
foto808 at REI on 10/10/2013

Got me through the John Muir Trail

I took this on the John Muir Trail, 220 miles and more than three weeks. It kept my smart phone charged the whole way, with enough left over for an occasional charge for companions' phones and for my rechargeable SteriPen.

To be fair, though I never turned it off, my phone was in Airplane Mode the whole time except for occasional GPS readings. I did use it to read books at night in my tent. I would estimate that on an average day I used 20 - 30% of the phone charge.

At the beginning of the hike there were clouds in the sky and we were often in the forest. On those days I got barely enough to charge my phone. But on later days with full sun, hiking above the tree line I got plenty of charge.

The solar panel comes with strings on each corner. I used those strings to tie the panel to the top of my backpack. Two of the strings tore loose while I was hiking and I had to tie to different ones. That was the only defect I encountered.
Daryl Lafferty at REI on 08/08/2013

Kept my devices going all week

I have another Goal Zero kit but it's quite a bit bigger and heavier. This one is small enough that I could take it on a weeklong backpacking trip without feeling like I was bringing on a ton of extra weight and bulk - I just lashed it to the top/rear of my pack and had it charge the included battery stick while also plugged into my phone to keep it charging.

It took a good 6-7 hours of sunlight each day to keep my headlamp and phone charged (I had my phone in airplane mode most of the time as I just used it as a camera, e-reader, spare light, music player and not for calls/texting). I'm giving it 4 stars just because it takes so long to charge, but really that long time is probably due to a combination of my absurdly large phone (Galaxy Note 2) and the limits of current solar tech more than anything.
WowThereAreLotsOfDaves at REI on 07/07/2013

I enjoy using my iPhone for taking photos and video on adventures into the mountains when weight and space is an issue. iPhones take amazing pictures, but the camera seems to zap the phones batteries quick. The Switch 8 is so small and powerful it's a no brainer to bring it along. Aside from taking photos, I use the iPhone as a GPS . This also runs down the battery insanely fast if you keep it running. It's a good feeling knowing you can recharge in the field and keep your cameras rolling, and keep the GPS running to help guide you home!
Keep the Switch 8 plugged into the GZ solar panel and strap to your pack when not in use to always stay topped up! Utilize the strong power of the sun!

Neil Provo at Backcountry.com on 06/19/2013

Works well

Have had prob finding a solar charger which my Blackberry Bold is happy with. This one is. But, when I try and charge iPad Mini, I get a note on Mini saying 'this device may not be compatible'. If I unplug and plug in again, I do get a charging display on iPad. Charger will not charge unit if display is on. Probly not enough juice coming in. Looks like is charging, slowly as expected, if iPad display is off. This unit seems to be quite good overall. Simple, which is good. Not sure if I can charge the battery from wall plug or not. I am supposing so. Have not tried yet. Good question for tech reps there at Cabelas.
KentMagnuson at Cabelas on 01/08/2014

Does what it is supposed to do

I bought the switch 8 for backpacking and canoe tripping to charge small devices like cell phones/kindle/mp3. Portable size and ease of use makes it ideal for this application.

It charges my smart phone fully in about 1 3/4 hours off of the battery pack. No issues charging the basic cell phone, kindle, and MP3.

The only problem I initially encountered was getting the smart phone to charge off of the battery. It would not charge using the phone's USB cable. The solution is to use a "charge only" USB cable (no sync/data capability).

Overall, well thought out and well designed product.
livingupnorth at REI on 05/05/2013

Backpackers Score Again

I purchased the Switch 8 to take on the JMT for a backpacking trip. I purchased a couple Nite Ize Gear Ties (at REI) to attach the panel to my backpack so I could hike and charge at the same time. The panel charged even in indirect light. I was able to keep my phone charged for the entire trip.

So I charged the battery pack during the day while hiking and the battery charged my phone pretty quickly at night.

I plan on using this on all future camping, backpacking, and road trips.
sandyann at REI on 08/08/2013

Simply the best one out there

I have tried a bunch of other solar chargers, and this is just the best one. It has the best combination of features that others seem to miss:

1. Large, efficient panel
2. Separate battery, so they can be swapped
3. Lots of ways to attach it to a backpack or whatever
4. Storage compartment for battery and charging cords
5. USB output

Just get it!
pole hiker at REI on 06/06/2013

Negative Reviews:

Backpack-mounted solar charger

I've been on a search for the perfect backpack-mounted solar charger. My two main requirements are:

1. Durable design that can be mounted on the outside of my pack and,
2. Lightweight

My basepack weight is around 6.5 pounds so item #2 is pretty important - but durability will always win out for me so a little extra weight in exchange for durability is OK.

I started with the Power-Film USB/AA Solar Charger - mainly because of it's extremely lightweight (6.6 oz). Soon though I found durability of the electronics was lacking. All three units eventually just stopped charging after 2-3 uses.

I then tried this product, The Goal Zero "Switch 8" Solar Kit (11.2 oz). I liked the flat solar panels like the Power-Film unit and the Goal Zero's zippered pocket to hold charge cables. The seperate battery pack is nice because you can disconnect it at the end of the day and bring it into the tent to charge GPS, etc. without removing the panels from your pack... that's an OK feature too.

Brought it home pulled it out of the package and noticed that the cordellette "loops" that are sewn around the outside seam of the panel "case" had a lot of hanging threads. Didn't think much of it at the time. Then I started with a few different options of mounting it to the pack with black stretcy cord. Decided to mount it on the four side loops and the on the top loop. Mounted snug put not tight. While adjusting it, the top loop just pulled out of the threads on the panel!! This makes the mount totally worthless!

Using mostly ultralight gear, I am very careful with my gear - so I wasn't rough with it at all. I then noticed that these cord loops sewn in to the panel are just small bits of cord sewn with only a miniscule thread, not a continuous piece wrapped around the outsied of the entire panel that would help to strengthen what is a very important part of this product!

I can't recommend this product when such an integral part of the item is so poorly made. I think of what would have been if this happened while in the backcountry.

However, I did like the switch 8 battery pack, that is the reason I gave it 2 stars.

Next, I am going to try the Solar Monkey Adventurer (REI Item #843129) and mount the panel only to my pack without the "wallet". The hard case (without the "wallet") has handles that can be used to mount to the pack... since it's part of the case it should be much more durable. And, this unit is 2 ounces lighter than the Switch 8 Solar Kit!

I'll post a review on the Solar Monkey Adventurer once I've had a chance to try it... the search continues!
eric at REI on 05/05/2013

Disappointing performance

I tested this product on two separate days, one fully sunny 90 degree day, one partly cloudy 90 degree day. Performance was fairly equal. The issue is that the charger is very slow and with a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, its best work was able to charge it 50% capacity. I think this product would be more effective if the solar panels were twice as large in surface area and the lithium ion battery had at least triple the capacity.
XMan714 at REI on 08/08/2013

Neutral Reviews:

Versatile, but slow solar charge

It takes a long time in the sun to fully charge, but it is quick to charge your phone/camera/etc. It did the job, but just not quite as efficiently as I had hoped.
RachPT at REI on 08/08/2013

Doesn't live up to the hype

Left it in a window and it took 4 days to charge fully.
In search of great views at REI on 06/06/2013