Adventuresome battery chargers are becoming all the rage. Whilst we’ve discovered such designs to be wholly useful when outdoors, some are better bred than others. Does this Goal Zero Venture 30 variation live up to its name?
Similar to Xtorm portable charging offerings we've seen of late, the Goal Zero Venture 30 ticks off a healthy checklist of credentials. It’s airport friendly, weatherproof, durable, incorporates a flashlight, 2x 4.8A USB 2.0 & 1x micro-USB outputs and has an integrated USB 2.0 cable which also doubles as a neat carry-loop to secure onto a backpack. It survived us leaving it out in the rain (IPX6 rating) and didn’t mind getting severely mucky whilst we took our photos of it - that luminous green accented design always comes up gleaming after a quick rinse under the tap. Weighing only 250g it doesn’t really weigh you down as a travel companion either and its rectangle shape makes it coat pocket friendly too.
We charge the inbuilt 7800mAh battery with the attached cable and it takes a good few hours to replenish. From this amount of charge it will recharge an (2750mAh) iPhone 6s Plus twice and almost on the nose at that - so roughly an 80% efficiency. What’s more, charging via the 2x 4.8A USB outputs is really fast and when we top up our iPhones for 15 minutes we can obtain 40% charge. What we don’t like is that the Goal Zero Venture 30 doesn’t stop the flow of energy once it detects the said device's battery is fully charged. Most modern power-bank styled chargers feature such abilities to cut-off and what it means from not doing so is that it wastes charge in retaining that 100% status. Depending on the device it varies on how detrimental this can be, but with devices like smartphones (if not in airplane mode) it can cut into charge by almost 30% overnight we’ve found.
Five LEDs align along the front of the Goal Zero Venture 30 charger to produce an extremely bright and far reaching light. We found it to be more than capable as a sole flashlight for night-time usage and it’s definitely the first real adventure ready flashlight we’ve seen inbuilt into one of these adventuresome chargers.
The Goal Zero Venture 30 is up for an adventure. It’s waterproof, shockproof, lightweight at 250g, boasts an awesome LED flashlight and by design incorporates a handy USB cable for both charging itself and devices. Where this charger lets itself down is that it doesn’t have an automatic shut-off when it fully charges a device, so it wastes energy keeping that 100% charge level.