Was wandering around CostCo yesterday. Every week it seems that some manufacturer rents a little floorspace up there and brings in someone to demo their products. This week, surprisingly, they had some gal there pimping the GoalZero line of 12v/solar stuff.
Selection was limited to about a half dozen of their ‘flagship’ items. Prices were about 1/3 off of MSRP which seems okay but several of the products could be found a few dollars cheaper than that at other sources, however shipping charges might be involved in those cases. For you local LMI who have Costco memberships it might be worth taking a look. She’ll be there until next Sunday. (The Sunday after tomorrow.)
Escape 150 – $129.99
Light-A-Life – $33.99
Luna LED Light – $7.99 (I have one of these plugged into my monitors USB port for late night gaming use so I can see the keyboard in a dark room)
Nomad 7 portable panel – $63.99
Boulder 15 panel – $99.99
It’s interesting stuff. Is it a value? I’m not sure. People more savvy on this subject than I will probably point out that you could buy a simple marine battery and charge controller/charge combo for less than $129, and the $/watt ratio on the panels isnt as good as if you parted one yourself from other sources. On the other hand, for someone who wants to just write a check and have some emergency lighting and device recharging capabilities, this could be attractive.
One thing I found awesome was this:
The saleslady had it sitting around to demonstrate how to charge devices off of the Escape 150. It has no less than TEN different plugs on it for just about every handheld device you can imagine. I asked her how much. She said it wasnt for sale. The comapny handed them out to the sales people for demonstration purposes. Think Geek has a similar product , I’m sure, but I cant seem to find it at the moment.
My own needs for emergency power are pretty low. I need to run some emergency LED lighting, charge AA batts, and run a radio. Thats pretty much it. (The freezer is a whole other story.) Those needs can be addressed with a fairly minimal system. I do like the small ‘pocket’ panel charger for cellphones. That has some utility and I might wind up with one of those.
Anyway, you local LMI who have an interest may wanna head up and check it out.