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Goal Zero Sherpa 50 Review

Goal Zero Sherpa 50 Power Pack

Sherpa 50 power pack with inverter

 

Goal Zero Sherpa 50 Power Pack

Sherpa 50 Power Pack Components

Goal Zero has come out with a new version of their Sherpa 50 power pack.  This version 2 Sherpa 50 is smaller and better and has some great new features.  First of all the Sherpa 50 has 50 watt-hours of power with many different ways to use it.

First of all the Goal Zero Sherpa 50 has a removable 110V power inverter.  This allows you to charge a laptop, satellite phone, or other electrical device  by just plugging it into the Sherpa 50 inverter.  The inverter handles 110V devices, but there is another model that comes with a 220v inverter.  I have a Samsung Chromebook 550 that I charged.  My Chromebook had about 15% left on a 6100 mAh battery and the Sherpa 50 took it to 75%.  That added 60% more to my battery representing about 3.5 to 4 hours of computer time. If you are in a plug-less airport waiting fo a late plane, that could be a big deal.

If you don’t need to power the inverter, there is an On/Off switch that allows you to turn it off to conserve power.  If weight or space is important, the inverter can easily be detached making the Sherpa 50 even smaller and lighter.

On the main panel of the Sherpa 50 is a USB port, 12V port, laptop port, input port and power display.  The USB port is for charging devices such as tablets, cell phones, and MP3 players.  There is a female 12V car charger adapter that can be connected to the 12V port.  This allows you to run or charge devices that have a car charger cable. This could include your cell phone, satellite phone, laptop, tablet, or whatever.  The laptop port is designed to directly charge a laptop.  This requires a cable specific to your laptop from Goal Zero.  I am a bit confused about this port.  When I travel, I would always have the cable to plug my laptop into the wall, so I would probably opt to use the inverter.  However if I was a backpacking photographer where space and weight was an issue, the laptop port with its special cable might be the best option.  I also believe that the inverter takes a bit of power itself to run so using the laptop port may make sense in several situations.

Normally the Sherpa 50 is charged by plugging it into a wall plug.  A wall plug charger is included in the box.  If you want some emergency backup or you plan to spend some time off the grid, the newly designed Goal Zero Nomad 13 (not the Goal Zero Nomad 13.5) will charge the Sherpa 50 using the sun.  The Nomad 13 has a built-in cable that will plug right into the input port on the Sherpa 50.  In about 7-8 hours of good direct sunlight you’ll have a fully charged Sherpa 50.  I test this myself.  I had a Sherpa 50 at about 20-30% power left and I plugged in a Nomad 13.  In about 5-6 hours I had a fully charged Sherpa.  The Nomad 13 Portable Solar Panel and the Sherpa 50 portable power pack make a good pair.

In summary, if you need versatility and some extra power for your laptop, tablet or cell phone, the Sherpa 50 power pack is an excellent choice.  It is a bit pricey, but worth every bit because of its versatility and options.

 

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