Inside the outdoor industry

FIELD TEST: Goal Zero Venture 70

Portable charger put through its paces

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Battery life, it seems, is the ongoing issue of the digital age. Where phones, tablets and other portable devices excel in technological advancements at an almost daily rate, battery life can be the achilles heel of many of these products, meaning that if you’re outside for any period of time you’re going to need to think about finding charging points or carrying portable charging devices.

Step forward Goal Zero, an NRG Energy company based just outside of Salt Lake City that specialises in portable rechargers. With a company slogan of ‘We make the powerless, powerful,’ Goal Zero’s aims are to provide smart, portable power units for use with any battery powered product, from phones and laptops to medical devices and was the brainchild of founder Robert Workman as he travelled the Congo helping the indigenous people become self-sufficient and giving them reliable power and light.

Venture outdoors

The Venture 70 is a portable charger aimed at the outdoor market and anyone looking at spending any length of time away from mains electric hook-up. It’s about the size of a large mobile phone, housed in a rugged, waterproof case which is also shockproof. Featuring a 17,700 mAh Lithium Ion battery, the Venture 70 provides enough power to recharge phones, tablets, cameras, torches and other USB-powered products multiple times from two 2.4A high-speed Smart ports. Smart charging sequence also optimises the outputs to match the devices plugged into the unit, eliminating any overcharging, and offers the benefit of being able to charge multiple devices at the same time.

The charge sheet

Two charging USB cables are included – a mini USB to USB and USB to Lightning cable – that stow away neatly into the side of the device when not in use. Solar charging is also available for the Venture 70 with the addition of a solar panel, which would be a must have accessory for this device.

Another neat design is the pass through charging feature that allows the Venture 70 to continue to charge devices as the unit itself is being charged by mains power, very useful if you’re in an area where mains sockets are few and far between.

The front panel features five LED’s that light as you charge the device, with each one representing 20 per cent of total charge. The LED’s also double up as a handy 65 lumen flashlight with five settings; high, low, multi strobe and even an SOS setting – a neat and useful addition in case of an emergency – and a feature which we liked a lot.

Waterproofing on the Venture 70 is rated at IP67, which means the unit can be dropped into water a metre deep for up to half an hour before it stops working and used in hot, dusty conditions. While I wouldn’t actually advise soaking the unit for that long, what it does mean is the unit has no problems being left in the rain or accidentally dropped into the odd puddle.

Charging the Venture 70 took about 12 hours to get to full capacity through mains power. Once charged it kept a myriad of devices topped up over a three-day camping trip before any significant drop in charge started to show, with an estimate that the device would have carried on charging for a full week before discharging completely.

The Venture 70 is the perfect addition to any outdoor excursion. Its rugged looks, feature-packed design and superb charging capabilities mean you’ll never be without power when you need it. Couple that with the addition of the Goal Zero Nomad Solar Power accessory and the Venture 70 provides the perfect, portable power solution.

The Venture 70 has an SRP of £149.99 and is available from www.armysales.co.uk

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