Around the World Travel Gear: Goal Zero Switch 8 + USB Powered LED light = Great travel tech

Feb 08, 2014

When you think of travel gear, a flashlight (“torch” to all the Brits and Ausi’s out there) probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t dismiss this essential piece of travel hardware though. When you arrive at a hostel late at night or find yourself walking along the beach or on a trail in the dark, you’ll be happy you have a light.

This clever little combo makes your flashlight dual purpose and keeps your other gadgets running longer. 

Switch 8 #1 

The Goal Zero Switch 8

The Goal Zero Switch 8 is a small backup battery capable of recharging cell phones, iPods, iPads, GoPro Cameras, DSLRs, Headlamps, GPS devices and a plethora of other USB rechargeable gizmos and gadgets. It’s small, lightweight, and durable. While we plan to charge it using our laptop you can also buy a small foldable solar panel that can be used to recharge the Switch 8 wherever there’s a little sunlight. At $39.99 USD, this is a nice little piece of tech to have on hand if you need to extend battery life or recharge a phone while on the move. 

Switch 8 #2

Recharging the Switch 8

Recharging this thing is crazy simple. Plug it in to any powered USB port and it will begin to charge. When the little lights are all lit, you’re done! I’ve charged it from my laptop, my USB wall adapter, from the back of a TV, and from the cigarette lighter in a car. It recharges in about 4 hours off of all those sources and can be topped off at any time. It really couldn’t be any simpler unless it sprouted legs and plugged itself into a charger.


Switch 8 #3



The Switch 8 is pretty small. I was worried about the size when I was researching it online but it’s actually pretty small. Think of a roll of pennies or nickels with an extra 1/2 roll added. The specs are officially 1 x 1 x 5 in (2.5 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm) and, at 0.2 pounds or 91 grams, you really can’t complain about the weight. Check out the full specs below.

Switch 8 #3



The Multifunction RAVPower RP-FL01 (LED light) 

This light is actually made by RavPower, a competitor to Goal Zero but it’s a great little add-on to the Switch 8. There are other options out there but this one is bright, has three settings, is well constructed and at about $6.00 USD, it’s pretty cheap. It has high and low settings and a strobe feature for those times when you just need to get a rave started using nothing but the things in your pack. This light may be discontinued as it currently shows unavailable on Amazon but it is available on eBay for about $9.00 USD. 




When traveling, minimizing the number of cords you have for each device is essential. With that in mind, I’ve tried to limit the devices I am brining to only those which can be charged through a USB port. This is what makes the Switch 8 so handy, aside from one or two odd items; we’ll be able to charge all our devices off the Switch 8. You might not think this is a big deal but when you’re listening to music or an audio book on a long bus ride and your battery dies, you’ll be happy to have an easy way to recharge.

As a flashlight, this is a great little combo and the Switch 8 should provide all the juice you need. If you’re headed out into the world or into the wild and need to power/recharge a USB device, you should definitely check it out.

Category: Products

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