Goal Zero Bolt Solar Flashlight – Review

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I have been meaning to write this review for weeks but one thing or another keeps getting in the way. The Goal Zero Bolt is a great addition to your family’s emergency preps because it is both practical (who doesn’t need a flashlight) and needs only the sun to run for hours. You never need to worry about running out of batteries as the sun provides all the juice you need with the included solar panels.

The Goal Zero bolt is first a great LED flashlight that will put out 160 lumens from the 3 Watt, white CREE LED for 2 hours on high and 10 hours on low according to the manufacturer’s site. I fully charged mine and left it running over night and when I came out in the morning, it was still putting off light. Not much mind you but the battery did hold out for a very long time. Charging is simple and the Goal Zero bolt has two options to power up the internal Li-Ion 18650. One difference about this rechargeable flashlight is that you can actual swap out the battery if you ever have problems. While it isn’t one of the more standard sizes, you can find replacements all over the place. I was able to find this Li-Ion 18650 on Amazon for less than $10

The Li-Ion 18650 in the Bolt can be replaced if needed.

Charging the bolt only takes about 5-6 hours in direct sun so its perfect if you have a nice sunny day and a good place to set the included solar panels. The entire kit comes with the charging panels, usb-mini USB cable and a wall adapter. If you have other devices that use a Mini-USB, the included solar panels will charge that as well.

 

 

The Bolt has its own Mini-USB port on the side, so you only have to connect the panels to the flashlight and let it sit in the sun.

Mini-USB connector on the Goal Zero Bolt

The charging port is accessed by spinning a cover that exposes the port. When you are ready to charge the flashlight, just rotate the knob to expose the port and plug in the cable. When you are done, just rotate the knob again to cover the port. This flashlight isn’t waterproof so the feature is nice, but covering the port isn’t really protecting it from too much more than casual dirt.

Two charging panels will recharge the Goal Zero bolt in about 5 hours.

The solar panels can lay on the ground or you could hang them from a tree or any other surface to get ideal sun exposure. The case for the panels seems very solidly built with Velcro closures for when you aren’t using the solar panels. You also have plenty of tie-off options if you wanted to lash this to your pack or hang the panels somewhere.

The Goal Zero Bolt is 6.5 inches long and weighs 6 ounces. I wanted to show you this comparison to some other flashlights I have so you could see the size. This is not an EDC flashlight in my opinion but I think it is great for around the home or car. I actually used mine last night to get a chicken out of the tree, but that is a story for another day…

The Final Verdict

There are so many flashlights out there and each can have a particular use. I seldom find any single piece of equipment that is perfect at everything. The Goal Zero Bolt isn’t waterproof and its size factor preclude its use in some situations, but I don’t think that is what it was designed for. If you are looking for a great, bright flashlight to use around the house that you will probably never need batteries for, the Goal Zero is great. If you want something to strap to your gun, this isn’t your flashlight.

The Goal Zero does a great job at shining light. The advantage of the included solar panels should be obvious if you were ever in a situation where you couldn’t get to the store and your lights were out or you need to charge anything else with a Mini-USB port. Set the Bolt with the charger out in the sun during the day and you will have a good flashlight to help you see at night.

I think you will agree that this is a great light. I also included  video from Goal Zero to show you some additional uses of this flashlight.

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