SylvanSport's ultra-versatile camping trailer GOES solar

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SylvanSport at the 2015 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market(Credit: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

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SylvanSport offers outdoor enthusiasts some of the lightest, most versatile trailers in the business. Now it's teaming up with Goal Zero to bring solar power to its flagship gear-hauling, overnighting GO trailer. The trailer is part of Goal Zero's Solar Ready initiative, which looks to integrate solar panels and battery packs into a variety of common outdoor gear.

It's been a few years since we covered the original GO trailer, and it's still one of the most versatile trailers we've ever seen. Its skeletal expandable frame and rack-mountable roof accommodate all kinds of sports equipment, tools and gear, and the four-person tent drops down smoothly from the roof box. It's an ultra-versatile, lightweight way of pursing your favorite outdoor activities for days on end.

In order to maintain a light, collapsible form, the standard GO does without some of the comforts of more fully equipped camping trailers. You won't find a built-in kitchen or electrical system, for instance.

SylvanSport does offer Goal Zero solar kit options to give GO and GO-Easy users a means of portable power, and now it's aiming to make solar power even easier to add to the GO. The upcoming solar-equipped GO will include Goal Zero solar panels affixed to the roof and a Yeti power cube packed neatly inside the tongue box.

SylvanSport showed a prototype of the solar GO at the Outdoor Retailer show earlier this month. It wasn't advertising hard specs at the show, but the prototype had what appeared to be a pair of Goal Zero's Boulder 30 aluminum-framed, tempered-glass solar panels on the roof and Yeti 400 battery pack up front.

SylvanSport plans to bring the solar-equipped GO option to market by next spring (Northern Hemisphere) and is estimating pricing for the package at a tentative US$800 to 900. The solar kit will be offered on new trailers and available as a retro install on existing trailers. The GO trailer itself bases in at $8,995.

The solar-ready SylvanSport GO is just the tip of the iceberg for Goal Zero. Under the Solar Ready initiative it announced earlier this year, the Utah-based solar power outfit has partnered to bring its solar panels and battery packs to a variety of outdoor gear, from backpacks, to tents, to kayaks.

"Solar Ready unlocks the ability for brands to work directly with us to create a seamless integration between their products and the power their customers are craving to truly enhance any off-grid experience," said Goal Zero brand marketing director James Atkin.

Big Agnes' new line of Goal Zero-powered tents follows its introduction of mtnGLO LED-iluminated tents a year ago. The Krumhultz UL2 mtnGLO and Red Canyon 4 mtnGLO each has a Nomad 7 solar panel, Flip 20 charger, electric fan and small lantern from Goal Zero. The wire routing is integrated right into the tent body and designed to maintain weatherproof integrity.

The Flip 20 has a 5,200 mAh, 18.7 Wh capacity and can be used to USB-charge a smartphone and other small electronics. Goal Zero estimates that the pack takes five to 10 hours to charge via the Nomad 7 panel.

We checked out the Krumholtz at Outdoor Retailer, and the integration looks pretty slick. The Goal Zero package is obviously unnecessary for camping purists that want to escape touchscreens and internet connections, but it's a nice execution for those that plan to keep charged in the woods.

Scoff at pre-wired tents if you want, but the Big Agnes mtnGLO line has come a long way in a year. It's blown up from two initial tents to a full lineup of more than a dozen tents and an add-on lighting kit. The Goal Zero-equipped Krumhultz and Red Canyon mtnGLOs will join that lineup in the spring of 2016, retailing in at $649.95 and $699.95, respectively.

Other Goal Zero Solar Ready partners include Gregory Mountain Products (backpacks) and Jackson Kayak.

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