REVIEW: Goal Zero Venture 30

We live in a very technological age. And even when we are ready to hit the trails and get away from it all we still depend on having our phones, cameras, GPS and other devices. Portable batteries have become common place, but most weren’t made to handle the trails or Mother Nature. For the last year we’ve been testing the Goal Zero Venture 30 and Nomad 7 products and they have you taken care of.

Goal Zero Venture 30

I utilize the same devices on the trails and camping as I do when I’m in the field training with the US Army, so before a field exercise I picked up the Goal Zero Venture 30 Recharger and the Nomad 7 Solar Panel. Both products are designed for the adventurer and whatever elements they might find themselves in.

Goal Zero Venture 30

The Goal Zero Venture 30 is a portable battery pack with an IPX6 weather rating. This International Protection Marking code means that the Venture 30 has been certified with testing against 10 minutes of dripping water, 5 minutes of spraying water, 5 minutes of splashing water and 3 minutes of powerful water jets at 100 liters per minute! And it’s operating temperature range is from 32-114 degrees Fahrenheit (0-45C). Weighing in at only 8.8 ounces it won’t add much to your pack. The Li-ion battery is 29Wh and 7800mAh. When looking at batteries, the bigger these 2 numbers are, the better. Wh refers to watt-hours meaning, in this case, the Venture 30 could power a 29 watt light bulb for 1 hour, or a 5 watt phone for 6 hours, etc.

Goal Zero Venture 30

The Goal Zero Venture 30 compared to a 4000mAh PocketJuice.

The Goal Zero Venture 30 has 2 USB ports and a built in mini-USB cable so many phones and cameras won’t even need to bring along extra cords. Apple devices on the other hand…I digress. Charging the Venture 30 from dead off USB power takes about 5 hours. We tested it through wall power, off a computer and off a 12 volt car plug all with the same result. Output is impressive too. We ran an Apple iPhone 6 through our normal work day only using the Venture 30 to charge it. We got two and half days off the Venture 30. Off a fully charged Venture 30 you should be able to charge a smartphone 2.5 times, a GoPro camera 5 times and a tablet once. To save on time you can plug devices in while the Venture 30 is being charged back up as well.

The Goal Zero Venture 30 has 5 LED lights across the front with a button on either side. Pressing one of the buttons will light up the LEDs in blue to indicate how much of a charge the Venture 30 has on a scale of 1-5. The opposite button will cause the LEDS to glow white as a backup flashlight. You can cycle through 3 brightness modes and 2 strobe modes.

Goal Zero Venture 30To give us the most versatility we also picked up the Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel. The Nomad 7 is a lightweight, weather-resistant, 7-watt solar panel that can be used to charge the Goal Zero Venture 30 or directly charge your smartphone, GPS or GoPro (no tablets). It has clipping points all around it to it can be easily strapped to a backpack or rack for charging on the go. The Nomad 7 will charge a Venture 30 from scratch in 8-16 hours depending on the amount of sun you are getting. You can chain multiple solar panels together to charge quicker. The Nomad 7 has a pocket built into itself to hold cables and the Venture 30 while it’s charging.

Goal Zero Venture 30

Goal Zero is a US company founded in 2009 and is focused on making power available whether you are off-grid or facing a natural disaster. They have a large line of solar panels, battery and recharge systems and accessories like lights and speakers all made to accompany your adventures. The Goal Zero Venture 30 has an MSRP of $99.99 and the Nomad 7 has an MSRP of $79.99. You can also buy them as a kit to save $10. I’ve bought and broken or lost enough of the cheap batteries packs to have paid for my Venture 30 already and those couldn’t withstand the outdoors. Goal Zero has done a great job with these two solutions. We haven’t found a better offering yet. To find your own check out #solarlife

Goal Zero

REVIEW: Peak Design Capture Camera Clip

Peak Design Capture Camera Clip

Perhaps the most important element of our reviews is the visual element. The photos and videos that we strive to provide give additional detail and demonstration to our reviews and help each of you to better see what we see. So it’s no small investment that we put into getting those photos. One tool we have come to love is the Capture Camera Clips from Peak Design. Our line-up includes the Peak Design Capture, Capture Pro and the POV kit.

Peak Design Capture

GoPro has revolutionized photography and videography in our industry but doesn’t work as well for point-and-click shots, especially where zooming is desired. SLR cameras are great, but the trails can be hard on expensive photo and video equipment. The slings that come with most cameras can’t keep the camera safe from the bouncing that occurs on the trails. Cases and bags can keep cameras secure but are inconvenient to get to. Peak Design addressed this when they created the Capture line.

Peak Design Capture

The Peak Design Capture Camera Clip allows a camera to be securely connected to a belt or strap with a holster design so that it can be quickly removed for the shot but is kept safe from abuse. In my personal use I have found that wearing it on the belt works great for hiking or tourist type photography. If I have a backpack or hydration pack then the shoulder straps work best. The latter is also my preferred for ATV riding as it keeps the camera up high.

Incredibly easy to use, the Peak Design Capture mounts to a belt or strap very securely with thumb screws for a fit that will adjust to any normal size. The adapter screws into the tripod mount of your DSLR or any other camera with a tripod hole. The adapter securely clips into the baseplate. Now its locked in and able to withstand 200 pounds of force! To remove you simply push the red release button and slide the camera out of the holster. For additional security the release button has a twist lock to prevent inadvertent release or theft.

Available in two models, the Capture and Capture Pro have a few differences. The standard Capture is made of aluminum and glass-reinforced nylon while the Capture Pro is all aluminum. The Capture Pro is also compatible with both Manfrotto RC2 tripods and Arca-type tripods where the standard capture only works with Arca. The Capture Pro also has its own tripod mounting hole allowing it to be used as a quick disconnect from a tripod or monopod.

POV Mount

Peak Design also offers a P.O.V. Action Mount for GoPro and other action cameras. The POV kit is used in conjunction with the Capture or Capture Pro for use on a bag strap. It’s a great way to get a POV photo or video without the bulk of helmet mounts or extra harnesses. The POV mount is $29.95.

Peak Designs Capture POV

Get Yours

Peak Design Capture Camera Clips and Capture Pro Camera Clip carry an MSRP of $59.95 and $79.95 respectively. They are also available in various bundles with other excellent Peak Design accessories like the Cuff or Clutch camera straps. To make the deal even sweeter, use promo code weekendatv for 10% off your order! To see more details on the Peak Design Capture Camera Clips and other professional camera gear check out


Some people are just too cool for helmets. No argument, we still feel right at home without ours on. But we have also watched some pretty bad stuff happen to people who were completely in control of their ATVs, so we have been forcing ourselves to wear them. Even disregarding personal safety, there will surely come a time when you will want to ride at an ATV park that requires helmets. In preparation for such a park trip, Neecy and I picked up a pair of HJC CL-X6 helmets from Hall’s Motorsports in Mobile, Alabama. There were plenty on display so we were able to find the best size for each of us. The staff at Hall’s Motorsports was able to make recommendations regarding helmet sizes for our quickly growing daughters too. The sizes range from XS to 3XL, but an in-store fitting is your best bet to ensure an accurate fit.

While you may not consider HJC to be one of the elite names in helmets, they have plenty of experience, having been in the motorcycle helmet industry since 1971. According to their own website they have been the #1 selling motorcycle helmet manufacturer in the United States since 1992. The helmets are manufactured at three different plants in Asia.

The CL-X6 is the choice mounting location for our GoPro HD Hero2 cameras.

We found the helmets to be quite comfortable and not too heavy, even after a full day of riding. They also provide adequate dust protection for the mouth and nose. After a couple of riding trips I removed the cheek pads and sent them through the washing machine and a good air dry. The rest of the helmet cleans up easily with a damp cloth and a little soap, if needed. They both still look great. We’ve been using our CL-X6 helmets for about 7 months now and are very pleased with our purchase. Each new HJC helmet comes with an extra nut for the visor, a storage bag and instructions for proper wear and care.

      The CL-X6 line comes in 8 different graphic styles with several color choices of each for a total of 27 different helmet looks. MSRP for the helmets ranges between $119.99 for the solid colored helmets to $154.99 for the most graphically intense series. You can view this and other helmet lines from HJC at The site also has a dealer locator to help you find the nearest retailer including the many locations of Hall’s Motorsports.

REVIEW: GoPro HD Hero2 Camera

Social media is everywhere. Everyone wants to share the cool stuff they are doing with status updates, check-ins, photos and more. But there is no better way to brag about your awesome adventure than capturing it in true high definition video. Enter the GoPro HD Hero2 camera.

GoPro is no newbie to video capture. The HD Hero2 is the third camera release from the company, building on each one to produce a more feature rich product each time. We decided the HD Hero2 would be the perfect tool for the staff here at to use for future reviews so we picked one up amid the holiday shopping excitement. After a few rides we are not disappointed!

First and foremost the HD Hero2 is a video camera. It is capable of videos modes in WVGA, 720p, 960p and 1080p. Each has multiple FOV (field of view) settings and FPS (frames per second). The still camera mode is pretty impressive too putting out 11 megapixel images. There are also some awesome still shot modes, like taking 10 photos in one second or taking a picture every half, 1, 2 ,10, 30 or 60 seconds. The lens design gives a fisheye effect to pictures and video.

Perhaps the biggest seller for those of us that get muddy is the camera is completely waterproof down to 197′. I don’t think there is an ATV snorkel kit yet that can test that so it should handle your riding grounds. There are also multiple mounts for the camera system so it can get almost any point of view you can imagine. There is a helmet mount, a handlebar mount, a rollbar mount, adhesive mounts and many others to cater to both our industry and others.

In our own tests we found out one thing quick. That old SD memory card you have laying around is not going to cut it. For good video quality you’ll need a Class 10 SD memory card as recommended by GoPro. Also, our test days all turned out to be cool, overcast days in the humid deep South. We found that the outer skeleton lens would fog up over time leaving our picture very cloudy. If we opened case the moisture disappeared immediately. GoPro apparently saw this issue and sells strips that help absorb the moisture.

The final result is an awesome piece of hardware. At an MSRP of $299 the GoPro HD Hero2 is perfect for capturing all of your adventures at a  more than reasonable price, Also surprising is the reasonable price for the different mounts. Overall expect your investment to be around $400 between the camera, SD card and a mount or two.  You won’t regret it. For more information visit GoPro at Stay tuned to for a lot more videos made with the GoPro HD Hero2.