A day before the start of the 2013 Outdoor Retailer convention the Gear Junkie brings us the scoop on yet another interesting new product that should be arriving later this year. This time it is a new tent from Eddie Bauer that integrates a solar charging solution from Goal Zero to create a shelter that can also power your outdoor gadgets.
The new tent doesn't have a release day or price yet, but we do know that it is an update on EB's Katabatic four-sason model. The upgrade comes in the form of a built-in solar panel on the roof that links internally to a Goal Zero charging system that uses the company's Sherpa 50 battery pack. The Sherpa 50 is capable of charging a number of devices, including laptops, and is a fantastic mobile power source (I gave it high marks when I reviewed one earlier this year).
The combination of these products should make for a great mobile base camp for the outdoor adventurer and professional alike. The Katabatic tent weighs in at a little over 10 pounds and the Sherpa will add another couple of pounds to that, so this isn't exactly an ultra-lightweight option. But if you're setting up camp in a single location for some time and need to keep your satellite phone, GPS, laptop and other gear charged, this is an interesting option.
As mentioned above, there is no release date or price yet. Eddie Bauer sells the tent at $599 on its own and Goal Zero retails the Sherpa 50 system for $360. A little math will tell you this will be an expensive alternative, but potentially a very good one, for those who need this kind of set-up.
Eddie Bauer and First Ascent aren't at Outdoor Retailer traditionally, but I'm hoping Goal Zero will have one of these on display in their booth. I'll try to drop by and take a peek and see if I can find out a few more details. I'm sure more than a few of you will be wondering how well the solar-tent performs and when you might be able to order one.