Super simple and straightforward, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 is the easiest solar panel to use on the market. As close to self-sufficiency as you’d hope to find in the middle of the woods – while giving you all the juice you need to keep your electronics humming, this is a great buy.
No matter how far into the wilderness you go, it’s nearly impossible to avoid all the trappings of the modern world. And nowhere is this more evident than in the incredible amount of electronic gizmos and gadgets that we all have cluttering our lifestyles. And while breaking away from it all and hitting the woods to disconnect and unplug as much as possible is an admirable and exciting thing to do, the reality is sometimes we need those devices. A cell phone or GPS in an emergency situation is a mission critical component to getting you out alive and well, but you need to be able to ensure that you’ll have power for your device.
Enter the best portable solar panel, the Goal Zero Nomad 7.
If you’re a big fan of the minimalist or ultralight movement going on in the daytrip or backpacking world, you are going to absolutely, positively, fall head over heels in love with this solar panel. The design and implementation of the Goal Zero Nomad 7 is like nothing else available on the market it’s as close to “set it and forget it” as you’ll be able to find.
I hope that subheading doesn’t throw you off the scent too terribly much, because that is the biggest and most powerful advantage that this solar panel brings to the table. Literally just a simple solid solar panel, this unit sets up and starts rolling inside of seconds. There are no funny things to fiddle with, no odd controls or extra cords or anything else for that matter to detract from the use of this solar panel. You just set it up in direct sunlight and then you go. It’s really just that simple.
One of the most surprising things of the current crop of solar panel products is a simple fact that so few seem to be built future proof already. With the incredible pervasiveness of USB cords for powering just about anything, you would think that more companies would be looking to add USB connectivity directly to their solar panels. Sadly, most of them lack the complete and total foresight that the Goal Zero Nomad 7 brings to the table. You can forget those clunky and chunky power bricks at home, you’ll have no need for an adapter here. You can jack you USB cord directly into the plug and start drawing power instantaneously. There is literally no other Goal Zero panel that lets you jack in so directly. If the only thing you have on hand is a car adapter, that’s also accommodated as there is an included 12 V cigarette adapter you can punch in to charge a second device. This is where things get really interesting.
While there is an incredibly useful extra storage pouch that allows you to store all of your chargers and cords or the extra battery pack for multiple uses as a single time, you do need to understand that there are some serious trouble doing just this. While the Goal Zero Nomad 7 reviews out there all speak to how effectively this unit can charge specific devices (and multiple small units all at one time), the fact of the matter is that some devices like the brand-new iPhone sap the strength of the charger to the point where you might not even be able to fully charge your own phone, let alone two of them at once.
This might not be a major consideration for you, especially if you’re using this only in a pinch when you need to get out of the woods instantly and just need a couple of chunks of battery to get you on your way, but if you intend on using your phone or tablet is a portable entertainment center you might be disappointed.
|Material:||[power cells] monocrystalline|
|Output:||[USB] 5V, up to 1A (5W), [mini-solar port] 6-7V, up to 1A (7W), [solar port] 15V, up to 0.3A (5W)|
|Folded Dimensions:||9.5 x 6.5 x 1 in|
|Claimed Weight:||12.8 oz|
|Recommended Use:||backpacking, camping, travel|
|Manufacturer Warranty:||1 year|
Literally one of the most effective solar panels on the market you’d be hard-pressed to find any of the functionality or serious advantages that this machine offers anywhere else. There a lot of solar panel reviews out there all talking about their product being the best of the best, but almost all of them mention in the exact same breath of stunning and simple the Goal Zero Nomad 7 really is.