The Solar Item: Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel is a smaller charging solar panel that is made for your smaller devices that can be charged with USB or DC (Car Charger/Adapter is included).
How can you go wrong with a device that is named after wandering nomads? If some cavemen had this back in the day, they would have been mighty happy.
Basically, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel is really designed for charging your smaller devices like phones and mp3 players or iPods. Note that I didn’t say iPads . . . I said iPods. The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel isn’t serious enough to charge tablets, notebooks, laptops or iPads.
This device comes with a lot of great aspects that people love and I’ll write about below, but it does have its limitations.
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 9”x7”x2”
- Open Circuit Voltage: 8-9V USB port: 5V, up to 1A (5W max), regulated Solar port (blue, 8mm): 15V, up to 0.3A (5W max)
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel is pricier than a battery maintainer. It lists for $79.99 but it can be found for as low as $66.33 depending on where you look.
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel Review
As I said above, there seems to be many great features that people really love about this device. The most important is that it does what it says and can act as a solar charger for your smaller devices. It is really important to know that the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel is for SMALLER devices. This will not charge laptops, tablets or even iPads.
It is also very durable and folds in on itself. The dimensions above are accurate, but to put it in perspective, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel is about the size of a sheet of paper when it is unfolded and ready for use. It is perfect for camping and the outdoor enthusiast who doesn’t want their iPod or mp3 player to run out of juice. It also comes in a canvas binding that not only stores the device, but it also labels and holds all the cords and charging inputs/outputs. There are many “loops” on the binding that make it very easy to mount on a back pack or anywhere in camp. It also has magnetic closer so you don’t have to fuss with it.
It is small and light and can be weak, but it also comes with the ability to “chain” it to other Nomads if you’re looking for more juice.
As I said above, this is a solar panel that is designed for smaller personal devices like phones, GPS devices and mp3 players. It is NOT going to charge your laptop or run your TV. You can chain the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel to other Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel but the real solution to the power problem is to buy an external battery pack to go along with it (many reviewers recommend the Goal Zero 11406 Guide 10 Battery Pack.
Some reviewers report that this is also a bit temperamental and really does need direct sunlight to work the way you want it to. This isn’t the case with everyone, but there is enough talk of the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel being a little finicky that you should be cautious. But again, this could be from people who are using it incorrectly.
Another noteworthy detail is that this doesn’t hold its own charge. You can’t leave this out in camp, not plugged into anything, come back at the end of the day when the sun is going down and expect the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel to charge your devices. You need to plug it in and use it in sunlight for it to work.
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel is a small, light and durable solar panel that is going to keep your small devices happy. It is a bit pricey (depending on who you ask), but it really is worth it to anyone who is going to be away from a wall/car charger for an extended period of time.