Goal Zero Nomad 7

7.5
7.5 score
[Editors rating (7.5)] = (GearWeAre.com) score (7.5)/10

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Editor rating: 7.5 / 10
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Goal Zero Nomad 7 Review Facts

There are many that would argue that there is no need for electrical gadgets and gizmos when you are out and about in the great outdoors. However, your phone offers safety in times of distress, your GPS guides you to your destination, and with such stunning scenery and impressive landscapes, a camera is always handy!

Cut down your carbon footprint with a renewable energy source that is compact and easy to take with you on your next outdoor adventure. Whether you are heading out on the trail, camping, fishing or backpacking, the Goal Nomad 7 is a nifty little device that will convert sunlight into energy and power up your electrical devices. Providing the right balance between performance and weight, this solar panel is the ideal charging option when you are traveling on long trips. It is versatile and durable- providing optimal performance and ease of use and packed full of clever features.

Combining a compact design with excellent functionality, and available at a great value price, these panels will keep you connected while you are out in the wild. If you are thinking about harnessing the power of the sun with check out our in-depth review for everything that you need to know.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Excellent durability
  • Compact design
  • Power on the go!
  • Weatherproof
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Extra weight
  • Does not hold power without the Guide 10 battery pack
Brand

Brand

Goal Zero is the go-to brand for portable solar panels. They are a humanitarian company, providing energy and support to those in poverty around the world. Inspired by a desire for change, their portable energy solutions have fast become one of the favorites when customers are looking for a sustainable source of energy while exploring.

Whether you want to keep your camera charged for beautiful panoramic shots of the wilderness, make a call, or charge up your portable speakers to pump up the volume on your favorite tunes, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 could be an excellent choice. Typical of Goal Zero’s commitment to quality, it is the ideal camp companion that will keep your devices charged wherever you are in the world.
Power

Power

The Nomad 7 can pack a punch-making sure that your gadgets have got enough juice to last the entire trip. The panel features three different charging options, including 12v, USB and battery pack, and it is a state-of-the-art 7w monocrystalline solar panel. There are a couple of different types of solar panels that are popular, yet monocrystalline is considered to be one of the better options as it provides improved space efficiency. One of the highlights of the Goal Nomad 7 has to be the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) which reserves power and ensures that the panels are absorbing all the available energy around them. Plus, the power-flow indicator is a handy addition, as it means that you can clearly see when your Nomad 7 is doing its job or when you will need to reconnect.

However, a few reviewers have suggested that the device can be a little temperamental, with some even suggesting it is not always reliable. With some reviewers suggesting that the Nomad 7 was in fact relatively slow to charge, with some suggesting that it was not as effective as other Goal Zero options. At only 7 watts, the Nomad 7 does have a slow charging speed, and it is reported that it can take anywhere 3-6 hours to fully charge up your device. However, it is important to note that this time will differ depending on the weather conditions. Strong sunlight is likely to power it up quickly, but it may take longer on a cloudy day. Furthermore, several customers have reported that they had difficulty charging their iPhone in particular, although the company has provided solutions for this.

Although you can attach your solar panels to your backpack so it will charge whilst you walk, it will certainly be more effective when left out in the sun. You can attach the solar panel to other panels to create a larger energy output.
Use

Use

While it is understandable why people want to leave behind their electronics when they are out on the trail, having a portable solar panel as part of your gear can make all the difference. A smartphone alone contains GPS tracking, maps, and a lifeline in difficult situations. If you are traveling alone, running out of charge could potentially be dangerous. Plus, with the quality of the cameras on phones available these days, you are sure to be able to snap some pretty impressive photos to share with the family when you get home.

This could be an ideal portable solar panel charging system for any hiker, rambler or adventurer who may need to charge more than one item at once. It would also be a great shout to have one of these at home as a back-up in case of a power cut, and the Goal Zero Nomad 7 has been a particularly popular choice amongst the prepper community. The Nomad 7 comes with a wide selection of charging cords, so this could be an ideal option if you are looking for multiple charging options for powering up everyone’s gadgets on a group trip. It even features a plug that will fit the cigarette lighter in your vehicle for even more ease of use.

Whilst we would not advise leaving your solar panels out in torrential rain, they have been designed to withstand a little water, and the weatherproof feature means that these solar panels can stand up to the elements. The folding design is ingenious, keeping everything small and compact but also protecting your panels while you are on the move. On the reverse of the panels, you will find ten loops and a few carabiners so you can strap it to your backpack, keeping the panel charging as you walk throughout the day. However, there have been some reports that this limits the panel’s capabilities and reduces its effectiveness. It should also be noted that the Goal Zero Nomad 7 is intended for use with smaller devices, and does not have the capacity to charge larger electronics such as a tablet or laptop. Furthermore, the Nomad 7 is compatible with a whole host of Goal Zero accessories, and there is a handy pocket at the back of the design which is great for keeping batteries or cables stored away neatly.
Size

Size

The Nomad 7 is small and compact and will easily store away into your backpack. It is around the size of a small book, 229 x 38 x 165mm when folded. When it is opened, the panels are 229 x 38 x 432 mm. As we mentioned before, you can connect the Nomad 7 to other panels from Goal Zero to create a larger solar panel with increased space resulting in increased efficiency.
Weight

Weight

Despite the small size of the Nomad 7, it is fairly heavy at 460g (16.2oz). This is partly due to the magnets that are used to fasten the panels, and many users have questioned Goal Zero’s need to include these. However, the model can be lightened by removing the cords and wires that you will not require.

If you are looking for a more lightweight model, consider upgrading to the Goal Zero Nomad 7 plus, which is slightly lighter at 9.5 ounces. This is a less complicated model with fewer accessories and cords. However, the Plus does not have the option to charge multiple devices at once, and instead, comes only with a USB cable to fit your charging wire.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

The Goal Zero Nomad 7 is super easy to use, and there are so many reviews that praise the user-friendly nature of this device. There is no setup- just plug in and go! Even those of us who are not adept at tech will certainly be able to master the Nomad 7.

Simply, unfold the panel, attach the kickstand and plug in your device and it will start charging. With just a few short hours in direct sunlight, your gadget should be ready to go. The device has an auto-restart feature, and it will modify power outage to ensure peak performance. However, one reviewer noted that the panel did not charge up their phone when their battery had died completely. This may have been due to the Nomad 7 not being able to recognize that a device was attached, and we would advise that you do not let your gadget run down to zero.

Moreover, due to the power needs of modern smartphones, there have been several issues reported. If you are having difficulty, check out the selection of Goal Zero accessories that will improve overall performance. In particular, many reviewers recommend pairing this with the Goal Zero guide 10 battery pack for the best possible performance. This recharger will enable you to store power that can then be used later, or even throughout the night. This is also the best option if you are planning on charging your panel up by attaching it your backpack as you walk.
Durability

Durability

The Goal Zero Nomad 7 has been built to last, with many online reviews praising the exceptional durability of this sun-powered charger. The entire surface of the panels have been covered with a weatherproof rubberized covering, and these are then lined with a strong canvas, keeping the panel safe and secure throughout your journey,

The Goal Zero Nomad 7’s durability is a result of its intelligent design. There are no negative comments discovered online regarding the durability of the device itself, although some have questioned the longevity of the loops on the reverse.
Price

Price

The Goal Nomad 7 is slightly more expensive than other comparable models. Particularly when you consider the fact that the panels only have a 7-watt capacity. However, while the price per watt is high, you do get the peace of mind from shopping with this trustworthy brand. Plus, they often have bundles and package deals over on the Goal Zero website so that you can get the accessories to up your Nomad’s game.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

As long as you have sunlight, you can charge up your gadgets on the go with the Goal Zero Nomad 7. it is ideal for overnight routes, overseas expeditions or an adventure anywhere where power is not available, and yet you need to juice up your devices. Goal Zero has created several game changers in the world of portable solar panel systems, and although the Nomad 7 does have its limitations, it certainly has the power to compete. Featuring a well thought out design and waterproof protection to keep it safe in the wind and snow, the Nomad 7 is compact, lightweight and built to last. There is no need to go off the grid, as the intuitive power meter makes sure that the Nomad 7 captures every possible bit of sunlight.

However, if you are looking for a larger or more powerful solar panel system, check out the rest of the collection available at Ground Zero. The Nomad 7 is the smallest panel available, and they have a whole host of different solar power systems that pack a punch. We would certainly recommend matching the Nomad 7 up with the Guide 10 Battery Pack. This will enable the device to hold the charge and will help to streamline the power output whilst it is in use. Plus, we would definitely advise using the panel in an area with direct sunlight, rather than attaching to your backpack.

If you want to keep your electrical devices charged on your next outdoor adventure, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 could be a wise investment. Overall, the sun-powered panels feature a neat compact design in black and lime green, it is well designed and easy to use. Plus, it is always useful to have the option to power up your electronics on the go.