Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus – Solar Charger
In today’s world, technology and electronics makes everyday activities easier, and the same can be said in a survival situation.
Electronics are always restrained by one thing…POWER!
Once the power goes out, or the batteries go dead, electronics are nothing more than a paper weight.
One of the biggest technology jumps in the last few years has been in arena of portable solar power chargers. They have become much smaller, lighter and more powerful. Today, small solar chargers can easily be thrown in a pack and forgotten about until needed.
One of the leading providers of solar power products is Goal Zero. Recently Goal Zero updated their Nomad 7 to the Nomad 7 Plus. Reengineered to be lighter and smarter, the Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel can charge USB devices directly from the sun.
The detachable kickstand adds modularity and the power-flow indicator ensures you are collecting as much sunlight as possible. The Nomad 7 Plus panels are made from waterproof material, and are able to stand up to almost anything mother nature throws at them. Just be sure to keep the electronics that you are charging in a dry place.
Most phones on the market today are designed to prevent charging if the source of power is fluctuating. That is why your phone is sometimes plugged into outlets, but only charges for a few seconds before stopping.
The Nomad 7 Plus has a built in feature called Smart Charging. This allows the device to automatically restart the charging process on your phone when the solar panel is receiving enough power to match the device’s requirements.
The upside here is you don’t have to constantly unplug and re-plug your phone back into the charger to continue charging.
One of the challenges of solar panels is trying to figure out if you are collecting the most possible amount of sunlight.
Solar panels can be very finicky when it comes to getting them lined directly with the sun. One of the best features on the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus is the Solar Intensity Indicator. With a quick glance at the charging cable you can easily see how much light the cells are collecting on the panel. This feature can save you hours of time, and really sets this panel apart from others on the market.
Unless the sun is directly overhead, chances are you are going to need a way of propping your panel up to align it with the sun. Don’t spend your time looking for rocks or sticks to prop up, simply deploy the detachable kickstand.
Not only does the kickstand help keep your solar panel at the proper angle, but the built in mesh pocket keeps all of your charging cable right where you need them!
If you find yourself constantly on the move, the Nomad 7 Plus has built in loops located in every corner. This allows you to easily attach it to your pack with the included carabineer (or you can use one of your own). You can also use these attachment points to secure it to the outside of your tent or house.
The Nomad 7 Plus will directly charge most USB and 12V devices (not tablets). These devises include: cell phones, smart phones, and GPS. Pairing the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus with an external battery pack or battery charger with rechargeable batteries can keep your electronics going for a very long time.
When are evaluating solar panels, we like to base the charging rate on how long it takes to charge a cell phone. Most phones can be charged in 2-3 hours of direct sunlight with this panel.
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus has found a permanent home in my Get Home Bag. I have put this solar panel to the test over the last 6 months, and it has held up to everything I could throw at it. I love being able to clip the panel to the outside of my bag while I hike. With a universal multi-connecter charging cable, you can charge almost any electronic device you come across.
Weight with Kickstand: 12.8 oz (363 g)
Weight without Kickstand: 9.2 oz (260 g)
Dimensions (unfolded): 13 x 8.75 x 0.5 in (33 x 22.23 x 1.27 cm)
Dimensions (folded): 6.5 x 8.75 x 0.75 in (16.5 x 22.23 x 1.9 cm)
Max Leg Angle: 90 degrees
- Light weight
- Very durable
- Advanced charging technology