Goal Zero Nomad 20 Review
Goal Zero’s 20-watt foldable solar panel is an impressively compact yet powerful device. Its thoughtful design makes it so much more than a package of solar cells. The makers claim that it can charge mobile devices as fast as charging from the wall would, which is not a common claim in the world of solar panels. 20 watts is a significant amount of power, and the Nomad 20 is surprisingly compact for it.
Made from high-efficiency monocrystalline cells, the panel performs quite well, and is also chainable with other panels if you want a greater power output. A variety of ports on the rear make connecting it to most devices easy. Let us find out more about the panel in this Goal Zero Nomad 20 Review.
Compatibility is one department where the Nomad 20 truly shines. It can charge everything from small chargers to power stations like the Yeti 400. Its chainability with other solar panels allows you to churn out even more solar power, for faster charging or charging larger devices. The panel comes with 4 different outlet ports, including a USB port for easy plug-and-play.
The Nomad 20 is a decently durable panel, with barely any use of metal in its structure. Its collector surface does away with brittle glass and opts for a flexible plastic cover. These collecting surfaces fold inward when storing the device, and secure the cells inside. The outer layer consists of a thick fabric covering, which is lightweight yet durable. Goal Zero claims the panel is weatherproof, but there is no IP rating so water-resistance is not guaranteed.
Ease Of Use
Goal Zero’s 20-watt Nomad is fairly easy to carry as well as set up. The foldable design makes it one of the few 20-watt panels that can fit in a backpack. It comes with 4 different outlet ports that allow you to connect a wide variety of devices to the panel. The device does lack a mounting kickstand, unlike the Goal Zero Nomad 10 panel, but mounting it is still not a difficult task.
The Nomad 20 could easily be counted among the most feature-rich portable solar panels available on the market. Its high-efficiency mono-Si cells and a frameless design make the panel compact and lightweight, while the availability of multiple ports adds versatility. This device does not offer anything wildly creative, but its thoughtful selection of features certainly makes it an excellent solar charger for camping.
Its unconventional design is the area where the Nomad 20 truly triumphs over traditional solar panels. With its sleek profile, lack of a bulky frame or glass, tough fabric, and a host of useful ports, the Nomad 20 has one of the best designs when it comes to portable solar panels. The device is not flawless, but it ticks most of the right boxes.
When folded, the Nomad 20 is almost similar in size to the Goal Zero Nomad 7 version. This makes it exceedingly portable for its rated power capacity. Its 2.5 lbs. weight is the lowest you can find on a 20-watt panel. The Nomad 20 is pretty rugged and weatherproof – it can handle any amount of dust and even some water splashes.
What We Like
By now, Goal Zero has become a trusted name in portable solar modules, and its foldable, 20-watt offering is an excellent balance of power capacity and size. It is noticeably lightweight and employs high-quality materials. For a panel that can charge mobile devices in as much time as your home charger, we really liked how easy it felt to carry around and use. The size is perfect for moderate camping activities, but if you are looking for some serious outdoor activity, you can opt for larger sizes – check out our review of Goal Zero Nomad 100.
- Foldable and compact
- Easy to carry
- Slightly expensive
- No water-resistance rating