a portable solar panel hanging on a man's backpack

Goal Zero Nomad 7 Review

Overall Rating 9
Compatibility 9
Durability 7
Portability 10
Ease of Use 9
Value for Money 7

Aniket

Written by qualified solar engineer Aniket. Last updated:

Our Verdict

A near-perfect companion for outdoor adventures is here – the Nomad 7 by Goal Zero. The 7-watt panel in the Nomad series is a foldable solar panel charger that is reliable, robust, and delivers everything it promises. Its thick fabric casing lends it sufficient ruggedness, while the multiple ports make charging easier. Its USB port even allows chaining with other panels.

Although it’s not designed for larger devices like tablets or laptops, this panel is lightweight and handy enough to be carried along. You can even tie it to your backpack with its solar cells exposed to sunlight. The panel is compatible with most handheld devices and even portable chargers from Goal Zero. Let us discover the product in some more detail in this Goal Zero Nomad 7 Review.

Compatibility

The 8-9V voltage of the Nomad 7 makes it compatible with nearly all mobile devices. Naturally, it is also compatible with Goal Zero’s other products, such as the Flip, Switch, and Venture rechargers. It comes with multiple ports that can be used simultaneously, the highlight being the USB port that allows the chaining of multiple panels.

Durability

The Nomad 7 has a tough fabric casing all over it, folding with the solar cells inward. When closed, it can certainly sustain some mild shocks and even some water splashes, though it is not encouraged. An IP rating for water-resistance would have been great, but the fabric covering must not allow that. The junction box sits in a chained, pouch-like section on one end of the device, keeping it secure.

front facing goal zero nomad 7 portable charger

Ease Of Use

The panel/charger opens and closes much like a notebook. Its strapping holes make it a perfect solar charger for backpacking. The junction box with ports is straightforward to use. The panel comes with an adapter with a port similar to a cigarette-lighter, making it easier to use. The only limitation is the lack of a mounting kickstand, like the Nomad 5 model. Laying the charger on the ground won’t work as efficiently, so you will have to do with a rock or your backpack for mounting.

Features

The Nomad 7 boasts high-efficiency crystalline cells as its prime feature. But other noteworthy features include the multi-port system and chainability – allowing you to connect more than one panel together for higher power generation. The panel does away with traditional, bulky components such as glass and frame, going for a lightweight fabric covering with transparent plastic on the collector surface.

Design

The 7-watt model in the Nomad family is similar in design to the Goal Zero Nomad 20. Its foldable design with the junction box concealed in the fabric casing is praiseworthy. The cover has a large green strip and Goal Zero written in large letters. Interestingly, Goal Zero also provides a ‘Realtree Xtra Camo’ color in this model – a brown, camouflage-style design.

Portability

The Nomad 7 is less than a foot on any side and weighs around 16 oz, making it easy to handle. It has a slim profile and can be easily carried in backpacks when folded. The lack of extra-long cables, such as on traditional solar panels, allows for better handling. Overall, the Nomad 7 gets full marks for portability.

front facing goal zero nomad 7 Portable Charger

What We Like

Consider all the features, and the Nomad 7 feels unique in comparison to most traditional solar panels. We are impressed by how easy it is to carry, connect, and disconnect. It might not be the cheapest sub-10-watt panel in the market, but it certainly is one of the best. And if you ever feel that 7 watts is insufficient, you can always choose a higher power model, all the way up to the 100-watt version of this solar charger.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Multiple ports
  • Durable fabric cover
  • Easy to carry

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive
  • No water-resistance rating

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