Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus portable solar panel

Most solar chargers are either gimmicks that would struggle to juice up a lemon, or giant packs you need a car to haul around. Goal Zero’s new Nomad 7 Plus looks like it might be the holy grail – small, cheap, and useful.

The solar panel can charge smartphones and other USB-powered devices in unpredictable environments without the aid of a battery.

The biggest difference between Nomad 7 Plus solar panel and others is hidden in a small modulator called the Maximum Power Point Tracking controller.

The controller helps optimize the output from the solar panels for the battery being charged, particularly given variances due to light and shadow encountered during charging.

It tracks the history of the power flow, so it understands if a device disconnects due to being fully charged or due to a lack of power (because of shade). It then automatically reconnects if needed.

Mountaineers best friend

Nomad 7 Plus is compact and lightweight!

It’s about the same size and weight as a paperback book, weighing in at about 363 grams. It comes with a weatherproof layering and a magnetic kickstand that angles the panel toward the sun. That kickstand can be detached, removing 110 grams from the weight.

The Nomad 7 Plus has no battery or other power storage. If you want to store extra power purchase any of power packs separately.

It has a single charging output — a USB port with an intuitive power meter built-in. The meter helps you angle the panel just right to capture every possible bit of sunlight. Illuminated dots indicate charge output strength.

This is a slick little solar panel. It is effective at quickly charging small devices and is simple to use thanks to intuitive metering and design. For those who just want to recharge phones and other small electronics, or store energy in small batteries for later, this is a good choice.

Technical data

USB Port: 5V, up to 1.4 A (1400 mA)(7W max)
Mini Solar Port (2.5mm): 8-9V, up to 0.8A (800 mA)(7W max)

Solar Pannel:
Rated Power: 7W
Open Circuit Voltage: 8-9V
Cell Type: Monocrystalline

Weight: 363 g
Dimensions (unfolded): 33 x 22.23 x 1.27 cm
Dimensions (folded): 16.5 x 22.23 x 1.9 cm
Max Leg Angle: 90 degrees
Warranty: 12 months