Hey, this is Brandon with The Camping Trail!
I’ll be reviewing outdoor products related to hiking, camping and survival on our blog. I hope you all enjoy our product reviews… and if there are any items that you would personally like to see reviewed, we will do our best to get those products and review them for you. While I don’t (yet) own a cabin in the middle of the wilderness with a full solar panel array, I have had plenty of experience with the Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel over the past 5 years of owning it!
This compact and extremely portable dual solar panel collects 7 watts of energy between both of the mono- crystalline panels on a clear, sunny day. The built-in power converter on this unit has a USB port with an output of about 1.0A, which is now marginal as I currently own the Samsung Galaxy Note5 with the more up-to-date Quick Charge 2.0 technology.
I have directly plugged my phone into my Nomad 7 in the past, but I prefer to plug in my battery power banks or other USB powered devices instead. That ensures that my phone battery will never be directly affected by an unsteady energy output due to spotty sunlight or overcast days.
I have used the Nomad 7 on so many different trips over the years; from hiking on the Appalachian Trail, to fishing day trips, to camping trips, and even trips to Disney World… this thing has truly seen it all! The water resistant properties and semi-ruggedness of the Nomad 7 has kept it going even under most adverse conditions.
Through its many years of use, I have come to realize that you will want to make sure this unit is in the best optimal sun conditions to get the max charging capacity out of it.
On my Appalachian Trail hike, I did the best that I could to keep my panel in the sunlight, but it was ever changing under the heavy tree canopy that covered most of the trails and mountains that we traversed. I was constantly moving my panel around throughout the day when we were not moving and had it attached to the back of my Osprey pack to capture what sunlight it was able to while on the move.
The best days for collecting solar energy would be on days like today where we spent most of our time on the beach and out in the direct sunlight. I used my Nomad 7 to top off my Bluetooth speaker that I had been using to enjoy a little music with. Apart from its many photo ops, it remained in the sun for several hours and did a great job!
Owning a solar panel like this Nomad 7 is crucial to ensure sure you have a reliable and sustainable method of producing power, even if your normal power sources fail. Goal Zero offers many different solar products, from solar panels to solar generators, all of which can prove to be quite priceless in your next unexpected emergency!
BrandonSocial Media Marketing Manager, The Camping Trail