Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel and Guide 10 Battery Pack Review
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel and Guide 10 Battery Pack is an all in one package for people looking for a way to charge electronics while they’re away from a regular power source. It can charge AA and AAA batteries, features a USB port that can charge directly from the solar panel and can charge USB items from the battery pack when there isn’t any sunlight available.
If you need more charging power, you can add more Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panels and increase your charging speed.
Goal Zero Guide 10 Battery Pack and Nomad 7 Solar Panel
- Lightweight makes it a breeze to carry around.
- Weather resistant so it can be exposed to rain and snow without being destroyed.
- Can charge straight from the solar panel or from the battery pack.
- Multiple Nomad 7 solar panels can be linked together to drastically decrease charge times.
- Requires a clear day to get the best charging results.
- If batteries are charged to different levels then they sometimes don't charge to the same level.
- Needs an (included) insert to charge AAA batteries.
Anyone that’s interested in getting an all in one solar panel/battery pack should take a look at the Guide 10 Battery Pack and Nomad 7 Solar Panel.
The Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit and the Nomad 7 Solar Panel come in at .8 lbs. When it’s completely folded up it measures 9.5″ x 1.5″ x 6.5″.
It is designed to operate between 0 and 120 degrees F so it should be good in most environments. Just remember that batteries can burst when they’re used in extreme heat and batteries in cold environments often need to be warmed (body heat works great) before they will function.
The outer cover of the solar panel is made of a nylon material. It unfolds to reveal the two solar panels inside. I’ve found that the slight angle of the outer flap is great for angling the panels toward the sun to get the most out of daylight.
It also has several small bungee style straps integrated into the panel that make it easy to hang off of your pack. They could also be helpful in routing wires but I’ve never felt a need to use them that way.
Mono-crystalline style panels are used in the Nomad 7 that are rated at 7W.
The rear of the Nomad 7 Solar Panel has a zippered mesh pocket that contains simple printed instructions inside, houses the outputs from the solar panel itself, and allows you to store any cables, needed for charging and the Guide 10 Plus.
Power is stored in this kit by the Guide 10 Plus. It uses either 4 AA or 4 AAA batteries to hold its power. Any rechargeable AA or AAA battery can be used in the Guide 10.
The Guide 10 has a dedicated power cord from the solar panel and fits neatly inside the back pocket.
The kit comes with a 12V cable, a USB cable and the AAA battery insert for the Guide 10 Plus.
It should be noted that if you buy the Nomad 7 by itself, it does not store power. You can still charge devices and other USB battery packs from it but the Nomad 7 is only a solar panel and contains no batteries.
Charge times for items attached to the Nomad 7 are 2-4 hours for the Guide 10 and 1-3 hours for a phone. The Guide 10 can also charge from a USB port which takes about 8 hours.
I like the versatility of the Nomad 7 when it’s paired with the Guide 10. This is where the Goal Zero product line shines. They’re all designed to be used together without any possible compatibility issues.
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel and Guide 10 Battery Pack really hit the sweet spot for portable, on the go, solar. Any larger and they’d get in the way. Any smaller and you’re looking at 8 hours to charge a similar size battery pack and close to 6 hours to charge a phone.
The fact that it’s just 2 panels, is really light, has an integrated pocket for the battery pack and has the little bungees make it really nice to hang off of a pack. The only thing that would make it better is if it had flexible solar panels.
An option that is built into the Nomad 7 is the ability to chain up to four Nomad 7s together to increase the charging capacity. This is nice if you have multiple people carrying these but adding more than one Nomad 7 to a bug out bag would take away from the main benefit of this solar kit.
Some cell phones may not be able to charge directly off of the solar panel. This is because they require a continuous power source that doesn’t fluctuate like solar power can. If you run into this, you need to charge your device off of the battery pack itself.
While the Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit and the Nomad 7 Solar Panel is technically weather resistant, you need to keep in mind that there are exposed USB cables and charging ports on the back. I’ve been very careful when it was lightly raining and haven’t had problems. The panels themselves just wipe off without a problem.
If you’re really rough with the panels you could possibly break them. This is going to be the case for any panel of this type but it still deserves to be mentioned.
For someone looking to charge a handful of electronic devices on the go, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel and Guide 10 Battery Pack makes a lot of sense. If you’re looking for a solar panel to break out in the case of a power outage in your home then you should look for something larger that doesn’t suffer from the limitation of only having two solar panels.
There is also an updated version of this kit here: Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Kit with Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel. I don’t have one to review so you’ll have to do your own research on it. It looks like the main difference is it’s a little lighter and the pocket area has a stand that pops out to make standing it up easier.