Small but terrible

The push for solar technology is normally rather large-scale, with nations creating bigger and better solar farms. But what about small scale? At best, new products are for houses or buildings. But what about the solar needs of the individual? Where are the smaller and sleeker (and more affordable) solar panels?

Enter the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus.

Goal Zero's new offering, the Nomad 7 Plus, is a compact solar panel that charges phones or other electronic devices, and it has a modified maximum power point tracker to regulate output.

While other solar chargers are firmly in the "gimmick" category, producing little to no charge or having a weight heavy enough to build some serious muscles, the Nomad 7 promises reliable charging and portability in the same package.

Also, it's just $80.

The Nomad 7 panels pack 7 watts of charging output at 1.4 amps, with a power regulator that helps smooth out the inconsistencies from shade or shadows when charging. It also has intuitive LED indicators that display strength of solar conditions.

An interesting feature of the Nomad 7 is it's ability to track power flow history. The Nomad 7 Plus knows the difference between a device that is fully charged and one that disconnects due to lack of sunlight or shadows. When the latter is detected, the Nomad 7 Plus will automatically reconnect the charging device, no extra work needed.

Mountaineers best friend

The bet part about the Nomad 7? The size. It’s about the same size and weight as a paperback book, weighing in at about 363  grams (12.8 oz).

For mountaineers, the Nomad 7 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 is a nifty tool that allows on-the-go charging for techie and nature enthusiasts alike.

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