Goal Zero is a reputable company in the solar industry, and they are well-known for the production of solar panels and generators. Most of the Nomad panels from Goal Zero can be tricky to comprehend without adequate knowledge of each system. For this reason, I’ll be deciding on the most practical option between the Nomad 7 and the Nomad 10.
The Goal Zero Nomad 10 is more practical than the Nomad 7 because it has a higher USB-A power output and comes with an adjustable kickstand. From their USB-A outputs, the Nomad 10 has 7.5W of power, while the Nomad 7 outputs 5W maximum.
|Solar Panel||Nomad 7||Nomad 10|
|Charge Speed With Venture 30||8-16 hours||4.5-9 hours|
|Weight||16.2 oz||1.12 lbs|
|Dimensions (Open)||9 x 1.5 x 17 in||9.5 x 14.5 x 0.75 in|
|Dimensions (Closed)||9 x 1.5 x 6.5 in||9.5 x 7.2 x 1.25 in|
|Ports||USB-A Port: 5V, up to 1A (5W max)|
Mini Solar Port (2.5mm - Guide 10 charge port): 6.5V, up to 1.1A (7W max)
Solar Port (8mm): 15V, up to 0.3A (5W max)
Chaining Port (for chaining multiple Nomad 7's together)
|USB-A Port: 5V, up to 1.5A (7.5W max)|
As you can see with the Venture 30 recharge times, the Nomad 10 will be able to significantly reduce recharge times for power banks as compared to the Nomad 7.
However, the Nomad 7 can output up to 7W from its 2.5mm port. This port is used specifically for use with the Guide 10 Plus recharger, which is a small power bank.
Before choosing either the Nomad 7 or 10, you should understand each of their fundamental specifications. Details relating to the device’s outlets, cost, durability, and charge efficiency are essential.
First I’ll give you an overview of each solar panel and then we’ll get into comparing each of the following features of the panels:
- Cell Type
- Charging Speed
- Customer Support
- Other Unique Features
Quick Review of the Nomad 7 Solar Panel
The Nomad 7 weighs 16.2 oz, and it’s one of the smallest and lightest portable solar panels from Goal Zero. The panel is very compact and can fit into a backpack easily. When folded, it has dimensions of 9 x 1.5 x 6.5 inches, and it has dimensions of 9 x 1.5 x 17 inches when unfolded.
The purpose of the Nomad 7 is to charge small devices like headlamps, smartphones, and Goal Zero power banks while on the go.
Its hanging loops surrounding the panels allow it to be used on your backpack or any other area that best suits solar charging outdoors.
Unlike several small portable solar panels currently on the market, the Nomad 7 has multiple output options in addition to its single USB-A port.
For increased solar power, you can chain multiple Nomad 7 panels together. This may be useful if you need to charge a small solar generator or large power bank and need more power from the panels to charge them faster.
How to Use the Goal Zero Nomad 7
To use the Nomad 7 properly, utilize the hanging loops on the ends of the Nomad 7 and hang it in an area that will get optimal sunlight. Then, use one of its three output ports to connect to your devices or power banks.
The hanging loops sometimes aren’t needed to capture sunlight to charge your devices. Since the Nomad 7 doesn’t come with a kickstand, you will need to tilt it against a solid surface to get a good position towards the sun.
You can use the USB-A output on the panel to connect to a device of your choice. The Guide 10 cable will connect specifically to the Guide 10 recharger (power bank), and the 8mm output will connect to several Goal Zero devices including the Sherpa 100AC and portable power stations.
Quick Review of the Goal Zero Nomad 10
With a total weight of 1.12 lbs, the Nomad 10 is just as portable as the Nomad 7. Impressively, it also has dimensions of 9.5 x 7.2 x 1.25 inches when folded, which makes it very compact and easy to pack for outdoor activities.
The Nomad 10 holds the same purpose as the Nomad 7 but brings with it more power. In terms of design, the Nomad 10 comes with a built-in kickstand that allows proper positioning of the panel for maximum collection of sunlight for effective charging.
The panel was designed with rugged and durable use in mind, so it will be suitable for the majority of outdoor activities. You can enjoy a direct charge from the sun with devices like smartphones, power banks, fitness trackers, and other small USB devices.
Check out my unboxing video of the Nomad 10 for a closer look at the construction of the panel:
How to Use the Goal Zero Nomad 10
The best way to use the Nomad 10 is to use its kickstand to tilt the panel at an angle perpendicular to the sun. Then, connect your device or power bank to the USB-A output port on the back of the panel to begin the charging process.
It is best to connect a power bank to the Nomad 10 because it will continue to charge even in low-light conditions. Sometimes smartphones and other devices will not charge when the panel is in low-light conditions, causing a disrupted charge.
However, the Nomad 10 has an auto-restart function that detects when a device stops accepting charge due to a low power output from the panel. It then continues to power the device when the sun conditions improve.
Solar Panel Cell Type – Nomad 7 vs Nomad 10
There are three fundamental cell types, which include monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.
The main two cell types used with solar panels are monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline has a slight advantage because it is overall more efficient than polycrystalline panels.
The Nomad 7 and Nomad 10 are made up of monocrystalline cells.
Verdict: This section is a draw, as both the Nomad 7 and 10 are composed of monocrystalline cells.
Charging Speeds of the Nomad 7 & Nomad 10
The charge speed of your solar panels is dependent on several factors, including:
- Weather conditions
- Position of the panel
- Length of cables connected from the solar panel to your device/battery
The Nomad 7 can be used to charge Goal Zero power banks like the Switch 10, Flip 10, Guide 10 Plus, Flip 20, and the Venture 30. Here are the charge times for each of those small rechargers:
- Switch 10: 4 hours
- Flip 10: 2.5-5 hours
- Guide 10 Plus: 3-6 hours
- Flip 20: 5-10 hours
- Venture 30: 8-16 hours
The Nomad 10 is compatible with similar Goal Zero rechargers like the Flip 12, Flip 24, Flip 36, Sherpa 15, Guide 10, and Venture 30. Here are the charge times for each of those rechargers:
- Flip 12: 2.5-5 hours
- Flip 24: 4-8 hours
- Flip 36: 6-12 hours
- Sherpa 15: 2.5-5 hours
- Guide 10: 3-6 hours
- Venture 30: 4.5-9 hours
Verdict: Both the Nomad 7 and 10 have reasonable charge times when paired with Goal Zero rechargers. However, with the Nomad 10 having an overall higher output, it wins this category.
Nomad 7 vs Nomad 10 – Which Is More Durable Over Time?
Since both the Nomad 7 and 10 were built with outdoor use in mind, the materials used with the panels are lightweight and tough. The Nomad 10’s frame is more solid than the Nomad 7. However, the Nomad 7’s frame still has a sturdy construction but is made of softer padding material.
The Nomad 10’s frame and binding (the folding part of the panel) are built seamlessly with its two solar panels. The Nomad 7’s frame and binding are seamless on the outside but on the inside of the system (where the panels are), both the frame and binding are stitched to the back portion of the panel.
The Nomad 10 is very hard throughout its entire design. Even the binding that connects the two solar panels on the Nomad 10 is tough. This is not a common attribute to find in small portable solar panels as most of their binding materials are either loose or soft.
The Nomad 10’s solar panels are built into its sturdy frame. The material that covers the panels themselves is a thin but very durable material. The Nomad 7 panels are surrounded by a slightly thicker frame, but the materials used are softer than the Nomad 10. Covering the Nomad 7 panels is clear plastic.
Verdict: The Nomad 10 is more durable than the Nomad 7 because the materials are harder on the back of the panel. Since the panels on the Nomad 10 are built seamlessly into its hard frame, this gives the panels themselves a buffer of protection that is not found in the Nomad 7’s set up. This is because the Nomad 7’s panels are stitched into its frame. Although the stitching is very secure, the stitches are exposed and have the possibility of being cut or torn when used in the wilderness.
Port Options in the Nomad 7 & Nomad 10
The available ports in a solar panel play an important role in directly charging mobile phones and other USB devices.
The Nomad 7 solar panel comes with a USB-A port, 8mm solar port, and a 2.5mm port specifically for the Guide 10 power bank from Goal Zero. The 8mm port is Goal Zero’s proprietary port and is meant to charge power banks and portable power stations.
There is also a chaining port that allows you to connect multiple Nomad 7 panels together for increased power.
How to Chain the Goal Zero Nomad 7
To chain two Nomad 7’s together, use the Guide 10 output cable on the back of one of the panels and connect it to the “Chain Input” on the second panel. You can repeat this process with up to four Nomad 7’s total.
If you’re thinking about chaining more than two Nomad 7’s together, I recommend getting a larger Nomad panel like the Nomad 20 or Nomad 28 Plus. This will be easier to use when off the grid since you don’t need to go through the process of chaining multiple panels together.
As for the Nomad 10’s output, it has a single USB-A port located behind the panel, close to the Flip charging dock.
Verdict: The Nomad 7 has more ports compared to the Nomad 10. However, this feature’s importance depends on its application, and it may not matter to several users.
Although the Nomad 7’s additional ports are a convenient feature to have for some, the only port that is universal amongst all users is its USB-A port. Not everyone wants to have a Goal Zero power bank or solar generator to use with the Nomad 7. And if you fall under this group of people, then the additional ports are useless.
Are the Nomad 7 or Nomad 10 Waterproof?
Solar panels are commonly used outdoors for different activities, making it important for them to be rugged and withstand some environmental factors.
The Nomad 7 and Nomad 10 are weather-resistant, signifying that they’re less likely to be harmed when exposed to rain or snow. However, please ensure that you do not expose any output ports to rain or snow. The ports are not waterproof. Since the ports on both panels are located on the back of the panels, you can maneuver them in a way to be void of rain/snow as the panels will be able to act as an umbrella over the outputs.
Verdict: Even though Goal Zero solar panels are themselves waterproof, the output/chaining ports cannot be exposed to water. Due to this, there is no winner in this category.
It’s crucial to take caution when using these solar panels in the rain. Avoiding using them in the rain as a whole is a good idea unless you desperately need a charge. If that is the case, then take measures to conceal the ports of the solar panel from the rain/snow.
Which Is More Portable Between the Nomad 7 & 10?
The Nomad 7 and 10 are lightweight and compact, making them easy to transport in a backpack for most outdoor adventures.
Nomad 7 Weight & Dimensions
- Weight: 16.2 oz
- Dimensions (folded): 9 x 1.5 x 6.5 in
- Dimensions (unfolded): 9 x 1.5 x 17 in
Nomad 10 Weight & Dimensions
- Weight: 1.12 lbs
- Dimensions (folded): 9.5 x 7.2 x 1.25 in
- Dimensions (unfolded): 9.5 x 14.5 x 0.75 in
Verdict: Both the Nomad 7 and Nomad 10 are easily portable. However, the Nomad 7 is just two ounces lighter than the Nomad 10, winning this category. The reason that these two panels are so similar in weight yet unequal in output power is due to the Nomad 7 having a mesh zipper pouch and multiple outputs as opposed to the Nomad 10 having only one output and no pouch.
Cost of the Goal Zero Nomad 7 vs Nomad 10
The solar panel you purchase should be worth the price in terms of technical specifications and added features. For this reason, we’ll be reviewing these two solar panels in terms of their prices on Amazon and the company’s official site at the MSRP.
The Nomad 7 costs $59.95 on Goal Zero’s website. However, since this panel is no longer available from Goal Zero, there is a limited supply available for purchase. After reviewing the prices of the Nomad 7 on Amazon, they have surged to ridiculous prices and are not worth it. I recommend buying a used Nomad 7 if you would like this solar charger because it will be cost-effective.
Oddly enough, the Nomad 7 “Multi-Tool Kit” on Amazon is currently $99.99 (affiliate link), which includes:
- The Nomad 7
- Switch 10 Recharger (small power bank)
- A small USB fan
- USB flashlight
- USB-A to Micro-USB cable
The Nomad 10 by itself costs $99.95 (Amazon affiliate link) on Goal Zero’s website and Amazon.
Note that the prices of both solar panels may be higher with shipping.
On another note, these solar panels are very expensive compared to other similar models. If you navigate Amazon’s website, you’ll find solar panels for less than half of the price of both the Nomad 7 and Nomad 10. The reason for this (in my opinion) has to do with two factors: brand dominance and high quality.
Goal Zero is the dominant brand in the “portable power” industry. Hence, they can charge more money for a product because most people know the brand as a good brand. In addition, Goal Zero is known for its reliability or high-quality products.
Although Goal Zero’s Nomad 7 and 10 are both great products, they do not have the best value because they cost twice as much as other brands’ similar panels.
Verdict: The price of the Goal Zero Nomad 7 is unclear, as it is no longer sold on Goal Zero’s website. However, their Multi-Tool Kit is currently valued at the same price as the Nomad 10. Looking at both of these options, I am inclined to say that the Multi-Tool Kit will eventually be scarce, resulting in increased pricing down the road. This makes the Nomad 10 a more valuable option because it is consistent at $100 both on Goal Zero’s website and Amazon.
Goal Zero’s Customer Support Team
Goal Zero is known to have great customer service that readily provides help to buyers with questions. They also ensure that all complaints are addressed appropriately.
My personal experience with Goal Zero’s support team supports this claim. My Yeti 200X malfunctioned and I was able to talk to the support staff to address the issue and get a Sherpa 100AC power bank as an exchange for the damaged 200X.
You can contact Goal Zero via telephone on 1-888-794-6250, their support email, or social channels. There are also “Q&A” sections at the bottom of each of their product listings on their website, where their support team answers questions regularly.
Unique Features in the Nomad 7 and Nomad 10
Apart from the main features to look out for in every solar panel (power output, size, weight, etc.), there are additional unique features found in the Nomad 7 and 10. The following features are important to know as they play a key role in how you use each one.
Simultaneous Charging (Nomad 7)
Simultaneous charging involves the use of two different ports at the same time to charge different devices.
Impressively, you can use all three port options simultaneously with the Nomad 7. However, the solar panel will split the incoming solar power between the ports to charge the connected devices at the same time. Note that some devices may not be compatible with this feature.
Although this is a nice feature to have, the Nomad 7’s power output is not high enough to charge multiple devices fast.
The Nomad 10 on the other hand has only one port.
Auto-Restart (Nomad 10)
When there’s a low-light scenario, some devices stop charging automatically from the solar panel due to low current input.
Impressively, the Nomad 10 has an auto-restart feature that differentiates between a fully charged device and one that disconnects due to varying sunlight conditions. As a result, the Nomad 10 auto-restarts its charging process if the phone or device disconnects from varying sunlight.
The auto-restart feature doesn’t seem to be present in the Nomad 7 as it is not found in its user manual or product listing page.
Adjustable Kickstand (Nomad 10)
The Nomad 10 has an adjustable kickstand that clicks into place at various angles to ensure that the panel is appropriately placed in position. Due to this feature, the Nomad 10 can collect optimal sunlight, leading to a more effective charging experience.
Mesh Pouch (Nomad 7)
The Nomad 7 has a mesh zipper pouch on its backside which houses the charging cables that are connected to the panels. The pouch is big enough to store other items like carabiners or zip ties to hang the panel, or to store any other accessories that might be better suited for the pouch.
The Nomad 10 does not have a pouch to store any items, but it does have a clip-on charging dock for Goal Zero’s Flip series of rechargers.
Flip Recharger Dock (Nomad 10)
The Nomad 10 has a dock underneath the USB-A output on the back of the panel. With this dock, you can use a Flip recharger of any size to clip into the dock for an easy charging process.
The Flip power banks are simple USB-A batteries. Using these power banks is the ideal option compared to charging your phone or another device directly from the panel. This is because the batteries will be able to charge more consistently with changing weather/sun conditions.
Hanging Loops (Nomad 7 and Nomad 10)
The Nomad 7 has nine hanging loops that are attached to the exterior of the solar panel. These loops let you hang the solar panel in whatever setup you deem fit to charge your devices/batteries.
The Nomad 10 has four hanging loops that are built into the frame of the system. There is one loop on each corner of the panel.
Chainability (Nomad 7)
Using the chaining port on the Nomad 7, you can chain up to four Nomad 7 panels together for an increased charging speed. This comes in handy if you need more power to charge bigger devices.
Overall, the Nomad 10 is the winner of this comparison. It accepts a higher solar input, is about the same weight, and is more durable than the Nomad 7. It also has a kickstand to angle the panel towards the sun, whereas the Nomad 7 does not. This is an important feature to have because it will maximize the amount of output power that the panel is capable of outputting.
At a similar price point to the Nomad 7 currently, it makes more sense to get the Nomad 10 because it will simply be more reliable to charge devices.
Since the Nomad 7 can only output a maximum of five watts of power from its USB-A output, this may not be enough power to charge a smartphone directly from the panel. You may need to get a power bank to use with the panel to then connect to your phone to get a consistent charge rate.
Find the Nomad 10 solar panel here on Amazon. This is an affiliate link, where I make a small commission on every sale.
For additional information, find the manual/user guide for both systems below: