One of the first things I noticed when I received the NOMAD was how large it was – and how small. Yeah, I know – How can that be? Well, due to the thin-film construction the NOMAD is extremely flexible – thus although it is large for a 5 watt panel – it will roll up to be very small, and compact. It can be rolled right up and stashed in a Go Bag or car trunk.
Unlike many portable solar solutions today which charge a battery pack and then the battery pack charges your device – the NOMAD 5 is a direct power provider. This means that you charge your device directly via the included USB power port. So – as long as your device (or batteries) can be plugged into a USB port – you should be good to go (several adapters are included as well).
To try out the NOMAD 5 – I tried charging three devices. Here is how it went.
- Samsung Galaxy S3 Smart Phone – No problem. The NOMAD 5 charged my S3 from 32% to over 65% within a couple hours in decent sun.
- GoalZero Battery Pack – No problem. Charged this pack of four AA rechargeable batteries. How long? Not sure. I left it outside while I was working on some things and forgot about it. After several hours I remembered and found it fully charged.
- Blackberry Phone – This is my work phone and I hate it but the NOMAD charged it just fine.
The NOMAD performed these simple tasks with no issues. I also saw that even in overcast skies – my Galaxy S3 continued to received charging power.
The NOMAD 5 seems to be very ruggedly built. Grommets await at each corner to facilitate hanging and positioning to soak in the sun’s energy. I see many possibilities for erecting the NOMAD 5 up in a camp site, on top of a vehicle, or in a back yard after a power outage.
Now – this is not power to run devices – but rather to charge them. From what I have seen – the NOMAD 5 Thin Film 5W Solar Charger does an excellent job.
Cost? At publishing time this Made in the USA product is priced at $79.99.