Which Goal Zero Solar Panel Should You Buy? We test 232 Watts of Panels To Find Out!!!

what's up YouTube welcome back to the
GearsNTools Channel today we are going to be looking at a bunch of goal
zero solar panels and trying to answer the question of which panels are going toa
be best for your use case scenario so let's introduce the panels really quick
and then we'll get right into the review first up we have the nomad 28 watt solar
panel then we have two of the nomad 20 solar panels and finally for the ultra
portable category we have two the Nomad seven solar panels which I'm sure these
are very familiar to most of you guys because if you've ever bought one of the
kits for charging your cell phone or the kind of a portable or mobile electronics
battery pack that they sell they usually come packaged with one of the Nomad 7
solar panels so this is the what I call the ultra portable category we are also
going to be testing a boulder 50 watt solar panel and a Goal Zero Boulder 100
briefcase watt solar panel and the reason we're comparing to two different
categories kind of the the larger glass solar panels to these ultra portable
ones is does it make sense maybe to buy a couple of these larger ones instead of
one of the really big heavy glass panel so let's take a quick look at each one
individually and then we'll put them to the test
and come back and answer that question okay to start off we're going to look at
the Goal Zero Nomad 7 now this is the smallest solar panel that we're going to
look at today but it is really small and compact which means it packs away very
easily it folds up like this and when you open it you have two small solar
panel sections which are plastic which is nice because then you don't have to
worry about breaking it if it's in your backpack gets dropped things like that
this is a very rugged unit it's waterproof or water-resistant I mean if
you dunk it, it would probably you know have a problem on the back but on the front is
basically waterproof rain proof so that's very convenient and then on the
back let's take a look at the adapters that come with it
If I can open it you have three cables the first is this very small output cable
and then this is for things such as the goal zero battery pack if you look it
has a very small input so this input is intended for the Nomad seven
which if this guy here you can also chain with this if you look in here you
have another input so you can chain with the Nomad seven with other Nomad sevens
additionally you have this larger output this is for things such as the Yeti 400
or chaining with other larger goal zero solar panels and we'll try that out
a little bit and then additionally you have this USB output port which is nice
because it essentially makes this solar panel usable with anything if you have a
phone charger a battery pack that can be plugged into a USB port anything like
that this solar panel will work with that now the downside is since it is a
smaller solar panel there are going to be some times when it's not generating
the power to power the USB devices especially if you have a larger phone or
something like that so keep that in mind but those are the options that come on
the back of the Nomad 7 and we'll be putting them to the test in a little bit
all right let's take a real quick look at the Nomad 20
now this Nomad 20 is very similar to the Nomad 7 we just looked at the main
difference in the panels are a little bit bigger and there's three of them
instead of two I do like that Goal Zero include a bunch of these little loops it
makes it very easy to hang this from camping gear or the backs of chairs
things like that these panels are also made of plastic like the Nomad 7 which
makes it very durable on the back we again have a zipper pouch now the
connections are a little bit different in this particular device we do have the
miniature output similar to the Nomad 7 but we also have
a larger input for chaining with your larger solar panels touch us to Boulder
100 Boulder 50 the Nomad 28 or, you can plug this into one of those panels with
the larger output that it has and this is on a relatively long cable about 6
feet so you can position these panels right where the Sun is hitting them best
and then you also have an included USB adapter, or i's not an adapter it plugs
right into the panel itself which is great for your mobile devices next we
are going to take a look at the Nomad 28 and just like the Nomad 7 and Nomad 20
the 28 means 28 watts now this is a four panel design and each panel is larger
than what you would find unlike the Nomad 7 and again these panels are made
of plastic so they are not very fragile I actually like the design of this, it's
easy to see and it can pack into a relatively small package on the back we
have a zipper pouch which has the following cables in it one is a
relatively long power output for things like the Yeti 400 or changing with other
similar solar panels through this input adapter that's on a relatively short
cable and then in here you also have a USB power adapter in case you want to
charge your mobile devices or power something else that does not have the
included Goal Zero connector integrated into it on the back of the nomad 28 you
also have the included kickstand for aligning the solar panel with whichever
direction the Sun is coming in from but also the kickstand is held on by magnets
so you can just pop it right off if you don't need it and the cables will come
pull right through this hole here and you can dispose of the kickstand for
later use.

Hey guys I just wanted to Inject this into the video just wrapped
up the testing that you'll see in just a little bit
the Nomad 28 the kickstand is held on by the magnets the magnets came off in the
heat from leaving the panel in the Sun this is kind of concerning because it
was all four magnets it wasn't just one of them. It was all four of them and
you know this is an all black solar panel designed to be left in the Sun
it's going to get hot currently in Arizona is around a hundred
degrees but still an all black solar panel that's gonna be left in the Sun
it's gonna get hot and the glue holding the magnets on definitely in every
instance failed so just want to be fully transparent with you the panel itself
works great but the kickstand may not be the best design.

This is the boulder 50
it's the smaller of the rigid panels from goal zero but it does put off quite
a bit of power and it's very versatile as it works in partly cloudy conditions
and full Sun it comes with a nice kickstand to help you angle it toward
the Sun on the back of the boulder 50 you have these two connectors one is the
eight millimeter output one is the eight millimeter input you do not have a USB
style output but I think the adapter that comes with some of the Nomad panels
would work with this panel similar to the bolder 50 the bolder 100 has a
kickstand which helps you angle the panel at an optimum angle something to
note about the bolder 100 is that it only has one eight millimeter output it
does not have an eight millimeter input for chaining and I think that's because
this box is using that input to chain to the panel next to it and that panel does
not have an eight millimeter input so keep that mind we have all the solar
panels laying flat on the grass and the reason we're doing this instead of
tilting them is I can't really tilt them all exactly the same angle the Sun is
almost perfectly directly overhead is about noon right now the UV index is 10
so this is really a pretty ideal situation for these panels you know if
you just throw these out flat in the morning let your battery charge all day
you wouldn't have to move it it wouldn't require any repositioning
so the easiest deployment the most consistent deployment so we're gonna do
this for the side-by-side comparison today okay we're gonna go ahead and plug
in our 30-foot extension cord that way we can quickly switch from panel to
panel without moving our entire setup I'm gonna go ahead and plug in the Nomad
seven something to note real quick is the Nomad seven has a much shorter eight
millimeter plug than the rest of the panel's do so something to take note of
you might need a extension cord if you're gonna use this with a larger
battery pack such as the Yeti 400 okay we have the Nomad seven plugged in and
it's putting off 4 watts right now which is less than the seven watt rating
that the panel rated for we are about noon in Arizona in July so a pretty
ideal scenario 4 watts it's definitely enough to power a cell phone or a small
battery pack something like that but keep in mind these panels as we go
through them are not going to be putting off the total reading so if you need ten
Watts you should probably buy something bigger than ten watts
especially if you're going to be using it in conditions that might be partly
cloudy and stuff like that where deteriorate the performance of the panel
okay we're plugged into the Nomad 20 now and it's pushing about fifteen/
sixteen watts and that's pretty good since it's rated only 20 Watts so
seventy-five percent there which is better than the Nomad seven was doing so
let's see how the Nomad twenty eight does and we'll keep moving up okay we
had to move the battery and camera inside because there's over 100 degrees
outside and my camera was overheating so another great reason to have a extension
cord with your setup is the battery may not like being out a 100 degree plus
heat when the sun is typically warm so we're inside the extension cord is
running outside to the solar panels currently we hooked up to the Nomad 20
panel and we are pulling we were pulling about 15 watts outside and when we moved
inside the Sun is still going strong we're pulling 16 watts so we're gonna go
ahead and move to the Nomad 28 and see how it performs okay we have the Nomad
28 plugged in and it's pushing about 20 watts right now which is pretty decent I
am noticing as we go up in size on these solar panels they're holding the output
more consistently the smaller panels seem to bounce around a little more
than the larger panels do let's go ahead and move up to the boulder 50 okay we
have the boulder 50 plugged in and it's pulling about 40 to 43 watts so it's been a couple hours since we've
tested the boulder 50 we had to wait for some cloud to clear off but the Boulder
100 is still pulling in about 73 watts which is pretty good considering the Sun
is a little bit lower on the horizon it's about 2:30 right now so based on
the boulder 50 pulling 40 watts at high noon
I think the Boulder 100 safe to say would be pushing a little over 80 watts
which is really good you can charge the yeti 400 in about 5 hours with 80 watts
of input ok the Boulder 100 definitely puts off the most power given the same
amount of sunlight but it's also the most expensive and the heaviest coming
in at 26 pounds so let's go ahead and take a quick comparison of all these
panels against cost weight and size I'll chart them out so you guys can make the
best decision for your specific use case scenario okay so the question you guys
clicked on this video to find out which one is best
well like a lot of things it depends here's a quick overview of the panels we
tested today the lightest panel is the Nomad 7 no surprise there and then the
panel that puts off the most power is the boulder 100 which no surprise there
but what does this all really mean let's dig into it a little bit more if we take
a look at the cost per watt that you're buying when you pick up one of these
panels your Nomad 7 is going to be by far the most expensive panel costing you
14 dollars per watt so if the portability is extremely important to
you you can do that but it costs almost four times as much as the bolder panels
both the boulder 50 and the boulder 100 only cost three dollars a watt so goal
zero really makes you pay a premium for portability if you don't need that
portability I would strongly recommend you buy on the bolder panels it
definitely gives you more bang for your buck that being said the bolder panels
are significantly heavier and larger than the Nomad panels for the same watt
output for example the bolder 100 is 4.1 ounces per watt output while the nomad
20 for example is 1.8 ounces per watt less than half the weight per watt
additionally the nomads 20 is only 5.3 cubic inches
per watt output where the Boulder 100 is almost 22 cubic inches per watt output
that being said I think the Nomad series panels are trying to address a different
need than the bolder panels the Nomad panels are something you can
throw in your backpack carry with you somewhere and power a mobile devices
such as your phone maybe a laptop charger small items like that the bolder
panels are really meant to be put a back of a vehicle a camper something like
that and become a base station charging something like the Yeti 400 I have a one
of the larger battery packs such as a Yeti 1000 or even bigger the bolder
panels are really trying to solve a different need than the Nomad panels are
if you need portability go of one of the Nomad panels but if you just need raw
power and portability is non-issue then the border panel is hands-down
are the best value as far as the Nomad panels go I would not recommend the
Nomad 7 I think it's just a little too small and it doesn't work very well in
less than ideal conditions I would go for the Nomad 20 personally as I think
it's going to meet most of your mobile needs and save you some money from the
Nomad 28 additionally the Nomad 28 concerns me a
little bit when the glue comes undone and let's the kickstand fall off the
back my recommendation would be the Nomad 20 for portable use and the
boulder 100 for base station use thanks for watching if you enjoyed this video
please like subscribe and share this video with a friend it really helps the
channel out don't forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter where you can
find behind-the-scenes content for some upcoming videos Cheers

You May Also Like