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Gear Review: Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Panel and Venture 30 Charger
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Gear Review: Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Panel and Venture 30 Charger

Gear Review: Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Panel and Venture 30 Charger

Nomad 13:
Value Rating: 9
Durability Rating: 9 
Overall Rating: 9

Venture 30:
Value Rating: 8
Durability Rating: 9
Overall Rating: 9

The Full Review

I’ve been using Goal Zero products for some time now and enjoy what the company does to make our backcountry experiences more 1st world-like. My first goal zero purchase was a little speaker that has had its share of tumbles and falls over the years but still keeps cranking. I’ve had some other solar chargers and battery boxes before, but an unfortunate truck break-in made those all disappear. However, I didn’t want to be the one bumming power off my friends all the time so I went out and got a small Nomad 13 panel and a Venture 30 charger. For my needs I felt this setup would be fully sufficient to charge my iPhone, GoPro, and BCA Link Radio. But they’ll charge any small USB device with ease.

What I like about the Goal Zero stuff is how durable it is. I’ve had the panels clipped to the outside of the tent and woke up to find them covered in ice and snow, and somehow miraculously still drawing a solar charge! The Venture 30 is small enough to put in my pocket so if music tunes cut out around dinner I can be charging up and hands free and still mobile. They do okay in extremely cold temperatures, but batteries in general just don’t. Ideally, I keep all my batteries in a warm spot when in use or trying to charge. The charger and panel is a great match for each other, and they’ve only further reassured me on Goal Zero products.

It’s cool how you can also link the Goal Zero products with one another to maximize efficiency if others in the group have solar capabilities as well. We often did this to give certain devices a quick boost. Also speaking of efficiency, the chargers have a little brain and can tell when a device is fully charged and cuts power to it and then allocates more power to another device that’s being charged at the same time.

Gear Zero

The Good:

Weather resistant. Lightweight. Portable. Efficient.

The Bad:

This particular setup is best for small devices, while larger cameras and computers would require more substantial power. Sun dependent, however still worked on stormy days.

The Bottom Line:

I’ve used most all the Goal Zero line from small Sherpa chargers, to their giant Yeti 1250 and Boulder 90 panels. Everything from them is great and superbly thought out. I thoroughly enjoy my little Nomad 13 and Venture 30 battery pack to take on the go with me. From multi week glacier expeditions to overnight river trips, the Goal Zero stuff is always coming with!

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