Brand: Goal Zero
Model: Nomad 7 Plus
Our take If you’ve ever used a solar panel before, you know the struggle of trying to find the right spot and angle for catching rays. The newest iteration of the Nomad takes away all the guesswork with an indicator on the cord that tells you how strong current sun conditions are. It uses four LED lights; if only one illuminates, you’re not getting that much sun. If all four illuminate, you’re soaking in it. (Nice touch: The same indicator also tells you how fast your device is charging.) It juices cell phones and GPS units via an integrated USB cord (7 watts). Testers also praised the device’s size. Folded up, it’s about the size of the original Kindle.
Trail cred “In hindsight, the one nice thing about our sun-blasted death march in the Grand Canyon was all the sun,” says a Bay Area-based tester. “By the time we got to camp, the Nomad was fully charged and powered the rope lights so we could dance away all the day’s pain.”