Goal Zero is well known for creating a diverse range of solar panels that are portable and can be taken on your journeys away from charge points and civilization.
The Goal Zero Solar Panel ranger is an excellent choice for those who want a reliable but inexpensive option.
They also come in other sizes and functions so we’re going to pick through our favorite options and give our take on which one is best for you.
We’ve decided to pick our seven favorite models and give a brief review of each, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, and also who would best be suited for that particular model.
We’ve also covered the more portable options that can be carried on your person, when hiking for example, as well as the models that are best suited for a campsite that can take on bigger jobs.
We hope this helps you make a better decision about which GoalZero solar panel will work best for you.
Goal Zero Boulder 50
The Boulder 50 is a good size for most people looking to power their devices with solar energy. It has a capacity of 50 watts and its small size shouldn’t be underestimated as it still allows for lots of power.
It’s not as big as some of the larger models but it does offer a decent amount of power. This model comes with a 3-year warranty and it weighs about 7 pounds.
It’s a great option for anyone wanting a small solar panel that will fit into their backpack or bag. It doesn’t weigh too much and it’s easy to carry around.
It’s perfect if you’re planning on using this on camping trips or hiking. The kickstand is easy to use and enables an easy setup that can aim directly at the sun.
We’ve also seen some reviewers say that it doesn’t need to be billing hot weather to get power from this solar panel, and even cloud weather will generate a decent amount of energy.
Who Should Purchase The Boulder 50?
If you’re looking for a smaller solar panel that won’t break the bank, then this is a solid option.
We think that any person would benefit from having a solar panel like this because it’s lightweight and affordable.
You don’t need to worry about carrying around a heavy solar panel, especially when you’re hiking or traveling.
You’ll also appreciate its compact design and portability. It’s easy to set up and pack away and it’s very easy to transport. It’s ideal for someone who wants to go off-grid during their travels.
Goal Zero Boulder 100
If you’re looking for more power than the Boulder 50 offers, then the Boulder 100 is a better option. It has a capacity of up to 100 watts and it’s available either in black or white.
It weighs just over 8 pounds and it’s slightly bigger than the Boulder 50. It’s also made of aluminum instead of plastic and it’s very durable.
This solar panel is designed to handle extreme temperatures and it works well in both cold and hot conditions.
It’s ideal for powering laptops, tablets, phones, and any other device that needs a lot of power. It’s also easy to mount onto almost anything and it’s pretty quick to set up.
We’ve seen reviews where people claim that they were able to power off-grid homes with this solar panel.
This is a great option for anyone who wants a large solar panel that will provide them with plenty of power.
It’s heavy-duty and it should last for years. It’s also fairly cheap when compared to other solar panels.
Who Should Purchase The Boulder 100?
If you want a solar panel that can handle a lot of power, then this is a great choice.
If you have multiple devices that require a lot of power, this could be a good investment. It’s a bit pricey but we think it’s worth every penny.
Goal Zero Nomad 7
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 is their smallest solar panel with a maximum output of 7 watts. It has a capacity of 25 watt-hours, or enough power for about two light bulbs.
This means it will only work as long as there is sunlight, but if you need a more powerful panel than this, they do make larger ones that fit into the ‘small but practical’ category.
When you open up the pack you will see two small solar panels which are made from plastic.
This was a useful inclusion and one of the rare times that you want a material to be cheaper rather than more expensive.
This is because you’re likely going to be carrying this model in a backpack and the plastic will help to increase the lifespan of this model and avoid unnecessary breakages.
Alongside a durable material is that it’s waterproof just in case you have an unwanted leakage when carrying the solar panel.
This particular model comes with a built-in battery bank that allows you to use it anywhere without needing any extra batteries.
On the back of the pack are three cables that allow for the battery input. There’s also a larger output for larger models such as the Goal Zero Yeti 400.
Who Should Purchase The Nomad 7?
If you’re looking for something cheap and don’t mind being limited by its size, then this would be ideal for you.
You won’t get much use out of it unless you’re camping somewhere where you’ll be able to access electricity regularly, but if you do need some power during a trip, it will provide you with a good amount of time.
It’s not very large, meaning you won’t have to carry too many extras around with you.
Goal Zero Nomad 20
The Nomad 20 model is quite similar to the Nomad 7, except this is a slightly larger model with three panels instead of two.
With a capacity of 20 watt-hours, it’s capable of powering most devices for a few hours at a time.
Like the Nomad 7, this is also made from durable materials and is water-resistant.
Unlike the Nomad 7 which comes with three connection points, the Nomad 20 includes more options and has the functionality to connect to much larger solar panels such as the Boulder range.
What we also like is that it comes with a USB adaptor.
The USB adapter is a useful inclusion and can be the best friend for those that have multiple USB devices, which we know many of you like on your hikes and camping trips.
Who Should Buy The Nomad 20?
If you’re planning on taking this solar panel with you on longer trips, then this may be the better option for you.
If you’re only using it while camping or hiking, then the Nomad 7 might be a better fit for you.
Goal Zero Nomad 28
If you’re not quite sold on a smaller portable solar panel but are definitely not looking for a lot of power, then consider the Nomad 28 which is the model that comes with a built-in battery bank that allows you to use it anywhere without needing any extra batteries.
On the back of a particular ideal middle-of-the-road choice.
With a capacity of 28 watt-hours, this can charge your phone, tablet, laptop and other devices for a couple of days. It’s also designed to withstand the elements so it’s suitable for outdoor activities.
It does come with a USB port so you can charge your device directly off the solar panel.
Who Should Purchase The Nomad 28?
If you’re interested in getting a solar panel that can handle a lot of your charging needs, then this could be the perfect solution for you.
However, if you’re happy with having a smaller model, then the Nomad 20 might be a better option, as well as slightly cheaper.
They are both super options but if budget allows we recommend going with the Nomad 28.
Goal Zero Nomad 50
The best way we can describe the Nomad 50 is that it’s portable enough with enough juice for modern conveniences, and if you are looking for a solar panel that can keep the mini-fridge going, then you might want to check out this model.
With a capacity of 50 watt-hours, it will give you enough energy to run your fridge for a couple of days.
However, if you’re using it for charging phones and other gadgets, you may find yourself running low after a day or so.
You can charge multiple devices simultaneously thanks to the four ports included. It also comes with a USB port for charging mobile devices directly, although you’ll need to purchase a separate cable for this.
Who Should Purchase The Nomad 50?
If you’re going to be away from home for long periods of time, then the Nomad 50 is probably the best choice for you.
While it doesn’t offer the same portability as the smaller models, it does come with a lot of features and can easily handle the task of keeping your mini-fridge powered up.
Goal Zero Ranger 300
So far we’ve reviewed Goal Zero models that are what can be considered portable to either carry on your person or to set up easily that don’t require a large footprint. However, the Ranger 300 is different.
It’s designed to be used in remote locations but requires a lot of space to operate. In fact, it likely needs to be placed on top of a solid surface so that it doesn’t fall over.
What surprised us the most about his model is that it’s not that heavy and in fact, this lightweight model only weighs in at around 40 lbs.
So whilst we wouldn’t expect to take this on a hiking trip, it can easily be stored in a car or motor home without too much hassle.
It comes with 4 panels made from mono-crystalline contraction so it’s the top of the line in terms of quality. In terms of connectivity, it features a six-foot power cord that can connect to a power station.
The only issue is that it is only six feet long and you might have to purchase an extension, such as a fifteen or thirty-foot extension cable.
Who Should Purchase The Ranger 300?
This is best suited to those who want a high-quality product that they can store away safely and securely when not in use.
It’s also perfect for people who plan on doing a lot of outdoor activities and need something that can withstand the elements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Solar Energy Good For The Environment?
Yes! When used properly, solar energy can actually save the environment.
One of the main reasons why people think solar energy isn’t environmentally friendly is because they believe that all fossil fuels are bad for the planet.
However, solar energy doesn’t produce harmful emissions, so it’s definitely a cleaner alternative to other forms of energy.
What Is A Solar Panel Made Of?
Solar panels are usually made from materials like silicon, but they can also be made from copper, aluminum, polycarbonate, glass, plastic, and even wood.
They can come in different shapes and sizes, but they’re mostly rectangular in shape.
How Much Power Does It Produce?
A typical solar panel produces between 3 watts and 10 watts of power. Some solar panels can produce up to 30 watts, but these are typically found in bigger residential homes.
If you live off grid, then you’ll probably need more than one solar panel to cover your entire house.
What Other Ways Can You Get Energy That Is Environmentally Friendly?
You could install wind turbines, geothermal heat pumps, and hydroelectric dams, but obviously these are suitable for residential homes or for camping trips with the family.
These methods aren’t as popular as solar energy, but they do offer some benefits over traditional sources of energy.
Are There Any Downsides To Using Solar Panels?
The biggest downside to using solar energy is that it takes time to get started. If you’ve never installed anything before, then you may find it difficult to set everything up correctly.
Also, if you don’t have access to sunlight during certain times of the year, then you won’t be able to generate enough electricity to meet your needs.
We hope that you found our reviews helpful and that you now know exactly what you need to look for when purchasing a solar panel. We recommend that you consider the following:
Size – How big does it need to be? Are there any limitations on how small it can be?
Weight – Do you want something light or something that’s going to weigh down your backpack?
Durability – Does it need to be waterproof or resistant to dust and dirt?
Connectivity – Will it work with all of your gadgets?
Portability – Can it fit into your backpack or vehicle?
Price – What price range do you want to spend?
There are plenty of other factors to consider, including cost, brand name, warranty, etc., but these will help you make a decision easier.