Nomad Tools Have Great Charging Functionality in a Minimalist Package

Geek Culture


If there’s anything nearly as prevalent as the mobile device, it’s the mobile device charger. Look in any geek’s backpack or bag and you’re likely to find a tangled-up, meter-long length of skinny white or black cable with various USB, micro USB, Lightning, or power ends, ugh. Now there’s a simpler, more elegant way to carry the equipment you need to charge your mobile device.

The NomadKey is flexible and can bend back on itself. Here, the key’s flexibility is shown as twisted 180º.

Nomad Goods has a series of three tools to keep you going all day. First up is the NomadKey, an incredibly small USB to Lightning (or USB to micro USB) key that will blend into the rest of your keychain–it’s not much bigger than a house key. Just plug one end into your phone or tablet and the other to a battery charger, your laptop, or another power source and you are on your way to topping off your battery.

It’s small, does the job, and fades into the background when you’re done–put it back on your keychain and you’ll quickly forget about all those messy cables. Finally, the plastic between the cable ends is very pliable so the cable will bend in your pocket (rather than digging into your thigh) and allows flexibility when charging. The NomadKey was born out of a similar Kickstarter project in 2012 and improved upon in an Indiegogo campaign at the end of 2013. Since the Indiegogo campaign, the device has been improved further, to protect USB contacts.

The NomadClip is a functional carabiner that hides connectors inside its body when not being used for charging.

The next Nomad product, and my favorite, is the NomadClip. This smart carabiner has the same connections and works the same way as the NomadKey, but the connections are nestled safely away in a sturdy carabiner that you can clip to any bag. When you’re ready to charge, just pull at the corners and the connectors are exposed. When you’re done, just snap the connectors back into the carabiner’s protective housing and clip it back on your bag or belt. The carabiner is pretty rugged, but it’s not meant to hold any significant weight. Still, I’ve used the carabiner with a water bottle, a keyring, and a hat and I’m incredibly pleased with its versatility.

The NomadPlus charger packs a lot of power into a small size but requires an Apple plug to charge its battery.

Lastly, Nomad has a tiny little charger, the NomadPlus. At about half the size of a Rubik’s cube and weighing just a bit over 2 ounces, the NomadPlus delivers 1800 mAH (5V/1A output) of recharging power. The NomadPlus require an Apple wall plug to juice up the Plus, but can charge to either Apple or Android, Windows, and Blackberry devices with the appropriate cord or NomadKey.

All the connectors work as you expect them too, charging just as quickly as any other cable. The only caveat is that the NomadPlus requires an Apple plug. Not a big deal if you are already a user of Apple products, but it will require an additional purchase if you’re an Android/Windows/Blackberry user. Still, after a month of using these tools, I am in absolute love with them. It’s so great to be able to carry less. So if you’re looking to de-clutter your bag and go for a minimal solution for mobile device charging, check out these excellent options from Nomad.

Disclosure: GeekDad received samples for review.

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