Thought on Goal Zero Nomad Vs. Boulder Solar Panels?

I’m thinking of pulling the trigger on Goal Zero but wanted to get everyone’s thoughts on the Nomad VS. Boulder solar pannels.

Nomad would be nice to move around and not have permanent on top of the GFC, but Boulder has better power.

Open to thoughts, want to keep it simple and not have to do to much work.

I would go with Renogy panels (Their standard 100W is around $100). They’re about half the price and seem to be just as solid in terms of performance and longevity. Here’s a good article on linking a Renogy panel to a Goal Zero battery.


I have the Boulder 100w mounted up top no complaints. I have used for about two years. Run my fridge and charge a few things with my goal zero 400 lithium, multiple days (10 days) with nothing but my panel charging.

This is the one I have, thanks.

I have the Goal Zero Boulder 100 briefcase panel. For my use case the portable panel is ideal because I use it when I work remote and my computer pulls 60w consistently. The panel gets 90-95w if it is lined up perfect, but drops to 40-50 if there is any angle at all. So it wouldn’t be enough if it was on the truck.

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@jedgar – Any thoughts on the pro’s and cons of not mounting the solar panels on top of the truck or Go-Fast?

Going back and forth about just buying the Briefcase or a permanent mount.

@LBS_TRDadventures – Did you just mount it on top of GFC?

Or on the Truck?

I had the same question between a briefcase panel or mounting a flexible panel to the roof of my future GFC. I chose to get a briefcase panel in the end, mainly for the flexibility.

With a portable briefcase panel you can park your rig in the shade (or just not worry if the best spot for the camper also has good sun coverage) and setup the panel in full sun. The downside is that you can’t charge via solar while driving. However, I just charge my Bluetti with a AC inverter plugged into my truck’s cigarette lighter when driving. After I get my GFC and a fridge, the Bluetti will move to the bed of the truck when driving so I plan on installing a 12V plug in the bed of the truck somewhere.

I have the Renogy 100W folding panel and you can easily hit the full 100w on a sunny day. Actually if you prop up the legs and aim it even better I’ve seen up to 107 watts from it. It’s super burley, for better and for worse (27 lbs!).

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One other thing to keep in mind as you plan out your system is that the solar panel’s effectiveness can be reduced significantly when it is flat-mounted - by as much as 50% of rated capacity. So if you’re counting on a certain contribution of charging when the GFC is closed, or not oriented toward the sun, make sure to factor that in. In other words, you might get more output from a Nomad that is oriented toward the sun at the proper angle than you do from a higher capacity panel that is flat-mounted. It just depends on the angles and how much time the panels are in various orientations to the sun.

I’m not currently running any solar. During driving I charge off a 10amp circuit from the truck and for now, with a somewhat oversized battery (Yeti 1500x), I can probably go 6-8 days stationary without driving. That’s enough to power my fridge (Dometic CFX3 55), lighting, recharge a few phones, and a baby monitor. If my needs change and I decide to add solar, I’ll do a briefcase system like @gwiz that can be placed in optimum sun without having to park the truck in the sun. And then the solar system can be smaller because I’ll be optimizing the angle instead of flat mounting it on the roof.

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Decided to go with the Boulder 100. May mount, but in the time being will not and use it as the Briefcase. Going to follow the exact same plan as you highlight and then leverage solar when we are stationed.

At least this way, we can do solar without having to really do much mounting right now.

For me I needed all the juice I could get so the portable made sense for me but mounting sure would be convenient for keeping things topped off.

I have the panel mounted on roof of gfc. I just finished 7 day trip getting hinges upgraded ran off the solar panel the entire trip. I used dometic CFC 55 and charged a few smaller items, no issues. I have a Boulder briefcase for really low light spots but haven’t needed it in the past year.


Goal zero and jackery portable panels are way overpriced. If looking at flexible take a look at Rockpals or Renogy. Been very happy with Rockpals 100w suitcase panel.

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So I know you made a decision already OP, but my thoughts:

I have a Goal Zero 1250 and I have two Renogy 160W panels. I do not have them mounted to my GFC yet but hopefully will this weekend. I will be wiring them parallel, allowing me to be able to be in partial shade and still get some juice.

The few times I tried them in my backyard worked very well.

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Decided to go with the Goal Zero Boulder 100. I know it’s over priced, but took advantage of the Memorial Day sale, so wasn’t that bad and everything will work.

Plan is, for now, keep it off the truck/not mounted. But down the road, we can always mount the Boulder on the Truck.

Appreciate everyone input.


Unrelated, yet hopefully relevant question… What is the 6mm DC output on most GZ batteries for? I can’t seem to find any resources on it, though I’m sure it’s there for a reason…

I would choose SunPower panels (100W) . They’re about half the price and seem to be just as good.

Personally, I would go with the GoalZero out of those two options. Mainly for that fact that you can usually find replacement parts at any REI in the US.

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After the last year or so how have you liked the Boulder 100? How did you end up mounting to the camper? My install is in a month and I can’t wait. I have been debating about the GFC solar mount, I got 3 beef bars.

Unfamiliar with either brands but here’s an option. I found out about LenSun Solar via the ‘other’ forum who marketed a, at the time, 85w panel for the hood of the 3rd Gen taco. Now, they’ve updated it to a 90w panel.
For a secondary battery setup, I have a renogy 100ah LiFePo and plan to utilize a 150w panel (might be 2 in the future) mounted on the GFC. It will run my IceCo VL60Pro, 1000w inverter and other 12v accessories of my choosing. I will have to be mindful of angle of sun at camp to achieve highest efficiency but shouldn’t be an issue.
Edit: attached photo of 150w panel

I’m considering roof mounted (atop the GFC), mainly for convenience. Even if the panels produce less juice it’s a more passive system and with all that area up there one could mount 2 or 3 panels? Can’t imagine dragging out the panels every time there’s a stop and then loading them in again after the stop. Further - maybe the panels & cables would be beat up with all that handling? The cost would be more if a person covers whole top of GFC but panels are cheap anyway and a cable splitter is easy enough to purchase. Obviously I haven’t installed the system yet but still mulling over the choices. Beautiful thing is the huge array of choices for solar kits, batteries and inverters.