Charging cables are a simple fact of modern life. And while inexpensive cables abound- after all, pretty much every mobile device and accessory includes one- the right cable can make a huge difference. Nomad offers three different cables in their Ultra Rugged Cable Series, and one of them stands out as the only cable you will ever need.
The three cables share similar DNA, so it makes sense to first run down the different versions and their shared traits before digging into the particular one that has gained a permanent place in my gadget bag. The three include a Battery Cable, a Lightning Cable and a Universal Cable. Nomad describes them as, “Charging cables, uncompromised” and, based on the one I have in hand for review, they aren’t kidding.
Each of the cables in the Ultra Rugged Cable Series is made of braided ballistic nylon that is abrasion and tear resistant. They were “engineered to inherit the latest charging and material technology.” The cables each have:
- Reinforced RF shielding for fast data sync.
- A 2x thick protective PVC jacket.
- Extra thick wire gauge
- A robust kevlar core.
- A tangle-resistant design.
The first thing you will notice with each of the cables is the fact that they are surprisingly thick. At over 1/8”, these cables are more than 50% thicker than most of the cables I have laying around. They are made from Ballistic 1000D nylon and, to be honest, don’t look, or feel, like any cable I have previously encountered. As Nomad explains,
The 1000D nylon are woven in a ballistic weave pattern that was originally developed to protect military forces from shrapnel and bullets, this heavyweight nylon is exceptionally resistant to abrasions, and the tight basketweave structure maximizes multi-directional tear resistance. All cables are lab tested to withstand over 10,000 flexions.
In addition to the cable itself, Nomad includes a Vulcanized LSR (Liquid Silicon Rubber) Cable Tie in each package.
This vulcanized LSR material results in a silicone with enhanced mechanical properties that preserve the silicone’s elasticity while giving it additional structural integrity.
It may seem silly to spend valuable time in a review focusing on a cable tie, but the tie they include is just more proof that these cables are premium products. The cables are thick, rugged, easy to “tie” and do a great job of holding the cable in a nice, small package. They sure beat the hell out of using a black twist tie to keep your gear bag from becoming a mess of tangled cables.
The Three Cables
The Lighting Cable
How about a cable that doesn’t fray after use? How about a cable that comes with an integrated cable management system? How about a cable that’s truly durable and built to last? This is it.
The simplest of the three cables is the Lighting Cable. With a standard USB on one side and an Apple Lightning cable on the other, it is perfect for anyone who is all-in with Apple’s mobile products. If, for example, the cheap white cable that came with your iPhone 7 has already fallen apart, this is a great replacement.
The Battery Cable
The Battery Cable is a Lighting Cable with the addition of a 2350 mAh battery set smack dab in the middle. It truly is, “Your cable and battery pack, combined.” The cable works just light any other cable. The battery works just like any other battery. But because the two are integrated, you only need to bring one accessory in order to achieve both functions.
It is a “smart” cable inthat, when plugged into a phone, will give charging priority to the phone. Then, once the phone is fully juiced, it will begin charging the battery. There is also a light which indicates the charge status and remaining power.
I really love this idea. It’s a great cable in its own right. But, thanks to the integrated battery, when you are out and about, you can juice up your mobile device without the need to find a wall outlet… and without the need to carry a separate external battery. It is nothing short of brilliant and I can’t help but wonder why no one thought to do this previously.
The Universal Cable
I was sent a universal cable for review. And, while I know it is super-geeky to get excited about a charging cable, I can’t help myself. Seriously, I love this cable and cannot recommend it highly enough.
Why am I such a fan? Simple. This cable is the only cable you need. It is that simple.
The cable itself is a USB to microUSB cable. (Of course it has the same ultra-rugged design as the rest of the cables in this series so this isn’t just any old cable.) What makes this cable stand out is the fact that there are two permanently attached adapters that each fit on top of the microUSB connector. One has a female microUSB connection on the bottom and a male MFi Certified Lightning connector on top. The other has a female microUSB connection on the bottom and a male USB-C connector on top.
To charge something using microUSB you simply use the cable. When it comes time to charge an iPhone or iPad you put the MFi Certified Lighting tip in place.
And then, when you need to charge something with USB-C, something that is increasingly commonplace, you simply swap the Lighting tip for the USB-C tip. It is convenient, simple and, perhaps best of all, it keeps cable clutter to a minimum since, between the three types of tip you probably cover 90% or more of the mobile devices currently on the market.
So while you can find far less expensive cables, the convenience and ruggedness of the Universal version of Nomad’s Ultra Rugged Cable Series is worth every penny. I received mine as a review sample unit I’m so impressed by it that I’ll be purchasing one for Raina and getting a third one to keep connected by the bed. I’m a fan and you will be too.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Super tough cable; Doesn’t get tangled or knotted; Includes cable tie; Able to charge devices with three different types of charging ports
What Needs Improvement: Not a thing