The other day we took a look at Nomad’s impressive approach to sync/charge cables. I love the Universal Cable I reviewed and am ordering a few more. Nomad has also re-envisioned what I’ll refer to as the “short throw portable charging cable.” Many companies offer short cables but none come close to the awesomeness of the Nomad Carabiner.
The carabiners are large, solid and tough. Metal wrapped in plastic, they have a decent amount of heft. The springs that allow the carabiner to open and close are equally solid. There is no side-to-side wiggle, and it takes a decent amount of force to open them. When released, they snap back into position with a good deal of force. Between the design of the clips and the strength of the springs, it is clear that once clipped onto something, these carabiners will stay put until released. That noted, each carabiner has a warning embossed on the side that they are “not for climbing.” In other words, they mean serious business but not life and death serious.
The Nomad Carabiner comes in three varieties. Each has a standard USB on one side and a device-specific tip on the other.
One is designed to work with iPhones and iPads and has an Apple Lighting connector. It is worth noting that the Lightning version of the Carabiner is Apple MFi certified. That means the Lightning connectors are made by Apple and have a tiny protection circuit board built into them in order to keep devices safe. It has an MSRP of $29.95.
One has a microUSB tip instead of a Lightning connector and is designed for use with any device that has a microUSB connection. That means it works with most Android devices, most headphones, most rechargeable keyboards etc. In other words, pretty much any device that isn’t made by Apple and does not yet have a USB-C connection will be compatible. It too has an MSRP of $29.95.
Finally, there is a GoPro Hero Carabiner. It has a mini-USB connection and is, obviously, compatible with far fewer devices. I suspect that is the reason it is available for a sale price of $9.95.
As the company explains,
Always there when you need it: The Nomad Carabiner for iPhone and Android is a first of its kind portable USB charging cable built stealthily into a stainless steel reinforced carabiner. Clip it anywhere so you’ve always got a backup charging cable by your side.
With a hidden USB cable, it’s the only carabiner clip that can also charge your phone.
Nomad is quick to point out that while standard carabiners have a thousand uses, thanks to the hidden USB 2.0 cable that can handle 2.5amp, theirs has a thousand and one uses. (In the fine print Nomad explains that, “When it comes to the Samsung Note 3 and Samsung Galaxy S5, the USB 3.0 charging cables are optimized to charge these large and powerful phones at the fastest rate. However, the standard Micro USB 2.0 is still capable of charging these phones, just at a slightly slower speed. The USB port used can also influence charging speed (wall chargers will power your phone faster than a computer). Of course, when your battery is low and you really need a charge, your Nomad charging cable will always be there for you!)
Measuring 8 x 4.2 x 1.3cm and weighing in at 53g, these Carabiners are constructed from engineering grade polycarbonate and high-grade steel. In fact, Nomad used a high-grade steel alloy that is exceptionally resistant to rust. A test unit has been left outside the company offices by the ocean for over 8 months and has not rusted a bit. In addition, Nomad used scratch-resistant metals on the contacts in order to eliminate the need for protective caps.
The only thing I wish Nomad had done was to build a small battery into the carabiner itself. Imagine how useful it would be to have a carabiner cable but also have something that can give you an extra hour or two of use when you are on the go and the battery in your device hits empty!?!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review samples
What I Like: Strong; Made from excellent materials that won’t rust
What Needs Improvement: Nothing although it would be awesome if there was a small battery tucked inside the carabiner