You are on the road working on your laptop, and your phone is losing power fast. You are expecting an urgent call shortly, so you reach into your bag for your phone charge cable, and you feel nothing. Then you smack yourself in the forehead and remember you left it on the kitchen table at home.

What do you do? What DO YOU DO?

1) You frantically look around for anyone using the same exact phone as you then, hope, beg and plead that they have a cable and will lend it to you.
OR
2) You calmly, reach into your wallet or pull out your key chain and use your trusty Nomad ChargeCard or Nomad Charge Key by plugging one end into your phone and the other end into your laptop.

If you are a digital nomad, you relate well to scenario 2 and can breathe a sigh of relief.

Nomad ChargeCard and Nomad Charge Key

I was sent a Charge Card and Charge Key for review purposes from the folks at Nomad based in San Francisco, California and here’s what I thought.

nomad charge card

Nomad Charge Card and Nomad Charge Key Packaging

At first opening, the packaging was very compact with just a perforated cardboard folder, which is great because it’s recyclable and environmental and easy to ship. The Card and Key aren’t flashy in appearance and are just a no-nonsense plain black plastic/rubber with embossed logo on the side.

Both the Nomad Charge Card and the Nomad Charge Key come in 2 compatibilities:

  • USB Lightning Cable, which works with iPhone 5/5s/5c, Lightning iPad, iPad Mini
  • Micro USB, which works with Samsung Galaxy, HTC, Nexus, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Lumia, LG etc.

Price: $29 US each

nomad charge key

Nomad Charge Card and Nomad Charge Key shown next to my car key fob

Card Pros

  • compact
  • cable is flexible
  • same width/height as a credit card
  • cable plug is protected
  • understated plain black appearance
  • simple environmental packaging
  • small size is good for packing light when travelling
  • weather-resistant
  • 30 day no questions asked return policy
  • lifetime guarantee

Card Cons

  • cable itself is really short and needs to be used while supported on a surface/table (you can’t use it in a wall socket)

Key Pros

  • compact
  • cable is flexible
  • same length as a standard key
  • understated plain black appearance
  • can be attached to a key ring
  • simple environmental packaging
  • small size is good for packing light when travelling
  • weather-resistant
  • 30 day no questions asked return policy
  • lifetime guarantee

Key Cons

  • plugs at both ends are exposed and could potentially get damaged by other keys/coins in your pocket (the FAQ on their site does state “Our chargers – connectors included – are engineered to be scratch and damage-resistant, even without covers.”
  • cable itself is really short and needs to be used while supported on a surface/table (you can’t use it in a wall socket)

Nomad ChargeCard and Nomad Charge Key Conclusion

Both the Charge Card and the Charge Key worked well and charged with no performance issues.

I do prefer the Nomad ChargeCard over the Nomad Charge Key and recommend the item. I feel it’s a handy thing to have for emergency use when you need a quick charge via your laptop or for packing/travelling light. But, the price/unit and the fact that the cord is really short and needs to sit on a surface makes it more of a luxury item than an essential everyday item. I did notice on their website that they have a “Refer three people get one Free” deal on at the moment…so look out for specials.

Here’s a tip: I keep a small USB plug that plugs into the lighter of my car just in case I need a quick charge.

Have you tried out either of these Nomad chargers? What did you think of it?

I was sent these products for review purposes. My opinions are as always entirely my own.