I Tried The Nomad Carabiner for iPhone

Spoiler alert: The construction is bloody awful.

Okay, so I will admit that I gave the Nomad Charging Carabiner a go. After all, it would be so nice to have a charging cable that clips to my Red Oxx CPA Briefcase and not have to worry about whether or not I packed a charging cable for my mobile. And until Earth Day this year, it was working out pretty well. I could just clip it to one of the rings of my bag and I would have a charging cable. It’s the same reason why I have my Bluetooth Master Lock attached to my bag when I was going to 24 Hour Fitness (my current gym doesn’t have lockers with places to put a lock).

Broken Nomad Carabiner

Why I got it

I heard about Nomad through their ChargeKey and have had that product page in my bookmarks for some time. However, when I started noticing that I would leave my charging cables at home on my way to work, I knew I needed to get an on the go solution. I bought both the ChargeKey and this charging carabiner. I knew that given the conditions of some of the tags on my keyring that the ChargeKey wouldn’t last long. My prediction was, of course, right because within a couple of weeks the ChargeKey succeeded at disappointing me. However, the charging carabiner looked like it could last a bit longer. This is probably because while it’s not in use, the cable is somewhat protected by the housing of the Carabiner. Whatever the reason, it became part of my daily carry.

Carabiner no longer

Broken Nomad Carabiner

My Nomad carabiner can’t clip onto my bag anymore. 🙁

But on Earth Day when I went with Josh from the Longmont Green Party to volunteer at the Earth Day celebration in Lyons, I noticed when I tried to clip my charging carabiner back to my bag that the clip part of the carabiner would not snap back to the position it is supposed to be at. The entire reason why I bought this thing and the entire gimmick behind it is gone now. I’m not sure why this happened and it doesn’t appear that any parts are missing from the carabiner. So, I posted about it on their Facebook page:

It has been over two months now and to this date, I have not heard a word back after e-mailing Nomad about my problem, as directed by their Facebook team. I can accept a lot of things with customer service failures. I didn’t complain when their Charge Key stopped working within a couple of weeks because hey, charging cables wear out and even though I would have expected this to have a little longer of a lifespan, I wasn’t going to get mad about it. Surprisingly, even though the cable on their carabiner isn’t as thick as the one they use for their ChargeKey, remarkably the charging function of the carabiner still works. How is it that the cable is so good but the carabiner part is so shoddy?

However, if they tell me to take the conversation to e-mail and then ignore my e-mails for two months, this is unacceptable. I’ve bought things from MBK in Bangkok that hold up better than this carabiner charging cable.

In conclusion

I cannot, in good conscience, recommend that anyone get the Nomad Carabiner. It does work for a little while, and if you’re happy with buying a new one every year or so, this might be the device for you. However, Nomad’s customer support people have not responded to my inquiries. It seems like they will try to move the discussion to e-mail where they can ignore you. I have given up any hope that Nomad will support their products. So now, I am looking for a better solution to add a charging cable to my daily carry.

Dr. Véronique Bellamy is a polymath. She graduated with a doctorate in computer science from the University of Oxford but is equally well versed in literature, manga, theology and politics.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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