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Nomad Goods has quietly and quickly become one of the more notable tech accessory companies. The brand’s attention to detail and obsession with using high-end materials have earned it a reputation among tech enthusiasts as a company where, while it may be a little more expensive than its competition, you’re getting your money’s worth.
And that is regardless if you pick up a leather iPhone 14 case, an Apple Watch band or any of the charging accessories. So let us walk through the story of Nomad Goods, which took years to reach this point from humble beginnings, and share some of our favorite products they craft.
How Nomad got its (kick)start
Nomad Goods co-founders Brian Hahn and Noah Dentzel first met in Santa Barbara, Cali., where the budding friendship eventually led to Nomad’s first product launch on Kickstarter in 2012. The ChargeCard was a small credit card-like device for charging your iPhone. The card had a fold-out USB adapter to connect to a wall adapter or your computer’s USB port, with a 30-pin or microUSB adapter on the end of the card to connect directly to your iPhone or microUSB device.
The duo set a goal of $50,000 for a successful campaign, but instead, they raised over $161,000 and found themselves with a full-fledged business to run, with countless orders to fill.
ChargeCard provided a lot of valuable lessons for the pair, with the product eventually shipping eight months behind schedule.
What’s better than a credit card-sized charging accessory? A charging accessory that’s the size of a key, and thus, using their experience and newfound knowledge, in 2013 Nomad launched a second campaign on Indiegogo for the ChargeKey — a device we personally carried on our keyring for years, and it came in handy more than once as we needed to top off an iPhone while on the go. The project was successful, but the team grew and contracted, more lessons were learned and offices were moved.
Fast forward to 2022, Nomad Goods has survived everything from a microburst tornado ripping the roof off its office to a global pandemic—one during which the company shifted gears and produced PPE for healthcare and essential workers, as well as the general public. You can read more about Nomad’s story, complete with a more thorough timeline, on the Nomad Goods website.
Sustainability leads the way
Sustainability is a hot topic as we near the end of 2022, and for good reason. It’s important that every company, no matter its size, takes this into consideration. For its part, Nomad Goods purchases renewable energy supplies to power its office, does quarterly team beach cleanups and either refurbishes or uses e-waste recycling for damaged returns.
Furthermore, in 2020 Nomad Goods partnered with Climate Neutral to offset 100% of the company’s carbon emissions, including what’s produced from its supply chain, employee travel and utilities.
Nomad Goods also details its ambassadorship with Protecting Blue Whales, Blue Skies and a partnership with Mai Ndombe on its sustainability website.
Nomad product selection
Along the same breath of sustainability, Nomad Goods has many different types of products across its portfolio, but perhaps its most known for its products that include leather.
More specifically, Nomad Goods has two different types of leather it uses in everything ranging from iPhone cases and Apple Watch straps to a limited edition all-leather desk mat.
Nomad Goods uses its own leather, along with Horween Leather. Nomad’s own full-grain leather was developed with Ecco, a Danish tannery. The tanning process is such that it saves water and energy costs, while still giving the finished product a high-quality look that will patina slowly over time. It’s also more affordable than the Horween Leather you’ll also find in products but doesn’t sacrifice quality.
Nomad Goods has a handy comparison chart detailing the benefits of each type of leather used in its various products.
The pictures don’t do either leather product justice, but you can see a slight difference when looking at products like the Modern Leather Case for the iPhone 14 Series. The version with Nomad Goods leather is $50 and is available in multiple colors, including a natural leather color, while Horween leather is limited to black or rustic brown for $70.
Nomad Goods also has leather cases for your wireless earbuds, adding a layer of protection to your AirPods or AirPods Pro, while providing a stylish look. AirPods cases are made of Nomad or Horween flavors.
Another popular Nomad Goods product line is its leather Apple Watch bands. The Modern Bands have a sleek design that doesn’t scream for attention but keeps a classy look. The Traditional Bands, however, boost the level of elegance and add an upscale look to them. Prices range from $50 all the way up to $150, depending on the look and type of leather.
Pushing the limits with power
Nomad Goods, of course, doesn’t only have leather accessories for Apple gadgets. For Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy owners, Nomad Goods has plenty of charging options.
The Base Station Hub Edition allows you to simultaneously charge two devices via a wireless connection and two more devices via a wired connection.
Looking for something more Apple specific? There’s a Base Station Apple Watch Edition that charges up to five devices at the same time, and includes an Apple Watch charging stand on the back of the base station.
With the exception of the Base One Max which features a MagSafe and Apple Watch charging adapters, all of Nomad Goods wireless charging stations also incorporate a leather mat with either a metal or wood base. The Base One Max swaps leather for a sleek, glass finish.
For a wired charging experience, Nomad Goods has a wide range of power adapters. Charging speeds range from 20W up to 65W power adapters, all relying on a USB-C connection. The 30W and 65W adapters leverage GaN Technology to make the adapters smaller and easier to travel with.
One of our favorite wall adapters ever has to be the 30W transparent Power Adapter. It just looks cool and is capable of fast charging most modern smartphones at or near their max speed.
Of course, a premium wired charging experience isn’t complete without a premium cable, and Nomad Goods has you covered. Nomad Goods has three different USB-C cables that are reinforced with Kevlar to ensure that the cables last. Sizes range from 0.3 to three meters, with USB-C to USB-C, USB-C to Lightning and a universal cable that can connect to USB, USB-C and microUSB ports.
The Nomad Goods Sport Cables offer a more cost-effective alternative that’s still going to last you longer than the cables that come with your iPhone or Android phone.
Always working towards the next big thing
One of Nomad Goods most admirable traits is that it’s a company that’s not afraid to try new things, looking for a new product line where one doesn’t currently exist, or to elevate the experience for an existing product type.
For instance, Nomad Goods has experimented with releasing a high-end pen made of steel, aluminum or titanium. Or what about the Leather Cover for the Apple TV’s Siri Remote that hides an AirTag below the remote so you can quickly and easily find the remote—genius!
Leather and wallets go together like peanut butter and jelly, so of course, Nomad Goods has its own line of wallets and money clips.
Something to keep an eye on is Nomad Goods looking at how to use the Apple Watch Ultra and its own products in different scenarios. For instance, Nomad found the Ultra makes for a fantastic surfing companion. Nomad even went so far as to make app recommendations, provide some tips to get the most out of the Ultra’s fitness features, and, of course, offer up some Apple Watch Band suggestions.
And here is the real kicker, for Black Friday this year the savings kick off at 1 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 18 with a 25% sitewide discount. You’ll want to shop early though as once products are sold out they are gone. Assuming stock remains, the sale wraps on Nov. 29.
Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.