Nomad Rugged Cable REVIEW The last lightning cable you will ever need
With Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 5, on September 20, 2013, came the lightning cable. This was a major change from the 30 pin connector of previous devices. Even though the technology of the smartphone has advanced drastically, the battery technology has lagged behind. I currently rely upon the iPhone 7 plus for all of my personal and professional needs. I know I cannot be alone, in the need to charge my device every night. Plugging the lightning cable into the phone seems to illuminate a general weakness of the lightning cables, specifically at the junction of the cable and the USB-A end and the junction of the cable and the Lightning end. I have gone through at least 5 cables in the past 12 months due to fraying at the cable junction. With Nomad, I do not think that this is going to be a problem again.
One of the features that I absolutely love about NOMAD products is the packaging. I love the artistic nature, the vibrancy and the active feel of their cover images. The cover shows a black cable, with port covers, with surrounding flying dirt/debris. The “Rugged” name and “Adventure Proof” slogan are truly embodied by the cover’s design. The cover promises a few amazing features: Ultra Rugged Dirt Caps, 5-year guarantee, anti-fray end, Mil-Spec 10k flex tested, 1.5 meter/5 feet. The back of the packaging further details the product and the attention to construction. The cable is designed to withstand whatever you throw at it. At the core is a 20AWG copper wire, capable of fast charging at 5V/4.5A. Surrounding this, you will find a 4x polyamide central core, then a 2x RF shield for fast syncing, then a 2x thick moisture barrier and then a surrounding flexible outer fire resistant, chemical resistant jacket. The device is built to survive a tough lifestyle. The cable has been designed to survive 10,000 multi-directional 150 degree flexes, at the cable-lightning and the cable-USB-A connector points. Using more robust products has helped NOMAD to be an industry leader in design/construction. If this is not enough, and you happen to break the cable from normal use, contact NOMAD at email@example.com to talk about the issues. The device is meant for every iteration of iPhone after the iPhone 5, all versions of the iPad mini, iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro models.
Opening the box, you will become immediately aware of the quality of the cable. Each end is covered by a dust cap, which protects the USB A and Lightning ends. The cable is obviously thicker than most of the cables that I have tested and is MFI certified. The cable arrives coiled with a black rubberized NOMAD cable tie. This may not seem like that big of a deal, but it is actually a prominent accessory of the cable. A few other cables that I have reviewed, did come with some sort of a tie to contain them. This is the first and only cable, that I have seen, that has the tie completely built into the cable. There is a hole that runs through the top of the cable tie, and the cable traverses this hole. This connection is incredibly secure and ensures it will not fall off of the cable. The 3/4 inch width of the cable tie, wraps around the 60″ long cable very well. This is not a fixed connection, which allows the cable tie to slide along the entirety of the NOMAD cable and allows for a really convenient, customizable, storage or hanging feature. Combining the cable tie with a thicker, more robust, rugged cable, and protecting the USB/lightning ends, you can understand the Mil-Spec 10K flex testing rating.
Despite the positives of the cable, there is one small aspect that does need to be addressed. The USB-A end is incredibly secure and has no wiggle room in any of the USB Ports I have utilized. There is a slight issue in the lightning end, however. There are some cases such as the Catalyst Case brand and the Lifeproof brand that have very narrow openings at the lightning port. These armor style cases are designed to be waterproof and thus the lightning port is sealed with a rubberized material. The NOMAD rugged lightning end has a boxier style than the Apple branded cable and a few other cables I have tested. This cable will fit into the iPhone 7 plus Catalyst case, will charge and sync, but I no longer have a Lifeproof case to test. If I had one piece of advice, it would be to decrease the size of the lightning end by about 1/16 of an inch. This would completely secure my definition of the “perfect cable.” I have tested this cable over the past 1 week and compared it to my previous cable. I have bent each end at least 250 times (back and forth) and the cable remains in mint condition. If my iPhone resided inside of any other case besides the Catalyst Case, I would not have any negatives at all. The cable will fit, works flawlessly and should be the go-to cable, for anyone with a lightning port.
Combine an amazing product with a fantastic customer service and you will find NOMAD. I have come to appreciate their efforts and rely on the fact that NOMAD produces gear that is worth buying. Thus, even with the above critique, I would rate this cable as 5/5 stars and it has replaced my cheap quality cables.
Originally published at macsources.com on August 3, 2017.