If you’ve landed on this page looking for the Goal Zero Yeti 150 review, there are two things we will tell you upfront:
- You’re absolutely on the right page &
- The review you’re about to read is super detailed and straight up, trumps the other nasty 500 words affiliate pieces out there. Be thus prepared to read the real stuff.
A Quick Note:
- Content here may be considered long (since it’s quite impossible to skim on details here and still deliver a quality/objective review).
- You may not really like the outcome of this review…it is raw, cold and factual – as we see it and have experienced it.
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Goal Zero Yeti 150 Review: An Executive Summary
The Goal Zero Yeti 150 is a portable solar generator meant to serve the upwardly mobile, especially in time of an emergency or a disaster. It is thus lightweight and can easily be carried, without challenge from one place to another.
Also, to ensure that it blends into the mobile reality that it was meant to be, the solar generator charges, principally via three (3) options: the AC port of a traditional wall socket, the 12V cigarette lighter port of a car and via the dedicated solar panel it comes standard with.
At a mere weight of 12lbs (5.4kg) – with the 14Ah battery inclusive, the Yeti 150 is truly portable and can be carried along to trips, hikes and Safaris without any challenges – even by a mere teenager or kid.
First Things First: Specs Of The Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator
The specifications of the Goal Zero Yeti 150 solar generator are as follows:
- 120W standard inverter.
- 14Ah (12V) battery churning 150Wh.
- USB power output: 12V.
- AC power output: 12V.
Features Of The Yeti 150
Below are the features of the Yeti 150 solar generator:
- Super lightweight at only a mere 5.4kg (battery inclusive).
- Pure Sine Wave AC output.
- USB connectivity.
- Crisp and clear LCD battery status display.
- Three (3) charging options: solar, AC wall outlet and 12V cigarette lighter port of a car.
- Super silent operations.
- Fade free power.
- Removable battery that can be changed after it has served its term.
- Variety of solar panel options that can mean a quicker charge via the sun.
- Retractable handle that makes carrying the generator around very easy.
What Is The Yeti 150 Solar Generator Meant To Power?
One of the biggest challenges of using solar power is the constant fear that it may fail to power the desired load in a satisfactory manner. While this is often the case, this reality is occasioned as a result of a complete failure to match a solar generator with its appropriate load.
One of the first things you’re supposed to do is to ensure thus that you know exactly the capacity of your solar power generator and importantly, what you may (or should not) pair it with.
With this bit of information, you will be able to know what exactly your generator is capable of and more importantly, what it cannot power.
Again, with this manner of proactive thinking and forward reasoning, you’ll also be able to easily project how long your generator will power the load it has on it before it will run out of juice and will itself need to be recharged.
It is with this logic that we share and publish today what the 150 is meant to comfortably power:
All manner and variants. Charging tablets can be achieved by either the USB ports or the dedicated AC socket. Depending on the capacity of the tablet, recharges can run as high as 6.
Laptops can be charged with this generator too. However, it must be made expressly known that it offers a maximum of two (2) recharges for a laptop. Accordingly thus, if you have a bad battery, you’ll sooner or later be frustrated. In such a case, we’ll advise that you take a look at the similarly designed Yeti 400 or the heavy duty Yeti 1200.
DSLR Cameras can also be brilliantly charged with this solar generator. Depending on the camera model, more than 10 recharges can be got. However, it is not altogether impossible to get up to 12 awesome and sweet charges straight on some camera models. Further, if the generator is plugged to a solar panel, it can actually recharge directly via the trapped and converted energy, leaving the stored power completely untouched.
Lights can also be powered with this solar generator. How long the lights will however remain powered is an issue that is (primarily) dependent on the wattage of the bulb(s) involved.
Any Other Devices
Other small AC tolerant devices can also work brilliantly with this portable generator. However, you must make certain that the capacity of the device is well under 120 watts (the maximum wattage this solar unit can accommodate) and importantly, the device should be able to tolerate the Pure Sine Wave variant of AC power. Examples include: smartphones, MP3 Players, digital cameras, e-readers, Goal Zero lights, car adapters, CPAP, Display Monitors, etc.
Having seen the load this unit can comfortably bear and for how long it can bear said load, let’s now turn our attention to the various methods of charging the Goal Zero Yeti 150 portable solar generator.
How To Charge The Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station
The Yeti 150 comes with 3 standard charging options:
- Dedicated solar panels;
- Traditional AC wall sockets &
- The 12V cigarette lighter port of your car.
The very first option of charging – by means of a dedicated solar charger deploys the use of the Nomad 20 solar panel.
This solar panel charges the device in about 30 hours. However, with full and super bright sunlight, a completely flat battery can be recharged to full capacity in under 18 hours.
However, for super-fast solar charging, the Boulder 90 solar panel is recommended. It does the magic in under 6 hours. However, with bright sunlight, the whole charging process from a completely flat battery to a fully charged unit takes only about 3 hours, maximum.
The second charging option deploys the use of a traditional charging cord that taps from the national grid and feeds the generator’s inbuilt battery. This charger is also friendly to traditional generators and can also tap from them to recharge the unit.
Typically, it takes only about 6 hours to charge to full, a completely flat Yeti 150 from a traditional wall socket.
The third charging option of the Yeti 150 is via the 12V cigarette lighter port of a car.
This charging option takes approximately 8 hours to fully charge a completely flat battery of the generator. This time is unfortunately, fixed – and nothing can be done to enhance it. If you’re going to use your car to charge your solar generator thus, you should be able to wait for at least 8 hours if the battery is flat and you desire a full charge.
Having seen the 3 (three) different ways this generator charges its own inbuilt battery, let’s now take a closer look at its almost identical twin, the Yeti 400 and see how exactly these units are similar (or different).
Yeti 150 Vs Yeti 400: Differences Between The Two Solar Power Generators
The Yeti 150 and the Yeti 400 share a lot in common – it is only natural that we clarify these near twins and clearly state what really distinguishes one from the other. In doing so, we sincerely hope that you’ll appreciate the generators for what they are, exactly.
Here are their distinctive differences:
Yeti 150 Vs Yeti 400: The Differences
|LCD Display||Battery Capacity||Solar Panel Type||USB Ports||AC Ports||Weight (with battery)|
|Yeti 150||Displays only the battery status.||14Ah, 12V||Nomad 20 solar panel.||2 Ports.||1 Port.||12lbs (5.4 kg)|
|Yeti 400||Displays the battery capacity in addition to both the input and output in Watts.||33Ah, 12V||Compatible with Nomad 20 & Boulder 30 solar panels.||2 Ports.||2 Ports.||29lbs (13.2kg)|
As can be seen from the table above, it is crystal clear that the difference between these units is quite clear. It is also very clear that the only similarities the two units share is the fact that they both sport 2 USB ports and can be powered with Nomad 20 solar panel.
Let’s now take a look at the kit – as offered by Goal Zero.
Yeti 150 Solar Kit
What Goal Zero refers to as their ‘solar kit’ is actually the 150 generator unit, paired with its accompanying solar panel for charging via the sun directly, the Nomad 20 Solar Panel.
This kit – as it is offered; is important for users who are interested in extensively using the 150 and anticipate that the primary charging options for them will remain the sun.
This means that, if you’re certain that you’ll not be using sun rays to charge your device, will never take your generator on a hike, camp, boat, safari or have steady power where you currently reside and only need the extra assurance of a backup unit, you do not need the extra, foldable solar panel that makes the 150 a ‘kit’.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking at the Yeti 150 primarily because you have power challenges or will be using the device in places where power is still a very huge luxury, the first step you should take is to ensure that you pair up your device with the light and foldable Nomad 20 Solar Panel and (in the words of Goal Zero), make it a ‘kit’.
Goal Zero Yeti 150 Battery Replacement
The lead acid battery of the Yeti 150, like all other batteries, will one day serve its full term and need a replacement. While this may take up to 5 years – or more (depending on usage and maintenance), this day is sure to come, eventually.
The good thing is that, the battery of the device is completely replaceable and when opened, can manually be changed, even by someone that has no prior knowledge of electronics or solar powered generators.
The replacement battery can be bought, directly on Amazon…and it is known as the 12V 15AH F2 SLA Battery for Goal Zero Escape 150 Power Pack. However, if you’re not in love with this brand, you can search on Amazon directly and easily purchase any other brand that you’re in love with. Only make certain that its size and terminals align (with the default option the 150 mobile power originally shipped with).
As for capacity, you can get a slightly lower or higher capacity variant and will still be awesomely and practically served. The suggested option above is 1Ah above the initial option at 15Ah – and it works super great 🙂
Yeti 150 Compatible Solar Panels
If you’re going to be relying on the sun to recharge your generator primarily, are travelling to a place where you’re not sure power will be steady, you live in a place with plenty sunlight or do not have a car as an alternative charging option, you’ll certainly need dedicated solar panels for charging this unit.
The recommended panel that is paired with this device is the foldable and super light Nomad 20 Solar Panel. This panel, with awesome and impressive sunlight, charges the 150 from a completely flat state to 100% in about 20 hours, assuming no load is mounted on the unit whilst it is charging.
However, if you desire a faster solar charging experience, there is an option that is way better: the Boulder 90 Solar Panel. This solar unit charges the generator from an unimpressive 0% to 100% in a mere 3-4 hours.
In between, there is an option that is not as slow as the former and certainly, not as fast as the latter: the boulder 30 Solar Panel which achieves for the generator, a complete charge in about 15 hours, assuming the sun is bright and no load is placed on the 150 whilst it is charging.
Yeti 150’s Warranty
Naturally, no one is interested in spending any reasonable amount of money for a product and getting no value at all…this is why, though the 150 is an awesome solar generator to say the least, it still comes standard with a warranty statement that is bound to put your mind to rest.
The warranty for this product is 12 months – or a full year. Time starts counting when you actually buy off the product from either the manufacturer directly or from other platforms where authorized re-sellers retail the product such as Amazon.
Certainly, this impressive warranty is bound to put your mind at rest. Won’t it?
What We Love About The Yeti 150
For such an elaborate, yet simple generator, there must be many things to like. Accordingly, it is important to note that we love the following about the Yeti 150:
- Super-light weight that makes it easy to use the generator as a truly mobile solution. The generator weights only 12lbs (5.4kg) – inclusive of the battery.
- Convenient pop-up handle that can easily and stylishly retract back into position.
- USB connectivity that makes charging/powering devices that are reliant on USB ports a breeze.
- Three (3) ways of powering devices: 12V port – for 12V compliant devices, AC port – for AC devices and USB port – for USB powered devices.
- Pure Sine Wave AC output.
- Replaceable battery that does not take any special skill to replace.
- Led battery indicator that shows how much power is left in the device or how much power it has acquired by way of recharging itself.
- Ability to use other (bigger) solar panels for faster recharging when charging via the solar option.
- Compatibility with the grid, solar and 12V cigarette port of a car when it comes to charging its inbuilt 14Ah battery.
These are the pros of the generator that we are madly in love with. Let’s now explain what we don’t like – or what could have been made better…
What We Dislike About The Yeti 150
Notwithstanding the very many features/specs of the 150 generator that we adore, there are some things that we actually dislike about this solar generator.
- The Goal Zero Yeti 150 solar generator cannot power dedicated DC devices. This means that, if you have an appliance (like a DC TV), you’re out of luck.
- This generator is not chainable to another (similar) model/brand to increase run time. This function is really missed.
- The 150 offers only 1 AC power port. We would have loved to see at least 2 dedicated AC power ports on this model
Here, you’ve seen the cons of this model. Let’s now see if you can get an alternative to the Yeti 150 that will serve in an awesome fashion.
Alternatives To The Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station
Getting an alternative to the Yeti 150 is not easy, we must be frank. It is not particularly easy because:
- Various generators that would have been suggested as alternatives feature various price points.
- Many prospective alternatives are also made to tackle other tasks/loads (medium and heavy) and not light loads like this model is intended.
- Finally, other prospective alternatives are also not as portable as this unit…mind you, the 150 is about the most portable solar generator you’ll see in the market today.
However, if you really want to take a look at an alternative, you’ll find our list of portable alternative energy generators worth your while/time. The list features other possible alternatives that are sure to be worth your while. We are also positive that should you decide not to buy the Yeti 150, you’ll certainly fall in love with the other options on that page (enough) to make a choice.
Yeti 150 Solar Generator Review: Our Personal Take, Bottom Line & Verdict
After taking a long, hard, objective and supremely analytical view of the Goal Zero Yeti 150 portable power station, we are glad to close this review with the following summary:
Our Personal Take
The makers of this portable power station, Goal Zero, are currently the best when it comes to portable solar generators. All their products are durable; fit for purpose and particularly, effective. If you believe in brands and their power, especially, good brands, you’re in awesome company…millions of people are with you when Goal Zero is involved. …and, the figures do not lie!
The bottom line is simple: if you have needs for what this portable power station can do, you should buy it in a heartbeat, especially when it is understood that it comes at a great price and offers an awesome warranty of one (1) complete year.
While this power station is awesome, portable and fit for purpose, it is our verdict as experts in solar generators and portable power units that it will not serve you if you’re looking to power your laptop (primarily) – the sole reason may users look for a portable solar generator in the first place. If this is your reality, you should look to any of the options on this page for a smarter alternative (though, that will, without question, mean, spending more money).
We wish you the best as you decide on the best mobile power station for your unique needs.