Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Is It Worth The Bucks?

The Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit aims to be a self-contained solar power system for backup and emergency power. This kit has been labelled as the perfect “trade-up” for those who want to get rid of the conventional gas-powered generators.

The Yeti 1250 kit has even been called a “solar farm” and I have seen some of the sales material referring to it as a “generating beast”. It certainly talks the talk, but can it walk the walk when it comes to providing backup power when you really need it?


Let’s find out.

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 30 Solar Panels
28 Reviews
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 30 Solar Panels
  • Use for back-up, camping, tailgating, light duty construction, emergencies
  • Power lights, tools, refrigerators, freezers and health care equipment

How good are Goal Zero products?

Goal Zero is a big name when it comes to solar energy, and I would call them the Apple of their industry. Sounds a bit far-fetched? Let’s look at some of the similarities.

Goal Zero products are very easy on the eye, perform their functions very well, are easy to use, and detractors believe it to be on the expensive side. Sounds eerily similar to what people say about Apple products.

One more arrow that GZ has taken out of Apple’s quiver, is that all their products work really well together. Goal Zero manufactures solar generators, solar panels, various lighting options and power packs, and all of these work together in a simple plug-and-play manner.

Another commonality is the loyal fan base these two companies have. Fans of the mobile manufacturer are known as Apple Fanboys, while the solar power company’s loyal customers are called GZ Nation.

One area where the similarity between Apple and Goal Zero is the most obvious to me, is how they make life easier for their customers. Both companies create and manufacture products that can be removed from the packaging, and be used immediately.

Intuitive and easy to use are two terms that come to mind when I think of Goal Zero products. Sure, you get a manual, but you might not need it. That’s how easy their products are to use.

There is one rather large difference between Apple and Goal Zero though. GZ does a whole lot of humanitarian work, helping out after natural disasters have struck.

Think back to the Haiti earthquake of 2010, the Japan tsunami in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy. Goal Zero was there to help with each of these disasters, providing help and supplying power through their innovative solar power products.

So, if anyone asks me how good Goal Zero products are, I can only say the products do exactly what it says on the box. And it does this in an easy to use, good looking product that is built to last.

What comes in the box?

When you purchase the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit, you get an end-to-end system to harness solar power. The system consists of:

  • Yeti 1250 Solar Generator
  • 2x Boulder 30 Solar Panels
  • ​Fabric carrying case for panels
  • Roll cart

The roll cart is a nice touch, and makes moving the 103lbs solar generator easy when you adjust the angle of your solar panels to soak up the sun.

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 30 Solar Panels
28 Reviews
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 30 Solar Panels
  • Use for back-up, camping, tailgating, light duty construction, emergencies
  • Power lights, tools, refrigerators, freezers and health care equipment

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator

The Yeti 1250 produces 1250 watt and offers portable backup power to charge and recharge devices from phones to refrigerators and CPAP machines. It offers a noise-free, fume-free and gas-free alternative to conventional generators.

Technically it isn’t a generator, it is more of a store and use power pack.

From powering up fridges during blackouts to powering an RV while on holiday to light-duty construction, the uses for this solar generator are endless.

The 1250 can be charged in three ways. This kit will allow you to charge the generator from the two Boulder 30 solar panels that are included, from the wall or from your car.

Charging from the outlet takes about 18 hours, while your car will take roughly 44 hours to fully charge the generator.

Charging from the sun will vary depending on a number of factors. Chaining the two Boulder 30 panels together will charge the Yeti in 24 hours of good sunlight.

The Yeti 1250 uses a 1200Wh AGM lead acid battery that can charge anything from mobile phones and tablets to televisions and small refrigerators.

The AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery is more efficient at charging and recharging than other types of batteries, and will last 300 cycles or more if proper care is taken. It is critical to recharge the battery before it drops below 50%, as all AGM batteries will suffer from repeated full discharges.

Keeping your battery above the 50% charge level will ensure that it lasts longer.

The display panel on the back of the 1250 will ensure you are always in the know as to how much power is being used, and how much power is left in the generator.

Goal Zero recommends that you keep the generator hooked up to a power source when it is not in use. This will prolong the life of the battery, and as an added bonus your Yeti 1250 will be ready for an adventure whenever you are. Nothing worse than being ready to go out on a camping or boating trip, and realizing the Yeti 1250 isn’t fully charged.

If this does happen, you have the solar panels to recharge the generator.If you don’t feel comfortable keeping the generator hooked up to a power source continuously, you can fully charge it every 2-3 months, and then store the unit in a cool, dry place like the basement or a shed.

Do make sure that it keeps dry, as moisture can damage the unit and will void the warranty.

This device has three different types of output port. It has 3 USB ports which makes it easy to charge your phone, mp3 player, digital camera, tablet or e-reader, while the 3 AC ports are for appliances like a laptop, CPAP, display monitors, TV or a small fridge.

Finally there is a 12V output port for all your Goal Zero lights and other 12V powered devices.

If the Yeti by itself doesn’t give you the runtime you require, you can consider connecting extra 100Ah 12V lead-acid batteries to the Anderson Power SB175 on the back of the generator. This will not increase the wattage, but will increase the runtime.

Keep note that this will increase your recharging time. This is because you now need to recharge not only the Yeti, but also the batteries chained to it.

When the Yeti is fully charged, it packs a serious punch. From one full charge, you can expect to charge your smartphone 25 times, your GoPro 50 times, your digital camera 25 times and there will be enough juice left to charge a laptop 5 times!

TIP: If you need to recharge your Yeti double quick, you can hook it up to AC power and the solar panels at the same time. This will drastically reduce the time required to get to a full charge.

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 30 Solar Panels
28 Reviews
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 30 Solar Panels
  • Use for back-up, camping, tailgating, light duty construction, emergencies
  • Power lights, tools, refrigerators, freezers and health care equipment

Boulder 30 Solar Panels

The Boulder 30 solar panels are constructed from an aluminium frame and strong tempered glass and it gives a great impression when you first take it out of the box. These waterproof panels are rigid, and does not fold like the Nomad range of solar panels.

Where the Nomad panels are ultra-portable, the Boulder range is suited for both temporary and permanent installation. These can easily be mounted on the roof of your shed, or in the backyard.

Or take these with when RV’ing and stick them on the roof.

As with the other products in the GZ range, these are plug and play and works well with the other items in this kit. The panels are of the high quality we have come to expect from Goal Zero.

If you take good care of these panels, and use the included carry case when moving about, these should last you very long in your off-grid adventures.

This ruggedly-built 6.5lbs panel delivers 30W in optimal conditions, but cloud cover will decrease the output. To ensure you get the best performance, I would suggest you adjust the panel’s angle to the sun a few times per day.

By chaining the two Boulder panels in this kit together, you can increase the output to 60W. This will decrease the recharging time of the generator. Remember that these waterproof panels can’t store energy, and that is where the 1250 comes into play.

The kit contains two of these Boulder panels, but you can chain up to 4 of these panels together if and when you need to charge your Yeti faster.

Why should you choose the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit?

Let’s be clear. You could save a couple of dollars by doing hours of research on the internet and reading obscure blogs. You will go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole looking for the best performing parts to make up your entire solar generator kit.

After a couple of weeks, you will have decided which individual parts to order, and they will start arriving one after the other from the various manufacturers. Then the “fun” begins.

You need to assemble all of these parts into something that harvests energy from the sun. As you start with the assembly, you will have to spend more time on the Internet, watching dozens of YouTube videos on how to assemble all the different bits and pieces.

You might even find that you are missing a crucial adapter to make all the components fit together. That means searching on the net for a supplier, placing an order and waiting for yet another delivery before resuming the assembly.

After a couple of weeks, you think you have everything assembled, and the big day is finally here. You are going to generate and store solar power with something you created. You put your solar panels at the correct angle towards the sun while you sit back and wait for the sun to power your devices.

Lo and behold, it doesn’t seem to be working. Back to the net for more searching and looking for answers.This might sound contrived, but I have a good friend that does this every time he starts a new hobby.

He tries to save a few bucks by doing it himself, but he rarely gets to the point where he has a working solution.This is where Goal Zero really shines. Their products are dead simple to use, and very easy to setup.

With this kit, you have everything you need to harvest energy from the sun. And you can order it all in one go, and have it assembled and ready for generating power in no time!

And that is one of the reasons why this kit might cost a little more than if you ordered all these parts separately from other manufacturers.

You are paying a little more to save you time and a whole lot of hassle. This kit works right out of the box, and to me that is worth a whole lot more than trying to cut some corners.

Where are Goal Zero products made?

There have been some confusion around where Goal Zero products are made. Some users think the products are made in the United States. This is not true. All Goal Zero products are made and manufactured in China, before it is imported by Goal Zero LLC of Bluffdale, Utah.

Is it worth the money?

The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit is a well-built package that is very easy to use. Simply take it out of the box, aim the panels toward the sun, connect them to the generator and you can start harnessing the sun’s power for your electrical needs.

There are very few similar kits available at this price that are plug and play, and that can be expanded with more components (this kit can be expanded with more solar panels, or by chaining more batteries).

For your hard-earned money you get a 1250W solar generator and two 30W solar panels that will power you up whether you are climbing the Himalayas, photographing the great outdoors, living in your campervan or simply camping in the backyard with the kids.

I am a big fan of the Goal Zero products. They are definitely not the cheapest, but they build rugged, durable products that are incredibly easy to use. I don’t want to assemble an overly complicated system, I want something I can take out of the box and use immediately.

And that is exactly what the Goal Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit does.

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 30 Solar Panels
28 Reviews
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 30 Solar Panels
  • Use for back-up, camping, tailgating, light duty construction, emergencies
  • Power lights, tools, refrigerators, freezers and health care equipment

We have reviewed the smaller Goal Zero 150 Yeti here

Last update on 2019-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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