Goal Zero Yeti 150 Review — Solar Generator From Goal Zero: All Good?

We might not like to admit it, but we have become very attached to always having power.

Whether it is at home during an emergency, or when camping, electricity has become a necessity, and is no longer the luxury it once was.

The Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Solar Generator, although named after a fictional snowman, has been receiving some rave reviews.

With this review, I will share all the nitty gritty details about this solar generator, as well as tell you where to buy at the best price, and a few things you might not find elsewhere

Let’s find out if this is the right solar generator for you.

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Who Makes Goal Zero?

Goal Zero is a company founded by Gary Workman in 2009. After visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the spring of 2007 and witnessing the poverty, Workman was inspired to help people lift themselves out of their poverty.

Since then, Goal Zero has been helping out with natural disasters, ranging from the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the 2011 tsunami in Japan and with Hurricane Sandy, to name just a few.

This has led to owners of Goal Zero products referring to themselves as GZ Nation.

The company and product owners take a lot of pride in the motto: Zero Apathy, Zero Boundaries, Zero Regrets.

More Info on the Goal Zero Yeti 150

The Yeti 150 solar power generator was the very first product launched by Goal Zero.

At the time it was called the GoBe, and consisted of a battery, solar panel and LED light.

It might have been a simple system, but it brought light and safety to villagers in the DRC.

This product is marketed as an emergency generator that is easy to use.

This portable powerhouse is your source of gas-free energy to power up lights, phones, e-readers, DSLR, tablets and laptops in any situation.

Goal Zero also has a range of lights that can be powered up by the Yeti 150 portable power pack.

NOTE: Be sure to check your laptop’s user manual to make sure the Yeti 150 will provide enough watts for a charge.

The 150 in the name of product, refers to the number of watt hours it can deliver.

It is a rugged product roughly the size of a small toaster, and features an easy-to-use carry handle, and sturdy rubber baseplates that works well on kitchen counters, and other surfaces that you don’t want to damage.

It also has a handy LCD battery display that will ensure you always know what your current battery level is.

The display, and a beeping sound will alert you when it is time to recharge your Yeti.

The silent and fume free Yeti 150 is perfectly suited for indoor use, and you won’t have any of those pesky cords from outside to inside.

This little guy works very well during power outages when it is cold and dark outside.

Who wants to go outside in the cold and wet when you have a Yeti indoors that can power up your lights and small devices until the power comes back on?

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What Comes in the box?

When you purchase the Yeti 150, you get the following:

  • Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator
  • Wall Charger
  • One 4.7mm to 8.0mm Legacy Nomad Panel Adapter

What Type of Battery Is in the Yeti 150?

Goal Zero didn’t skimp on the sealed lead-acid battery (AGM) inside the Yeti. It has a peak capacity of 168 Wh (12V, 14Ah), and will last for hundreds of cycles if good care is taken of it.

NOTE: All AGM batteries should be kept fully charged when not in use, as this will make them last longer.

How Long Does It Take to Charge The Battery?

This unit can be recharged in three ways.

Plugging into a regular AC wall outlet will give you a full battery in roughly 6 hours, while it will take around 8 hours on your car’s 12V charger. The third option is to use solar panels.

Charging time with solar panels will vary depending on the size of the panels, as well as the amount of sunlight available.

If you buy this solar generator, it unfortunately does not come with any solar panels.

There are kits available that includes solar panels with the generator. If I were in the market for a solar generator, I would definitely go for the kit. Limiting yourself to just AC charging won’t work if you plan on using the Yeti 150 outdoors.

Keep in mind, that even though GZ claims 150Wh and 14000mAh output, they recommend to never let the battery drop below 50%. This is to maximize the battery life.

To give you an idea of what you can do with 150Wh, it will be enough to charge two laptops. You can get roughly 15 charges of a smartphone, it will charge your 18650 batteries around 10 times, and about 12 charges for your digital camera.

When you do get solar panels, keep in mind that larger panels will mean a shorter time to recharge the battery.

If you go for a panel like the Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar, you will be looking at between 17 and 34 hours to recharge.

With the Boulder 30 Solar Panel, recharge time comes down to around 11-22 hours.

Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Panel
  • 13 Watt efficient monocrystalline solar technology
  • Lightweight, foldable design, fits in any backpack
Goal Zero Boulder 30 Solar Panel
  • Collect 30 watts of power from the sun to recharge your power packs
  • Works with Goal Zero Escape 150 and other power packs (not included)

How Can I Power My Device?

You have three options when it comes to powering your lights, tablets and other devices. For medium sized USB-powered devices, the USB port is the best option.

There is also an AC inverter that can be used like a normal wall socket, as well as 12V port for devices that require a 12V power source.

How Long Will It Take To Power up My Device?

If you have a fully charged generator, it will take just as long to power up from the Yeti as it would from the wall socket.

Can I Use the Yeti 150 in Cold Weather?

If you plan on using your generator in temperatures below freezing, it will have an impact on the battery life. Goal Zero recommends keeping the generator in a well-insulated cooler, and connected to a power source.

The Yeti generates heat naturally, and if kept in a cooler, it will be enough to keep capacity at its highest level.

Yeti 150 vs Yeti 400

The Yeti 400 is the 150’s big brother intended for more commercial use. Where the 150 is built for powering up small devices (such as laptops, mobile phones and lights), the 400 can be used to power base camps and cabins.

The big bother can deliver 400Wh and 33Ah when compared to the 150’s capacity of 150Wh and 14Ah. The 400 is also heaver at 29lbs to the 12 lbs of the 150.

The 150 is small enough to fit on the floor of your pickup, while the 400 is more suited for a permanent spot in the RV.

Anything Not to Like?

This entry level 12lbs solar generator could have been named a power pack instead.

It does not come with the solar panels to recharge with sunlight. There are options to buy the generator and panels as a solar generator kit (my recommendation).

Buying the generator without the solar panels, means you can only recharge the Yeti 150 with AC power.

Depending on how you plan to use it, it might be sufficient. I like to take my solar generator along when camping or boating, so I would definitely shell out a little more for the solar panels to be included.

Where To Buy at the Best Price?

While there are a number of places where you can pick up this little powerhouse, my recommendation is to order through Amazon.com.

Free delivery, the best price on the Yeti 150, great customer service and the 6-month warranty makes it a no-brainer for me.

Is the Goal Zero Yeti 150 the Right Solar Generator for You?

Goal Zero isn’t one of those corporate giants that are all about profit.

These guys are out there every day making a huge difference around the globe.

You have to give them props for that.

On top of that, they make really solid products that can take everything you can throw at it.

I certainly like the idea of my Goal Zero purchase helping others around the world.

Don’t get me wrong, if the Yeti 150 didn’t do what it says on the box, all the humanitarian work in the world, wouldn’t convince me to buy it.

At the end of the day, you know best what you need a solar generator for, and how you plan to use it.

It is well suited to fire up lights and radios in an emergency, and just as suited to powering up all your touch screen devices when the power is out.

The silent, fume free Yeti 150 is a great little product, but keep in mind you will need to get the solar panels as well if you plan to use it on the mountains, or on your next fishing trip.

If you are looking to power up mobile phones, tablets, a laptop or even a HAM radio while camping or during an emergency, the Yeti 150 is a great affordable option.

Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Panel
  • 13 Watt efficient monocrystalline solar technology
  • Lightweight, foldable design, fits in any backpack
Goal Zero Boulder 30 Solar Panel
  • Collect 30 watts of power from the sun to recharge your power packs
  • Works with Goal Zero Escape 150 and other power packs (not included)

Last update on 2024-03-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API