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Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station review: never run out of power…

Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station review: never run out of power…

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station review: never run out of power

    Designed for committed off-gridders and van-lifers, the huge and heavy Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station offers a mighty 1,516W hours and has ins and outs galore to cope with phones, laptops and home appliances. It’s even got Wi-Fi and an app that lets you control it remotely.

    • Ultra-huge capacity
    • Exhaustive ins and outs
    • Tough outdoorsy design
    • Lots of ins and outs
    • – Extremely heavy
    • – Only 1x AC socket
    • – No wireless charging for phones
    • – Battery can’t be replaced

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    The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station reviewed here is for off-grid living. If all you need to do is recharge a couple of smartphones for a few days, then you’re probably better off looking for a decent sized portable battery of about 10,000 mAh in capacity. After all, this massive and heavy portable power station manages a whopping 1,516W hours – about 400,000 mAh!

    Despite its massive size and its ability to fuel everything from LED lights and TVs to fridges and power tools, the huge and heavy Yeti 1500X isn’t for living off-grid for weeks and weeks at a time. This brand also makes some of the best solar chargers around (check out the Goal Zero Nomad 20, for example) – if that appeals, it is possible to add one of Goal Zero’s solar panels to refuel it from the Sun, and you can charge it up while you drive, too. But what the Yeti 1500X is best for is a week away or events. We’re talking about campsites, a worksite, a party in a field or a long road trip, for which the Yeti 1500X will serve you well with its plethora of ins and outs that don’t just recharge several devices at once, but safely and quickly.

    It’s even got its own Wi-Fi network and smartphone app. Another scenario for the Yeti 1500X could be as a backup in case of a power cut at home.

    Whatever you choose to use the Yeti 1500X for you need to know exactly what it can and can’t do. Is this the best portable power station you can buy? Find out in our Yeti 1500X review…

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station review: price and release date

    Originally launched in 2020 to replace the Yeti 1400 Lithium, the Yeti 1500X portable power station is part of Goal Zero’s Yeti X line-up that also includes the Yeti 200X, 500X, 1000X, 3000X and 6000X. It sells for UK£2,199.99/US1999.95/AUS3,999.95.

    The Yeti 1500X is the best-seller. It’s sold either as a standalone product (shipping only with an AC adaptor) or with a 100W solar panel. It’s also available for a considerably higher price as the ‘Boulder 100 kit’ that comprises a Yeti 1500X, four Boulder 100 suitcase-style solar panels, extension cables, a hand-cart and a Yeti X 600W power supply that fast-charges a Yeti 1500X in three hours from any wall outlet.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station review: features and what’s new

    As well as a lithium-ion NMC battery rated at a mighty 1,516W hours, the Yeti 1500X brings a new 2,000W pure-sine wave AC inverter that allows it to be used to safely run pretty much anything you might run from a wall outlet, such as a fridge, a heater or a TV (our portable TV was able to run off the Yeti for 25 hours). Its battery management system stops sending power into a device once it’s fully charged, and prevents it from being overloaded.

    If increasing the inverter size is what off-gridders will probably love most, your average gadget-lover will likely be just as pleased by its plethora of USB-C outputs. Highlights include two USB-C PD slots (one 60W to recharge a laptop and one 18W Quick Charge to quickly refuel a phone), a 12V cigarette lighter charger and standard AC. There are also some 12V ports so it can power mini-fridges and the like.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station: specs

    Capacity: 1,516Wh (10.8V, 140.4Ah) Weight: 20.7kg/45.64lbs Measurements: 387x260x263mm/15.25×10.23×10.37” Solar: 600W Outputs: 2x AC output, 2x USB-A (5V, 2.4V), 60W PD USB-C, 2x 6mm, 12V car, 2x 12V power ports, 2x Anderson Power Pol (APP) Inputs: 2x Anderson Power Pol (APP), expansion port, Wi-Fi (2.44Ghz), Bluetooth

    A couple of Anderson inputs that can be hooked up to as many as four solar panels (though you mustn’t exceed 50V), one of which is underneath a flap on the top that also gives you somewhere to store cables neatly.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station review: set-up and use

    The Yeti 1500X is heavy. Really heavy. Luckily it’s got two handles on either side moulded into the top of the product, but at 20.7kg/45.64lbs moving it isn’t easy. However, while you may not want to lug it across a huge campsite it’s easy enough to move it from the boot of a car to an adjacent camp.

    It was a clear and sunny day so we set it up with a Goal Zero 100W solar panel; within seconds the LCD display was telling us exactly how much energy is was taking-in, and – in a constantly refreshed display – exactly how long it would take, at this rate, for the Yeti 1500X to fill-up. It calculated about 15 hours, which given that the Yeti 1500X was already at about 40% makes us think that wherever you’re going you should arrive with the Yeti 1500X already full after spending a night attached to the mains at home (ours took 20 hours to recharge from empty).

    The excellent LCD display shows you exactly what the Yeti 1500X is up to and what charge remains, but it’s so clear that we’re not convinced there’s much need for the (albeit excellent) Goal Zero app, which thanks to its own Wi-Fi network lets you monitor it remotely, and enable/disable ports.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station review: performance

    The Yeti 1500X does almost everything and it does it all at the same time. It was great being able to recharge a laptop using the Yeti 1500X’s USB-C PD slot, and we also like how quickly we could refuel a smartphone. It’s just like being at home.

    However, some of the Yeti 1500X’s rivals now have built-in wireless charging pads. Given that the Yeti 1500X does have an area under a lid at the top for storing cables it does look like a missed opportunity. However, it hides a secret for those wanting to off-grid for extended periods that make the Yeti 1500X unique; unscrew the floor and you’ll find an expansion port for attaching Goal Zero’s proprietary Yeti Link input to a separate Yeti Link Expansion Module. That can then be attached to a Yeti Tank Expansion Battery lead-acid batteries, which will almost double, triple or quadruple the energy storage capacity of the Yeti 1500X.

    You can also buy a 12V car charging cable that makes it possible to charge up the Yeti 1500X while you drive simply by attaching it to a 12V cigarette car lighter. That makes a lot of sense if you’re on a road trip and moving around a lot.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station review: verdict

    Lithium power stations like the Yeti 1500X are all about off-grid power without the noise and pollution from petrol-driven generators, but there’s even more to like about the Yeti 1500X. We love its USB-C PD slots for laptops and fast charge for smartphones, while the excellent LCD display makes sure the user knows exactly what’s going on. If you’re heading off-grid and you need to recharge laptops, cameras and lights – or you’re in a large group – then the Yeti 1500X could be the answer.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X portable power station review: alternatives to consider

    Although the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X is one of the most adept and exhaustive portable power stations available, its 1,516Wh are massive overkill for most. If you’re after something to charge up from a wall before you go on a short road trip or a weekend’s camping then the lighter 7.7kg EcoFlow RiverMax 576Wh capacity battery should do the trick. Also worth considering is the Jackery Explorer 500, which boasts 518Wh and weighs 6kg. Both of these are included in our best portable power station buying guide.

    Power Station Showdown: A Comprehensive Review of Goal Zero Yeti 1500X vs Jackery Explorer 1500

    Goal Zero and Jackery are well establiched brands in the portable power station market. I’ve thoroughly tested both the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X and Jackery Explorer 1500 during my camping trips and I have been impressed by both products. These power stations offer high power output, sturdy construction, and long battery life, making them reliable choices for outdoor adventures.

    In this article, I’m going to compare two of these brands’ flagship products – Goal Zero Yeti 1500X and Jackery Explorer 1500.

    To sum up the differences between Jackery Explorer 1500 and Goal Zero Yeti 1500X for those who don’t have the time to read the full review, the Explorer 1500 is almost 400 cheaper, more than 10 lbs lighter, and has a slightly more powerful battery. While the Yeti 1500X has a higher surge capacity, more output ports (though only 1 more) and in some cases, can be charged faster.

    Note: Jackery has introduced a new, refurbished version of their Explorer 1500 – the Jackery Explorer 1500 Pro. While all the stats remain the same, it has a more modern and sophisticated look that some might prefer. Check it out here

    Disclosure: I only recommend products that I would use myself. This post may contain affiliate links that may earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full advertising policy here.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Vs Jackery Explorer 1500 – Quick Summary

    There’s no clear winner between Goal Zero Yeti 1500X and Jackery Explorer 1500. Both these solar power generators have fared better than the other on some counts. Take, for instance, the fact that the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X power station has a more powerful inverter, higher surge capacity, and offers one extra USB-C port to let you charge more devices at the same time.

    The Jackery Explorer 1500 portable power station. meanwhile, has stood its ground by keeping its price low. It weighs less, is much easier to carry, has a more user-friendly display, and has a (slightly) more powerful battery than Yeti. So it’s your requirements and not these portable power station specifications that would ultimately decide whether the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X or the Jackery Explorer 1500 is worth your money.

    Jackery Explorer 1500

    • Capacity: 1534Wh
    • Weight: 35.2 lbs
    • Dimensions: 14 x 10.4 x 12.7 in
    • Recharge times: AC Adapter – 6h, Solar panels – 5-9.5h.
    • Price: 1,699.00

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X

    • Capacity: 1516Wh
    • Weight: 45.64 lbs
    • Dimensions: 15.3 x 10.2 x 10.4 in
    • Recharge times: AC Adapter – 3-14h, Solar panels – 18-36h.
    • Price: 1,999.95

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X vs Jackery Explorer 1500 – Overview

    Here’s a quick overview of what both these solar power stations are all about:

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X

    The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X comes with a 2,000W AC inverter that can power work sites, base camps, off-grid events, and home essentials. It is also equipped with a 1,516Wh Lithium-ion battery that can maintain 100% charging capacity for up to 500 recharging cycles. That’s not all.

    You can recharge this portable power station with compatible solar power panels, a wall outlet (AC), or a 12V carport. This power generator also gives you multiple options to get the power out of it, including a regular USB port, USB-C port, 12 V AC port, and 12V DC port.

    Yet another notable feature of this model is that it can be controlled via the Yeti App 3.0. The app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. It displays various pieces of helpful information, such as real-time power consumption, power in/out readings, historical power tracking, and more.

    Goal Zero has made another notable improvement over its predecessor which can churn out no more than 3,000 watts during the surge. This was enough for small devices but wasn’t enough to run power tools. To do just that, the Yeti 1500X offers a surge capacity of 4,000 watts.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Review Ratings

    Jackery Explorer 1500

    The Jackery Explorer 1500 portable power station features a 1800W AC inverter that can juice up power tools, small household devices, and even larger ones such as air conditioners and ovens. This portable power station has a 1,532Wh Lithium-ion battery that claims to maintain its 100% capacity for the first 500 cycles.

    Its battery’s recharge times vary based on the power source. Hooking it to 4x SolarSaga 100W Solar Panels, for instance, would take it from zero to a hundred percent in up to 4 hours. However, when drawing power from a 12V car adapter, the battery would take as many as 13 hours to get fully charged.

    Also, this model has seven ports that help it power up many devices simultaneously. Air vents on both sides help keep its internal temperature manageable. And while it doesn’t have a smartphone app, its high-contrast LCD lets you know everything you may need to know about its working state.

    Jackery claims that this power station can keep a blender going for 19 hours on a single charge. It further states that its 3,600W peak power and a sustained draw of 1800W translates into 21 hours of running a mini cooler, or just over an hour powering a 100W microwave oven.

    Jackery Explorer 1500 Review Ratings

    Jackery Explorer 1500 Vs Goal Zero Yeti 1500X – Full Comparison

    Here’s how both these units compare with each other:

    Design and Weight

    Winner: Explorer 1500 (weighs less; easier to carry; the display is more colorful)

    The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X weighs almost 50lbs with the battery pack. Three buttons (Units, Light, Info) on the center of its user-facing side let you navigate through various settings of its LCD, which shows various information such as battery percentage, hours to empty, and input and output voltage.

    Four ports at the bottom (2x USB A, 1x USB C, 1x USB QC) and three on the left-hand side give you 7 options for drawing power from this unit. Plastic handles on both ends allowed me to carry it with both hands and four rubber feet at the bottom helped keep it steady on my (uneven) camping site.

    The Explorer 1500, meanwhile, weighs 35lbs and has the same design as other units in the series. Four rubber feet are holding up a black and orange enclosure. One plastic handle is included to help you carry the generator around and air vents on both sides keep a lid on the unit’s inner temperature.

    The heart of the Explorer 1500, however, is its high-contrast LCD. It automatically turns on once it starts supplying power and stays on for 10 seconds. You can then turn it on by pressing the Display button. It shows information such as inverter voltage, remaining battery, output and charging power, and more.

    Compatible Solar Chargers

    Winner: It’s a tie (both units come with equally reliable solar chargers)

    Goal Zero, as you might know, has its own collection of solar panels. Known as the Boulder solar panels, they come in multiple variants, including regular and briefcase flat panels. The good news is that all of them are compatible with the Yeti 1500X.

    Due to its high storage capacity and because I had to carry it on my trips, I bought the 200W Boulder panel for my 1500X. However, if you are going to install the panels somewhere, like a home roof, boat deck, or RV deck, I suggest that you go for the Boulder 200 single panel.

    Jackery, meanwhile, offers three models in its SolarSaga series: 60W, 100W, and 200W. It recommends that you use the SolarSaga 100W for the Explorer 150 series. Two pieces of this solar panel will charge the 150 in 9.5 hours, whereas four SolarSaga 100W panels will juice up the 150 in less than 4 hours.

    The four-fold solar charger accompanying the panels has a neat conversion rate of 23%. Just like the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X solar charger, it too has a built-in kickstand. This allowed me to place the solar charger away from the trees – where my camp was – to increase its exposure to sunlight.

    Battery

    Winner: Jackery Explorer 1500 (bigger battery)

    The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X comes with a 1,516Wh Lithium-ion battery. One that can withstand up to 500 recharging cycles without letting its capacity drop below 100%. Even after the 500 cycles are over, the battery would still have an excellent capacity of 80%.

    Little wonder, then, that it can recharge your average smartphone up to 130 times in a single charge. You can also count on the Li-ion battery to run a full-size fridge for more than a day. I personally marveled at its capacity when it kept going throughout my week-long camping trip through the parks.

    Turning our attention to the Jackery Explorer 1500 portable power station, its 1,534Wh Lithium-ion battery is slightly more powerful than that of the Yeti 1500X. It is capable of running a mini-cooler for up to 21 hours, a coffee machine for more than an hour, and an average-size microwave oven for 68 minutes.

    This power station also protects its battery with a dedicated management system. One that provides the battery with over current protection, short current protection, over-discharge protection, overcharge protection and even thermal protection. What more can you ask for!

    Surge Capacity

    Winner: Goal Zero Yeti 1500X (bigger surge capacity)

    Surge capacity is the max power an inverter can supply, usually for a short time – between a few seconds to up to 20 minutes. You must check out a power station’s surge capacity if you’re going to run power-intensive appliances on it, as such devices need a higher startup surge than they do while running.

    Guess what, despite the fact that it comes with a slightly less powerful battery, the Zero Yeti 1500X fares better in this regard. That is mainly because it packs a 2000W inverter in its package, whereas the Explorer 1500 comes with a 1500W inverter.

    goal, yeti, 1500x, portable

    This 500W difference between the two inverters’ wattage is the reason why the Zero Yeti 1500X can provide a surge capacity of 4,000 watts, 400W more than that of the Explorer 1500 (3,600 watts). So those of you who intend to run power-intensive appliances might want to prefer the Yeti 1500X.

    Otherwise, if you choose the Explorer 1500 for, say, running a 3500W motor that needs 3,900 watts at its startup, either your appliance will get damaged or the unit’s safety systems (discussed below) will shut it down. In the worst-case scenario, something might go wrong with the Explorer 1500, too.

    Charging Options and Time

    Winner: Goal Zero Yeti 1500X (Same number of charging options (3) but takes 1 hour fewer to get fully charged)

    The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X gives you three charging options. You can either use the Boulder 100 solar panel to charge it directly from the sunlight in 18-36 hours. Or you can plug it into the wall and wait for 14 hours while the included 120W power supply AC wall charger works its magic.

    Not quick enough? Then you might want to invest in either the 600W power supply or the 230W Power Supply. Both of them will bring the charging time down to 3 hours and 7 hours, respectively. The third (and the final option) of juicing up this model is by plugging it into your car’s 12V adapter.

    Similar is the case with the Jackery Explorer 1500 solar generator, which also gives you three charging options. You can juice it up through the AC adapter, car charger cable or compatible solar panels. The solar panel route will provide you with the quickest charging time – almost 4 hours under straight full sunlight.

    The charging time is only longer in the other two options. Hooking this power station to your AC wall outlet will require up to 10 hours to go from zero to a hundred percent. And the less I say about its charging time when connected to your car’s 12V adapter, the better.

    What Can They Power?

    The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X can recharge a 12Wh smartphone up to 127 times. It can also juice up a 30Wh tablet fifty-one times, a laptop for 31 times, and a POV camera for 300 times. This model can also power up a DSLR camera up to 80 times and a 5Wh headlamp more than 300 times.

    You can also count on this portable power station to keep the light on top of your head running straight for 330 hours, your TV for 15 hours, and an average microwave oven for 2 hours. It can also supply power to a mini-fridge and a portable fridge for 44 and 61 hours, respectively.

    Turning our attention to the Jackery Explorer 1500, it can keep a mini cooler, pressure cooker, electric grill, and microwave oven going for 21 hours, 75 minutes, 60 minutes, and 68 minutes, respectively. All in all, you can get 8 to 10 hours of power from the Jackery 1500 by drawing an average of 140-190W.

    What does that tell for its comparison with the Yeti 1500? Well, I’m pretty sure, based on my experience of using both these power stations, that each can power most devices you could carry on the road, including TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more. This means we have a tie!

    Jackery Explorer 1500

    • Capacity: 1534Wh
    • Weight: 35.2 lbs
    • Dimensions: 14 x 10.4 x 12.7 in
    • Recharge times: AC Adapter – 6h, Solar panels – 5-9.5h.
    • Price: 1,699.00

    The 7 Best Solar-Powered Generators of 2023

    Heidi Wachter was a senior editor at Experience Life magazine for 10 years. She has written for publications like Experience Life, Shondaland, and betterpet.

    Our top pick is the Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station. However, if you want a smaller, less expensive option, consider the Jackery Explorer 500W.

    It’s always good to have a backup in life, especially when the power goes out. Gas-powered generators can do the trick, but they’re loud, emit smelly fumes, and require a place for storing gasoline safely. They also contribute to climate change.

    Solar generators, on the other hand, are clean, easy to use, don’t require fossil fuels, and are becoming more and more affordable as solar technology improves. They can be particularly useful in emergency situations where other fuel supplies are cut off or difficult to access. Solar generators typically capture the sun’s energy via stationary or portable solar panels that are sold separately, convert it into electrical power, and store it in a battery for later use.

    What’s the best generator for you? First, estimate how much power you need to run appliances, laptops, and televisions in your home should a power outage occur or for whatever you’ll need to power up while you’re camping, living off the grid, or traveling in an RV.

    Once you know how many watts you’ll need; consider the other features you want such as USB charging ports and rechargeable batteries. You can avoid blowing your budget by selecting a generator with features that make the unit more efficient rather than more expensive.

    We researched the market to recommend the best generators that are compatible with solar panels.

    Best Overall

    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station

    Need to power your laptop, phone, power drill, coffee maker, and refrigerator all at once? The Goal Zero Yeti 1500x is a high-capacity power station that supplies electricity with the touch of a button or the Yeti 3.0 app. Weighing in at 43 pounds, it’s a solar option for those living the van life or to provide back-up energy when power lines go down.

    The lithium battery supplies 1500-watt hours, so you can charge your phone a hundred times or run a refrigerator for up to a day. Its industry-leading 2000-watt AC inverter is one of the most powerful on the market, making it our top overall pick. The integrated MPPT charge controller increases efficiency by 30% when recharged with a compatible Goal Zero solar panel. Everything is backed by a two year warranty.

    Price at time of publish: 1,800

    Output: 2000 watts | Weight: 43 pounds | Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 14 inches | Output Ports: 2 USB-A ports, 1 18 watt USB-C, 1 60 watt USB-C PP, 1 6mm port, 1 12 Volt (regulated), 1 12 volt HPP, 2 120 Volt AC inverters

    Best Portable

    Jackery Explorer 500 Solar Portable Generator

    Weighing in at a relatively light 13.3 pounds, the compact, durable, and affordable Jackery Explorer 500 lets you take solar-powered electricity along on every adventure. The 500-watt inverter provides enough juice for charging multiple devices in any either of the AC or DC ports or one of the three USB ports.

    goal, yeti, 1500x, portable

    It comes with a car charging cable and an AC adaptor. Like many of the solar generators in the Jackery family, the unit can be recharged from an AC wall outlet or with a Jackery SolarSaga solar panel (sold separately). The 518-watt rechargeable battery will need replacing after about 500 uses, but that’s after a lot of camping trips.

    Price at time of publish: 500

    Output: 500 Watts | Weight: 13.3 pounds | Dimensions: 11.8 x 7.6 x 9.5 inches | Output Ports: 1 AC outlet (110V 500W 1000W Peak), 3 USB ports, 2 DC ports, 1 car port

    Best for Emergencies

    ITEHIL LiFePO4 500W 500Wh Solar Generator

    If you’re looking for source of backup power that’s cleaner than a diesel generator, the ITEHIL power station is an excellent option. With high-speed charging, you can get your devices back up and running when the power goes out, as well as a built-in light. You can charge it via solar panels (ITEHIL separately sells panels that fold into a suit-case style envelope), a car charger, or a wall plug. There are both U.S. and international AC plug versions of the device.

    At nearly 19 pounds, it’s heavier than our Best Portable pick, but is still light enough to be moved around fairly easily, and has built-in handles. Our tester notes that it’s not big enough to power most full-size refrigerators, but could power a small electric cooler. It has an intuitive display that shows how much battery capacity is remaining.

    “It seems to be well-designed for safety, and includes warnings like ‘do not stick fingers directly into the power port.’” ~ Lloyd Alter, Treehugger Design Editor

    Price at time of publish: 500

    Output: 500 Watts | Weight: 18.74 pounds | Dimensions: 14.17 x 13 x 13.4 inches | Output Ports: 2 AC outlets (100-120V 500W), 2 USB-A ports, 1 QC USD-A Poert, 1 Type C, 1 DC ports, 1 car port

    Best Budget

    Jackery Explorer 160 Portable Power Station

    While many of the budget generators still cost over 200, this affordable option from Jackery comes in at under 150 and has a two-year warranty. It’s also one of the lightest option on the market at just under 4 pounds, making it another great pick for camping or even backpacking.

    It can be charged using a solar panel, wall outlet, car outlet or electric generator. It’s great for charging your phone or camera, or running small appliances like a fan or laptop. It has a surge capacity of 150 watts, but you should avoid using it with any device that has a 100 watt or higher rating.

    goal, yeti, 1500x, portable

    Price at time of publish: 150

    Output: 100 watts | Weight: 3.97 pounds | Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.5 x 6.7 inches | Output Ports: 1 100 watt AC outlet, 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A

    Best High Capacity

    Bluetti AC200P 2000WH/2000W Portable Power Station

    With just as many watts as our Best Overall pick, the Bluetti 2000W Portable Power Station can be charged five different ways and has 17 different output ports, each of which is covered by a high-quality dust cap. You can charge it using solar panels (not included), a via a wall outlet, car plug, using a generator, or lead acid battery.

    You can hook up a number of smaller devices, at the same time, like a laptop, camera charger and several phones. Or you can use it as back-up power for larger appliances—according to the manufacturer, you can power an 800 watt wall refrigerator with this power station for over two hours.

    A nice feature is the LED touch screen, which can tell you how much energy you’re drawing down and how much battery charge is remaining. You can also set it to an Eco mode, which will shut the device down if it senses you’re not using it after several hours. It has rubberized feet, so the unit won’t slip around on smooth surfaces. It’s also quite heavy so it’s not ideal for camping situations where you’d need to carry it, but it is compact enough to fit into a car trunk.

    Price at time of publish: 1,599

    Output: 2000 watts | Weight: 60.6 pounds | Dimensions: 16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches | Output Ports: 6 110 Volt AC outlets, 1 DC 12 Volt/10A, 1 DC 12 Volt/25A, 2 DC 12 Volt/3A outlets, 4 USB-A ports, 1 USC-C port, 2 wireless charging ports

    Best for Home

    Point Zero Energy Titan Solar Generator

    True to its name, the Titan is packed with power. Its 3000-watt inverter has enormous output capacity for powering up household appliances like refrigerators and portable AC units with ease. Are you in heavy Cloud cover? No problem. The Titan includes a stackable battery bank, which can be combined with additional batteries (sold separately). You can recharge the generator via solar panels, an AC outlet, or a DC car charger.

    In addition to extra batteries, you can also add on USB adaptors or a car charger. THE MPPT charge controllers allow it to reach full battery capacity in about four hours making the Titan a versatile, efficient, and reliable backup plan.

    Price at time of publish: 2,716

    Output: 3000 watts | Weight: 67 pounds | Dimensions: 18.5 x 12 x 12 inches | Output Ports: 6 AC outlets, 4 DC 12 Volt outlets, 1 NEMA TT-30

    Also Great

    MAXOAK Bluetti Portable Power Station

    During extreme weather events, generators like the ones on this list can sell out quickly. So, if other options aren’t available, there’s a lot we like about this one. The Bluetti stores plenty of power at an affordable price. It’s 1500-watt-hour lithium-ion battery is quick-charging and ample for powering up most home appliances during a blackout.

    While it serves as a great home power supply during an emergency, the MaxOak Bluetti is also portable enough take along on fishing or a road trip. It includes two AC ports and five USB outlets and a 12-volt DC outlet that can handle a mini-fridge. There’s also a nifty LCD display to help you track the generator’s performance.

    Output: 1000 watts | Weight: 37.9 pounds | Dimensions: 14.6 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches | Output Ports: 2 110 Volt AC outlets, 1 12 Volt regulated DC, 45 watt USB-C, 4 USB-A ports

    If you’re looking for something high powered to help you weather a storm, the Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station is our top choice. If you need something portable for a camping trip, then the Jackery 500W might be your best new travel buddy.

    What To Look for in a Solar Generator

    When deciding what solar powered generator is right for you, consider which types of appliances, tools, and devices you need to charge and how often you’ll be without a traditional power source. Here are some other tips to help guide your decision-making.

    Solar Panels

    There are three common types of solar panels—monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar cells, and thin film, or amorphous crystal panels. They each offer different efficiency levels. Monocrystalline panels are most common and slightly more efficient than polycrystalline cells. Thin film panels are a newer technology and are light, flexible, durable, and more affordable than the others, but about half as efficient as the other types. Sometimes they’re included with the generator and sometimes they’re sold separately.

    Battery Capacity and Power Rating

    Solar generators run on stored energy so you’ll want to consider the battery’s capacity (the total amount of electricity stored). You’ll also want to know the power rating (how much power is delivered at a time). A battery with a high capacity, but low power rating typically delivers less electricity for a longer period of time.

    Battery Type

    Lead-acid and lithium-ion are the most common options. Lead acid are used to power things like automobiles, while lithium-ion options are often used to run power tools. They’re increasingly used in solar-powered generators because they’re lightweight. While they tend to be more expensive than lead-acid varieties, they typically have a longer lifespan which saves money on replacement batteries and keeps them out of landfills.

    Charge Controllers

    In order to regulate the current between the solar panels and the battery, the simplest controllers cut the power when maximum voltage is reached. This isn’t as efficient as models that use three- power point tracking (MPPT).

    Inverter

    Converting direct current (DC) from solar panels to alternating current (AC), inverters carry a watt rating to show the maximum output of power they can generate. Pure sine wave inverters are more expensive, but more efficient. But they’re not necessarily a cost-effective option if you only plan on using the generator occasionally.

    Weight

    Will you be using your solar generator in your home or on the go? For portability, look for units that are easier to carry and maneuver, and that house parts in a sturdy box rather than as separate pieces.

    Other Features

    Note the presence of multiple USB ports and AC outlets, replaceable batteries, and LED panels that help you monitor your system when it’s dark. Finally, consider the length of a unit’s warranty, or any other manufacturer grantees.

    When determining the size of generator, you’ll want to look at output measured in watts, as well as storage capacity measured in watt hours (Wh). As a general rule of thumb, generators with under 1000 Wh can keep electronics charged, and are great for camping. To power many devices in your home for longer, you’ll want a large generator with around 1500 Wh capacity.

    If you want to keep those devices charging and in use for five hours:

    So, in this case you’d want a generator with at least 85 watts of output and 425 Wh of capacity. When in doubt, round up. For another way to calculate your needs, you may find this explainer from the manufacturer Jackery helpful.

    Keep in mind that most solar generators do not connect to your home’s electrical panel, so they won’t power hard-wired devices like your hot water heater or ceiling lights; for that type of power you’ll want to consider a home battery system.

    Solar generators should last at least 20 to 25 years. Many manufacturers offer warranties that cover repairs and replacements should anything malfunction within the first few years of use.

    Most high-capacity solar generators cost between 1000 and 2000. Generally speaking, larger generators cost more than smaller, portable devices. The generators on the list range from between 140 and 3,400 without taking into account sales or discounts.

    Why Trust Treehugger?

    Treehugger is committed to helping our readers transition away from fossil fuels, and we deeply researched the market to find the best generators compatible with solar panels.

    A travel and adventure writer for many years, author Heidi Wachter knows how handy the sun’s rays can be for keeping her phone and camera charged.

    Maggie Badore is an environmental reporter and editor based in New York City. She started at Treehugger in 2013 and is now the Associate Editorial Director.

    The Yeti 1500X from Goal Zero – Overview Comparison

    When the power goes out, the main backup system you want to have is a solar generator with a lot of power.

    One of the most trusted brands out there is Goal Zero, and they officially released the Yeti 1500X on August 17th, 2020.

    The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X is a 46 lb solar generator with 1,516Wh of battery capacity. As the successor to the Yeti 1400 Lithium, its improvements include an increased solar input (600W max), MPPT charge controller, and a strengthened AC inverter (2,000W continuous, 3,500W surge).

    This model can also be paired with the Yeti App, which Goal Zero made to give users easy access to their solar generators’ functions and data.

    All of these features are improvements compared to the Yeti 1500X’s predecessor, the Yeti 1400 Lithium.

    • Solar input
    • Battery capacity
    • AC inverter rating
    • Charge controller type

    The following is an in-depth comparison of the 1500X and the 1400 Lithium.

    Yeti 1500X – Main Differences from the Yeti 1400 Lithium

    The Yeti 1400 Lithium is no longer sold by Goal Zero. The 1400 along with the 400 Lithium, 1000 Lithium, and 3000 Lithium were replaced by the Yeti X series of power stations from the company.

    Below I highlight the specific improvements made to the Yeti 1500X compared to the older Yeti 1400 Lithium.

    AC Inverter Differences

    The 1500X comes with an inverter rated for 2,000W continuous and 3,500W surge. This improvement is very significant because you can now power a lot more equipment than the Yeti 1400.

    The 1400 is rated for 1,500W continuous and 3,000W surge. It may not seem like a big change at first, but 500 watts can power a lot of necessities when in a pinch.

    Larger Battery in the Yeti 1500X

    At 1,516Wh, the 1500X and has a larger battery but similar basic makeup as the Yeti 1400 Lithium, both using a lithium-ion NMC battery. The 91Wh increase is a step above the 1,425Wh of its predecessor, but it’s not a significant jump in capacity.

    To put the increased battery size in perspective, the Sherpa 100AC is one of the largest power banks offered by Goal Zero and it has 94.7Wh of battery.

    Faster Wall Charging

    The Yeti 1400 charges from the wall in approximately 25 hours.

    This number has been reduced to only 14 hours for the Yeti 1500X. This is an amazing feat of engineering that brings the capabilities of this generator to be more versatile than ever before.

    MPPT Charge Controller – Engineered Into the Yeti 1500X

    There are a lot of great improvements to the 1500X, but one of the often-overlooked ones is its charge controller.

    People who know solar generators well will know what this is, but for the average person, this is gold for this machine.

    The Yeti 1400 has a PWM charge controller with low battery protection, but the Yeti 1500X’s MPPT controller allows for much faster charging via solar panels. Goal Zero claims that with their own solar panels, you will see a 30% more efficient charge via their MPPT technology.

    In basic terms, this means that power from the solar panel will be able to convert about 30% more power into the solar generator’s battery at any given time via its MPPT.

    Yeti 1500X Solar Input – Massively Improved

    Yet another massive improvement from the Yeti 1500X is its ability to attract up to 600 watts of solar power into its system at any given time.

    This allows for up to 5x faster charging speeds than the included wall adapter, making it easier to power up your generator after depleting its charge.

    Regulated Ports Featured in the Yeti 1500X

    There are three ports that are now regulated for the Yeti 1500X – the USB-C PD port, 12V car port, and the High Power port (Anderson Powerpole).

    Why is this important? Having regulated ports is a security measure to make sure that whatever is being charged or powered is getting the exact power required for the device to work properly.

    Without regulated ports, certain equipment could run at a less effective rate than it is normally capable of.

    The Yeti Mobile Application Comes With the Yeti 1500X

    Goal Zero Yeti App

    With the Yeti App, you can review power-tracking history, turn ports on and off from your mobile device, and employ different battery modes specific to your needs. The current models that utilize the App are the Yeti 1400 Lithium, Yeti 3000 Lithium, Yeti 1500X, Yeti 3000X, and Yeti 6000X.

    This app is unique to Goal Zero and is rare to see amongst other current solar generator brands.

    The only other solar generator company to my knowledge that has an application for their product is EcoFlow, and the app is currently only designed for the R600 solar generator.

    The Yeti App also has power-tracking history, which allows you to see how much power you’ve used throughout the past day, week, etc.

    This is great because you will be able to set specific power modes to your generator so it correlates to patterns of power you’re using throughout each day.

    This is mostly for people that are using their solar generators on a consistent basis, but the power modes can apply to anyone using their generator with the app.

    Goal Zero’s current Yeti App modes are:

    • Performance – Using the battery to its full extent
    • Battery Saver – Conserving battery life for essentials
    • Balanced – A mix between “Performance” mode and “Battery Saver” mode
    • Custom – Tailored to your own needs

    These modes can be very beneficial for several occurrences including power outages, running certain electronics like the TV, refrigerator, etc., and much more.

    Aspects of the Yeti 1500X That Could Use Improvement

    Two AC Outlets in the Yeti 1500X

    There are only two AC outlets on the Yeti 1500X, which is not ideal for a powerful system like this one.

    For example, the EcoFlow Delta 1300 has a similar battery size as the 1500X but has six AC ports.

    This is not ideal because several lights, chargers, and other electronics need AC ports to function.

    Of course, an easy solution is to get a powerstrip, but it would have been nice to see at least three to four AC outlets on this generator.

    The Yeti 1500X’s AC Outlets Are Very Close Together

    The outlets on the 1500X are very close together. If someone is looking to charge their batteries for their camera or something similar, the charging unit for the camera that connects to the AC outlet may be too wide and may cover the other outlet.

    This would render the other AC port useless. Nevertheless, this problem could also be solved with a powerstrip.

    The Yeti 1500X Is Heavier Than the Yeti 1400 Lithium

    The Yeti 1500X weighs 46 lbs, which is two pounds heavier than its predecessor, the Yeti 1400 Lithium. The additional battery capacity and improved internal technology are the main reasons for this increase in weight.

    To enhance portability, both the 1400 Lithium and 1500X have a pair of handles for two people to hoist it up together.

    Some examples of similar solar generators include the Bluetti EB150, which has the same battery capacity as the Yeti 1500X, but it weighs 38 pounds.

    The EcoFlow Delta 1300, at 1,260Wh of battery capacity (240Wh less than the 1500X), weighs only 30 pounds.

    Even though the Yeti 1500X is not a massive solar generator like the Yeti 3000 Lithium, it still would be nice to see it come with a roll cart to make it more portable.

    At a Cost of 2,000, the Yeti 1500X Is Expensive

    At 1,999.95, the 1500X is one of the most expensive solar generators for its size.

    There is a premium to pay for this generator, but it is built with high quality in mind. Being in the off-grid industry for over ten years, Goal Zero probably understands its customers better than any of its competitors.

    This allows them to create products that solve the majority of their customers’ pain points when it comes to portable power.

    However, to give you some perspective on the costs of similar solar generators, below I list some similar models along with their pricing.

    Price Comparison – Yeti 1500X vs. Similar Solar Generators

    Each solar generator listed has a similar battery capacity (within 500Wh) to the Yeti 1500X.

    As you can see from the examples, only one solar generator (Titan) is more expensive, but it also has 500Wh more battery than the 1500X.

    For more details comparing the 1500X and 1400 Lithium, I have a YouTube video analysis below that you may find valuable.

    Recommendations – Buy the Yeti 1500X or Choose Another Brand?

    The Yeti 1500X has several advanced features that make it one of the best solar generators for its size. However, you can find similar solar generators that cost 500-1,000 less. For example, the Bluetti EB150 shares the same battery capacity as the Yeti 1500X but costs 700 less.

    If you like Goal Zero and have bought other products and enjoy them, then this product is for you if you like it and have use for it.

    Besides that, there are several other solar generator models to choose from that will save you hundreds of dollars.

    My video analysis of the 1500X may give you a better understanding of how this system works (along with my opinions on this model!).

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