This is a review of the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Solar Generator, a huge battery in a clever box that you can take with you on adventures and long journeys as a backup electricity supply and charging station.
What we have here with the Goal Zero Yeti 150 is basically a battery pack, but a very little clever one, which is the size of a large brick. You can bung this under a seat or in your boot for emergencies or have it ready in your car for your next camping trip
This sort of equipment is perfect for loads of different scenarios, say you’re off out for a full days photography trip to multiple locations, which is common with landscape photographers. You can take sunrise photos at 5am with your power thirsty camera, then when you move location after a couple of hours hiking and you’re back at your car. You can easily plug in your cameras multi battery charger and recharge the 2 batteries you just used that morning. Yes you can have more batteries on you but this will make sure you have full batteries before each shoot and location.
That is just one example of many on how you could use this device, but as you can see, this is perfect idea for any outdoor enthusiast who uses electrical equipment; phones, cameras, laptops, torches, lamps and the like whilst out and about or on multi-day trips.
- Battery Capacity: 150Wh, 14Ah (12V).
- Power Output: USB (2x), 12V, AC.
- Weight: 12 lbs (5.4 kg).
- Recharge by: AC, 12V, Solar.
- Ideal for: Tablet, Laptop, DSLR Camera, Lights.
This is a really simple, silent solar power generator that is fume free because it doesn’t use any fuel. You can recharge the Yeti in three different ways; using a solar panel, from your cars cigarette lighter or from a wall socket in your home, all of these options make it versatile and ready for when you need it and even continually topped up whilst camping (via solar panel) or charging when driving in your car.
What Can It Charge and How Many Times
Smartphone: 15 times
Tablet: 6 times
Laptop: 2 times
Because of it’s power output this battery bank by Goal Zero won’t be able to run a TV or fridge but could run other smaller devices by simply plugging in to it a number of ways, anything from energy efficient lights and lamps through to wifi dongles on USB and more.
What Solar Panels Can Charge It
The simple answer is any! If they aren’t Goal Zero panels then you will have to get an adapter but they only cost a few quid in the UK. With a Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panels it will fully charge the battery pack in approximately 17 hours, so will take a full day in the UK summer. You will get faster charges with a 100W solar panel and from AC power and 12v car cigarette lighter.
Above you can see it is not much bigger than a large DSLR camera, of which it can charge some of its batteries anywhere you are. We absolutely love it and being the first solar generator we’ve tried, are really happy with it, it’s a really cool piece of gear.
Negative Points and Downsides
We only have a couple of small gripes with it, and it’s not really a problem, on the UK version with our 3 pin plug, it sits in upside down when you are plugging a device in and it sits on top of the on/off switch. This doesn’t stop the device from working or make it any worse, it’s just a peculiar design process.
Obviously this was designed with a different plug adapter, like the US or EU plugs and thus the on/off switch would still show with these plugged in rather than the UK version.
Camping Is The Perfect Place For This Battery Bank
If you are going to a festival or camping for a few days with friends, this is the absolute perfect piece of equipment for you and your friends. It has 2 USB ports so you can charge 2 phones at a time, you can keep it safe inside your tents inner tent and charge your phones out of sight. With up to 16 charges, you can charge 3 of your friends phones and yours at least 4 times each, more than enough for a long weekend at a festival or somewhere in the sticks.
As the weather in the UK is quite poor, just remember to keep it dry at all times, it isn’t weather proof or waterproof. We would recommend a microfibre towel or a neoprene cover for it. This means it wont get knocked about when travelling nor wet when transporting it between places.
Pros & Cons
- Can charge smart phones, tablets, camera batteries, even your laptop
- Very portable, small in size
- Good entry price
- Some of the inputs are goal zero inputs and you have to get adapters for your own solar panels if they aren't Goal Zero panels
- Not weather proof, so keep it out of rain
- The on/off switch is hidden when you plug in a device, such as a laptop
A great little intro in to solar power generators, if you wish to trickle charge it from solar panels you have, awesome, it can do that. If you wish to keep it stowed away until you go out for long days or camping adventures, just charge it up before you go and it will be ready to charge numerous devices.
It is a big battery which has inputs and outputs, very clever, no need for inverters or any fancy addons like you usually do when you have a solar set up at home.
Compared to a portable power bank, it’s great, it will keep more things charged and bigger devices too. It isn’t a replacement for a solar set up at home but if you have limited gadgets, it is perfect.
Update July 2023 – the Yeti 150 has been replaced by Yeti 200.