Reviewing a portable power station as well known as the Goal Zero’s Yeti 1000 lithium has both its ups and downs.
The most important ‘up’ is the joy that comes with sitting down and actually taking a super critical look at something that is solidly made and designed to last.
With such an impressive engineering feat before you, it is usually easy to pen down words and importantly, actually pour out one’s feeling into the very soul of the review.
However, on the flip side, there’s also a major ‘down’ with attempting a review of such a super successful product from an equally successful company.
There’s very little to mention or hammer on that hasn’t been already treated by others 🙂
However, this are challenges for the average user or reviewer.
Here, at Solar Generator Genius, my primary task remains to see to it that, I review portable solar generators in a manner that has never been done anywhere before, either online or off.
Often, this involves bringing to the fore points and angles that ALL the other reviews and reviewers missed; points and angles that will ultimately ensure that you see a perspective that would have been way impossible for you to even attempt, were it not for the fact that you happened upon my review.
Armed with this reality, let me launch into the meat of the Goal Zero Yeti 1000 lithium portable solar generator review and bring to the fore the points, features, weaknesses and importantly, strengths that no one else has brought to the fore before now.
Shall I begin?
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First Impression Of The Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Power Station
The very first look at the Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium portable power station inspires awe and a little confusion, especially for those who have been hitherto acquainted with the otherwise boring models (design wise) that preceded the 1000 lithium.
Like a woman’s body, the unit is sleek in design and majestic to behold – all thanks to its carefully chiseled edges and perfected sculptured exterior.
However, this is for the experienced and otherwise, thoroughly informed minds.
For the gentleman (or woman) who has no prior idea of portable solar generators or Goal Zero in general, it is quite easy for him or her to honestly believe that they’re looking at a modern, digital automatic voltage regulator or to put in simply, a voltage stabilizer.
However, on close inspection, it is easy to issue a recant: he or she will most certainly be thoroughly confused by the array of outputs and the LCD that the idea of a digital voltage stabilizer will easily fizzle out of both the mind and imagination.
For the experienced minds however, the story is quite different; the only fear that presents itself at this stage is: if the unit is this small and portable – like a petite woman – how on earth will it power all the things Goal Zero says it will or is capable?
A distraction, still, for the experienced mind is still inevitable: the solar generator, one cannot stop noting, is finished with tower-like sides, perfect contours and more importantly, colors that are both indoor and outdoor friendly.
Accordingly, for both the newbies and experienced hands, falling in love at first sight is something that is common and an excuse that I personally permit.
For the informed minds, it is also worth noting that the answer to the small size of the unit vis a vis its immense power (relative to its size) is covered when one bends down and takes a look at the writing on the lower right of the unit’s front.
It simply reads, ‘lithium’.
This word is not just an assurance that irrespective of the generator’s physical size, it will perform; it is also an assurance that the device is up to date with both the portable generator world (in particular) and the glorious world of tech (in general).
What Can The Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Solar Generator Power?
The Goal Zero Yeti 1000 is a lithium of decent, physical proportions.
However, it is powered by a lithium ion battery, a battery type known for deceiving many about its capacity due to its usually unimpressive size.
Accordingly thus, I was a bit shocked myself when I tested some of these gadgets and appliances with this Yeti.
However, as tested, this is how the generator stacks up:
- A laptop for more than 15 plus recharges.
- A traditional digital camera for about 150 plus recharges.
- An 32′ LCD television for about 10 plus hours.
- A Smartphone for about 48 plus recharges.
- An iPad for about 35 plus recharges.
Now, these are the electronics and power devices that I practically tested with the Yeti 1000 lithium and the above are the results that I got.
However, Goal Zero’s Yeti 1000 Lithium is quite a powerful portable solar generator, despite its portable and super presentable size; it blazes through the reality of small electronics with the same ease it powers the lager, intimidating and more power demanding gadgets.
For instance, the solar generator can conveniently power a microwave unit, a chop saw, a drill press, a CPAP machine. a toaster oven and a traditional PA system, all for varying amount of times, depending on actual power demand of the respective units or real run time.
Key Specifications And Features
For the experienced tech mind, this is the most exciting part of any product review.
The reason why this is so is simple and quite straight to the point: it brings out the strength and otherwise, weakness of a unit in a manner nothing else even attempts to.
For the not so tech savvy, this is also a joy to behold.
The reason is also pretty straightforward and easy to comprehend: the direct features of a unit shows its raw capacity and importantly, what it can do for the whosoever is buying it and attempting usage.
Let’s now see how the specifications and features of the Yeti 1000 lithium measure up.
- Weight: 40 lbs (18.1 kg).
- Dimensions: 10.1 x 15.3 x 9.3 in (25.7 x 38.9 x 23.6 cm).
- Management system: PWM charge controller, low battery protection.
- Lifecycles: 500 Cycles to 80% capacity (Discharge: 1C, Full charge/discharge, Temp 25C).
- Single Cell Equivalent Capacity: 290.44 Ah @ 3.6V.
- Cell Chemistry: Li-ion NMC.
- Peak Capacity: 1045Wh (10.8V, 96.8Ah).
- Triple recharge option: solar, AC and 12V vehicle inspired DC.
- Intelligent LCD display for all vital stats at a glance.
- Long shelve life of up to 12 calendar months.
- Various ports (USB inclusive) capable of tackling any device brought before the unit.
- Reasonable light weight inspired by the lithium ion battery.
Weight, Noise And Runtime Analysis
Ordinarily, the weight of a portable solar generator can either be viewed as a blessing or a curse.
Traditionally, the weight of such a unit was understood to be a blessing if it was way heavier than usual and taken to be somewhat of a disadvantage if the unit weighed somewhat less than expected.
This, however, was in the regime of lead acid batteries when bigger always meant better and more powerful.
With the narrative changed, the rules have also changed – with weight being somewhat of a disadvantage, especially since it causes a lot of inconvenience when it comes to storage and transportation.
It is from this background that I took a very close look at the Yeti 1000 lithium – the background that with lithium ion battery technology, the weight of a battery does not really correlate with its raw power or ability.
As tested, the unit weighed a fair and reasonable 40 lbs (18.1 kg) – a weight which makes it possible to easily move the generator from one place to another.
However, when I attempted to run with the unit (as I have with others when I test), it was virtually impossible for 2 reasons:
- The generator has two handles that are on opposite sides, necessitating the use of two hands (from one person) or a hand each (from 2 persons).
- The physical weight of the lithium ion unit was a little above what you can simply grab and run.
I was left with no choice than to grab it with two hands and take one step at a time!
For this, I score the portable solar generator a 6 out of 10 when it comes to general weight consideration. However, don’t get confused and bothered anyway: its lithium battery produces an impressive 1045Wh and is rated for an equally impressive 96.8Ah.
For such power, weights as heavy as 40 lbs are not uncommon, even for the lithium battery type.
Noise wise, the portable solar station from Goal Zero is about the quietest option you can find on the market today.
The unit, when in operation remained dead silent, even when kept close to the table where I was working. As a matter of fact, it is possible to hear all other sounds (from things both close and far) and not be bothered by the Yeti 1000 lithium when it was in use.
As a matter of fact, I almost forgot, at some point, the source of my power!
As for runtime. the Yeti 1000 lithium exceeded my expectations and completely blew me away. This was especially so given its seemingly modest specifications.
The highlight of my respect for the unit was when it was able to run my refrigerator from dawn to dusk – cooling everything therein and at dusk, still retaining enough juice to charge my laptop for up to 5 times!
This really made me consider pitching it against its elder sibling, the Yeti 3000 Lithium WiFi – and I say that, if money (and space) are your challenge at the moment, there’s really little you’ll miss from ditching the humongous Yeti 3000 for the smart and relatively smaller (read: portable) Goal Zero Yeti 1000 lithium.
In this regard, runtime analysis, I give the solar generator a straight 10 out of 10.
What You Should Understand Before Considering The Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Solar Generator
At this point in the review, I’ll pardon you if you simply want to click through to Amazon and buy the Yeti 1000 lithium.
However, that’s a natural impulse that I’ll advise you guard against – there is still much more to share about this unit. You just may wish to hold on till right after you finish reading to make up your mind if this particular Yeti is awesome for you.
Who knows? You may decide at the end that this is not what you’re looking for, afterall.
Now, back to business…
Before you decide on the Yeti 1000, it is worth noting specially that this unit, though powerful, is not the workhorse that can handle just about everything that you throw at it.
If you’re thus the type of user that loves pushing all things powered to their limits or making certain that you truly see what your devices can do, you’ll be better off with the elder sibling of the 1000, the Yeti 3000 lithium.
On the flip side, this is not to demean the prowess of the Yeti 1000 in any way: on its own, it provides decent power and is a respectable power horse capable of some truly decent power.
On the other hand, there are some users that would only need a portable power station to recharge very light devices like cell phones, digital cameras and the likes; occasionally, such users may, charge a laptop just to check mails or finish up a project.
Usually, such super light users go without portable power for months on end and only remember that they have such units when the heat of summer comes and the beach and all things outdoor come calling.
If the above describes you, then, you should consider the the Yeti 400 lithium and for the time being, forget about the Yeti 1000.
By so doing, you will not only be buying what you actually need (as against what you want); you’ll also be saving money in the process and importantly, getting a smart lithium ion powered option that at (only) 16 lbs, weighs considerably less than the option under review here at 40 lbs and will certainly take up less space when stored up or during use!
Charging Means & Times Of The Yeti 1000 Lithium
In this age and time, the joy of actually owning a portable solar generator and using same when the need for power arises lies in the versatility of the unit.
Now, how else does one measure versatility in a portable solar unit of this nature if not starting right with the charging options it ensures?
For the generator under review, the unit can be recharged by 3 principal means:
- AC and
- The 12V DC of a traditional car.
The solar option here is the most adored, natural, cost efficient and smartest way to recharge the unit so we’ll start with it.
Using a Boulder 200 Solar Panel Briefcase, I got this portable solar power station to charge from a flat battery to 100% in just over 7 hours, under the tropical, bright, shinning sun.
However, on days when the sun is not at its peak, the unit can take anywhere between 7 and 20 hours to get a full charge, assuming you’re starting off on a flat battery.
This, you must note, is as tested by me directly. Actual results from you may vary slightly, depending on where you live and importantly, the intensity (or otherwise) of the sun at the time you decided to test.
However, if you’re not inclined to use the top of the line Boulder 200 solar panel, you may also consider the Boulder 100 and Boulder 50 solar panels, each compatible in its own respects and capable of powering the unit from a flat state to 100% between 18 – 38 hours and 30 – 75 hours respectively depending (again) on location and intensity of the sun at the time of testing.
AC wise, I was a little disappointed here:x the unit took a little under 20 hours to crank up juice from a 0% position to a full and impressive 100%; with the included standard AC adapter.
Naturally, I was bothered: traditionally, AC powers units ups and fires them way faster than solar, DC or any other method of recharge.
However, research revealed something that I never knew or had ever imagined: the Yeti Fast Charge 25 Amp Power Supply.
With this specially Amped up AC adapter, I was able to fully recharge my test unit in less than 4 hours! This is how I know AC works and this is the awesome advantage it has over traditional solar or DC.
If you plan on recharging the unit via AC often and have not got the whole time in the world, this is one option I’ll advise you avail yourself with.
In terms of DC, I have not really bothered to try this option out, given the fact that it is one of the most slowest and certainly, the most inconvenient.
However, Goal Zero, the manufacturer of the unit advises that from a 12V DC power source, the unit should charge fully between 9 and 18 hours.
Assuming you have that time, patience and can get the car in question running (in order to charge your portable power station) for that long, there’s another caveat: Goal Zero further advises that the Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 12V Car Charging Cable should be used.
According to the manufacturer, using any other cable would, most likely, cause damage to the unit.
Special Feature(s) Worthy Of Note
Today, USB connectivity is something that is so common that almost all the gadgets and power devices that are commercially available at present are powerable by means of the clearly all important USB.
However, it is sad to see that, most power stations today do not understand this reality; they still make portable power stations that are without any USB ports or at best, churn out options that posses only 1 or 2 of such ports.
The Yeti 1000 is a true exception in that regard and sports, not 1, 2 or 3 USB ports but an amazing and intimidating 4!
Now, if you’re not happy and impressed by this, you’ll be truly difficult to please, in person, in real life 🙂
Jokes aside (read: let’s get serious again and move on), following the point immediately covered above, the Yeti 1000 also comes standard with 2 AC ports.
Now, for the sake of comparison, it is important to note that many competitors in its cycles offer only 1 AC port…if you need to power more than 1 AC inspired device, you’ll need to use an extension chord.
Not the Yeti 1000.
Further, the design of the Goal Zero Yeti 1000 is so smart that its top is fashioned in such a manner that the AC power pack can be conveniently stored therein whether it is actually in use or not.
This smart design prevents one from forgetting to pick up the charger for the unit when commuting or in a worse case scenario, losing the AC charger amongst many other things kept either at home or wherever the unit is used.
Finally, a smart and intelligent LCD crowns it all. With such a smart and intuitive LCD, all that matters as relates the working of the unit is displayed for you at a glace: the input and output in Watts, the percentage of the battery as used and importantly, the time before (at the current load) the battery completely discharges.
Did I mention that the LCD also has a backlight function that on demand, sees to it that you see all these vital stats even if it’s pitch dark?
Pros And Cons
I’ve always held that no matter how awesome something is, the truth remains that, it must have some undesirable realities to it.
Conversely, no matter how bad or sad something manages to be, there must also be an iota of good in same.
The Yeti 1000 lithium, like all other portable solar generators, follows this very important rule.
Let’s now take a look at the advantages of the unit (or in layman’s terms, why you should consider buying it).
- Powerful lithium ion battery that is capable of powering almost everything portable or movable.
- A lightweight design that makes one marvel at the power so packed (within such weight).
- Multiple ports – that make life easy (4 USB ports, 2 AC ports etc).
- Smart storage for the AC power chord (over the top of the unit).
- Intelligent and super smart LCD screen that summarizes all you need to know on a screen.
- Unlike other Goal Zeros, this model is not chainable to a similar unit for longer runtime.
Want To See More? Take A First Hand Look At The Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium On Amazon Here
Aha! the 100 billion dollar section where I wrap up with my opinion of the solar generator 🙂
For this one, its a positive – all through to the end for it either meets or exceeds my expectations in EVERY SINGLE REGARD.
If you can afford it, the Goal Zero Yeti 1000 lithium is one portable solar generator that I recommend for every person and household – irrespective of the slight challenges or cons it has or in your estimation, may have.
Now, before you decide, kindly take a really good look at the Yeti 1000 lithium solar power station on Amazon directly, read what others who have had cause to use the unit think and then, make your mind up.
Have a solarful day!