Portable power systems have myriad uses. We covered a Dometic power unit recently and were impressed. Goal Zero has also been making these power systems for more than a decade and also offers some solid choices.
Goal Zero’s Yeti 1500X is a substantial step up from the Dometic in power, features, size, and price. This one may be a bit much for the weekend warrior, but it does offer some extra capabilities, such as:
built-in 2000W 120V AC inverter, capable of powering most power tools
1500W lithium ion battery
ability to tie into your home’s power system in the event of grid-power failure
more ports and charging options.
If you’re using a portable power unit only for your overlanding adventures, I think most people would be happier with the Dometic. It’s smaller and simpler but still does a lot. However, if you will use the unit at a job site, for example, this Yeti is hard to beat. Many people choose one of these units in place of a generator. With solar panels, this gives you unlimited power.
The built-in inverter is so darn handy for powering AC tools, computers, a fridge, and anything else using AC. According to Goal Zero, this unit will handle any standard job site tool, such as a table saw. You can recharge the unit in several ways, such as AC input, 12V from your rig, or from solar panels.
Overlanders going on long trips may really appreciate the Yeti 1500X with Yeti’s Boulder 200-watt solar panels. It’s possible to use up to four panels at once to charge the Yeti at maximum speed.
You could literally use this unit as a power source while you build a cabin, for example, and then pack it and the solar panels up and take them on your overlanding journey. Very handy.
The number of ports may look a bit overwhelming but it all makes sense. The ports include multiple ways to charge the unit and other devices:
2 USB-A output ports, 5V, up to 2.4A, 12W maximum, good for charging a phone, etc. This is the old standard USB port.
USB-C output port, 5-12V, up to 3.0A, 18W maximum, also for small electronics.
USB-C port that is input/output; 5-20V, up to 3.0A, 60W maximum that’s good for small electronics and also works to charge the Yeti from another power source
2 6mm 12V output ports, up to 10A and 120W maximum
12V car charger output port up to 10A and120W maximum
12V high power port, up to 30A and 360W maximum
2 120V AC output ports connected to the inverter, which is 2000W with 3500W surge
8mm input charging port; 14-50V up to 10A and 150W maximum
High-power APP input charging port, 14-50V, up to 50A and 600W maximum; use this port to charge quickly with solar panels.
12V 30A regulated APP output, 120W input
The included 120W AC charger will recharge the unit in 13 hours, and fast-charging options such as solar panels, as mentioned earlier, can bring the charge time down to as little as 2.5 hours.
The LCD display gives you the current status, such as input charging, output, and battery remaining. The Yeti app is a handy feature to monitor the unit from wherever you are without walking over to it.
For all the features, this unit is not too bulky. It’s about 46 lbs and 15.25”x10.25”x10.5”. You can use it in temperatures from 32-104° F. To figure out how long the Yeti will power a device, remember that amps x volts = watts. The Yeti is 1500 watt hours, so divide the device’s watts into 1500 and you’ll get the average run time.
That’s a pretty rough estimate, though. With a fridge, for example, many factors contribute to the run time of the Yeti, such as ambient temperature and how often you open the fridge to get your beverage. It’s a ballpark number.
The Yeti 1500X is not cheap, but for overlanding adventures and extra power and flexibility, it may be the right option for you.
GOAL ZERO YETI 1500X Power Station + Boulder 100 Briefcase Kit
Goal Zero’s best-selling large power station now comes with even more power and a bigger inverter to let you tackle any project, indoors or out. Run anything off the Yeti 1500X that you could from the wall outlet and enjoy an unlimited supply of power from the sun by pairing with the Boulder 100 Briefcase.