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Gear Advice for Goal Zero Power/Solar Set up.

I am wondering if you could provide any guidance on GOAL ZERO power/solar. I am looking for a simple/nice/expandable setup where I could power different items while off grid (primarily for camping now, potential expanding to allow more power pull for off grid).  Was looking at Yeti 1000 and either the 100 or 200 boulder briefcase solar panels.  

Lots of different reviews and I am sure some expectations are misguided.  

Wondering if you could guide me given no stores are open.  Summarizing some specific high level questions.

  1. Would you recommend?
  2. Are the batteries good?
  3. Are the solar panels good?
  4. Is above logical starting place (i know 400/500 are options, but they can’t power bigger items like tools)?
  5. What else could/should I consider? 
  6. Know anyone who has?  Do they love and would they buy again?
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Re: Goal Zero Power/Solar

@JohnO Thanks for reaching out!

The lineup of Goal Zero products is a great way to get power to places that don't normally have it, whether that's far from the grid while camping, or close to home during a power outage. The Goal Zero 1000 paired with Boulder Briefcase solar panels is a great place to start, particularly if you are hoping to power bigger items like tools. 

In terms of durability and longevity of the batteries, if you follow the manufacturer's guidelines of keeping the unit continuously plugged in, when possible, and help maintain the battery by allowing it to drain to 50% and recharging it (3-4 times per year) you should be able to rely on this product for power for many years to come.

Some other considerations:

  • The unit is portable, however, at 40 pounds that is still a good amount of weight to carry for anything other than a short distance. You'll want to keep this in mind when you think about 'off-grid' projects and whether you have a 4-wheeler or other motorized access to your site. Goal Zero does sell a Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station Roll Cart if you're looking for an easier way to move the unit. 
  • If you are purchasing solar panels to charge your unit, you'll want to consider the following stats:
    • Wall Charger (5A): 18 Hours
    • Nomad 50: 31-62 Hours
    • Boulder 50: 31-62 Hours
    • Boulder 100: 15-30 Hours
    • Boulder 100 Briefcase: 15-30 Hours
    • Nomad 100: 15-30 Hours
    • Boulder 200 Briefcase: 8-16 Hours
    • Boulder 100 x 3: 5-10 Hours
    • Boulder 200 Briefcase x 2: 4-8 Hours
    • Boulder 200 Briefcase x 3: 3-6 Hours
  • If you plan on linking multiple Boulder Briefcases and/or you want some more flexibility in where you place the solar panels, you'll want to look at Goal Zero Accessories for extension cables and adapters to make it work. You can also call Yeti at 1-888-794-6250 and talk through your plans and how to best optimize for your power needs.

Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived.
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