An indoor generator can, as the name suggests, be used indoors without the dangers associated with using a gas generator for backup power. More commonly known as portable battery power stations, or solar generators, these devices store power in a rechargeable battery and supply DC or AC power, using an inverter. By the time you finish reading this article you’ll be armed with all the information you need to decide on the best portable power station for your specific requirements, and budget. One day we’ll laugh at the fact we used gas-powered generators for energy.
The beauty of a power station is that you can use the power of the sun to keep it charged. If you love the great outdoors then you can confidently choose any of the power stations in the article for camping and you’ll be happy. Power stations are versatile — plain and simple.’
Let’s take a closer look at these compact sources of power —
Best Portable Power Stations
An indoor generator is the next step in the evolution of backup power supply. A portable power supply that is silent, produces no carbon emissions, and supplies electricity that is safe for all your electronic equipment.
Battery and inverter technology, in the form of indoor generators, has progressed rapidly. Every year we see new models appear and new brands emerging on the market. It’s hard to keep track of which is the best indoor generator and how long any given model will remain at the top of the rankings.
It’s exciting to know that what was great last year is even better today. At the same time, we need to keep up with the new trends. This review of the best indoor generators is precisely what you need to ensure that you’re getting the ultimate, up to date technology. Simultaneously, finding a portable battery power station that suits your budget and needs.
►Powerful Power Station from Goal Zero/ YETI 6000X
In earlier reviews, Jackery and Goal Zero were the brands of choice for most consumers. Both brands have become recognized as leaders, they were amongst the first to hit the mainstream market. EGO Power+ has its share of popularity, mostly due to the extremely reasonable price point.
Westinghouse, a brand that has rapidly grown into one of the top portable generator manufacturers, has also joined in the indoor generator craze. Relative newcomers to this market, ECOFLOW (EF), has been met with a lot of enthusiasm and fanfare.
This review is going to take a look at the best that these brands have to offer. Fantastic upgrades on the models offered by the traditional forerunners, the best cheap indoor generator, and more.
VIDEO | ►Perfect for CAMPING — Jackery Explorer 1000
Regardless of power output, quality, or price, ALL OF the indoor generators in this Guide share a bunch of common benefits:
- Multiple charging options: 120V AC wall charger, 12 VDC car charger, or 12VDC solar charger.
- AC/DC power supply: Numerous power outlets usually include a variety of USB ports, 12VDC outlet, and inverter supplied AC outlets.
- Portability: Model sizes range from small units, about the size of a portable radio, to more powerful indoor generators, capable of supplying enough power for most home appliances or an entire RV.
- Lithium-ion battery technology: Battery storage to suit the needs of individual user requirements.
This is just a basic outline of the benefits provided by the indoor generators selected for this review. I’ll be discussing the merits of each model or brand along the way.
Review : EGO Power+ PST3041 / Best Indoor Generator
Comes with : 4 X 5Ah Batteries and Charger. One of the best portable power stations. Highly underrated. Powerful!
- Power : 3000W = Peak / 2000W = Run
- OUTLETS : 3x 120V A/C Outlets / 4x USB Ports
- Bright LED Display Shows Run Time
- Durable Steel Handles
- No fumes. Safe indoors. Battery Power Station / Alternative to Gas Generators
- Quiet : Use Indoor or Outdoors
- 4 Port Battery Charger (when plugged in)
A lot of homeowners are already familiar with the great range of EGO cordless tools and garden equipment. The brand has become known as a supplier of affordable equipment with a good reputation for reliability and build quality. If you own EGO tools, this indoor generator becomes even better value for money as you can use the same EGO 56V battery for your lawnmower, or other EGO 56V tools, to supply the PST3041 portable battery power station.
Essentially, this is a sound good value brand. The EGO Power+ Nexus range of portable power stations continues this philosophy. The EGO Power+ PST3041 is about the best price, when looking at buck per watt output and buck per watt-hour battery storage. Yes, you will find cheaper portable power stations. Though, when making a realistic comparison to established trustworthy brands, this model is simply exceptional value for money.
There are a couple of reasons why some may not rate the EGO Power+ PST3041 as highly as comparable models from a brand like Goal Zero. For one thing, the EGO power station does not include a built-in solar charger, you have to buy this separately.
The EGO Power+ PST3041 is slightly less efficient than most others in the same class. Though this is not necessarily a bad thing. To ensure a stable output current as the battery charge decreases, EGO have opted to use a closed loop power supply vs the more commonly used open loop system. This gives the PST3041 inverter the ability to self-correct the power. The result being very little noticeable voltage drop as the battery runs low, an advantage for sensitive electronics. However, this comes at a disadvantage in the form of around 5% less efficiency. In the end, you’re losing around 5 minutes runtime for every hour, certainly not a deal breaker in my opinion. Especially when you consider the advantage of stable power delivery.
What really impresses me about the EGO Power+ PST3041 is the great quality standard and incredible technology for an indoor generator that doesn’t cost too much. The robust protective roll cage enclosing the machine is awesome to the eye and makes this a really tough portable power station, ideal for camping and jobsites where the machine can get knocked about a bit.
Another great thing is the versatile battery setup. The best value option, includes 4 X 5AH batteries with your purchase of the power station as an inclusive kit. For improved backup time, you can upgrade to the trusted 7.5 AH, or new 10 AH batteries. Using the top of the line 10AH batteries, you end up with a mighty impressive 2,240 watt-hours of battery storage. Even the more economical 5AH battery system isn’t bad, at 1,120 WH.
An indication that this, relatively cheap indoor generator, is capable of competing with more expensive rivals is the pure sine wave inverter. Typically, cheaper portable battery power stations utilize a modified sine wave inverter which is not as efficient, resulting in lower operating time per battery charge and they can harm some appliances or cause them to function erratically. The inverter in the EGO Power+ PST3041 is up there with the best of them, and provides a lot of power – 2,000W continuous power with a 3,000W peak for about 3-seconds. This means you can supply a refrigerator, or air conditioner, and have quite a few watts left for your TV, laptop, and all your lighting requirements. Definitely a very convenient indoor home backup generator that weighs only 30-pounds (without batteries). With four 5AH batteries, it will weigh close to 50-pounds. Still not bad for such a powerful portable power source with a good deal of battery backup time.
The EGO power+ is equipped with all manner of great user functions, including a Wi Fi connection and Bluetooth user app, allowing for full remote control and information display, using your smart phone or tablet. The front panel has an enormous LCD display screen for instant access to all the information you could possibly want – remaining hours, output status and watts, charge status, along with full system information. Outlets are plentiful and have water/dust resistant protective covers. The unit has an IPX4 rating. It’s not entirely waterproof but can handle a fair amount of splash up to about 10-minutes.
If operating conditions become unsafe, you don’t have to be concerned. The EGO Power plus PST3041 is protected by an advanced electronic monitoring system. Any hint of a safety issue, like overloading, overheating, or a short circuit, and the machine will shut down automatically. Outlets include 4 X USB ports and 4 X 120V 15A outlets.
There is only thing that I don’t really like about the EGO Power+ indoor generator. It does not supply through power when charging. This means that you can’t use the unit whilst charging batteries. Though, if you have enough batteries, this will never be a problem. You can remove any of the four batteries easily whilst the machine is running and swap it for a fully charged battery. It takes a little over 8-hours to charge the four 5AH batteries, around 12-hours if you’re using 7.5 AH batteries, and more than 16-hours for the 10AH batteries. Because the batteries are connected in parallel, you don’t need to use four batteries, it will run perfectly fine using only one. The benefit of using more batteries is increased runtime. You can also use any combination of EGO 56V batteries. This means you can use a 5AH battery alongside 7.5AH or 10AH batteries.
While I believe that Goal Zero Yeti indoor generators are about the best, it’s hard to reconcile the price when comparing them to the amazingly affordable EGO power+ PST3041. This product displays fantastic quality with an incredible 5-year consumer warranty or 1-year commercial warranty for the portable battery power station, and a 3-year warranty on the batteries. The technology is of the highest order and it’s a very well-made robust product.
Visit the EGO site to learn more about the brand.
Review : EF ECOFLOW Delta 1300 / Power Station
This Delta 1300 should be at the top of your list. It has features you won’t find anywhere else, such as the tremendous lightning-fast charging. Within an hour you’ll have 80% battery capacity, assuming you start with a dead battery.
- RECHARGE 0%–80% WITHIN 1 HOUR : EcoFlow patent X-Stream Technology empowers EcoFlow DELTA to recharge at 10 times the speed of most portable power stations in the market
- OUTLETS : 6x 1800W AC OUTLETS & 1260Wh CAPACITY The large inverter load enables
- Power most home appliances and heavy-duty DIY tools under 1800W (3300W Surge, Pure Sine Wave) with 1260Wh capacity
- FASTEST RECHARGE BY SOLAR AND CAR : Can be fully recharged by solar panels in about 4 hours, and fully charged through a 12/24V car port < 10 hours.
- POWER 13 DEVICES SIMULTANEOUSLY : EcoFlow DELTA fits with every port you’ll ever need to power any devices anywhere, so you will always feel right at home.
The cutting edge design of the EcoFlow Delta 1300 is absolutely awesome. This is not just an extremely elegant indoor generator, it’s deceptively tough for something so beautiful. An aluminum base ensures that the batteries are totally protected, and this is reinforced with molded rubber impact protection. Two strong handles are seamlessly incorporated into the top of the power station. A really superb product to look at.
Moving beyond the stylish modern design, the EF EcoFlow Delta is a wonderfully practical and technologically advanced portable battery power station. A perfect example of form meets function. The built-in battery is one of the best for long run-times. At 1,260 WH, the 50V battery can supply your home with basic power for a few hours. Of course, this will depend on you power consumption. You certainly have a lot of watts for such a small and portable unit – 1,800W continuous watts, with a very impressive 3,300W surge capacity.
A remarkable feature is the ECOFLOW X-Treme rapid charge. The AC wall charger will charge the battery to full capacity in only 1.6 hours. The battery will reach 80% charge in as little as an hour. This high-amperage charger is capable of supplying through current for most appliances, though you won’t be able to use the full capacity whilst charging. The built-in MPPT solar charger is also above average, able to accommodate 400W total solar input. Using 3 X EF 160W solar panels, on bright sunny day, you could charge the battery within 3.5 hours, using only the sun. The 12/24V car charger can 4 – 8 hours to charge the battery, depending on the input voltage.
As we’ve come to expect from high-end computerized inverter power supplies, built-in electronic safety features are a given. A full battery management system (BMS) ensures battery safety, lifespan, and maximum charging efficiency. You and your family are protected by short circuit automatic shutdown. The unit will also shutdown if it overheats or overloads. You can monitor basic system information on a large LCD screen with excellent user-friendly graphics.
The Delta 1300 has no shortage of power outlets. The 120V pure sine wave inverter supplies 6 X 15A AC outlets, and you get the full plethora of up to date USB ports: 2 X standard USB-A (5V, 2.4A), 2 X fast charge USB-A (5V, 9V, 12V, 2.4A), and 2 X USB-C (5V, 9V, 15V, 20V, 3A).
With all that power and incredible battery storage, I’d have expected the EF Delta 1300 to be quite heavy, especially considering the robust design. To the contrary, this machine only weighs 30-pounds and it’s super easy to carry with the magnificently designed handles.
The EcoFlow EF Delta 1300 is deserving of its ranking in this review of the best indoor generators. Fantastic technology, in one of the most elegant modern designs, is simply awesome. The quality standard can be rated alongside any of the top models from leading brands. It comes with a 2-year warranty.
Review : Jackery Explorer / Best Indoor Generator Series
Jackery Explorer is the number name in portable battery power with solar generation capabilities. This is the most popular range of indoor generators. The very reasonable price for a quality product has placed the Jackery Explorer on the top of the wish list for outdoor enthusiasts and homeowners desiring a portable power source for emergency electrical supply and outdoor entertaining.
The Jackery Explorer lineup is quite extensive, with seven models to choose from. All of them are designed for ultimate portability with a range of equally portable solar panels (producing various wattages) supplied as optional extras. The models numbers indicate battery storage and inverter output capacity. The number of AC outlets vary between the selection of models, as do the type and quantity of USB ports.
I’ll be providing a basic review of four Jackery Explorer models. These are the most popular of the seven available variants. Before doing this, it will simplify things if I first list the common features and specifications shared by all the Explorer models.
- High-quality Lithium-ion NMC batteries. This battery chemistry is the best for indoor generators, providing outstanding lifespan (500 cycles to 80% capacity) at an affordable price. This is the preferred battery for most high-end portable battery power stations.
- Built-in super-efficient Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) solar charger. The rated amperage for Jackery solar chargers is determined by the battery size. Models with larger batteries will typically have solar, wall, and car chargers with a higher capacity. Though these overlap between certain models, meaning that some will charge the battery faster than others.
- Battery Management system (BMS) to monitor battery charge and discharge, preventing overcharge, over voltage, under voltage, and overheating. Electronic protection is provided to prevent a short circuit from damaging the battery and preventing injury from a short circuit at the AC outlets.
- An advanced pure sine wave inverter supplies AC power.
- Built-in LED flashlight.
- LCD display for output watts, battery level, and input (charge) watts.
- 2-Year warranty.
Regardless of battery storage amps or AC watt output, all the Jackery Explorer models I’m about to review will include everything listed above. The battery size, inverter capacity, and charging amps will not be the same for all models.
Review : Jackery Explorer 240
The entry-level Jackery Explorer 240 is delightfully inexpensive, in the region of $200. This model is highly sought after by outdoor enthusiasts for its extremely easy portability. It’s one of precious few portable power stations that is lightweight and compact enough to be carried in a backpack.
The Jackery Explorer 240 weighs only 6.6 pounds, measuring 9.05” X 5.24” X 7.87”. The Jackery SolarSaga 60W solar panel kit, sold as an optional extra for the Explorer 240, is equally portable and great for backpackers. The 60W solar kit folds into a compact, book-like, unit measuring 22.2” X 15.6” X 0.5” and weighs only 5.4 pounds. The solar panels connect to Jackery Explorer 240 by means of an 18VDC Anderson connector. This versatile kit also includes 1 X 3A 5V USB port and 1 X 2.4A 5V USB port. This means you can charge USB devices directly from the solar panels.
On a cloudless day (full sunlight), a 60W solar panel will charge the Jackery Explorer battery within 7-hours, this is the same time it takes to charge the battery using the 120V wall charger. The 12VDC car charger performs slightly better, about 6.5 hours.
Because the Jackery explorer 240 is a very compact lightweight indoor generator, it is not the best when comparing battery storage capacity or inverter output watts. The 240 watt-hour (WH) battery is great for charging devices like phones and laptops. Though it won’t supply high-powered equipment for very long. Even a reasonably efficient CPAP machine, drawing approximately 80W, will only run for about 3-hours on a single battery charge.
AC power output is limited to 200W running capacity with 400 peak watts. This is enough power to supply most TVs and desk top computers. Though, only for about an hour or two, possibly a little over three hours if you’re using a high-efficiency Energy Star TV or computer. The Jackery Explorer 240 has a single 15A AC outlet, 2 X 2.4 5V USB-A ports, and a 12VDC outlet.
While the Jackery Explorer 240 is not exactly a supreme powerhouse, it’s a real winner for people looking for maximum portability. If you enjoy heading off into the great blue yonder with just a tent, sleeping bag, and the basics, this little battery power station will be somewhat of a luxury. With a 60W solar panel, you will have power wherever you go, for as long as you need, provided there’s adequate sunshine. It means that essential devices, be it a phone, camera, laptop, even a Fishfinder will always be charged and ready for use. You will always have enough lighting at night. For a bit of relaxation, your Kindle will also have power all the time.
Review : Jackery Explorer 300
If you desire the same, go anywhere portability of the Jackery Explorer 240, but want longer battery time and a bit more AC power from the inverter, the Explorer 300 may be an attractive option. It is only marginally larger than the 240 WH model and hardly any heavier. It weighs a mere 7.1 LBS and measures 9.1” X 5.2” X 7.8”.
The Jackery Explorer 300 costs about 100 bucks more than its 240 baby brother. This means a price hike of around 30%. You may think the extra dollars a bit exorbitant when you consider that you’re only getting an additional 53WH battery time, up from 240 WH (Explorer 240) to 293 WH for the Explorer 300. The Jackery 300 inverter supplies 300W continuous power and 500W peak power – a 30% increase on the Jackery Explorer 240. In the end, you’re getting about 30% more power for 30% more money. Going by buck per watt, this seems fair.
Though, it’s not just the power and battery storage that is increased when comparing the Jackery Explorer 300 vs 240. The Explorer 300 also has improved versatility. The most significant upgrade is the inclusion of a USB 3.0 Quick Charge output and a USB-C PD port, with up to 20V 3A charging capacity. This makes the Jackery Explorer up to date for rapid charging, high-powered USB devices of every description. The Explorer 300 also has an extra 15A 120V AC outlet. With 2 X AC outlets, it is easier to use multiple AC appliances.
Probably one of the greatest advantages, when comparing the Jackery Explorer 240 and 300, is the drastically improved charging times when using the Explorer 300. The solar MPPT charger has a higher amperage rating, able to accept a 100W solar panel. This means pretty fast solar charging time, which can be as little as 5 hours. The AC wall charger will take the battery to full power in about 4.5 hours and the 12V car charger will recharge the battery in 5-hours. You can also use the USB-C PD port for additional AC charging, taking about 5.5 hours to charge the battery using only this port.
For a lightweight portable power station for hiking and general camping use, the Jackery Explorer 300 is about as convenient as the little Explorer 240. It is also a great all-rounder, providing sufficient power for watching TV, plus a few lights at home during an outage.
The additional weight and size is negligible compared the superbly portable Jackery Explorer 240, you should hardly notice it. For an extra ±$100, you’re getting roughly 30% more battery time and a similar increase in AC power output form the pure sine wave inverter. You also get additional USB ports for rapid charging and a great improvement in battery charge times. A lot more convenience for not much more money. In the end, I think the Jackery Explorer 300 amounts to much better value for money.
Review : Jackery Explorer 500
With a 518 WH lithium-ion battery, the Jackery Explorer 500 takes things up more than just a notch. This is the most economical Explorer model for longer battery time. If you need a portable power station to run more equipment for longer, yet still require a good deal of portability, the Jackery Explorer 500 provides a good deal of wattage and battery storage.
At 13.3 pounds, it is considerably heavier than the ultra-light Explorer 240 and 300 models. Though, this is not a particularly heavy indoor generator. It is obviously a little larger than the less powerful Explorer models, measuring 11.8” X 7.6” X 9.2”. This increased bulk and weight does not just mean quite a bit more battery time, it also has a larger inverter, providing 500W running power, with a 1,000W surge capacity.
Battery charging times are not that impressive though. The Jackery Explorer 500 is equipped with the same battery charging module as the smaller 300 model. Because the Explorer 500 has a larger battery, this means longer charging times. Therefore, a 100W solar panel will take over 9-hours to fully charge the battery in good sunlight. The AC wall charger will take 7.5 hours, so will the 12V car charger.
Ironically, this model (which is more expensive than the Jackery Explorer 300) dose not have the same convenience when it comes to power outlets. Even thought the inverter supplies quite a bit more power, the Explorer 500 only has 1 X 120V AC outlet. It also doesn’t have all the great USB ports, just 3 X standard USB-A ports. On the plus side, the Jackery Explorer 500 has a cigarette style automotive 12VDC port.
While the Jackery Explorer 500 may seem a little underwhelming when comparing the convenience offered by the cheaper Explorer 300 in terms of versatile USB ports and charging times, the relatively small price difference makes up for this.
Considering that the Explorer 500 offers a good deal more battery time and a pretty impressive AC output, it really isn’t that expensive. This makes the Jackery Explorer 500 one of the best value options when looking purely at buck per watt. Basically, you’re getting a lot more battery storage and inverter capacity for the money you’re spending, when compared to just about any other indoor generator from a reputable brand. This is offset by limited outlets and longer charging times. I think pros outweigh the cons for basic good value. In the end, I’d say a good bargain with only minimal compromise.
Review : Jackery Explorer 1000
The Jackery Explorer 1000 is the largest of the Explorer series that we’ll be reviewing here. That’s not to say it’s the most Powerful Explorer portable power station available. The Jackery Explorer 1500 and 2000 models offer a lot mor AC power and battery storage. The largest of the Jackery Explorer indoor generators are obviously more expensive and not as portable. The top Explorer power stations are more suited to home backup power and RV electrical supply as they not as convenient to carry, due to increased weight and bulk.
The perfect balance between portability and power specifications make the Jackery Explorer 1000 a great multi-use indoor generator. With 1,000W running power and a peak (surge) capacity of 2,000 watts, it is capable of supplying multiple appliances at home or when camping. Battery storage is also quite impressive at 1,002 WH.
Despite being a versatile, high-powered indoor generator, the Jackery Explorer 1000 is not particularly heavy and still small enough to be considered fully portable for any application. The Explorer 1000 weighs 22.04 pounds. Most adults should be able to carry it using the single handle without any great effort. At 13.1” X 9.2” X 11.1” it certainly isn’t a huge machine.
Charging capacity has been increased to make the larger battery more practical. Solar charging capacity is a pretty impressive – 163W. It can accommodate solar panels up 200W, resulting in about 8-hours charging time in good sunlight. The AC adapter (120V wall charger) is just as convenient, taking only 7-hours to charge the battery. Using a 12V power source, like your car auxiliary output, is not that impressive though. It takes 14-hours to fully charge the battery using the car charger.
As one of the top Jackery indoor generator models, the Explorer 1000 has every type of power outlet you could wish for. It is equipped with 3 X 15A 120V outlets, making it super convenient to use the 1,000 watts supplied by the inverter. Charging multiple USB devices is super-efficient, without any limitations. You get USB-A, USB-C, and USB 3.0 ports, as well as a 10A 12VDC car outlet.
The Jackery Explorer 1000 fits snugly into a perfect niche. It is lightweight and compact enough to be considered an easily portable indoor generator. At the same time, it supplies a good deal of AC power. With 1,000 running watts and a 2,000W peak, it could even run a full size refrigerator. Though the 1,002 WH battery may only provide sufficient storage for about 4 – 5 hours at this load with a reasonable cycle time for appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners. Still mighty impressive for a lightweight, compact indoor generator. A really convenient all-rounder for home, camping, and light-duty jobsite power.
► For a different perspective : Read our indepth review of the Jackery 1000 power station.
Review : Westinghouse iGEN300s
Westinghouse has accomplished great things as a manufacturer of portable gas generators. I believe they are now doing the same in the world of indoor generators or portable power stations. The iGEN300s is a direct competitor to the Jackery Explorer 300 (reviewed above) and is in a similar price range.
Like the other indoor generators we’re revieing here, the Little Westinghouse battery power station has multiple charging options: AC 120V (wall charger), 12V car charger, as well as a built-in MPPT solar charger. It has a multi-function LCD screen with a wonderful logic, displaying output watts for all the individual outlet types – AC, DC, and USB. You’re able to see exactly where the power is being used and how many watts. It also displays input charge watts and battery level, with warning icons for system failure and high temperature.
The Westinghouse iGEN300s shares all the other great features that make the Jackery Explorer series so popular. This includes a super-bright built-in LED flashlight, high-quality lithium-ion battery with a full battery management system, ensuring optimum charging without any chance of damage resulting over voltage, over current, high temperature, or short circuit. It has the safety you want and will shutdown if the AC power is overloaded, or a short circuit occurs.
The pure sine wave inverter is of the same high standard set by all the indoor generators we’ve selected for this review. It provides 300W continuous power and 600 surge watts. This is supplied by a 296 WH battery. These are about the same tech specs as the Jackery Explorer 300. However, the Westinghouse indoor generator is even better for lightweight portable power. It weighs an astonishing 6.35 pounds and is delightfully compact, measuring only 9.1” X 5” X 8.9”. This makes the Westinghouse iGEN300s one of the very best portable power supplies for camping, fishing, tailgating, and basic emergency power at home during an outage.
The charger isn’t too powerful, pretty much the same as most indoor generators with a similar battery capacity. I cannot find maximum solar charge capacity for this model, I’m guessing it can accept a solar panel around 100W, based on the specified 5 -7 hours charging time when using solar panels. In this regard, it is about the same, possibly a little better than the 300W Explore model. The wall charger will take a very reasonable 5-hours to charge the battery. Using a car charger you can expect a charging time of 5 – 7 hours.
The outlets are quite comprehensive – 2 X 15A 120V AC receptacles, a 12V car outlet, along with the full USB spectrum: USB-A, USB-3.0, and USB-C. All are easily accessible and easy to use.
The Westinghouse iGEN300s can stand proudly alongside any of the best indoor generators. It is well-designed and is stuffed with the latest technology. The brand has won the admiration of many, including myself. You are assured of expert customer service and a 2-year warranty from a company that has been around for well over a century and should with us for many years ahead.
Review : Goal Zero / Yeti X Series
Powerful Indoor Generators
I consider Goal Zero to be the king of portable power stations. They’ve been doing it longer than most others and have come a long way since the first Goal Zero Yeti models appeared on the portable power scene. The Yeti X series is an upgrade on the original Goal Zero Yeti indoor generators. The previous generation Yeti power stations had already proven to be formidable machines, rugged and ultimately dependable.
VIDEO : YETI App for Android and Apple
When setting out to make improvements to the trusted Goal Zero Yeti, the engineers kept to the original platform, with its rugged design which is great for outdoor use, like camping. Instead of tampering with what works, they looked at what improvements would genuinely benefit the user. This resulted in an improved, more efficient, inverter and (best of all) higher charging capacity. This makes the Goal Zero Yeti X indoor generators amongst the few that can be used as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
A UPS is used to provide uninterrupted emergency power backup. This means devices like computers, even TVs and satellite receivers, can be remain permanently connected to the indoor generator. When the power in your home is functioning normally, the battery remains charged and the Indoor generator supplies clean (low THD) power to these devices. In most instances, the electricity supplied from an IGBT computerized inverter is better for your sensitive electronic equipment. This provides a two-fold advantage —
These precious devices are supplied with the best power source to ensure they remain reliable and should last longer. Probably the greatest advantage is that the power is uninterrupted. When the utility power fails, your computer (or any device connected to the UPS) will not shut down. Power is automatically switched over to battery/inverter supply, without any interruptions. You can continue using these devices normally through an outage, dependent on battery time.
Most indoor generators, like the other models in this review, don’t have the charger capacity to supply power to the outlets whilst charging the battery. They only supply the requisite amps for battery charging. This means that you cannot utilize any of the power outlets whilst the machine is charging the battery. They cannot, therefore, function as a UPS. You have to wait for the battery charge before you can resume using the power outlets.
Goal Zero indoor generators tend to have better solar charging (in general). They will often have higher amperage solar charge controllers than similar models for mother brands. The Yeti X series also comprises a great selection of power options, from small portable power stations for camping and outdoor, to units large enough to supply most of your household electricity requirements during an outage. The larger models are able to accommodate additional batteries to extend your usable time during an outage.
The great thing about using a very powerful indoor generator, like the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X, is that you can have uninterrupted power to most of your household appliances. Since this unit can function as a high-powered UPS, you can leave essential equipment (like a refrigerator) permanently connected the Yeti power station. Unlike a gas generator, that requires you to start the machine and connect the power, the Yeti will automatically switch from grid power to the power station inverter when the power supply to your home is interrupted. There will be no shutdown. When you are not at home, essential equipment remains powered up with even a momentary power outage.
Apart from the additional advantages that I’ve mentioned, the Goal Zero Yeti X series share all the same great stuff that make the other indoor generators in this review so attractive. This means the ability to charge the power station using 120V AC, 12V DC, or solar power. They have a great selection of outlets, which include inverter supplied AC receptacles, USB ports, and 12VDC outlets. All Yeti X indoor generators are equipped with a digital data center with an LCD screen to display essential operating information. They use high-quality lithium-ion batteries with a comprehensive battery management system. Output power is also electronically monitored to ensure that is safe and efficient.
Of the six Goal Zero Yeti models available, we’ll be reviewing the four most popular options. Goal Zero indoor generations are among the more expensive options, when compared to a brand like Jackery. However, I feel that the advantages provided by the superior chargers, and excellent build quality, make them worth the higher price tag. I particularly like the extensive use of aluminum, whereas most others are predominantly constructed using plastic enclosures. This adds to the long term durability of the product.
Review : Goal Zero Yeti 200X
The entry level Goal Zero Yeti 200X is comparable to any of the smaller models offered by other brands. A lightweight portable power station for camping, fishing, and basic outdoor power. At 5-pounds, it is one of the best for lightweight portability and is amazingly compact: 7.9” X 5.1” X 5.1”. The carrying handle is recessed into the top of the machine, reducing the overall size footprint.
As with any indoor generator of this size, power output and battery time is limited to low-powered devices, like laptops, CPAP, LED lighting, and charging phones. The top-quality pure sine wave inverter supplies 120W running power and 200 surge watts. The internal lithium-ion battery is rated for 187 WH, capable of charging a laptop about 4 times.
AC power is supplied via a single 120V 15A outlet. Unlike most entry level power stations, the Goal Zero Yeti 200X offers the plethora USB ports – USB-A, USB-C, and USB PD (input and output) up to 60W. It also has a cigarette lighter style 12 VDC outlet.
When it comes to rapid charging, the mighty little Yeti 200X outshines all others. Using an AC wall charger, it is capable of a whopping 120W, charging the battery in as little as 2-hours if you’re not also using through power to the outlets. The MPPT solar charger is equally impressive. At 100W maximum, it’s possible to charge the battery in only 2-hours using a 100W solar panel in good sunlight.
While the onboard electronic monitoring is up there with the very best, the Yeti 200X does not have a very sophisticated display screen. It only shows power consumption as a percentage of the total available wattage.
This is a truly versatile indoor generator. You can use it as a UPS for your computer or home entertainment system on a permanent basis. When you’re off on a fishing trip, or hiking, it’s easy enough to carry the lightweight Yeti 200X with you, everywhere you go. With the best solar charger out of any portable power station, you should have constant power, even when heading off-grid. It’s tough, reliable, and totally uncomplicated. An easy device to use, that should keep you in good standing for many years.
Review : Goal Zero Yeti 500X
The Goal Zero Yeti 500X is extremely popular for it’s incredible versatility. It is easily portable at only 12.9 LBS, with dimensions of 7.5” X 11.25” X 5.8”. As a lightweight compact indoor generator, the Yeti 500X provides a lot of power to the AC outlets and has a very practical 505 WH battery.
The inverter supplies 300W 120V current via two 15A outlets, with a remarkable surge capacity of 1,200W. A surge capacity of four times normal running load may seem excessive. Though, this makes the small Yeti 500X capable of running equipment that not other 300W indoor generator can. It is capable of supplying a mid-sized refrigerator as a result.
DC outlets are in line with expectations for a high-end portable power station – USB-A, USB-C, and USB-C PD with input or output capacity. It also has 2 X 12VDC outputs. The user interface is more advanced than the junior model (Yeti 200X). The Goal Zero Yeti 500X has a wonderful LCD screen, displaying a large battery icon, indicating battery charge level. It also displays numeric data in the form of input and output wattage, as well as percentage battery charge indicator.
Since this is a Goal Zero Yeti X indoor generator, we expect impressive charge times. The Yeti 500X certainly lives up to this expectation. Charging the battery using the 120W wall charger, will take only 4.5 hours. The DC car charger has the same high (120W) capacity, meaning the same rapid 4.5 hour charge time. I’m hugely impressed with the high-amp 180W solar charger used for this model. This makes for the best solar charging times, as little as 3 hours when connected to a 200W solar panel.
The Goal Zero Yeti 500X offers incredible battery storage for the physical size and weight of the unit. The inverter is capable of supplying surge current way above any other in this class. It is a technological marvel in true rugged Goal Zero style.
Review : Goal Zero Yeti 1500X
Now we’re entering the big league, as the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X is no ordinary portable power station. Though from here on, all the Goal Zero models are not all that portable. It’s inevitable that as you increase the battery size and inverter capacity, size and weight will increase proportionally. At 45 pounds, it is not as easy to carry as the smaller machines. Fortunately, Goal Zero supply a very handy caddy that makes it much easier to transport the Yeti 1500X.
This is also a fairly large unit, measuring 15.25” X 10.23” X 10.37”. For all this extra weight and bulk, you’re getting a lot more power and battery storage. The inverter produces 2,000W with a surge capacity of 3,500W. The built-in battery is also much bigger than any of the smaller indoor generators, with an incredibly convenient 1,516 WH of storage. When we take all this into account, the weight and size seems much more reasonable.
To ensure that this large battery charges in a reasonable amount of time, charger specs have been increased. The AC wall charger options are quite plentiful, with the maximum 600W option capable of charging the battery to full within 3-hours. Solar charging is off the charts for a portable solar generator like this one. You can connect up to 1,200W solar panels, making it possible to charge the battery in only 3-hours of reasonable sunlight. Wow!
The LCD display looks pretty much the same as the one used on the Yeti 500X, with a little extra information. It’s super easy to check the input or output watts, battery percentage and remaining runtime. Outlets are also the same as those found on the smaller Yeti 500X – 2 X 120V 15A outlets, USB-A, USB-C, USB-C, and 2 X 12VDC outputs.
The general design is great. The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X has dual carrying handles and a nifty storage compartment for all your accessories, solar charge connectors, and various adapters.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X is quite remarkable for its size. This relatively compact indoor generator has the watts to supply a good deal of your household power needs during an outage. It is quite a handy power supply for an RV and has incredible battery charging times.
Review : Goal Zero Yeti 3000X
Taking a major leap into the realm of (almost) complete home backup power, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X is a force to be reckoned with. Though, as we move toward a solar generator for the home, we depart even further from the concept of a portable indoor generator. We’re starting to look at an indoor solar generator that can fulfil what we would normally expect from a gas-powered generator. Just without the hassle of gas, maintenance, and a clean conscience, by doing our bit toward reducing carbon emissions.
While the Yeti 3000X uses the same inverter as the Yeti 1500X, 2,000W with a 3,500W surge capacity, the battery is twice the size. This means that the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X offers an incredible 3,032 WH of battery time. This is allows it keep high-power appliances, like refrigerators, powered up for longer. At an average power consumption of around 500W (a refrigerator and most of your smaller appliances), the Yeti 3000X will keep supplying power for about 6-hours. Making it a suitable alternative to a gas generator for longer outages. Of course, with enough solar panels, you can keep supplying power almost indefinitely, without having to constantly fill a gas tank or pay for the gas. Certainly sounds tempting.
For the rest, you can expect all the specs to be the same as those for the Yeti 1500X – 2 X 120V outlets, USB-A, USB-C, and USB-C PD ports, as well as 2 X 12 VDC outlets. It includes the same LCD data display for output and input watts, and battery monitoring.
When it comes to charge times, these appear less impressive, simply because the Yeti 3000X has twice the battery capacity yet is fitted with the same charger system as the Yeti 1500X. This means it takes twice as long to charge the battery: 120V charging (at 600W) takes 6-hours and 1,200W solar panels will charge the battery in about 6-hours.
Essentially, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X is a Yeti 1500X with an additional battery connected in parallel. Since this model does not allow for external, chainable batteries, this is a distinct advantage if your want to supply power for longer periods.
Review : Goal Zero Yeti 6000X
Just as the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X doubles your power storage when compared to the Yeti 1500X, the Yeti 6000X doubles this battery time yet again.
It is the same basic inverter and charger setup as you’ll find in the Yeti 1500X and 3000X. With even more additional batteries, the Yeti 6000X offers 6,071 WH power storage. This could easily provide your home or RV with enough power for a few days, allowing for those rainy when days when the solar panels aren’t going to provide much power.
Since this is basically the same machine as the two preceding Yeti models, with the same charging capacity, it takes even longer to charge the batteries. By doubling the battery capacity (Yeti 3000X vs Yeti 6000X), the time it takes to charge the battery is obviously twice as long: 12-hours using a 600W wall charger or approximately 11 – 12 hours when connected to 1,200W solar panels.
With all the models (Yeti 1500X upwards) you can connect the indoor generator directly to your home electric panel using the easy to install Yeti Home Integration Kit. This means you can safely connect selected electric circuits to the Yeti indoor/solar generator for permanent, seamless backup and reap the benefits of free solar generated power for these circuits.