Review: The Yeti 1000 brings peace of mind when storms threaten

During Hurricane Harvey I hunkered down with two fully charged laptops, a mobile phone, and several power banks to keep the phone charged. This was perhaps not the most professional setup, but I was living in a third-floor apartment at the time (we were building a home), and frankly I did not think sustained power loss would be a major concern. Fortunately, the power never blinked off during Harvey, and I was able to remain connected at all times to the Internet and this site. The power staying on, however, is the exception rather than the norm during a hurricane. So I knew I needed a better solution for future storms. Fortunately our sponsor, Reliant, had a solution and provided me with a portable power station—the Yeti 1000—from their sister company, Goal Zero.

The Goal Zero Yeti 1000.

I am not a particularly handy person, so technology like this intimidates me a little bit. One box arrived with the power unit, and the other a solar panel about one meter in length and diameter. What was I supposed to do with this?

It turns out that the Yeti is ridiculously easy to use. The first step was to plug in the power unit—about the size of a 12-pack of beer, but twice as heavy—into an electrical outlet. Within about six hours the battery was fully charged. This was a month ago. I checked the unit just now (which is tucked behind a chair in my office), and it remains at 100 percent. I understand the battery will maintain a full charge for nearly a year so I can simply put the unit away and forget about it until the power goes out.

And what happens if the power goes out? This unit could literally power two laptops and several mobile devices for days, and days, and days. It could also power a medium-sized refrigerator for about a day, before the battery runs down. In that case, one could use the solar panel (which is also plug and play) to recharge the power unit during the daytime. Of course, during a hurricane itself, you’re not going to get much sunshine. But after the storm, certainly, this could probably keep a medium-sized refrigerator going intermittently for several days with the use of the solar panel. I can’t speak to this for every refrigerator or larger appliance, but if you have questions they can be answered by [email protected]. Additionally, the unit itself has a digital display that regularly updates the amount of power being used, and the battery time remaining. It is all incredibly intuitive.

My Yeti, still fully charged after sitting dormant for a month.

This unit is not meant to replace the full-home functionality of a large outdoor generator. That is not its purpose (nor its cost). Rather, it is meant to provide some peace of mind during a storm, to keep a few lights on, a fan running, power a television, or to keep your electronics charged. Moreover, it does so in a compact package, with absolutely no noise or mess. And when it’s not storming? This is an amazing unit to bring tailgating, camping, to the beach, or anywhere else you don’t want to entirely leave the comforts of civilization and connectivity behind.

But mostly, for me, it brings piece of mind knowing that during the next storm I’ll be able to remain plugged into Space City Weather, and provide timely information and weather updates to all.

18 thoughts on “Review: The Yeti 1000 brings peace of mind when storms threaten

  1. Ben

    It looks pretty awesome, but yikes…at $1,300 that is a steep price for a little creature comfort. The 120V outlet supports 12.5A running (with 25A surge) which is pretty commendable. But they don’t publish the efficiency of the inverter to find a good run time based on load. I’m going to assume 90%, which equates to about 7 hours of run time on a 12.5A load (roughly 15 incandescent light bulbs). Not bad, but way to expensive given the minimal life of a battery without charging capabilities.

    They also mention in the tech specs that the battery is rated for 500 cycles, but in the Q&A they quote 7,000 battery cycles???

  2. Marcia DeBock

    Goal Zero makes several smaller, less expensive, portable solar panel/power storage products. We’ve used them for several years at our off grid palapa on a remote beach in Oaxaca, Mexico. The solar lantern is bright and can charge an iPhone. The little 7 1/2 or 13 watt panels plus storage work for an iPad. Goal Zero is a great company. They stand by their products.

  3. Michael Selewach

    Seems expensive but compare it to a gas generator/inverter and it’s reasonable given the price of gas, etc.

  4. Adam Bullock

    Not to be a naysayer, but this is an extremely expensive power solution for anyone wanting to prep for hurricane season (or any other outage). A marine deep cycle battery with ~120WH capacity can be had for around $90 from Walmart or Academy. Battery box is about $10. A 1500 or even 2000W inverter runs about a hundred bucks. Optionally, buy a cigarette lighter style 12V plug with alligator clips for less than $10, it clips right to the battery and you can plug in the car charger for your cell phone you likely already have, which will be more efficient than using the USB output on the inverter. A decent battery charger is $50 and can always be used to charge your car battery if/when needed. If you want to keep this inside during a storm, put it all in a big plastic tote, add another $10. So there’s a setup with about the same capacity for under $300. Black to black, red to red, even the least handy person would have to struggle to mess that up. Yes, it’d be more maintenance, and the lead acid battery won’t last as long, and it’s physically larger and heavier and less portable… but to save $1000, I think it’s a good trade off. If you’re concerned with extended power outages, a 100W solar panel can be found for around $100 on amazon, and a basic charge controller is $30. I’m genuinely not trying to knock Goal Zero, just trying to provide an alternative for those that want a backup power solution but can’t afford the Goal Zero products at this time. Seniors or anyone else on a fixed income that need to keep CPAPs or other medical equipment running may find this DIY solution more attainable.

    1. Patricia Killough

      Donna, you have to give us more detail than that!! What kind (gasoline, natural gas or solar) or … where bought, etc. I am a Senior on a limited income. Would really appreciate looking at choices. Thanks!

  5. Corey

    I spent $1k on a champion portable generator and another $300 converting it to natural gas. Simply plug it into the gas meter and into the electrical panel and you have 7,200 watts with no need to go buy gasoline. Enough to run my central a/c with plenty of overhead for my fridge, lighting, and other necessities.

    1. Karie

      Thank you for this suggestion. I have not thought of natural gas as an option over gasoline. Will look into this further.

  6. John Roper

    Yeti 1000 is currently available at Costco for $999. Looks like a great solution for those who are looking to keep basic electronics functioning during an outage.

  7. Tiffany Tyler

    I got mine at Costco for the aforementioned $999. It’s expensive relative to a gasoline generator, but much safer to use. No gasoline (in short supply post hurricanes), no carbon monoxide, and most importantly to me, no maintenance in the off season. Also a much smaller footprint for storage. It won’t run everything, but when I looked at my needs, abilities and available space, as well as the risks of the other options, I was ready to go with the Yeti.

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