Review: Goal Zero Yeti 3000X, Is It Worth It? + Top 3 Alternatives
Updated: July 11, 2023
This high-powered solar generator from the well-known manufacturer Goal Zero provides loads of renewable solar power anywhere in the world for emergencies, remote worksites, or even just a weekend camping trip or two.
What many people may not know, however, is that there are many options for the best solar generator for any given person’s electrical demand and lifestyle.
At ShopSolar.com, we tested nearly every solar-powered generator on the market ad felt it necessary to review the new Goal Zero Yeti 3000.
Here, we take an in-depth look at the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 solar generator and compare it to the other top solar generators available today to determine whether the Yeti 3000 is worth the price tag.
What are solar generators?
First, a quick background on solar generators in general. If you’re new to this sort of thing, a solar generator is essentially the same as a traditional gas generator, except that they are fueled with the power of the sun via solar panels.
So, instead of twisting off the fuel tank cap and pouring in fossil fuel, you connect solar panels to fill up your electric battery bank.
Today’s solar generators, also known as portable power stations, are compact devices that you can transport just about anywhere so you can use electricity in any indoor or outdoor space.
How does a solar generator work?
A solar generator has an internal battery that you charge by attaching solar panels (and/or an AC wall charger or 12V car charger) to the generator and setting them out in direct sunlight to put DC power into the battery.
Electric devices can be plugged into the generator through various output ports (AC, DC, USB, etc), and a built-in inverter regulates the amount of electricity output through traditional wall plugs.
For more information on solar generators, feel free to see our complete guide on choosing the best solar generator.
Goal Zero Yeti 3000X Full Review
Okay, let’s get to it! Here is our full and honest review of the new Goal Zero Yeti 3000 solar-powered generator. We break down every critical feature below.
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Battery and Inverter
First, the battery and the inverter of the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 solar generator are among the largest capacity in the portable solar generator market today. In fact, they’re so big that the device weighs nearly 70 pounds! Thankfully, each of its solar generators comes with a two-wheeled cart for easier transportation.
The massive reserve capacity of the Yeti 3000 makes it a seemingly endless source of power for low-demand devices, such as cell phones, laptops, lights, and more.
Plus, the 2000W continuous inverter makes it possible to run high-demand appliances, such as refrigerators, power tools, medical devices, and more.
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Input & Output Options
The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X includes adequate options for charging and using the generator’s power capacity.
Like in most of today’s devices, you can charge the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 using either solar panels or a traditional AC wall plug.
Once the battery charges, you can power pretty much any device as the power station has AC, DC, USB, and 8mm ports on the front. Here, two AC ports seem a bit limited knowing how massive the inverter is; however, the variety of ports is good overall.
As a bonus, you can also charge the Yeti 300X using a vehicle, making it great for van life and RV setups. However, we should note that the 12V DC car charging cable is not included when purchasing the generator.
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Price Point
The price point is one of the most obvious and defining features of the Yeti 3000. At right about $3,200 for just the generator, this device is not your morning coffee.
Of course, a greater than $3,000 investment in anything is a bit daunting.
If you want a small solar-powered generator to keep devices charged on camping trips, during festivals, or at a tailgate, it is pretty clear that the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 is probably too expensive. You would likely be paying for an oversized inverter that your power demand does not require.
Instead, a solar generator at this price point should be considered by someone looking for large amounts of clean energy for power tools, off-grid living, and other high-demand scenarios.
When investing in such a device, users should make sure they won't have to replace it in the near future, bringing us to our next critical feature: lifecycles and product ROI.
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lifecycles, & Product ROI - Is It Worth it?
The number of battery life cycles is the most important thing to consider when purchasing a solar generator, especially the Goal Zero Yeti 3000. The Yeti 3000’s battery is rated to last 500 life cycles at 80% battery capacity.
Although the battery storage is massive, 500 lifecycles is simply not a lot of power. Think about it. If you use the Yeti’s full battery capacity every two days, the battery’s performance will critically drop in less than three years!
Even if this seems like a decent timeline, there are many batteries on today’s market that are rated to last over five times as long as the Goal Zero Yeti 3000.
Consider this, it becomes clear that the return on investment for the Yeti 3000 is not great. It is simply not built to last and will need to be replaced much sooner than other generators.
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Shelf Life
Lastly, we’d like to point out the Yeti 3000’s three to six-month shelf life, meaning that you must recharge the battery every three to six months to maintain a reserve capacity.
If you only want the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 for emergency situations, you will have to recharge the Yeti two to four times every year.
Alternatively, many other solar generators have shelf lives of a full year, making it easier to always have power in the event of a blackout and prevent strain on the battery from quarterly charging.
How do you charge a Yeti 3000?
From 0% to 100% of battery capacity, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 has the following charge times:
- AC wall outlet: 14 hours
- Solar (by rated solar wattage in ideal sunlight)
- 100W: 36-72 Hours
- 200W: 18-36 Hours
- 400W: 9-18 Hours
- 600W: 6-12 Hours
- 800W: 6-9 Hours
- 1200W: 6 Hours
- DC Car Charger: 25+ hours
Although the battery of the 3000X is massive, these long charge times are still less efficient than other premium solar generators on the market. Feel free to jump to the alternatives section below for more details.
How long will a goal Zero Yeti last?
What can the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Power and for how long?
With its massive battery bank and inverter, Goal Zero Yeti 3000X can power almost anything you will use in a home or RV.
Although it has a limited number of outlets, it would actually be very challenging to overpower this device as its 2000W inverter handles most plausible loads with plenty of battery for extended powering times.
For a few real-life examples, the Yeti 3000 can power:
|Smart Phone (12 Wh)||253 charges|
|Tablet (30 Wh)||101 charges|
|Laptop (50 Wh)||61 charges|
|Microwave (1000 Wh)||3 Hours|
|Portable Fridge (25 Wh)||122 Hours|
|Full-Size Refrigerator (55 Wh)||55 hours|
|Circular Saw (13 Amp) (1500 Wh)||2 hours|
How Much Does The Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Cost?
The Yeti 3000x is listed for about $2,999 for the standard solar generator unit, which includes a convenient roll cart for easy transportation. For $300 more, you can also purchase the device in combination with a 200W solar suitcase and carrying bag.
Pros and Cons of the Goal Zero Yeti 3000
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Pros
- Massive Battery Storage
- High Capacity Inverter
- Convenient Rolling Cart
- Huge Solar Input Capacity
- 24 Month Warranty
- Good Variety of Outlets
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Cons
- Slow AC Charging
- Relatively Slow Solar Charging
- Limited Number of Outlets
- Short Shelf Life (Recharge every 3-6 months)
- Very Short Product Life (500 battery cycles)
- High Price Point
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Specs
Although we’ve touched on most of these components so far, here are the numbers for the Yeti 3000X, plain and simple:
- Li-ion NMC 3032Wh (10.8V, 280.8Ah) Battery
- 120V AC Inverter: 120VAC 60Hz, 16.5A (2000W, 3500W surge) (output, pure sine wave)
- MPPT Charge Controller
- 2 AC Outlets
- 1 DC car outlet
- 2 USB ports
- 2 USB-C port
- Monitoring Screen (with App capabilities)
Top 3 Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Solar Generator Alternative Options
Even after doing a ton of research, you may be wondering, “Should I buy the Goal Zero Yeti 3000x?” We cannot recommend the latest from Yeti, but here are a few other solar-powered generators that make great alternatives.
1. Lion Safari ME Gold Solar Generator Kit
Today, the Lion Safari ME Gold Kit is perhaps the closest thing you can get to a Yeti 3000 clone with a few bonus features. The Lion Safari ME has a similar price point, battery capacity, inverter size, and output options.
The Safari ME has approximately five times the lifespan of the Yeti 3000 with 2,500 cycles on the main unit’s battery. Beyond this, the Lion Safari ME comes with a detachable storage battery (3,500 cycles) for added convenience.
Here’s a quick look at how the Lion Safari ME stacks up against the Goal Zero Yeti 3000:
- Battery: 2,970 Wh vs 3032Wh
- Inverter: 2000 W vs 2000W
- AC outlets: 2 vs 2
- Shelf Life: 1 Year vs 3-6 months
- Charging Cycles: 2,500 (3,500 for extra battery) vs 500
2. The EcoFlow Delta 1800 Quad Kit
If you don’t need quite as much power as the Yeti 3000 provides, we highly recommend the EcoFlow Delta, as a popular solar generator alternative. Although the battery and inverters are slightly smaller, the Delta comes at nearly a third of the price of the Yeti 300X.
Beyond this, the Delta’s groundbreaking charging speeds leave the Yeti 3000 in the dust. While the Yeti needs to be charged overnight essentially, the Delta can fully charge its battery in the time it takes you to pack the car for your next trip.
Here are the solar generator specs for the EcoFlow Delta vs the Goal Zero Yeti 3000:
- Battery: 1,300 Wh vs 3032Wh
- Inverter: 1,800 W vs 2000W
- AC Charge time: 2 hrs vs 14 hrs
- AC outlets: 6 vs 2
- Shelf Life: Up to 1 Year vs 3-6 months
- Charging Cycles: 800 vs 500
3. The Bluetti AC200 & EB240 Solar Generator Kits
Lastly, MaxOak manufactures a great line of solar generators known as “the Bluetti.” The company’s latest Bluetti AC200 stacks up well against the Goal Zero Yeti 3000, offering similar specs with noticeable improvements. The AC200 has more AC outlets, faster solar charging times, and a guaranteed longer lifespan.
Numbers don’t lie, and here are the Bluetti AC2000 specs vs the Goal Zero Yeti 3000:
- Battery: 1,700 Wh vs 3032Wh
- Inverter: 1,800 W vs 2000W
- 700W Solar Charge time: 3.5 hrs vs 6-10 hrs
- AC outlets: 6 vs 2
- Charging Cycles: 2,500+ vs 500
It's clear that the Bluetti AC200 is much better for continuous solar energy generation and use. Alternatively, one may consider the Bluetti EB240.
In the EB240, you exchange a larger battery capacity for a smaller inverter. With this in mind, the EB240 is perfect for powering low-demand devices like lights, phones, and tablets for extended periods of time.
To get the maximum ROI, consider bundling the Bluetti EB240 in a Quad Kit with solar panels and wiring included.
Ultimately, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 is simply not the best solar-powered generator that you can buy for the price.
The massive battery bank and inverter may make the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 somewhat attractive, but in the long run, there are better options for long-lasting solar energy production.
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