The Bottom Line: Goal Zero's Yeti 150 comes from the brand's line of portable power stations. These are essentially battery packs built to be carried along to provide a recharge for a variety of electronic needs and devices. The Yeti 150 model is on the line's lighter and smaller end, with a unit weight of about 12 pounds and a storage capacity and output aimed at personal devices such as smartphones (according to Goal Zero's website, the Yeti 150 can recharge a smartphone about 10 times on a single power station charge), tablets (about six charges), headlamps (about 35 charges) and camp lights (varies by size).
The Yeti 150 has an interface that can handle a 12-volt car charger input, two USB plugs and/or a single standard 110-volt wall plug. A small display also shows about how much charging capacity remains on the Yeti 150.
A standard wall plug and adapter is included, and a complete charge of the Yeti 150 takes about six hours with the wall outlet. The power pack also includes a cable allowing an input hookup from any of Goal Zero's line of assorted solar chargers. Additionally, though not included, a car adapter is also available that allows for recharging the unit while on the road.
First impressions right out of the box with the Goal Zero Yeti 150 are how rugged and solid the unit is built! With a handle that makes lugging it around simpler, this is a solid mass of a box. That being said, the Yeti 150 won't be going out on any hiking trails with you. Instead, this unit will be waiting at the car or the campsite for your return.
Goal Zero built the Yeti 150 to be adaptable for most conventional energy needs the user may have. And while the Yeti line offers larger and pricier power station options, some of which are capable of jumping car batteries or acting as more sustained power generators in the event of an emergency, the 150 keeps it small and simple and aims mostly for users to recharge personal devices.
A lot of Goal Zero's aim tends to be with outdoor users in mind, so this unit also has an input for any of the company's solar chargers to charge the energy reserve on this power pack. And over time we've definitely found it most useful recharging camera batteries and unmanned drone aircraft batteries, which tend to drain pretty quickly when in use. What we've also found are more common around-the-house uses. The power pack creates a portable power source that has been great for powering a laptop when nice days call for working outside, as well as having made our front lawn the spot for haircuts now that using clippers doesn't require running an extension cord through the house. We've also found ourselves working on the laptop inside a vehicle at a campground, furiously trying to finish under deadline, thankful for the power pack as there were no other nearby power sources.
I admit, these may be some incredibly specific examples, but the point is that possessing a power source that can be carried with you to different places definitely seems to open up possibilities that weren't present before. Strings of twinkling camp lights on the beach? Powering a video projector in a park? Goal Zero's embracing of the rapidly evolving growth and potential of compact battery power has opened up an abundance of new possibilities.
As far as the drawbacks, the Yeti 150's bulk seems to put some limits on its accessibility. Again, at 12 pounds, it probably won't be traveling with you on foot into the distant backcountry, nor in your flight luggage. And we noticed our unit wasn't able to inflate our plug in blow-up mattress. This, admittedly, may have been an issue with all of the technical numbers present on this power unit, while our layman's understanding stopped at recognizing that the plug fit, and I would assume that one of the larger Yeti units would be able to handle something like this.
That being said, for the traveler who enjoys having an ever-present assortment of electronics at the ready on their adventures, the Goal Zero Yeti 150 will ensure that most personal devices will keep a lasting charge throughout a weekend trip. For others who may not get out into the field, the Yeti 150 has made simpler a lot of around-the-home activities, even aiding in getting outside and beyond the restrictions of needing a wall outlet immediately nearby.
If you like your time spent without the modern distractions of electronics, don't be tempted by the Yeti 150, which will only open up a rabbit hole of options for recording, illuminating, or playing with your experiences out in nature. For those who do enjoy these distractions, the Yeti 150 will enable you to experience and interact with your environment in a way limited only by your own creativity.