Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable Solar Generator Power Station Review
This is the big one. This is the biggest solar generator Goal Zero has ever made. The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X solar generator is their mac daddy when it comes to total capacity and capability. Does it really stand up to what’s on the market though? Is this really the best option available? Will this power station run all that’s needed during an emergency, blackout, or with an RV or Van?
The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X has the largest built-in battery out of all existing power stations on the market. That means with no alterations, it will run the longest before needing to be recharged. But is that a good thing?
With a 6,071 watt-hour, total battery capacity the Yeti 6000X is definitely long-lasting. It uses Lithium-NMC battery cells to hold the power inside ready to go. It is a 12v battery bank which is typical for solar generators but 24v or 48v would be even more efficient.
With a large battery capacity, the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is capable of running a fridge non-stop for about 3 days straight on average with no solar panels connected. Now that’s impressive. We’ll get into solar charging shortly.
There are some bigger drawbacks to having such a large battery. Normally, more battery = better system. But with a bigger battery comes other needs such as the ability to recharge quickly, and have the ability to put out lots of power when needed.
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The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X battery cannot be fully recharged in a single day from solar panels which is a big problem. Also, it makes the unit weigh 104lbs which is going to be very hard for many people to move around. Luckily it does come with a moving dolly so it at least has wheels to move it but going up stairs, putting it in a vehicle, or even getting it out of the box is very challenging.
What is nice about the 6,071wh battery capacity is there is no need to upgrade the system to have external batteries. It has the option to add AGM batteries to it but that is really not necessary.
The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has a decent-sized battery of 3,032wh and can be expanded on as well but adding the Goal Zero Tank system actually hurts the Yeti 6000X battery capacity.
Because the Goal Zero Tank system uses AGM batteries, you automatically cannot drain the entire system below 50%. The Goal Zero Tank has a 4,800wh battery option. With the onboard 6,071wh that would equal a grand total of 10,871wh of total battery capacity which is incredible! But, you can only use 50% of it which means the total battery capacity would actually be 5,435wh.
By adding the Goal Zero Tank you’d actually reduce the overall battery capacity of the 6000X. That’s not cool at all. Basically, the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X should not be expanded on.
The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X has a lifecycle count of only 500 cycles. Not very high. And it will only hold a charge on the battery for up to 3 months. In my experience, even after 3 months, the battery is around 80% at best so it does discharge on its own somewhat quickly. Not as fast as the Patriot 1800 which will discharge completely in a couple of weeks.
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Just like the Goal Zero 3000X, the 6000X has a 2,000w pure sine wave inverter that can peak up to 3,500 watts. That’s a good-sized inverter for running basic needs around the house or RV. It is not going to run an RV A/C unit as well as the microwave or anything at the same time.
It will run power tools, small A/C, fridges, and other important devices but it may not do it all at the same time. This will require a little bit of power management on your part if you’re running any big equipment.
If you’re not running much equipment but just need a good power bank, then the Yeti 6000X would be a pretty good option if it had a longer lifespan.
Generally, it’s best if the inverter is capable of pushing out twice as much power as the continuous power output rating which means it should be able to peak at 4,000w. 3,500w is fine but it’s strange that it’s not capable of double the continuous output.
2,000w of inverter output power is good, you just need to be mindful if you’re running any bigger equipment like A/C.
This is the biggest challenge of the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X. It has a huge battery which is great. It has a good-sized inverter which is helpful. But the solar recharge capacity on the 6000X is not good for multiple reasons.
One, they advertise that it can input up to 660 watts into the batteries but that’s actually not true. After reading the user manual and talking with the Goal Zero Customer Service reps both confirmed that only 600w can be put in by solar.
Since the main focus of solar generators is to provide power when there is no power due to power outages, boondocking, or away from the grid, solar is very important.
The issue is that even though it has an MPPT charge controller, the 6000X cannot be charged in a single day from solar panels. There are 5 solar peak hours a day on average in the USA. That means there are 5 hours a day that the panels can make their full potential power.
5 hours x 600w = 3,000 watt-hours
That is only 50% of the battery capacity. That is okay if you’re not draining the battery every day but many people are shocked by how much power they use on a daily basis even during emergencies.
The bigger issue is that 3,000wh is how much power it can make in a day, as long as nothing is being run off of the Yeti 6000X while it’s charging. That’s a big problem because during the day we still need to run our fridge, freezer, lights, fans, kitchen devices and so on.
That means in a single day it’s only likely going to be able to make upwards of 2,000wh while running essential equipment. That would mean it takes 3 days to charge! And that still doesn’t factor in using that essential equipment all night long and having a battery that’s even lower in the morning.
This is the big crutch of the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X system. It’s extremely hard to get it recharged unless you have very small power needs.
This is why the Yeti 6000X is in the last place on the Top 8 Best Solar Generators.
On the upside, it does come with a fast 600w wall charger to recharge the 6000X from a wall outlet in only 5 hours which is great. That is one of the fastest recharge speeds of most solar generators available according to all the reviews I’ve seen and done.
This is why I love the Titan so much. The Titan can have a 6,000wh battery capacity just like the 6000X for about the same price. But, in addition to that, the Titan has a 3,000w pure sine wave inverter so it can easily run a lot more equipment at the same time. But then, even more, it has 2,000w of solar recharge capability through the two MPPTs built into the Titan. That means it can be used all day long and still get fully recharged by nightfall every day.
How long will the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X last? It has 500 cycles which means that you can drain it from 100% down to 0% then back up to 100% 500 times before the battery is considered “used up.”
It isn’t truly used up and no good. After 500 cycles it will be 80% as efficient as it was when it was brand new. So rather than it being a 6,071wh battery, it would be more like a 4,857wh battery. It’s still a good battery and should work without any problems, it just won’t last as long-running equipment like it did when it was brand new.
Click Here to Buy the Yeti 6000X
The Titan batteries are rated to 2,000 cycles which means it will last 4x longer than the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X battery. In addition, the Titan can add external batteries of any type, lithium or lead-acid, and make the cycles last even longer. I like to use the Titan Expansion Batteries to add more capacity to my Titan.
The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X needs to be maintained every month or two. It will slowly drain the battery down as it sits on the floor waiting to be used. This is due to the fact that the Yeti 6000X doesn’t have a true “off” switch. The screen always has a readout and is never truly turned off. There is no off or on button. You simply choose which output you want to use and it will either turn those ports on or off. But the battery always has a tiny draw on it which causes the 3-month shelf life explained in the user manual.
For having a massive capacity it only has 2 AC outlets. That’s okay, more outlets are not a requirement but it doesn’t make life easier when using the system. I find that a minimum of 4 outlets is good but 6 is best.
When the power goes out the most common devices plugged in are 1 fridge, 1 freezer, 1 fan, 3 to 4 lights, and different kitchen appliances as they are needed. Having only 2 AC outlets means that I have to keep a power strip around to make sure I can run everything I need. Not a deal-breaker, but again it doesn’t make life easier when the power is out.
When the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is used in an RV it doesn’t have an RV plug that the shore power plug can plug into directly. A dog bone adapter is required. Using the dog bone can make it hard to have the other AC outlet available to use if I need to plug something directly into the Yeti.
It does have 2 normal USB-A outlets, 1 USB-C QC (Quick Charge) 18w, and 1 USB-C PD (Power Delivery) 60w fast-charge port. Charging MacBooks, drones or other USB-C charging devices is easy with the high output on the Yeti 6000X.
On the 12v outputs, it has a regular cigarette lighter port that is regulated and rated to 13amps output as well as the 8mm ports at 10amps. But the 6000X does come with a special 30a Anderson Powerpole 12v port that will be great for many HAM radio operators who want to run heavy-duty HAM radio equipment.
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Goal Zero has been around for a long time. They were the first big company to make solar generators/power stations and they will likely stay the biggest company for many years simply due to their amazing marketing team and worldwide influence.
Their customer service is great. Every time I have called to ask a question I have never had to wait very long to get an answer. They are very good at helping others figure out how to use the Goal Zero systems and get people pointed in the right direction.
Using the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is overall pretty good as long as your power needs not large. If you just need to run a fridge, a light, and a fan for a long time during a power outage or RV trip, then it’ll work great for that. If you have any more equipment that needs to be run off of the Yeti 6000X it will likely not be enough mostly due to the small solar input.
The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X can usually be found for about $4999.95. There is a scale that I made to determine the actual cost per “unit wattage” to better compare different solar generators to each other. It factors the 3 vital aspects of a solar generator which as battery capacity, inverter output, and solar charge rate.
Factoring all of those pieces together we get “unit wattage.” Meaning all the watts and watt-hours combined together then compared to the total price. The unit wattage of the Goal Zero yeti 6000X is $3.89/unit wattage. That is on the high end of the scale.
The Titan has the lowest unit wattage of all solar generators on the market at a mere $1.33/unit wattage. All things considered; the Titan is 1/3 the price for what you get.
The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X has a 6,071wh battery, 2,000w inverter, and 600w solar input for $4,999.95.
The Titan with 2 Expansion batteries added has 6,000wh in batteries, 3,000w inverter, and 2,000w solar input for $5,785.
Comparing the Yeti 6000X vs Titan shows that the Yeti is slightly more affordable, but it will only last ¼ as long as the Titan and does not charge as fast or put out as much power as the Titan. For me, I’d rather spend a little bit more and know that my power station is going to be with me through the thick and thin and do everything I need it to do.
Click Here to Buy the Yeti 6000X
The Goal Zero Yeti 6000X is not a bad unit. It definitely has its place in the solar generator/power station world. It has limitations and is not quite as good as other units but it is still a decent unit.
I hope that Goal Zero will look at their system in the future and change certain aspects according to the demands and needs of the market like how the Titan has done.