Goal Zero Boulder 200 Solar Briefcase and Yeti 500x Lithium Generator Review

– What's up YouTube? It's Peter with the
Outdoor Adventures Team. And this is my review of the Goal Zero, Boulder 200 Briefcase. So we'll touch a little bit on the quality and few use cases and
then if you stay tuned towards the end we'll get into
some of the pros and cons. Let's get into it. (guitar music) So the Boulder 200 Briefcase
is the same quality that I've come to really
expect from Goal Zero. It's really well made. The frame is very well made.

It's got great corner protection, the componentry looks really
good, the cables look good. It even comes with a little
bit of a carrying case. So really nicely done. Let's take a look at some of the specs. So Goal Zero laid out
for us the charge times, some general information,
the ports and the solar. So you'll notice that the Yeti 500, which is what I run with, is actually missing from this list. So I don't think the 500X was out yet when this was created,
but it is a perfect match for the Boulder 200 Briefcase.

You'll also notice that
they don't rate anything with charge times below the Yeti 400. So we did talk with Goal
Zero and they'd said that anything below the 400,
like the 200, or the 150 runs the risk of being
damaged by something like the Boulder 200, it's
a little too much power to match up with those units. And then from a ports
perspective on the Boulder 200 you're gonna need to use an Anderson pole. So for me who runs a 500X
means I need an adapter, I need something to go
from the Anderson pole to an eight millimeter
so that I can bring it into the Yeti 500. We pulled this chart directly
from the Goal Zero website. It's pretty handy. Across the top you can
see the different Yetis that they run. And then down the left
hand side you can see the different panels and they
kind of meet in the middle where the solar charge times are. So you'll notice, for example, that the Boulder 200
Briefcase does not pair with the Yeti 200 or the 150,
as I'd mentioned before. And for the 500X, which is what I run, it's about three to
six hours to charge up.

So pretty respectable, that
allows me to be able to charge pretty quickly in the morning from anything that I drew down
overnight in a power outage. And it also gives me some flexibility to be able to still charge
while having an output like charging my MacBook,
charging the tablet, running my home office. So a little more to that as
we get further into the video. So let's see what it
looks like to set this up. It is a 40 pound unit but
setup is pretty quick and easy. Alright, so right now, the
panels are in pretty much full sun, charging the 500 and
you can see them pulling in about 140 watts pretty
consistently right now. So one nice feature about the Yeti 500X, I think all the Goal Zero products, is that as it starts to
get to a full charge, you can see right now
my inputs only 15 watts, but the panel is actually in direct sun, which means that I would
normally be pulling in about 145 watts off the panel.

And so it's slowed down at this last 2% to protect the battery. Alright, so I'm running a
little bit of a load test here. I've got my Boulder 200 panels plugged into my Yeti 500X here, and it's a little hazy right now. So you can see I'm only
drawing in about 95 watts, kind of fluctuating
between 95 and 110 ish. And my output right now is about 230, 235, somewhere in there. Right now I've got my home
workstation plugged in, so it's got 227 inch
thunderbolts and a MacBook Pro running off the Yeti right now. So as you can see, I
could do that for a while but I'm running at a deficit. So even if the panels were
bringing in their full, which seems to be around 145, 150 watts, I would still be running at a deficit running my home office. So I'd be able to do this for a while. But I wouldn't be able
to do this say all day if I didn't have power. So let's look at another scenario that's pretty common here in California.

So we often have rolling
blackouts or in the fall, we will have planned power outages to help support fire safety, we wanna make sure the
high winds don't knock down lines and start fires. So this happens pretty frequently. Another use case might be if you know, you're around the campsite,
and you wanna make sure that your things are all
charged up or, you know, after a day of off-roading, and shooting, I need to charge up my camera gear and potentially even do
some editing on my Mac. So in this scenario, I've
got a MacBook Pro plugged in as well as an iPad. So we can kind of look
at what it looks like to charge those two things that I know I always keep charged up. So you can see right now
some clouds coming over, my wattage dropped. But with this configuration,
my outputs gonna range somewhere between 30 and
probably 65 as an output depending on what processes
the Mac is running.

And then typically my input
out of the Boulder 200 on a clear day is about 145, 150 watts. So it can keep up really
easily with this setup. I can charge you know,
multiple phones, tablets, and be able to do a little
bit of work at the same time, no problem with the input
that the 200 provides. So let's talk about the pros and cons of the Boulder 200 Briefcase. First off on the pros,
it's really high quality as I'd mentioned before. The welds are great,
the hardware is great, the corner protection is great. All the components seem
to be really high quality so you're getting what you pay for. From an input perspective,
you're gonna lose a little bit of efficiency coming off
of a panel as you convert, you know, the sun into energy.

So 145 watt input is pretty
respectable out of a 200 watt, you know, potential panel. They're also portable,
you can fold them in half, put them right in your carry case, and you can store them away
or keep them inside your RV or your truck, whatever it might be. They pair with multiple units, so they'll pair with any
of the units from the 500. So the 500, the 1000, the 1400, the 3000. So they're versatile, you
know, in what they apply to for the actual batteries. You can chain them with other
panels, so you can, you know, hook them with another Boulder 200 and increase your input if
you've got a larger unit. Let's look at some of the cons. So out of the box, it's
only got a six foot cable. So you're gonna need an extension for pretty much any
scenario that you've got. I have a 30 foot, you might even want a 40 foot extension cable to
make sure that you can get from your panel to the
unit that you're charging.

It's a 42 pound panel, so pretty easy to set up. But you know, if you're smaller stature or maybe not as strong, 42
pounds is a little bit cumbersome to take in and out of the carry case. The position ability, so,
it's got really strong legs on the backside of the panel, but you have to be a little creative with how you angle it at the sun. You know, I've seen
competitors and other brands that have more ability
to be able to adjust to face direct sunlight, so a little bit of a con there. And then the carrying case. So the carrying case only unzips to reveal the top part of the case, so
you have to be able to pull out that 42 pound panel, while not, you know, just lifting
up the case with you. It's also a soft sided case. So there's really not a lot of protection when you're in storage or
if you're throwing it inside of your RV or your truck bed or something. It would be pretty easy
to damage the panel because the carrying case does
not really protect the panel.

So bottom line, would we
recommend this product? Absolutely, the 200 is a
phenomenal panel I really like it. Charges up my 500 in three
to four hours really easily. So super great if you're gonna
throw it into your truck bed or an RV or you know bring
it to unpacking a campsite is a really great option. My caveat would be for off-roading. I'll probably bring my
100 panel for charging just because it's a little smaller, a little easier to pack up, a
little less overhead for me, you know, in just my Jeep. But the panel itself
is absolutely amazing. So thanks so much for watching. We really appreciate it. I'd love it if you'd like and subscribe and please leave any
comments you have below. We're happy to address them,
and even produce more content addressing any of the
questions you might have. Thanks so much, until next time..

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