Goal Zero Boulder 200 Briefcase Review
Though Goal Zero’s arsenal of solar products are mainly portable panels, portability is not a forte of the Boulder 200 Briefcase. It is the largest solar of their products but with that carries 200 watts of output power and can provide a substantial amount of juice for battery power stations like the Yeti series.
If you need to power a number of off-grid devices and quite frequently, then the 200 briefcase is certainly for you. This Goal Zero Boulder 200 Briefcase review looks at a few useful features that make it truly rugged and outdoor-specific. Some of them are the easy fold-and-carry system, mounting kickstands, and sturdy build. Its weight, dimensions, and cost may not be to everyone’s liking, but it surely compensates with its performance and build quality.
The 200W Briefcase is best compatible with Goal Zero’s Yeti series of power stations, thanks to its 14-ampere DC current at 14-22 volts. Unlike the other panels of the Boulder series, it comes with a square Anderson power pole. The single pin output simplifies connecting and disconnecting but makes universal battery pack compatibility difficult, though not impossible.
Similar to other Boulder series panels, the 200 briefcase comes with two 100W panels and rigid aluminum frames. The corner protectors do a nice job of reducing impact shocks and increasing durability and portability. The tempered glass is considerably tough. It would have been a cleverer design to have the glass fold inward for safer transportation.
Ease of Use
At just over 44 lbs, this may not be the lightest and easiest to carry, but it is easy to set up. Both panels have their foldable kickstands that make mounting the panels at a desired angle easily possible. Just one output pin for the whole set makes the connecting and disconnecting effortless.
A standard 200W panel could easily be a meter and half long, while the briefcase is only half of that after folding it. The kickstand bring remarkable easy to unpack, pack, install, and disconnect. The protected corners and lightweight frame achieves good balance in strength and weight. The price point, however, is not going to be a favorite feature, given the fact that it costs nearly twice the price of other standard solar panels.
Design-wise, the Goal Zero Boulder 200 Briefcase is simply a scaled-up version of the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase. The idea of hinging two panels together to make a foldable unit is perfect. Individually, the fully black panels look modern. The corner protectors add protection as well as style, with green highlights on them. Overall, the set definitely looks one of the best among portable panel options.
What We Like
The Briefcase 200 is a perfect outing companion for those with multiple devices and frequent power requirements. The ability to carry 200W of rated power in one hand is definitely a plus, if weight isn’t the greatest issue. Kickstand and single pin output make it suitable even for beginners’ use. On the durability and utility front too, this product makes a clear statement.
- Integrated kickstand allows easy setup
- Excellent build quality with premium components (frame, glass)
- Higher strength and durability due to corner protection
- Double the power in given dimensions (folded), making carrying easier
- Very heavy, at 41.9 lbs and difficult to carry
- Costs significantly higher than other non-portable modules
- Panel faces remain outwards when folded