Jackery Power vs. Goal Zero – Which Portable Power Brand Should You Choose?
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If you are an outdoor enthusiast, or you are into emergency preparedness, you may have come across portable power stations. These portable devices store significant amounts of power, which gives you the ability to charge your electronic devices and run your electric appliances, even when you are completely off-grid.
As you can imagine, this is incredibly convenient during camping trips, lengthy hikes, and just about any other type of off-grid adventure. Whether you need to charge your smartphone for emergency purposes, or you just want to top up the battery in your camera equipment and portable GPS, a portable power station can be the ideal solution.
On top of that, the larger units can even be used to keep LED lights running, as well as electronic appliances, like mini fridges, CPAP machines, coffee machines, and more! This is why they are also extremely popular for emergency preparedness, as well as outdoor exploration.
How Can We Help?
There are now more portable power station manufacturers out there than ever before. While this is a great thing for consumers, it can make choosing the right portable power station a somewhat confusing process.
To help make the decision that much easier, we are going to review two of the biggest brands in the portable power station industry – Jackery Power and Goal Zero. By comparing these two brands and some of their most popular products, you will be able to choose the perfect power station for your exact needs!
Whether you camp, RV, tailgate, need portable power for your workshop, or you simply want a portable and reliable source of power for emergencies and blackouts, we are here to help you find the perfect solution!
Jackery Power was founded in 2012 by a group of adventurous engineers that believed portable and clean electricity could help outdoor enthusiasts get the most out of their adventures.
While the Jackery Power brand had some initial success with their early products, it was 2015 that they were able to make a big splash in the portable power industry. This was due to the release of their incredibly popular Explorer Series of portable power stations.
These compact and powerful units were the world’s first lithium-ion powered portable power stations. They also featured a built-in battery management system, which was another improvement over existing alternatives. Since their initial release, the Explorer Series Power Stations have become Jackery Power’s flagship products and they are amongst the industry’s best-selling portable power stations.
The Jackery Power Product Line:
As mentioned, the brand’s initial aim was to help people stay connected to the outside world while they explored the outdoors, and the Jackery Explorer Series has certainly lived up to this goal.
While the high-capacity internal battery and built-in battery management system are clear highlights, these powerful little units also feature a variety of output and input ports. Importantly, they can also accept solar power, which means they can operate as fully off-grid power stations, rather than just as simple battery banks.
The Explorer Series consists of four portable power stations – the E160, E240, E300, and the E500.
Since the initial release of the Explorer Series, Jackery Power has continued to update and upgrade their power stations and they have also released a range of foldable and compact solar panels that pair with their Explorer power stations.
The brand also released a range of high-capacity solar generators that are designed to supply power to larger devices and electronic appliances. This product range is known as the Mighty Explorer Series and consists of three solar generators – the E1000, E1500, and the E2000.
The brand has also won a variety of awards for innovation and quality, which helps explain why they continue to be one of the best-selling portable power brands.
The Goal Zero Brand
Goal Zero was originally founded in 2009. The brand got its start after its founder visited rural areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and realized how many people had to survive without reliable access to power. Taking this inspiration, Goal Zero created its first portable power system – the Escape 150.
While its specifications may seem underwhelming now, the Goal Zero Escape 150 was one of the first all-in-one battery bank systems, so it was considered to be revolutionary product. The brand continues to be driven by its early humanitarian vision to bring power to the most remote, off-grid communities by offering reliable and portable power systems.
Goal Zero’s brand mission is to empower human potential by bringing power and electrical lighting to all off-grid locations. Whether you are talking about a camping trip in a national park, or bringing power to remote villages in Africa, Goal Zero wants to ensure that people are not limited by their lack of access to a traditional electrical grid.
The Goal Zero Product Line:
While Jackery Power is almost exclusively focused on their portable power stations and their foldable solar panels, Goal Zero has a far more diverse product line. Not only do they sell portable power stations of their own, they also sell non-solar AC power banks, rechargeable flashlights, vehicle accessories, USB power banks, mountable solar panels, and more.
For the purpose of this article, we will mostly look at their power stations to see how they stack up against those offered by Jackery Power.
Goal Zero’s portable power stations are known as their Yeti Series. Within this product line, Goal Zero offers nine power stations, which all have different power ratings and storage capacities. The largest power station, the Yeti 6000X, features a massive 6,000Wh battery, while the smallest unit, the Yeti 150, just features a 168Wh internal battery.
How Do Jackery Power & Goal Zero Power Stations Compare?
Now that you know a little bit more about the two brands and what they offer, we can get into a more technical comparison of either brand’s flagship products. We will start by doing a side-by-side comparison of some of their best-selling portable power stations. From there, we will offer our overall impression of either brand and their top products.
This will help us determine which of the two brands you should choose if you are shopping for a new portable power station.
The Goal Zero Yeti 200X vs. The Jackery Power Explorer 240
While these two power stations look fairly similar and they are both very portable, there are some important differences between them when you take a deeper look. For starters, the Jackery Power Explorer 240 features a much larger battery.
Given that the size of the battery will determine how much power your unit can store, it is one of the first things you should look for when shopping for a new power station. Another important detail is the fact that the Jackery Power unit’s inverter is far more powerful than the limited inverter you get with the Goal Zero Yeti 200X. Not only does the Explorer 240’s inverter have a far more impressive power rating of 200W, which means it is compatible with more demanding electronics, it also features a Pure Sine Wave Inverter, rather than a Modified Sine Wave Inverter.
This is an important difference, as Pure Sine Wave Inverters are far more efficient and stable, so they will not damage your sensitive electronics. Modified Sine Wave Inverters are fairly dated and you rarely see them in modern solar generators.
In terms of output ports, the Goal Zero Yeti 200X does offer more, but this is a minor footnote when you consider the fact that both its battery capacity and power rating are significantly lower.
Given the fact that the Explorer 240 has a higher battery capacity and a more powerful and efficient inverter, it is our clear winner. When you also consider the fact that the Yeti 200X is also nearly 30% more expensive than the Explorer 240, the decision is a bit of a no-brainer.
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 vs. The Jackery Explorer 500
As was the case with the entry-level models, the Goal Zero option is fairly underpowered when compared to its Jackery Power equivalent. Where the Yeti 400 features an 428Wh battery, the Explorer 500 has a larger 518Wh lithium-ion battery. This means it can store 19% more power, which can be a big difference when you are completely off-grid, or when you are experiencing a power outage.
Again, the power inverter is also much more powerful in the Jackery Power unit. However, the power rating and battery capacity is not the only difference between the Yeti 400 and the Explorer 500. For whatever reason, the Yeti 400 features a PWM charge controller, rather than a more advanced MPPT charge controller. This greatly reduces the efficiency and also leaves the Yeti’s battery susceptible to battery drain.
If you are planning on charging your portable power station with solar panels, an inefficient charge controller can be a big problem.
While the price is about equal for these two power stations, again, we have to pick the Jackery Power option, as it features a higher capacity battery, a more powerful inverter, and a far more efficient charge controller. Given that they are also about even on the number of output ports and total weight, this is another no-brainer.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1000X vs. The Jackery Power Mighty Explorer E1500
Once again, the portable power station from Jackery Power offers far more impressive specifications than its Goal Zero equivalent. For starters, the Explorer E1500 features an impressive 1,534Wh lithium-ion battery, while the Yeti 1000X only has a battery capacity of 1,045Wh.
The Explorer E1500 also has a more robust power inverter, which means it can handle more demanding electronics. They are fairly similar in terms of output ports, but the Yeti 1000X still comes with a dated PWM charge controller. While Goal Zero does offer the option to upgrade to a MPPT charge controller for a fee, this really should be standard in a power station that is priced at $1,400!
When you consider the fact that these two power stations are nearly the same price, yet one offers so much more and is nearly 10 lbs lighter, deciding which is the superior option really is a simple choice. Once again, we have to recommend the Jackery Power option over its Goal Zero equivalent.
Our Conclusion – Goal Zero or Jackery Power?
While both brands have their advantages and disadvantages, we can’t help but feel like Jackery Power offers better value, especially if you are discussing portable power stations.
The portable power stations from Jackery Power simply offer more than their Goal Zero alternatives. We suspect this is partially due to the fact that Jackery Power gears their products more towards consumers that have greater experience with solar and portable power equipment, while Goal Zero is more of an outdoors brand.
This explains why you often see Goal Zero products at camping, hiking, and hunting stores, like Bass Pro Shops. On the other hand, Jackery Power products are usually sold through specialized solar equipment retailers, like www.ShopSolarKits.com.
In truth, there is nothing wrong with a portable power station from either brand, as they both offer high-quality products that can help you stay connected while off-grid, but we would certainly lean more towards a portable power station from Jackery Power if we were making a recommendation.