My first impressions of the Goal Zero Lithium 1000 and Boulder 100 Solar Briefcase.
I was able to test out the Goal Zero Lithium & Boulder brief case on a recent trip to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest near Bishop. Please check out the video below for my first review.
Over the last 3 years or so I’ve been using the ArkPak for my energy needs. The Arkpak had served me well over that time but was heavy and the deep cycle AGM battery that I had installed was no longer holding a good charge. Rather than replace the AGM battery I started looking for other solutions that would be lighter weight and allow me longer periods off the grid – this would involve solar to charge daily.
Of course, I soon located the Goal Zero 1400 which looked to be the perfect solution, but it retailed at $1,999,000 (Priced just dropped to $1,799.00) and seemed an overkill for me in capacity. During my research, I found a similar model that was sold exclusively by Costco known as the Goal Zero Lithium 1000 which retails for $999.00. I decided to combine the Goal Zero Lithium 1000 with the Boulder 100 Briefcase for my off-grid power solution.
During the time I was off-grid from late Thursday to early Sunday I was able to recharge the Goal Zero Lithium 1000 to a full charge using the Boulder 100. Most of the time I was pulling from 50 watts to a high of 78 watts – expect to get about half of your rating unless the conditions are perfect. I had no trouble running the 12 volt Engel refrigerator at 32 degrees – it normally pulls around 2 to 2.5 amps.
So my initial impressions of the Goal Zero Lithium 1000 are favorable. Here are some of the positives.
- Excellent build quality with ergonomic design – nice handles.
- Ease of use – controls are easy to understand.
- Ease of plugging in Goal Zero solar panels using 8 mm connection.
- 2 Year Warranty when registered with Goal Zero.
- Lithium batteries much lighter weight than AGM or Lead Acid.
- Cannot get wet
Why I purchase the Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase rather than the Nomad 100 Solar Panel.
- Smaller panel size.
- Built in kick stands with optimal tile for summer months.
- Price – $299.00 vs. $649.95 – I actually paid the older price at $374.95.
- I believe to be easier to setup and reposition as the sun moves.
- Heavy – 25.9 pounds
- Not sure how rugged – panels face outwards
- Cheap carry case which is hard is put on
I did purchase two extension cords. The included cord on the Boulder 100 is very short. I purchased both a 6 and 30-foot extension. I mostly used the 30 foot which allowed me to leave the Goal Zero Lithium 1000 in the Rover, I assume you’ll loose some amperage from the panel to the charger, but it’s worth it.
I will report back with a longer term review once I’ve had more experience with them.