Power outages — is there anything as frustrating? Well, okay, plenty of things, but how many of these other frustrating things make you feel as if you've gone back in time more than a century?
One way to bring some power back is via these small, medium and large Goal Zero solar power kits. Each comes with a battery back and a set of solar panels that provide a trickle charge to stretch the battery pack's — and, therefore, your gadgets — powered life.
The cooler-sized Yeti 1250, the largest of the bunch, is also the most impressive. The Yeti can keep a full-sized refrigerator humming for 24 hours, or keep you vital gear — fridge, TV, stereo system, etc — for around eight hours. When it is ready to sell in the spring, Yeti's price will be as hefty as the unit looks $1,500 to start or $2,000 when packaged with the additional solar panel array.
The smallest Goal Zero kit is the Guide 10 Plus and commands a more reasonable $160. Inside the battery pack are four AA nickel metal hydride cells that can be used in concert to power a tablet for two-to-three hours.
Goal Zero's remaining solar power kit is the medium-sized Sherpa 50, which lands in the second quarter of this year for around $350. The battery pack is actually two pieces (although I'm not sure why), capable of keeping a laptop running an extra two-to-three hours, and includes a USB plug, two laptop pin power inputs and even a three-prong AC power outlet. You can buy just the battery pack — no solar panels — for $300; the solar panels will run another $150.
Posted on location at CES 2012 in Las Vegas.