Last week we looked at the popular Goal Zero™ Yeti 400 portable power pack, and compared it to CarGenerator™, which offers considerably more power and exponentially more run time than the smallest 400W Yeti model, in a package of similar size and nearly-identical weight. But what does this mean in the real world? What can you do with a CarGenerator™ that you can’t do with a GoalZero™ Yeti. Well, for one thing, you can plug in an induction cook top to boil water or heat up dinner. In this video, Jonathan Schloo, the inventor of CarGenerator™ demonstrates how the power from the car in your driveway can put dinner in your tummy.

As Jonathan demonstrated in this video, CarGenerator™ makes enough electricity to cook a hot meal. If you’ve ever taken an extended road trip into the middle of nowhere, and attempted to live off of granola or bread and cold cuts, you’ll appreciate the humanizing, soul-nourishing value of hot food.

Obviously there are some places you can not or will not take a car; if you’re portaging through a remote archipelago, your Mercedes SUV will undoubtedly remain at your basecamp. If you’re really and truly away from the comforts of home (or car) then a product like the Goal Zero™ Yeti, coupled with a good set of collapsible solar panels could be the ideal solution. After all, if the choice is a little bit of power or no power at all, having a little bit of power is much better than having none at all.

It all comes down to one thing.  If you take your vehicle with you on your outdoor adventures then CarGenerator™ is the better choice, because of its drastically-better run time – 50 to 70 hours when powered by a typical car – and higher power output. For casual camping in RV parks or campgrounds, CarGenerator™ is clearly the better choice.

If you leave your vehicle behind and backpack into the mountains or bush, where you are off the grid for days at a time, then the GoalZero™ Yeti could be a useful device, since it’s a battery pack, and can be recharged with a solar panel array from just about anywhere. That said, most serious backpackers will be reluctant to pack an extra 16 ounces into their kits, let alone 16 pounds. Serious campers or outdoor adventurers often want to entirely ‘unplug,’ in which case no power is probably just enough. For the rest of us, however, whose recreational pursuits are a little more pedestrian, camping is best enjoyed with some creature comforts. If you want a way to dry your hair, heat up some lunch, or power a serious set of outdoor lights, there’s only one solution; CarGenerator™.