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Goal Zero Yeti 400 Review

The portable Goal Zero Yeti 400 promises to be your one-stop shop for recharging your essentials. But does it really?

Published:
Last updated:
Reviewed by
Robert Laswell
Guide

The Yeti 400 Portable Power Station was purportedly built to be a complete battery recharge and power solution.  It is supposedly the perfect choice for those who enjoy spending time outdoors or those who live in areas prone to frequent power cuts.

With this handy device, you will be able to keep your tablets, phones, and other similar devices fully charged for days at a time.  One can also use it to power up 12-volt devices such as electric stoves, fans, and the like.  But the buck does not stop there. The Goal Zero Yeti 400 comes with 350-lumen Light-A-Life LED lights that can brighten up that homes or camping sites for hours.

Furthermore, setting up the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Power Station is a cinch as all you have to do is plug it up with a power source of your choosing, such as the AC adapter or its solar panels.  The Yeti 400 has a large battery but can be fully charged with an AC adapter within 5 hours and around 20 hours with its solar panels.

All in all, the Yeti might come with a hefty price tag, but will it make for an excellent investment for those who do not want to worry about blackouts, natural disasters, etc. Let us find out.

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty rugged design
  • Reliable power distribution
  • Rechargeable through AC power and solar panels
  • Huge battery capacity
  • Quiet operation
  • Various power outputs such as 2 USB ports, 2 AC outlets, and 12V output

Cons:

  • Heavy to carry
  • Slow to fully recharge
  • Expensive price
  • Solar panels sold separately

Features Of Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station

Solar Panels

At a small additional cost, the Yeti 400 comes with the Goal Zero Solar Panels. The solar panel features a charge capacity of 50 watts or 18 to 22 volts. The Boulder 50 solar panel is great for the outdoors because of its rugged and durable design.  By this we mean it has a very strong tempered glass for its main panels and a rigid aluminum frame.  To top this off, the Yeti’s Boulder 50 solar panel also comes with some nifty corner protection and a stand that can be easily adjusted to any angle. The Yeti 400 Portable Power Station can also be used with a compatible solar panel from another company.

A drawback of the Goal Zero Yeti 400’s solar panel is that it does not hold a charge on its own.

Battery

The Yeti 400 Power Station comes with a huge battery capacity built to support you and provide you with backup power in times of crisis.  Of course, some people purchase the Yeti 400 Power Station simply to go camping, hiking, or the like. How much power this battery has can be estimated by its cycles. Its battery is known to have a six-month shelf life in which it will go for about 500 cycles before its capacity is reduced to 80 percent.

The Yeti 400 Portable Power Station comes with a battery pack. Its pure sine wave inverter is also strong enough to power up a fridge for just over 6 hours, a DSLR camera for over 50 charges, a phone for over 35 charges, and an iPad or tablet for over 10 charges.

Not bad for a portable power charging unit!

Charging

There are three convenient ways one can fully charge their Yeti 400 Portable Power Station.  Firstly, users can charge their Yeti 400 Power Station by using a regular power outlet from home or an AC outlet. Secondly, the cigarette lighter slot can be used to charge the device via the 12 volt DC car charger.  Lastly, for an additional cost, people can purchase a compatible solar panel kit that can be used to charge the device via the sunlight.

Durability

Durability is perhaps the most vital attribute of these solar power stations. The Yeti 400 does not dissatisfy in this aspect. The device has a nicely sealed battery encasing that is built tough. The square-like design with hardened corner boundaries is sturdy and protects from soft to mild impacts or shocks rather effortlessly. Even the sides have plastic panels that are reinforced with a protuberance that is like the hardened edges.  With all these added protective features, it is no wonder we can comfortably declare this device as durable.

Even the design of the handle, which is a thick and secure latching, seems to reinforce our durability rating.  The Yeti 400 has a build design that makes it harder to drop or expose to hard hits while in transit.

Easy-to-Use

Customarily, portable power stations are not known to be especially easy to use. This is mainly because they require time and expertise when connecting and disconnecting with panels or batteries and electrical loads. Fortunately, the Yeti 400 comes with easily identifiable ports for everything you require. Even a novice can plug in a solar panel in less than 5 seconds with the simple instructions included in the package. The same goes for all the output features.  This makes it easy to charge or use all DC volt or AC volt devices by choosing and plugging into the right port. 

Design

Even though the Yeti 400 has a box-like look, it actually is pleasing to the eye. Its color combination and design make it feel like a powerful and durable device that you can rely on in times of trouble.

It has a long handle and an extended front panel, with the device’s ports having clearly visible ports, which are arranged in an easy-to-identify grouping. The buttons and indicators are used for its functionality but give the power station a modern look and feel.

Portability

Being relatively lightweight at a little over seventeen pounds, this portable power station is truly what it advertises itself to be. Its proportions are also noticeably lower than its competition. Even though it might have that boxy or rectangular feel, it does not take too much space while being stored or transported.

Charge Time

The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Power Station can be fully charged using all three methods listed above, but the difference lies in the amount of time each method takes. For example, using the AC power outlet charger will take the device about 7 hours to fully recharge, while the 12-volt car charger will take the device about 14 hours.  On a bright and sunny day, using the solar panel kit one can fully charge their battery in less than 9 hours.

Warranty and Returns

Warranties for Goal Zero products such as the Yeti 400 Power Station are for two years, with warranty exception on all open-box products. Open-box product’s warranty is for only six months.

Goal Zero offers a 30-day, hassle-free money-back guarantee if, for any reason, the customer is not satisfied. Although, this is only relevant for products bought directly from Goal Zero. Unfortunately, the 30-day money-back guarantee is not for open-box products, in which case all sales are final, with no returns or exchanges.

Overview

Goal Zero is a manufacturer that has a strong name in the industry of solar power generators and power stations.  They began as a humanitarian outfit and slowly transitioned into the marketplace.  Seeing as their devices are perfect for anyone who enjoys the outdoors or those who are facing harsh conditions, the transition makes sense.

Portable power stations such as the Yeti 400 Power Station rely on solar energy and are excellent for outdoor trips and other camping activities. This pure sine wave device offers you clean, free, and constant electricity for charging your small electronic equipment such as phones and lights through its various outlets such as its USB ports. It goes without saying that it is a no-brainer to choose this device over a gasoline-powered inverter generator.

Furthermore, it is also a safe addition for indoor use. You can either use the wall outlet or the sun’s rays to charge. Additionally, it produces no hazardous fumes or polluting agents.

It is true that the Yeti 400 Portable Power has a somewhat smaller power capacity compared to other inverter generators, but it still offers you a smart investment, one that you won’t regret on the day you actually need it.

FAQs

How can I buy the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station?

You can buy all Goal Zero products anytime from their website, goalzero.com. Goal Zero products are also available on Amazon, as well as through retailers including Cabelas, Bass Pro, REI, Best Buy, etc.

What is the quality level of the Yeti 400 Portable Power Station?

The Yeti 400 has been tested in some of the harshest conditions possible, from the Mount Everest base camp to far-off villages in the Congo. As a result, goal Zero is confident that its products are highly durable and will work anywhere needed.
Their solar panels are also designed to be outdoors 24/7 soaking up the sun’s rays even if that means dealing with all the harsh elements.

How long will the Yeti 400 hold a full charge if unused?

Normally, these power stations hold a full charge for about 12 to 14 months. But, the company recommends using and charging the battery every 3 to 4 months in order to promote a healthy lifespan.

How can I backup my home with a Yeti 400?

You can backup only four main circuits in your home using the Goal Zero Yeti Home Integration Kit, which should be installed by a certified electrician. By doing this, you can keep your main circuits, and AC outlets powered even through power outages.

Can we use third-party solar panels with my Yeti 400?

Yes, you can, but keep some things in mind.  The Yeti X line has a max voltage of 50V, while the Yeti Lithium has a max voltage of 22V.  Always have an expert check if your third-party solar panel is compatible in order to stay on the safe side.

Is the Boulder Solar Panel mountable on a roof?

Yes, but be sure to use the Boulder 50 and 100 Solar Panels. However, the Boulder Briefcases are not built to be mounted permanently to a fixture; it is more of a portable type.

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Author Bio

Robert is a renewable energy and sustainability specialist with 10+ years of experience in the solar and renewable energy space.

With experience in different organizations in the industry, he operates semprius as a passion project promoting sustainable renewable energy ideas and products.

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