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Portable power stations offer mobility and power with ease. Designed to be a powerful clean energy alternative to a gasoline-powered inverter generator, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 lithium portable power station is safe and reliable to use indoors, as well as outdoors. Whether it’s to keep your household devices running during a short power outage or powering a small photoshoot in the wilderness, you can rest easy with no fumes, fuss, or fright to worry about.
For those of you that enjoy self-reliance, a portable power device is what you’ve been looking for. Many of us have gone hiking, happily taking pictures and video with our phone only to find that before we even get to that gorgeous waterfall or epic viewpoint, our battery is only at 10 percent and our phone could die at any moment. Goal Zero prides itself on helping people better prepare for these moments so that they can stay connected with those that matter most. Their goal is to help people get out further and stay out longer. The Yeti 400 lithium portable power station can help you do just that.
With a variety of ports and a lithium battery, this power station is light enough to carry around your campsite or on the road so you can stay connected while off-grid. It’s perfect for a long road trip, camping, a day out at the beach or park, working remotely, or an emergency backup during a blackout. The digital display shows you the input and output of the battery, as well as a monitor of the battery level, letting you predict how long you can keep things running and how soon you will need to recharge.
Why Goal Zero Yeti?
The history of the fruition of Goal Zero as a brand stems from human outreach and sustainability. The founder, Robert Workman, started the TIFIE Humanitarian when he saw the need for helping those in poverty while visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He realized that if he could teach the villagers how to run a sustainable business, it would enable them to help themselves and their communities out of poverty.
A couple of years later Goal Zero launched as a business. Since then they have been at the forefront of the industry, consistently innovating and improving their portable power products, while also partnering with humanitarian efforts and helping in disaster relief by donating their products when needed.
Whether finding solutions for a weatherproof power bank, or utilizing a safer, more environmentally friendly battery option like the lithium-ion to make their portable stations lighter, and more powerful, and compact, Goal Zero continues to launch impressive products for your off-grid or emergency power needs.
Review of the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station
Look & Feel
In a rectangular box shape, the 400 lithium portable station is sleek in appearance with a silver face around all four sides and black edges, black on top and bottom with Goal Zero’s signature green accenting. On each side are the vents for the internal fan, set in black against the silver face. There is a handle across the top of the rectangular box shape that conveniently folds up or down to leave a generally flat surface around the top edges.
The surface on top of the unit is slightly concave in an aesthetic design that would seem to make it easier to grab the handle without scraping your knuckles. The front is about the size of a standard college-ruled notebook paper sitting on its side. On the front are all the outputs and inputs, button functions, and digital display.
Placed in the top center of the front of your Yeti 400 lithium is the digital display, which is more informative than most other brands of portable stations on the market. On the left side, it shows the input number above the output number in wattage, both clearly defined. On the right side, it shows the amount of time until the battery is empty. In between those is a battery diagram giving you the visual equivalent of the percentage of battery life in bars, showing the bars depleting as the battery life is used up, and the bars filling up the battery as it is recharged.
And if bars weren’t enough, each bar has a number within it (20, 40, 60, 80, then the words full), to give you a more exact indication of the status of your battery life. This is a highly beneficial feature, as it takes the guesswork out of keeping your battery at an optimal level.
The different inputs and outputs of the Goal Zero Yeti 400 lithium portable station are conveniently grouped, each with its own power button. This feature allows you to turn off the power from an area while you’re not using it so that it’s not pulling any extra energy from the battery. A green LED light on each power button will indicate that it is on. There are also a few buttons above the LCD display clearly labeled as ‘units’, ‘light’, and ‘info’.
The ‘units’ button allows you to scroll through the different units of output so you can see how many watts, volts, and amps you’re pulling. If you press and hold the ‘units’ button you will reset the watt-hour output counter. The ‘light’ button controls whether the backlight is on or off, so that you may see all this useful information. And the ‘info’ button allows you to toggle between showing the percentage of the current battery charge and the amount of time to empty or full.
Goal Zero’s Yeti 400 lithium power supply has two AC ports (120V) that work well for any medium-sized devices you might plug into a wall. There is a 300-watt capacity, but with a 1200 watt surge, which is the highest surge rating for a 300-watt capacity battery on the market.
The three USB A ports can pull 2.4 amps and are generally used for your mobile devices like phones, tablets, gopros, laptops, rechargeable battery packs, etc. The only downside here is that there isn’t a USB C port that many newer devices are using, but you can still use an adapter cord to fix that issue.
As far as ports for charging the Goal Zero Yeti 400 lithium, a 12V car cigarette charging port is provided. It is recommended that you only use the Goal Zero charging cable when recharging your Yeti 400 lithium through the car charging port, which you will have to buy separately for $39.95. Then there is the input port for charging the Yeti 400 from the wall. For solar charging, you would likely be using the input charging port as well.
Charging & Power
There are three ways to charge the Yeti 400 lithium power supply:
- Plugging into the wall (about 7 hours to fully charge)
- Connecting to a compatible solar panel (sold separately)
- Using the charging cable to connect to the 12V car cigarette lighter port (sold separately)
Some common items it can power and for how long:
- 12V light for 130 hours
- Recharge a smartphone 20 or more times
- Recharge a laptop 3 to 5 times
- TV for 3 hours
- Mini fridge for 7 hours
- Recharge a headlamp 70 or more times
- Recharge a tablet 10 or more times
Lithium-ion batteries have become popular for mobile devices due to being able to pack a high energy density and more power into a light and compact unit. Li-ion NMC is a particular type of lithium rechargeable battery that uses a complex alloy containing nickel, manganese, and cobalt. Its lead-acid counterpart is heavier and has less of a surge allowance.
There is also a lot less maintenance when it comes to your lithium power pack. All you need to do is make sure it stays charged in a cool, dry place, and if you can’t keep it plugged into a power source, recharge it every 3 months.
The Goal Zero Yeti lithium battery is rechargeable to 500 cycles at 80 percent capacity. It has a shelf life of 3 to 6 months, meaning it should last that long before needing to recharge. To prolong battery life, keep your Goal Zero Yeti lithium charging in between uses and stored in a cool, dry place. If it can’t be kept plugged into a power source, then make sure to recharge it fully every 3 months. Failure to do so could result in damage to the battery which would also void the warranty.
Carrying the Goal Zero Yeti 400 lithium around is akin to a large lunchbox or small cooler. The handle is sturdy and makes it easy to move around. You can place it in your car comfortably and it’s small enough to fit on the floor of the backseat, or front passenger side so that you can charge it from the car cigarette port while driving with ease. Weighing about the same as a bowling ball, you wouldn’t want to carry this power station on a long walk, but it’s just light and compact enough to move around the house or campsite without any fuss.
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 lithium portable station is very quiet. There is a cooling fan that is designed to turn on when the internal temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Multiple customer reviews have reported that even with the fan going the power supply is still quiet.
If you so choose, you can recharge the Yeti 400 lithium by connecting compatible solar panels. These you would have to purchase separately. Goal zero has its own options, but you may also use other brands as long as you have the adapter connector. This is a great option for longer camping or road trips when you have an ample amount of sun at your disposal.
In the Box
When you open the box, you will find the user guide, the Goal Zero Yeti lithium power station, and its wall charger.
Interesting and Useful links:
- Staples InTents Unboxing the Goal Zero Yeti 400
- Filmmaking with Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium
- Goal Zero Yeti 400 User Guide
Although this particular Yeti 400 lithium power station is no longer available, we’ve found from their reviews that people are enjoying this model for how quiet and lightweight it is. They prefer using it for short getaways and working remotely (especially as a photographer). Camping trips are where the Goal Zero Yeti thrives, being able to power a mini-fridge or TV, and multiple small electronics at once, such as phones, tablets, and a laptop, a small fan, or even a string of lights and a heating blanket. It also works well for a medical device such as a CPAP machine, so those with sleep apnea can still enjoy the great outdoors comfortably and rest easy in the event of an emergency blackout.
It’s great for powering medium-sized items or smaller devices, such as a Smartphone, POV Camera, Headlamp, Battery Pack, Tablet, Laptop, Light-a-Life, Mini Fridge, or 32 LCD TV.
The Yeti 400 lithium battery is rechargeable to 500 cycles at 80% capacity and has a shelf life of 3 to 6 months. To keep a healthy battery life, it is recommended you either keep it plugged in, or charge it every 3 to 6 months.
If you’re asking how long it will last on one full battery charge, that will depend upon the number of watts you’re pulling. It is designed to pull up to around 300 watts during one charge. The higher wattage you’re pulling, the faster the battery will get used up, as you will be able to see on the LCD display.
The Yeti 400 has a maximum input of 120 watts. If more than that is connected to the unit, the charge controller will accept the 120 watts and any excess power will be depleted.
You reset your Yeti 400 lithium power station by holding the “units” and “info” buttons for 3 seconds.
No, the Yeti 400 Lithium has a capacity of 400-watt hours, and the limit for batteries on a plane is 100-watt hours.
The Goal Zero Yeti Lithium portable power station has 39.6 amp-hours.
Yes, the Yeti 400 lithium can charge while outputting power, including solar panels. You just have to be sure that the output isn’t exceeding the input. When this happens, the power station will eventually shut off and will then need to be manually turned back on once it has reached a charge of 10 percent.
Yes, it’s worth it if you want to power medium-sized or multiple smaller items. It is not capable of powering larger items that require an output of more than 300 watts.
*If you have questions that were unanswered here, you may contact Goal Zero’s support team directly at email@example.com or toll-free at 1-888-794-6250