Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station Review
The standard Yeti 400 by Goal Zero was already a worthy contender, but with the Yeti 400 lithium, Goal Zero has made it even more flawless. A lithium battery inside means lower weight per energy stored. This is a lightweight unit that has added features like an extra USB and some extra indicators on the display.
Goal Zero’s resolute preference for multi-input and multi-output usage is commendable. For someone who wants a strong battery station with modern features and versatility, this lithium-ion unit is a must-buy. The cost, however, may be slightly disappointing for some. This Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium review dives deeper into the details and will help you in deciding if it’s worth it.
Like other battery stations by Goal Zero, the 400 lithium commands attention because of its compatibility feature. On the input side, it allows charging through a wall charger or solar panels. The wall charger takes about 7 hours to fully charge the unit, while the charging through solar duration depends on the panel capacity. The largest set, 200W, can charge it in less than 5 hours, provided there is good sunlight. Smaller panels such as the 50W Boulder will need around 15 or more hours. Goal Zero solar panels are perfectly compatible with the system, and the single pin design on both sides makes it highly convenient.
On the output end, there are 5V USB ports for mobiles and tablets, along with 12V outlets and an interesting AC output. Normal batteries cannot power AC devices without an external inverter. The Yeti 400 lithium employs an in-built inverter that gives AC output and can charge devices just like a wall unit. It also boasts of a surge protector that can handle surges of up to 1200W.
Durability is arguably the most essential feature of portable battery units. The Yeti 400 lithium does not disappoint in this department. It has a tightly enclosed battery in a tough casing. The boxy design and the pillar-like corner edges are strong and fight mild shocks easily. Even the sides have plastic panels that are reinforced with projections, similar to the corners. This improves breakage resistance.
The handle is a single, thick piece clamped securely to the box. The noticeably low weight of the 400 lithium automatically makes it less susceptible to falls and other physical shocks in transportation.
Ease of Use
Traditionally, batteries haven’t been known to be particularly easy to use. This is due to their polarity aspect as well as the time and expertise it demands in connecting and disconnecting with panels or electrical loads. The Yeti 400 lithium comes with clearly designated ports for everything. Plugging in a solar panel needs less than five seconds with a single pin and port. Same stands true for the output side. DC as well as AC devices can be charged or used by plugging in the specific port. For something that has an array of ports and features, the Yeti 400 lithium is surprisingly easy to use.
The most attractive feature that makes this Yeti model a premium offering is its lithium ion battery. Li-ion batteries are high power density batteries that weigh far less for higher energy storing capacity. Besides that, the upgraded display is perfect in its segment. It can show available energy in Wh or remaining hours based on which devices are connected to it.
The possibility of running DC loads of 5V or 12V or AC loads at 110V gives wonderful flexibility of use. Sadly, an important feature available in the standard 400 model is missing here, and that is the ability to chain with other units. There are no chaining Anderson ports, nor any mention of chaining on the official website. For larger energy needs once in a while, the single lithium Yeti may as well fall short.
If the Yeti 400 lithium’s features at its cost don’t seem to convince you, we have covered some other portable options in this post to make it easier for you to choose.
Despite being a squarish model, the Yeti 400 lithium does well in the design section. Goal Zero has gone with the trademark color scheme of black-grey with some green. From a distance, it vaguely resembles the retro music players, with its longer handle and front panel. The ports have green painted borders to group them into their categories. Tiny buttons with small indicators switch the output to on or off for respective ports. The display is darker in shade and makes it look modern.
At a reasonably light weight of 17.6 lbs, this power station is an authentic portable machine. Its dimensions are also considerably lower. Though a bit more rectangular than its lead-acid counterpart, it requires surprisingly less volume for storage or transportation.
Its rugged casing also improves its portability. The tightly fitted plastic panels should stay intact even after plenty of transporting and handling. The lack of water resistance is a noticeable shortcoming, while charging the system outdoors with panels.
What We Like
The Yeti 400 Lithium can pass as an ideal power station, given its Li-ion battery, low weight, and versatile nature. The cost might make you think twice, however. The dark and feature-rich display is helpful in knowing everything about your Yeti at all times. The different types of inputs and outputs are always a noteworthy feature. To conclude, we can say that if its cost is not a problem, the compact and all-rounder Yeti 400 lithium is a great choice.
- Lightweight for the given capacity
- Comprehensive and simple to read display
- Versatile with multiple types of inputs and outputs
- Strong and easily portable
- High cost
- Lack of possible IPX7 rating
- No chaining ports to increase capacity