This is the Ultimate TopNotch Goal Zero Yeti 400 Power Station Review 2020…
We’re presenting the most reliable sources of solar power generation for you.
And this wins our Editors Choice Award…
What‘s the best solar power station? Let’s cut to the chase…
We tested the top 10 solar-powered batteries on the market and this one is more than worthy of our TopNotch Award.
Want to know why? Well in this review we’re going to cover…
- Overall value
- Power capabilities
- Lots more…
Among all the devices we tested, the Yeti 400 stood out in terms of its price to performance ratio.
We found it a TopNotch device for those who need a steady source of power in the remotest corners of the Great Outdoors.
Let’s get started…
- Delivers clean and steady power
- Wide range of inputs and outputs
- Excellent build quality
- High-quality LCD display
- Perfectly silent operation
- Can be chained with 33Ah lead-acid batteries
- The price is on the higher side
- Waterproofing would have been nice
Our Verdict: Goal Zero Yeti 400 Power Station
I’m sure you’re aware of how solar-powered generators are advancing in terms of technology.
But to tell you the truth, there are only a few that hit all the right marks.
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 power station is one such device that combines a great design with a flawless performance.
No wonder it’s a popular choice among outdoor lovers.
The first thing you’ll notice is a compact and simple design. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find excellent all-round connectivity and good portability.
Now, that’s something every outdoor enthusiast will love.
Another important point…
…the overall durability is TopNotch.
We loved the toughness of the casing.
Next, it delivers pure sine wave AC power through inverter technology – just perfect for your sensitive devices.
And on top of that, there’s an LCD display showing all the vital statistics.
All in all, it’s a pretty perfect choice as a portable power station.
But what about the drawbacks?
We wish it came as a waterproof unit and the warranty period could have been longer.
Apart from that, there isn’t much to complain about with this solar power station.
I agree that the overall power output is limited. But – here’s the point…This Goal Zero Yeti power station is designed for people who are looking for portability and convenience over power output.
Also, you may say it’s a bit pricey but the simple truth is it offers great bang for your buck.
In the end, the TopNotch team had no second thoughts about presenting it as our Editor’s Choice product.
Actually, there’s a lot more to share about this TopNotch portable power station.
So, let’s get down to business.
Related: 10 Best Solar Generators
Analysis Comparisons and Test Results
We tried the Yeti in two different camping spots on our testing trip. And within its limitations, it emerged at the top end of the list for most metrics.
Now let’s be clear.
You will need a solar panel to run this portable power station. Just make sure you keep that expense in mind and budget accordingly.
But considering the clean, noiseless power delivery, shifting to solar power is a real environmentally-friendly choice.
So how long will the batteries of the Yeti 400 last?
In general, lead-acid batteries are rated for 200-300 life cycles. After that period, the Watt hours storage capacity does decrease gradually.
Bottom line: The portable power station will last differently depending on your usage pattern. Obviously, it’ll last longer if you take care of the batteries.
It’s time to take a closer look at this TopNotch solar generator.
Value for Money
We gave the Yeti 400 portable power station top ranks in this metric.
Quite simply, the excellent performance and features offer excellent bang for your buck.
Firstly, there’s the clean and steady power supply – thanks to the integrated inverter technology that delivers a pure-sine wave AC power supply.
Value for Money Rating
In addition, you get plenty of connection points. Connecting multiple electronics really is a breeze.
The dual 5V USB ports got a big thumbs up from the TopNotch team.
The rugged build quality is perfect for outdoor use.
Not forgetting, the ultra-portable design allows you to fit it anywhere.
Being small has other advantages too. The overall charging time varies from 6 to 7 hours from a wall socket.
What about solar charging?
That’ll depend on the capacity of the solar panel and the intensity of the sun.
We connected it to a wall charger before our trip. It took around 7 hours to charge the Yeti fully.
That was slightly longer than we expected.
But there’s more.
In addition, you can also charge the Yeti 400 from a car battery using a 12-volt adapter.
Also, the intuitive LED panel keeps you permanently updated on the status.
Lastly, even with an array of ports, it’s surprisingly easy to use.
Full marks to Goal Zero for keeping life simple.
To be honest, with just 300 Watts of continuous power, the Yeti 400 portable power station isn’t designed for power-hungry devices.
But the overall power delivery is perfect for charging laptops, cameras, smartphones, portable refrigerators, and a CPAP machine.
The battery capacity is 400 Watt hours and 33Ah.
Output Power Rating
The Yeti 400 can charge a mini-fridge for 7 hours, recharge a laptop 3 to 5 times, and a smartphone 15 to 20 times. In case you want more power, simply chain it up with another 33Ah lead-acid battery.
A TopNotch feature we loved.
Keep in mind the AC outlets supply 300 Watts of continuous power.
If you plug in electronics that try to pull more Watt hours, the safety feature will shut off the machine.
We ran our LED camping lights all through the night. The battery was depleted by just 50% in the morning.
The great thing is, the AGM lead-acid battery will give you a steady output even in colder weather.
Under this metric, only the bigger option from Yeti, the Goal Zero 1400 scored higher marks. But then it’s designed for an entirely different category of users.
To sum up, if you’re planning to spend multiple days off-grid, the Goal Zero is a perfect companion.
Durability & Workmanship
One thing’s for sure. The Yeti Goal Zero 400 is a tough little guy.
The casing is super high quality, and the corner reinforcements are great features.
Knocks and bumps aren’t an issue.
Durability & Workmanship Rating
At just 29 pounds, we carried it around pretty easily.
We would’ve loved to see Yeti use a lithium battery though. It would have made it lighter and more efficient. Although of course, this would have added to the price.
Another thing we loved…
…the overall workmanship that makes it super user friendly.
The LCD screen is a big advantage. It tells you all about the charge level and power outflow.
The handle of the device is flush with the top surface. A nice touch that helps with stacking the battery.
Now I don’t know about you, but to some of our reviewers, the Yeti looks like an old-fashioned music player.
That definitely adds a quirky touch to the appearance.
But this solar generator story doesn’t end here.
The long term feedback we had about the battery wasn’t wholly favorable.
What’s the issue?
Some users complained the battery doesn’t hold charge as effectively as it gets older.
Also, the charging time can be longer if your solar panels aren’t high enough capacity.
Our suggestion: using a wall socket is the fastest way to power it up.
Considering these points, we had to place the Goal Zero Yeti at the lower end of the table in this metric.
Dependability & Reliability
Without a doubt, dependability is a strong suit of the Yeti.
To start with, it includes two USB ports, a pair of 110 AC plugs, and a traditional 12v cigarette style outlet.
In short, a super-flexible package.
Dependability & Reliability Rating
The Yeti comes with a warranty of 180 days. Moreover, the unit is also CE, FCC, and ROHS certified.
That means TopNotch reliability on all levels.
Like any solar power station, the Goal Zero works on stored battery power. The lead-acid AGM battery delivers 400 Watt hours of reliable power.
Here’s a cool feature…
…the battery’s equipped with a charge controller. That plays an important role in preventing the battery from overcharging and getting damaged.
In addition, there’s integrated inverter technology. That means you get the magic of a pure sine wave in the output AC power.
And the best part is, you can double the magic by coupling it with a similar battery.
One more thing: the lead-acid battery also means it can handle colder weather.
The Yeti 400 came out as super dependable in our tests. Even when we pushed it, it didn’t overheat.
The combination of a very effective heat sink and two small fans.
In the end, it was one of the top performers in the segment.
I think you’ll agree when I say this is one area where solar-powered generators are simply streets ahead of their gas-powered counterparts.
Honestly, the Yeti 400 is one of the quietest solar-powered options we tested.
Now we‘ve heard a few solar generators generating noise at higher loads.
But that wasn’t the case with our Yeti 400.
Even while delivering higher Watt-hours, it was silent – making it perfect for anywhere with noise restrictions.
Hardcore campers will dig the noise and smoke-free performance.
We noticed a small clicking noise after running it for a while.
But our TopNotch solar power expert who joined us for this trip explained it.
Nothing to worry about.
It was probably the fan starting up to keep the device cool.
We gave the Yeti 400 top marks in this metric.
The Goal Zero Yeti (400) is extremely quiet and fuel-free and therefore also suitable for use around the house.
Our Final Verdict: Goal Zero Yeti 400 Generator
It’s an extremely quiet, fuel-free reliable sources of solar power generator which wins our Editors Choice Award.
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 power station combines a great design with a flawless performance.
No wonder it’s a popular choice among outdoor lovers.
Conclusion: Goal Zero Yeti 400 Power Station
So it’s time to wrap things up.
As a portable power station, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Generator ticks all the right boxes.
It has an excellent lead-acid battery, a rugged design, and gives a TopNotch performance delivering a steady flow of AC power.
What we loved were the multiple input and output options that add so much flexibility. Charging multiple devices has never been so easy.
Then again the Yeti 400 portable generator is a versatile generator that’s ready anytime, anywhere.
Goal Zero has kept the weight perfectly balanced. It’s neither too heavy to carry around nor too light to feel flimsy.
Admittedly, it won’t power all the electronics in your home. But when you use it within its limitations, it’s absolutely perfect as a supplementary power source.
Also, you can hit the road with you whenever you want – it’s super portable.
Fair enough, but isn’t it a bit pricey?
If price is an issue for you, the Yeti 400 does offer fantastic value as well.
Frankly, if 400 Watts of power is enough, you’ll struggle to find a better package at this price.
And our team was absolutely sure about one thing – it’s our TopNotch Editor’s Choice.
So, is this something you think would be useful for your next outdoor trip?
We couldn’t agree more.
Now we hand the baton to you to make your choice…
Other Versions: Yeti Power Stations
We also tested two other products from Goal Zero on our trip.
The Goal Zero 1400 generator ended up as our Top Pick due to its overall excellent performance. It comes with a superb lithium battery that delivers 1425 Watt-hours and a clean AC output.
Add to that the TopNotch safety features and a water-tight enclosure for total protection. Quite simply, a perfect choice when your power needs are on the higher end.
On the other hand, the is a travel-friendly package if you’re looking for something light to juice up a few essential electronics.
This plug and play device weighs just 12 pounds and delivers a continuous output of 80 Watts. It has a range of outlets, including dual USB ports, for connecting multiple electronics.
On the whole, a great choice for powering up smartphones, tablets, and cameras on the go.