Goal Zero Yeti – Lead-Acid Battery Portable Power

Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station WiFi Mobile App Enabled, 3024Wh/280Ah Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500 Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC Inv, USB, USB-C, USB-PD 12V Outputs

The Yeti series of portable power stations from Goal Zero are pretty amazing.

First of all, what are they?

They are portable, off the grid power solutions – for modern times.

These are a far cry from the old school, gas-powered generator.

Goal Zero describes them as generator alternatives.

The Goal Zero Yeti line combines efficient and powerful modern battery technology with innovative charging options.

And they are built to power the devices of today – phones, tablets, computers, and household appliances like microwaves, TVs, refrigerators – and more.

And whether you need an emergency power blackout option, power options for remote recreation, or robust power for the job site – there is a Yeti product that’s right for you.

We’ll look at the whole range of options – from compact to heavy duty.

In this article we’re going to review Goal Zero’s Yeti products that use AGM Lead-Acid battery technology.

Lead-acid batteries are traditional batteries – like that in your car.

They have some drawbacks – they are heavy, they need to stay fully charged when not in use.

BUT, they are significantly cheaper than the more advanced (and lighter) Lithium technology.

Let’s deep dive into these products here.

Lithium vs Lead-Acid

Lithium or lead-acid – what’s the best battery tech for you?

Lead-acid is the same technology as your car battery – it’s heavy, it involves acid, but it is high capacity and relatively affordable.

You also need to keep them fully charged at all times for best battery life.

Lithium batteries are significantly lighter and hold a charge for a long time. They also last for more recharge cycles (all batteries wear out and will need to be replaced in the future.)

They are more expensive as compared to lead-acid.

Goal Zero Yeti 150

Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station, 150Wh Small Generator Alternative with 12V, AC and USB Outputs

The Goal Zero Yeti 150 (Buy on Amazon) power station is the entry level, battery based power solution.

First of all, what is it exactly?

It’s a mega-sized battery (lead-acid type). You charge it up by connecting to a wall outlet (or use solar panels) and it provides lots of power.

Here’s a great overview of this compact, amazing device:

How do you use it?

Assuming it’s charged up – just plug your devices into the built-in power outputs.

There’s two type of 12V outlets – for car accessories, two USB Ports, and an 110V AC outlet – for very small household accessories – like phone chargers and laptop power bricks.

Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station, 150Wh Small Generator Alternative with 12V, AC and USB Outputs

And because it’s a battery – just hit the power button and go – no fumes, no noise – it’s totally silent.

Here’s some more stats:

Capacity150Wh, 14Ah (12V) battery capacity.
Cell Type12V sealed lead-acid battery (AGM)
Charge cycles
Weight12 lb (5.4 kg)
Dimensions7.75 x 5.75 x 6.75 in (19.7 x 14.6 x 17.2 cm)
Solar Charge Time6-12 hours using the Boulder 50 solar panels
Wall Charger (45W) Time6 hours
12V Car Adapter (30W) Charge Time4-6 hours

This particular Yeti model uses a lead-acid battery, just like your car.

For best results, when not in use for remote power, you should leave it plugged into the wall – as that will maximize life for this type of battery.

That also means you shouldn’t drain it all the way down – it’ll last longer if you don’t do that.

The Goal Zero Yeti 150’s sweet spot is camping and recreational activities.

Keep phones charged, recharge camera batteries, or charge up your laptop.

The fume free, silent operation means you won’t disturb mother nature.

How much practical power does this provide on a full charge?

  • Smartphone 9-12 Recharges
  • POV Camera 25 Recharges
  • Headlamp 25-50 Recharges
  • Tablet 6 Recharges
  • Laptop 1-2 Recharges
  • Light-a-Life 50 Hours
  • As you can see, the Yeti 150’s specialty is SMALL devices. You shouldn’t try to run household appliances off this unit.

    How much is it? Here’s an up to date price quote, from Amazon:

    Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station, 150Wh Small Generator Alternative with 12V, AC and USB Outputs
    • 168Wh lead acid battery portable power station can power up to 5 devices at once (14Ah @12V)
    • Continuous 80W, 160W surge modified-sine wave inverter, 2.1A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
    • Charge phones, tablets, cameras, tablets, and other small devices
    • Recharges from AC, 12V or solar panels (sold separately)
    • Designed and engineered by power station experts with a US-based customer service center

    The Goal Zero Yeti 150 is a neat solution – for small power needs.

    If you need more power – like for light household appliances, let’s look at it’s big brother.

    Goal Zero Yeti 400

    Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station, 428Wh Rechargeable Generator and Backup Power Source with 300 Watt (1200 Watt Surge) AC inverter, USB, 12V Outputs

    The next step up in the Yeti line is the Goal Zero Yeti 400 (Buy on Amazon).

    This model is similar to the 150 – AGM Lead-acid battery, a variety of power outputs, and multiple ways to charge.

    The big difference? It’s bigger.

    Capacity is 400Wh, 33Ah (12V). That’s significantly more than the 150.

    Here’s what you can do with it:

    • Smartphone 20+ Recharges
    • POV Camera 70+ Recharges
    • Headlamp 70+ Recharges
    • Tablet 10+ Recharges
    • Laptop 3-5 Recharges
    • Light-a-Life 130 Hours
    • Mini Fridge 7 Hours
    • 32 LCD TV 3 hours

    Here’s some more stats:

    Capacity400Wh, 33Ah (12V) battery capacity.
    Cell Type12V sealed lead-acid battery (AGM)
    Weight29 lbs (13.2 kg)
    Dimensions10.25 x 8 x 8 in (26 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm)
    Solar Charge Time8-16 hours with the Boulder 100 Briefcase
    Wall Charger (75W) Time5 hours
    12V Car Adapter (30W) Charge Time13 hours

    Again, this is a lead-acid battery – keep it on the wall charger when not in use – and don’t drain it down all the way.

    And, for your viewing pleasure:

    Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station, 400Wh Battery Powered Generator Alternative with 12V, AC and USB Outputs
    • 396Wh lead acid battery portable power station can power up to 7 devices at once (33Ah @ 12V)
    • Continuous 300W, 600W surge pure-sine wave inverter, 2.1A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
    • Charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and most small devices. Backup power for small appliances, lights, and more
    • Recharges from AC, 12V or solar panels (sold separately). Gas-free generator alternative with no noise, no fumes, no maintenance
    • Chainable with other 33Ah lead acid batteries for longer runtimes

    If the Yeti 400 is not enough power for you, we have one more lead-acid option.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1250

    The Goal Zero Yeti 1250 (Buy on Amazon) is a portal power solution that you can charge with wall power or with solar panels.

    At the core of the solution is an amazing battery.

    This is a portable power solution for the year 2019.

    It’s got 1200Wh (100Ah) capacity – that’s a lot.

    For powering everything from phones, to laptops, to a refrigerator – this is a great emergency power solution.

    Or, if you need an outdoor, remote power solution – for camping, working, recreation – or anything else.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 100 Briefcase Solar Panel
    • Kit includes a Yeti 1250 Portable Power Station, Boulder 100 Briefcase solar panel with cord and kickstand, a roll cart and a wall charger
    • 1250Wh lead acid battery portable power station can power up to 10 devices at once (100Ah @ 12V) with continuous 1200W (1500W surge) pure-sine wave inverter, 2.1A USB ports (4), 120W 12V ports (2)
    • Chainable with other 100Ah lead acid batteries for longer runtimes
    • Recharges from AC or pair with a solar panel (sold separately). No noise, no fumes, no maintenance
    • Solar panel is a lightweight, 100-watt monocrystalline panel with briefcase folding enclosure, handle and case

    We mentioned this isn’t an old fashioned gas powered generator – with all the fumes, noise, and danger of gasoline.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1250 – Charging Options

    Here’s the real beauty of this solution – the diverse array of charging options.

    How do you charge it? From wall power, car charger, or even solar panels.

    Doesn’t that take a while? Not as long as you’d think.

    Here’s charging options for the 1250, and the time it takes to a full charge.

    Charging MethodCharge Time
    Wall Charger (72W)18 Hours
    Car Charger (30W)44 Hours
    Boulder 50 Solar Panel36-96 Hours
    Boulder 100 Solar Panel18-48 Hours
    Boulder 200 Solar Panel9-24 Hours

    The other beauty of this approach – it’s so easy to use. No engine to start, no gas, just push a button and you have power (assuming you’ve charged the unit.)

    Power Devices with the Goal Zero Yeti 1250

    What can you power with the Goal Zero Yeti 1250?

    Here’s the outputs – plug in any USB device with ease.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit with Boulder 100 Briefcase Solar Panel

    It can also power any standard 12V car accessories.

    And lastly, it has an inverter built in to give you good ole 110V 60HZ AC power – via 3 separate outlets.

    Use that for a microwave, coffee maker, tools, lighting, or even a refrigerator.

    USB port

    5V, up to 2.1A (10.5W max), regulated
    6mm port

    12V, up to 6A (72W max)
    12V car port

    12V, up to 10A (120W max)
    12V power pole port

    12V, up to 33A (400W max)
    AC inverter (output, pure sine wave)110VAC 60Hz, 10A (1200W continuous, 1500W surge max)

    Aren’t lead-acid batteries heavy?

    Yep – and this one is no exception – the Yeti 1250 weights about 103 lbs.

    Heavy, but not unmanageable. Included in the package is a roll cart.

    How long will these appliances last? That will depend, of course. You won’t be able to drive a power draining device as long as a smaller one, of course.

    This portable power solution also works best in above-freezing temperatures – battery performance is impacted greatly by temperature.

    Can you power a full size refrigerator?

    Can you really power a full-size refrigerator with the Yeti 1250?

    Yes, you can.

    Here’s the facts, straight from the manufacturer:

    “Full-size refrigerator runtimes from the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 are dependent on several factors, including the year, make and model of your refrigerator, as well as its volume, fullness and usage.

    We actively test a variety of refrigerators to determine an average runtime. For the longest runtimes and to optimize performance, we suggest limiting the opening and closing of refrigerator doors when powering from the Goal Zero Yeti 1250.”

    How Could You Use a Yeti 1250?

    What are some example uses of the Yeti 1250?

    Emergency power for hurricane season, or blackouts and power outages.

    Remote power for construction and projects – no more running extension cords.

    Plenty of power for camping – be the campsite hero with a coffee maker, a microwave, and more – without disturbing the peace.

    Power a tailgate party – and much, much more.

    Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Panels

    Let’s take a look at my favorite charging solution – Solar Panels. Harness the power of the sun – and get off the grid.

    The Boulder 100 Briefcase Solar Panel (Buy on Amazon) is a 100-watt monocrystalline solar panel, that folds into a brief case form factor (with carrying handle) for ease of transport.

    The Boulder 100 Solar Panel is built with strong tempered glass and an aluminum frame with added corner protection for temporary or permanent installation.

    It also has an integrated kickstand to help get the optimal angle to the sun.

    Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
    • Lightweight, 100-watt monocrystalline solar panel with briefcase folding enclosure
    • Features rigid, anodized aluminum and tempered glass construction
    • Ideal for camping, emergency, or off-grid situations
    • Engineered to solar recharge Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Stations
    • Comes with a 1-year limited warranty

    The Boulder 100 solar panels can charge your Yeti 1250 in 18-48 hours – depending on intensity of sunlight.

    Do I need sunshine to use solar panels?

    This might be a surprise – but solar will work without direct sunlight, even in overcast conditions. That’s because solar panels utilize IR, UV, as well as the visible rays from the sun. The IR and UV light can easily penetrate cloud cover. Cloudy conditions will mean less efficient charging – but it doesn’t mean you are dead in the water!

    Is it hard to setup? Nope – it includes a 5 foot cable to connect directly to Goal Zero products – like the Yeti 1250.

    And, they are easy to transport securely, it folds up like a briefcase, complete with carrying handle.

    Step up to the Boulder 200 Watt Briefcase Solar panel (Buy on Amazon) for even quick charging.

    Goal Zero Boulder 200 Watt Briefcase Monocrystalline Solar Panel
    • Lightweight, 200-watt monocrystalline solar panel with briefcase folding enclosure
    • Features rigid, anodized aluminum and tempered glass construction
    • Ideal for camping, emergency, or off-grid situations
    • Engineered to solar recharge Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Stations (Yeti 1000 and larger)
    • Comes with a 1-year limited warranty
    Will solar panels work indoors?
    Yes, but they will work much better with direct sunlight. The glass pane of a window will significantly reduce recharging efficiency. Solar panels should be placed outside, in direct sunlight – if at all possible. Keeping the solar panel angled directly to the sun is also recommended – that’s when solar panels will work most efficiently.

    In Summary

    Want an emergency or remote power solution that is clean, easy to use, and powerful?

    Then you want the Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Solutions.

    Their Yeti products that are based off of lead-acid batteries are heavy, but have high capacity, and are affordable.

    Team them up with the Boulder Solar panels for a true off-grid, green, and clean power solution.

    Silent, no fumes, and plenty of power.

    It’s a winning combination.

    You may also be interested in our review of Goal Zero’s Lithium based Yeti Power Stations.

    Last update on 2019-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author


I'm an all around computer junkie, interested in many aspects of programming, operating systems, and enterprise IT technologies. I love Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows and more!

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