The Goal Zero Yeti 1400 is an impressive portable generator that you can recharge via outlet and solar panels. For a long time, it has been hard to find solar-charged generators that can rival their fuel-filled competitors.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1400 is one of the first mid-range models we have reviewed that has closed that gap to the point that makes it a serious consideration.
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The Yeti 1400 has an extremely positive user base, touting it as a beast of a generator and an amazing solar farm we are going to do an in-depth review to show you the potential of this piece of kit.
If you have never heard of Goal Zero, they are a company that produces power stations that are both portable and eco-friendly. Most of their models come with the option to charge by solar panels, which is a great change in direction from the gas-guzzling monsters that portable generators have always been.
Aimed at consumers who want a quieter and more environmentally friendly off-grid generator, they are leading the way in the innovation of the portable generator industry.
This innovation is evident in features such as being able to control the generator remotely, as long as it is connected to wi-fi.
How Good Are Goal Zero Products?
Goal Zero is a big name when it comes to solar energy, and I would call them innovators in their industry.
Goal Zero products look sleek and sophisticated, and they perform their functions very well. They are also easy to use. Unfortunately, this kind of innovation comes with a slightly higher price tag.
One way that goal zero has managed to lead the way in innovation is through their approach to modular systems. Almost all of their products and their accessories can be used interchangeably.
This means that if you have a set of their solar panels, they will work with any Goal Zero generator you have, and vice versa.
Goal Zero has gathered a very loyal fan base, thanks to their environmentally friendly approach and a strong attention to technological detail they have gained the support of lots of big and small companies alike.
Their creations are made with the average user in mind. So even though their products are crammed full of high-end technology, they are made so that anybody could unpackage and set up one of their generators, even with little technological know-how.
Intuitive and easy to use are two terms that come to mind when I think of Goal Zero products. Sure, you get a manual, but you might not need it. That’s how easy their products are to use.
Another way they have grown their user base so fast is through the humanitarian work that they undertake.
During the Haiti earthquake of 2010, the Japan tsunami in 2011, and Hurricane Sandy. Goal Zero was there to help with each of these disasters, providing help and supplying power through their innovative solar power products.
If I had to define Goal Zero in a couple of sentences, they would be as follows:
Goal Zero is the kind of brand that we need in modern times. With a focus on being environmentally friendly, they create products that are as easy to use as they are technologically advanced.
What Comes In The Box?
When you open the box that contains the Yeti 1400, you instantly see the build quality. Weighing just over 44 pounds, you need the heavy-duty metal handles to carry it around.
There is a nice no-nonsense feel to this device too, and you don’t get a box full of useless add-ons and plastic bits that you know you will lose within a week. Inside the box, you simply get the generator and the wall charger
- Yeti 1400 Solar Generator
- Wall Charger
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Solar Generator
Boasting a 1425-watt battery, the Yeti 1400 is a beast. Although technically not a generator per se, it is more than capable of powering your devices during a camping trip. If you are a heavy-duty user, you may need to buy a couple of addons for it to truly shine, but we will go into that later.
A laptop, for example, can be charged from 0-100 16 times; a led strip light can be running non-stop for 10 days. It can even power more power-hungry devices such as a television or a fridge for a whole 24 hours.
From powering up fridges during blackouts to powering an RV while on holiday to light-duty construction, the uses for this solar generator are endless.
The Yeti 1400 can be charged in three ways. Included in the box is a wall plug to enable to charge the pack from the mains.
Charging from the outlet takes about is the easiest way and takes around 24 hours to charge from 0-100. If you are buying it for a caravan or car, it will take around 40 hours.
One of the reasons why this product is so popular, of course, is the ability to charge it by solar power. With the ability to connect up to 6 of the compatible solar panels, you can charge the entire unit in just 6 hours. If you stick to one solar panel, you will be looking at around 20 hours of sunlight.
The Yeti 1400 uses a 1425 Watt-hour AGM lead-acid battery that can charge anything from mobile phones and tablets. It can also run televisions and refrigerators.
The AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery is more efficient at charging and recharging than other types of batteries and will last 300 cycles or more if proper care is taken. It is critical to recharge the battery before it drops below 50%, as all AGM batteries will suffer from repeated full discharges.
Keeping your battery above the 50% charge level will ensure that it lasts longer.
The display panel on the front of the Yeti 1400 will ensure you are always in the know as to how much power is being used, and how much power is left in the generator.
The design of the Yeti 1400 is durable and tough, and it will be able to take a bit of a beating without any complaint. The plastic bumpers on all of the edges combined with the heavy-duty rubber feet will ensure that if you drop the unit by accident, you don’t have to worry about it breaking.
Goal Zero recommends that you keep the generator hooked up to a power source when it is not in use. This will prolong the life of the battery, and as an added bonus, your Yeti 1400 will be ready for an adventure whenever you are.
Nothing worse than being ready to go out on a camping or boating trip, and realizing the Yeti 1400 isn’t fully charged.
If this does happen, you have the ability to purchase solar panels to recharge the generator. If you don’t feel comfortable keeping the generator hooked up to a power source continuously, you can fully charge it every 2-3 months, and then store the unit in a cool, dry place like the basement or a shed.
One thing you need to be careful about when using the Yeti 1400 is moisture, although the rugged design is water-resistant, it is not waterproof. This means that if water gets into the inner workings of the unit, it could have disastrous consequences.
This device has a range of different output ports. It has 4 USB 2.4 amp ports, which makes it easy to charge your phone, mp3 player, digital camera, tablet or e-reader.
It also has two 120v outlets for higher-powered appliances. They have also added some bare connectors, which means you can run 12v appliances with bare wires.
An amazing addition to the Yeti 1400 is the addition of an expansion port under the lid. With a simple connector, you can link together multiple Yeti 1400 batteries to create a serious power supply. You can do this with as many Yeti 1400’s as you have.
In the middle of the Yeti 1400 is a really useful LCD screen. The screen is not backlit very well, so it can be hard to see on sunny days, but it is still a very welcome addition.
The screen uses hardly any power and tells you how much power is being drawn currently, as well as an estimate on how long the battery will last at the current consumption rate.
Keep note that this will increase your recharging time. This is because you now need to recharge not only the Yeti but also the batteries chained to it.
TIP: If you need to recharge your Yeti double quick, you can hook it up to AC power and the solar panels at the same time. This will drastically reduce the time required to get to a full charge.
Nomad 100 Solar Panels
The Boulder 100 solar panels are the latest innovation from Goal Zero. Capable of outputting an impressive 100 watts, this is an amazing feat. The monocrystalline construction means that they are portable and lightweight and their durable aluminum and tempered glass design make them tough as well.
The Boulder range of solar panels is well suited for both temporary and permanent installation. They can easily be mounted on the roof of your shed, or in the backyard.
If you want a free and easy way to charge your portable power generator when traveling, buy these and stick them on the roof of your car or R.V or even leave them outside your tent.
As with the other products in the Goal Zero range, these solar panels have been designed to be plug and play. They are interchangeable and work very well with the other items in this kit. The panels are of the high quality we have come to expect from Goal Zero.
If you take good care of these panels and use the included carry case when moving about, these should last you very long in your off-grid adventures.
The ruggedly-built panel delivers 100W in optimal conditions, but cloud cover can and will decrease the output.
To ensure you get the best performance, I would suggest you adjust the panel’s angle to the sun a few times per day. You will quickly get the hang of positioning them in the optimal place.
By using one of these panels you can charge your Yeti 1400 in 24 hours, chain 6 of them together and that goes down to just 6 hours
Why Should You Choose the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Solar Generator Kit?
If you are extremely technically minded and have done a lot of research into solar power, you may be able to build something similar to this for cheaper.
Yes, you could save a couple of dollars by doing hours of research on the internet and reading obscure blogs. You will go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, looking for the best performing parts to make up your entire solar generator kit.
After a couple of weeks, you will have decided which individual parts to order, and they will start arriving one after the other from the various manufacturers. Then the “fun” begins.
You need to assemble all of these parts into something that harvests energy from the sun. As you start with the assembly, you will have to spend more time on the Internet, watching dozens of YouTube videos on how to assemble all the different bits and pieces.
You might even find that you are missing a crucial adapter to make all the components fit together. That means searching on the net for a supplier, placing an order and waiting for yet another delivery before resuming the assembly.
After a couple of weeks, you think you have everything assembled, and the big day is finally here. You are going to generate and store solar power with something you created. You put your solar panels at the correct angle towards the sun while you sit back and wait for the sun to power your devices.
Lo and behold, it doesn’t seem to be working. Back to the net for more searching and looking for answers. This might sound contrived, but I have a good friend that does this every time he starts a new hobby.
He tries to save a few bucks by doing it himself, but he rarely gets to the point where he has a working solution. This is where Goal Zero really shines. Their products are dead simple to use and very easy to setup.
With the Yeti 1400 and a Boulder 100, you have everything you need to harvest energy from the sun. And you can order it all in one go, and have it assembled and ready for generating power in no time!
And that is one of the reasons why this kit might cost a little more than if you ordered all these parts separately from other manufacturers.
You are paying a little more to save you time and a whole lot of hassle. This kit works right out of the box, and to me, that is worth a whole lot more than trying to cut some corners.
Where Are Goal Zero Products Made?
There has been some confusion around where Goal Zero products are made. Some users think the products are made in the United States. This is not true. All Goal Zero products are made and manufactured in China, before they are imported by Goal Zero LLC of Bluffdale, Utah.
Is it Worth The Money?
The Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Generator is a well-built power pack that is very easy to use. Simply take it out of the box, plug it into the wall or attach a couple of Goal Zeros Boulder 30 or 100 panels, aim them towards the sun, connect them to the generator, and you can start harnessing the sun’s power for your electrical needs.
There are very few similar kits available at this price that are plug and play, and that can be expanded with more components (this kit can be expanded with more solar panels, or by chaining more batteries).
Sure, the Yeti 1400 is probably not a product that is going to be used on the mass market. Not many people are going to want to spend this kind of money on a generator, and not many people are going to need too. But for those who are in the market for an extremely well built electric power pack, you won’t find much better.
For your hard-earned money, you get a 1425 W solar generator that will power you up whether you are climbing the Himalayas, photographing the great outdoors, living in your campervan or simply camping in the backyard with the kids.
I am a big fan of the Goal Zero products. They are definitely not the cheapest, but they build rugged, durable products that are incredibly easy to use. I don’t want to assemble an overly complicated system, and I want something I can take out of the box and use immediately.
And that is exactly what the Goal Yeti 1400 Generator does.