Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Review – Best In Class

4.0 rating

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the Yeti 400 Lithium is no longer available on main retailer websites. You may be able to find on on Ebay, but in limited quantities.

Goal Zero has a newer model similar to the 400 Lithium called the Yeti 500X.

I wrote a short overview regarding its main attributes in my post found here: Yeti 500x by Goal Zero – Overview & Stats – Peak Performance.

Whether you’re in need of backup power when the power goes out or camping out in the wild, having a reliable electric backup generator is a necessary investment.

With a lithium battery, the Yeti 400 Lithium offers portable power on the go.

Reliable inverter (Goal Zero is known for this)Succeeded by the Yeti 500X (no longer sold by Goal Zero)
Design makes it simple to useAverage battery cycle life (500 cycles to 80% capacity)
Much lighter than previous lead-acid model (Yeti 400)Overpriced compared to similar competitor models

Initial Look of the Yeti 400 Generator

The goal zero portable solar generator is an effective camping investment

Besides being a solar powered generator, the Yeti 400 Lithium is basically a large battery pack.

You charge it via an external solar panel or an outlet and plug devices into it to charge them up, and you can carry it around like you would a cooler.

However, there are many specs that make this mini generator much more than just a standard battery pack.

First, there is an LCD display, which shows you all kinds of different options as shown in the picture below.

Second, the system uses Lithium batteries, which are the same ones that power your laptop and phone! These are the best batteries on the market today and are much more reliable than traditional lead-acid batteries.

Lithium Ion Battery Graphic

Goal Zero Yeti Generators = Durability, Design, and Structure

The Yeti 400 Lithium is very durable. It has a large carrying handle to support the 17lb structure and has thick, durable plastic surrounding the body of the battery.

The modern design makes it easy to pinpoint the outlets, and the display points out what you need to know for optimal use of the solar powered generator.

But that being said, the Yeti is not just another battery box to power devices, it is a legitimate generator that provides you with the technology to assist you on your next camping trip.

For a backup supply in your own home, the Yeti 400 is slightly excessive due to the heavy-duty design but is still a great backup power source. In the case of an outdoor adventure, the generator will be durable if you drop it.

Charging And Power Options with a Solar Powered Generator

The Yeti 400 Lithium gives you access to a multitude of charging options. You get two standard 120V outlets, three USB ports at 2.4 amps each, and two 12V connections for car use.

You can use the cigarette lighter to charge it in the car, plug it into the wall, or use a solar panel or two to charge it up.

Front display of outputs and LCD screen of Yeti 400 Lithium

How long will the Yeti run for and what can you use it with?

The Yeti 400 lithium has a capacity of 300 watts, which means you cannot go over this with plug-in devices.

However, the Yeti 400 Lithium has surge protection, covering 1,200W. This is high compared to other similar models.

The EcoFlow River Max is the only solar generator I can think of that is capable of this number.


The disadvantages of this battery generator are – you may not be able to store this on an airplane.

Large lithium batteries are prohibited on airplanes, so you don’t want to travel with these. Contact the airline you intend to use if you’re considering flying with the Yeti 400.

Also, there is no USB-C charging output, so you cannot charge your phone/tablet as fast as possible.

However, since the USB port in the Yeti 400 lithium supplies 2.4 amps, you can still fast charge your phone, it is just not as fast as it could be if it had the USB-C Output.

The typical legal limit for lithium batteries on airlines is under 100Wh. This is mainly for U.S. flights, but may be different in other countries.

The Goal Zero Yeti Sherpa 100AC is a power bank I use that is just under 100Wh. I’ve used this power bank on multiple flights with no issues.

It also charges very fast from solar panels (up to 50W). You can read my review of it here: The #1 Fastest Charging Solar Power Bank.

Three charging modes for the Yeti 400 Lithium

Battery Performance

The Yeti 400 Lithium has 428 total watts hours. To put this into perspective, a phone charger uses about 12 watts, so you could charge your phone for about 35 total hours.

Obviously, there is no need to charge your phone this much unless multiple people are using it.

And still, even if three people were using it to charge up, it would take days to wear out the battery completely, making this battery reliable in camping situations and for backup power if the power goes out at home.

With all of this sophisticated tech, it’s important to note that the LCD display shows you how much time is left to charge and also how much battery is left, so you don’t have to worry about the exact numbers.

With good sun and large solar panels, you can charge the Yeti 400 Lithium in about 5 hours – this varies greatly, however, so it would be best to assume that this is the best charging time you can get out of solar panels.

If you plug the generator into a wall to charge, it will take 7 hours to get to full capacity.

Similar – Overview of the Yeti 1400 Lithium battery generator

Technology Behind The Goal Zero Battery

battery charging animation

Using lithium-powered batteries for backup systems is still very new, and Goal Zero is the cutting edge in this technology.

Compared to the standard lead-acid batteries, which were used by the past yeti 400 model, the lithium battery lasts much longer over time (years to come), and will also hold a charge for a much longer duration than lead-acid batteries.

For example, if you charged a lithium battery fully and stored it away for five months, it would still hold the full charge.

However, with lead acid batteries, the battery would drain completely within the first month.

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium – Is It Worth It?

YETI 400 Lithium front view

Overall, the Yeti 400 Lithium provides portable power when you need it most, and compared to the standard lead-acid battery packs, this packs a punch, is lighter, and lasts longer.

With a couple portable solar panels, you can go off the grid and stay charged for as long as you need to be.

Or, if you’re at home and the power goes out, this generator can provide you with the power you need to keep you charged before the power comes back on.

Unfortunately, the Yeti 400 Lithium is no longer available on main retailer websites. You may be able to find on on Ebay, but in limited quantities.

Goal Zero has a newer model similar to the 400 Lithium called the Yeti 500X. I wrote a short overview regarding its main attributes in my post found here: Yeti 500x by Goal Zero – Overview & Stats – Peak Performance.

Yeti 400 Lithium FAQs

What is the expected life of the battery?

Answer: The battery is rated at 500 cycles to 80% of its original capacity

Can solar panels from different companies than Goal Zero be used with the Yeti 400?

Answer: Yes you can use other panels, but they will require the MC4 to 8mm adapter, which you can find here on Amazon.

How long will the battery stay charged for?

Answer: The Yeti 400 will stay charged for 18 months (18 month shelf life) when not in use. To optimize the lifetime of the battery over time, it’s recommended to recharge the generator every 3-6 months.

Can this charge and discharge at the same time?

Answer: Yes, you can charge the generator up while the generator charges your devices.

What is the maximum solar charging input from solar panels?

Answer: The Yeti can take in a maximum of 120 Watts from solar panels. Here’s a good panel to use

What does it mean when it says “Rated for 500 cycles at 80% capacity”?

Answer: This means that after 500 cycles of use, the battery will be at 80% of its original capacity. After 500 cycles, the Yeti 400 Lithium would be at 360Wh capacity instead of the original 428Wh capacity. A lithium battery generator will last much longer than a lead acid battery will over time.

Will this unit run a coffee maker?

Answer: No, it cannot do this. A larger solar generator like the Yeti 1000 or Yeti 1400 can run a coffee maker because they can output 1000W+ of power. Most coffee machines require a minimum of 1000W of power to use.

Does it come with a wall charger to charge it at home?

Answer: Yes, the generator package comes with a wall outlet charger

Max Peters

Hi! I'm Max and I am passionate about off-grid solar technology and adventure! I'm using my knowledge of solar generators, solar panels, and everything in between to provide you with the best tools to keep you powered while off the grid. Read more about me here: About Max Peters."

Recent Content