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The Ultimate Guide to Goal Zero Yeti - Portable Solar Generators

With such a huge selection of solar generators from Goal Zero, you'll be able to find the perfect fit for whatever you're looking for.  From powering a short camping trip to acting as your main power source for mobile living, to even being a viable home power back up, we have a generator that does what you're looking for.    


Goal Zero's line of portable solar power generators known as Yeti's vary tremendously.   From size, weight, output, battery type etc, it can seem overwhelming to figure out what suits your needs best.  This article will be your guide to the most popular line of solar generators on the market.  We'll be looking at their individual technical specifications, as well as explaining how this translates to their everyday use.  You'll be provided with suggestions on the best applications for each Yeti in the hopes of helping you choose the right one for you.  As always, if you have any questions at all feel free to reach out via e-mail of phone here.  


Every Goal Zero Yeti is named according to its watt hour capacity, the names have not been chosen randomly.  For example, the Yeti 150 has one hundred and fifty watt hours of battery storage while the Yeti 3000 has, you guessed it, 3000 watt hours of battery storage.  Below you will find a link to each Yeti and below that we have broken down in further detail the specifics of each Yeti.   


Goal Zero Yeti's:

- Yeti 150 

- Yeti 400

- Yeti 400 Lithium

- Yeti 1000 Lithium

- Yeti 1250

- Yeti 1400 Lithium

- Yeti 3000 Lithium


  • ** Feel free to use discount code 'ultimateguide' on slect Yeti's and Yeti Solar Kits **


Yeti 150:

The Yeti 150 is the smallest solar generators that Goal Zero offers.  Its super lightweight and is made to be an incredibly portable option.  It can output 80 watts continuously which isn’t bad for a machine that weighs only 12 lbs.  At a full charge this Yeti boasts 150 watt hours of battery capacity; to put that into context for you, an average smart phone takes about 6 watts an hour to recharge.  You can find our list of the most common appliances and how much energy they use here.


Real world Applications:

The 150 is ideal for anyone who isn't looking to charge significant appliances.  So this is a perfect option if you want to run some LED lights or charge up equipment like headlights, phones, laptops, cameras etc.  This is a great option for a weekend getaway or a fishing trip.  Somewhere that you would only need to recharge a few essentials like a camera and maybe your phone.

If you pair the Yeti 150 with a Boulder 50 Solar Panel you can recharge it in around 5-6 hours of ideal sunlight.


Technical Specs: 

  • Output (modified sine wave): 80 Watts continuous - 160 Surge
  • Input: 60W 
  • Battery: AGM Lead Acid - 168Wh 
  • 12 month warranty
  • Weight - 12 lbs (5.4 kg)
  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 5.75 x 6.75 in
  • Chainable: No




Yeti 400:

The Yeti 400 comes with an AGM Lead Acid battery that has 400 Watt hours of capacity.   Having an AGM battery allows this Yeti to be chained with other batteries or even to another Yeti 400 to create a much larger battery bank.  It can output 300 watts continuously with a 600 watt max surge.  It's best to think of the Yeti 400 as a conservative step up from the 150 because it more than doubles the storage capabilities as well as output.  You might be able to run a few appliances on this generator, especially if they are Energy Star appliances, however this is still not the best option if you need to power anything of significance.


Real World Applications:

This can be a great option for longer camping trips, around 3-5 days off the grid where you would need to charge up your essentials.  You should think of this as a bigger charger for your laptop, camera, headlamp, cellphone etc, ideal for more than 1 person to charge up with.  This can also be a great option for van lifers who don’t need to run serious appliances but rather want a quick and mobile charging station for their everyday electronics.


Technical Specs:

  • Output (pure sine wave): 300W continuous - 600W surge
  • Input: 120W max
  • Battery: AGM Lead Acid - 396Wh 
  • 12 month warranty
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.25 x 8 x 8 in
  • Chainable: Yes





Yeti 400 lithium:

The Yeti 400 Lithium has a few differences from its AGM counterpart.  The first and most obvious difference is that it has a lithium battery as opposed to a lead acid battery.  This means that it is significantly lighter, over 10lbs lighter actually, all while keeping the same 400 watt hours of battery life.  It's also able to handle 300 watts output continuously, and has a higher surge rating at 1200 watts.  


Real World Applications:

Just like the Yeti 400, this is a great option for longer trips where multiple people would need to charge up their essentials.  If you're going on a long weekend trip in the Jeep or camping with the family, this can power the fridge for the weekend and recharge the phones and camera's for example.  It's also a great option for vanlifers who who don’t need to run serious appliances but need quick and mobile charging station for the everyday electronics.

Pairing the Yeti with a Boulder 100 can charge up your Yeti in as little as 6 - 6.5 hours of ideal sunlight.  


Technical Specs:

  • Output (pure sine wave): 300W continuous - 1200W surge
  • Input: 120 Watt Max
  • Battery: Lithium - 428Wh capacity
  • 12 month warranty
  • Weight: 16.3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 11.25 x 7.0 in
  • Chainable: No




Yeti 1000 Lithium: 

** If you already have a Yeti 1000, you might be interested in our article on how to super charge it here. **

The Yeti 1000 Lithium is the first generator in this list that outputs enough power where you can reasonably use it to power appliances or as the main power source for mobile living.  As the name suggest, this Yeti has 1000 Wh of capacity and can output 1500 watts continuously with a 3000 watt surge.  It weighs 40 lbs which also makes its quite portable. 


Real world application:

This can be kept at your home as backup power incase the grid goes down, or as a main power source for mobile living.  The Yeti 1000 outputs 1500 watts with a 3000 watt surge which means it can basically handle any of you daily appliances. Many people have used the Yeti 1000 as a main power source for van living or even to power their tools while off the grid or away from shore power.

The optional MPPT charge controller will allow for much more efficient charging times.  You can see our step by step article on how to install your MPPT charge controller here.


Technical Specs:

  • Output (pure sine wave): 1500W continuous - 3000W surge
  • Input: with MPPT 685W overall.
  • Battery: Lithium 1045Wh capacity
  • 12 month warranty
  • Weight: 40 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.1 x 15.3 x 9.3 in
  • Chainable: No




Yeti 1250:

The Yeti 1250 is the only generator that Goal Zero makes that is of significant size in terms of battery life and output but does not have a lithium battery.  The Yeti 1250 has an AGM battery in it which means that you can chain this Yeti to other batteries in order to extend the battery life.  You can learn about that here.  It can output a continuous 1200 watts with a 1500 watt max surge. 


Real World Application:

Since this Yeti is so heavy (103 lbs) due to the AGM battery it makes this not the best option for any type of mobile living.   There is an optional roll cart which makes it somewhat more portable, but this is still better off being a more permanent option.  The only real benefit to this Yeti is the ability to chain it with other batteries.  You can create a decent sized battery bank which is good option for someone who is a solar rookie and is intimidated by creating their own system with various parts and pieces.  


Technical Specs: 

  • Output (pure since wave): 1200W continuous -1500W surge
  • Input: 240watt max input
  • Battery: AGM Lead Acid- 1200Wh capacity
  • 12 month warranty
  • Weight: 103 lb
  • Dimensions: 11 x 16 x 14.5 in
  • Chainable: Yes




Yeti 1400 Lithium: 

** If you already have a Yeti 1400, you might be interested in our article on how to super charge it here. **

The Yeti 1400 lithium is our overall number one pick for the most versatile and useful solar generator Goal Zero makes.  It outputs 1500 watts continuous with a 3000 watt surge and boasts an impressive 1400 watt hours of battery storage.  It also only weighs 43 lbs which means it is a super portable option. 


Real World Applications:

This is probably the most useful Yeti because its so versatile.  You can have this on your extended camping trip to power everything from the fridges to your phones and camera’s or you can keep this around the house as emergency backup power.  If you want to power your next tailgating adventure, bring this generator and run everything from lights to your speaker.  Not to mention that its quite lightweight, coming in at just over 43 lbs which makes it super functional for mobile living as well.  This is definitely our favourite all around Yeti and something that is in serious competition with the Inergy Apex.  


Technical Specs:

  • Output (pure sine wave): 1500W - 3000W surge
  • Input with MPPT: 685W overall
  • Battery: Lithium - 1425Wh capacity
  • 12 month warranty
  • Weight: 43.7 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.1 x 15.3 x 10.4 in
  • Chainable: No




Yeti 3000 Lithium:

** If you already have a Yeti 3000, you might be interested in our article on how to super charge it here. **

This is the biggest Yeti that Goal Zero offers, the mega 3000 Wh of storage make this machine a beast.  It comes pre-installed with an MPPT charge controller which means that it can be charged pretty efficiently as well.  You can read our article about super charging the Yeti here.   It has the same output as the Yeti 1000 and 1400, but it has more than double the battery capacity.  It's not chainable since it has a lithium battery but since it has 3 kilowatts of battery capacity odds are you wont need to be chaining it anyways.   


Real World Applications:

This Yeti has been designed as more of a home backup option; portability was not the mentality when designing this.  You can purchase a home integration kit and use this Yeti to power specific breakers in the event of power outages.  This machine is best kept as emergency backup power when the grid is down because its size and weight don’t make easy to move.  However, it has been used by some customers as a great way to power an extended camping trip where they are set up for long periods of time.  You can run grills, TV's, lights speakers etc off of this no problem.  


Technical Specs:

  • Output (pure sine wave): 1500W - 3000W surge
  • Input: 685W overall
  • Battery: Lithium - 3075Wh capacity
  • 12 month warranty
  • Weight: 68.6 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.1 x 15.3 x 13.1 in
  • Chainable: No



If you have any questions or concerns about anything on this list please reach out to us via phone 877-242-2792 or via e-mail

You can also check out other useful and related articles here.



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