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January 12, 2018

Goal Zero’s next-gen Yeti Lithium power stations are packed with new features

by John_A

At CES 2017, Goal Zero’s Yeti Lithium 3000, a portable power station with plenty of convenient features, impressed us enough to win our Top Tech of CES Award for Outdoor Gear. Goal Zero made an appearance at CES 2018, and Digital Trends checked in to see the current status of the Yeti 3000, which is now available for purchase.

The new edition of the Yeti 3000 has USB-C ports, a USB-PD spec, and Wi-Fi. That last bit is crucial, as it allows you to control the Yeti from anywhere as long as you have a connection, so you can monitor the status of the battery, adjust setting to save power, or just crank up the juice.

“The cool thing about the 3000 is it comes with a really handy roll cart, an extendable handle, it’s got great wheels,” Lisa Janssen of Goal Zero said. “So you can really take it anywhere with you. I can have it at home, I can have it wired in, and then I can take it with me. Say I want to go camping, I want to throw it in the truck for an awesome tailgating party, it’s really mobile power, on demand, whenever, wherever you need it, without any sort of gasoline, without any sort of noise, and without the maintenance that comes with a traditional gas inverter.”

The battery will live for an estimated five years, and Goal Zero offers replacement batteries if the need arises. How much time does a single charge get you? Janssen estimated that with a full-sized refrigerator plugged in, a single charge would last about 40 hours.

As the name implies, the Yeti Lithium line marks the company’s first foray into the use of lithium power cells in its products. This delivers significant improvements in terms of both size and weight over the previous generation, which used lead-acid batteries instead. In comparison, the new Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 1000 weighs just 40 pounds — that’s 63 pounds lighter than the Yeti 1250, which has been on the market for several years. The new model is also more compact, shaving several inches off of its predecessor’s dimensions.

In addition to making strides in reducing the size of these portable generators, Goal Zero has also improved the way they work with other devices. The new AC inverter found on the Yeti Lithium models is now capable of putting out more than 1,500 watts of pure sine wave power, which translates to better compatibility with a wider variety of devices. In addition to charging smartphones, tablets, and laptops, these new batteries are also capable of running a portable refrigerator, space heaters,  power tools, and other high-capacity devices, all without creating excess noise or fumes, as a traditional gas-powered generator would.

This being a Goal Zero product, the new Yeti Lithium line can be recharged using a solar panel, or it can be plugged into a wall outlet at home or 12-volt port in your car. The next-generation generators also feature pass-through charging, which allows users to power up their mobile devices while continuing to charge the battery pack at the same time.

A new smart screen integrated onto the front of the Yeti Lithium provides constant monitoring of power consumption, showing how much is being drained by the gadgets that are plugged into it at any given time. That same screen also displays the time remaining until it’s full or empty, as well as an easy-to-read battery indicator for the current charge level. In other words, it helps take all of the guesswork out of knowing just how much power you still have at your disposal.

The Yeti 3000 is currently available from Goal Zero for $3,000. If you’re in the market for a power station, we’ve rounded up the best of them.

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