Over the past few years, the market for portable power stations has gone from fairly small and limited, to a dizzying array of products to choose from. As our need for on-the-go options for keeping our various devices and equipment charged has risen, so too have the options that are available to provide that power.
So much so, that it is now rather challenging to decide which model to choose from. Lucky for me, I’ve had a chance to test and review a number of those units in recent months and have generally come away quite impressed, although I’ve almost always found a few caveats here and there that have given me pause.
Yeti 200X Portable Power Station No Compromises
That isn’t the case with the new Yeti 200X Portable Power Station from Goal Zero, however, as this is a charging solution that doesn’t make compromises and offers build quality and design that is head and shoulders above the competition.
The Yeti 200X is the newest addition to the Goal Zero line-up, slotting in at the smaller end of the company’s cattalo of portable power stations. As such, it comes with a 186 watt-hour battery, which is relatively small in the increasingly competitive portable charging space.
That’s by design; however, as the Yeti 200X is meant to be compact and highly portable. So much so that you won’t think twice about using it around the house, in the backyard, and at the campsite, even if that campsite is located in the backcountry.
Size and Weight
Just how compact is the battery pack? It measures 7.9 x 5.1 x 5.1 inches (20 x 13 x 13 cm) and weighs in at 5 pounds (2.27 kg). That makes it a luxury item when traveling or camping, of course, but one that you can at least consider bringing with you on your adventures.
For those who absolutely must have portable power wherever they go, the size and weight will be highly acceptable.
How Much Power Does it Provide?
What exactly does a 187 Wh battery translate into real-world use? Goal Zero says that it is enough to recharge a smartphone as much as 20 times, a headlamp 35 times, and a tablet as much as five times.
It can even recharge most laptops up to four times, or run a small, portable fridge for 10+ hours. The company also indicates that it is enough juice to run a camp lighting system — set on its highest brightness settings — for 40 hours or more.
Enough Juice for a Weekend’s Worth of Adventure
In other words, it is enough juice to keep a small group of adventurers up and running for several days. And if the Yeti 200X is paired with a Goal Zero solar panel — or a compatible model — it could provide power indefinitely, even when traveling far off the grid.
Speaking of solar panels, the Yeti 200X can be recharged using just the sun in as little as 3-4 hours using the GZ’s Boulder 100 model or 6-8 hours with the Boulder 50. The lighter, more portable Nomad 28 Plus requires about 11 hours to refill the lithium battery.
The most efficient way to the top of the power station is by using the included wall charger, however, which takes just four hours to complete.
Plenty of Ports to Charge Everything
In addition to having a high capacity battery, the other specs you look for in a good portable power station are plenty of ports for keeping your gadgets charged.
In recent reviews, this is the area where I have tended to be most let down, as many of the models that I’ve tested have shown a lack of foresight by not including USB-C ports as part of the design. USB-C offers faster, more efficient charging for modern devices, and not including it is a real oversight.
Thankfully, the team at Goal Zero knows and understands this too, so I’m happy to report that there are two USB-C ports included on the Yeti 200X, one of which happens to be of the 60W PD (power delivery) variety.
This translates into an excellent level of future-proofing that the competition is currently lacking for the most part.
In addition to the two USB-C ports, the new Yeti also comes with two standard USB-A ports, a 12-volt port (read: car charging port), and a 6 mm 12-volt port as well. It even comes with an AC inverter that mimics the wall outlets that you find at home.
All told, this gives users the ability to charge as many as seven different devices at once straight out of the box.
All of that said, what stood out to me the most while testing the latest portable power station from Goal Zero is just the all-around level of build quality that the Yeti 200X brings to the table.
Top Level Build Quality
Most of the other models that I’ve reviewed have been perfectly fine in terms of how well they are made, without any glaring defects. Goal Zero takes things to a different level with its power stations, providing a product that’s precision made and well constructed. The thought and attention to detail that has gone into designing it can’t help but shine through.
Sitting this product next to some of the others that I have tried makes them all look downright cheap and poorly built. The level of quality between them isn’t hard to see and is a big part of the reason why Goal Zero remains the gold standard in the portable power market for sure.
As you would expect, the Yeti 200X comes with a higher price tag than similarly specced power stations from the other players in the market. You’re getting not only a much better-built product but the aforementioned USB-C ports as well.
If you shop around, you will likely find that any power station that falls roughly into the 200 Wh category is probably missing those ports altogether. It isn’t as durably made as what Goal Zero brings to the table.
My Final Thoughts on the Yeti 200X Portable Power Station
If you’re looking for a battery pack that you can use around the house and those features don’t appeal to you, then one of the less expensive power stations on the market may suit your needs just fine.
But if you are a mobile professional who relies on portable power to keep you up and running when you find yourself way off the grid, then you’ll want to pass on those other products and pick up the Goal Zero instead.
Reliable, durable, and with all of the tech and ports you need, this is the lightweight portable power station that I’m going to recommend to anyone who truly needs to keep their gadgets working in any environment.
It is head and shoulders above the competition in some subtle, but important, ways, which just proves that Goal Zero is still the one to beat in this field.
Find out more on the Goal Zero website.
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