We bought the Goal Zero Yeti 400 AGM battery back in 2017 and compared to this 200X, that was twice the size, ten times the weight and half the power for a similar price point! The Yeti 200X size 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). I think I have handbags that weigh more than this bad boy! Amazing what just a few years can do for technology!!
WHAT EXPERIENCE HAVE WE HAD WITH BATTERIES?
In 2017 we invested in our first solar set up. We purchased the Goal Zero Yeti 400 which had an AGM battery inside and we charged it using a Goal Zero Boulder 90 watt solar panel. We must have spent around Rm3600 for our first set up. We then set off for our first road trip in our camper van so confident that we were kitted up to go off grid for days and power up our computer, fans, phones, lights, gadgets etc
After the first three weeks we ended frying our battery – how? Well we failed to read the manual which stated do not drain battery below 50%. We didn’t know any better and we assumed that just like how we use our handphones, we should drain the battery before we charge it back up. Rookie mistake number 1! RTFM (Read The F%#!*%# Manual) If you don’t know us by now – we learn by doing and that includes making dumb mistakes.
We made this video above about what the Yeti 200X can do – it is a short cut to reading the manual.
THE NEXT ROOKIE MISTAKE WE MADE
We were severely underpowered when we bought our first battery system. It wasn’t the fault of the battery. It was ours.
MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU’RE CHARGING – Before you bust out your big bucks, make a list of ALL the items you intend on charging up on a daily basis. It is a pain in the arse we know but this is an important step that you must not miss! What are you charging? Measure the watt hours you need in a day. We got lazy and skipped this step. Our first battery could only provide 360 watt hours and being an AGM meant only half that power is available!! That’s just a mere 180 watt hours! We didn’t realise how fast that amount of power drains especially since at the time, we didn’t use low powered appliances.
CALCULATION EXAMPLE : Here is a list of what we power up in our camper set up.
- 2 X 3 Pin Plug Laptops for editing out our YouTube Videos
- 3 Pin Plug Drone, GoPro, DSLR Camera, Compact Camera Batteries
- 2 USB charge Handphones
- 2 USB charge Portable & Fans 3 x 12 Volt Roof Ventilation Fans
- 1 X 12 Volt Freezer Fridge
- 5 X USB Rechargeable lamps
- 1 X USB Boom Box
So let’s do the math – this the boring part. Zzzzzz BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE!
1 Laptop uses between 50 and 100 W/hour when it is being used, depending on the model. To make it simple – let’s round it up. 100 W/hour – I edit 8 hours a day so my requirement would be 800 watts a day.
Camera Batteries, handphones and our fans use 3 watts charge each and take around 2 hours to full charge. I have 2 X Drone Batteries, 5 X DSLR Batteries, 2 X Compact Camera Batteries, 3 X GoPro Batteries, 1 X 360 Insta Camera Battery that’s 13 Batteries at 3 watts each = 39 watts x 2 Hour charge = 78 watts a day.
2 Portable Fans & 3 Roof Vent Fans – 3 watts per unit = 15 Watts/hour (we don’t use this 24 hours a day)
Alpicool Freezer Fridge – portable fridges depending on what model vary in requirement. Ours averages out around 25 Watts per hour depending on how much stuff we have inside it. It regulates itself. Some other brands like Engel can be as low as 3 watts per hour. Not all portable fridges are the same so be sure you find out before making that investment. High high power consumption fridge could mean your battery system has to be bigger in order to sustain its use. So in our case – our fridge is only 20Litres and at 25 watts/hour in a day we need 600 watts a day.
I think by this point you get the idea on how to calculate right? Make a list of all your appliances, devices etc check the power consumption it requires and calculate how much you would use in a day. With that total, you will know what size battery suits your needs.
As you can see, our daily requirement adds up pretty high and this is with us using very conservatively. We try and use low powered items now as much as possible but sometimes it can’t be helped. Remember that in order to power devices with 3 pin plugs we need to use the inverter that is built into the Yeti and the inverter itself requires power to run so if you can, try using appliances that are USB & 12 Volt Charged instead.
When we started out, we knew nothing and we bought the wrong battery which didn’t give us enough juice for our use and we had to learn the hard way. For our set up the most efficient battery system is the Goal Zero Yeti 1500X and we recharge it three ways – a 90watt Solar Panel, a 12 Volt Cigarette charger when driving and a portable 100watt solar panel when we’re parked. All good now.
COMPACT & LIGHT BUT IS THIS ANY GOOD?
Well, the 200X is Lithium and you’re able to use 80% of its juice before you need to start charging it up. There’s no mad panic when you drain the battery below 50% unlike AGM batteries where you be severely punished for bad battery management! AGM batteries are very unforgiving and we have gone through several AGM batteries, we find that we can’t avoid draining below 50%. The fact is this shortens the lifespan of an AGM dramatically (no matter what people say).
Below is the list of items the Yeti 200X is capable of charging up one at a time (obviously not all at one go). So if you’re thinking of running only a fridge inside your camper – you be able to get 8 hours straight on a fully charged battery. In order to keep the battery topped up – you can either hook it up to a solar panel or use a 12 volt cigarette connector and charge it while you’re driving to your destination. If you intend on charging a long list of items including a fridge – you’re looking at getting a bigger battery and the next one up is the Yeti 500X .
The Yeti 200X Recharges (Not All At Once)
- Smart Phone (12 Wh): 16
- Tablet (30 Wh): 6
- Laptop (50 Wh): 4
- POV Camera (5 Wh): 38
- DSLR Camera (18 Wh): 11
- Head Lamp (5 Wh): 38Hours of Runtime
- GZ Light (4.5 Wh): 42
- Light Bulb (11 Wh): 17
- Portable Fridge (25 Wh): 8
How Long to Charge the Yeti 200X
- Wall Charger (60W): 4.5 Hours
- Wall Charger (120W): 2 Hours
- Nomad 20 Solar Panel: 11-22 Hours
- Nomad 50 Solar Panel: 4-8 Hours
- Boulder 50 Solar Panel: 4-8 Hours
- Nomad 100 Solar Panel: 2-4 Hours
Apart from the size and weight, we also love the various types of USB Charge ports which enables us to charge our laptops, camera batteries, phones without the use of a 3 pin plug to the inverter. It has the Super fast charging with USB-C. This really makes a lot of difference. We have gone down the road of buying a wrong size battery and we have also tried using a DIY system where we outsourced the battery, charge controller, battery meter, cables, solar panel, casing etc Each individual item was from a different company and when certain parts broke (which they will) it was a pain to replace. We prefer a ready built system that is convenient to take with us anywhere we go. We don’t have to leave it inside our camper like how in built systems are.
At the end of the day, Goal Zero Products are worth the investment, they are robust and extremely well designed. It’s ideal for taking along with you on camping trips, and will charge your phone/ laptop/ drone/ camera battery several times. There is no doubt that they are more expensive than traditional generators and other battery systems in the market now but if you can afford them, it’s an easy decision to make.
You can check the price of the Goal Zero Yeti 200X in the link here : LAZADA GOAL ZERO YETI 200X Remember to collect the RM50 Voucher Deal that is currently available through this Link if you’re looking to purchase it. This link is to the Goal Zero Malaysia online store.