Goal Zero Vs Jackery – The Ultimate Power Station Battle

Goal Zero Vs Jackery – Which Brand Is The Best?

Portable power stations, also known as solar generators, have become increasingly popular in the past years. Being able to charge your devices even when you’re far from the power grid gives you a sense of freedom.

Two popular brands in the power station category are Goal Zero and Jackery. Both of them make power stations for all kinds of uses. Some are small, portable, and fit in a backpack, while others are large, powerful enough to run a microwave or a whole RV, and less portable due to their weight.

Related Post on The Solar Addict: What Is A Power Station/Solar Generator And How Does It Work?

A question we often get from our readers is, which brand should I buy, and why? Today we’re going to compare the two brands, but since they both have products for different purposes and we want to compare apples to apples, we’re going to do three comparisons with two similar power stations in each comparison.

The first comparison will be the Goal Zero Yeti 200X Vs Jackery Explorer 240. The second one will be the Yeti 400 Lithium Vs Explorer 500. The third will be the new Goal Zero Yeti 500X Vs Explorer 500. And the fourth will be the Yeti 1000 versus Explorer 1000.

Keep in mind that when comparing two power stations to each other, which one is better for your needs depends on what you’re looking for. It’s hard to say whether a more powerful AC outlet is more important than more battery capacity. We will compare the specifications of each product and explain what difference they make, but the final decision is up to you.

Since there are new solar generators almost monthly, we will come back and update the post in the future.

You can use the table of contents to navigate the post.

Goal Zero Yeti 200X Vs Jackery Explorer 240

Goal Zero Yeti 200X Lithium Portable Power Station, 200Wh Power Station with AC Inverter and USB-C PD Fast-Charging
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
187Wh
240Wh
Inverter Rating
120W/200W surge
200W/400W surge
Inverter Type
Modified Sine Wave Inverter
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
1
1
USB Ports
4 (two USB A, one USB C, one USB C PD)
2 (USB A)
DC Outputs
2 (1 cigarette port, 1 6mm)
1 Cigarette Output
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
PWM
Input Port
8mm
8mm
Max Input
100W
42W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
5 lbs
6.6 lbs
Size
7.9 x 5.1 x 5.1 in
5.2 x 9.1 x 7.7 in

Goal Zero Yeti 200X Lithium Portable Power Station, 200Wh Power Station with AC Inverter and USB-C PD Fast-Charging
Product Link
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
187Wh
Inverter Rating
120W/200W surge
Inverter Type
Modified Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
1
USB Ports
4 (two USB A, one USB C, one USB C PD)
DC Outputs
2 (1 cigarette port, 1 6mm)
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Input Port
8mm
Max Input
100W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
5 lbs
Size
7.9 x 5.1 x 5.1 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
240Wh
Inverter Rating
200W/400W surge
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
1
USB Ports
2 (USB A)
DC Outputs
1 Cigarette Output
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM
Input Port
8mm
Max Input
42W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
6.6 lbs
Size
5.2 x 9.1 x 7.7 in

Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.

What The Yeti 200X Does Better

The Yeti 200X is the newer power station of the two, which shows with the better charge controller and input rating. It will charge faster than the Explorer 240 in every way. If you max the input, the Yeti 200X will charge fully in about 2 hours, versus Explorer’s 6 hours.

The 100W vs 42W max input is a big difference, so if you want to be able to charge a 60W laptop while the battery is being recharged with solar panels during the day, only the Yeti 200X will let you do it uninterrupted.

Related Post: What Solar Panels Are Compatible With Goal Zero Yeti?

It takes 4 hours to charge the Yeti 200X with the included wall charger, the Explorer 240 takes 7-8 hours.

It’s a lighter power station in a smaller chassis. The recessed handle makes it easier to store.

There are USB C ports on the Yeti, one being a USB C PD input/output port that you can use to charge both the battery and charge your devices.

If you have a tablet or laptop that can be charged via USB C, the charging efficiency will be higher than when using the AC outlet on either power stations.

What The Explorer 240 Does Better

Jackery has put more battery cells and a larger inverter in the Explorer 240. It has almost 25% more battery capacity than the Yeti 200X and a 50% more powerful inverter.

With more battery capacity and a more powerful inverter, you will be able to run/charge devices longer, and for example, use a device that requires 150W which the Yeti 200X can’t run continuously.

The Explorer 240 has a better screen that shows not only the state of charge in a percentage but the input/output watts as well. It also shows the battery level in bars.

Its pure sine wave inverter creates a cleaner current and will not have any issues running sensitive electronics like printers, audio/video equipment, and fridges.

While the solar charge controller in the Jackery Explorer 240 is a PWM and not an MPPT, it can handle a higher voltage (up to 30V vs Yeti’s 22V). This makes it compatible with more solar panels with a higher VOC rating.

Jackery includes a car charger so you can charge the battery in a vehicle. Goal Zero sells one separately (click to view on Amazon).

What They Have In Common

Both use lithium-ion batteries, rated at 500 cycles to 80% capacity.

The screen on both shows the state of charge in percentage, although Jackery shows input/output watts as well.

Buttons above each kind of output lets you turn on/off the ports on both. There is also a button to light up the screen.

An 8mm input can be found on both, which means that you can connect Goal Zero solar panels to the Jackery and vice-versa.

The regulated 12V cigarette port output and one AC outlet can be found on both. This makes them reliable to use for CPAPs, 12V fridges, and other 12V devices.

You can charge both with the wall charger, car charger, and solar panels.

Both of them can be used while charging.

Neither of them includes solar panels.

Solar Panel Recommendations

Since they have the 8mm input, you can use solar panels like the Jackery SolarSaga 60WRockpals 100W, Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, and Suaoki 100W with both.

Related Post: How To Connect Third-Party Solar Panels To Goal Zero Yeti/Jackery

To use solar panels with MC4 connectors, like the Renogy 50W and Renogy 100W you need to use an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon).

Conclusion

To conclude, what you’re basically choosing between is a power station that you can charge fast (Yeti 200X), versus a power station with more battery capacity and a more powerful inverter (Explorer 240).

If you need to be able to use it to charge a laptop or power a TV uninterrupted during the day that uses more than 42W when a solar panel is plugged in, I recommend the Goal Zero Yeti 200X.

If you go camping on the weekend and need to power your CPAP at night and can leave the power station in/out during the day to let it charge, I recommend the Jackery Explorer 240.


Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Vs Jackery Explorer 500

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station, 428Wh Rechargeable Generator and Backup Power Source with 300 Watt (1200 Watt Surge) AC inverter, USB, 12V Outputs
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
428Wh
518Wh
Inverter Rating
300W/1200W surge
500W/1000W surge
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
2
1
USB Ports
3 (USB A)
3 (USB A)
DC Outputs
2 (1 cigarette port, 1 6mm)
3 (1 cigarette port, 2 6mm)
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM
PWM
Input Port
8mm
8mm
Max Input
120W
100W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
16.3 lbs
13.3 lbs
Size
7.5 x 11.3 x 7 in
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station, 428Wh Rechargeable Generator and Backup Power Source with 300 Watt (1200 Watt Surge) AC inverter, USB, 12V Outputs
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
428Wh
Inverter Rating
300W/1200W surge
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
2
USB Ports
3 (USB A)
DC Outputs
2 (1 cigarette port, 1 6mm)
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM
Input Port
8mm
Max Input
120W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
16.3 lbs
Size
7.5 x 11.3 x 7 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
518Wh
Inverter Rating
500W/1000W surge
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
1
USB Ports
3 (USB A)
DC Outputs
3 (1 cigarette port, 2 6mm)
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM
Input Port
8mm
Max Input
100W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
13.3 lbs
Size
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in

Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.

What The Yeti 400 Lithium Does Better

Just like in the comparison above between the Yeti 200X and the Explorer 240, the Yeti has a higher max input.

The Yeti 400 Lithium can handle up to 120W input, while the Explorer 500 maxes out at 88W. It’s advertised to have a 100W max input, but its DC input port can handle 25.2V and 3.5A which equals 88W. When using solar panels with the Explorer 500, the maximum input wattage is 65W no matter how many you use.

What this means is that the Yeti 400 Lithium will charge much faster than the Explorer if you use 200W solar panels.

Related Post: Easiest Way To Use Solar Power During Power Outages

Goal Zero has put two AC outlets on the Yeti 400 Lithium where Jackery has put one single outlet.

The screen on the Yeti is better than the one found on the Explorer. It will not only tell you input/output watts and the state of charge in a percentage and battery bars with 20% increments, but also show the battery voltage, used watt-hours, output amps, and time to empty/full.

I also like that the backlit screen on the Yeti can be left on. On the Explorer, the backlit screen can be lit up by pushing a button or by plugging a charger/solar panel into the input. It’s easier to see the battery levels and input/output watts from further away on the Yeti since the screen can be lit up at all times.

The handle on the Yeti 400 Lithium folds down and makes it easier to store in smaller places.

The Yeti is also smaller in general, although it weighs more.

What The Explorer 500 Does Better

The Jackery Explorer 500 has more battery capacity at 518Wh versus 428Wh. That’s 19% more battery capacity for you to play with.

Its inverter is also larger at 500W/1000W versus Yeti’s 300W/1200W. Yeti’s surge watts are higher, but the fact that the Explorer can power devices requiring 200W more continuously weighs heavier. 300 vs 500 is a 50% difference.

There is one more DC output on the Explorer, and the cigarette port is regulated so you can use 12V fridges and other devices that have a low-voltage cutoff without issues.

Jackery includes a car charger.

The Explorer weighs 13.3 pounds, versus Yeti 400 Lithium’s 16.3 pounds.

What They Have In Common

Both of the power stations have three USB A ports rated at 5V, 2.4A. They also share the 8mm input port and can be used while charging.

There is a pure sine wave inverter in both of the units so you can power sensitive electronics.

Neither of them includes solar panels, and there is a PWM charge controller in both.

You can charge both with the wall charger, car charger, and solar panels.

Solar Panel Recommendations

Since they have the 8mm input, you can use solar panels like the Jackery SolarSaga 60WRockpals 100W, Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, and Suaoki 100W with both.

To use solar panels with MC4 connectors, like the Renogy 50W and Renogy 100W you need to use an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon).

Related Post: How To Connect Third-Party Solar Panels To Jackery Explorer Power Stations

Since the Yeti 400 Lithium can handle up to 120W input, you can plug in two 100W panels with MC4 connectors in parallel to max the input. To do this, you’ll need a MC4 Y Branch (click to view on Amazon), and an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon).

Take the positive wire from both panels and plug it into one of the MC4 Y adapters, then do the same with the negative wires. Then plug the single ends into the MC4 to 8mm adapter. This creates a parallel connection where positive is separate from negative and is safe to do with the Goal Zero Yeti.

Conclusion

While comparing the Yeti 400 Lithium to the Explorer 500, I came to the same conclusion as the comparison above between the Yeti 200X and the Explorer 240.

What it comes down to is a power station that can charge fast (Yeti 400 Lithium), versus a power station that has more battery capacity and a larger inverter (Explorer 500).

To take advantage of the higher max input on the Yeti, you’re going to have to use two 100W panels wired in parallel. If you’re only using a single 100W panel, there won’t be a difference in input watts between the two.

Related Post: Do Cell Phone Boosters Work For Data?

If you need to power a 12V fridge/freezer, there is no question, the Explorer 500 will do a better job with its regulated 12V output. Or if you want to plug an RV camper or van into it, I would go with the Jackery due to the larger inverter that can output 200 watts more.

The screen is better on the Yeti and gives you more information, but if you’re going to be close to the Explorer 500 and don’t need to see the state of charge from far away it won’t matter much. The time to full/empty is a useful feature that I use sometimes on my Yeti 1000, but it’s not a necessity like the state of charge in a percentage that both have.

I like that Jackery includes the car charger, which Goal Zero sells separately.

The Jackery is also lighter and easier to carry around, but the handle on the Yeti folds down to make it easier to store in small places. You can’t do anything to remove the handle on the Jackery unless you bring the saw out.


Goal Zero Yeti 500X Vs Jackery Explorer 500

Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station, 505Wh Portable Lithium Battery Emergency Power Station, Outdoor Solar Generator, 120V AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter, 12V Car Port, 6mm, USB C PD, USB A Port
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
505Wh
518Wh
Inverter Rating
300W/1200W surge
500W/1000W surge
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
2
1
USB Ports
4 (2 USB C)
3 (USB A)
DC Outputs
2 (1 cigarette port, 1 6mm)
3 (1 cigarette port, 2 6mm)
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
PWM
Input Port
8mm
8mm
Max Input
180W (8mm: 120W, USB C PD: 60W)
100W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
12.9 lbs
13.3 lbs
Size
7.5 x 11.3 x 5.8 in
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in

Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station, 505Wh Portable Lithium Battery Emergency Power Station, Outdoor Solar Generator, 120V AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter, 12V Car Port, 6mm, USB C PD, USB A Port
Product Link
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
505Wh
Inverter Rating
300W/1200W surge
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
2
USB Ports
4 (2 USB C)
DC Outputs
2 (1 cigarette port, 1 6mm)
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Input Port
8mm
Max Input
180W (8mm: 120W, USB C PD: 60W)
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
12.9 lbs
Size
7.5 x 11.3 x 5.8 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
518Wh
Inverter Rating
500W/1000W surge
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
1
USB Ports
3 (USB A)
DC Outputs
3 (1 cigarette port, 2 6mm)
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM
Input Port
8mm
Max Input
100W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
13.3 lbs
Size
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in

Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.

What The Yeti 500X Does Better

The Yeti 500X has two AC outlets versus Explorer’s single outlet. So if you want to power two devices you won’t need to use a power strip with the Yeti.

Although the Yeti has a smaller inverter, it has a higher surge rate at 1200W versus Explorer’s 1000W.

It has more USB ports in total and a better selection of ports. With a regular USB C port, a USB C PD port, and two USB A ports you will be able to charge both older electronics but also newer phones, tablets, speakers and even laptops.

The USB C PD port also works as an input, which adds another 60W of input.

Both have an 8mm input, but the Yeti can handle 120W while the Explorer maxes out at 65W when using solar panels.

The screen on the Yeti 500X has more information with the battery voltage, output amps, hours to empty/full in addition to the input/output watts and battery percentage/bars. You can also leave the backlight on, which is not possible with the Jackery.

Goal Zero uses an MPPT solar charge controller that is capable of inputting 120W to the Yeti battery, which is fast for a power station this size. MPPT has a lot of advantages over PWM.

The Yeti 500X is lighter and smaller in general. It has a handle that folds down instead of a solid handle, so it’s easier to store in small spaces.

What The Jackery Explorer 500 Does Better

Jackery has a slightly larger battery (2.5% more capacity).

The big difference is the inverter rating since the Jackery has a 50% more powerful inverter. If you need to power devices that will require more than 300W in total, the Jackery Explorer 500 is the best option.

The wall charger includes with the Jackery 500 is faster (81W vs Yeti 60W).

Although the Yeti uses a more efficient and better MPPT solar charge controller, the Jackery Explorer can handle larger panels since it has a 30V input max vs Yeti 22V. This makes it possible to use panels with a VOC rating above 22V with the Jackery that won’t be supported by the Yeti.

The Jackery has an extra 6mm DC output, and Jackery includes a car charger.

There is also a LED flashlight on the side of the Explorer 500.

What They Have In Common

Both of them use the 8mm input port, so you can use the same solar panels with both as long as its voltage is below 22V.

There is a regulated 12V cigarette port on both, so running a 12V fridge/freezer or other sensitive 12V electronics with a low-voltage cutoff won’t cause any issues until the battery is drained.

Both can be used while they’re charging, and use pure sine wave inverters.

None of them include solar panels.

Solar Panel Recommendations

Since they have the 8mm input, you can use solar panels like the Jackery SolarSaga 60WRockpals 100W, Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, and Suaoki 100W with both.

To use solar panels with MC4 connectors, like the Renogy 50W and Renogy 100W you need to use an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon).

Related Post: How To Connect Third-Party Solar Panels To Jackery Explorer Power Stations

Since the Yeti 500X can handle up to 120W input, you can plug in two 100W panels with MC4 connectors in parallel to max the input. To do this, you’ll need a MC4 Y Branch (click to view on Amazon), and an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon).

Take the positive wire from both panels and plug it into one of the MC4 Y adapters, then do the same with the negative wires. Then plug the single ends into the MC4 to 8mm adapter. This creates a parallel connection where positive is separate from negative and is safe to do with the Goal Zero Yeti.

Conclusion

The Yeti 500X and Explorer 500 have more in common than the Yeti 400 Lithium and Explorer 500.

What sets them apart is the inverter rating, since the Jackery Explorer 500 has a 50% more powerful inverter.

300W is still enough to power several devices like phones, tablets, TVs, small kitchen appliances (not a coffee maker), CPAP machines, gaming consoles, and self-inflating air mattresses.

The Yeti 500X has more modern outputs with the USB C and USB C PD ports, and don’t forget the extra AC outlet that can matter to some.

I believe that the Yeti 500X is the best choice unless you need to power one or several devices that will require over 300W continuously.

The Yeti 500X beats the Explorer 500 with the extra AC outlet, the USB C ports, the MPPT charge controller with a higher input wattage rating, the better screen, and the smaller design.


Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Vs Jackery Explorer 1000

Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Power Station, 1045Wh Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500W (3000W Surge) Inverter, 12V and USB Outputs
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000, 1002Wh Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) with 3x110V/1000W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Emergency
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
1045Wh
1002Wh
Inverter Rating
1500W/3000W peak
1000W/2000W surge
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
2
3
USB Ports
4
4 (2 USB C PD, 1 USB A, 1 USB A QC 3.0)
DC Outputs
4 (1 cigarette port, 2 6mm, 1 APP)
1 cigarette port
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM (MPPT sold separately)
MPPT
Input Port
8mm, APP
8mm, APP (can only use one at a time)
Max Input
360W (more with upgraded MPPT)
175W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
40 lbs
22 lbs
Size
15.3 x 10.1 x 9.3 in
13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 in

Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Power Station, 1045Wh Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500W (3000W Surge) Inverter, 12V and USB Outputs
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
1045Wh
Inverter Rating
1500W/3000W peak
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
2
USB Ports
4
DC Outputs
4 (1 cigarette port, 2 6mm, 1 APP)
Solar Charge Controller Type
PWM (MPPT sold separately)
Input Port
8mm, APP
Max Input
360W (more with upgraded MPPT)
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
40 lbs
Size
15.3 x 10.1 x 9.3 in
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000, 1002Wh Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) with 3x110V/1000W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Emergency
Battery Capacity (Watt-hours)
1002Wh
Inverter Rating
1000W/2000W surge
Inverter Type
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
AC Outlets
3
USB Ports
4 (2 USB C PD, 1 USB A, 1 USB A QC 3.0)
DC Outputs
1 cigarette port
Solar Charge Controller Type
MPPT
Input Port
8mm, APP (can only use one at a time)
Max Input
175W
Lithium Battery
Can Be Used While Charging
Includes Car Charger
Includes Solar Panels
Regulated 12V Output
Weight
22 lbs
Size
13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 in

Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.

What The Yeti 1000 Lithium Does Better

The Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium has more battery capacity and a larger inverter. The battery capacity difference isn’t huge (1045Wh vs 1002Wh), but the inverter is 40% more powerful at 1500W vs 1000W.

So what does it mean that the inverter is more powerful? Well, it means that if you had 15 lights that require 100W each, you could power all of them with the Yeti 1000, but only 10 of them with the Explorer 1000.

The difference in the battery capacity is so small that you won’t notice it, but the inverter difference means that you could run a 700W microwave that requires 1100W with the Yeti, but not with the Explorer.

Related Post: Best Portable Solar Panel Charger For RV Boondocking

Goal Zero has put the same screen on the Yeti 1000 as on the Yeti 400 Lithium, and it’s a better screen with more information compared to the Jackery. It shows not only input/output watts and the state of charge in a percentage, but also output amps, battery voltage, total watt-hours used, and time to full/empty.

There are more DC outputs on the Yeti 1000. One unregulated cigarette port, one Anderson Power Pole output, and two 6mm ports. To regulate the 12V output on the Yeti, you must use a Goal Zero Regulated 12V cable.

The Yeti 1000 can handle a lot more solar panels than the Jackery, even though the Yeti has a PWM charge controller. You can upgrade to an MPPT charge controller, by buying the optional MPPT expansion module (click to view on Amazon).

You can plug chargers and solar panels into both the inputs on the Yeti 1000 at the same time, the Jackery 1000 only allows one input at the time even though it has two different kinds of input ports.

What The Jackery Explorer 1000 Does Better

Jackery has put an MPPT charge controller in the Explorer 1000, which makes it much more efficient than the Yeti that has a built-in PWM charge controller. The MPPT charge controller will especially outperform a PWM charge controller in cold climates.

The Jackery Explorer 1000 has three AC outlets, versus Yeti’s two. It also has a regulated 12V cigarette port, so you can use a 12V fridge/freezer and not have to worry about it shutting off when the battery goes below a certain percentage like with the Yeti.

While both power stations have four USB ports, the ones on the Jackery are more modern and useful. It has a regular USB A port, two USB C PD ports, and one USB A QC 3.0 port. So if you have a phone, tablet, or laptop with a USB C port, you’ll be able to quickly charge it with the Jackery.

To use USB C devices with the Yeti, you need either a USB A to USB C cable, or a power adapter, which will be more inefficient than charging via the USB C PD ports on the Jackery.

Jackery includes a car charger so you can charge it in a vehicle, Goal Zero sells one separately.

One big difference between the two is the weight. The Explorer 1000 weighs only 22 pounds, and the Yeti weighs 40 pounds. It’s also smaller in total size.

The weight and size of the Jackery make it easier to carry around comfortably. Its handle on top makes it possible to carry with one hand which is not possible with the Yeti.

What They Have In Common

Even though the Yeti has slightly more battery capacity, it’s just a 4% difference.

Both of them have an 8mm input and an Anderson Power Pole input. Unfortunately, the Jackery can only accept input through either of them at once. The Yeti can charge from both input ports simultaneously.

Solar Panel Recommendations

First of all, if you’re going with the Yeti, I recommend upgrading to the MPPT charge controller (click to view on Amazon). It’s easy to install on the Yeti. The Jackery Explorer 1000 has an MPPT charge controller built-in.

Since they both have an 8mm input, you can use solar panels like the Jackery SolarSaga 60WRockpals 100W, Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, and Suaoki 100W.

To use solar panels with MC4 connectors, like the Renogy 50W and Renogy 100W you need to use an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon).

Since the Yeti 400 Lithium can handle up to 120W input, you can plug in two 100W panels with MC4 connectors in parallel to max the input. To do this, you’ll need a MC4 Y Branch (click to view on Amazon), and an adapter like this (click to view on Amazon).

Take the positive wire from both panels and plug it into one of the MC4 Y adapters, then do the same with the negative wires. Then plug the single ends into the MC4 to 8mm adapter. This creates a parallel connection where positive is separate from negative and is safe to do with the Goal Zero Yeti.

Conclusion

If you compare the two power stations in the table, it’s easy to believe that they have a lot in common. And they do, in some ways, but they’re different in almost every way if you look closely at each feature and port, and which one is the best depends on what you need.

I own a Yeti 1000 Lithium and I chose it because it can run the microwave in my travel trailer. The Jackery wouldn’t be able to do so since it can “only” output up to 1000W continuously. It would still power my coffee maker, TV, furnace, computer, and RV fridge though.

The Yeti can handle a lot more solar panels at once, and if you upgrade to the MPPT charge controller you can max it out with up to 800 watts worth of solar panels and charge it within a couple of hours.

Since the Jackery is limited to 175W of any kind of input, I wouldn’t use any more than 3 100W solar panels wired in parallel with it.

Jackery did put an MPPT charge controller in the Explorer 1000, and that gives it a big advantage since you have to purchase that separately with the Yeti.

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For most people that go camping, the Jackery is more than enough though, and most likely the best choice due to its outputs and the weight.

Not everybody travels fulltime and works on their computers fulltime as I do, and a maximum of 175W input isn’t bad, but not as good as the Yeti.

If you’re a van dweller without a microwave, I recommend the Jackery Explorer 1000. Put two Renogy 100W solar panels on your roof, wire them together in parallel with a MC4 Y Branch, pull some MC4 extension cables down into your van, and connect them to the Jackery with the MC4 to 8mm adapter cable, and you’re set.

If you absolutely need the 500W extra power to power several power-hungry devices at once, or a microwave and power tools, I recommend the Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium. But you should definitely upgrade to the MPPT expansion module (click to view on Amazon).

Frequently Asked Questions About Power Stations

What Can A Power Station Power/Run?

The inverter in the solar generator/power station decides what it can power.

The inverter is what changes the 12V DC battery power into 120V AC power and powers the outlets that look like the wall outlets in your house.

A 500W inverter can power one or more devices as long as they don’t need more than 500W to run continuously. Even if a power station only has one outlet, you can plug a power strip into the one outlet to provide electricity to several devices.

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If you don’t know how many watts your devices use, you should look for a sticker on it or on its power brick. It’s possible that it only tells you the volts and the amps, but if you multiply them you get the watts. For example (5V, 3A equals 15W).

You can also plug your devices into a Kill A Watt (click to view on Amazon) to see exactly how much they use. It’s good if have a rough estimate of how many watts you need before you choose which power station to buy, so you don’t end up with an inverter not powerful enough to power your electronics.

What Is A Solar Generator/Power Station?

A power station, also known as a solar generator, is a box with three main parts.

It has a battery, a solar charge controller, and an inverter.

The battery size is how much electricity the power station can hold, the solar charge controller lets you plug solar panel into the station to charge the battery without risking damage from overcharging, and the inverter changes the 12V DC battery power into 120V AC power so you can run standard 110/120V electronics with it.

Do Solar Generators/Power Stations Come With Solar Panels?

No, most power stations do not come with solar panels included. Unless it’s mentioned in the title, you should assume that you need to purchase solar panels separately.

It doesn’t matter if it’s called a solar generator in the title, the above still applies.

Can The Power Station Be Used While It’s Charging?

It depends on the model. If it’s not mentioned in the product specifications, you should contact the company and ask. Or you can leave a comment with the model you’re considering and I will look it up for you.

How Long Do Power Stations Last?

Most power stations use lithium-ion batteries that are rated at 500 lifecycles to 80% battery capacity.

What this means is that if you drain the power station from 100% to 0%, 500 times, the battery capacity will be at 80% instead of at 100% that it had as new.

If you take care of the battery by not discharging it lower than 10-20%, you can extend the lifetime of the battery and most likely get 1000 lifecycles before seeing the same 20% decrease in battery capacity.

Another thing you can do is not charge it above 80-90%.

Can I Plug An RV/Van Camper Into A Solar Generator?

Yes, I plug my Yeti 1000 into my travel trailer, and it powers everything except for the air conditioner. I plug it in with a 15A to 30A dogbone adapter. I have also plugged in a Jackery Explorer 500 with the same kind of adapter and didn’t have any issues.

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When I plug it in, it starts using between 100 to 300 watts to charge my trailer house batteries. Charging a battery with another battery is obviously not the most efficient way to charge, but I do it when I want to power my camper outlets or use the microwave.

I wouldn’t recommend plugging in a power station with an inverter smaller than 500W.

Will It Power My Device?

If your device is within the inverter limits, it will power your device as long as the inverter isn’t already powering other devices that would make it exceed the limit.

If the inverter is rated at 500W and the power station has two AC outlets, it doesn’t mean that each outlet can output 500W. They can output 500W combined.

Understand the difference between 500W and 1000Wh when looking at a power station listing. The 500W is how many watts the AC outlets can output, while the 1000Wh is the battery capacity that decides how long you can power a device.

How Long Will It Power My Device?

It depends on the battery capacity and how many watts your device is using. If it has 1000Wh (watt-hours) and you plug in a 100W device, it will run for about 10 hours (1000Wh/100W=10 hours).

An inverter is not 100% efficient, but usually 80-90% efficient, so to get a more worse-case/accurate number, multiply the hours with 0.8 (80%). If we use our example above, then 10*0.8= 8 hours.

How Long Will It Take To Charge A Power Station?

How long it takes to charge a power station depends on the battery capacity and the charging input wattage.

If you have a 100W solar panel connected to a 1000Wh (watt-hour) power station, and the solar panel generates about 70W (70 watt-hours per hour), it would take 14.29 hours to charge fully.

You might notice that the battery will charge fast when the battery is at a low state of charge, and then slow down when it reaches 80-90%. For this reason, it’s smart to add another hour or two to the calculation above for an accurate number.

If you have any questions about either Goal Zero or Jackery power stations, or any question in general or want me to correct something in this post, please leave a comment down below.

2 thoughts on “Goal Zero Vs Jackery – The Ultimate Power Station Battle”

  1. Thank you so much for your reviews and detailed explanations. I have been comparing and inputting the information I could find online, creating a spreadsheet between these two brands and it has taken hours. I have zero electrical knowledge (input or output). Your review helped me understand my spreadsheet information more clearly and the application questions I had were addressed as well (we hope to use this device without disastrous, expensive consequences).
    Thank you again! You have made this comparison/decision much easier!!
    ps (There is a Yeti 500X, which I would be interested to see you add to your review as it may compare even more closely to the Jackery 500 Explorer-at least from what I have been able to see.)

    Reply

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