Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station: Reviewed

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Release Your Inner Yeti and Go Off-Grid With This Super Versatile Power Station

Have you ever dreamed of living the wild and solitary life of the Yeti of Himalayan folklore? Yes? Fantastic; I knew I wasn’t the only one, and it just so happens that stalwarts of the green power industry, Goal Zero, have been making the power supplies capable of turning our dream into a reality for years now.

One of their most popular power stations, I instantly gravitated towards the 500X, and having spent a fair while with it now, I’m happy to report my findings to all my fellow Yetis!

The Yeti 500X Portable Power Station at a Glance

The 500X offers tons of power while still retaining some semblance of true portability (the next Yeti in line is the monster 40lbs 1000).

Goal Zero claims it has a much quicker charge time than even some smaller Yeti units, making the 500X a sensible option all-round.

Yeti 500X - Essential Specs

  • Dimensions: 7.5” x 11.25” x 5.8”
  • Weight: 12.9lbs (5.85kg)
  • Watt Hours: 505
  • Operating Temperatures: 32-104°F (0-40°C)
  • Ports: 7 (including 3 USB)
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion

Yeti 500X - Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Silent
  • Emission-free
  • Solar-optimized
  • Extra-fast Power Delivery USB
  • Durable
  • Portable

Cons

  • Price
  • Long charge time (sometimes)

Where Can You Buy a Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station?

If my review’s got you more psyched for the Yeti 500X than ever, feel free to check prices here.


Durability

It’s not like I’m going to be throwing the 500X down the stairs to test its durability (it was far too expensive for that), but there are certain aspects of its design that reassure me that if I did go ahead and drop it out of my second-story window, it would be just fine.

The corner pillars, for example, provide tons of protection and shock absorption during the inevitable dings it receives in transit and, of course, out in the wild.

It’s not waterproof by any stretch, so you have to provide it shelter, which is sort of a bummer considering its size, but if you’ve got a large tent, it won’t be a problem.

Portability

Despite those oak-strong pillars at every corner, Goal Zero has done a magnificent job of keeping the 500X portable. They’ve somehow even managed to make it 3.5lbs lighter than its predecessor, the yeti 400 Lithium.

What’s more, it features an incredibly robust and ergonomic, fold-away handle which makes transporting it by hand a total breeze.

Though it’s not huge, you can’t just chuck it in your backpack and hit the road. You always have to dedicate a whole hand to carrying it, but considering the power, I wouldn’t expect any different.

Verdict - 5/5: Powerful yet portable...it’s a 5 from me.

Power Potential

I work from home, and I’ve been eyeing up my couch as a workstation for a while now, but there are no outlets near enough to plug my laptop in, so the first thing I did when my 500X arrived was park on the couch and test its abilities as I worked.

Before it ran out of juice, I managed two and a half days of work which involved charging my phone three times, my laptop two and a half times, and running a medium-sized fan for a couple of hours each day.

Translate that to life on a campsite when you’re not nearly as reliant on your electrical luxuries, and there’s no doubt in my mind it could keep you going upwards of a week on one battery cycle.

Verdict - 5/5: The 500X is an awesome way of getting closer to nature without giving up all your creature comforts, but it’s also powerful enough to double as a home backup generator.

Charging

With a 60-watt wall charger, you can bring the 500X back from the dead in roughly 10 hours, which is quite a long time.

Fortunately, this isn’t your only option. You can also hook it up to a 120-watt wall charger and cut the charging time by 5 ½ hours.

Then there’s the solar potential. Goal Zero sells solar panels of varying sizes, each with an associated charge time.

If money’s no object, I highly recommend investing in the largest solar panel set they offer, the Boulder 200 Briefcase, as it will get you up and running in 3-6 hours.

Verdict - 4/5: I was torn here because, while it is possible to charge the 500X in 3 hours, it relies on us having favorable weather and a favorable bank account.

Outlets

One of the best features of the 500X is the various fast-charge USB ports, an improvement over the 400’s three uniform 5V ports. They managed to charge my phone in just over an hour, and my laptop didn’t take much longer than that either.

Excluding the charging port, the other outlets include 2 AC (wall-style) outlets, and a handy 12V outlet. I noticed the AC outlets aren’t quite as snappy as the USB connections, but it’s not that they’re slow, it’s that the USB ports are insanely fast.

Verdict - 5/5: I’m a sucker for those optimized USB ports!

Features

I’ve already mentioned solar compatibility, but the 500X has a few other exciting appointments that had me pretty stoked when it arrived at my doorstep.

My personal favorite is the LCD that communicates all sorts of handy tidbits such as how much juice you’ve got left in the tank, as well as an ETA on how long it will last under your current load.

The 500X is also loaded with something known as MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker), which optimizes solar energy transfer, bringing down charge times when you break out the panels.

Verdict - 5/5: In the 500X, Goal Zero has created something that’s both feature-rich and beautifully simple to use.

Value for Money

I’d be lying if I denied spending most of my meager savings on my 500X. It is, after all, an objectively expensive power supply.

But with upward of 500 battery life cycles, if you take advantage of its solar capabilities, you’ll be saving money in the long run, and most importantly, you won’t be harming the planet.

Verdict - 4/5: I would buy it again. I’d probably even spend a bit more on it, but the price tag will definitely scare a lot of people away.

Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station - The Final Verdict

You’ve probably surmised by now that I freakin’ adore this power supply. I’m finding uses for it I never even expected, and I can’t wait for an opportunity to take it out on its inaugural jaunt to my favorite nature spot.

I’m giving the Goal Zero Yeti 500X a final verdict of 4½/5, and I highly recommend giving it a shot to make your next adventure one for the books!