Patriot Power Generator - Is It Any Good?
The following article is an in-depth review and breakdown of 4Patriot's power generator. We look at all of it's parts and pieces as well as it's features, benefits, pros & cons and what you actually get with the patriot power generator. The article also concludes with some alternative solar generator options that may be worth considering as well (so feel free to jump to the Alternatives to the Patriot Power Generator section if you're looking for other options).
We've reviewed, tested and sold thousands of solar generators over the years so we'd like to think we know a thing or two about what to look for in a high quality solar powered generator. First, we'll quickly cover some basics if you're new to solar generators. If you already know the basics of solar generators, jump to the Patriot Power Generator Review section.
What are solar generators?
Solar generators are a fairly new, exciting technology with tons of potential to alleviate a lot of the worlds power needs. Whether you want to be prepared for when the grid goes down, you want to power your RV, van, or skoolie, or you simply want a mobile power source for your next camping trip, solar generators are an incredible investment.
Not only can you use them inside since they emit no toxic fumes and (almost) no noise, they also come with the ability to be charged very easily by solar panels. They can also be charged from an AC wall outlet as well, but the ability to charge them with solar power is what makes them very popular.
Solar Power Generators 101
For those new to solar generators, I’d like to give a brief background on what is included in most generators as well as the benefits of clean, renewable power. Solar generators are great when compared to traditional gas generators because they:
- - Do not emit harmful gases - so they can be used indoors.
- - Run on a renewable source of energy - no more expensive trips to the gas station.
- - Are generally very portable - Most include handles or carrying straps and weigh less than fifty pounds.
Solar generators, also known as portable power sources are sold with everything you need to power your electric devices besides from the solar panels themselves. They are generally built with:
- - A battery
- - A Charge Controller (to prevent damage to the battery)
- - A Display Screen (to show input & output levels and capacity)
- - An Inverter (Dc to AC)
- - Power Outputs (to plug in your devices)
Patriot Power Generator Review
Alright, let's get to it! For those looking to pay top dollar for the best in portable, renewable energy, the Patriot Power Generator may seem like a good option. The company originally released the Patriot Power Generator 1500 (which was recalled due to the fact that it caught on fire) and has followed up with the Patriot Power Generator 1800. The new model is larger and retails for roughly $2,500 on their website. This begs the question… is the patriot power generator really worth it?
The Patriot Power Generator 1800 is made up of all of the standard components of a solar powered generator listed above. The quality of these parts vary, and we will outline each of their features below as we breakdown the Patriot power generator's battery, input potential, and output capability in order to determine if it's any good.
Patriot Power Generator Battery
Despite the 1800 in its title, the storage capacity of the included battery is far from large. The estimated watt-hours of a fully charged Patriot power generator is a mere 690wH. Although it's 12 volt lithium iron phosphate battery is very high quality, the capacity is simply too low to ignore.
If you are in a situation in which the battery cannot be easily recharged, like at night during a power outage, 690 watt hours will hardly be enough, especially if you're using an average to above average amount of power to run things like lights, electronics and other necessities. For example, if you are powering your fridge, which their website boasts as a capability, 690 watt hours will essentially be able to get you through one night (depending on the fridge model). For example, If you're fridge draws 75 watts, the patriot generator will run it for approximately 9 hours (690wH/75 watts).
Shelf Life & Battery Size
The patriot power generator's battery does come with a decent shelf life of 6 to 12 months, meaning you can charge the solar generator fully and it will only begin to (slowly) lose power after six months. This is slightly above average when compared to most competitive brands, however there are some solar generators that are comparable in price or less expensive than the Patriot with battery capacities double and triple its size and that also only need topped off every 6 months. For example, the Inergy Apex solar generator has an 1,100 watt hour battery and only needs charged every 6 months when in storage. But more on this later!
Lifecycle's & Charging
The size of this battery would almost be enough to write off the Patriot Power generator for most people's needs even though it does have an impressive lifespan. 4Patriots claims that the system can be fully charged and discharged 2,500 times, which makes for an impressive long, lasting system. If you are in an environment where you can easily charge and recharge the battery continuously, wear and tear would not be a concern with this device in the short term.
Patriot Power Generator Solar Input Potential
The Patriot Power Generator 1800 comes with a MPPT charge controller built into its system, which is a huge upgrade from the Patriot Power Generator 1500 model which lacked this key component. Despite this feature, we feel as though the 1800 still has some things to consider when it comes to charging the battery, especially with solar panels.
How fast can you charge the Patriot Power Generator?
The Patriot Power Generator has a maximum input capacity of 240 watts of solar power. This is one of the products biggest downfalls, as some of the best portable solar generators have input capacities of 400, 500 and up to 1000 watts of solar power input. So if you were hoping to expand upon the 100 watt solar panel included in the package, your options are limited to adding a mere 140 more watts and nothing more. The amount of "solar input" more or less determines the charging speed potential of the generator since a smaller amount of solar input means slower charging. To put this into perspective, the Bluetti solar generator for example, has a solar input capacity of 500 watts (more than double).
The charge time of the system is also not impressive (mainly due to the limited input). Despite a 3 hour AC charge time, which is quick but not rapid due to the size of the battery, the solar charge time is listed as being an average of 10 hours. In a blackout situation, ten hours may be simply too long to wait for the battery to fully charge, only to last through the night and before it needs to be charged again. This is especially crucial as peak sunlight hours last for less than six hours per day in the United States.
Does the Patriot power generator come with a car charger?
Lastly, it's important to note that the Patriot Power Generator does not come with a DC input. Although this is not a standard feature among the best solar generators, many products come with this capability. Having a DC input makes it possible to charge the unit with your vehicle, so if you were hoping to do so with your van or RV, extra steps would need to be taken to make a DIY car charging solution.
Patriot Power Generator Output Capability
The Patriot Power Generator 1800 gets its namesake from its inverter capable of running 1800 watts continuously. Paired together with its roughly 3,000 watt surge rating, the inverter is actually one of the best components in this solar powered generator. Of course, there are larger models on the market, running 1800 watts continuously so this is both above-average and plenty of power for anyone who wants to run most normal household items like a refrigerator, microwave, or CPAP machine. However, to put this in perspective, the EcoFlow Delta solar generator has a 1295 Wh battery (almost double the patriot power generator's) AND an 1800 Watt inverter, for almost half the price of the patriot generator (the EcoFlow Delta retails for $1,399).
How many plugs are on the Patriot Power Generator?
The output availability (plugs) on the patriot generator is surprisingly lacking, however. The outputs contain only two AC ports (normal wall plugs), which is quite low for the size of the inverter. I think 4Patriots might have done this purposefully so as to prevent users from overloading the system, however I’m a bit confused with this decision. Also included are two DC outlets (one is a cigarette charger type port, and one powerpole), and four USB outlets for phone chargers, lights etc.
How Much Does The Patriot Power Generator Cost?
As mentioned earlier in the article, the Patriot Power Generator 1800 is currently retailing for roughly $2,500 on their website. The product is not sold anywhere else, not even on Amazon. The Patriot generator does come with 1 x 100W foldable solar panel. As for the quality of the solar panel, we cannot say, as the brand or efficiency is not listed on the website.
In addition to foldable solar panels, the Patriot Power Generator kit comes with a few other parts and accessories. This includes a flashlight, a popup solar lantern, grid failure reading material, and emergency survival food (yes, food). So whereas I cannot calculate the exact price of the Patriot Power Generator 1800 alone, I can certainly infer that the company may have decided to include a large number of bonuses in order to increase the perceived value of the patriot power generator itself.
What's Included in the 4Patriots Solar Generator Kit (As per 4Patriots website):
- - Generator unit
- - 100 watt solar panel
- - 25 foot solar panel cable
- - Patriot Power Cell
- - Sun Kettle Water Heater
- - HaloXT Flashlight
- - Solar Air Lantern
- - USB Battery Kit
- - 72-Hour Survival Food Kit
- - Solar Panel Extension Cord
- - Blackout-Survival Library
- - Shipping & Handling
Pros & Cons of The Patriot Power Generator
There's a lot to consider when it comes to the pros and cons of the patriot power generator. To help decide a true verdict on wether it's worth it or not, let's quickly look at the pros and cons of the patriot power generator broken down into bite size pieces.
Patriot Power Generator Pros
- Good Shelf Life and High Life Cycle Count
- Large Inverter, High Output
- Fast AC Charge Time
Patriot Power Generator Cons
- Low Battery Capacity
- Low Solar Input
- No DC Input
- Limited Output Options
- Slow Solar Charging
- High Price Tag
- - Weight
Patriot Power Generator Specs:
- - 1,800 watts continuous power, 3,048 peak power
- - Fully drain and recharge unit 2,500+ times... that's about 6.8 years of daily -use
- - Compact & portable: Only 40 pounds
- - AC charge time: About 3 hours
- - Solar charge time: Average 10 hours, depends on sunlight & location
- - Included MPPT charging technology
- - Included 12-volt, 100w foldable solar panel
- - Unit 17" L x 7.5" W x 10.5" H
- - Solar panel 42.5” L x 26.5” H
Should You Buy The Patriot Power Generator?
Overall, I am reluctant to recommend the Patriot Power Generator 1800. The unit weighs 46lbs and comes at a high price tag, so I am not sure the features are worth the strain on my arms and wallet. That being said, 4Patriots appears to be a popular brand due to it's commitment to freedom and self reliance which we do like, however, there are simply better solar generator options available for less money. Either way, let's look at some of your alternative solar generator options before you make your own final decision.
Alternatives to the Patriot Power Generator
A few times in this article, we’ve alluded to the fact that there are better portable solar generators being available on the market. Here are a few alternatives to the Patriot Power Generator 1800 that may be better suited for your electricity needs or budget.
If you are looking for the highest power and most capable solar generator on the market, the Titan is going to be your best bet. When compared to the Patriot Power Generator 1800, the Titan has over triple the storage capacity (2,000 watt battery), nearly double the continuous output potential (3,000 watt inverter), and triple the amount of AC outlets.
Whereas it is true the Titan generator is a bit more expensive ($2,995), in the time of an emergency, you’ll be glad you spent the extra money. Also, unlike the Patriot, the Titan’s battery storage is easily expandable with extra stacking batteries, so in a sense, the possibilities are endless with the Titan generator.
The Bluetti holds over double the battery capacity of the Patriot (1,500 Watt battery) at less than half of the cost to purchase it. Although the inverter is smaller, at 1000 watts of continuous output, the Bluetti is built as a better, more all round solar generator. I say this because the Bluetti allows for 500 watts of solar input, which enables it to fully charge in four hours of ideal sunlight. If you are looking to continuously charge appliances and electronics or even a back-up emergency power source with a solar generator, like in a van or RV, the Bluetti is a far better choice.
If the 3 hour AC charge time of the Patriot Power Generator is what attracts you the most to the model, you may want to consider the EcoFlow Delta 1300. When plugged into a traditional AC wall outlet, the Delta charges its 1300 watt hour battery (double the size of the Patriot) in under two hours! This is the fastest AC charging on the market and allows for a quick charge and go before a weekend away. The EcoFlow Delta also includes more AC outlets, a car charger, and a potential to charge the battery with 400 watts of solar power.
The Inergy Apex is probably the most similar portable generator to the Patriot Power, except it comes at half the price. The Apex’s inverter allows for 1500 watts continuously, which is 300 less than the Patriot Power, however the downsides stop right there. The Apex is 20 lbs lighter, has triple the amount of AC outputs, can input twice as much solar (600 watts), and has nearly double the battery capacity (1,100 watts). The battery of the Apex is rated to last 2,000 cycles, which is also quite comparable to the Patriot Power Generator for a fraction of the cost.
Complete Solar Generator Comparison Chart - Patriot Power Generator Vs The Others
Take a look at the following chart to see how the Patriot solar generator stacks up against the rest of the solar generator competition. You'll see it on the far right of this chart.
Again, if you're considering the patriot solar generator, I feel as though there are simply better options for less money and that the Patriot Power Generator is not worth it. If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, the Patriot Power 1800 is far from the best option in it's price range.
As we can see in the solar generator comparison chat above, with the patriot power generator's limited input capacity, small storage potential, and high price tag, I cannot recommend the Patriot Power Generator as the best option for anyone looking for a solar powered generator. To explore your options further, consider reading our full solar generator buying guide for 2020.
If you are looking for an all-in-one, portable plug and play option, you can also consider a complete solar kit that includes a solar powered generator.