The name sounds impressive, but is the Patriot Power Generator 1800 actually that good? We take a look at this solar power generator that’s often used for power outages and off-the-grid living.
I live in a fairly rural part of the country where power cuts and weather problems are not uncommon. From blackouts to floods, there are a million and one reasons why my home can randomly lose power for a few hours.
It’s super annoying.
While I can survive without my TV for a few hours, I like the option of having a backup power generator in my home so I can power my fridge or freezer and a few other essential appliances until the power comes back on.
Always eco-conscious, I decided to try the Patriot Power Generator 1800 with solar power charging to see if it would work for my needs.
The Patriot Power Generator 1800 is a power generator that is often used for power outages in the home. It comes with 2 charging options — solar panel charging and AC outlet charging (the outlets on the main power grid).
This product is a continuation from the Patriot 1500, which famously was recalled because it kept catching fire.
Now, I’ve not heard any stories about the 1800 catching fire, but I feel like it’s worth mentioning when considering which company to buy from.
Maybe speak to the customer service team if you’re nervous.
In terms of outputs, the Patriot 1800 has plenty to choose from. Outputs on this solar generator include:
Potentially, you could have a power supply for 8 different appliances running at once, assuming you don’t max out the 1800W output. However, I doubt you would ever need to plug that much in at once.
I certainly haven’t.
Despite being called the 1800, the battery capacity on this generator is actually 768Wh (watt hours) which is quite small for such a large generator, to be honest.
Speaking of large, the Patriot 1800 is pretty darn big.
It’s similar in size to a large desktop computer and weighs a whopping 40 lbs.
When you buy the Patriot Power Generator, you go get a bunch of free stuff included with it, which is nice.
Free items included with the Patriot 1800 are:
These free items help to make the steep price tag feel a little more bearable.
The Patriot is definitely aimed at people looking to make it through a freak lightning storm or other emergency situations, with books like “The Generator Survival Checklist” and “The Blackout Response Guide” all pushing that independence mindset. I'd say it would also be good for people who live in tiny houses.
This solar powered generator has 2 main methods of charging — AC outlet and solar panels.
Obviously the AC outlet charging is much faster, but if you’ve got the time to spare, I’d recommend charging with the solar panels to be kinder to the environment.
Get your hands on bifacials if you can for more efficient charging.
The Patriot has a solar input potential of 240 watts.
This is quite a lot less than other rival solar generators that may have input potential of up to 500 or 100 watts for solar panels.
The Patriot 1800 has an output capability of 1800W, as the name suggests. This means you can plug in multiple appliances so long as their draw doesn’t exceed 1800W in total.
When sold through the official website, the Patriot Power Generator currently costs $2,497.00.
As you’re aware, the Patriot 1800 comes with a solar panel kit included, so it’s easy to generate your home’s backup power without having to rely on the main power grid at all.
After a blackout is over and the electricity situation is back to normal in my home, I like to put my solar panels up in the garden and connect them to the Patriot 1800 inside the house (just in case of rain).
This way, I can generate my backup power in the most eco-friendly way possible. I’m not usually in a rush, so I can wait a couple days for it to fully charge via the sun.
Most solar generators and portable power stations will lose their charge at around the 6 month mark, but the Patriot can hold its charge for anywhere up to 12 months.
This makes it ideal if you just get power outages every so often — you only need to recharge the product on an annual basis to make sure that it’s still holding charge.
The Patriot 1800 supposedly has 2,500 life cycles according to the manufacturer, though that’s obviously quite hard to test out anytime soon.
In theory, this means that you could use this product every single day for almost 7 years before you would need a replacement.
It’s a nice feature, but I highly doubt anyone would ever use a generator that often unless they live totally off-the-grid.
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I’m not going to lie — there are a lot of things that I don’t like about this product.
First of all, if you look up YouTube reviews for the Patriot 1800, you’ll find that basically all of them are on the 4Patriots YouTube channel. That’s never a good sign.
There are a few downsides to this product, here are some to consider:
Amusingly, the manufacturer describes this product as “lightweight” despite the 1800 weighing a whopping 40 lbs!
Now if you’re just using this for backup power or off-the-grid power, the weight won’t matter much to you. However, if you’re taking this camping, you’ll be struggling to lug it around for sure.
If you live in a warmer part of the country, prepare for the wrath of the world’s loudest cooling fans.
Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but this power generator can get hot, and when it does, the cooling fans like to let you know they’re working by being annoyingly loud.
This product clocks in at around $2,500, which is pretty expensive despite all the free items you get with it.
Now, I understand that most large power generators are expensive, but this thing only has a 768Wh (watt hours) battery capacity.
In the words of Shania Twain — that don’t impress me much!
For the same price, you can get other power generators with much bigger battery capacities, or you can just build your own DIY solar generator.
The thing is, for its price, this just doesn’t cut the mustard.
For a power generator of this size, there aren’t that many power outlets.
This is the kind of power generator you would want to use in an emergency situation, yet there are only 2 AC outlets, which seems very low.
Yes, you could plug in your fridge and maybe a TV or something, but that’s it.
Not really ideal if you electricity is out for extended periods of time.
There are better options with more AC outlets at this price range.
One of the main selling points of this power station is that it will power your fridge or freezer if the power goes out in your home. They go on and on and on about it. The people at Patriot are really into powering the hell outta fridges.
They claim that this generator can power your fridge for 16.3 hours, but in practice it’s much less than that.
For the size of the average US fridge or freezer, you’d be lucky to get 6-10 hours at best!
If you power other items and appliances at the same time, that will drop even lower.
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This solar generator has inspired a lot of other interesting reviews online from both customers and people within the off-the-grid world.
Here are some snippets from other people’s reviews of the Patriot Power Generator 1800:
When you see the name “Patriot 1800” you may think that it comes with a large 1,800wh battery. It does not. The battery is Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) which is a very good thing, but it is definitely not 1,800wh. It’s not even half of that. The battery is only 690wh.
Ben, Reviewer at Powered Portable Solar
At 86, I find it a bit heavy....couldn't lift it out of the shipping box. I think that can be remedied by getting someone to build a little platform of wheels.
Yvonne Jones, Patriot Power User
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
Shop Solar Kits Blog
So proud to own this generator even though I haven't told anyone. All my neighbors can scratch their heads when an unfortunate event comes our way!
Pat Edwards, Patriot Power User
While I bought the Patriot Power Generator 1800 primarily for blackouts, you might also use one for camping trips and off-the-grid living.
Whatever you’re using it for, here are some things to consider before buying any of the solar powered generators on the market:
The capacity of the battery is one of the main things you should look at before anything else. If you’re taking solar generators out to just power your phone and tablet for a couple days on a camping trip, then you don’t need a huge capacity.
However, if you live off the power grid or you’re trying to get a solid solar generator in case of a power outage, then you need something with enough juice to run large appliances like a fridge or a freezer.
When it comes to your power generator, solar charging is a great option if you want to be kinder to the environment.
However, you need to check how quickly your generator can charge.
For instance, most places in the US only get ideal solar panel sunlight for around 5-6 hours per day, and that’s assuming it’s not a cloudy day.
For solar power generators that take 12 hours to charge via solar panel, you’ll be lucky to charge them fully over 2 days.
While a lot of solar generators describe themselves as “portable,” a lot of them really aren’t.
Yes, technically 40-pound solar generators are portable because they don’t need to be attached to anything, but they’re incredibly heavy and difficult to lug around.
For heavier solar generators, you can probably take them to a campsite in your car and move them a short distance to your tent, but that’s about it.
Let’s just say you ain’t gonna be hiking up mountains or running away from a natural disaster with the heavier generators.
No, the Patriot power generator does not come with a car charger input, though it does have a DC car charger-style output. It cannot be charged by a car, but it can power devices that you use with a car charger.
No, a solar generator cannot power an entire house, but a big enough one can power essentials like your fridge or freezer to stop your food from spoiling during a power cut.
Most generator batteries last for around 3 years if you take care of them properly. However, the lifespan of a power generator depends on the company that made it, the capacity, the type of battery, and numerous other factors.
Yes, it is possible to jump start a generator battery using the same jumper cables you would use to jump start a car battery. However, it may depend on the type or brand of the power generator.
The Patriot Power Generator 1800 might have its place in some households, but not mine.
For me, I prefer the Jackery Explorer 500 for both camping trips and backup household power.
If you need more power, there is also the Jackery Explorer 1000.
One of the reasons why I prefer the Jackery 500 is because it weighs just 13 lbs — 3 times less than the Patriot.
Granted, it doesn’t have as much battery capacity, but if you just need backup power for a few basic devices, it’s more than big enough and doesn’t weigh a ton.
I’m always clumsily stumbling around with generators during a blackout, but the Jackery 500 comes with features that make it very convenient during a power outage, in emergency situations, or while out camping, such as a built-in carry handle, backlit display screen, and a built-in low-power LED flashlight that’s perfect if the lights go out.
THE JACKERY EXPLORER 500
In the same scenario, the Patriot weighs a ton, is hard to move around, and has no built-in flashlight feature. Boo.
If you’re looking for a lightweight solar generator with a ton of features that are great in an emergency, or even just during camping trips, go for the Jackery Explorer 500.