4Patriots Patriot Power Sidekick

Portable Solar Generator
15

The 4Patriots Sidekick system includes a battery "generator" and a portable solar array for recharging.

If you own a gun for defensive use, you’re already in the category of folks who plan ahead for unknown eventualities. Just as owning a gun is one part of a comprehensive security strategy, thinking about emergency power is a piece of the overall strategy to plan for life’s little adventures. While North Korea may or may not knock out the power grid one day (that’s a whole new realm of preparedness planning), odds are one hundred percent your family will be faced with power loss from a natural or man-made disaster of some sort. It’s not only comforting but easier than ever to plan for some basic functionality when the lights go out.

The folks at 4Patriots offer a wide range of preparedness tools, food and supplies. The Sidekick generator and solar array will get you started for a modest investment with enough backup power to charge computers, cell phones, radios, lights and much, much more. Here’s the basic idea …

What It Is

The Sidekick unit itself is a lightweight battery storage system with enough electronic guts to output power in low voltage DC and standard AC — just like the stuff the runs your home appliances. And when I say light, I mean it. It weighs just 8.6 pounds, not much more than a gallon of milk. Remember those jump starters sold at the big box stores? My old one weighed a not insignificant fraction of a Sherman tank.

Anyway, the unit has two standard AC plugs for appliances like lights, fans, computer chargers, CPAP machines or even a mini fridge. There are also a couple of standard USB ports and a newer USB-C jack. Add a couple more DC 12V, 10amp outputs and a cigarette lighter plug, and when all is said and done, there are nine total charging ports.

With decent sunlight, the included solar panels will recharge the Sidekick in about 7 hours.

Charging: AC or the Sun

To charge the unit, use the included charging cable plugged into a home outlet. In about five hours, you’ll have a full charge. Now you have a “generator” that requires no gas and makes no noise.

Included in the package is a very portable solar array that will charge the unit in about 7 hours. So, assuming decent sunlight, you can run things indefinitely by planning your usage and solar recharging.

Power!

The unit contains a surprising amount of stored power. The 300-watt capacity will run an LED lamp for days on end — continuously. The system can run a mini fridge on AC for 4 hours, give or take. Or charge cell phones non-stop for about 2 ½ days. Remember, by making clever use of the solar panel, you can repeat these charging cycles indefinitely.

I’ve been using the first-generation Sidekick for months and have found all sorts of handy uses. If you drive an older car that doesn’t work well with those lighter-to-AC adapters, just bring the Sidekick to power and charge devices on long drives. Short power outages during storms are a breeze as the unit will power lights for days.

All in all, this is one handy piece of gear. You can pick up a system, complete with the solar array, for $499.95

For more info, vist 4Patriots.com.