Today, we’re going to focus on the Kalisaya KP401 (384Wh) Portable Solar Generator Review.
Offered under the KaliPAK series name by portable solar power giant, Kalisaya, this solar generator promises a lot of things which are completely novel in the world of portable solar power as we know it today:
- The best energy to weight ratio; better than any other model in production today offers it.
- The reality of being the only solar power station that deploys the use of remote managing via dedicated apps.
- And then again, being one of the very few portable solar generators today that can be made completely weatherproof.
The net implications of this is that, the Kalisaya KP401 portable solar generator is one of the best portable power stations anyone can find in the world today.
However, that is the opinion of its manufacturer, Kalisaya.
This does not necessarily need to be our position – at least, not without a thorough and real good look, facilitated by professional eyes and unbiased eyes.
If you have ever wanted a thorough review of the Kalisaya KP401, are in need of a review of the generator at the moment or, are considering the solar generator but need to confirm if it’s the real deal, you need to take a deep breath and read on: this is our task today.
What you should also expect is that, this review of the KP401 will clearly be the most amazing and comprehensive you’ll ever read online concerning this little KaliPAK model from Kalisaya.
If you’re ready, let’s fire 🙂
First things first though: let’s take a general overview of the generator.
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Kalisaya KP401 (384Wh) Portable Solar Generator Review: A Quick Summary
The Kalisaya KP401 is a midsized portable solar generator offered by the portable solar power giant, Kalisaya.
Capable of charging up laptops, cellphones, tablets and everything else in-between, the KaliPAK 401 is truly a versatile and ultra portable solar generator that has won the hearts of campers and hikers around the world for its fancy features, chief amongst it, its hitherto clearly unbeaten and super impressive energy-weight ratio.
For some users though, what really draws them into the world of the KP401 is its classic rendering and design – accompanied by its remote control capabilities and operations.
Users who work in regions where power is needed and shelter is not guaranteed have praised the fact that the solar generator can be packed in its custom weatherproof coat (sold separately) and used while the elements have a field day 🙂
These features and reality has made the KP 401 one of the best water-proof portable solar generators today and importantly, has ensured that the generator is received favorably by those whose need for it is real and who are desirous of getting every power out of every pound weight of the generators they carry on a hunt, trail, hike or camp.
Engineered with a myriad of carrying and transporting options and the equally rare ability to hold gadgets and small accessories, the 401 appeals to users across all walks of life – in all manner of circumstances – right from the corporate world to the informal reality of the beach.
Now, let’s take a dive into the specs of this portable power station.
Specs Of The Kalisaya KP401
The specs of any solar generator (or gadget for that matter) is what actively makes it interesting to the geeks and technically conscious buyers or users.
This is because, the specs are exactly where the naked reality of any functional unit is laid bare and users are given a hint/clue as to the power of the unit they are about buying.
For the KP401, here are its specs in all its majestic nakedness:
- Battery capacity: 26Ah, churning out 384Wh of power @14.8V.
- Power Ports: 4X USB ultra-fast charge ports; 2X 12V DC ports for lighting.
- Solar cells per panel: 4.
- Rated output of solar panel: 40 watts.
- Weight of solar generator: 13lbs (5.8kg).
- Solar Generator Dimensions: 6.7 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches.
- Shipping weight: 17.5 pounds (7.9kg).
This is what you get when you stripe the Kalisaya KP401 of all its finery and minor features and instead, focus on the basic core only.
Now, let’s take a good look at the features of this unit and see what makes it really attractive to everyday users in a manner that non-solar generator users will never understand.
Features Of The KP401 Portable Solar Power Station
The features of any product are the finery on which the product is based and the foundation on which it attracts users and admirers – especially those who are less bothered about the the technical jargons that are the hallmark of its technical specs.
For the KP401, these features are quite many and are equally attractive (at least to the vast clientele and number of users patronizing this unit type in the last few years).
Let’s take a smart, quick look.
- Remote control management via the dedicated KaliAPP (which is available both for the iOS platform and the Android OS).
- Multi power ports that can work simultaneously, charging up more than one device at the same time.
- Super light weight.
- Optional weather proof raincoat that protect the generator from the elements, if need be.
- Lithium-ion battery.
- Portable solar panel inclusion.
- Ability to be recharged by solar, AC and 12V DC.
These are the quick, major features of the KP401 at a glance.
Having thus taken a look at what it entails to use the generator on a day to day basis and importantly, how life will be with it, let’s now take a deep and interested look into what the Kalisaya KaliPAK 401 can power – or is meant to power.
Stay with us…
What The Kalisaya KP401 Is Meant To Power (Or, Can Power)
The strength of any solar generator lies in its raw power: that is, what it was meant to power – and ultimately, what it can power.
For technically biased readers, this ability can be gleamed from the raw specs of the generator, especially when understood side by side with the wattage/power requirement of the devices one intends to use with such a portable solar generator.
For users who are not technically biased however, this can be a huge challenge and cause needless moments of uncertainly.
For Kalisaya’s KP401, there’s no need for such uncertainty – here’s the load the generator can brilliantly handle without breaking a sweat:
1. A Laptop
The most popular gadget that is powered by the KP401 daily and that the KP401 is actually meant to power is the laptop – all brands of laptops.
Depending on the actual capacity of the laptop, this solar generator can brilliantly charge the laptop between 5 – 9 times before running out of juice and needed a battery recharge itself.
However, during the day when the generator is charging, the KP401 can brilliantly power a traditional laptop all through the day, provided it is plugged in and the solar panels are positioned in a manner that they’ll receive appreciable sunlight.
2. Cell Phones, Tablets And Kindle Devices
Cell phones, tablets and Kindle devices are the new normal today: just about everyone needs them for their day to day living, pleasure, reality and work.
These trio can all be charged by the 4 high power USB ports featured on the Kalisaya KP401 – and can be charged simultaneously with all the ports actually powering up the various connected devices.
The smartest thing about USB charging with the KP401 to take special note of is that, the drain on the internal battery of the generator is so small that consumption is largely negligible.
Thanks to the small internal batteries of these USB powered devices, the devices listed above and others of their kind (deploying USB charging) can be charged over and over again – even without the unit itself needing a recharge (by any other means).
3. Cameras And Camcorders
The KaliPAK 401 is also meant to power cameras and camcorders too – right on the go.
This reality works both for cameras and camcorders that are powered by a USB cord and those that need other more direct DC charging methods.
Depending on the capacity of the camera(s) and camcorder(s) that are intended to be charged with the device, power service can very well be extended to serve upwards of weeks right to months without any further need to recharge the inbuilt battery of the generator.
4. Other Reasonable Devices And Gadgets
Of course, it is not practical to mention all the devices and gadgets that the KP401 can power or is meant to power: we’ll be running the whole article around that piece of information but will still wind up missing some very important gadgets that you may need powered by this generator and other numerous gadgets the generator can power brilliantly.
Accordingly thus, if you’re interested in powering any other small to mid-range power device, kindly take a look at its power requirement and cross-check it with what the KP401 can handle as pe the specs shared earlier on in this article.
By this means, you’ll be able to brilliantly ascertain the load that the solar unit was meant to accommodate in the smartest of manners.
What’s In The Box?
The brand new KP401 portable solar generator comes packed with the below mentioned accessories and items, right out of the box, ready to be used.
• Embedded 26Ah Lithium Ion Battery.
• 4X Folding Flex-Bow Solar Panel.
• Wide-Comfit Diagonal Shoulder Strap.
• AC/DC Power Adapter.
• Car Lighter Adapter.
• User Manual.
• Quick Start Card.
Having taken a look at what’s in the box of a new KP401 order, let’s now take a look at how the internal lithium-ion battery of this solar generator is charged.
How The KaliPAK 401 Is Charged
To use any solar generator for more than 24 hours, you must be sure of how to recharge it when its internal battery deflates and it is in need of a charge.
As for the KP401, it is hybrid solar generator – and accordingly, there are a plethora of ways to recharge its lithium-ion battery when it runs flat or is in need of a recharge.
Here are the options:
1. Solar Charging Option
The solar charging option for this extremely light and ultra portable solar generator is by default, its primary charging option.
The included 40 watt solar panel allows you to charge your KaliPAK wherever the sun is shining.
For optimal sun charging, you must angle the panels at the appropriate latitude.
If your latitude is between 25° and 50°, then the best tilt angle for summer is the latitude, times 0.93, minus 21º.
The best tilt angle for winter is the latitude, times 0.875, plus 19.2º.
With very bright sunlight, the 26Ah lithium ion battery of the generator charges from a flat state to a full charge well under a day.
On days that are not so sunny or bright, a day is what may take you for a full 100% charge.
During winter or extremely cloudy days, the charge time may vary from just under 2 days to two and a half days.
2. AC Charging Option
Like the solar option for this power station, Kalisaya has left no stone unturned for its users: the AC power adapter has also been included in the package when you purchase this portable solar generator.
With the AC inspired charger, you can easily plug the device in the comfort of your room, office or anywhere else where there is a power socket and in a matter of hours, have a full charge that will be sufficient to serve in the event of a blackout or when you hit the road and there is no sun for an initial charge.
It must be understood that AC charging method is the fastest – so far as charging the KP401 solar generator goes.
However, care must be made to ensure that the AC current that is being fed into the generator for purposes of charging it is steady and within the stated range the power station/power pack can bear.
This is to avoid either a breach or a compromise what would result when AC is not steady or too strong: two circumstances that may wind up damaging either units instead of ensuring a steady and reliable charge.
3. DC Charging Option
The last option that the KP401 can be charged by is the DC option via the 12V cigarette lighter port of your regular car.
This option, sadly, is the slowest of all three options – as it draws out current to charge the generator ever so slowly and overall, may take well more than a day for a full charge.
However, for long road trips or during instances where either the sun or the wall are not an option, this method of charging the generator comes in quite handy and is considered quite a smart alternative.
However, to avoid a battery drain, it is advised that you always make certain that the car’s ignition is switched on and its battery actually charging before plugging the DC charger to the generator for charging.
Having seen the various ways/options that the KaliPAK 401 is charged, let’s take a look at the optional accessories that make the KP401 one of the best portable solar generators worth giving attention to, today.
Optional Accessories Of The KP401 Portable Solar Generator
Kalisaya, in its wisdom, has made a plethora of optional accessories that when bought together with the KP401, makes its experience even more worthwhile.
These accessories are as listed below:
1. The KP401 Weatherproof Coat
The KP401 Weatherproof Coat is meant to cover the solar generator away from the elements and protect it from both the rain, sun and snow.
Powered with various ways of carrying the generator users of the 401 can easily hold the generator by the hand or sling it across their backs in a typical backpack fashion.
The most interesting thing about this weather proof coat is the fact that the generator works brilliantly whilst in it – and can directly respond to ‘instructions’ from the app via bluetooth.
This reality ensures that you smartly get to power on your generator and use it even when the weather would have ordinarily made it quite difficult.
2. Kalisaya KaliPAK 40W 4X Flexbow Solar Panel With Daisy Chain Connector
Sometimes, users of the KaliPAK 401 may live in a region where sunlight is poor – and would appreciate that their solar generator actually charges faster than the default solar panel ensures.
If this is you, the Kalisaya KaliPAK 40w 4X Flexbow Solar Panel With Daisy Chain Connector is exactly what you need.
This accessory is in fact, another (complete) solar panel that is supplied with a Daisy Chain Connector for linking the two solar panels together and channeling their collective power to recharging your solar generator.
This ensures that you never, ever, run out of power again – so far as it’s daytime 🙂
3. Kalisaya KP-ALED-035 KaliLED 5W LED Light Bulb
This portable power station is not only designed impressively and meant to power hungry gadgets and electronics.
It can also be used to brilliantly provide for personal lightening needs, for example, to power a tent, a room or to study for an exam or continue reading your desired text when power from the grid has been cut off, when it goes off because of a national challenge or when you’re faced with a locale that is very well far from civilization.
This is where the Kalisaya KP-ALED-035 KaliLED 5W LED Light Bulb comes in.
This KaliLED 5W LED light bulb extension is powered by a cord that is long enough to supply light to any part of the room – or space that you wish it to.
The most important parts include the fact that the:
- Unit is weather proof.
- The Bulb is replaceable and
- The unit has a hook that ensures that the bulb is hung high in the air and its light brilliantly shines down on you, the user.
Let’s now take a quick look at the last optional accessory.
4. Kalisaya KP-ALED-095 KaliLED 10W Flood Light
The last optional accessory of the KP401 solar generator is the Kalisaya KP-ALED-095 KaliLED 10W Flood Light – a powerful, yet super light and thin flood light that is designed for those users who are in love with the outdoors and especially, are out on the lookout for the perfect camping and hiking portable solar generator.
Completely weatherproof and capable of shinning super bright light meters upon meters ahead of where it is powered and stationed, this is the perfect accessory for ensuring that light does not leave your camp – especially in the wild where such light may actually mean safety.
The impressive thing about this floodlight is that it is extremely bright and consumes only a tiny 10w. Aside this fact, the floodlight is long lasting and the internal bulb is meant to last north of an impressive 50,000 hours!
This means that, it will last for a very long time (about 3 whole nights actually – without charging the unit), and will brilliantly work across all the KaliPAK models – the 401 inclusive.
Having mentioned and quickly summarized the options that can be used alongside this generator, let’s now look at something else: the KP401 battery replacement.
Replacement Battery For The Kalisaya KaliPAK 401
No matter how great a portable solar generator is, if its battery isn’t replaceable, it’s as good as useless.
This is because, eventually, the internal battery of the unit, no matter how good it is, will give way.
When this happens (and it will, certainly); it will make more sense to simply change the battery of the generator as against buying a whole new generator, if the original generator is till in top shape and you’re interested in using it further.
Fortunately, the internal lithium ion battery of the Kalisaya KaliPAK 401 is replaceable – and can be changed when its cycle comes to a fruitful end.
To change the battery of this generator, you’ll have to take it to an authorized Kalisaya dealer where it will be done professionally and neatly – with the original battery that matches both the quality and durability of the original battery that came with the solar power station.
If you’ll prefer to have the battery changed by the company’s staff directly, they’ll be more than happy to oblige you.
To achieve that, you’ll need to contact the company directly on their support website here.
Warranty Of The KaliPAK 401 Portable Solar Generator
A good product should come with an awesome warranty – and a portable solar generator is no exception.
Generally, a warranty on a product shows that the manufacturer is committed to the product quality and is really sure of the product pushed in the market and is, importantly, prepared to stand by the said product.
No amount of positive reviews from actual users or reviewers can take this fact away – since the consensus generally is to to effect that no warranty/poor warranty = bad product!
For the KP401, the company offers an impressive two year warranty for the generator unit itself.
This warranty is clearly the best you’ll find today in the industry and as a matter of fact, it clearly trumps other warranties offered by such industry leaders as Goal Zero which does not ordinarily cross a single year.
For the battery and accessories, the warranty is a full one year!
These impressive warranty terms are the hallmark of a company that is sure of its products and importantly, is prepared to stand by them, come what may.
Having discussed the warranty of this product, let’s now take a look at the core differences of the KaliPAK 401 and the KaliPAK 601 – since they are very similar units and can easily get a consumer completely confused.
MORE: Kalisaya KP601 Review
Kalisaya KP401 Vs Kalisaya KP601: What’s The Difference?
The KaliPAK 401 is almost identical to the KP601 – its elder sibling from the stables of Kalisaya.
However, there are some minor differences that distinguish the two closely related solar generators. These differences are in the region of:
- Weight and
- Price 🙂
First, the KP401 is rated as running on a battery that churns out 384Wh at 14.8V and has a raw power base of 26Ah.
The KP601 on the other hand churns out an impressive 558Wh at 14.5V from its slightly bigger 38Ah battery.
Second, weight wise, the bigger KP601 weighs 14.3 lbs while the slightly smaller unit under review here weighs just slightly less than that at 13 lbs.
Finally, price wise, the bigger KP601 costs around $100 more than the smaller KP601 we have undertaken to review here.
Aside these differences, there’s practically nothing more that differentiates these smart, portable units of clean mobile power.
Having taken a close look at the minor differences between the 401 and the 601, let’s now direct our attention to the alternatives of this portable solar generator.
Alternatives To The Kalisaya KP401 Portable Solar Generator
The manufacture and engineering of the KP401 is awesome and impressive, no doubt.
However, that does not mean you cannot get smart(er) alternatives, if you need to or would prefer to.
If you’re looking forward to taking a close look at one of such alternatives, here we are:
1. Kalisaya KP601
The very first alternative to the KaliPAK 401 is the Kalisaya KP601. This is especially true since the two clean energy generators share many features and specs in common and importantly, are made by the same parent company, Kalisaya.
The KP601 will especially make sense and serve as a brilliant alternative to the KP401 if you’re looking for more power or runtime from your mobile unit.
2. Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator
The Renogy Phoenix Portable Solar Generator is also another vibrant alternative to the Kalisaya KP401.
Made to meet military standards, it is a particularly viable alternative if you’re interested in exploring extreme conditions and are afraid that the 401 may not be able to hold up.
It is also a very handy alternative if you need slightly less power than the 401 ensures.
3. Suaoki 400Wh Portable Solar Generator
The Suaoki 400Wh Portable Solar Generator is another viable alternative to the KP401 – and offers some rare features that the KP does not sport – including the reality of both AC/DC power on demand and the (further) rare ability to jumpstart a car.
If these two features mean anything to you – or you do not simply like the shape of the KP401, this Suaoki unit is certainly an alternative worth considering.
4. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium
Finally, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium is the last alternative to the KaliPAK 401 that is viable and equally makes sense.
If you’re a user that will be dividing your time between your home/office and the great outdoors and are looking for a unit that aces both lifestyles with style, this is certainly your best bet.
Try it out – if you need to 🙂
Now that we’ve taken a snappy look at the alternatives of the the 401 that you can fall back on should you not love the substantive generator, we’ll now proceed to discuss the full pros and cons of the solar generator – as we honestly see them.
Kindly continue reading to find out what these pros and cons are.
The Full Pros & Cons Of The Kalisaya KP401
The 401 is an awesome and properly engineered portable solar generator: to hold otherwise is to plainly dwell in complete falsehood and veer from the simple and obvious truth.
However, its good notwithstanding, it still comes with some challenges that for some, will be very well enough to ensure that they completely forget about buying the unit in the first place.
Here, we offer our unbiased opinion and leave the ultimate choice and decision to you, the reader.
The Pros Of The KP401
Here, we’re starting with the good about the generator that made us fall in love in the first place. These awesomeness, we believe, may also make you fall in love with the unit 🙂
1. Powerful Lithium Ion Battery
The very first thing that we love about the KaliPAK 401 is its powerful, lithium ion battery.
Lithium ion batteries, you must remember, are the new industry standard for portable solar generators and because of their awesomeness and many advantages, are generally preferred especially when compared to the older, lead acid variants.
We are thus particularly impressed that this portable power station sports this battery type and importantly, the battery carries with it all the advantages of the lithium ion battery type.
2. Lightweight Reality
Directly related to the fact of deploying lithium ion batteries above is the next most important thing that we cannot help but love about this solar generator: it is extremely lightweight!
Weighing only 13lbs (5.8kg), this clean energy generator is clearly the lightest solar generator yet in production to weigh that light and still manage to churn out an impressive 384Wh.
This makes it one of the perfect units for the outdoors or one of the the favorites for carrying around (especially when power outage is anticipated and one cannot live with either the thought or reality.
3. Remote Control Capability
One of the things that have endeared us to this clean power generating set further is the fact that, the generator can be operated by remote control. This is made possible by a Bluetooth transmitter and facilitated by the KaliAPP.
The KaliAPP is free – and can be downloaded for the 2 most popular mobile platforms in the world today: the Android and the iOS platforms.
With the KaliAPP, the KP401 solar generator can be brilliantly operated from a convenient distance. Further, other metrics such as remaining power, remaining charge time, battery state etc can be professionally gleamed, ensuring smart and super productive use overall.
4. Weather Proof Reality
There are very few solar power generators today that are weatherproof.
Luckily for us, this generator is one of them.
For this unit however, its weatherproof reality begins when the unit is used with the optional and separately sold Kalisaya Weatherproof Raincoat.
The KaliPAK 401, when protected by this weatherproof raincoat is completely immune to the elements – making it the ideal companion on trails and locations where the weather is either not friendly or not certain.
The greatest reality of this weatherproof raincoat that makes us love it the more is the fact that the generator can be brilliantly operated (either directly or via the KaliAPP) right from under the protection of the thick elements resisting coat 🙂
5. Real Hybrid Recharging Capability
One of the things that makes a solar portable power station a thing of joy is not just the fact that it can ensure power on demand: it is also the reality that it endears itself to a plethora of recharging options and not just solar panels.
For the KP401, these options are 2 good ones – besides the reality of a solar panel:
- The traditional wall socket. This is made possible with the included AC power adapter.
- The DC option. This is carried out by the included DC adapter that can be operated from the 12v cigarette lighter port of your car to charge the unit.
With these plethora of recharging options/models, it is very well impossible to see how you’ll wind up stranded with a dead or undercharged KP401’s battery, especially when need beckons.
Who doesn’t appreciate options and flexibility?
6. Vital Stats Display
There is nothing as annoying as working in the dark with a unit that leaves you guessing just about everything!
Not the KP401!
This solar generator ensures that vital stats such as battery charge levels, power status and importantly, charge display are open and easy to read.
Further, the optional KaliAPP displays other important metrics as charge time left, time left before the battery drains etc. so that you can make brilliant decisions and importantly, use the generator smartly and productively.
7. A Plethora Of Charging Options
Finally, what is a portable power station if it does not have a plethora of charging options?!
For this unit under review, it has 2 charging options that have made us literally fall in love:
- 4 USB ports for USB powered devices e.g. cellphones and tablets and a
- 12V DC port that charges laptops (via the tip adapters), the various Kalisaya lights available from the company etc.
These various ports brilliantly ensure that more gadgets and units are charged by this device, ensuring overall, more options and flexibility for the user.
Having taken a close look at the pros of the KP401, let’s now take a look at the cons – the issues and part of the glorious solar generator that we do not particularly like and are certain you’ll also hate.
The Cons Of The KP401
In as much as the KP401 is an awesome lithium ion powered portable clean energy generator, it certainly has some drawbacks that it is only fair we mention.
Here are the drawbacks, clearly mentioned and explained for your perusal and decision, as needed.
1. Lack Of Direct AC Output
The very first challenge that we noticed about the KP401 that we did not expressly like is the fact that the generator, by default, outputs only DC.
This means that, if you desire to use it to power any AC device, you’ll need a dedicated DC to AC converter – which is only obtainable from a third party.
We would have sincerely loved the generator to come properly equipped with an inverter of its own and with the ability to expressly convert the trapped and stored DC to AC without the need of a third party device or option.
2. The Weather Proof Coat Is An Optional Accessory
Secondly, we do not also love the fact that the KaliPAK weather proof coat that makes this unit waterproof is also an optional accessory that though, manufactured and sold by Kalisaya, must be bought separately.
The reason for our dislike of this arrangement is simple: many of the users that actually rely on the Kalisaya KP401 to handle their solar energy needs actually rely on the generator in the outdoors, often, in instances where the weather is not usually guaranteed.
Why then make such an important part of the overall waterproof reality of such a generator an optional accessory?
Summary & Bottomline
After this much details and photos, you have just finished reading the most comprehensive and thorough article that has given the Kalisaya KaliPAK 401 portable solar generator the justice it deserves.
In truth, the generator is an awesome unit – and for medium-rated loads like laptops, tablets, cameras and cellphones, it is difficult to find another alternative that will beat this unit smart-wise, power-wise, portability-wise, weight wise and above all, budget wise 🙂
However, before you buy the KP401, take a look at its alternatives and published cons – and satisfy yourself that in all ramifications, the solar generator is what will serve you brilliantly in not just the months – but also, years ahead.
Happy shopping 🙂