Bluetti AC180 Power Station Review: Impressive Features and Performance

In the Increasingly-Crowded Portable Power Market, Bluetti Finds a Way to Stand Out From the Crowd

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Bluetti

We have entered a golden age for portable power stations. With so many excellent models to choose from these days, it is actually hard to go wrong when selecting one to take on your RVing adventures. Case in point, the impressively-built Bluetti AC180 is a new model that combines outstanding performance and features with an attractive and easy-to-carry design. The device even has a few unexpected perks that help it stand out from the competition.

Recently, we had the opportunity to put this just-released power station to the test and came away very impressed. Here’s why it should be on the shortlist for anyone who needs portable power for charging on the go.

Bluetti AC180 power station

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

The Important Specs

If you’re in the market for a power station, chances are you’re already familiar with the essential specs—most notably battery capacity and power output. The AC180 has an 1152-watt-hour battery and can produce 1800 watts of power in standard mode. It also has a “constant power” mode which ups that number to 2700 watts for high-capacity appliances like a microwave oven or a water heater.

According to Bluetti, these specs allow the AC180 to power 99% of all appliances and electronic devices. In real-world terms, that translates to being able to recharge a smartphone more than a hundred times or a laptop 15+ times. It can also run a coffee maker for an hour, a refrigerator for 17 hours, and a lamp for 100+ hours. In other words, this power station packs a lot of juice into a relatively compact form factor.

The AC180 comes with a solid number of ports to power those devices and appliances too. It has four standard 120V AC wall outlets, a 12V DC vehicle port, and four 5V USB-A ports. It also has a single USB-C 100W PD (Power Delivery) port, which is a bit disappointing. I would have liked to have seen more USB-C ports included in the design, as that is the new standard for small-device charging. The power station also lacks any 12V “barrel-style” ports, but those are seldom used and aren’t likely to be missed by most people. It does have a 15W wireless charging pad built into the top of the unit, though, which is a welcome addition for sure.

Bluetti AC180 power station

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Fast-Charging Capabilities

As is the norm with most power stations, the AC180 can recharge via a 120V AC wall outlet, 12V DC car port, or solar panels. Bluetti has given the device fast charging capabilities that allow it to go from zero power to an 80% charge in as little as 45 minutes. The remaining 20% requires an additional hour to complete, but if you need a quick boost before heading out on an adventure, you can quickly add a surprising amount of power.

The AC180 can utilize up to 500W of solar power, which is an impressive number for a power station of this size. While testing, I connected two 250W solar panels and charged the device from 20% to 80% in about three hours in direct sunlight. As always, solar charging speeds vary greatly depending on conditions, with shade, clouds, and the movement of the sun impacting performance.

Charging from the 12V port in a vehicle is convenient but isn’t very speedy. Bluetti says it takes about ten hours to completely replenish the battery in this fashion. Still, it is a handy option to have on travel days when you’re driving from one campsite to the next. Just plug the power station into a free port and hit the road. You’ll at least have picked up some additional battery life while in transit.

Bluetti AC180 power station

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Big Power, Small Size

Some power stations that recently hit the market have sacrificed portability in favor of bigger batteries and higher capacities. With the AC180, Bluetti has struck a good balance between performance and size. The unit measures 13.4” x 9.7” x 12.5” and weighs 37.47 pounds. With those dimensions, it isn’t the smallest model available, but it is far from the bulkiest, either.

Bluetti included two very sturdy handles in the AC180’s case, making it very easy to carry around. Despite its weight, I had no problem moving the unit around the house, into the backyard, and take it with me on an outing to a local park. The power station’s design also makes it very stable, even when sitting on uneven ground or riding in a vehicle over rough terrain.

The AC180’s built-in LCD screen is bright, easy to read, and provides plenty of good information. It displays the current battery charge, power in and out, and other essential settings. It also tells users which ports are active and the power station’s current mode of operation. In addition to its “normal” and “constant power” settings, the device also has an “eco” mode which automatically turns off the screen to conserve power when the unit is inactive.

Bluetti AC180 power station

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Surprising Features

As mentioned above, the AC180 has a few unexpected features that add to its value. One of those is its ability to function as an uninterruptible power supply during unexpected power outages. This means the device can sense when a blackout occurs and automatically take over as a power source for whatever is plugged into it. This makes it an excellent option for protecting important appliances and equipment, like computers, emergency lighting, or a sump pump, for instance.

Like most other high-quality power stations, the AC180 can be monitored and controlled remotely using a smartphone. Users can pair their mobile devices with the power station and adjust the settings using a simple and intuitive interface. This is especially handy when accessing the unit from another room or while it is outside and the user is in their RV.

I’m also impressed with Bluetti’s use of LiFePO4 batteries, which are lighter and more efficient than lead-acid models. These power cells can last 10+ years and continue to perform well through more than 3500 charge cycles. The company even backs the power station with an impressive five-year warranty, which matches the best support I’ve seen in the industry.

Bluetti AC180 power station

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Any Issues?

With so many good things to say about the AC180, you may wonder if the product has any downsides. For the most part, the answer is no. That said, the power station can get a little noisy when the fan kicks in while charging, but otherwise, it is completely silent, with the added bonus of not producing any toxic emissions.

As already noted, it would be great if the power station had more USB-C ports, but that is a minor quibble overall. Otherwise, this is a well-built, well-equipped option for anyone who needs a portable power solution. It offers excellent battery life and power output, along with most of the features anyone could ask for in a device of this kind. It also has the build quality and performance to compete with similar models from Jackery or EcoFlow, two of the biggest names in the industry.

At press time, the price and availability of the Bluetti AC180 have not yet been announced. Obviously, the cost of the power station will have an impact on how easy it is to recommend and how much value it offers to the consumer. While the company hasn’t shared those details yet, I expect this unit to be competitively priced and deliver a lot of bang for the buck.

We’ll update the story once that information is officially revealed. In the meantime, visit the Bluetti website for more information about the company and its products.

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