Inverter generators use a newer form of technology that transforms AC power to a DC current and then back again, which creates cleaner energy that is better for the environment and better for your electronics. Most of these generators have a smaller and more compact design because shoppers want models that they can toss in their trunks when tailgating or camping. Our list of the best models includes some suitable for use in your bedroom or living room too.
The Champion Power Equipment 100263 is a unit that you can use effectively after a storm knocks out your power and when camping with friends. It has a dedicated oil tank and a low oil indicator light as well as a design that lets you use propane or gas to power it. The motor runs for more than seven hours on a tank of gas and produces more than 3,000 watts of clean energy.
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10 Best Inverter Generator Reviews
1. Champion Power Equipment 100263
Whether you want a generator that you can use in your home or your RV, we highly recommend this Champion Power Equipment 100263 3400 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator. With a total output of more than 3,000 watts, it is powerful enough to run the AC system in your camper and other types of appliances, but depending on the size and space of the vehicle, it may not provide enough power to run all those appliances.
Designed to work with standard 10W-30 oil, it has a tank that holds up to 0.6 quarts and features a low oil light that comes on automatically.
Free lifetime support from Champion Power Equipment comes with this model, and it also comes with a limited warranty that lasts for three years. You get a Quick Touch panel that gives you convenient access all the features of the machine in one spot and four outlets as well as an adapter for plugging in USB cords. This model runs for well over seven hours when used with gas.
2. Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000
With multiple ports and outlets, this Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 PowerSmart 3000-Watt Inverter Generator provides you with all the power that you need when camping. As it produces up to 3,000 watts, you can use this generator to run the AC in your camper or to power some of the appliances in your home until the power company restores power, but you may have a hard time running smaller devices after you plug in a major appliance.
It has a gas tank that holds 1.5 gallons of fuel, and one tank is enough to power the motor for up to 10 hours.
The top of the generator features a large handle for carrying, but if you find that it’s too heavy to carry, you can roll it across the ground because of the built-in wheels on its base. It has a USB port, a DC outlet, four standard household outlets and a separate RV outlet.
3. Honda EG2800i 2800W 120V
You don’t need to drive a Honda to use this Honda EG2800i 2800W 120V Full Frame Portable Inverter Gas Generator on your next camping trip or in your home. It has a metal cage that keeps the motor safe during a storm as debris and objects fall on the top, but you can also grab that cage to carry the generator, which weighs right around 70 pounds.
To turn on the motor you simply turn the start to the on position, grab the cord above and pull hard enough that the motor springs to life.
One of the outlets on this model is larger in size and suitable for plugging in an RV or camper to run all the electronic devices and products in that vehicle. It has two standard 120V outlets that you can use for all other appliances. As it uses inverter technology, it produces the clean energy necessary for powering sensitive devices.
4. Coleman CG3500i 3500W
This Coleman CG3500i 3500W Inverter Generator meets all the needs of camping enthusiasts because it comes from Coleman, one of the top names in the camping industry. Though it cannot supply enough power to run the AC in your recreational vehicle, it has a rating of 3,000 watts and can run most of the other appliances in that camper.
Internal bonding inside this motor makes it suitable for use with devices that need grounded outlets too.
Though this machine has a decibel rating of 63, this only applies when you’re a far distance away, and it sounds louder when you’re closer to the generator, which can make it harder to sleep or relax. It runs solely on gasoline and does not require that you mix in any oil with that fuel. When set to a maximum or full load, this Coleman model can run for more than three hours before it needs more fuel.
5. Generac 6866 iQ2000 Super Quiet
Generac makes some of the top whole house and standby generators on the market, but the company is also responsible for making this Generac 6866 iQ2000 Super Quiet 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts Gas Powered Inverter Generator, which we think is one of the top inverter models.
It has a compact and squat shape that won’t take up much space in your camper or emergency kit. It features one knob that you turn before pulling the choke cord to turn on the motor.
With three operation modes to choose from, it gives you the choice between saving fuel, reducing the noise produced or running it as a standard power supply. Lights on the front act as gauges to help you see how much of a load you use and the amount of gas left. It comes with two 120V outlets and an outlet designed for connecting it to another machine.
6. WEN 56380i CARB Compliant
A collapsible handle that folds flat and extends out makes this WEN 56380i CARB Compliant Inverter Generator easy to transport, but this handle can fold flat as you move, which is often frustrating. Compatible with EPA standards for noise production, it runs as quietly as you need to help your family sleep soundly at night while still having the power that you need.
As it has a 212cc OHV engine, this generator can put out up to 3,800 watts of continuous energy.
The outlets found on this model include an RV outlet for your camper and a 120V outlet that you can twist to lock in place. You also get a 12V DC outlet and two 120V outlets that can accommodate devices with three-prong cords. WEN gives you one 5V USB port as well that you can plug cords right into without using any adapters.
7. Goplus 2400 Watt Gasoline
At less than 50 pounds, this Goplus 2400 Watt Gasoline Portable Generator Inverter is a generator that you can easily toss in your camper or trunk when heading outside, but you can also keep it stored in a closet or another convenient area of your home for use during an emergency.
Built-in protection keeps you from plugging in too many items and using so much power that it overloads a circuit. Even when used with a full load, it can provide you with up to four hours of clean energy.
Though it uses less gas than similar models does, it also has an eco mode that adjusts the throttle to use even less fuel. It uses forced air as way to cool down the motor and prevent it from overheating when used with a larger or more active load.
8. PAXCESS Te-Generator-01 100-Watt
With the PAXCESS 100-Watt Portable Generator Power Inverter, you will never again worry about your cell phone dying while camping out because you can charge this inverter in three different ways. It comes with adapters that let you charge the generator’s internal battery with a wall outlet or any other type of outlet as well as the lighter or adapter in your vehicle.
You can also use the include solar panel to charge it in the sunlight.
While some charging methods take hours or more to fully charge the battery, this inverter is still a good choice for those on the go. It can charge your phone up to 18 times before the inverter needs charging, and it will work with tablets, computers and other devices. An LED panel shows you exactly how much time is left in that battery too.
9. Homegear 950i Digital 950 Watts
While there are some models that can easily power your whole home, this Homegear 950i Digital 950 Watts Portable Gas Inverter Power Generator is a smaller option that weighs less than 30 pounds. This is a good option for those who want to charge their phones or play games on a table while camping outside.
You can use it during an outage to power basic appliances like your microwave too.
A DC outlet on the generator requires an adapter to use it with USB cords, but it also features a 120V AC outlet with a rubber cover that keeps the outlet safe from debris. It has a pull cord starting system and three lights that come on to tell you when it has power and to alert you of an overloaded circuit or a low oil problem.
10. AmicoPower 2000W Portable
Thanks to its bright green case, this AmicoPower 2000W Portable Sine Wave 2kw Digital Inverter Generator has an eye-catching design that you can spot, no matter how much light is available. The case features both a convenient carrying handle at the top and a carefully design gas cap that you can remove with one hand.
Though it uses a recoil or manual start rather than an electric start, the manufacturer added a larger handle to the pull cord that makes it easier for you to grab and pull.
A 12V DC outlet on the end of this generator is suitable for charging most electronic devices, but you will need to purchase your own adapter to use this outlet. The motor which produces 2,000 watts, has two standard 120V outlets as well. Though the manufacturer claims it can support larger appliances, you may not get all the power that you need for other devices when you plug in a refrigerator or similar appliance.
Though we found a number of affordable machines and downright cheap models, the Champion Power Equipment 100263 3400 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter performs better than any of those models and is better than some of the more expensive options out there too. This portable model is ready to set up and use as soon as you remove it from the box, but you will need to add some liquid propane or gas of your own to power it.
It has an indicator that tells you when you need to add in some more oil, but it works with standard 10W-30 oil that you can find at any gas station or automotive store. With a decibel rating of 59, this machine is suitable for use in shared spaces because its sound level shouldn’t disrupt others. The electric start works like a toggle switch and lets you start the motor in a few seconds.
Safe for use in your home, in an RV or even outside, it has a dedicated RV outlet and two standard 120V outlets. You’ll also find a DC outlet that comes with a USB adapter for plugging in two electronics via USB cords.
How to Choose the Perfect One
As you look at some of the top inverter options, you’ll want to make certain that you get answers to some common questions.
1. Are There Both AC and DC Outlets?
Inverter models transform AC power to DC power and then creates AC power once again, which creates a cleaner type of energy that makes these machines suitable for charging and powering the sensitive electronics in your home. You should still make sure that it has outlets for both AC and DC power. Those outlets allow you to plug in some smaller devices and some larger kitchen appliances.
2. What is the Load Size to Run Time Rating?
The load size refers to the amount of things that you use with the machine and how much of its overall capacity that you use. This relates to the run time because the more you use the motor, the less it will last. Using a smaller load helps you get more power.
Manufacturers often list the maximum run time on the packaging but only at a 25% or 50% load. You can use this figure to determine how long the motor will run before it needs more fuel based on how much of its load you will use.
3. Do You Need One for Camping Trips?
Most shoppers searching for inverter generators want one that they can take camping and on travels. These smaller models are more compact and have outlets designed for different types of electronics. Some even come with cables that you can plug into your car’s cigarette lighter.
The downside to these portable models is that most have a lower wattage rating. You can use one to power a tablet, laptop computer, coffee maker or even toaster, but you cannot use one to power a major appliance.
4. What is the Decibel Rating?
Generators come with a decibel rating that tells you how quietly or loudly it will operate. This rating is especially important when you need to power devices during an emergency in your home without waking sleeping kids. It’s also important when camping around others because you don’t want to disturb them.
A good decibel rating is around 50, but even a rating of around 60 will still be on the quiet side. Some models have a slightly higher rating in the high 60s to low 70s. Larger inverter models will produce more decibels, but you can install one outside to reduce the noise that you hear while inside.