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An inverter generator is a smaller and lighter portable power source that creates energy in three phases, converting DC power into AC power with higher frequency.
As such, they provide clean energy that is suitable for powering sensitive electronics. Although inverter generators predominantly tend to be portable models, they are handy backup power sources.
There are many inverter generators on the market and because of this, you will find that some models are better suited for use in particular environments when compared to others.
To make the process of selecting the best inverter generator easier, we have done the hard work for you and selected our top 10 picks of the best options available.
For those who require additional guidance, we have also provided a buyer's guide that contains all of our top tips for selecting the best generator for your requirements.
Are you in a hurry? If so, we have selected our top pick for you below.
OUR TOP PICK
From a brand that is known for producing great quality generators, we have the WEN 56200i Portable Generator.
This generator is both EPA and CARB compliant and produces 2000 surge watts of power and 1600 rated watts of power.
As such, this generator provides an adequate amount of power for use on campsites, worksites, or as a backup source.
Impressively, this generator has a range of ports including 2 three-prong 120V receptacles, 1 12V DC receptacle, and a 5V USB port.
Aside from this, it also produces clean and reliable power that is safe for delicate electronics.
The basic but user-friendly design presents each of the functions along with indication lights showing the oil level, overload, and output.
When operating, this generator produces a minimal 53 decibels at a quarter load. Because of this, even when used in built-up areas it isn't going to disrupt neighbors.
- This generator boasts a lightweight and compact design that allows for convenient portability.
- It offers parallel capabilities that allow you to double the power output if needed.
- Each of the buttons are identifiable via the easy to read control panel.
- The eco mode automatically adjusts the fuel consumption according to demand and this helps to prolong the run time.
- It has been constructed with a plastic body which is likely to deteriorate more immediately when subject to frequent use.
Boasting a generous power output, this open frame inverter from champion power equipment has 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts of power.
When powered by gasoline, impressively, it can run for a generous 17 hours. When operating, this generator produces a minimal 64DB of noise, and thanks to this quiet technology it is suitable for use in built-up environments.
As for portability, this generator is equipped with wheels that allow for easy maneuverability from one location to another.
We particularly like the addition of a wireless remote key fob that allows you to operate your generator even when you aren't positioned directly in front of it.
In fact, it can be operated from around 80 feet away using this fob.
Just like our previous pick, this generator offers parallel capabilities that allow you to double the power output by connecting it to another inverter or digital hybrid with a rating of 2800 watts or more. It is also EPA and CARB compliant.
- This generator produces clean power so it is suitable for sensitive electronics.
- It can be operated from a distance using the wireless remote key fob.
- It is covered by a three year limited warranty along with lifetime technical support.
- The display panel has been designed to cater to the needs of the user with each function clearly displayed.
- Despite being advertised as a quiet generator, some customers have reported that this generator is too loud for use in built-up areas.
As Honda is a brand with a reputation for reliability and quality, the Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator certainly isn’t going to disappoint.
Although it is compact, it is equipped with plenty of power. The utilization of inverter technology creates clean power that is safe for sensitive electronics and devices.
When operating, this generator produces a maximum of 57dBA which isn't going to disrupt surrounding neighbors should it be used in a campsite or built-up area.
The inclusion of the Eco-Throttle System provides impressive fuel efficiency allowing the unit to run for a maximum of 9.6 hours on a single load, of course, this is load dependent.
The user-friendly design displays each of the functions with color-coded labeling that allows for easier identification of each of the settings.
As a parallel ready generator, it can be connected to a second EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator to double the power output.
- Weighing a total of 40 pounds this is a lightweight generator that is easy to transport.
- The ventilated design allows for improved airflow and better cooling.
- Thanks to the user-friendly design, this generator is easy to use.
- Impressively, this generator can run for approximately 8 hours when used at a quarter of a load.
- This generator lacks a fuel gauge and this makes it difficult to know how much gas is inside the tank.
For those looking for a generator with an impressive wattage rating, look no further than the Generac GP3500iO Open Frame Inverter Generator which is equipped with PowerRush Technology.
As such, this technology delivers 50% more starting capacity that essentially allows you to do more with less.
Thanks to the user-friendly design, this generator can be transported in between locations with ease.
It is RV ready and offers the capacity to power most RV air conditioners with a maximum 15,000 BTU rating.
It also produces clean power which makes it a safe option for sensitive electronics without presenting the risk of potential damage.
Impressively, this generator boasts multiple USB ports that allow you to power a selection of devices with ease.
It is also parallel ready which allows you to double the power output by connecting it to another generator that shares a similar capacity.
- The PowerDial presents the start/ run and stop functions for easy use.
- Just like our previous picks, this generator is parallel ready for double the amount of power.
- The addition of handles makes it easier to transport in between locations.
- Thanks to the PowerRush technology, you can do more with less.
- Some users may experience difficulties when trying to get this generator to start.
The Westinghouse iGen 2200 Portable Inverter Generator is packed with 1800 rated watts and 2200 peak watts.
While it may be a smaller generator, it provides a great option for use on the go or inside the home as an emergency backup power source. It also features multiple ports including 5V DC USB Ports.
Impressively, this generator is equipped with a circuit breaker that eliminates potential damage caused by an overload.
The indicator lights also inform you when the oil is low, when the generator is on overload and when it is output ready.
As such, this makes it easier to understand if your generator is functioning correctly.
Boasting a 12 hour run time when used on a 1.2 gallon tank, this generator offers excellent fuel efficiency for long-lasting use.
It also produces as little as 52 dBA when operating making it an ideal choice for use in built-up settings.
- This generator is backed with a 3 year limited service, labor, and parts policy.
- It is parallel ready allowing you to increase the wattage if needed.
- It weighs a minimal 46 lbs which makes it easy to transport.
- The ‘Economy Mode’ offers excellent fuel efficiency.
- To change the oil or drain the carb the side panel will need to be removed which some may find inconvenient.
Providing a great choice for tailgating, camping, and traveling, the A-iPower SUA2000iv Portable Inverter Generator weighs a minimal 46 pounds with a compact design that allows for easy maneuverability.
Though it may be a smaller unit, it produces 2000 starting watts of power and 1600 watts of running power.
Because of this, it can be used to power sensitive electronics such as phones, televisions, etc thanks to the production of clean power.
Aside from this, it is also equipped with low idle technology which lengthens the run time for extended use.
To cater to all of your power needs, this generator features multiple ports and outlets. The design also features a fuel gauge which will inform you when the tank requires refueling.
When operating, this unit produces 58 decibels of sound which is unlikely to disrupt those nearby.
- This generator is affordably priced and an ideal choice for those on a budget.
- Starting the generator is a straightforward process.
- The ‘low idle’ technology allows for an extended run time.
- It is lightweight and features a handle for convenient portability.
- Despite being advertised as a quiet generator, some customers have reported that it is noisier than expected.
As an open frame generator that produces 4000 watts of surge power and 3500 watts of rated power, this unit from WEN is ideal for use in a range of settings from worksites, campsites, RVs, or home.
The powerful engine ensures that you have access to a reliable power source.
Using the eco mode function you can alter the performance of the motor according to demand.
Doing so will help you to save money by preventing the consumption of unnecessary fuel.
As expected, this generator produces clean and safe energy that makes it suitable for powering sensitive electronics.
We particularly like that this generator is equipped with a circuit breaker which helps to eliminate any damage caused by an overload.
It also adopts a user-friendly display with indicator lights that alert you when the generator is low on oil, on overload, or output ready.
- It has a generous 7 hour run time when operating at half load.
- It is compactly designed and features a handle that allows for convenient portability.
- The engine is CARB Compliant.
- It is parallel ready which allows you to double the power output if required using another WEN unit.
- The durability of the frame could be improved to prevent potential damage.
Deemed to be one of the best generators on the market, the Champion 3400-watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator is equipped with a powerful 171cc OHV Single Cylinder Engine.
It also offers dual-fuel capabilities and can be run on gasoline or propane. A favorable feature is the low oil shut off function which turns the generator off when low levels are detected.
This generator has a generous run time lasting for up to 7.5 hours when run on gasoline and 14.5 hours when run on propane.
The economy mode also alters the consumption according to demand which helps to cut your costs while prolonging the life of the engine.
Thanks to the touchstart electric button this generator can be started with ease, eliminating the use of any complex functions.
Each of the additional functions is displayed on the same panel which allows for easy access when required.
- This generator is covered by a 3 year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support.
- As a dual fuel generator, it can be run on either gas or propane.
- It operates quietly producing only 59 decibels of sound.
- The user-friendly display makes it easier to use.
- This generator lacks a fuel gauge making it difficult to know when it is running low and requires refueling.
The Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator has a surge output of 4500 watts and 3700 running watts.
It also runs on non-synthetic oil and produces smooth and clean power which makes it safe for powering sensitive electronics and devices.
The tank boasts a 3.5 gallon fuel capacity and has an impressive 16 hour run time when operating at ¼ load.
The indicators will inform you when the generator is ready for use as the start/ stop button will turn blue.
Designed with a user-friendly display, the body of the unit also features an activate switch that illuminates the display.
We particularly like how the panel monitors the usage and fuel level so that you are informed of these factors.
Additional features include a circuit breaker and a low oil shutdown function.
As such, the speed of the engine adjusts according to demand which allows for quieter use and reduced fuel consumption.
- The CO-Guard offers advanced detection and will shut down the generator when harmful levels of carbon monoxide are detected.
- This generator has an impressive 16 hour run time at a ¼ load.
- The addition of a handle and wheels make it easier to maneuver.
- It features a convenient user panel that allows for easy use.
- Unfortunately, this generator isn’t parallel compatible.
Another great option from the Generac brand is the GP1200i 1200-watt Portable Inverter Generator.
As a portable unit, it is compactly designed and weighs only 33 pounds which makes it easy to transport between different locations.
Thanks to the enclosed design, the noise produced by this unit is dramatically lower and because of this, it is suitable for use in built-up areas where a noisy generator may pose an issue.
The use of True Power Technology produces clean and stable power which makes it safe for use when powering sensitive electronics.
Similar to our previous picks, this generator is equipped with an eco-mode function that adjusts the performance of the engine according to the demand.
As a result, you can enjoy reduced fuel consumption and lower sound.
- The LED indicators inform you of low oil levels, overload issues, and when the unit is ready for use.
- Weighing a minimal 33 pounds it is compact and easy to maneuver.
- The production of clean technology is safe for sensitive electronics.
- This generator can be started with ease.
- The quality of this unit could be improved as it is prone to scratching easily.
Best Inverter Generators Buying Guide
When it comes to selecting the best inverter generator, there are several factors that you will need to consider beforehand. Considering the following criteria will prove beneficial when scouring the market and selecting the generator that is worthy of your purchase.
The most important factor to consider is the wattage of the generator. Just like other generators, the wattage of inverter generators can differ between models.
An inverter generator with a higher wattage is going to produce more power and this is often reflected in the size of the unit. A generator with a lower wattage is going to produce a lower amount of power.
It is important to consider your needs as those with a lower rating are better suited to lighter use. Those with a 3,000 to 4,500 rating are better suited to medium use and those with a larger rating can endure heavy use like powering the entirety of a home.
You will typically find generators capable of such work are going to have a rating that exceeds 4,500 watts.
The parallel capability refers to the ability to connect two identical inverter generators to double the amount of power. This is going to come in handy in instances where you feel as though you need more power.
You will typically find that most are parallel ready with generators from the same brand of which are the same size. It is important to note that not all generators are parallel ready so it is important to assess the specifications of your generator to see whether it is equipped with this feature.
The Noise Level
Inverter generators tend to be much quieter when compared to their standard counterparts. You will find that most claim to produce a maximum of 50 to 60 decibels when in use.
It is important to be considerate of your surroundings depending on where your generator is going to be used.
If your house is located in a more isolated area, this may not be a significant concern, however, if your generator is going to be used on a campsite you will need to consider those who will be near the generator.
Some campsites and RV parks have strict regulations in place concerning the noise output that they allow.
For some, the size of the generator is an important factor to consider. As mentioned, you will often find that larger units have a higher watt rating.
If you are likely to require the use of your generator at a campsite, or RV it will need to have a portable design that will allow you to transport the unit between locations with ease.
Most inverter generators are lightweight and for this reason, they aren't going to provide you with challenges when attempting to maneuver the unit. Transporting the generator is also going to be made easier by the addition of wheels or handles.
Production of Clean Energy
Inverter generators are often sought after for the clean energy that they produce. Not only are fuels like propane going to burn cleaner, the production of this stable and clean energy means that the generator can power sensitive electronics and appliances.
Inverter generators differ pretty significantly from conventional generators as they are subject to less harmonic distortion. If you are going to be powering sensitive electronics the production of clean power will ensure that they do not become damaged.
The Power Outlets
The power outlets can be found on the body of the generator. A unit with more ports will allow you to power more appliances at once. If your generator lacks a sufficient amount of ports you will need to prioritize the appliances which require power first.
When using their ports it is important to ensure that the generator is used according to its maximum wattage capabilities. Even if the generator sports multiple ports, those with a lower rating aren't necessarily suitable for charging a lot of appliances at once.
EPA and CARB Compliant
You will find that the specifications of many generators state that they are EPA and CARB Compliant. As such, they produce clean energy and run much smoother.
You will typically find that most generators are both EPA and CARB compliant.
Many generators have additional features that provide greater convenience for you as the user. In some cases, this may refer to an electric start function that allows you to operate the generator with the simple click of a button.
Some will also feature an eco mode that maximizes the fuel efficiency while also lengthening the run time of the unit. You will also find that many generators come with a manual shut off switch that allows you to stop the generator from operating with the simple click of a button.
Others will do so automatically once they have recognized that the fuel and oil have dropped below a certain level.
Inverter generators tend to be more expensive when compared to other standard units. This is because they utilize modern technology while promoting improved fuel efficiency.
While it is worth having a budget in mind, you must ensure that your chosen generator features all of the functions that you require, otherwise it is going to prove ineffective in fulfilling its purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are inverter generators worth the money?
Inverter generators are equipped with several favorable features that many would consider make them worthy of purchase.
While they are one of the more expensive offerings on the market they tend to compensate because of their fuel efficiency.
How big of an inverter generator do I need?
To determine the size of the generator that you require, you must first evaluate the appliances that it is likely to be powering. If you are going to be using your generator on the go or inside your RV, you will likely find a 3000 to 4000-watt generator sufficient.
Most household appliances such as a fridge or freezer can be run on a 5,000 to 7,500-watt generator. If you want to run all these appliances at the same time, you will likely benefit from investing in a 7,500-watt generator.
How long do inverter generators last?
The quality is going to be one of the main factors that determine how long your generator is going to last.
As such, a generator of this kind can deliver approximately 1000 to 2000 hours of use and is likely to last for around 10 to 20 years.