House & Beyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
In the modern world, most of our daily activities rely totally on electricity. That’s the reality we face each day, and the sad consequence of this is that most of our activities will go to a standstill if there is a power outage, either because of some mechanical fault or weather conditions. However, you can easily avoid such disasters and keep your appliances and gadgets running even in a blackout if you have the best inverter generator. These generators serve as backup power to make sure that your gadgets and appliances keep running all the time.
Inverter generators, thanks to their stable power, convenience, and portability, are the best portable source of power in several situations. They offer an easy way to power your devices and machines wherever and whenever you want. They deliver lots of power, and they are suitable for more sensitive devices, which is a great plus for people who like traveling. For this guide, we considered several key criteria such as power output, type, size, and weight.
However, buying something like an inverter generator is never a straightforward task, albeit unsurprisingly. There are so many things you need to consider, and if adequate care is not taken, it’s easy to opt for the wrong model. That’s why, in this article, that we’ve spent tens of hours writing on, we will be leading you into the world of inverter generators where everything necessary to know about these machines will be unfolded. You will be provided with a comparison table with all products included, an in-detail description of each model, together with its pros and cons, a buying guide, and a section of frequently asked questions. Are you ready to take a plunge into the world of inverter generators? Let’s go!
More features: recoil starting system, 48 to 57 dBA noise level
Despite being one of the most renowned car manufacturers in the world, Honda is also a terrific manufacturer of high-quality generators. The Honda EU2200i tops our list of the best inverter generators for the great performance it delivers and its incredible reliability. It is suitable for most situations, owing to its fuel efficiency and clean power.
The most impressive thing about this inverter generator is the incorporated eco-throttle feature. Since you are probably not going to be utilizing the 1,800 watts at the same time, this mode allows you to save more fuel and keep the machine running for a longer period of time. According to Honda, the generator’s minimum runtime is 4 hours, with a maximum of 9.5 hours.
In general, this inverter generator is quite standard. The generator features two 120-volt outlets, and also a DC outlet converter. Besides, it has the parallel mode which allows it to be linked with other units, and it features indicator lights which indicate when the generator has been overloaded and when the oil level is low. The motor of the generator is also designed to stay cool, which helps it operate more efficiently in general.
More features: 64 dB noise level, less than 3% THD – good for delicate electronics
The first of the two inverter generators from Champion on this list is the Champion 4000-WRV Inverter Generator. One of the most impressive things about this machine is that it runs 50% quieter than conventional generators while being 10% lighter as well. This is due to the highly-advanced open-frame design of the inverter generator. Featuring an incorporated economy setting, this generator is also sure to save more fuel while extending its engine’s life.
With its quiet operation, we guarantee you that this inverter generator is super ideal for RVs, tailgating, and for your home’s backup. The generator also offers a runtime of up to 17 hours, due to its running power of 3,500 watts. Besides, this inverter generator also produces super clean power.
The clean power makes it suitable for delicate electronics such as laptops and cell phones. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing this generator is safe for your sensitive electronics. The generator also comes with a parallel-ready function, which means that you can get more power out of it by linking two units together.
However, nothing in the world comes without a drawback and this generator is not different. Its main drawback is that you need to purchase its wheel attachment separately, and it comes at a high cost.
Engine: EPA III and CARB-Compliant 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine
Peak Power: 2000 W
Rated power: 1600 W
Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 18 inches
Weight: 48 lbs
Warranty: 2-year limited
More features: two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle and one 5V USB port
Another decent inverter generator on our list is the WEN 56200i Inverter Generator. If you are looking for the perfect low-powered inverter generator that is capable of powering your basic appliances, you might need to take a look at this model, which is among the best 2000-watt generators out there.
With an operating power of 1,600 watts, this generator is suitable for most basic appliances. The most impressive thing about this unit is the fact that it generates pure sine wave energy. Although we will not discuss much on the technical details of what that means, it simply means it produces clean power. Clean power is perfect for delicate electronics such as computers and cell phones. Also, this generator comes with a USB port so that your devices can be charged more efficiently.
As already implied by the name, this generator is very quiet, generating just around 51 dB when running. For reference, an average human speech is about 60 dB, so this generator is really quiet, particularly when it’s used outdoors. Another great feature we like about this machine is the incorporated eco-mode feature. When this mode is activated, the generator will become a lot more energy-efficient, and consequently, save more fuel. If you are using only 1000 watts, for instance, you can activate the eco-mode and save lots of fuel to prolong the life of the generator.
Finally, we like the fact that this generator is designed to shut itself off automatically if it’s low on oil. It also features indicator lights which indicate when the oil level is getting low or when the generator has been overloaded. In general, safety is not a problem with this generator.
More features: less than 3% THD – good for delicate electronics, portable & lightweight, 52 dB Noise Output, EPA, USFS, and CARB Compliant
Westinghouse is a company renowned for its production of high-quality power generators and home appliances, and the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT Inverter Generator is not an exception. Weighing only 43 pounds, this portable inverter generator is actually one of the lightest we have come across and its 2,200 peak watts and 1,800 running watts make it ideal for emergency power failure or camping in an RV with your friends and family.
When it comes to the power output, this inverter generator produces around 1,800 watts of running power. It comes with a 1.3-gallon capacity fuel tank, which is capable of lasting up to thirteen hours at 25-percent load. To help improve the generator’s fuel efficiency, it features an efficiency mode button which helps you save energy that you are not using.
Furthermore, this portable inverter generator features parallel power, which means that it can be linked to other units to generate more power. It also comes with two standard 120-volt outlets. The generator runs at only 52 dB, which makes it extremely quiet. In general, this Westinghouse model is a decent choice if you don’t have substantial power needs.
More features: economy mode, covered outlets, parallel-ready
For people who like going fishing, camping, trekking, or hiking, or even people who simply like having a reliable source of power for outdoor activities, the Generac GP2200i is a great option you might want to look at. It provides very quiet operation, and on a full tank, it is capable of providing a runtime of 10.75 hours on at 24% load with no issues. Moreover, it features the eco-mode feature which reduces fuel consumption. The generator also has a parallel feature, which allows you to connect two units together to get more power.
This parallel capability allows you to squeeze as much power as possible from two units so that you can get enough to power your RV air conditioner, lights, cell phone, and a couple of other small electrical appliances simultaneously. With an inbuilt handle, this unit is also very easy to move from one location to another, and you can effortlessly set it up in a blink of an eye.
This Generac inverter generator features a lot of things to appreciate. The generator comes with everything required to get started out of the box. Also, it is lightweight and very easy to use, so you can effortlessly use it whenever and wherever you want. Just ensure you check the oil and gas and keep them at the appropriate levels for continuous usage of this machine.
What we liked:
Peal power of 2,200 watts and 1,700 watts running power
More features: 59 dBA noise level, Cold Start Technology, parallel-ready
When choosing an inverter power generator, one of the main factors you need to consider is its source of power, and this Champion 3400-Watt inverter generator can be run on either battery or gasoline, which makes it very versatile. It features a switch that allows you to change to gasoline when required.
The amount of power a generator produces is also another important consideration people usually make when choosing a generator, and this inverter generator produces a peak power of 3,400 watts and a running power of 3,100 watts. This is ideal to run multiple devices at the same time, including high-powered appliances such as heaters and microwaves.
Furthermore, this inverter produces clean power. Even though the generator is fuel-operated, you don’t need to bother about it causing a short. Therefore, you can use it to power delicate electronics like your cell phone and laptop. This unit features TT-30R 30A outlet, duplex 20A 120V outlet, and also a 12V converter and an RV plug (30 amps).
Also, if portability and compactness are things you consider when shopping for a generator, then this model from Champion might be the one for you. It is very convenient to carry around since it features built-in wheels, and also a folding handle that allows you to pull it however you want.
Finally, this inverter generator comes with Cold Start Technology, which makes it very appealing to a lot of buyers. You can easily turn the generator even in cold weather, which makes it even more versatile and convenient, particularly if you take it on a camping trip.
More features: 2 x 2.1A USB charging ports, 2 x AC outlets, remote control
The final product on this list is the KRIËGER Portable UPS Battery Backup Generator, and what a great unit it is. Offering a peak power of 2200 watts, we are sure this unit can provide you with enough power required for camping and other outdoor activities. In addition to that, it comes with 2 USB ports and 2 AC outlets, which allow you to charge multiple devices easily at the same time.
Also, you can recharge the battery of this generator, and 3 ft battery cables are included. Measuring 11.8 x 6.7 x 3.5 inches, this generator is also compact. Besides, it comes with an awesome 3-year manufacturer’s warranty, which makes it more appealing to potential buyers.
Weighing only 3.16 pounds, this portable generator can also be carried effortlessly. You can take it wherever you want. It is ideal for emergency runtime power, which helps you keep your electronic devices running. The machine also comes with LCD display, which features battery level, output and input, warning indicator, temperature shutdown. It’s also worth mentioning that this generator comes at a very affordable price point.
What we liked:
Includes LCD display
Battery management system
Lightweight and portable construction
What could be better:
Can only power small appliances
Things to Consider
We want you to choose the best possible inverter generator, and in order for that, the value offered by the generator must exceed its cost. While money can be easily counted, you cannot count value.
What are the benefits of having an inverter generator?
Inverter generators have numerous unique benefits, which make them more preferable to regular generators in some cases. One of the primary benefits is quiet operation. These generators operate a lot more quietly than traditional generators. Generally, inverter generators operate at volumes somewhere between volumes of a library and an average conversation, making them suitable for office use and camping.
Also, inverter generators usually have a portable design. Apart from being compact in size, they also come with a fundamentally compact profile. With this, you can easily transport them a lot more easily than other traditional generators, which make them ideal for camping, leisure activities, and construction sites.
Furthermore, inverter generators are very fuel-efficient, thanks to the fact that they can operate at lower RPMS when there are lower energy demands. Conventional generators, on the other hand, usually operate at 3,500 RPMS no matter the energy really used.
What to look for in an ideal inverter generator?
In order to determine the right inverter generator for your needs, we will first take a look at the different factors you need to consider before opting for a particular model. As this revolves around electric current and power, it is important to have ample space and a safe environment for the generator to perform well and with no causes for unwanted accidents.
Manufacturers categorize inverter generators as either small, medium, or compact models. A compact inverter generator can power only a small home appliance such as a toaster while a small model can run two appliances simultaneously. Medium inverter generators are capable of running several appliances and handle multiple electronic loads as well. If you require more power, you will want a large motor. In this case, an entire home generator or a standby model may be ideal for you.
The generator’s overall size is going to directly affect the measure of power that it generates. The larger the generator the more power it will be able to deliver, and they vary from compact to medium, with a power of more than 2000 watts, sufficient to run an RV AC and more simultaneously. Compact models will give you 800 watts at least, sufficient to run a few small appliances at the same time. Thus, go for something that suits your size and needs.
Although inverter generators are considerably quieter than traditional generators, there are still some variations from model to model. Therefore, it’s vital to check the inverter generator’s noise rating on your list. While that may not necessarily be a decisive factor, it is definitely worth keeping in mind. For portable inverter generators, their noise is measured in decibel (dB). And for an inverter generator, anything more than 60 dB at half-load for is higher than average.
Safety for delicate electronics
It’s also important to ensure the inverter generator is safe for sensitive electronics. Delicate equipment, like tablets, television sets, mobile phones, and laptops, don’t handle fluctuations really well. So, adding an inverter eliminates fluctuations to deliver a pure sine wave output.
Sometimes, you may be looking for an inverter generator that can be installed permanently at a particular location. However, whether you intend to use your inverter generator in a car, RV, boat, or other types of transportation, it’s vital to take the overall size and weight of the inverter generator into consideration. Due to the advances in electrical technology, there are now powerful inverter generators that are sufficiently lightweight and small to be transported easily from one place to another.
Most people believe that the warranty terms of a product speak volume about the quality of the product, and even the confidence the manufacturers of the product have in it, and we think that belief is totally true.
Before buying an inverter generator, ensure it is backed by a very good warranty, except you have a few hundred bucks to shell out again on another inverter generator in a couple of months.
It’s also a great idea to check for extra features such as parallel-ready function, remote start, and eco-mode before buying an inverter generator. The parallel mode allows you to connect two inverter generators together to be able to squeeze more power out of them. While features like this are very useful, be ready to spend additional bucks on it.
Figure out the peak watts and running watts required for every appliance you intend to be using. In some cases, the peak and running watts will be the same – for instance, appliances like lights, laptops, and TVs have the same starting and running wattage.
Every appliance in your household has their own energy or wattage usage. Keep in mind to check if the inverter generator you are looking has enough power output to handle the startup watts before buying. You can easily find out the individual wattage or energy usage of home appliances on Energy.gov
Trusted SourceEstimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use | Department of EnergyLearn how to estimate what it costs to operate your appliances and how much energy they consume.
The inverter generator that is ideal for RVing is the Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator. This model is very versatile since it operates an extensive range of appliances. Due to such versatility, it’s suitable for portable use whether it’s on camping, on your RV, or at home.
It runs only at about 48 to 57 dB, making it very quiet. With a minimal level of noise as such, it is perfect for camping. It guarantees a quiet operation which makes it suitable for additional RV power.
Something you need to keep in mind is that the power created by an inverter generator can be dangerous if you are careless. Running your inverter generator in the rain may cause an increase in your possibility of electrocution, and probably you do not want your inverter generator being stormed upon.
Regardless of the kind of inverter generator you have, we don’t advice you to use it outdoors when it’s raining. If you must, then make sure to protect the elements. There are varieties of generator shields being sold on the market nowadays, and we recommend you to get one if you must use your generator inside the rain.
When trying to determine which inverter generators are the best on the market, we are considering reliability and overall power. With that in mind, we chose the Honda EU2200i, the Champion 4000-WRV, and the Westinghouse WH2200Ixlt as our top 3 picks.
If you want the best all-around generator with a bit of all the important features, the Honda EU2200i is an ideal choice. Featuring an eco-throttle feature which enables you to save on fuel and a parallel-mode function which means it can be linked to another unit if more power is required, it’s easy to see why this model is our number one pick.
For those looking for a very powerful generator, the Champion Power Equipment 100302 is their best bet. With a running power of 3,500 watts, and a runtime of 17 hours on a full tank, you can’t find many better options than this generator.
Our third pick is the Westinghouse WH220LXLT, thanks to its incredible versatility. Weighing only 43 pounds, it’s surprising how the manufacturers were able to pack a peak power of 2200 watts and a running power of 1800 watts into this portable generator. In general, all our picks are top rated, and they will be very useful if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation.
Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use | Department of Energy
Learn how to estimate what it costs to operate your appliances and how much energy they consume.