Generators provide backup power during outages and help power your devices when you are off the grid. Despite the value they provide, generators have a reputation of being loud and distracting. Starting one may fuel noise complaints from disgruntled neighbors in a heavily populated area. These loud noises, however, are typical of older and conventional generators. Over the last few years, many different types have emerged with advanced features that offer functionality and convenience. If you prefer something that is quiet, lightweight, and offers clean and efficient energy, we can swear by inverter generators.
As mentioned, inverter generators don’t contribute to noise pollution. Almost all models come with sound dampeners allowing the generators to produce between 50-60 decibels of sound only. For context, the sound of an engine while inside a running car or conversations in a restaurant fall within this range. Inverters also consume less gas overall. This is because their internal systems are capable of adjusting electricity output depending on the requirement of the device plugged into them. This means that inverter generators can save up to 30-40% fuel.
Another factor one must consider when getting a generator is safety. CO emissions from regular generators may cause poisoning if they are run in enclosed spaces. An inverter generator mitigates this problem because of its efficiency and the fact that it produces fewer emissions.
On top of all that, you can take inverter generators anywhere. Their compact and lightweight design allows for easy transport and storage. This is especially helpful if you’re camping or going off the grid for a couple of days to unwind. While inverter generators can be more expensive than traditional ones due to their unique set of advantages, you will be getting the bang for the buck with every purchase. Since there are plenty of options to choose from, read through our inverter generator reviews to select the best one for your unique needs.
1.WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800W Inverter Generator
The WEN 65380i is one of the best portable inverter generators currently out in the market. It produces clean energy and is free of possible voltage spikes or drops which can be harmful to sensitive devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. It is powered by a 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine that produces 3800 surge watts and 3400 rated watts. With a 2.2-gallon tank, it has a half-load run time of up to 8.5 hours. Its THD or total harmonic distortion is under 0.3% at no load and under 1.2% at full load.
The WEN 65380i does everything one needs in a generator without the noise of traditional ones. The engine is super quiet, producing only around 57 decibels at quarter load. This is as quiet as a normal conversation or a running air conditioner. Another innovative feature that makes the WEN 65380i one of the best inverter generators is its fuel shutoff capability. This enhances the generator’s lifespan by allowing the use of the remaining fuel in its carburetor before effectively shutting down. As such, maintenance is minimized because it prevents build-up of stagnant fuel inside the carburetor.
Engaging its eco-mode switch allows the engine to automatically adjust its fuel preventing unnecessary usage of gasoline. It also has a low oil shutdown, indication lights, and overload protection safeguard to give you peace of mind. If you need more power, you can easily link 2 WEN inverter generators through a parallel connection kit.
The device is lightweight and has built-in wheels for easy movability. It also comes with a folding handle making it among the best portable inverter generators around. If you’re still unsure about the product, its 2-year warranty might just seal the deal for you.
2. GENERAC GP3500iO 3500W Open Frame Inverter Generator
This inverter from GENERAC caught our attention because of its cutting-edge capabilities. Its new PowerRush technology delivers over 50% more starting capacity for motor-driven and electronic equipment. It has a one simple-to-use dial that integrates the start, run, and stop functions sparing you the trouble of complex operation. It is easy to fuel up or start with one pull. It is also 50% quieter ideal for noise sensitive environments and 25% lighter for easy transport.
The fuel tank capacity of this inverter is 2.37 gallons, allowing a runtime of 8 hours at 50% load and 11 hours at 25% load. At heavier loads, the GENERAC open frame inverter shines as it maintains low noise levels. It has a helpful light indicator to notify the user if it is nearing its maximum load. It is rated at 120 voltages and has less than 3% total harmonic distortion. RV-ready, the generator also has USB outlets which can connect 2 units in parallel for more power.
The GENERAC GP3500iO 3500W inverter allows you to do more with less. It is quiet, lightweight, and ideal for camping. It can also be a welcome addition as a home backup power. During a power outage, this portable inverter can light the most important items like lights, refrigerators, and even air conditioners.
3. A-iPower SUA2000iV 2000W Portable Inverter Generator
Fitting the bill for budget friendly inverters, this portable one from A-iPower is powered by a 79cc engine. It is ideal for outdoor social events such as camping, parties, and for RV use. A single person can carry this generator with ease as it weighs around 46 lbs only. It produces a low noise at 58 decibels on 50% load, assuring a quiet operation.
The A-iPower generator produces clean power with its inverter technology. Direct current is converted to AC output, making it safe for most electronics and other sensitive equipment. A low idle mode automatically adjusts the inverters engine speed to its optimum level depending on the demand. This also significantly reduces noise pollution. The SUA200iv can also link to another generator for double the power. With a fuel tank having a capacity of 1.1 gallons, the generator also comes with a fuel gauge that can remind you when you need to refuel.
Starting the generator is fairly easy. It has easy-pull recoil with an ergonomically designed grip. It has lots of information stickers for guidance, a spark plug access on top, and a funnel for oil refilling. Portable and compact, the generator has a USB port and multiple outlets for use. Cast iron cylinder sleeves provide extra durability for the engine and extend the generator’s lifespan. Although it doesn’t have the highest wattage among the units in this inverter generator reviews list, you can take comfort in the fact that purchasing it won’t break your bank.
4. Powerhorse 3500W Inverter Generator
If you’re looking for a versatile inverter generator that is ideal for home use, tailgating, RV’s, and more, the Powerhorse inverter can be the best portable inverter generator for you. It provides quiet and reliable power for regular use and beyond. It produces low total harmonic distortion at less than 2% to safely run electronics without disturbance or interruption.
The generator has a long 11 hour run time at 25% load and an overload protection for users and connected equipment. It runs on variable engine speeds depending on the required power to help reduce fuel consumption and noise levels to 57 dB. If needed, you can even connect two Powerhorse inverters together due to its parallel-ready design.
With batteries included, starting the generator is convenient. It is layered with 100% premium copper-wound head that prevents overheating. An integrated LCD display also shows the meter for low oil, overload, and an output light indicator. A quick-access and removable side panel makes adding oil quick and easy. At only 107 lbs, the generator has an integrated wheel kit for easy maneuverability with wheel locks for added safety.
Alongside other inverter generators, the Powerhorse inverter generator is CARB and EPA compliant. This means that the generator meets air-quality standards on its emissions. Customer support is exceptional, too. Professional services perform repairs on site. Replacement parts are well- stocked and ready to ship on the same day a service order is received. With the Powerhorse 3500W Inverter Generator, you will always be a happy camper.
Westinghouse iGen2600 Portable Inverter Generator
Westinghouse offers one of the best portable inverter generators for home and outdoor use. Their series of high-quality generators have been trusted by many over the years. The Westinghouse iGen2600 is a great choice as an emergency backup power. It is powered by a 98cc engine and weighs only 48 lbs. The tank capacity is 1 gallon and can operate up to 10 hours at 25% load. Combined with a suitcase style handle, it allows for easy transport without the hassle. Its low noise level of 52 decibels is perfect for quiet nights in the wild.
Starting this generator is super easy. It has yellow touch points that are easily noticeable for the user. It has an integrated LED display that shows remaining run time, power output, fuel left, and voltage. At 2600 peak watts and 2200 running watts, it can power large appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners or any necessities that you need as you travel. It produces less than 3% THD which is ideal for computers, televisions, and smartphones. It comes with 2x 120v outlets, 2x usb ports, and 1x 12v DC outlet.
If more power is needed, the generator can be paired with another Westinghouse portable inverter through a parallel cable. Its built-in safety features protect the user from overload and low oil shutdown. Buying a Westinghouse inverter generator is backed by a 3-year limited warranty which includes parts, service, and labor with lifetime technical support. At the end of the day, it only makes sense to go with this trusted brand.
6. Brigss and Stratton P4500 Inverter Generator
The Briggs and Stratton P4500 inverter generator takes energy generation to the next level with a whopping starting watts of 4500 and a running wattage of 3700 watts, the highest in this inverter generator reviews article thus far. It also has one of the larger engines at 224cc. Because of this, the Briggs and Stratton P4500 has a long runtime of 16 hours on 25% load. It registers quite a low decibel rating of 61 even with its large size. Its central computer automatically adjusts its engine speed to reduce noise and perform better fuel consumption and emission.
With a push button electric start, the Brigss and Stratton P4500 inverter generator is easy to activate. Once the generator starts, its light indicators will turn blue indicating its readiness to be used. Weighing 115 lbs., it has a telescopic handle for maneuvering the generator during outdoor trips. Its built-in information hub keeps you informed about its run time, total power use, and other maintenance reminders.
Additionally, the safety features of this generator are top-notch. Its advanced detection feature automatically shuts down the generator when harmful levels of carbon monoxide have accumulated in the vicinity of the generator. It has 2x 230v 15A outlets, 1x 12v 5A DC charging outlet, and 2x USB ports.
Although on the pricier end of the best inverter generators, every purchase of the Brigss and Stratton unit comes with a 3-year limited warranty ensuring high quality customer support during its lifespan.
7. Champion Power Equipment 100573 4000W Open Frame Inverter
Packed with innovative features, this generator by Champion Power Equipment is about 50% quieter and 20% lighter than traditional generators. It is perfect for home, work, and play environments. It produces clean power with a very high starting watts of 4000 and running watts of 3500, among the highest in this article of inverter generator reviews.
Due to its large 2.9 gallon fuel tank, runtime is up to 17 hours on gasoline at 25% load. It has a shut-off feature that automatically activates when oil is low. During operation, it produces a noise level of 64 decibels from 23 feet, which is not louder than a normal conversation.
This Champion generator produces clean power with less than 3% THD. Weighing at approximately 97 lbs., it includes an ergonomic foldable grip handle and a wheel kit that never flattens. You can monitor power consumption in real time, too. With the inverter’s built-in economy mode, you can expect higher fuel economy. This mode also ensures a quiet operation and longer engine life.
Something that not all inverter generators have, this Champion model beats the competition away with its remote start capability. Its wireless key allows activation from up to 80 feet away. An optional parallel kit allows increased output by connecting 2800W inverters or higher. Lastly, getting a Champion Power Equipment inverter gets you a 3-year limited warranty with its network of service centers and a free lifetime technical support.
8. Pulsar G2319N 2300W Portable Inverter Generator
The Pulsar inverter generator is a great choice for clean power and optimal portability. It has a single cylinder 4-stroke OHV engine that produces 2300 peak watts and 1800 running watts of power. At 59 decibels noise level, it works great on camping trips since it is also RV-ready. This generator is virtually silent at 10 ft. away, perfect for outdoor gathering and social activities, too. A parallel capability allows 2 Pulsar inverters to run in tandem when connected via an adapter for increased power output.
The Pulsar inverter generator has 2x AC 120V outlets, 1x 12V DC 8A outlet, and 1x 5V DC USB outlet, perfect for charging laptops, smartphones, and other electronic devices during trips or while tailgating. Its 1.18 gallon fuel tank can power 6 hours of continuous operation at 50% load with a clean sine wave for sensitive equipment. Although this isn’t a lot relative to the other generators, it should be more than enough especially if it is just intended to be a home backup.
Conveniently placed for easy viewing and access, the control center of the Pulsar inverter generator displays oil levels, overload indication, and operation indication. It is also one of the lightest and more compact devices at only 47 lbs. It comes with a handy suitcase design which gives you the freedom to carry this inverter generator everywhere. Needless to say, its economical and reliable design offers a great choice for your next adventure or outdoor event.
9. POWERSMITH PGA2200i 2.2KW Digital Inverter Generator
Although not with the highest wattage in this inverter generator reviews article, the POWERSMITH inverter generator gets things done with 2200 surge watts and 1700 rated watts. It produces clean power in a smaller and lighter package. It has a run time of up to 10 hours on 25% load and 6 hours on 50% load. This generator provides just enough power so that you won’t be left in the dark when you are away from home. It can run almost any of your devices. If demand for a larger power is needed, you can connect it in parallel with a second PGA2200i inverter for up to 4400 watts of power.
This inverter generator is great for camping and tailgating. It works extremely well for powering sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones. It includes 2x 120V AC outlets, 2 USB ports, and 1x 12V DC outlet for your charging needs. It has an integrated off, run, and choke knob that simplifies startup procedures and is equipped with an overload protection with an on-board reset button.
In addition, the POWERSMITH inverter generator has a digital dashboard that displays real-time load, current runtime, and other important data. An LED indicator shows you when the generator is low on oil, when it is overloaded, or if the generator is ready for use.
Weighing around 55 lbs., it is lightweight, portable, and can be carried around with its telescoping handle and dual rear wheels. Fitting the POWERSMITH inverter generator inside your car, truck, or RV with its suitcase style design and handle is easy enough for anybody!
10. Honda EU2200i 2200W Portable Inverter Generator
Honda is an extremely popular generator brand. This particular EU2200i model operates on a wide variety of appliances making it the perfect device for use indoors, outdoors, or even on jobsites. Its engine is so quiet your neighbors won’t even notice it running in your backyard. Its noise levels are rated between 48 to 57 decibels. Due to its low noise pollution, the Honda EU2200i fits our criteria for the best inverter generator for camping, powering up the RV, or any outdoor activity that requires peace and quiet.
The Honda EU2200i has an exclusive ‘eco-throttle’ system which significantly improves its fuel economy. It can run between 4 to 10 hours on a single tank depending on the load. Adding an identical model with the use of compatible parallel cables can add up to 4400 watts of power for all of your electronic devices. This means that the Honda’s inverter generator provides clean power and is more eco-friendly than traditional generators.
The generator itself is small and compact, weighing around 40 lbs. This inverter is ideal for both overnight power or long-time applications. Its safety measures include a fuel shut off valve that allows the engine to run with the supply off and helps prevent issues related to stale fuel. It has a large spout and oil drain gutter for a cleaner and easier oil change. It has a color-coded startup for a user-friendly design. The increased ventilation ensures improved airflow for better cooling of internal components. With all these features, it is no doubt why Honda remains a popular generator brand.
11. Sportsman 2200W Digital Inverter Generator
Do you need a generator that is efficient and rated safe for campsite use? Well then, the Sportsman 2200W inverter generator is CARB and EPA compliant and is powered by a dual-fuel technology that delivers clean and reliable power for most of your electronics. It has 1800 running watts and peak wattage of 2200. The generator is parallel-capable with an identical device for added power. Easy to operate, the inverter has a traditional pull-start mechanism. And with a noise level of 60 dBA, it is only as noisy as background music so that you can enjoy your commune with nature.
The Sportsman 2200W inverter generator has a 1 gallon fuel capacity and can operate up to 7 hours of 50% load with a full tank of gas. It can run up to 18 hours on a propane tank. Electronics such as laptops, smartphones, and other sensitive devices can be safely plugged in its AC outlets. The THD is less than 5%, producing a clean sine wave ideal for sensitive electronics. Its encased and modern design weighs only around 45 lbs. Its handle is molded in the case allowing for effortless carrying. All these make the Sportsman unit a great portable inverter generator for on-the-go use.
This inverter generator includes 2x 120V AC outlets, a dedicated USB terminal for electronic charging, and a 1x 12V DC outlet for battery charging. The Sportman also features a spark-plug arrestor. This means it’s allowed to be used in areas where there is a risk for fire. It also has an automatic low oil shut-off and overload protection for your peace of mind.
12. Firman W03382 3300W Inverter Generator
To end our list, this inverter from Firman checks all the right boxes. Power needed for camping, tailgating, fieldwork, or on an RV is a cakewalk for this one. It runs 10 hours at 25% load with its 1.8 gallon gas tank and 171cc engine. It runs at a quiet 58 dBA, well below outdoor park standards and weighs a good 94 lbs. It is supported by built-in wheels and a folding handle making transport easy. Starting the generator is simple with its push button electric start system.
The generator is equipped with an eco-mode to automatically adjust the load for maximum fuel efficiency. This means that you can safely turn on the inverter even for small things like charging electronic devices or accessories. The inverter only uses what it needs unlike traditional generators. Voltage regulators ensure clean and consistent power output. All bells and whistles are located in a conveniently placed area for easy monitoring and use. There is also a built-in parallel kit on the Firman if you want to double the generators power. Low oil shut off safeguard and a cast iron sleeve protect the user from any unwanted hazards.
It is CARB and EPA compliant and passes all regulatory checks. Everything you need for the best portable inverter generator comes standard with a purchase of the Firman 3300W. This includes oil, funnel, trickle charger, battery charger cable, spark plug wrench, and an owner’s manual. A 3-year limited warranty support and a 90-day guarantee for every Firman purchase is also a welcome addition when considering lifetime support for the product.
The more power a generator delivers the more electronic devices or appliances it can run at the same time. Some generators can support more than 10,000 watts for hours, but these are the cumbersome and loud types. Inverters, on the other hand, are focused on efficiency, quietness, and portability. However, this also means a slight sacrifice in their total power output. Most inverter generators only operate between 2000 to 4000 running watts. An easy fix to this issue involves linking two parallel-compatible generators to increase power. Almost all modern inverter generators in the market today are capable of the said parallel connection.
Always consider the noise levels if you do not want to make enemies of your neighbours. Equipped with great noise reduction technology, inverter generators ensure quiet operation. They have built-in suppressors in enclosed casings to reduce noise levels. When buying, you should aim for inverters that promise around 50-60 decibels. Running inverter generators indoors or outdoors should not be a problem as most of their noise levels are low enough and blend quite well in the environment.
LED indicators are present in almost all inverter generators. They let you know important information that traditional generators may not provide. If oil is at minimum levels, low-oil shut off prevents engine damage. Some inverters are also equipped with CO sensors which detect carbon monoxide emissions and automatically shut their engines down if the surrounding area reaches hazardous levels of CO. Spark arrestors also give you peace of mind especially when using the generator in areas where the risk of fire is high.
Inverter generators have increased in popularity in recent years. Helpful features include weather-protected panels for outdoor use, built-in wheels for easy transport and manoeuvrability, and different outlets depending on the electrical need.
Traditional generators consume more gas than needed, whereas inverter generators deliver the exact power a device or gadget requires, saving more fuel in the long run. Most generators come with an economy mode for enhanced fuel efficiency.
Although inverter generators are generally pricier than their conventional counterparts, they are often worth the investment. You can use them indoors or outdoors and have longer lifespan than other types due to their built-in safety checks. Other types of generators do not compare in terms of fuel economy. Inverter generators can be as much as 50% more efficient! Combined with their power, high-tech features, and safety, they are the best types of generators if budget isn’t much of an issue for you.
How loud are inverter generators?
Unlike conventional generators, most inverter generators have noise reducing features that allow them to operate between 50-60 decibels. For smaller inverters, the sound can be compared to a quiet office or library. For larger ones, the sound is similar to normal conversations. They are measured at an industry standard of at least seven meters away from the source ensuring legitimacy of values.
Can I use my generator indoors?
Carbon monoxide poisoning has been widely reported as a hazard associated with indoor generator use. As much as possible, generators should be used outdoors. It also helps to buy a generator with a built-in carbon monoxide detector so you can ensure CO levels are safe at all times.
How can I store my generator?
For short term storage, keep generators clean from any debris. For long term storage, filling the fuel tank to its capacity and treating it with a stabilizing agent is recommended. This ensures that your generator will run properly when the need arises. Finally, always perform scheduled maintenance which is at least once a year for inverter generators.