Best Inverter Generators for Backup Power – Reviews and Guide

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Too much noise and high fuel consumption are two factors that prevent people from owning a standard generator. But imagine if that was not the case.

But that’s not all.

If you buy a conventional generator, how would you charge your sensitive electronic devices with that?

That’s where the inverter generators come and we have listed the best inverter generators in the market.

But before I share with you the inverter generators reviews we have tested and done research on, it’s crucial you have a deep understanding of why we recommend these generators in the first place.

Most importantly, why they are better than the standard generators. An excellent way to kick off this conversation is with the definition of what

Comparison Table for Best Inverter Generators

What Is An Inverter Generator?

Inverter and generator are two words that mean different things to different people. A lot of people that buy it gets confused about what it is in the first place.

Let’s define the word inverter?

A typical inverter will receive power from a static direct current source. Most inverters are present in cars or solar panels.

Once the Direct Current (DC) is received, it is reversed to Alternating Current (AC). Power in the form of AC can be used when needed.

Most gadgets at home use AC power, and that’s why it is an excellent choice for you to have an Inverter Generator.

Let explain an inverter generator:

An inverter generator is a recent innovation from the standard generator. It uses advanced electric circuitry and magnets. Power conversion in an inverter generator happens in 3 stages:

  • Output for AC
  • AC converted to DC
  • DC ‘inverted’ to clean AC

What Benefit Comes From Using an Inverter Generator

Quality power output- an inverter generator is reliable and efficient. In other words, power is closer to the line.

Light and portable- Designing a generator requires advanced technology. It usually entails putting the size into consideration without compromising efficiency. The good news is an inverter technology combines the engine parts and the generator so that it is small.

Most inverter generators weigh around 30 to 50 pounds. They are easy to carry and store. You can fit them into the car.

Fuel efficiency– an Inverter generator uses advanced technology that adjusts engine acceleration to emit power when it’s needed. That way, you save on fuel.

Most traditional generators run at a high RPM but inverter generators run at lower RPM and maintain the frequency without stopping.

But here’s the most exciting part.

They don’t have a large fuel tank, but that doesn’t mean they run out of fuel. Their engine is fuel-efficient. It can adjust the engine speed depending on the application.

Low-noise– Traditional generators produce lots of noise that you can’t even focus on your conversation.

On the flip side, an inverter generator produces less noise. Most of the inverter’s engine never run at full speed but provides more power.

A conventional generator generally operates aaround 75 decibels, which is the same noise like that of a jet engine.

Inverter generator makes less noise. Best of all, they do have unique stationary materials such as the cooler engine, muffler, and noise dampening technology.

Great price- All these advantages, it is so easy to think that the cost of an inverter generator is high. If you want to experience the benefits, think of how much you will save fuel in the long run.

In a scenario where data is lost due to power changes, an inverter generator will ensure the safety and function of that hardware.

Will Inverter Generator Cause Harmonic Distortion

Harmonic distortion is a problem common in so many standard generators.

The good news is, it is not present in an inverter generator.  The rate of Harmonic Distortion is low.

Let me explain in detail:

HD makes electric motors less effective and overheat. HD mostly affects home electrical equipment that uses microprocessors.

Devices that use microprocessors at home include Television, smartphones, computers, tablets, microwaves, and many more.

The devices suffer from excess heat, which affects how they function. And if these devices are exposed continuously to Harmonic Distortion, it may damage the circuitry system leading to failure of the equipment.

A Portable Inverter generator uses Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology. The technology creates a near-perfect sine wave that is superior to MOSFET because it creates lots of power.

The Pulse width modular controls those sine waves to limit Harmonic Distortion in an inverter generator.

It works to ensure there’s a clear path sine wave, that can be used even with the sophisticated electrical gadgets.

Do Inverter Generator Offer Parallel Connection

Most portable inverter generators operate at a 2000 to 3000 wattage range. It is a lot of power if you have large appliances.

With the parallel connection, you can connect two inverter generators to boost the power output. The best way to make it work is to ensure both have the same wattage and you bought them from the same manufacturer.

How Big Should My Portable Inverter Generator Be?

The term “Big” refers to a power supply and output in watts. The first thing is not determining the generator size; the first thing is running the math.

You need to know the total wattage of all the devices you will use in the event of power outages.  You will notice that some appliances like microwaves or charcoal starter may need lots of power for them to run.

Once you have the total wattage, you confidently know what kind of portable inverter generator you need to buy. But if you want the whole house to use power, then a portable inverter generator is not for you.

The good news is, most portable inverter generators have a power output ranging from 1,400w to 4,000w of production.

Chances are, if you only need to ensure essential devices run in the event of power outages, your wattage calculation will be in that range.

You can also go high up in case your wattage is high up.

How Many Outlets Should an Inverter Generator Have?

The question is, how do you want to use an inverter generator?

The number of outlets will determine if you can use other devices or not. If you want all your tools to use a portable inverter generator at the same, you need to make sure you have the right number of outlets.

Here are three questions you need to ask yourself:

  • How many electronics do you have?
  • How often will you use these electronics?
  • How many do you use?

Most portable inverter generator will come with different outlets. For example, if you are a person who loves to use one or two plugs, there’s no need for many outlets.

Reviews of The Best Portable Generators

1. Best Overall Generator – Briggs & Stratton P2200 Power Smart Series 2,200 Watts Inverter Generator

If you are looking for a powerful, compact, low-noise generator, we warmly recommend Briggs & Stratton’s P2200. Even though it’s not the cheapest of the bunch, it’s certainly one of the most versatile options within its price range.

In a nutshell, this is a 2200-watt capacity inverter generator that weighs approximately 55 pounds. The P2200 is remarkably silent as well due to QuietPower Technology it is outfitted with. Moreover, it rocks a Lo-Tone muffler that further reduces the noise it generates while making it more suitable for use with laptops and PCs.

Briggs & Stratton’s P2200 is equipped with a 1-gallon fuel tank, which is capable of providing approximately 6.5-hour continuous working time. Connectivity-wise, it features two 120V/20A ports, a single DC 12V/5A port, and a parallel-connector port that you can use to pair it up with another inverter generator that operates on the same level of voltage.

The only downside of P2200 is the fact that it (as well as all of its variations) is a tad more expensive in comparison to models with similar wattage. It is light and can fit in your car.

We believe, however, that its price tag is fair since it’s smaller, lighter, easier to handle, and substantially easier to store than most of its similarly-priced counterparts. In fact, based on plenty of consumer testing, it may very well be the top-level, No. 1 inverter generator on the current market, basically without a single drawback. Can be used at home, in cars – great features, and a great device!

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable; can fit in your car
  • Super-quiet, stable performance
  • Equipped with a 1-gallon fuel reservoir
  • 2,200 watts of power capacity
  • Top-level connectivity
  • Best choice for your RV generator

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive

2.    Best Portable Inverter Generator – WESTINGHOUSE IGEn2500 Portable Inverter Generator

The iGen2500 is a four-stroke powerful engine rated at 2500 as starting watts and 2200 as running watts. A single gallon of the generator will take you over 6 hours if you are at 50% load.

There’s also a parallel capability that allows you to connect it to another iGen series if you want more power.

The item comes with an impressive design features such as an LED display, a durable, insulated hood, quiet dual muffler, and asymmetrical fans.

All these features present in the iGen2500 keeps the machine cool, which increases the durability and gives it enormous power.

Besides its limiting noise level, the generator provides only 53 decibels when it is running at 25% load.

At 48 pounds, this generator is quiet and weighs less. It is also compact and features in-built suitcase-style handles you can use to move the generator around.

Since the Westinghouse is efficient and has great power potential, you can use it for camping, tailgating, and running small projects in the house.

The iGen2500 is an ideal inverter generator for RVs and home backup.

Despite it being small, it delivers an impressive 2200 running watts and 2500 peak watts, which makes it great if you want to power induction motors.

Its 98cc engine is EPA compliant, and it is quiet. Since it has an advanced engine and economy mode, it will use little fuel.

That means a gallon gas tank will take you 6-hours and more. For the average household and RV application, the average loads are always between 25% to 50%, to mean, when used in that capacity, it will last between 6 to 7 hours.

The generator also comes with two standard 120v outlets. And two USB outlets. Thanks to its LED display, you’ll know how much fuel is remaining in the tank. The LED display shows your output voltage and running hours.

Pros

  • Easy to use control panel
  • Adjust speedwell

Cons

  • Not great for powerful heavy-duty tool

3.    Best light weight Inverter Generator – YAMAHA EF2000iSV Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Yamaha has a long history of making an engine and its components. It’s a gas-powered portable inverter generator has excellent aesthetics and also delivers incredible power to meet most of your needs.

The EF2000iSV boasts of a durable engine certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. It uses an inverter technology that you can use it with the most delicate devices in your home.

On the flip side, you’ll be happy to know that it uses little fuel. YAMAHA EF2000iSV inverter generator comes with 1600w running watts and 2000 starting watts.

Previously I also stated that it has a durable engine which is a 4-stroke durable engine with excellent heat isolation.

A one-gallon tank of this generator running at a 1/4 load, can last yours for 10.5 hours.

The smart throttle system on this generator adjusts the speed and economizes the fuel usage.

Besides this generator having 51.1 decibels, it has a quiet muffler. At a full capacity expects the noise to be 61 reasonable decibels.

At only 49 pounds, this generator is so light and compact; you can quickly move with it around. Its comfortable handles and rubber absorbing vibration feet aid its operation and noise level.

Since the generator also allows a parallel connection, you can connect two units to deliver enough power.

The EF2000iSV2 is an excellent inverter generator that allows a high-level performance for superior functionality and durability.

The biggest drawback is that it can’t power heavy-duty appliances. Its advanced panel deserves mention because it maximizes the  AC output power and runs for 13 minutes before the overload circuit stops.

That’s why you have increased output power and the ability to operate all your electronic equipment. Given the many advantages this generator comes with, you will find it to be a bit pricey.

Pros

  • Low noise level
  • Fuel efficient

Cons

  • Durable but expensive

4.    Best Power Output Inverter Generator – WEN 56380i Portable Inverter Generator

The 56380i features a 3800 as starting watts and 3400 running watts. The portable inverter generator comes with stable and clean energy. Most importantly, it limits its total harmonic distortion to 1.2% at full capacity.

That means you can use it on sensitive electronic devices like a laptop and cellphone.

The generator also has an Eco-mode, which makes it minimizes fuel consumption since it allows the motor to adjust the speed to ensure it meets the demand of the required load.

Besides that, the generator has a long engine life and quieter operation. Something interesting you’ll notice is, the generator has a fully-packed overload protected safeguard panel, low oil, and low-fuel automatic shutdown that prevents the engine and a fuel gauge indicator.

Thanks to its parallel connection, you can connect two similar generators for a double power supply. 56380i has 3 AC outlets.

  • Duplex 120v 20A (5.20R)
  • 120 30A (TT-30R) receptacle
  • 3 DC outlets

With 12v 8A receptacle, you can charge your battery. The two 5v USB ports can charge electronic devices like mobile phones or tablets.

And the TT-30R receptacles (TT for Travel Trailer) make WEN generators RV ready.

The generator has a closed design (L23.2 * w18 * H 20.1ln) over open frame devices. The advantage of this is you can use it for recreational uses.

At 99.21lbs, this generator is heavy. Besides that, it has a wheel kit and folding handle which allows anyone to displace it with less effort. Thanks to its built-in fuel gauge, you can always inspect the gas level.

When it comes to security, the device has an automatic low oil shut-off and overload protection. The most important feature is it is EPA approved and CARB-compliant.

A CARB compliant certification means California residents can use this generator. Not every portable inverter generator is CARB compliant.

Pros

  • Very fuel efficient with economy mode
  • Comes with USDA approved spark arrestor
  • Reliable

Cons

  • A bit taller than competitors.

5. Best Affordable Inverter Generator – WEN 56203i 2,000 Watt Inverter Generator

Let’s wrap it up with another inverter generator model from WEN’s catalog – the 56203i. In a nutshell, this generator is 2,000-watt strong, it’s remarkably quiet, and it is available at a decently approachable price.

This ultra-light inverter weighs merely 39 pounds, and it’s significantly smaller than most models we’ve covered so far. Another feature ‘responsible’ for its compactness is the easy-carry handle built into its top side.

One of the main reasons why we’ve picked it for our list is its tremendous connectivity. Namely, it features dual 120 Volt ports, a single 12 V DC slot, and dual USB ports. Even though most of its features may seem almost ‘standard’ in comparison to boutique models, the fact that it is equipped with such at an affordable price speaks volumes about its value for the buck. We’re summed up the energy features and information in the pros and cons rundown below.

Pros:

  • Decently durable
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Equipped with a 2,000-watt capacity motor
  • A myriad of connection ports and slots

Cons:

  • Keep in mind that the features don’t excel in any field of performance aside from connectivity

FAQs For Portable Inverter Generators

What’s Efficiency Mode?

The inverter has an Eco mode that is useful if you want to increase efficiency or decrease noise. All you need is to switch it on.

In other words, they work with the generator to reduce fuel consumption and make it run low. A lot of sophisticated technology goes behind it.

Depending on the kind of portable inverter generator you will use, the most prominent function of the Eco-mode is to detect a lower power and make the generator run slow so that you can save more gas.

What is Overload Protection?

It is a smart circuitry feature that detects when the generator is overdrawn and shuts down, blows a fuse or disrupts the circuit. This is the exact opposite of a surge protector.

Is there anything I can do if my fuse blows?

If a fuse of a portable inverter generator blows, it means there’s something wrong with the circuity. At this moment, you don’t need to reset the fuse but turn it on.

A fuse blowing up means there’s a problem, and you need to solve it when you turn it on so that you can know the root cause.

Sometimes the problem is loose connections or frayed wires. All these can cause the fuse to blow.

Our Top Pick for the Best portable Inverter Generator

Inverter Portable generators are the best thing that ever happened to anyone looking for a generator.

These generators offer a powerful combination of the benefits of the conventional generator while spicing it up with the much-needed silence and portability than some of its predecessors do not provide.

Having the right portable inverter generator is a big plus for you as it offers numerous benefits.

You can carry it along when going off the grid, in case of an emergency or if you want to have a back-up plan for all the unplanned, annoying power outages you may face.

From our experience and testing, we think the Champion RV ready portable inverter generator will meet your demands both at home and during camping.

 

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