Inverter generators are considered the best portable power sources for a reason. A generator can be a lifesaver whether you’re in the middle of an emergency power outage at your house or camping and need some extra juice.
What inverter generators are known for is their efficiency they’re able to run longer and quieter, providing a stable source of energy without sacrificing portability and ease of use.
Top 10 Best Inverter Generators
When shopping for the perfect inverter generator, it can be hard to narrow down your options. What provides the best portability, and how much noise level are you willing to sacrifice to get it? How big is too big? What is the difference between all these features?
Deciding which generator is right for you means knowing what technical limitations are most important to your lifestyle. The goal is to pick something suitable for your needs which can mean different things for different people.
Below is the list of our top choices, each portable and efficient in its way. Our goal is to provide you an in-depth review of each so that you can weigh the pros and cons of the inverter generators for yourself. With these reviews, hopefully, you’ll get a good sense of the features you value, and where to start on your generator journey.
1. WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator
The WEN 56200i is a favorite of ours because we value the balance it strikes. You get clean power without a lot of noise. At a quarter load, the engine runs at just 51 dB, making it perfect for a discreet generator to use in the background during various circumstances, like camping, tailgating, and hunting.
It’s designed with advanced inverter circuitry, limits the harmonic distortion to less than 0.3% with no load, and only dips to 1.2% while running at full capacity. That means you can trust it to handle big loads while also protecting your sensitive electronics from harmful power surges.
- One of the quietest models on the market
- Clean, safe energy without fluctuations
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- CARB compliant
- Oil can be difficult to refill
Conclusion: Especially at this price point, the WEN 56200i is a fantastic buy. It performs incredibly well and has plenty of useful and intuitive features that enhance the user experience. At half the price of some of the comparable inverters, the WEN 56200i is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a sturdy and reliable inverter generator.
2. Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
This generator comes with everything you need. It’s rugged, so you know that it’s ready for a day out camping or powering a travel trailer when there’s no power supply available. The Westinghouse WGen3600DF is known for being lightweight and packed with plenty of advanced features that make it useful during a blackout.
Reviews do warn that it’s comparatively heavier and louder than some of the other inverters listed here, but all of them cited that it provided consistent, stable power every time they needed it.
- Consistent power
- Easy to carry
- Sturdy build
- Simple to use
- High noise level
Conclusion: Though it’s one of the more expensive and bulky inverters on this list, the Westinghouse WGen3600DF gets the job done. Its sturdy construction means it’s ready to power whatever you need on RV and camping trips. It’s a robust generator with a reasonable price tag.
3. Champion 3400 Dual Fuel RV Portable Inverter Generator
This dual-fuel generator is perfect for anyone looking for a powerful and quiet camping generator. The Champion 3400 is light enough to carry and pack away for a long weekend, but hearty enough to power even the AC in an RV.
Reviews also cite how quietly it runs as a strong selling point. Users even shared surprise that especially without premium prices of other models like Honda the 3400 could power everything from a camping trip to a refrigerator, even on economy mode.
The amount of time you can use the 3400 will vary based on the fuel you’re using. With gasoline, you can enjoy the Champion 3400 for 7.5 hours. On propane, that runtime stretches to 14.5 hours.
- Dual fuel
- Easy to move around
- Low oil shut-off
- Requires a battery if you use gasoline
Conclusion: The Champion 3400 lives up to the name and runs like a champ, offering reliability, quiet, and power without losing user-friendliness.
4. Westinghouse iGen 2500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
There’s a reason Westinghouse has two inverters in our top five they’re one of the best companies when it comes to portable generators. The iGen 2500 is another in a long line of reliable Westinghouse inverter generators, a tool you can count on to power your devices during an emergency outage or just for outdoor fun.
This generator provides dependable, clean power with minimal distortion. That makes it an ideal inverter for fueling more delicate electronic devices, like your TV or computer, no matter where you are in nature.
However, it’s not the easiest to transport, since it lacks wheels like some other models on this list. But it does have a handy LED screen, which can provide easy access to everything going on with the inverter, from the voltage to the fuel amount even the average electricity used.
- Easy-to-use LED screen
- Safe for more delicate electronics
- Has a spark arrestor
- Good price point
- Not recommended for heavy power tools
Conclusion: The Westinghouse iGen 2500 is an outstanding choice for anyone looking for an efficient generator that still puts out a lot of power. Especially for its price point, the iGen 2500 is simple to use, generates cleaner, reliable energy, and protects your electronics.
5. Yamaha ef2000isv2
Though this model has a pull start instead of an electric start button, the ef2000isv2 is about as simple as inverter generators come. It is easy to operate, uncomplicated to link up to appliances, and with a few strokes, you’re off to the races.
The Yamaha ef2000isv2 weighs in at just 44 pounds, meaning it’s convenient enough to take anywhere. It’s ideal for things like camping trips, where you need a lot of maneuverability without sacrificing support time. With a gallon tank, the generator can run for approximately 10.5 hours.
It’s also one of the quietest generators on the market, running between 51.5 and 61 dB while using its Pulse Width Modulation system to stabilize the output. This machine is an ideal option for those who prize quiet with their inverter but still want consistent power.
- Lightweight and portable
- Smart throttle
- Impressive output (peaks at 2,000 watts)
- Long runtime
Conclusion: This is the generator to pick if you want to ensure quality performance. Yamaha is a trusted brand for generators for a reason, and the ef2000isv2’s easy-to-use design and excellent inverter system make it a reliable investment with a long shelf life.
6. Champion 3100 RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
Especially for a generator this size, the Champion 3100 is an excellent specimen. It’s got a powerful output clocking between 3,100 surge watts and 2,800 running watts which can run large appliances within or outside the home.
Its features don’t stop there, either. A quick-touch panel provides convenient access to controls you need during operation. You can fire the 3100 up with just a flick of the ignition switch.
While it’s overall pretty quiet as inverters go, the noise will get louder when it’s running a heavier load. With a standard level of output, however, you can trust it to be about 58 dB.
- Can support big appliances
- Easy touch panel for operation control
- Relatively quiet
- Compact design
- The noise level increases with heavier loads
Conclusion: The Champion 3100 is a real powerhouse. It can support larger appliances without a problem and provides easy controls without sacrificing those shiny features we all love. In our opinion, this is one of the best deals you can find for an inverter without paying a premium price.
7. Briggs and Stratton P2200 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator
Why give up the finer things for a night of camping? That’s exactly the kind of compromise you can avoid when you have the Briggs and Stratton P2200. Whether you’re in the middle of a tailgate party or a worksite, you can trust the P2200 to deliver stable (and quiet) power to your devices.
However, unlike other Briggs and Stratton products, this one has a reputation for quality control issues. Some units stand the test of time, while others don’t last the summer but Briggs and Stratton are great about honoring their warranties (24 months in this case).
Thanks to cutting edge inverter technology, the P2200 outputs a steady 1,700 watts of running power, with less total harmonic distortion than other inverters on this list. It can also adjust its power level to match its load meaning you’ll save fuel and can trust the P2200 to run longer and more efficiently.
- Stable power
- Automatically adjusting energy speed
- Low noise level
- Long runtime
- Quality control issues
Conclusion: The Briggs and Stratton P2200 is a powerful inverter you can count on for outdoor activities close to your home. When you need steady power for power tools or tailgating, the P2200 seems like a great place to start.
8. Champion Power Equipment 3800 Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
If you’re looking for an affordable and adaptable power solution, the Champion 3800 is a great choice.
It provides excellent value for its price level it’s perhaps best to use for something that requires more power output, as a home during an outage or an RV. It’s easy to use and reliable for everything from emergency power to your home.
After choosing either gas or propane, the 3800 can easily start with the touch of a button and run a massive 3,800 running watts. All that power can last for nine hours at a 50% load but it won’t be quiet. Expect this one to run around 68 dB on average.
- Dual fuel
- Touch start
- A louder model
Conclusion: The Champion 3800 lives up the name with a ferocious output of 3,800 running watts (and 4,750 starting). The dual-fuel function and touch start button make it a breeze to use, no matter your circumstances. That said, expect this to be a louder inverter when it’s running.
9. Generac IQ2000 Super Quiet Gas Powered Inverter Generator
The Generac IQ2000 is an all-around attractive model. It’s got a sleek modern design, stable performance, and an appealing price.
It’s easy to look at the IQ2000 as a one-stop solution to power problems because it has it all. The IQ2000 is easy to control, and has an impressive performance life, lasting nine hours on approximately a gallon of gas.
Though the IQ2000 is easy to maintain and tune-up, the generator can only handle so much. Many reviews say it’s best for powering smaller electronics and appliances, as it can only sustain one big device at a time.
- Easy to regulate and read operations
- Excellent engine
- Fuel efficient
- A bit underpowered not good at powering more than one big device at a time
Conclusion: Overall, this inverter is easy to use, provides premium performance, has a high level of fuel efficiency, and is extremely portable. The whole thing feels very intuitive to use, with a sleek LED display helps you switch through different modes, and even hook up a parallel kit if necessary.
10. Honda EU3000IS
There’s a reason this is one of the most highly praised inverter generators on the market. What this model lacks in portability and price it makes up for in reliability and power.
Honda’s inverter technology makes power that is much more stable and consistent. That helps protect your devices from surges that can damage their efficacy. It’s known as one of the best 3,000-watt models available, with 2,800 watts of continuous power that make it a versatile engine you can feel comfortable running air conditioning, lights, even appliances in your home without worrying that the Honda will drop out.
The Honda EU3000IS is also extremely fuel-efficient, with 3.4 gallons to fill and potentially up to 20 hours of use.
- Powerful and reliable engine
- Highly fuel-efficient
- Long runtime
- Runs quietly at 58 dB
- Heavier than typical inverters
Conclusion: The Honda EU3000IS1A highlights why you can trust Honda engines. It has superb features and the latest innovations in inverter technology to help it run cleaner and more efficiently.
Although it’s heavier than you might expect, it’s easy to relax once it’s in place and trust it to do its job. It’s a long-term investment to be sure, but we believe it’s worth it.
What Is an Inverter Generator?
Standard generators and inverter generators may power the same devices, but they do not function in the same way. An inverter gets its name from the process that happens when you turn the generator on. The machine converts the voltage using a microprocessor from to DC and then “inverts” it back to AC.
In the end, you’re still getting the same output of AC electricity that a conventional generator provides, but without the same surges and fluctuations that a standard generator sees. By converting the electricity back and forth, the machine ensures that the power you’re getting is “clean,” creating a perfect sine wave of energy. That lowers the risk of power surges, which protects devices and creates more stable energy.
How Does an Inverter Generator Work?
The name “inverter generator” comes from the electrical work the generator is doing when it’s running.
Inverter generators transform DC power to AC power, eliminating any fluctuations that come with it. The generator’s alternator produces high voltage power that gets converted to DC, which is then shifted to AC by the inverter.
When it’s fired up, an inverter generator throttles the engine to meet the demand of whatever it’s powering. That makes for a more “stable” output of power when it’s running. The power that comes with an inverter generator is considered high quality but remains smooth and clean.
Inverter vs Generator: What’s the Difference?
The main difference between these two types of generators is how they run. When you run it, an inverter adjusts its power level based on the devices it’s feeding. Instead of running at a constant speed, an inverter is continuously adapting its speed.
That’s not the case with a conventional generator. They need a certain speed to deliver 120 volts of electricity typically 3,000 RPM and keep a stable current. After getting a boost from your preferred fuel (the most typically used power source), the motor works with the alternator to produce a steady output of electricity.
If your conventional generator’s engine speed changes at all, you’ll notice it. That fluctuation will result in a vacillation of the frequency of electrical output.
The other main difference would be the portability. An inverter generator is smaller, lighter, and may even have wheels, making it easier to bring on the go.
Conventional vs. Inverter: Which is Better?
There’s been a long list of advancements in generator technology lately, which may leave you wondering exactly what an inverter generator is, compared to a standard generator. There are several reasons that an inverter might have more advantages than a conventional generator.
Because the inverter generator is continually varying the amount of power it is generating, its efficiency is higher, and it is generating cleaner electricity. You probably won’t need as much fuel, because you won’t be burning through it as fast.
With an inverter, there’s also less technical maintenance required unlike conventional generators, they don’t need any special treatment for standard upkeep. They can be more easily paired with other units for parallel capability without a new transfer switch connection.
They also generally run quieter than your standard generator options, are more lightweight and portable.
Inverter Generator Features
What are the features that make an inverter distinct compared to other types of generators on the market?
Design and Output: Inverter generators are designed with portability in mind. In most cases, they’re manufactured to have a closed design that is more convenient to move. That limits them to a slightly lower maximum output, but they’re still plenty powerful for most jobs.
Safe Energy For Sensitive Electronics: Our sensitive electronics are often the ones we use most. That means our inverters have to be up to the task of powering them without putting them in danger.
An inverter’s energy output doesn’t fluctuate or surge as much as other generators. Closer to a perfect sine wave, inverter generators protect your delicate electronics from power surges that can fry them over time.
Suitable for Noise Restricted Areas: Most inverters sit between around 61 dB or slightly louder than a normal conversation. That means your inverter generator can run in more places without worry about noise restrictions.
Better Fuel Efficiency: A gas and propane inverter generator dynamically respond to the load it’s working with, meaning it adjusts the fuel need accordingly. As a result, there’s a marked difference in how fast a traditional generator burns fuel compared to an inverter.
Parallel Operation: Some inverter generators can connect to another inverter and double their power output using a special cable. Since inverters run smaller and quieter than other generators, that makes it easy to increase your power demands on the go.
Portability: New inverter generators are quite light, as low as 30 pounds in some cases. Those small engines are more compact than their conventional counterparts. Given how quiet the generators run, they’re easy to run and power your devices no matter where you need to go.
When You Need a Lot of Power: If you’re hoping to power every device in your house during an emergency outage, you’ll need more than the inverter can provide. Inverters are designed for powering select appliances, or on a camping trip. Inverters do, however, allow for parallel capability, allowing you to double your output.
When Price is Not an Issue: Though inverters have a higher price point than other generators, reviews suggest the features are worth the price and we agree. An inverter provides many advantages to conventional generators, including that they’re more fuel-efficient and portable than other types of generators.
Considerations Before You Buy
1. Where do you plan to use your inverter generator?
Where you depend on using your generator can drastically alter the best inverter for you.
- Camping, RV
If you’re camping or living in an RV and need to move around a lot, it might be more advantageous to find an inverter generator that is easy to maneuver. That may leave you with a smaller engine and power output.
For camping, that might be fine, since most of what you need to run (a camping stove or charging devices) 1,000 watts or less should be ideal. With an RV, you may require a little more juice for your plugin appliances, which might set you up with a mid-range inverter (with can power between 2,000 to 4,500 watts).
- Home Back up
In the event of an emergency due to an outage, you’re going to need a lot of power to support the vital machines and appliances in your home. Most large inverter generators top out at 7,000 watts, which should cover the key devices until the power returns. If you hope for more than that, it might be time to look into a bigger, more conventional generator.
- Work Sites
To keep midsize power tools functional at a worksite, you’re going to want an inverter with a range of 2,500 to 4,500 watts.
The closer you plan on being to your inverter while it runs, the more important it is to be prepared to prioritize volume in your selection. Keep in mind that many generators may boast a quieter speed only to be louder when dealing with a heavier load.
Parallel capability is simply running two generators together. Often these are the same brand and size inverter, and the effect is that you double the power.
Not all inverter generators can do this (or do it well), but if you find an otherwise perfect model that lacks power, this might be a good technique to explore.
The cleanliness of an inverter generator could be considered two things: Certain types of fuel (like propane) will burn cleaner, so you don’t need to clean your generator as much, but it also refers to the stableness of the energy source. When inverter generators produce a cleaner sine wave (meaning a steadier source of energy) that protects your devices from surges.
If you plan on using an inverter to power delicate electronics televisions, computers, and other things with a microprocessor that makes them sensitive to electrical quality it’s crucial to have a generator that can provide the cleanest energy possible.
Avoid These Mistakes When Buying an Inverter
- Stay focused on how the specifications of the machine can serve you and don’t be swayed by flowery language or overpromising on the part of the manufacturer.
- It’s probably better to buy an inverter from a well-known brand, especially if you’re new to inverters. Their customer service is more reliable.
- The best inverter for you won’t necessarily be the most expensive. Compare the price at different places and see if you can get everything you need while staying within your budget.
- If all else is equal between two inverters, let the best warranty win.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Inverter Generators Worth It?
We would say so! Although inverters come at a more premium price compared to conventional generators, they are much more adaptable. They’re quieter and more efficient and, these days, equipped with the latest technology to keep them both those things as well as easy to use.
Unless you’re looking to power a whole lot in an emergency, inverters manage to more than get the job done. Even better, because they provide more stable, fuel-efficient power, you can likely count on making your money back in the long term.
Can an Inverter Run a Fridge?
They can, though not all of them. You’ll want to look at least the midsize range (2,000 to 4,500 watts) if you’re hoping to power a fridge in an RV or a home.
Why Are Inverters So Quiet?
There are a few reasons that inverters are considered quieter than their conventional generator counterparts. Their engines are generally smaller and more responsive to the load, meaning they both produce less noise and don’t run at the same rate when they’re on. Inverter generators are also enclosed, which muffles the noise even further.
Can You Use an Inverter Indoors?
You should not use it indoors, as the exhaust from a generator can be dangerous and deadly in enclosed places. An inverter generator should always be placed outside to let the fumes properly vent.
Can You Get an Inverter Wet?
Getting an inverter wet can increase the risk to both you and your generator. If you plan on leaving it outside (and opening it to elements like rain), keep it under a tent or tarp to lower the risk of shock or damage to the device.
When you’re buying an inverter generator, it’s crucial to think about the situations you will or may want to use it in. Though there’s plenty of inverters on the market, the one that’s “best” will be so because it’s the most convenient for you.
The best way to go about shopping for an inverter generator is to establish what features you want and need most. Every generator on this list can provide a good amount of stable power once you start it up, and you can trust that you’ll be able to use it for at least nine hours. But that is certainly not the only thing you need to take into serious consideration when you’re purchasing an inverter.
Figure out what size, maneuverability, noise level, and power output you need for best use. From there, scroll through our recommendations and see what kind of inverter fits your needs best.