Best Inverter Generators

When you want a generator that can power your appliances as well as your computer, you need an inverter generator.

Inverter generators are designed to be safe to use with sensitive electronics. That includes computers, smartphones, and any appliances or tools that rely on microprocessors.

What differentiates inverter generators from conventional generators is that they convert AC electricity produced by the engine to DC electricity and then back to AC. The resulting electricity is “cleaner,” with less distortion that can fry your devices.

There are a number of other advantages to inverter generators, too.

Inverter generators tend to be far less noisy than their conventional counterparts. Many small inverter generators produce less than 55 dB at a 25% load – about the same amount of noise as a quiet conversation.

Inverter generators are also more portable because they are more compact and lightweight. Plus, all inverter generators have fully enclosed engines, so there’s no chance of burning yourself on exposed engine parts during transport.

Finally, inverter generators are far more fuel efficient than conventional generators. If you need to run your generator for an entire day without refueling, an inverter generator is the obvious choice.

The main downside to inverter generators? They’re somewhat more expensive than conventional portable generators because of the advanced electrical components surrounding their engines.

Also beware that inverter generators are currently limited to a maximum of about 4,000 watts, so if you need more power you’re likely going to have to opt for a conventional generator. Alternatively, you can connect two models of the same inverter generator in parallel to double your available power.

With those advantages of inverter generators in mind, let’s take a look at 9 of the best inverter generators on the market today.

1. WEN 56200i 2,000-watt Inverter Generator

  • Rated Wattage: 1600 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 51 dBA
  • Weight: 48 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 6 hours (50% load)

This quiet and lightweight inverter generator from Wen is ideal for powering a few appliances on the go.

With a noise output of just 51 dBA at 25% load, you’ll barely notice this generator is running. Even better, that level of quiet won’t cost you an arm and leg like some premium inverter generators from Honda.

Despite offering only 1,600 running watts, the generator isn’t short on outlets. It offers two 120-volt outlets, a 12-volt DC charging port, and a USB charging port to take advantage of the clean electricity.

One downside is that the generator offers a runtime of just six hours at a 50% load. Given that 50% load is just 800 watts, you should expect to refuel this generator every few hours for most uses, even when the eco-mode function is engaged.

The generator weighs just 48 pounds and has a large top carry handle, so you shouldn’t have any trouble moving it around. Note, though, that the extra tall design can make it difficult to store in tight spaces such as inside an RV.

 Pros:

  • 51 dBA noise output at 25% load
  • USB charging port
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Only two-year warranty
  • Short six-hour runtime at 50% load
  • Tall design makes it hard to fit in some spaces

2. Rockpals 2000-watt Inverter Generator

  • Rated Wattage: 1800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 52 dBA
  • Weight: 46 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 6 hours (50% load)

This generator from Rockpals is EPA- and CARB-certified, which is important if you live in California or plan to use it for a road trip in the Golden State.

The generator offers 1,800 watts of running power and 2,200 watts of surge power, which gives you a bit of breathing room when calculating out the wattages of all the appliances you plan to run. However, it’s still a bit small if you’re planning to power more just than the essentials in your home or RV.

The generator is extremely quiet, with just a 52-dBA noise output at 25% load and a maximum 58 dBA output at full power.

While the generator weighs a scant 46 pounds, it can be a little unwieldy due to the boxy design. Don’t let that dissuade you, though, as the large top carry handle is big enough to grab with two people when needed.

One additional advantage to this generator – Rockpals offers a two-year warranty and free lifetime technical support for this generator.

Pros:

  • 1,800 running watts and 2,200 surge watts
  • EPA- and CARB-certified
  • Maximum 58 dBA noise output
  • Two USB ports
  • Free lifetime technical support

Cons:

  • Boxy design can make it hard to carry
  • Short six-hour runtime at 50% load

3. Champion 4,000-watt Inverter Generator

  • Rated Wattage: 3500 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 64 dBA
  • Weight: 81 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 17 hours (25% load)

This powerful inverter generator from Champion is a close competitor to our Editor’s Choice Pulsar generator, with advantages and disadvantages.

The main advantage is that the generator weighs just 81 pounds – a full 12 pounds lighter than the Pulsar model. Note, though, that it comes mounted on a steel frame rather than a set of wheels, which can be good or bad depending on how you expect to use it.

The noise produced by this generator is roughly on par with the Pulsar, at 64 dBA at a 25% load. However, the runtime is significantly shorter. This generator offers just a 17-hour runtime at a 25% load due to its relatively small fuel tank.

While the generator includes a 30-amp RV-ready outlet, it also lacks the convenient USB charging port found on the Pulsar generator.

That said, this generator is several hundred dollars cheaper than the competing Pulsar generator, which can be a deciding factor depending on your budget. It also comes with a three-year warranty and free lifetime technical support from Champion.

Pros:

  • 4,000-watt inverter generator
  • Inexpensive relative to competitors
  • Relatively light at 81 pounds
  • RV-ready outlet
  • Three-year warranty and free lifetime technical support

Cons:

  • Short 17-hour runtime at 25% load
  • No wheels
  • No USB port

4. Westinghouse 2200-watt Inverter Generator

  • Rated Wattage: 1800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 52 dBA
  • Weight: 43 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 13 hours (25% load)

This quiet and powerful inverter generator from Westinghouse is capable of producing 1,800 watts of running power and 2,200 watts of surge power to give you a buffer when running multiple appliances.

On top of that, the generator never exceeds 60 dBA of noise when running at full power. At a 25% load, it produces just 52 dBA of noise so you’ll hardly even know it’s there.

The generator also weighs a scant 43 pounds and is designed to be stowed away in any small space. It’s EPA- and CARB-certified, so you can use it anywhere in the country.

While the generator would be perfect for an RV in every other respect, it only has two 120-volt outlets and a 12-volt DC outlet. There’s no way to connect your RV, even with an adapter, and no USB port to charge your small electronics without hogging one of the two 120-volt AC outlets.

In addition, although Westinghouse provides a three-year warranty on the generator’s engine, users report having difficulty getting any help from Westinghouse’s customer service team.

Pros:

  • 2,200 watts of surge power
  • 52 dBA at 25% load
  • Weighs just 43 pounds
  • Three-year warranty
  • EPA- and CARB-certified

Cons:

  • No way to connect to an RV
  • No USB ports
  • Poor customer service

5. Champion 3100-watt Inverter Generator

  • Rated Wattage: 2800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 58 dBA
  • Weight: 95 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 8 hours (25% load)

This medium-sized inverter generator from Champion is the ideal pairing for an RV.

The generator produces up to 2,800 continuous watts and 3,100 surge watts, so you can power everything in an RV including a small air conditioning unit. For home use, you’ll have the option to power all of your essential appliances plus a few luxury items as well.

This generator is moderately loud, but not unduly so given it’s power output. At a 25% load, the generator produces 50 dBA of noise, while at full blast the generator remains under 70 dBA.

The thing that RV owners will want to take note of is the built-in 30-amp RV-ready outlet. However, while the 120-volt AC outlets and the DC charging outlet have their own circuit breaker reset buttons, resetting the RV outlet requires turning the generator off completely.

Note also that the runtime is relatively short, at just 8 hours at a 25% load. That’s even with the eco-mode turned on. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it’s important to recognize that you’ll need to refuel this generator every few hours in most cases.

Pros:

  • 3,100 surge watts and 2,800 continuous watts
  • RV-ready outlet
  • Compact and portable, with wheels
  • Three-year warranty
  • Lifetime technical support

Cons:

  • No breaker reset for RV outlet
  • Short eight-hour runtime at 25% load
  • No USB charging port

6. WEN 3100-watt Inverter Generator

  • Rated Wattage: 2800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 57 dBA
  • Weight: 81 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 5 hours (50% load)

This generator is a direct competitor to Champion’s 3,100-watt inverter model, and offers a number of advantages that put it ahead for many users.

First, this generator is slightly quieter, with a 57-dBA noise output at a 25% load. More important, it’s almost 15 pounds lighter and has a more compact body overall.

It also addresses one of the major setbacks of the Champion generator: runtime. This generator features a larger gas tank to expand the runtime to 7.5 hours at a 50% load.

Wen retained the 30-amp RV-ready outlet and even added two USB charging ports for small electronics. However, there is still no breaker reset button for the RV-ready outlet, so you’ll have to turn off the generator if that outlet trips.

What really seals the deal for this generator is that it’s slightly less expensive than the Champion generator.

The only downside is that the warranty is not as long and doesn’t include free lifetime technical support.

Pros:

  • 3,100 surge watts and 2,800 continuous watts
  • RV-ready outlet
  • Two USB ports
  • Weighs just 81 pounds

Cons:

  • No breaker reset for RV outlet
  • Only two-year warranty, no lifetime technical support

7. Honda EU3000iS Inverter Generator

  • Rated Wattage: 2800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 49 dBA
  • Weight: 75 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 20 hours (25% load)

This Honda generator comes with a hefty dose of sticker shock – more than twice the cost of many of its competitors that we’ve reviewed.

But, there’s simply no substitute for a genuine Honda engine when it comes to reliability and durability. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for, and this generator is built to outlast any other inverter generator.

This generator also excels in a number of performance categories. For example, it sports an incredible 20-hour runtime at a 25% load thanks to a large 3.4-gallon fuel tank.

In addition, it’s one of the lightest generators in its size class at just 75 pounds.

And more than anything else, it’s quiet. This 3,000-watt generator puts out just 49 dBA of noise at a 25% load – making it quieter even than most 2,000-watt generators.

 Plus, it includes a 30-amp RV-ready outlet, so you can take it with you on the road. Just note there are no USB ports for charging small electronics easily.

Pros:

  • Durable, reliable Honda engine
  • Incredibly quiet for its size
  • Long 20-hour runtime at 25% load
  • Weighs just 75 pounds
  • Three-year warranty
  • RV-ready 30-amp outlet

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • No USB ports
  • No wheels for transport

8. Atima 2000-watt Inverter Generator SD2000i

  • Rated Wattage: 1700 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 5 dBA
  • Weight: 50 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 3 hours (25% load)

The Atima generator comes with a genuine Yamaha engine, which makes the price of this generator surprisingly inexpensive even if it’s at a premium relative to competitors. Yamaha engines, much like Honda engines, are renowned for their durability and incredibly long lifespan.

Beyond that, though, this generator is highly similar to the 2,000-watt competition. It offers 1,700 watts of continuous power, but a relatively short 10-hour runtime at just a 25% load.

In terms of noise, the generator produces 51.5 dBA at 25% load or a maximum of 61 dBA at full load.

While the design of this generator is somewhat unconventional, it’s still lightweight enough for carry at just 50 pounds. The generator’s panel features the standard dual 120-volt AC outlets and 12-volt DC outlet, but there are no USB ports.

The generator comes with a two-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.

Pros:

  • Genuine Yamaha engine
  • 5 dBA output at 25% load
  • Two-year warranty and free lifetime technical support
  • CARB-certified

Cons:

  • Short 10-hour runtime at 25% load
  • No USB ports
  • 50-pound weight is somewhat heavy

9. Champion 2000 Stackable Portable Inverter Generator

  • Rated Wattage: 1700 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 53 dBA
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 5 hours (25% load)

This uniquely designed Champion generator is ideal for scaling your power according to your needs.

The generator offers a stackable frame to allow it to be run in parallel with one or more of the same model. That way, you can increase your available power well beyond the 1,700 watts offered by a single unit, without increasing the noise to the same levels as a single larger generator.

However, given that this is the main purpose of this generator, it’s somewhat pricey. And if you don’t plan on using it parallel, the stacking frame only serves to make the generator heavier and less compact.

Another important note about this generator is that the runtime is relatively short, at just 9.5 hours at a 25% load. It also lacks helpful features like USB charging ports.

That said, Champion includes a three-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.

Pros:

  • Stacking frame for organized parallel operation
  • 53 dBA at 25% load
  • Three-year warranty and free lifetime technical support

Cons:

  • Stacking frame is heavy and less compact
  • Somewhat pricey to buy multiple units
  • Short runtime of just 9.5 hours at 25% load

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a USB port to use my inverter generator with small electronics?

You don’t necessarily need a USB port to be able to use your inverter generator to charge your small electronics. The “clean” energy is delivered to all outlets, so any are safe to use with your devices.

The main advantage to having a USB port is that you can charge your small electronics through it while still leaving both of the 120-volt outlets free for larger appliances that cannot be run from a USB port.

 What if I need more than 3,500 watts of continuous power?

One of the advantages to inverter generators is that two or more of the same model can be connected in parallel to double your available power.

So, if you need more power than a single large inverter generator can supply, you can purchase two units and connect them in parallel. In that case, you’ll be able to deliver up to 7,000 watts of running power through a single outlet.

 Can I use my generator with an RV if there is no RV-ready outlet?

Unfortunately, if there is no RV-ready outlet on your inverter generator, you won’t be able to connect it to your RV’s circuit board. An adapter won’t work in this case because there is no 120-volt/240-volt outlet to plug into on any of the generators we reviewed.

If you want to power your appliances on an RV, then, you’ll need to run the power cords for each appliance out to the generator itself.

Conclusion

Inverter generators offer a huge array of benefits over conventional generators. These include clean electricity that is safe for small electronics, lower noise levels, and more fuel efficient engines.

While inverter generators are slightly more expensive, these advantages are well worth the additional cost in many cases. Our review of the 10 best inverter generators makes it easy to find the inverter generator that will fit your power needs.

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