When the power goes out, or you find yourself a few miles from the nearest outlet, you’ll either need to have your own source of electricity or do without it. If you’re not a fan of roughing it, getting an inverter generator is probably your best option. They have some significant advantages over conventional generators and are especially good for use in homes and RVs, as well as being a much better choice for camping trips and other outdoor events.
When it comes to electricity, especially when it’s necessary for an emergency situation or as a longer-term solution, you want to make sure you have something reliable. Finding out that your generator is out of commission in the middle of winter is no fun at all. Choosing a high-quality generator that fits your individual needs will pay off in the long run by delivering power when and where you need it.
Reviews of the Best Inverter Generator 2018
Below you'll find reviews of ten of some of the best inverter generator for home and RV currently on the market.
|Model||Capacity||Run Time (25% load)||Noise Level|
Best 1000 Watt Inverter Generators
||1000/500||abt 4 hrs||58 db||Check Price|
Dirty Hand Tools 800W
|800/700||abt 13 hrs||52 db||Check Price|
||1200/1000||10 hrs||52 db||Check Price|
Best 2000 Watt Inverter Generators
||2000/1600||12 hrs||61 db||Check Price|
||2200/1800||13 hrs||52 db||Check Price|
|2000/1600||8 hrs||53 db||Check Price|
Best 2000-3000 Watt Inverter Generators
Briggs & Stratton 30651
|2200/1700||8 hrs||59 db||Check Price|
Generac 7117 GP2200i
||2200/1700||10.75 hrs||-||Check Price|
Best above 3000 Watt Generators
Champion Power Equipment 75537i
|3100/2800||8 hrs||58||Check Price|
||7000/5500||18 hrs||60 db||Check Price|
1. EasyFocus 500W 288WH Backup Portable – Best portable inverter generator
Do you need to keep some smartphones going or run some small appliances? If your needs stop there, the EasyFocus may be a good choice, though it’s less of a generator and more of a hefty battery pack. It weighs in at seven pounds but is still built for durability. It’s not gas-powered, but it can be charged up from an AC wall outlet, a 12V DC car jack, or with a solar panel (not included). Surprisingly, the EasyFocus has more ports than many bigger generators: one 120V AC outlet, four 12V DC outlets, and four 5V USB outlets.
The biggest downside is that after the power runs down you’ll have to wait about six to eight hours for a wall outlet or car charger to fully charge it again, though this is pretty average for a battery pack. Using a solar panel takes about fifteen hours, which is more direct sunlight than you can really expect on most days.
If you need to charge up a few devices or take some extra power on the trail with you, the EasyFocus 500W is easy to recommend. It is the only generator on this list that can run on solar, it has lots of charging ports, and it’s light enough to carry around.
- Solid build, but lightweight;
- Can be charged using AC, DC, or solar power;
- Has lots of power outlets.
- Long charging time;
- Not powerful enough to run appliances for long.
2. Dirty Hand Tools 800W – Best low-power generator
This compact gas-powered generator won’t run anything heavy-duty, but 800W of starting power and 700W of running power is enough for most camping appliances, tools, or basic emergency needs. At 19 pounds, it’s one of the lightest generators available. It’s also fuel-efficient, running at 50% for up to eight hours, and it has excellent build quality. It even has a good number of outlets (one 120V AC, one 12V DC, and one 5V USB) for its size.
Unfortunately, the Dirty Hand Tools 800W is a little loud even at lower power, and the volume probably goes up when the engine gets pushed closer to a full load. There are bigger generators that run more quietly, so if noise is a major concern for you, you may want to look elsewhere.
This generator is likely to do well for small-scale work or hobby purposes, emergency needs, and some outdoors applications. Are you planning on camping away from the crowds? Then this generator will do the job. If you’re planning on camping close to other people, it may not be the best choice.
- Only 19 pounds;
- Fuel-efficient design runs for eight hours at 50% load;
- Limited power outlets;
- Loud for its size;
- Just a one-year warranty;
3. Westinghouse iGen1200 – Best quiet inverter generator
The Westinghouse iGen1200 delivers enough power to keep a few essentials going in a home or RV but remains fairly portable (33 pounds). It is fuel-efficient, quiet, and has two 120V AC outlets and two USB ports. Having a three-year warranty is also nice, as you won't have to worry as much about factory defects.
One issue is the lack of any 12V DC ports. While it’s not the most common type of plug, it is nice to have the option to use your car chargers. Is reliability a big issue for you? If so, be advised that the build quality may be questionable. There have been several problems reported with the generator’s parts failing, and Westinghouse’s quality can be questionable, given that the company itself currently manufactures almost nothing, and instead licenses its name to other manufacturers.
Despite the potential issues, this generator is still a good choice in certain situations. 1200W of starting power and 1000W of steady power makes this a good choice for a minimal home backup or RV power. The portability and quiet engine make it suitable for camping and other mobile activities, but the reliability issues may make it a poor choice in emergency situations.
- Relatively light;
- A good number of power outlets;
- Three-year warranty.
- No 12V DC ports;
- May have reliability issues.
4. Pulsar PG2000iS – Best generator under $500
With its sleek, clean design, the Pulsar 2000iS may be one of the nicest-looking generators out there. With 2000W starting power and 1600W running power, it would make a fine home, camping, or RV generator for those looking to run basic appliances. It has 120V AC, 12V DC, and USB ports, so nothing is missing there. It keeps going for 8.1 hours on 25% power or 6.3 hours at half power, which is fairly good. Does buy a less-tested brand freak you out a little, though? If so, the three-year warranty should help with that concern.
As for downsides, there actually aren’t very many. The PG2000iS is a little louder than other generators in its power class, but not unreasonably so. Pulsar hasn’t established much of a reputation for reliability yet, but that doesn’t mean much in itself.
This generator should handle basic needs in most situations. It’s still pretty low-grade as far as power is concerned, but if you don’t need much and you have a budget to watch, this generator is a great choice. It isn’t backed up by a big brand-name, but it’s got the features and design of a more expensive generator.
- Great design;
- Plenty of outlets;
- Good runtime;
- Three-year warranty.
- A little loud;
- Not as well-known of a brand.
5. Westinghouse WH2200iXLT – Longest-lasting midrange generator
The WH2200iXLT puts out 2200 starting watts and 1800 running watts, which is a cut above many of the other generators in this range. It is also a bit lighter, clocking in at only 43 pounds, and runs very quietly. Its best feature, though, is that it actually beats many more expensive generators when it comes to runtime: the fuel efficiency and larger tank can keep the WH2200iXLT going for 13 hours at 25% power. Does filling up three or four times a day sound annoying to you? If so, this may be the answer.
Of course, it can’t be all good news: Westinghouse as a brand has a less-than-stellar reputation for quality, and this generator has a higher rate of mechanical failure than average. The three-year warranty is there, but Westinghouse customer service, as the name may be attached to any other company, may not be consistent. The port options are also just average, with two 120V AC outlets and one 12V DC outlet—no USB.
The WH2200iXLT is very competitive on weight, noise, runtime, and price, making it look like a good pick for anyone who needs a generator with a decent amount of power. More assurance of quality would make this one of the best on the market, but, as Westinghouse’s manufacturer may have cut some corners, this perhaps shouldn’t be a number one choice for vital backup power.
- Fantastic fuel efficiency/runtime;
- Lighter than average;
- Three-year warranty;
- The brand is not completely reliable;
- Limited power outlets.
6. Honda EU2000i – Most reliable midrange generator
The EU2000i has been on the market for a long time and, like other Honda products, it is known as a no-fuss, no-frills machine that won’t let you down in a pinch. Its red casing houses high-quality components that generate 2000W of starting power and 1600W of running power—enough for light use in a house or RV. Its famously quiet, fuel-efficient engine provides over eight hours of runtime at 25% power, and at 46 pounds it won’t break your back.
The most notable downside is that you pay a lot for the brand—Honda generators are consistently more expensive than most of their competition. Not only that, but their minimalist approach doesn’t include many features. The EU2000i, for example, lacks USB ports and an electric start option, which you might expect at the Honda’s price point.
The Honda EU2000i will work for anyone who is looking for a reliable, quiet generator with a great brand name behind it. For emergency needs or long-term power generation, it can’t be beaten. However, Honda keeps it simple, and is often more expensive—anyone looking for more features may be disappointed.
- Honda is famous for reliability;
- Very quiet;
- Great runtime/fuel efficiency.
- Not as many features as other generators in the same price range.
7. Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 – Solid build with a digital display
Though inverter generators are generally quite simple to use, the Briggs and Stratton P2200 makes it even easier by including a built-in load meter to tell you how much power you’re using. This makes it much more straightforward to estimate how many devices you can plug in and how long the generator will run. With solid construction and a decent number of 120V AC and 12V DC outlets (the DC comes with a USB adapter), this generator should work well almost anywhere.
The P2200 is heavier than average at a hefty 55 pounds. Another potential downside is that its noise rating is relatively high, though some side-by-side comparisons suggest it is actually comparable with other models. The fact that it only comes with a two-year warranty and is not from one of the brands best-known for reliability may be another problem for some.
Are you a power geek or a generator newbie? In either case, the digital load meter makes this attractive for anyone who wants to know more about the power they’re using. The slightly lower power rating and higher weight knock this down in the ranking a little bit, but it has a decent warranty and seems like a solid choice for anyone who needs a generator in this power class.
- Digital power load display;
- Good number of outlets;
- Solid construction.
- A little heavy;
- Lesser-known brand.
8. Generac 7117 GP2200i – Weatherproofed for outdoor use
Designed for outdoor use, the Generac GP2200i is light enough (46 pounds) and weatherproof enough to go most places. On a full tank, it will run for a very decent 10.75 hours at 25% power. It includes 120V AC, 12V DC, and USB ports, so you have flexible charging options. Generac is somewhat known for reliability, and given that the GP2200i has weatherproofing against water and dust, it will probably survive for a while.
The 2200W starting power is nice, but there is only 1700W of running power. The generator has not been rated for noise, so it is hard to tell how it measures up in that regard.
Overall, this seems like an ideal choice for outdoor uses and messier environments. The 1700W of power won’t run everything, but it’s probably fine for basic home/RV needs and camping. While the two-year warranty isn’t the best around, Generac’s reputation for quality is better than most.
- Excellent fuel efficiency/runtime;
- Well-known brand.
- Not rated for noise.
9. Champion Power Equipment 75537i – Best inverter generator for RV
The 75537i has a lot of good points, but one of the best is the ability to start it remotely from up to 80 feet away. Will you be using this generator in a harsh climate, or do you just not enjoy going outside? Whatever the temperatures, remote start is convenient and potentially power-saving, as it is easier to switch off and on again depending on your power needs. Rated for 3100W starting power and 2800W running power, it can be used for most homes. It stays decently quiet—for its size—and is quite fuel efficient. On top of the standard 120V AC and 12V DC ports, it has a 30-amp RV outlet—a nice perk if you need it.
It is a little heavy, weighing about 95 pounds, but for generators in the 3000-watt range that is by no means the worst, and it does have wheels. The noise at lower usage levels isn’t bad for its size, but when approaching the maximum load it can get loud. Additionally, the gas tank is only 1.6 gallons, making the runtime fairly short—only eight hours at 25% load.
Overall, the 75537i has a lot going for it: reliability, some neat features, lots of power, a good company, and a good warranty. The biggest mark against it is the short runtime, but that’s not due to inefficient gas usage, just a small tank.
- Enough power to run most things;
- Great outlet options;
- Remote start;
- Reliable build quality and service.
- Short runtime due to the small gas tank;
- A little heavy;
- Can get loud at higher loads.
10. Honda EU7000IS – Massive amounts of power from a respected brand
Anyone investing in this amount of power probably wants to make sure that they’re getting something sturdy. The 7000W Honda EU7000IS is a no-nonsense, top-quality generator with great fuel efficiency, able to run for up to 18 hours on a tank of gas. Though not as quiet as smaller inverter generators, it does very well for its size. With push-button electric start and both 30-amp and 240-amp outlets, you can easily run RVs or directly plug in big appliances like refrigerators or ovens.
The EU7000IS only provides 5500W of running power; it can only run at 7000W temporarily. That’s still enough to run almost anything you need, though. At 260 pounds, it is heavy, but standard for its power class. The ports are also a bit lacking, with only two 120V AC outlets along with the 30-amp and 240-amp outlets mentioned above. This makes sense, though, given that this generator is more suited to large-scale use than phone charging.
Overall, it’s hard to beat this generator for reliability and fuel-efficiency in situations where you need a big shot of power. This will run most things in a full-size house during a power outage and can provide a lot of power to worksites. Given the weight, it is probably best-suited for applications where it will either be stationary for a while or where there is a lot of manpower available.
- One of the highest-powered inverter generators available;
- Honda is well-known for reliability;
- Electric start;
- 30-amp and 240-amp outlets;
- Quiet for its class;
- Three-year warranty.
- Very heavy;
- Missing a few smaller ports.
Best Inverter Generator - Buyer’s Guide
When most people think of a generator, the first thing that comes to mind is the loud and bulky “conventional generator” often found on construction sites and fairgrounds. Inverter generators are still relatively new, but they’re better in almost every way: they are more portable, more fuel-efficient, and much quieter. As an added bonus, they produce power that is safe to use with delicate electronics—like smartphones and laptops—while conventional generators give out uneven current that can damage these devices. Inverter generators are more expensive, but given the more advanced technology that goes into them, they are usually worth it.
You can find the right generator for your needs by answering a few questions:
- How much power do I need?
Inverter generators are usually somewhere between 300W and 7000W. You can check how many watts your appliances use by finding their information stickers, or you can estimate your needs using this tool from the U.S Department of Energy. As a general rule for inverter generators, 1000W and under is for light use, 1000-2000W will run most basic things, 2000-3000W is the lowest you want for a house, 3000-4000W works well as a backup for most houses, and anything above 4000W is if you have higher-than-average power needs.
Inverter generators have a “starting power” that they can generate for a short period of time to supply short power needs, like starting an air conditioner. However, the lower number is what they can actually supply continuously for their entire runtime—their running power. For example, a 2000W/1600W generator can generate 2000W for a few minutes at a time, but only 1600W for several hours straight.
- How much noise do I want?
All inverter generators are quiet compared to the conventional type, but they still have a range in their volumes. You can get models that you can barely hear from ten feet away if you need, but they may be more expensive. The quietest models usually start around 52 decibels, with the loudest models hitting up to 65 decibels. Anything 60 decibels or under can be thought of as fairly quiet.
- How reliable does it need to be?
If you are buying a generator to tailgate, do some light camping, or just make your coffee when the power goes out, you probably won’t need the best engine in the world. However, if power is a necessity, such as in extreme cold or for medical reasons, you may want to invest in a Honda or some other brand that you can be sure will always start.
- How much can I pay?
If price is not a factor, you’re free to pick anything that meets your needs. Otherwise, be aware that there may be a tradeoff between quality and price. Paying less money for a less reliable generator may cost more in the long run. Nonetheless, with more competition appearing in this market, you may be able to find a durable generator that does everything you need for less than the premium models.
All of the above generators have strengths and weaknesses that will make them more or less suited to your specific needs. Honda is always a good choice for simplicity and reliability. For portability, the EasyFocus and the Dirty Hand models pack a good punch for their size. Westinghouse may not have the best reputation for durability and quality control, but their generators offer a lot of power and features at a very good price. The Pulsar, Briggs and Stratton, and Generac models are all fairly similar in price, with some differences in weight and features; any of them are good choices to balance power and portability. The Champion has enough power to do most jobs, and the remote start and high reliability ratings make it a worthy all-around choice.
Inverter generators are the future of portable power, and they are likely to get cheaper and better as the market develops. More generators are starting to incorporate things like digital displays and remote start, and in the future, some may even be controllable with your smartphone. For now, though, this list represents some of the better brands and models on the market.