Inverter generators are currently one of the best sources of portable power. They are lightweight, simple to use and very quiet. The inverter technology provides the so-called clean power which can be safely used to supply sensitive electronics such as laptops or other hi-tech equipment.
If you’re searching for the best inverter generator, look no further. In this guide, I present you the handpicked selection of the highest quality inverter generators currently available on sale in America. By reading my honest inverter generator reviews you’re going to learn what makes some units better than others. With my help, you can rest assured that you will end up with the best portable inverter generator for your needs.
Inverter Generator Comparison Chart
(Start / Running)
|Honda EU2200i||2200 / 1800||48 dB||47 lbs||Temporary Unavailable|
|Yamaha EF2000iSv2||2000 / 1600||51.5 dB||44 lbs||Check Price|
|Champion 7553i 3100 Watt||3100 / 2800||58 dB||44 lbs||Check Price|
|WEN 56200i||2000 / 1600||51 dB||48 lbs||Check Price|
|Westinghouse WH2200iXLT||2200 / 1800||52 dB||43 lbs||Check Price|
|Champion 3400 Dual Fuel||3400 / 3100||59 dB||95.7 lbs||Check Price|
|Generac 6866 iQ2000 Generator||2000 / 1600||53 dB||46.2 lbs||Check Price|
|Westinghouse iGen2200||2200 / 1800||52 dB||46 lbs||Check Price|
|Pulsar PG2000iS||2300 / 1800||59 dB||47 lbs||Check Price|
|Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200||2200 / 1700||59 dB||54.6 lbs||Check Price|
Best Portable Inverter Generators Reviewed – The Top 10
1. Honda EU2200i Inverter Generator
EU2000i has basically become the name synonymous with the “best inverter generator“.
However, Honda made an unexpected move a while ago and decided to discontinue EU2000i and replace it with the newer model – EU2200i.
Was that a wise move from the manufacturer’s side? Does EU2200i perform better than its older sibling?
In fact, it really does!
What has basically changed was the wattage. It increased from 2000 starting watts to 2200.
What stayed the same is the low noise level, the weight, design and finally, the price.
So you technically get more power for the same price without compromising on other features.
Needless to say, Honda has done a very good job with this one.
This super quiet inverter generator is compact and small and capable of generating reliable, clean power. You can also use it in conjunction with another inverter to double the power.
It is a very quiet and portable inverter very often seen on jobsites in the US and worldwide.
It is equipped with the Honda Oil Alerts system which acts as a reliable automatic low oil shutdown mechanism.
This inverter generator also benefits from Eco-Throttle technology. It helps to adjust the fuel consumption based on the current requirements and results in substantial fuel savings in the longer term.
The only thing I really miss in Honda EU2200i is the electronic, or even better – the remote start.
A pull start type works just fine, but that would be the one final great addition to what is already probably the best portable inverter generator on the market.
2. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Inverter Generator
The name Yamaha is the synonym of quality when it comes to portable electronics. Their portable generators are no exception.
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is one of the best inverter generators money can buy. If for whatever reason you don’t like Honda EU2200i (for instance the design), then you should opt for this one.
I have written more about how these two generators compare in this detailed article about Yamaha EF2000iSv2. Make sure to check it out if you want to learn more about Yamaha!
It is a very slick, hi-tech inverter generator offering all important qualities you would expect from a top-notch inverter.
It is remarkably quiet, producing only 51.5 decibels at 25% load. This is comparable to two people having an ordinary conversation.
It clearly becomes louder as you plug in more energy demanding devices into it. However, it remains quiet enough to make it campground-friendly (I’d still recommend to run it only during the so-called “non-quiet” hours designated by federal camping grounds).
It is remarkably fuel efficient. One refueling is enough to make it run for more than 10 hours at 1/2 load.
The auto decompression system makes start up very easy and ready to use within seconds.
The dual coll alternator stator is a quite innovative solution which helps alternate the speed of the engine depending of the current demand. Thanks to this handy feature you won’t waste too much fuel in the idle state.
3. Champion Power Equipment 75531i
The Champion 7553i is a bit more powerful than most of the other inverter generators on the market. It’s 3100 starting watts makes it a very interesting choice for those who have slightly higher power needs. It is highly recommended especially for the RV owners.
You could easily power an AC and an RV refrigerator with this inverter.
Higher wattage obviously comes with a larger engine. This makes this inverter slightly less portable than smaller units.
However, while you won’t be able to carry it on in one hand for sure, the folding handle and the built-in wheels make it significantly easier to move.
The only problem I see with the wheels is that they’re a bit small and placed very close to the body of the generator. This can make them get stuck easily on rougher surfaces such as sand or mud.
It is fully CARB compliant making it possible for residents of California to use it there.
The noise levels are overall pretty low at 50% load. However, you need to be aware that this inverter will become much louder if you decide to plug in more devices.
If you are curious to learn more about Champion 75531i, you can read my detailed review of Champion 3000 watt generator.
4. WEN 56200i 2000 Watt Inverter Generator
WEN is not a very well-known name in the portable generator industry. But this did not prevent them from selling thousands of units of their great inverter generator – WEN 56200i.
Hundreds of Amazon customers have left 5-star reviews of this generator praising its good design and excellent quality to price ratio.
In my humble opinion, this is the best inverter generator in its low price range.
The generator is equipped with an original Yamaha engine. Along Honda, Yamaha is one of the most reputable manufacturers of generator engines.
Therefore you rest assured that WEN will deliver its job well.
However, since you are not paying for the brand in this case, you can get this inverter generator for the fraction of the cost of the original Honda EU2200i or Yamaha EF2000iSv2.
It is remarkably quiet and very lightweight. You won’t have any problems carrying it around.
Fuel efficiency is one of its strongest points. In can run for around 6 hours on a full tank at 50% load. This is a quite impressive result given its small size and weight.
It comes equipped with a 5V USB port – ideal for charging phones and tablets.
While 1600 running watts is not going to blow anyone’s mind, this is more than enough if you plan to take it to the campsite.
A lot of people used it as an emergency supply during the hurricane Irma and were happy with its performance.
It is certainly not a comprehensive home backup solution but it’s still strong enough to power your fridge and a few lights.
It does have a nice Eco-Mode which further helps in optimizing its fuel consumption.
Just like most of the modern inverter generators, it comes with an automatic low oil shutdown mechanism.
Note that there is a reason why this generator is significantly cheaper than Yamaha.
The materials used for finishing are not the highest quality. Its lifespan might not be hence very long, especially if frequently used in rough outdoor settings.
On the other hand, if you don’t plan to use it too often, this generator can offer you a very cost-effective solution to your energy problems.
5. Westinghouse WH2000iXLT
If you are eager to buy a generator from an American manufacturer, you can’t really go wrong with Westinghouse.
This is one of the most reputable electricity companies in the US with more than a hundred years of market presence.
Westinghouse has only recently entered the market of portable generators, releasing some of the finest units money can buy such as WGen7500.
Their inverter generators are also top notch quality. WH2000iXLT is a great example of a portable inverter generator which delivers all major promises to its user.
It is very quiet and camping friendly.
It has got a very long run time of 13 hours at 50% load, which is longer than most of the inverters.
It has a custom built Westinghouse 79cc OHV engine which performs pretty well in a variety of settings.
I really like the user-friendly design of the control panel. The color-coded touch points make it very simple to operate.
If you want to learn more about this inverter generator, click here to read the more detailed review.
6. Champion 3400 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator
While conventional dual fuel generators are nothing new, so far there are not many inverters which can operate both on gas and propane.
The 3400-watt inverter generator manufactured by Champion Power Equipment is one of the few.
This is probably one of the best generators for RV.
It is fully RV ready and powerful enough to provide energy for even larger air conditioners rated at 15,000 BTU.
Thanks to the dual fuel technology it can run for extended periods of time and save you a nice sum of money if you decide to stick to propane which is a cheaper fuel than gas.
However, bear in my mind that the generator’s wattage is slightly lower when running on propane. Having said that, the difference is so small that as long as you don’t try to constantly run in on 100% load (which is never a recommended thing to do), you won’t really notice a difference.
You will be able to run this generator for around 14 hours on one single tank of propane and 11.5 hours on a full tank of gasoline. Note that these figures are for 25% load. If you plan to run an RV air conditioner for extended periods of time, your fuel consumption will be much higher.
The only thing I really miss in this generator is a remote start. It would be a very nice addition to this already good inverter generator.
One last important thing to mention about it is that it comes with the parallel capability.
This means you can get two identical units to double their total power output. In such case, you would have a full power solution capable of providing electricity for nearly all appliances in your RV. It could also be a source of home backup power in case of emergencies.
7. Generac 6866 iQ2000 Portable Inverter Generator
Inverter generators are generally much quieter than ordinary portable units. And the Generac iQ2000 is among the quietest of them all.
The noise you hear when you place it at an approximate distance of 25 feet away from you would oscillate around 53dB. This is quieter than two people having a lively conversation.
Note that this is at 25% load and when using the first out of three available power modes: Economy, Standard, and Turbo.
Depending on which model you choose you’ll get either more available wattage or quieter operation and less fuel consumption.
This is a quite interesting solution and it’s certainly great that IQ2000 gives you the additional level of control.
On the other hand, inverters like Yamaha EF2000is can adjust their work automatically without any effort on the user’s side.
The runtime display is a very handy feature allowing you to see how much running time you have left before needing to refuel.
If you are interested to learn more, you can read the full review of Generac IQ2000 here.
8. Westinghouse iGen2200
Westinghouse is an American manufacturer which never goes on compromises when it comes to the quality of their generators. As for their inverters, there are two models currently being on offer – WH2200iXLT and iGen2200.
The iGen2200 inverter generator is the younger model. It comes in different color schemes, the most interesting one being the camo style – perfect for outdoor use.
It is definitely one of the quietest inverter generators I have come across so far. It produces only 52dB at 25% load which is really not a lot.
This makes it an attractive choice for campers.
You can run it for nearly 12 hours on a single 1.2-gallon tank. However, this depends on the load. It will certainly consume more gas if you constantly run it at close to the maximum load.
Inverter generators are generally ideal for powering sensitive portable electronics like mobile phones.
IGen2200 acknowledges that fact by providing 2 x 5V USB ports which you can use to charge your cameras, smartphones or anything else you need.
A 20A circuit breaker is a great feature which ensures that the generator won’t be damaged if you accidentally try to run it above the maximum load.
It is a top quality portable inverter generator which sells for twice as cheap as Honda EU2200i.
Overall, while this is not the best inverter generator on the market, it remains a highly recommended model.
9. Pulsar PG2000iS
This is another solid inverter generator designed specifically with campers in mind.
It would also perform pretty well at tailgating parties.
This portable inverter generator operates at 1800 running watts which is slightly more than some of its competitors have to offer.
It features an 80cc OHV engine which is capable of running for 6 hours at 50% load. This is a quite decent number, however not as good as some other inverters currently being on sale.
Since I like to use the inverters for powering up mobile electronics, I find it slightly pitiful that Pulsar PG2000iS has got only one USB outlet.
The built-in oil sensor warns you whenever the oil levels become too low. This helps to prevent the damage to the generator’s engine.
One thing which I find a bit worrying in case of this unit is the short warranty – 1 year is not that long and I seriously wished the manufacturer could extend it to at least 2 years.
On the other hand, Pulsar, albeit not as well-known as Yamaha or Honda, is a trusted company and you are very unlikely to have any serious issues with this portable inverter generator.
Even though the manufacturer does not advertise it, you could also possibly use it to power your RV 10,000 BTU air conditioner.
It would also work fine for most of the typical electric tools such as saws of drills.
Overall it is a cost effective alternative to more popular and pricier portable inverter generators.
10. Briggs & Stratton 30651
Briggs & Stratton is a very well established brand on the American market. They make the whole range of portable generators popular among domestic consumers.
This portable inverter generator offers 2200 starting and 1700 running watts which is pretty much an industry standard for inverters of this size.
Diving into its specs we can see that it does not differ much from its competitors in terms of its design, engine build, and operation.
However, in my humble opinion, it does not perform that well as some other inverters.
For example, it can run for up to 8 hours at 25% load which while not that bad, is subpar to some of the other inverters such as Westinghouse IGen2200.
Its noise level is also frankly quite high – 59 dB at 25% load is a bit too loud to classify it as a very quiet inverter generator.
On plus side it offers the parallel capability – you can connect two of this kind to double your total output.
One serious downside is that it is not CARB compliant. You won’t be legally able to run it in the state of California.
Overall it is certainly not a bad inverter and still makes it to my personal list of top 10 best inverter generators catering for the US market.
However, if I were you I would either spend a bit more and get the Honda EU2200i or, if looking for a slightly cheaper yet still excellent unit – Westinghouse WH2200iXLT.
Should you buy an inverter generator or a conventional generator?
For most of the circumstances, I would recommend you to go with an inverter generator as they offer several benefits over the conventional types. This is particularly crucial if you intend to use them with sensitive electronics such as notebooks or tablets. I explain this more in this article about the differences between a generator and an inverter.
However, if you need to power large electric tools (such as MIG welders) or need a generator to power an entire home in case of an emergency – most of the inverters would not have enough wattage to accomplish those tasks. You should rather have a look at large conventional portable generators or even better – dual fuel generators.
Before You Buy – 5 Considerations on How to Select the Best Inverter Generator for your Goals
1. Where do you want to use an inverter generator?
Before you go on and purchase an inverter generator it is absolutely crucial that you determine your wattage needs first.
Most of the inverter generators operate in the 2000 – 3500 running wattage range.
This is more than enough to power multiple smaller electronics (such as TV, computers or speakers).
You could also safely plug in a single larger appliance such as an RV air conditioner or a freezer.
However, with the exception of some large inverters such as Honda EU7000i they might not be the best choice for those who need to power multiple devices.
Click here to check out our wattage calculator which tells you exactly how much power you need and which generators can help you attain this.
Let’s have a look at the 3 most common types of situations you might need an inverter generator for:
Camping and RV
If you only need a generator to charge your mobile phones, laptops and camping lights at night, you can safely go with the smallest models. Even 1000 watt will be enough.
Add a few extras such as an electric grill and you will definitely have to get something bigger. 2200 watts would be a safe minimum.
If you plan to use an inverter generator with your RV, you need a larger unit. 3100 watt is a minimum which guarantees you can run the 11000 BTU air conditioner, an RV refrigerator and a few smaller appliances such as a coffee maker or a TV.
On the other hand, if you need a complete power source for a big RV, you should aim at the inverter generators with at least 5000 running watts. Bear in my mind that these are few and come at a high price tag.
Even the best inverter generator won’t provide enough power to supply the whole house in the event of an emergency.
However, most of the units presented in this guide are strong enough to power the most crucial appliances such as the AC or refrigerators.
Having said that, while a 2200 watt inverter generator can accomplish this, in order to be on the safe side it is always a great idea to leave some extra room in case you need to power an extra set of lights, a phone etc.
A 3100-watt inverter generator would be a good option.
Inverter generators indeed can be used for a lot of jobsites requiring small to mid-size electric tools.
These include chainsaws, rotary hammers, drills, and portable heaters.
On the other hand, you won’t be able to power things like table saws, air compressors or MIG welders.
Check out the table below to find out what you can and can’t power with a typical single inverter generator:
|Tool||Starting Watts||Running Watts||Can use with an Inverter?|
|Welder (200 amp AC)||9000||9000||No. Need a more powerful conventional generator|
|Table Saw (10’’)||4500||1800||Need at least 2 inverters, each with at least 2400 starting watts|
|Air Compressor (1hp)||4500||1600||Need at least 2 inverters, each with at least 2400 starting watts|
|Bench Grinder (8’’)||2500||1400||Need an inverter with at least 2600 starting watts|
|Circular Saw (Heavy Duty type)||2300||1400||Need an inverter with at least 2400 starting watts|
|Breaker Hammer||1250||1250||Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine|
|Rotary Hammer||1200||850||Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine|
|Chainsaw (2 hp, 14’’)||1100||1100||Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine|
|Portable Heater (150,000 BTU)||1000||625||Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine|
|Hand Drill (1/2’’)||900||600||Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine|
|Drill (1/2’, 5.4 amp)||900||600||Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine|
|Portable Heater (90,000 BTU)||725||500||Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine|
|Portable Heater (50,000 BTU)||600||400||Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine|
2. Noise Levels
All inverter generators are much quieter than the traditional portable generators. However, some or quieter than others.
Nobody likes the sound of the generator engine, no matter which kind of situation you plan to use it in.
However, if you intend to bring your generator to a camping ground or an RV park, you should be particularly vigilant about their noise regulations.
Some may ban any kind of generators altogether. In such circumstances, even the quietest generator will get you into trouble.
Federal campgrounds usually allow for generators to run during the daytime hours.
In any case, you should make the quietness of the generator your top priority.
Bear in my mind that the decibel scale is a logarithmic scale meaning that 60 dB sounds way much louder than 50dB. Every single decibel less noise can bring relief to your ears.
I would personally suggest choosing an inverter generator which operates under 55 dB at 25% load.
3. Parallel Capability
Are you worried that you’re gonna end up with an inverter generator not powerful enough? Or perhaps you anticipate you will need something stronger at some point in the future (eg. a home backup power in the event of a hurricane)?
That’s where one of the greatest features of the best inverter generators comes into play – the parallel capability.
In simple terms, it means you can connect two identical inverters to each other to double their total power output.
Example: if you’ve already got a Honda EU2200i and suddenly you realize you need a generator for a larger event – you can buy another EU2200i and plug them together to get 2 x 1800 = 3600 running watts.
All inverter generators mentioned on my Top 10 List have got this functionality.
One important thing to know is that both inverters must have the same wattage or even better – should be the exact same models. Trying to connect a 3100-watt inverter generator to a 2200-watt unit WILL NOT WORK!
4. Clean Energy
First the quick clarification – the word “clean” does not refer to the environmental friendliness of inverter generators in this context. Even though they emit significantly fewer toxic fumes than conventional portable generators, they still run on fossil fuels and are thus not recommended for indoor use.
Clean energy refers to the concept of steadiness of provided electricity. Conventional generators usually suffer from higher levels of Total Harmonic Distortion which is usually much higher than in the case of the electricity grid. They are hence not safe to use with what we refer to as “sensitive appliances” and can potentially damage them. These include laptops, tablets, smartphones etc.
Inverters, on the other hand, operate under the safe 3% threshold which makes them perfectly fine for working with modern electronics.