Inverter generators are currently among the best sources of portable power. They are lightweight, simple to use and very quiet. The inverter technology provides the so-called clean power that can be safely used to supply sensitive electronics such as laptops or other hi-tech equipment.
If you need the best affordable 2000 watt inverter generator for camping, small jobs or outdoor fairs – we’d recommend the WEN 56200i. It is one of the most trusted and quietest generators out there. It also costs only the fraction of the price of its more expensive competitors.
Especially since Honda EU2200i generators were recalled in the US in March 2020, WEN is in our opinion the best cost-effective alternative to Honda.
If you need a portable generator For RV, you should get the one with more wattage. 3000 watt is a recommended minimum to run things like an AC and refrigerator. In our opinion, the Champion 3400 Dual Fuel Inverter is the best option. It is a reliable quiet dual fuel inverter generator with a dedicated RV outlet. It’s an ideal choice for most travel trailers.
If you need more information about the best inverter generator suitable for your specific needs, keep reading. We have spent more than 25 hours researching 42 different inverters available for sale in America. We have selected 10 models that in our opinion outperform the competition.
Read our inverter generator reviews to learn more about each unit and what makes these generators better than others.
Inverter Generator Comparison Chart
|Inverter Generator||Wattage |
(Start / Running)
|WEN 56200i - Best Choice||2000 / 1600||51 dB||48 lbs||Check Price|
|Champion 3400 Dual Fuel - Best for RV||3400 / 3100||59 dB||95.7 lbs||Check Price|
|Westinghouse iGen2200||2200 / 1800||52 dB||46 lbs||Check Price|
|Yamaha EF2000iSv2||2000 / 1600||51.5 dB||44 lbs||Check Price|
|Champion 75537i 3100 Watt||3100 / 2800||58 dB||44 lbs||Check Price|
|Generac 6866 iQ2000||2000 / 1600||53 dB||46.2 lbs||Check Price|
|Westinghouse WH2200iXLT||2200 / 1800||52 dB||43 lbs||Check Price|
|Pulsar PG2000iS||2300 / 1800||59 dB||47 lbs||Check Price|
|Honda EU2200i||2200 / 1800||48 dB||47 lbs||Check Price|
|Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200||2200 / 1700||59 dB||54.6 lbs||Check Price|
Best Inverter Generators Selected
1. WEN 56200i 2000 Watts
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 our opinion, this is the best inverter generator in its low price range.
This excellent generator costs only the fraction of the price of the original Honda EU2200i or Yamaha EF2000iSv2.
It is remarkably quiet and very lightweight. You won’t have any problems carrying it around.
The fuel tank has got a total capacity of 1 gallon.
Fuel efficiency is one of its strongest points. In can run for around 6 hours on a full fuel tank at 50% load. This is 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 economy mode that 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 Honda.
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.
2. Champion Power Equipment 3400 Dual Fuel 3400 Watts
While conventional dual fuel generators are nothing new, so far there are not many portable inverter generators which can operate both on gas and propane.
The 3400-watt portable inverter generator manufactured by Champion Power Equipment is one of the few.
This is by far one of the best portable generators for RV.
With its dedicated 30 amp RV outlet, this portable generator is ready to be connected to your RV straight from the box.
It is powerful enough to run the most demanding appliances such as the 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, note 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 full load (which is never a recommended thing to do), you won’t really notice a difference.
You will be able to run this portable generator for around 14 hours on one single tank of propane and 11.5 hours on a full tank of gas. 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 portable inverter generator.
On a positive note, it is a very quiet portable generator for its size. It produces much less noise than conventional generators.
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 a case, you would have a full power solution capable of providing electricity for nearly all appliances in your RV. It could also be a reliable home backup power source in case of emergencies.
3. Westinghouse iGen2200 2200 Watts
Westinghouse is an American manufacturer which never goes on compromises when it comes to the quality of their generators. As for their inverter generators, 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 52 decibels at 25% load which is really quiet.
This makes it an attractive power source for campers.
You can run it for nearly 12 hours on a single 1.2-gallon gas tank. However, this depends on the load. It will certainly consume more gas if you constantly run it at close to the full 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 that ensures that the generator won’t be damaged if you accidentally try to run it above the maximum load.
It is a really good portable inverter generator which often sells for twice as cheap as Honda EU2200i.
Overall, while this is perhaps not the best inverter generator on the market, it remains a highly recommended model.
4. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 2000 Watt 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 a quarter 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 of the gas tank is enough to make it run for more than 10 hours at 1/2 load.
The auto decompression system makes startup 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 gas in the idle state.
5. Champion 75537i 3100 Watts
The Champion 75537i is a bit more powerful than most of the other inverter generators on the market. Its 3100 starting watts make it a very interesting choice for those who have slightly higher power needs.
It is fully RV ready and as such is one of the best choices for RV.
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 carry 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 comparatively quiet inverter will become much louder if you decide to plug in more devices.
The generator is also reasonably fuel-efficient. You can run it for up to 8 hours on a single gas tank at 25% load.
If you are curious to learn more about Champion 75537i, you can read our detailed review of Champion 3000 watt generator.
6. Generac 6866 iQ2000 2000 Watt Generator
Inverter generators are generally much quieter than conventional generators. 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 53 decibels. 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 Mode, Standard, and Turbo.
Depending on which model you choose you’ll get either more available wattage or quieter operation and lower gas 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, inverter generators 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.
7. Westinghouse WH2000iXLT 2200 Watts
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 inverter generators.
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.
8. Pulsar PG2000iS 2000 Watts
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 can operate 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 inverter generators currently being on sale.
Since I like to use the inverter generators 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 or drills.
Overall it is a cost effective alternative to more popular and pricier portable inverter generators.
9. Honda EU2200i 2000 Watt Inverter Generator
EU2000i has basically become the name synonymous with the “best inverter generator“.
A while ago Honda discontinued the Honda EU2000i and replaced it with the newer upgraded model – EU2200i.
Was that a wise move from the manufacturer’s side? Does EU2200i perform better than its older sibling?
In fact, as our detailed review of Honda EU2200i proves – 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 stable 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 output. (it’s called paralleling)
It is a very quiet and portable inverter very often seen on job sites in the US and worldwide.
Its noise level at 25% load is only 49 decibels – that’s really whisper-quiet for a generator!
It is equipped with the Honda Oil Alerts system which acts as a reliable automatic low oil shutdown mechanism.
This power inverter generator also benefits from Eco-Throttle technology. It adjusts the engine speed and fuel consumption to the current requirements. This can save you a lot of money on fuel in the longer term.
The only thing we 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.
10. Briggs & Stratton 30651 2200 Watts
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 inverter generators 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, its performance can’t really match some of the top inverter generators out there.
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 inverter generators such as Westinghouse IGen2200.
Its noise level is also frankly quite high – 59 decibels 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 our list of top 10 best portable inverter generators catering for the US market.
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 generators. 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 inverter generators would not have enough power 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 an Inverter Generator for your Goals
1. Where do you want to use your inverter generator?
Before you go on and purchase an inverter generator it is absolutely crucial that you determine your power needs first.
Most of the inverter generators operate in the 2000 – 3500 running wattage range.
This is more than enough power to run 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 inverter generators such as Honda EU7000i they might not be the best choice for those who need to power multiple devices.
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 a 1000 watt generator 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 operate an inverter generator with your RV, you need a larger unit. A 3100 watt generator is a minimum that 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.
Even the best portable inverter generator won’t provide enough continuous 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 job sites 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 Level
All inverter generators are much quieter than the traditional portable generators.
The quietest ones operate within the 50 – 60 decibels threshold.
Nobody likes the sound of the generator engine, no matter which kind of situation you plan to use it in.
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 quiet generators to run during the daytime hours.
In any case, you should make the quietness of the generator your top priority.
Bear in mind that the decibel scale is a logarithmic scale meaning that 60 decibels sound way much louder than 50 decibels. Every single decibel less noise can bring relief to your ears.
I would personally suggest choosing an inverter generator that operates under 55 decibels 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 inverter generators 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 watts = 3600 running watts.
All inverter generators mentioned on our 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 is not going to 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 instead to the quality of the sine wave and the steadiness of provided electricity and power quality.
Conventional generators usually suffer from higher levels of Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) which is usually much higher than in the case of the electricity grid.
They produce the so-called modified sinewave.
They are hence not safe to use with what we refer to as “sensitive electronics” and can potentially damage them. These include laptops, tablets, smartphones etc.
Inverter generators, on the other hand, operate under the safe 3% total harmonic distortion threshold. They produce a clean sine wave, which makes them perfectly fine for working with modern electronics.
How does an inverter work?
The engine of a portable generator produces the alternating current (AC). The AC power is later converted to the direct current (DC).
Then the inverter technology does its magic.
It basically converts the DC current back to the alternating current rated at 120 volts and 60Hz. That is a standard for the AC power supplied by the American state grid.
The inverted alternating current delivered by these generators is therefore much more similar to the one you get from your wall sockets. This kind of AC power is safe to power all sensitive electronics.
It’s much cleaner and more stable than the raw alternating current produced by conventional generators.
Frequently Asked Questions about Inverter Generators
Which is better: inverter or generator?
Inverter generators have several advantages over conventional units. They’re quieter, more fuel-efficient and lighter. Most importantly, you can use them to power sensitive electronics such as laptops, TVs and mobile phones.
However, if you need a big generator with high total power output, eg. for home – most inverters will be too small for you.
Overall, an inverter is a better choice for camping, RV, small jobsites and outdoor stalls.
A conventional generator would be a better choice for demanding construction sites or for home backup.
Can an inverter generator run a refrigerator?
Yes, most inverter generators in the market can run a refrigerator. A typical home refrigerator usually needs 1200-2000 starting watts to start and run properly. A 2000 watt inverter will be perfectly sufficient to run it.
We always recommend going with a more powerful generator, in this case – at least 3000 watts. This would give you a bit more spare power at your disposal and allow you to run a few other things besides the refrigerator and freezer.
Are inverter generators worth it?
In most cases – totally yes. Thanks to the built-in fuel-saving technologies, inverter generators consume less gas than conventional generators. So even though you would have to spend more money on an inverter, you would save quite a lot of money in the longer term on fuel.
If you are looking for even higher savings, you should consider getting a dual fuel inverter such as the Champion 3400 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter. Running the inverter generator on propane would save you even more money. This would also give you more flexibility in terms of fuel choice – a very important thing during emergencies.
Why are inverter generators so quiet?
First, inverter generators usually have smaller engines that produce less noise. Inverter technology also automatically adjusts the engine speed to the current load, so that the engine does not run constantly at the same speed. This further helps decrease noise levels and reduces fuel consumption.
The closed structure of inverter generators also prevents the engine from excessive shaking, making the whole system quieter.
Several quality inverter generators such as the ones made by Honda also feature built-in mufflers to further minimize their noise.