- Updated Mar 16, 2020
- Writen by Editorial Staff
9 Best Inverter Generators of 2020
- Updated Dec 16, 2019
- Writen by Editorial Staff
Whether you’re preparing to go camping, host a tailgating event, or simply planning for a rainy day, an inverter generator is an invaluable source of alternative power.
It is quieter, more fuel-efficient, easier to maintain, and produces a higher-quality electrical output compared to conventional generators.
Because inverter generators have a low total harmonic distortion (THD), they are the best for powering sensitive electronics such as phones, laptops, tablets, and other delicate appliances.
Dive into our top 9 inverter generator reviews to help you choose the model that best meets your home or outdoors backup power needs.
- 9 Best Inverter Generators – Reviews
- 1. Champion 100302 – High-Performance Inverter Generator
- 2. Champion 75531i – Best All-round Inverter Generator
- 3. Champion 73536i – Best Budget Inverter Generator
- 4. Wen 56200i – Best Inverter Generator for Small Appliances
- 5. Pulsar G2319N – Best Inverter Generator for Tailgating
- 6. Generac 7117 – Most Portable Inverter Generator
- 7. Honda EU2200i – Best Inverter Generator for Camping
- 8. Westinghouse iGen2500 – Easy-to-use Inverter Generator
- 9. Wen 56380i – Low-maintenance Inverter Generator
- How to Buy the Best Inverter Generator
9 Best Inverter Generators – Reviews
1. Champion 100302 (High-Performance Inverter Generator)
2. Champion 75531i (Best All-round Inverter Generator)
3. Champion 73536i (Best Budget Inverter Generator)
4. Wen 56200i (Best Inverter Generator for Small Appliances)
5. Pulsar G2319N (Best Inverter Generator for Tailgating)
6. Generac 7117 (Most Portable Inverter Generator)
7. Honda EU2200i (Best Inverter Generator for Camping)
8. Westinghouse iGen2500 (Easy-to-use Inverter Generator)
9. Wen 56380i (Low-maintenance Inverter Generator)
1. Champion 100302
(High-Performance Inverter Generator)
2. Champion 75531i
(Best All-round Inverter Generator)
3. Champion 73536i
(Best Budget Inverter Generator)
4. Wen 56200i
(Best Inverter Generator for Small Appliances)
5. Pulsar G2319N
(Best Inverter Generator for Tailgating)
6. Generac 7117
(Most Portable Inverter Generator)
7. Honda EU2200i
(Best Inverter Generator for Camping)
8. Westinghouse iGen2500
(Easy-to-use Inverter Generator)
9. Wen 56380i
(Low-maintenance Inverter Generator)
1. Champion 100302 – High-Performance Inverter Generator
- Peak/Rated Watts: 4000Watts/3500Watts
- Engine: 224cc 4-stroke
- Fuel Tank Size: 2.9 Gallons
- Run Time: 17 Hours (25% load)
- Noise Level: 64 dBA (from 23 feet)
Champion 100302 is a high-performance inverter generator. It packs enough peak and running power and extended run time to support power-intensive appliances.
The generator has the most powerful of all the models we have reviewed. It produces 4000 watts of starting power and a steady 3500 watts of running power, which is enough to power most of your home appliances, or an RV if you’re out camping.
Its 224cc 4-stroke engine has a large-capacity fuel tank of 2.9 gallons, which is able to achieve a steady run time of 17 hours while on a 25% load. This is almost an entire day of constant power supply.
This generator is RV-ready with a 120V, 30Amp RV output, 2 120V 20Amp household outlets, and DC and USB outlets.
You can expand the generator’s power by using a parallel kit (sold separately), which connects 2800-watt or higher inverters.
The Champion 100302 high-performance generator is, however, very heavy at 81.6 pounds, but it has a wheel kit to simplify transportation and portability.
2. Champion 75531i – Best All-round Inverter Generator
- Peak/Rated Watts: 3100Watts/2800Watts
- Engine: 171cc 4-stroke
- Fuel Tank Size: 1.6 Gallons
- Run Time: 8 Hours (25% load)
- Noise Level: 58 dBA (from 23 feet)
Wrapping it up is Champion 75531i, the best all-round inverter generator that packs a lot of power for both home and outdoor use, and has energy-saving features to enhance efficiency.
This inverter produces 2800 watts of running power, which is more than enough for overnight camping, a tailgating weekend, or even as a backup for your home in case of a power outage.
Its power combined with a 171cc engine will easily support all your essential appliances at home, and even sensitive electronics because of its clean and stable supply with low THD.
Safety is another key focus of this inverter. It comes with push-to-reset circuit breakers and a low-oil shutoff sensor that will automatically stop the engine in case of extremely low oil levels.
Another reason this inverter takes the all-round crown is cold-start technology, which ensures that the generator starts even in cold weather, which tends to affect many gas tools.
The Champion 75531i inverter generator is heavy at 83.8 pounds, but it has never-flat tires and a foldable U-shaped handle to simplify transportation and storage.
3. Champion 73536i – Best Budget Inverter Generator
- Peak/Rated Watts: 2000Watts/1700Watts
- Engine: 80cc 4-stroke
- Fuel Tank Size: 1 Gallon
- Run Time: 9.5 Hours (25% load)
- Noise Level: 53 dBA (from 23 feet)
Generators can be very pricey, which is why Champion 73536i stands out as the best budget inverter generator on our list.
It is certainly not cheap, but it costs almost half the price of some premium models in the market, for some high-quality features.
With noise levels of 53 dBA from 23 feet, this generator is one of the quietest you can find and is thus great for camping, tailgating, and as a source of backup power for your home.
The generator is made using the patented stackable design, which is space-saving especially during parallel connections. You can place an additional 2000-watt inverter on it to double the power output.
Another great feature of this inverter is its smart economy mode, which is designed to reduce electrical load dynamically thus extending engine life, fuel economy, and achieving quieter operation.
You get 2 120V, 20Amp household outlets, and a 12V DC outlet to charge your devices.
The Champion 73536i inverter generator doesn’t, however, have a USB output to support compatible devices.
4. Wen 56200i – Best Inverter Generator for Small Appliances
- Peak/Rated Watts: 2000Watts/1600Watts
- Engine: 79.7cc 4-troke OHV
- Fuel Tank Size: 1 Gallon
- Run Time: 6 Hours (50% load)
- Noise Level: 51 dBA (from 22 feet)
Wen 56200i is the best inverter generator for powering your small and sensitive electronics such as mobile devices, laptops, tablets, and ballast lights because of its well-balanced features.
It has a starting power of 2000 watts and a steady output of 1600 watts, which is more than enough to power multiple small electronic devices.
With a 79.7cc 4-stroke engine and fuel tank size of 1 gallon, this generator promises 6 hours of run time on a 50% load, which means that if the load is lighter, you get extended runtime.
As for appliances’ safety, the generator produces less than 1.2% THD, which is optimized to protect your delicate devices by providing a smooth and constant flow of power.
This model is even quieter than its rival above, with a 51dBA noise level at 22 feet, meaning you can comfortably run it at home without worrying about noise disturbance.
An issue we noted with the Wen 56200i is that during winter or the cold season, it may take several pulls at the recoil cord to get it started, a process that requires a bit of effort.
5. Pulsar G2319N – Best Inverter Generator for Tailgating
- Peak/Rated Watts: 2300Watts/1800Watts
- Engine: 80cc, 4-stroke OHV
- Fuel Tank Size: 1.18 Gallons
- Run Time: 6 Hours (50% load)
- Noise Level: 59 dBA (from 10 feet)
Pulsar G2319N stands out as a great inverter generator for tailgating because of its sleek and compact design, low weight and parallel capability.
It features a ‘suitcase’ design, which makes the generator look sleek when carrying it in your hand. Speaking of carrying, it weighs only 47 pounds, which is much lighter than most rival models.
Another handy feature of this generator is its parallel capability, which allows you to run two Pulsar G2319N simultaneously with double the power (3600 watts), using a Parallel Kit.
You can expect 6 hours of run time at 50% load from the 80-cc 4-stroke engine and a 1.18-gallon fuel tank. At quarter load, you can expect run time in excess of 10 hours.
With a noise level of 59 dBA at 10 feet, the generator is virtually noiseless. If you set it further away from the party, you’ll barely notice when it is running.
An issue that some may find limiting is that its running power of 1800 watts is not the best for intensive appliances.
6. Generac 7117 – Most Portable Inverter Generator
- Peak/Rated Watts: 2200Watts/1700Watts
- Engine: 80cc OHV
- Fuel Tank Size: 1.2 Gallons
- Run Time: 10.75 Hours (25% load)
Generac 7117 is the most portable inverter generator with its low weight and compact size, which also makes it great for cook-outs and open-air festivals.
This generator has a total weight of 46 pounds, which is the lowest we have recorded of all the models on our list. It also has a firm built-in handle you can use to simplify the transportation process.
It features Truepower technology, which provides clean and stable power that safeguards your sensitive electronics, appliances, and other tools.
The generator has a simplified start dial that integrates the ‘choke’, ‘run’, and ‘stop’ function to make it easy for you to operate. It has an economy mode that enables enhanced fuel economy and excellent noise reduction.
This inverter generator is also parallel-ready like most of the other models we have reviewed. The feature allows the connection of another generator using a parallel kit to expand power output.
We did note, however, that the power outlets of the Generac 7117 are limited to 3; a 120V 14.1-amp outlet, and a USB outlet, and a 12V DC outlet.
7. Honda EU2200i – Best Inverter Generator for Camping
- Peak/Rated Watts: 2200Watts/1800Watts
- Engine: 121cc
- Fuel Tank Size: 0.95 Gallons
- Run Time: 8.1 Hours (25% load)
- Noise Level: 48-57 dBA
Honda EU2200i takes the crown for the best inverter generator for camping. This state-of-the-art generator is impressively quiet and is great for those activities that require a noiseless operation.
This generator is super quiet, operating between 48 dBA and 57 dBA noise levels. It is the only inverter generator on our list, which has a noise level below 50dBA.
If you’re out camping or at home, and you need more power, it is possible to connect an additional EU2200i using the parallel option for additional power.
It comes with Honda’s exclusive Eco-Throttle System, which offers great fuel efficiency, and a run time of 8.1 hours at 25% load on a 0.95-gallon fuel tank. The whole unit is considerably light at 46.5 pounds, thus supporting portability for outdoor use.
Honda’s inverter technology is acknowledged as an industry leader and will provide clean and steady power for your home appliances as well.
The only issue we noted with the Honda EU2200i is its steep price, which makes it inaccessible to many potential buyers on a budget.
8. Westinghouse iGen2500 – Easy-to-use Inverter Generator
- Peak/Rated Watts: 2500Watts/2200Watts
- Engine: 98cc 4-troke OHV
- Fuel Tank Size: 1 Gallon
- Run Time: 10 Hours (25% load)
- Noise Level: 52 dBA
Starting us off is Westinghouse iGen2500, an inverter built to simplify its operation process using a digital display helps you monitor the performance of key components and functions.
Unlike most other inverter generators, which have LED indicators for monitoring fuel, oil, overloads, and other functions, this model comes with an intuitive and detailed LED data center, which displays fuel levels, power output, voltage output, and remaining run time.
Besides the intuitive digital display, this generator is notably quiet, with noise levels of 52 dBA, which is higher than most of the rival models on our list.
At 10 hours of runtime at 25 percent load per gallon of gas, this inverter generator is one of the most fuel-efficient you will find in the market.
With its rated power of 2200 watts and less than 3% total harmonic distortion (THD), this inverter generator promises to power and safeguard your home appliances for long.
The Westinghouse iGen2500 inverter generator may be easy to use, but it doesn’t come cheap. It’s one of the more costly models we have reviewed.
9. Wen 56380i – Low-maintenance Inverter Generator
- Peak/Rated Watts: 3800Watts/3400Watts
- Engine: 212cc 4-stroke OHV
- Fuel Tank Size: 2.2 Gallons
- Run Time: 8.5 hours (50% load)
- Noise Level: 57 dBA (from 22 feet)
Wen 56380i positions itself as a great low-maintenance inverter generator that will save you time and money in the long-term.
The generator features a fuel shutoff function, which prevents blockage and utilizes the remaining fuel in the carburetor before it proceeds to shut down the generator automatically.
This is especially great because the generator packs one of the most powerful engines we have reviewed, producing 3400 watts of running power from a 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine.
At 50% load, this generator will run for up to 8.5 hours. It also produces clean power with its 1.2% THD, meaning it will protect delicate electronics such as phones, laptops, and tablets.
You also get a digital display and multiple output receptacles including a 120 V 20Amp TT-30R outlet for your RV.
The only downside we noted with the Wen 56380i low-maintenance generator is its weight of 111 pounds that makes it hard to transport, although it has a collapsible handle and built-in wheels to simplify that.
How to Buy the Best Inverter Generator
1. Peak/Rated Watts
The power output of your inverter generator is represented in two main forms: peak watts, and rated watts.
Peak watts, also known as starting watts, is the maximum surge power your inverter can produce at a given instance.
Rated watts are the maximum amount of running power your inverter produces. You’ll notice that peak watts are always greater than rated watts. For instance, an inverter may be rated 3500W (peak)/3000W(rated).
When shopping for an inverter, your main focus should be on rated watts as this is the power it will be producing while running.
Inverter generators are powered by gasoline engines, which convert DC power to stable and clean AC power. From our reviews, we noted that most inverters have a 4-stroke overhead valve engine (OHV) engine.
The strength/volume of your engine will be measured in cubic centimeters (cc). Some of the high-performance engines, which produce the highest number of watts are above 200cc. Low-to-mid-range engines produce up to 100cc of power.
It’s worth noting, however, that most high-performance engines increase the overall weight of your inverter generator.
3. Fuel Tank Size
The size of your inverter generator’s fuel tank will affect its run time, and gross weight when fully loaded.
Since inverters aim at being compact and lightweight, they do not have overly large fuel tanks. Fuel tanks of 2 or more gallons are considered lightweight.
Most of the inverters we reviewed had tank capacities of between 1 and 2 gallons, which is enough to achieve several hours of run time.
4. Run Time
Run time is the duration of time your inverter generator will run on a full tank and given the amount of load.
It’s worth noting that your inverter’s load will always vary depending on devices connected and other factors.
Therefore, the standard of measuring run time is hours per 25% or 50% load. Most inverters have a decent runtime, averaging over 8 hours of run time at 25% load.
Some high-performance models with powerful engines and larger fuel tanks are able to achieve over 10 hours of run time with the same load.
5. Noise Level
A top priority for most buyers of inverter generators is their noise level ratings, or the loudness of the tool produces per a given distance.
The measure for loudness is A-weighted decibels (dBA), and the standard for measuring noise levels is dBA per 22 or 23 feet.
Inverter generators with noise levels of less than 50 dBA per 22/23 feet are considered noiseless. Mode models have noise levels of 50 - 60dBA, which is are impressively low and manageable.
6. Clean Output (Outlets)
It is the ability of inverter generators to produce clean and stable output that makes them preferable to conventional generators.
Inverters use different technologies to reduce their total harmonic distortion (THD) to low levels of less than 3% on a full load. They are, thus, able to produce power similar to that in your home.
With multiple AC and DC outlets, the inverter generator is able to support essential home appliances, and power even sensitive appliances such as phones, computers, tablets, and special lighting with clean output.
7. Fuel Economy
Inverter generators have impressive fuel economy especially considering the small sizes of their fuel tanks.
They achieve fuel economy by automatically adjusting their engine speed to produce only the required power by the current load. In some models, this feature is called the smart economy mode.
No energy is wasted as is the case in conventional generators, which run at constant speeds. Inverter engines can run at lower RPMs while maintaining constant power and frequency.
We’ve covered inverter generators extensively and demonstrated why they are essential sources of alternative or backup power.
When shopping for your inverter, remember to check is power output in watts, which determines how much load it can support. Engine and fuel tank sizes also matter because they affect inverter run time.
Other key considerations are fuel efficiency, clean output, and noise levels.
You can always jump back to our top 9 inverter generator review and buying guide to help you choose a model that delivers on your power needs best.