While nobody likes to have huge machines occupying unnecessary space for the sake of providing electricity, it is important to always have a backup in case you do not have access to a power source nearby. This is where best power inverter comes to your rescue.
A power inverter converts a direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). You can use this power for any electrical purpose. However, not all power inverters are reliable.
A good power inverter is one that lets you use up to 1000 watts, is portable, reliable and easy to use. So, if you are headed out to buy one, take a moment to read my in-depth reviews. I have spent hours on research to select top 10 products to narrow down the options for you. Maybe I can help you find the best power inverter at the best price.
Best Power Inverters of 2017
Peak 3000-Watt – Best for RV
This is accompanied with LED indicators for fault and power. This inverter is specifically design to run heavy-duty electronic machines including refrigerators and chainsaws.
To have a short circuit happen when a person is near the inverter is a dangerous thought. Therefore, the makers have provided protection against short circuits, fluctuations in voltage and over temperatures.
The inverter comes with battery connection cables for ease of use. Unlike other machines, it boots perfectly without making loud noises due to its soft-start technology.
Since it supplies 3000W of continuous power, you can run 4 devices at the same time for hours without any issue.
It is an ideal buy for people who have solar powered houses or solar powered devices that they might want to run on an inverter. Though the makes have included adequate protection against short circuit, overload and high/low voltage, you shouldn’t exceed the max input voltage of 15.6 volts.
One drawback that tags along with the inverter is that it has only one USB outlet. Therefore, your USB powered devices might have to wait a while before they are put to charge. This is a time taking process.
The package includes battery connection cables. But what you need to really remember is that this machine is compatible with 12-volt battery systems only. Abstain from using a system with lower or higher volt than this.
This Peak inverter is an ideal buy for long trips. It works great and can power heavy-duty devices with little effort. Even on long trips, you can easily connect anything that you want to run on battery and it will work just fine.
However, it might sometimes itself turn on its fan to cool itself which becomes a little noisy. If you can deal with that, then this is surely the inverter you should go for.
KRIËGER 1500 Watt – Best to Buy
This inverter converts 12 volts of direct current to 120 volts of AC current. You simply need to connect your battery cables to the battery of your vehicles and the power is in your hands.
It is always reassuring to know that someone has your back in times of struggles. This inverter has all the protection you will ever need.
The LCD display on the inverter keeps you informed regarding any kind of overload, temperature, input and output volts and the level of the battery. This way, you know beforehand if anything wrong is about to happen. It even displays details regarding short circuit.
The best thing about this inverter is that it comes in a very small size and can power small appliances as well as power tools. With an automatic power supply, it can easily run vacuum cleaners, blenders, and other similar power tools, hassle-free.
If you need power for a long time for a party or any other occasion, you can simply plug it into your car battery. You will be able to start your car even while it is connected to the inverter.
It is ideal for users who prefer small electrical appliances to huge ones. Even though it has a petite build, it can power solar units up to a limit. With quality and compactness fused into one unit, the inverter keeps you informed regarding its functioning and safety and battery needs through its display.
However, the entire notion of remote control is wrongly explained through its wired remote control. But if you can deal with the remote controls being wired, then there is nothing to stop you from buying this inverter.
BESTEK 400W – Best for Travel
And with a starting Wattage of 1000, you can safely run any electronic equipment that requires low operational wattage but high starting wattage. This is not something you’ll get with a regular inverter at this price range.
What I loved about the inverter was its dual 110V outlets. I could easily charge my laptop and camera together. It only made things faster and I didn’t need to wait for hours for my gadgets to get charged.
It has 4 USB charging ports that make it perfect for simultaneously charging your phones or other USB-powered devices. Two of these ports are 2.1, one is 1A and another one is “Auto”.
For safety reasons, the company has provided built-in fuses that can be easily replaced and a cooling fan that prevents the inverter from heating up too quickly. It also provides protection from short circuits.
If you are going to power up your inverter by plugging it into cigarette lighter port, do keep note of the power requirements of your electronic gadgets, even though the 26” plug is well-proof against overload and short circuit protection.
Coming to the build quality, the inverter is solid yet lightweight enough to be carried during road trips.
So, if you are someone who needs to call the company numerous times before they can finally get on with the product, then you might want to look further.
This power inverter is ideal for people who always have something or the other plugged into their power sockets. It can carry multiple loads at the same time without any heating issues.
If portability is also a major concern for you, you will be quite pleased with the closely-packaged design of the inverter. If you can get past the poor customer service, the product is quite a value for money deal.
BESTEK 300W – Best Inverter AC
It provides 300 watts of continuous power and 2 AC outlets that enable quick charging. 2 USB ports are also provided to power USB devices.
With the help of a cigarette lighter plug, it can be plugged into any car. However, you have to make sure to keep the car running to use the inverter. It is mainly because the cooling fan will remain switched on all the time.
I have learnt a great deal about inverters so far in my life. I can assure you that it’s just a myth. Only devices that use AC adaptors and certain types of medical equipment like CPAP, oxygen concentrators should not be connected to inverts like this.
Besides this, even though it ensures the basic protection like any other power inverter, its unique multi protection system protects your devices when charging as well.
Like the previous BESTEK inverter in this list, the USB ports of this unit also remains switched on even when the inverter is off. However, this also means that you can’t keep the devices plugged in as long you want, as it will drain the battery.
Because it is a car inverter, the makers have armed it with all kinds of protection from drops and bumps while on road. The cooling fan comes really handy and reduces the heat of the inverter.
This BESTEK inverter is specifically designed for cars and is ideal for long trips and vacations. The inverter does not need to be turned on every time you want to use it. You simply need to plug in the device that you want to charge and you are good to go.
On the downside, the fan remains switched on all the time and produces an annoying grunting noise. So, this is one issue that you might need to adjust with. Otherwise, the power inverter packs quite a punch to last you through your long road trips and hours of power cut.
ENERGIZER 500W – Best for Laptop in Car
The inverter is backed by an ultra silent thermal fan that hardly makes any noise when in use.
I highly appreciate the fact that the inverter can be permanently installed as it has a built-in mounting post. It is one of the very few inverters to provide 9.6A charging capacity for a USB port.
And what’s more, it has 4 such USB ports. However, I have noticed that the charging speed reduces significantly when more than 3 items are connected.
It quickly charges your gadgets and works just fine with any car that it is plugged in to. However, it could have done better with sturdier connectors.
There are times when you are so badly in need of a power inverter but don’t want to spend hundreds of bucks on it. This is one such inverter that you can invest in without thinking twice.
It is best suited for people who love traveling. Due to its ultra silent fan, you won’t even realize its presence while taking a nap in your RV.
Cobra 1000W – Best for Trucks
It has a tougher build compared to the other inverters in this segment. It provides 1000 watts of continuous power and a peak power up till 2000 watts.
With 2 Alternating current outlets, two appliances can simultaneously be plugged in. You will also get a 2.1A USB charging ports for USB powered devices like smartphones and MP3 players.
A major plus of the product is the direct cables included in the package. Using this, you can easily take power from the vehicle battery.
Its pentagon protection also shields the machine against the thermal shutdown and has a low voltage alarm. Its digital screen keeps the user updated regarding battery life and voltage.
I’d advise you to go for a deep cell battery to ensure optimal stability and performance. Another minor but significant feature I want to highlight is that the meter tells lets you monitor the load.
This is a perfect match for a person who wants all the household facilities in his car or RV. However, the wires that came along with it did not work properly for me.
So, I had to get these changed. But it works fine once I replaced the wires.
This inverter is ideal for cross-country travelers or people who are mostly on road. They will definitely need to carry a lot of electronic appliances along with them.
This Cobra inverter provides ample wattage of power to last you for a considerable period of time on the road. The wires might sometimes turn out to be faulty. Thus, check them before putting the inverter permanently to use.
Besides this, all the features are pretty much up to the mark.
It is a modified sine wave inverter, best suited for powering up household electronic devices like TV, fan, laptops as well for car repair works.
So, you need not be worried in cases of overheating, overcharging or overloads.
I was impressed by the size of the product when I first saw it. It is my go-to inverter whenever I am out for a relaxing road trip on my RV.
With a long cigarette lighter cable, the inverter can be extended till the back seat of your vehicle. It has been neatly housed in a durable metal casing. This protects it from bumps and drops on the road.
On a camping trip, the inverter will come handy in running the air mattress pump. Do keep in mind that you will have to keep the vehicle on if you want consistent power supply.
In an otherwise near perfect device, a limitation like this is heartbreaking.
An ideal inverter for frequent travelers, Foval has all the features that are required by oner. You can plug in two gadgets at the same time to increase the speed at which your work gets done. However, it can provide a power only up to 300 watts.
This came as a drawback for me as I needed my inverter to be more capable than that for my automobile repair projects. However, if your maximum utility does not increase beyond 300 watts, you can definitely consider investing in this power inverter.
Maxboost 300W – Best for Camping
First things first, assembling the inverter was a breeze for me. The structure is compact enough to be carried during outdoor trips.
If your RV or house has a solar system panel, you can simply connect the inverter to it using the 4 mm banana jack inputs.
This way it can provide maximum power depending on the device. During long rides, I can simultaneously charge my Macbook, binge watch GoT while my partner charges his phone. That way, we don’t end up fighting for the car charger.
It has a considerably long cable that goes with all vehicles. It protects you from short circuits, overheating, overloading and overcharging.
It is well fitted in a durable metal casing. This protects it from bumps on the road.
Even if it is not the best power inverter money can buy, it is certainly one of the best ones for travelers. You can optimize your devices using the built-in chip in the USB port. This gives it an edge over its competitors and provides an efficient charging facility.
The bottom line is that it lets you charge your laptop, camera battery or any other small device while the car is running with no issue.
Bravo View 1600W – Best for Van
Bravo Power inverter comes to your rescue right at this point.
With 800 watts continuous power and dual USB port, you can charge your gadgets and electronic belongings anywhere. It also has two AC outlets.
So, whether you got normal appliances or USB powered devices, you can easily charge them together by simply plugging them to the inverter.
I have installed this as a backup inverter in my 18 wheeler and it fully charges my laptop within 2 hours while the vehicle is running. I can’t ask for more.
The good thing is that this inverter is that it comes with direct battery cables using which you can use power directly from the vehicle’s battery. Besides this, these cables are 3 feet long and thus ensure ease of usage.
It also provides protection from thermal shutdowns and short circuits. However, it turns off if used for products consuming around 150 watts but works fine with ones that consume lesser power.
This inverter is not meant for charging heavy-duty appliances like drilling machine or refrigerator.
If you are in need of a simple and portable inverter for inflating air mattresses during camping or charging your camera battery when you’re off to the wild, this could be a decent purchase.
PowerDrive – Best Power Saving
Power Drive inverters provide 1000 watts of continuous power and a start up wattage of 2000 which is suitable for a wide array of electronic devices including sound systems, TV, microwave oven and electric skillet.
If you need a power backup for carpentry jobs, you might be slightly disappointed.
It cannot pull off enough amps to run a high-end chainsaw or circular saw. However, low-key power tools will work just fine on it.
But on the brighter side, you won’t have to keep the car running constantly when the inverter is in use. There’s an alarm which will buzz as soon as the battery is too low.
It also employs a built-in breaker that protects the machine from short circuits and overloading.
This is an overall good product and a perfect fit for its price too. You don’t have to keep your vehicle running when you’re using the inverter. There’s a built-in alarm to notify you about the low battery status.
It is also packed with premium safety features to prevent overloading and short circuit.
However, it has only one USB port. But if that is not a big deal for you, then you should definitely go for this product.
Best Power Inverter – Buyer’s Guide
How Does a Power Inverter Work?
A power inverter takes up the power from a car’s battery and converts this direct current to alternating current. It does so because all the various appliances that run in a household run on alternating current.
Large electronics also run on alternating current. Thus, a power inverter converts DC into AC and enables you to run all appliances hassle free.
The power inverter is what does the work of this converter. It can be used to run various electrical appliances by connecting the inverter to the car and the appliances to the inverter.
Most of the electronics that we use at home require a pure sine wave, thus many inverters have added features that create pure sine waves.
What is a Power Inverter for a Car?
There are different types of inverters that are used to function in a car.
The two main kinds from among them are modified sine wave and pure sine wave inverters.
As the name suggests, modified sine wave inverters produce modified sine waves.
This type of inverters tries to clone pure sine waves by making the voltage go straight up and down.
These are mostly suitable for running simple household electronic items. For delicate medical equipment and upscale sound systems, you should opt for a pure sine wave inverter.
On the other hand, pure sine waves produce sine waves that are closer to the alternating current produced at home. There are numerous gadgets that need a continuous power supply.
LED TVs, audio systems, medical equipment work to their maximum efficiency on pure sine wave.
How Do You Convert AC to DC?
The work of converting alternating current to direct current is done by a rectifier. The easiest way to convert AC to DC is to use diodes.
Diodes are devices that allow current to pass easily from positive to negative terminals but not so easily from negative to positive terminals.
Even though the bridge rectifier has converted the AC to DC, the resulting current is not a steady voltage. Due to too many ripples in this resulting direct current, the circuit can malfunction.
Therefore, this resulting DC needs to be further filtered in order to make it steady.
For this purpose, two kinds of rectifiers can be used- half-wave rectifiers and full wave rectifiers. The former uses only one diode.
It is so called because it allows the passage of only half of the AC current. These are simple to construct.
How Long Can You Run an Inverter on a Car Battery?
How long your inverter can run on a car battery depends on two things- how much power you are using and what the capacity of your battery is.
(10 x (Battery capacity)/ Load)/2
This formula will give you the length that your inverter can run on the car battery.
How Long Does a Power Inverter Last?
As already mentioned, how long your power inverter lasts depends on how much load you are attaching to the inverter.
If you use the entire wattage of the battery at once, then dividing the wattage of the load attached by the voltage of the battery will give tell you how long the inverter will last.
Keep in mind that if you follow this method, the result that you get will be very less number of hours depending on the capacity of the battery.
However, that is so only because here, our load voltage is equal to the battery capacity.
Can I Use a Car Battery for the Inverter?
We can definitely use car batteries to power the inverter.
However, car batteries are designed for light operations and needs to be kept full most of the time.
Using a car battery for an inverter means draining it with a considerable amount.
This is usually not suggested.
Deep cycle batteries are a better choice as they guarantee longer life cycles.
But you need to be aware of the fact that lead-acid batteries are not sealed, there are chances that the acid might spill.
Do Car Inverters Drain Battery?
Whether car inverters drain the battery or not will depend on whether the engine is running. If the vehicle is being driven or the engine is kept running, then the inverter will not drain the battery.
So, it is better to stop using the inverter before shutting down the engine or always keep a deep cycle battery as a backup.
How Many Amps Does a Power Inverter Draw?
To find out how much power an inverter draws you simply need to divide the load watts by 20. This will provide you with a number of amperes that a power inverter draws.
The Bottom Line
Blessed are the creators of power inverters who provided us with instant relief systems during emergent situations. There are various brands that will provide you with various features.
So, make a list of features that you will need in an inverter and then make your choice. If I were to suggest an inverter, I would at once, go for PEAK 3000W.
However, if you want to go for a smaller and easily portable inverter, then KRIËGER 1100-Watt is what you should pick.
In the end, the best power inverter for you depends on your needs, so choose wisely.