When you’re looking for a new power inverter, whether that power inverter is for your car, home, RV, truck, or boat, there are a few things that you should know before you make your purchasing decision. There are a huge number of power inverters on the market and sometimes it can be overwhelming to sort through all the information and truly understand what you should be looking for in a new power inverter.
Before we jump into what you should be looking for in a power inverter you first need to know what exactly a power inverter is, and what they do. Most of you reading this article will already have a good understanding of power inverters, but for those of you who don’t, we will give a quick rundown of what power inverters are, what they do, and some resources for you to go through if you want a more in depth understanding. If you're interested in learning more about power inverters, see our deep dive at the end of this article.
Top 10 Best Power Inverter Brands and Model
Renogy Pure Sine Wave Inverter
GP 3000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter
POTEK 2000W Power Inverter
Samlex 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Magnum 2800W Pure Sine Inverter with 125 Amp Charger
Tripp Lite SMART1500
Cobra PRO 2500W Professional Grade Power Inverter
Wagan EL3804 Pure Line Inverter 1000 Watt
Xantrex Freedom XC PRO 2000W
Bestek 2000 Watt Power Inverter
How To Choose A Power Inverter
There are some essential things to consider before selecting the best inverter. So before I take a look at some of the best ones out there. Here are things to keep in mind:
1. What Type Of Inverter Is Needed?
Depending on whether you’re planning to use the device on the road or as a backup power supply for the home, then that determines what type you’ll need.
If you need to power your devices in an RV, car, or boat, then you’ll want a cheap rv power inverter and charger. If you are setting up a power supply back up for the home, then you’ll be best suited with an rv inverter/charger.
2. What Size Of Inverter Is Needed?
The next thing to consider is how much power the inverter will be able to supply. Inverters range from only being able to power one or two devices at once, up to running an entire household.
The best way to know what size of inverter you need is to look at the wattage rating for each device or appliance that will be plugged in. Add that wattage together to get the total that needs to be supplied.
Leaving yourself some head room is advisable too, as it’s best to be able to cover a little bit more, rather than not being able to get what you need to run.
3. What Should Be The Input Voltage?
The amount of power that can be dished out by the inverter is limited by the voltage that is supplied through it. If you’re running it off of a car, then the power is likely coming from either a 12 volt or 24-volt battery.
If the voltage of the battery can’t provide the inverter with enough ability to run what you need, then you may have to scale it down and run fewer devices.
4. Modified Sine Wave Inverter vs Pure Sine Wave Inverter
With power inverters, they process the power as a wave in one of two ways, either as a True Sine Wave or as a Modified Sine Wave. A pure sine wave inverter will offer more consistent power, with fewer interruptions or surges.
If you are using more precision type devices that need the power level to stay the same throughout usage. Then going with a pure sine wave inverter is the better option.
Modified sine inverter are cheaper, and still provide efficient power, but they are less consistent than pure sine wave types, so more professional-grade equipment may not work adequately with them.
Recommended Top Rated Power Inverters
Below are some of the inverters we reviewed that I felt were the best available on the market:
The 6 Best Power Inverters Reviews in 2021
1. Renogy 3000W Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter
The best of the best in terms of performance, reliability, and value for its price, the Renogy 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter is our clear choice for the number one best power inverter in our guide. Designed and built by one of the most well respected names in renewable energy products, the Renogy 3000 is my personal go to power inverter for my solar powered batteries at home and for my RV trips. Additionally, wherever I am going on a slightly extended car camping trip, usually 3 days or more, I like to take my Renogy 3000 rather than the BESTEK 2000, which is our runner up power inverter.
Although I personally do not have an off grid power system running in my house, a member of our team is currently transitioning to a fully off-grid power system and the Renogy 3000 pure sine wave power inverter is one of the power inverters that he is using. Of course you will need more than 3000 watts to power a home but knowing that he has been relying on the Renogy 3000 for everyday use is one of the reasons it is in our number one spot. For a lot of people power inverters are used for things such as camping trips, RV trips, or days out on the lake, and while these are all great uses, having an inverter that can work day in and day out is very important to us here at Powermurt. We would love for a day to come where everyone is using solar powered batteries and power inverters to power their houses and with more power inverters like the Renogy 3000 coming out every year that dream may one day become a reality.
Of course the Renogy 3000 comes with certified 3000 watt continuous power and up to 6000 watt surge power, I tested up to 5500 watts and had no issues, but what really makes this model stand above the rest of the inverters on our list is its consistency. Like I said earlier I don’t normally use power inverters everyday however to test this I connected my 500 watt fridge and 2000 watt air conditioner to the power inverter just to see how it would go. After a week of continuous use there was only one minor hiccup where I needed to reset the inverter but overall the test was a complete success. To get that continuous power for an entire week was amazing and although it did need to be reset once, compared to other 3000 watt power inverters that I have had previously there was simply no comparison.
Combined with its remarkable consistency and power, the Renogy 3000 also has a state of the art cooling system that allows it to remain operational for days at a time. These three factors are what made me place it atop our list of best power inverters and I have no doubt that this is where it belongs. I would recommend this power inverter to basically anyone who is looking to buy an inverter as it is almost guaranteed to satisfy. With the power to run a good amount of machinery, the consistency to remain active for long periods of time, and enough outlets to support a number of different appliances, the Renogy 3000 watt pure sine power inverter is my number one pick for best power inverter of 2021.
2. BESTEK 2000W Power Inverter
Not the most powerful model on our list but still capable of putting up some serious wattage, the BESTEK 2000 watt power inverter comes in at the number two overall spot on our list of best power inverters. Fully capable of keeping on refrigerators, floodlights and all of your small appliances, this unit is as versatile as any power inverter you will find and with three 110 volt outlets, you will almost certainly be able to run all the devices that you need.
When it comes to device protection the BESTEK 2000 watt power inverter does not disappoint, which was one of our favorite features of the inverter. Fuses are designed to protect the full circuit of electricity that is created between your device and the inverter. This is extremely important and one of the most common things that people overlook when deciding on a new power inverter. With six 50 amp fuses, the BESTEK 2000 has all the surge protection you need to make sure that even at peak power your power inverter will not blow out any of your devices.
I have used a BESTEK 2000 watt inverter for over three years and I have to say it is one of the most durable and reliable power inverters I have ever used. This is probably my go to unit for weekend camping trips as it is extremely light and mobile, but can also put out a great deal of power. The BESTEK 2000 will provide 2000 watts of continuous power but additionally can surge up to 4600 watts during device start-up. Personally I have never pushed the BESTEK to over 4000 watts but every time I have it has worked perfectly and I have no doubt it could handle the advertised surge maximum of 4600 watts.
One of my personal favorite features of this power inverter is its two unit hook up. Many power inverters only have one power hook up which means you can only supply the inverter with power from one source. The BESTEK 2000 on the other hand has two hook ups, allowing you to hook up two smaller batteries to supply power to the inverter rather than one. This is very convenient as it allows you to carry smaller batteries, spread out the weight of your packing if that is an issue, or simply provide the inverter with more power from multiple sources which would be impossible with a one hook up design.
As we said before the BESTEK 2000 is a durable and rugged power inverter however like all inverters it should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from heat producing appliances. Power inverters can occasionally overheat and become damaged and keeping your power inverter in a cooler location can help extend it’s usable life. However, this power inverter does come equipped with its own cooling fan which will help keep the power inverter cool during use.
Finally the BESTEK 2000 watt power inverter comes with an 18 month warranty which is something that we always look for when buying power tools and technical equipment. With more and more obscure companies popping up everyday advertising the best equipment, seeing that BESTEK is willing to stand behind the quality of their equipment for 1.5 years is an excellent sign. As I said earlier I have been using the BESTEK 2000 for three years now and it has never let me down. I would recommend this relatively inexpensive power inverter to anyone looking for an inverter that is high powered, effective, easy to transport and safe to use. In my professional opinion this is one of the best power inverters you can find for day trips, short camping trips, RV use, or boat outings, and it is our number two overall pick for best power inverters.
3. Renogy 2000 Watt Power Inverter
Our number three overall best power inverter is the slightly downgraded Renogy 2000 watt pure sine power inverter that is almost an exact copy of the Renogy 3000 watt power inverter but of course supplies less power. Overall these two renogy products are very similar however, due to their different power levels there are some distinct differences that we will point out.
The first and most obvious difference between the two best Renogy power inverters is of course their different level of power output. The Renogy 2000 watt power inverter gives off two thirds the power as its number one ranked counterpart, however this is not quite as simple as just a slightly less powerful version. Because of the way power inverters work, it is possible that you must also supply the Renogy 2000 watt inverter with a different voltage battery compared to the Renogy 3000, in order to get optimal performance. According to Renogy, the input voltage for the Renogy 2000 is 12 volts.
Another main difference between this and the Renogy 3000 power inverter is the lack of a USB port on the Renogy 2000. This was one of our favorite features of the Renogy 3000 and one of the reasons that this version has slipped to number three. These days almost everyone has a smart phones and it is a great bonus to not have to use up one of the outlets on your power inverter for a charging cable. With a USB port in addition to the outlets the Renogy 3000 allowed you to have more of a choice in what you wanted to use your inverter for.
Overall the Renogy 2000 is a very high quality power inverter with a continuous power supply of 2000 watt and surge power up to 4000 watts during appliance start-up. Combine this with the durability of the product and its extraordinary consistent performance and the Renogy 2000 shapes up to be one of the best power inverters that you can find in 2021. Although there were some negatives to this version of Renogy’s best power inverter, the Renogy 2000 watt power inverter still comes in at number 3 overall in my list of best power inverters.
4. BESTEK 1000W Power Inverter - Best Budget Option
Coming in at a respectable number four on our list of best power inverters is the BESTEK 1000 watt power inverter, a sort of little brother to the BESTEK 2000 watt inverter. This is my pick for the best budget power inverter and I think you would be hard pressed to find a better inverter for a cheaper price point. At just around $150 this power inverter still supplies 1000 watts of continuous power and has a surge maximum of 2000 watts.
This is the power inverter that I keep in my car at all times and I have another spare BESTEK 1000 in my garage for emergencies. Although it doesn’t supply a huge amount of power it is great for quick day trips when I don’t want to bring the larger BESTEK 2000. The perfect power inverter for running medium sized appliances, this power inverter is extremely convenient, though certainly a bit less flashy than some of the other models on this list of best power inverters.
One of the surprisingly welcome features of this power inverter is its digital LCD display which is not something that you see on very many inverters, especially ones in this price range. The display can show readings of all of your power levels, from input, to output, etc. Although I personally don’t use this feature as I have other more accurate tools for measurement, I know not everyone has these things and it is nice to know that BESTEK is looking for ways to make power inverters more accessible to people with fewer tools.
Overall there is really not too much to say about the BESTEK 1000 that we have not previously said about its superior 2000 watt companion. Like the BESTEK 2000 power inverter, this power inverter also comes with clips that are too short and not the best quality. We would recommend you replace these with better, longer alligator clips if you are planning on running the BESTEK 1000 for an extended period of time. We would recommend this power inverter to someone who is not looking for something to run their home but is simply looking for a first inverter, or budget inverter for intermittent use. For its price you are getting an excellent product but you should probably look for a more high powered and expensive product if you want extended, high-end, consistent output.
5. POTEK 5000W Power Inverter
The POTEK 5000W power inverter is a beast. This heavy duty modified sine wave power inverter has the energy capability to power even your largest electrical appliances and has four 110 volt outlets along with two USB ports. With 5000 watts of continuous power, overloading this device is unlikely, even if all power ports are in use at the same time.
What I love about the POTEK 5000 is not only the fact that it can supply massive power, but that it has the outlets to support that level of power as well. Some power inverters do not have USB ports, or may only have a couple outlets. With four outlets and two USB ports you can have a variety of different appliances running through the POTEK 5000 all at the same time. I normally take this out when I am RV camping or am doing a week or longer car camping trip. It allows me to charge my computer, and phone, while also running an AC unit and electric coffee kettle. I could even plug two more things into the POTEK 500 and while I don't normally use that many electrical devices all at once, having the option to do so is invaluable.
This unit is not for use while operating a vehicle. The POTEK power inverter is heavy duty, and best used at a campsite, worksite, or for things such as solar power inversion for use in homes. Being as powerful as it is, the draw from the battery is so great that a reliable connection must be created with the battery terminals to prevent the risk of fire.
The unit comes with three wires for the positive, the negative, and the ground wire to reduce fire risk. It is built with a smart cooling fan that only begins to operate when the temperature of the unit reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit and since I have had the POTEK 5000, which is two years ago in December, this power inverter has never gotten too hot. One drawback to the continuous power provided by this unit is that it serves as a modified sine wave device, so the stability of the current may not be as strong as desired.
6. AIMS Power 1500 WATT Pure SINE Inverter
The AIMS Power inverter supplies you with 1500 watts of continuous, pure sine wave power. This level of wattage is a sort of in between level, not quite a low energy power inverter like those at or below 1000 watts, but isn’t quite a high power inverter either. Along with its continuous 1500 watt power levers, this power inverter can also provide surge power of more than 2x its normal levels, up to 4500 watts.
This is one of my personal favorite features for the AIMS power inverter as it allows you to use this power inverter on devices that require a large start up charge but relatively low operating power. Other lower power inverters often cannot handle devices with big surges during start-up which is why you normally will need a power inverter that offers more power. Unfortunately, it can only manage that surge for 20 seconds at a time, but it is a massive boost of power that is usually sufficient to get devices through their start up phase.
The automatic generator start capability of this unit helps ensure that if the battery level is dropping too low that it can trigger an attached generator to start.
When that generator turned on, it is used to recharge the battery. As well as maintain the level of power output you need for your home, work-site or while you’re camping.
This is especially useful in conjunction with the built-in 50 amp inverter battery charger, so it can recharge the batteries as well as invert the power from them.
The downfalls of this unit for home use are that it only has two 110 volt ac outlet, no USB connections, and it is more limited on the power sources it can run off of. This cannot be used directly from solar panels.
7. UFire 3000 Watt Inverter
Providing up to 3000 watts of continuous power, and 6000 watts maximum, this is great for home usage when the power goes out or when temporary power needed on a job site. This unit is connected directly to the battery, and it does not have a cigarette lighter adapter as the power is too high for that type of usage.
Built with 12 fuses, each at 35 amps, this unit will protect whatever may be plugged into it from overload. Along with that, there are multiple forms of protection built into the unit, keeping it safe from taking damage as well.
It built with only two 110 volt outlets, and it’s limited on how many devices can use at one time. Only for use with a 12-volt power supply. The device has two LED displays that low voltage from the battery and how much voltage output is going through the device while in use.
8. BESTEK 300W Power Inverter
Bestek built this 300-watt inverter with two standard 110 volt AC plugins and two USB ports as well. It provides top speed charging so that devices you plugin will be charged as fast as capable. This unit is compact, making it a natural addition to the vehicle for road trips, camping or addition to an emergency kit.
Bestek power inverter plugs into the car via the cigarette lighter by a 24 inch (two-foot) cord. With multiple forms of protection, the device prevents overheating, short-circuiting, overcharging and overloads.
This protects any device being plugged into it from damage, as well as prevents damage to the car or inverter while in use as well. This inverter is for 12-volt battery use only. Twenty-four-volt power supplies may damage the unit, and as such, it should not be used on aeroplanes or in vehicles with the larger battery.
It’s also best to ensure the inverter has switched off before turning off the car. Turning the car on while the unit is set to the on a position can cause too much surge through the inverter.
9. ENERGIZER 500W Power Inverter
Being a 500 watt inverter means having more power to run more devices at the same time. This unit is built with two 110 volt outlets and four USB ports.
It also has a built in mounting post that allows for it to be installed permanently into a vehicle. It can be plugged into the cigarette lighter socket or it comes with alligator clips to attach directly to the battery cables.
Intertek, the multinational product testing and certification company, certified this device for performance and safety. It protects against overload, overheating and short circuit protection.
It’s verified to run at 500 watts continuously with max output peaks at 1,000 watts. It’s set for an input voltage of 12 volts, so it works great in most cars but it’s not for use with 24 volt battery systems.
The unit is built with a very quiet fan, listed as a thermal-fan, which keeps the unit cool but doesn’t become annoying as it runs. The power output is set to 110-120 volts.
What Is A Power Inverter? How Does a Power Inverter Work?
The simplest and most general way to explain power inverters is that they convert direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). Direct current is electricity that flows in one direction only, while alternating current is electricity that can flow in two directions, hence the names, direct and alternating. While both sources of electricity have their uses, alternating current is the type of current that powers a vast majority of everyday electrical powered appliances. This is the reason why having a power inverter can be so helpful while camping, on a road trip, or out on the lake. Here at Powermurt, one of our favorite things to do is go for car camping trips with our bikes. From our basecamp we can then head out onto the trail and explore trails that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to, and there’s nothing better than coming back after a long day of mountain biking to a campsite that has power. Thankfully if you have a power inverter this is not a problem and we can sit down, relax, and enjoy a peaceful night at our campsite.
Direct current is produced by things such as batteries, and generators but unfortunately, for most of the things you would want to power, you need alternating current. By employing a power inverter you can take that direct current produced by a generator, run it through your power inverter, which converts the electricity to alternating current, and then use it to charge your phone, run a coffee maker or really anything that you might need electricity for. If you would like a much more technical and in depth rundown of what power inverters do and how they work this video by The Engineering Mindset does an excellent job explaining power inverters to someone without a technical or engineering background.
With our quick background on power inverters out of the way, let’s talk next about what you should be looking for when trying to find the best power inverter for your needs. Of course every situation is different, however, we believe that these three things are what everyone should be looking for in a power inverter. While some of the details might be different depending on what you are going to be using your power inverter for, these are some general features that you should be on the lookout for when trying to find the best power inverter on the market. First, you should be looking for a power inverter that has high wattage. Power inverters can range in power from 50 watts to over 45,000 watts however when buying a power inverter for recreational use we believe that a power inverter in the range of 800 to 3000 watts is perfect. On the lower end you will still have enough power to run everyday home appliances, while at the higher end you can run large high power appliances, or use several smaller appliances at the same time. We recommended that you first understand your power needs -- this chart can be quite helpful, and then look for a power inverter within this range of wattage that will work well for you. At this level of wattage you will not be forced to spend too much money and you will be able to find a high quality power inverter that can last for years.
The second thing that you should be looking for on a power inverter is a power inverter that has a decent number of outlets. Having enough outlets can be a hassle even in your own home and this problem is exponentially more apparent when looking at power inverters. There is no point in getting a 3000 watt power inverter if it has only one outlet because the majority of the time what you will be powering won’t need that much wattage and you will have spent more money than necessary. If you are looking to buy an 800 watt power inverter we recommend at least 2 outlets to ensure that you use all the wattage you’re paying for and have a sufficient number of outlets. If you are looking for a more heavy duty power inverter, for example a 3000 watt inverter, in our time using power inverters a minimum of three outlets is what you should be looking for.
Finally, and maybe the most important thing that you should be aware of when buying a power inverter, is is this inverter safe for me to use, and for my devices to use. Power inverters are not the type of thing that you want to skimp on and it is very important that you buy your inverter from a reputable manufacturer. Converting DC to AC is not easy and although it can be exceptionally safe when done correctly with the proper power inverter, if you buy a lower end power inverter there could be serious consequences such as power surging which could fry your devices, or something potentially dangerous or deadly such as electrical shocks or fires. We do an extensive amount of research to ensure that the power inverters we recommend are 100% safe and reliable however you should always buy your power inverters from reputable companies to be as sure as possible that your power inverter is safe. With this out of the way let’s jump into our review of the best power inverters of 2021 so that you can make an informed decision about which power inverter you want to buy.
Advantages Of Using A Power Inverter
The most obvious reason for using a high power inverter is that you never run out of power for your devices, as long as the battery it operates from can be recharged. This works great in cars, as the battery in a car charges while the engine is running.
Most of the inverters you’ll encounter are designed to be able to operate from a car’s battery through the cigarette lighter or by direct connection to the battery terminals. One of the biggest reasons to have an square wave inverter is if you live in an area where power outages are frequent.
If the source of power to your home, or place of business, is unstable, then inverters keep those spaces protected by ensuring that the power never fails. No longer having to worry about the refrigerator suddenly being disconnected from a power source for hours at a time makes sure you don’t lose food or other valuable resources.
Portable power inverters run with no additional cost after purchase. They are a cost-effective way to maintain power, or operate the devices you need while you are travelling, without consuming more energy than what is fed into it.
How To Safely Operate A Power Inverter
There are some important things to pay attention to while operating a overland power inverter charger, as they can cause damage or be harmful if left unattended.
We have finally reached the end of this long article and I hope that you have learned some of the most important things that you need to know about power inverters. In this review of the best power inverters we tested each and every one of the recommended power inverters, so that you know you will be getting exactly what you pay for. Overall power inverters are some of the most versatile pieces of technology and can be used in a number of different ways.
Due to this there is no real way to definitively say which power inverter will be the correct one for your needs, but I hope this article gave you some helpful information about what power inverters are, and what you should look for when buying a power inverter.
Thank you so much for reading to the end, your support is what makes Powermut possible and it is our mission to give everyone the best information about power inverters and solar panels so that one day we can move more towards a sustainable, off grid energy future. If there is anything that you think we should cover next please leave a comment down below and we will be sure to get to it as soon as possible. If you would like to read more of our content check out some of our related articles down below!