The Best Inverter Generators of 2023

Get clean, reliable, quiet electricity in a pinch, as well as at campsites and tailgate parties, with these top power producers.

By Tom Scalisi | Updated Aug 10, 2023 3:16 PM

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The Best Inverter Generator Option


Portable generators are one of the most important tools in a home safety plan for when power outages occur. In the event of a natural disaster, the backup power produced by a portable generator can keep a refrigerator and air conditioner running, the lights on, and other electronics functioning. It can do all this while hardly being noticed, even at full electrical load.

Inverter generators are a different breed than the open-framed conventional generators most people are familiar with. While both use fuel (gasoline, diesel, or propane), open-framed generators use an alternator to make usable power for homes, campers, and jobsites. Similar to their open-framed counterparts, inverter generators come in different models and sizes, which means they lend themselves to some uses better than others.

Inverter generators use a computer-controlled inverter to provide usable power. This makes inverter generators lighter, quieter, and more efficient than open-framed models. The addition of an inverter ensures less fluctuation in the current of the power generated, somewhat like a regulator. This inverted current is considered “clean electricity,” which is important for safely charging sensitive devices, especially handheld electronics like phones and laptops.

Understanding the hallmarks of a high-quality product and getting to know the pros and cons of various models will help shoppers find the best inverter generator for their particular needs and help avoid problems in the future. Each of the top picks listed below was selected based on a thorough review of the market and in-depth product vetting.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Honda EU3000iS Inverter Generator With CO-MINDER
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Wen 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Inverter Generator
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator
  4. BEST SUITCASE MODEL: Genmax GM2800iAE Inverter Generator With CO Detect
  5. BEST FOR CAMPING: Champion Power Equipment 200986 4500-Watt Inverter 
  6. BEST FOR TAILGATING: A-iPower SUA2000iV 2000-Watt Inverter Generator
  7. BEST POWER: Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower Inverter Generator
  8. BEST WITH ELECTRIC START: Harbor Freight Predator 9500-Watt Inverter Generator
  9. ALSO CONSIDER: DuroMax XP4500iH 4500-Watt Dual-Fuel Inverter
The Best Inverter Generator Option


How We Chose the Best Inverter Generators

The right inverter generator can back up a whole house during a power outage or a campground/RV while on vacation. Many of the above units come with ample power output of 2,000 to 4,500 watts, which is accomplished by the included energy-efficient gas tanks. Though some of these models require more fuel than others, many only require 1 to 2 gallons for a full tank.

Our top picks also include multiple power outlets for convenience, and many are parallel compatible for extra power. Many of these top picks come with wheels and handles, which is a handy feature for those who need to manage and operate the generator on their own.

Finally, many of the above picks come in at under 60 decibels—about the sound level of a normal conversation—for quiet usage, and they also include electric starters for energy-saving capability. However, please note that some of these units do not come with parallel connection kits or cords; they will need to be purchased separately. Additionally, some of these units are quite heavy and not all have wheels and handles, which may limit portability for some users.

Our Top Picks

The following products represent some of the best inverter generators on the market, including a budget-friendly model, a reliable option for camping, and even one that fits inside a suitcase. Whatever shoppers’ performance needs may be, there’s likely to be a generator on this list that’ll hit the mark.

Best Overall

The Best Inverter Generator Option: Honda EU3000iS Inverter Generator With CO-MINDER

When choosing the best overall inverter generator, we looked for performance, reliability, and low noise levels. The Honda EU3000iS satisfies each of these requirements. Start-up output is 3,000 watts, and it runs normally at 2,800 watts. That’s enough for backing up basic home systems like AC and refrigerators, running the majority of power tools found on jobsites, and powering RV systems. It is parallel ready, so two can run together to double the performance—and all this while running as quietly as 50 decibels—the sound level of a quiet conversation.

The super-reliable motor has electric starting with recoil backup. The clever Eco-Throttle adjusts fuel consumption to power requirements, maximizing runtime. The 3.4-gallon tank provides up to 19.6 hours of use. This inverter generator has two 20-amp (A) household outlets and a 30A locking plug for RV or heavy-duty equipment use.

The Honda EU3000iS inverter generator weighs 130 pounds. Wheel kits are available, although they add to what is already a premium price tag.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Size: 25.9 inches long by 17.6 inches wide by 22 inches high
  • Power output: 3,000 peak watts
  • Outlets: 3
  • Noise level: 50 decibels


  • Powerful enough to run heavy-duty appliances like AC units
  • Noise level of just 50 decibels makes it among the quietest generators available
  • Motor has an unrivaled reputation for long-term reliability


  • At 130.7 pounds, it is quite heavy, and wheel kits cost extra

Get the Honda inverter generator at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Bang for The Buck

The Best Inverter Generator Option: Wen 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Inverter Generator

For those on a budget who have flexible power needs, the Wen 56203i might just hit the mark. This suitcase-style generator is lightweight at only 39 pounds, making it super maneuverable. It has enough power (2,000 watts) to run a small campsite or a refrigerator and a few ancillary devices, such as a mobile phone, emergency radio, or box fan. It’s also a very quiet generator, running a noise level as low as 51 decibels with only a device or two plugged in. There are two 20A outlets, one 12-volt outlet, and two convenient USB outlets.

This is a basic, affordable generator. The trade-off for the lower price is the lack of an electric or remote starter.

Product Specs

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Size: 17.3 inches long by 11.5 inches wide by 17.7 inches high
  • Power output: 2,000 peak watts
  • Outlets: 5
  • Noise level: 51 decibels


  • Provides a useful 2,000 watts of power at a budget-friendly price
  • At 39 pounds, it is very light and easy to move from place to place
  • Has 5 outlets to run household items, tools, and personal electronic devices


  • Case is mostly plastic, so not particularly tough
  • Starting isn’t as easy as other models as it’s manual only

Get the Wen inverter generator at Amazon or Target.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Inverter Generator Option: Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator

Westinghouse’s iGen4500 inverter generator is both a high-tech and high-functioning model. It’s capable of powering a whole house or camper without an additional unit. It uses both a remote start/stop function and a push-button start. This 4,500-watt unit features a digital readout center that displays power output, runtime, fuel level, and other relevant information. The iGen4500 is quiet as well, running at a noise level as low as 52 decibels. It has two 20A outlets on the front as well as a 30A outlet and two USB ports.

This model can also be wired in parallel with another unit to a 50A outlet, which is enough to power the largest RVs. Note, this is a gasoline-only model, and moving up to a dual-fuel unit nearly doubles the already higher-end price.

Product Specs

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Size: 24.5 inches long by 17.5 inches wide by 20 inches high
  • Power output: 4,500 peak watts
  • Outlets: 5
  • Noise level: 52 decibels


  • High-performance parallel-capable unit with push-button or remote key-fob starting
  • Informative LED control panel provides fuel level, output, and remaining runtime figures
  • Economy mode can provide a 18-hour runtime, and the unit is compliant with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB)


  • Although faults are not common, there are a few reports of starting problems
  • Not a dual-fuel option; may not be as versatile as other generators on the market

Get the Westinghouse inverter generator at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Best Suitcase Model

The Best Inverter Generator Option: Genmax GM2800iAE Inverter Generator With CO Detect

Many suitcase inverter generators sacrifice either power or features in order to remain compact and lightweight. That’s not the case with the Genmax GM2800iAE. Where many offer peak output of 2,000 watts, the Genmax delivers 2,800 watts. It has a convenient electric start and outlets for household appliances, USBs, and for plugging into an RV. It is also parallel capable, so two can be connected together for double the output.

A digital control center keeps the user informed about performance. There’s also an alert in case carbon monoxide reaches dangerous levels. While 54 pounds is a little heavier than some suitcase models, it is still comparatively light, and the Genmax GM2800iAE has built-in wheels and a telescopic handle to assist mobility. The noise level is 62 decibels.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Size: 20.7 inches long by 12.2 inches wide by 19.7 inches high
  • Power output: 2,800 peak watts
  • Outlets: 5
  • Noise level: 62 decibels


  • Delivers considerably higher performance than most suitcase models and is parallel capable
  • Home or jobsite use with 2 standard 120-volt sockets, 1 RV socket, and 2 USB ports
  • Has convenient push-button starting, informative control center, and carbon monoxide alert


  • A little heavier than some suitcase models at 54 pounds

Get the Genmax inverter generator at Amazon.

Best for Camping

The Best Inverter Generator Option: Champion Power Equipment 200986 4500-Watt Inverter

When it comes to getting in touch with nature, noise is typically unwelcome. Luckily, Champion Power Equipment’s 4,500-watt inverter generator allows users to enjoy the comforts of home without drowning out the sounds of the forest. At a noise level of 61 decibels, it’s quiet enough for campgrounds and remote getaways. And, running for 14 hours on just 2.3 gallons, it’s an economical choice.

ThisChampion Power Equipment inverter generator features an RV-ready 30A service, so users can run amenities in their campers wherever they might be. This model also features two 20A outlets equipped with clean power for electronics, a 12-volt automotive-style outlet, and two USB adapters. While this Champion Power Equipment model weighs 95 pounds, the oversize wheels make rolling it around a campsite easier.

Product Specs

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Size: 23.2 inches long by 17.7 inches wide by 20.1 inches high
  • Power output: 4,500 peak watts
  • Outlets: 6
  • Noise level: 61 decibels


  • Combines competitive power output with noise levels that shouldn’t disturb campsite neighbors
  • Offers a comprehensive array of outlets, including 12-volt DC, and is parallel capable; clean power for all devices
  • Compact, lighter than many competitors, and has wheels to help mobility


  • While peak output is 4,500 watts at startup, the true running figure is 3,500 watts

Get the Champion Power Equipment inverter generator at Amazon.

Best for Tailgating

The Best Inverter Generator Option: A-iPower SUA2000iV 2000-Watt Inverter Generator

A proper tailgate party requires plenty of gear and entertainment. At 48 pounds, A-iPower’s 2,000-watt inverter generator is a compact and lightweight package that won’t take up precious cargo space yet has enough power to keep the party going.

This 2,000-watt inverter generator features a 30A outlet for RVs, a 20A outlet for household devices, and two 5-volt USB ports for charging devices with clean power. Users can power lights, TVs, radios, and electric griddles in the parking lot for up to 4 hours at full load. And since it produces only 52 decibels of noise, it won’t block out the good tunes.

Product Specs

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Size: 19.3 inches long by 11.4 inches wide by 19 inches high
  • Power output: 2,000 peak watts
  • Outlets: 4
  • Noise level: 52 decibels


  • Light, easy to transport, and has a noise level of just 52 decibels
  • Wide range of outlets for home appliances and personal electronic devices; provides clean power
  • Economical performance with low-emission engine that meets EPA and CARB requirements


  • While pull-cord starting isn’t particularly difficult, there is no push-button option

Get the A-iPower inverter generator at Amazon.

Best Power

The Best Inverter Generator Option: Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower Inverter Generator

When it comes to emergencies or off-grid utility, a small generator can’t always cut it. For those scenarios, a burly model like the Q6500 QuietPower from Briggs & Stratton might be just the ticket. This inverter generator produces up to 6,500 watts of power and provides both 120 volts and 240 volts of electricity.

The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 has several power sources, including four 120-volt 20-amp outlets; two USB ports; and a 240-volt locking outlet. These options allow users to run several appliances simultaneously or tie into the home directly (with the help of an electrician and switchgear). And at 66 decibels, this Briggs & Stratton is quieter than many smaller generators. It weighs nearly 140 pounds, but oversize wheels and a telescoping handle make rolling the unit easy enough.

Product Specs

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Size: 24.8 inches long by 21.2 inches wide by 21.5 inches high
  • Power output: 6,500 peak watts
  • Outlets: 7
  • Noise level: 66 decibels


  • This Briggs & Stratton has impressive performance and capable of supplying both 120- and 240-volt supply
  • Steel frame provides protection for internal components and reduces noise
  • Relatively compact with never-flat wheels and telescopic handle for portability


  • Does not have electric starting, which is a surprise for a generator of this size

Get the Briggs & Stratton inverter generator at The Home Depot.

Best With Electric Start

The Best Inverter Generator Option: Harbor Freight Predator 9500-Watt Inverter Generator

Many portable inverter generators are great for camping, tailgating, and running a couple of power tools but struggle when it comes to home backup in emergency situations. The impressive Harbor Freight Predator provides a practical solution that allows users to avoid noisy, heavyweight traditional generators.

The array of outlets available underlines the high performance of the Predator. There are four standard 120-volt household sockets, plus 120-volt 30A, 120/240-volt 30A, 12-volt DC, and two USB ports. It can run heavy-duty tools on jobsites and can be plugged into RV systems. It’s also parallel ready, so in extreme cases, double the power could be made available.

The 459cc motor has easy push-button electric starting. Despite the high output, it can run for up to 18.5 hours and is EPA and CARB compliant. While at 67 decibels, it’s not the quietest inverter generator, it is still only slightly above the level of normal conversation.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Size: 31 inches long by 23.75 inches wide by 28.87 inches high
  • Power output: 9,500 watts
  • Outlets: 9
  • Noise level: 67 decibels


  • Delivers sufficient power for home backup with both 120 and 240 volts available
  • Powerful 459cc motor is surprisingly economical, with more than 18 hours of runtime
  • Wide variety of outlets for everything from sensitive electronics to AC and heating systems
  • EPA and CARB compliant for reliability, sustainability, and user-friendliness


  • True running output drops to 7,600 watts, and it has a relatively high price tag

Get the Harbor Freight inverter generator at Harbor Freight.

Also Consider

The Best Inverter Generator Option: DuroMax XP4500iH 4500-Watt Dual-Fuel Inverter

A dual-fuel inverter generator like the DuroMax XP4500iH offers terrific convenience. In places where gas isn’t easily available or where transporting spare cans isn’t practical, propane can be a convenient alternative. It’s great for jobsites and campsites, where propane might be in use anyway for cooking or lighting.

The DuroMax dual-fuel generator provides two standard 120-volt outlets, a 30A version for RV use, and is parallel ready. There’s convenient electric starting, a digital control center that gives lots of useful performance data, and a carbon monoxide alert system. Using gasoline, it provides up to 16 hours runtime. Connect a 20-pound propane tank for up to 19 hours of runtime.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Dual-fuel
  • Size: 19 inches long by 24 inches wide by 22 inches high
  • Power output: 4,500 watts (gasoline); 4,275 watts (propane)
  • Outlets: 5
  • Noise level: 65 decibels


  • Dual-fuel capability allows it to run off either gasoline or propane
  • Competitive performance with multiple outlets, and is both RV and parallel ready
  • Has user-friendly electric start and informative digital control center


  • Using propane results in a slight drop in performance compared to using gasoline

Get the DuroMax dual-fuel inverter generator at Lowe’s or The Home Depot.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing an Inverter Generator

A variety of important factors go into selecting the best inverter generator for differing backup power needs. The info below will help narrow down the options so you can find a unit that provides enough power, portability, and convenience for each requirement.


Wattage is the most critical factor in any generator specification. Inverter generators, like their open-framed counterparts, come in different wattage ratings. The higher the wattage rating, the higher the power output. Higher wattages usually mean larger, more expensive units, so here’s a guide to choosing the right size for a range of needs:

  • Light-duty (tent camping, tailgating, etc.): 2,000 to 3,000 watts
  • Medium-duty (RV camping, emergency home use, jobsite, etc.): 3,000 to 4,500 watts
  • Heavy-duty (powering an entire home, powering a welder, etc.): 4,500+ watts

Compact, portable generators may be feasible if shoppers are only going to use it to power a radio or a small refrigerator. However, there is often less flexibility for plugging in other devices with a low-wattage model. A case could be made that generators under 2,000 watts aren’t worth the investment.

Fuel Type and Capacity

Inverter generators typically use gasoline as a fuel source, and dual-fuel generators can run on propane as well. This is a big advantage, as it allows owners to choose the fuel used based on their needs, such as power-output requirements, fuel availability in their area, and the fuel type that is currently on hand.

Inverter generators have an isolated gasoline tank with a fuel capacity that ranges from as small as 2 gallons to more than 10 gallons. The larger the fuel tank is on the generator, the longer it will be able to provide gasoline-based power. However, the size of the generator also increases.

Fuel capacity has no bearing on how much propane can be used with the generator; propane gas is stored under pressure in canisters, which attach to the generator with a hose and pressure regulator for direct fuel consumption.

Recoil vs. Electric Start

Inverter generators feature an electric start switch, recoil cord, or both ignition methods:

  • Electric Start: Generators with an electric start store extra electricity in an internal battery, which starts up the device automatically. Users either press a button on the keypad, fob, or by flipping the switch.

This method of ignition is much easier than using a recoil cord, but it does require stored electricity in the generator. Without a charged internal battery, the electric start cannot be used.

  • Recoil Cord: The recoil cord is an old but reliable technology used in many fuel-powered tools. This startup method requires a quick and steady pull on the recoil cord to kickstart the engine. While it will take some effort, and possibly more than a few pulls, there’s no reliance on electricity.

The generator can be started at any time, even after long-term storage in the garage or shed.

Load Sharing

Purchasing a set of like-branded generators will often provide the ability to wire them in parallel, also known as load sharing. This means that by using a brand-specific kit, one generator can be plugged into another. This safely combines their wattages to produce even more power.

Additionally, owning two generators provides a fail-safe if one stops working. There is still the ability to produce power, just at a lesser output. Load sharing can be a less expensive way to produce enough wattage to run a whole house or power everything in an RV at once.

Noise Level

The most noticeable difference between inverters and open-framed generators is the amount of noise they produce.

  • Open-framed generators are unrefined and loud, producing decibel levels far exceeding the 100-decibel mark.
  • Inverter generators are roughly half as noisy compared to open-framed models, often in the 50- to 60-decibel range.

To better understand generator noise output, consider these common sounds and their equivalent operating decibel level:

  • Refrigerator: 50 decibels
  • Hair dryer: 70 to 90 decibels
  • Motorcycle: 95 to 110 decibels

Inverter generators also use sensors to detect how much power they need to expend, throttling down for smaller loads and producing lower noise levels. Neighbors, either at home or a campground, will appreciate that a quiet inverter generator has been purchased rather than a noisy, open-framed model.

Size and Weight

Physical size and weight will be a factor for some shoppers. As the name suggests, suitcase inverter generators are top-handled units that can be picked up with one hand and carried with ease, as they’re typically lightweight at about 40 to 50 pounds. The drawback is these units are usually 2,200 watts and under for power output.

Wheeled units provide much more power (3,000+ watts), but they’re large and heavy. These portable generators are more challenging to throw in the bed of a truck or a camper’s storage compartment. As such, it may be easier to use one of these units as a home generator.

Wheel Kit

Some users may struggle with the weight of larger, more powerful units. In recognition of this shortcoming, some portable inverter generators come with wheels and handles so that they can be transported to the desired location more easily.

Wheel kits may also be sold separately so that they can be added to an existing generator or replace an older wheel kit. Either way, having a wheel kit will make transporting heavy portable generators much easier.


Looking for more information on inverter generators? Consider these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this particular type of generator.

Q. How does an inverter work?

Inverters work by taking DC power, created by a gas or propane generator, and converting it to AC power for household appliances.

Q. Why are inverter generators so quiet?

Inverter generators don’t use alternators like typical open-framed models might, which require the engine to work harder and produce more heat. For that reason, inverter generator engines run more quietly. In addition, manufacturers can close them inside plastic housing for even better noise control without overheating.

Q. Are inverter generators worth it?

In general, inverter generators are easier to use, more efficient, and produce safer electricity for electronics. For those reasons alone, many users might find them worth it. To help protect your investment, it’s also worth purchasing a generator cover.

Q. Can an inverter generator run a refrigerator?

Most inverter generators will have no problem running a modern refrigerator, which only needs 1,000 watts maximum at startup.

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