Are you looking for an affordable and yet reliable inverter generator that will meet your power demands wherever you go? You should be able to point out a reputable brand in the market that fits your budget. This is because there exist some of the best cheap inverter generators.
Inverter generators are the best power sources for your outdoor activities including tailgating and can also serve as your home power backup plan.
However, with the different manufacturers in the industry coupled with substandard products, settling for the best cheap inverter generator can be challenging. However, with some insights into the best and affordable inverter generators in the market, your buying process will turn out to be easy.
Table Showing Some of the Best Cheap Inverter Generators[table id=6 /]
Best Cheap Inverter Generators in the Market
1. Jackery Portable- Easy to Recharge
Top Editor’s pick
The unit operates in total silence: This generator is recharged through a solar panel. It will offer you renewable energy and since there is no combustion taking place, the unit operates quietly. Since it uses renewable energy to power your electronics, this unit is environmentally friendly with 0% emissions. It comes with a rechargeable lithium battery that can power your minor electrical equipment at your camping site.
This power station is certainly portable; it weighs less than 7 pounds and measures 5.19 × 9.05 × 7.67 inches. Its lightweight gives you an easy time to carry with a single hand and store it. Jackery portable power station can produce up to 240 watts-hour when it is fully charged. With its production of stable power, it can power your laptop, smartphone, and camping light at your camping site.
To recharge it, this generator has a single power output, and you need to have a solar panel which is bought separately. It will take 10 hours to have the generator fully recharged under full sunlight. It is an ideal portable inverter generator for camping, especially during the hot summer season. The unit can also be recharged with a car outlet, wall outlet, and generator.
Available outlets on this inverter generator are:
- A single 110V AC outlet 200W (400W peak)
- Double USB-A ports
- A single DC port that you can use to run basic electrical equipment.
Other important features of Jackery Explorer 240 include:
- An LCD monitor that displays how much charge the generator has
- The unit supports pass-through charging: You can power your appliances as you are recharging the generator, however, this is not recommendable.
- It has an in-built MPPT controller
- It is a super quiet generator and produces eco-friendly clean energy.
- It is easy to recharge it thanks to the different recharging ways it supports.
- It is highly portable
- Its power output cannot power electronics that have a power demand of above 200W.
2.Briggs & Stratton P2200- Tailgating and Camping Experiences
Unlike other inverter generators that require parallel connection with similar models, the Briggs & Stratton P2200 generator allows parallel connection with P3000: allowing you to get more than the double power output of a Briggs & Stratton P2200 model.
Unlike other generators in the market with similar power output, this model utilizes Quiet Power Technology which reduces fuel consumption, gas emissions, and noise levels. The H-handle design removes the huddles of carrying this unit: you can either carry it by yourself or get help from your colleague.
With a weight of about 55 pounds and measuring 22.4 x 14.4 x 19.9 inches, this is a lightweight inverter generator. If you are looking for the best cheap inverter generator for outdoor activities, this is among the best choices you can get.
To power it on, the unit has a conventional recoil system.
This model is driven by a 110cc OHV engine which runs on gasoline to deliver a peak up the wattage of 2200W and 1700 running watts. With such power output, you can power your basic electrical equipment when you are outdoors.
The small power output can also power a few electrical appliances including a fan and portable heater when you are off-grid.
The power produced has a THD level of less than 3%. You can comfortably power your vulnerable electronics without the fear of power fluctuations.
Briggs & Stratton P2200 has a fuel tank capacity of 1 gallon, when full and loaded up to 25%, it can power your appliances for 8 hours.
While at 25% load, the unit has a noise level of 54.6 decibels when it’s operating 23 feet away. The noise level lowers when the unit is running on an eco-mode.
The low noise level is because of Super Lo-Tone technology and pre-installed muffler in this model. Additionally, the automatic adjustments on the engine sped lowers its noise production.
To power your RV AC unit, you may have to parallel connect this model with a similar model or a P3000 model to achieve more power output for powering other devices.
Briggs & Stratton P2200 has;
- Dual 120volts 20A AC outlets
- One 12V 5A DC outlet
Both the AC and DC outlets have a surge reset button: this safeguards the connected appliances and the generator from surge damages.
There are covering to cover the outlets whenever the generator is not in use.
Other notable features on this unit are;
- Three light indicators show when the oil is low, the unit is ready for loading, and when it is overloaded.
- It has an eco-mode switch that allows the generator to increase speed when there is more power demand.
- It has overload protection and a low oil sensor.
- A simple and user-friendly inverter generator.
- It is parallel capable.
- It is not EPA nor CARB compliant.
- It does not have USB ports: very crucial for charging small devices when on tailgating or camping.
3.WEN 56200i- A Super Quiet Generator
It is a high power output inverter generator but priced below $500 and yet it is reliable. Most generators within its range are costlier. One or two pulls are enough to power on this generator. This is a quick way to meet your electricity demands.
It has a low noise production level of about 51 decibels when it is 25% loaded. This noise level is too low when it’s compared to a window air conditioner. Considering its power output level, WEN 56200i is equally quiet even when it is fully loaded, thanks to the sound-dampening materials used in its casing.
Weighing about 48 pounds and with dimensions of 18 × 11 × 18 inches, this unit is easily portable: you quickly lift and load it to your car or RV trailer using one hand making it a suitable power source for recreational purposes.
WEN 56200i is powered by a mini 79.7cc 4-stroke engine running on gasoline with a fuel tank capacity of 1 gallon. This unit can generate a peak wattage of 2000W and maintain a wattage of 1600W.
The power is sufficient to power your tailgating party, meet your campground power demands, and can also power your essential appliances in case of a power outage at home.
With a fuel tank capacity of 1 gallon, this inverter generator can run for up to 6 hours non-stop when it is at half load. You will therefore need at least 2 gallons of gasoline to power your essential home electrical appliances from morning to evening.
Isn’t it a good deal? When it is quarterly loaded and placed at least 23 feet away, the generator operates at 51 decibels, a very low noise level to bother your neighbors and friends at the campground. At 75% load, the noise level is merely 55 decibels.
Even when it is at full load, WEN 56200i can generate clean power that has less than 1.2% THD. This level of stable power can comfortably power your sensitive electronics.
Worried about meeting more power demands after buying a WEN 56200i? The model is parallel-ready; you can parallel connect two units of WEN 56200i to achieve a double power output. the parallel connection kit is however bought independently.
How to power your electronic equipment; the unit has several outlets;
- Duo three-prong 120volts AC receptacles
- Single 12volts DC receptacle
- Single 5volts USB port
Other normal features of WEB 56200i include:
- It has an eco-mode feature for reducing fuel consumption and noise production.
- Light indicators that show when the unit is overloaded and when oil levels low.
- Low oil shut-down sensor and overload protection circuit.
- Low fuel shutdown feature.
- Considering its power output, WEN 56200i is a budget-friendly inverter generator.
- It produces a low noise level.
- WEN 56200i has a small fuel cap which makes it difficult to fuel it. same challenges are experienced when draining and cleaning the fuel tank.
4. Westinghouse iGen2200- Ideal for Silent Set-ups
Exclusive features of Westinghouse iGen2200 includes;
With a noise rating of 52 decibels when it is on a quarter load, this unit is one of the quietest inverter generators within its output power range. The noise level is that of a humming idle car.
Westinghouse iGen2200 comes with a 20A circuit breaker that safeguards the engines from overload risks. It weighs 46 pounds and measures 19.8 x 11.4 x 17.9 inches. With its in-built handle, you will hardly struggle to load and offload this generator on your truck when going camping or any other outdoor activity. It is also easy to store when it’s not in use.
To power it on, the iGen2200 model has a conventional pull start mechanism. Westinghouse iGen2200 has an 80cc OHV 4-stroke engine that can generate a maximum starting wattage of 2200W and 1800 running watts. The output power has less than 3% THD. This is safe to power your vulnerable electronics.
With a 1.2-gallon fuel tank (which is slightly bigger), the unit can power your appliances for about 12 hours when it is at 25% load. Not a bad deal to power your essential at home and on a recreation activity.
For more running hours, iGEN2200 can operate at maximum fuel efficiency thanks to its efficiency mode toggle. This will save you more fuel as you enjoy its steady power supply.
Other features of Westinghouse iGen2200 are:
- Indicator lights on the control panel to display low oil, overload, and when the unit is ready for use.
- It has an air filter: This filters fumes to ensure there is no smell of burning fuel.
- An overload reset button on the control knob.
- Circuit breaker to protect the engine from overload hazards.
For more power demand, you can achieve 4400 watts by parallel connecting two units of Westinghouse iGen2200 generators., thanks to the parallel connection feature. You should however be ready to buy a parallel connection kit separately.
To power in your appliances, there are;
- Two 120volts AC 20A outlets
- Two 5volts DC USB ports
Both the AC outlets and DC USB ports have covers to keep them safe from any dirt.
- It is a budget-friendly generator for recreation and home power backup plans.
- It’s a fuel-efficient generator.
- Westinghouse iGen2200 generator does not come with a fuel gauge. This keeps you guessing the amount of fuel remaining before your next refill.
For easy fueling, you will need to buy a funnel, otherwise, you may spill your fuel.
5. Pulsar PG2000iS-A Mixture of Portability and Clean power
It comes with a handy suitcase design guaranteeing you power for powering up your small electrical appliances during your tailgating party, camping, and hunting trips.
From a distance, this unit looks like a portable battery or a gas canister, making it hard for anyone to note it’s a portable generator, thanks to its sleek design. It’s a cheap, fascinating, and compact generator that you would want to have.
For easy handling and movement, Pulsar PG2000iS weighs not more than 47 pounds and has a size of 17.9 × 11.2 × 19.8 inches. The small size and weight make it easier for any adult to load and offload it as well as store it when not in use.
To power it on, it has a conventional recoil start mechanism.
PG2000iS is powered by a gasoline 80cc OHV engine. It can deliver 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts of clean power to run both sensitive electronics at home and in your outdoor activities.
The unit has a fuel tank capacity of 1.18 gallons. When this tank is full of gasoline and the generator is half-loaded, it can run continuously for 8 hours. When running on economy mode and with a light load, you can enjoy an uninterrupted power supply for 12 hours. This duration is long enough to meet your power needs in any tailgating party or camping experience for the better part of the night before refueling it.
Unlike other inverter generators that are placed at 23 feet away to produce a noise level of about 60 decibels, this unit produces 59 decibels from just 10 feet away. This noise level is virtually silent; it won’t interfere with your conversation or stop you from taking a nap.
This model is parallel-ready: meaning you can easily parallel connect it to another Pulsar PG2000iS model to achieve double its power output. Such will be sufficient to power your essential electronics at home during a power outage.
The parallel connection kit is however sold separately.
To power your essential electronics, this model has:
- Double AC 120volts 13A receptacles
- A single 12volts DC 8A receptacle
- Single 5volts DC 1.5A USB outlet
The model allows multiple powering of different electronics at once provided they are within its power output range.
Common features on the Pulsar PG2000iS unit includes;
- It has an automatic voltage regulator.
- Low oil shut-off sensor
- It has 3 light indicators to show when the oil level is low, the unit is overloaded, and when it is ready for use.
- It has both AC and DC circuit breakers.
- It supports parallel connection
- It is an affordable generator and yet reliable
- Extremely low noise levels even when it is at 10 feet away
- Several clients had a hard time using it for the first three days of their purchase.
While this unit cannot power your entire house when you are off the grid, it can power your essential power equipment.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Cheap Inverter Generators
It is not every cheap inverter generator out there that is reliable. Numerous brands are offering inverter generators at a cheap price but their quality is questionable. So, how do you ensure you buy the best cheap generator from the many options in the market? Consider the factors herein.
1. Size of the Generator
The size of the generator can refer to both physical and its power output. When shopping for an inverter generator, have the total watts of the electrical equipment you want to power, add at least 30% of the total watts to your power demand.
That will be the suitable size of generator that you need to comfortably meet your power demands.
When it comes to the physical size, you have to look at its bulkiness and portability. If you looking for a generator to power your recreational power appliances, you need to get a portable unit: one that is easy to carry and store.
However, if you only looking for a home power backup plan, physical size may not be an issue.
2. Manufacturer’s Warranty Period
A warranty period of an inverter generator plays an important role in determining the equality of the unit.
A manufacturer who is sure about the quality of their generators will give you a longer warranty period than one who is not sure of their quality.
The warranty period means that the manufacturer will be liable to replace or repair the inverter generator without charging you should it malfunction within the warranty period. The longer the warranty period the superior the generator is likely to be.
Normally there are two types of warranty; standard and extended warranty period.
The latter is paid for. If you are looking for the best cheap inverter generator, an extended warranty will increase your overall buying price of the generator.
3. Energy Source
There are three common types of energy sources for generators; propane, gasoline, and diesel.
While diesel burns longer than the other two, inverter generators are not powered by it. Most inverter generators are powered by gasoline, a handful runs on propane, and there few cases of solar-powered generators.
There are cases that you can also find dual fuel generators. Such units are ideal because they give you the convenience of using either gasoline or propane. However, dual fuel generators are expensive.
Solar-powered generators are environmentally friendly since they don’t produce any emissions. However, their power output is low when compared to gasoline or propane-powered generators.
4. Fuel efficiency
You don’t want an inverter generator that will require refueling after every three hours of running it at a quarter or half load. Such a unit can be expensive in the long run.
In our review above, there are inverter generators that can run from 8 to 12 hours while on quarter, such models are recommended because of their running time.
However, when looking at the running time, you should also factor in the type of appliances you going to power and for how long.
5. Your Budget
There are inverter generators that can cost you from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. Setting an extremely low budget will not guarantee you a quality generator.
When the generator is too cheap, it can either be of poor quality or may not be able to power the equipment you desire to power. On the other hand, very expensive generators may produce more power than you need. You must get a balance between your budget and quality.
Different manufacturers can guarantee you the best cheap inverter generator in the market today. Whether you are looking for an affordable inverter generator for your outdoor activities or to power your home when you are off the grid, you will not go wrong with the above recommendations. From small portable units that deliver 200 watts to big and compact inverter generators that deliver over 2000 watts, the choice is yours to make.
While there are numerous brands of generators in the market, your choice of the best cheap inverter generator may be compromised. The size of the generator, warranty period, and your budget are some of the factors to consider when shopping for one.