There is a myriad of reasons why you may need to have a power inverter in your car. For instance, you may be going camping, and you want to bring a coffee maker, a small fridge, or even your laptop to use during your camping trip. In such a situation, it’s a great idea to have one of the best power inverters for car charging convenience.
In this article, we take a look at all the different features that you need to look out for when choosing one. With the information contained here, you’ll be able to select the best option to power all your car appliances.
After all, when it comes to vehicle electricity, there’s only so far that it can go in powering certain electronics. So read on to discover everything you need to know. You’ll have the ease and convenience of being able to power up whatever you need to use in your car.
Best Power Inverters for Car: Editor’s Top Picks
Types of Car Inverters
There are three main types of power inverters for cars:
- Single Outlet Inverters
These have a very simple design and they typically provide 150 to 300W of current. Single outlet inverters have a small, lightweight profile and they allow you to charge just one device at any given time. The majority of these inverters are portable, cheap, and have the simplest features of all inverter types. These are ideal for you if you only ever need to power one device at a time in your car.
- Multiple Outlet Inverters
The best power inverters for car feature multiple outlets, which means that you’re able to charge several appliances at one time. With this type of device, the main concerns typically involve overloading or overheating the device. Multiple outlet inverters are usually more expensive, larger, and heavier. They also have a current capacity that is higher than their single outlet counterparts.
- USB Outlets
These support USB-compatible electronics, including tablets, smartphones, MP3 players, and various other gadgets. A USB outlet inverter gives off enough power to charge these devices, but the ports cannot power any household appliances or energy-intensive devices.
So when you choose from among these three types of car power inverters, make sure that you carefully consider what you will be using the inverter for. That way, you will get the right one to power the electronics you need.
Things to Consider When Buying a Power Inverters for Car
If you’re ready to choose the best power inverters for a car, then here are the most important factors for you to consider. Go through each of them, and then decide on the ideal power inverter for your choice according to the different factors.
What are you going to be using your unit for? For instance, will you need it to keep a small refrigerator running during camping trips? Or maybe you need it to help keep yourself connected or entertained via laptop or smartphone while on the road?
Once you know what you need your inverter for, it makes it a lot easier to choose the level of power that will meet your needs. Add up the wattage of all the devices you intend to power from your inverter, and the total wattage will tell you the amount of power you need.
A lot of car inverters look very similar, but their differences are quite clear in terms of convenience and user-friendliness. For instance, some inverters only connect directly to your car’s battery and they don’t have cigarette lighter chargers. However, they do provide higher amounts of power, which is something that’s worth considering in this trade-off.
Number of Outlets
How many devices will you need to use simultaneously? This is an important question because to get the most out of your inverter, you need to be able to power all the devices that you need at the same time. For instance, you may need to have your fan, laptop, and fridge all running at the same time.
So make sure that the car inverter you choose comes with enough AC outputs as well as dual USB ports. Ideally, it should also have a cigarette lighter port, which means you’ll be able to charge up to five devices all at once.
When it comes to cables, don’t just look at the cable length, but also the material that it’s made from. You should already have some idea of where you intend to place the inverter in your car, and from there, it’s a matter of ensuring that the cable is long enough – particularly if you’re using an inverter that connects to your vehicle’s battery. Also, make sure the cables are made from thick rubber material or neoprene to give you added durability and safety.
The model you choose has to have an effective internal fan that will help to keep the heat down while the unit is operating. This helps to prevent it from overheating. You’ll be surprised just how fast car inverters can heat up. And if this happens, it can trip in-built thermal overload, and this is something you definitely do not want to happen.
Carefully check the strength and durability of your inverter casing. If it is weak or flimsy, then it’s obviously not going to last very long. You know that when you’re on the road, things get bumped around often. This means you have to choose an inverter with a tough metal body made from high-quality materials, preferably aluminum alloy, which is hard yet lightweight and sturdy. This will help ensure that your inverter lasts for a long time to come.
An inverter is a high-powered device, which means that safety should always be a priority. Although an inverter for car charging is deceptively small and compact, without the right safety features, it can pose dangerous threats to you and your vehicle. So to be safe, look for a model with fuses, overheat protection, and low battery shutoff at the be a minimum.
This one is a no-brainer. You want to choose a model whose manufacturer is confident enough in their product that they stand behind it with a solid warranty. The standards for these devices seem to be about 18 months. This isn’t too bad, particularly if you will be using your car inverter regularly.
Top 14 Best Power Inverters for Car Reviews:
1. Bestek 300W Car Power Inverter
Bestek is one of the leading brands in car inverter manufacture. This inverter comes with two USB ports as well as two AC outlets which allows you to conveniently charge up to four devices at the same time.
The unit has an aluminum alloy housing that is durable and lightweight. It’ll stand up to a lot of severe bumps while protecting the internal components. The Bestek model also has a smart cooling fan which is very quiet even while operating at its highest setting.
The safety features include isolation voltage protection, which protects the device against overheating, overvoltage charging, overload, and short-circuiting.
Thanks to its innovative technology, this car inverter also features quick USB charging. It’s able to intelligently detect the type of device so that it can match charging current to deliver the fastest charging speeds. The unit comes with a durable cigarette lighter that has a secure plug-in buckle design.
- Provides 300W continuous and 700W instantaneous power
- Superfast charging even for larger devices
- Compact, durable, and lightweight design
- Multi-protection features including a built-in 40A fuse
- Tough metal housing protects against drops and bumps
2. Cobra 2,500W Power Inverter
This car inverter from the Cobra brand is a professional-grade 2500W beast. The inverter offers an impressive 5,000W peak household electrical power. This allows you to run office equipment, household appliances, and much more.
From TV sets and coffee pots to microwave ovens, mini-fridges, and more, you will be able to power whatever you need any time you want to.
This model comes with a USB output that is ideal for charging smaller devices such as smartphones, tablets, and any other USB-powered gadgets. The inverter unit also comes with a convenient LED display to show your car battery voltage as well as the current consumption of the connected device in Watts.
The Cobra car inverter incorporates protection circuitry for both the unit and the appliance connected to it. It also supports a remote panel switch for ‘on and off’ in case you want an installation that is out of the way. This is one of the best car inverters you can get if you intend to power a lot of devices in your car.
- This powerful device has high-quality construction
- Versatile use thanks to three AC outlets and USB ports
- Comes with five levels of protection against failures
- A strong source of reliable power for on-the-go use
- Comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer
3. Foval 150W Power Inverter
Are you looking for the most convenient and easiest to use power inverter for car or truck charging? Then this model from Foval could very well be it. This 150W inverter is perfect for you if you want something small and compact for your car that will allow you to charge your phone, tablet, and various other small household items that need power on the road.
It has dual USB ports which means you can effortlessly charge two of your devices at the same time. This car inverter is portable and lightweight. It also comes with an LED indicator that shows green for operation and red for failure.
It has a utility cord and cigarette lighter for your convenience. You can easily reach it to power laptops in the rear seats. It comes with a built-in fuse and full safety protection for short-circuits, overcharge, low-voltage, overvoltage, overtemperature, and overload protection.
The Foval inverter has a smart cooling fan that is silent during operation and runs faster as the unit gets warmer. This car inverter offers the ultimate in versatility, making it perfect for camping, vacations, outdoors, road trips, and remote job sites.
- The inverter comes with an AC outlet and two USB ports
- Charges phones and tablets simultaneously
- Compact size for space-saving, easy storage or mounting
- The aluminum shell design protects components from bumps
- Full safety protection features and built-in fuse
4. Energizer 1,500W Car Power Inverter
The Energizer inverter is powerful enough to run your power tools, small appliances, and much more. It offers unmatched performance and is designed and built to easily handle inductive loads. Watt for watt easily outperforms all competitors in the same category.
This model, which provides 1500W of continuous power and has 3000W peak capacity, is undoubtedly among the best power inverters for car owners. It has been tested, validated, and certified by METLAB for safety and superior performance.
The unit has dual USB ports, each with 2.4A giving a total of 4.8A. It also comes with an LCD display that shows your input voltage, battery level, output wattage, and more. This inverter also comes with all the necessary protections, including overload, temperature, and short-circuits.
All of them are displayed on the LCD in the front. The Energizer car inverter comes with a set of 3-foot 2-gauge cables for your convenience. Simply connect the DC battery cords directly to your car battery, and you’ll be ready to start powering your gadgets.
- The inverter offers 1500W continuous and 3000W peak power
- Two USB charging ports and two AC outlets
- Comes with full protection features
- Heavy-duty use for running high power appliances
- Tested and certified by METLAB
5. Krieger 1,100W Power Inverter
Krieger is well known in this industry for producing high-quality car inverters. They’ve invested over five years of serious research and development into producing one of the smallest, yet most powerful power inverters in the world.
This 1,100W inverter can power small appliances, microwaves, refrigerators, power tools, and a whole lot more. It offers unmatched performance and is designed to be able to handle inductive loads. You can never go wrong with a product from this brand.
The manufacturers are so confident in the quality and durability of their creation that they are willing to back it up with an impressive three-year warranty for the parts and labor. If you’re looking for a car power inverter that is guaranteed to last for years to come, then this is a very good one to consider.
- Comes with a free $60-value installation kit
- Provides 1,100W continuous and 2,200W peak power
- The wired remote control is included
- Comes with 3-foot battery cables
- Outstanding three-year parts and labor warranty
6. Soyond 3,000W Power Inverter
This 3000W power inverter can be connected directly connected to a battery. It’ll immediately change the DC power from the battery into AC power, allowing you to run electric lights, TVs, radios, kitchen appliances, and various other appliances.
If you are looking for a reliable inverter that will allow you to run equipment that is more powerful than simple inverters, then this is a great option for you to consider. It will give you outstanding portable power anytime and anywhere that you need it.
The unit has an aluminum alloy body, which means that it’s tough and durable, yet lightweight and sturdy. It will protect the internal components from bumps or drops. Also, it has a very efficient cooling fan that operates silently.
The high-efficiency design also includes multiple protection, including short-circuit protection, overload protection, and high-temperature protection. For anyone seeking the best inverter for their car, this is definitely one to consider.
- Includes two 110V AC outlets and a USB port
- Connects directly to the car battery for powering appliances
- Comes with advanced polarity reverse protection
- Can be used in the home or outdoors for emergency
- The inverter has an 18-month warranty from the manufacturer
7. Giandel 2,200 Pure-Sine Wave Inverter
Giandel is a leading inverter brand that is devoted to offering quality products with better performance for all its customers. This inverter is offered at an extremely affordable price and it’s a must-have for anyone who needs to power appliances and electronics during trips, vacations, and any outdoor activities.
This pure sine wave car power inverter operates and gets 90% efficiency and has two AC outlets and a USB output. It offers 1,200W continuous and 4,400W peak power. It comes with two battery cables that are 2 feet long as well as a remote controller with a 15-foot cable for more convenient control of the inverter.
It has an LED display showing the voltage, current, and power. It also has a solar charge controller making it suitable for connecting a 300W solar panel.
This is a feature-packed inverter that is ideal for anyone looking for the perfect inverter for car, home, camping, vocation, or even emergency use. The best part is, that it comes with an 18-month warranty from the manufacturer.
- Comes with a convenient LED display
- Two AC outlets and a USB charging port
- Wide applications with easy-use on-off remote
- Includes full safety protection features
- Aluminum alloy housing for long-lasting durability
8. Potek 500W Power Inverter
This compact car inverter was designed with one specific purpose in mind: to make your mobile life a lot better. It’s very easy to use and it comes with an LED light that glows when the unit is on. The intelligent digital display shows the input and output voltage of all the devices in use.
It has an effective fan that runs quietly and speeds up when the loads reach 200W, or if the temperature exceeds 104°F.
This unit also comes with the necessary safety protection features, such as high and low-voltage protection, short-circuit protection, overload, and overheat protection. It has two AC outlets and two USB ports allowing you to run up to four devices at the same time.
The inverter connects to the battery of your car and will run capacitive and inductive, as well as resistive loads easily. You can use it to power your lights, motors, TVs, appliances, and most household electronics. This is the ideal inverter for anyone looking for a reliable and efficient source of power on the road.
- Provides 500W continuous and 1000W peak power
- Dual AC and USB ports for convenient use
- Built-in cooling fan with variable settings
- Comes with full protection from overload and overheating
- Includes both cigarette lighter and battery clip connectors
9. Ampeak 2,000W Power Inverter
Ampeak has over two decades of experience in the automotive business. They are dedicated to offering specialized, sophisticated, and affordable automotive electronic products to all their customers. Each one of their products has ETL certification.
This particular product from the brand is the best power inverter for truck use. It will allow you to power a wide variety of devices during your road trips, camping trips, or in the event of a power outage. With a rated power of 200W, you’ll be able to run TVs, laptops, mini-fridges, microwaves, and even power tools using this inverter.
It has five levels of safety protection, including low-voltage and overvoltage shutdown protection. This inverter comes with a quick start manual, a user manual, and two ring terminals. For optimal use, never leave the inverter on while your car is off. Also, while this unit works perfectly for resistive products, it doesn’t work quite as well for inductive appliances.
- The inverter offers 2,000W continuous and 4,000W surge capacity
- All-around protection from built-in 35A mini-slip fuse
- ABS shell with all-insulated ring terminal cables
- Wide range of applications including emergency use
- Comes with an 18-month hassle-free warranty
10. Tripp Lite Car Inverter – 200W
This small portable car inverter from Trip Light offers 200W of power to charge up your electronics on the road. It has two AC outlets and two USB ports to conveniently run four gadgets at the same time. This compact little device is perfect for use in your car, boat, truck, RV, or anywhere else that you need a portable source of power.
It’s designed to fit snugly in your car cupholder in order to prevent it from falling over or moving about while you travel. This is the perfect device to help you run electronics like smartphones, tablets, laptops, GPS units, portable TVs, MP3 players, and game systems in your car.
You’ll never again have to be without entertainment on the road thanks to this handy little accessory. During a camping trip, it’ll help you power your lights, camping accessories, and various other tools to make your trip more comfortable and fun.
This unit is very easy to use and it comes with a cigarette lighter which allows you to simply plug the DC input jack into the car cigarette lighter socket. It has a 3-foot cord, and all you need to do is press the ‘on’ switch and the device is ready to operate. If you want an easy operation, then this is one of the best power inverters you can get
- Two AC outlets and two USB ports for versatile fast charging
- Convenient cupholder design for easy use
- Premium safety features with built-in 20 amp fuse
- Offers 200W continuous and 400W peak power
- Comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer
11. GoWise 1,000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter
This power inverter from GoWise is quite an advanced power conversion tool. It supplies AC power converted from your battery’s DC power source. It’s easy to use in your car, boat, RV, or in case of emergencies.
The pure sine wave inverter provides a stable power source. It has 1,000W of continuous power and 2,000W of peak power. It also has low harmonic distortion. With this inverter, you’re guaranteed maximum efficiency when powering computers, and other sensitive pieces of equipment such as medical machines, and much more.
There is an LED light that indicates whatever problem the inverter is experiencing. When you purchase this unit, you also get black and red cables that have ring terminals.
GoWise made sure that its inverter is compact and portable and that it can be used on different sites or mounted for permanent use. This unit comes with five different types of protection systems, which are overload protection, thermal protection, over and under-voltage protection, as well a low-voltage protection alarm.
- Comes with one USB port and two AC sockets
- Includes a detailed instruction manual from the manufacturer
- The inverter has all necessary protection features
- Includes a smart cooling fan with quiet operation
- Ideal for use in a wide variety of applications
12. Wagan 1,500 Car Power Inverter
This 1,500W AC inverter from the Wagan brand has a high output which allows you to power any device you want on the road. It is compact and has a slim design that allows you to store or mount it easily in your vehicle.
Although small and compact, this unit is incredibly powerful and offers high performance at all times. It features three standard US AC outlets as well as two USB charging ports. The inverter has fault and power LED lights to show you when the devices are in operation and also if there’s a problem that needs your attention.
The inverter features thermal cooling fans to help keep its components from overheating during use. Ideal for high power requirements, this car power inverter is a great option for anyone who needs to power a lot of devices on the road, including laptops, phones, tablets, and much more. It has amazing front and rear component details and makes it easy for anyone to use the inverter, even with no prior experience.
- Provides 1,500W continuous and 3,500W surge power
- Comes with three AC outlets and two USB power ports
- Includes built-in safety protection features
- Comes with built-in mounting points
- Compact slim design for easy storage
13. Cantonape 1,000W Car Inverter
This powerful output car inverter will convert the power of 12V DC to 110V AC so you can power all your devices and appliances while on the road. It provides 1,000W of continuous power and 2,000W of surge power.
The modified sine wave inverter features two AC outlets as well as two USB ports, each with 3.1A for multi-purpose charging. It has amazing high efficiency with a conversion efficiency of over 90%. The unit also comes with an intelligent LCD display which shows you the input and output voltage, as well as the battery capacity and load capacity.
This means that it’s very easy for you to see the status of your car battery, whether it’s full, empty, or somewhere in between. The inverter comes with multi-protection features, including two built-in 40-amp fuses that will protect your device.
There are also six other kinds of protection against overload, short-circuit, reverse polarity, overheat, and more. This helps to ensure that your battery and appliances remain protected at all times. This unit also has a unique feature, unlike many others: its sockets are designed for you to be able to easily insert two large-sized plugs at one time.
- Casing made from high-quality aluminum alloy
- Intelligent LCD display for easy viewing
- Six-level protection for safe operation and use
- Built-in temperature control cooling fan
- 12-month warranty from the manufacturer
14. Haitral 3,000W Power Inverter
This 3,000W power inverter is perfect for a wide range of uses, including powering TVs, refrigerators, game consoles, breast pumps, and whatever other appliances you may need during your trip, vacation, outdoor activities, camping, etc.
If you have been searching for the ideal power inverter to power all your electronics, then this could very well be it. You’ll even be able to use power tools with this insanely strong inverter.
In addition to being extremely powerful, this modified sine wave inverter also has a built-in cooling fan which allows it to run efficiently without overheating. The higher the internal temperature of the inverter, the faster the fan will run.
The unit also comes with multiple protections, including overheat protection, overvoltage, overload, reverse connection, and short-circuit protection. It has an internal fuse and smart chip technology to keep your inverter and charging appliances safe at all times. In case of an overload, it has an alarm that’ll buzz to alert you. The output of this device is very stable and it will provide you with a lot of reliable power.
- Provides 3,000W peak and 6,000W surge power
- High level of security with multi-protection features
- Durable product structure made from solid aluminum shell
- Wide range of applications including emergency use
- Comes with a convenient 12-month warranty
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Can I Plug and Extension Cords into the Car Inverter?
Yes, it’s possible to plug in extension cords in car inverters, but there is a limit. Keep in mind that the longer the power cord is, the bigger the chance that there will be a drop off in the power flowing through it. Whenever possible, it is highly recommended that you try to use a shorter cord.
Q2: What’s the Best Way to Permanently Mount My Power Inverter?
You can mount your car power inverter in a variety of ways. It’s possible to mount it on many different kinds of surfaces, however ideally the surface needs to be one that is flat. Also, make sure that the inverter is kept well away from direct heat sources and direct sunlight.
As previously mentioned, these devices can heat up easily, and you want to do whatever you can to help avoid that from happening. Also, keep the inverter away from extreme cold conditions as this can lead to the creation of moisture that can potentially damage your device.
Q3: How Do You Connect a Car Power Inverter?
There are just two ways to go about connecting the power inverter in your car. First, you can plug it directly into the cigarette lighter. This is the quickest and most convenient method. But, it typically doesn’t allow you to power products of high wattages.
The other method is to connect it directly to the battery. This may be a little more complicated and involved since you have to go outside to get it done. However, this type of connection allows you to power devices of extremely high wattage when compared to the cigarette lighter connection.
As you can see, each of the connection methods has its own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, with the cigarette lighter method, it simple quick and easy to get the inverter going, while the battery connection takes longer and needs more effort. However, you’ll be able to charge more devices than when using the cigarette lighter. Ideally, you want an inverter that uses both methods to get the best from your car power inverter.
Q4: Can I Plug an Electric Grill into My Car Power Inverter?
If you want to use an electric grill, maybe to prepare a tasty picnic meal, then it’s possible to do so with your car power inverter. The majority of electric grills don’t demand too much power, and they’ll even work with a low-wattage car power inverters.
Just keep in mind that your vehicle’s battery will eventually get drained if you’re constantly using the power inverter and you may need to keep your engine idling at least long enough to charge up your battery.
Q5: Can Kids Use a Car Power Inverter?
A: An inverter is a relatively safe device, but it should never be handled by kids or anyone who is not well versed in how this device works. This is particularly true if it’s connected to the vehicle’s battery. Make sure that you read all the safety information and the general guidelines, tips, and suggestions from your manufacturer on how to safely use your device.
Anyone who handles the car inverter should read the full instruction manual before powering any electronic devices or appliances. In addition to not being used by kids, a power inverter should also not be used during rainy weather if you’re connecting it directly to the battery. However, if the inverter is connected to the vehicle’s cigarette lighter, then it’s perfectly safe to use no matter what the weather conditions are like outside.
Now you have all the information you need about how to choose the best power inverters for car and truck use. As you’ve seen, these devices vary widely to cater to all the various power requirements of different individuals.
Our handy list of all the best models on the market right now will help you get started on the right foot. All you have to do is go through the buying guide and decide on the features that are most important to you.
Your next step is to use this article as your guide to help you select the absolute best car power inverter for your needs. You will never again have the inconvenience of being without power on the road or during your camping trips.