Possibly the Best Car Inverter?
We have done some research in order to potentially find the best car inverter on the market currently. It is a tricky task, because everyone has different needs, and rather than just technical factors, we needed to consider price and availability as well. In fact, price is a huge factor. With the rising popularity of pure sine wave inverters due to their obvious benefits compared to modified sine wave inverters, our choice below goes against our previous recommendations a little bit. Or does it?
If someone is on the road all the time, meaning they actually live in (or on) their vehicle for weeks or months, they usually need to rely on their inverters in order to charge laptops, cameras, portable speakers and drones potentially. In the long run, these delicate devices require pure sine wave current, however, if you’re overlanding or camping during weekends or going away for a two-week vacation, but otherwise you charge your units at home 90% of the time, you might as well save your money and not spend on a pure sine wave car inverter and just settle with a modified sine wave one. Your laptop will be fine.
Considering specifications, features, reliability, customer satisfaction and value for money, we believe the best car inverter on the market currently is the BESTEK 300W MRI3011BU Power Inverter.
Review of the BESTEK 300W MRI3011BU Power Inverter
Click picture to see larger image on Amazon.com
Dimensions: 4.75" x 3.125" x 1.875"
Weight: 1.16 pounds
Capacity: 300 Watts continuous DC to AC power and 700 Watts surge power
This Bestek unit is equipped with 2 AC outlets (that is in the USA - only comes with one AC outlet in the UK) and 2 USB ports. In this price range you won’t find a better equipped inverter. The USB ports are 2.1A and 1A rated.
To protect your device, it comes with a built in 40A fuse and a safe charging design in order to provide protection against mishaps like overheating, under and over voltage charging, short circuiting, overloads, and overcharging.
The built in fan is constantly cooling the inverter so it is not designed to automatically start and stop in order to regulate its temperature. Nevertheless, it does the job well.
It is featuring an indicator LED light that is green when the inverter is on and operating normally, and red if it is switched off but plugged in. The red light is also an indicator for watts overload.
Although this Bestek inverter is rated 300 Watts and comes with a cigarette lighter plug, if you’re planning on using a device that requires more than 150 Watts, please check your cigarette lighter socket Watt rating in order to avoid blowing the fuse in the inverter or in your car. In those cases it is advised to use clamps connected directly to the car’s battery. You can either use a jumper cable clamped on to the battery and the cigarette lighter adaptor or purchase the clamps converter.
The cigarette lighter socket will be sufficient to charge your laptop, tablet or camera, however connect the inverter directly to the battery for any device requiring 150-300 Watts. For more information on this please see the table in our Inverter Buying Guide.
What previous buyers said
Previous buyers’ comments on this product are overwhelmingly positive with reliability, ease of use and convenience mentioned most frequently. Many people are surprised how useful a car inverter is, when not long before purchasing it they didn’t even know what an inverter was.
The relatively few complaints mention the fan being a bit loud and it is constantly on. Another negative feature that buyers don’t like is the fuse being soldered directly to the circuit board, rather than using an easily replaceable fuse. It is important to note though, that the user manual does mention that after switching the inverter on it is essential to wait a second or two before plugging in a device.
- Easy-to-use 12V cigarette lighter plug
- Compact size and weight
- Dual AC outlets and USB ports
- Powerful enough to charge most laptops and cameras
- Very competitive price
- Built in fuse that is not easy to replace
- Battery clamps are not included
Conclusion and Advice
With its two AC sockets, two USB ports, reliability and price the BESTEK 300W MRI3011BU is nearly an unbeatable deal if you’re looking for the best car inverter for shorter overlanding or camping trips. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on power limits and be aware that the power on-off button is for the AC sockets - do not leave anything plugged in to the USB ports while the car is not running, otherwise you might drain your vehicle’s battery.
Should you need a pure sine wave inverter or one with more than 300W rating for your longer trips, our Inverter Reviews article should be able to help you.