We have done some research in order to potentially find the best car inverters 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 power 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 power inverter on the market currently is the BESTEK 300W MRI3011BU Power Inverter.


1. Review of BESTEK 300 Watts MRI3011BU Power Inverter

Specifications

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

Features

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 charging 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 Watts 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. Still, they are considering this as one of the best power inverters for the price.

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.

PROS:

  • Easy-to-use 12 Volt cigarette lighter plug
  • Compact size and weight
  • Dual AC outlets and USB ports
  • Powerful enough to charge most laptops and cameras
  • Very competitive price

CONS:

  • Built in fuse that is not easy to replace
  • Battery clamps are not included

2. Review of the Go Power! GP-ISW1000-12 Industrial Pure Sine Wave Inverter

Specifications

Dimensions: 14.7 x 7.9 x 3.3 inches

Weight: 7.19 lbs. or 3.26 kg

Capacity: 1000 watts continuous power and 1750 watts peak power

Features

If you are looking for a very high capacity inverter then this might be it. This is a pure sine wave inverter with the top-notch build quality. It comes with dual GFCI-equipped AC outlets to let you power up various electrical appliances. It has a remote power option.

Along with that, it also comes with some must-have safety features like over/under voltage, overheating, short-circuit, overload protection, and more. This one should be connected to the battery directly. ‘Go Power’ sells the installation kit separately. All in all, it is a great deal for powering up several power-hungry devices at once.

What Previous Buyers Said

The majority of the buyers are overwhelmed by the powerful performance of this inverter. They have stated that even for a big unit, it is very quiet. Also, the robust build quality has earned a lot of praise.

PROS:

  • Sturdy build quality
  • Comes with numerous safety features
  • Equipped with dual GFCI outlets
  • Wide voltage range (10.5 to 16.5 VDC)
  • Has 2-year warranty

CONS:

  • No USB outlet
  • Need additional installation kit to purchase

3. Review of the Foval 150 Watts Car Power Inverter 12V DC to 110V AC Converter with 3.1A Dual USB Car Charger

Specifications

Dimensions: 3.7 (L) x 2.5 (B) x 1.5 (H) inches

Weight: About 230 grams

Capacity: 150 watts continuous power

Features

This next one on our list comes with a compact form factor. Yet, it is equipped with an AC outlet and 2 USB outlets. This inverter can be powered using the cigarette lighter plug in your car. Even though this is a very small device, it has a cooling fan inside, which is very silent. 

Additionally, you will be happy to know that it comes with all the necessary safety features and built-in fuse. But the best thing about this car power inverter is its price. If you are searching for a 150 watts car inverter without hurting your wallet, this could be a top choice.

What Previous Buyers Said

Most of the past buyers of this tiny power inverter have praised it a lot. They have stated that it has a very compact size. But it offers high-end performance for such a low price.

PROS:

  • Portable yet robust build quality with aluminum housing
  • Comes with 1.5-year warranty
  • Has multiple safety features
  • Very cheap

CONS:

  • A replaceable fuse would be the best

4. Review of the Giandel 300Watts Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter

Specifications

Dimensions: 6.22 x 4.13 x 1.77 inches

Weight: 1.65 lbs. or 750 gm.

Capacity: Continuous 300 watt power and 600 watts of peak power

Features

This car power inverter is another top-of-the-line device with a host of features. You can see that it has 2 USB ports and 2 AC outlets. So, it can power up or charge 4 devices simultaneously. Plus, it uses the cigarette lighter plug in your car. You will also like the inclusion of a smart cooling fan.

It only starts to spin once the temperature or the watt power output exceeds a particular point. This power inverter is available in 2 colors such as red and silver. It also features a replaceable external 30 Amp fuse. Like most other high-quality power inverters for car, it also comes equipped with all the must-have safety features.

What Previous Buyers Said

Maximum users of this car inverter are overwhelmed by the price to performance ratio of this. They have admired the inclusion of dual AC and dual USB charging outlets. Additionally, they have mentioned it as one of the best power inverters in this price range.

PROS:

  • Comes with 18 months of warranty
  • Equipped with a replaceable external fuse
  • Has smart cooling fan
  • Free 2 spare fuses and carry bag
  • Build with high-grade aluminum

CONS:

  • No major cons to mention

5. Review of the VOLTWORKS 300 Watts Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter

Specifications

Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.3 x 1.9 inches

Weight: 1.65 lbs. or 750 gm.

Capacity: 300 watts of continuous power and 600 watts of peak power

Features

This is a pure sine wave inverter with a lot of high-end features. For instance, it comes with a 2 USB port each of which can output 2.4 Amp. Also, there are 2 AC outlets. One of the best things about the ports is that all of them are at the front.

It can be powered by the cigarette lighter port on your vehicle. The external enclosure of this power inverter is made with high-grade aluminum. That way, it is both lightweight and rugged.

This one also features various safety protocols like over/low voltage, overheat, overload, shortcut circuit protection, and more. Another good feature is the addition of the smart cooling fan. This fan only starts to run when the load exceeds 100 watts or the temperature rises to >104+/-41℉.

What Previous Buyers Said

Almost all the buyers were happy about this power inverter. Firstly, they have liked the size, build quality, and ease of use as this can be powered using the cigarette lighter plug. Many customers are even saying this is one of the best power inverters for cars.

PROS:

  • Comes with a 30 A external replaceable fuse
  • It is equipped with various safety protection features
  • Comes with 18 months of warranty
  • Smart silent cooling fan
  • Lightweight and portable size

CONS:

  • No major issues

Buying Guide - Best Car Inverters

 

In this power inverter guide section, we will talk about some of the most important things related to the car power inverter.

 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Car Inverter

Purpose

First and foremost, you will have to know the purpose of using your car inverter. You should know how many devices you are going to power up. Also, what type of plugs or ports they use.

In addition, you should also be aware of the total power required to power up all the devices you will need to run on your vehicle while you are overlanding. That way, you can sort out the list of the best power car inverters for you very easily.

Size and Weight

As you will be keeping the inverter inside the car with you, it should not take up much space. As a result, it is better to get a power inverter that comes in small form factors. Luckily, most car power inverters are made keeping portability in mind. So, for the best experience, go for a lightweight and smaller car power inverter.

Safety Features

Your next car power inverter must be equipped with multiple safety features. Some of the most important ones are overload, overheat, over/under voltage, short-circuit protection, etc. So, check whether the car inverter you are thinking to get comes with all these protective features or not.

Watt/Power

Another very significant factor to be aware of is the capacity of your power inverter. Most power inverters come with a decent capacity. Like an inverter generator, a car inverter also has metrics for both peak and continuous power. Make sure, you are going to get a power inverter with enough capacity to handle your daily needs without any issues.

Ports

The more ports the better. Having both USB and AC outlets is a plus. Then again, the inclusion of more ports might increase the price of the unit.

Pure Sine Wave

Pure Sine Wave inverters tend to be a bit pricey compared to its alternative. However, they are a good option if you are looking to run sensitive electronic devices like speakers, TV, oven, and medical devices, etc.

Because Pure Sine Wave inverters don't interfere with any devices as the Modified Sine Wave inverters do. For your convenience, we have reviewed only Pure Sine Wave inverters in this post.

Easy to Hookup

Car power inverters can be directly connected to the battery or you can also use the cigarette lighter plug to power it up. The connection type will vary by model. So, get the one that is suitable for your needs.

Warranty & Build Quality

Like any electronic device, you should look for a car power inverter that has the best warranty policy. It is also better if it comes with a premium build quality. That way, it will serve you for a long time in the future.

best car inverter

 

Types of Car Power Inverters

Direct Connection or Single outlet

As per the name, you can guess that this type of car power inverters come with a single power output. That means you can only power up one device at a time with this. Thus, they tend to be cheap, portable, and easy to use.

Multiple Outlets

On the opposite, we have the car power inverters with multiple outlets. This type of power inverter comes equipped with more than one power output. Most of these inverters feature both USB charging ports and AC outlets. Thus, you can power up or charge various types of devices at once using a 'multiple outlets' car inverter.

As they can power more devices simultaneously, they also come with higher power wattage. Inevitably, they are also pricier and bulkier compared to the direct connection car power inverters.

 

FAQ 

How Does A PI Work?

A power car inverter is basically an electrical transformer. In this case, the device takes the 12-volt DC (direct current) from the car’s battery and converts it to 120 volt AC (Alternating Current). By converting DC to AC, it can power up any devices that need AC power to run.

How Long Does It Work?

The lifespan of a car inverter depends on numerous things. It depends on the way you take care of it. For instance, whether it overheats frequently or not, where you are placing it in your car, does it come with many safety features, etc. If you take care of it, it will serve you for a long time.

Can I Use A Car Battery For The Inverter?

Yes, you can use a car battery for powering up the inverter. But you should always keep the car engine running while you are using the inverter. Many users also use a secondary battery to power their car inverter.

What Is The Best Car Power Inverter?

The best power inverter will not be the same one for everybody. Based on the requirements, budgets, and functions, the choice will vary greatly. But to get the best deal, you should look for one that comes with the rugged build quality, enough capacity, reliable performance, and comes from a well-reputed brand.

Will An Inverter Damage My Car?

No. The car power inverters are made to use in vehicles specifically. So, if you are following the guidelines on using your particular car inverter carefully, then you should be fine.

Are Cheap Inverters Any Good?

Yes and No. There are a few reliable brands that offer very high-quality car inverters at a very reasonable price. In that case, those are really great deals to get. However, that doesn't mean every cheap inverter is good. So, before buying, always make sure you are getting a car inverter with trustworthy safety features, robust build quality, and useful features.

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.

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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.

best overlanding vehicle inverter

Our inverter came in handy on our African adventure