In this article: We'll review our pick power inverter picks for your car or truck with quick reviews, photos, our opinion and price comparisons to help you save money.
Having a power inverters in your car at all times is a great idea for everyone. A power inverter is an electronic device that converts Direct Current (DC) into Alternating Current (AC). The inverter itself does not provide any power, rather it comes from the original Direct Current Source. Power inverters are so necessary is because many devices require AC for power and aren’t able to receive it from a DC source (your car runs on DC). So, by using a power inverter you can get the proper type of current needed to power the devices you want.
So what does this have to do with you, and your car? Well, all cars run on DC, and their batteries put out Direct Current. So, if you’re looking to charge a device via your car, you’re going to need to make sure that it is through an AC source. This is where power inverters for cars come in handy.
To use a power inverter, you simply connect the inverter into a cigarette lighter or even directly to the battery. Then, plug the device into the inverter. Now you have power wherever and whenever you need it!
Power inverters will provide a reliable and convenient source of power. This is not only helpful in everyday situations, but also in emergencies. It’s definitely recommended to have one in your car! Also, power inverters are not to be confused with power converters. Converters are used to change the voltage. Inverters change the type of power current and are a completely different device.
Looking for more battery and power products for your car? Check out these lists!
Best Power Inverters List
There are a ton of different power inverters on the market. It can be hard to sift through all of these and choose the best product for your needs. However, if you take into some of the characteristics like size and power in mind, it will make your decision much easier. To help you out, we’ve found 6 of the top rated power inverters for you to choose from:
- DC to AC Power Inverter
- Output: 300W
- 2 USB ports and 2 AC outlets
- 22′ length chord
Bestek MRI3011BU Quick Review
The Bestek Dual 300W is at the top of our list of best power inverters on the market. It has a 4.5 star rating with over 3500 reviews on Amazon!
This power inverter is simple and easy to use. It arrives as just a 1 piece unit, which means there is no intensive assembly required. The inverter’s plug is permanently attached and plugs easily into a cigarette lighter. Another nice bonus is that USB ports are included.
The Bestek Dual 300W includes features like a temperature controlled cooling fan. This will prevent any overheating. The fan also makes this a good choice as an inverter for cars. Because the fan is constantly running, your car’s engine can continuously power it.
Another great aspect of this inverter is its durability. It’s been prove to sustain long-term use and won’t break down after only a few months of use. It’s rated for 300W, as the name suggests and has a Peak of 700 Watts. It's also small and lightweight. It’s no longer than an iPhone and can be carried around wherever you go, whether it’s to the office or on a road trip!
Cobra CPI 200CH Quick Review
The Cobra CPI 200 offers 200 Watts continuous power and 400 Watts at peak power. It has a 2 USB ports which means you can charge your favorite devices like an iPod or Blackberry via the standard USB chord that they came with. It’s a perfect choice for charging any portable electronic device like a cell phone or laptop in your car. One of the key features that stands out to us is its cup holder design and compact size make it all the more convenient.
It also features a number of great safety features including short-circuit protection and automatic shutdown from high heat. And anything does go wrong it’s backed up by a 2-year warranty. One complaint that we noted that often arises is that the fan is too noisy. In a car, this shouldn’t be a big deal, but just something to keep in mind.
- DC to AC Power Inverter
- Output: 900W
- 2 AC Outlets, 2 USB Ports
Energizer EN900 Quick Review
The Energizer 900W Power Inverter is one of the more powerful inverters on our list. It operates at 900W continuously, and 1800W at peak power. This means it can handle nearly any portable device. The size of this device doesn’t mean more noise though. It’s ultra-silent due to its thermal fan technology.
With the Energizer 900 inverter, there’s a lot of different ways to charge your devices. It has 2 AC outlets, 2 USB charging ports and battery clip cables are included so you can run it off your car’s battery.
This inverter is really durable too. It’s designed to sustain drops and bumps, making it great if you ever need to do any serious body work to your car, or if you’re carrying it outdoors.
Duracell Pocket Inverter 175 Quick Review
Duracell is one of the most recognized names in batteries. It’s a reliable brand and this product is no exception to their continued efforts at putting out quality products.
One of the unique features of this Inverter is it has a three-pronged AC outlet (most have two pronged). This means the device can handle all chargers and adapters you may have – two pronged or three pronged. The Duracell inverter also boasts impressive cooling technology. Even with the cooling fan, it’s noise level is up to 50% quieter than that of its competitors.
The size is also convenient and it’s one of the smallest power inverters on the market. It’s called a ‘Pocket’ Inverter for a reason. It can be stored virtually anywhere: A briefcase, your glove compartment, or in a cup holder. Though this inverter works hard, its advanced cooling technology keeps it quiet and cool.
Keep in mind that this only produces up to 175 Watts. This makes it less powerful than other options, so make sure that the devices you will need to charge don’t require over that amount.
5. Rally 7413
- Cup holder DC to AC Pocket Power Inverter
- Output: 200W
- 2 AC Outlet, 1 USB Port, 1 Cigarette Lighter Port
Rally 7413 Quick Review
This cup holder power inverter from Rally Manufacturing is perfect for any car. It offers a continuous 200 Watts of power, which will power most portable electronic devices. This is a high performance inverter, that also conveniently fits in a cup holder.
The inverter comes with dual 110 volt outlets. It also has an extra 12-volt outlet, an iPod quick charge adaptor, plus a USB port which offers users greater flexibility with how they charge their products. It truly is an all-in-one inverter.
The Rally 200W Inverter also includes a number of safety features. These include short circuit protection, a low battery alarm, automatic shutdown and a ground fault interrupter circuit. And if those safety features aren’t enough the inverter offers a 2 year warranty.
- Ultra Slim DC to AC Pocket Power Inverter
- Output: 175W
- 1 AC Outlet, 1 USB Port
PowerBright XR175-12 Quick Review
The PowerBright XR175 offers a low-cost option for those who need a power inverter. It costs just under $20, making it the best budget power inverter on our list.
At this price, you’ll get a power inverter that provides 175 Watts continuously. It will still cover phones, most laptops, iPods and other small gadgets, but make sure you don’t need to power any device that needs more than 175 watts. It’s also convenient because it can be plugged into airplane power ports, making it convenient for your next flight. You’ll also find battery clamps so you can get power directly from your car’s battery if necessary.
The PowerBright is also one of the smallest, most compact options on our list. The products dimensions are 4.8×3.5×2.8 inches. It is perfect for carrying on the go.
One complain of the PowerBright has been that the AC plugs fall out easily because of the weak AC socket.
It’s important to do your research before buying a power inverter, especially if you’re not overly familiar with electronics. For example, different power inverters provide energy at varying levels. This means you have to know how many Watts are required by the products you wish to power.
This is why DC to AC power inverters are available in a large variety of sizes. You can find them as small as 50 watts to up to 5000 watts! In order to find the right size for your inverter, you need to keep in mind the power output of the devices you want to use. This information can usually be found directly on some products, if not in their user manual.
Let’s use a laptop as an example. If it generates 450 watts, you need an inverter that is at or larger than 450 Watts—500 Watts would be a good choice.
Some tools have two different levels of Watts: A ‘Continuous’ and ‘Peak-Surge’ level. Some devices give off a greater surge of power when starting up, then run at lower levels. Power inverters will have the capacity to handle these large initial surges, but only for a short period of time, so don’t judge the power of an inverter on the ‘Peak-Surge’ level.
We recommended that most users get a power inverter rated under 300 Watts. This is because when using a 12-volt cigarette lighter socket, which is found in most cars, you won’t need and shouldn’t use, much more than 300 Watts. This is because the fuses in the car are at risk of being damaged if too many Watts flow through.
You should also consider the physical size of the power inverter. Since you’re going to be using this for your car, you want a small, compact size that is going to fit comfortably.