5 Best Car Power Inverters (Review + Buyers Guide)
Best Vehicle Power Inverters
When we think of our cars, we don’t often think of places to be able to charge laptops or plug something in. Yes, there are plenty of devices out there that can now be charged through a USB port but for something a bit more heavy-duty, you’re going to need an actual plug.
If you’ve ever been in that situation, then you should look into getting a power inverter. With a power inverter, you can have an AC outlet in your car no matter where you go.
If there are USB ports in cars now, why would you need an AC outlet? For a couple of reasons: they charge much faster and can handle more items than your regular USB port can. Plus, they’re not too expensive so it’s always great to have one of them in your vehicle.
Below, we’re going to check out some of the top power inverters on the market and find one that will work for you.
BESTEK pulled out all the stops to bring you a fantastic power inverter here. It’s quite portable and comes with not one, but two AC outlets. You’re going to get up to 1000 Watts to charge two devices when it’s hooked up to your car’s battery.
When it comes to rugged power inverters, this BESTEK model is at the top. It has got a tough design that’s going to withstand just about anything that’s thrown its way.
It also has some built-in protections that come with it, such as low battery shutoff, overload protection, and several fuses included. You’re also going to be getting an 18-month warranty on the product in case it wears out or has some issues that come with it.
Even though it’s not really a feature, we do like the red color and black AC outlets. Reminds us of those handy-dandy jumper cables that everyone should have in their vehicle.
This model is incredibly easy to hook up and doesn’t take lengthy instructions to do so. You can either hook it up to your car’s power outlet or connect it to the battery, giving this inverter a bit more flexibility than what we’re used to.
On the negative side, we are a bit concerned that it supplies 1000 Watts but warns you that you shouldn’t hook up any device bigger than 150 Watts. We’re car people, not mathematicians, but that math just doesn’t quite add up here. It seems you have a lot of power left over.
The battery connections kept slipping off when we connected it to our car battery, but that was few and far between.
- Easy to hookup
- Up to 1000 Watts
- Can be hooked up to battery or car’s power outlet
- Limited when plugged into car’s power outlet
- Issues when connecting to car battery
When it comes to the utmost basic inverter on the market, this Foval model just about takes the cake. It’s not meant for heavy-duty items and is ideal for one item at a time. It supplies you with 150 Watts and is ideal for charging a personal laptop computer. Anything more than that and it’s going to suffer a bit.
This comes with just one AC outlet but also has two USB charging plugs. So if your vehicle doesn’t have a USB plug, then this is a great option to provide you with two at a time. It comes with several different protection protocols, such as a built-in fuse, protection against overheating, and short circuit protection.
It’s quite small, about the size of a credit card, and can be stored just about anywhere. Hooking it up is pretty basic and simple. There’s not much that’s overly flashy about it.
The one thing we did notice about this product was that it got very hot very quickly. We expected some heat, but we didn’t expect it to flare up as quickly as it did.
- Easy to use
- Provides enough energy for one item
- Comes with two USB charging plugs
- Overheats pretty quickly
Overall, this is a quality power inverter that comes with some nice features. The design is nice and sleek and doesn’t look like the boxy item you may see from other power inverters on this list.
This is an easy-to-use, affordable, and great device that’s going to provide you with plenty of AC power for your devices. It comes packed with 1100 Watts of power which is more than enough to run your basic devices. It’s a sturdy device that won’t break if dropped or stepped on.
As a nice little bonus, it comes with legs that let you mount it somewhere in your vehicle if you’re regularly connecting devices. Plus, it comes with a three-foot cable for more flexibility and range when you’re using it.
It comes with protection installed, like the fuse that protects your device from overload. It addition, it does a great job handling the heat and doesn’t get overly hot despite repeated and constant use.
Interestingly enough, it comes with a small remote control and a digital display on the side. While it can be hard to make power inverters look like modern devices, KRIEGER did a pretty good job here.
With the two AC outlets, 2 USB ports, and 1100 watts of power, this device has just about everything you need.
There’s not a lot to complain about, but some users said the remote control stopped working quickly or was incredibly slow when being used. That’s a small complaint for an otherwise great product.
All that being said, it is much more expensive than other units on this list but worth it if you want something like that.
- 2 AC outlets and 2 USB outlets
- Mounting option
- Handles heat well
- A bit pricey
- Remote control is not very responsive
BESTEK comes through with another fantastic product here and is a small version of the BESTEK model we saw above. It can power devices that are 400 Watts or less, more than enough for the majority of items you’re looking to power.
It comes with two outlets and a whopping four USB charging ports, meaning you can charge multiple devices at the same time without any issue. It’s great when everyone in the car needs a phone charger and you’ve only got this one charger lying around.
You can either plug it right into your car’s power adapter or have it hooked up the battery. Remember though that this device isn’t going to be able to handle big items, so just because it’s plugged up to your battery doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to have anything you want plugged in.
It has some great protection features built-in, like a fan for cooling and protection against overheating or voltage issues. The cable is almost 2.5 feet and is more than enough to be able to reach to various parts of your vehicle.
The fan is highly necessary as these BESTEK devices are known to run hot and this one is no different. With the fan, it’s going to stay cool and avoid the risk of overheating.
But, the fan is also its downfall. It runs very loud and reminded us of our old laptop that we boot up every now and then. You can’t adjust the fan speed and it can be quite annoying if left to run for quite some time.
- Four USB charging ports
- 2 AC plugs
- Can easily be hooked up to your car battery
- The fan can be quite loud
This affordable, compact power inverter from POTEK is a great addition to just about any vehicle. It was designed to run a laptop and provides more than enough power to do so.\
With 750 Watts, you can plug in multiple items to this power inverter through its two AC plugs and two USB charging ports.
The fan helps make sure that this device runs cool and is resistant to overheating. It’s also protected from a variety of other issues, such as under-voltage and overheating. This little device really does have it all.
In addition, it can be plugged into your car’s power adapter or connected to the battery with the portable battery clips.
We like how adaptable this device is. It is small and compact enough to be used inside your car to connect just about any device while being strong enough to be connected to your car’s battery and power up some of your bigger, more heavy-duty items. POTEK knows how to make a versatile item.
We do have a few small complaints though. The cord for inside your cigarette holder is short and we felt it could be a little longer as it was barely able to reach past our front seats. The manufacturer also recommends that you don’t run any kind of equipment with that it that produces sound. This is because this POTEK device emits some natural interference that will distort your audio quality.
- Easy to use and quite portable
- Powerful enough for heavy-duty items
- Stays cool despite constant use
- Cigarette lighter cord quite short
- Emits interference
Let’s run over some of the important things to consider before you make a final purchase.
As with everything, you’re going to want to check out the price before you get started. While many of these items are pretty affordable, some of the more versatile and heavy-duty ones can easily reach close to triple digits.
Remember, you get what you pay for here so if you see a deal that’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Number of Outlets
Depending on the unit you purchase, you may see anything between one and six outlets (if you’re counting USB outlets). You should be thinking about what exactly you’re planning on doing with your power inverter to decide how many outlets you will need.
There’s no right or wrong answer here and it’s going to depend on what you need.
If you’re planning on hooking your power inverter up to your car battery, then cable length is probably going to play a big deal. You’re not going to find any that are in the double-digit range, but making sure you have enough length is an important consideration.
In case you were unaware, these little power inverters can get pretty hot. Just as with any compact, electric item they need to cool off. Many of these products have a fan to keep them cool but there are plenty that do not.
If you’re looking at using your power inverter on a regular basis, then it might be a good idea to invest in a unit that has a fan with it.
The bigger, more heavy-duty power inverters are likely to have mounting options. These little legs can be perfect for someone that is using their power inverter on a regular basis.
We recommend looking for one with mounting options, especially if you’re just going to be using it for use inside your vehicle.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to finding the ideal power inverter. Depending on your needs and devices, you may be opting for one over the other.
We recommend you make a list of options that are important to you in order to find your ideal power inverter. If having multiple plugs is important, then put that at the top of your list.
Also, make sure you read plenty of customer reviews as they can often cover issues that we didn’t mention today. One thing to keep in mind is the total drain on your battery. If you are running an amplifier for your subs and 6×9 speakers, and are planning to use the inverter heavily, you may want to consider upgrading your battery to avoid any issues.
Good luck and happy shopping!