Best Power Inverter for Cars: [2018 Edition]

What do they always say? Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, right?

I agree, absolutely. A little preparation never hurts.

Imagine that you’re in your car and you need to make an urgent phone call. You pull out your phone only to find that your battery is dead.

What are your options?

You could stop at a nearby gas station and get your phone charged. But, if you’re a traveller, this can quickly turn into a nuisance.

How often will you want to run and look for a place to charge your cell phone, or laptop, or any other device for that matter? The modern era of 21st century has borne a lot of gifts upon mankind.

One of which, is a power inverter for all your charging needs inside the reach and comfort of your car.

And, to save you from the effort of going through all the viable options, we’ve selected some of the best power inverters for cars.

Here we go!

1. Bestek 300W Power Inverter

Coming from Bestek, America’s one of the most famous inverter brands, this is one of the best power inverter for cars, which your money can purchase.

It has the potential to provide continuous supply of about 300W by converting all of the DC from battery into AC, which your appliances can use.

If you desire an instantaneous outburst of power, there is an option for that too. It supplies around 700W of peak power.

We were not disappointed with the ports either. It has 2 USB charging ports and 2 AC outlets for at least four devices charging simultaneously.

Initially, we’re a bit worried about the size of the power inverter. But all those fears came to rest when we found that the power inverter is barely larger than the iPhone.

You can easily carry it around and use it in any of your cars.

Sure, we were a bit worried about the massive amperage of the device, but thankfully, it comes with a 40 amp surge protector fuse.

The casing in which it is housed, is pretty sturdy as well. It is made of metal and provides ample protection against bumps and drops.

The cooling fan provided inside the inverter was keeping the heat at bay, easily. That, however, shouldn’t be a problem if you frequently turn the AC on in the summers.

We found that there is also protection for overvoltage, undervoltage, short-circuiting, overload and overcharging.

Pros

  • Surge protection
  • 18 months warranty
  • Compact design
  • Fast charging

Cons

  • Fan can get a bit noisy
  • Could get warm in hot weather
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2. Foval 150W Power Inverter

In a price bracket south of about twenty dollars, this 150W offering from Foval is a good choice.

Like most in the price segment, it comes with two AC power outlets, and two USB slots for plugging in your smart devices.

We tested these ports with CPAP machine, Kindle, DVD players, and even an iPad along with phones and laptops. We’re happy to report that all the devices were compatible.

What really stood out was the presence of a travel kit. It is barely the size of a credit card and fits well even in your pocket. The aluminum build ensures that the inverter weighs at a moderate 8 ounces.

As a short circuit or an overload is just a bad design away, the presence of a Mufti Protection is always welcome. This offers excellent protection against such faults.

For practicality and simplicity’s sake, Foval has provided a simple LED indicator which flashes green when everything is normal, and red when it isn’t.

Not to mention that it comes with a 16 inch long cable and fits easily in your cigarette lighter plug.

We’re delighted to find a smart fan installed as well. You wouldn’t notice it running and working silently, unless the temperature starts to climb.

Pros

  • Light build
  • Long cable
  • Safety and usability
  • 12 month warranty

Cons

  • Boring design and limited color choices
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3. Quesvow 300W Power Inverter

Manufactured by Quesvow, this 300W power inverter comes in three colors. That’s the most number of options available in any of the inverter we’ve tested.

As the output is of 300W, the inverter is capable of supporting a wide array of devices like tablets, phones, breast pump, DVD player and even a drone!

Like most of its competitors, two dual AC outlets are present along with two USB ones. But what stands out is the arrangement of the outlets.

They are well spaced and they ensure that you can connect all the ports simultaneously.

Also present, is a 35A fuse that protects the devices in the event of an overload, overcharge, and a short circuit. The best part about this fuse is that it is easily replaceable.

It doesn’t require an electrician to open up the inverter and change the fuse. We’re able to do it easily.

The cord provided is easily one of the longest that we’ve seen in an inverter. At 33 inches, it is guaranteed to reach even the most distant corners of your car.

Finally, let’s talk about the fan, shall we? Although automatic, the fan was a little too loud to not pay attention to. Every once in a while, as the temperature soared to 38 degrees, the fan mechanism kicked into action.

And of course, the design is something that we’re sure you’ll enjoy. It is compact, light in weight, and easily portable.

The 18 months warranty is always a welcome bonus.

Pros

  • Solid 18 months warranty
  • Protection against surge
  • Long cable for reach

Cons

  • Noisy fan
  • A little heavier compared to competition
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4. Potek 500W Power Inverter

If you own any power hungry devices like a gaming laptop or even a mid sized hair dryer, this power inverter is definitely worth the attention.

Manufactured by Potek and packing in a capacity to supply 500W of sheer electrical power, this could be the device of your needs inside your car.

We also found that there is a model higher than the 500W one. It has the ability to supply almost 1000W of instant power for most demanding of electronics.

The input of 12V DC is ably converted to 115V AC power. We tested it with multiple devices like tablets, phones, laptop computers and even media players like a DVD. And we must say, we weren’t disappointed.

And don’t let the ultra compact design fool you. It offers an excellent protection against various electrical faults like short circuit, overload, and even overheating.

Potek has used an ultra light aluminum build to keep the design light, and yet sturdy. So much so that you can easily place it in your pocket while heading to camping or any such trips, long and short.

What disappointed us was the lack of another USB slot. Often we found ourselves debating as to who gets the USB slot to charge their phones and tablets.

Thankfully, the warranty is long at around 18 months. The fan too is silent and does a decent job of keeping everything calm and cool.

Pros

  • Good for power hungry devices
  • Inbuilt surge protection
  • Long 18 months warranty
  • Compact build

Cons

  • Only one USB slot
  • Cable could have been longer
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5. Giandel 1000W Power Inverter

 
While not being a US based company, Giandel is renowned the world over as a leader in inverter market.

And we’re delighted to find that they haven’t disappointed us with their design for American audiences as well.

It wouldn’t be wrong to call it the ‘Mjolnir’ of power inverters for one simple reason; it has a massive output of 1000W! You could power your gaming PC inside your car and power it using this monster.

Not recommend though.

The peak power output can be as high as 2000W. And why just for your car, this is easily one of the best power inverter for work trucks and well suited even for a RV.

There are two AC outlets and one USB outlet for usage. We really appreciated the extra feature of being able to use the inverter with a solar charger.

The solar charger connects to an inbuilt SLA battery which then powers the devices via the inverter.

There is ample protection for overcharge, short circuit and overload conditions. This is perhaps one of the very few devices to have an auto restart function in case of a systematic failure.

Like all the models in this price bracket, it comes with a cooling fan that silently does it’s job and reduces the heat output of this capable inverter.

The warranty provided is a generous 18 months too.

Pros

  • Massive 1000W power output
  • Solar power compatible
  • Auto restart function

Cons

  • Just a single USB port
  • Slightly larger than other inverters
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Buyer’s Guide to the Best Car Inverter

 

What is an inverter and why you need one?

The devices we use in our homes are powered by alternating current at 110V. Alternating current changes direction constantly.

Direct current, on the other hand, is a unidirectional current which is obtained from batteries. This type of current is not suitable for your electrical devices that can only utilise an alternating current.

It is for this reason, that a power inverter is used. Say you urgently need to finish some work while you are on the road.

You cannot just connect your laptop to your car battery. If you have a power inverter, it inverts the alternating current into a direct current. This is how they work.

Some benefits that power inverters offer

Generally, a portable or even a non portable inverter is noiseless in operation. It is the fan which makes a little noise as it tries to dissipate the heat generated.

The cost of running a power inverter is practically zero. All you need is to buy one, and attach it to the DC power source, which is usually a battery.

And the best part about modern inverters is that they produce no toxic fumes or gases, and are automatic in function.

What type of power inverter is suitable for you?

There are basically three types of inverters available today. Modified Sine wave, Pure Sine wave, and Square wave inverters.

We recommend that you go for a pure sine wave portable inverter for your car, truck or a RV.

This is because pure sine wave inverters offer maximum compatibility with modern electronics along with longer life.

Your smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers should have no problem whatsoever working on a pure sine wave inverter.

What is the size best suited for your needs?

This is the million dollar question that needs answering. Choosing a portable, pure sine wave inverter for your vehicle is fine. But how do you decide what size is appropriate for your needs?

Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science.

You simply have to calculate the sum of the powers of all the devices that you would be using in your car.

Let’s say that you would be using only 3 devices in your car. A phone, a laptop and a tablet.

Assuming that a typical phone uses not more than 20W. And a typical laptop uses no more than 100W, and a tablet, similarly, uses around 50W, brings the sum to about 170W.

So, based on this calculation, we would recommend a 200W inverter.

And in the off chance that power is not mentioned on your device, which is a rarity in itself, there is a simple formula to find power.

Power equals rated voltage times current.

Easy, right?

To Sum Up

Choosing the best car inverter or any other vehicle shouldn’t be a mind numbing experience.

And we have made sure that never happens by selecting the above mentioned inverters for your needs.

By following our guide, we’re sure that you wouldn’t encounter any problems whatsoever. If, however, you do, just give us a call, and we’ll take it from there.

See you soon!

About the Author Roger

Roger is a mechanical engineer by day and grease monkey by night, who spends all his free time tweaking things in his car. His love for car audio equipment is only matched by his desire to help others find the best products suited to their needs.

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