Popular Inverter Generator Comparisons

Popular Inverter Generator Comparisons

The inverter generator market is saturated with information and products, making it hard to cut through to find something that suits your needs and budget.

Ideally, you want an inverter generator you can easily lift and function, that can fit into your camping or caravanning arsenal with no issues, power up all your essentials and not cost you an arm and a leg.

We’ve taken the time to go through several popular inverter generator options to help you work out what will turn your next adventure into an absolute dream.

 

How do they work?

Inverter generators – like their conventional counterparts – produce electricity through a gas-powered engine that can be started either manually or using a remote. This turns on an alternator that generates electrical power.

Inverter generators come with power outlets so you can plug extension cords into the unit or appliances and power tools directly. Generally, the more powerful the inverter generator, the more outlet combinations can be used on it.

What’s the size?

This is very dependent on your needs and can fluctuate wildly.

Generally speaking, if you’re looking for something to power all your regular appliances – like LED lights, small cooktops, air conditioners and charging devices, your best bet is an inverter generator that sits between 2kW and 4kW.

If you need something heavy-duty, you can go up to 8kW, which is perfect if you’re powering a big site or using your generator as at-home back-up in case of emergency. You can even use it to power a food truck or market stall. Smaller units like the GenTrax 800W also do a great job of keeping your electricity flowing even in their small package.

Before you start shopping, work out your power requirements using an appliance guide. Many typical camping appliances run on small wattage but take a bigger wattage to start-up. For example, on average, a fridge needs a power surge of 1350W to start working before it evens out to 500W while running, so you need something fairly powerful to get it going. This is key to your shopping so do your research!

 

Typical features

The nitty-gritty details. Here are the most common features of the most popular inverter generators on the market.

GenTrax 3.5kW generator

Built to last, this popular inverter generator is the perfect size for your camping needs. It weighs only 28kgs so is easy to be moved around wherever you’re staying and loaded into cars and caravans with little effort. When it’s running the volume is 58 decibels @ 7 metres, which is very quiet and won’t annoy your neighbours. It has an 8-hour run-time on a full tank of petrol and dual AC outlets and a DC outlet. It has been a mainstay on the Australian market for many years and won the Product Review generator of the year in 2018, 2019 and 2020. If you buy from Outbax, you also get a one-year warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee. The 3.5kW product also has a sister product with remote start and wheels for added convenience.

 

 

Honda EU30I generator

Popular car makers Honda are in on the inverter generator game, and their 3kW unit is their most commonly sold in Australia. It’s a bit louder than the GenTrax at 68 decibels @ 7 metres, and also slightly heavier at 35kg. On the plus side, it has wheels so it’s easily portable. Similarly to the GenTrax, it has around a 7 hour run-time, but on a full load you’re closer to 4 hours. However it has an eco-mode for a longer run-time if needed, which is handy if you’re using it to light a space overnight. There are 2 AC outlets and a DC outlet on the generator. And it also has an upgraded, more expensive model with electric start.

 

Yamaha EF3000iSE generator

You’d know them better for their motorcycles but Yamaha also make inverter generators. Their 3kW unit is a match-up to the above brands and sold in Australia. This one is on wheels as well, which is handy considering it’s the heaviest of the bunch at a whopping 67kg. It’s slightly quieter than its counterparts at 51 decibels @ 7 metres and will work for around 5 hours on a full load. With economy mode on, it purports to run for 20 hours without the need to refuel. For an extra fee you can also purchase a remote stop/start pack that works up to 10m away.

All the generators run on regular unleaded 91 petrol which is handy when you’re in remote areas. All the brands have decent warranties and sell out of Australia, so if you need help it won’t be long for you to receive it. And they all are Pure Wave Sine tested so there's no risk of damage to any of your sensitive equipment.

On the surface, these inverter generator brands do the job and will power everything from lighting to air conditioning. They all operate on a pull-start and are super easy to use. While the GenTrax doesn’t have wheels, it’s the lightest option and can be easily picked up and moved by one person. It also has the advantage of a slightly higher power output.

There is however one area where the GenTrax shines above the rest.

The price

GenTrax 3.5kW RRP: $739

Honda EU30I RRP: $3990

Yamaha EF3000iSE RRP: $5019

Thanks to selling directly to the public instead of a third party, the GenTrax has cut overheads to be the competitively priced inverter generator in the market, especially considering its weight and power output benefits over the competition.

The price point is the key factor when considering which one to buy – it will all depend on how much you want to outlay for your inverter generator. Armed with all the key information above, we recommend turning to customer reviews to see what the public has to say about their purchases and going from there to power your needs!