So you’re already planning your next camping trip?
As much as I won’t admit it, I still love having a few electric luxuries to help make for a memorable adventure.
Sometimes I just use a power inverter for charging a phone or laptop, while other times the group runs refrigerators and lighting.
To be honest, a power inverter for camping is really useful! You can simply hook straight up to your car or leisure battery and get 120V AC power just like out of the wall at home.
Plus, now modern technology even brings to the fore options like portable power stations which are inverters and batteries in one neat package!
So if you’re looking for the best power inverter for camping, our off-grid experts have done the research and reviews to find you the top options available today.
What’s the Best Size Power Inverter for Camping?
If you have been actively searching for a power inverter for camping, you will see that they are available in many different sizes.
You need the right kit that’s going to meet the tough rigors of off-grid power. Perhaps you want to keep the whole family’s phones charged or run a refrigerator for hot summer days.
So you’re probably wondering what size should be suitable for you to buy?
The easy answer to this question is that it should have a little more power than the total amount of watts you need to run your devices. Ideally, you should consider a power inverter with 20% more than your total load. To determine this, you can calculate the total load by adding together the wattage rating of each device.
You can get an inverter ranging from 100 to 6000 watts, so there’s plenty of choices to meet your requirements. As with most things in life, it’s better to have too much than too little, especially when it comes to the power of your inverter!
Let’s get stuck into finding the best inverter for camping, shall we?
What Can You Run From Your Camping Power Inverter?
You can run virtually any appliance from a power inverter if you have enough output capacity. As we discussed above, you need to compare the total wattage you want to draw against the inverter capacity.
To give you some idea here’s a list of electronics and their average requirements:
In a hurry? Here are the top picks…
8 Best Power Inverters for Camping
Finding a power inverter for camping can be baffling if you are a novice, considering many features like price, budget, power, safety, wattage, and efficiency. Products featured in our list of best power inverters for camping guide you on your quest to off-grid power!
1. BESTEK 1000W Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter
If you’re looking for an all-around high performer then let’s start with this 1000 watts of pure sine wave from BESTEK. It should have everything you need for your car camping adventure.
This 1000 watt power inverter from BESTEK will make your outdoor experience memorable. Once hooked up to a battery you can use it indoors or outdoors for any situation when you need power. It should have enough juice for anything you taking camping!
Happily, it comes with three standard North American AC outlets allowing you to simultaneously power your devices up to a maximum output of 2000 watts. All the while, 2 smart USB charging ports keep your portable gadgets fully charged. It is an ideal device for trips, camping, or work sites to power floodlights, LED TVs, Laptops, refrigerators, DVD players, smartphones, tablets, and many other devices.
A durable modern design makes it tough enough to withstand any harsh conditions and prolonged use. Its aluminum casing protects from any accidental falls whilst remaining lightweight.
This portable unit offers key safety features like isolation voltage protection, over-voltage, over-temperature, and short circuits. You’ll benefit from a built-in six external 50A fuse to protect your battery and devices from any electrical damage. Adding to this, there’s a high-speed fan to keep everything cool and dissipate heat effectively.
- Brand: BESTEK
- Item Dimensions: 10 x 5.3 x 6.5 inches
- Item Weight: 9.6 Pounds
- Pure sine wave
- Six built-in external fuses
- Aluminum casing for durability
- Multiple uses
- Alligator clamps for battery connection
- Carry handle
2. Kinverch 3000W Car Power Inverter
Everything is better with Bluetooth, right? Kinverch delivers you this 3000 watts power inverter with a Bluetooth App.
Effortlessly control your power from your smartphone! The app gives you instant details about input voltage, output power, parameter overview, malfunction display, and setting time for power on/off.
Gain incredible adaptability thanks to 4 AC outlets and 2 USB ports meaning to can quickly run multiple home appliances while charging phones. You can use this inverter to charge or run most of your electrical devices like kindle, mobile phone, TV, laptop, fan, power tools, and other small household items on a road trip, vacation, or camping.
Simply connect your 12V vehicle battery, and you are ready to power all your electronic devices anywhere. Using new technology like surface mount circuit boards it is 28% smaller than the original model, and 36% less in weight. That means awesome power output from more portability.
You’ll be completely protected with features such as eight built-in 40A mini slip fuses, dual cooling fans, and audible alarms for over-voltage- low-voltage, power overload, short circuit, and overheating.
Built for your car, ready for your adventure!
- Brand: Kinverch
- Item Weight: 14.39 pounds
- Package Dimensions: 18.94 x 13.54 x 8.54 inches
- Bluetooth App for control
- Safe and reliable
- Advanced protection features
- Modern technology
- 3000 watts
- App can be unreliable
3. GrantMaya Portable Power Station 300W
This GrantMaya portable power station comes with a powerful battery pack to make a tidy all-in-one solution.
Its high-quality Lithium batteries give 300 watts of pure sine wave AC output, lovely stuff!
There’s plenty of room for everyone’s devices thanks to four USB outputs suitable for your smartphones, tablets, and GPS devices. Two 120V AC outlets enable you to power your laptops, TVs, mini fans, and outdoor lights too. It has all the required power outlets that will make your camping experience peaceful and unforgettable.
For longer trips, the device is easily rechargeable. Just plug it into a mains power source or a cigarette lighter socket in your car. (or even get a portable solar panel!)
Additionally, you can also use a solar panel to recharge the power station during the daytime.
Complete safety of your battery and inverter is guaranteed with its powerful battery management system that improves the battery usage while protecting it from short circuits, over-voltage, low-voltage, power overload, over-temperature. These features make it completely safe and prolong the device’s life.
A convenient device to carry and charge your devices anywhere and anytime. Extremely compact for any emergency use at home or camping with complete peace and reliability.
- Brand: GrantMaya
- Item Dimensions: 7.87 x 7.87 x 3.15 inches
- Item Weight: 5 Pounds
- Powerful battery
- Easily rechargeable
- Complete safety protection
- Compact and portable
- 300 watts
- Pure sine wave
- Consumes battery fast on high load
4. FlashFish 200W Portable Power Station
If you are looking for something with loads of features and yet remains affordable, then the FlashFish portable power station should be your choice. Its everything you need to keep your essentials powered up on a camping trip
Delivering 200 watts of power from a 40800mAh battery, it features one AC plug outlet, 2 DC output, 2 quick charge USB ports, and 1 standard USB port. That’s a whole lot of versatility for the whole family or group to juice up! It means you could run a mini-fridge, lighting, and charge phones all at the same time.
To be honest, it is an ideal device to power your electrical devices at home, outdoors, and camping without any complications. It’s designed for travel uses and is exceptionally light, portable. With a compact design, you can easily carry, store and take along in your car or vehicle. This small device is a 40800mAh power station that is sufficient to fulfill your power needs anywhere and anytime.
The unit is designed to give you consistent and efficient performance all the time. Its smart built-in display shows the battery status so you’ll instantly know how much power you have left – Its 5 bars represent roughly 20% of the battery life.
This all-in-one power station is an inverter and battery in a neat silent package. No need to hook up to your car or leisure battery! She’s easy to recharge too via another power source like mains power, car DC port, or even portable solar panels.
- Brand: FLASHFISH
- Package Dimensions: 12.76 x 11.61 x 6.54 inches
- Item Weight: 5.3 pounds
- Multiple Protection features
- Silent working
- LCD screen for battery status
- 200 watts
- Complete power station
- Will lose battery quickly on full load
5. Ampeak 1000W Power Inverter
Back to a straight-up high quality inverter at an awesome price!
The eye-catching Ampeak inverter pumps out 1000 watts of continuous power and 2000 watts of peak power. You’ll instantly be able to convert 12V DC to battery output to 110V AC power for your devices. Enjoy the use of 2 AC outlets and one 2.1A USB port to run multiple appliances while charging your smartphone. An ideal device to charge or run your phones, lighting, mini-fridges, laptops, cameras, TVs, electrical tools, and other portable gadgets.
Even at this budget price, you’ll get advanced safety and protection features like a smart digital display, silent cooling fan, LED lights, and five 25A mini slip fuses. Rest easy knowing you’re fully protected from over-voltage, low-voltage, power overload, short circuits, and overheating. For decent durability, the shell is made of ABS material that makes it robust and durable, safe from bumps and falls. A handy yet powerful inverter for camping.
Connect it to any 12V battery and forget your power requirements in any off-grid situation.
- Brand: Ampeak
- Item Dimensions: 8.19 x 5.91 x 2.76 inches
- Item Weight: 3.4 Pounds
- 1000 watts
- Wide applications
- Advanced safety protection
- Awesome price
- Loud fan
- Modified sine wave
6. EDECOA 3000W Power Inverter
If you are looking for the best yet affordable 3000-watt power inverter for camping, travel, or vacations, you can consider this one from EDECOA. You can rely on this inverter in any situation. Just connect the inverter to your vehicle battery, and you are ready to go.
EDECOA brings this modified sine wave inverter to provide 3000 watts of continuous power and 6000 watts of peak power. You also get heavy-duty battery cables and a remote switch with the inverter for easy installation.
A cool feature is the 2 USB ports of 2.1A mounted on the remote control, so you can charge your phone from a distance. The remote controller has an On/Off switch and an LCD that displays the battery capacity, load level, temperature, fan status, frequency, DC input voltage, AC output voltage, protection indication.
Adding to this, two AC outlets enable you to run home appliances like refrigerators directly from the inverter without any effort. For durability, the casing is aluminum alloy, which keeps it lightweight and allows proper heat dispersal after prolonged use.
As you’d expect it includes many important safety features like automatic voltage regulation, temperature control, and smart power management. You’ll also be protected from over-voltage and short circuits. Plus two temperature-controlled fans start working automatically when the device temperature goes above 45 degrees.
It’s a lot of power for your money!
- Brand: EDECOA
- Item Dimensions: 12.44 x 5.91 x 4.92 inches
- Item Weight: 10.87 pounds
- Remote controlled
- Multiple safety features
- Large LCD display
- Aluminum alloy shell
- Temperature controlled fans
- Modified sine wave inverter
7. AIMS Power 5000 Watt Modified Sine Power Inverter
This heavy-duty inverter will make your camping trip unstoppable, with so much power it’ll be like you never left home. (Probably one for glamping rather than wild camping…)
Designed to provide 41AC amps, this 5000 watts inverter is suitable to power heavy electrical appliances like motors, power tools, and compressors. Its fantastic feature is an AC direct terminal ideal for devices that require 4000+ watts of power.
Keeping you up-to-date is a front display showing the battery voltage and current power consumption. It is an ideal choice for cabins, camping, RV, or vacations.
The Aims Power inverter 5000 watts is very simple. Just hook it up to your battery with the pre-installed cables and off you go. Unlike a generator, this inverter works quietly and gives no fumes, so it is ideal for camping!
She’s heavier than the others on this list but still portable enough for your car.
It includes essential safety features, including LED lights and protection from power overloads, overheating, over-temperature, short circuits, high voltage, and low voltage. Finally, a smart fan keeps things cool as a cucumber when drawing high loads.
A heavy-duty power beast!
- Manufacturer: AIMS Power
- Item Weight: 18 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 6 x 7.75 inches
- 5000 watts for big appliances
- Quiet operation
- Multiple safety features
- Perhaps too powerful
8. Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160
When it comes to modern solutions for off-grid power, then Jackery should be on your list of top performers.
With the Jackery 160 watt portable power station, you will never face any problem powering your devices during camping. You can simultaneously power multiple devices like cameras, mobile phones, laptops, and other smaller devices. Make your road trip or camping days peaceful and enjoyable with this ultra-compact and portable power pack.
The Explorer 160 power station features one AC outlet to run home appliances or laptops, one USB-C port, two USB-A ports, and one standard DC 12V port for all manner of charging smartphones, tablets, action cameras, and other smaller gadgets.
To recharge the power pack, simply plug it into a wall outlet and car battery port. You can even charge your batteries using a portable solar panel (also available from Jackery). On a sunny day, it gets fully charged in about 6 hours using the solar panel.
It comes with a built-in LCD screen that shows the notifications for battery management, temperature, and voltage. For additional safety, the generator also automatically shuts down when the threshold power reaches 10%.
Get complete flexibility for your short road trips, remote work, or outdoor camping essentials with the Jackery 160.
- Brand: Jackery
- Item Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.59 x 6.73 inches
- Item Weight: 3.84 Pounds
- Easy to install and carry
- Charge up to 5 devices simultaneously
- LCD screen for easy management
- Multiple safety features
- Only one AC outlet.
- Not useful for appliances above 100 watt
9. EGO Power+ Portable Power Station
If you’re looking for a high-power solution that doesn’t require gas or similar generators then the EGO Power+ 3000 watts is a mind-boggling piece of engineering.
It’s an absolute unit capable of running all your home appliances while charging portable gadgets. Plus, it’s a power inverter and battery in one unique package. Before your camping trip simply charge up this beast of a power station and never run out of power. Clean, quiet, portable power.
With its durable design, you can use it indoors or outside, so it’s ready for your next power outage or weekend trips. Even chefs will love this one to power slow cookers and griddles! Plus, you can happily run refrigerators, TVs, fans, smartphones, tablets, and much more thanks to 3 AC outlets and 4 USB ports.
An easy-to-read digital display gives you instant readings on run time and current output, while rigid steel handles make it robust to move.
The weatherproof design combined with cooling and protection features means you’ll never fear a failure in power.
A quiet and easy-to-use generator alternative for your camping trips.
Brand: EGO Power+
Item Dimensions: 18.33 x 13.26 x 14.51 inches
- Large capacity battery
- Multi-functional outputs
- 3000 watts
- Multi-protection features
- Inverter and battery in one
- Digital display
- Heavy and expensive
Buying Guide: Best Power Inverter for Camping
Size and Power
A huge consideration when choosing a power inverter setup for camping is wattage. After all, that’s the end goal. It’s crucial you purchase a unit that outputs enough wattage to run all the devices you require. It is frustrating to continually manage which electronics you can run simultaneously.
To work out the power of the inverter you require, take a look at the wattage rating of your appliances. Then add together the sum of all the devices you want to run at the same time. For example, a TV of 100 watts, smartphone 5 watts, mini-fridge 40 watts, lighting 50 watts. So 100 + 5 + 40 + 50 = 195 watts means you’ll need an inverter more powerful than this number. It’s also wise to use an inverter with 20% more power than you need as they are not 100% efficient. So for 195 watts above, at least a 250 watt inverter would be required.
Inverter or Power Station
I first came across the option of portable power stations when looking for an inverter for my food truck. It was a game-changer. No longer did I need a complicated leisure battery set up or a noisy generator! Instead, a portable power station is the best of both worlds. It is essentially a battery and inverter in one neat package.
An inverter on its own will not power anything as it is designed to convert 12V car or deep cycle battery power into 120V AC power like you have at home. This means to use an inverter you need an exterior battery.
So the invention of portable power stations is an awesome solution to providing electricity on a camping trip.
Of course, when it comes to camping portability is key, even if you are looking for the best power inverter for car camping. Make sure you choose something that is going to be easy to move around as you need it or at the very least will fit nicely in your vehicle.
If you need something with a lot of power 2000 watts or more, then you’re likely to lose a lot of portability as these devices can be very large and heavy. For something you can fit in a backpack or glove box then your best bet is a unit rated less than 500 watts.
One of the big factors our experts considered when reviewing these inverters is the build quality. The last thing you want is an unreliable power source or even something that instantly breaks. Along with the brand name and manufacturer, great signs of durability include aluminum shells, well-placed carry handles, strong power cables, and weatherproofing.
At the end of the day, this is a product that is likely to take the odd bump or fall on your camping trip so it needs to withstand what the adventure throws at it!
Finally, safety is paramount. When it comes to this sort of electronics there is a risk of fire and damage to your gadgets. All the units listed above have the required safety protections to guard against disaster. These protect against over-voltage- low-voltage, power overload, short circuit, and overheating.
Wondering how much an inverter costs?
Well, this all depends on the size and power of your chosen product. To give you some idea the price could range from $50 to $700+.
I know it’s a big range, so let me explain. If you just want a small unit to charge your phones and tablets in the car then you could pick up a 100W inverter for less than $50. On the other hand, higher wattage options can cost hundreds of dollars. Some of the biggest 3000W+ products can cost over $500.
So take the time to understand what you need, simply picking the cheapest option might not be powerful enough to suit your needs. Plus, if you have low wattage requirements there’s no point in spending a lot of money.
Pure vs Modified Sine Wave
One thing you may have noticed in your research is something called sine wave.
If you don’t know what this is, then listen closely.
The type of sine waved directly affects what appliances you can run from your inverter. The two options are pure sine wave and modified sine wave. Here’s the difference:
Pure Sine Wave – Pure sine wave inverters deliver a smooth flow of voltage which is required for sensitive devices that need a constant flow of electricity. This includes medical equipment and motorized devices. If you want to run any highly sensitive devices like medical equipment, power tools, blenders, LED TVs, games consoles, and computers then you’ll need pure sine wave.
Modified Sine Wave – This is the cheaper technology but can’t run such a wide range of appliances. Modified sine wave results in an erratic flow of voltage which can lead to a choppy wave of electricity. This means it is not suitable for the sensitive devices listed above. You will happily be able to charge things like phones, tablets, laptops, water pumps, and old TVs.
How to Use Your Camping Power Inverter
To use your power inverter you will require an energy source such as a leisure battery or vehicle battery. For example, RV owners can hook up to their deep-cycle leisure batteries. If you are going car camping then you can use your vehicle starter battery. Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing and using your inverter:
Step 1. – Locate your battery, in a car, this can be under the hood or under one of the front seats.
Step 2. – Identify the positive (red) and negative (black) terminals on the battery.
Step 3. – Using the inverter’s cables connect the red cable to the red battery terminal and the black cable to the black battery terminal. The easiest way to do this is with alligator clamps or O-rings.
Step 4. – If you are using a vehicle starter battery start the engine. If you try to use your inverter from a starter battery without the engine running you will quickly deplete it leaving you stranded.
Step 5. – Swith the inverter on and check all systems are running correctly, usually this is shown by a green LED light. Now you can enjoy AC electricity while camping.
Pro tip: If you have a cigarette lighter plug with your unit you can quickly use this inside the car to draw up to 150W power inside the vehicle. Again, ensure your engine is running to avoid depleting the battery.
Can you use a power inverter for camping?
Yes, you can use a power inverter for camping. It is an incredibly popular way of supplying AC power to your appliances and gadgets. Usually, people hook up an inverter to a car or leisure battery to gain off-grid electricity. They’re particularly useful for car camping.
Are power inverters worth it?
In certain situations, power inverters are not just worth it, but almost essential. If you have a 12V battery then you will definitely need a power inverter in order to run your devices and appliances. Without it, you won’t be able to draw any power from a battery.
Can you run a coffee machine off an inverter?
Yes, you can run a coffee machine from an inverter but you will need enough power output. Coffee makers can use over 1000 watts of power meaning you’ll need at least a 2000 watt inverter to run a coffee machine.
Can you charge a battery while using an inverter?
Yes, you can charge a battery while using an inverter but this doesn’t guarantee you won’t run out of power. For example, if you are drawing more electricity than the charger is supplying you will eventually run out. Plus you will never be able to fully charge the battery while using your inverter.
Do I need an inverter for camping?
This depends on what your idea of camping is? If you’re wild camping to get away from the stress of modern life then you won’t want an inverter. However, if you’re going off-grid and you want to stay connected for work, run TV’s, keep phones charged, or any other electricity needs then you’ll need an inverter to use battery power when camping.
What size inverter do I need to run a TV?
Will a power inverter drain my car battery?
Yes, a power inverter will quickly drain your car battery with the engine turned off. Car batteries are not designed to run electronics for a long period of time. To stop your battery draining and leaving you stranded, always run your engine when using a power inverter for car camping.
That’s it, everything you could possibly want to know about the best power inverter for camping.
If you’ve read this far, you’ll be an expert on the subject and should be much better placed to pick a product to suit your needs.
Remember, to take into account what devices you want to run and don’t just plump for the cheapest option. The wrong choice will leave you frustrated, although don’t forget to enjoy nature.
Whatever your needs, you can rely on the list of camping power inverter reviews above to find your solution.
Thanks for reading I hope you enjoy your outdoor adventures.
Hi, I’m Michael, the editor here at Watt A Lot.
After years of experience with off-grid power like solar panels, inverters, and batteries I decided I should share my hands-on knowledge with you. In my professional and personal life, I’ve needed to find electrical solutions for remote situations from owning a food truck, to running events at the top of mountains, to my converted campervan. So whether you’re looking for the best products or fixing an electrical problem, you can rest assured my advice comes from real hands-on experience.