It's 2020, and camping is more than a warm bonfire and the soothing aroma of marshmallows. Whether it is a simple camping under the stars or a long road trip, you'd need your share of AC power, be it pumping the air mattresses or lighting Christmas lights on your RV's roof. However, the power outlet on your car can do little other than charging your phone or recharging your tablet.
When it comes to juicing devices like DSLR cameras, coffee machines, or hairdryers during camping or road trips, devices like power inverters come into the picture.
Car power inverters provide you with continuous power by converting DC to AC power. And the best thing is that they are small, portable and can easily be carried around. Plus, some power inverters are as powerful enough to power a washing machine or a microwave on low power. Sounds cool, right?
Car power inverters provide you with continuous power by converting DC to AC power
So, if you are thinking of going out camping this summer, here are some of the best car power inverters that you should certainly check out.
But before we get down to it, here are a few things that you should check before you buy the item.
Capacity: The capacities of power inverters can vary from 150W and can go as far as 4000W. The math is simple. If you are planning to charge low-powered devices, you can settle on a power capacity of around 150W to 500W. A normal laptop consumes around 75W of power while powering on coffee makers or waffle irons can take above 700W. You have to add up the wattage of all the devices that you are planning to take (ones which you will switch simultaneously).
Number of outlets: Most power inverters come with at least two outlets, but some have only one outlet. While the latter gets the job done if you do not power on multiple devices at the same time, it's best to have a second one for backup.
Modified Sine Wave vs Pure Sine Wave: Though pure wave inverters are designed to protect sensitive electronics and appliances, they are expensive. For most camping needs, modified sine wave inverters fit the bill perfectly. They are affordable, and in some cases may destroy the charging device.
The Foval 150W Car Power Inverter is one of the smallest power inverters out there. It can convert 12V DC to 110V AC and comes with two USB 3.1 outlets and a standard AC power outlet to juice your electrical appliances. It plugs straight into the vehicle's cigarette lighter, and the 150W continuous power is apt for small appliances like laptops, DSLR cameras, air pumps, LED lights, and can-openers.
Plus, it comes with built-in protection to protect against surges. At the same time, it's extremely lightweight and weighs around 9.9 ounces.
The product has around 74% positive reviews on Amazon with people loving it for its versatility, durability, and proves to be great for long road trips and work travel. Plus, it doesn't make much noise when powered on.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is not to leave it plugged into your car as it can drain your car's battery. At the same time, we'd recommend to plug it in after starting your car as it may cause the inverter to overload and fail.
If you are looking to power multiple low-powered devices at the same time, you can check out the Bestek 300W Power Inverter. It delivers 300W continuous AC power and sports two AC power outlets and two USB ports. The USB ports deliver power at 2.1A, which is good enough to juice your phone at a good speed. It comes with a built-in 40A fuse to protect your device from overcharging or from voltage surges.
Plus, the build of the product is solid enough to withstand everyday wear and tear. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that it may be difficult to fit all the cords at a time. On the upside, the robust build can easily withstand the summer heat.
At 500W, it can power lights, small fans, battery charger units, and air pumps. In short, it can power most equipment you'd need on a camping trip.
Plus, the fan is silent and won't bother you much. The Bestek 300W Power Inverter has more than five thousand reviews on Amazon and also possess the prestigious Amazon's Choice tag.
Another 150W car power inverter that you can give a shot is the one from Bapdas. This one has a similar design like the first device on our list and has an AC power outlet along with two USB outlets. All three outlets let you charge low-powered devices ranging from a laptop to TVs, game consoles, and even DVD players.
The Bapdas power inverter measures only 3.2 x 2.5 x 1.5-inches — ideal for carrying it on your backpack's pocket when not in use. Plus, the aluminum body makes it strong and durable.
The user reviews have been pretty good for this product. Many users have stated that it works as advertised. And they love it for its easy-to-use nature and the quality of material.
The only limitation is the use of a single power outlet. On the upside, you can follow the advice above and make the most out of your power strip provided you do not run more than 10 watts at one time.
If you are looking for a modified sine wave power inverter, the one from Energizer makes for a good buy. This is a 500W that comes with two connecting options — jumper cables and cigarette lighter. And, the ability to connect the jumper cables makes it convenient to use when camping. The cables are solid and are long enough (30 feet).
The big power capacity makes sure that you can run plenty of appliances like mini-refrigerators, TVs, fans, and even curling irons. It has two power outlets for powering two devices at the same time. Plus, the 4 USB outlets of 2.4A each makes sure that your tablet, phone, and laptops stay charged all the time.
Reviews regarding this product have been quite great. At the time of writing, it had more than 68% positive reviews out of some eight hundred reviews, with users highly recommending it for long road trips and campsite outings.
However, it's not without its limitations. Some users have expressed concerns about the mounting tabs, as they can be a bit difficult to mount.
On top of that, at 8 x 4 x 2-inches, it's a tad bigger than it above counterparts. And combined with its odd shape, it can be a bit difficult to adjust it in between both the seats. So, depending on the make of your car, you might want to consider this issue.
The Krieger KR1100 is one of the highest-rated car inverters on Amazon. It's a simple rectangular-shaped device with two continuous AC power outlets and two USB ports of 2.1A. It is a perfect device for you if you are on the road a lot. This has a power capacity of 1100W and can run anything from refrigerators to microwaves to irons.
The KR1100 functions well and is easy to install. Furthermore, the installation kit comes with heavy-duty cables, something that has been appreciated by many users. Plus, the long cables means you do not have to worry about repositioning your vehicle too often to reach the power strip.
Plus, it has its share of overload and temperature protections. All the information like voltage and battery information is displayed neatly on the LCD screen.
The KR1100 weighs around 4.41 pounds.
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Camp like a Pro
Continuous power supply while camping or on the road is massive relief since you can use your electrical equipment without any issues. All you need to do is pick the right wattage depending on the appliances that you plan to use. Just remember to unplug when not in use to avoid battery drain.
So, where is your next trip taking you?
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