In-car power inverters have many uses. Some people may choose to use them for recreational purposes on road trips to power TVs and game consoles for the rear seat. Others are more business-oriented and need a good inverter to charge laptops and cell phones on the move. Either way, it’s essential to pick a reliable inverter to avoid damage to both your car and your appliances.
We've chosen five of the best power inverters for a variety of purposes, anywhere from the occasional use to charge more than one phone, to the more extensive needs of a mobile office or camping. As such, the price also varies quite a bit, but each of our picks offer good value and convenience for the money. We've also ensured that each power inverter we've selected has adequate safety features to protect your vehicle and devices.
The Bestek MRI3011BU offers good all-around performance for the money, with two AC outlets, two USB ports, and multiple safety features. Surprisingly compact, this power inverter is a great choice for when you need to plug in multiple appliances on the go. Read Full Review
This basic power inverter comes with everything you'll need for an extended road trip or mobile office, with two AC outlets and two USB ports. This Bestek unit plugs into the DC outlet/cigarette lighter in your vehicle, and provides enough power to keep multiple devices charged or running.
This power inverter also includes multiple safety features, such as short circuit, overload, overheat, and low battery voltage protections. It will shut off automatically to protect both your vehicle and your appliances from any potential damage. A built-in cooling fan is included but it’s worth noting this feature never shuts off, thus constantly drawing a small amount of power.
The Cobra CPI 480 power inverter offers two AC outlets and a single USB port, so you can hook up multiple devices. This power inverter can be found for reasonable prices at major online retailers. Read Full Review
The Cobra CPI 480 is a 400-Watt power inverter that easily plugs into a cigarette lighter port, while also offering direct-to-battery cables for hardwiring. This power inverter includes two AC outlets and a single USB port, allowing for hooking up multiple appliances such as a laptop or video game console, as well as phones and other small electronics.
Multiple safety features such as thermal shutdown and reverse polarity protection safeguard your vehicle and equipment, providing peace of mind during use. Overall, this power inverter is perfect for road trips and mobile offices, or any time when you need on the go AC power.
The Energizer Cup Inverter is shaped to fit into most cup holders, making it convenient to store and access. This inexpensive model isn’t made for heavy-duty use, but it’s a great option for those with multiple small devices. Read Full Review
This compact power inverter from Energizer is shaped to fit in most cup holders, creating a convenient storage option while in use. This Cup Inverter is capable of charging up to five devices at once, although this will depend on the power needed by each individual device. This is accomplished via four USB ports and a single AC outlet, allowing you to connect it to various devices such as phones, laptops or tablets.
The use of a thermal fan makes this power inverter quiet, while multiple safety features protect against damage to your vehicle or devices. It even comes with a separate cable to connect to an external battery for use during activities such as camping. Although this power inverter is not suited for heavy-duty use, it’s an inexpensive and convenient option for those who need to keep multiple devices hooked up while on the go.
The Tripp Lite PV375 is on the pricier side, and lacks the USB ports of the other picks on this list. However, it’s arguably the most rugged choice with all-metal housing and multiple safety features such as a replaceable fuse. Read Full Review
The PowerVerter 375-Watt power inverter from Tripp Lite might not have as many outlets as many other models, but it does offer excellent reliability and durability. This power inverter plugs easily into your vehicle's cigarette lighter, while the three-foot cord allows you to place the inverter where it’s needed. The PV375 has two AC outlets, allowing you to plug in devices such as laptops, phone chargers, and various other appliances.
This compact unit has durable metal housing, as well as multiple safety features including a low battery alarm and auto-shutoff, as well as a replaceable fuse for overload protection. Although fan noise can get rather loud, this power inverter is a great choice for those who need rugged reliability.
This affordable and compact power inverter plugs directly into your vehicle's cigarette lighter, and provides two USB ports and a single AC outlet. Although this Bestek power inverter won't do for heavy usage, it's an extremely convenient unit to have on hand. Read Full Review
This Bestek power inverter offers a single AC outlet and dual USB ports in a compact and affordable package. Although this 75-Watt power inverter isn't as well-suited to the heavy demands of a mobile office, it’s an excellent option to keep around for when you need an extra outlet in the car or on the go.
This power inverter plugs directly into your vehicle's cigarette lighter, and swivels to provide easy access. The dual USB ports consist of one 2.1A port specifically for charging an iPad, and a second 1A port for other small devices. Multiple safety features protect your vehicle and devices from any potential damage.