You probably know that you can’t connect your laptop directly into your car, but why exactly is that? Your car is producing DC or direct current from the battery and current from the alternator whilst idling, this is usually a 12V DC charge. Your devices are using AC or Alternating Current.
You need to plug your devices into an inverter that converts the direct current coming from your car into alternating current so it can be used to charge up all your electronic gizmos such as laptops, smartphones, fans, and anything else you can think of!
In cars, these inverters can usually be plugged directly into your cigarette lighter, and are incredibly handy if you ever find yourself away from civilization and want a little bit of TV time or a quick peek at those work emails whilst you’re away on holiday.
Best Car Chargers To Wall Outlet Power Inverters
OUR TOP PICK
We’ll start with this nifty little white FOVAL car power inverter. It comes with a capability of 200 Watts, 4 USB type-A ports and it comes with two 110-volt AC power outlets.
It plugs directly into your cigarette lighter and is pretty lightweight as well, weighing in at 20.2 oz. The FOVAL comes with an inbuilt cooling fan and a built-in fuse so you can rest assured that your devices are well taken care of.
Each of the USB ports provides a charging speed of 2.4 A to your smartphone or your tablet and the fact that there are four of them is incredibly generous considering the size of the gadget.
You won't have to be too worried about your power inverter sustaining any critical damage whilst it's being used to charge up your devices.
It contains an inbuilt 15 A fuse which will keep your device protected against short-circuiting, low voltage, overvoltage, overcharge, overload, and heat temperature spikes.
This nifty FOVAL 200W Power Inverter is built with a high-quality white metal casing meaning it looks sleek on your dashboard and will stay safe if it gets knocked off or you have any bumpy roads along your journey.
You can use this product whenever you're on the road, out and about camping and it even serves as a great emergency kit to have in case there's any power outage and you need to connect a device immediately.
So even if you're not the world's biggest adventurer it might be handy to just pop one of these in your car if disaster strikes.
- 200 W
- 4 USB Type-A ports
- 2 110-volt AC power outlets
- Sleek white metal design
- About the size of a passport, so easily stored away
- Inbuilt fans and protection against damage
- Handy velcro strap for storing cable
- The cable is only 10 inches, not that great for maneuvering your devices around the car
This exciting-looking device is perfect if you like having your cables out of the way when you travel. The SUPERONE 150W car power inverter slots straight into your cup holder.
What's exceptional about this car power inverter is it comes with two USB type-A ports, both of which are 3.1A USB ports which means you can quickly charge up your smartphone and tablet without any issues.
This inverter only comes with 1 110-volt AC outlet so would be great for charging your laptop products or AC devices on the go but isn't quite as big as some of the other devices on this list.
Another unique feature of this device is that it comes with two cigarette lighter sockets, providing another 80 watts of power when using them simultaneously but just be aware that this device is not compatible with any appliances over 150 Watts.
Again, this device comes with built-in fuse protection so that you can be assured that you’re protected against overload, short-circuit, low voltage, over-voltage, and of course protected against overheating thanks to the smart cooling fan built inside.
Its unique design is great for saving space and reducing clutter in your car, especially if you hate having anything near your gearbox when you're on the move.
It's made from plastic which keeps it lightweight and protected against any drops whilst on a bumpy road. Due to there only being one AC outlet available, it is pretty easy to carry around and it’s a nice compact size for when you're on the go.
- Fits perfectly into your cup holder
- Inbuilt fan
- 2 USB type-a ports, both 3.1 a for extra fast charging
- 110-volt AC outlet
- Cigarette lighter sockets
- Built-in fuse for protection
- Automatic fan turn on whenever its temperature reaches 100 degrees F
- Plastic material is not as durable as its metal counterparts
- Pretty annoying if you don't have a cup holder in your car
- Not built to handle anything over 150W
This POTEK 500W power inverter is the most powerful on this list with a high performance of up to 1000W.
Though the dual USB ports are type A, which aren't the 3.0 connections so not quite as fast as perhaps some of the others, they still provide a great charging speed for all your regular smartphone and tablet devices.
It also comes with 210 AC outlets which are great for most of your laptops, your Kindles, other electronic devices such as light or fans, basically anything rated under 500 watts.
Bear in mind however that the cigarette lighter plug supports 15A so should only really be used with an electrical load under 150W as anything more can damage your inverter and potentially your device.
There's always an option to hook this bad boy straight up to your 12-volt battery using the included battery clamps whilst running the inverter. This is great if you require a higher electrical load.
As with the other car charging devices, this one comes with an inbuilt cooling fan. This cooling fan automatically turns on when the power reaches over 200-watt which makes sure that the inverter doesn't overheat whilst in use.
The POTEK 500W power inverter also comes with 2 built-in fuses which just add another layer of protection to the device. This makes sure that you are kept safe from overload, low voltage, overheating, short-circuiting, and of course over-voltage as well.
A great bonus of this device is that it comes with an LCD screen. This is great if you love seeing your device's performance whilst on the go. The display screen shows your input voltage, your output voltage, and your output watts.
- 500 W
- 2 USB type-A ports
- Built-in fuses
- LCD showing input and output
- Cooling fan built-in
- Comes with battery clamps and wires to connect directly to your 12-volt battery
- 2 110v AC outlets
- This device can handle a high performance but make sure that you're not using anything above 150W device if you are running this through your cigarette lighter plug, instead use the car battery clamps and you can clamp this directly to your 12-volt battery whilst running the inverter
This 101 car power inverter is great if you just want something small that gets the job done. It's more of a budget model but great to fling in your car in case of emergencies.
This product comes with just one USB type-A port at 2.1A, so isn't an extra fast one but does deliver enough power to charge up your smartphones or any other USB-compatible devices.
It also has just one 110-volt AC outlet so it's great for charging a laptop or electronic use unit as long as it's under 100 Watts, so make sure that your electronic device is compatible with this.
This Ampeak power inverter doesn't come with any cables which can either be a great thing if you hate having annoying cables in the way, or can be pretty annoying if anyone in the backseat wants to plug in something.
However, it can be tilted up or down which makes it easy if you have your electronic device in a bit of an awkward place.
Of course, this comes with a cooling fan and once this turns on, the conversion efficiency also increases. The product is also designed with vents on three of the four sides. However, due to the small size, it's not that powerful a fan.
This device also comes with a handy LED light that provides performance readings and shows whether it's working or not. If it's green everything is working correctly, if the light is red there's a problem with the inverter and you should probably unplug it.
The Ampeak features a built-in fuse giving you protection against overvoltage and under-voltage, overload, short-circuiting, and temperature control.
Unlike some of the other plastic models, this has an external shell of premium ABS material so it can survive quite a lot of bumps and scrapes without getting damaged.
Due to the compact size, this is great if you just need to plug in one or two devices and don't need a whole heap of juice whilst you're on the go.
- Built-in fuse for protection
- Hard external shell made from premium ABS material
- 100-watt power inverter
- One USB type a port
- 110-volt AC outlet for charging your laptop or electronic device under 100 w
- Only suited for electronic devices under 100 Watts
- The small size means less cooling fan and ventilation
- No cable so could be annoying for people in the backseat
This is a great device if you want to plug in more than one feature at the same time while remaining safe. This BMK 200W car power inverter has 4 USB type-A ports, all of which run at 2.4A each.
When you use all of these simultaneously, the power inverter has an output of 6.2A in total. Since it is equipped with smart-chip technology, you can feel safe in the knowledge that the inverter is delivering the right current level to your connected devices.
Thanks to the handy screen, you can determine the operating functions and see the device's battery voltage. This can be connected via the cigarette lighter socket and shows the current when you charge via a USB Type-A port.
The device is pretty heavy compared to some of the others on this list but it's still portable enough that you can store it away easily whilst hiking, camping, or vacationing.
This inverter has an inbuilt cooling fan of course, and a built-in 15A fuse to provide an extra level of security against over-voltage, low voltage, short-circuit overload, and heat regulating.
- 4 USB type-a ports
- 2 110v AC outlets
- Compact size
- Smart chip technology to deliver the right current to your device
- Can run multiple devices at the same time
- Useful on-off switch
- Pretty heavy compared to the other devices
If you're looking for lots of juice this car power inverter comes with 2 USB type-c ports both with a charging speed of 2.4 for a which is pretty standard these days and is great for smartphone tablet power bank or any other USB device.
The best thing about this one however is that it comes with three separate 110v AC outlets to power up your laptop and any other electronic gadgets on the go.
Be aware of course that it is not compatible with any device that exceeds 150W so bear this in mind when shopping around for an inverter.
This has a nice long cable of 31 inches makes it convenient for anyone looking to plug in from the backseat especially with the 3 AC outlets.
This device might not be the best looking but it is constructed with really durable insulation and fire-resistant material so you can be sure that you're safe from shortages and heat damage.
It comes with a built-in fuse so you know you're protected against overvoltage, overcharge, overload, overheating, low voltage, and short-circuiting.
- 310 volt AC outlets
- 2 USB type-a ports
- Constructed from durable insulation and fire-resistant material
- Built-in fuse to provide protection
- Silent cooling fan
- Lightweight design
- Pretty ugly design
- Larger than some of the other models we've seen
- Not suitable for devices over 150W
Lastly, we have the BESTEK 300-watt power inverter. This product has two USB Type-A ports, great as they provide smart device detection so they can deliver the appropriate charging speed for your USB-compatible devices.
Each port has a rating of 0-2.5 but this will boost to 4.8 when you use them together. This device also has 2 110V AC outlets, perfect for handling power-intensive gadgets such as your laptops and your tablets at the same time.
This can be plugged straight into your cigarette lighter with its 24-inch cable, not the longest but certainly not the shortest on this list.
It comes with an aluminum alloy shell which makes it great for accidentally dropping from a height as it is incredibly durable.
This comes with a standard built-in 40 amp fuse to keep your devices protected from overheating, under/over voltage charging, overload, short-circuiting, and overcharging.
- 300 W
- 2 USB type-a ports
- 2 110v AC outlets
- Inbuilt cooling fan
- Built-in fuse and AC power switch
- Sturdy aluminum alloy design
- Quite large and not the sleekest design
- 24-inch cable is convenient but not outstanding
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does A Power Inverter Work?
As we said at the beginning of the article, an inverter converts a DC power source (in this case, a 12V car battery) into an AC power source. These inverters do this by rapidly reversing the DC’s polarity to generate a different shaped energy wave (a square wave).
Because many smaller electronic devices such as our laptops, computers, smartphones, and others operate through the use of sine waves, a power inverter uses filters, conductors, and semiconductors along with transistors, diodes, and capacitors to produce a clean sine wave.
The inductor releases this sine way that the technology can register as current and use to power their various devices once it has finished the rectification (conversion) process.
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