Inverter generators are among the hottest products on the camping and off-grid market. Unlike a regular generator, an inverter generates power in a regulated and consistent method, making them much more suited for powering electronics and other sensitive devices. But the benefits don’t stop there. They are generally much quieter and smaller as well.
Of all the inverter generators available, the Honda EU2200i has always been the gold standard. As one of the original “suitcase” style generators, Honda has had years to perfect this pivotal model. Here’s our Honda EU2000i inverter generator review.
Key Features of the Honda EU2200i Inverter Generator
A Honda inverter generator review can be summed up in two words: quality and convenience. Honda may not produce the least expensive generators on the market, but no manufacturer can match their level of quality. It is not uncommon for a low-end generator to fail after only a few years of service. In contrast, it is common for a Honda generator to last multiple decades with basic maintenance. Thus, although a Honda Generator represents a slightly larger investment, you won’t have to replace it for the foreseeable future.
This incredible level of quality is also why Hondas are the choice for mission-critical operations. Whether running a food truck as someone’s livelihood or a medical outpost saving lives, if the job has to get done it will more than likely be powered by a Honda generator. This level of engineering is not simply about the lifespan, however. Having used a Honda EU2200i for years, they are simply more pleasant to live with. The engineering that goes into their design makes them run smoother, be easier to start, and quicker to work on. They are simply a joy to own.
The overall design of the EU2200i is extremely well thought out. The front panel is easy to use and has all of the key features you need. There are two 120V outlets that are regulated and fitted with a breaker. There is also a 12V output for battery charging, a convenience that many manufacturers overlook. Finally, there is a coupling or parallel port that is a feature that Honda popularized.
For many applications, the 2200-watts of output that this generator produces will be sufficient. For running a small RV or campsite with a single air conditioner, this amount of capacity should be plenty. However, Honda realized that some people periodically need more power. Rather than require you to buy a replacement generator at much greater expense, Honda included a port that allows you to couple two EU2200i’s together, doubling the capacity. There are two advantages to this. First, your initial investment does not become pointless simply because your needs expanded. Second, you end up with a much more portable and versatile system. For the times you only need one generator, you can benefit from the compact and efficient nature of a single unit. Yet, when you need more power, you have the option. And you’re never stuck with moving a 250-lb goliath of a single larger generator.
The quiet operation of the EU2200i also goes a long way to increasing its versatility. At 48db while running under moderate load, the EU2200i is among the quietest generators ever made. Many generators claim to operate quietly but are nonetheless raucous distractions. Not so with the Honda. This unit is so quiet that you can easily forget it is even running. Try that with a classic smoke-belching generator and see how it goes.
The electricity produced by the EU2200i is another unique and positive aspect. Many generator shoppers make the mistake of believing that all electricity is equal and you can simply plug and device into any outlet and it will work fine. This is not the case. The electricity flowing from your walls at home is a very specific voltage and signal. American homes operate on 120-volt, alternating current electricity with a 60hz sine wave. Many appliances and devices are designed specifically with this standard in mind.
Older generators can produce “noisy” power with voltages that vary broadly and wave formations that are jagged and uneven. This unpredictable signal can make electronics fail prematurely or fail to run at all. Many devices from laptops to induction cooktops can refuse to operate on improper power sources. Using the on-board inverter, the EU2200i regulates the outputted power to make sure it perfectly matches the proper standard. Honda didn’t take the easy route, but they took the route that works.
As the name would suggest, the Honda EU2200i produces 2,200-watts (2.2kW) of peak power and has a continuous output of 1,800 watts. While this will not power your entire home, this is sufficient power to run the necessities during a power outage or to turn your camping adventure into a comfortable glamping trip. I appreciate Honda’s honesty here. Many companies will label their units with hugely optimistic “peak” outputs while the continuous rating is only a fraction of the quoted number. The peak and continuous rating of this generator are very close, making this a very usable and practical product.
The fuel efficiency is another impressive aspect here. The EU2200i has an eco switch which retards the engine RPM, allowing it to run both quietly and efficiently. With its 1-gallon tank, this generator can run for up to ten hours. To quote Peter Egan, “I don’t even know how you could make a fuel tank leak that slowly.” It’s an impressive feat of engineering to produce so much power with so little fuel.
For suitcase generators, the name of the game is portability. Yet again, Honda is in an elite class. At only 40 pounds, this is the lightest 2kW generator I have found for sale on the market. You won’t want to carry it with you on your next marathon, but it is easily light enough for most people to sling it in the back of their car single-handed.
|Running Watts: 1800
|Engine Displacemen:t 121cc
|Peak Watts: 2200
|Assembled Length: 20 in.
|Fuel Tank Capacity: 0.95 gal.
|Assembled Width: 11.4 in.
|Run Time @ 25%: 8.1 hrs.
|Assembled Height: 16.7 in.
|Noise Level @ 25% Load: 48 dBA
|Unit Weight: 46.5 lb.
Pros and Cons of the Honda EU2200i
In a product as carefully engineered as the EU2200i, generating a list of “pros” is a simple matter. It’s efficient, quiet, produces beautifully clean power, and it is easy to start, repair, and maintain. Within its category, it is a virtually perfect product. Hence why every Honda inverter generator review seems to overflow with such glowing praise.
The “cons” camp is a little harder to fill. From a design and use perspective, I cannot think of a single drawback to this model. Thus, the only downside is the price. Simply put, the Honda EU2200i is a fair bit more costly than some of the off-brand competition. This is not so much a drawback as a consequence. The adage of getting what you pay for is in full effect here. It may cost slightly more, but the value is exceptional.
As one of the largest manufacturers of engines in the world, Honda makes a plethora of different generators from tiny to industrial. However, the EU series is their high-end consumer-focused inverter generator series. Within this group are three primary models, each of which has the same high standard of quality. For shoppers prioritizing portability over power, Honda makes the smaller EU1000i. Although it is limited to 1kW of output, its 29-pound weight makes it one of the smallest generators sold today. On the other side of this EU2200i sandwich is the EU3000i. This slightly larger model has 3kW of peak output, making it a popular choice for RVs. Like the other models, the EU3000i can be run with a parallel kit, giving up to 6,000-watts of power.
The Honda EU2000i was the first inverter generator broadly offered for sale, and this EU2200i is a direct successor to that design. Thus, in various forms, this generator has been sold for over a decade. A product can’t survive on the market place for that long unless it lives up to its name. Although the competition has made a point of copying this design in countless guises in recent years, the Honda EU2200i Generator is still the right choice for anyone who simply wants to buy the best option the first time.