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Lifan ESI 860i-CA Spec Review

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The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 600 W and a starting wattage of 700 W.

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Description

Zoom on the Lifan ESI 860i-CA

In a nutshell, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
  • Handcrafting enthusiasts who wish to work on-the-go

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA houses a 40 cc (1.25 hp) Lifan OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 600W along with a peak wattage of 700W.

At a noise rating of 58 dBA (less noisy than a refrigerator), the inverter generator offers the possibility to start the device via a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

The ESI 860i-CA can operate for around 3 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.13 GPH), due to its fuel capacity of 0.4 gallon.

Delicate electronics can be plugged in an AC outlet safely, as the ESI 860i-CA generates a clean sine wave, reaching a <2% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

Outlets

The control panel includes the following AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

It also sports 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which you may charge your batteries with ease.

Portability

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is an inverter generator and has an encased design of the following dimensions: L14 x W9 x H13 in. Thus, it is more aesthetical than conventional, open frame products. The design follows the contemporary trends and is perfect for recreationally generating power.

Since the ESI 860i-CA weighs only 23 lbs, it can be labeled as a portable lightweight generator. The generator can be moved with ease by only one person and so it can be enjoyed on-the-go. It can also be carried without effort with a featured handle (molded in the case), further improving its convenience.

Features

Panel of the Lifan ESI 860i-CA

The ESI 860i-CA's control panel

The light indicators show you if the generator is overloaded, the generator is ready and the oil level is too low.

As far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off.

Along the basic documentation and a user manual, useful for starting the generator right away, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA's package also includes these accessories: tool kit and battery charging cables.

Emissions

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Lifan ESI 860i-CA compare to generators of similar power (between 500 and 1500 W).

  • In terms of its dry weigh, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA stands at only 23 lbs, meaning that is one of the one of the lighter devices of the 500-1500 rated wattage category In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the Sportsman GEN1000i, standing at just 20.3 lbs.
  • As its lowest possible noise is rated at 58 dBA, this inverter generator qualifies as one of the more quiet of the products of similar power. For those who are looking for a less noisy device, we suggest the Honda EU1000i. With just 42 dBA, it is one of the most quiet devices in this power range.
  • The ESI 860i-CA’s autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its power range, as it reaches only around 3 hours at 50% load on a full tank. If autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Pulsar PG2000, reaching around 12 hours.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. This inverter generator has an estimated fuel consumption of roughly 0.13 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, rendering it somewhat average compared to devices of a similar output. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Ryobi RYi1000, with a fuel consumption of 0.08 GPH could be in your good books.

Price comparison

As you can see from this dynamic chart, when compared to other 500-1500W generators, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA is on the average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • Several accessories included
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight (23 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (58 dBA)
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • Only 1 AC outlet
  • No electric start
  • Relatively low run time

Do you own the Lifan ESI 860i-CA and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General

InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine40 cc Lifan OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil

Power

VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts600 W
Starting watts700 W
Running amps5 amps
Peaks amps5.8 amps
Run time @50% load3 h
Run time @25% loadN/A

Features

GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationNo
AC outlets1x 120V 20A (5-20R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A receptacle
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tank0.4 gal
Fuel gaugeNo

Misc

Weight23 lbs
Dimensions (L x W x H)14 x 9 x 13 in
Noise (lower limit)58 dBA
THD< 2%
EmissionsCARB
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedTool kit and battery charging cables
Warranty3 years

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

About Lifan

LIFAN, or rather LIFAN Power USA, is a rather small and new company, based in Arizona. LIFAN’s range is comprised of engines and related products, such as pressure washers, water pumps and of course, generators – of which there is a surprising variety, including inverters, portable generators, but also high output, standby home generators. The company admirably admits that their primary (and most likely only) manufacturing facilities are located in China and their goal is to provide affordable products above all.

Warranty Information

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Lifan generators, please consult Lifan's warranty policies. Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-866-471-7464.

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