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Lifan ESI 860i-CA Spec Review

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 summary, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source
  • Amateur DIY lovers

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's engine, 40 cc (1.25 hp) Lifan OHV 4-stroke, fueled by gasoline, can deliver 120V. It provides a running wattage of 600W and reaches a peak wattage of 700W.

Enjoying a noise rating of 58 dBA (less noisy than rainfall), this inverter generator gets running thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

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

The ESI 860i-CA generates a clean sine wave: providing <2% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), delicate electronics can be plugged in its AC outlet safely.

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

Furthermore, it has 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which you may charge your batteries with ease.

Portability

As the Lifan ESI 860i-CA is an inverter generator, its encased design (L14 x W9 x H13 in) offers more aesthetics than a conventional, open frame product. The featured design follows the latest trends and is ideal for easy and recreational use.

Weighing just 23 lbs, the ESI 860i-CA can be considered a lightweight portable generator. A single person should not have any problems moving it around and thus, enjoy power availability on-the-go. In addition, a handle (molded in the case) lets you carry it easily and further increases its convenience.

Good to know: This unit ranks 1st in our list of the 10 smallest portable generators.

Features

Panel of the Lifan ESI 860i-CA

The ESI 860i-CA's control panel

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

From a security standpoint, the product offers an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Lifan ESI 860i-CA, the following accessories are also included: tool kit and battery charging cables.

Emissions

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and thus, may be used 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).

  • As far as its dry weight is concerned, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA weighs just 23 pounds and thus, it is one of the lighter 500 to 1500 rated wattage generators. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the Sportsman GEN1000i, standing at just 20.3 lbs.
  • With a lowest possible noise of 58 dBA, this inverter generator places itself amongst the more quiet of the products delivering similar power. If noise emissions are one of your priorities, you may be interested in the Honda EU1000i, one of the least noisy generators similarly powerful as this one, rated for 42 dBA.
  • 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. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the Pulsar PG2000, as it provides around 12 hours.
  • Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. This inverter generator reaches an estimated fuel consumption of 0.13 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, making it average, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Ryobi RYi1000. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.08 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Price comparison

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

It can therefore be a really good buy if you're looking to acquire a budget generator.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • Inexpensive
  • 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
  • No parallel ports
  • 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 RegulationInverter
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
Approx. 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
SeriesEnergy Storm

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 (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-866-471-7464.

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeDVD player350350
Radio100100
Cell phone charger2020
Total470 W470 W
For campingRV refrigerator180600
Bug zapper8080
Total260 W680 W
For workElectric fence (25 miles)250250
Bug zapper8080
Total330 W330 W

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