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:
- Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
- Amateur DIY lovers
The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.
Power & Run Time
The Lifan ESI 860i-CA's design includes a gasoline-fueled 40 cc (1.25 hp) Lifan OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120V output, it gives a running wattage of 600W and also a peak wattage of 700W.
With a noise rating of 58 dBA (less noisy than rainfall), the inverter generator features a conventional 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 produces a clean sine wave: thanks to a <2% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), your sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlet.
The control panel provides the upcoming AC outlet:
It also sports 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle allowing you to easily charge your batteries.
Thanks to its closed inverter generator design (L14 x W9 x H13 in), the Lifan ESI 860i-CA, is more esthetical than a typical, open frame generator. This modern design aims to provide an ideal power solution to recreational users.
Labeled a lightweight portable generator, the ESI 860i-CA weighs just 23 lbs. The product’s power can be enjoyed on-the-go, as it can be moved by a single person without trouble. This convenience is further enhanced thanks to its handle (molded in the case) that allows you to carry it with ease.
Good to know: This unit ranks 1st in our list of the 10 smallest portable generators.
Some light indicators allow you to instantly see if the generator is on overload, its oil levels are insufficient and the generator is ready.
Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.
Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA also is packed along with the following accessories: tool kit and battery charging cables.
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 and therefore, can 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).
- Weight-wise, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA has only 23 lbs, which renders it one of the lighter generators which produce 500 to 1500 rated watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Sportsman GEN1000i, with a dry weight of only 20.3 lbs.
- This inverter generator has a somewhat average expected noise for its power range, rated at 58 dBA. If noise emissions are important to you, one of the least noisy generators of this power range is the Honda EU1000i with only 42 dBA.
- Regarding its autonomy, the autonomy of the ESI 860i-CA, reaching around 3 hours at a 50% load, can be considered as low end, compared to other products of a roughly equal output. If autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Sportsman GEN2000-SS, reaching around 11 hours.
- Even though run times are undoubtedly important, they are dependent on the fuel capacity to a large extent. For a more wholesome picture, we must take into consideration the fuel consumption of the generator. 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.
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
- Several accessories included
- Lightweight (23 lbs)
- Acceptable noise (58 dBA)
- Decent fuel efficiency
- No data center
- Only 1 AC outlet
- No electric start
- No parallel ports
- Relatively low run time
Features and Specifications
|Engine||40 cc Lifan OHV 4-stroke|
|Voltage||AC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V|
|Running watts||600 W|
|Starting watts||700 W|
|Running amps||5 amps|
|Peak amps||5.8 amps|
|Run time @50% load||3 h|
|Run time @25% load||Unknown|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Inverter|
|AC outlets||1x 120V 20A (5-20R)|
|DC outlets||1x 12V 8A receptacle|
|Indicators||Low oil, overload and output ready|
|Fuel tank||0.4 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||14 x 9 x 13 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||58 dBA|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection|
|Accessories included||Tool kit and battery charging cables|
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.
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.
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?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||DVD player||350||350|
|Cell phone charger||20||20|
|Total||470 W||470 W|
|For camping||RV refrigerator||180||600|
|Total||260 W||680 W|
|For work||Drain cleaner||250||250|
|Total||330 W||330 W|
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