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:
- Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
- Amateur DIY lovers
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.
With a noise rating of 58 dBA (less noisy than a quiet suburb), the inverter generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.
With a fuel capacity of 0.4 gallon, the ESI 860i-CA may run for around 3 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.13 GPH).
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).
The control panel features the upcoming AC outlet:
It also sports 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy.
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. This type of design is the most modern and convenient way to recreationally generate power.
With a weight of only 23 lbs, the ESI 860i-CA may be viewed as a lightweight and portable generator. As it can be moved by a single person without much effort, the generator and its power can be enjoyed on-the-go. 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.
The device’s light indicators will display if its oil levels are insufficient, the generator is ready 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.
Along the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), useful for starting the generator right away, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA's package also includes these accessories: battery charging cables and tool kit.
The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 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).
- As for its weight, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA weighs only 23 pounds, making it one of the lighter generators in 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.
- Since this inverter generator is rated for a lowest possible noise of 58 dBA, it can be considered as one of the more quiet of the products generating 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. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Pulsar PG2000, which is able to run for 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 average fuel consumption among comparably powerful devices, as it reaches 0.13 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.08 GPH, the Ryobi RYi1000 is a device you should look out for.
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)
- Quiet for its power (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|
|Peaks 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||Electric fence (25 miles)||250||250|
|Total||330 W||330 W|
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