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
- 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 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.
The inverter generator is rated for a noise of 58 dBA (less noisy than rainfall). Its starting mechanism is based on a conventional pull-start mechanism.
The fuel capacity of 0.4 gallon allows the ESI 860i-CA to operate 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's characteristic encased inverter generator design (L14 x W9 x H13 in), provides an esthetical advantage over any ordinary, open frame product. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating power.
Since the ESI 860i-CA weighs only 23 lbs, it can be labeled as a portable lightweight generator. The product’s power can be enjoyed on-the-go, as it can be moved by a single person without trouble. Its handle (molded in the case) allows you to carry it easily, further enhancing its convenience.
Good to know: This unit ranks 1st in our list of the 10 smallest portable generators.
The light indicators show you if its oil levels are insufficient, the generator is ready and the generator is overloaded.
As for its security measures, the device features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), letting you use it with a peace of mind.
Besides the classic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA also comes with some accessories: battery charging cables and tool kit are included.
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 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. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Sportsman GEN1000i with only 20.3 pounds.
- At a lowest noise rating of 58 dBA, this inverter generator is one of the quieter devices of similar power. If you are concerned with noise, check out the Honda EU1000i, which is one of the least noisy generators in its power range, with a noise rating of just 42 dBA.
- As far as autonomy is concerned, providing around 3 hours of runtime with a full tank at a 50% load, the ESI 860i-CA falls into the low end in comparison with other devices of a comparable power output. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Sportsman GEN2000-SS, boasting with around 11 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. As this inverter generator uses an estimated 0.13 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, it finds itself in the average gasoline consumption range of similar products. 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 average side of the price range.
Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.
The bottom line
- In the expected price range
- 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|
|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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