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 hobbyists looking for a portable power source
- 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 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.
The inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism. It is rated for a noise of 58 dBA (less noisy than a refrigerator).
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.
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.
The control panel includes the following AC outlet:
Furthermore, it has 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which you may charge your batteries with ease.
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. This type of design is the most modern and convenient way to recreationally generate power.
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. 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.
Several light indicators serve to show you when the generator is overloaded, its oil levels are insufficient and the generator is ready.
As far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker).
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. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.
Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, making it usable 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. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above mentioned power range is the Sportsman GEN1000i, with a dry weight of just 20.3 pounds.
- At a lowest noise rating of 58 dBA, this inverter generator is one of the quieter devices of 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.
- 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 you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Pulsar PG2000, with around 12 hours.
- While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption 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 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.
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
- 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||N/A|
|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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