TopTenReviews Blogs about our Smart AC 150 USB Inverter!

Posted on 7/25/2016 by Justin G. (Consumer Marketing)

The Wagan 2221-6 car power inverter will allow you to charge and power electronic devices in your car. You simply plug the car inverter into the cigarette lighter and then you can connect any electronic device to the three-pronged AC outlet. The car power inverters we looked at can supply up to 150 watts. This could power a laptop, TV or even charge a cell phone. The Wagan power inverter also has a USB port that can be used to charge electronics like MP3 players. The Wagan power inverter is our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner for its compact and strong design. However, it only has one AC outlet. 


Car power inverters turn your cigarette lighter into a standard AC outlet. The Wagan power inverter plugs directly into the lighter and is only a few inches long. On the end of the unit is the standard AC outlet and USB port. Most cars can only supply 15 volts through the cigarette lighter, which means the available power is limited. For this reason we looked at car power inverters that have a power capacity of approximately 150 watts.

There is no standard or benchmark for how much power different devices require. Also, charging a device can take more power than simply powering one. For example, charging a laptop battery from empty to full while having it turned on can require about 200 watts, which is more than is supported. But just running the same laptop might only take about 75 watts. Each device is different so it's best to consult the user manual of the particular electronic device before you attempt to charge it. However, we have compiled a list of possible devices that can be powered or charged by this car power inverter.

  • Laptops
  • Cell phones
  • TVs
  • Gaming consoles
  • DVD players
  • Camping lights

The inverter has a few integrated safety features. The overload protector will protect your device when there is a power surge or the device draws too much power. The unit will shut down and shouldn't be harmed. This won’t hurt the inverter and it’s safe to test appliances and devices on the unit. The car power inverter also has a feature to protect against overheating. When the internal temperature of the power inverter exceeds 105 degrees Fahrenheit, it will automatically shut down. This safety option is called a thermal cutoff.

There are a few different integrated battery-life protections provided by the car power inverter. If you use the unit while the car is turned off, the unit will drain power from your battery. However, after the voltage being sent to the inverter from the car battery drops below 10.5 volts, the unit will begin buzzing. When the voltage drops below 10 volts, the inverter will shut down. This will allow for enough power to turn the car back on and recharge the battery. If you use the inverter without running the engine, the manufacturer suggests turning on the car once every hour and running the engine for about 10 minutes.

The Wagan power inverter uses a modified sine wave to power it. A true sine wave is continuous power; a modified sine wave has the potential for interruption. This type of power inverter is not recommended for use with some battery chargers, especially power tools. A true sine wave power inverter can be purchased; however, they are significantly more expensive and usually have to be connected to the car battery directly.


The design of the car inverter is unobtrusive and compact. It will not take up too much room because it plugs directly into the cigarette lighter. It is clearly labeled and simple to use.

The 150-watt unit operates best at about 90 percent capacity, which is about 135 watts. After extended use, this amount of power can cause the unit to become too hot. The unit includes a small fan that will be constantly blowing. However, the sound of the fan is minimal and not very distracting.

Help & Support

The manufacturer offers a few different customer service options. The website includes toll-free telephone numbers and email addresses. The manufacturer covers the car inverters with a limited one-year warranty.


The Wagan 2221-6 car power inverters have a useful and durable design. The outlet supplies 150 watts and includes a standard USB port. This unit will work perfectly well with most travel electronics, including cell phones, MP3 players and laptops. The safety and customer support options are also helpful.

Original post by: Dan Tennant at

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