10 Best Portable Generators: A Complete Buying Guide

Which would you like: Investing on the Best Portable Generators or staying in power outages? In truth, power outages take longer oftentimes, thus making stress.

In this case, I would like to get the best portable power generators to defeat such power shortages. Besides, having a portable power machine means your life is easy, convenient, and stress-free.

You can rely on this useful backup power source any time and whenever you need it. It is a practical solution whether camping or preparing for a natural disaster as well.

Moreover, if you want to reduce the cost and get enough power to run your electrical equipment or home appliances, portable Generators are the right answer.  

What are the Best Portable Generators to get a non-stop power supply? Getting the best generator, mainly a portable one, is one of the major problems that people face today. If you face the same problem, don’t worry!!!

In today’s guide, we will come up with a list of the best Portable Generators that fit your needs.

 A comparison chart of the Best Portable Generators

Types of Portable Generators

A generator is an essential device in the modern world. Whether you require a temporary power solution or create a backup power source for your plant, a generator is on the market for fulfilling your needs.

1. Portable generators

Portable, compact, and small generators often run on propane, gasoline, or solar power because those fuels are highly available. You can get propane and gas at the gas station, but solar energy produces from the sunlight. Their tiny size makes them easy to stack in the vehicle or store in a garage or shed until needed.

Moreover, the portable generators can charge portable devices, operate a fire, or switch on the lights after sunset when hiking. Yet, those portable generators lack power, so you cannot produce similar power as a large standby generator. Their smaller size and power make portable generators more affordable.

2. Portable Inverter generators

Inverter generators are beneficial for air conditioners, cars, boats, refrigerators, and RVs. They can provide required specific voltages and frequencies. In addition, they are light and compact. Thus they are suitable for those applications.

3. Portable Solar Generators

Solar generators covering the entire house are costly to install. These generators are perfect for keeping in the car for an emergency.

Solar generators can be set up to absorb the sunlight. Some disadvantages are that they can’t perform in darkness and don’t create a lot of power.

4. Portable Dual Fuel Generator

Both gasoline and propane are used in multi-fuel generators to power your home, camp, or workplace. These generators are more significant and less portable than single fuel generators. 

It can also be tricky to carry two different fuels if you choose. If mobility is essential to you, consider portable gasoline or diesel generators. If noise is a concern, dual-fuel generators operate silently with propane.

However, if you run out of propane and need to change gas, the generator will make a lot more noise. If you really need a quiet generator, an inverter generator may be a good choice.

Are portable generators worth it?

It is worth having a portable generator to power your essential appliances in emergencies. Portable generators are also helpful for long hikes, vehicle tracking, and other offline activities.

If you have an emergency generator, you can control essential appliances (such as lights, refrigerators, etc) in your home.

When the power goes out, your home will lose a minute. It’s a terrible feeling when you’re just filling up your fridge, and the power goes out, knowing you’ve probably wasted money and missed food for a week. An electric submersible pump cannot work without electricity.

If you have a generator, you can use it to keep your crankcase pump running. Nobody likes to feel powerless in an emergency. You are not dependent on the local power supplier, and you can be sure that your home will continue to work, and your family will feel comfortable until the power is back.

Portable generators are a bit pricey, so you have to be sincere while buying one for yourself. It is pretty tedious, but we have made things easier for you with a list of the best products. Here we go!

Best Portable generators for camping

1. Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000, 1002Wh Solar Generator

Jackery is firmly rooted in the portable power market. It was established in 2012 by an Apple engineer. This portable power station is the largest and most feature-packed to date. 

It contains a 1002 Wh lithium-ion battery, and three 110VAC outlets have a power output of 1000W (2000W overload). Moreover, it has two 12 Volts USB-C ports and double USB Type-A ports. Also, there is a 12V port for connecting “car” accessories.

Like other Jackery’s Explorer series models, it also features a handy LED-backlit display showing the remaining battery power and lifespan. It’s handy.

Highlighted Features

Portable Solar Panel

The SolarSaga 100 portable solar panel works great with the Explorer 1000 power plant, but you can also use it as a standalone unit. The IP55 rating makes this solar panel water-resistant. It weighs around 4 kg and includes two folding legs so that you can tilt the panel towards the sun.

Carry Case

The carrying case of this Jackery 100 is an excellent addition. That’s a great way to regularly transport your Jackery with a solar panel adapter and charging cables with quality zippers and handles. Enclosures for 240 and 500 versions are also available.

Different Charging Options

The solar panel has a maximum input power of 126W in 6.5 hours. The wall socket has a maximum input power of 163 W in 5.5 hours. Moreover, the car socket with input power has a maximum of 80W max in 11.5 hours.

Specification

Brand Jackery
Weight 22.04 Pounds
Dimension 13.1” x 9.2” x 11.1”
Wattage 1000 watts
Color Black

What We Like

  • Massive capacity with 1000W and 1002Wh has made this device highly durable. 
  • It can operate a refrigerator, heater, TV, blanket, electric grill, and much more. 
  • The Jackery 1000 has two 100W Solarsaga solar panels for infinite solar power. 
  • This device has three standard AC PURE SINE outputs that provide extra energy to run more devices.
  • It doesn’t produce too much sound so that you can enjoy the sound-free operation.

What We don’t like

  • The screen backlight is not permanently on. It’s tedious to turn it on by pressing a button so often. 
  • The car charger system will melt and stop working if used frequently. It may happen due to the variation of voltage.

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Best lightweight Portable Inverter Generator transport

2. Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The iQ3500 inverter generator can power everything from outdoor parties to camping trips and more. The rugged and lightweight design is specially designed for ease of transport. Moreover, the intuitive power selector combines start, operate, and stop functions in an easy-to-use selector, plus electric start for faster starting. 

Choose one based on your needs to reduce fuel consumption and noise and maximize power dramatically. This portable generator can operate safely without any hassle.

Specification

Brand Generac
Weight 109.1 pounds
Dimension 23.7” x 18” x 21.7”
Wattage 3500 watts
Color Black or Orange

Highlighted features

Noise-free Operation

This inverter generator is 40% quieter than others. It is hard to hear the fan that works in my room with minimal load at night. You can use it quite comfortably to work at home or where noise is an issue.

Easy operation

All we have to do is turn the knob from “Off” to “Throttle” or “Run.” Also, we have to ensure that the fuel vent is on and eco mode is off. However, the starter cable is easy to drag, and the car usually starts on one or two drags.

Easy to set up

This IQ3500 is almost ready to use. After opening the front key panel, attach the wiring with the battery. Fill the engine with enough gas. 

What we like

  • 40% more noise-free. 
  • Advanced transducer technology and housing design for optimum quiet operation 
  • The rugged steel body, clean power converter, and portability make it the perfect generator for work or play.
  • Digital Watt Meter, Remaining Time Display, Timer, and Fuel Level make the operation easy.
  • USB ports can charge portable devices, including tablets and smartphones.

What we don’t like

  • You can’t always turn on your fridge in Eco mode. 
  • Eco mode consumes more gasses.

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3. Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

This Champion Portable Generator is perfect for camping, towing, powering objects around an RV, or as a backup for a few things. At a highly lightweight of 39 pounds, this item is one of the industry’s lightest. 

With Champion’s ingenious design, you will never have to go without light at your home. It has a reliable cold start technology for quick starts in cold temperatures.

Specification

Brand Champion Power Equipment
Weight 39.5 Pounds
Dimension 17.3” x 11.5” x 17.7”
Wattage 2000 watts
Color Yellow

Highlighted Features

Fuel economy

The Champion portable generator delivers a maximum run time of 9.5 hours with an entire gallon of gasoline at 25% load. Intuitive fuel economy technology lets the engine slow down as power draws down, automatically detected when Eco Mode is on. Little fuel savings may not make a big difference at first, but they can save much more on fuel costs while using a generator.

Silent mode

The Champion generator has come out with 53 dBA. It is more noise-free than regular conversation, typically 60dBA.

It may sound too good to be true, and it is. The decibel indication is accurate at 7 meters and used in Eco mode.

Most manufacturers recommend keeping the generator around 20 feet away from home, camping, or RV. Most generator manufacturers give a decibel reading of about 20 feet.

Performance

The device produces 1700 watts when running and 2000 watts when starting. Given the 1700W of this device, you need to know your power needs precisely down to the smallest detail.

For example, you cannot run multiple devices simultaneously in the event of a power failure. 

What we like

  • At just 39 lbs, this transducer is lighter in this industry.
  • 58dBA at 7 meters is ideal for hunting, camping, or backing up some essential household items, with 2000W loading, 1700W operation, and more than 11.5 hours of run time.
  • The optional parallel connection kit lets you attach this inverter with another 2000W inverter to increase the output power.
  • It includes two enclosed 120V pure current outlets at less than 3%.

What we don’t like

  • The unit does not drain oil or gas. Draining the tank can be a chore if necessary.
  • Also, this product has some packaging issues.

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Best Portable Generators for Travel Trailers

1. A-iPower SUA2000i 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The A-iPower portable Generator has a quiet and clean 2000W starting power and 1600W operating power. The generator with a 79cc motor is perfect for outdoor activities like concerts, hiking, home front parties, race tracks, camper vans, etc

With the inverter technology, you can use clean energy for electronic devices like TVs, laptops, tablets, tablets, and other energy-sensitive equipment. 

This inverter unit converts the primary power from Direct Current to AC. Anyway, the motor speed changes according to the need for electricity, significantly reducing the noise level.

Specification

Brand A-iPower
Weight 48 Pounds
Dimension 22” x 13” x 20”
Wattage 2000 Watts
Color Red

Highlighted features

Portability

The A-iPower is designed for a sedentary lifestyle and outdoor activities. It doesn’t have wheels, but at around 46 pounds, this device is pretty light and easy to carry.

The ergonomic grip built into the framing makes it movable by one person. Yet, the central handle makes it difficult for two people to transport it due to the awkward position of its fuel filler neck.

Performance

The A-iPower portable generator is explicitly designed for campers and hobbyists. It’s ideal for powering your laptop or charging a phone on the go with the latest technology.

Also, it can power various kitchen appliances like fans, RV refrigerators, and even heaters on cool nights.

Runtime

There is no point in investing in a generator that breaks down at the time of your need. Luckily, the A-iPower generator has a long runtime with the small size of the gas tank.

In fact, this generator has a 1.1-gallon oil tank. However, it can power electronic devices or home appliances for about 7 hours when half charged. It is usually sufficient if you use it mainly for day travels.

What we like

  • A digital inverter generator gives you more power during operation.
  • Connect another generator of a similar model to the included parallel cords.
  • The manifold switch controls the fuel system, choke, and motor operation.
  • It has 2000W to start and 1600W to run.
  • It is equipped with a 79cc engine, perfect for outdoor events.

What we don’t like

  • This product has some oil leakage issues.

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2. WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

he WEN Quiet Generator provides a comfortable backup power supply for the home in an emergency. Its clean energy output prevents your household appliances from being destroyed. Also, it generates energy to charge several electronic devices, including smartphones, TVs, laptops, et

 Specification

Brand WEN 
Weight 48 Pounds
Dimension 18” x 11” x 18”
Wattage 1600 watts 
Color Black & Orange

Highlighted features

Performance

The WEN portable generator has low THD because of its design. The device is entirely safe to power-sensitive electronic devices like smartphones, handheld cameras, laptops, and handheld game consoles. Moreover, the company promises a stable sine wave and provides an explicit USB port for charging devices without an adapter.

Quiet operation

This device produces clean, secure power and reduces THD to below 0.3% without load and 1.2% with a full load. At 51dB, it is perfect for use at your home.

Save fuel

Maximize your fuel savings by activating the eco function of the WEN Inverter Generator. This attribute allows your generator engine to adjust fuel consumption as panel components turn on and off, avoiding the use of unnecessary gasoline. It saves fuel use and, thus, money.

What we like

  • 53 dB quiet noise level during operation
  • The 79.7 cc four-stroke engine delivers 2000 watts rpm and 1600 watts rated power.
  • Ideal for camping, construction sites, queue lifts, and power failure.
  • It produces clean energy to operate safely and reduces damage to prudent electronic devices.

What we don’t like

  • This generator doesn’t have an oil level indicator. Therefore, it is hard to refill oil.

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Best Portable Generators for RVs

1. DuroMax XP4400E Gas Powered Portable Generator

The DuroMax portable generator is the power supply you can rely on for crises. With a starting power of 4400W and an operating power of 3500W, this device can handle heavy loads ranging from light bulbs and refrigerators to home AC and power amplifiers. In fact, this generator is ideal for work, camping, and RV backup.

Specification

Brand DuroMax
Weight 100 Pounds
Dimension 24” x 17” x 17”
Wattage 3500 watts 
Color Black/Blue

Highlighted features

Performance

The Duromax generator engine has a power of 7 hp, which offers a maximum output of 4400W and an operating power of 3500W. The operating mechanism includes a starting mechanism with the electric starter. Moreover, the 4 gallons fuel tank allows you to work more than 8 hours with a 50% load.

Noise-free mode

The noise level is 69 dB, which is enough for indoor use. This noise level is less than some other average generators. Be sure that the sound is not disturbing for you.

Portability

The Duromax XP4400E is not so big and suitable for intensive outdoor use and harsh environments. With 100 pounds, this generator fits within the standard weight range for generators of these types. At the same time, both generators are considered portable and have a set of wheels to carry easily. 

What we like

  • With 4400W and 3500W operating power, this device can handle heavy loads.
  • The 210cc engine has enough power to handle a wide range of tasks.
  • MX2 Technology offers the most out of any 120-volt outlet
  • It protects your money by automatically shutting down the generator when a low oil level is detected.

What we don’t like

  • Propane produces less wattage than gasoline.

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2. Champion Power Equipment RV Ready Portable Generator

If you want some extra power on a hike or just some quiet during a power failure, the Champion Power generator is your solution. The 3800W Electric Generator is bi-fuel capable, allowing the engine to thrive. Intelligence, Cold Start technologies, and Volt Guard provide long service.

Specification

Brand Champion Power Equipment
Weight 122 Pounds
Dimension 26.3” x 24.8” x 22.9”
Wattage 3800 watts
Color Yellow

Highlighted features

Performance

The engine generates 4375 watts of petrol at startup and 3500 watts when running and runs at 50% load with a full tank of 3.4 gallons. Also, it includes a 3.3′ propane pipe with an in-built regulator.

Silent mode

The noise level of this device is 68 dBA at a distance of 7 meters. It is approximately equal to the volume of a vacuum cleaner. So, you can use this device if you want a quiet operation.

Running time

With enough power, this device can operate a 15,000 BTU air conditioner. Also, this unit can provide the power you need in a power failure. A full tank of fuel can run 9 hours on gasoline or 10.5 hours with propane.

What we like

  • The 3800W portable generator runs straight with propane or gasoline.
  • The toggle switch boosts your device.
  • Intelligauge tracks voltage, frequency, and hours of operation. 
  • Integrated surge protection filter prevents recharge
  • The sound is a bit louder than the other devices

What we don’t like

  • The unit does not drain oil or gas. Draining the tank can be a chore if necessary.
  • Also, this product has some packaging issues.

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3. Westinghouse WGen3600 RV Ready,Portable Generator

Whether you’re finding a generator to power on the go or at home, the model WGen3600 Generator is the reliable and suitable transportable solution for you. With a peak output of 4650 watts and an operating power of 3600 watts, this generator runs up to 14 hours straight with a 15-liter gas tank.

Specification

Brand Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment
Weight 107 Pounds
Dimension 23.3” x 22.8” x 21.3”
Wattage 3600 watts
Color Blue

Highlighted Features

Overload Protection

The connectors are protected by circuit breakers that immediately turn off your generator in the event of a short circuit or overload. However, you can quickly reset the process by pressing the AC circuit breaker as well as the main circuit breaker.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is considered that this electric generator is economical if it uses a small amount of fuel. This portable generator provides superior fuel efficiency, giving you more time to enjoy during power outages or in your spare time.

Portable

This portable generator is available in a very portable style. It comes with a wheelset to easily carry it anywhere and easily tow it with your motorhome.

What we like

  • All outlets have rubber covers for added safety.
  • It comes with an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual.
  • This device is powered by a 212cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine.
  • The company offers a 3 years warranty for this product.

What we don’t like

  • The device doesn’t come with a propane fuel tank.

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Best Portable Generators for tailgating

1. Honda 662220 EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Honda sets new standards in portable generators by introducing the EU2200i Generator. This new series is ideal for home, work, or leisure. The new Honda Inverter Generator delivers users excellent value for money with 10% more power than the other models.

Specification

Brand Honda
Weight 46.5 Pounds
Dimension 16” x 20” x 11”
Wattage 2200 watts
Color Red/Black

Highlighted features

Increased durability

A metal insert is inserted into the recoil starter to reduce the recoil key from sinking into plastic housing. Understandably, the folks at Honda took the risk of looking at all the areas where people were lagging behind the previous model and improving the original design with ease yet practical solutions.

Wattage

Higher wattage gives more flexibility. In fact, the power produced by this series is superior to what you’ll find in countless Honda generators. You can enrich your party with lights or even include a kettle in the camping plans with additional energy from this device.

Outlets

This generator has two typical outlets that provide 120V and safe power to charge laptops or smartphones. In addition, this generator has an outlet for using a cable for charging 12V batteries and other machines that need a similar voltage.

What we like

  • This model can drive a wide range of devices, making it ideal for home, work, camping, etc.
  • The Honda generator operates at a 48-57 dBA noise level.
  • The Eco-Throttle system delivers meager fuel consumption. 
  • It works from 4.0-9.6 hours in a full tank. 

What we don’t like

  • Fuel changing is a bit complex for this device

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2. Jackery Portable Station  Solar Generator

Jackery is the industry’s leading manufacturer with its quality devices. And the Jackery 240 is their latest collection. It can run sensitive electronic devices with less than 200W and is perfect for use at home or camping.

Specification

Brand Jackery
Weight 6.82 pounds
Dimension 9.05” x 5.24” x 7.87”
Wattage 200 watts
Color Black

Highlighted Features

Ease of maintenance

Portable solar station Jackery 240 is easy to charge on your camping. The AC outlet port charges devices under 200W. As soon as you exceed the limit of 200 watts, this generator will automatically turn off.

Portability

This basic portable generator is powered by a 240 Wh Li-Ion battery and weighs just 6.6 pounds. The durable handle with lightweight makes it effortless to carry for outdoor experiences like tent camping, backyard camping, road trips, etc.

Quick charging

Charge your generator and other devices simultaneously with Jackery 240. Always keep your power plant running at total capacity and minimize battery damage.

What we like

  • This device is easy to carry.
  • The 240W Jackery device has a car, wall, and solar panel outlets.
  • This device is over current and thermal resistant.
  • The operating system is simple and easy.

What we don’t like

  • The battery takes more time to recharge

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Best Portable Generator Buyers Guide

A portable generator is a good power solution if you don’t want to invest in a backup generator or need outdoor power. Understand how to estimate your energy needs and find the best generator.

1. Output Power/Watt

When considering generator options, you need to weigh and measure which devices you consider essential to continue service. Refrigerator runs with 600 watts, your submersible pump needs 1300 to 2150 watts to initiate and 800 to 1000 watts to operate. Small devices, like phone chargers, need 10 watts.

2. Power Source 

The main power source of portable generators is gasoline, propane, and battery. Portable generators generate electricity by turning a gasoline engine that turns a built-in heat exchanger to generate electricity. You can connect extension cords, power tools, and household appliances to electrical outlets. 

3. Fuel type 

The type of generator fuel you choose significantly impacts the amount of fuel you use, as some fuels burn faster.

A five-gallon gasoline generator consumes around 0.75 gallons hourly. These are some of the cheapest generators, but they require constant recharging. It’s also important to mention that gasoline is one of the most difficult fuels you can find in an emergency.

A propane generator of 500-gallons can power a house for a week. Most of the generators burn more than two gallons per hour and can handle up to 1,000 gallons.

Batteries need to be replaced every 24-36 months every 2-3 years. In many cases, we notice customers trying to extend the life of their batteries until the device stops starting. 

4. Price

The average cost of portable generators nationwide is between $600 and $2,500, with most of the people paying around $1,200 for a 5,500W petrol model. 

At the bottom of the range, you can spend $250 on a 1,000W petrol unit, while at the top of the spectrum, some people spend up to $7,000 on a 10,000W diesel model on wheels.

5. Noise 

Most of the portable generators have 70 dB to 100 dB of noise level at a distance of 7 meters. Recognize that 100 dB is eight times louder than 70 dB, so that’s a big difference. 

70 dB is roughly equivalent to the noise level in a crowded restaurant, and 100 dB is like listening to an audio player at max volume. 

An 85 dB making generator can cause hearing damage after 2 hours of vulnerability, while a 100 dB making generator can cause hearing damage in as little as 15 minutes.

6. Safety 

Safety is a must feature while buying a portable generator. If the voltage can’t match with your devices, it may harm your device. Even it may cause an accident so buy one that meets the requirements of your essential devices.

FAQs: Best portable generators

Who makes the most reliable portable generator? 

Jackery is the most reliable portable generator and manufactures power stations for their durability. It gives long-lasting endurance. It can be charged and recharged simultaneously. It’s a game-changer for camping. Protected layers of technology are used in Jackery solar generators.

How many watts does a generator need to power a house? 

If a generator is needed for your home, you need more power to run multiple appliances. For homeowners, large 10,000W dual-fuel units are the best choice.

The 3000W inverter generator for your house is perfect for running your TV, air conditioner, lighting circuit, and refrigerator.

What is the average lifespan of a portable generator? 

Unlike stationary models, portable generators usually do not have a long-term service life. The engine determines life for the most part, but the average ranges from 1000 to 2000 hours.

Therefore, you can roughly calculate that you can work with it from 10 to 20 years if you use the generator for about a hundred hours a year.

How many watts do I need in a generator for my home or camp? 

RV generators are specially designed to work and provide a reliable power source for camping. If you have limited access to food and services, relying on your power source is safe and convenient.

In terms of voltage, most camping versions of the generator are equipped with two hundred and twenty-volt sockets for 220 volts.

What kind of fuel is needed to run a generator?

A generator needs fuel to run. Propane is suitable for all types of homes and is ideal for generators in remote areas. Diesel generators use fuel gradually but diesel has environmental disadvantages.

Gas-fired generators are somewhat cleaner than diesel fuel. Gas generators are great for those who have gas lines in their home. Gasoline generators are cheaper than other models, making them attractive to many homeowners.

Final Verdict

With so many options available, it’s pretty challenging to pick the best portable generators. But we have made things easier by making a list above. You can choose one based on your needs.

For camping, you can use Jackery Explorer 1000, Generac iQ3500, and Champion 100692. A-iPower SUA2000i and WEN 56200i are perfect for travel trailers. However, for RVs and tailgating, we can use DuroMax and Honda.

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