Best Portable Generators & Buyers Guide

Best Portable Generators & Buyers Guide Featured Photo

Our Top Picks

We spent hours searching for the best portable generators available online. Here’s a quick overview of the best ones we’ve found. 

In case you’d want a more in depth look into each product, feel free to check out our product review section down below. We also included a buying guide for generators in case you’re interested about how generators work, the different kinds of generators and what to look for.

Enjoy!

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Dimensions: 27.2 x 26.1 x 26.5 inches
  • Wattage: 9500 Watts
  • Weight: 211 Pounds
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  • Dimensions: 26.6 x 25.6 x 23.7 inches
  • Wattage: 8750 Watts
  • Weight: 155.4 Pounds
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  • Dimensions: 7.72 x 3.74 x 4.72 inches
  • Wattage: 2400 Watts
  • Weight: ‎47.9 Pounds
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  • Dimensions: 14 x 10.4 x 12.7 inches
  • Wattage: 1800 Watts
  • Weight: 35 Pounds
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  • Dimensions: 16 x 20 x 11 inches
  • Wattage: 2200 Watts
  • Weight: 46.5 Pounds
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Table of Contents

TopicPage
Our Top Picks1
Introduction to Portable Generators3
Best Portable Generators Reviewed
– Best Portable Gas Generator
• Westinghouse WGen9500DF
– Best Portable Inverter Generator
• Champion Power 100520
– Best Portable Power Station
• EF ECOFLOW DELTA Max 2000
– Best Portable Generator for Camping
• Jackery Solar Generator 1500
– Best Quiet Portable Generator
• Honda 662220 EU2200i




4 – 8
Honorable Mentions9
– Portable Generators Buyers Guide
• Types of Portable Generators
• Basic Parts of a Portable Generator
• Important Factors to Consider

10 – 13
FAQs14
Conclusion14

Introduction to Portable Generators

In our modern day and age, electricity is one of many essential factors that make up our daily lives. Electricity powers our lights, the internet, heating, ventilation along with the many gadgets that we use everyday. But what if the power goes out? How would you react when the lights and heating to your house go out? If that thought worries you, then perhaps investing in a portable generator would be the right thing to do.

Portable generators are backup sources of power that provide temporary electricity in case of an emergency, power outages and can even be used for outdoor activities such as camping. Generators have traditionally been too large to carry around and too expensive for the typical homeowner but recent advancements have made generators more portable, affordable and more convenient. Portable generators have seen growing use because of these advancements in technology and are growing in popularity with the rise in extreme weather events that can knock out power at a moment’s notice. 

Portable generators are complex machines that come in different shapes, sizes and have different features per model. If you’re in the market for one, we’ll be covering the best ones we recommend along with all the basics that you should know before you buy one.

Best Portable Generators Reviewed

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator 9500 Rated and 12500 Peak Watts Gas or Propane Powered

Best Portable Gas Generator:
Westinghouse WGen9500DF

Generator Specs: 

  • Engine: 4 stroke, 457cc OHV
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 6.6 gal
  • Peak Wattage: 12,500 Watts
  • Running Wattage: 9,500 Watts
  • Estimated Runtime: 7 – 12 hours
  • Noise Level: 74 dB
  • Dimensions: 27.2 x 26.1 x 26.5 inches
  • Weight: 211 lbs
Westinghouse WGen9500DF Portable generator Features

Generator Features:

  • Dual fuel generator
  • Electric start feature
  • Large fuel tank
  • Overload protection
  • Automatic low oil shut down feature
  • 3 year warranty

Overview:

This powerful generator from WestingHouse Power Equipment offers users convenience, longer run time and more fuel options, making it a reliable option for emergencies or outdoor activities.    

The Westinghouse WGen9500DF dual fuel portable generator features a powerful 4 stroke, 457cc overhead valve (OHV) engine with a high peak rating of 12,500 watts and an optimal running wattage of 9,500 watts. This is more than enough to power appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, power lights and heaters for hours on end. The WGen9500DF is a dual fuel portable generator that can use either gasoline or propane (LPG) to generate electricity. This frees up more options for users if one fuel supply runs out and is a great feature to have especially in emergency situations where supplies may be scarce. The WGen9500DF is also user friendly and features a convenient control panel that has an electric start feature, a fuel select switch, a range of standard GFCI outlets and a VFT display meter to monitor voltage and frequency.  Overall, the WGen9500DF is a very capable generator that combines convenience and reliability for when you need it the most.
Check out the Westinghouse WGen9500DF portable generator here.

Champion Power Equipment 100520 8750-Watt Portable Generator

Best Portable Inverter Generator
Champion Power 100520 Dual Fuel Inverter

Generator Specs: 

  • Engine: 4 stroke, 420cc OHV
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.2 gal
  • Peak Wattage: 8,750 Watts
  • Running Wattage: 7,000 Watts
  • Estimated Runtime: 5 hours
  • Noise Level: 72 dB
  • Dimensions: 26.8 x 25.8 x 23.7 inches
  • Weight: 149 lbs
Champion Power 100520 Dual Fuel Inverter Control

Generator Features:

  • Electric start feature
  • Intelligauge
  • Cold Start Technology
  • Economy mode function
  • GFCI outlets
  • Car battery charging cables included
  • Dual USB adapter included
  • 3 year warranty

Overview:

This open frame inverter generator from Champion Power Equipment offers users better fuel economy, quieter operation and convenience all in one package.

The Champion Power 100520 inverter features a
4 stroke, 420cc overhead valve (OHV) engine with a peak power rating of 8,750 watts and a running power rating of 7,000 watts. Champion designed this inverter to be more fuel efficient and can last for 10 and a half hours at 25% load on a full tank of gas. Champion integrated their quiet technology into this inverter so it won’t disturb the neighbors or damage your hearing whenever you turn it on. This inverter also comes with some other quality of life features that make it more convenient to use. This includes an electric and cold start function, a foldaway handle, a USB adapter, alligator clamps for car battery charging and a smart display gauge that monitors estimated run time and voltage. 

The Champion Power 100520 inverter is a great choice if you’re looking for a more fuel efficient alternative that doesn’t compromise on power output or convenience. 

Check out the Champion Power 100520 here.

EF ECOFLOW Delta Max (2000) Portable Power Generator

Best Portable Power Station:
EF ECOFLOW DELTA Max 2000

Power Station Specs: 

  • Battery Type: Lithium Ion battery
  • Battery Capacity: 2,016 Wh
  • Output Wattage: 5,000 Watts
  • AC Output: 2,400 Watts
  • Dimensions: 19.6 x 9.5 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 48 lbs
EF ECOFLOW DELTA Max 2000 Portable Generator Fetures

Power Station Features:

  • Fast charge feature
  • X-Boost power feature 
  • Multiple charging options
  • LCD screen
  • Remote monitoring app
  • Expandable capacity
  • Battery protection system
  • 2 year warranty

Overview:

If you’ve ever used a power bank before, you’d know how useful these devices can be especially on the go. Well, the EF EcoFlow Delta Max 2000 can be considered the mother of all power banks that offers users absolute silent running, portability, battery capacity, user friendly features and more charging options than any other power
station available.

The EcoFlow Delta Max 2000 portable power station is an eco-friendly alternative to gas generators. It features a 2,016 Wh battery capacity which can power devices such as refrigerators, coffee makers, a space heater, can act as a uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for desktops and can charge mobile devices like laptops or phones several times over. Speaking of charging, this power station has several ways you can recharge it after usage. EcoFlow gives you the option to charge this power station with their very own solar panels (sold separately), with a standard wall outlet and a car cigarette lighter port. This power station even has an app that you can download to monitor and customize how much power you use. This gives users more control over their power usage and adds even more convenience to this power station.

Check out the EF EcoFlow Delta Max 2000 here.

Jackery Solar Generator 1500, 1800W Generator Explorer 1500 and SolarSaga

Best Portable Generator for Camping:
Jackery Solar Generator Explorer 1500

Power Station Specs: 

  • Battery Type: Lithium Ion battery
  • Battery Capacity: 1,534 Wh
  • Output Wattage: 1,800 Watts
  • Dimensions: 14 x 10.4 x 12.7 inches
  • Weight: 35 lbs
Jackery Solar Generator Explorer 1500 Features

Power Station Features:

  • 4 solar panels included
  • Recharging efficiency
  • Multiple charging options
  • Lightweight & compact design
  • Battery protection system
  • 2 year warranty

Overview:

For outdoor activities like camping, you’re going to want a generator that’s efficient, eco-friendly and can power basic appliances like coffee makers or electric grills. The Jackery Solar Generator Explorer 1500 mobile power station checks off all these requirements and more in a mobile and self sufficient package.

The Jackery Solar Generator Explorer 1500 features a 1,523 Wh battery capacity that can power basic appliances that you might bring with
you during camping trips such as microwaves, electric grills,
coffee makers, mini fridges and can charge laptops or phones several times over. There are different options that Jackery offers to charge this power station. It includes 4 (four) 100W solar panels, a car charging adapter and a charger for standard wall outlets. The Explorer 1500 also comes with 3 USB outlets, 3 AC outlets along with a convenient LCD screen that lets you monitor battery life and output.

The compact and lightweight design of the Explorer 1500 lets you carry it around by hand, in the back of a car and even in a hiking pack. All these features make this portable power station the perfect companion for camping trips and other outdoor activities that require electricity.

Check out the Jackery Solar Generator Explorer 1500 portable power station here.

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Best Quiet Portable Generator:
Honda 662220 EU2200i Inverter

Generator Specs: 

  • Engine: 4 stroke, 121cc OHC
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: .95 gal
  • Peak Wattage: 2,200 Watts
  • Running Wattage: 2,200 Watts
  • Estimated Runtime: 4 – 9.6 hours
  • Noise Level: 48 – 57 dB
  • Dimensions: 16 x 20 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 46.5 lbs
Honda 662220 EU2200i Inverter Generator Specs

Generator Features:

  • Easy start feature
  • Eco-throttle system
  • Remote monitoring app
  • Carbon monoxide detection system
  • Fuel shutoff function
  • 3 year warranty

Overview:

This inverter generator from Honda offers users smooth and quiet running along with efficient power output in a small and compact package.

The Honda EU2200i inverter generator is powered by a Honda GXR120 overhead camshaft (OHC) engine that generates 2,200 Watts of electricity. The Honda EU2200i is designed to be more fuel efficient and quiet when running. When powered on it hums along at 48 – 57 dB, making it a great
generator to use in suburban areas where there might be kids or neighbors nearby. The EU2200i features Honda’s eco-throttle system that improves fuel efficiency and can run for 4 to 9 hours on a full tank of gas. This is great fuel efficiency given that it only has a .9 gallon gas tank. It also comes with other features that make it user friendly such as a fuel shut-off function, a carbon monoxide detector and a mobile app that you can use to monitor the power output directly from your phone.

Overall, the Honda EU2200i is a great inverter generator to use for outdoor activities such as camping or as a temporary source of energy during emergencies.

Check out the Honda EU2200i inverter here.

Honorable Mentions

Here are some portable generators that didn’t quite make our list but we felt deserved a shoutout.

Honorable MentionKey Specs & Features

WEN DF475T Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start
WEN DF475T
• Engine: 4 stroke, 224cc OHV
• Fuel Tank Capacity: 4 gal
• Peak Wattage: 4,750 Watts
• Running Wattage: 3,800 Watts
• Estimated Runtime: 11 hours
• Dimensions: 23.2 x 17.5 x 18.5 inches
• Weight: 105.8 lbs
• Electric start feature
• Dual fuel generator
• LPG hose included
• Easy to transport
• 2 year warranty

Champion Power Equipment 200988 4500-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
Champion Power Equipment 200988
• Engine: 4 stroke, 212cc OHV
• Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.3 gal
• Peak Wattage: 4,500 Watts
• Running Wattage: 3,150 Watts
• Estimated Runtime: 14 hours
• Noise Level: 61 dB
• Dimensions: 23.2 x 17.7 x 20.1 inches
• Weight: 97 lbs
• Dual fuel inverter generator
• Electric start feature
• Intelligauge
• 3 year warranty

Generac 76711 GP1200i 1200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Generac 76711 GP1200i
• Engine: 4 stroke, 54cc
• Fuel Tank Capacity: .8 gal
• Peak Wattage: 1,200 Watts
• Running Wattage: 1,000 Watts
• Estimated Runtime: 5.5 hours
• Dimensions: 18 x 10.2 x 15.7 inches
• Weight: 33 lbs
• Inverter generator
• Economy mode
• Energy efficient
• Compact & lightweight design
• 2 year warranty

Portable Generators Buyers Guide

Types of Portable Generators

HYBRID XP12000EH Gas Generators

Gas Generators

These are the standard generators that are the most popular for residential and commercial use. Gas generators run mostly on gasoline but newer models make use of propane (LPG) as an alternative fuel source. Gas generators vary in size but most are small enough to easily store in a garage or carried in the back of a car. Gas generators are the heaviest of the bunch however, with some models weighing over a hundred pounds. Gas generators over the years have become more fuel efficient but being powered by gas means that these are not to be used indoors because of the dangerous fumes that will be expelled as
the generator runs.

POWERSMART 2200 Warts Inverter Generators

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are an advancement on gas generators. These are designed to be more fuel efficient, light weight, compact, quiet running and have just as much power output as a regular gas generator. Some inverter generators even share the same dual fuel feature. Inverter generators are popular for outdoor activities because of these factors and are a great money saver as well. Inverter generators usually have a protective housing that hides and protects all the internal components from outside elements like dust or moisture. This design choice distinguishes inverters from
regular gas generators but there are larger inverters that are open
and look similar to a regular generator.

Power Stations Battery Powered Generators

Power Stations / Battery Powered Generators

Power stations are essentially power banks on steroids. While power banks are designed to be used in urban environments, power stations are built to be more durable, have more battery capacity, have more outlets and power output. Power stations are environmentally friendly and completely silent while running. Some models even feature solar panels that you can use to charge the power station. While power stations are the most convenient alternative to gas generators, these are typically more expensive, and can’t run for nearly as long because you’ll eventually need to charge them and have less wattage.

Basic Parts of a Portable Generator

There are many parts to a portable generator depending on the generator manufacturer, type, and model. Here are the basic parts of portable generators that you should know about.

HYBRID XP12000EH Gas Generators

Engine

The engine block of a gas generator is where the fuel is injected and a spark plug ignites it to push a piston. This part of a generator holds internal components such as spark plugs and is where the alternator and fuel tank connect to.

Fuel Tank

This part of the gas generator is located next to the engine block and holds the fuel. Most gas generators have fuel tank capacities of 1 gallon or more. 

fuel Tank

Control Panel

This part of any generator is where you can find the essential controls such as circuit breakers, start buttons, gauges for remaining fuel, fuel selector switches along with the AC outlets and USB ports. Depending on the model, some generators will have more features on their control panels than others.

Champion Power Equipment 200988 4500-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

Starting Mechanism

The starting mechanism of portable generators differs from model to model. Newer models will have both a manual pull cord and an electric start feature. Some portable generator models even have a remote start function. 

WEN DF475T Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start

Wheels

Wheels are a common sight among portable generators. Since most portable generators easily weigh a hundred pounds, having a wheel makes transporting it easier and more convenient. These wheels are made with rubber and don’t need to be inflated. Most portable generators have no more than 2 wheels.

Carrying Handles

Carrying Handles

This is a common feature on smaller portable generators such as power stations and inverters. A carrying handle lets users easily transport portable generators that are light enough to carry with one or two hands.

Champion Power Equipment 100520 8750-Watt Portable Generator

Roll Cage

This is a feature that is most commonly used on larger portable generators. The roll cage surrounds the edges of the generator and is meant to protect it from damage in case it rolls over or bumps into an object. Roll cages are typically made of steel or aluminum metal tubes and are covered by a rubber or foam overmold that makes it easier to grip and protects the roll cage from scratches.

Important Factors to Consider

Wattage Output

The power output of portable generators is measured in watts. There are two wattage measurements that you should take note of when it comes to gas powered generators. These are peak wattage and running wattage, also called optimal wattage. Peak wattage refers to how much you can push the generator to operate. The peak wattage of a portable generator isn’t meant to be held on for too long as this can wear out the engine faster. Running wattage on the other hand, refers to the normal output of the generator. Generators run the smoothest and for the longest when set to run on the optimal settings.

Battery Capacity

Battery capacity is measured in watt hours (WH) and can be calculated by multiplying the amount of Amps a battery has to its voltage. Without making it too complicated, the battery capacity of a portable power station is used to measure how much power is in the battery and how much of that power it can give off per hour.

Gasoline vs Propane (LPG)

While there are purely gas or propane powered generators, most portable generators nowadays are designed to use both and are called dual fuel generators. This gives the user more options and helps a lot in emergency situations where one fuel supply might be scarcer than the other. But which one is better to use? Well, gasoline as a fuel source is cheaper, easier to find and is a better source of energy but does not do well when left stagnant for long periods of time. LPG on the other hand has a much better shelf life but suffers from being harder to source and more expensive. In general, both fuel sources are good and we recommend having a little bit of both just in case. 

Number of Outlets

The number of outlets a portable generator has will determine how many devices or appliances can be plugged into it at any given time. On larger portable generators, it’s common to see them having more AC outlets while smaller portable generators will have both USB ports and AC outlets. On average, larger portable generators will have at least 4 AC outlets while smaller portable generators will have 2 or more USB ports and 2 or more AC outlets. It’s important to check how many outlets a portable generator has and what type of outlet it is before making a purchase. 

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator 9500 Rated and 12500 Peak Watts Gas or Propane Powered

Electric & Remote Starting 

An electric or remote starting feature is meant to remove the hassle of starting a gas portable generator. These unique features are becoming more popular with newer portable generators and are widely considered a good quality of life improvement. Some portable power stations such as the EcoFlow Delta Max 2000 take it a step further and have apps specifically made to give users an easier way to power on/off, monitor and control the power output of the power station.

Size & Weight

The whole point of a portable generator is to have a backup source or energy that can be easily stored and transported without taking up much space. Hence, the size and weight of a portable generator is an important factor to take note of. As we mentioned before, portable generators differ in size, shape and weight class depending on the manufacturer, type of generator and engine size. On average, portable gas generators are the largest of the bunch and can weigh upwards of 100 lbs with some models reaching 300 lbs or more. Second to that would be inverters which can still weigh over 100 lbs, especially larger models, but are more flexible in weight class with some models weighing as light as 30 lbs. The featherweight of the group would have to go to portable power stations which rarely breach the 50 lbs mark.

Noise Levels

The noise level of a portable generator is an important factor to consider. Noise levels are measured in decibels or dB for short. Older gas generators can have noise levels reaching 100dB which is enough to damage your hearing after a while. Advancements have been made in this regard with most generators having an average noise level of 60 dB to 70 dB. The quietest generators however, are the portable power stations which are fully electric and barely make any noise.

FAQs

Q: Is a portable generator worth it?

A: Portable generators are worthwhile investments especially if you live in an area that could be hit with natural disasters such as blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes or other events that could knock out power at a moment’s notice. These are also good for outdoor events such as having picnics or camping in places with no closeby sources of electricity. Portable generators also see a lot of use with contractors who work at construction sites that do not have an active power source or are too remote.

Q: How much is a portable generators

A: Depending on the model, portable generators will set you back at least a couple of hundred bucks. The more wattage a portable generator has, the more expensive the generator will be. The most expensive type of generator would be the portable power stations. These can easily breach the $1000 – $2000 mark especially for the higher capacity models. Inverter generators and gas generators are similar in price range with most models being anywhere from $300 – $1000 and more depending on the wattage and features.

Q: Are generators safe?

A: If proper safety regulations are followed, yes generators can be very safe to use. For gas generators, the most you’ll have to worry about is the fumes that’ll be emitted which can suffocate a person in just a few minutes if left running indoors. Power stations on the other hand, run the risk of having their batteries overload or overheat and potentially starting a fire. This is a lot harder to avoid but is a rare occurrence.

Conclusion

And there we have it, the best portable generators currently available online and the basics of generator anatomy. We hope that this article taught you a thing or two about portable generators and that you leave here with a better idea on which one is best for you. Thank you dear reader!

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