Power outages can be trying for the best of us. Could be the thunderstorms during those summer months or snow blizzards in the fall, extreme weather conditions or just plain old fieldwork can have you wishing for a portable generator.
If you are a camping enthusiast, love the great outdoors, are a filmmaker or even in the construction industry, the need for electricity is very real. With portable generators, you still have access to all the conveniences of this modern age for all those dire situations.
Other than residential use, portable generators are great for their cost-effectiveness and multipurpose use. Those old-timey loud and large permanently-installed home generators of yesteryears can easily be chalked off as obsolete. Portable generators, on the other hand, can be hooked up to anything you want, from an electric saw to big HMI lights. Our assortment of some of the best portable generator in the market currently, will hopefully help you be rightly informed before making a purchase.
Before we dwell on our reviewed list of different products, there are three, we think can serve you the best and make for a great purchase.
Our Recommended Portable Generator
10 Best Portable Generators with Reviews
1. Best portable generator for home – Quipall 5250DF
If you are looking for the ideal generator for home-use, then this is it. Running on a powerful 224cc engine, Quipall’s 5250DF Dual Fuel generator has a smooth electric start option, while it can run on both gasoline and liquid propane. During power outages, emergency backup or for outdoor use, this generator meets all your power needs. Structured in a tubular steel cage frame, makes it resilient and prone to last. The four-gallon gas tank gives an impressive nine and a half hours of persistent run-time at a maximum power of 5250 watts.
Since gasoline has a tendency to go bad after long-term storage, the duel fuel option for propane makes sure the generator is always ready to go. There have also been instances where people ran this generator off large propane tanks and it went on running without any problem for days. Since it can handle loads up to 30 amperes, Quipal 5250 DF can easily run your large household items and as well as many of your pro power-tools while weighing only 135 pounds.
2. Best Portable Inverter Generator – ALL POWERS Portable Generator
Possibly the lightest and smallest portable inverter generator available on the market currently. Running off a 105000 mAh battery with a 372Wh rate, the battery is lithium-ion allowing All Powers to be of a sleek design, while packing immense power within. Known to be widely used for camping and outdoors family ventures, or even office, travel or construction site use, as the unit is quite silent.
This generator is easily capable of powering many household items like lamps, phones, TVs and even mini-fridges.
Can essentially power anything that pulls 300 watts or less. AllPower Portable Inverter Generators are known to be high capacity- lightweight devices, while also supporting solar power stations. These units also include a 12V cigarette lighter charger, two 12V DC outlets, multiple fast charging USB slots and two AC power output sockets.
3. Best Quiet Portable Generator – Honda 662250 EB2200i
Crown jewel of Honda Power Equipment’s Super Quiet Series, this item in particular comes highly recommended for residential and commercial use. Known for their long life, this generator is powered by the Honda GXR120, 121cc engine. Known to give rather fuel-efficient and quit performance, this unit also comes with a fuel shutoff valve.
Some report a few fuel-related problems, nonetheless, affected units were recalled by Honda itself. Silent, efficient and portable & light weight enough to easily carry around. Features 2200 watts, 18.3A, 120V power levels. Delivering exceptionally high-rated performance, the size of the unit is directly correlated to the amount of power it produces.
4. Best Portable Generator for Camping – Aeiusny Portable Solar Generator
Whether it’s a fishing trip, camping in the hills or any outdoors activity for that matter, Aeiusny Portable Solar Generator is the dream power station. At its high capacity it operates at 288Wh/500W, offering Ac outlets, DC Ports and multiple USB outputs. This portable generator is of great use if you frequently travel, lead an outdoorsy lifestyle or even in the cases of power outages.
Ultralightweight, weighing at only 7.05 pounds, is a portable battery-powered generator that you want to have on your self in the car. Friendly with most electronic devices using a Pure Sine Wave technology, however, there are other variants with different specs.
Small in sizes with dimensions measuring in at 11.4 x 5.2 x 4.3 inches, Aeiusny Portable Solar Generators ranks in the top 100 for Patio, Lawn & Garden keep.
5. Best Portable Generator for RV Camping – EF ECOFLOW River Portable Power Station Generator
Ecoflow’s River Portable Power Station Generators are perhaps as fine as they come. A silent, lightweight 114000 mAh lithium-ion battery fueled beast delivers up to 412 Wh of power. It features a whopping 11 power outlets with multiple USB, AC, DC outlets and Carports. Ideal for a wide range of use, this generator is your friend if you plan on going on that road trip in your RV camper, even if you decide to do a little photoshoot at a pretty hilltop.
Also solar powered, at 500 watts it can power a whole range of electronic items. Built from high-quality industrial-grade aluminum, many owners boast of its long lifespan and durability. Befitting for recreational, residential and light commercial use. Some people have also reported using this generator form some power tools.
A personal friend originally bought this unit as he wanted to ‘hit the road’ in an RV. The RV though fell through, but since then this generator was used numerous times during power outages.
6. Best Portable Generator for The Money – Quipall 2200I 2200i Inverter Generator (CARB)
Quiet and Durable – is how Quipalls pens it! This brilliant power house delivers a stunning 1700W output with a maximum threshold of 2200W. It features many interesting security features like low oil indications and automated shut-down protocols in cases of emergency.
The go-to for tailgating, camping, and residential use, the unit is quiet, efficient and safe for all electronic devices. It has a unique ‘ECO switch’ that adjusts the engine output levels by the connected load. Running on an 80CC engine it has a wattage that combats the best while carrying multiple outlets for 120v, AC/DC and USB support. Weighing in on 46 pounds, it’s reliable, consistent and a suitable choice for power needs around your home, job site or outdoor needs.
7. Best Small Portable Generator – EF ECOFlow River 370 Portable Power Station
So is their signature, EF ECOFLOW River 370 is yet another silent, lightweight (Li-on) battery powered generator, which is one of the best as far as size and portability is concerned. Weighing at only 11 pounds, it delivers a staggering 370Wh. It features 9 power outages, able to power devices simultaneously; encased in an aluminum allow shell, it has 2 AC outputs functioning at 300W with surge at 600W. Multiple high-powered USB ports and charges via wall sockets, solar power or car charges.
Known to function in extreme climates, this unit is famous for its quick charging times and a battery hold charge for up to 1 year. Ideal for small residential/outdoors use and road trips; many owners on the internet have said that its great for even photoshoots, with the battery lasting for days more or less.
8. Best Portable Propane Generator – Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator
A dual fuel 3400-Watt mammoth, this portable generator straight up needs either propane or gasoline. It features a unique 3-Position Ignition Switch with its own dedicated battery, fairly silent for its size, its noise levels are measured at :59 dBA. Ideal for RV camping, tailgating, photo and film shoots, this generator is known to be used for commercial and site work uses. Friendly to all electronic devices, it also has multiple 120V 20A outlets with less than 3% THD, 12V DC and USB outlets. A brand-new unit comes with a 3-year warranty with free lifetime technical support.
Some users report zero functionality for power tools and air compressors in specific while running in propane, however saw better results on gas and also, portability issues due to small wheel sizes. However, in cases of damage or malfunctioning, owners sing their praises, as the manufacturer is known for great customer service and tech support.
9. Best Portable Solar Generator – KMASHI Portable Generator SUNGZU Power Station
If you are in the market for a portable solar generator that can charge all your electronics from laptops, phones, DSLRs to even mini-fridges and drones – KMASHI Portable SUNGZU Portable Power Station Generator may just be the right pick for you. Operating on a 273000mAh battery, it supports anything that stays under a 1000W. With multiple power outputs including AC/DC and USB ports, it weighs in at 25.5 pounds.
An environmentally friendly, portable solar generator, it needs no fuel or gas, leaving no carbon footprint. Boasting impressive charging times, the battery can be amped up through a wall socket, and solar power.
Also, it has a brilliant LED display, where all the readings are visible.
KMASHI 1000W portable generator is completely safe to use, if you plan on taking it with you outdoors, while also serving as a great back up at home. Surprisingly, for is size it handles power tools and commercial use pretty well. Battery lasts a long time depending on use.
10. Best Dual Fuel Portable Generator – GoPlus Inverter Generator
Talking of duel fuel portable generators, GoPlus offers nothing but the best. This generator even at its full load runs for 4 hours straight, becoming your go-to for all emergency situations. With noise levels clocked at 59db, this generator is befitting for RV camping, tailgating, backup residential and on-site use. It provides a clean power supply for all electronics, while featuring many power outputs including 120V AC, and 12V DC outputs to cater to all your needs. Weighing in at only 47.5 pounds, rated watts at 1700W, peak 2000W, it has an impressive fuel consumption rate at 0.45-0.85L/H/KW.
The unit features automated security protocols, is light weight and handy, while being pretty silent making it a pretty sellable item on its own.
Three Main Different Styles
Before buying, you need to understand that portable generators come in a vast array of different wattage and prices. In addition, you also need to know which style of generator it is that you need. Portable generators usually come in 5 different styles; however, our article mostly focuses on three.
Solar/Battery-Powered Portable Generators:
If you find yourself needing electricity when you are out camping, tailgating, RV camping or need an eco-friendly powerhouse you could to charge your electronics, then this is it! With the ever-increasing demand for renewable energy and portable generators, these services greatly. Completely, noise-free these generators are ideal for all your portable devices and more. You have all the convenience of modern-day living, even when you are in the great outback.
Recreational/Small Residential Use, Inverter Generators:
The days of loud motor-run generators are long gone, you won’t have to go through the teeth-clenching noise of a generator with these inverter generators. This type has come along and essentially substituted itself as the new go-to for power generation outdoors.
With cutting-edge tech, these inverter generators used to be expensive back in the day, but with time have seen a widespread acceptance and as well in a reduction in costs and noise levels. If you plan on powering your RV alongside other electronics, with a slightly medium-high load, these inverter generators are going to serve you great. They also have support for different electrical outlets.
Backup – Emergency Generators:
Say, there’s a power outage, and you find yourself lighting up a candle to make your way to the garage where your residential industrial-size generator lays in rust. Instead of throwing your arm off trying to get it to work, buy these new emergency generators instead. Many of them have an electric ignition option and run on a dual-fuel capacity. Their run times are quite impressive for their small gas tanks and are quite silent for their size and powering capacities.
They come packed with larger more powerful engines, aimed at providing stable electricity to power all your critical electronic appliances and devices. Some of the units can even substitute for semi-professional generators while being highly portable and efficient.
Know What You are Getting Yourself into Before Making a Purchase:
Remember how we were talking about you knowing what size or type of generator you need for yourself. Understand that the sizes, when they vary, also affect the overall power levels of the generators above all else. Some generators begin from 1800 watts which are perfect if you need something magnanimously larger than a power bank to power all your electronics and then some. Whereas, there are also generators that spin out upwards of 20,000 watts, being ideal for industrial and commercial use; also losing some portability. Ha!
Since we are talking about portable generators, we shall break down the whole process, giving you just the information you need before buying one that caters to all your needs.
These are some of the most powerful and efficient when it comes to portable generators. Most run on either gas or even batteries, which can be charged via different mediums. Best for camping and other outdoor power needs, but you will only be able to power fans, little refrigerators and lights alongside small electronics. Power tools, albeit, won’t be able to run on these.
Now, this is the power range, beyond which generators lose their portability. The 3500 to 5000 power ranges make sure you can power an entire RV, electronics, AC, lights, and your entire campsite. You will also find these generators at many job sites since they are fully equipped to run your power tools.
On the other hand, these are also ideal for residential use, serving as brilliant back-up. The newer ones are also really quiet for their size. Many units come with dual-fuel efficiency and different security features while boasting a long-life span.
Features That You Should Consider Before Buying
There is a lot of things you need to factor in before buying a generator, from security features, powering capacity, portability to endurance in extreme weather conditions.
Automated Starting Mechanism:
Let’s assume, you are looking for a unit to serve as a back up for your home. Say, it rains or there’s a storm, its nice to have a generator that turns on by itself in cases of power outages.
Who wouldn’t want to just simply press a button and get their generator started, instead of lugging away at long ropes? Most models also come with dedicated battery-packs for the electrical start-up option.
It’s always relieving to have a powerful generator that can function on multiple fueling options. If you are going for a certain type of generator, make sure it runs on both gas, propane either/and battery. It’s good to have an alternate plan in cases of emergencies, since its not exactly a premium feature, making sure just gets you, your money’s worth.
You don’t want an added blackout on top of a power outage. Fuel Gauges, helps you be better prepared for emergencies or when you are out and about with your portable generator.
Multiple Power Outlets:
Wouldn’t it be nice to power your phone, Bluetooth speaker, laptop, lights, RV AND air-conditioning? A lot of these powerful beasts also offer multi-purpose power outlets, featuring different voltage levels catering to varying power needs.
While the purpose of this article was to better brief you about the many different kinds of portable generators aimed at a different usage. We strive to provide you an assortment of the best in the market currently.
Be well-informed and do the due diligence before making a purchase – you ought to aim at buying something for long term usage. You need to determine what generator size you need and the power levels it can generate. What factors matter to you; can you compromise on the noise levels but not on portability? What is your price range? Do you plan on traveling a lot with your portable generator?
All these factors when weighed in, paint a clearer picture for you to make the right purchase. Is your only concern getting the best portable generator for your job site, only camping or to be used as back up electricity for your home?
Also, find out if space is an issue, and what your peak wattage load could be. Things like running-wattage and the fact that you need different outlets for different power needs sums up the dilemma.
Another post you might be interested in: Best Solar Lights
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Top 10 Best Portable Generator Reviewed & Rated - 2019
Written by Phil Hughes