Best Portable Generators [2022]

Nowadays, it is hard to live without electricity. With the push towards renewable energy becoming apparent and a disruption in traditional energy sources.. a backup source of energy is crucial . A reliable portable generator will save you from all the frustrations in power emergencies by offering reliable backup power.

 

In the article, we’ll review the best portable generators, pros and cons of each, how a generator works, pricing, wattage demand to help you decide which option is best for your specific needs.


Top 5 Best Portable Generators 

There are many portable generators in the market that you can invest in. Buying a generator will ensure you have a reliable backup power source in a power emergency. Here are the 5 best portable generators currently in the market. 


Best Dual Fuel Portable Generator 

Champion 4250 Watt Duel Fuel Inverter Generator 

Do you need a powerful and high performance portable generator? If so, then the Champion 4250 Watt Dual Fuel inverter generator is an intriguing option. The manufacturers cut the noise level in half by integrating the Quiet Technology components in advanced inverters to help the generator operate quietly. Still, it has an efficient mechanical design that reduces the overall footprint and weight by only 20%. 

 

You can efficiently operate this quiet generator on propane or gasoline with this model. You can easily change fuels using the patented fuel selector dial. Besides the dual fuel ability, it has versatile outlets, making it great for RV.

 

Champion 42-50 quiet generator has a Cold Start Technology that ensures good starts, frequency, operating hours, and intelligently monitors voltage. The smart economy Mode will monitor the electrical load to reduce the engine’s noise, speed, and fuel consumption. 

 

Usage 

The 224cc generator’s engine will produce 4250 starting and 3500 running power using gasoline. It will efficiently run for 22 hours at half load when the tank is full. It has a 6ft propane hose with a regulator where it offers you flexibility. With only a 0.5-quart tank and low oil shut-off sensor, the inverter operates quietly at 64 dBA from 23ft. 

 

Since it produces clean and reliable power, you can easily connect your sensitive devices without worrying about their safety. In addition, it is fitted with multiple outlets and two 2.1A USB ports that can be used to charge laptops, smartphones, or smart devices. 

 

There is an optimal Parallel connection kit sold separately. It will help you increase the output by connecting two 2800-watt or higher inverters. 

 

PROS

  • Affordable
  • High performance-22 hour run time on Gasoline at 25% load/21 hour run time on Propane at 25% load
  • EPA certified and CARB compliant for safety 
  • Free lifetime technical support
  • Clean, stable power than can charge your sensitive electronic devices using the 2.1A USB ports

 

CONS

  • The customer support is poor
  • Its remote start feature has a design flaw 
  • This inverter takes 1-3 seconds to respond to a load increase. 

Best Portable Generator for Camping 

Flashfish 300 Watt Solar Generator

The Flashfish 300 is fitted with different output ports that you can use to charge most of your devices at the same time, including a phone, laptop, fan, drone, car fridge, LED light, digital cameras, MP3, and other smart devices.

 

It provides you with three ways of recharging using a wall charger, solar panel, or car charger. So, whatever device you want to charge FlashFish 300W has got you covered.

 

The recharging time depends on temperature, location, weather, and many more factors. Besides, you can carry this generator anywhere thanks to its sturdy handle that can withstand all the weight without breaking. Therefore, it allows you to go with power when outdoors. 

 

With this generator, you are guaranteed a safe product. It has built-in safety protections, such as low-voltage, overheat protection, short-circuit protection, lock-on protection, over-current protection, and over-voltage protection.

 

It has a silver casing and black ends made of plastic, making it more durable than other solar generators in the market. FlashFish portable generator has 300W continuous power, 350W peak power, pure sine wave, and a 60000mAh battery.

 

The generator can charge multiple devices stably with all this power, and the 5.6lbs weight makes it fit well in your backpack. In addition, this is a compact generator that never compromises the power supply, and it will not require much space for storage. 

 

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Durable metal material 
  • Enough power to charge TVs, laptops, phones, fans, refrigerators, cameras, etc.

 

CONS 

  • It does not have pass-through charging 
  • The generator doesn’t have a power off warning 
  • Electrical problems detected

 


Best Portable Generator for Boat

Westinghouse iGen2200

The Westinghouse iGen2200 inverter generator designed to help you in power-critical situations. It is a lightweight and compact generator that weighs 46lbs, allowing you to carry it outdoors with ease, and it doesn’t require much space for storage.

 

It has a built-in suitcase-style handle for simple transportation and storage. The inverter generator produces 2200 peak watts and 1800 running power, making it one of the best backup portable power options for home and recreational use.

 

With a 1.2gallon fuel tank capacity, you can use it to power refrigerators, fans, large appliances, or necessities you may require for traveling. It is run by a Westinghouse engine that allows you to automatically adjust the engine speed to the needed amount for great fuel efficiency. 

 

It has an ultra-low tone that allows for use anywhere without causing noise pollution. It operates as low as 52Dba, making it great for home or outdoors. Compared to traditional generators that can’t power sensitive electronics, this generator charges most electronics.

 

Because it produces clean and stable power at less than 3% THD. It can power sensitive electronics such as laptops, mobile phones, LCD TVs, tablets, power banks, etc. You can combine iGen2200 with Westinghouse WH2200Ixl generator using Westinghouse WHPC parallel cord if you need extra power.

 

It includes built-in safety features, including overload protection, overcharges protection, short-circuits protection, lock-on protection, over-current protection, and over-voltage protection. In addition, it has an automatic low-oil shutdown feature that alerts when the oil level is low, protecting the engine from damage. 

 

The inverter generator meets all CARB and EPA standards, making it eco-friendly. Still, it has a clear readout display that keeps you up with run times, oil levels, and some updates for maintenance. 

 

PROS

  • Affordable
  • The generator is compact, lightweight, and reliable for outdoor occasions
  • It is eco-friendly and fuel-efficient 
  • Strong enough to charge multiple devices simultaneously 
  • Safe and simple to use 

 

CONS

  • The customer support is not goo 
  • It is a bit noisy

Best Quiet Portable Generator 

Jackery 500 Power Station

Designed for recreational and outdoor use, Jackery 500 is the best generator to have so that you can keep all your favorite electronics powered. It is fitted with multiple features that bring reliability, safety, and ease of use.

 

The generator features a built-in lithium-ion battery pack in a frame structure, increasing outdoor adventures, and home use power.

 

With a 518-watt hour capacity, this generator can power multiple appliances at the same time, including a projector, blanket, heater, lamplight, TV, tablets, and smartphones. The power station features 1 AC outlet, 3 USB-A ports, 1 carport, and 2 DC ports.

 

All these outlets allow for pass-through charging, and you can use them to charge different electronics. In addition, it has a battery management system that rules every cell, improving the battery life while supporting pass-through charging.

 

Still, the battery management system will protect the battery from short-circuiting, overcharge, overload protection, overload protection, and many more.

 

The Explorer 500 portable generator is simple to carry because it has a heavy-duty handle, making it a compact option for road-trip, camping, hiking, hunting, RV, and home backup scenarios.

 

If you don’t have much storage space, don’t worry because this is a compact portable generator that allows for storage even in tight spaces.

 

You can easily pair the Explorer 500 with the SolarSaga panel to get continuous and reliable power from the sun. When the portable power station continuously operates under 10W power for 12 hours, it activates the fuel economy mode and shuts down to reduce fuel consumption.

 

In addition, it comes with everything you need to get clean energy, including a user manual that will make it hassle-free to operate the generator.

 

PROS

  • It has long-lasting endurance and reliability 
  • The generator supports pass-through charging 
  • fuel gauge and low-oil auto-shutoff
  • You can use it to charge a wide range of electrical devices 
  • Its battery management system increases safety and performance 
  • All the ports are versatile and functional 

 

CONS

  • The price is high for those on a budget
  • Most customers complain that they don’t receive a solar panel

DuroMax XP10000E

The DuroMax XP10000E portable generator is a high power, high performance generator that can provide power to many different appliances and devices.

 

With 10000 starting watts and 8000 running watts, the generator can handle refrigerators, lights, home conditioners, smartphones, high amperage power tools, and many more appliances. Due to its dual-fuel feature, it is powerful yet flexible to have.

 

It is a dual fuel generator that can be run by propane and gasoline, making it one of the best gas generators for emergencies. You can decide to use instead of just gasoline because it is more affordable to save extra running costs.

 

The generator uses DuroMax MX2 technology that helps you get enough power from the 120V receptacle. You can choose to operate the generator at 120V and 240V simultaneously or with full power at 120V only.

 

The generator has an all-metal construction designed to protect the generator from all elements. The structure is resistant to rusting. It comes with a set of heavy-duty rolling wheels that can be used on any terrain without slipping to give you maximum flexibility.

 

Assembling the wheels is essential because the generator weighs 218lbs which can be tough to carry around manually.  It also has an easy-to-use control panel that allows you to see all the operations with ease, and it provides accurate details all the time.

 

The machinery has low-voltage protection, overheat protection, short-circuit protection, lock-on protection, over-current protection, and over-voltage protection. In addition, due to its compact design, you can store the generator anywhere without needing much storage space.

 

PROS

  • 10,000 peak watts-powerful enough to be a true home backup generator
  • The included handles and wheels make it portable
  • High performance- up to 10.4 hour run time at 50% loadPowered by a 439cc OHV DuroMax Engine 
  • It is powerful machinery that can power different electrical appliances 
  • All metal construction enhances better performance and durability 

 

CONS

  • The wheels it comes with are poorly built 
  • Running watts are less than described 
  • Noisy. 

 

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What is a Portable Generator? 

Before you go out in the market to look for a generator, you have to know which one you want and think about how and where you will use it.

 

There are different types of generators, from portable inverters to standby generators. Purchasing the right generator will help you operate various appliances without any hustle. 

 

Today we are dealing with portable generators. Portable or backup generators offer temporary power when needed in an emergency or outdoors. This is just a relative term for portable generators because some generators are more mobile than others.

 

While the small generator models can be carried, most portable generators feature a carrying handle and heavy-duty wheels that make transport simple. 

 

Portable generators have multiple power outlets to plug extension cords, electrical power appliances, and sensitive ones. Unlike the standby generator systems, they are not installed permanently, can be moved anywhere, and can be manually started.

 

They are rated in watts, and the more the watts, the more items you can power. A typical portable generator has the following components when fully assembled in a single unit: 

  • Starter
  • Internal combustion engine 
  • Alternator 
  • Outlets
  • Fuel tanks

 

Because you don’t know when you will require a portable generator to power your device, you have to maintain it to make sure it is ready to work. There are different methods you can use to maintain a portable generator, such as:

  • Using a fuel stabilizer to prevent gum from forming and blocking the fuel system 
  • Change your generator oil to keep it running smoothly 
  • Inspect all the replaceable parts regularly. 

How Does a Generator Work?

Portable quiet generators are reliable machinery that offers consistent power for different situations, whether keeping lights on during a blackout, providing electricity to a Jobsite, sporting event, campsite, and many more.

 

They offer reliable electricity using a gas engine and are more versatile than standby generators installed permanently. So, how do generators work?

 

Generally, generators don’t create electricity. Instead, they convert chemical energy into clean electrical energy. They capture motion power and turn it into electrical energy by forcing electrons from an external source through an electric circuit. In short, a generator is an electrical motor functioning in reverse. 

 

A generator contains the following primary components: 

 

Combustion engine: This is the workhorse of a generator. It determines how much power a generator can provide. 

 

Alternator: The conversion from mechanical energy to electrical energy occurs here. It contains both moving and stationary parts that work together to create the movement of electrons that generate power. 

 

Fuel system: This makes it possible for the generator to generate energy. A fuel system includes a fuel pump, a fuel tank, a pipe connecting to the pump, and a return pipe. Besides, it has a filter that removes debris before it gets to the engine. 

 

Voltage regulator: It is a valuable component that controls the voltage of the electricity produced. Still, it helps convert the power from AC to DC if needed. 

 

Control panel: A control panel monitors every operation of the generator from startup and running speed to outputs. Modern boards are more improved, and they have safety features that alert you or shut the unit down when the fuel level is low. 

 

Lubrication system: A generator has multiple moving parts inside. They need to be lubricated adequately with engine oil for a smooth operation and protect them from wear. So, a generator should have a good lubrication system. You should keep checking the lubricant levels, mostly every 8 hours of operation. 


What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Portable Generator? 

Electricity is an integral part of our everyday lives that we overlook. Sometimes we forget how much we need and depend on it. Only when there is a power outage problem do we know how important electricity is. However, you can solve this using a portable generator. Here are some of the pros and cons of a portable generator. 

 

Advantages 

  • Generators offer a reliable power supply. 

Power generators provide clean electricity at any time. Therefore, you will always have backup power in case of a power problem. This way, you can continue with your daily activities. 

 

  • Flexibility

Unlike traditional generators and models that need permanent installation, a portable generator gives you the flexibility to use it anywhere.

 

They weigh less, are equipped with sturdy moving wheels and comfortable carrying handles. You can use it both indoor and outdoor with all these features, provided it has everything it needs to run. 

 

  • Portable generators prevent losses. 

If you primarily rely on power for a living, having a performing portable generator will help you avoid losses. You only have to switch it on in a power outage and continue your everyday operations. For example, a home will prevent the food stored in a refrigerator from spoiling or powering your smart devices. 

 

  • It can be used to charge multiple devices. 

Unlike some traditional generators that cannot charge sensitive electronic devices, portable generators can charge almost everything. Portable quiet generators have built-in safety features that protect your devices from overcharging, short-circuiting, and other dangers.

 

This way, you can use a portable generator to charge most of your devices, including a phone, laptop, fan, drone, car fridge, LED light, digital cameras, MP3, and other smart devices.

 

Disadvantages 

  1. Because a generator uses fuel, it will release combustion gases. Remember, no fuel, no generator. You have to use it in an open place to avoid the combustion gases. 

 

       2. When purchasing a generator, most manufacturers say it is an ultra-quiet generator, but this is always not true. Some generators are slightly loud, and some are extremely loud. Depending on the model you purchase, the noise level can be more or less intense. 

 

         3. A generator needs electrical installation to connect it to the home network. If you don’t have the required knowledge in the field, doing the installation by yourself will be tricky. That is why it is always advisable to buy a product with an instruction guide and installation manual. 

 

         4. Generators must run on gasoline, diesel, or propane on fuel. Meaning, you will require to store a certain amount to keep you ready for an emergency. If not enough, the generator will shut off. So, on the downside, a generator requires a certain amount of diesel fuel or gasoline to run for a certain period. 

 

        5. When used regularly, it requires regular maintenance, which can be costly. 


Buyer’s Guide

There are many portable generators in the market, and choosing the right one can be tricky. The portable generator you want to purchase should offer reliable power that will suit all your power needs. Below is a guide with the nine crucial factors to consider before buying a generator. 

 

Uses 

Portable quiet generators are lifesavers. They are backup power sources that convert gasoline, diesel, or propane gas into energy. A portable generator is helpful in many ways. Depending on your application, you will purchase a medium or powerful generator.

 

In our guide, we have the best generators that can be used to charge multiple electrical devices, such as TV, laptops, mobile phones, LCD TVs, tablets, power banks, lamp lights, and many more. 

 

Besides charging devices, you can use a portable generator outdoors in a campsite, hunting, tailgating, hiking, sporting events, boating, family occasions, standby power for business, and emergencies. 

 

Power Output 

Before you purchase a portable generator, you need to know the size you need. Meaning, you have to know how much power you need. Because you have different appliances to power, the power output is critical.

 

For instance, a refrigerator needs 700 watts to run, but what happens when it needs 2100 watts of starting power? Therefore, you have to be keen on the startup watts required to run the appliance you want to power and the running watts. 

 

You have to know the type of outlets you need. Smaller generators have 120V AC outlets and USB ports to charge smart devices. With up to 4000 watts, you will see 240V plugs that show along with 120V outlets. Since the generator will be used outside, it should have GFCI protected outlets. 

 

Fuel 

Portable generators are powered by diesel, gasoline, or propane. It is always good to look for a generator converted to propane use. Still, propane is environmentally-friendly and very reliable. You can recharge some models via a solar panel, and they have no emissions. However, these are expensive, charge slowly, and offer more than 2000 watts. 

 

Noise Level

Generators come in different sizes. Depending on how it is built, the bigger the size, the noisy it is. Smaller generators have a subtle design that offers smooth operation.

 

Buying a generator of more than 4000-watts guarantees no quietness, and you have to know how to handle the noise level. Diesel models make more noise than gas models. However, improved generators in the market are equipped with enhanced features that ensure a noise-reduced operation. 

 

Runtime 

Multiple factors determine the run time of a portable generator. Some of the factors include the appliances you are charging, the time taken to charge, and the amount of gasoline or diesel it has.

 

For instance, if you are charging larger appliances, they will drain the power faster than expected. Luckily, you can anticipate this by ensuring you have ample gasoline or diesel. Smaller devices tend to use less energy, and they charge fast. 

 

Size and weight 

Portable generators come in different sizes and weight capacities. Most of them are lightweight and compact to allow easy carrying using much energy.

 

Despite people’s belief that large things contain more power than smaller ones, you can find small-sized generators that power any appliance no matter its size. If you don’t have much storage space, buy a compact model to store anywhere without needing much space. 

 

Safety 

This is another crucial thing you should not overlook. For the generator to offer good performance for years to come, it should be fitted with reliable safety features that will keep it protected, plus the devices you need to charge.

 

For example, your devices should be protected from overloading, short-circuiting, overcharging, over-voltage, lock-on protection, and over-heating. In addition, it should be equipped with a sensor or alarm that alerts you when the fuel level is low to protect the engine from damage. 

 

Price 

There are many generators in the market, and they have different prices. The price of a portable generator is designed by its output, noise level, design, construction, safety features, size, and versatility.

 

Of course, you will have to pay more money for fuel-powered generators because they offer adequate power. Still, the portable models with higher wattages have a higher price. So, you have to know what your budget level is and decide which one to purchase. 

 

Also Read: Best Tri Fuel Generators [2022]


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Power a House Using a Generator? 

Most of the portable generators in the market do not have enough power to run an entire house. However, the generators with a wattage of at least 7500 watts can be used to run essential household appliances like refrigerators, lights, heaters, or garage openers n case of an emergency. 

 

How Much Does a Portable Generator Cost? 

Portable generators cost between $200 to more than $5 000. It is always hard to find a cheap generator without compromising quality. The more you play, the better quality you get. However, a portable generator is more economical than a home standby generator.

 

Which Appliances Can a Portable Generator Power? 

Unlike the traditional generators that can’t power-sensitive devices, portable generators can charge a wide range of electronic devices. It can charge a TV, smartphones, LED lights, radio, MP3, campsite, refrigerator, fan, air compressor, and many more. You only have to check the device’s power requirements and the amount of power it will use before charging it. 

 

What is the Best Portable Generator on the Market? 

“Best” depends on what your purpose for using the generator would be.

Best portable generator for camping: Flashfish 300

Best dual fuel portable generator: Champion 4250

Best quiet portable generator: Jackery 500

Best portable generator for boat: Westinghouse iGen2200

Best 10000 Watt portable generator: DuroMax XP10000E

 

Can a Portable Generator be Used on a Boat? 

Yes, you can use a portable quiet generator on a boat. It can provide onboard power for navigation, bilge pump, refrigeration, air conditioning, radio communication, and tech. However, if you want to use a generator on a boat, you must follow the following rules: 

 

  • No gasoline 
  • Ensure ventilation is adequate 
  • Only use the generator when moored
  • Avoid refueling the generator on the boat
  • Keep the generator dry and remain vigilant when using it 
  • Keep it in a safe place when not in use. 

 

Which is the Best Dual Fuel Generator? 

There are many dual-fuel generators in the market. This allows you to use either gasoline, diesel, or propane. We believe the Champion 4250 Watt Duel Fuel Inverter Generator to be the best dual fuel generator available.

 

This quiet portable generator can be run by gasoline or propane, and the fuel can be changed using the fuel selector dial. Therefore, this is a great dual fuel generator to invest in. 

 

What is the Best 10000 Watt Portable Generator?

A 10,0000 Watt portable generator is an excellent choice if you are looking for a generator that can power your electronic devices and larger home appliances during a power emergency. A good 10000 generator should power a refrigerator, lights, freezer, water pump, air conditioner, and many more appliances.

 

The best 10000 Watt portable generator is the DuroMax XP10000E, which is very powerful and reliable. However, this one is slightly louder than other models, but it does its job efficiently. 

 

Do I need a Portable Generator for Camping?

Yes, a portable generator is beneficial for outdoor camping. You don’t know when your devices will run out of power or when you will have an emergency in the wilderness. Still, when it is too hot, a good generator will power a portable fun to help you stay cool.

 

A generator can be used to power multiple things such as camping lights, campsite, camp refrigerator, or charge your devices. If you plan to camp for more than a night, you will need a reliable camping generator. 


Wattage Chart 

ApplianceStarting WattsRunning Watts
Blender650300
Furnace (1/4 HP)1000600
Sump Pump (1/3 HP)1300800
Refrigerator2200700
Washing Machine22501150
Window AC 13K BTU28001800
Well Pump21001000

Conclusion 

After going through our guide above, we hope it was helpful and will help you make an informed decision. We’ve discussed the best portable generators that are fuel-efficient, great for different outdoor occasions, well-performing, and durable.

 

 

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