Our Picks For The 10 Best Portable Generator Options In 2021

A generator is the best off-grid power source for all your electricity needs. There are numerous generator options available in the market today. In recent years, smaller portable generators producing considerable power have gained popularity over their larger conventional counterparts.

Large conventional generators are generally very noisy and expensive. They also produce uneven power as their engine surges and sags. Portable inverter generators produce clean, steady electricity that can safely power sensitive consumer electronics. They are also more compact, lighter, and can generate enough on-demand electricity to power several devices.      

Portable generators are available in a broad range of brands and designs with different power outputs and capabilities. Whether you need an off-grid power source while camping, working outside, tailgating, or backup power to your home during emergencies, a portable generator is your best bet.  

We have reviewed some of the best portable generator options for 2021. Read the features, pros, and cons of our top picks before making your purchasing decision.

Best Overall Portable Generator

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generatorHaving been the first manufacturer to introduce inverter generators to the market, Honda is arguably the most reliable portable generator brand. The EU2200i is the updated version that replaced the massively popular EU2000i in 2018. It has all the features that made the EU2000i the best selling portable generator in history. It is compact, sturdy, super quiet, fuel-efficient, and very reliable for multiple applications.

The Honda EU2200i has a solid construction and weighs only 40 lbs making it very easy to carry and use in remote locations. It can operate for long hours without interruption thanks to an efficient air cooling mechanism, which prevents the engine from overheating. Its noise output of 48 to 57 dBA makes it one of the quietest portable generators on the market.

The Honda EU2200i runs on the universally acclaimed Honda GX100 engine, which delivers 2200 watts. Its parallel capability allows you to connect it to an identical model for double the power. This model can adjust its fuel consumption to meet the current demand thanks to a very efficient Eco-Throttle mechanism. At 100% load, it can run continuously for more than 3 hours, and at 25% load, it can run for an impressive 9.6 hours. 

Power outlets on the generator include a standard 120V duplex AC outlet and an RV-ready 30 amp outlet. Additional features include a low oil alert system that automatically shuts down the generator if the oil is not enough for safe operation, fuel shut off valve, and a light effort recoil start. The generator is both EPAQ and CARB compliant. 

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: Honda GX100
  • Wattage: 22000 watts
  • Noise Level: 48 – 57 dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 0.9 gal
  • Run Time: 4 to 9.6 hours
  • Power Outlets: 120V duplex AC outlet, RV-ready 30 amp outlet
  • Weight: 40 lbs 
  • Starting: Recoil start

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Best Quiet Portable Generator

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Portable Generator

best portable generatorThe WEN 56200i is a nearly silent generator. Operating at 51 decibels at quarter load, this model is minimally invasive while camping, hunting, tailgating, or providing backup power to your home. It runs on a 4-stroke 79.7 cc OHV engine that produces 2000 watts of clean energy free of voltage spikes and drops. It generates a total harmonic distortion of between 0.3 and 1.2, making it safe for powering sensitive electronic devices like laptops, phones, and cameras.

The unit weighs a mere 48 lbs and has a handle for improved portability. Its one-gallon tank provides over 4 hours of runtime at full load capacity and over 6 hours of runtime at 50% load. Its Eco-Mode adjusts fuel consumption automatically according to load for maximum fuel economy. For more power, you can connect two WEN 56200i generators using a WEN parallel connection kit. 

The WEN 56200i features one 12V DC receptacle, two three-prong 120V receptacles, and a 5V USB port. Safety features include low-fuel and low-oil automatic shutdown with indication lights and overload protection. The generator is covered by a 2-year warranty and is both EPA III and CARB compliant.

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: 79.7cc 4-stroke OHV engine 
  • Wattage: 2000 watts/1600 watts
  • Noise Level: 51 – 53 dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1 gal
  • Run Time: 4 to 6 hours
  • Power Outlets: 5V USB port, (2) 3-Prong 120V receptacles, 12V DC port
  • Weight: 48 lbs
  • Start: Recoil start 
  • Warranty: 2 years

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Best Home Back-Up Generator

Westinghouse iGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generatorThe Westinghouse iGen2500 is an ideal portable generator for home backup and RVs due to its impressive 2500 peak watts and 2200 rated watts. It is powered by a 4-stroke OHV Westinghouse engine with an internal displacement of 98cc and a mechanical choke. It is parallel capable to provide more power when paired with an identical model using a Westinghouse WHPC Parallel Cord.  

This model can run most household appliances simultaneously, including refrigerators, furnaces, and AC units. Since it generates stable, clean power at less than 3% THD, it can safely power sensitive electronics like laptops, tablets, and smart televisions.

Despite its high wattage, the Westinghouse iGen2500 is relatively lightweight and portable. It weighs a mere 48 lbs and has a built-in carrying handle for easy transportation. This powerful generator operates as low as 52 dBA at quarter load, making it community-friendly and ideal for outdoor use. The power outlets on the iGen2500 include two USB ports, two duplexes, and 120V AC outlets. A strategically positioned control panel features an LED display that provides real-time information on the power output, voltage, and fuel level oil and fuel levels. 

The operation and maintenance of the iGen2500 is relatively easy. It has built-in safety features, which include power overload protection and low oil shutdown. It is also backed by lifetime technical support and a 3-year limited warranty. The Westinghouse iGen2500 is EPA compliant. 

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: 98cc 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse Engine 
  • Wattage: 2,500 peak/2,200 running
  • Noise Level: 52 dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1 gallon
  • Run Time: 6 to 7.7 hours
  • Power Outlets: (2) 120V Outlets, (2) USB Ports 
  • Weight: 48 lb
  • Start: Recoil start 
  • Warranty: 3 years 

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Best Outdoor Portable Generator

Generac 7117 GP2200i Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generatorGenerac is a well-established brand in the portable generator market. The Generac GP2200i is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts since it is designed explicitly for tailgating, camping, and boating. It has a compact, fully-enclosed design and weighs 46 lbs, which makes it easy to transport. A comfortable built-in handle at the top makes it easy to lift and carry around. 

The Generac 7117 is powered by an 80cc, OHV engine that generates 2200W startup power and 1700W running power. It is parallel ready, allowing you to connect two identical models for twice the power. The generator is easy to start with a reliable recoil starter, and its 1.2-gallon gas tank can keep it running for up to 7 hours at 50% load. This impressive 5-kilowatt-hour per gallon consumption can be improved by activating the eco-mode that adjusts the engine revs according to the load.    

The Generac 7117’s fully enclosed design helps reduce the noise levels dramatically to about 65 dBA, making it ideal for camping out in the woods without disturbing wildlife. It has a 1.5A USB outlet, a 12V DC auxiliary outlet, and 2 standard 120V household outlets protected by strong plastic covers. Its control panel also features LED indicators for oil levels, overload, and ready to use.

The generator comes with a 1-year warranty for commercial use and a 2-year warranty for non-commercial use.   

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: 80cc, OHV engine
  • Wattage: 2200W startup power/1700W running power
  • Noise Level: 65 dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.2 gallons
  • Run Time: 7 hours at 50% load
  • Power Outlets: 1.5A USB outlet, 12V DC auxiliary outlet, 2 standard 120V household outlets
  • Weight: 46 lbs
  • Starting: recoil start
  • Warranty: 2 years non-commercial use

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Best RV Portable Generator

Champion 100554 4375/3500-Watt Portable Generator

best portable generatorThe Champion 100558 portable generator is designed for RV travelers since it has enough power to run most RV electronics, including a 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner. It can also be used to power several appliances in your home simultaneously in the event of a power outage. This model is powered by a 208cc Champion 4-stroke, single-cylinder OHV engine that provides 120V and delivers a 3500W running wattage and 4375W peak wattage. 

The generator can be started using a simple pull-start mechanism, an electric starter, or a wireless remote start. It runs on gasoline and has a fuel capacity of 4.7 gallons, which can power it for up to 12 hours at 50% load. This model is relatively heavy, with a weight of 118.8 lbs. Lifting it may be challenging, but its wheels and folding handle allow for easy relocation.

The Champion 100558 features two duplex 120V 20A (5-20R), one 120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle and one 120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacle. Its control panel features a built-in fuel gauge and an intelligence meter with frequency, voltage, and lifetime hours. This model’s safety features include automatic low oil shut-off, spark arrestor, and a Volt Guard overload protection.  

It is EPA approved and a 3-year warranty. 

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: 208cc Champion 4-stroke, single-cylinder OHV engine
  • Wattage: 3500W running wattage/ 4375W peak wattage
  • Noise Level: 68 dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.7 gallons
  • Run Time: 12 hours at 50% load
  • Power Outlets: (2) duplex 120V 20A (5-20R), (1) 120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle, (1) 120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacle
  • Weight: 118.8 lbs
  • Starting: Recoil start, an electric starter, wireless remote start
  • Warranty: 3 years

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Best DIY Portable Inverter Generator

Yamaha EF2000iS Portable Inverter Generator  

best portable generatorThe Yamaha EF2200iS is a compact, lightweight and quiet inverter generator that is designed for DIYers who need off-grid power for their tools. It is also ideal for camping and tailgating activities. It is powered by a 79cc Yamaha MZ80 OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120V and delivers 1800W running wattage and 2200W peak wattage. Its Twin Tech parallel function allows you to link two compatible units for double the power. 

This generator runs on gasoline and has a tank capacity of 1.24 gallons. A full tank can run for up to 10.5 hours at 25% load. Its Smart Throttle, a load sensing rpm control, adjusts engine speeds to match the load, allowing greater noise reduction and fuel efficiency. It runs very quietly at 57-65 dBA thanks to Yamaha Quiet Technology.   

The Yamaha EF2200iS weighs 55 lbs and has a tri-handle design for improved portability. It features an LED illuminated control panel that has multi-function displays. The control panel also has a regulated DC socket outlet and a standard RV outlet. Additional features on the EF2200iS include the Yamaha Easy Carburetor Drain, a convenient tool-free maintenance panel, and an overload power reset.

This model is EPA approved and CARB compliant. 

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: 79cc Yamaha MZ80 OHV 4-stroke engine
  • Wattage: 1800W running wattage/ 2200W peak wattage
  • Noise Level: 57-65 dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.24 gallons
  • Run Time: 10.5 hours at 25% load
  • Power Outlets: Regulated DC socket outlet and a standard RV outlet
  • Weight: 55 lbs
  • Start: Recoil start
  • Warranty: 3 years

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Best Tailgating Portable Inverter Generator

Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Power Smart Series Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generatorThe Briggs & Stratton P2200 is an affordable, compact and quiet portable inverter generator designed for camping, tailgating, and amateur DIY activities. It houses a 110cc Briggs& Stratton OHV 4-stroke engine, which has an output of 120 V and provides 1700W running wattage and 2200W peak wattage. It can be parallel connected with another P2200 or P3000 for additional power.

This model generates a clean sine wave with less than 3% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD), so it can safely power sensitive electronic devices. With a noise rating of 59dBA, it can be used without disturbing the neighbors or wildlife while camping. It features two AC outlets and one DC outlet on the control panel. The control panel also features a switch for its Briggs & Stratton’s Quiet Power Technology (QTP), which reduces noise levels and improves fuel economy.  

The Briggs & Stratton P2200 is started with a simple pull-start mechanism, and it can run for up to 8 hours at 25% load before depleting its 1-gallon fuel tank.  Its closed design, 54 lbs weight, and a nifty triple handle allow easy portability.

This generator features a spark arrestor, automatic low oil shut-off, and overload protection, but it is neither CARB-compliant nor EPA approved.

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: 110cc Briggs& Stratton OHV 4-stroke engine
  • Wattage: 1700W running wattage/ 2200W peak wattage
  • Noise Level: 59dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1 gallon
  • Run Time: 8 hours at 25% load
  • Power Outlets: 2 AC outlets, 1 DC outlet
  • Weight: 54 lbs
  • Starting: Recoil start
  • Warranty: 2 Years

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Best All-Purpose Portable Generator

Westinghouse iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generatorThe Westinghouse iGen4500 is a premium power solution for most off-grid power needs. Whether you need power for outdoor activities or backup power for your home, you can count on this model. Its compact, lightweight design is convenient for recreational use. With a weight of 98 lbs, this model can be dragged on its wheels while holding an extendable suitcase-style handle.  

The iGen4500 is powered by a 224cc Westinghouse OHV 4-stroke engine that generates a running wattage of 3700W and 4500W peak wattage. You can access this power via a TT-30R RV ready outlet, two built-in 5V USB ports, and two household outlets. Sensitive electronics may be plugged directly in the outlets since the generator produces a clean, stable sine wave with less than 3% THD.

The generator has a simple pull-start mechanism, a convenient push-button electric starter, and a wireless remote start. It can run for up to 18 hours at 25% load before its 3.4-gallon fuel tank is depleted. It runs relatively quiet, producing up to 52 dBA.

Additional features of the iGen4500 include a digital data center that allows easy monitoring of its status and activity, a built-in fuel gauge, spark arrestor, overload protection, and automatic low oil shut-off. It is both EPA approved and CARB compliant.     

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: 224cc Westinghouse OHV 4-stroke engine
  • Wattage: 3700W running wattage/ 4500W peak wattage
  • Noise Level: 52 dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.4 gallon
  • Run Time: 18 hours at 25% load
  • Power Outlets: TT-30R RV ready outlet, (2) built-in 5V USB ports, (2) Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • Weight: 98 lbs
  • Starting: recoil start, electric starter, wireless remote start
  • Warranty: 3 years

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Best Open Frame Portable generator 

Energizer EZG3500 Portable Generator

best portable generatorWhile it’s not as well known as Honda or Yamaha, the Energizer EZG3500 is a reliable option. It is ideal for anybody searching for a dependable, powerful generator for home, commercial, and recreational use. This brand offers eco-friendliness, flexibility, and a consistent supply of clean power safe for even the most delicate electronic gadgets. It also runs quietly with a noise rating of 76 dBA, so you can comfortably use it anywhere without getting grievances from the neighbors.

The Energizer EZG3500 is powered by a 208 cc Energizer OHV 4-stroke engine that delivers 3000 running watts and a peak wattage of 3500 watts. It is started using a simple pull-start mechanism, and it can run for up to 19.5 hours at 25% load before depleting its fuel tank, which has a capacity of 4.2 gallons.

The generator’s control panel has 3 AC outlets. These include two duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) and one 120V/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle. Since it has a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the EZG3500 is transfer ready and can be directly connected to your home’s breaker box. 

The open-frame design of the Energizer EZG3500 offers stability and the possibility of raising it above ground in tough outdoor environments. Its high weight of 117 lbs makes lifting a bit challenging, but its wheel kit and folding handle improve maneuverability.        

Additional features of the EZG3500 include a built-in fuel gauge and an oil indicator. A user’s manual, tool kit, funnel, and oil are included in its packaging.

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: 208 cc Energizer OHV 4-stroke engine
  • Wattage: 3000 running watts/ 3500W peak wattage
  • Noise Level: 76 dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.2 gallons
  • Run Time: 19.5 hours at 25% load
  • Power Outlets: two duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) and one 120V/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle
  • Weight: 117 lbs
  • Starting: recoil start 
  • Warranty: 2 years

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Best Compact Portable Generator

Briggs & Stratton P3000 30545 Power Smart Portable Generator 

best portable generatorBriggs & Stratton P3000 Power Smart is a compact and lightweight, portable inverter generator designed for a range of operations that require off-grid power. It houses a powerful 171cc Briggs & Stratton OHV 4-stroke gasoline-powered engine. This engine can deliver 120V and provide a starting wattage of 3000W and a running wattage of 2600W. It is parallel ready, so power output can be doubled when connected to a compatible unit.

The P300 features a recoil start and can run for up to 10 hours at 25% load before depleting its 1.5-gallon fuel tank. The clean sine wave this model generates can safely power sensitive electronic devices. Its encased design, a wheel kit, a telescopic handle, and a weight of only 84 lbs contribute to its portability. It features two duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R), one 120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle, one 12V 5A receptacle and a 5V USB port. 

The P3000’s control panel features the StatStation data center, which helps monitor its activity and status.   

Features and Specifications

  • Engine: 171cc Briggs & Stratton OHV 4-stroke gasoline-powered engine
  • Wattage: 2600W running wattage/ 3000W peak wattage
  • Noise Level: 58 dBA
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.5 gallons
  • Run Time: 10 hours at 25% load
  • Power Outlets: (2) duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R), (1) 120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle, (1) 12V 5A receptacle and a 5V USB port
  • Weight: 84 lbs
  • Starting: Recoil start
  • Warranty: 2 years

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Our Final Thoughts on the Best Portable Generator Options

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