With climate change causing extreme weather events, and more people working from home, it’s now more important than ever to invest in a backup portable generator for when the power goes out.
Having a portable generator that can run your essential appliances and your electronic gadgets will keep you working and your family comfortable. Solar power homes need back up too.
What if you only run on solar power and there’s been no sun for a few weeks? Will you have enough power stored for your needs? Having a portable generator will keep your home going if you experience long periods of low or no sun. If you’re looking to go green, see our top 10 list of solar generators.
How Long Do Portable Generators Last?
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9. Powermate PM2200i Ultra Quiet Inverter Generator
View the Best Portable Generators, Below.
It also has a built-in surge protector and runs at 74 dBA. Why We Liked It: This Champion power generator is heavy-duty. It uses either gasoline or propane gas. The electric push-button makes it easy to use - it starts every time. The in-built surge protector means that you won't overload the engine.
Plus, the large fuel tank ensures you can keep working all day, and its cold-start technology means that it will start even in the coldest conditions. This generator comes with a 3-year warranty. Dual fuel, using either gasoline or propane gas.
Easy electric push-button start. 4-stroke, single-cylinder 439cc engine. The control panel has output sockets for either 120 or 240 volts.
Safety Features You Should Consider
A chunky piece of material that's pretty weighty. If you suffer power failures often and need to run your entire home during emergencies, then the DuroMax XP12000EH is the generator for you. It has a massive 12,000 watts of output, which means it can run your entire house without missing a beat.
It's also ideal for construction sites when there's no mains power available. This machine might be heavy at 224 pounds, but it has wheels to make it easier to move around. It's powered by an 18HP, 457cc overhead valve engine.
The noise rating is 74 dBA. Why We Liked It: This heavy-duty generator is powerful enough to power an entire house, including all appliances - even the air conditioner!
Tough and robust, it can also be used on construction sites to run all manner of power tools. It has both EPA and CARB approval. It also features low oil shut-off protection. Dual fuel so you can use either gasoline or propane gas.
- Can be operated at both 120v and 240v simultaneously.
- The control panel includes 5 outlets, 3 for 120v and 2 for both 120v and 240v.
- It has an 8.3-gallon fuel capacity tank with a running time of 9 hours at 50% load and 5 hours at full load.
8. A-iPower SUA2000iV Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Provides ample power with 12,000 starting watts (peak watts) and 9,500 running watts. Heavy generator, best to keep in one secure location. This is the best portable generator for occasional power outages, and it's perfect to use in your RV when traveling.
It has a 7HP, 4-stroke OHV engine that can run on gasoline or propane gas. The start-up wattage is 4,000 peak watts, and it has the capacity to produce 3,250 running watts. The noise rating is only 69 dBA. However, it's not recommended for high-altitude use above 3,000 feet.
The fuel tank holds 3.6 gallons, giving you a run time of 10 hours at 50% load. If you're using the generator on propane, you can expect 12 hours of run time at 50% load.
- Why We Liked It: This is a great back-up generator if you only have the occasional power outage.
- It's also ideal for taking on trips, such as camping.
- If you only have a light load, it can easily run your campsite for a couple of days on one tank of fuel.
- This is excellent fuel efficiency.
- Has EPA approval. Runs quietly at only 69 dBA.
4. Generac 7117 GP2200i Portable Inverter Generator
Dual fuel, giving you complete flexibility. Small back-up generator for power outages and traveling. Includes an automatic voltage regulator, low oil shut-off, and a spark arrester. Not designed to be used constantly for several days in a row.
How do you plan to transport your portable generator? If you’ll be lifting it onto a truck bed, you might want to look for a lower-weight option.
However, if you’ll be transporting it on a trailer with a ramp, you’ll want to look for a generator that has wheels.
With a large 6.6-gallon gas tank, this 7500-watt portable generator will keep you powered for up to 11 hours. It features an electric push-button start that you can pair with a wireless keyfob.
- This means it's quick and easy to start every single time.
- It's powered by a 4-stroke, 420cc overhead valve engine.
- It has a noise rating of 72 dBA.
11. Pulsar PG5250B Dual-Fuel Portable Generator
Why We Liked It: The long run time makes it fuel-efficient and an ideal back-up power source for your home. The electric start means you can kick it into gear without having to battle the elements.
It has plenty of power to run the appliances you need or the power tools you want to use. It also comes with a 3-year warranty. 9,500 starting watts and 7,500 running watts.
Easy electric start. Built-in fuel gauge and automatic low oil shut off. Has its own wheels for better portability. Is both EPA and CARB compliant. Another heavy piece of kit that can be difficult to move around.
- This is a relatively light-weight dual fuel generator from Champion.
- It's one of the best generators to use for your RV, as it has a noise rating of only 59 dBA.
- It features an electric start with a 3-position ignition switch.
3. Pulsar G2319N Portable Inverter Generator
It runs on a 4-stroke single-cylinder 192cc engine. Why We Liked It: This generator weighs just under 96 pounds so it's best to take on a camping trip or to use in your RV. It's one of the quietest generators on our list at only 59 dBA. The electric start means that it will start the first time, every time.
The 1.6-gallon fuel tank will give you around 7.5 hours of run time. If using propane, a 20-pound propane tank will give you 14.5 hours of run time.
3,400 starting watts (peak watts) and 3,100 running watts. Easy to start with the battery-operated electric start switch. The air-cooled engine has a low oil shut off for safety.
- Be careful not to overload this generator with too many power outlets.
- If you want the convenience of using either gasoline or propane in your portable generator, consider the WEN DF1100T.
- It's powerful enough to run your entire household if you have a blackout.
Other Things to Consider
Powered by a 457cc, 4-stroke OHV engine, this generator gives you 11,000 starting watts and 8,300 operating watts when using gasoline. It also has an electric key start. Why We Liked It: This portable power generator is powerful enough to run an entire household during blackouts.
The electric key start makes it easy to fire up. It also has a recoil start back-up. The included handle and wheel kit means you can move it around easily.
Plus, the convenience of being able to use both gasoline and propane means you'll have power whenever you need it. The 6.6-gallon fuel tank provides 8.5 hours run time with a 50% load.
What is the Best Portable Generator for The Price?
Voltage can convert from 120v to 240v, which is ideal for transfer switches. Has a total of 7 outlets, plus 2 circuit breakers.
Comes with a fold-down handle and wheels for easy movability. Has both EPA and CARB approval. Designed for short power outages, not to run consistently for several days. This high-performance 6000-watt portable generator is an ideal back-up power source for your home, especially if you experience a lot of blackouts and power outages.
It runs on a powerful 4-stroke, 420cc overhead valve engine. This gives you a power output of 7,500 starting watts and 6,000 running watts, which means it's powerful enough to run your entire household. It also features an electric start, making it easy to fire up when you need it.
What to Consider for a Home Backup System
Why We Liked It: If you live in an area that experiences constant power outages, this powerful generator will keep your household appliances running. The large fuel tank means that you won't have to refill it too often.
The transfer switch allows direct connection to your switchboard. The built-in handle and wheels mean that you can move it around when you need to, making it ideal for construction sites.
The 6.6-gallon fuel tank can provide up to 13 hours of running time and has a built-in fuel gauge. Has automatic shut down protection when the engine is low on oil. Has a Transfer Switch Ready L14-30R outlet that allows you to connect it straight to your home.
- Back-up emergency recoil start if the battery in the electric start is flat.
- The noise rating is 72 dBA.
- Runs on gas so in an emergency you'll need a large enough supply to keep it running.
6. Champion Parallel Ready Portable Inverter Generator
This super light (47 lbs) portable inverter generator is an ideal back-up power source if you only have occasional power outages. It's perfect for those working from home, as it can easily run your computer or laptop, as well as the modem.
It's also a great portable generator to take with you when camping or on the road; it will charge up all your electronic devices. Why We Liked It: The Honda eu2200i Inverter Generator offers clean power in times of emergency or while away from home.
It's lightweight and highly fuel-efficient. The tank holds just under one gallon of fuel, and this can keep the generator running for up to 8 hours.
- Provides 2,200 watts of powers.
- Can run up to 8 hours on a gallon of fuel.
- Only 47 lbs, which means you can take it with you anywhere.
Best Portable Generators Buying Guide
The inverter power is reliable and safe to run laptops and computers on. Has a CO minder sensor that protects you from carbon monoxide poisoning.
How Do Portable Generators Work?
Small generator, will not be able to power an entire home in a blackout. With a large-capacity steel fuel tank and 10,000 starting watts, this portable generator is there when you need it. It will run for up to 11 hours on a full tank at 50% load. It also has a battery-operated push-button start.
There's a handy battery jack to keep it charged and ready for use. Why We Liked It: This powerful generator will keep your household running in times of power failures. It's also ideal to use on construction sites. The electric start makes it easy to fire up, and the large fuel tank gives you up to 11 hours of power.
It comes with a 3-year warranty. Power output is 8,000 watts while running. Durable overhead valve engine with splash lubrication to ensure a long life.
Low oil level shut down to protect the engine. Covered outlets for protection in storms or while on the job site.
The Fuel Source
Includes a fold-down handle and wheels for easy portability. Industrial style can be difficult to assemble. The Ryobi RY906200S features CO Detect. This means it has a carbon monoxide sensor that will shut down the generator if CO is detected.
The power output of this generator is 8,125 starting watts and 6,500 running watts. It features easy-start technology with a 3-position start-up process. You can rest assured that you're protected from carbon monoxide poisoning with this generator's CO detection.
This makes it entirely safe to use in an enclosed space. The heavy-duty engine gives you enough backup power to run your entire household.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Cheap Portable Power Generator?
An inverter generator with a 420cc engine that supplies clean and reliable power. Comes with a wrap-around hand truck frame with 10-inch wheels for portability. Noise level output is 72.3 dBA.
The 6-gallon fuel tank gives you up to 10 hours of continuous run time. Includes both 120 and 240-volt outlets. Weighing only 50 lbs and with a noise level output of only 53 dBA, this is the best portable generator to take on the road. It will provide you with safe, clean power for all your electronics when traveling.
Why We Liked It: This is the best standby generator to take with you when traveling. It's super quiet and will keep your electronics powered wherever you are. It also has a handy eco mode that allows the motor to adjust its consumption to reduce fuel use.
Powered by a 79.7cc, 4-stroke overhead valve engine. Provides a starting power of 2,000 peak watts and operating watts of 1,600. Includes two 120 volt outlets, one 12 volt outlet, and one 5 volt USB outlet.
What to Consider for a Portable Generator for Traveling
Is both EPA III and CARB compliant. Handy carry handle so you can take it anywhere.
How to Connect a Portable Generator to Home Supply System?
Designed for small electronics whilst travelling rather than home power outages. This portable generator is great for ensuring you have back-up power at home or taking it along in your RV.
It's even great for camping. It features a 7HP, 208cc overhead valve engine. This will provide you with 4,000 starting watts (peak watts) and 3,300 running watts. The power panel has 3 x 120v outlets, giving you maximum flexibility.
What’s the Difference Between Standard Portable Generators and Inverter Generators?
The noise rating is 69dBA. Why We Liked It: This is a true portable generator; it's light enough to take in the RV or on a camping trip, while still having enough power to run the things you need.
It's easy to use and includes a super quiet muffler to reduce the noise level while running.
We also liked the fuel efficiency of this model. Weighing only 94 pounds, it's portable enough to take on camping trips. The fuel tank has the capacity to hold 3.96 gallons, which will give you 8 hours of run time at a 50% load. Automatic low oil shut-off.
10. Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator
Complete with surge arrest technology. Has both EPA and CARB approval. Industrial design that can clash with RV interiors. If you have a generator but no fuel, your generator won’t do you much good. Store fuel so you’re ready when you need to use your generator, but make sure you check local regulations for fuel storage.
Our Picks of 8 Best Affordable Portable Generators List:
And remember that gasoline can oxidize over time, so look into fuel stabilizers. Portable generators, as the name implies, are meant to be portable.
That means they can be moved around when you need emergency power. Portable generators come in a variety of sizes and power outputs.
They’ll provide your home or camping trip with backup power whenever you need it. See our article on how to connect your portable generator to your home. Quite simply, portable generators work very much like water pumps. The combustion engine powers the generator head. This, in turn, pushes electrons out through the power outlets.
How to Choose the Correct Size of Generator
Most generators have the following components:. An internal combustion engine. A generator head that converts mechanical energy into electricity. A starter motor to get the generator fired up.
One or more power outlets. See our article for a more in-depth guide to learning how a portable generator works. Now, let’s look at some of the things you need to consider when choosing the best portable generator for your needs.
Most portable generators run on gasoline, but propane can also power some.
- This is particularly useful if you experience long periods without power and your gasoline supply has run out.
- A portable generator that runs on either gas or propane is a good choice for a home standby system.