Best Portable Generator

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View the Best Portable Generators, Below.

Keep the lights on during a blackout; charge your devices when there’s no power; take off on the road as a lone wolf with no need for civilization and its luxuries – there’s plenty you can do when you have the best portable generator by your side.

In this guide, we help you identify which of these top generators is best for you and your needs. Whether you need a battery-powered option to recharge on remote work trips, an inverter generator for emergencies to power appliances, or small portable generators for anything in between, there are plenty of options in our guide for you.

I lived in Texas for most of my life and spent a lot of time without power due to storms and hurricanes and a portable generator is a key way to ensure you survive those events or even remain a little more comfortable.

Now, I have a camper van that I take skiing, climbing and on 2-8 day trips across the country and the PNW, and a portable power station allows me to work from anywhere and charge devices overnight while I sleep. Without further ado, here are some of the best portable generators on the market.

Find the right one for your needs and budget, and never get caught in the dark again – no matter where you are.
  • Best For Remote Work: Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Generator.
  • Heavy Duty: Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator.
Best For Weekend Trips: Jackery Power Station Explorer 160 Portable Generator. Most Portable: Briggs & Stratton 30545 Portable Generator.
Best Run Time: Westinghouse Portable Generator W/ Inverter. Most Budget-Friendly: ACOPOWER 150Wh Lithium-ion Portable Generator.

It has all the necessary ports and it recharged quickly via a 12v socket in the car or at home on 110v. Our tester also replenished the Yeti 500X with a Goal Zero Nomad 100 solar panel used as a windshield shade while riding or climbing, and the charge rate seemed appropriate for the panel wattage.

The GoalZero Yeti 500X never failed, glitched, or caused any issues with anything it powered over the five-month testing period. If our tester is packing a laptop or camera gear, the Yeti 500X is their default power station for the daily mobile work driver. This is one of the best portable power stations available and can supply power to recharge your cell phone 42 times, or a laptop 10 times on a single charge.

The Yeti 500X can also run a small space heater and multiple appliances to make van life a little more comfortable. Four different port options for a variety of devices. ‎Battery-powered & solar powered. Lightweight design with a large carrying handle.

Outlets: 120V (2), 240V (1) | Size/Weight: 24x17x17 in. / 94 Lbs. | Fuel Capacity: 3.96 Gal. | Starting Watts: 4000W | Running Watts: 3300W

Safety Features You Should Consider

Whether you are running DIY projects out of your workshop, require an emergency home backup energy supply or have a trailer or RV you want to power, the WGen7500 portable generator from Westinghouse is an excellent choice for heavy-duty workloads or powering appliances.
It couldn’t be easier to operate thanks to a simple electric push-button stop-start feature which will have you back up and running in seconds. It even comes with a remote start key fob which can be operated from up to 109 yards away. It’s easy to maintain and comes fitted with a powerful 4-stroke air-cooled engine that can run for up to 16 hours on a large 6.6-gallon fuel tank.
Powered by a 420 cc 4-stroke OVV engine. Automatic low oil shutdown and digital hour meter. Transfer switch ready. BrandWestinghouse .

While I’ve been perusing the 200 model, the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160 is an excellent small portable generator with enough juice for comfortable weekend trips. We’ve picked out the Jackery as it presents an eco-friendly clean powered solution and is ideal for folks who love to camp or spend quality time outdoors. It’s small, discreet and compact, and perfect for charging a variety of popular low-powered devices such as cameras, tablets, and phones.

Featuring an AC output port along with one USB-C port and two convenient USB-A ports as well as a standard DC 12V, port it’s highly practical and conveniently portable. It’s perfect for short blackouts or trips off-grid. This is my personal choice for van camping trips. The Jackery Explorer 160 is equipped with a lithium battery pack, so there’s no fuel, fumes, or mess to clean up.

Outlets: 120V (2), 12V (1) | Size/Weight: 22.4x14.4x19.9 in. / 55 Lbs. | Fuel Capacity: 1 Gal. | Starting Watts: 2200W | Running Watts: 1700W

Tested by Lifewire

The unit itself can be charged either by plugging into a wall socket, via your car, or even with a solar panel which is sold separately. When utilizing a wall socket, it takes up to 5 hours for a full charge which is enough to power your camping lights for up to 26 hours or recharge a camera 20 times. Other cool features that you might appreciate include an LCD screen indicating the battery life status as well as a very cool and convenient built-in flashlight with an SOS mode. High capacity portable power station. Quiet, eco-friendly generator equipped with a powerful lithium battery. LCD screen with charge/discharge. Powerful built-in flashlight with SOS mode. Package includes a DC to car adapter cable.

What to Consider for a Home Backup System

Weight3.84 Pounds.
Never worry about running out of power ever again thanks to this quiet running Briggs and Stratton PowerSmart series inverter generator. With 3000 watts of starting power and 2600 watts of running power output, it’s a lightweight and efficient solution to all your backup and portable power needs.
There’s a clear and easy-to-read LCD display that indicates power being used, hours remaining, and useful maintenance reminders for changing oil, air filter, and spark plugs.

Quiet power tech automatically adjusts engine speed and reduces noise. Easy-to-transport unit with telescoping luggage handle and large wheel design. LCD displays important performance stats. Tether two units together thanks to parallel capabilities. 10 hour run time at 25% load. BrandBriggs & Stratton. Weight96 Pounds. Portable with lots of power, this slightly-larger WEN Portable Generator W/Inverter model gives you all the conveniences you need, and a bit more.

If you’re going to camp out under the stars but can’t be without your gadgets, or you want to work remotely, WEN is able to charge them; this unit is also excellent for heavy-duty purposes, such as power tools that are too far from outlets and small appliances for camping and off-grid living. Flip on the Eco-friendly switch and utilize every drop of power.

Outlets: 120V (4), 240V (1) | Size/Weight: 30.1x25.7x25.2 in. / 152.1 Lbs. | Fuel Capacity: 5.7 Gal. | Starting Watts: 6250W | Running Watts: 5000W

Tested by Lifewire

This model also comes in a slightly less powerful version (1250 watts) as well as a more powerful one (3100 watts) depending on your needs. Gas-powered and extremely quiet, the WEN quiet portable generator comes with an inverter, overload protection, and a two-year warranty. Running wattage 1,600W, tether two units together for more power. Eco-friendly mode auto-adjusts fuel consumption. Ultra quiet, operates at 53 decibels at quarter load. Lightweight and portable design with a carrying handle. Weight48 Pounds. When you purchase a portable generator, gas has to stretch for as long as possible. The Sportsman GEN2000 sports 2000 watts with nine hours of runtime, supporting five different outlets that you can use to power small appliances, a small air conditioner or charge your mobile electronic devices: laptops, phones, tablets, and you can even power coffee pots if you can’t function without that morning cup of joe.

The Fuel Source

This is widely considered as one of the best generators for power outages; it’s slightly heavy, giving it no chance of getting knocked around by adverse weather that may knock out your power.
The 1.2-gallon tank offers about nine hours of run time. Be sure to read the startup/safety guide that comes inclusive with this model to get started properly. 2,000 surge watts rated, 1,400 starting watts. 1.2-gallon gas tank. 9-hours run time at a 50% load. Engine shut off switch, circuit protection.
This unit comes with a protective and noise-reducing shell so it runs very quietly. For extra security and peace of mind, there are also carbon monoxide detector and auto-shutoff feature.

Safe for all appliances/small devices. CO shutdown technology. Lightweight, compact design with carrying handles. Quieter than a conversation between two people. BrandBriggs & Stratton. Weight55 Pounds. The Westinghouse Portable Generator W/Inverter is a quiet portable generator that comes with a good warranty and support. Westinghouse makes their models compatible one with another, so you can hook up an entire generator system made solely of Westinghouse models.

You get two AC outlets and one DC, giving you the ability to plug in a power strip and power devices. With a 1.3 gallon tank that runs on gasoline, EPA-approved operation, and an “Efficiency Mode” for optimal use, this is one of the best gas-powered portable generators.

Outlets: 120V (2), USB (2) | Size/Weight: 19.8x11.4x17.9 in. / 48 Lbs. | Fuel Capacity: 1 Gal. | Starting Watts: 2500W | Running Watts: 2200W

Tested by Lifewire

Its run time is around 13 hours at 25 percent load, so you’ll have everything you need to go off the grid, at least for a little while. You may also be interested in some of the top emergency radios from our list. 1.3-gallons gas tank. 13-hours run time at 25% load. Relatively quiet operation, 52 dBA. Compact, lightweight & portable design. Inverter parallel cord available for amplifying wattage. BrandWestinghouse . Weight43 Pounds. Outfitted with outlets and included adapters, your ACOPOWER generator is the perfect solution to your on-the-go power needs. Utilize the ultra-bright LED control panel to operate your unit; harness solar energy, use a car adapter, or AC adapter into your wall at home before a trip or storm.

Three ways to charge, endless ways to use it. You can power cellphones, laptops, and other small devices for your next camping trip.

Gas-free generator with 40,800 mAh high battery capacity. LED panel shows important performance stats. 3 ways to recharge, around 8-hours to fully charge it. Super-lightweight, compact design for easy portability. Weight3.31 Pounds. Power outages are more than just frustrating, they can quickly become downright dangerous, and they're becoming all too common for many of us. Going several hours without power can lead to more than just spoiled food and other headaches.

They can also result in uncomfortable and unsafe temperatures and can make it difficult to call for help in case of emergencies. Furthermore, hurricanes are getting stronger and fire season is devastating in some areas. This is why you need to start thinking about purchasing a standby generator (while also think about other emergencyprotocols).

Outlets: 120V (4), 240V (1), ST Switch (1) | Size/Weight: 27.2x26.1x26 in. / 192 Lbs. | Fuel Capacity: 6.6 Gal. | Starting Watts: 9500W | Running Watts: 7500W

What’s the Difference Between Standard Portable Generators and Inverter Generators?

Thankfully, there are plenty of options on the market that can step in and keep things running. These include inverter generators, diesel generators, solar generators, gas generators and dual fuel generator types.

If you do have quick access to gasoline, consider the smallest emergency generator for your home, so that you don't burn more fuel than necessary. If you want both options, there are dual fuel portable generator models that run on either fuel type.If you're really looking to be self-sufficient, you could invest in a solar generator that powers through a solar panel or panels. We will note that as far as power goes, however, solar generators don't have as much of a kick as a portable generator that uses gasoline, which is why they aren't included on this list.

Power You'll want to make sure you choose the best portable generator model for your situation that has enough power output to run everything you need in an emergency. Know your peak power needs. Two terms are important here: starting watts and running watts.

Outlets: 120V (4), 240V (1), ST Switch (1) | Size/Weight: 48.5x31x39.5 in. / 390 Lbs. | Fuel Capacity: 16 Gal. | Starting Watts: 26250W | Running Watts: 17500W

Also known as "peak watts," starting watts are the highest possible wattage that a generator will produce in order to get an appliance motor running.
A portable generator won't sustain this wattage long-term. Think of it like the amount of power needed to jump start your fridge.

You can also look for the starting watts needed for your most power-hungry appliance and add those to the total to find the running power watt. This rated watts information will be on a sticker inside your appliance or in the manufacturer's manual. If your appliance doesn't list watts, but lists amps and volts, multiply the two to find the wattage.

Whatever the sum of your needed watts is, that will be the minimum running wattage you need your generator to produce. For instance, in my home, I would need to power a 864-watt dishwasher, 1,440-watt refrigerator and 3,600-watt oven. That means my generator must have a power output that produces at least 5,904 running watts. Price Of course price is a factor, and in general, you're going to pay more for more peak power.

Outlets: 120V (2) | Size/Weight: 16x20x11 in. / 46.5 Lbs. | Fuel Capacity: .95 Gal. | Starting Watts: 2200W | Running Watts: 1800W

You can find good generators from $300, or you can spend big for max power and end up with a $2,000 model.To stay as frugal as possible, limit the number of large appliances you power with a generator.

Other Things to Consider

Consider a mini fridge and microwave instead of full size refrigerators and ovens.
If the weather isn't dangerously hot or cold, skip on providing a power supply for your heating or cooling system. If all that sounds a bit overwhelming, there are several handy online calculators to help you tally things up.
Generators $550 or less These generators all received high marks from consumers, and none of them will break the bank.

This is a well-priced dual-fuel model that can operate with either a 3.6-gallon fuel tank or a standard propane tank.With up to 10 hours of gasoline run time on a 50% load and 12 hours running power using propane, the Sportsman can keep things going while you get a full night's sleep before needing more fuel. This emergency dual fuel generator comes with four 120-volt outlets, one 120-volt RV outlet and one 12-volt DC outlet.With 4,000 starting watts and 3,500 running watts, it isn't the most powerful generator on our list.

Still, if you're running small household appliances or just one or two large ones, this portable generator model should get the job done.Note: We've seen recent price spikes that put this generator above the $500 mark. We'll keep an eye on these prices and update accordingly. DurostarIf you don't need the propane tank option, this DuroStar portable generator runs on a 3.9-gallon gasoline tank.

Outlets: 120V (3), 12V (1), USB (1) | Size/Weight: 18x11x18 in. / 48 Lbs. | Fuel Capacity: 1 Gal. | Starting Watts: 2000W | Running Watts: 1600W

It is a quiet portable generator that also offers a bit more peak power supply than the Sportsman with 4,400 starting watts and 3,500 running watts.Run time on a 50% load is 8 hours, and it is equipped with two 120-volt household outlets and one 120/240-volt outlet.

Final Verdict

The DuroStar includes its wheels, something often sold separately in kits for generators.DuroMaxAnother solid dual fuel model, the DuroMax XP4850EH has 4,850 starting watts and 3,850 running watts.This portable generator can run off either the 3.96-gallon fuel tank or a 20-gallon liquid propane tank fuel source. Gasoline run time is about 11.5 hours at 50%, while propane will run 9.8 hours on 50%.

How to Choose the Correct Size of Generator

There are two 120-volt outlets and one 120/240-volt outlet. Generators $500-$1,000 Up your budget, and you can double your wattage with these generators.

Briggs & StrattonThis Briggs & Stratton model costs $949, and runs on an 8-gallon fuel tank. Of our best portable generator mid-price range tier, this portable conventional generator model offers the most wattage for the least money with 8,500 starting watts and 6,250 running watts.

  • You'll get 11 hours of run time at 50% with the StormResponder from its 420cc engine.

    A digital screen Briggs & Stratton calls the "StatStation" displays the power load and provides maintenance reminders. A guide printed on the unit depicts which appliances can plug into which of the four onboard outlets. Generators $1,000 and up These high-end units might be overkill for smaller homes, but if you're looking for high starting watts, this group is your best bet. GeneracThis $1,119 Generac model delivers 10,000 starting watts for easy power-ups.You'll get 8,000 running watts for up to 11 hours at 50% load. A 7.9-gallon fuel tank feeds the 420 cc engine. The Generac GP8000E backup power generator includes flat-free tires, a carbon monoxide auto shutoff and six GFCI outlets.

  • ChampionSimilar in price to the Generac model, this Champion generator offers a bit more power output.You'll have 11,500 starting watts and 9,200 running watts at your disposal, as well as a 7.7-gallon fuel tank and 459cc engine that can power your generator at 50% load for 10 hours.

    One 120/240-volt 30-amp locking outlet, one 120/240-volt 50-amp outlet and four 120-volt 20-amp GFCI protected household outlets are included. A digital display reads output and maintenance messages.DuroMaxThis heavy-duty portable generator delivers 10,500 running watts and 13,000 starting watts. A dual-fuel gas generator option provides 8.5 hours run time on gasoline and 6.5 hours run time on propane, based on a 50% load. Like other dual-fuel models, you can switch fuel types with an onboard button. Several power outlets are provided: two 120-volt GFCI household outlets, one 120-volt 30-amp twist-lock outlet, one 240-volt 30-amp outlet and one 240-volt 50-amp outlet.CATOf all the models listed here, this portable generator offers the highest run time for the least money.

  • You'll get 12 hours of power output at 50% load for this $1599 CAT model gas generator.

    That's thanks to a hefty 7.9-gallon gasoline tank. The CAT RP6500 delivers 8,125 starting watts and 6,500 running watts from its 420cc engine.A CO Defense carbon monoxide automatic shutoff system keeps toxic fumes from building up near your home. There are six rubber-covered outlets, including four GFCI household outlets and two 120/240-volt twist lock outlets. More outdoor recommendationsBest Pressure Washer for 2022.

What to Consider for a Portable Generator for Traveling

liquid propane tanks. Deciding which fuel type to use for your portable generator likely depends on your available resources. propane tank for your portable generator might be your best bet for emergency preparedness. If you do have quick access to gasoline, consider the smallest emergency generator for your home, so that you don't burn more fuel than necessary. If you want both options, there are dual fuel portable generator models that run on either fuel type.

cold, skip on providing a power supply for your heating or cooling system. If all that sounds a bit overwhelming, there are several handy online calculators to help you tally things up.

Best Flashlights for 2022. This Briggs & Stratton model costs $949, and runs on an 8-gallon fuel tank. Of our best portable generator mid-price range tier, this portable conventional generator model offers the most wattage for the least money with 8,500 starting watts and 6,250 running watts. You'll get 11 hours of run time at 50% with the StormResponder from its 420cc engine. A digital screen Briggs & Stratton calls the "StatStation" displays the power load and provides maintenance reminders. A guide printed on the unit depicts which appliances can plug into which of the four onboard outlets.

This $1,119 Generac model delivers 10,000 starting watts for easy power-ups. You'll get 8,000 running watts for up to 11 hours at 50% load. A 7.9-gallon fuel tank feeds the 420 cc engine. The Generac GP8000E backup power generator includes flat-free tires, a carbon monoxide auto shutoff and six GFCI outlets. Similar in price to the Generac model, this Champion generator offers a bit more power output.

You'll have 11,500 starting watts and 9,200 running watts at your disposal, as well as a 7.7-gallon fuel tank and 459cc engine that can power your generator at 50% load for 10 hours.

Conclusion

One 120/240-volt 30-amp locking outlet, one 120/240-volt 50-amp outlet and four 120-volt 20-amp GFCI protected household outlets are included. A digital display reads output and maintenance messages. This heavy-duty portable generator delivers 10,500 running watts and 13,000 starting watts.

A dual-fuel gas generator option provides 8.5 hours run time on gasoline and 6.5 hours run time on propane, based on a 50% load. Like other dual-fuel models, you can switch fuel types with an onboard button.

Several power outlets are provided: two 120-volt GFCI household outlets, one 120-volt 30-amp twist-lock outlet, one 240-volt 30-amp outlet and one 240-volt 50-amp outlet.

Of all the models listed here, this portable generator offers the highest run time for the least money. You'll get 12 hours of power output at 50% load for this $1599 CAT model gas generator.

That's thanks to a hefty 7.9-gallon gasoline tank. The CAT RP6500 delivers 8,125 starting watts and 6,500 running watts from its 420cc engine. A CO Defense carbon monoxide automatic shutoff system keeps toxic fumes from building up near your home.

There are six rubber-covered outlets, including four GFCI household outlets and two 120/240-volt twist lock outlets. Best Pressure Washer for 2022. 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. There’s a multitude of portable generators on the market today, so which one should you choose? When it comes to choosing from the many portable generators available, the best starting point is to work out how much wattage you’re going to need in the event of a power outage.

Best Portable Generators Buying Guide

You’ll also want to consider whether you’re looking for a portable generator that just runs on gas or one that you can also power with propane. To give you a hand, our team has researched some of the best portable generators on the market.

The Best Portable Generator

These will provide home backup power for your needs! We’ve also included some light-weight portable generators that are suitable for camping, meaning you can charge up your electronic devices on the go. Many portable generators are also used at sporting events, fairs, and even construction sites to allow the availability of power whenever it’s needed. How long do you need your generator to run without adding more fuel?

If you’d like your generator to keep your refrigerator running while you sleep at night, make sure it can run this long without someone checking in on it. This powerful 7500-watt Champion power generator will give you all the power you need when you need it, thanks to the 439cc engine. As it's a dual-fuel generator, this means it runs on both gasoline and propane. Start-up is easy with the battery-powered start button.

How Do Portable Generators Work?

The tank's fuel capacity reaches 6 gallons of gasoline, allowing around 8 hours of run time. A propane hose is also included. The intelligauge allows you to keep track of power usage and maintenance schedules. 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. A chunky piece of material that's pretty weighty.

What’s the difference between a Portable Generator and a Portable Power Station?

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.

Generators $500-$1,000

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!

9. Generac 7676 GP8000E Portable Generator

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.

4. Westinghouse 7500 Gas Powered Portable Generator

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. 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.

8. Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator

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.