Best Portable Inverter Generators 2020

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Whether it’s restoring power to your home during a power outage or keeping things comfortable in your RV.A portable generator can really help you get the job done.

However, the constant noise can be really uncomfortable.Going for a quiet generator will save you and your neighbors from the continuous noise.To help you to find best quiet portable generator, After hours of careful research we have selected top 5 best quiet generators which are recommended by users and field experts.

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A technological revolution has quietly been taking place in the world of portable generators. A new class of generators, known as inverter generators, convert the AC power produced by the engine to DC power, then back to AC power.

The result is clean, low-distortion power that can be used for charging sensitive electronics, as well as excellent fuel efficiency, low engine noise levels, and less maintenance compared to traditional generators.

In order to help you find the best inverter generator, we considered a number of features of these machines.

Conventional VS Inverter Generator Comparison

First, we looked at the continuous and surge power ratings of different inverter generators, since just as for traditional generators this determines what you can power. We also looked at whether different generators run on gasoline, propane, or either, and how long generators can run on a single tank of gas or propane.

Finally, we considered how loud different inverter generators are, since low noise is a major selling point of this class of generators. We spent tens of hours researching inverter generators, poring over customer reviews and technical specifications. The result is our list of the ten best inverter generators, highlighted in the table below.

Continue reading for detailed reviews of each generator, complete with pros and cons. Our buying guide covers everything you need to know in order to choose the right inverter generator for your needs. Finally, we sum up our three overall favorite inverter generators on the market today.

Portable generators can be used for anything, from charging your laptop to running your RV's air conditioner to powering tools on a job site.

Best Inverter Generator – 2020 Reviews

So not surprisingly, there are dozens of different models and prices that range anywhere from a couple hundred bucks to several thousand. It's a market that's changed quite a lot over the last few years, with inverters becoming the dominant technology. However, they are noticeably more expensive -- so are they worth the extra money? That, plus a whole host of other important questions, is what we're here to answer with our updated buyer's guide.

Best portable generators of 2020. 1.Briggs & Stratton's P3000 Portable Inverter Generator: This is a newcomer to our list for good reason: Take one of the best small-motor manufacturers in the world, add inverter technology with flexible connectivity, and you have best-in-class performance.

Who Needs a Portable Inverter Generator?

Quiet Enough for Camping

Champion's 1200-Watt Portable Generator: If you're looking for great value, you'll struggle to find better than this tough, reliable, easy-to-use model, which is a new entry on our list. 3.Yamaha's EF2000iS Portable Inverter Generator: We've featured this model since it came on the market. With its compact size, light weight, and competitive output, it's still a favorite.

Jump to the bottom of the article for additional comments on each one. How do you choose the right portable generator? A big part of your decision is going to be output, or wattage, to be precise. It's not the only thing, but it is the headline number. Every electrical device requires a certain number of watts to run -- anything from 15 watts for a low-consumption light bulb to 1,000 watts for a high-end coffee machine or a refrigerator.

To determine how big a portable generator you need, just look at all your gadgets and add up the watts, right? Well, not quite. You'll soon find the number runs into many thousands. But what are the chances you'll want them all turned on at once? So better to take an average of three or four to get a more accurate figure.

At the end of the day, it's your choice. You can buy the biggest portable generator you can find, but more watts means more money, so most people make compromises. A quick note about portable generator numbers. You'll usually get two wattage figures.

That's because most devices surge a little at start, then settle at a lower figure. The higher number tells you the generator's maximum output, the lower is the normal level. So you've got a figure for watts, now you need to check how long the generator will actually run.

1. WEN 56200i – Our Top Pick

You'll frequently see two similar models that both claim to run for 10 hours on a tank of gas -- but when you check the small print, one says "at 25% output, while another says "at 50% output." Big difference. It may seem a little deceptive of makers to describe their portable generators that way, and maybe it is -- but they all do it. You need to check.

Very few say how long their generator will run at 100% output. Noise is another issue. Inverter generators tend to run more quietly than traditional models. They don't surge, so the volume is also more consistent. You still need to check decibels -- and the distance away from the unit the reading is taken. So that question about portable inverter generators and whether they're worth it? They're almost invariably smaller, lighter and quieter, making them ideal for camping and RVs.

However, watt for watt, they are considerably more expensive. As a result, commercial users will often choose traditional models. Anything else you should look for? The type and number of outlets may be an issue. You'll get one or more standard household outlets, maybe USB ports, and perhaps DC charging capability. A fuel gauge is definitely useful, and you'll want to be able to check oil level easily.

Safety features may include an oil-level sensor or overload cutout. It's a portable generator, so the type of wheel, position of handles, and total weight are also worth checking. Can I wire the generator into my house? If you want power indoors temporarily, you need to site your generator outdoors, then run a gen-cord through a window or door.

In fact, it's a good idea to buy a gen-cord anyway, because they're purpose-designed to work with generators, where standard extension cables are often too thin. If you want to wire a generator as a permanent emergency backup, you'll need to contact your supplier.

3. Yamaha EF2000iV2 – Great Camping Generator

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It's often illegal to do it yourself.

Is it safe to use portable generators with sensitive devices like tablets and laptops? Inverters are definitely better than traditional generators, because the power supply is unlikely to spike -- which is what causes the damage. If you want to be doubly sure, put a surge protector between the generator and your device.

Single outlet models cost less than $10. In-depth reviews for best portable generators. Best of the best:Briggs & Stratton P3000 Portable Inverter Generator. What we like: Terrific versatility with 2,600 watts to four standard outlets, DC and USB ports. Can be run in parallel (link two together to double output). Clear LCD gives power use and maintenance reminders. Nice wheels and drag handle.

What we dislike: More fault reports than we expect from this brand. Not as quiet as some models. Best bang for your buck:Champion 1200-Watt Portable Generator. What we like: Traditional simplicity giving 1,200 watts of power at an absolute bargain price. Better run time than many competitors. Built-in surge protection. Low-oil-pressure shutoff prevents motor damage.

What we dislike: Motor can cut out unexpectedly and be difficult to restart. Owners are critical of Champion support. Choice 3:Yamaha EF2000iS Portable Inverter Generator. What we like: Compact and super portable, yet still puts out 1,600 watts.

Self-adjusting throttle responds to load, making for low fuel consumption and reduced noise. Also CARB compliant for low emissions. What we dislike: Very expensive. Relatively high oil consumption.

5. Champion 100263 3400-Watt – Best for RVs

Bob Beacham is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds. BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. ** This post was updated on: April 2, 2022 ***. Inverter generators offer some serious advantages over conventional models. They’re highly portable, relatively quiet, and offer clean, stable power. This makes them ideal for any number of circumstances.

So what’s the best inverter generator on the market? The 2000W category is ideal for quiet uses including camping and hunting. Here are our top 5 models. If you need more power than this check out our 3000 watt generator reviews. Wen 56200i (1600W running/2000W startup) *CARB Compliant.

Honda EU2200i (1800W running/2200W startup). Yamaha EF2000iSv2 (1600 watts running/2000W startup) *CARB compliant. Briggs & Stratton P2200 (1700 watts running/2200W startup).

The WEN 56200i 2000 watt generator is our pick for the best inverter generator. While the Wen doesn’t offer quite as much power as the second place Honda, it comes in WAY under in terms of price.

2. Honda EU2200i – Longest Run Time

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On top of that, it’s an extremely reliable generator with a feature set that rivals much more expensive models.

Features and Performance​. In terms of outputs it offers a whole slew of power options including:. 2 x 120V AC @60Hz Ports. In terms of performance the Wen offers most of the same capabilities of the other two units. At 1600W it matches the continuous output of the Yamaha EF2000i and is 200W shy of the Honda.

As with the other two units it can be run in parallel with an additional connection kit which is sold separately. Out of the box you’ll need to add oil and fuel. This took just a few minutes and we were ready to go. On the first pull the WEN started up easily and smoothly.

We tested out a variety of equipment on it to see what it could handle. Most impressively it managed to run a 5000BTU window unit air conditioner without even kicking it out of ECO mode. It’s a great unit for tailgating as it’s super quiet and offers a whole slew of outputs for charging all your devices and running your TV. Run-Time & Efficiency. With a run time of 6 hours at 25% load the WEN has the shortest run-time of the group.

That coupled with the smallest engine, means it’s the least efficient portable in terms of fuel usage. ​That said you can parallel this guy to another identical unit (for a total price that still less than the Honda) and double your power output.

It does require a separate parallel cable kit. Like the Honda the Wen has a streamlined shape that makes it easier to carry. At 48lbs it’s right in the middle of the pack on weight.

Home Backup Generators

Like the other two units it does not have wheels. EXCELLENT PRICE. Parallel Capability. Effective Energy Saver Mode. Variety of output options. Loudest of the group. Shorter run-time than other units. Maintenance and Warranty. The warranty on this unit is 2 years parts and Wen does have a nationwide network of service technicians.

It’s not nearly as large as Honda’s so that’s something to consider in terms of repairs. In terms of getting the most bang for your buck it’s tough to beat the WEN 2000W. It offers nearly 7hrs of run-time per tank, a whole host of outputs for powering your devices, and is super quiet. It doesn’t offer quite as much power as the Honda, but you can buy 2 WEN’s for the price of one Honda and parallel them together.

The EU2200i from Honda is a reliable workhorse. It finished in second place only because it’s priced significantly higher. It has by far the largest engine in the group at 98.5cc.

This translates into better handling of large loads (over 1000W) as well as larger inductive (startup) loads without tripping it’s overload circuitry. Honda also just happens to have the widest network of service centers in the country.

4. Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Powersmart

So if something DOES go wrong, you won’t have to go far to get it fixed.​ This can be extremely handy when you’re traveling around the country in an RV or camping. Features and Performance. Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the last 40+ years you’re aware that Honda makes some of the best and most reliable engines on the planet.

In fact they’ve been making generators almost as long as they’ve been making cars. And this portable unit is no exception to their tradition of quality. The feature set is fairly similar to the other two in our comparison with the exception that the 12V DC output is unregulated so you’ll want to use a proper 120V charger.

It’s also capable of being paired with another unit to increase total power output (requires separate adapter). Run-Time & Efficiency. The run-time at 25% load for the Honda is 8.1 hours. At the rated (1800W) load this drops to 3.4 hours. This is slightly less than the Champion, but a good bit ahead of the Wen. Honda’s “Eco Throttle” system balances the engine speed to the required load.

This allows the unit to be as fuel efficient as possible. At 45lbs the EU2200i is relatively lightweight. It has a convenient handle on the top for carrying and it’s streamlined shape makes it a bit less cumbersome to walk with than the square Champion.

If carrying weight is a concern, this just happens to be the lightest portable unit of the group. Extremely quiet. Parallel Capability. Honda worldwide service network.

How We Determine the Best

Can run 8hrs on one tank at 25%. Maintenance and Warranty. There are two big selling points for the Honda. 3 Year Warranty paired with solid construction and reputation. Wide network of service technicians. While WEN has a decent network of warranty repair shops, with Honda you can most likely find a qualified technician ANYWHERE. This is a huge advantage when you’re relying on your generator for power in more remote areas.

While the Honda is nearly twice the price of the second place Wen, you only pay for quality once. And when it comes to backup power (or reliable power when you’re on the road) the quality of the Honda trumps the cost savings of the Wen. For more information you can read our full Honda EU2000i review. The Honda name is built on their reputation for reliability.

Yes it’s pricier than some models in this category, but you only pay for quality once. Honda’s wide service network means you’ll almost never be far from a qualified technician and parts. When it comes to reliable backup power what else can you ask for? The EF2000iV2 from Yamaha is combines clean power, low noise, and a very affordable price.

It runs at a continuous 1600 watts. The startup capacity is 2000W for induction loads like refrigerators and other equipment that draw more energy when powering up. It offers the longest run-time in the group, and features a smart throttle that controls the engine speed based upon the current load. This is allows it to run for 10.5hrs on a single tank of gas. At 51dB (25% load) it’s also the quietest unit in the group, making it one of the top inverter generators for camping.

Click Here for Price . Part of the reason they’re able to offer this unit at such a low price is that the production takes place in China. However their strict quality control guidelines and oversight by Yamaha management result in a top notch product that is as reliable as what you would expect from a name like Yamaha.

On top of all this they offer stellar customer support. Features & Performance. Outputs include 2 120V (13Amp) outlets and a 12V charging outlet.​ .

9. Westinghouse iGen4500DF Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator

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It has an economy mode that controls the engine speed based on the load.

It is especially quiet while running like this, but larger loads will force the unit out of Eco mode. There is also an automatic shut-off for low oil situations. One particularly nice feature is the fuel gauge which none of the other units in this comparison have. On the downside the Yamaha does not have a USB charging port for phones and tablets.

These devices can obviously be charged using the 120V ports of which there are two. One negative worth mentioning with the EF2000iV2 is that it’s predecessors have a reputation for burning oil. Yamaha has supposedly addressed this issue in the V2, but our tests were not long enough to verify this.

Parallel capable and stackable. Efficient economy mode. Extremely quiet. Run-time of 10.5 hrs @ 25% load. Heaviest of the group. Uses a good bit of oil. Run-Time & Efficiency. The 79cc engine has the longest run-time of the group at 10.5hours at a 25% load. This gives it a substantial edge over the Wen and Honda units. There are no wheels on the unit.

At 44lbs it’s not so heavy that you can’t carry it, but for older folks it could be a bit tough to manage. To be fair, none of the other units in our comparison has wheels.

Maintenance and Warranty​. The Yamaha comes with a 3 year warranty on parts. While not as extensive as Honda, Yamaha does have a good network of qualified repair facilities.

10. Pulsar Dual Fuel Portable Generator

This comes in very handy if your using it as a camping generator. If something goes wrong with your unit, simply look up a qualified service center in your area. With it’s abundance of clean reliable power, long run-time, and low price the Yamaha edged out the other two for the top spot in our best inverter generator comparison. It’s a great solution for a variety of needs and is backed up by Champion’s first rate customer support.

Briggs & Stratton have been making reliable engines for nearly 100 years. The P2200 is another reliable inverter generator that offers clean power, 8 hours of run time, and relatively quiet operation. It comes in fourth place because it creates slightly more noise at 59dB while running in Eco mode. That said it offers the largest engine in it’s class allowing it to create clean and consistent power for even sensitive electronic devices like laptops, smart phones, and tablets.

Features & Performance. Outputs include 2 120V (13Amp) outlets and a 12V USB charging outlet.​ . Parallel capable. Efficient economy mode.

Run-time of 8 hrs @ 25% load. 59dB at 25% load. Run-Time & Efficiency. At a 1/4 load it operates at just 59dB and can run for 8 hours on a single tank of gas.

Dual Fuel Generators Buyer’s Guide

Are Dual Fuel Generators Any Good?

If you’re powering an RV and need more power you can easily parallel two units to double power output. This is generally sufficient to power an AC unit.

The Briggs & Stratton is on the heavy side compared to the other products in it’s class. It weighs in at 54lbs dry. There is a clever second handle that allows for 2 people to carry the unit which is nice if you’ve got someone around to help. Maintenance and Warranty​. The warranty on the P2200 is 24 months.

Briggs & Stratton engines are common place enough that you should be able to find an authorized service center just about anywhere in the country.

Sometimes you need more than 2200 watts of power. The Champion 100263 is our favorite pick for those looking to power an RV.

The Champion 3400 watt generator is quiet, offers dual fuel capability, and will run for 8 hours on a single tank of gas. It offers plenty of power to handle running your AC through the night. You can get even longer run-times when you hook it up to a propane tank. And on top of all this it runs at just 59dB​, which is in line with the small Briggs & Stratton. Dual fuel capable. Efficient economy mode. Run-time of 8 hrs @ 25% load. 59dB at 25% load.

Features & Performance. One particularly nice feature on the Champion is the ability to run it with either gasoline or propane.

This allows you to run the generator longer than if using traditional gasoline. At a 25% load it will run for 14.5 hours! Portable generators have been around for decades. But it’s been within the last few years that inverter technology has made the products safe for sensitive electronic devices such as modern TVs, BluRay players, smart phones, tablets, and computers.

There are even solar-powered generators like the Yeti-400 that we reviewed available that utilize inverter technology. In addition to providing extremely clean power, the generators we’ve selected in our comparison are also extremely quiet.

Is it Cheaper to Run a Generator on Propane or Gas?

This makes them ideal for a whole new set of applications such as fishing, hunting, and camping as well as activities such as outdoor barb-b-ques and tailgating. ​While inverter generators are significantly more expensive than conventional models on a cost per watt basis, this is offset by some important advantages.

As someone who enjoys tent camping, I can assure you that a standard generator running in a campsite will earn you more than a few angry looks. But the models we are highlighting are so quiet that your neighbors are unlikely to even know it’s running. This style of generator is great for RV camping as well. A couple of the models we will be highlighting have 30A outlets specifically for hooking up to your RV to run air conditioning systems, refrigerators, and other devices.

Most of these units even have enough power to accommodate a TV and lights as well. While they’re not powerful enough to power air conditioning systems, these units will power the air handler in your home to keep the heat on with a gas-based furnace.

What is the Best Propane Generator for Home Use?

They can also power a full-sized refrigerator in addition to lights and more. For more information on units big enough to power most of your home check our post on the ​best home backup generators. There are a variety of factors and features that go into a reliable and feature rich portable generator. Some of the most important considerations include:. Quiet Operation. Lightweight and Portable. Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics. Highly Energy Efficient.

Easy to maintain. Ease of Service. While there is no simple answer as to which type of generator is best, each has it’s own set of advantages. Based on these, it’s relatively easy to decide which type is best suited for your needs.

Let’s take a look at a few key features you should consider before making your purchase. Since inverter generators are able to regulate engine speed based on current power demands they can be up to 40% more fuel efficient than standard models.

A standard generator must maintain a constant RPM in order to deliver the correct frequency of power. This is generally around 3600 RPM. As power demands increase, more fuel is used to meet this demand. But even under minimal loads the engine must maintain at least 3600 RPM.

How Do I Choose the Best Dual Fuel Generator For Me?

An inverter generator (IG) can run at much lower speeds because the technology incorporated into the unit allows for constant frequency output without a corresponding engine RPM.

  • This means that an IG will consume less fuel when power demands are low, and can ramp up to meet additional load requirements. Because of design differences between the two types of generators run-times can vary greatly. Standard generators are designed to supply a specific power output with less consideration for size. This means they generally have larger fuel tanks. IG’s are generally designed from the beginning to be smaller and more portable.
  • This has a direct impact on the amount of fuel it can store. But even with smaller fuel tanks, many IG’s have run-times of up to 10 hours due to their highly efficient engines. A more efficient engine also has the added benefit of reduced exhaust emissions and a smaller carbon footprint. Winner: Inverter Generators. While many standard generators are considered “portable” they are often very heavy as they are essentially an engine and gas tank connected to an alternator.
  • Design considerations for a regular generator give more priority to power output and run-time than to the size and weight of the unit. This would be an important consideration if you’re looking to run equipment that requires a heavy load such as a plasma cutting tools or welding equipment like these. Many standard generators are heavy enough that they require metal bars for lifting and/or wheels for moving. As previously mentioned inverter generators are designed from the ground up to be more portable.
  • As a result they offer lower power outputs (typically ranging from 500w to 4000w), but in a much more compact and lightweight design. As a result they are small enough and light enough to be carried by one person and can easily be stored in a car, RV or boat. They certainly aren’t light enough that you would want to go trekking into the woods with one, but compared to a standard model they are substantially smaller.
  • Winner: Inverter Generators. This is an especially important consideration depending on the intended use of your generator. For applications like camping or powering equipment in areas that are sensitive to noise an inverter generator is going to be the way to go. Many are designed with the following:. Quieter engines. Specially designed mufflers. Noise dampening technology. All of these combine to keep overall noise at remarkably low levels. And since IG’s aren’t required to maintain 3600 RPM to maintain a steady flow of clean power like a standard model, the engine is running lower most of the time as well.

Conclusion

Some models produce as little as 50 dB (the equivalent of a normal conversation) of noise while running under a partial load, and less than 60 dB at full load.

Many conventional generators are rated well above that with some as loud as 75 dB.