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.
What to look for when buying the best generator
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.
What’s the difference between a Portable Generator and a Portable Power Station?
5. NATURE’S GENERATOR GXNGAU Solar Powered Portable Generator
- 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.
- 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.
WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit and Electric Start – CARB Compliant, Black
- 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.
- 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.
Can I use a portable generator in the rain?
- It also features an electric start, making it easy to fire up when you need it. 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.
- 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.
How to Choose the Correct Size of Generator
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
2. Ford FG2200iS: Best value portable generator
12. Durostar DS4000S Portable Generator
- 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.
The Fuel Source
The 5 Factors You Need to Consider Before Buying the Best Rated Generator
- 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.
Which portable generator wattage is best?
DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator, Yellow/Black
- The heavy-duty engine gives you enough backup power to run your entire household.
- 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.
Things to consider
3. Sportsman Dual Fuel Powered Portable Generator
- 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. Is both EPA III and CARB compliant.
- Handy carry handle so you can take it anywhere.
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.
The power panel has 3 x 120v outlets, giving you maximum flexibility. 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.