Portable Power Generators

The Power Generators category includes reviews of inverter and non-inverter power generators suitable for use at home in emergencies, for camping, in RVs, and other off-the-grid situations.

When looking for a new (or used one) power generator, there are several important things to look for, including Running&Starting Power, is it inverter generator or not, physical dimensions and weight, type of fuel, tank capacity, runtime, noise levels, type and number of receptacles, safety features, maintenance procedures and similar.

Note: Never, but really never operate power generators indoors - power generators burn fossil fuels and release fumes/gases that contain tasteless, but very toxic carbon-monoxide (CO) that kills humans and animals easily.

If You do need an indoor power source, consider either a Power Station or a Power Inverter combined with a deep-cycle inverter battery.

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Intro to Portable Generators

Power generators convert the chemical energy of the fuel into mechanical energy using an internal combustion engine, which is then converted into electric energy via the built-in electric generator.

In order to provide electric energy in the form suitable for various tools and appliances, power generators also feature control electronics, providing the electricity within the required specifications (frequency, voltage) and with as little as possible Total Harmonic Distortions (THD) - THD levels below 5% are OK for most appliances, but THD levels below 3% and especially 1% are even better and more suitable for sensitive equipment and devices.

Common Generators vs. Inverter Generators

Common generators are older types of power generators. Their internal engine is tuned to run at a specified RPM, usually 3000 RPM for 50 Hz electricity and 3600 RPM for 60 Hz electricity, regardless of the electric load. As such, they have very simple electronics that monitors and controls the unit, including the output voltage/frequency.

On the other hand, inverter generators feature variable speed engines that operate at optimum speed considering the electric load - as the electricity is produced, it is a converter ('inverted' - hence the name) in the most suitable form regarding frequency, voltage, and waveform, using the built-in electronic controllers.

Although control electronics in inverter generators are more complex when compared with electronics found in 'common' generators, inverter generators are more common since they are more energy-efficient, have less THD (some provide almost pure sine wave), they are less noisy, etc.

Output Power - Starting vs. Running Watts

Output power is one of the most important features of power generators and is given in Watts - Starting Watts and Running Watts.

Running Watts is the maximum output power that a power generator can provide continuously. Starting Watts is the maximum output power that a power generator can provide for a very short period of time and are usually 10-20% stronger than the Running Watts.

Starting Watts ensure that the user can power electric/electronic devices, tools and appliances that require more power when starting, hence the name - such loads usually feature electric motors that draw more current when starting.

Parallel Ready Portable Generators

Parallel Ready portable generators have the option of connecting two exactly the same (or at least two compatible) power generators in parallel to provide more power.

Parallel connection is usually achieved using dedicated cables for parallel-ready connection or using parallel-ready connection kits.

Parallel-ready cables are a somewhat simpler solution, and they allow the user to use receptacles on the power generators only.

Parallel-ready connection kits usually have additional receptacles on the kit itself, allowing the user to power devices using receptacles on the kit and/or on the power generators.

parallel kit cable

Note: this is model dependent, but connection kits usually feature receptacles that are not found on the power generators, allowing, for example, two weaker power generators that lack RV's 30 Amps (L14-30R and/or TT-30R) or 50 Amps (14-50R) receptacles to power RV's using RV's 30 Amps or 50 Amps receptacles found on the parallel ready connection kits.

Even if You don't plan to power larger loads in the future, having a parallel ready power generator can save some money in the long run - just in case if one needs more power, purchasing another 'smaller,' but compatible power generator is cheaper than buying a large one.


honda eu2200i 2

Power generators come with a set of receptacles, often depending on the generator's output power. The most common receptacles include:

  • 120V AC 20A 5-20R (single, duplex, GFCI),
  • 120V AC 30A L5-30R,
  • 120V AC 30A TT-30R,
  • 120 AC 50A 14-50R,
  • 12V DC 8-15 Amps (ports may vary),
  • 12V DC Car Cigarette Lighter Port,
  • USB 5.0V DC,
  • USB 5-9V DC Quick Charge, etc.

Some manufacturers offer their generators featuring different lists of receptacles, allowing the user to choose according to their individual needs and requirements.

Fuel Types

Power generators use fossil fuels to produce electric energy. The most common fuel in smaller power generators is gas (gasoline, petrol) and propane gas.

The fuel tank in smaller power generators is usually around 1 gallon (~3.8 liters).

As a fuel, diesel is more commonly used in larger power generators due to its better energy efficiency.

Natural gas is another fossil fuel used in power generators, but propane gas is used more often than natural gas.

Dual fuel power generators may be powered by two different fuel types, most commonly gas (gasoline, petrol) and propane gas. This feature is not very common, but in emergencies and similar situations, it is often much easier to find suitable fuel for bi-fuel power generators than gas-only or diesel-only power generators.

Most gas-powered power generators accept the gas with some ethanol added (up to 10%), but some models may operate using even pure ethanol (without or with minimal adjustments), making them, in essence, dual-fuel power generators.

For short - most bi-fuel power generators are able to run on either gas (gasoline) or propane gas.

Tri-fuel power generators are rare, but they can be powered using gas, propane gas, and ethanol, or gas, propane gas, and natural gas, without or with minimum adjustments.

Note: many diesel-powered generators can operate using filtrated cooking oil or olive oil or something similar - powering diesel units with such fuels is NOT supported (unless You have some special unit, usually made for military use) by their manufacturers and can easily shorten operating lifetime of the power generators and render the warranty void - for short, don't do that!

Manual and/or Electric Engine Start

Smaller power generators feature manual start - it is up to the user to set the controls to start and to pull starting cord/handle.

The electric starting feature is more convenient - set the controls to the start and just press the button. If the onboard battery is charged and the unit is set properly and maintained properly, it will start almost immediately.

Just in case, power generators with an electric start also feature a manual start option.


One of the most common questions about power generators is how long they operate on a single fuel tank.

Runtime depends on the fuel tank size and power output and is given in hours at a specific load.

The runtime of the portable inverter generators is usually 7-12 hours @25% load, 5-7 hours @50% load, and 2.5-4 hours @100% load.

Although power generators need more propane than gas (gasoline), some people prefer attaching larger propane bottles to their units, ensuring longer runtimes.

However, longer runtimes, especially at higher loads, may lead to low-oil and similar unwanted conditions.

Noise Levels

Noise levels are very important, especially when the power generator is used in the urban environment, for camping, and similar.

Noise levels are given in dB (or dBA) and are measured at a certain distance (usually 18-22 feet, 6-7 meters) at a certain load (@25%, @50%, @100% load).

A power generator may be considered as a low-noise power generator if it features a low noise level of 52-53 dB @25% load and very quiet if it features a noise level of 50 or less dB @25% load.

The following chart lists some of the Best Portable Quietest Generators suitable for camping, tailgating, emergencies, etc.


Running Watts

Starting Watts

Runtime Noise



Champion 2000W Model #100402 1800/2000W
11h @25% 53 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V 5-20R Duplex; DC: 12V 8A
Champion 2000W Model #100692 1700W
11.5h @25% 53 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V 5-20R Duplex; DC: 12V
Duromax XP2300iH 1800/2300W
13h @25%
7h @50%
38h @25%
18% @50%
52 dB @25% AC: 120V 5-20R Duplex, 120V L5-30R; DC: 1x USB A, 1x USB C
Generac 7127 iQ3500 3000W
8.9h @50%
14.1 @25%
N/A (45* dB) AC: 120V 20A Duplex 5-20R, 120V 30A L5-30R; DC: two USB ports (5V/2.1A, 5V/1A)
Generac 7723 iQ3500 CO 3000W
8.9h @50%
14.1 @25%
N/A (45* dB) AC: 120V 20A Duplex 5-20R, 120V 30A L5-30R; DC: two USB ports (5V/2.1A, 5V/1A)
Honda EU2200i 1800W
3.2h @100%
8.1h @25%
48 dB @25%
57 dB @100%

AC: 20A 120V Duplex; DC: 12V 100W (8.3 Amps)

Honda EU3000IS 2800W
20h @25% 50 dB @25%

AC: 120V 20A Duplex, 120V 30A L5-30R

WEN 56203i 1700W
10.8h @25%
7h @25%
51 dB @25% AC: 2x NEMA 5-20R; DC: 12V (8.3A), 2x USB 5V (1A, 2.1A)
WEN 56235i 1900W
10.5h @25% 51 dB @25% AC: 15A 120V NEMA 5-20R Duplex; DC: 12V, USB 5V (2.1A, 1A)
WEN DF250i 2000/1800W
6h @50% 52 dB @25% AC: 120V NEMA 5-20R Duplex; DC: USB 5V (2.1A, 1A)
Westinghouse iGen2800c 2200W
12h @25% 52 dB @25% AC: 20A 120V Duplex; DC: 2x USB 5V
Westinghouse iGen4500 3700W
18h @25% 52 dB @25% AC: 120V 20A 5-20R Duplex, 120V 30A TT-30R; 2x USB 5.0V (2.1, 1.0 A)

Note: Amazon affiliate links ('Model' Column) open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.

As one can see, stronger power generators (for example, Honda EU3000IS or Westinghouse iGen4500) don't have to be louder, although this and other features may increase their price.


westinghouse igen4500 w300px

The weight of the power generators is given in 'dry' condition - power generators are loaded with oil, but the fuel tank is empty.

2000 Watts portable power generators usually weigh 40-45 pounds (18-20 kg) or more and come with built-in carrying handles, allowing a single adult to move it to very short distances or allowing two adults to carry it to shorter distances.

Larger units feature transport wheels and can be easily transported by pulling them to a suitable/required position.

Remote Control

Remote control usually comes in the form of a remote start/stop fob, allowing the user to remotely start and stop the power generator.

Such control requires an electric start feature and the starting battery, which all lead to a somewhat larger, heavier, and more expensive power generator.

But, a remote control may be very convenient in many situations.

Remote Connectivity

Some high-end power generators come with WiFi modules or even GSM modules.

WiFi connectivity allows the user to control and monitor the power generator using a smartphone, tablet, or similar device while being relatively close to the unit.

GSM module with the properly set GSM card allows the user to control and monitor the power generator using a smartphone, tablet, or similar device globally. Such devices are not very common, they are not cheap but provide features that can come in very handy in many situations.


For exact maintenance procedures, one should check the Owner's Guide/Instructions that came with the power generator.

Generally, these include:

- checking the amount of oil, adding oil, changing oil,

- checking the spark plug, checking the spark plug's gap, replacing the spark plug,

- if the unit is going to be stored for a longer period of time, one has to be sure that the carburetor and the fuel tank are empty.

These are the most basic tasks that have to be done in order for the power generator to run smoothly.

When stored, powered generators should be kept in a cool, clean, dry, well-ventilated area.

Safety Features

Most common safety features include:

- low oil alarm, low oil engine shutdown - when the unit senses low oil, an alarm is sounded in order to warn the user about unwanted conditions. And if the oil level drops even more, the engine is shut off automatically in order to prevent any damage.

- overload alarm, overload shutdown - when the unit sense overload condition, an alarm is sounded in order to warn the user about unwanted condition. If this condition prolongs or the load increases even more, the electric power is cut off from the receptacles, requiring the user to disconnect the problematic load from the power generator and to reset the receptacles.

- overtemperature safety feature turns off the unit in order to prevent overheating of the engine or electronics.

Of course, there are other safety features built-in, but they are model-dependent.

Note: although power generators produce fumes that contain dangerous Carbon Monoxide (CO), Carbon Monoxide sensors/alarms are very rare as a standard feature on the power generators.


The warranty period for portable inverter generators is usually between 1 (one) and 3 (three) years when the unit is maintained and used properly.

Also, some units are intended for only residential use and the commercial use renders the warranty void.

On the other hand, some models feature both residential and commercial warranty, with premium models having 3 (three) or more years for both residential and commercial use.

Power Generators:

For more info, feel free to check our Articles and Guides:

Here is the list of our latest Power Generators reviews, ordered according to the added date:

Westinghouse iGen2800c Inverter Generator with CO Sensor

igen2800c mThe Westinghouse iGen2800c Inverter Generator is a robust and portable inverter power generator designed for a variety of uses, including emergency home backup, camping, tailgating, and RVs.

For users needing more power, Westinghouse iGen2800c supports parallel capability with the use of a separate Westinghouse Parallel Cord.

Published: March 21, 2024.

Pulsar G450RN Portable Inverter Generator

pulsar g450rn mPulsar G450RN Portable Inverter Generator is a relatively compact power generator that offers low-noise operation, simple use, and maintenance.

Also, it is a 4000W inverter generator with Eco-Mode, remote start, and is parallel-ready, making it suitable for many situations ranging from blackouts and emergencies to camping, tailgating, and similar.

Published: August 14, 2023.

Generac GP3300i 7154 2500/3300-Watt Gas-Powered Portable Inverter Generator

generac gp3300i mGenerac GP3300i 7154 is a rather compact and quiet portable power generator featuring very low THD levels and a variable speed engine, making it suitable for use during blackouts, in emergencies, when camping, tailgating, and whenever being off-the-grid.

Generac GP3300i is CARB compliant power generator and comes with various safety features, including Low Oil Shutdown. However, it doesn't feature Carbon Monoxide sensor/alarm, which would be great.

Published: July 10, 2023.

Zeus Dynamo Powerhouse 60+ Watt Hand Crank Power Generator

zeus dynamo powerhouse 60 mAs its label suggests, Zeus Dynamo Powerhouse 60+ Watt Hand Crank Power Generator is a manually powered portable power generator suitable for emergencies, blackouts, and similar off-the-grid situations.

Zeus Dynamo Powerhouse 60+ allows users to quickly recharge smartphones, tablets, jump starters, and similar devices and gadgets to make them operate for a short period of time and make an important emergency call, make one more engine start, and similar.

Published: April 11, 2023.

GENMAX GM2800iAE Portable Inverter Generator

genmax gm2800iae mGENMAX GM2800iAE Portable Inverter Generator features a well-balanced design, offering a robust and reliable power generator with several interesting features at an acceptable price.

GENMAX GM2800iAE is a gasoline-only powered unit that can be used in various off-the-grid situations, from camping to emergencies and residential use.

Published: March 15, 2023.

Champion 200988 4500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator

champion 200988 4500w generator mChampion 200988 4500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator is a very popular, highly efficient, dual-fuel, inverter power generator that is used as a camping generator, RV generator, during emergencies and blackouts, and similar.

Champion 200988 power generator is a very quiet unit, offering a long runtime on a single fuel tank or a single propane bottle. Also, for people requiring extra power, Champion 200988 is a parallel-ready unit, requiring a parallel-ready kit to be purchased separately.

Published: October 24, 2022.

Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

generac iq3500 mGenerac 7127 iQ3500 is a very popular and ultra-quiet gasoline-powered inverter power generator suitable for camping, tailgating, in emergencies and blackouts, and similar situations.

Thanks to its advanced inverter technology and closed-frame construction, the Generac iQ3500 power generator features very low THD levels making it suitable for powering directly various sensitive devices even in residential areas. But, just like any other power generator, Generac iQ3500 must be used outside.

Published: April 29, 2022.

Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator

wgen7500 mWestinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator is a simplistic and affordable, open-frame power generator suitable for both commercial and residential use.

Thanks to its power, Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator is able to power even smaller homes during power outages, and thanks to the remote start, air-cooled engine, automatic choke, and other features, it is easy to use and maintain 7500/9500 Watts power generator.

Updated: April 9, 2022.

WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

wen 56203i mWEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator is a very popular gasoline (gas) powered inverter power generator, featuring relatively low weight, long runtime on a single fuel tank, good reliability, low noise operation, very low THD levels, safety features, etc.

As such, WEN 56203i is commonly used for camping, hiking, tailgating, but also in emergencies and blackouts. And if the output of a single WEN 56203i is not enough, WEN offers several different Parallel Connection Kits, allowing the user to connect two compatible WEN inverter generators and to increase the output power.

Published: March 3, 2022.

DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

duromax xp13000eh mDuroMax XP13000EH is a dual-fuel portable power generator suitable for powering even smaller homes during blackouts and emergencies.

DuroMax XP13000EH power generator features open-frame construction, both electric and manual start, a large set of receptacles, long runtime, safety features, etc., making the DuroMax XP13000EH one of the most popular dual-fuel power generators in its class.

Published: November 30, 2021.

Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

westinghouse igen4500 mWestinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator is one of the quietest inverter power generators on the market and despite its size and price, it is also a rather popular portable inverter power generator.

As such, the Westinghouse iGen4500 power generator is commonly used for camping, tailgating, in emergencies, and similar situations where its output power combined with extra quiet operation provides the user with ample of power without much disturbance.

Published: November 4, 2021.

Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator

honda eu2200i mHonda EU2200i is a very quiet and rather popular portable inverter generator, based on the Honda's previous EU2000 model.

Honda EU2200i comes with an improved and slightly stronger engine, rearranged, and somewhat redesigned components in order to provide a reliable, efficient, and simple to use and maintain portable generator, suitable for camping, in emergencies, and all other off-the-grid situations.

Published: February 22, 2021.

Yamaha EF1000iS Portable Inverter Generator

yamaha ef1000is mYamaha EF1000iS Portable Inverter Generator is one of the most compact, lightest, and quietest gas-powered portable inverter generators on the market.

Yamaha EF1000iS offers many features that are usually available on larger, more powerful models. Also, it is CARB compliant and may legally be used in all 50 states.

Published: February 22, 2021.

WEN 56225i 2250-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

wen 56225i w150px 1WEN 56225i 2250-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator is a very popular 2000-watt class power generator, designed for off-the-grid applications like camping, hunting, fishing, etc. trips, but also for emergencies.

Since it is a gas-powered unit, like all other similar units, WEN 56225i Power Generator is suitable only for outdoor use - it uses an internal combustion engine to generate power and release fumes that may contain dangerous carbon-monoxide.

Published: February 22, 2021.