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A portable generator is an invaluable tool, providing much-needed backup in the event of a power outage or a dose of comfort in a place without power like a campground. But if you’re an avid tailgater, it can make all the difference between a memorable day of grilling and a disaster. The best portable generators are a worthwhile investment, giving you peace of mind and the ability to operate important appliances on the go. There are many portable generators on the market, and there are few appliances where it’s more important to make sure you’ve got the right one. The wrong portable generator can fail when you need it most – or worse, malfunction and cause a fire. We’ve put together a list of the best portable generators on the market today. Read on and find the best portable generators to make your next tailgate party one to remember.

Best Portable Generators FAQ

What Is a Portable Generator and What Can They Do?

A portable generator is a power source not linked to the main power grid, serving as a valuable backup in the event of a power outage. A properly charged portable generator can also be taken on the road and serves as an additional power source at a campground, on the road, or at an outdoor cookout such as a tailgate.

What Is the Power Source of a Portable Generator?

The best portable generators run off fuel: usually propane or diesel. This provides a natural energy source from burning fuel mechanically.

How Long Do the Best Portable Generators Run?

The best portable generators can run for a little over an hour on each gallon of gas. Rate will depend on fuel and generator.

Are the Best Portable Generators Safe to Use?

The best portable generators have safety features built in to ensure there are minimal risks, although any fuel-burning tool should be handled with care.

Where Can I Buy the Best Portable Generators?

The best portable generators can be found on Amazon and at major hardware retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s.

How We Reviewed

The following portable generators were reviewed based on the following parameters: affordability, safety, ease of use, fuel efficiency, power output, and reliability.

What We Reviewed

  • WEN 56200i
  • Champion RV Ready
  • Honda EU2200i
  • Generac 7117
  • Generac 5735 GP17500E
  • Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200
  • WEN 56180
  • Anker Powerhouse
  • Briggs & Stratton 30663
  • Yamaha EF1000iS

WEN 56200i

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB...
  • Dimensions: 18" x 11" x 18" | Weight: 48 lbs
  • Noise Level: 53 dB operation
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 2000 surge watts and 1600...

Features

If you’re environmentally conscious and looking for a generator to match, the WEN 56200i is a good choice ecologically and economically. Its output isn’t the strongest at 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts, but it burns fuel efficiently and provides more than enough energy during an emergency outage or a camping trip.It should be more than capable of running your grill at a tailgate for hours. At only 51dBA, it minimizes noise disruption and is one of the safest options thanks to low harmonic distortion. Designed to produce clean energy, it comes with an automatic shutoff when low on fuel or energy to ensure safety.

PROS

  • Clean-burning, environmentally-friendly model
  • Provides longer-lasting power at 1600 running watts
  • Quieter than most models
  • Comes with built-in safety features

CONS

  • Lower power than most other models

Warranty

Comes with a two-year warranty.

Champion RV Ready

Champion Power Equipment 76533 4750/3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready...
  • Dual Fuel: Operate your 3800-watt portable generator right out of the box on either...
  • Electric Start: Power up the 224cc Champion engine with the handy toggle switch, battery...
  • Intelligauge: Keep track of voltage, hertz and run-time hours to easily monitor power...

Features

Designed for use in RVs and on camping trips, the Champion RV Ready is a great choice for heavy-duty generator users. It comes with 4750 starting watts and 3800 running watts, and is a versatile generator that’s good during power outages or for longer tailgating parties.It can run for nine hours on gas or ten and a half hours on propane, meaning you don’t have to worry about interrupting your day to recharge. Easy to use straight from the box, it comes with a battery for a quicker start and a backup power source.

PROS

  • Powerful energy output
  • Runs on gas, propane, or battery power
  • Runs for most of a day on a full tank
  • EPA compliant in all fifty states
  • Lower noise level than many options

CONS

  • Instruction manual for maintenance must be followed closely

Warranty

Comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Honda EU2200i

Honda 662220 EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
  • This popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, making it perfect for...
  • So quiet, your neighbors will thank you. The EU2200i operates at 48 to 57 dBA, which is...
  • Add a second EU2200i for additional power. Two identical models can be paralleled with an...

Features

If a quiet generator is important to you, the Honda EU2200i is an ideal choice. Providing 2200 watts at only 48 to 57 dBA, it provides solid energy output at only a fraction of the sound. An updated version of Honda’s most popular generator, it comes with safety features including a fuel shutoff valve. This keeps the generator going when the fuel valve is shut off and prevents issues linked to stale fuel. It can run almost ten hours on a full tank, making it an ideal choice for a long day of tailgating.

PROS

  • The most quiet option on the list
  • Highly efficient, running almost ten hours
  • Includes safety features like a fuel shut-off valve
  • Provides up to 2200 watts

CONS

  • One of the most expensive models on the list

Warranty

Comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Generac 7117

Features

If you’re a first-time generator user, you’re going to want one that’s easy to use. The Generac 7117 is a user-friendly model ideal for beginners. Coming with a built-in handle for easy transportation and a simple knob to turn the unit on and off, it’s easy to use right out of the box. An ideal choice for powering electronic devices, its 1.2 gallon fuel tank can provide over ten hours of power when run at twenty-five percent. Comes with an economy mode to conserve power and keep the generator quiet.

PROS

  • Compact and easy to transport
  • Ideal for powering electronic devices long-term
  • Easy to use thanks to control knob
  • Efficient and can provide up to 10 hours of power

CONS

  • Less powerful tha
  • Uses up power fast at full power

Warranty

Comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Generac 5735 GP17500E

No products found.

Features

If you want a heavy-duty generator, Generac 5735 GP17500E. With 22800 starting watts and 17500 running watts, it’s an ideal choice for running an entire house. Capable of running a five-ton air conditioner or up to sixteen power circuits, it’s a popular choice for large construction sites. Designed to be durable and long-lasting, it can run up to ten hours on its tank and comes with a backup battery for extended lifespan.

PROS

  • Most powerful generator on the market
  • Can run an entire house or job site
  • Lasts up to ten hours
  • Designed to be durable and safe

CONS

  • Most expensive generator on the list
  • At 390 pounds, not easy to transport

Warranty

Comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200

Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator,...
  • Quiet and fuel efficient 111 cc OHV engine produces 2,200 starting watts and 1700 running...
  • USB port allows charging of portable electronics in order to stay connected. Muffler:...
  • Parallel connector port allows connection between 2 units for more power

Features

If you’re using your generator primarily to run sensitive electronic equipment like laptops or gaming systems, there’s nothing more important to you than safety. The Briggs & Stratton 30651 has the lowest harmonic disruption on the list at less than three percent, making it a very safe choice. The one-gallon tank can provide up to eight hours of power at 25% load capacity, and comes with a USB port for charging phones. Operating at a quiet 59 dBA, it’s one of the best generators for home use. Provides 2200 watts, making it powerful enough to run a grill or major appliances.

PROS

  • Ideal for running sensitive electronic equipment
  • Powerful enough to run grills or major appliances
  • Comes with an attached USB port
  • Quieter than many models

CONS

  • Shorter run time than other models

Warranty

Comes with a two-year limited consumer warranty.

WEN 56180

WEN 56180 1800-Watt Portable Generator, CARB Compliant
  • EPAIII and CARB compliant generator allows for operation in all 50 states
  • Rated amperage 12.5 A.1800 surge watts and 1500 running watts provides power for both...
  • Operational volume (decibel): 63. Lightweight and compact generator runs at half load for...

Features

An ideal budget generator, the WEB 56180 is an ideal choice for backup if you’re worried about the food in your refrigerator during a power outage or need a light source while camping. Its 1.45 gallon gas tank can run for seven and a half hours at half-load and provides 1800 starting watts and 1500 running watts. Coming with three outlets and weighing only fifty pounds, it’s an easily portable all-purpose option and comes with a low-oil shutdown feature.

PROS

  • Versatile generator is good in all emergencies
  • Comes with safety features

CONS

  • Lower power output than most alternatives
  • Only available from third-party sellers

Warranty

Comes with a two-year warranty.

Anker Powerhouse

Features

If you’re looking for a lightweight project that can provide a much-needed dose of power in emergencies, the Anker Powerhouse is a portable 160-watt generator ideal for smaller jobs. Able to power a 15-volt light for over a hundred hours or recharge a laptop 15 times, it’s ideal for short trips when you want a constant supply of limited power around. Powered by batteries, so no fuel needed

PROS

  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • Long-lasting output of 160 watts
  • Near-silent
  • Ideal for repeated small jobs

CONS

  • Not suitable for tailgating or grilling
  • Low watt output
  • Expensive compared to power output

Warranty

Comes with an 18-month warranty.

Briggs & Stratton 30663

Briggs & Stratton 30663 Elite Series Portable Generator with Key...
  • Clean and instant power to keep appliances and other important electronics running during...
  • Produces 25 percent more surge wattage so you can run large appliances and tools at the...
  • 2100 series OHV 420cc engine

Features

If you want a powerful, long-lasting generator, the Briggs & Stratton 30663 is one of the best on the market. With 7000 starting watts, it comes with 25 percent surge wattage and can run multiple appliances at the same time. Its 7.5 gallon engine can provide more than nine hours of power at a fifty percent load, and is easy to use thanks to an electric key star. It can also be activated remotely. The 221-pound model comes with conveniently attached wheels, and comes with five outlets and circuit breaker protection.

PROS

  • Powerful energy output
  • Can handle five appliances at one time
  • Easy to wheel around
  • Comes with safety features including circuit breaker protection

CONS

  • One of the most expensive generators

Warranty

Comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Yamaha EF1000iS

Yamaha EF1000iS, 900 Running Watts/1000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered...
  • 1,000 Watt Maximum AC Output/900 Watt Rated AC Output
  • Noise Block Acoustically designed sound reduction system
  • Long Run Time - Runs continuously for up to 12 hours without refueling

Features

One of the longest-lasting generators on the market, the Yamaha EF1000iS provides up to twelve hours of power at 1000 starting watts. Energy efficient, it maximizes fuel energy and is crafted from noise-absorbing glass wool to make it one of the quietest models on the market. The economy mode still provides sufficient power while saving energy and giving you more hours of use.

PROS

  • Lasts longer than most alternatives
  • Noise-absorbent glass wool keeps it quiet
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and easy to transport

CONS

  • Lower power than most alternatives
  • Not ideal for heavy equipment like grills
  • Expensive for the power level

Warranty

Comes with a two-year warranty.

The Verdict

All ten portable generators on this list deliver strong performance, efficiency, and safety. They’re all made from high-quality materials that take the worry out of running a generator. But they vary dramatically in terms of performance. Several highly effective generators are unsuited for running a grill during a tailgate. We give our endorsement to the Champion RV Ready as the best portable generator on the market today.

Last update on 2021-08-29 at 06:10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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