In a survival situation, power can make a significant difference, and when the grid is down, you can bet that the power provided by the best portable generator will make things much more manageable.
These generators are typically run on gasoline and they can power everything from your smartphone to your coffeemaker. These are also great ways to ensure things like water purifier systems are functional and that you have enough juice for emergency communications equipment.
In this guide, we’re going to show you five excellent portable generator models that can power your electronics when there’s no other form of power available. Each of the products that we’ll feature can serve as the best portable generator for home use or use out in the wilderness, so take a look at our guide to find a product that’ll suit your needs.
Last update on 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- 1 Reviews of the Best Portable Generators
- 2 Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
- 3 Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator
- 4 DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator
- 5 DuroMax XP4400E 4,400 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator
- 6 Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with Remote Electric Start
- 7 Portable Generators in a Nutshell
- 8 What to Look for in the Best Portable Generators
- 9 Uses for the Best Portable Generator
- 10 Final Thoughts
Reviews of the Best Portable Generators
To start, this product, which is from Westinghouse, is one of the most portable that we’ll be featuring in this guide. In total, it only weighs a little less than 50 pounds, and it has a handle that makes it reasonably easy to truck from place to place. For survival situations where you’re trying to keep a low profile, this product also shines; it is designed to run at a decibel level that’s less than 52, which is lower than standard conversation.
It’s also made to be safe for sensitive electronics like computers and HDTVs, so this could be a great option for those that are camping and want a few of the creature comforts. While this doesn’t have the juice of some of the other products, it is parallel compatible so that you can run two Westinghouse iGen2200 generators together. In total, this product has 1,800 rated watts and 2,200 peak watts, which is a good amount of output.
- The blue design is very visible
- This is a very quiet generator
- At only about 46 pounds, this is a very portable generator
- There’s a three-year warranty with the product
- It has enough juice to power home electronics
- For some reason, the generator can be challenging to start
Reliability is critical when working with a generator, and this product, which is manufactured by Champion, has a reputation for providing a steady and reliable operation. In addition, with its sturdy frame and durable design, this is also a product that can take a few knocks when you’re out in the wild. Admittedly, the generator is a little on the heavy side; it weighs just a hair under 100 pounds, so it may be a two-person carry.
Despite this somewhat minor foible, this is a real workhorse generator; it can easily output 3500 watts, which is enough to handle the most power-hungry, in-house electronics like refrigerators and air conditioners. This is also a device that’s well-rated for safety; it has a low-oil shutoff, and it also has a volt guard. To prevent overheating, this device uses air cooling, which makes it very convenient and safe.
- It only has a 68 dBA output at 23 feet, which is relatively quiet
- The steel frame adds a lot of durability
- It’ll run for 12 hours on a tank
- It has multiple safety features
- This may be the least portable portable generator in the guide
This is another product that utilizes a steel frame in order to provide a heightened degree of durability for the generator, and it has a good level of power output as well. In the rear of the device, there are two AC outlets that run at 12V 20A as well as an AC 120V 30A outlet. This final outlet is a twist-lock design, which can be useful when you’re out in the wilderness. The maximum output of this device is 4,000 watts, so you’ll have enough power for most of your electronics and appliances.
On a full tank, the DuroStar DS4000S can run for eight hours, which is a good amount of power output for survival and camping situations. For safety, there are several anti-power surge features and an auto-shutoff when there is low oil. You can also track voltage output with this product via the built-in voltmeter. The engine that powers this is a seven-horsepower DuroStar engine that’s air-cooled and powerful.
- This is a CARB approved product that’s usable in all 50 states
- The steel frame is very durable
- This will run for a full eight hours
- It has a 4,000-watt peak power performance
- It can be a bit heavy, but there is an optional wheel kit
With the last two products we’ll be covering, there are attached wheels, which can make them very convenient. This product, which is another DuroMax generator, has a higher output than the previous product from that company. This time, the generator puts out 4,400 watts of peak power, which is a lot of juice for multiple devices. This makes this product a great choice for those looking for backup power for their home when the power is shot.
In addition to the wheel assembly, this generator also packs in a heavy-duty steel frame and has a robust body that’ll take a hit or two. During standard running, this device will put out a steady 3,500 watts of power and should provide at least eight hours of juice depending on the load. This also includes excellent safety features like low engine oil cutoff and power surge protections.
- The wheels on this product make it very easy to tote around the house or the campsite
- This is a very sturdy generator
- The engine is powerful and should start with little effort
- DuroMax covers this with a three-year warranty
- There’s not much in the way of sound dampening
This product has power to spare. Its maximum output is a staggering 9,500 watts, and its easily capable of sustaining a 7,500 rated watts output. It has a twist locking outlet that has a 240-volt functionality as well as two 120-volt Duplex CFCI outlets that can be used for many appliance and electronics types. This is also a product that has a unique feature: a remote start key fob that will allow you to start the generator up from a distance.
For safety, this is a generator that has a digital data center so that you can track output, a low-oil shutdown feature, and voltage regulation to prevent spikes. Also, thanks to CARB compliance, this generator is usable in all 50 states and puts out very minimal environmentally-unsound gasses. Finally, this is a product that is transfer switch ready, so you’ll be able to knock it into operation at a moment’s notice.
- The remote start key fob is very convenient
- It has an electric starter that activates by a push-button control system
- This is a generator that has wheels for easy transport
- It has a 9,500 wattage output at peak
- At more than 200 pounds, if you have to carry this upstairs, it’s going to be a struggle
Portable Generators in a Nutshell
Portable generators are beneficial because they are easily carried or moved when required. The best products will be efficient, have a handle for quick carrying, and have plenty of outlets so that you’ll have options.
Some of these products, like our fourth and fifth ones, even have wheels to make them easy to push to your devices. In many cases, these devices go unused, but when the grid is unavailable, you’ll be amazed at how beneficial one of these little beasts can be to your overall survival and comfort.
What to Look for in the Best Portable Generators
Still, for the most utility, you’ll want to purchase a product that’s going to perform. For this reason, you’ll definitely want to look for a generator that has several supplemental features that can make life without grid-based power much more convenient. Here are a few that you should look out for:
When you’re in a situation without power, you’ll seldom need just one device powered. In most cases, you’ll need lighting, charging, and powering juice so that you can get out of the survival situation with more convenience. For this reason, having multiple connectors on the product as well as different connectors can make your situation much less problematic.
High Peak Wattage
With a high peak wattage, you’ll have an easier time powering multiple devices at the same time. It’s critical to understand that not every device will need the same amount of energy to run.
Having a device with a high peak wattage that can manage the requirements needs of your electronics is very useful. For example, a light bulb will only need about 60 to 75 watts to be run in most situations, but an electric grill may require as much as 1,000 watts for you to cook your food.
The higher wattage of your generator, the easier time you’ll have powering large and small wattage devices.
High Fuel Tank Capacity
In most cases, these devices will either use propane or natural gas to provide energy, and the larger the tank, the more power you’ll be able to dole out to your electronics.
With electricity, there’s always the chance of danger, so a sound product should always pack in a few safety features that can protect you and electrical workers. For example, in the reviews below, you’ll see that some products include features like low-oil shutoff features.
These will keep the generator from trying to put out power without the required oil, which can cause sparks. Additionally, transfer switches are designed to distribute the electricity properly so that the connections are isolated. This will prevent electrical surges that can cause spikes in the power lines if you use a model in the home.
Features that Reduce Noise
When you’re working with a gas-powered anything, you can bet that they will have a loud noise output. Fortunately, some products are designed to keep the noise down so that you don’t wake the neighbors.
This is also a great feature in survival situations where you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself.
Uses for the Best Portable Generator
Now that we have an idea about some of the features to look out for, it’s important to note just how versatile these products are. Here are a few applications where these will come in handy:
You’re not always going to be in an RV park or campground that has a full hookup, and when you’re in the wilderness on a hunting or fishing trip, it’s nice to have a generator.
The best portable generator for RV camping will be compact enough to power things like your water heater and appliances, but it should also have enough wattage to grant power to your air conditioning as well.
If the grid is no longer reliable, having items like flashlights, water purifiers, and cell phones can be very useful. A good generator can help you power these when you need them, and usually, many of these items won’t tax the generator too much.
In the Home
More substantial variations of the portable generator really stand out because they usually have more juice for larger appliances and devices. So, what is the best portable generator when you lose power in your home?
Well, one that has over 6,000 watts of power can really make a difference and help you keep your home’s electrical devices running like refrigerators and even stovetops.
All of the products that we’ve covered in our reviews put out a lot of great functionality and are all reliable when the power either suddenly goes out or has been out of commission for an extended period.
If we were to pick a star product, it would be our final generator. The Westinghouse WGen7500 just puts out a great wattage output, so it’s very useful for in-home uses.
Additionally, the fact that it comes with a key fob for remote starting means that it’s one of the most convenient products in our guide as well.
- 7500 Running Watts and 9500 Peak Watts; Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start; Up to 16 Hours of Run Time on a 6.6 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge
- Features Two GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) 5-20R 120V Household Duplex Receptacle and One L14-30R 120/240V Twist-Lock Receptacle; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety
- Plug-and-Play: Comes with a Remote Start Key Fob, 12V Battery Charger, Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User's Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required)
- Powered by a 420 cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve with Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter
- EPA and CARB Compliant; Backed by 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage with Nationwide Customer Service and Support Network at 1-855-944-3571 or [email protected]
Last update on 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API