After testing and using over 20 different generators that are designed with portability in mind, I have rounded up my top 5 options which reveals the best portable generator out there. There are many things you should consider when searching for a portable generator, some of these include –
-The weight of the generator itself and other portability features like is it easy and practical to carry and move around.
– General build quality and design – is it durable and can take some punishment over time.
– Wattage is another thing that should be considered depending on what you want and your needs when it comes to the generator. Bigger appliances need more power!
– Noise: when it comes to some of the lower quality generators they can sometimes be quite noisy and it would be hard to use them in certain situations so having a quieter generator is a big advantage for a lot of people.
– Fuel efficiency: fuel is another thing to be considered, especially if you are using your generator often and are using a lot of fuel, having a generator that is more fuel economic is always a smart idea for a heavy user.
– Extra features – some of the generators will have interesting and useful features like having USB charging ports for your iPhone, or lowering power consumption with not needed etc.
When reviewing these generators, I took these things into consideration with portability being the primary concern. So, all the top 5 are very portable but also have all the other necessary features for making them a great overall generator. Now let’s get to our countdown to find the best portable generator out there!
Best Portable Generator – The Top 5
#5 Cat RP3600
The first thing you would notice about this generator is the wheels that are attached to it, this makes moving it around a lot easier and while is not the lightest generator out there, these wheels more than make up for it! In terms of its build quality it is very solid and the material they have used feels great and built to last. It also has a built-in roll cage which will keep it protected it you did happen to knock it over or something of the like – this keeps the main engine safe and secure which is always important.
Its starting watts is 4500 and its running watts is 3600 along with an engine size of 212cc and a fuel capacity of 4.5 gallons. In my usage, I could get about 12 hours of run time on a full tank which I was more than happy with.
In terms of the set up – it’s very easy and I could assemble the generator with the tools that where included effortlessly in under 30 minutes. This included starting the generator which was unforced.
The last thing I would like to mention about this generator is the noise it makes, if I was to compare it which something its basically like a quieter lawn mower and that’s under full load, so overall quite a good option.
#4 WEN 56200i
This is easily a contender for the best portable generator, let me explain why. First off it is extremely light for a generator and only weighs 48 pounds. It can be easily carried using the built-in handle which makes for some of the best accessibility. Due to its smaller size, it has a lower running wattage of 1600W and a fuel tank of 1 gallon. That equates to 6-7 hours of runtime in my experience at half load.
This generator is most suited for things like camping trips and for using on a worksite. It can be easily moved around and this makes it great if you need to use if for multiple jobs.
When it comes to noise output this is one of the quitter options out there, though it’s still a generator so don’t use it at night time at your local camp site or you may be kicked out! But comparably it’s still quieter than most others that I tested. For reference on a lower load like a quarter to a third load it makes about 50dB of sound which is about the same as a louder Air conditioner unit which I was thoroughly impressed with.
#3 Champion Power Equipment 75531i
This generators overall quality is top notch. It has rubber wheels that are much better quality than the plastic ones you see on lower quality generators and not only do they make the generator much more portable but they also are secure and work well without jamming or getting stuck. The handles are made from plastic but they feel strong and can easily support the weight of the generator for easier carrying. This generator weighs about 99 pounds so carrying it instead of wheeling it is always an option. In terms of portability alone this is one of the best generators out there.
This generator has 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts with a 171cc engine which is a champion engine which makes for starting in colder temperatures much easier. In terms of run time I could get 9 hours at 50% load. In terms of operating sound it is also one of the quietest generator out there with a running sound of about 60dB. This generator has a economy mode which is ideal when you aren’t using bigger appliances, not only does it extend the usage by about 25% it also runs quieter which when in economy mode.
Another massive selling point is that this generator has a wireless remote which can be used to start the engine. The great thing about this is that you don’t need a line of sight with this remote so you can easily start the generator from inside your home or wherever you are without even touching the generator which to me is an great selling point.
#2 Briggs & Stratton 30651
This generator could be considered for the best portable generator on the market. While it doesn’t have wheels, you don’t need them due to it being easy to carry and weighing only 55 pounds. The built-in handle makes for moving it around a breeze so its easily one of the most portable generators that I have used.
Not only is it portable but its build quality is truly amazing, everything from the buttons to the overall structure is amazing and it really stands out from the bunch especially when you use it yourself.
It has a starting wattage of 2000 and a running wattage of 1700 and a 111cc engine which is easily one of the quietest that I have used. In my usage, it makes about 55-60db of noise on about 1 third power. This basically means you can have a conversation even 3-5 meters away from the generator without having to talk more loudly to be heard – I was impressed. I also want to mention in my usage on half load it ran for 6-7 hours with is solid.
Another one of the selling points of this generator is the low harmonic distortion of 3%. What that basically means for anyone who is unsure is that it is safe to use electronics like laptops or your iPhone or whatever else nearby. Click here for more information on it.
In terms of outlets there is 3 outlets, 1 Dc outlet and 2 regular household style outlets along with a usb adapter if you want to charge your phone or whatever else.
The Best Portable Generator
#1 Honda EU2000I 2000
This generator is the perfect generator out there – it does everything better than all the competition and you will soon realize why it is priced higher than most of the competition. This is definitely a case of you get what you pay for.
Its functionality is just great, often with other generators that I have used you can sometimes struggle to get them up and running after many pulls it will start but not with this one. Basically, you flip the switch and turn on the fuel and then you pull once and it starts and you doesn’t even need to be that forceful unlike some lower quality options when you might dislocate your arm with the amount of force need to start them!
This generator is lightweight, super lightweight at 48 pounds, it is the best option that offers both top notch quality and portability that no other generator can quite match.
Another selling point of this generator is how quiet it runs at 1/3 load I measures a dB rating of 55 which is super quiet for a generator and when it’s on idle you can hardly hear it at all – this is worth considering for those camping enthusiast that don’t want to disturb their neighbor campers! Another great feature of this Honda is that it when its idle and no power is needing to be drawn from it, it will automatically lower its power state which will in turn use much less fuel and then when you start using it again from idle it will automatically go back to its regular power state where it uses more fuel.
This generator starts at 2000W and runs at 1600W with 2 standard home outlets and 1 DC outlet, it also has a tank of .95 gallons. In terms of run time I could get 7 hours of running time at about 50% load which is great for fuel economy.
Another thing with this unit is the durability and the reliability, simply put they are top of the line with endless acclaim from people using them for years and years on end without any problems.
This Honda generator is definitely the most portable generator out there that is also so high quality and premium that no other product can compare. This generator is without a doubt a great investment that is going to last longer than all the other competition along with be incredibly fuel efficient – it’s going to cost you less in the long run and that’s something that’s invaluable and why I can’t recommend it enough!