Best Portable Generators 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

best portable generators

Power outages have become a common problem due to the alarming rate with which we are suffering from unfriendly weather conditions. This makes it important to have a backup system in home to deal with such situations. Luckily, we now have the option of portable generators that are quiet, light as well as affordable. However, it is significant to understand that the use of portable generators is not just for the emergency cases. This handy device also serves to be a perfect option in case you are planning for a work site or a camping trip and want to have a power solution with you. When you have the best portable generator with you then it is just like carrying electricity on the go.

Portable generator therefore serves to be a wonderful investment that helps you prepare for the worst weather conditions and could also be carried along on trips conveniently. However, selection of the best CARB compliant portable generator is somewhat tricky since several options are available at present in the market. In this case, we are here to help you out with the 10 best portable generators reviews. This will help you decide whether the generator from Honda can best meet with your demands or whether Yamaha brings the better option. Have a look at the reviews to make the best decision.

Top Rated Portable Generators Comparison Table

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The Best Portable Generators In 2020


1. Honda EU2200i – Best Portable Generator For Camping & Home Use


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This stands as the most famous portable 2000 watt generator from Honda that has several useful features making it the favorite of the available options. This generator is perfect for camping, home use, work site as well as several other useful applications and has the ability of handling wide range of appliances. This is a potent workhorse that is light in weight and has high power output that makes it just perfect for any sort of application. 

When the search is for device that does not create much noise then too Honda EU2200i serves to be a great choice that could even operate at night without creating much disturbance. Appliances could be powered using this generator for long duration and that too without any noise pollution problem. Keeping in mind the demands of end-user, this generator has been designed by Honda such that it remains as much user friendly as expected. 

Its recoil start is easy to handle and the layout is also convenient. All these reasons add up to the favors that the user can enjoy with this generator.


1. The handle is easy to carry.1. Fuel gauge is not there in this generator.
2. It has the option of eco-throttle.
3. Honda’s 3 year warranty.
4. Remarkable Honda engine.

2. WGen7500 Westinghouse – Top Rated Portable generator | Very Powerful

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Westinghouse has come up with the latest portable generators line that is durable and serves as the best choice for tailgating, household projects, emergency backup, etc. The WGen7500 is the product from this line and this is a durable, powerful power house that is easy to use. Even the previous model’s popularity is surpassed by this product and this is the reason why it stands as portable generator with top ratings in the market.

Starting of 9000W is there in this portable generator and it offers continuous power of 7500W. A durable frame of steel protects this generator with top roll bars. Pushing an electric button starts this machine while the regular start of recoil is also there. Marks of yellow color are featured in this product so that anyone can get easy idea regarding generator’s starting process. The gas tank of this generator is of large 6.6 gallons capacity.


1. Delivers enough power to run all the appliances with its OHV durable over-head 4-stroke engine.1. The generator is not very quiet with 64 decibels and is therefore not the best option for camping since it needs to be kept far away to avoid discomfort.
2. It comes with circuit and overload protection.
3. Fuel level could be controlled easily with the help of fuel gauge.
4. Handles and wheels help in easy mobilization.
5. EPA, CSA and CARB approved spark arrestor.

You may think, what is CARB?

In short, CARB is just a set of rules and regulations which are made to take care of air quality in California. So, a good branded generator ( not only generators ) always follows CARB policy or rules. So, indirectly, you will help in maintaining the air quality if you choose a CARB compliant portable generators.

3. Champion inverter 100263 (dual fuel) – Electric Start and High Power

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Recoil pull cable starters are there in most of the generators and therefore customers always find the electric start generator to be a treat. There is no need to yank on cable since much easier option is available to just turn the switch of 3 position toggle. All the things are labeled clearly make it simple to understand as well as clear. This generator is rated with 3100 watts and therefore could handle much with sufficient power.

User need not to worry about his sensitive electronics as well since the clean energy of this device keeps them protected. This portable generator is dual fuel so that either of propane or gasoline could be used. It is also possible to run this parallel ready generator on gas or propane. No noise problem in there in the device and the fuel efficiency is also decent. The device is in fact remarkably quiet given its power amount.


1. It has the ability to work with gasoline or propane.1. It is comparatively heavier than the other options.
2. The device is RV-ready.
3. It comes with electric start.
4. Pull handle and incorporated wheels are there in the device.
5. Limited warranty of 3 years is there with technical support for lifetime.

4. Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 – Versatile and Expedient Product

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User can enjoy both convenience and power from this Briggs & Stratton generator. It has telescoping drag handle and wheels and weighs about 85 lbs. 4 household standard outlets are also there that are not present in any other generator. A locking outlet of 30-amp 12-volt is also there with RV adaptor, USB port and an outlet for DC charging. All these features make this generator to be an ideal option for several conditions from camping or tailgating to source for home power backup to RV use.

It lasts for more than 10 hours with the fuel tank of 1.5 gallon capacity on the load of 500 watt. A unique technology of quiet power setting will adjust the speed of engine automatically and therefore less noise is there. It is also possible to save fuel in this mode and the run time is also increased. LCD display screen is yet another amazing feature found in this generator. Things such as power amount used at present and time for performing maintenance related tasks are indicated at the screen.


1. RV ready and 4 outlets of power.1. It is quiet heavy.
2. Pull handle and wheels.2. Not compliant with CARB.
3. Technology of quiet power.
4. LCD display.
5. Easy to carry.

5. WEN 56200i – Durable and Quiet Operation

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Clean energy is offered by this generator having the inverter by which pure shine wave is mimicked. The fuel efficiency of this generator is very good and it is CARB and EPA complaint as well. This is the mobile generator having its major selling point in the form of quiet operation. The operation of this generator is ultra quiet with just 51 decibels registered at quarter load and this is the reason why the device serves to be a great option for applications such as camping, work site etc. The option of eco-mode is also there that offers quietest operation and the fuel efficiency is also boosted.

There are two 120 V three-prong receptacles, one 5 V USB port and one 12 V DC receptacle in this device. The generator is parallel ready as well and being lightweight, it could be handled and transported conveniently. No fuel gauge is there in this generator but it features automatic shutdown in case it is running out of oil or fuel. WEN has therefore offered the best option in generators in this price category.


1. Operation of eco-mode.1. Fuel gauge is not there in this device.
2. Affordable device.
3. Easy to carry and lightweight.
4. CARB compliant.

6. Generac 7117 GP2200I – Quietest Portable Generator & Easy To Use

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This is yet another option in the list of 10 best portable generators that has remarkably quiet operation. Quietest level of noise is there in its economy mode in which the fuel efficiency and runtime are also increased. This generator has user friendly operation. Fuel gauge is not there but it feature indicator lights so that you can know when the device is getting overloaded or when it is low on oil. This is an extremely lightweight and compact generator and is easy to transport as well with its carry handle. These features make it a great option for camping and tailgating.

1600 watts are rated on this device and this power is sufficient to even serve the backup for home when power outage is there. It comes with an add-on kit and is also parallel-ready and therefore serves to be the ideal choice for together running two units when the load to handle is bigger. The functionality of inverter is there in this device that ensures safety of all the electronics with stable and clean power.


1. The device is ideal for travel being easily movable.1. Just 2 outlets of 120-volt.
2. It has economy mode.
3. Comes with good warranty.
4. The outlets are covered.
5. It is CARB compliant.

7. Yamaha EF2400iSHC – Easily Meet Demands Of High Starting Watts

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This generator could not be considered as lightweight but is still manageable with the weight of 75 pound. The dual handles also make the device portable. With 2000 watts rating, it is capable of offering more power in comparison with several other similar options available in this category. The inverter technology makes the device to offer safe and clean energy. Starting the portable generator is quite easy on account of its high output of current.

This capability makes the generator an ideal option for powering the appliances having high starting watt such as air conditioner. Pulse width modulation is there in the generator for offering clean and stable energy safe for the electronics. Engine speed is adjusted automatically with technology of smart throttle and it results in better efficiency of fuel as well while the resulting noise is also less. Fuel gauge feature is there in this device and a light for warning low oil is also there. Lot of reliability and power is there in its engine of 5.5 HP.


1. The control panel is user friendly.1. Just 2 AC outlets.
2. Excellent, sturdy construction.2. It is expensive.
3. Easier transport is there on account of dual handles.
4. This portable generator can also power aircon.

8. Energizer Ezv2000p – Highly Durable Performance

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This is the portable generator that has the load of 500 watt that helps it to keep going for more than 9 hours. Even if the running capacity of this device is 100%, it lasts for quiet long. The power rating is 1600 watt and this parallel ready generator can efficiently handle the electronics that are sensitive. Incorporated RV capability is not there in this device but one can separately get the RV outlets for using with it. The throttle is adjusted automatically by its economy mode to help boost the runtime, save fuel and operate at lower level of noise.

Even if it is not on economy mode but is full load operation, the noises never get loud. This is the reason why users can find this device to be an ideal option for tailgating and camping and other such applications where others need not to be disturbed. The motto of Energizer is about durability and this generator is found to be really efficient and stable by the users making it the best choice available in the market.


1. Parallel ready.1. AC outlets are just 2.
2. 3 year warranty.2. RV ready but with separate acquisition.
3. Energizer generator is durable.
4. This portable generator has a nice design.

9. Briggs & Stratton 30651 – Best Design of H-handle

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Briggs & Stratton has come up with this good value generator with 1700 watts power rating. When the option of quiet or less noise technology is used by the device, its engine is automatically adjusted on the basis of load such that better efficiency of fuel could be offered. Compared to some other generators in this list of 10 best portable generators, the operation of this device is not that quiet. However, it is not much noisy as well with the noise level being equal to that of a typical conversation.

The device weighs just 50 pounds making it a lightweight option. The design of H-handle is there in the device such that people are able to carry it with ease. The design is pretty compact as well that too accounts for easy transportability. This parallel ready 30651 could be connected easily with any of the PowerSmart Series generators.


1. The fuel efficiency of this device is quiet high.1. Fuel gauge is not there in this device.
2. It could be transported easily with the best design of H-handle.2. It is not compliant to CARB.
3. It comes from a reputable brand.
4. This option is good for money.

10. Sportsman Portable Generator – The Most Affordable Option

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The look of this generator is exactly as something that could be expected from a brand known as Sportsman: it is camo green and rugged. The power rating of this device is just 800 watts and this power is not sufficient for several uses. However, for the purpose of tailgating or camping, the power it has can serve to be sufficient. The deficiency of power is compensated with the low price tag of this device. This portable generator has overall construction quality that also lacks a bit in few things. These features might not last long as well since cheap housing of plastic is there. However, the price is extremely low in comparison with the other options making it somewhat a good option.

Inverter technology is featured by this device that makes it capable of handling the electronics such as cellphones or laptops. The device is CARB compliant and has the fuel tank of 0.55 gallon that can last for up to 6 hours at the load of 50%. This portable generator is somewhat louder as well since when no load is running, its operating noise is 56db and taking the wattage into account, this is quiet louder.


1. Affordable.1. Power is not much.
2. CARB compliant.2. Assembly is needed.
3. Easy to carry.3. Construction of cheap plastic.
4. Very compact.4. Gas tank is smaller.


Portable Generators Buyer’s Guide 2020

A portable generator is a highly useful device that could be used for wide range of applications including recreational activities like camping, running the job site or using for the purpose of emergency power. At present, several options in portable generators are available in the market in many models. This makes the selection somewhat difficult since you are not able to narrow the choices down. In this case, this buying guide for best portable generators can help you find the best option based on your demands and other important preferences. Few important things should be considered before buying a portable generator so that you can count on the best choice available. Some of these factors include:

Outlets and power:

First of all, it is important that you find out the amount of power needed from the portable generator such that it can support the intended tasks. For instance, less amount of power, nearly 700 watts is needed for running a refrigerator but starting that up might demand the power that is almost 3 times of that.
It is also important to consider the outlets. Some USB ports and a couple of 120V AC outlets might be typically used by a smaller generator. The required wattage is increased with the size of generator. For instance, a 240V plug might be needed for 4000 watts power.

Type of fuel:

The generator that is most commonly available is the one powered by gas. In case it is needed to use the generator for some emergency, the option that comes up easy is fuel. On the other hand, more fuel efficiency is offered by the diesel generators but their cost also rises accordingly.

A solar panel could be used for recharging the generators that are powered by battery. Their emissions are zero and the operation is also much quieter. However, the cost of these generators is also more and recharging them also takes some time. The power of not over 1800 watts is offered by these and therefore the best usage of these generators is for recreational purposes only like tailgating or camping.

Fuel tank:

The running time of portable generator is quiet longer when the fuel tank is somewhat bigger. Power offered by some of these generators at load of 50% is for 7-9 hours. A larger tank also indicates heavier generator and therefore this factor must also be kept in mind since portability of the device depends on its weight.


The engines having electric start serve to be great options but their cost is also high. Batteries of lead-acid are used by several portable generators similar to those available in the automobiles. Batteries of lithium ion are also used in the other options.

Level of noise:

The operation of generators that are small in size is super quiet while that of other is a bit louder. For the recreational use like that for camping, an ideal option is the generator that is small in size since other people in your surroundings are not bothered by its operation. However, when the requirement is for portable generators that are larger in size, the factor of quiet operation might not be readily available. Compared to the generator that is powered by gas, the noise of diesel fuel generator is also louder.


This is another important factor that must be considered while buying portable generator. Pdf copies are available online in most of the company sites so that you can have direct access by downloading them on phone to go through the safety notes.

Take note of these tips for buying portable generator and select the best option available based on your requirements and other relevant factors.

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