If you’ve ever been stuck for a long period of time in a power outage, you probably realize how useful and valuable a portable generator can be. Easy to transport and great for areas without access to conventional power sources, a portable generator can mean the difference between comfort and disaster.

There are a lot of models to choose from and here in our handy guide, we cover all of the basics. We’re here to help you choose the best portable generator to meet your individual needs.

Pre-Purchase Considerations

  • Portable generators are great for providing adequate power to small appliances during prolonged power outages. They are also a great convenience for camping, tailgating, and limited power tool use on construction job sites. However, they are not strong enough for the heavy drain of larger appliances like central air conditioning. A larger generator should be considered to run full, draining electrical loads.
  • Portable generators require large amounts of gasoline, propane, or diesel, fuels that are extremely flammable and hazardous. It is important to handle the fuel for your portable generator with care and follow all manufacturers’ safety instructions.
  • If you plan to regularly transport your generator, it is important to consider weight and dimensions before making your decision. Smaller, lighter models are good options for tailgating, camping, and other travel-related activities.

Top 10 Portable Generators

PictureNameRunning WattagePriceRating (1-5)
Running Wattage
Rating (1-5)
1. Honda EU2200iTAG 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 2200 watts$$$4.8
2. WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start 4750 watts$4.5
3. Champion Power Equipment 76533 3800 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start 3800 watts$$4.6
4. WEN 56200i, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator 1600 watts$4.6
5. WEN 56235i Super Quiet 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut Off 2350 watts$4.6
6. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start 3400 watts$$$4.7
7. Yamaha EF2400iSHC, 2000 Running Watts/2400 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter 2000 watts$$$$4.4
8. Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 4500 watts$$$4.4
9. Rainier R12000DF Dual Fuel (Gas and Propane) Portable Generator with Electric Start 12000 watts$$$4.3
10. Goal Zero 23000 Yeti 400 Solar Generator 300 watts$4.4

Tips for Buying a Portable Generator

Don’t purchase your portable generator without first reading the information in this section.

  • Fuel. Traditional electrical generators take the energy stored in fossil fuels such as propane, gasoline, or diesel, and convert it into mechanical energy. However, some more modern generators actually use power sources like car batteries or solar panels.
  • Electrical Load. It is important to consider the electrical load your portable generator will need to support. This will require a little bit of basic math. You will need to add up the wattage requirements for the appliances or tools you wish to power and match your needs with a generator’s wattage output.

The greater the generator’s wattage, the more power it generates. It is also important to remember that the higher the generator’s wattage output, the more fuel it will require to run effectively and efficiently.

  • Wheels. Don’t forget that transporting a heavy unit like this is much easier if you can wheel it around rather than carry it.

This isn’t a crucial feature, but it is one to take into consideration as you compare and contrast all of the models.

Top 3 Best Portable Generator Reviews

1. Honda EU2200iTAG 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

The Honda Generator runs so quietly that you’ll forget it’s even running. You’ll be able to carry on a conversation, listen to music, or hear the television without even having to turn up the volume.

In spite of its whisper-quiet motor, it is still powerful enough to run most of your household essentials including, lights, refrigerator, and television.

Lightweight for easy portability, the Honda Generator is a great option for use as emergency back-up power, or for camping and tailgating. You’ll love the way this generator powers up easily, often on the first pull.

Its durability, dependability, and easy serviceability make this the best portable generator on the market today.

2. WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator

The WEN 56475 Portable Generator is just the kind of insurance you need for natural disasters and power outages. Its dependability and rugged power are enough to provide peace of mind in a number of situations.

It is strong enough to power household essentials, your RV campsite, or even a small backyard workshop.

It starts up easily right out of the box, usually on the first or second pull. Lightweight and quiet, the WEN 56475 Portable Generator is everything you want in a portable generator. You just can’t go wrong with this one.

3. Champion Power Dual Fuel RV Ready

Conveniently running on either gasoline or propane and starting up with just the push of a button, this Champion Portable Generator is ready to run straight out of the box. Runs great in both cold and hot weather, making it very convenient for midwinter, freezing temperature power outages.

It runs smoothly even with extended use. It comes ready to hit the road with a standard 30A RV outlet, making it a great choice for camping or cross-country travel.

Strong enough to power all of your essentials, and durable enough to stand up to harsh weather conditions, the Champion Power Equipment Dual Fuel Portable Generator is a great investment.