The Best 5 Portable Generators [2022 Edition]

The Best 5 Portable Generators [2022 Edition]

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Generators aren’t an easy purchase, and it’s acceptable to be confused when trying to figure out weight, fuel type, tank capacity, peak watts, engine displacement, and cost.

Need help determining which features are best in a generator? Do you have rules and regulations in your neighborhood that limit what kind or size of generator you can have? Wondering whether it’s better to purchase one from Walmart or Home Depot? Is it worth it to buy a used generator?

Need an honest review of generators in the market to help you determine which is best suited to your requirements?

We’ve done all the research necessary, so you don’t have to! Presenting our guide of the top 5 portable generators for 2022.

The Best 5 Portable Generators Of 2022

1. Honda EU2200i Portable Generator

Lightweight and compact at 46.5 pounds, the Honda EU2200i is the perfect portable companion for your home, job site, and camping trips. It can power a wide range of appliances that include small AC units, refrigerators, microwaves, hairdryers, etc.

Powered by the Honda GXR120 engine, this generator provides 1,800 watts of running power and 2,200 watts of surge power. It is a quiet portable generator with a noise level of 48 to 57 dBA. It’s hard to notice this generator working in the background as you carry on with your conversation or your sleep. With an average load, the 0.95-gallon fuel tank can run for 4 to 9 hours. Its impressive fuel efficiency is attributable to Honda’s exclusive Eco-Throttle system. Another great feature is its advanced Carbon Monoxide Detection System. It automatically detects dangerously high CO levels and shuts off the generator.

All Honda portable generators come with Honda’s advanced inverter technology. This is essential as you want to run your power-sensitive electronic equipment like computers, LED, DSLR, phones, tablets, security systems, etc., on a clean and stable power supply.

Preventing generator issues caused by stale fuel is easier than ever as the Honda EU2200i comes equipped with a fuel shut-off valve. Changing oil is also a simplified process with a bigger oil filler opening, longer spout, and larger oil drain gutter. Since the Honda EU2200i has parallel capability, adding more power is convenient. Now you can get double the power without having to invest in a heavier and more expensive generator. This is a huge bonus as heavier devices are difficult to maintain and operate.

You also get 36 months of residential and commercial warranty on this generator. Its increased durability is due to the high-quality magnets in its rotor, and the metal recoil rope insert. Read more user reviews at Amazon.

Key Features

The Honda EU2200i has a forced-air cooling system that increases its ventilation capacity. It also comes with an automatic mechanical decompressor and color-coded points that make start-up easier.

Additional safety features of the EU2200i include a USDA qualified spark arrester and an electronic circuit breaker.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Eco-Throttle system
  • Quiet
  • Fuel shut-off valve
  • CO detection system
  • Fuel efficient
  • Easy operation

Cons

  • 3 hour run at maximum load capacity
  • No fuel gauge

2. WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

In situations where getting a whisper-quiet generator is paramount, the WEN inverter generator delivers the ideal portable power at only 57 decibels at 25% load. The perfect balance of silence and functionality, this generator produces clean energy with no voltage spikes or drops. It can generate up to 3,400 rated watts of power and a surge off 3,800 watts with its 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine, which is air-cooled.

The WEN generator has an efficient fuel shutoff that turns off the flow of fuel to allow the unit to use any remaining fuel in the carburetor before it shuts off automatically. This is super important for the durability and safety of the device as it prevents blockages and buildup caused by stagnant fuel in the carburetor.

Made like a pure sine wave, the WEN 3800-W has less than 3% THD at no load and 1.2% when full thus safe for powering sensitive devices like laptops, tablets and phones. It’s lightweight, portable and compact design combined with the folding handle and the built-in wheels allow for easy movement from one place to another.

It has a 2.2-gallon tank, which can run for over 8.5 hours on 50% load. Other features include the Eco switch mode to maximize fuel economy, low oil and low-fuel automatic shutdown, overload protection, and indication lights. Its panel features one Ac 120V 30A NEMA TT-30R receptacle, two 3-prong 120V standard household receptacles, two 5V USB ports and a digital fuel and load display. Included is a spark arrestor for legal use in campgrounds and national parks. A 2-year warranty covers this product. Read more user reviews at Amazon.

Key Features

  • 212cc OHV engine
  • 3800 surge watts; 3400 rated watts
  • Safety features: fuel shutoff, low oil and low-fuel automatic shutdown, overload protection, and indication lights
  • Runs 8.5 hours at 50% load
  • Eco switch mode
  • 1.25 THD
  • 2.2 gallon tank
  • 2 year warranty

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design with wheels and handle for easy movement
  • Safety features included
  • Spark arrestor included in set for campgrounds and national parks
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant
  • Produces clean power to prevent damaging vulnerable electronics

Cons

  • While it promises to be ultra-silent, it is only quiet when on Eco mode
  • If the tank were a little bigger, users could get 10 hours. It currently offers 8.5 hours at half load
  • It is bulkier than other quiet generators
  • It is heavy and bulky

3. Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with Remote Electric Start

The Westinghouse is EPA, CPA, and CARB compliant. And like the WEN 56235i, this one too has a 420cc OHV engine. This translates to greater fuel savings!

It is the heaviest and high-capacity generator with a 6.6-gallon tank capacity and a total weight of 192 pounds. More capacity does come with its benefits, considering you get 7,500 running watts on this machine and a peak wattage of 9,500 watts. The only other generator to match this capacity and quality is the Generac portable generator GP6500 with its 8125 watts capacity.

It also has the highest runtime of 16 hours with a 25% load. Starting this generator is a breeze with its electric one-touch push-button and a remote start key fob. The key fob is very useful for camping trips when you need to start the engine from a 250 ft distance.

It has water-resistant GFCI outlets and four 120V standard household outlets with safety rubber covers. The WGen 7500 has features such as an intuitive control panel with a VFT display that gives real-time updates on lifetime hours, voltage output, and frequency. It is transfer switch ready, meaning you can connect this generator to your home anytime and get a continuous flow of electricity. It also has an onboard battery charger port, so you’re never out of power.

Its noise level of 72 dBA, placing it lower than a dishwasher on the noise scale. Unlike the previous generators, this one has a built-in fuel gauge and a durable casting iron sleeve. It is also compatible with both gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas fuel types.

You can use it to power your travel trailer, emergency home backup generator, and also for weekend DIY projects. It also features a built-in foam grip handle and solid polyurethane wheels to help give the generator some portability.

Buyers get a 3-year residential warranty, 1-year commercial warranty, and lifetime support on purchasing this generator. For a portable electric generator, the Westinghouse holds up very well. Read more user reviews at Amazon.

Pros

  • Very easy to maintain
  • Dual-fuel compatibility
  • Backup for home use
  • Easy setup
  • Increased wattage capacity
  • VFT display meter
  • Remote start key fob

Cons

  • Heavier than other types of generators
  • Faulty batteries make key fob and electric start-up troublesome at times

4. Champion Power Equipment 76533 Portable Generator

The Champion 76533 generator comes in a variety of start-up options like electric and recoil. Like the Westinghouse WGen, it also supports gasoline and propane fuel types with an added safety fuel selector switch. In addition, it comes with a 3.3-foot propane hose, so you can easily connect it to a 20-pound propane tank. The propane hose has an in-built regulator to control gas flow from the tank to the generator.

Depending on the fuel type, you can easily get a 9 to 10-hour runtime on this generator on half load capacity.

It comes with features like a low-oil shut-off sensor, Volt Guard surge protector, and Cold Start technology, along with the added convenience of a one-push electric start. Its power capacity is 4750 watts at startup and 3800 running watts. It’s got a single-cylinder four-stroke 224cc engine that reduces total fuel usage and uses an air cooling system. A circuit breaker ensures no overloading or short circuit causes damage to your appliances. And while we love all those features, the Champion’s sound level is 68 dBA from a 23 ft distance. This means that up close, the generator could be as loud as a radio or washing machine.

At 122 pounds, it is slightly lighter than the WGen Westinghouse. However, maneuvering it is quite simple because of the sturdy wheels and folding handle. Accessories included with the product are a regulator, oil funnel, wheel kit, engine oil, battery, and LPG hose. In addition, a durable cast iron sleeve protects the body of the generator. Another great feature is an Intelligauge 3 mode digital meter that helps users monitor voltage, power output, runtime, hertz, etc.

You can use it to power your RV, an event location, DIY projects, remote work sites, and also during power outages. The outlets included are One 120V 30A RV outlet (TT-30R), one 120V 30A locking outlet (L5-30R), and two 120V 20A household outlets. The Champion Power generator comes with a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support. It is compliant with EPA and CARB emission standards as well.

Overall, it is the best portable generator with some unique features you won’t see anywhere. Read more user reviews at Amazon.

Pros

  • Dual fuel type
  • Easy to assemble
  • Versatile
  • High capacity
  • Easy storage
  • Intelligauge

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Heavy

5. Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

The Westinghouse iGen2200 is a top quality inverter generator that produces 2,200 watts at its peak and 1800 running watts. This makes it ideal for emergencies at the house and recreational use. It can power most medium duty appliances and other devices that you need while on the go.

Running on a powerful 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse engine, the iGen2200 is created to adjust its speeds automatically thereby providing only the power required for better efficiency. The device is convenient, compact and lightweight, weighing only 46 pounds, with a carry handle for portability. For areas where noise is a concern, this ultra-quiet generator is community friendly as it only emits 52 dB (less than a normal conversation). Further, it has stable power at less than 3% THD making it ideal for use where one would want to power sensitive gadgets like phones, laptops and tablets.

Should you require more power, you can pair this generator with another similar type using a Westinghouse WHPC Parallel Cord. The generator is packed with safety features for durability, easy maintenance and protection that include overload protection and low oil shutdown. A 3 year limited warranty is provided upon purchase. Read more user reviews at Amazon.

Top Features

  • 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts
  • Gas powered
  • Two 120V 20 Amp Outlets, Two USB Outlets
  • 12 hour run time on 1.2 gallon gas tank
  • Parallel capable
  • EPA and CARB Compliant
  • Size: 19.8 x 11.4 x 17.9 inches
  • 3 year warranty

Pros

  • Quiet operation at 52dB
  • Clean and stable power at only Less Than 3% THD
  • Extremely lightweight at only 46 pounds
  • It features an economy mode for better fuel efficiency
  • Easily portable due to its compact size and a built-in suitcase style handle. Also makes it easy to store.
  • Features a powerful engine with a durable cast iron sleeve and automatic low oil shutdown

Cons

  • While it is parallel capable, the kit does not include the code
  • It is good to note that the company tests each product individually at the factory before sale so there may be residual oil and the smell of gas
  • This machine may rev from time to time

Faqs About Portable Generators

What Is the Most Important Feature To Check In a Generator?

Wattage capacity. It is important to check the generator’s wattage capacity against the wattage you need to run all your devices smoothly. Why? Simple. The generator’s output will determine how many devices you can run simultaneously. Don’t under or overestimate your home’s power needs by using our tips on calculating your wattage requirements.

How Many Watts Do I Need For My Home?

It depends on how much wattage you’re going to use at once. Check out this appliance energy calculator. Then add the highest wattage requirements of appliances you use simultaneously during peak hours. This will give you a rough idea of the wattage capacity needed to power your house.

What Safety Features Should I Look For?

Some safety features to look for are:

  • EPA, CPA, or CARB compliance
  • Circuit breakers
  • Spark arrestor
  • Surge protection
  • Low-oil and low-fuel shutdown

What Fuel Type Is Better?

It is generally better to go with a dual fuel type generator. Below are a few fuel types and their benefits.

Diesel: Diesel-type regulators need to be used regularly and are more expensive than the rest. However, the fuel itself is safer to store for long periods. It is low on maintenance and is also the most efficient fuel type.

Gasoline: Gasoline is the most common type of fuel used in generators. It is more efficient than propane. This is why it is easily available everywhere and affordable as well. Drawbacks include:

  • Low shelf life
  • Gasoline generators need to be refueled often and are higher on maintenance
  • Their lower flash point temperature makes them dangerous to store

Propane: Propane is less efficient than diesel and gasoline. However, if you’re the type to use your generator once and forget it, propane is better. It does not degrade as fast as the other fuel types when stored for long.

What Are the Best Generator Brands?

If you’re looking for reliable and well-established generator brands, consider Generac portable generators, Briggs & Stratton, Yamaha, Kohler, and Energizer.

Bottom Line

That’s our guide on 5 of the best portable generators for the year. We hope you can now shop for a generator, confident in your ability to understand features and match them to your requirements.