A dependable generator is worth its weight in gold when the power goes out. A power outage can range from a minor inconvenience to highly dangerous depending on location and your age. If you live in a warm climate, you know how important it is to run an air conditioner unit in the summer. People die from heat strokes every year and power outages amplify the issue. You need a dependable portable generator at times to keep your food in the refrigerator from going bad and to keep lifesaving medical devices running.
There are more portable generators on the market than ever before. You can get different sizes and models depending on your needs. It’s good to research before buying because you want to make sure you get the generator that will power what you need to make it through a long power outage in your area. The lights can go out, but you can power through by buying a dependable portable generator before the storm hits.
You may face a spike in portable generator prices if you wait until AFTER the power goes out in your area. People have been known to go to stores and buy out all of their generators only to sell them at an inflated cost to their neighbors. It happens during every hurricane or widespread natural disaster. You could find yourself unable to find a generator because stores are sold out for weeks and your only option may be to pay 5x the going price from an individual. Don’t get caught up in that situation – buy a good portable generator BEFORE you actually need it and you won’t regret it when the lights go out.
The Best Portable Generators
Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with Remote Electric Start
The Westinghouse WGen 7500 Generator is one of the best portable gas generators you will find. It comes equipped with a remote electric start so you don’t have to go out into the storm to crank it up.
This portable generator has a powerful 420cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV engine that puts out a lot of juice and can keep your house running with ease. 7500 running watts and 9500 peak watts is the sweet spot when it comes to portable generators.
You can run multiple appliances with this generator. You get a 12V battery charger, oil and oil funnel, handy tool kit, remote start key fob and a user’s manual to help you get acquainted with your Westinghouse generator.
It’s important to learn how to use a gas-powered home generator before you actually need it. Do a test run on a clear day so you will know what you’re doing in inclement weather or an emergency situation. You should know that all Westinghouse Portable Generators are tested in the factory before it gets to you to make sure it works to your standards. Backed by a 3-year limited warranty that covers service, labor and parts coverage just in case you need it.
The Westinghouse WGen7500 Generator is one of the best portable generators for home use because it’s powerful, mobile and easy to use. You can run this large portable generator up to 11 hours on a 6.6 gallon fuel tank which is hopefully all you would need until they get the power back on. However, it’s always a good idea to keep extra tanks of gas on hand just in case it takes a few days to get the power back on. This is one of the best generators for emergency preparedness in this price range.
DuraMax XP12000E 9,500 Watts Portable Dual-Fuel Generator
The DuraMax XP12000E is a portable generator that can power your home. In fact, it has one of the most powerful engines of any portable generator.
This dual-fuel portable generator can run off of gas or propane – it’s good to have options in an emergency situation. Equipped with a 457cc OHV engine that has 9,500 watts of running power and 12,000 watts cranking power, this is the generator that can run essential household appliances such as your home’s central A/C system, lights, microwave, TV, radio, refrigerator, deep freezer and more.
The robust power panel has multiple outlets such as 2 120V household GFCI outlets, 1 240V 50A outlet, 1 120V 30A twist lock outlet and 1 240V 30A outlet which gives you multiple options. You never know what you will need in an emergency situation, so it’s best to have more options just in case.
Don’t worry about overloading this powerful home generator because it is equipped with individual breaks on the power panel that will keep you and your family safe. The DuraMax is one of the best dual-fuel portable generators on the market. The DuroMax comes packaged with a spark plug wrench, wheel & handle kit, tool set, oil funnel and the product manual. The DuraMax has a large gas tank that can hold 8.3 gallons, which is more than most portable home generators.
Durostar DS10000E Gas Powered Portable Generator for Home Use
The Durostar boasts an 18HP 440cc OHV engine that has 8,000 running watts and 10,000 peak watts to adequately power your home and get you out of a jam. It has plenty of power and can run high-voltage large appliances, A/C units, TV, small appliances and heavy-duty power tools.
You can choose between operating the Durostar Portable Generator with both 120V and 240V at the same time or 120V solo with full power. The choice is yours. You get the DuroStar DS10000E Portable Gas Generator, sparkplug wrench, essential tool set, oil funnel, DC charging cables, wheel & handle kit and owner’s manual so you know how to set it up before using. Remember, practice starting your home generator before the storm hits.
The power panel is heavy-duty and gives you multiple options to work with including 2 120V household outlets, 1 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet, 1 120V 30A twist lock outlet and 1 120/240V 50A outlet for heavy-duty work. You also get with your generator kit 12V DC charging posts so you can charge your external batteries and a voltmeter.
They really thought of everything when they designed this large gas portable generator.
Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
The Generac 7127 is quieter than Honda generators and packs quite a punch. Designed with a tough steel enclosure for bad storms.
The clean inverter power is perfect not only to power your appliances during a storm but also for recreational uses or job sites. This is the type of small generator you want to have in your garage. It features power rush advanced technology, digital smart LCD, fuel level, digital wattage meter and best of all – run time remaining display. We enjoy the run time remaining display because it lets you know how much time you have left.
You don’t want to run out of power at the wrong time and the Generac makes sure you know how much time remains. It also has USB ports so you can charge your phone, tablets and other mobile devices. The Generac inverter technology puts out 16% more power than Honda and 40% less noise.
You can easily power a refrigerator, microwave, fan, lights, laptop, power tools and more all at the same time without an issue. Fully equipped with an electric start, this small standby generator is perfect for home use, job sites or recreational use.
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
Everyone knows Honda makes a great generator. They’re famous for being powerful and super quiet at the same time. Just mention a Honda portable generator and the first thing people say is that they run quiet. These are perfect for home power outages, but also great for the RV and campsite. You never know when or where you will need a generator, good thing this one is light-weight and easy to transport. Operating at 48 to 57 dBA, which is less noise than your everyday conversation in the office.
Here’s the kicker – you can buy two of these and they can be paralleled with a cable for upwards of 4400 watts of power. You can’t beat it! Depending on how you use this generator, it can run up to 9.6 hours on just one gas tank. That can get you through a hot day or a scary night without power.
Champion Power Equipment 100307 4375/3500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
If you’ve been researching portable generators online, you’ve likely come across the Champion Power Equipment Dual-Fuel Generator. This the perfect generator for a home, camper or RV and will allow you to use all of your electrical components in your camper and power refrigerators, freezer, microwave, computer, A/C unit and other essential electronics during a power outage.
This portable generator has enough juice to run a 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner as well. Dual-Fuel means it runs on either gasoline or propane and you can safely switch between fuel sources. If you use gasoline, the engine can product up to 4375 starting watts and 3500 running watts for 9 hours. If you use a 20-pound propane tank instead, it will produce 3950 starting watts with 3150 running watts to run for up to 10.5 hours. You can fill up some gas cans and have a few propane tanks and you’re good to go for days with this portable dual-fuel generator.
Jackery Power Station Explorer 1000 Solar Generator
The Jackery Power Station Explorer 1000 is a light weight generator that packs a ton of power. It’s made of hard plastic instead of metal which helps lighten the load and makes this generator easier to use.
It comes equipped with multiple AC and DC outputs and is perfect for home backup power, outdoor parties, worksites, RV-ers and campers. You never know when you will need power and the Jackery Power Station just made it easier than ever. This generator has a 1000W wattage and has 3 standard AC outlets so you can power more appliances at the same time.
This portable generator is perfect for RVs and can power fans, fridges, ovens, space heaters, coffee makers and electronics. It can help you out of a bind when you lose power in your home due to inclement weather. Easily run a refrigerator, radios, cell phones, fans, computers and anything else you need to stay safe and secure in your home during an emergency event. You also can have a solar power option with the Jackery Generator. Recharge in 8 hours by connecting 2 100W solar panels with the adapter cable and get even more use.
Here’s what comes in the box: the Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station, 1 car charging cable, 1 AC adapter, 1 SolarSage Parallel adapter cable and a user guide to walk you through the process.
Pulsar G12KBN Heavy Duty Dual-Fuel Generator
This powerful generator will likely exceed your household power needs. It’s dual-fuel, which means it can run off of gasoline or propane. This emergency generator can power your home efficiently with 12,000 peak watts gasoline and 10,800 peak watts LPG.
The dual fuel feature is a great option to have in an emergency situation or natural disaster because you never know what fuel sources will be available. You can almost always find propane and it’s easy to store. The Pulsar Generator has a 457cc engine that’s single cylinder, 4-stroke, air cooled and has a handy electric start that makes it easier to use in a rough situation.
This is all protected by a durable powder coated from that is sturdy enough for any use. It has a large 8-gallon gas tank that will allow you to use your generator for up to 12 hours of continuous use. This gives you time to cool your house or RV down during the day and power your refrigerator to keep food from spoiling.
The power panel comes fitted with 4 120V 20A AC outlets, 1 120V/240V 50A outlet, 1 120V/240V 30A twist-lock outlet and a 12V DC output so you can power multiple appliances simultaneously. This portable generator is heavy due to the sturdy construction and quality materials, but it comes with handles and never-flat wheels so you can roll it where you need it.
WEN 1550-Watt Light-Weight Portable Gas Generator
The WEN Generator is a super lightweight portable generator that’s perfect for those on the go. Great for RVs, emergency home backup power, camping, worksites and just plain fun.
The powerful 4-stroke 98cc engine gives you 1350 running watts and 1550 surge watts. The lightweight design makes this one of the best standby generators you can own. It only weighs 55.8 pounds, which is a lot less than other generators. Run this little beast for a full 7.5 hours on just 1.1 gallons of gas. Equipped with 2 AC 120V 3-prong wall outlets and 1 small 12V DC outlet to give you plenty of power options for your appliances and electronics.
It has safety measures in place such as a fuel gauge, voltage regulator and low-oil shut down so you don’t burn up the motor. You will find that the WEN generator is a great value when compared to the Honda generators as they have similar qualities and are substantially cheaper. WEN stands by their product with a 2-year warranty in the rare event you have issues with it. They make these in larger models also.
WEN 56202i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
This is the larger version that WEN makes. Not only is it more powerful, but it’s also a super quiet generator that is comparable to Honda models. The 79.7cc 4-Stroke OHV engine can produce 1700 rated watts and 2000 surge watts and is perfect for emergency power outages, natural disasters, work sites, camping, RVs and just to have around the house.
This portable generator produces clean power that can easily power your electronics when you need them. The power panel includes 2 three-prong 120V receptables, 2 5V USB ports and 1 12V DC receptable so you can use it for multiple functions. One of the biggest complaints with portable generators is the noise, but you won’t have that problem with this extremely quiet WEN generator. Fitted with a 1-gallon gas tank that can run 7 hours and keep you comfortable. You’re protected by a 2-year warranty on this product. The WEN 56202i is one of the best quiet portable generators you can buy.
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
You can crank the Champion Generator right out of the box when the power goes out. Dual fuel, so it runs on either propane or gasoline and pushes 3400 watts. Safety features include a low oil shut-off sensor to ensure you don’t burn up the engine. This is one of the best quiet portable generators at 59 dBA and makes it perfect for camping, tailgating, RVs and emergency power for your home. It features 3100 running watts and 3400 starting watts and can run for 7.5 hours on gasoline. The power panel is equipped with a 120V 30A RV and two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity. The Champion portable generator also has a 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter.
How Do I Choose a Portable Generator?
Most homes only need a portable gas generator that can power major appliances such as a refrigerator, deep freezer, air conditioning unit, a few fans and a TV. You don’t need to get a commercial generator that can power your entire home. A portable gas generator can power these items if you get one with enough juice. You will need to purchase larger power cords to plug into your appliances, so make sure you get everything you need before a storm hits. You will need to choose a portable gas generator with enough wattage for your appliances or it won’t work. A small generator will only power a few small appliances, while a larger model can power everything you need with the proper attachment cables. Keep in mind a powerful generator could weight upwards of over 200 pounds, but it’s better to have one that can power everything you need instead of having to unplug and move things around often.
What Size Generator is Best for Home Use?
Depending on what you consider essential in your household, you have plenty of options. You can run an entire home with a generator that has around 7500 running watts. A generator this size should allow you to run all of your appliances at the same time. A generator producing 5,000 to 7,500 watts can power most household appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, lights, electronics, A/C unit, fans and even well pumps.
What Size Generator is Best for an RV?
An RV or campsite can probably get by with a 3,000 or 4,000 watt generator. The best advice we can give you when choosing the right size for your generator is to purchase the smallest generator that will power what you need. You don’t want one too small, nor do you want a huge monstrosity when all you need is a few small appliances. You will end up wasting gas for items you don’t need or use.
What is the Best Generator for Camping?
Camping can be a great way to spend quality time with your family or to just get away from the stress of work for a while. You can camp primitively with no electronics, or you can bring your devices and appliances to make your stay a little more comfortable. The best camping generators can power your essential gear and make your camping experience even better.
You will want to get a quiet generator for camping so you can truly enjoy the great outdoors. Many campsites have noise level requirements and you don’t want to be the guy running a loud engine and inconveniencing other campers.
You Have a Few Considerations When Choosing the Best Camping Generator:
- Size: You will want a light-weight generator for the campsite so you can move it easily. You don’t want to struggle with a huge generator when you only need a small or mid-size generator to power everything you need.
- Power: Inverter generators can easily power your electronics on a camping trip. You probably only need 2-3 thousand watts to keep juice flowing to your camping appliances.
- Noise: You will want a quiet generator for camping. Many campsites have noise levels that you must adhere to, so you will want a generator that is not only powerful, but quiet as well
How Do I Use a Generator?
One of the biggest problems that we saw with the most recent hurricane in our area was a drove of people purchased portable gas generators and didn’t know how to use them. They tried to return them to the store thinking they were broken only to find out it was user error. The other issue that happen was multiple people died from carbon monoxide poisoning. They didn’t store their portable gas generators in a well-ventilated area. You must always use a generator outdoors and as far away from the home as possible. It’s important to purchase a generator ahead of time and learn how to use it properly. You can watch videos on how to start your generator and how to maintain it when not using it. There’s nothing more disappointing than trying to start your generator in the dark only to find out it won’t start.
What is the Most Reliable Portable Generator?
The list provided has a sample of the most reliable portable generators on the market. This is based on user reviews and quality. First, you have to determine what type of generator you want and how large you need to power your home, RV or camp. Every portable generator on our list has been put through numerous tests and have proven to be reliable and the best in their class.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.