10 Best Quiet And Portable Generators For Camping

Camping is a popular activity for those that like to get away from the stresses of everyday life and enjoy some relaxing time in nature.

There is something wonderful about embracing the natural environment and sleeping in the great outdoors. However, going camping can be stressful if you don't have the things you need. 

10 Best Quiet And Portable Generators For Camping

You may rely on solar power for an environmentally effective option for your energy needs, but it’s good to have a backup in case the weather is questionable and sun limited.

Choosing the right generator is important, especially when it comes to the noise.

The motor can be annoyingly loud as it passes through the exhaust, but thankfully there are plenty of options currently on the market that offer quiet generators for a more peaceful holiday. 

Let’s look at some options.

OUR TOP PICK

WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator w/Fuel Shut Off, CARB Compliant, Ultra Lightweight

This generator has been approved by the US Department of Health.

The noise is no louder than a normal conversation (51 decibels at quarter load) and the generator is super light and easy to transport. 

It produces 1700 rated watts and 2000 surge watts and is safe for charging all devices, The fuel shutoff feature improves the lifespan providing a cost-effective purchase.

The control panel has user-friendly indicators to alert when oil is low etc. Overload protection is included.

It comes complete with one 12V 8.3A DC receptacle, two three-prong 120V 14A NEMA 5-20R and several 5V USB ports. 

The generator is reliable if looked after, and reviews are positive. Most agree that the generator is smooth and quiet, as well as super efficient.  

Pros

  • Approved by US DOH 
  • Light and portable 
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • Doesn’t include a grounding wire 

EDITORS CHOICE

Generac 76711 GP1200i 1200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator, Orange and Black

The Generac 76711 is so popular it’s currently out of stock, but it’s due back soon so do not fear. The enclosed design contributes to the quietness of this generator.

It comes equipped with an economy mode which makes it highly efficient and is able to adjust engine speed accordingly to reduce sound and emissions. 

The generator is easy to transport and has a convenient carry handle.

Many users have found it to be handy not only for camping, but also in emergencies such as power outages in the home. 

Pros

  • Economy mode/fuel efficient 
  • Carry handle 
  • Able to be used as backup generator

Cons

  • Out of stock currently 

BEST VALUE

Champion Power Equipment 100573 4000-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter, Wireless Remote Start, 4000-Watt + Gas + Remote Start

This powerful generator boasts 3500 wattage. Only producing clean power, it’s a great choice for those hoping to reduce their carbon footprint.

It also comes equipped with fuel saving economy options. 

The generator embraces new technology with a wireless key fob that can get it going at an 80-foot distance. The generator is able to run for 17 hours without the need for refueling.

The reduction in electrical load due to the economy mode means that this generator is a wonderfully quiet piece of kit. 

It also comes with a parallel kit for increased power needs.

You’ll need to connect up to an inverter that produces over 2800 watts or invest in a digital hybrid. It includes a wheel kit for easy transportation. 

Pros

  • Higher wattage than most 
  • Wireless technology 
  • 17 hour lifespan

Cons

  • Heavier than most 

RUNNER UP

This cute little generator is ideal for solo trips or weekends away. 

At only 43Lbs it’s a portable easy to carry option, but don’t be fooled, it’s super strong and can be used to power all essentials at home if needed during an outage.

Noise output is minimal and has a running time of 13 hours and has two 120v power outlets to power all your usual devices.

You can also combine with a second generator for extra power if needed. It’s quieter than a human conversation, so is ideal for nighttime charging. 

Pros

  • Small and portable 
  • Powerful 
  • Can be combined with second generator

Cons 

  • Has had some teething problem 

RUNNER UP

DuroMax XP12000HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start w/CO Alert, 50 State Approved, Blue

Although bigger than most, this generator comes with handy wheels for easy transportation.

The design allows you to identify when fuel is running low with a slick and easy interface allowing a swift change of fuel process. 

The generator uses both propane or gasoline, allowing you to switch between the two. 

Advanced technology means that if carbon monoxide is detected, the generator will shut down, so it’s a super safe option for all your power needs.

The 460cc OHV DuroMax Engine is able to power all appliances at home or on holiday. 

Pros

  • Easy wheels 
  • Extra safety features 
  • Dual fuel option

Cons

  • Not the quietest 

RUNNER UP

Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, Ultralight

For a 2000 watt, this cute little inverter generator offers the ultimate in portability. Super quiet, it runs as 58dBA and has a running time of 11.5 hours.

The fuel tank takes 1.1 gallons (ca. 4 l) and included in the price are charging cables, adaptors, oil, and funnel.

A great little all in 1 combo. USB ports included for charging smart devices. It comes parallel ready for extra power options. 

Pros

  • Super quiet 
  • Light 
  • High wattage

Cons

  • Dial not always 100% accurate 

RUNNER UP

Honda EU1000i Inverter Generator, Super Quiet, Eco-Throttle, 1000 Watts/8.3 Amps @ 120v (Red)

Low wattage, this economical inverter generator is a perfect little accompaniment for a camping trip.

Ideal For powering small tools, lights, phones, or devices.

Lightweight and compact, it's easy to carry anywhere and runs for 8 hours on half a gallon of fuel. It’s super quiet and hardly noticeable during conversation.

The reviews are positive and most buyers are impressed with what they get for their money.

Pros

  • Ideal for low power needs
  • Super quiet and portable
  • Perfect for camping trips

Cons

  • Use a lot of fuel when trailer batteries running low 

RUNNER UP

Duracell PowerSource Quiet Gasless Portable Power and Solar Generator, 1440w Output Inverter (1800w Peak)

This cute little gasless option is ideal if you’re looking for a super eco-friendly option for all your power needs.

Although lower wattage than most at 660, it has sufficient power for several devices and can be combined with an external battery for increased power needs. 

It is capable of running larger appliances such as refrigerators and can also be used indoors. The generator offers 2 USB ports, 12v DC ports and 1 AC outlets. 

Perhaps the best unique feature of this generator is its solar panel integrated within the unit.

It can pair up with solar panels using a standard connector. It also has a handy LCD, so you can easily identify wattage  used and low battery. 

Pros

  • Eco-friendly 
  • Accessible and easy to use 
  • Need solar panels to charge it

Cons

  • Isn’t the quietest option 
  • Need to plug in for charging if no solar panels 

RUNNER UP

BESTEK 2000W Power Inverter 3 AC Outlets DC 12V to 110V AC Car Power Converter for Camping Outdoor Power Supply ETL Listed

This red colored modified sine wave power inverter offers 2000 watts continuous power from DC to AC, making it a great option for firing up appliances and devices.

It’s capable of powering large appliances and comes with built-in protection from overload. 

The inverter is super durable and is built to last, so the perfect accompaniment to trips with rugged terrain or remote camping. It comes with extra battery clamps and 6 replaceable amps. 

Reviews are positive and reveal the converter is super quiet, with only a computer style fan that’s hardly noticeable.

It can power multiple devices and appliances simultaneously with no interruption. 

Pros

  • Uninterrupted power 
  • Durable and long-lasting 
  • Extras included in price

Cons

  • Can be heavy 

RUNNER UP

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start

This dual fuel option is easy to operate and benefits from a touch panel for easy operation. Four hundred watt and a 7.5 running time.

It’s ultra quiet, making it a great option for use near sleeping areas and provides clean power for all devices. 

The generator also has the benefit of cold start technology, which means it’s easy to crank up in cold weather.

It can run for 14.5 hours, making it one of the longest lasting generators currently on the market. It’s quiet, economical and easy to use. What’s not to like about this power bundle? 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Long-running time 
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Can be juicy

Best Quiet And Portable Generators For Camping Buying Guide

So, the above are some of the best generators currently on the market, but which one should you choose and what should you look for?

Wattage

Wattage really depends on the appliances you will need powering. There are handy charts available online to help gather information, and most appliances have stickers on the side stating  wattage information.

If you want to power several appliances at the same time you should invest in a larger, more powerful generator. 

Don’t be fooled though, some generators are great for powering up but aren’t so good for continuous use, so it’s worth considering before purchasing what will be most convenient for your needs.

Noise

The above product guide focuses on quiet generators, but why is this an issue? As any seasoned camper will tell you, however well you sleep,  a noisy generator may prevent a peaceful night's slumber, not to mention those around you.

Choosing a quiet generator will be one of the best camping decisions you make. 

Weight

Camping requires a lot of extra ‘stuff’. For a successful and comfortable trip there are many items that need to be transported and for this reason you’ll be glad to possess a portable and lightweight generator.

In recent years generators have become much more user-friendly so it isn’t hard to find convenient ones. Some of them come equipped with wheels and comfortable carry handles.

In general the higher the wattage the heavier the generator, but you can tackle this by buying two lower watts and linking them together. 

Fuel/solar 

If you’re travelling in a RV choose a generator with the same fuel type (petrol or diesel) This just makes it easier to transport and will avoid the risk of mixing up fuel and using the wrong type. 

Diesel generators provide the most power, but aren't the best for the environment. For the ideal eco-friendly option, choose a generator that requires solar power.

If your RV is equipped with solar panels, you can use a gasless generator that uses a connector to pair with solar panels; great for the environment and nice and quiet. 

Safety

It’s crucial to consider safety features of generators. If installing a generator pernamanaty to a vehicle, be sure to choose one with a transfer switch.

This stops energy getting transferred back into appliances and causes electrocution. Most generators will have this feature as standard.

Don't overload the generator and try and power more appliances than recommended, and extension cords should be avoided. Remember to follow the instructions for grounding the generator to avoid electrocution. 

Generators should always be used outdoors and never in vehicles or tents. Carbon monoxide is deadly, and some generators have a CM detector to minimize risk.

Try to keep it covered with some kind of structure, so it stays dry. Never put fuel in it when it’s turned on, and ensure hands are dry. Keep far away from children.

Try to avoid overfilling the fuel tank. Always allow the generator to cool down before refueling. In addition, you should never smoke nearby as gas is highly flammable. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What brand should I choose?

Brand will be largely dependent on budget. It’s useful to engage in some thorough research to identify the best, and most reliable brands and compare them to other cheaper brands if you’re on a budget. 

Some brands benefit from a great reputation for reliability and if affordable it’s advisable to choose one of these. However, there are some great alternative generators available, and you should read reviews before deciding on the right one for you. 

What's The Difference Between Surge Watts And Rated Watts?

Maximum watts or surge watts refers to how much power the generator is able to produce over a short period, and rated watts measures how much power it’s able to produce continuously. 

Choosing the right equipment for a trip can be challenging, but with the right information you’re able to make an informed choice. 

I'm an environment and energy blogger who teaches outdoor and energy enthusiasts how to be better informed when it comes to purchasing or maintaining a generator, solar panel system, or anything else related to your energy needs.