Best Small Portable Generators

Generators are a lifesaver, aren’t they?

Great for camping trips to keep your followers up-to-date with any mishaps, help power your RV, or save you in times of a power outage from throwing all your frozen goods!

Small portable generators in particular are great for those and a range of other uses.

Lightweight, compact, and often quiet, they are handy to have around the house or saved for those wonderful camping trips. 

But finding the right one can be tricky, can’t it? Especially if you are a first-time buyer there are so many options out there! 

Thankfully for you, we have got you covered! Keep reading to find the best small portable generators, a buyer’s guide showing you what to look out for, and our FAQ section to help you leave here today a generator savvy shopper! 

OUR TOP PICK

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

The WEN 56200i generator is a great option for camping, domestic use, or other recreational activities. 

This black and orange compact generator is great for traveling thanks to its compact size of 18 x 11 x 18 inches, great for camping or outdoor use. 

Weighing in at 48lbs empty, slightly heavier once your fuel is in, it's a lightweight generator that can be carried around easily. 

The generator boasts 2,000 watts of surge power and 1,600 watts at running power. Powerful enough for almost all domestic and recreational activities, and it offers spike free electricity usage. 

Designed to produce clean electricity, you can easily use this generator to power your phones, tablets, or even your TV without worrying about their sensitive internal components. 

WEN’s generator is also super quiet. The noise emitted is the same level as a normal conversation according to the US department of health and human sciences, meaning it won’t keep you up at night camping! 

Although if you are anything like me, it's the thought of an outdoor toilet that keeps me awake! 

The generator offers 2 3 prong 120V receptacles, 1 12V DC, and 1 5V USB port to plug in a range of devices. 

The eco-mode feature is a great addition, as it allows the generator to adjust its fuel consumption which shall help you save on electricity, and of course, money!

Speaking of money, WEN’s generator is decently priced too so it shouldn’t hurt your budget. A great option for those looking for power on the go! 

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • 2,000 watts (1,600 running)
  • Eco-mode to save fuel and money 
  • Quiet operation 
  • Safe for a range of devices

Con

  • Oil needs to be changed every 25 hours 

Want to know even more? We have an extended review of this product right here: 

WEN 56200i Generator Review 

More time to browse? Check out our other great recommendations below…

EDITORS CHOICE

Champion’s 2000 Watt Generator offers you a space-saving hack by being stackable! Great for those looking to save some space when it comes to their generators. 

It also features a parallel ready design, which allows you to connect the generator to another 2000 watt inverter to double your power! Great for those days when you need that extra boost of power. 

With this generator, you will get 2,000 watts starting and 1,700 watts of running power too with a run time of 9.5 hours. 

The power used is clean too, great for sensitive electrical devices. The clean electricity has less than 3% THD and offers 2 120V 20A household outlets and a 12V DC outlet. 

The generator offers ultra-quiet operation making it a great choice for camping, after all, beauty sleep is important no matter where you are! The quiet performance was loved by customers, especially when used on the eco-mode. 

Eco-mode is a fantastic feature on this generator. It reduces the electrical load to promote a quieter operation. It also helps to extend engine life and provides a better fuel economy, saving you money in the long-term!  

The gasoline-powered generator even comes with a low oil sensor that will save you the gut dropping feeling of running out when you need your generator most!

Customers raved about how long this generator lasts with some customers having it for years with no issues, great for those looking for a long-lasting generator. 

To help keep your generator working, Champion offers not only a 3-year limited warranty but free lifetimes technical support as well! You are in safe hands here. 

Some customers did note that when the generator arrived they found some parts needed to be attached and had to do this themselves, so you may need to have some tools on hand! 

The generator is lightweight, weighing 48.8lbs, and comes with a built-in carry handle to make transportation a breeze!

You even get your engine oil thrown in with this one, which provides even better value for money with this generator!

Pros

  • Can be stacked and double your power 
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Smart economy mode 
  • 3-year warranty
  • Great value for the price

Con:

  • Some customers found it was delivered with parts that still needed to be attached which they had to do themselves

BEST VALUE

Honda EU2200iTAG 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator with CO-Minder

The newly released model from Honda is a great option. It's an expensive option but one we think is worth looking at!

It’s an upgrade from a firm favorite the Honda 2000i (which has now been replaced!) and offers a whopping 10% more power than its predecessor. 

This generator provides 2,200 watts of power in a lightweight and compact package that's great for those wanting to use this for traveling. 

The generator is fitted with CO-MINDER, an advanced carbon monoxide detection system.

The system will continually monitor carbon monoxide (CO) levels and shut the generator down before the CO levels near the generator get seriously high, great for those after a safe generator!

Honda’s generator also comes with an app and Bluetooth built-in. The smartphone app allows you to remotely control your generator, being able to start, stop, and monitor its operation from afar! 

Some customers found the app a little difficult to use at first, so be sure to persevere with this one! 

Thanks to its compact size, it is easy to transport and store when you aren’t using it. The generator is fitted with a Honda GXR120 commercial series engine, the top of its class, and gives you commercial-grade reliability. 

Working with a 120V this is a great generator for those who want power and outstanding performance!

Pros

  • 10% more power than the previous model 
  • Lightweight and compact 
  • CO-MINDER to monitor Carbon Monoxide levels 
  • App for remote control of the generator 
  • Commercial-grade engine  

Con

  • Expensive

RUNNER UP

Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter,Blue

Yamaha’s generator is a great option for those after a lightweight and super quiet generator. 

Giving slightly less power than competitors at 1,600 watts on an AC output, this 120V generator is designed to be as quiet as possible. 

Featuring a super quiet muffler you will find this generator to be one of the quietest around! 

The smart throttle varies engine speed based on the load to improve fuel economy and reduce noise. The inverter system with Pulse width motivation control. 

Easy to travel with, the generator is lightweight weighing 44 lbs, and features a parallel function which allows you to double your power with another generator. Perfect for when you need that extra boost. 

The generator provides clean power to support your devices without any worries about the internal components being impacted. 

Compared to its previous model, the new controller on this generator can power a wide range of devices. 

You’ll get 10.5 hours of run time with this generator, but take care, as some customers found that if it was not used for a while the pilot jet clogs. Not a worry if you are going to use your generator often! 

Pros

  • Lightweight design 
  • 1,600 watts running and 2,000-watt max output 
  • Super quiet muffler
  • 10.5 hrs run time 
  • Clean power to support a range of devices

Con

  • Some customers found the pilot jet clogs if it is not used frequently 

RUNNER UP

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160, 167Wh Lithium Battery Backup Power Supply with 110V/100W (Peak 150W) AC Outlet for Outdoors Camping Fishing Emergency (Renewed)

Those looking for greener energy, need to look no further than Jackery’s portable generator! A slightly more expensive option, but one that stands behind green power. 

Producing 1000 watts of power, this compact generator is great for those using it on the go! And when I say compact, I mean compact. This generator measures in at 13 x 9.2 x 11 inches and offers 110V. 

Built with a lithium-ion battery pack for cleaner energy, this generator is designed for charging phones, tablets, laptops, and other small electronics. 

The generator has 1 AC outlet, 1 USB C port, 2 USB ports, and 1 standard DC 12V port, for all your charging needs! 

What's unique about this generator is that it uses solar power to recharge. By connecting the generator to solar panels, Jackery's solar saga is compatible, you can re-charge without using additional electricity. 

The generator also comes with a built-in LED flashlight with SOS mode, great for camping.

It has a solid handle making it easy to carry. Those looking for a more environmentally friendly generator need look no further! Although please bear in mind that you will need to have or purchase solar panels to recharge. 

Pros

  • Green power solution
  • Able to power phones, tablets, and other small electronics
  • Sturdy handle to carry
  • Compact size 
  • Recharges with solar for cleaner energy

Con

  • Does not come with the solar panels to recharge

Best Small Portable Generators Buying Guide

Not quite sure what the best fit is for you?

Take a look at our buyer’s guide to see what to keep an eye out for! 

What watt?

When purchasing your small portable generator, it's important to make sure you get the right power level. This is usually measured in watts for your generators. 

Going to a generator that won’t have enough power will leave you disappointed and frustrated, not ideal after spending your hard-earned money. 

Small portable generators may not have as much power as larger generators, but that doesn’t mean they won’t pack a punch! Some of these portable generators have been able to keep people's homes running during storms, so you certainly won’t lose out by opting for one of these!

Be sure to check the wattage needed for the devices you may want to run on your generators so you aren’t disappointed and find the perfect one for you!

Most of the generators on today's list can go up to 2,000 watts which should be more than enough for you! 

Running On?

Most commonly, portable generators will be gas generators.

They will have a small engine in them that burns gas to produce the power you are after. This means you will need gas to maintain the generator. 

Although some generators aren’t built for it, providing you have enough gas, you could run a gas generator theoretically forever, providing you with excellent value for money! 

Gas generators tend to be the most compact as well making them a great option for those after a portable and travel-friendly generator. 

Some generators will come with a low oil sensor, indicating when it will need to be changed, handy to avoid nasty surprises! Generally, when you purchase the generator it will tell you the run time, though this will vary depending on how much the generator is running.

Gas generators are often easy to set up as well, making them even handier than they already are! 

You can opt for a diesel portable generator, but generally, they tend to be very noisy and aren’t ones we would recommend to take camping with you. 

Diesel generators are generally more fuel-efficient than gas and will run longer on the same amount of fuel, which in turn can save money on fuel! Be sure to consider other factors such as noise, portability, and cost when making this purchase. 

You can opt for a greener generator using solar power and rechargeable batteries. These provide you with cleaner changes (no oil stains on clothes, yay!) but the obvious downside being that you will need solar panels to recharge, which can be an added cost. This does also make them a little less travel friendly, as if you needed to re-charge on your travels you would need solar panels, and who often has space for those?

Voltage?

Usually, portable generators are geared to supply power to household electronics. Depending on where you live these either work on 110V or 220V to work properly. Check the voltage your devices need to make sure the generator you choose can support these. 

Some portable generators have the option to adjust the voltage, handy if you are using it for any specialized electronics, but we recommend only doing that if you know what you are doing!

It’s best to get a generator that can cope with the voltage you need to save time and avoid any safety issues! 

Outputs?

Once you’ve worked out how much power you will need, it's important to consider how you are getting the power from the generator and into your devices.

Generators usually have power outlets where you can plug your devices in, but be sure to check how many outputs are available. This information should be listed in the product details when looking for your generator. 

For those who are looking to charge a range of devices at the same time, you may be hard-pressed to find a generator with say 10 or more outputs, but you could use a power strip to expand the number of outlets, although be sure to keep in mind the wattage. 

The more devices you are plugging in, the more power it's going to take, so bear that in mind! 

Consider as well the types of outputs that are available. These days modern generators offer USB ports to charge smartphones and tablets directly, freeing up your power outlets for other things. 

For those not too sure what is best for them, a generator with a few power outlets and some USB ports is a good option to go for, especially if the generator is going to power a few people and their devices on a camping trip for example. 

Size Matters

If you are after a small portable generator, then yes, lads I am afraid size does indeed matter. The smaller the generator, the less space it will take up, great for those trying to save as much space as possible. 

Smaller generators are great for those looking to travel and camp with a generator, it saves your backseat passengers from being squished! 

Be sure that the dimensions will suit your portable generator needs, make sure your car or how you intend to travel with your portable generator, has enough space for it. 

Remember that you don’t need to compromise on energy with these smaller generators, as these days most can produce up to 1600 watts. That's enough to power up almost all domestic and recreational activities! 

How Much?

The price of small portable generators can vary considerably, so it’s best to have a clear budget in mind before you begin your search. 

While the price may vary, it does not mean you need to compromise on a budget! You can get some excellent generators without spending a fortune. Those savvy shoppers among you may want to keep an eye out for any flash sales to make the most of your pennies! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Small Portable Generator?

A generator is a device that will allow you access to power when you are outdoors, or in a power outage for example. Essentially, if you need power, a generator will come to your aid! 

A small portable generator is a generator that is small in size and you can travel with it thanks to its portability. They generally run off gasoline, allowing them to be portable and will provide a good level of power. 

They can be used for all manner of things, running your house, devices when camping, RV’s, the list is endless! 

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    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.