Small Portable Generators That You Cannot Afford to Miss!

Have you ever been stuck in a mess while a camping plan, all because you purchased a generator that gave up the moment you needed it to work the most? Are you a farmer who has gone through immense trials and tribulations just because the services that you needed on your farm got hampered? All of this because of the faulty generator that you bought by taking immense pain while burdening your pockets? 

All these situations suck to be in – any plan going wrong is an absolute nightmare; and if your backup just gives up? What can be more horrible than that? Wouldn’t it be more convenient to have a small and portable backup? Something reliable, which doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket?

Then, in that case, it is time that before you consider purchasing the best machine in the market, you read and do enough research! Now, we do understand that studies are hard, and let’s face it – reading through reviews can be quite BORING!

So, to help you through this process, and in order to deliver more clarity to you about the best in class equipment, we have compiled this article about small portable generators.

Why is it Important to Get the Right Generator for Yourself?

Even though we have no control over the power cuts and electricity loss, we should have control over the backup – in case of any important event or work. A backup that is reliable, sustainable and does not burn a hole in your pocket.  

start your portable generator

It is crucial to get yourself a generator that saves your money in the long run and is extremely reliable. It should be low maintenance in the areas of storage and accessibility. The generator you opt for should also exhibit flexibility and sustainability. 

Thus, it is evident that you need to bid on a portable generator which is small, efficient, and reliable. You need to read through the reviews, understand the products and choose one that suits your requirements. 

Product Reviews 

Here is our compilation of the ten best portable generators available in the market, along with their reviews – choose what suits you the best! 

1. Goal Zero Yeti 1000  

Goal Zero Yeti 1000

This sleek-looking machine does not only have the looks, but it is also quite a performer when it comes to getting the job done effectively and efficiently. The battery-powered cucciolo can also be solar powered and can keep your essential appliances charged for several days. It is also being considered one of the best solar generators.

It takes around 30 hours to fully charge if charged from a car’s 12V outlet, 18 hours if charged from a wall outlet, and mere 5 hours if charged from the exquisite Goal Zero solar panels that have to be bought separately. It even allows for pass-through power which means it can simultaneously be charged by solar panels while still being used for charging your appliances. When fully charged, it can provide around 17 charges for a laptop, 200+ hours for lights and impressive 10-20 hours of refrigerator 

Also, it provides you the facility of Goal Zero’s app, where you can monitor its battery and if required, turn ports on or off just with the application on your phone. It has one of the most rarely found features such as the capacity to hold the charge for several months and therefore it has a significantly longer shelf life as compared to its several competitors. 

Unlike a traditional inverter or a generator that often requires a high cost of maintenance and operation as well, Goal Zero Yeti 1000 has practically zero cost of such sort which makes it all the more convenient, durable and dependable at the same time.

Goal Zero Yeti 1000 also features 18650 lithium cells, which are known for effectively providing increased stability as compared to the flat-pack cells which are normally found in cell phones and laptops. This very lithium cells’ set is packed tightly which is monitored by a Texas Instruments battery management system which aids in preventing over-charge, over-current, or for that matter short-circuiting as well.

The battery pack as we mentioned before is tightly encapsulated in a water-tight encasement that makes it very much a user-replaceable system and also lends to the overall longevity and durability of the machine. It even features an advanced cooling system that regulates the temperature of the whole system and aids in the effortless functioning of the machine without it getting overheated or hampered due to temperature issues.  

Key Features
  • Weighs merely 40 lbs
  • Dimensions:15.3 x 10.1 x 9.3 inches
  • USB outputs, 2 AC outputs, a 12V Anderson Powerpole® port and many more that provide you the facility of plugging in multiple devices at the same time
  • Advanced cooling system
  • 18650 lithium cells
  • Extremely low cost of maintenance
  • Exceptionally durable
  • Solar-powered generator
  • Can be powered by gas as well
  • Quiet functioning
Pros
  • Eco-friendly machine
  • Noise-free technology
  • Significantly large capacity to run several appliances for long
  • The facility for monitoring the battery through a phone
  • One of the best portable generators
Cons
  • It appears to be very costly

2. PowerPro 56101, 900 Running Watts/1000 Starting Watts

PowerPro 56101

A strong and an impressive piece of technology by one of the most reliable and dependable companies when it comes to portable generators – Wen, PowerPro 56101 comes with a 2 stroke, 2 hp engine, 900 watts of running wattage and 1000 watts of surge wattage which makes it quite a solid and able machine in terms of generating enough electricity to run all your essential appliances. 

Also, it is a CARB (California Air Resource Board) as well EPA compliant machine which makes it eco-friendly to a significant extent as it does not release toxic air contaminants and contributes to keeping the air healthy and safe. 

It features an impressively made carrying handle paired with four rubber pads that provides it a solid footing. It requires a combination of oil and gas fuel which makes it one of the best dual fuel generators and saves from the pain of changing the oils in a routine manner. It has the capacity to run for five hours with 50 percent output. 

Also, it features an extremely quiet exhaust system and an innovatively made spark arrestor which makes it highly compatible to be run in U.S. National Parks. Noise levels are quite tolerable as well as it produces just about 65dB at 22 feet. 

Key Features
  • Weighs merely 36 lbs
  • The capacity of the fuel tank: 1 Gallon
  • Noise levels: 65dB at 22 feet
  • Certified to be used in forests or national parks
  • 900 ongoing watt power
  • 1000 surge wattage
  • 2-stroke engine
  • 2 HP single cylinder
  • EPA and CARB compliant
  • One year of the limited warranty
Pros
  • Eco-friendly and fuel-efficient
  • Highly low maintenance
  • Provides the facility of a combination of Quite lightweight
Cons
  • It does not feature a basic fuel gauge
  • Also, the wattage output that the generator provides is comparatively low with the other generators that are available in this segment

3. Honda EU2200I Super Quiet Portable Generator

Honda eu2000i

Honda EU2200I Super Quiet Generator is a performer in the truest sense of the word. This cute as a button machine has been designed to deliver upscale optimum performance is a promising piece of machinery in the segment of generators and is considered to be one of the best quiet generators

Being one of the lightest generator systems presently available in the market, it weighs only 46 lbs which makes it significantly easier to carry as compared to heavy and bulky generators and inverters which makes you independent in order to carry it conveniently at will. 

It is also being considered to be one of the quietest generators ever made in this segment as it runs only at 53 – 57 dBA, which if analyzed scrupulously is even lower than a usual human to human conversation. It also features an eco-throttle system that aids in automatic speed adjustment and convenient monitoring and makes it capable of running for about 3 to 8 hours at ¼ load. 

It has an ongoing watt power of 1800 W and surges charge of 2200 W. Also, it features an ignition dial that has a fuel shutoff position which has been placed adjacent to the off-setting in a planned manner allowing the user to run the carb dry after use without being involved in a hassled and an inconvenient procedure of emptying the float bowl physically. 

Key Features
  • Weighs mere 46lbs
  • Dimensions: 16 x 20 x 11 inches
  • Operates at 48 to 57 dBA
  • Features an efficient and effortless recoil system
  • Enhanced ventilation systems in order to expedite the cooling process
  • An innovatively built fuel shut off system
  • Better drain gutter than previous models
Pros
  • Highly fuel-efficient
  • Very stable and consistent
  • A noiseless piece of machinery
Cons
  • It features a manual recoil system in the era of electric switches and touch buttons
  • Even though the company has ungraded the oil filler opening and has also increased the size of it, pouring the engine oil might still prove to be a bit messy as the company doesn’t provide the funnel which is essential to pour the engine oil in the generator to avoid any unwanted spills

4. WEN 56105 Gas Powered Generator

WEN 56105

Another powerful pocket monster from WEN, WEN 56105 is being considered as one of the most efficient generators in the market due to several good reasons. It’s a miniature frame of 14.5 x 15 x 12 and weight of about 39lbs to be precise, makes it a sweetheart of the small portable generator industry. It can be carried easily, conveniently, and comfortably in a hassle-free manner. 

It features a 63 cc 2-stroke OHV engine and consists of a technically engineered exhaust system with a spark arrestor which makes it produce only 95dBA at 22 feet making it one of the quietest machines available in the market as well as legally certified to be used in a forest or a national park. 

Similar to the previous WEN generator featured in the article above, this generator as well runs off a combination mixture of oil and gasoline which eliminates the sheer pain of changing the oils so often and is EPA and CARB compliant making it legally certified to be used in national parks and forests. 

It also features 1000 surge and 900 running watts which make it highly capable to power your essential appliances. Also, the company provides a two-year warranty.

Key Features
  • Weight: 39lbs
  • Size: 14.5 x 15 x 12 inches
  • Features a 63 cc 2-stroke OHV engine
  • Fuel capacity: 1 Gallon
  • Can run for 5 hours at half load
  • Features 1000 surge and 900 running watts
  • EPA and CARB compliant
  • Two-year warranty
Pros
  • Highly fuel-efficient
  • EPA and CARB compliant
  • One of the best quiet generators in the market
  • Powerful machine
  • Durable and highly dependable
  • Provides the facility of mixing of fuels such as oil and gasoline and therefore the maintenance is significantly limited
  • One of the lightest machines available in the market
Cons
  • The only concern will be to keep the pre-mixed fuel-ready beforehand
  • One should expect this generator to fulfill only the portable needs of electricity which means that one cannot plug in a refrigerator in this generator

5. The Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Portable Inverter Generator

The Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200

This bonny animal is being considered to be one of the most ideal looking machines in the market right now which comes with a unique and innovative feature of parallel capabilities. It features a variety of facilities that makes a very efficient machine and a dependable friend. 

It features a smart H-handle design which makes it significantly convenient to be carried by one or two people. It sports a wide variety of outlets which allows the user to power multiple essential appliances without being concerned about the availability of an adequate number of outlets.

It has the capacity to run for about eight hours at ¼ load. It is also being considered as one of the most quiet generators as it runs at 59 decibels of operating volume at 7 meters from the control panel side which is even quieter than a usual conversation. 

It features a fuel-efficient 111 cc OHV engine that produces 2,200 starting watts and 1,700 running watts which make it quite a solid machine. It also produces less than 3 percent of total harmonic distortion which makes it quite safe for even heavier appliances such as a laptop, or a computer, or even a TV system.

One of the most innovative features that it has is to be able to run in a parallel mode as well as it features a parallel connector port that allows a unique convenience of connecting two units for extra power generation.

Key Features
  • Weight: 54.6lbs
  • Fuel tank capacity: 1 Gallon
  • Running time: 8 hours at ¼ load
  • Smooth recoil system
  • Variety of outlets
  • A quiet machine that runs at 59 decibels only
  • Produces less than 3 percent of harmonic sound
  • Features a parallel connector
  • Fuel-efficient 111cc OHV engine
  • H handle design grip
Pros
  • Features inverter technology
  • Quite safe even for heavier electric machines
  • One of the quietest machines are available in the market
  • Lightweight machine with a smart H handle design
Cons
  • Unlike its counterparts, it does not sport a USB cable

6. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Yamaha EF2000iSv2

It looks like an old and obsolete radio but believes us it genuinely provides you value for money. Yamaha as we know is an established name in the field of motorsports but what many of us are not aware of is that Yamaha is one of the leading companies in manufacturing energy and power equipment which has been quite successful and has had very little competition in the market.  

This product of Yamaha, EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter is a strong and enduring machine that can prove to be one of the most important tools for you in terms of providing you one of the most sought after facility, i.e. electricity at the times when you need it the most. Like its competitors is quite lightweight and weighs a mere 44.1 lbs., which makes it significantly user-oriented in terms of carrying it. 

It features inverter technology paired with a Pulse Width Modulation which is considered to be a highly sophisticated control circuit system that aids in delivering clean and consistent current which further helps in establishing fuel efficiency and sturdiness in terms of its functional operations. I t has a running wattage of 1600 Watts and a starting wattage of 2000 watts.

It has the capacity to run for 10.5 hours at ¼ load and it is considered to be a noiseless machine as it produces only about 51.5 – 61 dBA which makes it one of the best quiet generators available in the market right now. However obsolete it looks; it seems to be quite futuristic inside as it features a technologically advanced muffler system paired with USFS-approved spark arrestor that makes its functioning a highly quiet operation. 

It comes installed with a smart throttle system, specially designed to adjust the engine speed as per the load to improve fuel efficiency and reduce the functioning noise even further. Yamaha has also installed a gasoline petcock in this generator so that the user gets the facility to shut off the gas so that he or she can make the carb run dry so that the issues such as stale gas can be resolved effortlessly. 

It even features an auto decompression system as well, which makes the ignition easy by significantly reducing the compression. It comes with an auto warm-up system that facilitates the speed of the engine by increasing it significantly when it senses that the external temperatures are incompatible for being too low for the engine to start. 

Also, it consists of an oil watching system as well which helps in preventing the engine damage and deterioration that can be caused due to low engine oil present in it. It is EPA and CARB compliant as well, making it capable of being run in national parks and forests and is equipped with parallel capability as well so that the user can combine two units for extra power production. 

Key Features
  • Weight : 44.1 lbs
  • Dimensions: 19.3 x 11 x 17.9 inches
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Engine: 79cc OHV, air-cooled, single-cylinder, 4-stroke
  • Continuous operation at ¼ rated load: 10.5 hours
  • Running wattage: 1600 watts
  • Starting wattage:2000 watts
  • Fuel tank capacity: 1.1 Gallons
  • Noise levels: 51.5 – 61 dBA
  • Technologically advanced muffler system paired with USFS-approved spark arrestor
  • Smart throttle system
  • Gasoline petcock
  • Auto decompression system
  • Auto warm-up system
  • Oil washing system as
  • EPA and CARB compliant as
  • Equipped with parallel capability as well
  • Limited Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • An impressive number of hours of operation at ¼ load
  • Noiseless machine
  • Highly user friendly
  • One of the smallest portable generators
  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • Parallel capability
  • EPA and CARB compliance
Cons
  • Unavailability of USB ports
  • A bit expensive

7. DuroStar – DS4000S

DuroStar – DS4000S

This bull size generator does not look as frightening as it does in the photo featured above but believes us, it works as powerfully as it looks. DuroStar DS4000S is a sturdy and copper-bottomed piece of machinery which certainly does not disappoint. It supports 3000 running wattage and 4000 surge charges which makes it highly capable of charging and supporting several essential appliances at a single point.  

It features multiple outlets among which two are reserved for 120V household appliances. It can run for about eight hours with a mere ½ of fuel output. It features a powerful 208cc engine which makes it a solid machine in terms of performance. 

It boasts of an innovative surge arrest technology which is quite an impressive feature as it has a lot of utility in terms of ensuring safe handling of the generator. It consists of all copper windings and supports an all-metal construction which gives it a sturdy and stable frame. 

DuroStar DS4000S is a gas-powered generator that features a 7-horsepower air-cooled overhead valve engine which is paired with a recoil start that works effortlessly. It also features a fuel gauge which makes it quite convenient for the user to monitor fuel consumption. 

It also supports -point fully isolated motor mounts which enhances the overall operation of the machine and aids in seamless, smooth, and noiseless functioning which adds a great deal to its purchase appeal. 

It features a quiet muffler as well which helps in reducing the engine noise and keeps it at 69 dBA which is significantly low for a machine like this which has a heavy technological system inside. 

It also has an automatic low oil shut-off system which prevents engine damage that could initiate and further accelerate if the level of the oil in the engine drops dramatically. And it comes with an optional wheel kit as well to enhance the convenience of portability 

Key Features
  • Weight : 94lbs
  • Engine: 208cc
  • Fuel tank capacity: 4 Gallons
  • Surge arrest technology
  • Copper windings
  • All-metal construction
  • 7-horsepower air-cooled overhead valve engine
  • Start type: Start type
  • Fuel gauge
  • Four-point fully isolated motor mounts
  • Quiet muffler system
  • Automatic low oil shut off system
  • An optional wheel kit
Pros
  • Remarkably affordable price
  • Powerful engine
  • Highly user friendly
  • One of the best whole house generators available in the market
Cons
  • The heavy and bulky machine
  • Hassled routine maintenance
  • Not easily portable

Buying Guide for Best Generators

What all one should consider while buying a new small portable generator

While choosing an apt small portable generator, there are multiple issues and concerns one must keep in mind and analyze them scrupulously, to not regret or get disappointed later. It’s genuinely important to do all the research beforehand and figure out which kind of machine would satisfy your requirements. One also needs to make sure that he or she is truly aware of the factors that would determine the preferences so to say. We have prepared a thorough list of those very determinants to aid you in choosing something which proves to be genuinely worthy of your time, money, and effort.

Power 

As one who has been looking for a small portable generator for a while would know, every appliance has a requirement of watts which may or may not be compatible with a certain kind of generator. For instance, if your refrigerator requires about 700 watts to run but the generator that you have doesn’t have the capacity for it, in the times when there won’t be electricity available, you might not feel really good about your small cutie pie machine. 

Honda eu2000i protable generator

So the first step in the direction to purchase a small portable generator is to decide the number of appliances you are expecting your machine to charge or power and then opt for the generator which has the required capacity of providing electricity that your appliances would need to run in times of emergency or power unavailability. That would pretty much determine how powerful of a generator you require as per the electrical demands of your devices

Weight 

Another important feature that you need to be concerned about is the portability of the machine. You must decide whether you would keep the generator at home specifically or you would require it for adventure purposes such as camping, outdoor trips, in case of which, convenient portability would become a non-negotiable priority, or whether you would want to purchase a machine that you could take outdoor and use it indoor as well. Therefore, the best small portable generator would not only be which could be considered as one of the most quiet generators, or one of the best solar-powered generators for outdoor purposes especially but also, as one of the lightest generators that you can carry easily at will.

Environmental standards compliance 

Before buying a small portable generator you must figure out whether you are buying it for forest camping purposes as well, as in that case, your generator being EPA and CARB compliant would be a necessity, as opposed to which, you might face some issues operating it into the forest, especially in the States.

Fuel

When buying a small portable generator, it is essential to be aware of rudimentary titbits of information regarding the fuel of generators. Gasoline generators are highly common and the fuel it consumes is easily available until and unless a major calamity strikes. But what’s a bit tricky is that gasoline and diesel have to be stored in containers. They also require a bit of care as you would have to use a stabilizer in order to nullify the effects of ethanol.

One can also consider opting for diesel operated generators as they are powerful and highly durable and dependable. One must also know that they are neither easily affordable nor are environment friendly. But if your requirement is demandingly heavy, diesel-run generators are the best as they are typically used as whole-house power generators. 

One can also opt for solar-powered generators that have rechargeable batteries and are known for their longevity. But they do fall short of expectations in terms of affordability and heavy requirements of power for a whole house. Other complicated and eco-friendly options can be propane run generators.

Power Outlets 

You must also consider buying a generator by prioritizing the power outlets’ feature as the larger the number of outlets is, the more convenient it becomes for you to charge several appliances at a single point of time. 

You must also be concerned about the type of power outlets such as 120V AC outlets, 240V AC outlets, and USB ports. 120V AC outlets are for lighter appliances and 240V AC ones are typically used for the whole house. 

So, if you don’t need to power your house, you must go for affordable generators that have a number of 120V AC outlets and a couple of USB ports as well. And if you plan heavier generators with 240V AC outlets, you might have to loosen your pockets a bit. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. Which fuel can be considered the best fuel for a small portable generator?

Answer: There is not a very large variety of fuels available for a small portable generator as per se and so one has a very limited pool of options. Gasoline, diesel, and propane are the only choices one can really choose from. Gasoline is highly common and is easily available, but it is highly flammable as well which demands a lot of caution in storing and general handling as well. 

Also, it works on a popular principle of use it or lose it. So, you would have to buy it regularly since you can’t afford to store it in large quantities as its quality deteriorates rapidly if kept unused. Diesel is the least flammable out of all the three mentioned above and it also lasts longer than Gasoline, but not for more than two years. 

Propane on the other hand has a much longer shelf life but it needs much larger tanks to be stored into and therefore it occupies a lot of space and leads to a lot of inconvenience at times. 

Q2. What are EPA and CARB?

Answer: EPA which is Environment Protection Authority and CARB which is California Air Resource Board are authorities that issue emission control guidelines that are legally enforceable. The small portable generators which are EPA and CARB compliant in a way state that they can be taken into green areas such as forests and national parks as their emissions are passed by these authorities as not harmful to the environment. 

The machines that are EPA and CARB complaints have less carbon footprint and are safe to use in green areas and that’s why this sort of compliance is sought by buyers today when they decide to buy a machine like a generator. 

Q3. What are the kinds of small portable generators that are available in the market?

Answer: There is a wide variety of portable generators that you can choose from. The type of generator is determined by the kind of fuel it uses to run. On that basis, there are the following types of generators –

  • Battery-powered generator 
  • Gasoline-powered generator 
  • Diesel-powered generator 
  • Solar-powered generator 
  • Propane-powered generator 
  • Remote-controlled generators 

Generators can also be differentiated based on their weight and power as small portable generators, portable generators, and heavy, big and bulky generators that are also called whole house powered generators.

Q4. What are the maintenance charges of a small portable generator?

Answer: It largely depends on the type of generator that you buy and the kind of technology that the generator offers you. If you buy gasoline and diesel-powered generators, then you have to spend money or regular supplies of the fuel in order to make sure that you can run them. These generators also demand engine oil monitoring which too can be an issue in the long run. 

Solar-powered generators, on the other hand, don’t require much maintenance because it is a one-time investment after which you just need to charge with the help of the sun and fuel charges are negligible as compared to the previously mentioned generators.

Q5. Should I really buy a generator when I can rent it as well?

Answer: Buying a generator is more of an investment as you get a reliable piece of technology that would be with you for the next few years if taken care of properly. It has a lot of utility as it has the ability to provide you one of the most sought-after facilities in the world today, which is electricity when you require it the most. You must rent if your budget doesn’t allow it, but in the long run, you must aim to buy one. 

TIME TO DECLARE OUR FAVOURITE PORTABLE GENERATOR!

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Yamaha EF2000iSv2

We do not say that Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter is the best in the market, but it definitely is our favorite due to all the right reasons. It is highly user friendly as it’s loaded with several features that make it very effortless to operate it while not being baffled by the sheer technology a usual generator is made up of. 

It is fuel-efficient and it has a powerfully capable engine that does not compromise with the performance it offers to its user. It is also one of the quietest machines in the market which adds much quality to the machinery. Also, it is EPA and CARB compliant. Thus, we can say it is one of the best small portable generators that are available in the market right now. 

Final Thoughts 

A generator as we mentioned before is an one time investment and if are genuinely an adventurer at heart, you like to be lone traveler, you are in a region where electricity is an issue, or you stay in a place where power cuts are part of a normal routine, believe us, a small portable generator is a technology that you need the most and that can truly allay your concerns.

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