Going camping and need power for your gear? A portable generator is a great way to bring electricity to your campsite. Here are the top 5 best portable generators for camping this year based on power, portability, noise level and price.
|Quietest, most reliable option
|Versatile for camping and RV use
|Lightweight and portable
|Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel
|Most powerful, longest runtime
|Briggs & Stratton P2200
|Most affordable option
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Honda EU2200i – The Best for Quiet Power
The Honda EU2200i is one of the quietest and most reliable portable generators on the market. This inverter generator puts out 2200 watts of power at noise levels between 48-57 dBA.
It can run for up to 8.1 hours on a tank of gas. The EU2200i is also fuel efficient and has outlets for parallel capability if more power is needed.
- Very quiet operation
- Fuel efficient
- Reliable Honda engine
- Outlets for parallel capability
- Good power output
- On the pricier side
- Not as portable as some smaller models
Westinghouse iGen2500 – Best for Versatility
The Westinghouse iGen2500 is a versatile portable generator that’s great for camping and RV use. It has 2550 rated watts and 2200 running watts of power.
Noise levels reach 52 dBA. With up to 10 hours of runtime on a 3.4 gallon tank, it can power your gear for extended periods. The iGen2500 is remote start capable and can run on gas or propane.
- Strong power output
- Remote start
- Good runtime
- Parallel ready
- Gas and propane operation
- Slightly heavier
- Can be loud under heavy load
A-iPower SUA2000iV – Best Lightweight Generator
If you want a really lightweight portable generator, the A-iPower SUA2000iV is a great option. Weighing less than 50 pounds, it’s much easier to transport than larger models.
This inverter generator puts out 2000 watts and has a noise rating of 59 dBA. It can run for up to 7 hours on a tank of gas.
- Extremely lightweight and portable
- Fuel efficient
- Good power for the size
- Noisier than expected
- Shorter runtime
- Less features
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel – Best for Power
The Champion 3400-Watt dual fuel generator is the most powerful option on our list, with 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts.
It has a noise rating of 64 dBA and can run for up to 12 hours on gasoline. The Champion 3400-Watt is also unique in having dual fuel capability – it can run on gas or propane.
- Strongest power output
- Very long runtime
- Dual fuel capability
- Heavy at 99 lbs
- Very noisy
Briggs & Stratton P2200 – Best Affordable Generator
For shoppers on a budget, the Briggs & Stratton P2200 is the most affordable generator featured. It has 2200 starting watts and 1700 running watts of power.
Runtime lasts up to 8 hours on a full tank. This generator is heavier than similar models at 111 lbs but provides solid power at a lower price point.
- Most affordable option
- Good power output
- Reliable brand
- Heavier than other 2000W models
- Likely the loudest featured
For most campers, a mid-sized inverter generator like the Honda EU2200i or Westinghouse iGen2500 will provide the right balance of power, noise, portability and price.
Larger conventional generators like the Champion 3400-Watt provide more power but are much heavier. Smaller inverter models like the A-iPower SUA2000iV are lightweight but have less features and runtime.
Consider your power needs, noise tolerance, weight restrictions and budget to choose the best portable generator for your next camping trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much noise do portable generators make?
A: Noise levels for portable generators typically range from about 48 dBA for the quietest models up to about 65 dBA for very powerful conventional generators. Inverter generators are generally quieter.
Q: How much do portable generators cost?
A: Generator prices range widely from $500 to $1500 or more. Inverter models tend to cost more than conventional generators. Expect to spend $800-$1200 for a good mid-sized inverter generator.
Q: How much power do I need for camping?
A: Look at the starting watt requirements for everything you want to run. For basic lighting and phone charging, 2000 watts should be sufficient. For RV or trailer use, opt for 3000-4000 watts or more.
Q: How long will a portable generator run on one tank of gas?
A: Expect 6-12 hours of runtime from a tank, depending on the generator size and load. Check manufacturer runtime specs before buying.
Q: Are portable generators safe to run overnight?
A: Never run a portable generator overnight in an enclosed space like a tent or camper. Ensure proper ventilation if running for long periods.