Portable generators are modern technological marvels, bringing people power wherever they go. Whether it’s for a camping trip, an emergency power backup, or a lively tailgate, a portable generator is perfect for your needs.
In this article, we will review the top small portable generators for camping in price, power output, portability, and more. without further ado, let’s get started.
Buying Guide small generators for camping
- Wattage: first thing first. Determine your power needs. Calculate the total wattage of all devices you plan to run simultaneously and choose a generator with enough capacity. Common camping appliances include lights (10-100W), laptops (50-150W), and small refrigerators (100-800W).
- Gasoline: Most small camping generators run on gasoline, which is readily available. However, it can be noisy and emit fumes.
- Propane: Propane generators are cleaner and quieter, making them a good choice for eco-conscious campers. Propane is easy to store and transport.
- Weight: Consider the weight of the generator, especially if you plan to hike or carry it to your campsite. Look for compact and lightweight options.
- Handle and Wheels: Generators with built-in handles and wheels are easier to transport.
- Decibel Rating: A quiet generator is essential for a peaceful camping experience. Check the decibel rating and opt for a model with a low noise level, usually around 50-65 dB.
Runtime and Fuel Efficiency:
- Runtime: Assess how long the generator can run on a single tank of fuel. Longer runtimes are ideal for extended camping trips.
- Fuel Efficiency: Look for generators with efficient engines to reduce fuel consumption.
- Inverter Generators: These generators provide clean and stable power, making them suitable for sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones.
Outlets and Connectivity:
- Outlet Types: Ensure the generator has the right types of outlets to accommodate your devices (e.g., USB ports, and 120V AC outlets).
- Parallel Capability: Some generators can be linked together for increased power output.
- Low-Oil Shutdown: This feature prevents engine damage by shutting off the generator when oil levels are low.
- Overload Protection: Protects the generator from damage due to overloading.
Price and Warranty:
- Budget: Set a budget based on your needs and preferences. Generators range in price from $200 to $1,000 or more.
- Warranty: Check the manufacturer’s warranty to ensure peace of mind in case of defects or issues.
- Emissions: If environmental impact is a concern, choose a generator with lower emissions and opt for propane or dual-fuel models.
Champion Power Equipment 200951 2500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, Ultralight
The Champion Power Equipment 200951 2500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator is a lightweight power solution designed to offer you a convenient source of electricity for various applications. It’s perfect for camping trips and tailgating parties and can even serve as a backup power source for your home during an outage.
- Ultralight Design: Weighing just under 39 pounds, it is one of the lightest in its class, making it portable and convenient to move around.
- Decent Power Output: Despite its small size, it provides a steady 2500 starting and 1850 running watts, enough to power essential appliances and devices.
- Quiet Operation: It operates at a modest 53 dBA from 23 feet, more silent than a normal conversation. This makes it an excellent choice for applications where noise can be a concern, such as camping or late-night use.
- Fuel Efficient: With a 0.9-gallon fuel tank, this generator can run up to 11.5 hours at 25% load, ensuring you have power throughout your activities.
- Clean Power: It produces clean electricity safe for sensitive electronics like smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
- Limited Power for Larger Appliances: While sufficient for smaller devices and appliances, more than 1850 running watts may be needed for larger appliances or multiple high-consumption devices simultaneously.
- No Electric Start: It features a recoil start, which, although functional, may not be as convenient as an electric start.
In conclusion, the Champion Power Equipment 200951 is an excellent choice for those who value portability and quiet operation in a generator. While it might not power larger appliances, it’s perfect for outdoor activities and an emergency backup for essential home devices.
EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA 1300
The EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA 1300 is a robust and versatile power source, providing clean energy for various appliances and devices. With its immense power capacity and compact design, this solar-powered generator is suitable for outdoor recreational activities and as a reliable backup power source.
- High Capacity and Multiple Outlets: The DELTA 1300 boasts a large capacity of 1260Wh and features six 1800W AC outlets, allowing multiple devices to be powered simultaneously.
- Solar Charging Capability: With optional solar panel compatibility, this generator offers eco-friendly, renewable energy sourcing, perfect for longer trips or outages.
- Fast Charging: The DELTA 1300 can be fully recharged in just 1.6 hours from an AC wall outlet or 4-8 hours with a solar panel, allowing quick turnaround times.
- Portable Design: Despite its power capacity, this generator is designed for easy portability and transportation, making it ideal for camping and other outdoor activities.
- Universal Compatibility: This power station can handle various appliances, from smartphones to electric drills, refrigerators, and more, making it versatile for different power needs.
- Pricey: Given its extensive features and high power capacity, the DELTA 1300 has a higher price tag than other portable generators in its class.
- Solar Panel Not Included: While it supports solar charging, the solar panel is optional and must be purchased separately, which adds to the overall cost.
In conclusion, the EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTA 1300 is a robust and adaptable power solution. Its ability to harness solar power and its high capacity and quick charging make it an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts and homeowners who need a dependable power backup source. The cost might be a barrier for some, but for those who can afford it, the DELTA 1300 offers excellent value for its price.
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240
The Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 is a lightweight and compact power source designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. It’s an excellent choice for camping, hunting, and emergencies, providing reliable power wherever and whenever needed.
- Portable and Compact: Weighing only 6.6 lbs, the Explorer 240 is exceptionally light and easy to carry around, perfect for all outdoor adventures.
- Versatile Power Outputs: This power station has a 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, two USB-A ports, and one DC car port, providing flexible power options for various devices.
- Clean and Stable Power: The Explorer 240 generates power with a pure sine wave output, ensuring sensitive electronics like smartphones and laptops are safe from power surges and spikes.
- Solar Ready: It’s solar-ready (solar panel not included) for eco-friendly, off-grid power generation.
- Sufficient Capacity: With a 240Wh backup lithium battery, the Explorer 240 offers plenty of power for most small appliances and devices.
- Solar Panel Not Included: While it’s ready for solar charging, the solar panel needs to be purchased separately, adding to the overall cost.
- Limited Power Capacity: Although its 240Wh capacity is sufficient for most small devices, more is needed to power larger appliances or multiple high-power devices simultaneously.
In conclusion, the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 is a convenient and reliable power solution for outdoor activities and emergencies. It’s compact, lightweight, and versatile, making it an excellent companion for the avid adventurer. Although it might fall short when powering larger appliances, it does an outstanding job providing energy to smaller devices and instruments on the go.
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
The WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator stands out for its balance of power, portability, and price. Its black and orange design adds a touch of style while maintaining functionality. It’s an excellent choice for anyone needing a dependable power source on camping trips or as a home backup.
- Quiet Operation: The WEN 56200i operates at 51 decibels, making it softer than a window air conditioner or the average conversation.
- Portable Design: Weighing only 48 pounds and featuring a convenient carrying handle, the WEN 56200i is designed for portability and easy transportation.
- Fuel Efficient: This generator’s 1-gallon tank can run for over 6 hours at half load, providing power for extended periods.
- Clean Power: It produces clean power to safely operate and prevent damage to sensitive electronics such as smartphones, tablets, televisions, and computers.
- CARB Compliant: This unit complies with the stringent California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards, making it an environmentally friendly choice.
- Manual Start: The WEN 56200i has a manual pull start, which might be less convenient than an electric start.
- Limited Power: Although it offers 2000 watts, larger appliances or multiple high-energy devices might stretch its capacity.
In conclusion, the WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Powered Portable Inverter Generator balances power, portability, and affordability. It is quiet and fuel-efficient, perfect for outdoor recreational use or as an emergency backup power source. Despite its manual start and limited power for larger appliances, it offers excellent value for its price.
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 2200 Peak Watt Super Quiet & Lightweight Portable Inverter Generator
The Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 2200 Peak Watt Portable Inverter Generator is a reliable and efficient power source designed for maximum convenience and performance. Known for its quiet operation and extended run time, it’s perfect for outdoor activities and as an emergency backup at home.
- Long Run Time: With a 1.3-gallon fuel tank, this generator can run up to 13 hours on a single tank at 25% load, making it suitable for extended outdoor activities or overnight power backup.
- Super Quiet: Operating at 52 decibels, this generator is quiet enough not to disturb your conversations, sleep, or wildlife when used outdoors.
- Portable and Lightweight: At only 43 pounds, this generator is lightweight and designed for easy portability, making it perfect for camping, tailgating, and other outdoor activities.
- Parallel Capable: This unit can connect with another Westinghouse inverter generator for increased power, a handy feature if your energy needs to grow.
- Fuel Efficient: This generator features an “Efficiency Mode” that adjusts the fuel consumption based on the load, saving fuel when running smaller appliances or devices.
- Manual Start: While the recoil start is practical, an electric start would have provided added convenience.
- Limited Outlet Selection: It could benefit from various outlets for different devices and appliances.
In conclusion, the Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 2200 Peak Watt Portable Inverter Generator offers exceptional performance and value. Its long run time, quiet operation, and portability make it a fantastic choice for outdoor enthusiasts and homeowners needing a reliable backup power source. Despite its manual start and limited outlet selection, it provides excellent utility and versatility.
A-iPower Portable Inverter Generator, 2000W Ultra-Quiet RV Ready, EPA Compliant
The A-iPower SUA2000iV 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator is a compact powerhouse for those seeking portability without compromising performance. With its quiet operation and RV readiness, this EPA-compliant generator is perfect for camping, tailgating, home backup, and more.
- Ultra-Quiet Operation: With a noise level of 58 decibels at full load, the SUA2000iV is quiet enough for most environments, ensuring a peaceful ambiance at home or outdoors.
- RV Ready: It comes with a built-in TT-30R RV outlet, perfect for powering your RV’s essentials during camping or road trips.
- Portable and Lightweight: At just 46 pounds, this generator is one of the lightest in its class, allowing for easy transportation and storage.
- Fuel Efficient: A 1.1-gallon fuel tank can run up to 7 hours at 50% load, making it suitable for extended use.
- EPA Compliant: This generator meets the stringent standards of the Environmental Protection Agency, making it a more environmentally friendly choice.
- Limited Power Output: With 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts, it may need help to handle larger appliances or multiple high-energy devices simultaneously.
- Manual Start: Though effective, a manual recoil start is less convenient than an electric start.
In conclusion, the A-iPower SUA2000iV 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator delivers a solid performance in a small package. It’s a great choice for those prioritizing portability and quiet generator operation. Despite the limited power output and manual start, it provides reliable power for smaller appliances and devices during outdoor adventures or power outages at home.
Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator
The Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator is a well-rounded power solution known for its reliability and smooth operation. It is a valuable addition to any home or travel kit and is designed to deliver efficient power for various outdoor activities and emergencies.
- Quiet and Efficient: The P2200 operates at 59 decibels, making it softer than a typical conversation. Its fuel-efficient design allows up to 8 hours of continuous operation at 25% load.
- PowerSmart Technology: This feature provides stable, clean power, making it safe for sensitive electronics like laptops, TVs, and game systems.
- Parallel Capable: The generator can connect with another P2200 or P3000 for increased power output, a valuable feature for more demanding power needs.
- Portable Design: With a weight of just 55 pounds and an H-handle design, this generator is easy to carry and transport.
- Reliable Brand: Briggs & Stratton is a trusted name in the industry, known for their durable and dependable outdoor power equipment.
- No Electric Start: The unit only comes with a manual recoil start, which may be less convenient for some users.
- Limited Power Output: With 2200 starting and 1700 running watts, more than this generator may be required for larger appliances or multiple high-power devices.
In conclusion, the Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator delivers reliable power in a compact and portable design. Its quiet operation, fuel efficiency, and PowerSmart technology make it an excellent choice for outdoor activities or as an emergency backup. While it lacks an electric start and may not offer enough power for larger appliances, its overall performance and quality make it a worthy consideration.
Honda 663510 EU1000i 1000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Co-Minder
The Honda EU1000i Portable Inverter Generator is a premium product that lives up to the high standards set by Honda. Its cutting-edge CO-MINDER feature and reliable performance justify its higher price tag, offering users top-notch reliability and efficiency.
- Co-Minder Technology: The Co-Minder system continuously monitors carbon monoxide (CO) levels. If CO reaches a dangerous level, the system automatically shuts down the generator, providing an extra layer of safety.
- Quiet Operation: The EU1000i operates at 42 to 50 decibels, less noise than a normal conversation, making it one of the most silent generators available.
- Portable and Lightweight: Weighing less than 29 pounds, this generator is exceptionally light and easy to transport, perfect for camping, tailgating, and other mobile activities.
- Fuel Efficient: With its Eco-Throttle System, the generator can run between 3.2 to 8 hours on a single tank, depending on the load. This fuel efficiency makes it ideal for overnight power.
- Reliable Brand: Honda is known for its dedicated and durable products; this generator is no exception.
- Higher Price Tag: The Honda EU1000i has a higher price tag than other models with similar power outputs.
- Limited Power Output: With 1000 starting watts and 900 running watts, this generator is best suited for smaller appliances and devices.
In conclusion, the Honda EU1000i Portable Inverter Generator with Co-Minder is a premium, reliable choice for those who need a portable, efficient, and safe power source. It’s especially recommended for users who need to power smaller devices during camping trips or power outages. Despite its higher cost and limited power output, the generator’s overall performance, quiet operation, and advanced safety features make it a valuable investment.
MARBERO Portable Power Station 83Wh Small Generator Solar Power Bank
The MARBERO Portable Power Station is a compact and budget-friendly power solution. With a solid performance and an array of features, it offers excellent value for its price, making it an ideal choice for outdoor adventures or emergency backup power at home.
- Versatile Power Options: The power station has an AC outlet and four USB ports, allowing users to power various devices, from laptops to smartphones.
- Portable and Lightweight: Weighing only 2.2 pounds, this is one of the lightest mobile power stations on the market, making it perfect for outdoor activities like camping or hiking.
- Solar Charging Capability: This unit can be charged using solar panels (sold separately), making it a great eco-friendly power option, especially for outdoor use.
- Flashlight Feature: Equipped with a built-in flashlight, this generator is not just a power source but also a handy tool during power outages or night-time outdoor activities.
- Budget-Friendly: Considering its features, this generator comes at a competitive price, offering good value for money.
- Limited Power Capacity: 83Wh power capacity is less potent than many other portable generators. It is most suitable for charging small devices.
- Solar Panels Not Included: While it has a solar charging option, the solar panel is sold separately, adding cost if you wish to use solar power.
In conclusion, the MARBERO Portable Power Station 83Wh Small Generator Solar Power Bank provides a versatile, budget-friendly power solution for outdoor activities and emergency backup. While it has a lower power capacity than larger, more expensive models, its portability, solar charging capability, and additional features like the built-in flashlight make it a worthy choice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I need a generator for camping?
It depends on your camping style and power requirements. If you need to charge devices, run lights, or power essential appliances, a small generator can be a valuable addition to your camping gear.
What size generator do I need for camping?
Calculate the total wattage of the devices you plan to use simultaneously. Choose a generator with a wattage rating slightly higher than your calculated needs to ensure adequate power.
Are propane generators better for camping than gasoline generators?
Propane generators are quieter and produce fewer emissions than gasoline generators, making them a popular choice for camping. They are also more eco-friendly and can be easier to transport due to the compactness of propane tanks.
Can I run a generator inside my tent or camper?
No, it’s not safe to run a generator inside an enclosed space like a tent or camper. Generators emit carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if inhaled. Always operate the generator outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
How do I maintain a camping generator?
Regular maintenance includes checking oil levels, cleaning the air filter, and keeping the generator clean. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions outlined in the user manual.
Can I use an extension cord with my camping generator?
Yes, using an outdoor-rated extension cord is a safe way to connect your devices to the generator. Ensure the extension cord is the appropriate length and gauge for your needs.
Can I use a camping generator in cold weather?
Yes, but cold weather can affect the performance of the generator. Keep it sheltered from the elements, use a cold-weather kit if available, and consider using a high-quality fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel gelling.
- How to Make Your Generator Quiet as Cricket for Camping?
- Who Makes Champion Generators?
- How to Safely Turn Off Your Portable Generator?
- Who Makes Powersmart Generators?
- Is It Safe To Run Computer On Generator?
In conclusion, selecting the best small generator for camping involves a careful balance of power, portability, and fuel efficiency. Prioritize your specific needs, whether it’s charging devices or running appliances, and opt for a generator that suits your budget while considering environmental impact. A well-chosen camping generator ensures a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience.
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