The 5 Best Portable Generators of 2023
If you are looking for power on demand, you need a generator. Generators provide power for you to have electricity wherever you are. Large generators can even power an entire home if there is a power outage!
If you are an avid camper or off-grid adventurer, you may find that you need a portable inverter generator. Portable generators have several benefits. This article will outline what to look for when buying a portable generator. After that, we will share some of our top picks on the market.
What are the different types of portable generators?
There are three main types of portable generators: conventional generators, inverter generators, and solar generators.
Conventional generators are the most common type of portable generator. They are typically powered by gasoline or propane and produce alternating current (AC) electricity. Conventional generators are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, but they can be noisy and produce harmful emissions.
Inverter generators are a newer type of portable generator that produces clean, quiet, and efficient electricity. Inverter generators are typically more expensive than conventional generators, but they are a good choice for people who need to power sensitive electronics, such as laptops and smartphones.
Solar generators are a type of portable generator that is powered by the sun. Solar generators are the quietest and most environmentally friendly type of portable generator, but they can be the most expensive.
The type of portable generator that you choose will depend on your needs and budget. If you need a generator to power basic appliances, such as lights and a refrigerator, a conventional generator may be a good option for you. If you need a generator to power sensitive electronics, an inverter generator may be a better choice. And if you are looking for a quiet and environmentally friendly generator, a solar generator may be the best option for you.
Here is a table that compares the three main types of portable generators:
|Gasoline or propane
|Gasoline or propane
|Alternating current (AC)
|Direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC)
|Direct current (DC)
|Sensitive electronics, camping, off-grid living
Portable Generator Guide
A portable generator is a more compact generator that is easy to transport. Some portable generators are so compact that you can even put them in your backpack. They can be as light as five pounds! Generators are used to power mobile devices, laptops, small appliances, and more.
Having access to electricity will make your life significantly easier. There’s also a safety component to having electricity. If you’re enjoying a camping trip or backcountry adventure, it’s important that you can communicate with friends and family. With a portable generator, you won’t have to worry about your phone dying. You can even plug in a kettle to boil water to make it safe for drinking!
Things to Look for in a Portable Generator
Now that you know what a portable generator is, we’ll discuss what to look for. Knowing what to look for will help you as you make your investment. Different generators will have different features and benefits. Make sure you find one that meets your needs.
Did you know there are several different types of outlets? Some types of outlets you may find on a generator include:
- 15A 120 volts: basic outlets for regular lamps, etc.
- USB: often used for devices, such as smartphones and tablets
- 20A 125 volts: accommodates larger gadgets
- 20A 250 volts: accommodates large appliances, such as air conditioners and stoves
Knowing what you use your generator for is important. If you want to use your generator for charging your phone, you’ll need different outlets than using it for a microwave. If your outlets aren’t compatible with your needs, then it renders useless. Knowing what frequent devices and products you’ll be charging or plugging in are essential.
2. Power Output
Generators come with different power outputs. For example, charging your phone will need significantly less power than plugging in a small stove or mini fridge. Knowing the size of the generator you'll need is essential.
When deciding what you'll be plugging in, consider the running watts and startup watts required. Often appliances can run on significantly less power than they take to start up. For example, a fridge may require 2100 watts of power to start up. However, it may only need 700 watts once it's effectively running. Regardless, your generator will have enough wattage power to start up.
3. Fuel Type
There are several ways to fuel a generator. The most common fuel type is gasoline. Gas generators are easy to use, and gas is relatively quite cheap and easy to access.
Another type of generator is a diesel generator. Diesel is often harder to track down than gasoline. These types of generators are often pricier upfront. However, they offer better fuel efficiency. You may also be able to find a propane generator.
One newer model of generator is a solar-powered generator. These types of generators run off of thermal energy, or heat from the sun. These have no emissions and don’t require costly fuel. Many solar generators often have the option to charge the battery by plugging it into the wall or a car. The downfall of solar generators is that they are expensive and charge slowly. Furthermore, they often have a lower wattage than gasoline or diesel generators.
4. Size of Fuel Tank
If you're opting for a generator that requires gasoline or diesel, you should know the fuel tank size. A larger fuel tank will allow the system to run longer. A larger fuel tank is often more convenient. Most generators will run for seven to nine hours on gasoline.
Knowing how long you want your generator to last and how large the tank is is important.
5. Noise Level
There's no avoiding it: generators can be noisy. Many small generators, such as the AIMS inverter generator, can be quieter. Larger generators can be pretty loud. Loud buzzing can be a nuisance when trying to sleep while you camp. This can be annoying at best.
It's important to note that most generators over 4000 watts will be noisy. Diesel generators are louder than gasoline generators. Try out the generators and try to purchase models that run quieter. Your neighbors and guests will appreciate this.
6. Carbon Monoxide Detection
Safety is one of the most important considerations with your generator! Carbon monoxide is a deadly (but invisible and odorless) gas. Most people won’t detect carbon monoxide until they have already been poisoned. Many generators now come with a carbon monoxide protection switch. This will automatically shut down the unit if the levels get too high.
This will minimize the chance of illness and death. It’s a relatively simple feature that will make a huge difference to those who have experienced a carbon monoxide leak.
The weight of a generator can be a significant consideration. Many generators can be heavy. This can make it challenging to travel with or transport. A portable model is very important if you want to do backcountry camping. Look for a generator around the five-pound mark. These small generators can even be carried in a backpack.
8. Electronic Fuel Injection
One common (and annoying) malfunction with generators is clogged carburetors. These can be difficult to fix and can quickly ruin a trip. You don't need a carburetor with electronic fuel injection (EFI). This means you'll never have to deal with a clogged unit! Generators with EFIs are also easier to start in cool weather. This will make the maintenance of your machine much more manageable.
The 5 Best Portable Generators of 2023
Now that we’ve discussed what to look for when buying a generator, we can share some of the best portable inverter generators. This list will provide some top-tier products on the market.
5. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
The DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator is a powerful 12,000-watt generator that can run on either gasoline or propane. It has a long runtime and a quiet operation, making it a great choice for home backup or jobsite use.
Here are some of the top specifications of the DuroMax XP12000EH portable generator:
- Starting Wattage: 12,000 watts
- Running Wattage: 9,500 watts
- Fuel Type: Gasoline or propane
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 8.3 gallons
- Runtime: Up to 14 hours of runtime at 50% load on gasoline, or up to 19 hours on propane
- Noise Level: 74dB
- Weight: 238 pounds
- Dimensions: 29 x 30 x 26 inches
- Warranty: 3-year limited warranty
4. ALP Portable Propane Generator
The ALP Portable Propane Generator is a great choice for people who need a reliable generator on the go. This generator can run for up to 60 hours on a 20-pound propane tank, which makes it a great option for camping and tailgating.
The ALP Generator is also relatively quiet compared to most of its peers, checking in at only 60 decibels of noise at 25% load, which is about the same as the sound of a normal conversation. The generator is also lightweight and portable, weighing only 45 pounds and having a built-in handle, making it easy to transport.
This propane generator is an impressive 1000 watts and is both EPA and CARB approved. It's lightweight and functions solely on propane. It has a 60-hour run time and a 20-pound tank. It is thirty pounds, so it travels easily with a vehicle or camper. It is so strong that it can power a refrigerator!
If you're looking for a high quality propane generator with an attractive yet durable design, this is it. The ALP Generator has multiple charging stations, and a bright emergency LED light. A low-oil auto shut-off will keep the unit safe.
Here are some of the top specifications of the ALP Portable Propane Generator:
- Rated Wattage: 850 watts
- Max Wattage: 1,000 watts
- Fuel Type: Propane
- Runtime: Up to 60 hours on a 20-pound propane tank
- Noise Level: 60dB
- Weight: 30.86 pounds
- Dimensions: 18-1/4 x 10-1/4 x 14 inches
- Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
3. BLUETTI AC500 Pure Sine Wave Inverter Generator
The BLUETTI AC500 Pure Sine Wave Inverter Generator is perfect for people who need monster power for their home, office, or outdoor activities. It is more expensive than most other generators on the market. However, depending on your use case, the extra cost is worth it for the additional power, runtime, and user-friendliness that the BLUETTI AC500 offers.
It has a capacity of 3072Wh and can output up to 5000W of continuous power, making it able to run most household appliances and devices. The AC500 also features X-Boost mode, which allows it to surge up to 10,000W of power for short periods of time, making it ideal for running high-powered devices like power tools and air conditioners.
The AC500 is also very efficient, and can run for up to 24 hours on a single charge when powering a 150W load. It can be recharged using a variety of methods, including solar panels, a standard outlet, or a car battery. The AC500 also features a variety of smart features, such as a built-in LCD display, a mobile app, and a smart outlet that can be programmed to automatically turn on and off at certain times.
Here are some of the top specifications of the BLUETTI AC500:
- Rated Wattage: 5,000 watts
- Max/Surge Wattage: 10,000 watts
- Fuel Type: Propane
- Charging: AC, solar, car, conventional generator, lead-acid battery, dual charging (AC/AC+Solar)
- Weight: 66.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 20.5 x 12.8 x 14.1 inches
- Warranty: 4-year warranty
2. EcoFlow DELTA 2 Portable Power Station
The EcoFlow DELTA 2 Portable Power Station is a powerful solar generator that can be used for a variety of purposes, including camping, tailgating, and providing backup power during a power outage. It has a capacity of 1024Wh and can output up to 1800W of continuous power, making it able to run most household appliances and devices. The DELTA 2 also features X-Boost mode, which allows it to surge up to 2200W of power for short periods of time, making it ideal for running high-powered devices like power tools and air conditioners.
The DELTA 2 is also very efficient, and can run for up to 8 hours on a single charge when powering a 150W load. It can be recharged using a variety of methods, including solar panels, a standard outlet, or a car battery. The DELTA 2 also features a variety of smart features, such as a built-in LCD display, a mobile app, and a smart outlet that can be programmed to automatically turn on and off at certain times.
Here are some of the top specifications of the EcoFlow DELTA 2:
- Rated Wattage: 1800 watts
- Max/Surge Wattage: 2700 watts
- Charging: AC, solar, car outlet
- Noise Level: 58dB at 25% load
- Weight: 30.86 pounds
- Dimensions: 15.7 x 8.3 x 11 inches
- Warranty: 5-year extended warranty
1. Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro Portable Power Station
The Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro Portable Power Station is the latest in the line of outstanding, reliable portable power stations from Jackery, It's also their most powerful on the market. It has a capacity of 3024Wh and can output up to 3000W of continuous power, making it able to run most household appliances and devices. The Explorer 3000 Pro can also surge up to 6000W of power for short periods of time, making it ideal for running high-powered devices like power tools and air conditioners.
The Explorer 3000 Pro is also very efficient, and can run for up to 24 hours on a single charge when powering a 150W load. It can be recharged using a variety of methods, including solar panels, a standard outlet, or a car battery. The Explorer 3000 Pro also features a variety of smart features, such as a built-in LCD display, a mobile app, and a smart outlet that can be programmed to automatically turn on and off at certain times.
Here are some of the top specifications of the Jackery 3000 Pro:
- Rated Wattage: 3000 watts
- Max/Surge Wattage: 6000 watts
- Charging: AC, solar, car outlet
- Weight: 63.93 pounds
- Dimensions: 18.6 x 14.1 x 14.7 inches
- Warranty: 3-year extended warranty
Energy is power (literally). Having access to power is essential for everyday life. Whether you want to go camping, hiking, or just have access to electricity on the go, you need a portable generator. Generators can come in all different shapes, sizes, fuel types, and designs. Finding a smaller generator that is easy to transport will be perfect for your adventures. Whether you want a solar-powered or gasoline-powered generator, this list provides some of the best options on the market.