What Are The Best Portable Generators And Ratings?

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People like us, who like being outdoors on the weekends, increasingly are finding portable generators to be beneficial. Luckily, the number of portable generators from which to choose has increased too.

Recreational, trade, domestic and industrial are among the several different types of generators, each with its specific functions and advantages. In most cases, campers aren’t hauling an industrial generator along with their tent and roasting sticks.

As such, we’ll be focusing more on the recreational and domestic varieties, so you can find the best portable generator to best suit your specific needs.

Here then, are our five top rated portable generators.

1. WEN 56180

The 56180, in its price range, is a nice little piece of machinery from American manufacturer WEN. It comes in a variety of sizes, but for camping or hunting trips, the 1800 watt would be Baby Bear’s favorite; just right.

With the 56180 come two standard three-prong outlets like at home, and one 12 volt DC outlet. With these you can quietly power all you need at the campsite and have power to spare. It’s 50 pounds, so you won’t want to have to drag it too far.

You can take this one across state lines if you want to. It’s compliant with all EPA and CARB (California Air Resources Board) standards. It gives you 7.5 hours of runtime on about a gallon-and-a-half of gas.

My top five surely has the 56180 from WEN as the best portable generator out there.

Westinghouse hits number two with their WH2200iXLT, an inverter generator. Inverter generators are known for cranking out impressive power for how lightweight and small they are.

This one packs a whopping but quiet 2100 watts. It’ll run for 11 hours on less than a gallon-and-a-half of gas if you power it down overnight.

Besides two standard wall outlets, the WH2400iXLT offers two USB ports, so you can safely power your cell phones, laptops and all those devices attached to your kids’ hands. You can use it in all 50 states, thanks to its EPA and CARB certifications.

You’ll have to decide if all the benefits offered by the WH2200iXLT are worth the higher price tag. Though it’s number two on our list of portable generators, it’s by far the best small generator out there.

DuroMax’s XP4400E 4 slides in at number three on our list. This is a powerful little generator that has a nifty battery-powered electric starter and wheels for easy maneuvering over difficult terrain.

This generator is just what you need at the campsite. Its seven horses generate 3500 watts of constant power, so power won’t be an issue. It also features a 15-amp circuit breaker in case the load gets too heavy.

The XP4400E 4 has two standard household wall outlets, and a cigarette-style one. There’s also a 30-amp twist lock outlet to handle any bigger power tools.

If you’re looking for the best portable generator, at a mid-range price, the XP4400E 4 is certainly worth a look. It only has EPA approval though, so you can only use it in 49 states. Sorry, California says no.

A solid number four is the Chinese-made DuroStar DS4000S. This is a 7 horsepower, air-cooled generator that packs 3300 watts of continuous power.

It has a four gallon gas tank that gives you up to eight hours of quiet, continual power. Use that power through your two three-pronged wall outlets or your 30-amp outlet if you’re busting out the big tools. If you overload it, no problem, its circuit breaker will shut it down.

At right around 90 pounds, this one’s no feather, so you may want to consider exercising your wheel-package option.

This one is not CARB certified, so you’ll have to rough it if you’re going to California.

Portable generator reviews will tell you people love their inverter generators because of how quietly they run. Yamaha’s EF2000iSv2 is no exception.

It’s super-quiet muffler makes it a perfect camping generator, as its 51.5 decibel level is about the same as normal conversation. And, at 44 pounds, it’s a breeze to haul around.

The EF2000iSv2 features a Smart Throttle, which controls the speed of the engine based on load needs. Another nice feature is the spark arrestor. It allows your generator into all state and national parks.

You’ll get up to 10.5 hours of run time on a full tank of gas. It runs clean too, so it’s compliant in all 50 states.

You’ll have to pay a little extra, but the EF2000iSv2 is well worth its number five position on our list.


When you’re taking your generator on your adventures you want lightweight portability, quiet operation and long run time.

Technological advances have brought us inverter generators, which offer all of those qualities, as well as clean operation. They tend to come with a bit higher price tag though.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot on top rated portable generators in order to get a good one. You can still get good value from traditional generators. You just may have to work a little harder to move them around.

Apparently, the really big decision to make is if you want to take it to California or not.

About the author


Colin is a freelance writer and editor. A fan of The Walking Dead. It led him to think what if SHTF and what does it takes to survive. Colin hobbies includes gears, tech gadgets and rehearsing different "End Of The World" situations in his head.

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