Top 9 Generators
We've kicked the tires on these 200 Generators and these are our top value picks for 2023
Best Midsized: Westinghouse 12500 Watt Dual Fuel Home Backup Portable Generator, Remote Electric Start, Transfer Switch Ready, Gas and Propane Powered, CARB Compliant
Considering the wattage, this is actually a compact unit. We've tested another brand 6500w unit that is bulkier and heavier.
The dual fuel feature is amazing! Run out of gas? No problem, with the twist of a knob and a quick hose attachment, you can run off of your grill's propane tank! It even has a remote start/stop key fob that works with the electric start - so no need to go outside to get it started. The integrated charging port for the 12v starter battery is very convenient. No disassembly or bulky/heavy chargers. Comes with a small wall charger, like that of an RC car, plugs right into the port located on the main control panel of the unit.
The hard rubber tires are nice, no inflation needed and no worries of a flat when you pull it out to use it.
Assembly was quick and painless. All hardware and required tools were included. A funnel and 1 quart of oil was also included. All I had to do was install 2 wheels, 2 rubber feet, add the oil and fuel. The unit started right up.
Best Value for Camping: DBPOWER Portable Power Station 505Wh 500W (Peak 1000W) Outdoor Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V AC Outlet (Solar Panel Not Included) SOS LED for Road Trip Camping Outdoor Adventure
The handy Power Supply has already saved Dillio more money than we paid for it. We work at many business conferences exhibiting our services. Most of the conferences can run from $45-$70 bucks a day to use their power from the wall. That adds up at a 4-5 day show. So I have this now to bring our own power. It runs a 32in tv, MacBook Pro, Chromebook, and Ipad for 5-7 hours daily. The computers are taking very little juice since they are on batteries. But I am impressed, and the ROI for us has been, above all things, the best part. In one show, I made back almost all my money. It's a powerful and reliable little unit.
Best for Camping: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300, 293Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/300W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Blackout
I bought the Jackery 300 for charging our devices when we're camping off grid. It's light weight and durable. It has a tuff ABS plastic outer shell (yes it got dropped, and yes it still works like a champ), that holds up to abuse. I was able to get almost 7 days of use out of it on a single charge. We charged our phones, flashlights, tablet, and ear buds. My only complaint is that you have to exclusively use Jackery solar panels if you want to recharge the unit via solar. Overall, I'm very pleased with it and would recommend this little guy for anyone looking to charge small devices.
Best Big Boy: Honda EU2200IC 2200-Watt Companion Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
We tested a 30 amp RV on this in limited fashion (it's a 15 amp generator) after a hurricane for a number of days. We kept the RV refrigerator in propane mode, which lowered demand on the unit. It could handle the AC when not in slow and fast mode response to amp demand. No problem keeping the house fridge and freezer cold for days (could not be connected to the RV at that time). Also ran fans in the house, that was a plus. Another plus was that the RV battery was kept charged, which allows for lighting and DC uses in the RV. And we used the gas stove in the RV for cooking, so that reduced the need for an electric hot plate which would need to be run on the generator.
We purchased 8 gallons of gas prior to the last hurricane. It used three gallons over 2.5 days of solid running. Not bad. Must check the oil after each run, don't skip that step.
Overall very pleased with the generator's performance.
Best Value Small Size: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160, 167Wh Lithium Battery Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) Backup Power Supply with 110V/100W(Peak 150W) AC Outlet for Outdoors Camping Fishing Emergency
This is a super compact and very portable unit. Weighing the same as a standard bag of apples, this power station is the most compact unit in the Explorer family. Being able to carry an AC outlet around brings you flexibility for your short road trips, remote work, or outdoor camping essentials. This one is just great to have around in case you need it.
Best for $1400+: DuroMax XP13000HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator-13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start w/CO Alert, 50 State Approved, Blue
When doing my research, I was comparing both Standby and Portable generators. With an average quote of $15K for the standby and $1,800K for the portables, including installation...the choice was obvious. What wasn't initially obvious, is that the big expensive standby generators are not always able to do the entire house and have their limitations as with any other system. You still have to be selective as to what it is that you wish to run and operate. This is were the math comes into play. With nearly 13K of peak power, this unit can literally handle the entire house. If you keep things basic, you can run the entire house and even spoil yourself by having all of the room lights and outlets functional. I also love the real world flexibility of the dual fuel option. The gas tank is large but with exception of packaging purposes and or some government restrictions, there is no reason it's 8.4 gallons and not 10.0 gallons. Why not make it 9.99 gallons?
Best for $500: WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start and Wheel Kit
This little generator is a beast. A friend of mine who lives off grid uses it everyday to charge solar batteries, heating or AC. He's had it for months and it's a workhouse. Assembled easily with the wheel package included. It's light and easily movable by almost anyone. Comes equiped with a battery for the electric start. surprisingly quite for a open frame generator. To our delight, it's functioned flawlessly in our testing lab for over 6 months. We do regular oil changes but this unit requires very little maintenance. If this is in your price range, we give it a strong buy rating.
Best for Bug Out Bag <$50: Solar Generator - Portable Generator with Solar Panel, Solar Power Generators Portable Power Station with Flashlight, Emergency Generator Solar Powered for Home Use Camping Travel Hunting Emergency
We had to include this little guy for the value alone. What it lacks in power it makes up for in portability and price. For under $50, this one could come in really handy in a pinch. It runs on solar power so if you have no access to gas, this would be a good unit to fall back on. Great to keep in the car or with your bug out gear. It could save your life!