power outage

Top 7 Portable Generators for 2019

When you are hit by a storm and lose power, waiting for the electric company to fix the electricity can seem to take forever. At worst, it could take days.

In either case, having an emergency backup generator ensures your most important electrical needs will not suffer.

However, unless you pick the right generator for your needs, you could very soon, once again, be without power.

When choosing a generator, there are four factors you should consider.

Fuel

Most emergency generators are gas operated. However, some are also battery powered, providing quality, inverted electricity fit for use with fine electronics, such as laptops. 

If you buy a battery-operated generator, you only have one usage unless you can also charge it via your car plugin. Regarding a gas-powered unit, you will have to go outside to start it and keep it running because they cannot be operated indoors due to gas fumes.

Watts

The number of amps a generator offers impacts the number of appliances you can run. Typically, to operate several larger appliances, such as your refrigerator, you will need, on average, a minimum of 3,200 running watts.

Run Time

Run time simply means how long the generator will run on one charge or one tank of gasoline. Of course, longer run times are more desirable.

Outlets

As you will need to plug in appliances to your generator, you need to ensure it has the requisite number of outlets. As the generator will be outside, you will need long, insulated extension cords with the proper ratings.

Product

Details

Rating

Champion 4000 Watt RV Ready

Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology

  • Powerful enough to run major and minor appliances
  • Operates up to 17 hours on a single tank
  • hybrid technology with inverter for clean electricity
Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready

Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

  • Inverter for clean energy
  • Shut-off sensor
  • Runs up to eight hours
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt

WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

  • Light, compact design
  • Powerful enough for mid-range appliances
  • Clean power for sensitive electronics
Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Generator

Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter Generator

  • Compact design
  • Light enough to carry
  • Includes two standard outlets
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series

Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Portable 2200-Watt Inverter Generator

  • Compatible with inverters for additional outlets
  • Sound output rates at only 59 dB, making it very quiet
  • Runs for up to eight hours
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

  • Lightweight
  • Solar powered
  • Multiple outlets
Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watt Portable

Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

  • Quiet, fully-encased design
  • Over 10-hours power on one tank
  • 1,700 watts of running power

Bonus In-Depth Product Review Box


Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology


Champion 4000 Watt RV Ready

This Champion generator looks like a powerhouse because it is a powerhouse.

For instance, it provides a whopping 4,000 starting watts and 3,500 running watts. This is enough to run a major appliance in your home plus a minor one. As a gas-powered generator, it can run up to 17 hours on a single tank.

In terms of connectors, it offers one 120-volt RV outlet and two 120-volt standard outlets. This provides you enough outlets to ensure the most important appliances are powered and ready.

Finally, it carries a 36-month limited warranty, so Champion Power Equipment protects your investments as effectively as this generator protects you.

PROS

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    Powerful enough to run major and minor appliances
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    Operates up to 17 hours on a single tank
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    Hybrid technology with inverter for clean electricity

CONS

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    No wheels
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    Recoil starting might be tough to pull

Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator


Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready

This portable inverter generator by Champion offers 3,100 watts of starting power and a running power of 2,800 watts. Capable of running for up to eight hours, it is perfect for outings as well emergencies.

Because it has an inverter, it offers clean electricity for sensitive smartphones, laptops, or televisions.

To make operating it easy, it offers a on-board control panel, and you have clear and easy access to a 30-amp RV outlet as well as a pair of 120-volt outlets.

In terms of safety, it has a low-oil sensor that will shut the unit off if the oil level falls below safe operating levels.

PROS

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    Inverter for clean energy
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    Shut-off sensor
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    Runs up to eight hours
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    Includes 30-amp RV outlet

CONS

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    Must add more fuel after eight hours
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    No USB ports for small electronics or smartphones

WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator


WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt

Although the WEN 56200i is a smaller inverter generator, it still packs an electrical punch to assist in emergencies or keep your tailgating event up and running. For instance, it has 2,000 starting watts and 1,600 running watts.

Powerful enough for a washing machine or small appliances it also features a USB port for small electronics. For standard appliances, it has a single 120-volt outlet.

In terms of sensitive electronics, such as your phone or computer, it outputs only minimal harmonic distortion that is only off 1.2 percent from a clean sine wave. The result is clean electricity for any sensitive piece of technology.

It is light enough to carry, and it starts with one easy pull of the starter cable.

PROS

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    Light, compact design
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    Powerful enough for mid-range appliances
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    Clean power for sensitive electronics
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    Includes a USB port

CONS

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    Not powerful enough for a refrigerator if the compressor kicks on
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    Only one standard outlet

Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter Generator


Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Generator

The Pulsar inverter generator provides quiet, clean electricity for all of your sensitive electronics, and the on-board USB port ensures easy access if you need a quick charge.

With 2,300 starting watts and 1,800 running watts, it has enough energy to keep large appliances or small refrigerators running. In terms of large refrigerators, an additional 1,200 watts are required if the compressor kicks on.

That said, you will find the G2319N 2 capable enough to operate your washer or your microwave. If you are camping, it will keep your air conditioner cooling and appliances ready to go.

In terms of noise, it only outputs 59 dB, so you cannot even hear it from 10 to 12 feet away. For convenience, it offers dual 120-volt outlets and a 12-volt DC outlet.

In terms of camping and outdoor events, this unit will keep the party going for up to six hours on a single tank.

PROS

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    Compact design
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    Quiet
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    Includes two standard outlets
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    Light enough to carry

CONS

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    Will not work for a large refrigerator
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    Tank only holds 1.8 gallons

Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Portable 2200-Watt Inverter Generator


Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series

This inverter generator by Briggs & Stratton offers 2,200 watts of starting power and 1,700 watts of running power. As such, it has enough for a variety of mid-size appliances.

However, it also offers a 12V outlet as well as a USB port, making it perfect for electronics. The recoil start engages in one, quick pull, and one gallon of gas will keep you in power for up to eight hours.

Depending on the occasion or emergency, you might find the need for additional power. When this happens, the 30651 P2200 model allows you to connect up to two parallel inverters, giving you the ability to increase the number of available outlets.

PROS

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    Compatible with inverters for additional outlets
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    Sound output rates at only 59 dB, making it very quiet
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    Runs for up to eight hours

CONS

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    Might require two people to carry
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    Not suitable for full-size appliances

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240


Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

For lightweight needs, such as camping, hunting, or tailgating, the Jackery Portable Power Station provides you 400 watts of startup power and a running power level of 200 watts. As such, it is perfect for light-use requirements such as a lamp or laptop.

In terms of clean power, it offers pure sine-wave electricity, so your smartphone will not be damaged. In terms of portability, it weighs only 6.6 pounds. As such, it is light enough to carry out into the remote wilderness or haul around your campsite.

For outlets, you have access to a dedicated car outlet, two USB ports, and one dedicated 110-volt standard outlet. Finally, it features solar regeneration, so you can simply set it in direct sunlight, and it re-charges.

PROS

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    Lightweight
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    Solar powered
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    Multiple outlets

CONS

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    Only works for small appliances
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    Not recommended for a hair dryer

Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator


Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watt Portable

The recoil-starting unit by Generac offers 2,200 watts of starting power and 1,700 watts of ongoing power.

The on-board inverter ensures you always have access to clean electricity for powering sensitive electronics, computer equipment, and smartphones.

For small electronics, you will find the 12-volt AC adapter outlet handy and capable, but if you need more power, it offers a standard-sized, 110-volt outlet for small appliances, televisions, or stereos.

Capable of providing up to 10.75 hours of power, you will not be annoyed at having to refill the tank.

Additionally, casing fully encloses the generator. This helps reduce noise levels by up to 30 percent.

Finally, for additional outlets, all you have to do is hook up a parallel inverter, and you can easily add more appliances.

PROS

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    Quiet, fully-encased design
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    Over 10-hours power on one tank
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    12-volt AC port included
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    1,700 watts of running power

CONS

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    Not suitable for larger appliances
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    Economy mode might not be suitable for some appliances

The Verdict?

Of course, when you are without power, you might think that just about any generator will do.

However, if you want the best generator that offers the best price-to-power ratio, the best reliability, and the best emergency backup electrical solution, I have to go with what I know.

That is the Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology.

When we were without power for two days, this workhorse ensured we did not lose everything in our refrigerator and freezer.

Additionally, it kept the lights on until the electric company was able to repair the transformer.

The Champion 4000-watt generator did not simply save the day--it saved our family from headaches for precisely two days and sixteen hours.

What do you want saved?

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