people's choice

The Best Portable Generators on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy of the retailer.

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing ones. While we’ve covered a ton of outdoorsy wares before — such as expert-approved camping tentstick-repellent gear, and hiking backpacks from an avid hiker’s vantage point — here we’ve rounded up the best portable generators, as praised by the most enthusiastic Amazon reviewers. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best overall portable generator

Westinghouse WGen9500 Portable Generator

“After losing power for more than five days last week and then, again, for another two days this week, I have never been so pleased with a purchase in my life. It easily powered our furnace, refrigerator, first-floor lights, TV, communications, and refrigerator. This machine is phenomenal! It delivers more power than we needed. Even while supplying our home’s power and heat, I was able to run two extension chords so my neighbor could have lights as well. We got between eight and ten hours of power with each tankful of gas. It is relatively quiet compared to other generators. It seems to be very well built, simple to operate and has a battery operated electric starter. From the moment we turned it on, the Westinghouse generator has been faultless.”

Best gas-powered portable generator

DuroStar DS4000S

“I’ve had the generator for three years now. First, let me tell you I have the most unreliable electric service of anyone I know; every time the wind blows my lights go out. I have used it about 15 or 20 times in the last 3 years. It always starts right up and runs my refrigerator, a small AC unit in my bedroom, my TV, and any lights in the house. It will run anywhere between 10 to 15 hours on a tank of gas (4 gallons). All my neighbors are suffering while I’m watching TV with cool air and cold drinks. Best purchase ever! Still runs great.”

Best battery-powered portable generator

Jackery Generator Portable Power Station Explorer 240

“Very small and portable, extremely easy to use. Took it camping — fully charged, the Jackery ran the DreamStation for three days with power to spare. I was very impressed with the quality and ease of use.”

SUAOKI Portable Power Station

“I have been looking for a good power pack that also has AC outputs for a while now. It hasn’t been easy to find something that is compact and durable enough to travel with. You can get away with charging tablets, drones, cameras, phones, and running the AC/DC inputs … Of course everything is dependent on what you are hooking up to it, but I was satisfied for my needs. One thing I wish this had was a nice case or skin to protect it from the elements. If you need a good amount of juice for hobbies, camping, boating, or just emergencies and don’t need to power your whole house, this is a great portable choice.”

Best solar-powered portable generator

Webetop 155Wh Portable Generator

“I use this for my CPAP machine when camping. I can easily get two nights on it before needing a recharge (no humidifier). Very lightweight and portable. I used it on my last camping trip. It got down to single digit temperatures at night, but I had no issues with the battery.”

Best dual-fuel portable generator

DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel XP12000EH 12,000-Watt Portable Generator

“We purchased this generator because after Hurricane Matthew last year we determined we did not want to go without water and air conditioning in Florida. We have had to put it into use because of Hurricane Irma, and based on our experience so far we would say it is a great tool for your storm preparations.”

Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator

“We just purchased this generator last year after dealing with Hurricane Hermine and losing power for five days. Irma was kinder to us — we still were without power for three days, except this time we didn’t have the stress of worrying about our freezer and refrigerator. We used LP fuel and one tank lasted us the whole time. It was nice to not deal with gasoline fumes! We also kept our cell phones charged and fans going. So glad we made this purchase!”

Best portable inverter generator

Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

“Excellent generator. Easy, quiet, and quick to start. I’m a resident of Puerto Rico and a Hurricane Maria survivor. I had to bring it over from the States and we feel so grateful for having this super economic generator. I bought two and wish I could have purchased more to help my neighbors.”

Westinghouse WH2200iXLT Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

“I bought this unit to power a 15-foot travel trailer. It is very quiet and it started right up once I put in the oil and gas. One lesson I learned after a few months with this unit is that you must tie it down if there is a chance it would tip over. I had it in the back of my pickup truck and have had it tip over twice now, scratching it up and spilling some fuel. Otherwise it continues to perform flawlessly. I do have one little complaint about this unit: it is hard to fuel. Almost every time I fill it I overflow the tank and the gas runs out onto the case, causing discoloration. The gas goes in fine, but you cannot tell it is full until it overflows. Not a good design for fueling.”

Best quiet portable generator

WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

“Waited a year to review (about 100 hours on the machine). Okay, here’s the deal. Take it from a retired home builder with lots of generator experience: if you plan to rely on this unit daily to make a living (say if you have a food truck), I would save my pennies and go for the twice-as-expensive Honda only because they are proven to last forever. But for any other application, especially camping, look no further than the WEN 56200i. Mine does everything it’s advertised to do but no more. By that I mean, you cannot exceed the 1600 watt continuous or 2000 motor-start surge max. So before you click “buy,” know your wattage, especially the start-up power of motors involved. It’s quiet, sips fuel, fairly light, and the motor never misses. The only drawback is having to change the oil every 25 hours, but it’s easy to do.”

Best remote-start portable generator

Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator

“Got this in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. This is a really good generator and I am pleased with the purchase. This is our second unit and we use it at night. It has enough power for an 18,000-watt AC, freezer, fridge, lights, two fans, and lasts nine to ten hours on a full tank. The remote control is extremely convenient and useful for us aging folks. The noise level is not bad — much better than our 5500 CAT unit. Highly recommended.”

Best pull-start portable generator

Champion 3500-Watt Portable Generator

“Purchased this generator for our food truck. This has been one of the best purchases we have made. In two and a half years of hard constant use, this generator just keeps going. Rarely does it ever take more than one pull to start it. It has never let us down and left us hanging. We have never put even one drop of ethanol fuel in this unit, and I truly believe that it why it has been operating so well. Always use real gasoline, check and change the oil regularly. A low oil level will keep the unit from running. Also, if we were going to let it sit unused for any length of time, we would run the generator until the fuel ran dry, and store it with no fuel in the tank or carb.”

Best electric-start portable generator

Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator

“Well … Hurricane Irma visited us a few days ago. I ordered this Champion 4700/3800 last year and it stayed packed in the box until a day before Irma was to arrive. My son got it ready in less than 15 minutes. Filled it with the oil that came with it. Filled it with gas and cranked that baby up just to test it — easy-peasy, especially with the electric start button. When the power went out, I connected two refrigerators, two freezers, a fan, two TVs and DVRs, a heat lamp for 30 baby chicks, two indoor lamps, a coffee maker, and a waffle iron. And I think it had power to spare. This generator never missed a beat and it ran constantly for four days until we regained power. It certainly made life easier. Great generator!!”

Best stackable portable generator

Champion 2000-Watt Stackable Portable Inverter Generator

“Recently the power went out here in South Carolina due to a thunderstorm. After sitting dormant for five months, this generator started on the second pull with the choke on. That night I ran two full-size refrigerators, a deep-freeze chest freezer, a lamp with a 14-watt CFL spiral bulb, a phone charger and a box fan. This generator has two AC outlet plugs. On a full tank of gas with all of the above-listed appliances plugged in and running, I got six hours out of a full tank of gas. The generator was smooth and reliable the entire time. When plugging in items, plug in or turn on one at a time and give it about 30 seconds between turning on or plugging in another appliance so as not to overload the generator.”

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The Best Portable Generators on Amazon, According to Reviews