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The Best Portable Generators on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Amazon

We’ve written about lots of external power sources before — including everything you need for a blackout, one writer’s favorite power station, and the best portable chargers — here, we’ve rounded up the best portable generators, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

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Best-rated portable generator

Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator
$849

This is an electric start portable generator, a feature that appealed to many five-star reviewers, like one who says, “The electric start and remote worked perfectly. A very nice touch that everything was included (battery, oil, funnel, spark plug socket, etc.) and that the battery was already charged and ready to go.” Another has “had this generator for a year now and started it again in preparation for Hurricane Florence,” and calls it, “Well-designed and well-built, starts first try. The electric start is a nice perk, but pull start is there when you have a dead battery.” One says that for “a portable generator, Westinghouse is great” because while “you have to get a transfer switch installed by an electrician,” he adds “it is very easy to start thanks to the electric start button. It holds a lot of gasoline and has to be filled up twice per day depending on how much load you put on it.” And the battery, according to one reviewer, really holds a charge, even after five years: “Got it out of storage yesterday, put in fresh gas, and it immediately started and ran great. I could hardly believe that the battery still had a charge and i did not have to jump start.”

Best-rated (less expensive) portable generator

This compact portable generator is a hit among campers. “It’s small, holds a strong, long lasting charge and has a heavy duty plastic body that looks like it’ll take a beating,” one reviewer writes, adding, “I really love that I can plug a solar panel in so we don’t have to use the stored charge while it’s sunny out.” It also charges with a standard AC plug or DC car plug, and it takes about eight hours to reach full battery, and that “means it can be used on successive days.” When it is fully charged, it has a capacity of 155 watt-hours, which “means it can power two 9-watt LED bulbs (60 watt incandescent equivalents) for a full 8+ hours. We also have a very low-wattage small AC-powered fan that only consumes 4 watts, which means we could get theoretically 38 hours of run time from that,” according to one reviewer. A majority of users bought this to power their CPAP machines, which help people with sleep apnea breathe at night while camping and have had a lot of success. “Most importantly for ME it will run my CPAP (Resmed Airsense 10) for NINE HOURS on a full charge, provided I turn off the humidifier/ heated tubing function on the unit,” one writes, while another says, “8.5 hours running CPAP, no problem and only used one bar on charger, so should run cpap two or three nights on a charge.”

Best quiet portable inverter generator

$503

Half of all five star reviewers describe this portable generator as “quiet,” including one who keeps it on the porch without disturbing any neighbors: “My first impression was ‘Wow, this thing is quiet.’ I really didn’t expect it to be that quiet. I chose an inverter since I live in a townhouse complex and was concerned about powering my necessities when power went out but didn’t want to annoy my neighbors. I was very pleased when I finally heard it run.” Another is impressed that “This little baby just keeps on purring away and uses very little fuel,” adding that it ran, “13 hours on one gallon. Love it.” And it can run a lot. According to one reviewer, “I’ve being using it for four weeks as home backup power after hurricane Maria struck PR leaving the Island off the power grid. In average, I use it daily for 12 hours powering a refrigerator, 1 55-inch LED TV, 1 40-inch LCD TV, 1 Blu-ray DVD, 8 16-watt lamps, two big fans, one 800-watt espresso coffee brewer running six minute cycle in the morning, charging my cell phones, tablets and laptops and washing two laundry loads per week.” A fourth reviewer also purchased this after his home was hit by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, writing, “I have to say this little unit has been a life saver for me and my family. It has made our life much easier and I’m planning to buy another one for back up.”

Best (less expensive) quiet portable inverter generator

This portable generator gets top marks for its low noise level. As one reviewer explains, “At up to about 600W, this unit is so quiet, you can actually run it outside on your balcony, without disturbing the neighbors.” Another exclaims, “This generator rocks,” explaining, “It kept two refrigerators and two freezers going 24 hours/day with a little room to spare for four days in the aftermath of the Irma induced storms in Atlanta.” One reviewer even calls this “one of the best investments I’ve done,” explaining, “ We live in south Florida and this generator got us through the hurricane Irma. The reason we got it because the price and performance; very fuel efficient, compact, light and quiet.” Another reviewer used this after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and concludes, “The generator has been used every day for at least eight hours per day and it’s still going strong with no problems whatsoever. That is at least four months, people!”

Best lightweight portable generator