You already know what it takes to get the most from a day outdoors and you know a reliable portable generator is a must if you want to bring extra energy to your outing. But there’s no place for a loud oversized unit in your campsite.
With the careful selection of the best quiet portable generators, here are my suggestions with pride to those who are in need:
WEN 56125i – Budget-friendly
- The lightest and quietest generator in this collection
- Eco-Mode Throttle
- Low-oil and low-fuel automatic shutdown
- Provide the least power output in this list, meaning it can’t be used for bigger appliances
|Noise Level (dBA)||51|
|Fuel Capacity||0.7 gallon|
|Run Time (50% Load)||5 hours|
|Item Weight (lb.)||31.6|
|AC Rated Output Running Watts||1000|
|AC Maximum Output Starting Watts||1250|
|Highlight Features||EPA III and CARB Compliant|
Low-oil and low-fuel automatic shutdown
The WEN 56125i is the lightest and most compact unit with one handle that was designed strength to make it easy to transport or pick up 1 foot off the ground.
This model weighs a mere 32 lbs. and is only 51 decibels at ¼ load (according to the US Department of Health and Human Services).
When the smart ECO-mode throttle is on, one tank of gas (0.7 gallons) allows it to run for 5 hours at 50% load. It’s surely built for your recreational lifestyle and is tested to the same rigorous safety as every generator must have.
Despite the amazing affordability, I’m glad to assert that this unit doesn’t sacrifice its quality or functionality.
The evidence is that with 60cc OHV engine, it still provides two 5V USB ports and two three-prong 120V receptacles for multiple uses at the same time.
With maximum AC output at 1250 watts and producing clean power only, it means the product can deliver a consistent, stable level of voltage anytime, anywhere.
Priced under $400 while featuring smart ECO-mode, powerful engine, and multiple USB ports, the WEN 56125i is the best choice for those who are in a tight budget.
Pulsar PG2000iSN – Best overall
- Provide pure and safe power
- Multiple outlets to charge many kinds of devices at once
- Equipped with Automatic Voltage Regulator
- Compact suitcase design
- Stickers on the generator is easily peeled off
- The change spark plug is a bit difficult to find
|Noise Level (dBA)||59|
|Fuel Capacity||1.18 gallons|
|Run Time (50% Load)||8 hours|
|Item Weight (lb.)||47|
|AC Rated Output Running Watts||1600|
|AC Maximum Output Starting Watts||2000|
|Highlight Features||Compact suitcase design|
Stable Sine Wave Technology
Designed with convenience and fuel efficiency in mind, the Pulsar PG2000iSN deserves to be the future of smart quiet portable generator.
It’s relatively quiet from 10 feet away (59 decibels – tested by the third-party lab) while working smoothly at 2000 starting watts in 8 hours of 50% load.
I personally love this generator for its various outlets provided, including (1) 5V DC USB, (1) 12V DC 8A Outlet, and (2) AC 120V 13A Outlets for multiple device charging.
Best of all, it highlights the Stable Sine Wave Technology to keep electrical power always pure and safe for operating the most sensitive electronics.
If you need it to run some other large household appliances, such as refrigerators, water heaters, and washing machine, feel worry-free to connect it to another Pulsar PG2000iSN. That gives you double power output for overnight use with no sudden juice shortage.
Highlight the perfect combination of Automatic Voltage Regulator and Low Oil Shut-Off, Pulsar PG2000iSN is one of the top-leading generators with portability for camping trips.
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 – Easiest to transport
- Compact and lightweight design
- Longer run time
- Super quiet thanks to USFS-approved spark arrestor
- Can recharge batteries with a DC output.
- Built with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control
- Difficult to find the oil spout and it has a bad fill angle
|Noise Level (dBA)||51.5|
|Fuel Capacity||1.1 gallons|
|Run Time (50% Load)||21 hours|
|Item Weight (lb.)||45|
|AC Rated Output Running Watts||1600|
|AC Maximum Output Starting Watts||2000|
|Highlight Features||CARB Compliant|
The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is powerful, portable, and sleek. Not only does it outperform the competition but it is also quieter, smaller, lighter and runs longer due to its superior fuel efficiency.
By using premium components throughout and a tough dependable 79cc Yamaha engine, this inverter allows it to achieve maximum EPA and CARB compliant ratings.
While weighing a mere 44 lbs., the unit has extra-large handles for easy transport and a fuel gauge to let you know when it’s time to refill the tank.
An independent gas petcock helps prevent stale gas problems and keeps your generator running smoothly.
It also highlights twin tech capacity, allowing the users to connect two EF2000iSv2 together. It means you will receive double power capacity of 4000 watts to run those heavy load appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, and heaters.
Another big bonus is the auto warm-up to control the generator’s engine speed at startup to help carry big loads right away.
If you’re in need of a portable generator to help with easier transport, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is for all your outdoor needs, from camping, fishing, to tailgating and hunting.
Westinghouse WH2200iXLT – Most fuel efficient
- Adjust to fit different power load requirements
- Can connect two Westinghouse WH2200iXLT together
- Compact design for easy transport but not sacrifice runtime
- Automatic Low Oil Shutdown
- Hard to run big appliances at once in hot weather because it trips the breaker
|Noise Level (dBA)||52|
|Fuel Capacity||1.3 gallons|
|Run Time (50% Load)||26 hours|
|Item Weight (lb.)||43|
|AC Rated Output Running Watts||1800|
|AC Maximum Output Starting Watts||2200|
|Highlight Features||13 Hours of Run Time on a 1.3 Gallon Gas Tank|
With the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT, you can power all your camping and tailgating essentials for up to 13 hours (at 25% load) without the hassle of standard generators.
With a full fuel tank, it can run smoothly and safely at 2200 starting watts and 1800 running watts while the noise level is only at 52 decibels. Amazing, huh? If you try its “Efficiency Mode”, the unit will be even quieter while highlighting Maximum Fuel Efficiency.
But that’s not the best part! The Westinghouse WH2200iXLT features One 12V DC Outlet (Car Charger Style) and Two 5-20R 20A 120V Outlets to give you the versatility to plug in a combination of devices and appliances.
At the meantime, the inverter technology keeps sensitive electronics like tablets and smartphones safe.
To create an even stronger power source, a dedicated parallel outlet lets you connect to another Westinghouse series generator and multiply your power.
When it’s time to pack up and go, this lightweight and compact unit with an H handle design provide easy one-person mobility and convenient storage.
With emphasis on “Efficiency Mode”, the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT is an ideal selection to help you save much fuel cost while exploiting its capacity thoroughly.
Generac 6866 iQ2000 – User-friendliest
- Easy to use
- Small fuel tank and fuel efficiency to consume less gasoline than others
- Highlight Exclusive Powerbar monitors
- One dial for start/run/stop functions
- Economy, Standard, and Turbo modes of operation
- The loudest in this collection
|Noise Level (dBA)||68|
|Fuel Capacity||1.06 gallons|
|Run Time (50% Load)||5.7 hours|
|Item Weight (lb.)||46.2|
|AC Rated Output Running Watts||1600|
|AC Maximum Output Starting Watts||2000|
|Highlight Features||One dial for start/run/stop functions|
Economy, Standard, and Turbo modes of operation
Exclusive Powerbar monitors
It features a different type of alternator than standard generators. Emphasized with a digital inverter module that converts raw power from DC to AC power. Best of all, it varies the engine speed based on electrical demand which significantly reduces noise level and fuel consumption.
Plus, it’s made in the USA to ensure the quality, at least in my standard.
One of the most helpful features that I’ve found in this inverter is the innovative runtime remaining display. It shows how long you can use the generator before another refill required, which avoids running out of fuel when you least expect.
This LED status indicators also alert you to low oil, overload, or overheating.
The machine is also super easy to use. The power dial puts start, run, and stop functions right at your fingertips. To choose between turbo, standard, and economy power modes, press the simple switch right under the runtime remaining display.
If you’re a newbie in generators, I bet the Generac 6866 iQ2000 with its user-friendly construction is exactly what you need.
Champion 3400-Watt – Best RV ready
- The most powerful generator in this list
- RV Ready
- Duel-fuel design to run on either propane or gasoline
- EPA Certified & CARB Compliant
- Automatically idles when power demand is low to help save fuel.
- No digital display
|Noise Level (dBA)||59|
|Fuel Capacity||1.6 gallons|
|Run Time (50% Load)||7.5 hours on gasoline|
14.5 hours on propane
|Item Weight (lb.)||95.7|
|AC Rated Output Running Watts||3100|
|AC Maximum Output Starting Watts||3400|
|Highlight Features||Dual fuel|
Easy Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch
Running at 3400 maximum output starting watts and 3100 running watts, the Champion 3400-watt (with emphasis on duel fuel) is tough enough for work or play.
Thanks to the leveraged fuel capacity of 1.6 gallons, the unit can operate continuously up to 7.5 hours (on gasoline) or 14.5 hours (on propane). And with Economy Mode, you can rest assured of more fuel savings to power your essential items while retaining longer engine life.
The most convenient thing is not only this mode but also other status indications will be easily found in a Quick Touch Panel. Hence, before the unit is out of juice, you can connect it to another Champion 3400-watt in time for some extra power.
By generating electricity of <3% THD, it is a reliable source of clean power to safely run any sensitive electronics. And luckily enough that for any use with a 30-amp travel trailer, you don’t need help from another connector since the generator itself already comes with RV plug for 30 Amp built-in panel.
For the best RV-ready generator, the Champion 3400-Watt is an ideal choice.
How to choose the best quiet portable generator? (buying guide)
Of course, a portable generator that is considered silent should NOT be over 60 decibels in noise level. And, you can easily find this indicator on either manufacturer’s website or packaging label.
However, you should take note that there are 3 elements affecting on noise rating that need to consider as well. They are:
- Power output
- Inverter generator technology
- Throttle control
In terms of power output, it’s influenced by two things:
- The load
- Engine’s size (varied by the unit’s model)
Remember, the more power output, the louder the generator.
For example, the WEN 56125i, featuring 1250 starting watts, will be quieter than the Pulsar PG2000iSN, running at 2000 starting watts.
If your generator features various engine speed based on electrical demand, the load required from it will also affect the noise level.
For example, when running at “Efficiency Mode”, the generator tends to be more silent when you just use it for smaller appliances because the load now is lower.
Hence, some units that come with the same power output but vary in the noise level should be a better engine to choose.
The reason that makes an inverter runs more silently than a regular generator is because of its smaller design, leading to a smaller engine and less noise released.
Another decisive feature is the body casing. Usually, it’s crafted from insulated sound dampening materials to reduce vibration and noise immensely (10-20 decibels compared to a regular generator).
The generator’s weight is affected by your purpose of use.
For instance, if it’s utilized for a remote campsite, the generator, of course, shouldn’t be 100-pound or up. Instead, you’ll want a lightweight product with transport-friendly features such as handles, lightness, and wheel kit.
These three elements also the key-core for generator’s portability. A 50-pound model might not be as portable as a 60-pound on wheels.
If you want to go for pull handle and wheels, consider their materials. Usually, a metal tube frame is highly recommended.
Ease of setup
If you’re bad at installing things, prioritize those pre-assembled generators.
Simple controls are also advised. If possible, drop your money on a unit that’s designed with remote starters and electric start devices.
Whichever type of generator you go to, make sure of its safety.
There are some certifications for you to rely on:
If you’re living in California, pay more attention to the first certification since, without it, a generator would be illegal to impossibly ship to your address.
For remote campsites, it’s harder to carry a giant generator than two smaller units. So, especially for camping, looking for the parallel-ready feature in your desired generator.
To double the juice capacity or runtime, just hook them up together and there you go. Easy peasy!
Who makes the best quiet portable generator?
I choose WEN at the very first recommended brand for a quiet portable generator is because of their longest history, good reputation, and my experience on the #56125i. I think you will also find at least these three things when using their products:
- Low noise level
- Powerful engine
I won’t tell Pulsar’s generators are the quietest out of a bunch, but to pick the best compromise of noise level and power output, this is worth considering. Besides, Pulsar is also a star in the generator industry, if not saying that it’s the most favorite.
Yamaha gains the same-same long history as WEN, but in this case, it’s a Japanese company and their specialization is in inverter generators only.
Their product lines spread through different budget ranges and needs. Hence, you can tell it, Yamaha is the best choice for tight-budget people.
Quality and value are two solid highlights that you’ll find on Westinghouse’s generators. For over 100 years, they have improved and developed more specific lines to meet their customers’ different needs.
So, aside from silence and portability that are two first requirements of your desired generator, if there are some additional, I believe Westinghouse’s diverse products surely afford it.
Established for the purpose of backing up power for residential locations and industrial, Generac is top leading in affordability and practical design.
Their products come with lots of user-friendly features and amazing affordability. Moreover, are the guarantee in products’ safety.
Last but not least, is Champion – a California-based company with more than 15 years of manufacturing experience in generators.
They’re renowned for selling products as good as advertised, with superior caring customer service – something you hardly find in other producers.
If a powerful generator with an acceptable noise level and plenty of user-friendly features is your concern, you’re in the right address.
Do I need a generator for RV?
For this question, my answer is “it depends”. The need for a generator for your RV will depend on three issues:
- What you have as an RV
- Where you use the RV
- How you want to use the RV
For example, if it’s just a small tent camper, a generator might be excessive. But if there are from some big essential appliances to a bunch of big and small devices/appliances in your RV, it’s time to consider a generator.
Can you run a gas generator in the rain?
Even if the generator is claimed as waterproof, it’s typically not safe to run it in the rain, snow, or wet weather. The reason is water and electricity are enemies of each other.
So, what to do with heavy rains or snow storms while you can’t bring it indoors? Here are some suggestions from me:
- DIY emergency cover
- Build a permanent cover
- Equip your generator a delicate wet weather cover
- Purchase a metal generator enclosure
What size generator do I need to run my whole house?
This might be the mother of questions and I’ll share you an easy three-step guide to figure out the most suitable generator size for your whole house:
- Name off all appliances and devices you need to run
- Determine carefully both of their starting watts and running watts. (Find these indicators in their packaging label or website)
- Sum up the wattage and go from there to pick the right generator’s size.
Can you plug a generator into a wall socket?
Not only it’s dangerous to your generator lifetime but also for your household appliances and your life. Plugging a generator into a wall socket or any other forms of home’s power supply is the wrong way, which might cause an explosion in the worst cases.
How long do generators last?
From some research, a generator will last between 10,000 to 25,000 hours of use. The longevity range of your unit will also depend on some elements, such as proper use and manual maintenance.
Is it OK to let a generator run out of gas?
It’s a “no” from me because letting a generator run out of gas means there’s a strong fluctuation of the frequency and voltage values. As a result, are some unwanted damages caused to your smartphone, TV, tablet or other sensitive electronics.
How far should a generator be from the house?
In general, it’s advised placing a generator 21-23 feet away from the house.
It’s time to do more of what you want and where you want with these all-new quiet portable generators.
Designed with the power of a traditional generator in an efficient portable package and engineered with super silent level, I hope they will help you prepare to live as well as give you power when you need it!
Thanks for reading!
Table of Contents
- WEN 56125i – Budget-friendly
- Pulsar PG2000iSN – Best overall
- Yamaha EF2000iSv2 – Easiest to transport
- Westinghouse WH2200iXLT – Most fuel efficient
- Generac 6866 iQ2000 – User-friendliest
- Champion 3400-Watt – Best RV ready
- How to choose the best quiet portable generator? (buying guide)
- Who makes the best quiet portable generator?