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The Best Small Generators for Camping

The Best Small Generators for Camping

We reviewed dozens of small camping generators to find the best options to power your campsite.

Thad Warren
June 2022
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3 Minutes

When it comes to camping, most adventurers prioritize their connection with the great outdoors and squeeze in some rest and relaxation. At the same time, there are luxuries of the modern world that can make or break a camping experience - coffee, a well-lit tent area, portable speakers, and maybe even a portable fan. These things all require a power source, and unfortunately, you can’t plug your coffee maker into the nearest tree.

As far as camping generators go, there are so many great options to enhance your travels and make sure that you have access to some of the things that make camping worthwhile. 

But we found that most consumers felt overwhelmed when browsing their options for portable camping generators, especially since the price tag isn’t insignificant. That’s why we analyzed some of the best and most popular options on the market so you don’t have to. 

The right generator for your needs will depend on what you are trying to power. There's nothing worse than spending several hundred dollars on something only to find out it falls short of your expectations. 

For reference here are the power requirements for some of the most common appliances and devices. Make sure whichever generator you choose can handle the amount of load you expect to put on it. 

Appliance
 
Power Consumption
Refrigerator
600 watts
Sump pump
750 to 1,500 watts
Portable heater
1,500 watts
Window air conditioner
1,000 watts
Lights
5 to 80 watts (per bulb)
Computer
60 to 300 watts
Toaster
850 watts
Coffee Maker
1,000 watts
Microwave Oven
1,000 watts
Blender
400 watts
Space Heater
1,300-2,500 watts
Electric Water Heater
4,000 watts
Stereo
200 watts
LED TV (42")
85 watts
Central AC
3,800 watts

 

Best Overall Camping Generator

 

  • 53lbs
  • 5-star rating
  • 48-57 dB volume level
  • 1,800 running watts
  • 15.00 running amps
  • 121cc engine
  • 8.1 hour runtime at 25% load

When it comes to a generator that checks all the boxes, we can’t recommend this Honda model enough. Featuring a powerful yet quiet engine, this lightweight unit is travelable and efficient, making it a no-brainer for campers looking to bring a compact generator with them on their travels. 

Honda EB2200i Specs

Specification
Value
Volume (dB)
47-53
Dimensions
20" x 11.4" x 16.7"
Weight
47.4 lbs
Peak Watts
2200w
Running Watts
1800w
Fuel Capacity
.95 gal
Runtime 50% load (hrs)
6 hrs
Engine Size
121 cc
Warranty
3 years
Hourly Fuel Cost/kW - 50% Load
$0.5401/kWh

 

Best Budget Camping Generator

 

  • 37lbs
  • 4.6 star rating
  • 61 dB volume level
  • 1,000 running watts
  • 8.33 running amps
  • 55cc engine
  • 10-hour runtime at 50% load

At just over $300, this lightweight camping generator is perfect for anybody looking for average amounts of power, volume level, and runtime (though we’re impressed by a 10-hour runtime at 50% load). Not only is it affordable, it’s ultra-compact, making it easy to bring along without taking up a ton of space. 

DuroMax XP1200iS Specs:

Specification
Value
Volume (dB)
61
Dimensions
6" x 8" x 14"
Weight
37 lbs
Peak Watts
1200w
Running Watts
1000w
Fuel Capacity
.95 gal
Runtime 50% load (hrs)
5 hrs
Engine Size
55 cc
Warranty
3 years
Hourly Fuel Cost/kW - 50% Load
$0.6223/kWh

 

Best Portable Camping Generator

 

  • 40lbs
  • 4.5 star rating
  • 51 dB volume level
  • 1,900 running watts
  • 15.83 running amps
  • 79cc engine
  • 7-hour runtime at 50% load

It’s rare to find such a powerful camping generator clocking in at such a low weight. At just 40lbs, this unit is easily lifted, carried, or stowed and features low volume levels, a 7-hour runtime at 50% load, and 1,900 running watts, making it great for campers in need of a small-but-mighty camping generator. 

PowerSmart PS5020 Specs:

Specification
Value
Volume (dB)
51
Dimensions
20.9" x 13.8" x 19.9"
Weight
40 lbs
Peak Watts
2500w
Running Watts
1900w
Fuel Capacity
1.05 gal
Runtime 50% load (hrs)
7 hrs
Engine Size
79 cc
Warranty
2 years
Hourly Fuel Cost/kW - 50% Load
$0.5171/kWh

 

Longest Run Time Camping Generator

 

  • 105lbs
  • 4.5 star rating
  • 68 dB volume level
  • 3,300 running watts
  • 27.5 running amps
  • 212cc engine
  • 14-hour runtime at 25% load

Boasting an impressive 14-hour run time at 25% load, the Bilt Hard camping generator is great for travelers in need of an extended power supply during their journey. This is especially useful when operating appliances overnight or providing continuous power. 

 

Quietest Camping Generator

  • 39lbs
  • 4.6 star rating
  • 51 dB volume level
  • 1,700 running watts
  • 18.30 running amps
  • 80cc engine
  • 10.8 hour runtime at 25% load

Compared to other models, this WEN model offers just a 51 dB volume level when in use, which allows you to benefit from uninterrupted peace and quiet during your travels and limited disruption to the environment around you.

WEN56203i Specs:

Specification
Value
Volume (dB)
51
Dimensions
17.3" x 11.5" x 17.7"
Weight
39 lbs
Peak Watts
2000w
Running Watts
1700w
Fuel Capacity
1 gal
Runtime 50% load (hrs)
7 hrs
Engine Size
80 cc
Warranty
2 years
Hourly Fuel Cost/kW - 50% Load
$0.5504/kWh

 

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