Best Portable Inverter Generator Reviews For 2019 (Top 5 Picks)

wenBeing without electricity can be uncomfortable and it can reduce your productivity. When power outages occur, it can sometimes take several days for electricity to be restored. During this time, you are without everything that requires electricity to operate. That’s when a portable inverter generator comes in.

With an inverter generator, you can provide power to some of the electric items in your home. This can keep you comfortable and help to ensure that you have some entertainment while you ride out the power outage in your care. The key is to explore a variety of portable inverter generators to find the one that fits your needs.


In A Hurry? Our Top 5 Picks

Preview
Top Pick
Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator - 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter Generator with USB Outlet & Parallel Capability Carb Compliant, 2300w Gray,
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Product Name
Westinghouse iGen 2200 Inverter Generator
WEN Portable Generator
Champion Portable Generator
Pulsar Inverter Generator
Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator
Fuel type
Gas
Gas
Gas or propane
Gas
Gasoline
Wattage
2,200 peak watts and 1,800 rated watts
1,600 rated watts and 2,000 surge watts
3,100 running watts and 3,400 starting watts
1,800 running watts and 2,300 peak watts
1,800 running watts and 2,200 starting watts
Noise level
52 dB
51 dB
59 dB
59 dB
57 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
120 volts
120 volts
120 volts
120 volts
Run-time
12 hours at 25 percent load
Six hours at half load
7.5 hours at half load
Six hours at half load
4 hours at 50 percent load
Top Pick
Preview
Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator - 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant
Product Name
Westinghouse iGen 2200 Inverter Generator
Fuel type
Gas
Wattage
2,200 peak watts and 1,800 rated watts
Noise level
52 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
12 hours at 25 percent load
Preview
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
Product Name
WEN Portable Generator
Fuel type
Gas
Wattage
1,600 rated watts and 2,000 surge watts
Noise level
51 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
Six hours at half load
Preview
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
Product Name
Champion Portable Generator
Fuel type
Gas or propane
Wattage
3,100 running watts and 3,400 starting watts
Noise level
59 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
7.5 hours at half load
Preview
Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter Generator with USB Outlet & Parallel Capability Carb Compliant, 2300w Gray,
Product Name
Pulsar Inverter Generator
Fuel type
Gas
Wattage
1,800 running watts and 2,300 peak watts
Noise level
59 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
Six hours at half load
Preview
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Product Name
Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator
Fuel type
Gasoline
Wattage
1,800 running watts and 2,200 starting watts
Noise level
57 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
4 hours at 50 percent load

Last update on 2019-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The 5 Best Portable Inverter Generator Options


1. Westinghouse iGen 2200 Portable Inverter Generator

The Westinghouse Gas Powered Portable Generator lets you run your home’s essentials so that you are not completely in the dark during a power outage. It operates quietly, so you will not cause a disturbance for your neighbors when it is running. This device also has a muffler to further reduce the noise that it emits.

Since it only weighs 46 pounds, most people can grab it and carry it around. There is a handle on the top that is built in, so you can use one hand to move it around.

One the side of this portable inverter generator is a pull cord. This allows you to start the device with minimal effort when you need to get some power.

When you look at the front of the generator, you will find the control panel. This is where all of the outlets and buttons are located. Since it is all in one place, you can operate this device quickly and easily. There are two outlets on the device, and a USB port, so that you can plug in your small electronics.

The fuel tank can hold 1.2 gallons of gasoline. This generator handles fuel well, but there is also an efficiency mode that allows you to further stretch the gasoline usage.

It features an OEM engine that runs at three horsepower. There is a built-in inverter for greater efficiency and automatic idle control. If the oil in the generator gets too low, it will turn off on its own so that the lack of lubrication does not hurt the engine. On the device, there is an indicator that will tell you when the oil is getting low.

Due to the voltage regulation, you do not have to worry about a power overload as long as you stay within the generator’s wattage capabilities. Just add up the voltage of the items that you plug in to do this.

You can pair this generator with another one since it has parallel capabilities. Simply get a compatible parallel cord and you will expand how much power you get from the generators.

  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Wattage: 1,800 running wattage and 2,200 starting wattage
  • Noise level: 52 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: Twelve hours at 25 percent load

What We Liked

  • This generator is portable and lightweight
  • It has a long run-time for its size
  • You get a high level of fuel efficiency

What We Didn’t Like

  • The low oil light may blink even when the oil is not low

Our Overall Impression

This generator is easy to move around, letting you use it at home or even when you have a camper. It is efficient so that you get through at least a third of the day before you have to worry about adding more fuel.


2. WEN Portable Inverter Generator

The WEN Portable Inverter Generator has enough power for items, such as a mini refrigerator or a few small items running simultaneously. During operation, it functions efficiently so that you are not using an excessive amount of fuel to get enough power.

The automatic idle control helps to keep it running smoothly. There is also an automatic voltage regulation feature. Take advantage of this feature to ensure that you can run even sensitive items without having to worry about them getting too much power. Ultimately, this will help to protect your electronics against damage when you have them connected to the generator.

Check out the fuel gauge so that you know when it is time to add more fuel. The fuel tank can hold up to one gallon of fuel at a time. You will use unleaded gasoline, so it is easy to have access to more fuel when you need it from any gas station.

The engine is two horsepower, so while this generator is small in size, it provides sufficient power. Its inverter is built into it, ensuring that you get a combination of power and efficiency.

When it is running, it is very quiet. There is a muffler on the generator to ensure even less noise when it is functioning.

This WEN generator has 120-volt outlets. There are four outlets that you can plug a variety of items into. Just make sure to not overload the wattage.

Since this device only weighs about 50 pounds, it is not difficult to transport and move around. There is no need for any mobile kits or wagons to move it from one place to the next.

The recoil start ensures that you can get it up and running fast. There is no stalling or hesitation when you are working to start this generator. To maintain the starting feature, just change out the spark plugs according to the recommendations in the owner’s manual.

  • Fuel type: Gas
  • Wattage: 1,600 rated watts and 2,000 surge watts
  • Noise level: 51 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: Six hours at half load

What We Liked

  • You can check the oil easily
  • Due to its noise level, it is a good choice for campsites and RV parks
  • This generator can operate alone or with a parallel kit

What We Didn’t Like

  • It may run a little rough with extended use

Our Overall Impression

Extremely quiet and efficient are common descriptors of this generator. It operates at a lower decibel level than a vacuum. This means that you can use it just about anywhere without worrying about bothering people with noise. The generator is a good choice for home use, on a worksite or when you are camping.


3. Champion Portable Inverter Generator

The Champion Portable Inverter Generator works with both gasoline and propane. This makes it easy to find fuel when you have a power outage and need to restore some electricity fast. It is easy to connect a propane tank, and you get everything that you need to do this with the generator.

To start it, all you have to do is push a button. This function works just like the push-button start on a truck or car. Within seconds of pushing the button, the engine comes to life and the generator is ready to start giving you some power. You get a battery with it so that you can take advantage of easy starting right away.

Since it weighs under 100 pounds, it is easy to move it around and transport it. You can use it at home or take it camping with you. This generator is also very quiet, making it possible to get the power you need without disturbing anyone around you. There are wheels on it so that you can push and pull it around, making it even easier to move.

There is an economy mode feature. When you use this, you get more fuel savings, quieter operation and a longer engine life. Overall, this feature does not have any negative effects on the run-time or overall power of the generator. You can use this mode no matter what environment you are using it in.

Take advantage of the quick touch panel. It provides you with a variety of controls and information in a single area. You can easily read and see all of the controls so that they are easy to find and use. This generator only takes a few minutes to learn how to use properly. Use the parallel ready abilities to connect it to another generator for even more power.

Connect your most sensitive electronics to this generator since the total harmonic distortion is under three percent. This feature also ensures that the power that this generator provides is clean and efficient.

  • Fuel type: Gas or propane
  • Wattage: 3,100 running watts and 3,400 starting watts
  • Noise level: 59 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: 7.5 hours at half load

What We Liked

  • You can use two different types of fuel
  • It is easy to start
  • This generator lets you switch back and forth between propane and gas

What We Didn’t Like

  • It may leak gas prematurely

Our Overall Impression

With plenty of safety and convenience features, you can take advantage of this generator in a variety of environments. Use it when you are tailgating or to power some key items during a blackout. It is more powerful than many comparable generators, ensuring that you get the electricity that you need efficiently.


4. Pulsar Portable Inverter Generator

The Pulsar Portable Inverter Generator gives you up to six hours of running time when you only load it up halfway. This gets you through a good part of the day keeping some of your key items running. When it is functioning, the overall fuel efficiency is solid. It also remains steady regarding its efficiency even when you are running it for a long time. Compared to a conventional generator, the fuel efficiency with this one is 30 to 50 percent better.

The fuel tank can hold up to one gallon of unleaded gas at a time. Once you fill the tank, you get about 10 hours of running time from the generator due to its high level of efficiency. It is easy to keep an eye on the fuel level and add more as necessary so that your generator does not run out of gas when you need it the most.

The design is similar to a suitcase. This makes it easy to move it around and transport it when you need to. It only weighs about 47 pounds, so most people are able to lift and carry it without any issues. Just grab it by the handle that is built into the top of it to pick it up. You can also take advantage of the parallel capabilities and pair it up with another generator to get more power.

There is a 20-amp 120-volt outlet for plugging standard electronic items into the generator. It also comes with two USB ports where you can plug in your mobile electronic items. Due to the total harmonic distortion being under three percent, you can safely get power to your sensitive electronics. You never need to worry about excess power or surges of power causing damage to your items.

Look at the LCD display to keep an eye on a variety of information related to the generator. You can learn more about the load and output of it, how much runtime you have left, the fuel level and how much voltage is occurring. Use all of this information to ensure that your generator is functioning at an optimal level. This data also helps you to determine when routine maintenance is needed.

The quiet generator functions with little noise since it has a double-insulated acoustic enclosure. There are also low tone mufflers. All of these features come together to reduce the amount of noise that is produced when it is operating. It also is quiet thanks to the asymmetrical cooling fans that are part of the design.

  • Fuel type: Gas
  • Wattage: 1,800 running watts and 2,300 peak watts
  • Noise level: 59 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: Six hours at half load

What We Liked

  • This generator operates very quietly
  • You can choose to start it with a remote control
  • It is easy to monitor the functioning of it when it is running

What We Didn’t Like

  • It may sometimes shut itself off for no reason

Our Overall Impression

This generator is fuel efficient and compliant with important federal guidelines. There are different types of outlets, making it easy to plug in a variety of devices. The power that it puts out is consistent and reliable so that you can keep a few key items running during a power outage.\


5. Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator

The Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator has a variety of protective features to keep it running without any problems. Its overload protection will tell you when you plug in items that require more power than the generator is capable of handling. This ensures that you do not fry the device by trying to operate items that are too big.

With this generator, you also never have to worry about engine damage associated with not having enough oil. This protective feature is twofold. First, there is an indicator light on the device that shows you when the level of oil is getting too low to sustain lubrication of the engine. It will also shut down without you needing to intervene if the oil gets too low.

The engine has 3.7 horsepower, ensuring enough power for the items within the wattage range. Due to the automatic idle control feature that is part of this device, the engine will operate without issue and maintain a steady pace for reliable power.

The power that this generator sends to your electronic items is clean. With a low level of harmonic distortion, sensitive electronics are kept safe from the power surges that could cause them to become damaged. Because of this, you can operate your mobile items and laptops without any concern.

If you are on a worksite where you need more power, or your home’s power outage is prolonged, you can use this generator along with another to get more power so that you can have more electronic items functioning. To do this, pick up a second generator and a compatible parallel cable. When you do this, you are essentially extending how much wattage you have available to use.

The gas tank holds 0.95 gallons of gas. This allows you to get several hours of power on a single tank. You refill it on the top of the unit, so it is easy to ensure that you always have enough gasoline in the generator.

  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Wattage: 1,800 running watts and 2,200 starting watts
  • Noise level: 57 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: Four hours at 50 percent load

What We Liked

  • A full tank of gas provides solid run-time
  • Since it is so lightweight, you can carry it anywhere with you
  • This generator does not require a lot of maintenance so that it is always ready for use

What We Didn’t Like

  • It may stop getting gas with repeated use, causing it to not start

Our Overall Impression

Take advantage of this portable and quiet generator for use just about anywhere. The inverter technology ensures clean power that will provide you with electricity without the risk of a power surge. Take advantage of the outlets to charge your small items or provide power to medium-sized electronics that can provide comfort during a power outage.


Portable Inverter Generator Buying Guide

Inverter generators come in a wide variety of sizes and with a multitude of features. Learning more about how to choose the best portable inverter generator ensures that you pick the best one for your home or worksite.

  • What is a Portable Inverter Generator?
  • What Are the Portable Inverter Generator Sizes?
  • Can You Use Portable Inverter Generators for Sensitive Electronics?
  • How Loud Are Portable Inverter Generators?
  • How Fuel Efficient Are Portable Inverter Generators?
  • What Safety Features Are Available with the Best Portable Inverter Generators?
  • What Types of Gauges Are Available with the Best Portable Inverter Generator?
  • What Are the Starting Options for Portable Inverter Generators?
  • What Are the Wattage Options for the Best Portable Inverter Generator?
  • Can You Add Wheels to Inverter Generators?
  • What Type of Maintenance is Needed for the Best Portable Inverter Generator?
  • How Safe Are Portable Inverter Generators?
  • What is the Best Use for the Best Portable Inverter Generator?
  • What Types of Inverter Generator Accessories Are Available?

What is a Portable Inverter Generator?

This type of inverter generator can supply you with power in a multitude of environments. They have a small capacity but tend to be more efficient and quieter compared to conventional generators.

What Are the Portable Inverter Generator Sizes?

You will see that these generators are often described as compact, small or medium in size. The size is determined by the wattage. Knowing about the wattage options and what they can power will help you to determine the best size for your worksite or home.

A compact one usually provides 800 to 1,000 watts. You can use this for one or two small appliances, depending on their individual wattage.

A small one has about 2,000 watts. This size is idea for running a television, crockpot and a mini refrigerator at the same time, for example.

A medium one has approximately 3,000 watts. You can run a combination of small items with this generator, or a single RV air conditioning unit, depending on your needs.

Make sure that you add up the wattage of the items you plan to connect to your generator before plugging them in. This will help to ensure that you do not accidentally overload your generator.

Can You Use These Generators for Sensitive Electronics?

As long as the wattage is adequate, you can use this type of generator for any type of electric item. These tend to have a low total harmonic distortion, making them ideal for sensitive electronics. You do not have to worry about issues like power surges causing damage to your items.

How Loud Are Portable Inverter Generators?

This type of inverter generator operates quietly. They are relatively small and do not cause a lot of noise when they are operating. Many are quieter than a vacuum cleaner so that you can use them without disrupting anyone nearby.

How Fuel Efficient Are Inverter Generators?

This type of generator tends to be the most efficient. Due to the overall design and types of engines used, they use little fuel, giving them a solid run-time from each full tank of gas. On average, a full tank at half-load can run them for four to 16 hours, depending on the one that you choose.

What Safety Features Are Available with Inverter Generators?

This inverter generator type often has built-in safety features. Many generators have low-oil shutdown so that your engine does not get damaged as a result of no lubrication. With this feature, if the oil level gets to a certain point, the generator will turn itself off. You will need to wait for it to cool and add oil before restarting your generator.

Overload protection is another common safety feature. This will tell you when you are running more wattage than the generator can handle. With this feature, you will not have to worry about causing damage to your electronics or generator as a result of it working too hard.

What Types of Gauges Are Available with the Best Portable Inverter Generator?

Generators can have a variety of gauges that tell you about when maintenance is due or how optimally they are performing. For example, you can have a gauge that shows you the hours it has been running or what the fuel level is. Some will tell you what the oil level is and when it is time to change the oil.

What Are the Starting Options for Inverter Generators?

To start this type of generator, you will either pull a cord or push a button. The push-button start is usually quicker and easier. You just push the button and it starts up just like the push-button start on vehicles. However, modern generators with a pull cord can usually be started with one or two pulls.

If you opt for a pull-cord start, follow the instructions regarding how to pull the cord. Pulling it too fast or hard could cause damage to the starting mechanism. On the other hand, if you pull it too slow, the engine may not engage and start your generator.

What Are the Wattage Options for the Best Portable Inverter Generator?

On average, this type of generator has 2,000 to 4,000 watts. You should add up the wattage of the items that you want to connect to your generator to see the size that will best suit your needs.

Can You Add Wheels to Inverter Generators?

Since these generators are meant to be portable, they will usually come with wheels or a handle that allows you to carry them. They are all lightweight and easy to pick up and move around.

Due to their size, wheels can usually not be connected if the generator does not have them already. However, you can opt to use a wagon-type mobile tool where you set the generator on it and pull or push it around. This can be a good choice on worksites where you need to move the generator around frequently.

What Type of Maintenance is Needed for Inverter Generators?

Portable inverter generators are relatively easy to maintain. You can usually perform the maintenance on your own, so it is easy to tackle the tasks. For example, you will need to ensure that all of the knobs and buttons are functioning properly.

The oil should be changed according to the schedule in the owner’s manual. You should also check the oil before each use to make sure that it is not running low. Lastly, keep an eye on the fuel. If it is rancid, empty it and put in fresh fuel. Check the fuel level before each use of your generator so that it does not run low when your generator is operating.

How Safe Are Portable Inverter Generators?

The best portable inverter generators are safe as long as you use them according to the instructions in the owner’s manual.

The following are common safety tips for generators:

  • Never operate your generator indoors or in another enclosed space due to carbon monoxide
  • Be mindful when you are handling the fuel and only use an approved safety can to store excess fuel
  • Never backfeed your generator by plugging it into an outlet in your home because this could cause utility workers to get electrocuted
  • Ensure that your generator always remains dry and never use it if you believe it was exposed to moisture
  • Only use cords that are approved for use with your generator
  • Before adding fuel or performing other maintenance, make sure that your generator has cooled completely

What is the Best Use for Inverter Generators?

A portable inverter generator is a good choice for home and work use. These generators are a good choice for worksites because they are relatively quiet and you can move them around, depending on where you need power at a specific time. They allow you to run a variety of tools and work lighting.

At home, you can use one to keep a few lights on, run some small electronics and a few small appliances. This can help to keep you comfortable and entertained during a power outage. Just make sure to choose the proper wattage for the items that you want to power with your generator.

What Types of Inverter Generator Accessories Are Available?

For these inverters, you can opt for a cover or a carrying case to protect it when you are storing it. These accessories can help to prevent moisture and debris from affecting your inverter.

Another accessory is an hour meter. This is a type of gauge that will tell you how many hours you have kept your generator running. Use this information to know when it is time to change the oil or add more fuel. You can typically put these gauges on in a few minutes once you set up your generator, so you can use them no matter what type or size of generator you have.