Sette Says: Which Portable Generators are the Best?

If you’re ready to invest in a new generator, you might feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless array of models, each claiming to be your best bet.  Given that buying a new generator is never cheap, taking a little time to understand what to look for can help you feel more confident that you’re making a wise purchase.

The first thing you should do is establish your max budget.  There’s no good reason to fall in love with a high-end model if you just can’t afford it.  You can find quality models for a few hundred bucks, but you can also find many models that exceed $1,000.  While it’s true that the most expensive models are usually great performers, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a perfectly capable generator on the lower end of the price spectrum.


If you’re looking for a portable generator, you’ll find that they’re (not surprisingly) less expensive than fixed models.  Their portability also means they’re smaller and, as a result, generally less powerful than fixed generators.  You can find some portable units that perform on the same level as some fixed versions, but you’ll definitely pay for that extra power in portable form.


If you’re looking for the quietest model that meets your power needs, you’ll want to look at decibel (dB) ratings.  As a point of reference, a typical face-to-face conversation registers about 60 dB and a regular kitchen blender comes in at around 90 dB.  A good exhaust kit can help with noise by acting as a muffler.  A good exhaust kit will also help keep you safer by directing potentially harmful exhaust fumes up and away from the generator.  An exhaust kit is often required at crowded campgrounds or tailgating sites.  If the model you choose doesn’t include an exhaust kit, you really should look into buying one designed for or easily adapted to your new generator.  Visit best quiet portable generator brand for help choosing the right model for you.  You’ll find pros and cons of several top picks in addition to more information designed to help you find your best match.


The biggest factor you’ll need to consider is how much power you need.  If you want a generator that will run your RV’s air conditioner, start by finding out what that AC’s minimum power requirements are.  Various appliances, TVs and radios, and gadget chargers need to be factored in, too.

Next, you’ll need to know how much fuel your generator will burn.  Naturally, the more applications you run simultaneously, the more fuel you’ll burn, so it’s always a good idea to have more fuel on hand than you think you’ll need.  Having the generator doesn’t do you much good if you run out of gas in the middle of the night on your next camping trip to the middle of nowhere.
When it comes to fuel sources, the most common generators still run on unleaded gasoline.  Gasoline-powered generators aren’t the most fuel efficient or cleanest, but they are generally the least expensive.  You can also find models that run on propane or diesel, though you’ll pay more.  Solar-powered generators are becoming more common and are less expensive than they were just a few years ago.  Solar models offer the advantage of an unlimited and free power source, though solar panels do tend to require some maintenance.  Since there’s no fuel exhaust to worry about, solar generators actually can be run indoors.  

They also tend to be pretty quiet.  (Running one indoors will likely increase the noise level a little over running one in a more open space–something to keep in mind.)  As far as pricing goes, you’ll find that solar-powered generators can start at a few hundred and go up to over $2,000–not unlike more traditional models.  One big difference, though, is that solar generator pricing is pretty straightforward in that more power will cost more money.  If you’re thinking you might be interested in a solar-powered portable, backup, or whole-home generator, check out for reviews that include pros and cons of some top models as well as additional info to help guide you.