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The 10 Best Generators of 2019

Find the best generator for your needs in our roundup

Editors choice

1. A-iPower SUA12000E Gas Generator

9.00 / 10

The A-iPower SUA12000E is designed to truly do it all. With a starting power of 12,000W (9,000W run power), this gas generator can power even the hungriest of electronic equipment. 

Perfect for use during camping/hunting trips, outdoor events, tailgates, and more, this heavy duty power source offers 9 hours of run time at a 50 percent power capacity. The generator supports ease of access with a quick-access panel, keyless push-button startup system, and protective covers. 

This generator can be taken just about anywhere -- and we mean anywhere! Its tough, deflate-proof wheels are designed for rough terrain, so it can be rolled or pulled wherever it needs to be. 

If you need the ultimate in off-road power, the A-iPower SUA12000E offers maximum power capabilities at an affordable cost. This generator is truly one of the best and most powerful on the market.

Key Features
  • 12,000 starting watts and 9,000 running watts of power
  • Keyless one-touch push button for fast start-up
  • 7-gallon gasoline fuel tank
  • Heavy-duty wheels designed for mobility over rough terrain
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 27" x 27" x 27"
  • Wattage: 9000W
  • Voltage: N/A
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Manufacturer: A-iPower
  • Warranty: 2 year
Pros
  • 9000W powers practically any device
  • Portable over rough terrain - take it anywhere!
  • Easy-to-use control panel offers instant access and start-up
  • Average 9-hour run time at 50% power load
Cons
  • Very heavy and bulky (206 lbs)
  • Loud (78 dBA)
  • Limited outputs; must have adapters for smaller tech
Premium pick

2. Honda EU2000I Companion Generator

8.50 / 10

It stands to reason that a company known for manufacturing cars and engines would create a top-quality gas generator. The Honda EU2000I is the latest in Honda's EU series, designed for maximum efficiency at the quietest operation levels. 

This powerhouse generator can power devices at up to 2000W, and with built-in parallel capability, it can be linked to another EU2000I to provide double the power. Honda's top technology makes this one of the most fuel-efficient and eco-friendly gas generators on the market, with up to 8.1 hours of usage on a single gas tank. 

This generator's built-in safety features protect your technology's battery life and operation, as well as your the generator itself — auto-shutoff features and Oil Alert ensure your generator keeps operating at top efficiency, without overheating or turning into a fire hazard. 

When you need a serious power solution, the EU2000I is one of the best. Honda's specialty technology makes this generator the ideal powerhouse for high-powered use — and the ideal energy solution for all your needs.

Key Features
  • 2000W powers just about any device
  • Designed for super quiet operation
  • Runs 3.4 to 8.1 hours on a single gas tank
  • Built-in safety features and fuel efficiency
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 12" x 10" x 12"
  • Wattage: 2000W
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Manufacturer: Honda
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • Super quiet operation
  • Will power practically any device (up to 2000W)
  • Eco-friendly and fuel efficient
  • Small and lightweight for transport
  • Comes with a generator, a companion generator, and parallel cables
Cons
  • No wheels for transport
  • Expensive compared to similar products
Best value

3. NEXPOW Portable Power Station

9.00 / 10

The NEXPOW Portable Power Station is one of the smallest, lightest high-capacity generators on the market. This small powerhouse, weighing only 3.1 lbs, is perfect for hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities where weight matters. Equipped with a built-in handle and quiet cooling fan, this generator is perfect for every outdoor enthusiast. 

NEXPOW's power station comes with 2 USB, 1 USB PD, 2 DC, and 1 AC port. Unlike other models, it offers charging and recharging through a PD adapter (sold separately). Its built-in safety features, like a temperature-activated fan, keep your devices operating at their best, and reduce the risk of fire hazards or short circuits. 

The NEXPOW generator arrives fully charged and ready for use, so you can take it out of the box and put it right in your car to power your next camping trip! If you're purchasing this generator to use as an emergency backup, it can also be safely stored in case of a power outage. 

This generator offers one of the fastest recharge speeds on the market: only 5 hours with an AC outlet, carport, PD charger, or solar panel (sold separately). Its low cost makes it an excellent addition to any music festival, camping trip, road trip, or van adventure.

Key Features
  • Advanced safety options to protect devices and battery life
  • Built-in lamp for emergency use
  • 2 USB, 1 USB PD, 2 DC, and 1 AC port
  • Can recharge with wall outlet, carport, PD charger (sold separately), or solar panel (sold separately)
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 8.86" x 3.15" x 4.09"
  • Wattage: 120W
  • Voltage: 110V
  • Power Source: AC, PD, Carport, Solar
  • Manufacturer: NEXPOW
  • Warranty: 12 months
Pros
  • Multiple charging options, including PD
  • Ultra lightweight and portable
  • Inexpensive compared to similar models
  • Battery management system with advanced safety options
  • Fast 5-hour recharge speed
Cons
  • Smaller capacity than similar models
  • Maximum power of 150W

When you need a reliable, portable power option, Jackery's got you covered with the Explorer 240 portable power station. Offering 240Wh in an emergency backup lithium battery, this small-but-powerful generator can power phones, laptops, cameras, and small appliances with up to 200W. 

The Explorer 240 has two built-in USB adapters and one AC plug adapter, along with an adaptable charging input that can be powered with a wall plug or a car charger (or solar power, with an adapter sold separately). 

This portable powerhouse offers hours of noise-free, vibration-free charging, and its zero-emission design makes it an eco-friendly addition to your next camping trip. Recharging in 7 hours by solar power, or 8 by carport or AC wall outlet, this generator is perfect for outdoor aficionados and car trips alike. 

If you're looking for a small, efficient solution for your backup power needs, the Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station is perfect for you. 

Key Features
  • Portable, compact generator for indoor or outdoor use
  • 240Wh with AC-outlet, carport, and USB outputs
  • Capacity to charge 18 smartphones, 4 laptops, 40 small appliances
  • Noise- and vibration-free
  • Recharges with car charger, AC wall outlet, or solar charger (sold separately)
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 6.6 lbs, 5" x 8"
  • Wattage: 240Wh
  • Voltage: 110V
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Manufacturer: Jackery
  • Warranty: 2 years
Pros
  • Compact and portable to take anywhere
  • Multiple recharge options (carport, AC adapter, solar panel)
  • Cost-effective option
  • Pure sine wave inverter designed to charge with clean energy
  • Easy to read LCD display
Cons
  • Slow recharge speed (7-8 hours)
  • Cannot be used with appliances requiring 200W or more
  • Not TSA-approved for travel

The Aeiusny Portable Solar Generator is perfect for music festivals, camping trips, or emergency preparedness. This powerful little generator offers 288Wh capacity for devices that use up to 500W. Simply charge 8-10 hours through an AC wall plug, carport, or solar panel (sold separately), and enjoy hours of portable power! 

Aeiusny's portable generator comes with three built-in AC outlets, 4 DC ports, and 4 USB ports, giving you plenty of power options to choose from. In the case of an emergency, this generator can be an excellent backup battery, with a backlit LED battery capacity display and a built-in lamp. 

The uninterruptible power supply features Pure Sine Wave technology, which safely powers electronic devices with a clean, stable electricity. Similar to the power you'd find in your home, this technology is designed to be the safest possible for your technology. This generator also comes with a built-in control unit to protect itself — and your smartphone! — from over-charge, over-discharge, or short-circuits. No more battery decay from cheap cables and electricity sources! 

Whether you're looking for a power source to fuel your next camping trip or just want a back-up plan for hurricane season, the Aeiusny Portable Generator is perfect for all kinds of uses. 

Key Features
  • High capacity 288Wh portable generator
  • Powers phones, laptops, and small appliances up to 500W
  • Built-in AC outlet, DC port, and USB outputs
  • Rechargeable by AC wall outlet, carport, or solar panel (sold separately)
  • LED display
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 12.7" x 5.91" x 8.66"
  • Wattage: 500W
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Power Source: Electric/Solar
  • Manufacturer: Aeiusny
  • Warranty: 12 months
Pros
  • Ultra lightweight design is perfect for traveling
  • 3 options for recharging: AC plug, carport, or solar panel (sold separately)
  • Charges smartphones up to 40 times
  • Powers larger items than similar models (up to 500W)
Cons
  • Cannot be used with items using more than 500W
  • Solar panel sold separately

Many generators can be loud, unwieldy, or difficult to move. The PAXCESS Portable Power Station offers a compact, lightweight generator option perfect for travel and emergencies. 

This 5.9-lb generator comes with a handle, AC output, 3 DC ports, and 2 USB ports built in. Plus, its smart and silent cooling fan keeps the generator running smoothly and quietly without worrying about excess noise, heat, or vibration. 

The PAXCESS Portable Power Station can be charged with an AC wall outlet, a carport, or a solar panel (sold separately). People living the van life will enjoy its 8-10 hour charge time — charge on the road from one destination to the next, and enjoy hours of recharges when you've set up camp! 

When you need a portable, easy option for power generation, look no further than the PAXCESS Portable Power Generator. 

Key Features
  • Large-capacity 280W generator
  • Built-in AC output, 3 DC ports, and 2 USB ports
  • Lightweight, compact generator weighing only 5.6 lbs
  • Chargeable with wall outlet, carport, or solar panels (sold separately)
  • Built-in cooling fan
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 10.24" x 3.94" x 6.14"
  • Wattage: 280W
  • Voltage: 110V
  • Power Source: AC 110V, DC Solar, DC Car
  • Manufacturer: PAXCESS
  • Warranty: 18 months
Pros
  • Portable, lightweight design
  • Good for indoor or outdoor use
  • Multiple charging options
  • Quiet with no vibration
Cons
  • Solar panel sold separately
  • Not for use with power over 350 watts

When you need a hefty power supply, you need a Champion. Champion's 3400-watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator is built for power and efficiency. One full propane tank can power an RV's AC system for up to 14.5 hours (7.5 for gas). 

This large unit comes with built-in wheels for easy transport, as well as a wide range of adapters for ultimate power options. Ready for operation out of the box, this generator can run on propane or gas, and is already optimized for parallel use: hook up your generator to a second Champion for double the power and usage! 

Champion's electric start system offers a 3-position ignition switch for easy use, along with a Quick Touch Panel that puts all your controls in one spot. Unlike other gas generators, the Champion Dual Fuel Inverter runs at 59 dB — so your campsite neighbors won't come knocking in the middle of the night! 

The ideal companion for a hunting trip, RV weekend, or other escapade with no access to electricity, this all-in-one generator packs a powerful punch in all the right ways. 

Key Features
  • Dual fuel generator runs on propane or gasoline
  • Electric start with 3-position ignition switch
  • Built-in wheels for easy movement
  • Runs 7.5 hours on gasoline or up to 14.5 hours on 20-lb propane tank
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 25.1" x 17.3" x 18.3"
  • Wattage: 3400
  • Voltage: N/A
  • Power Source: Gas, Propane
  • Manufacturer: Champion
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • Dual fuel: generator runs on propane AND gasoline
  • High-capacity, 3,400-watt generator can power an RV's AC unit
  • Clean power system protects electronics and extends product life
  • Parallel ready to connect to second generator for double power
Cons
  • Gas generators are naturally louder than electric
  • Large and bulky
  • More expensive than smaller models

You don't always need an all-powerful gas generator to get the job done. For short trips, small devices, and cases where weight matters, MAXOAK's lightweight Bluetti design is the ideal companion. 

Like MAXOAK's other products, the Bluetti Portable Power Station is designed for maximum efficiency and versatility. Built-in charge ports include USB, AC, DC, and QC3, and this generator can be recharged with a wall outlet, carport, or solar panel (sold separately). 

Its easy-to-use design includes a backlit LCD display for capacity information, safety messages, and more. This small-but-powerful generator can power a laptop, TV, or other device for up to three hours, and offers up to 12 recharges for smartphones. 

If you're looking for a portable, compact power solution for your next weekend trip, the MAXOAK Bluetti is a tried-and-true option with the ultimate in portability. Simply charge the generator overnight and pop it in a backpack or camping bag, and you're all set for the weekend! 

Key Features
  • 200Wh design can charge a smartphone up to 15 times
  • Designed for use with small electronics under 120W
  • Built-in AC, DC, PD, and USB ports (1 each)
  • LCD display shows power capacity, safety warnings, and more
Specifications
  • Wattage: 100W
  • Voltage: 110V
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Manufacturer: MAXOAK
  • Warranty: 1 year
Pros
  • Lightweight, portable design is perfect for any trip
  • Built-in ports for a variety of chargers
  • Built-in safety features
  • Compatible with wall charger, carport, and solar panel (sold separately)
Cons
  • Solar panel sold separately
  • Only one port per charge type

MAXOAK is known for its versatility, and the Portable Power Station is one of the most versatile on the market. With tons of power options to choose from — 2 AC, 2 DC, 1 QC3, 1 carport/cigarette, and 6 USB outputs — you'll have everything you need to power an entire camping trip, weekend getaway, or tailgate. 

This portable power station can be recharged in 7.5 hours, using a wall outlet, carport, or solar panel (sold separately). Designed for maximum efficiency and ease-of-use, this generator weighs in at only 12.3 lbs, and its small size makes it a perfect addition to your camping or hunting supplies. 

A built-in LCD display indicates the remaining capacity, charge, discharge, and failure statuses. The generator has automatic turn-off features for when it is fully charged, or if an unsafe device is plugged in. Usable with devices that require up to 300W of power, this generator can power your weekend getaway with no problems. 

When it comes to portable power generators, trust the experts. MAXOAK is known for its versatility and efficiency, and the Portable Power Generator is one of the best. 

Key Features
  • 12.3-lb system designed for portable, easy use
  • 2 AC outlets, 2 DC outputs, 1 QC3 output, 1 carport/cigarette charger, 6 USB ports
  • Rechargeable with carport, AC outlet, or solar panel (sold separately)
  • LCD power display with safety features
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 9" x 5.7" x 11.2"
  • Wattage: 300W
  • Voltage: 110V
  • Power Source: AC, Carport, Solar Panel
  • Manufacturer: MAXOAK
  • Warranty: 12 months
Pros
  • Wide variety of outputs and inputs
  • 3 recharging methods: AC, carport, and solar panel (sold separately)
  • Silent and gas-free
  • Pure sine wave output to protect your technology
Cons
  • Solar panel sold separately
  • Not for use with appliances requiring more than 300W

Champion's products are known as the best of the best — and the 100110 is no different! This high-capacity generator offers 9,200 watts of running power, with up to 10 hours of run time at a half-power load. 

This gas generator is the ideal addition to any long camping trip, hunting trip, or outdoor event. Four AC outlets and a button-press quick-start system make this product easy and efficient to use. As a more cost-effective option than similar generators on the market, the Champion 100110 delivers power AND peace of mind. 

Built-in safety features keep this generator running at top speeds and efficiency — even in cold weather! — without worrying about overheating, short-circuiting, power surges, or other hazards. 

If you're looking for an efficient, high-capacity gas generator that won't break the bank, the Champion 100110 is exactly what you need. 

Key Features
  • 7.7 gallon gas tank
  • 10-hour run time at half power load
  • All-terrain wheel kit for easy transport
  • Electric quick-start system
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 48" x 40" x 30"
  • Wattage: 9,200W
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Manufacturer: Champion
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • Runs for 10 hours at half power load
  • 9200 running wattage powers small and large devices
  • Built-in safety features like low oil shut-off sensor
  • All-terrain wheel kit for easy movement
Cons
  • Large and heavy (270 lbs)
  • Loud (74 dBA)

How do I choose a generator?

If you're someone who spends weekends in the deep wilderness, relying on high-powered lights and equipment to power your travels, you probably don't have the same power needs as someone who wants to charge laptops and smartphones on the go. When selecting a generator, it's important to ask yourself a few critical questions. This will help you determine what kind of product you need, and keep you well within your budget.

1. What devices do I need to power?

If you need to recharge multiple smartphones, laptops, or tablets during a music festival or camping trip, you can rely on a smaller generator. On the other hand, if you're trying to keep an RV's AC unit running at full speed for a week-long trip, you will need a generator with a much higher operating power and run time.

First, take a look at the amount of power your devices need to run. For example, cell phones and other small electronics typically use between 50 and 100 watts to charge. A larger electronic device, like a television or microwave, may require more like 300. Some generators max out at a certain wattage — for example, most inexpensive electric generators can only be used with devices at less than 200 watts or so. On the other hand, heavy-duty gas generators can power much larger devices — like event lighting or camping caravans.

You should also look at the outputs that come with your generator. Most include the typical breakdown — AC, DC, and USB. If you have devices that require different plugs, you may need to invest in an adapter or a generator that offers the right type of output.

2. What power sources will I have for my generator?

Today's generators run on electricity, gasoline, or propane. If you're worried about environmental concerns, you may be more interested in an electronic generator. However, electronic generators are typically less powerful than ones that run on gas or propane. Both need to be "recharged" — electric by plugging into a power source like a wall outlet, carport, or solar panel, and gas or propane by replacing the fuel.

3. How often will I need to use my generator, and for how long?

All generators, unlike flowing electricity, reach a point where they "tap out." Electronic ones need to be recharged; gas or propane needs replaced. If you're looking for something to use for a single weekend, you may not need high capacity and horsepower. On the other hand, if you're planning on buying a generator for emergency use – such as a backup battery for hurricane season – you need to know that you have a reliable source of fuel.

You should also consider how often you're able to "recharge" your generator. Will you have frequent access to electricity to recharge your electric generator? (Such as hotel rooms, trips back home, or a carport.) Are you willing to invest in a solar panel and the appropriate adapter? Or would you rather stockpile enough propane tanks or gasoline to keep your generator running in the event of an emergency? Having a concrete plan and a firm grasp of your expectations will keep you from buying a product with more bells and whistles than you need, or relying on a product that just doesn't cut it during crunch time.

4. How much money am I willing to spend?

This is perhaps the most important question to ask yourself. Obviously, an inexpensive electric generator that costs only a couple hundred dollars is going to run much differently than a multi-thousand-dollar gas-powered generator that looks an awful lot like a car engine. Once you've answered the first three questions, you should have a general idea of what you need, and what you're willing to spend. By doing your research, comparing your options, and staying cognizant of your needs, you'll find the perfect generator.

Resources— Grainger, Briggs & Stratton

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