There are some purchases that you’re likely to rarely need, but can be still essential to own, and a portable generator is one such item. If you live somewhere where long-term power outages are a concern, such as areas with strong storm seasons, owing a generator can be a literal lifesaver – especially in the case of an emergency or natural disaster.
Portable generators are not just for emergency situations, however. If you’re someone who camps or throws tailgate parties and other outdoor events, having a generator can ensure you have all the power you need for lighting and cooking.
The key is to get a generator that’s compact enough to move around in emergency situations or take with you to events, but powerful enough that you don’t have to worry about running out of juice. Here are 3 great options.
1. Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator
Westinghouse has been around for over 130 years, and they’re one of the top names in electrical supplies. Their iGen2200 portable generator is fuel efficient, quiet, and weighs less than 50 pounds. Many of the reviews came from people who used the generator for their homes following Hurricane Maria, and most of those reviewers found that it worked well for the job.
Pros: Can power cellphones and laptops in addition to larger appliances, comes with USB and 120v ports.
Cons: As with all the generators on this list it is not safe for indoor use. There is no gauge to tell how much fuel is left.
2. Westinghouse iGen1200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
This model offers much of the same functionality as iGen2200, but it’s slightly smaller. Despite that, it actually holds more fuel and runs longer than the iGen2200. This model is both fuel efficient and quiet.
Pros: Lightweight and quiet, and is the only model on this list that can be shipped to California.
Cons: Some users had issues with warranty and the lifespan of this device.
3. Briggs & Stratton Portable Inverter Generator
Reviewers remarked positively on the Briggs and Stratton portable generator as an affordable option for trailers, tailgating, or after outages. It also comes with numerous outlets to power multiple devices at once, including a USB and 2 120v ports.
Pros: It’s affordable, runs relatively quietly, and many users found it a good option for daily use following a hurricane.
Cons: It is not fuel efficient enough for sale in California.