Using a small portable generator for camping has a number of advantages that include they’re easy to store, it does not require much effort to move them and they’re easy to transport, easy to start and maintain etc. Having power at your fingertips while camping with the family can provide peace of mind that your mobile phones will always have a charge incase of emergencies, you can have access to hot water, hot food, lighting and a whole slew of electrical goodies. While this might take away from the outdoors experience for some, it provides the missed little luxuries for others. It’s really down to your own preferences.
This article will review a number of the smallest portable generators that are available on the market so that you can decide which is the best portable generator for you to take on your next camping adventure.
[Quick Scan Table]
|Yamaha EF1000iS||Chicago Electric Generators 800 Rated Watts (||Porta Source IG800W Mini Inverter
|1000/900 watts||900/800 watts||800/700 watts||1250/1000 watts|
|14.9 x 9.4 x 17.7 in||20 x 15 x 16 in||14 x 8.2 x 15.6 in||12.5 x 9 x 17 in|
|27.9 pounds||38.5 pounds||20 pounds||31.6 pounds|
|2 x 110V AC||1 x 120V outlet||1 x 120V AC||2 x three-prong 120V receptacles|
|1 x 12V DC||Circuit breaker protection||1 x 12V DC||2 x 5V USB ports|
|Latest Amazon Price||Latest Amazon price||Currently unavailable – see alternative||Latest Amazon Price|
800 Watts Chicago Electric Generator
This generator has a 63cc gas engine and it is cheap and quit compact. It has been designed to deliver power for a couple of hours and a full tank of gas will last you about 5 hours if it is used to pull a moderate load. Although it is not the lightest generator on the market, weighing about 35 lbs., it is one of the smallest electric generators currently available. The well-placed carrying handle makes it very easy to move.
This Chicago Electric generator may be worth considering mainly due to its price which is a lot cheaper than most other comparable models. It delivers output power of approximately 800 watts, but this is not supplied via an inverter. This simply means that this camping generator does not have a very stable output voltage. It does however have a circuit breaker to protect against damage to appliances that are plugged into it.
The noise level of this generator is not quit as low as what a typical inverter generator produces. Due to its padded feet, it can be placed anywhere and it starts very easily, not requiring much effort at all.
- Not very quiet
- Not ideal for use with sensitive electronics
- Transporting this generator is easy
- Light weight
- Budget friendly
If you are looking for a small gas generator that has great fuel economy, the Yamaha EF1000iS might just be the unit for you. This brand is well known in the industry and has a very good reputation. The 28 lbs. weight makes it fairly portable and the ergonomically designed handle makes transportation very easy.
The gasoline tank capacity is slightly less than one gallon and it delivers about 1000 watts output power. Sensitive electronic equipment can be operated quiet safely from this high quality small generator safeguards with inverter technology.
For improved fuel efficiency, an economy mode is available. When this smart throttle load feature is used to control the engine’s activity, it will run on a single tank of gas for far longer than 10 hours.
The features of this small portable generator can easily be accessed via its handy control panel. The Yamaha EF1000iS also features a noise reduction design.
- Not suitable for marine use
- A number of maintenance issues have been reported
WEN 56125i Portable Generator
With a decibel rating of about 51 dB when running a modest load, the WEN 56125i is very quiet and will not bother anyone while running. It is fairly portable weighing only about 48 lbs., while the ergonomic handle makes transporting it very simple.
This generator delivers 1000 watts of stable output power, although it is rated for an output of 1250 watts. You can confidently use it for sensitive electronic equipment without worrying about them getting damaged. The eco-mode will allow the generator to run for much longer on a single tank of gas with its improved fuel efficiency.
Is 1000 watts of power is not sufficient for your requirements, the WEN 56125i generator can be connected in parallel to another generator to generate more power. The five power outlets on the generator allows you to plug in many appliances directly without having to use power adaptors.
The 60cc gas engine is CARB compliant and with a tank capacity of about 0.7 gallons, it has a fairly decent running time.
- Customer support could be improved
- Some customers report excessive noise
- Easy to move
- Equipped with a premium spark arrestor, making it suitable for use in parks and forests and.
- Easy to start
Porta Source IG800W
Weighing as little as 20 lbs. the Porta Source IG800W can be considered the smallest inverter generator available, making it extremely easy to transport and store.
The 40cc gasoline engine is able to deliver power for a number of hours on a single gas tank, producing a power output of 800watts. This is very good, especially considering its size. This generator does use an inverter, making the power generated very reliable and totally suitable for sensitive appliances.
The noise level is also very low and the economy mode allows the generator to work much more efficiently and longer. A series of LED lights are used to indicate various generator statuses, including low oil level warning and excessive load warning.
- Not very durable
- Generator needs to be earthed properly
- Whisper quiet operation
- Very portable
This model is currently unavailable click HERE for an alternative model!
Benefits of Compact Portable Generators
Although the compact portable generators reviewed here are all very small, they still deliver enough power to operate most of the devices you will typically use while camping.
Their small size and light weight makes it easy to take them with you and set up when and where you need them.
A number of the portable power generators reviewed here do use inverters, while others don’t. When you want to use sensitive electronic appliances with a portable generator, you have to use one with an inverter. Not doing so could risk damaging your devices.
This is one of the major features you need to consider when deciding which is the best portable generator for you.
Small, portable power generators often use very little fuel, and many of them actually have an eco-mode. This reduces the fuel consumption even more while not really reducing the power output by that much.
One of the most useful features of the smaller model power generators is how relatively quiet they are. For the bigger model power generators, noise is often a big problem. If you need a power source which won’t disturb your neighbors, a small, compact portable generator might be the right choice.
In spite of their small size, portable generators can still deliver impressive output powers, with the smallest diesel generator being able to generate more than 1500 watt.