A Guide to the Best Camping Generators on the Market Today

A Guide to the Best Camping Generators on the Market Today

best camping generators

What aspects make for the best camping generator? You’ll want it to be quiet for one, so you don’t annoy or disturb your fellow campers. In fact, as portable camping generator reviews like this one point out, many National Parks limit the sound produced by generators to sixty decibels at fifty feet. You want a large degree of portability for easy packing and transportation, and you want a longer run time – at least eight hours. With a shorter run time, you’ll find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to refuel your camping generator. Let’s take a look at this buyers guide so you can decide which generator is the best camping generator for you.

1. Paxcess 100-Watt Portable Generator 

First let’s look at the Paxcess. It’s got three outputs – AC, USB, and 12V outputs to power almost anything – iPhone, android tablet, laptops, running lights, even a CPAP machine. A neat feature of the Paxcess is that there are multiple ways to recharge your appliance – use the sun, wall adapter or the car.

The Paxcess comes equipped with a high capacity lightweight lithium power pack. The powerful 150WH lithium batteries weigh only 3.3 pounds, one of the smallest size power supplies available. On the generator is an upgraded LED display with DC/AC/UPS output and an input meter. Finally, for safety, this quiet portable generator for camping focuses on safety with built in voltage and temperature control. Average run time of this generator can vary greatly by what you use it for. We have seen reports of 18-20 hours from users using lower power CPAP machines, and experienced as low as 3.5 hours from higher use, overall we like it’s versatility and portability a lot.

2. WEN 56180 Gas Powered Portable Generator

Next let’s look at the WEN 56180. EPA and CARB compliant, this generator can be legally operated in all fifty states. It features both 1800 surge watts and 1500 running watts, so you will have power both in case of emergency, or just recreation. Both lightweight and compact, the generator includes two three prong wall outlets and one 12 V DC outlet. When the generator is low on oil, it shuts down, safeguarding the engine from damage.

What can you power with one of the best camping generators? Microwave, sump pump, television, computer, slow cooker, refrigerator and more. It’s the perfect choice for camping, emergencies and job sites.

Here's a great video of an unboxing and discussion of this generator.:

3. WEN 56200i Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

Other camping generator reviews note how quiet the Wen 56200i is as well as this one. The US Department of Health and Human services reports that the sound of operation can be compared to the sound of a normal conversation. Here’s a portable generator you can bring to construction sites, tailgates, campgrounds and works like a charm in the event of a power outage.

A nice feature of the 56200i is the fact that its clean power safely operates and prevents damage to even sensitive electronics like smart phones, tablets and computers. It comes with 2 three prong 120V receptacles, one 5V USB port and one 12V DC receptacle. The engine operates at just 51 decibels, quieter than a window air conditioner. This will keep your neighbors happy while you camp.

4. WEN PowerPro 56101 Gas Powered Portable Generator

Here’s a generator built for portability. Less than 36 pounds with a built in carrying handle, and stabilized with four rubber pads, this small appliance packs a punch. It uses a mix of oil and gas for fuel, eliminating the need for oil changes. The one gallon tank is capable of running for five hours.

Like some of the other appliances in camping generator reviews, the PowerPro surpasses both CARB and EPA standards, which means it is safe to use in all national forests and parks – a must have for campers traveling state to state.

5. All Power America APG3004 Gas Powered Portable Generator

This camping generator is especially lightweight at forty four pounds. Its noise level measures in at less than 68dB, allowing you to power lights, small tools, or coffee makers at your campsite. With a large tank capacity, it can run up to eight and a half hours, delivering 1000 Watt surge of power, or 800 Watts of continuous power. This may not be the best portable generator for camping if you like to travel cross country – it’s non CARB compliant and therefore not for sale in California.

It runs a bit on the noisy side, but you can diminish the sound by moving the generator fifty feet away with an extension cable. In the long run, it supplies energy and that’s what you need, so it will do.

Final Thoughts

It is my hope that these portable camping generator reviews will help you hone in on your purchase decision. Remember that the main features you want to keep in mind when you do make your purchase is reliability, portability and low noise volume. Another thing to bear in mind is that some of these generators are not CARB compliant which means that they cannot be used in every state. It all boils down to your specific needs, what you need to power and your personal interests. Keep your priorities in order, and you’ll make the best decision for you.

Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com.

Bob Campbell

By day Robert "Bob" Campbell is a residential carpenter but by night (and on the weekends) he is a non-stop DIY tinkerer. As the lead editor of HandymansJournal.com Bob is able to share his passion for DIY projects and buying all the latest gear with the online world.