Last Updated on September 16, 2020 by Scott
Portable generators come in all shapes and sizes, from the larger commercial portable generators down to the smaller, easy to carry generators. Since most people do not need large, worksite ready units, most people opt for the smaller, lower wattage generators. These generators are perfect for home backup power emergencies, camping trips, and tailgate parties to keep your smaller appliances charged up.
Small generators under 2,000 watts are not a very popular choice, so your selection is limited. If you can handle the weight of a 2,000-watt range generator, you’ll have many options. It really comes down to your definition of small.
If you need under 1,000 watts, and for shorter periods of time, I would highly recommend looking at a battery-powered solar generator. But I’ll stick to small gas generators in this article.
Table of Contents
- 1. Best Small Inverter Generator: Sportsman 1000I 1000 Watt Generator
- 2. Best quality small generator: Westinghouse iGen1200
- 3. Best Cheap non-inverter small generator:
- 4. Lightweight non-inverter small generator: TogoPower Portable Generator GG1000
- 2,000-watt + Small Generators
- 1. Honda EU2200i
- 2. Yamaha EF2000iSv2
- 3. Briggs & Stratton P2200
- 4. Westinghouse IGen2200
- 5. Atima AY2000I
- 6. A-iPower SUA2000i
- 7. WEN 56200i
- 8. Champion 73536i
- 9. Rainer R2200i
- 10. WEN 56203i
- What Size Small Portable Generator Do I Need?
- Final Words
Let’s take a look at some of the smallest portable generators, starting with the sub 2,000 Watt range:
1. Best Small Inverter Generator: Sportsman 1000I 1000 Watt Generator
Coming it at only 21 pounds, this is one of the lightest gas inverter generators available. Why get the inverter version? Well, safety for your electronic devices is the biggest reason. This is the smallest inverter generator I could find anywhere. And it’s quite cheap.
- Made in China
- Package dimension : 9.0" L x 5.75" W x 0.375" H
- Package weight : 22.8 lbs
2. Best quality small generator: Westinghouse iGen1200
At only 39 pounds, this is still lighter than most of the 2,000-watt range generators. This one is spendier than some of the other light generators, but it has the best build quality, and from a brand I trust.
- 1000 Rated Watts and 1200 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD – Weighs Only 33 Lbs. – Gas Powered – Two 120V 20 Amp Outlets
- Great Choice for Home Use as an Emergency Backup in a Power Outage – Strong Enough to Run Most Home Essentials
- Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: As Low as 52 dBA Noise Output and Up to 9 Hours of Run Time on a 0. 8 Gallon Gas Tank – Features “Economy Mode” for Maximum Fuel Efficiency
3. Best Cheap non-inverter small generator:
If you aren’t going to connect sensitive electronics, this is by far the cheapest small gas generator available.
4. Lightweight non-inverter small generator: TogoPower Portable Generator GG1000
Another non-inverter generator. The TogoPower 1000 watt (peak, 800W sustained) is only ~38 lbs heavy.
- WIDE APPLICATION: TogoPower GG1000 power generator is a great back up outdoor generator for home and it's also perfect for job sites, camping, fishing and hunting, etc.
- POWERFUL FOR EMERGENCY USE: The gas powered portable generator produces 1000 watts of starting power and 800 watts of operating power supporting for small household appliances, such as blender, coffee pot, blower, dryer, fan, electric lamp and so on, and the emergency power station also charges for mobile devices including phones, iPads, laptops, etc. The generator features 120V AC output voltage to power for outdoor without any worries.
- HIGH COMBUSTION EFFICIENCY：The outdoor generator uses 90# Petrol & Oil mixing（50:1）to provide you with power flexibility on the road or in an emergency and it can run up to six hours at 50% load when the 1.05 gallon tank is full.
2,000-watt + Small Generators
The follow generators aren’t “small” but they are the smallest of the standard 2,000-watt range gas generators. I have the Honda EU2200i, and it’s easy to pick and move on my own, but it’s still 47 lbs!
1. Honda EU2200i
Honda has a strong reputation for manufacturing motor and power equipment that not only performs great, but also stands the test of time.
They have applied the same principles to their line of generators to give you dependable, easy to you power on the go, and this Honda EU2200i is a perfect example.
The Honda EU2200i generator (full review here) is a small portable generator that is going to be easy to carry for just about anyone.
The integrated handle makes toting this 47 lb generator easy so you can move it to exactly where you need it.
- This popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, making it perfect for portable use at home, camping, on the job site, or much more. Reliable Power is now at your fingertips with Honda's Inverted Generators.
- So quiet, your neighbors will thank you. The EU2200i operates at 48 to 57 dBA, which is less noise than a normal conversation. This makes it ideal for camping, supplemental RV power and any other activity that requires quiet operation.
- Add a second EU2200i for additional power. Two identical models can be paralleled with an optional cable or cord for up to 4400 watts of power, or time-consuming applications.
With a larger GXR120 engine, you are going to get to enjoy 2200 starting watts and 1800 running watts from the EU2200. This is going to be a great power range for home backup emergencies, powering up electronics on a camping trip, or keeping the party going at your next tailgate party.
As far as outlets go, you will get two 120V 15A household-style plugs along with a 12V 8.3A battery charging outlet. This is a pretty standard setup for most smaller generators to ensure you have what you need to power small electronics and appliances.
Since most smaller generators are used in residential or camping situations, it is highly important to have a generator that is not going to disturb those around you. Honda did a fantastic job making this generator quiet with a 48 to 57 dBa range.
With a fuel tank size of less than a gallon, you can still get around 8 hours of use from this generator at 50% load. This is perfect for those trying to get through the night or power through a work day.
A great perk to the EU2200i is that you get the capabilities of pairing up another EU2200i with the parallel connections for double the power.
Honda is going to offer a 3-year warranty on this EU2200i generator.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
The Honda EU2200i is one of the best smaller generators that you can buy. However, you will be paying the premium for a higher quality product as this generator is in the higher tier of budgets. If you can afford it, I would definitely consider getting it as it will be a generator that you can use for years to come.
2. Yamaha EF2000iSv2
When most people think of Yamaha, they immediately think of dirt bikes and other recreational vehicles. While
Yamaha has gained a high reputation for being a leader in this industry, they also have made their way to the top of the generator industry as well. The Yamaha EF2000iSV2 (full review here) is a prime example of one of their high quality, smaller generators.
This Yamaha inverter generator is going to be on the smaller side, but it surely packs a punch when it comes to power capabilities.
It is equipped with a 79cc engine that is going to allow you to enjoy 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts.
- 1600 watt rated AC output, 2000 watt maximum AC output, 13.3/16.7 amps @ 120V
- Super-quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor - 51.5 dBA at 1/4 load
- Smart Throttle varies engine speed based on load - improves fuel economy and reduces noise
With a 1.1-gallon fuel tank, you can use this generator for up to 10.5 hours at ¼ load, making it ideal for running smaller appliances for longer periods of time. At only 51-61 dBa, you will never have to worry about this generator disturbing neighbors as it is quieter than most generators.
As far as outlet selection goes, you are going to get 2 120V household AC outlets and a 12V 8 amp DC battery charging outlet to keep you covered for all of your smaller appliances, electronics, and tools.
Yamaha stands behind this generator with a 3-year warranty against defects in parts and workmanship.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
This Yamaha generator is going to be an ideal generator for those looking for a reliable, long-lasting, small generator. I personally could not find anything that I did not like about the generator as it has all of the features I would expect from a generator of this size and the 3-year warranty is a huge plus.
3. Briggs & Stratton P2200
Briggs & Stratton is another well known small motor manufacturer that also produces portable generators. While they offer many different size generators, today, I am going to focus on the smaller P2200 generator as it is light, easy to transport, and can power most smaller appliances.
The P2200 generator is going to be powered by a 111cc engine to help produce 2200 starting watts and 1700 running watts.
It was designed with camping and tailgating in mind, so this power range is perfect for keeping those small electronics powered up throughout the day or night. You can expect to get about 8 hours of run time from a single tank at 50% load.
- Quiet and fuel efficient 111 cc OHV engine produces 2,200 starting watts and 1700 running watts
- USB port allows charging of portable electronics in order to stay connected. Muffler : Super Lo-tone. Start type: Recoil
- Produces less than 3% total harmonic distortion making it safe for laptop computers, TVs and game systems
Since this generator was designed for close quarters, Quiet Power Technology was used to help adjust the engine speed to further reduce noise and increase fuel economy. You can expect this generator to operate at around 59 dBa which is perfect for camping or tailgating.
The P2200 generator is going to offer a few different outlets to choose from to hook up just about any small electronics. You can choose from two household outlets, a USB adapter, and a DC battery charger outlet. You will also notice a set of parallel outlets to allow you to hook up another P2200 generator for twice the power.
One of my personal favorite features of this generator is that it is expandable. With the PowerSmart parallel adapter, you can not only hook up another P2200 generator, but you get two additional plugs including a 120V 30A twist lock plug and a 120V 30A RV plug for larger appliances.
Briggs & Stratton is going to offer a 2-year limited warranty on this generator to ensure you are covered for the next 24 months.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
The P2200 generator is going to be a great generator for those who are looking for something small, quiet, and easy to use. The parallel expandability makes this generator a great investment as you can always buy a second and connect them together for more power. I would highly suggest this generator to those who need a smaller generator now, but could possibly need room for expansion in the future.
4. Westinghouse IGen2200
You can’t have a top 10 list of generators without mentioning a Westinghouse generator. Westinghouse is one of the leading generator manufacturers and had a wide variety of models to fit just about anyone’s needs.
Today, I am going to look at the IGen2200 generator (full review here), a small, affordable generator that has all of the features you could ever want in a portable generator.
- 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD - Weighs Only 46 Lbs. - Gas Powered - Two 120V 20 Amp Outlets, Two USB Outlets
- Great Choice for Home Use as an Emergency Backup in a Power Outage - Strong Enough to Run All Your Home Essentials
- Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: as Low as 52 dBA Noise Output and 12 Hour Run Time on a 1. 2 Gallon Gas Tank - Features "Economy Mode" for Maximum Fuel Efficiency
Starting off with the power of the IGen2200, this generator is going to feature a 98cc engine that will allow for 2500 starting watts and 2200 running watts.
This is one of the higher-rated generators on this list, so if you are needing a little more power, this generator may be the one.
Taking a look at the control panel, you are going to get the standard three LED indicator lights as seen on most of the generators on this list.
You will also get an efficiency mode switch and parallel outlets which always make for a great addition to any generator.
The biggest advantage this generator has on the competition is the use of protectively covered outlets on the 2 120V household outlets and 2 USB outlets. These covers help to protect your generator from dirt, debris, and moisture, making it more universal when it comes to using it at the job site or in dirtier conditions.
At only 47lbs, you can easily transport this generator to wherever you need it thanks to the integrated handle. It operates at a low 52 dBa, making it one of the quietest generators on this list.
It is also ideal for sensitive electronics as it produces clean, stable power thanks to the Westinghouse iGen series inverter technology.
Westinghouse is going to offer a 3-year warranty on the IGen2200 generator.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
If you are not needing the 12V battery charging feature found on most small generators, then this generator may be perfect for you. It has just about any other feature you would want and need from a portable generator, plus, the price point is in just about everyone’s budget. With a 3 year warranty, you can rest assured that this generator is going to give you years of great use.
5. Atima AY2000I
While Altima is not the first brand you normally think of when you think of portable generators, the AY2000I is one you should definitely take a look at.
Doing the things that most of the generators on this list do, plus more, makes this Yamaha powered generator a worthy contender.
The AY2000i generator features a Yamaha engine that is capable of providing 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts.
This puts this generator (my review here) right where it needs to be as a high performing emergency use, camping, or tailgating generator.
At only 47lbs, this generator is going to be one of the lightest on this list and it features a built-in carrying handle to make transporting it much easier. You will also get to enjoy a quiet 51.5 dBa when operating this generator at lower loads. It is going to be equipped with a 1-gallon fuel tank that will provide a little over 10 hours of run time at ¼ load and 4.2 hours of run time at full load.
You will be able to power up or charge just about any small appliance or electronic device with the 2 120V household plugs and a single DC 12V cigarette style plug.
If you are needing more power or outlet selection, you can use the Twin Tech ports to hook another AY2000I up in parallel.
This generator is protected by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty from Atima to give you years of protection.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
If you know me, you know I love testing out lesser-known brands so the Atima is the perfect candidate. Since it features a Yamaha engine, I assumed the price was going to be a little higher than most, but you get many great features seen on most generators on this list. My only complaint would be the white exterior as it looks nice, but would most likely get dirty pretty quickly after a few uses.
6. A-iPower SUA2000i
A-iPower is another lesser-known brand but is not one to be overlooked as they have a nice selection of different size generators to fit a variety of needs. This particular generator, the SUA2000i, is going to be a great choice for those looking for a small, easy to carry generator.
The SUA2000i comes with an A-iPower 79cc engine that helps to push out 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts to help get you through your next power outage, charge up your electronics on a camping trip, or even power you through a tailgate party.
- Produces 2,000 starting watts with 1,600 running watts of clean and safe power for sensitive electronics such as phones, televisions, laptops, and other electronics.
- Complete with A-iPower’s “Low idle” technology for an extended run time of 4 hours at 100% load and 7 hours at 50% load.
- Equipped with a low oil alert light and low oil automatic shutdown, helping keep your generator performing year after year.
The outlet selection on this generator is going to be a tad bit different than what we have seen on other generators on this list.
Where most of the generators have features 2 household outlets, this generator only has one. This may be a downfall for those who are needing two, but it does make up for that lack of an outlet with a single 120V 30A twist lock outlet and 12V cigarette style outlet. You will also get parallel outlets to hook up another SUA2000I generator to this one.
A-iPower is going to offer a 2-year warranty with this generator which is pretty standard for most generators.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
The A-iPower SUA2000i is a very nice, compact generator that can be easily moved around thanks to its lightweight. While the addition of a twist-lock outlet is a great feature, losing one household outlet may make this generator limited to a specific market. Overall, it is a great generator, but the outlet selection should be greatly considered when deciding on whether or not to buy it.
7. WEN 56200i
I can’t have a top 10 generator post without mentioning WEN. WEN is a leader in the industry that has a generator to fit just about any application. The 56200i made this list as it is small, easy to move, and still gives you the power you need.
The WEN 56200i generator is going to allow for 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts from the 79cc engine. It is going to have a very quiet operating volume at only 51 decibels, making it ideal for residential and camping use. You will also get the parallel capabilities that most portable generators have so you can double up on power.
- Dimensions: 18" x 11" x 18" | Weight: 48 lbs
- Noise Level: 53 dB operation
- EPA III and CARB Compliant 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts
With a 1-gallon fuel tank, you are going to get to enjoy up to 6 hours of run time at 50% load. This is a little lower than the competition, which is a little disappointing.
The outlet selection of this generator does make it stand out from most generators as you will have 5 to choose from. You will get 2 household outlets, 2 5V USB outlets, and a single 12V DC outlet.
WEN is going to offer a 2-year warranty on this generator to keep you protected.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
You can never go wrong with a WEN generator as they are tried and true in a variety of different size classes. It is one of the most affordable generators on this list, making it a personal favorite when it comes to buying a generator on a budget. The only downfall I noticed with this generator is the lower run time. I would have liked to see at least 8 hours at half load, but if you do not use your generators for that long, then this would be a great generator to have.
8. Champion 73536i
No list is complete without mentioning a Champion branded generator.
Champion is one of the most popular manufacturers of generators and has a generator for just about every power level you can think of.
This Champion 73536i generator perfectly fits the criteria of what I was looking for in a smaller generator.
- Champion 73536i, 1700 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter
- Champion Power Equipment C90010 Cover
The 73536i is going to feature a small 80cc engine, but it will still put out 1700 running watts and 2000 starting watts.
This generator is unique as its frame makes it stackable so that you can easily run them in parallel and keep them neatly organized. This also makes storing multiple generators much easier.
You can expect a long run time of 9.5 hours at ¼ load and a noise level of only 53 dBa, making it one of the quietest generators on this list.
The outlet selection is pretty standard when compared to other generators of this size. You will get a pair of 120V household outlets and a 12V battery charging outlet. Of course, you will have parallel outlets as well.
Champion offers a 3-year limited warranty on each of their generators along with free lifetime technical support from highly trained Champion generator experts.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
Champion’s generators are built to last and perform, so you could never go wrong with this generator. The biggest suggestion I would have before buying it is to make sure that the limited outlet selection is what you truly want. Personally, I would have liked to see USB or a cigarette style outlet added in, but if that’s not needed for your application, then this may be a great fit for you.
9. Rainer R2200i
A generator that I have not previously reviewed until today is the Rainer R2200i generator.
Although I have not personally tested this one out, it has great reviews on Amazon from over 100 verified purchasers so it is worth taking a look at.
The Rainer R2200i generator is going to feature a 79cc OHV engine that will be rated at 1800 running watts and 2200 peak watts. With a 1.3-gallon fuel tank, you can expect up to 13 hours of run time at ¼ load.
- 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts; Gasoline Powered; Up to 13 Hours of Run Time; Gasoline Powered; 1.3 Gallon Fuel Tank
- Rainier 79cc OHV 4 Stroke Engine with Easy Access Recoil Start; Features “Eco (Economy) Mode” for Conserving Energy and Maximum Fuel Efficiency
- Super Quiet Operation; Enjoy a Hushed Hum of as Low as 52 dBA While Providing A Stable Power Source for All Your Sensitive Electronics Such as Smartphones, Tablets, Televisions, and Computers (noise rating obtained at a distance of 7 meters in a controlled environment)
The outlet selection is pretty standard for this type of generator with 2 household 120V plugs and a single 12V DC plug.
Parallel connections are a plus to allow you the opportunity to get even more power with the addition of another generator.
Rainer backs this generator up with a 3-year warranty which is on the higher side of generator warranties.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
I can easily see why this generator is so popular on Amazon as it has many great features, it is really light and ultra-quiet. With all of these great amenities, the generator still comes in at an affordable price. The Rainer generator is going to be a great addition to just about any homeowner’s arsenal.
10. WEN 56203i
Wen makes another appearance on this list with the super portable 56203i generator (my full review here). This generator is small, compact, and ready to take on your smaller power projects.
This WEN 56203i generator is going to feature a 79.7cc engine that will give you 1700 running watts and 2000 starting watts. You will never have to worry about bothering neighbors or fellow campers as this generator operates at an extremely quiet 51 decibels.
- Ultralight body weighs in at a mere 39 pounds for easy transport and storage
- Extremely quiet operation comparable to the sound of a normal conversation according to the US Department of Health and Human Services
- Produces 2000 surge watts and 1700 rated watts of clean power for safe charging of sensitive electronics (phones, tablets, televisions, computers, etc.)
You will have an above-average selection of outlets as the 56203i includes 2 120V household outlets, a 12V DC outlet, and 2 USB outlets. This will allow you to power up and charge just about any small electronics or appliances.
Wen offers a 2-year warranty on this generator with a customer satisfaction guarantee.
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
While setting the covered outlets as a con, it’s really not that big of a deal when compared to the great outlet selection and features found on this generator. A WEN generator is always a great investment and this 56203i generator is perfect for those looking for a super cheap, small generator.
What Size Small Portable Generator Do I Need?
Not to worry, this is a common question among those first-time generator shoppers. To figure out what size generator you will need, make a list of all of the devices you may want to power/charge with your generator.
Calculate how much wattage each requires and then configure a few combinations of what you may use at one time.
Take that number and use that as a guide on finding a generator that fits your needs. Remember to allow for some extra wattage as you do not want to run your generator at full power at all times.
Now that you have seen my top 10 picks of the smallest generators on the market, you should be able to find the best one for your needs. As always, if you have any questions about a specific generator, contact the manufacturer to ensure you get all of your questions answered.
Are you currently using a portable generator? If so, what size, and what appliances are you running with it?
Please consider sharing this post with anyone you know who might be in the market for a small generator!
Last update on 2021-01-29 Affiliate links & images from Amazon Product Advertising API