The 6 best whole house and portable generators for 2022

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A power generator is a fantastic nice-to-have item to keep around the house. After all, losing power in this day and age, even for a very short time, can cause some major headaches. Keeping a generator or portable power station ready to go can turn a night that may have been a genuine emergency into just a mild inconvenience. Outside of emergency use, they can also be used for camping, tailgating, and more. Generators and power stations can come in a wide range of prices with an even wider range of features, so we’ve compiled this list featuring a few of the best we could find according to user ratings and reviews. Check out our selection of the top power generators for 2022 below.

Key Features

  • “Quiet operation” makes it great for camping, tailgating or RVs
  • Features 4,500 starting watts and 3,500 running watts
  • Up to 14 hours of run time on just 2.3 gallons of gasoline
  • Optional parallel kit allows users to connect multiple inverters together to double the power output
  • Built-in intelligauge allows users to monitor voltage, frequency and operating hours
  • Built-in EZ Start Dial makes startup easy
  • Two built-in 120V 20A outlets, a 120V 30A RV outlet, 12V automotive-style (cigarette lighter) outlet, dual port USB adapter
  • Includes a 3-year limited warranty with purchase with free lifetime technical support

This generator is one of the best all-arounders out there. You can use it by itself or link it with another to double the power output, built-in gauge lets you know exactly how much time you have left and lets users accurate track voltage, and it also features an “EZ Start Dial” preventing the need for a pull cord. There’s even a quiet operation mode that makes it great for camping or tailgating. Last but not least, you’ll get a 3-year limited warranty with your purchase and free lifetime technical support.

Key Features

  • Very lightweight, only 39 lbs 
  • “Quiet operation” makes it great for camping or tailgating
  • Features 2,500 starting watts and 1,850 running watts
  • Up to 11.5 hours of run time w/ gas or 24 hours w/ propane
  • Optional parallel kit allows users to connect multiple inverters together to double the power output
  • Two built-in 120V 20A outlets 
  • Includes a 3-year limited warranty with purchase

A portable electrical generator is a great compromise if you don’t want or need to keep a full-sized generator around. This one runs on gas or propane with up to 34 hours of runtime and it only weighs 39 lbs. Like the generator above, this one can also be linked to another generator to double the power output and it also comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Key Features

  • Powered by a 4-stroke DuroMax engine
  • Utilizes dual fuel technology – can run on propane or gasoline
  • Features 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts
  • Can choose between operating at both 120V and 240V simultaneously or at only 120V at full power
  • EPA and CARB approved in all 50 states

We can’t get enough of portable power. This 12,000-watt DuroMax generator is larger than some others on our list so you may not want to take it camping, but it’s a great backup power option to keep at home or at a worksite. It can run on either gas or propane, it has an electric start, and it’s rated for 9,500 running watts so it can handle heavier loads and power things like a refrigerator, home air conditioning unit, and high amperage power tools.

Key Features

  • Features PowerRush Advanced Technology that “delivers over 50% more starting capacity”
  • Quiet Inverter Power reduces sound output 
  • Economy mode automatically adjusts engine speed to save fuel and reduce sound
  • Generator is “parallel ready” and can be connected to another GP3300i to double the power output
  • Lightweight and includes visual alerts to show when it’s running low, overloaded, or ready for use
  • Also includes USB ports for mobile devices and more

Portable generators are great for camping or helping out in a pinch if your power goes out and Generac is a big name in residential and industrial generators alike. The GP3300i model is a 2500-watt gas-powered unit that features multiple outlets and USB ports for charging things like a small fridge or freezer, tablets and mobile devices. It’s only 59 lbs so transport and storage is easier than larger units and it features quiet inverter tech that aims to help reduce noise pollution when the unit is running.

Key Features

  • This power station recharges to 80% in 3.5 hours
  • Can recharge via USB-C, wall outlet or car outlet
  • Includes 2 built-in AC outlets that deliver 300W power, 1 USB-C port, 1 fast-charge USB 3.0 port, 1 USB-A port and 1 DC car port
  • Can power up to 6 devices at once
  • Weights only 7.1 lbs

For those who don’t like the noise and exhaust of a normal generator, portable power stations may be for you. This one from Jackery can be charged from 0% to 80% in just 3.5 hours when plugged into a wall outlet (3.6 hours when plugged into a car) and has enough of a charge to power your phone 31x, a camera 15x and a drone 6x, making it perfect for camping and longer road trips. If you’re going to be outside for a while you can also pair it with a solar panel for charging off the road and off the grid. If the Explorer 300 isn’t exactly what suits your needs the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 and Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 are also great picks, worth a look.

Key Features

  • Recharges up to 80% in as little as 1 hour and fully charges in 1.6 hours – if you prefer convenience over speed, you can also use the “quiet charging” mode
  • Compatible with over 80% of home appliances (up to 1800W)
  • Includes 3 AC outlets, 3 DC outlets and 4 USB outlets
  • Can charge up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Weighs just 11 lbs
  • Purchase includes a 24 month warranty

The EcoFlow solar-compatible portable generator is equipped with two USB-A ports, one fast-charge USB port, one 100w USB-C port, three DC outlets, and three 600W AC outlets. Thanks to its fast-charge tech the unit can go from 0% battery to fully charged in just 1.6 hours. It can power 80% of home appliances (up to 1800W) so you can run devices (laptops and phones) and home appliances (fridge, blender, etc.) for hours. Another nice feature is the fact you can charge things without the noise of the generator running in the background thanks to a “Quiet Charging” app setting.

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