Our Favorite Quiet Generators for Camping After 2017
Portable generators allow you to stay connected and enjoy modern conveniences no matter where you are. Whether you’re camping, traveling in an RV or trying to survive an emergency, generators can power your refrigerator, air conditioner and lights when no other power source is available. But the biggest issue with generators is the noise they produce – some are exceptionally loud.
Our favorite for 2017
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Portable 2200-Watt Inverter Generator with Parallel Capability
A very close runner-up
Increased reliability, quieter operation and easy portability
If you’re in the market for a quiet generator, here are some things to consider when comparing models:
- dBA: The model’s dBA rating measures the loudness of sound in the air as perceived by human ears. The higher the dBA rating, the louder the machine. Quieter generators have a dBA rating of 60 or lower, which is equivalent to the noise a dishwasher makes.
- Power: Aside from the dBA rating of the model, another important thing to consider is how much power it’s capable of producing. Determine how much power you need, so you can find a unit that can meet your demands. Not sure how much power you need? Use this chart as a guide.
- Size: The size of the generator is important, particularly if you plan on using it to power your RV or at a jobsite. The product description should list the size of the unit. Determine how much room you have, and find a unit that will fit comfortably in that space.
To help you find the right generator for your needs, we’re going to share our favorite picks for the quietest generators on the market.
Reviews – Our Picks for the Quietest Generator
WEN 56200i – The WEN 56200i is a powerful generator that offers ultra-quiet operation. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says this generator is about as noisy as a normal conversation. We’d venture to say that this is the quietest inverter generator on the market today.
With 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts, this generator offers more than enough power for just about any need.
CARB and EPA III compliant, the 56200i features a 4-stroke, 79.7 cc OHV engine. This unit also includes one 12V DC outlet, two three-prong 120V outlets and a USB port.
This generator’s quiet operation makes it an ideal choice for camping and tailgates, but its higher power output also makes it an excellent choice for emergencies and jobsites.
Champion Power Equipment 73536i – Champion Power Equipment’s 73536i model is extremely quiet (53Db) and lightweight (48 pounds), making it the ideal choice for use on campgrounds, tailgating, cabins and more.
The built-in handle makes this lightweight generator extremely portable, while the low noise generation minimizes disruptions.
Using inverter technology, this generator also features an economy mode for increased efficiency. When the electrical load is reduced, the engine idles lower automatically to save on engine wear and fuel.
CARB compliant, this generator delivers 2000 starting watts and 1700 running watts.
If you’re looking for an inverter generator that’s extremely lightweight and whisper-quiet, the 73536i is the ideal choice.
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 – The 30651 from Briggs & Stratton is extremely quiet (59dB) and efficient, but it’s also extremely powerful with a 111 cc OHV engine that can deliver 2,200 starting watts and 1,700 running watts.
Because this unit produces less than 3% of harmonic distortion, it’s safe for use with TVs, computers and video game systems. The USB port also allows you to charge up your smartphone, laptop or other mobile devices with ease.
The one-gallon tank allows for up to eight hours of continuous use at 25% load. And the parallel connector port allows you to connect two units for even more power.
For recreational use, the Briggs & Stratton 30651 is the ideal choice.
Yamaha EF2400iSHC – The EF2400iSHC from Yamaha delivers 2,400 starting watts and 2,000 running watts, making this the most powerful generator on our list. Gas powered, this portable inverter provides clean power, and the engine speed adjusts to match the load automatically.
The low oil shutdown prevents damage to the engine, and this model can run a 13,500 BTU air conditioner, a microwave and hair dryers.
Weighing 75 pounds, this unit is on the heavy side, but delivers Pulse Width Modulation to deliver electricity with comparable quality to public utilities.
Ideal for powering air conditioners, this powerful unit is perfect for recreational use.
Powerhorse Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator – The Powerhorse portable inverter generator delivers 2,000 starting watts and 1,600 running watts. CARB compliant and quiet (52dB), this model produces less than 1.5% total harmonic distortion to run electronics safely.
With full copper-wound heads, this generator can run at full load for weeks continuously without overheating. Copper heads last longer and run cooler than aluminum heads.
The parallel-ready design allows you to connect two units for more power. This unit offers two 120V AC 20A outlets and one 120V AC 20A outlet.
Easy to start and maintain, this generator is a great choice for RV use. It’s quiet and can safely power everything from electronics to power tools.
Buyer’s Guide – What Is the Quietest Generator on The Market?
With so many factors to consider, choosing a generator can be a daunting task. We’ve reviewed five of the quietest models you can buy, but how do you narrow down your choices to just one? Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Runtime: The unit’s fuel capacity is a good indicator of the generator’s runtime. The larger the tank, the longer the unit can run before needing to be refueled. Determine how much runtime you need, and find a model that meets your needs.
- Total Harmonic Distortion Percentage: If you plan on powering electronics, such as a smartphone or laptop, choose a model that has less than 1.5% total harmonic distortion to protect your gadgets.
- Low Oil Shutdown: Models that offer a low oil shutdown feature are preferred because they protect the generator’s engine from damage. If there’s not enough oil in the tank, continued use of the generator can damage the engine.
- Outlets: What type of outlets does the generator have, and how many? Some models have USB ports and cigarette-style outlets, while others only have conventional outlets like the ones in your home. The number and type of outlets you need will be dependent on what you’re powering. Make a list of the items you’ll need to power, and choose a model that can accommodate your needs.
- Price: Quiet inverter generators can be pricey, but are worth the expense. Set a budget, and choose the best quality model that meets your needs and fits in your price range.