Top Portable Generators for Picnics and Family Gatherings: Recommendations and Reviews

Are you planning a perfect picnic or an unforgettable family gathering outdoors? Powering up your devices, keeping food fresh, and ensuring entertainment is essential for creating lasting memories.

Portable generators are a fantastic solution to meet all your power needs and make any outdoor event hassle-free! In this blog post, we’ve researched and compiled the top portable generators on the market to help you choose the ideal one for your unique requirements.

With options from leading brands like Honda, Champion, WEN, and Generac, our list includes budget-friendly as well as high-end premium models that cater to various power capacities.

Key Takeaways

  • Portable generators are essential for powering devices, keeping food fresh, and ensuring entertainment during outdoor gatherings such as picnics or family gatherings.
  • When choosing the right portable generator, consider factors like power requirements, fuel type, portability, noise level, and safety features such as carbon monoxide sensors.
  • Honda EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator is considered the best overall portable generator due to its reliable and quiet inverter technologyhigh fuel efficiency, and eco-throttle system that adjusts engine speed to meet power demand.
  • WEN 56235i 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator is a budget-friendly yet efficient option that offers clean energy through its pure sine wave technology. It’s lightweight with two-year warranty backed by nationwide service technicians.
Top Portable Generators

How To Choose The Right Portable Generator

To choose the right portable generator, consider factors like power requirements, fuel type, portability, noise level, and safety features such as carbon monoxide sensors.

Power Requirements

As you plan your next picnic or family gathering, it’s crucial to consider the power requirements of all the devices and appliances you’ll be using. Knowing how much electricity you need will help you select a portable generator that can handle your demands without overloading or causing inconvenience.

For example, let’s say at your gathering you want to charge three smartphones (5 watts each), use two laptops (45 watts each), play some tunes on Bluetooth speakers (40 watts), and keep drinks cold in a mini-fridge (100 watts).

Your total power requirement would be 240 watts. In such cases, choosing a generator with enough running wattage is essential; else devices may not work as expected or worse could lead to damage due to insufficient power supply.

Fuel Type

Choosing the right fuel type is essential when deciding on the best portable generator for your picnic or family gathering. Fuel options include gasoline, propane, natural gas, diesel, and solar power.

Gasoline is the most common choice for portable generators due to its wide availability. However, it has a short shelf life and can be volatile if not stored properly. Propane-powered generators like Champion Power Equipment 100692 are an excellent alternative as they have a longer shelf life and are considered more eco-friendly.

Diesel generators provide higher energy output but might be louder and less environmentally friendly compared to other options such as Westinghouse’s iGen4500DFc Dual-Fuel Generator that runs on both gasoline and propane for added versatility.

For those seeking an environmentally-friendly solution with minimal noise production, solar-powered alternatives such as Jackery 1002 Watt Solar Generator 1000 PRO can be perfect; these models harness sunlight to generate power without any emissions or noise pollution.


Portability is a crucial factor when choosing the perfect generator for picnics and family gatherings. The easier it is to transport your generator, the more convenient your outdoor experience will be.

For maximum portability, look for generators such as the Honda EU2200i Companion Portable Generator or Champion Power Equipment 100692, which have features like built-in handles, lightweight construction materials, and even wheels in some cases.

Investing in a highly portable generator ensures that you can easily bring it along to various events like tailgating parties or camping trips while still providing reliable power wherever you go.

Noise Level

Nobody wants a loud and disruptive generator at their family gathering or picnic. Noise level is an important consideration when choosing the right portable generator for your needs.

In general, inverter generators are quieter than traditional generators, thanks to their advanced technology that produces cleaner power with fewer fluctuations.

If you need even quieter options, consider the WEN Portable Inverter Generator (51 decibels) or Jackery Solar Generator 1000 PRO (68 decibels). Keep in mind that regular maintenance and inspection by a qualified electrician can also help reduce noise levels over time.

Portable Generator Noise Levels
Decibel Chart

Safety Features

As you search for the perfect portable generator for your next picnic or family gathering, safety should be a top priority.

Firstly, consider getting a model with carbon monoxide sensors to ensure that your loved ones aren’t exposed to dangerous fumes. Portable generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide gas, which can lead to sickness and potentially fatal poisoning.

Remember that proper ventilation is crucial when using portable generators outdoors. Always operate them in an open area away from enclosed spaces like garages or tents, and never use them indoors or near any windows or doors where fumes could enter the building.

Best Overall Portable Generator: Honda EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The Honda EU2200i is considered the best overall portable generator due to its reliable and quiet inverter technology, high fuel efficiency, and eco-throttle system that adjusts engine speed to meet power demand.

Features & Description (Honda EU2200i)

As the best overall portable generator for picnics and family gatherings, the Honda EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator boasts a range of excellent features.

Weighing just 47 pounds, this compact generator is fuel-efficient and has a runtime of up to 8.1 hours at a quarter load.

One particularly impressive aspect of this generator is its eco-throttle system. This ensures that the engine speed adjusts automatically to match the required load; as such, fuel efficiency is maximized.

To raise your confidence in purchasing this top quality generator from us today: you may also want to know about our three-year residential and commercial warranty ensuring that you have nothing short of dependable durability!

Honda 664240 EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Co-Minder

as of 09/15/2023 8:24 am

Pros & Cons (Honda EU2200i)

When looking at the Honda EU2200i, there are several advantages and drawbacks to consider. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons in the table below.

Fuel efficient with eco-throttle systemMore expensive than other portable generators with similar power output
Compact and lightweight design for easy portabilityNot suitable for powering large appliances or power tools
Quiet operation, making it ideal for picnics and gatheringsRequires regular maintenance, including oil changes and air filter replacements
Safe for powering sensitive electronics due to clean, stable power output
CARB-compliant and usable in all 50 states
Three-year residential and commercial warranty

Considering the pros and cons, the Honda EU2200i is an excellent choice for picnics and family gatherings due to its quiet operation, lightweight design, and ability to power a variety of devices and appliances. However, it may not be the best option if you need to power large appliances or if you’re on a tight budget.

Best Budget Portable Generator: Wen 56235i 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

If you’re looking for an affordable yet reliable portable generator that won’t break the bank, the Wen 56235i 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator is worth considering. With its compact design and quiet operation, this generator can power your outdoor gatherings with ease.

Features & Description (Wen 56235i)

The Wen 56235i portable inverter generator is a top pick for those seeking an affordable yet efficient power source for their picnics and family gatherings. With a maximum output of 2350 watts, this generator can easily power your essential appliances such as lights, fans, and even small electronic devices.

Weighing only 39 pounds, moving this generator around is no problem as it comes with a carrying handle that makes transportation very convenient. The digital display panel shows you all the necessary information you need, including fuel level, run time remaining, and power output wattage.

Furthermore, the Wen 56235i offers clean energy through its pure sine wave technology making it safe to use with sensitive electronics like laptops or televisions without fear of damage.

WEN 56235i Super Quiet 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut Off, CARB Compliant, Ultra Lightweight, Black

as of 09/15/2023 8:24 am

Pros & Cons (Wen 56235i)

As you consider whether the Wen 56235i is the right portable generator for your picnic or family gathering, take a moment to weigh its pros and cons:

Lightweight and compact design for easy transport and storageRegular maintenance and inspections are required for safe and optimal operation
Eco-mode technology provides fuel efficiencyMay not be powerful enough for larger gatherings or appliances
Produces minimal noise for a comfortable environmentNot as powerful as higher-end models
Up to 10 hours of runtime at half load with a 1-gallon fuel tankUsing all available outlets may reduce overall efficiency
Various output options, including 120V AC, 12V DC, and 5V USB portsLarger fuel capacity would be beneficial for extended usage
Digital display for easy monitoring of voltage, frequency, and operating hoursAccessories like a parallel kit or cover are sold separately
EPA III and CARB compliant, with a two-year warrantySome users reported issues with the generator’s durability

Considering these factors, the Wen 56235i is an excellent budget-friendly option for picnics and smaller gatherings, providing reliable and quiet power for various electronic devices and appliances.

Best Lightweight Portable Generator: Champion Power Equipment 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The Champion Power Equipment 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator is an excellent lightweight option for outdoor adventures or emergency situations, weighing only 48.5 pounds with a convenient carry handle.

Features & Description (Champion Power Equipment 2000 Watt)

The Champion Power Equipment 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator is a top pick for picnics and family gatherings. Its lightweight design at just 39 pounds makes it easily portable, while its inverter technology produces stable and clean power ideal for sensitive electronic devices like phones and laptops.

The generator features two 120V AC outlets and a 12V DC outlet, providing ample power options for various devices. The one-gallon fuel tank can provide up to an impressive 11.5 hours of runtime at just a quarter load capacity, eliminating the need for constant refills during your event.

Safety measures such as carbon monoxide sensors are strongly recommended when using any generator outdoors, including this one from Champion Power Equipment- giving you added peace of mind as you enjoy time with family and friends.

Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, Ultralight

as of 09/15/2023 8:24 am

Pros & Cons (Champion Power Equipment 2000 Watt)

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of the Champion Power Equipment 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator, which can help you decide if it’s the right fit for your next picnic or family gathering.

Quiet operation, making it perfect for picnics and family gatheringsMay struggle to power larger appliances or multiple devices simultaneously
Compact size for easy transport and storageLacks a fuel gauge, making it difficult to determine how much fuel is remaining
Fuel-efficient with up to 11.5 hours of runtime on a single tank of gasoline
Smart economy mode that automatically adjusts engine speed for better fuel conservation and reduced noise
CARB compliant, meeting California’s strict emissions standards
Equipped with safety features like automatic shut-off when oil levels are low and overload protection
Weighs only 46 pounds and has a built-in carrying handle for easy transport

The Champion Power Equipment 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator offers several advantages, such as its quiet operation, compact size, and fuel efficiency. However, it does have some drawbacks, like its inability to power larger appliances or multiple devices at once and its lack of a fuel gauge. Despite these cons, this portable generator remains a great option for those looking for a lightweight and efficient generator for their outdoor events.

Best Dual-Fuel Portable Generator: Westinghouse IGen4500DFc 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The Westinghouse iGen4500DFc is an excellent option for those looking for a dual-fuel portable generator, with the ability to run on gasoline or propane.

Features & Description (Westinghouse IGen4500DFc)

The Westinghouse iGen4500DFc is a dynamic and robust dual-fuel portable generator that’s perfect for picnics and family gatherings. This generator is highly versatile as it can run on both gas and propane, providing convenience for outdoor activities.

It features an incredibly reliable electronic fuel injection system for easy starting every time, ensuring smooth operation throughout use.

The generator boasts multiple outlets including household outlets, twist-lock outlets, and USB ports to power all your devices with ease while also being designed with portability in mind making it convenient to pack up and take along with you wherever you go.

It has been rated highly not only for its quiet operation but also its ability to power sensitive electronics without any harm occurring due to total harmonic distortion (THD).

In summary, the Westinghouse iGen4500DFc is an excellent choice if you’re looking for reliability, versatility, portability, efficiency and durability in your portable generators for picnics or family gatherings – all at an affordable price point!

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 4500 Peak Watt Super Quiet Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator, Remote Electric Start, Gas & Propane Powered, RV Ready, CO Sensor, Parallel Capable

as of 09/15/2023 8:24 am

Pros & Cons (Westinghouse IGen4500DFc)

The Westinghouse iGen4500DFc offers an impressive array of features suited for your portable power needs during picnics and family gatherings. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a summary of its pros and cons:

Dual-fuel capability allows for flexibility and backup fuel optionsSlightly higher price point compared to some other models
Electronic fuel injection system offers reliable starting in cold weatherRemote start may not work effectively at long distances
Fuel-efficient with up to 18 hours of runtime on a 3.4-gallon gas tank at 25% loadThe propane adapter is relatively short, which may limit placement options
Noise output of only 52 decibels, making it quieter than many other portable generatorsSome users may find the oil change process to be cumbersome
Compact and lightweight design for easy transport and storageNot suitable for heavy-duty power needs, such as running multiple large appliances simultaneously
Remote start capability and digital display for easy monitoring
Compliant with CARB and EPA regulations, making it legal to use in all 50 states

Best Solar-Powered Portable Generator: Jackery 1000 Watt Solar Generator 1000 PRO

The Jackery 1002 Watt Solar Generator 1000 PRO is a reliable and eco-friendly option for those looking to power their outdoor activities with renewable energy.

Features & Description (Jackery 1002 Watt Solar Generator 1000 PRO)

The Jackery 1002 Watt Solar Generator 1000 PRO is an excellent choice for eco-conscious customers who want to power their picnics and family gatherings with clean energy.

One of the standout features of the Jackery 1002 Watt Solar Generator 1000 PRO is its lightweight design. Weighing just over 22 pounds, this generator is highly portable and easy to carry around wherever you go.

Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable and efficient way to power your outdoor events without relying on traditional fuel sources like gas or propane, the Jackery 1002 Watt Solar Generator 1000 PRO is an excellent option that provides clean energy in a compact package.

Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station, 1002Wh Capacity with 3x1000W AC Outlets, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Home Backup, Emergency, Outdoor Camping

as of 09/15/2023 8:24 am

Pros & Cons (Jackery 1002 Watt Solar Generator 1000 PRO)

When considering the Jackery 1002 Watt Solar Generator 1000 PRO for your picnics and family gatherings, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision. The table below highlights the key advantages and disadvantages of this solar-powered portable generator.

Eco-friendly alternative to traditional generatorsMay produce less energy compared to other types of generators
Lightweight and compact designRecommended for smaller power needs
Equipped with an LCD displayNot ideal for situations where charging the generator is a concern
Great for picnics and family gatheringsFor more demanding activities, smaller backup power supplies are more suitable

Best Portable Generator For Camping: DeWalt 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The DeWalt 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator is an excellent option for those who need a reliable and powerful source of energy while camping. It’s lightweight, compact, and has a low noise level, making it perfect for outdoor activities.

Features & Description (DeWalt 2200 Watt)

The DeWalt 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator is a top choice for those looking for a reliable power source.during camping and picnics. This generator boasts advanced technology such as CO-Protect, which detects and shuts down the device when carbon monoxide levels are too high.

This generator has a runtime of up to 10.5 hours at 25% load, providing enough electricity to keep your devices powered throughout the event. The user-friendly control panel features LED indicators that make it easy to monitor performance.

With its CARB compliant and EPA certified emissions standards, the DeWalt 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator sets itself apart from other models in its class.

Pros & Cons (DeWalt 2200 Watt)

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of the DeWalt 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator, so you can make an informed decision when considering this generator for your picnic or family gathering.

Compact design for easy portabilityPrice may be higher compared to other generators with similar wattage output
Fuel-efficient with up to 10.5 hours runtime on a single tank of gas2200 watts may not be suitable for powering larger appliances or equipment
Produces clean, stable power suitable for delicate electronics
Low noise level for quiet environments
Parallel capability for increased power output
CARB compliant and meets stricter environmental standards
Three-year warranty for peace of mind
Multiple outlets for powering various devices simultaneously
Regular maintenance and inspection ensure safe and efficient use

Portable Generator Safety Tips

Store fuel properly and handle it with care to avoid spills, never run your generator in an enclosed space without proper ventilation, always ground your generator before use, and avoid overloading the system by calculating the power required for your specific needs.

Proper Fuel Storage And Handling

As someone who is looking for a portable generator, it’s important to understand the importance of proper fuel storage and handling. Gasoline, propane, diesel, and other fuels used in generators can be dangerous if not handled properly.

It’s essential to store them in approved containers away from any potential sources of heat or flames.

Regular maintenance checks can also help prevent issues with the fuel system and ensure safe operation. For example, checking for leaks or cracks in the fuel lines can prevent fires or explosions caused by leaking fuel.

Ventilation And Carbon Monoxide Precautions

Proper ventilation and carbon monoxide monitoring are crucial when using portable generators for picnics and family gatherings. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can build up quickly in enclosed spaces, causing headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even death.

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator’s exhaust fumes, make sure to operate it outdoors in a well-ventilated area at least 20 feet away from the house or tent openings.

One way to monitor carbon monoxide levels is by installing a detector with an alarm that sounds if levels get too high. Some generators now come with built-in sensors as well as other safety features like automatic low-oil shutoffs and overload protection.

Additionally, it’s essential to store fuel properly in approved containers away from any heat sources and out of reach of children.

Grounding Your Generator

To ensure safe and efficient operation of your portable generator, grounding is a crucial step that should not be overlooked. Grounding helps to reduce the risk of electrical shock in case of any faults or malfunctions in the generator’s system.

Once you have secured the grounding rod into position, attach a piece of wire from the rod to your generator’s frame using an appropriate connector or clamp. This will allow any stray electricity to flow harmlessly through the ground instead of posing a hazard to anyone touching it.

Overloading Prevention

It’s essential to prevent overloading your portable generator, as it can cause severe damage and safety hazards. To avoid overloading, you should calculate the power needed to operate specific devices and appliances before purchasing a generator.

If you’re not sure how much power you need, check the device or appliance’s wattage on its label or manual and add up the total watts for all items that will be running simultaneously.

Additionally, you must understand that certain high-power appliances such as air conditioners require more energy when starting up than they do while running normally. So make sure to consider both starting watts and running watts when calculating your overall power usage.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have questions about portable generators, our FAQ section is here to help. Learn how much power you need for your event, the difference between inverter and traditional generators, and more.

How Much Power Do I Need For My Picnic Or Gathering?

To determine how much power you need for your picnic or gathering, it’s important to consider the devices and appliances that you plan to use. A portable generator with a power output of 2,000 to 4,000 watts should be sufficient for powering a small selection of appliances such as a sound system, lights, and a grill.

However, if you plan on using more high-powered devices such as air conditioners or heaters, you may need a higher wattage output. To estimate the wattage required for common appliances, check out our chart in section 10 of this article.

What Is The Difference Between An Inverter Generator And A Traditional Generator?

Inverter generators and traditional generators are both useful for providing power in areas where electricity is not available, but they differ in several ways. The primary difference between the two types of generators is the technology they use to produce power.

Traditional generators typically use a simple alternator and rectifier to produce AC power, which results in higher Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) and less clean energy output.

In contrast, inverter generators use advanced circuitry to create stable and clean energy with low THD.

Additionally, Inverter Generators are more fuel-efficient than traditional ones due to their superior technology resulting in quieter operation at just 50-60 decibels compared to the typical 70-80 decibels produced by most conventional models which can be quite noisy when used outdoors.

How Long Can I Run My Portable Generator?

The runtime of a portable generator depends on various factors such as fuel capacity, consumption rate, and the devices being powered. Most generators can run for six to eighteen hours per full tank of fuel, but this can vary depending on size and wattage.

It’s important to estimate your power requirements before choosing a generator so that you purchase one with adequate runtime. Some models offer eco-mode which allows them to conserve energy and improve efficiency by reducing fuel consumption.

Dual-fuel generators are another option as they offer longer runtime due to the stability of propane for long-term storage.


In summary, finding the right portable generator for your outdoor activities can be a challenge. But with our recommendations and reviews from top brands like Honda, Champion, WEN, and Generac, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Whether you’re planning a picnic or family gathering in the great outdoors or preparing for power outages at home, these generators are sure to meet your needs while providing convenience and safety features such as low noise levels and carbon monoxide sensors.


1. What factors should I consider when choosing a portable generator for picnics and family gatherings?

When selecting a portable generator, you should consider its power output, runtime, noise level, portability, and fuel efficiency. You’ll also want to make sure it has the appropriate outlets to power your devices and appliances.

2. How much power do I need for my picnic or family gathering?

It depends on the number of people attending and what equipment you plan to run. Small generators with 1000-2000 watts can usually handle basic electrical needs like lighting and charging electronics, while larger options in the 3000-4000 watt range can support bigger appliances like refrigerators or air conditioning units.

3. What are some top-rated portable generators for picnics and family gatherings?

Some highly recommended portable generators include the Honda EU2200i Inverter Generator, Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator, WEN 56380i Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator and Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator.

4. Are there any safety tips I should keep in mind when using a portable generator at outdoor events?

Yes! Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use of their product — this includes proper placement away from flammable objects or ventilation concerns as well as avoiding overloading extension cords that could cause malfunctioning problems inside machines leading into dangerous situations such as electrocution fires etc.. It’s important to properly maintain your generator so that it can continue operating safely throughout its lifespan by checking oil levels frequently before usage taking regular maintenance checks on battery partsystem security features ensure stable performance through variable weather conditions including temperature humidity fluctuations amongst other environmental variables commonly found outdoors during events

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Skyler is an outdoor adventurist and avid RV-Fan. He loves to explore the world and all its beauty, but he's just as happy relaxing at home with his family. His favorite pastime is taking weekend trips in his RV with his wife and kids, where they can get away from it all and enjoy nature. He’s also a self-proclaimed expert on all things portable generators and can often be found reviewing the latest models on our website.

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