Going camping is a pretty enjoyable experience, but there are times when a generator is needed in order to function properly. The problem is, when people think about generators, they usually think that they are going to be extremely loud and tough to be around when trying to sleep.
It doesn’t always have to be like that. There are many camping generators out there that are meant to be small and efficient, so a person is capable of a good night’s rest without constantly waking up.
They might not all be that powerful, as most are around 2000 Watts, but that is perfectly fine for doing enough tasks in a tent.
What are the best & quietest generators for camping? The five generators below are perfectly sized for tents with a few people. They do not have to be set up far at all to run all night and not be a nuisance in any way. Even light sleepers will find them incredibly easy to be around.
1. Honda EU2200i Portable Generator Inverter
Honda has a few nice options for quietness, and the 2200 Watt version is perfect for those who are going to spend a night or so in the tent.
It is a pretty portable option that weighs under 50 pounds, and it provides a good amount of power in an efficient manner.
The runtime ends up being about eight hours or so with a gallon of gasoline. What is pretty surprising is that it sits right around 50 dBA during typical use, which is one of the quietest inverters on the market today.
With this inverter, people will get to do some of the basic necessities that they need in the morning such as make coffee, refrigerate food, or run a computer.
The Honda EU2200i is perfect for smaller trips, as one individual will be able to easily carry this around and have this ready right next to a tent.
It doesn’t need to be located particularly far away either, as it stays quiet and provides quite a bit of high-end value overall.
- Very trusted brand.
- Perfect size for tent use.
- A little higher than some of the competition in price.
- Might not be the best for really high usage.
2. Yamaha EF2000iSv2
Another very portable option that’s just a little less powerful than the Honda EU2200i comes from Yamaha with the EF2000iSv2 (Amazon).
The EF200iSv2 has a 2000 Watt maximum AC output, 120 Volts, and sits just over 50 dBA when running at a quarter load.
It’s one of the most efficient gas-operated camping generators out there, with a noise level that is sitting right at a conversation level.
Why is it a little bit different from the Honda option? A lot of people like how the Yamaha option does a great job getting all the fuel out of the system when running things down.
This can be very helpful when about to throw things into storage, as fuel hanging around can cause start problems later on and gum up the interior workings of the generator.
It is also gear driven valve train instead of a belt-driven valve train, which some people prefer. It really comes down to personal preference in that regard.
In reality, most of the reason why people pick the Yamaha over Honda is that it is slightly cheaper. Realistically, the two are very comparable options, and a person can’t really go wrong with either.
In the end, whatever makes the most sense for an individual should be the choice.
- Very quiet even on higher loads.
- Runs the fuel out completely.
- Gear-driven valve train.
- Not quite as powerful as the Yamaha solution.
- Feels a little clunky to carry a long distance.
3. WEN 56200i
Those who are on a pretty tight budget can always look at the options from WEN that are out there. The Wen 56200i (Amazon) comes in at almost half the price of the Honda generator, and people don’t really have to make too many sacrifices.
It weighs a little bit more, doesn’t have quite as many Watts, and runs just a little bit louder, but it’s still considered quiet and something that a lot of campers will truly benefit from.
Campers who don’t go out too often might not want to invest in something that costs close to $1000. For half the price, WEN certainly offers something for those who still want to have power but don’t want to go broke.
It really seems to be built for those who want to make sure that they are getting the best value overall, and the economy mode is just another benefit.
With the economy mode, it allows for a slightly longer run time while using smaller loads. Some people use multiple generators at once, but that should be sufficient for running near a tent.
Even when running throughout the entire night, the fuel gauge may only be at the halfway point.
WEN might be the lesser-known of the three brands, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not able to live up to expectations. Many are surprised more than anything that they have an option that certainly comes in handy.
- Very affordable.
- The economy mode works well.
- A little heavy.
- Borders on too loud compared to other solutions.
4. Westinghouse iGen 1200
Of all the generators to make this list, this is the one with the fewest Watt output. However, the iGen 1200 (Amazon) it is also the lightest and might be perfect for those people who don’t need much power at all while camping in a tent.
It comes in at just 35 pounds, and it runs right around 32 dBA, which is perfect for those who are trying to get some rest and relaxation along the way.
Don’t underestimate 1200 Watt generators and what they are capable of. In fact, many are surprised by the Westinghouse iGen 1200, as they are still able to get what they need to be powered while in a tent.
There are going to be some people who might have to make some sacrifices, but those who are trying to be pretty careful with the amount of power they use anyway will find that they have enough juice to get their gear running.
Westinghouse has really built up their reputation over the last few years as one of the trusted brands in the industry.
They might not quite be up there with Honda or Yamaha just yet, but people certainly like what they bring to the table. There are different options for people who might be a little bit more power, but this affordable solution is great for tents.
- Lasts a long time.
- Might not be enough power for some tents.
- Westinghouse generators generally do not last as long.
5. Briggs and Stratton 30651
Another alternative to some of the more stand-out names in the industry is the Briggs and Stratton 30651 (Amazon). It’s a gas-powered generator that is 120 Volts and 2200 Watts, which is going to be the perfect size for those camping out in a tent.
It ends up being just a little bit louder than some of the other options out there, but still nothing that’s going to keep people up all night. It still is under 60 dBA, and it has some other features that might persuade people to go with this option.
Even though it weighs 55 pounds, it feels lighter because of its size. It is a little smaller than most people realize, and it is pretty easy to carry around as well.
There is a collapsible handle and wheels that make it easy to take to the campsite and beyond.
Briggs and Stratton also does a great job with customer service, which helps in case there are any issues that might pop up from time to time.
Most are going to be just fine, but it is always nice to have a supportive option if something does go wrong.
All in all, it should be something on the shortlist for a lot of people out there. It is a generator that continues to rise up the ranks, and it fits in as a mid-tier option so people do not have to spend a ton of money.
How to Pick a High-End Portable Quiet Generator
There are a few things to keep an eye out for when shopping for portable generators in general.
While the quiet factor is always going to be high up on the list, have these qualities as well to make sure that the right decision is made.
More people than ever are worried about emissions with any type of generator. A lot of the time, the higher the number, the more quality components the product is made of.
Yamaha generators are usually the best with emissions, but Honda and WEN are both pretty close as well. All the options above are great with emissions, so just make sure to take a look before spending money.
Generators that are fairly high in price should always come with a good warranty.
If you’re using your generator on a daily basis, make sure you have a good warranty in case your daily power maker breaks down. Because it does happen more often than people realize, especially with the cheaper gens on the market today.
Most generators are going to offer either two years or three years for a warranty. It might not make that much of a difference to some shoppers, but that extra year could make the difference between the two if they are roughly the same in every other category.
Even the lightweight options are somewhat difficult for people to carry around on their own. Going over 50 pounds and carrying a generator can be difficult, and companies are trying to do whatever they can to make it better for all.
Take a look at the carrying options and see how everything looks before making a final decision.
There are some people who will just refuse to go with a generator that doesn’t offer handles and wheels to make it easier to lug around.
If you’re going to be using a generator for backwood camping, you probably don’t want to carry a heavy generator for too long a distance.
The size also plays a role in the weight, as weight can be distributed pretty differently to make things more awkward to handle.
If you’re unsure of which generator to go with due to weight and size, it might be best to buy it in-store rather than online. At least this way you can carry a few options around to give you an idea of what you can handle.
Is it Worth Buying a Smaller Generator for Camping in a Tent?
The more a person needs a quiet, portable generator, the more sense it makes to invest in an option like 2200 Watts or even less.
They are going to be more affordable than bigger options, and they will be quieter and more portable. It really just comes down to what you need, and what fits your particular uses.
All in all, generators can save a lot of time for anyone who is going camping and needs a little bit of extra power overall.
Since they are becoming more affordable than ever, you don’t have to necessarily spend a ton of money to get a little bit of power.
In all, they can start to pay for themselves after just a few trips of not having to rely on other power sources to get by.