Best Quiet Small Generator For Tailgating In 2020


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If you’re in a hurry and want to know what is the best quiet small generator for tailgating is, I’d recommend Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator as the best one.

When tailgating at your next event you can take all the comforts of home with you. The days of warm beer cans and McDonald’s are over. 

With a portable generator you can bring along your flat panel TV, electric grill, cooktops, drink blender, and any other electrical equipment you want to make your tailgating party awesome. 

But, finding the right portable generator for tailgating can be very difficult because there are so many options out there. 

You want to make sure you get one that is small lightweight, easy to transport, quiet and has a large fuel tank for a longer run time all the power a man will ever need.

In this article, I’m going to review the following portable generators:

A Quick Comparison

Image
Best Overall
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Best Alternative
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
Best On A Budget
Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant
Generator
Honda EU2200i 2200 Watt
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel
Westinghouse iGen2200
Generator Type
Inverter Portable
Dual Fuel Inverter Portable
Inverter Generator
Output Power
120V 2200W max. (18.3A), 1800W rated (15A)
120V 3400W (Gas), 3060W (LP)
120V 2200W
Start Type
Recoil
Recoil, Electric
Recoil
Fuel Type
Gasoline
Gasoline, Propane (LPG)
Gasoline
Fuel Tank Capacity
0.95 gal
1.6 gal
1.2 gal
Run Time per Tankful
3.2 hr @ rated load 8.1 hrs @ 1/4 load
[email protected] Run Time at 1/4 Load ; [email protected] Run Time at 1/4 Load
12 hrs @ 25% load
Item Weight
46.5 lbs
95.7 lbs
46 lbs
Noise Level (dBA)
57 dB(A) @ rated load 48 dB(A) @ 1/4 load
59 dBA @ 23 feet
52 dBA
Engine Displacement
121 cc
192 cc
79 cc
Dimensions (L x W x H)
20.0" x 11.4" x 16.7"
25.10" x 17.30" x 18.30"
19.69" x 11.22" x 17.91"
CARB Compliance
Best Overall
Image
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Generator
Honda EU2200i 2200 Watt
Generator Type
Inverter Portable
Output Power
120V 2200W max. (18.3A), 1800W rated (15A)
Start Type
Recoil
Fuel Type
Gasoline
Fuel Tank Capacity
0.95 gal
Run Time per Tankful
3.2 hr @ rated load 8.1 hrs @ 1/4 load
Item Weight
46.5 lbs
Noise Level (dBA)
57 dB(A) @ rated load 48 dB(A) @ 1/4 load
Engine Displacement
121 cc
Dimensions (L x W x H)
20.0" x 11.4" x 16.7"
CARB Compliance
Best Alternative
Image
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
Generator
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel
Generator Type
Dual Fuel Inverter Portable
Output Power
120V 3400W (Gas), 3060W (LP)
Start Type
Recoil, Electric
Fuel Type
Gasoline, Propane (LPG)
Fuel Tank Capacity
1.6 gal
Run Time per Tankful
[email protected] Run Time at 1/4 Load ; [email protected] Run Time at 1/4 Load
Item Weight
95.7 lbs
Noise Level (dBA)
59 dBA @ 23 feet
Engine Displacement
192 cc
Dimensions (L x W x H)
25.10" x 17.30" x 18.30"
CARB Compliance
Best On A Budget
Image
Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant
Generator
Westinghouse iGen2200
Generator Type
Inverter Generator
Output Power
120V 2200W
Start Type
Recoil
Fuel Type
Gasoline
Fuel Tank Capacity
1.2 gal
Run Time per Tankful
12 hrs @ 25% load
Item Weight
46 lbs
Noise Level (dBA)
52 dBA
Engine Displacement
79 cc
Dimensions (L x W x H)
19.69" x 11.22" x 17.91"
CARB Compliance

Last update on 2020-10-25 at 00:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6 Things To Consider Before Choosing An Ideal Generator For Tailgating

There are many different brands available to choose from when you are looking for the one that you are going to purchase. 

Here are a couple of things to think about when you are trying to find power generators for your next tailgate party:

Portability And Size

When you use a portable generator for tailgating events, ideally it needs to be small, lightweight, and easy to carry from place to place. 

You want to look for a generator that is less than 100 pounds for easy mobility. That means you will be able to easily load it up and unpack it without needing any help from your friends and family. 

In many cases, you will be able to pick it up with one hand allowing you to move it around easily.  

Noise Level

More often than not, tailgate parties are usually organized during sports seasons where everyone gathers at a place to enjoy the game.

Some generators are very loud and obtrusive causing people to have to holler in order to be heard by the person standing next to them. 

This is something that you do not want to invade your event, and if you use a loud one at a tailgate party, you are going to get many strange looks from the people passing by.

Try to find a generator with a decibel rating of less than 70 dBA like many inverter generators is might be worth considering.

Certainly, the 110-volt generator is an absolute convenience but the noise could be very irritating if you have the wrong generator source.

It’s no fun if your blender is quieter than your generator.

Also read: What are the quietest 7000 watts generator?

How Much Power Is Needed?

A portable generator has two different wattage measurements. One is the running wattage that measures the amount of consistent power the unit can deliver.

Another one is surge wattage which is the maximum output that the machine can generate at one time. Generally, the higher wattage is produced, the higher power you can get for your needs.

For instance, a 2200 watts generator is enough for you to be able to cook all of your meals because of the strong power output that it has. 

Different models produce different amounts of power but almost any model will produce enough power to run all of the appliances that you need to use.

The disadvantage of having higher wattage generators is that it tends to consume more gas and often make more noise.

Also read: Find out the best 2000 watt inverter generator to buy

Inverter Vs Conventional Generators

An inverter generator produces a clean and regulated flow of electricity makes it perfectly safe for anyone to run a computer, stereo, charging cell phones, and any sensitive electrical appliances for tailgating.

The benefits of using inverter generators are that they have exceptional portability, clean power, compact, quiet operation, and great fuel efficiency. The downside of it is that it’s quite expensive compare to conventional generators.

The conventional generators on the other hand are fine for running certain electrical appliances, such as lights and televisions. But they tend to fluctuate; not a problem for lights, televisions, or coffee pots, but a possible disaster for more sensitive equipment.

They also produce a loud noise that could disturb other people. The good things about this type of generator are that they are inexpensive.

You could get a more powerful portable generator than the inverter generators at the same price.

Fuel Consumption and Run Times

Nowadays, most portable generators are still running on gasoline although you will find certain models that run on other fuels like propane, LP gas, or diesel. Sometimes, you can find tri-fuel generators that can run all these fuels but it is hard to find.

Gasoline produces a greater level of emissions than natural gas and other fuel types and is also more expensive, gasoline also has a shorter shelf life than alternative fuels.

Typical specifications for a generator give an average number of hours that the machine can run on a single tank of gas. 

This estimate is based on the generator running consistently at 50% of its maximum capacity, so if you intend to use more power the unit will need gas more often. 

Make sure to include the cost of gas for your generator when coming up with a budget. You will also want to keep an eye on the average run time of the unit. 

If you plan to use your small power generator as a backup during an emergency, you will want a unit that can run at least 10 to 12 hours on one tank.

CARB Compliant

Another item that you should keep in mind while shopping for your portable generator for tailgating is the overall environmental effect of the machine. In order to protect both the environment and your own lungs, you will want a unit that burns as cleanly as possible. 

If the tailgating events are held in California state, you need to follow special energy requirements put forth by the California Air Resource Board, or CARB. 

Make sure to seek out generators that are approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. 

Even if you do not live in California, getting a CARB compliant generators can give you more flexibility when traveling and also provides you with the cleanest burning machine possible.

Top 3 Quiet Small Generators For Tailgating

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator – Best Overall Generator For Tailgating

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Click the image to view on Amazon

If you’re looking for the best generator for your tailgating party, the Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator should be the top generator is your list. When it comes to quiet operation and reliability, the Honda generator is hard to beat. 

The Honda has a 121 cc overhead cam engine that outputs 3.6 horsepower. It has 0.96 gallons of fuel that can run up to 8.1 hours run time at a quarter load. Despite having a larger engine, the Honda will output 48 decibels of noise at a quarter load.

One of the nice features that Honda has is the fuel shutoff switch. What that does is it cut fuel from being delivered from the carburetor however it allows the engine continues running. 

So it continues burns out the rest of the fuel left in the carburetor and then the engine will shut off. As a result, there’s less deposit buildup in the carburetor.

This generator also has an Eco-Throttle System for increased fuel efficiency. You simply flip the Eco switch-on on the front of the generator and will ramp down the RPM to a lower level when the required power is low.

The Honda is slightly smaller in size at 20 inches long, 11.5 inches wide, 16.5 inches tall and weight of 46 pounds. The compact size makes it easy to handle and move.

One of the downsides of the honda generator is that it doesn’t have a fuel gauge. It is not a dealbreaker but it’s nice to have to check the fuel level without having to guess. 

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Eco mode for fuel efficiency
  • Parallel capability (with another same Honda generator)
  • Guaranteed quality and reliability from the trusted brand

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Doesn’t have a fuel gauge meter

The Verdict:

The Honda EU2000 is excellent for tailgating because it’s super quiet. So, generally, you’re in the parking lot with a lot of other people, they get irritated if you’ve got a real loud generator. If you want the dependable, quiet, easy to store, and the best quality inverter generator and don’t care about the price, then go with the Honda EU2200i. The reliability and longevity of this unit will pay itself off in time. 

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator – Best Dual-Fuel Tailgating Generator

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start

Click the image to view on Amazon

If you want a generator that is ready to run on either gasoline or propane for next tailgating events, the Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator is worth considering.

The Champion generator is rated at 3100 running watts with a peak capacity of 3400 watts. It is more than enough to power all your appliances for the tailgating event. It is an inverter unit which means suitable for your sensitive electrical devices.

It has a 30 Amp outlet and CARB compliant as well EPA certified. You get a 120V 30A RV socket, along with two 120V 20A household outlets – and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter.

About the fuel consumption, you’ll get about 4.5 hours of runtime on a gallon of gasoline but only about 3 hours of runtime on a gallon of propane. 

So with gasoline, you have to deal with a storage issue, and also it is less reliable. So, if you don’t it very often then using propane makes more sense since the environmental issue is a concern.

As far as the noise concern, the Champion generates 59 decibels at 23 feet which is higher than the Honda. It’s not surprising considering that this unit uses a larger 192 cc engine. That’s not really bad, I guess.

With the weight of 95.7 lbs, it is relatively heavier and bulkier than the Honda generator. You might have a problem managing this unit around. On the positive note, this makes the unit a little bit of theft-resistant.

Pros

  • Dual fuel options
  • Higher output power
  • Electric starter
  • 3-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Heavy to move around
  • Slightly noisy than the Honda
  • Pricey

The Verdict:

What put the Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel as the best alternative generator for tailgating is obviously the flexibility of fuel options. You can run on propane whenever you don’t have access to gasoline. At a similar price tag as the Honda, you’ll get a more powerful generator for your purposes. It is easy to run.

Also read: Best Generator For RV Camping

Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator – Best Budget Portable Generator

Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant

Click the image to view on Amazon

If the budget an issue and you’re looking for an inexpensive small portable generator, I’d recommend the Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator as the best one to consider.

It will cost you almost half of the prices for the Honda and the Champion generators. The Westinghouse has a 98 cc overhead valve engine that produces outputs 3.4 horsepower. It’s about 18 inches tall and it weighs 48 pounds.

It has a fuel tank at 1.0 gallons and it can run about 10 hours long at a quarter load before you have to refill. Despite having a smaller engine than the Honda and the Champion, the noise level is not as good as the latter. It generates 52 decibels of noise at quarter load.

One of the best features of this generator is that it has a front LED display that will tell you the remaining runtime, the power outputs in kilowatts, the remaining fuel, and the output voltage. You also get 2 USB DC power outlets so that you can recharge a small device like a cell phone.

The generator also features the low oil shutdown that keeps it from being damaged from low oil situations. One issue that I found from this generator is that it has a major discrepancy between engine size and rated power output.

The Westinghouse claims that although it has a 98 cc engine, somehow it can produce 2200W electrical power output. I’m not quite sure whether it is true but that’s something you should be aware of.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Nice LED data center 
  • Larger fuel tank
  • 3-Year Limited Service

Cons

  • Not as quiet as other similar generators
  • The quality is not the best

The Verdict:

If you just need a quite small portable generator just for a small event like tailgating or just in case situations, the Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator is the best choice. It’s a lot cheaper than the Honda and the Champion generators. It might not the best generator in terms of the quality but it’s fine for a tailgating event. It also backed with 3 years limited warranty by Westinghouse.

What’s The Best Quiet Small Generator For Tailgating?

When shopping for small power generators, make sure that you draw up a budget beforehand. Determine your needs based on the factors listed above and stick to your budget whenever possible. 

If you have a budget to invest in a reliable and quality portable generator for tailgating, I highly recommend the Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator.

It’s much smoother running and more reliable. There is also a noticeable difference in sound level. Hondas are very quiet which is one of the most important features right after reliability. 

Although I highly recommend the Honda, you can’t go wrong with the other two either. It really depends on your needs and budget.