In the past few years, generators have undergone a technological makeover that has boosted their performance level while reducing their size.
The newest class of generators, Ultra-portable Generators, are among the most impressive.
Each generator reviewed is a self-contained portable inverter generator that run on gas or propane.
What makes a generator ultra-portable?
These small, efficient generators are easy to move using a handle which is formed into the chassis of the generator itself. Beyond their unique combination of small size and light weight, the manufacturers of these units have managed to squeeze performance and quiet operation in, too.
Additionally, to meet our standard, an ultra-portable needs to have the inverter built-in and it needs to be under 50 pounds.
Uses for Ultra-Portable Generators
- Powering and lighting a campsite
- Charging mobile phones, laptops, camera batteries and GPS units
- Emergency appliance and electronics use during a blackout
- Providing electricity at an outdoor event or gathering away from an electrical outlet
- RV and camper owners looking for a quiet, stand-alone portable generator alternative
Our Ultra-portable Camp Generator Picks
Editor’s Choice 50-State CARB-Compliant Portable Inverter Generator
- Economy mode automatically adjusts engine speeds to save fuel and reduce sound emissions. Integrated Off/Run/Choke Knob simplifies startup procedures.
- LED Indicators alert you when unit is low on oil, overload, or ready-to-use. USB Port to charge mobile devices.
- Parallel Ready to connect two GP2500i inverter generatoers for twice the power. (Parallel kit sold separately.)
- Low-oil Level Shutdown automatically safeguards engine from incurring damage. Covered Outlets provide added protection from the environment.
Best for Hunters: Camouflaged, Portable Generator
- 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD – Weighs Only 46 Lbs. – Gas Powered – Two 120V 20 Amp Outlets, Two USB Outlets
- Rugged TrueTimber Kanati Camouflage (Woodland) Finish – Great Choice for Home Use as an Emergency Backup in a Power Outage – Strong Enough to Run All Your Home Essentials
- Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: As Low as 52 dBA Noise Output and 12 Hour Run Time on a 1. 2 Gallon Gas Tank – Features “Economy Mode” for Maximum Fuel Efficiency
- Parallel Capable – Combine Your iGen2200 With the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT, iGen1200, iGen2200, and iGen2500 to Increase Available Wattage and Amperage (Requires Westinghouse Parallel Cord)
Quietest Portable Camp Generator
- MORE POWER. SAME LEGENDARY QUALITY. - The EU2200i Companion delivers 10% more power than the previous EU2000 Companion - enabling you to power more of what you need, in the same lightweight, compact package. The EU2200i Companion gives you the power to ge
- CO-MINDER - Advanced Carbon Monoxide Detection System. CO-MINDER continuously monitors carbon monoxide (CO) levels. It automatically shuts down the generator before detected CO levels near the generator become dangerously high.
- HONDA MY GENERATOR APP + BLUETOOTH CAPABILITY - Honda's exclusive My Generator smartphone app offers remote generator operation and monitoring with impressive performance. The app includes wireless stop, operation monitoring.
- DOUBLE YOUR POWER - Need more power? Connect the EU2200i Companion with a regular EU2200i for up to 4400 watts of power. The EU2200i Companion will also parallel with EU2000iK1/T1 models.
- COMMERCIAL GRADE RELIABILITY - The EU2200i Companion is powered by the Honda GXR120 Commercial Series engine. At 121cc, the GXR120 is at the top of its class - ensuring the EU2200 always produces the power you need to get the job done.
Value Priced Ultralight Inverter Generator
- ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT: At only 39 pounds, this inverter is one of the lightest 2000-watt inverters in the industry
- QUIET OPERATION: 58 dBA from 23 feet is perfect for camping, tailgating or to backup a few home essentials, featuring 2000 starting watts, 1700 running watts and up to 11.5 hours run time
- PARALLEL READY: The optional clip-on parallel kit enables this inverter to connect with another 2000-watt Champion inverter to double your output power
- CLEAN POWER FOR SENSITIVE ELECTRONICS: Includes two covered 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD)
- CHAMPION SUPPORT: Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
High-Output Camp Generator for Mixed Use
- Ultralight body weighs in at a mere 39 pounds for easy transport and storage
- Extremely quiet operation comparable to the sound of a normal conversation according to the US Department of Health and Human Services
- Produces 2350 surge watts and 1900 rated watts of clean power for safe charging of sensitive electronics (phones, tablets, televisions, computers, etc.)
- Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down
- Includes two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, two 5V USB ports, and a two-year warranty
What to look for when buying an ultraportable inverter generator
- CARB Compliance – If you’re a California resident, a generator needs to be CARB Compliant. CARB stands for California Air Resources Board, and was established in 1967. More information on CARB compliance is available on the California Air Resources Board website.
- Fuel – All of the generators in this section are fuel-powered. And, all of the portables that make our current top picks run on gasoline. There are other units in this class that run on propane, and other units in our electric generator section that can be charged with electricity or solar panels.
- Parallel Capable – Some units can be connected and run in parallel to provide additional power.
- Run Time – How long the unit will run before needing a fuel refill.
- Size – Ultraportables generators are small by nature. If you’ll be overlanding or car camping and have a lot of other gear to stow, the size will matter, though. Check the dimensions of each unit.
- Warranty – While most brands have well-made, highly reliable products, if you do have a problem, the longer the warranty the better.
- Output – How many watts the unit provides dictates which and how many electric devices you can run.
- Weight – Whether you’re camping, hunting, RV-ing or looking for an inverter generator for emergencies, weight bears a different role in your decision. If you’re going to be moving it to a camp or hunting blind, you’ll want something as light as possible. If it’s going to spend most of its time in the garage, and primarily used at home, it’s not nearly as crucial.