If you need portable power but want to maintain some peace and quiet then you’re going to need the quietest portable generator on the market. Whether it’s for camping, in your RV or even just to use when tailgating we’ve listed the 5 quietest generator models on the market. We’ve chosen generators that have really low noise levels while still putting out a decent amount of power. All of these are in the 1000W to 2000W power output range and consistently feature in other quiet generator reviews we’ve seen.
Top 5 Quietest Generators
It has a really good fuel consumption and will give you about 8 hours of runtime on a full tank. It has a clear dashboard with an easy to read LED display. It gives you info on how long it’s been running, fuel level, output power and the status of the generator.
It’s a fairly compact generator too. It only weighs 46 lbs and has dimensions of 20×12.6×17 inches. The low weight, compact design, and comfortable handle make this generator very portable.
It would have been great if it had a 12V and USB outputs but that’s about all we have to complain about. This is the best quiet portable generator on the market.
Coming in a close second is the Honda EU2200i. It puts out slightly more power than the Generac does (2200W/1800W) and has a slightly higher noise level of 53dBA. That is extremely quiet for this level of power.
It runs really efficiently, delivering 8.1 hours from a full tank at 25% of full load.
The dashboard is very basic with no bells and whistles and you don’t get a 12V or USB outputs unfortunately.
This generator is extremely quiet, lightweight (46.5 lbs) and highly portable. It’s really tough to choose between this unit and the Generac.
With a claimed 51.5dBA noise level it’s one of the quietest generator models on the market at this power rating.
It’s also the most efficient generator on our list. A full tank of gas (1.1 Gallons) will give you just over 10 hours or runtime.
The Yamaha engine is also one of the most reliable engines on the market. The high reliability, low noise level, and excellent efficiency make this quiet generator a solid choice for your campsite.
We like the layout of the display panel and especially like that it has 12V and USB outputs.
It’s slightly heavier than the Generac and Honda units but at 48 lbs it’s still really light.
It will give you 6.6 hours runtime on a 1 Gallon tank which isn’t bad but it’s not the most efficient we’ve seen.
This is a good generator to consider if you’re looking to save some money but still want a really quiet generator.
Although it’s about half the power output of the units above, the noise level is still at about 53dBA. That’s pretty quiet though.
It only weighs 33 lbs and has a compact form factor and comfortable carry handle.
It uses a 54cc engine that is quite efficient, delivering 9 hours of operation from a full tank of 0.8 Gallons of gas.
You don’t get any 12V DC outputs but it does have 2 USB charging ports. If you’re sure that you don’t need 2000W of power and you’re looking to save a few bucks then this is a good option to consider.
Quiet Generators – How Is Noise Level Measured?
You’ll see that the noise levels are all given in dBA. This figure is measured by taking a measurement 21 – 23 feet away from the generator while it runs at 25% of full load.
As the power output increases, you naturally get a higher noise level. That’s not to say that halving output power necessarily halves the noise level though.
Different manufacturers achieve different noise levels at the same output power. It all comes down to the quality of the engine and the noise reducing design elements they’ve incorporated.
Noise vs Power
When you’re looking to buy a quiet generator it’s best to first decide on the minimum power you’re going to need before comparing noise levels. There’s no point buying the quietest generator on the market if it can’t supply the amount of power you need.
This performance vs noise level issue is the same compromise we discussed in our quiet dehumidifier post.
Also, remember that the Wattage that is quoted in the generator model name is a peak power output, not running Watts. Once you’ve done your power budget aim for a generator that has a running Wattage of around 15% more than the maximum you think you’ll need.
All of these generators will have 110V AC outputs but some will also have 12V DC and USB output ports. These are handy features for charging cell phones, cameras or other DC powered devices. If you’re planning on charging sensitive electronic equipment from your generator then make sure that it delivers a pure sinewave output with a low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) figure.
If you’re looking for the quietest portable generator then we’d recommend any one of the units above. The Honda and Generac generators are your best options with not much to choose between them. Both deliver decent power, are really reliable and are very quiet. We’d probably end up deciding by choosing the one that was on sale on the day.
When you’re trying to make your choice just remember that a difference of 1 or 2 dBA in the quoted noise levels really isn’t going to make any difference to the perceived noise level that you’ll experience. Also, treat the manufacturer’s quoted noise level as a guideline rather than the absolute truth. If you find a model you like that puts out around 2000W at somewhere near 52dBA then you’ve probably got the quietest generator in the campsite.