A portable generator is super handy, as you can take them just about anywhere. This makes them great for camping. However, generators can be pretty loud. Not only do they disturb neighboring campers, but the noise can interfere with your sleep and drown out the tranquil noises of nature.
Is there a way for you to keep the benefits of the best portable generator for camping without being disturbed by a noisy generator?
Thanks to inverter technology (that modifies the engine use accordingly rather than running at full power constantly), portable generators are now quieter than ever.
Below you’ll find reviews of eight of the quietest portable generators on the market. We've also put together a buyer’s guide and FAQ section that will go more in-depth about features to look out for when buying a quiet portable generator for camping.
OUR TOP PICK
Don’t underestimate this generator. Measuring 20.9 by 13.8 by 19.9 inches, it may be compact but it sure is powerful, offering 1900 watts of running power and 2500 watts of surge power.
It also features two 120 volt AC ports, and one 12 volt DC port, which is an ideal number of ports for camping.
But it also features two 5 volt USB ports, letting you charge up to two smartphones or tablets at once. This is super convenient and comes in handy if you haven’t packed a portable power bank.
But how quiet is it? As well as using inverter technology that goes a long way in making the generator quiet, it also has a muffler design that further reduces noise.
This generator runs at an impressively quiet 53 decibels, meaning you can have a conversation without having to raise your voice over the hum of the generator.
This generator runs on gasoline and features a large 1.05 gallon fuel tank, meaning you won’t have to constantly refuel. You can also set the generator to economy mode, a useful feature that means the generator only uses fuel when necessary.
The compact size of this generator makes it easy to fit into your car alongside all your camping gear. The large carry handle also helps to make this generator portable, and you can even carry the generator one-handed. This generator is also backed by a generous 2-year warranty.
- Has 1900 watts of running power.
- Features two 5 volt USB ports.
- It runs at a super low 53 decibels.
- Compact and easy to carry.
- Backed by a 2-year warranty and the option to add a protection plan.
- Doesn’t come with oil.
- No wheels, but this isn’t too much of an issue as the generator is easily portable.
This is another compact generator that is packed with power. It is manufactured by one of the leading names in the industry, and at 3400 running watts can easily power larger appliances like refrigerators.
Its high peak wattage is an eye-watering 3800 watts so you can rest assured this generator can power pretty much anything. This generator is also easy to start up too, all it takes is the push of a button!
Measuring just 23.2 inches by 18 by 20.1 inches, this generator is also compact enough to pack in your car but cannot be carried one-handed. Still, it does have a large carry handle, so you can easily drag it to where you need it to be.
It also features three 120 volt AC ports. These are made up of 2 three-prong ports and one NEMA TT-30R port for your RV. This generator also has a 12 volt DC port, as well as an impressive 5 volt USB port that can be used to charge smartphones and tablets.
This generator also runs at a quiet 57 decibels (which is just quieter than a window air conditioner), again making it the perfect generator for when you’re having conversations around the campfire!
At 2.2 gallons, this generator also has a very large fuel tank capacity, meaning that you won’t have to constantly refuel it. Like our previous generator, it also has an economy mode which is useful for saving fuel.
Plus, it has a generous runtime, able to run for 8.4 hours when it's half full.
But even when you do find yourself low on oil and fuel, the generator has indicator lights on the control panel that let you know when you need to refuel. The control panel also displays the load, voltage, frequency, and run time.
This generator also has safety features we appreciate like circuit breakers and a grounding nut. The fuel shutoff also makes it easy to maintain, and ensures the remaining fuel in the carburetor is used before it shuts down.
This helps to prevent maintenance issues, and improves the longevity of your generator.
All WEN generators are backed by a lengthy 2-year warranty, and have plenty of great resources for customer support.
- Has 3400 running watts and a peak wattage of 3800 watts.
- Suitable for use on an RV.
- Runs at a quiet 57 decibels.
- Has a large 2.2 gallon fuel tank.
- Economy mode helps you to save money on fuel.
- Heavy and not easy to move.
The WEN 56203i is one of the more budget friendly generators on our list and is pretty powerful. This generator provides 1700 running watts, and can offer a surge of 2000 watts to get your appliances started.
Measuring 17.3 inches by 11.5 by 17.7 inches and weighing 39 lbs, this generator is incredibly compact and lightweight. The carry handle on top makes it easily portable, and makes packing and unpacking your luggage and camping gear so much easier.
At 60 decibels (the normal decibel level for a conversation), this is a very quiet portable generator.
You can also power your RV with this generator, thanks to the 12 volt DC port. There are also two three-prong 120 volt AC ports, as well as two 5 volt USB ports for charging smartphones and tablets.
The control panel also features indicator lights that tell you if you’re low on oil, as well as overload and output.
The fuel tank capacity of 1 gallon means you don’t have to worry about regularly refuelling, and when you set this generator to economy mode you can be sure you’re only using the fuel you need.
The inverter technology of this generator not only makes the generator quieter, but also even more efficient.
Like the previous generator, this generator also has a fuel shutoff feature making it incredibly easy to maintain and ensures your generator lasts longer.
This generator is also backed up by a generous 2-year warranty.
- Given the title of ‘Amazon’s Choice.’
- Provides 1700 running watts.
- Super lightweight and compact.
- Features two 5 volt USB ports.
- Energy-efficient economy mode.
- Control panel doesn’t display percentage load or voltage.
Manufactured by Westinghouse - another top brand in the industry - the iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator is incredibly compact and portable, measuring just 19.8 by 11.4 by 17.9 inches.
It’s also very lightweight at 46 lbs and has an integrated carry handle for extra portability.
But don’t let its compact dimensions fool you, as this generator is packed with plenty of power. It has 1800 watts of power to offer and a peak surge of 2200 watts - perfect for getting your larger appliances started.
It’s also one of the quietest generators on this list at just 52 decibels, which is even quieter than most normal conversation levels.
This generator also has two 12-volt AC three-prong household style outlets, and the two handy USB ports are great for when you need to charge your smartphone or other small electronic devices like tablets or laptops.
At 1.2 gallons it also has a large fuel tank capacity and can run for an impressive 12 hours. Like the other generators we’ve mentioned, this generator also has an economy mode for maximum energy efficiency.
The customer support also deserves a mention too. This generator is backed by a 3-year limited service covering both parts and labor, and has a customer service network that spans across the country.
Lifetime tech support is also available, with the number very conveniently displayed right on the generator’s control panel.
Very lightweight and compact
Offers up to 1800 running watts.
Features 2 bonus USB ports.
Backed by a 3-year warranty on parts and labor.
Lifetime tech support available.
No dedicated RV outlet unlike some other generators on this list.
This generator has all you could want for a quiet camping trip. It’s packed with power, extremely portable, and quiet.
It offers a generous 2800 running watts and has a peak surge of 3300 watts, so it can power all your camping appliances without a problem!
This generator is also powerful whilst being compact and lightweight enough to be carried one-handed using the integrated carry handle at the top. It also measures just 20 inches by 18.5 by 12.5 inches and weighs just 48 lbs.
But how quiet is it? Well, it’s not as quiet as some of the other generators on this list at 62 decibels, but it’s certainly not a loud or overpowering level of noise.
This generator also features three AC outlets, including two three-pong household outlets, and one 30 amp port to hook up to your RV.
It also has two USB outlets that you can use to charge smaller devices like smartphones and tablets. It also features a control panel with indicator lights that let you know if there’s an issue with oil levels or circuit overload.
This generator also has a large fuel tank capacity at one gallon and can run for up to 4 hours when it’s half full. Like the other generators on this list it also has an economy mode for energy efficiency and to help you save fuel.
- Very compact and lightweight.
- Provides 2800 running watts.
- Has a decibel level of 62 dB.
- Able to hook it up to your RV.
- Features 2 USB ports.
- Doesn’t come with oil.
Honda has a few quiet portable generators in their line, and the 2200 Watt version is ideal for campers!
It weighs just under 50 lbs, making it fairly portable and it efficiently delivers a good amount of power, as it can run for about 8 hours on 1 gallon of gasoline.
This generator provides just the amount of power needed to power your smart devices, refrigerate food, or make coffee in the morning.
During normal use, it runs at a super quiet 50 dBA making it one of the quietest inverters on the market at the moment.
The Honda EU200i is also ideal for smaller trips, as one person can easily carry this around and it’s quiet enough to have right next to your tent.
Made by a trusted, reputable brand.
Ideal for camping trips, especially for use in tents.
Super quiet at 50 dBA.
Not the most budget-friendly option.
Might not be the best for those who need lots of power.
You may not have heard of Briggs and Stratton, but they are a worthy opponent to some of the other bigger brands on our list. The 30651 is a gas-powered generator that is 120 volts and 2200 Watts, making it suitable for a camping trip. It's also the best portable generator for rv camping.
It is one of the louder generators on our list, but is still under 60 dBA and even when running in the evenings will not be loud enough to keep anybody up.
But even if this generator isn’t the quietest on this list, it’s still worth mentioning because of its other features.
This small, modest generator weighs 55 lbs but it sure doesn’t feel like it! It’s deceptively small, and the collapsible handle and wheels make it easy to carry and transport around the campsite.
We also have to praise Briggs and Stratton for its customer service, and they’re a great resource to turn to if you ever experience problems with your generators.
While you’re unlikely to run into issues, it’s nice to know you have reliable customer support service to turn to in times of need.
This generator is also a mid-tier, budget-friendly option which makes it even more appealing!
Incredibly lightweight and compact.
Excellent customer service.
Collapsible handles and wheels make it easily portable.
Has a decibel level of 60 dBA.
Although it comes with an RV plug adapter, it is unable to run an RV A/C.
Despite having 2700 starting watts, it does not handle surges well.
The A-iPower SUA2000iV is also one of the more budget friendly generators on this list.
It is also incredibly portable thanks to its integrated carry handle. It’s compact too, measuring just 22 by 13 by 20 inches and weighing just 48 lbs
Still, despite its compact dimensions it really packs a punch, with 1600 running watts and a peak surge of 2000 watts to provide your appliances with more than enough power.
At just 52 decibels, this generator runs at a volume level of just below the volume of a conversation.
This generator also features A-iPower’s ‘Low Idle’ technology that gives the generator an extended run time of 4 hours at full charge and 7 hours at half charge.
Its control panel couldn’t be easier to use, with clearly labelled dials and indicator lights so you always know the buttons you’re pressing! The indicators are for output, and low oil, and there is also an overload alarm.
This generator also has two AC outlets, including one three prong household outlet and one NEMA outlet. There’s also a convenient USB port to charge up everyday essentials like smartphones or tablets.
The generator also has a generous 1.1 gallon fuel tank capacity, so you don’t have to worry about constantly refuelling.
However, you can also purchase a dual fuel version of this generator, which is more versatile and extremely convenient if you run out of gasoline. You can just power the generator with propane in the meantime!
- Very compact and lightweight.
- Offers 1600 running watts.
- Runs at a super quiet 52 decibels.
- Has a user friendly control panel.
- Not powerful enough to run a medium size camper air conditioning system.
Reading our picks for the quietest portable generators you may have noticed that certain features were mentioned frequently.
Below, we’ll take you through each of these key features so you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for when buying your own quiet, portable generator.
This is top of the list, as a quiet generator is very important when you’re looking for a tranquil camping getaway, or you’re going to a campsite with neighboring campers. You’ll know your generator is too loud when you have to shout to make yourself heard over it!
The volume of a normal conversation is about 60 decibels, so anything below 60 decibels is the ideal noise for your generator to make, especially if you will be using your generator to power an air conditioning system in the evenings.
Running Power and Peak Power
This is another critical aspect when looking for a generator, because the amount of power a generator can provide will make a huge difference for what appliances and systems it can power.
After all, who wants to pack an appliance to later find out their generator isn’t powerful enough to power it?
To get an appliance to run, however, it needs an extra surge of power to initially get started. Naturally, the extra surge of power should be higher than the running watts.
Nature and Number of Ports
It’s also important that the generator has the right type of ports for your particular needs, because while some things run off AC, some things run off DC.
For example, if you want your generator to power the electricity in your RV, you need a generator that is classed as RV ready with a dedicated RV port.
Modern generators also have USB ports, which is handy for charging smaller items like smartphones and tablets. The ideal generator should also have two three-prong household AC outlets.
The number of ports is important too, as the more ports you have the more appliances you can have plugged in at any one time.
Fuel Tank Capacity
This is fairly straightforward. The greater the capacity of the generator’s fuel tank, the less frequently you will have to refuel. The type of fuel the generator uses is also important. You may also want to consider the option of a quiet propane generator.
Most of the generators on our list are inverter generators. What makes these generators so useful is that they only come on when needed, and are more fuel efficient. This also means that they don’t make constant, unwanted noise when not in use.
This is of course important, as a portable generator needs to be easily transportable, and generally the more compact a generator the easier it is to move around! It also needs to be compact enough to fit in your vehicle or trailer.
When you reach the campsite, the generator - as well as your tent, of course - is going to be one of the first things you’ll want to set up. So being able to remove your generator from the car quickly and easily is a must.
Integrated carry handles and wheels make this so much more convenient, especially if you’re navigating difficult terrain. The more lightweight your generator, the better!
You’ll want your generator to produce as much energy as possible from as little fuel as possible.
Nearly all of the generators we mentioned on our list have an economy mode which lets the generator provide you with all the power you need while using less fuel. Plus, the less fuel you use the less the noise the generator makes. Win-win!
As we become more environmentally conscious, it’s natural to be concerned with the emissions our generators are producing.
Yamaha generators are usually the best with emissions, with Honda and WEN a close joint second.
Safety features such as circuit breakers are also crucial as well. Circuit breakers protect electric circuits from damage caused by excess current.
Customer Ratings & Reviews
If you’re shopping online and are on the fence about a purchase, make sure to check out customer ratings and reviews, as reading people’s experiences with the product can help you to make a decision.
The length of the warranty with any product is often a good indicator of the product’s quality and reliability. It’s safe to say anything with a warranty of over a year is a good, sound product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there such a thing as a completely quiet generator?
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a generator that is lower than 50 decibels. For example, the Honda generator is the quietest on this list at 50 dBA, followed closely by the A-iPower SUA2000iV and the Westinghouse iGen2200 which both run at 52 decibels.
But as technology continues to improve, who knows where generators will be in a few years time!
How quiet should a camping generator be?
Many National Park Service Campgrounds limit generator noise to less than 60 decibels at 50 feet.
What size generator do I need for tent camping?
When shopping for a generator for your next camping trip, you certainly don’t need one as big as a home backup generator. A generator that offers about 1600 running watts should be sufficient for camping.
However, you will need a greater amount of peak surge watts in order to provide enough initial power to get your appliances started.
The quieter you need your generator to be, the more it makes sense to invest in generators that have 2200 Watts of power or maybe even less. But it also comes down to individual needs, and what your generator will be powering.
These options are more affordable than larger, more powerful options and also tend to be more portable, lightweight, and - most importantly - quiet.
But generators are a massive time-saver for camping trips overall, especially if you plan to take some home comforts with you that need to be powered up.
Generators are also becoming more affordable, so while they’re still expensive you don’t have to break the bank to buy a good generator. They’re a worthy investment, and a high-quality generator is bound to last for years.
We hope that you have found the right quiet, portable generator for you in our list, or that our buyer’s guide has given you something to think about!