Best Portable Generator For Tailgating

A generator is an integral part of any tailgating kit. Essential to power the refrigerator, the television or sound system, you can’t tailgate properly without one. Most tailgating power requirements will fall under the 2000 watt level. However if you are unsure how much power you need, you’ll need to total each individual appliance’s wattage use to find out. Every appliance should have this labelled on it, however if it does not you can use this handy calculator to get a rough idea. When deciding which is the best portable generator for tailgating, you will first need to decide whether you want an inverter generator or a portable generator. 

Check out the best quiet generators on the market.

There are a few differences between inverter generators and portable generators. They are summarized below, however for more details you should visit our inverter and portable generators pages. 

Portable generators

  • Use gasoline or propane
  • Less clean power – electronic appliances may be at risk
  • Typically noisier
  • Less expensive
  • Less fuel efficient

Inverter generators

  • Use gasoline
  • Clean power – safe to use sensitive electronic appliances
  • Quieter
  • More expensive
  • More fuel efficient

1. Champion 42436 – 1500W Portable Generator

Best Portable Generator For Tailgating
  • 1200/1500 watts
  • 65 dB
  • ​56 lb
  • ​10 hr run time at 50% load
  • 1 x 120V AC
  • CARB compliant
  • 2 yr warranty

Champion Power Equipment has produced another great generator in this product. Producing 1200 rated watts and 1500 starting watts, this is the perfect generator for powering a small amount of appliances, for example when you are tailgating. It’s a great tailgating generator. It offers one 120V AC outlet. This unit is a very portable 56 pounds and has the dimensions 17.7- x 14.0 x 14.8 inches. Featuring a low oil sensor and voltmeter, the tank has a 1.45 gallon gasoline capacity allowing the generator to run for 10 hours at 50% load when full. With the additional benefit of being quiet with a low noise level of 65 dB, this unit has you covered. It also comes with a 2 year limited warranty.

2. WEN 56180 – 1800W Portable Generator

  • 1500/1800 watts
  • 63 dB
  • ​57 lb
  • 7.5 hr run time at 50% load
  • ​2 x 120V AC, 1 x 12V DC
  • ​CARB compliant
  • 2 yr warranty

WEN consistently make reliable generators and  this 1800 watt model is no different. Capable of a maximum of 1800 starting watts and 1500 continuous watts, it should meet your tailgating needs. For a portable generator it is a quiet 63 dB, about the level of a normal conversation. Providing two household 120V AC outlets and one 12V DC outlet, you can power what you need. It comes with a 2 year warranty and its fully CARB compliant.

3. Yamaha EF2000iS – 2000W Inverter Generator

yamaha 2000 generator
  • 1600/2000 watts
  • 51.5 dB
  • ​44 lbs
  • ​10.5 hr run time at 25% load
  • 2 x 120V AC, 1 x 12V DC
  • ​CARB compliant
  • 2 yr warranty

The Yamaha EF2000iS is a very high quality inverter generator offering 1600 running watts of power. A compact and lightweight unit, its dimensions are 19.3 x 11.0 x 17.9 inches at 44 pounds. Using a sound reducing system, it one of the quietest generators producing only 51.5 dB at 25% load. By controlling the engine speed according to the power requirement, it is highly fuel efficient. Its 1.1 gallon tank will allow it to run for 10.5 hours at 25% load.  Producing clean power, your sensitive appliances will be protected. CARB compliant, it features parallel running ability allowing you to increase your power to 3000 watts with a second unit.

4. Honda EU2000I – 2000W Inverter Generator

  • 1600/2000 watts
  • 53 dB
  • ​46 lbs
  • 8.1 hr run time at 25% load
  • 2 x 120V AC, 1 x 12V DC
  • ​3 yr warranty

The Honda EU2000I is one of the most popular inverter generators in the 2000 watt class. A lightweight 46 lbs, it generates 53 dB of noise. This is quieter than the average conversation. Producing clean power, you can safely use your sensitive appliances like laptops and televisions. The panel provides 2 x 120V AC and 1 x 12V DC outlets. Able to run for 8.1 hours at 25% load, this inverter generator is easy to operate.

Best Portable Generator For Tailgating

You will need to consider how much power you need, whether you want protection for your sensitive appliances, how loud of a generator you can tolerate, and the outlet requirements. Of course cost will factor into the decision as well. Generally portable generators are cheaper than inverter generators. However, inverter generators do have advantages over portable generators which in our opinion makes them the best portable generator for tailgating.

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