Camping can be so fun. With it comes peace, calm, and tranquility as you become one with nature.
A short camping break can sometimes be all that you need to take a break from your busy 9-5 life, and it can be very nice to just switch off from the real world.
Of course, this is all in an ideal world, and in most cases, it is not possible to switch off completely. Whether it be because you have children to keep busy, or can’t bear to part with cooked food for a few days, more often than not you will need a source of electricity while you are out in the wilderness.
The best way to get this electricity is through a generator, but with so many different types available it can be difficult to know which one is the best.
To make your life easier, we’ve put together this guide to the 12 best camping generators available. So if you’re going on a camping trip soon and need a generator to take with you, keep on reading.
In a hurry?
If you need a generator to take on your camping trip in a hurry, we would recommend the Jackery Portable Power Station. We think this is the best option on the market because it is packed with great features, including:
- It only uses clean power with a 240 watt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
- It comes with an AC outlet, 2 USB-A ports, and 1 DC carport.
- It comes with a solar panel so that it can easily recharge while you use it.
- It comes with a variety of safety features including short circuit and over-temperature protection.
OUR TOP PICK
Our favorite camping generator on the market is the Jackery Portable Power Station.
If you are going on a camping trip then there is a good chance that you care about the environment, if so this is definitely the generator for you.
This power station runs on 100% green energy with zero bad fumes and a lithium-ion battery which easily charges in your car.
It can also be charged using solar panels for ultimate green energy. It has a quiet operating noise and ways barely anything so that you can easily transport it to where you want to camp.
It has a variety of safety features and comes with a variety of connection options including AC, DC, and USB-A outlets.
With all this considered, it is clear that this is one of the best options available.
- 100% green with no bad fumes
- It comes with a lithium-ion battery pack which can be easily charged in your car
- Solar equipped so that it can easily recharge while you use it
- Very quiet when operating and lightweight to carry
- Connections including an AC outlet, 2 USB-A ports, and 1 DC carport
- Lots of safety features including overcharge, overvoltage, short circuit protection, and lots more
- No notable drawbacks
We also love the BUTURE Portable Power Station. This is another excellent option if green energy is important to you as it comes with the ability to be charged via solar panels.
Alternatively, you can charge this generator through your wall socket or car.
It comes with a large-capacity lithium-ion battery for hours of energy and also includes a flashlight for emergencies.
It has a lightweight design with a carry handle which is perfect for camping and has a quiet operating noise and silent cooling fan.
With all of these wonderful features and a variety of output connections, there’s no doubt this is one of the best available.
- 266Wh large-capacity lithium-ion battery
- Multi-functional outputs designed with camping in mind
- Charge in your car, in a wall socket, or through solar panels for green energy
- Quiet operating noise and silent cooling fan
- Lightweight design includes a carry handle
- Comes with a flashlight in case of emergency
- No notable drawbacks
Another brilliant option is the Wen56200i portable generator. Unlike the first two generators that we have looked at, this one is more traditional as it operates with gasoline as its fuel source instead of having a battery that will require recharging.
Despite running on gasoline, this generator still produces clean power at a running power of 1600W which is perfectly safe for sensitive electronics.
It is EPA and CARB compliant and comes with a quiet operating noise of only 53 decibels.
The generator itself is smaller in design and is also built to be lightweight with a solid handle for you to easily transport it from A to B.
Additionally, it comes with a variety of connections including 120V and DC receptacles as well as a USB port.
With all these great features, there is no doubt that this is one of the best on the market.
- 4 stroke gasoline-powered engine
- Quiet operating noise of 53 decibels
- EPA and CARB compliant with 1600 running watts
- Produces clean power that is safe for sensitive electronics
- Lightweight and small design is easy to carry
- Includes a variety of connections such as 120V receptacles, DC receptacles, and a USB port
- No notable drawbacks
You should also consider the PAXCESS Portable Power Station, especially if green energy is a priority for you and your family.
This generator is excellent for producing green power while also maintaining a small design that is easy to transport on your camping holiday.
It can be charged in your car, through a wall plug, or via solar panels to produce 200W continuous and safe power.
It comes with lots of safety features, and additionally includes a fast charge function which allows your electronics to charge to full 40% faster than normal.
It also has a screen that clearly displays the charge in the generator and lets you know when it will require charging next.
With all of these great functions, and both USB type A and C connections, there’s no question that this is one of the best options available.
- Provides 200W continuous safe power
- Small design is perfect to take with you on your camping trip
- Can be charged in the car, through the wall, or via solar panels
- Lots of safety features included
- Includes quick charge function for 40% faster charge of your electronics
- USB-type A and USB-type C connection options
- No notable drawbacks
Another option that you need to consider is the Durostar DS4000S Portable Generator.
This is a great option if you need a generator that is capable of powering larger camping electronics as it comes with 3,300W of running power.
Due to this, it has a larger design, but this gasoline-powered generator is still easily portable thanks to its handle and wheels.
Considering its power, this generator has a surprisingly low operating noise of only 69 decibels, but as you would expect it comes with lots of different output options, allowing you to connect multiple devices.
So if you need a powerful generator for your camping trip, this one could be perfect for you.
- 4 stroke gasoline-powered engine
- Relatively low noise level of 69 decibels
- 3,300 running watts provides plenty of power
- Comes with lots of different output options
- Larger design but still portable
- Excellent if you want to power larger camping electronics
- No notable drawbacks
You should also consider the Flashfish portable solar generator, this is one of two flashfish products that we’ve included in this list which highlights how great this company is.
This device is another one that is great for providing power to smaller electronics as it comes with 300W continuous running power and includes a variety of AC outlets for accessibility.
Additionally, it comes with a variety of safety features to protect your devices including over-heat and low-voltage protection.
It weighs less than 6 pounds and has a handle so you can easily carry it, as well as a screen that clearly tells you when the device requires recharging.
With all this in mind, there’s no doubt that this is one of the best available.
- Includes a variety of AC outlets to power your devices
- 300W continuous running power
- Weighs less than 6 pounds for easy portability
- Includes safety functions like overheat and low-voltage protection
- Comes with a screen so that you know when to recharge
- Easy to carry handle for easy transportation
- No notable drawbacks
Additionally, you need to consider the Westinghouse iGen2200 Generator.
This is another option that is great if you are looking for a generator that is more on the powerful side as it comes with 1800W running power.
Despite its large size, this generator is surprisingly quiet as it only produces 52 decibels of operating noise.
It is great if efficiency is important to you as it comes with an economy mode to conserve the gasoline fuel used to provide it with power.
It is on the heavier side at 42 pounds, however, it does come with a carry handle which makes it easily portable for the short distance between your car and the campsite.
With all this considered, there is no question that this is one of the best options available.
- 4 stroke gasoline engine
- 1800W running power
- Includes 2 120V outlets and 2 USB outlets
- Extremely quiet with an operating noise of 52 decibels
- Comes with economy mode for fuel efficiency
- Includes a carry handle so that it is easily portable.
- Heavier than some other options
Next, we come to yet another generator produced by Flashfish.
Similar to the last Flashfish generator that we looked at, this is another brilliant option if you are keen on a lightweight generator that is easily portable.
This generator weighs less than 5 pounds and also comes with a soft handle so that you can transport it comfortably.
It uses green energy and can be recharged using solar panels, alternatively you can charge it through a wall plug or your car.
It includes a variety of AC, DC, and USB output options and even comes with an LCD screen to monitor the battery.
With all of these features and a variety of safety precautions, it is clear that this is one of the best options currently available.
- Lightweight with a soft handle for comfortable transport
- Includes AC, DC, and USB output options
- Comes with a screen to monitor the battery’s charge
- Uses green energy and can be solar charged
- Charge using wall power or your car
- Comes with over-temperature monitoring so that it doesn’t overheat
- Cannot be used and charged simultaneously
Another brilliant option is the BALDR Portable Power Station.
If you need a generator that comes with lots of different output options then this is, without a doubt, the one for you as it comes with AC, DC, USB, and carports for you to connect your different devices to.
It is also a brilliant choice if you are into green energy as this generator can be charged using only solar energy.
Alternatively, you can charge it using the wall plug or your car if you need it charged in a hurry.
It produces 330W running power yet weighs only 7 pounds for easy portability, so with all these great features in mind, there’s no doubt that it is one of the best available.
- Lots of output options including AC, DC, USB, and carports
- Includes battery management system to monitor the charge
- Charge in your car, in the house, or via solar panels
- Weighs only 7 pounds for easy portability
- Includes multi-mode flashlight for emergencies
- Provides 330W running power
- Takes a while to charge to full
You also have to consider the OMORC Pure Sine Wave Camping Generator.
The first thing that we should note about this generator is that it comes in lots of different color options so that you can personalize it to fit you.
The generator itself can generate 300W running power and includes AC, DC, USB-type A, and USB-type C connections so that you can charge pretty much anything with it.
It has a compact and sturdy design that weighs only 5 pounds, and also comes with a smart display so that you can monitor the performance and battery level of this device.
With all of these wonderful features and the fact that it can be used to charge sensitive devices, there is no question that this is one of the best options available.
- Comes in different color options
- 300W continuous running power
- Includes AC, DC, USB-type A, and USB-type C connections
- Comes with a smart display so that you can monitor performance and battery
- Compact and sturdy design - weighs less than 5 pounds for portability
- Totally safe for use with sensitive devices
- Modern design takes some getting used to
Now that we are nearing the end, it is also worth considering the Meterk Solar Generator. This is another brilliant option if green energy is your main focus, and also if you care about usability.
This design comes with AC, DC, and a variety of USB ports, and also has the potential to provide power to 7 different devices simultaneously.
When plugged in, this generator takes only 6 hours for a full charge, but it can also be charged using solar panels if you wish.
It comes with a voltage regulator to protect your devices, and also includes a large LCD display so that you can always monitor battery performance.
With all of these excellent features, you really need to consider the Meterk solar generator.
- Includes AC, DC, and USB ports
- Can charge up to 7 different devices simultaneously
- Takes only 6 hours to fully charge
- Can also be charged via solar panels for clean energy
- Large LCD display clearly shows the battery charge and performance
- Includes voltage regulator to protect your devices
- The design is smaller than you expect
Finally, let’s not forget about the Pulsar PG5250B Portable Generator.
This final option is one that is suited to people who have power in mind, and are happy to sacrifice a smaller generator for the power that they want.
It has a large design but is also incredibly durable as its steel frame is powder-coated. It uses a 4 stroke dual-fuel engine to provide energy and can be used with both propane and gasoline depending on which is best for you.
The generator comes with a 3-in-1 digital meter to monitor performance and can provide up to 12 hours of continuous operation.
With all of this and the fact that it comes with a fold-down handle and wheels for portability, there’s no reason to disregard the Pulsar PG5250B portable generator.
- 4 stroke dual-fuel engine
- Durable design with powder-coated steel frame
- Up to 12 hours continuous operation
- 3 in 1 digital meter to monitor performance
- Designed with a fold-down handle and wheels for portability
- Effortlessly use with propane or gasoline depending on what you have access to
- Large design
Best Camping Generator Buying Guide
If you are still unsure what to look for in a camping generator then there’s no need to stress because we’ve put together this quick buyer’s guide full of all the information you need to consider when you are buying a camping generator.
The first thing that you need to consider is the power that you want the generator to be able to generate. Depending on the camping activities that you complete, different power ratings will be more or less appropriate for you.
For example, if you solely want the generator to be able to charge your phone then you will not require much power, and a solar power generator may be good enough for the job.
Whereas if you want a generator to be able to power your RV then you will require a much larger generator.
To work out the size of the generator you will require, you need to add up the starting watts of all of the different appliances that you want to use and buy a generator that is about 20% higher than this number so that your generator is never working at full capacity.
Another very important thing that you want to consider is the noise that the generator produces while it is in use.
There is always one person on the campsite who has an insanely loud generator that keeps everyone up at night and has everyone secretly hating them, and you really do not want to be that person.
No generator is completely silent, but there are some generators that are on the quieter side of the market. The quieter generators which exist tend to range between 52 - 57 decibels which are no louder than the white noise given off by a conversation.
So if you are shopping for a camping generator, you should definitely choose a generator that is on the quieter side of the noise level.
Finally, you should consider the fuel type of the generator that you want to buy. The majority of generators are either powered by gas, diesel, or propane.
Over the years, diesel generators have declined in popularity, and now the majority of generators that are readily available run on either gasoline or propane.
In particular, propane is an option that has grown increasingly popular due to its “clean burning” and positive impact on the environment.
You can also get dual-fuel generators that can run on both propane and gasoline depending on which you prefer. When buying a generator, we would recommend buying one which runs on the fuel that you will be able to access the easiest while you are on your camping trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good decibel level for a generator?
As we have already mentioned, noise is very important in a camping generator. If you are planning on using your generator solely for camping purposes, we would recommend buying a generator that has an operating noise between 42 and 60 decibels.
This will produce no more noise than a conversation between two people, which ensures that it will not disturb your neighbors on the campsite.
Can I leave my generator out in the rain?
No, you cannot leave your generator out in the rain. You should never run your generator in the rain, and the only possible reason that you should do this is if you have a generator tent.
Water and electricity do not mix well together, and running your generator in wet weather can cause irreversible damage to your machine.
If you are going camping and know that you will probably get wet weather during the time that you are away then you should take a generator tent with you on your camping trip.
Are portable generators worth the money?
This is a difficult one to answer as only you can truly know whether or not it is worth investing in a portable generator. However, it is clear how helpful a portable generator can be during a camping trip.
It allows you to charge all your electronic devices and can also be used to power devices that allow you to cook food while you are living in the wild. But generators are quite pricey, so perhaps you should only invest in one if you go camping regularly.