A small portable generator can be a great companion in an emergency.
Even the smallest portable unit can easily handle portable electronics like phones, cameras, laptops, or camping lights.
A quality 1000 watt generator like the WEN 56125i can also run some electric tools.
We have spent 26 hours researching more than 35 small generators below the 2000 wattage level. You can find our findings below in the form of reviews of the best small-sized generators out there.
All of these generators are excellent choices for campers.
If you need the smallest generator for certain jobs – the generators presented below could be the right fit for you too.
Top 5 Smallest Generators
|Generator||Wattage (Starting / Running)||Dimensions (in)||Weight||Price|
|WEN 56125i||1250 W / 1000 W||17 x 9 x 12.5||31.6 lbs|
|Westinghouse iGen1200||1200 W / 1000 W||18.5 x 11.22 x 15.75||33 lbs|
|Honda EU1000i||1000 W / 900 W||19.5 x 15.9 x 11||29 lbs|
|Jackery Explorer 160||150 W / 100 W||7.4 x 4.59 x 6.73||3.97 lbs|
|Yamaha EF1000iS||1000 W / 900 W||17.7 x 9.4 x 14.9||27.9 lbs|
Smallest Portable Generators Reviewed
Ever since we stumbled across WEN generators, we almost immediately became a big fan of them.
Portable generators manufactured by WEN prove that a portable generator does not have to cost an arm and a leg to run flawlessly and offer the same capabilities as other top graded generators.
WEN56125i is one of the smallest portable inverter generators currently being on sale.
It’s also very affordable, usually selling for less than half of the price of Honda or Yamaha.
WEN56125i is both EPA and CARB Compliant.
It has a 60cc OHV engine which delivers 1250 starting watts and 1000 running watts of energy.
Just like it is the case with other small generators, you can’t expect it to run multiple large appliances. On the other hand, it is an ideal choice for those looking for a generator to charge their portable electronics.
I particularly recommend WEN 56125i for campers or tailgating parties.
It is a very quiet unit and won’t cause much disturbance.
WEN generator is also compact and lightweight.
Its dimensions are 17 x 9 x 12.5 in, which is more or less the same as a school pack.
Overall it is a really good small generator. If you are looking for an inexpensive compact portable generator – this is the one you should probably get.
Westinghouse is a 100% American company with more than hundreds of years of history. It is one of the most trusted companies producing electrical equipment including portable generators. Based on our research and experience Westinghouse generators perform extremely well and frequently attract stellar reviews from their users.
On top of that, Westinghouse generators usually cost a fraction of the price of Yamaha or Honda.
Westinghouse IGen1200 is the smallest portable generator manufactured by Westinghouse.
It is a well-designed compact inverter generator ideal for powering portable electronics.
Just by looking at it, you can quickly tell that it’s a contemporary hi-tech generator.
The Westinghouse iGen1200 has got a 54cc engine delivering 1200 starting watts and 1000 running watts of power.
It only weighs 35 lbs, which makes it is an excellent choice for camping or any other situation where you need to move the generator from one place to another frequently.
It has 2 x 120V outlets and 2 x USB ports for charging laptops, phones, and other electronic equipment.
You can use the IGen1200 in parallel with another small inverter generator (ideally, the same model).
In such a case, you would get twice as much power totaling 2000 running watts.
It is remarkably quiet – it is, in fact, one of the most silent generators on the market (read this article to learn about other ones).
Overall we think this is the best small portable generator you can find.
Honda is a brand that probably does not need any longer introduction. It is, without a doubt, one of the most recognized and trusted automotive companies. Honda generators are also among the most sought-after.
Honda EU1000i is the smaller sibling of an uber-popular Honda EU2000i inverter generator.
It is one of the lightest portable generators on the market. It only weighs 29 lbs making it super easy to carry around.
Its noise levels are reasonably quiet. Even at the highest loads, it doesn’t produce more than 59 dB.
However, since Honda EU1000i’s engine has got only half of the power of EU2000i (or its newer version – EU2200i), I was honestly expecting it to be a bit quieter. Nonetheless, it is still quieter than the vast majority of portable generators.
EU1000is comes with a patented Honda Eco-Throttle system. This mechanism automatically adjusts the generator’s fuel consumption based on the current output.
This feature can save you quite a lot of money in the long term that you would otherwise waste on gas.
As a result, this neat little generator can run for around 8 hours on a half-gallon of gas, making it a fuel-efficient generator.
I would recommend EU1000i to those who are looking for an original Honda generator and need something even smaller than EU2200i. Honda EU1000i is one of the smallest generators out there and is certainly one of the top market choices.
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160
If you need the smallest portable generator for camping – this one is the right fit for you.
Jackery Portable Power Station is a small portable power station ideal for recharging small electronic equipment.
Think of it as a sizeable portable power bank that you can recharge either by utilizing solar panels (preferred choice), car outlet or wall socket.
It is a fantastic choice for those who want to spend some time in the wild and needs to carry a very compact power source with them.
For example, if you are planning to spend a few days off the grid in a national park, shooting videos with drones and GoPro cameras – Jackery can charge all of these portable electronics without a problem.
If you use the solar panels to charge it, in normal circumstances, it should take around 8 hours in full sun to completely recharge it. One full charge can recharge the following equipment:
- A laptop (twice)
- GoPro (20 + times)
- Smartphone (12 times)
- Drone (twice)
You can plug in all this equipment at once thanks to a large number of outlets available.
It is also super light. It weighs only 3.84 lbs. You won’t have absolutely any difficulties carrying it with one hand.
Don’t forget that if you want to power it with solar panels, those have to be bought separately and will add a bit of weight.
It’s also a suitable indoor generator for apartments.
If you charge it using an ordinary wall socket or car outlet, the total charging time will shorten to around 5 hours.
Overall this is a fantastic choice for campers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Since the total power output is only 100 watts, you certainly won’t be able to power any large appliances.
However, if you need an ultralight noiseless portable station to charge phones, cameras, or laptops – this is probably the smallest and most recommended generator you can get.
If you are curious to learn more about portable solar generators, make sure you check out this article.
Yamaha is the name often used interchangeably with “good quality electrical equipment.” Yamaha generators come equipped with excellent engines which pretty much set the industry standards.
EF1000iS is the smallest gas generator in Yamaha’s family of inverter generators.
It offers pretty much all the same pros we liked about its larger cousin – Yamaha EF2000isV.
These include a great compact design, an original Yamaha engine, a convenient control panel, excellent fuel efficiency, and finally – quiet operation.
Yamaha EF1000iS provides in total 1,000 starting watt output and 900 running watt output.
While this is certainly not enough to run any larger appliances, it is sufficient for portable electronics and small size electrical equipment such as TVs or portable heaters.
It weighs only 28 lbs, which makes it perfect for boats, tailgating, or camping.
You can also use it for charging small trailer batteries.
Its total run time, depending on the load can reach up to 12 hours on single refueling, which is a truly remarkable number.
Any downsides? Well, this is an original Yamaha, so, unfortunately, it costs quite a lot. However, if you don’t want to go on any compromises in regards to quality and need a robust small generator from a reliable manufacturer – you can’t go wrong with EF1000iS.
Overall, I would say this is one of the most recommended small gas generators in the market.