Tailgating is nothing without entertainment and to make the best out of your tailgate event; you need a reliable power source. Since only portable generators can fulfill your power needs outdoors, therefore, you must have to buy the best generator for the job.
In this article, you are going to know about the ten best tailgating generators available on the market. The list has both the inverter and conventional generators that you can use for tailgating. But first, if you are new to tailgating generators, then you must focus on the buyer’s guide to knowing which of the factors you should consider before purchasing your ideal generator.
Best Tailgate Generators
Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Generator
WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator
Honda EU2200i Gas Power Generator
DuroStar DS4000S Generator
Champion Power Equipment Generator
WEN 56475 Portable Generator
Atima AY2000i Inverter Generator
Briggs & Stratton P2200 Generator
Generac 6866 iQ2000 Generator
1. Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator – Best Overall
Weight and Warranty: One of the best portable inverter generators for tailgating is the Westinghouse iGen2200 that runs on gasoline to provide you with all the power you need at your tailgate parties. It weighs around 47 pounds and is backed by a 3-year limited warranty.
Portability: The unit is also quite easy to move. Not only its lightweight makes it an easy-to-move product, but its built-in-suitcase style handle also makes transportation easy. Moreover, its small size makes it easy to store at any place.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: It is quite a fuel-efficient product as it features an Efficiency Mode, and that’s why with only 1.2 gallons of the fuel tank, it gives you a run time of 12 hours.
Power Output: It generates 2200 watts of peak power and 1800 watts of running power.
THD Rating: An appealing thing about this unit is its less than 3% Total harmonic distortion rating. This means that you can freely power all your sensitive electronics like laptops, iPods, smartphones, and other gadgets during parties.
Engine and Start System: The unit comes with a 79cc OHV engine and features a recoil start system.
Noise Level: It also offers noise-free operation, has a decibel rating of 52 dBA.
Parallel Connectivity Option: You can also connect your Westinghouse iGen2200 with other models from Westinghouse to fulfill your increased power needs. The parallel connectivity option allows you to do so, but you must have the Westinghouse parallel cord with you. You can link the Westinghouse iGen 1200, 2200, 2500, and the WH2200iXLT model.
Control Panel: If we focus on its control panel, then there are two 120V 20A outlets and two 5V USB ports. Also, there are low-oil and overload indicators.
Certifications: The unit is also EPA certified and USFS and CARB compliant.
2. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Generator – Lightest Tailgating Generator
Weight and Warranty: This Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is another best gas powered portable inverter generator that you can purchase to lighten up your tailgate parties. It weighs around 44 pounds and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
Portability: It looks like a compact-sized suitcase having an ergonomically designed handle to carry it from one place to another with ease. Also, it will take very little space in your car.
Engine: The unit is featured with a 79cc 4-stroke, single-cylinder OHV engine having an air-cooled cooling system.
Power Output: It can produce 2000 peak watts and 1600 running watts.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: It comes with a fuel tank capacity of 1.1 gallons. You will get 10.5 hours of continuous runtime on a full tank at a 25% load. The unit also features a fuel gauge and gasoline petcock.
Inverter System with PWD: Since it is an inverter generator, therefore, it provides high-quality clean output power. Its inverter system features PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) that ensures voltage and frequency stability.
New Controller System: One valuable addition in this generation EF2000iSv2 is the whole new controller. This controller features advanced programming that allows you to run more power tools and applications as compared to the previous model EF2000S.
Parallel Connectivity Option: The generator also features a parallel function that allows you to connect another Yamaha EF2000iSv2 to drive more power to meet your needs. For parallel connectivity, you must require Twin Tech Cable and another generator which are not included in the package.
Control Panel: The control panel has two 120V AC household outlets and one 12V 8A DC outlet. There is also a low-oil indicator along with an electrical overload breaker.
Noise Level: Its quiet operation is because of the muffler with a spark arrestor that is USFS approved. The unit also features a smart throttle that changes the speed of the engine according to the load that results in noise reduction. Also, it saves fuel.
Certifications: It is an EPA and CARB compliant product.
3. WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator – Best Under $500
Power Output: Another compact design and lightweight, portable inverter generator in our list is the WEN 56200i. It can generate a maximum output power of 2000 watts with 1600 running watts.
Weight and Portability: It is a small suitcase-type generator weighing 48 pounds. WEN 56200i is an EPA III and a CARB compliant product and is backed by a 2-year limited warranty.
Portability: Its ergonomically designed handle makes it easy to carry. Also, you can store this small machine anywhere.
Engine: The unit is featured with a 79.7cc 4-stroke OHV engine.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: The generator can run for 6 hours at 50% load on a 1-gallon gas tank.
THD Rating: It has a THD rating of less than 1.2% at 100% load. It means this unit is ideal for powering your sensitive electronics. It produces clean power to run your laptops, computers, tablets, and phones, and prevent them from being damaged.
Eco Mode: The best thing about this generator is its Eco mode that helps you to save your fuel and money. When you turn on the Eco mode, the motor automatically adjusts its fuel consumption according to the attachment and detachment of the applications.
Parallel Capable: The unit also fulfills your additional energy needs by allowing you to link up two same generators through a parallel connectivity function. The parallel connection kit will be required to drive more power from the generators.
Control Panel: It has a versatile control panel having two 120V 20A power outlets, one 12V DC outlet, and a 5V USB port. Also, if we focus on its safety features, then there is a low-oil shutdown sensor and an overload protection feature.
Noise Level: The generator also produces less noise. It has a decibel rating of 51 dBA that is equal to the sound of a human conversation.
4. Honda EU2200i Gas Power Portable Inverter Generator – Smaller Fuel Tank
Power Output: The unit produces reliable, stable, and clean power to run your electronics, thanks to its advanced inverter technology. It generates 2200 starting watts and 1800 running watts.
Weight and Warranty: It has a weight of almost 47 pounds that makes it easy to carry from one place to another. Also, it is backed by a 3-year warranty.
Engine: A 121cc Honda GXR120 engine powers it.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: The generator can run for more than 8 hours at 25% load on a 0.95-gallon fuel tank. This excellent run time is just because of the Eco-throttle system.
Start System: It is featured with a recoil start system that takes your little effort to turn the generator on.
Noise Level: The generator works quietly, have a decibel rating between 48 dBA and 57 dBA depending on the load. These noise levels will surely keep you and your neighbours happy.
Safety Feature: The best and appealing feature of this unit is the fuel shutoff valve. This fuel shutoff valve helps the carburettor to run dry without the fuel to eliminate the problems related to stale gasoline.
Control Panel: Its control panel has two 120V 15A outlets and a 12V 8.3A DC outlet. Also, you have circuit protectors and oil and overload alerts along with an output indicator.
Parallel Capable: You can also fulfil your more power needs with this generator by connecting another EU2200i with the parallel connection kit.
5. DuroStar DS4000S Gas Powered Portable Generator – Longest Run Time
Power Output: This DuroStar DS4000S portable generator is quite a powerful unit that produces enough power to run your multiple appliances simultaneously. It generates 4000 peak watts and 3300 running watts. You can use this unit to enjoy up to full extent at your tailgate parties, campsites, or can meet your power needs at home.
Weight and Warranty: It is quite a heavyweight unit that weighs around 105 pounds. The durable and robust steel frame protects the engine and makes the whole unit durable and sturdy. Also, it comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
Engine: It comes with a powerful 7 HP,208cc OHV engine that is featured with an air-cooled cooling system to prevent overheating. Also, there is a low-oil shutoff sensor that senses low oil levels and shuts off the engine.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: The DS4000S has a fuel tank capacity of 4 gallons. It offers an excellent run time of 12.3 hours at 50% load. Also, there is a fuel gauge that allows you to check the fuel level without opening the lid.
Start System: It has a recoil start system that requires less effort.
Control Panel: If we focus on its control panel, then it is very intuitive. You have two 120V AC household outlets and a 120V 30A twist-lock outlet. Also, there is a low oil indicator and a voltmeter along with an engine switch.
Portability: The machine is also quite easy to move. First, there is a pulling handle, and second, the never-flat tires make transportation easy. Also, its installation is super easy that you can do within 10 minutes.
Certifications: The unit is EPA and CARB compliant.
Noise Level: It has a decibel rating of 69 dB that makes it a noisy unit.
6. Champion Power Equipment 1200-watt Portable Generator – Bigger Fuel Tank
Power Output: There is no need to worry when you have this little champ from Champion Power Equipment. It can produce 1500 surge watts, and 1200 rated watts to fulfil your power needs at outdoors.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: The best thing about this unit is its big fuel tank that is 5.9 gallons. With this fuel tank capacity, you will get 10 hours of non-stop runtime at 50% load. The unit is ideal for tailgate parties, camping, family trips, and small in-house jobs.
Start System: It only has a recoil start system. Also, its cold start technology allows the generator to turn on easily in cold weather.
Engine: The unit is featured with a powerful 80cc 4-stroke engine that comes with an air-cooled cooling system. Also, the engine is protected with the cast iron sleeve. Moreover, the low-oil shutoff feature turns off the engine when the oil level goes too low.
Portability: A folding handle and two never-flat tires make transportation easier.
Control Panel: The control panel is simple; there is nothing special about it. A 120V AC outlet and a voltmeter along with an engine switch and the circuit breaker are the only things available. The unit is also featured with a Volt Guard that keeps your appliances safe from power surges.
Weight and Warranty: The generator is backed by 3-year limited warranty and offers lifetime technical support for free. Also, it weighs around 62 pounds.
Noise Level: It is a very noisy unit having a decibel rating of 74 dBA from 23 feet.
7. WEN 56475 Gasoline Powered Portable Generator – Heaviest Tailgating Generator
Engine: Another potent gas powered portable generator that is ideal for tailgating is WEN 56475. It is powered by a 223cc OHV engine that also features an air-cooled cooling system to prevent overheating during operation.
Power Output: The unit produces 4750 peak watts and 3750 rated watts.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: The unit comes with a 4-gallon fuel tank capacity. With this capacity, it can run continuously for 11 hours at 50% load. This runtime is not only perfect for your tailgate parties and campsites, but you can also power your home appliances during a power outage.
Start System: The best thing about this unit is that it doesn’t have a recoil start system. It is equipped with a keyless electric start system where you only need to press a button to turn the generator on and off.
Safety Features: If we focus on its safety features, then first, there is a low-oil shutdown feature that turns the engine off when the oil levels go dangerously down. Also, there is overload protection, along with an automatic voltage regulator.
Control Panel: Its control panel has two 120V AC household outlets, one 120V (TT-30R) power socket for RV, and a 30A 3-Prong socket (L5-30). Other than this, there is an engine hour counter, a circuit reset button, and power indicator lights.
Portability: The unit also offers easy transportation. There are two fold-down handles and two durable tires of good enough size that can move easily on any surface.
Weight and Warranty: The WEN 56475 is EPA III and a CARB certified product. It comes with a 2-year warranty and weighs 112.5 pounds.
Noise Level: The unit is noisy with a decibel rating of 68 dBA.
8. Atima AY2000i Portable Inverter Generator
Weight and Warranty: Another compact designed inverter generator that is best for tailgating is the Atima AY2000i. It is quite light in weight (50.7 pounds) that makes it an easy-to-move product. All you need is to make use of the ergonomically designed handle to carry it from one place to another. Also, it comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
Engine: The best thing about Atima AY2000i is its genuine Yamaha engine that is excellent in performance and requires less maintenance.
Power Output: The unit supplies 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts. It produces clean power to run your appliances. Your all sensitive electronics are safe with its advanced inverter technology. Also, the Pulse Width Modulation ensures voltage and frequency stability.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: Its 1-gallon fuel tank offers 10.3 hours of runtime at 25% load and 4.2 hours runtime at 100% load.
Parallel Capable: If the provided output power is insufficient for you, you can link another Atima generator of the same series to generate more power and meet your needs.
Smart Throttle System: Another best thing about this unit is the smart throttle system. This smart throttle adjusts the speed of the engine according to the load applied. In the case of lower load, it slows down the engine speed, and when the load goes to maximum, the engine speed changes accordingly. This speed varies according to the load saves fuel and ensures quiet operation.
Noise Level: It has a decibel rating between 51.5 dBA and 61 dBA, depending on the load.
9. Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series Portable Inverter Generator
Power Output: This P2200 from Briggs & Stratton can deliver a maximum output power of 2200 watts with 1700 running watts.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: Its 1-gallon fuel tank offers 8 hours of runtime at a 25% load.
Weight and Warranty: The unit weighs around 55 pounds and is backed by a 2-year consumer and 1-year commercial warranty.
THD Rating: The generator supplies clean energy to your appliances to keep them protected. It has a THD rating of less than 3% that is ideal for sensitive electronics like laptops, computers, TV, and others.
Start System: It has a recoil start system, so you have to put some effort whenever you need power.
Noise Level: The machine produces 59 dBA noise levels at 25% of the load that makes it a noise-free product. The muffler is responsible for lowering down the noise during operation.
Parallel Capable: You can also meet your extra power needs by connecting another PowerSmart series generator through a parallel connector port.
Control Panel: Its control panel is featured with two 120V 20A outlets and a 12V 5A DC outlet with USB adapter.
Portability: Its H-design handle makes it easy to move from one place to another.
10. Generac 6866 iQ2000 Gas Powered Inverter Generator
Start system: The last portable generator for tailgating in our list is the Generac iQ2000 that comes with a recoil start system.
Power Dial: There is a power dial that combines start, runs, and stop functions to control the unit easily.
Power Output: The unit can produce 2000 peak watts and 1600 running watts.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: It features a fuel tank of 1.06 gallons that offers a good runtime of almost 8 hours at 25% load and 5.7 hours at 50% load.
Noise Level: The Generac 6866 also operates without making noise having a noise level of 53 dBA. There are three modes of operation: Economy, Standard, and Turbo that ensures fuel-saving and noise reduction.
Parallel Capable: You can also connect two iQ2000 to generate more power with the help of a parallel kit that is sold separately.
Control Panel: Its control panel has two 120V 13.3A outlets, fuel indicator, and a PowerBar. Also, the unit features a low oil indicator along with overload and overheating indicators.
Weight and Warranty: It is a CARB certified product that comes with a 3-year warranty and weighs 46.2 pounds.
If you are looking for a tailgating generator, then you need to know what things you must look at or which factors you should consider before the purchase. So, here in this buying guide section, we are going to target those things or factors.
Inverter Generator vs Conventional Generator
First of all, it is necessary to make sure which type of generator you want for your tailgate parties. Both types of generators are best for tailgating that can produce a maximum output power of 4000 watt and a minimum of 1500 watts. But here you need to know the difference between the two.
The main difference between an inverter generator and a conventional generator is the clean power. Inverter generators produce more clean power as compared to regular ones, and that’s why they are mostly used to power sensitive electronics at tailgates. Other than the difference of clean power, an inverter generator makes less noise whereas not all, but many of the conventional generators are noisy. Moreover, an inverter generator is smaller and lighter in weight as compared to the conventional one.
But a traditional generator is more potent than an inverter generator. Also, itis less expensive.
So, here one thing you should keep in mind that if you need a generator to power more your sensitive electronics at tailgates, then it is recommended for you to go for an inverter generator. But if you are looking for a generator to power those appliances that need more power, a conventional generator is the best.
Other than this, if you like noise-less environments then an inverter generator is there for you; otherwise, the market is full of conventional generators.
The power output of your generator determines how much convincing it is and how many things it can run at a single time. Since inverter generators come with less power output so you can consider them for your tailgate parties. A unit having 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts would be ideal for many tailgate parties, but sometimes you need more power, and here the conventional generators come handy.
Before purchasing a generator for tailgating, it is necessary to make a list of those applications that you mostly run at tailgates. Create a list, add their watts, and then select a generator that can meet your all power needs.
The control panel of the generator also needs to be checked to make sure that it has the same power outlets that you need. Two 120V AC household outlets are must. Also, an RV outlet must be there, and a 120/240V twist-lock outlet is a plus. Moreover, a 12V DC outlet with USB adapter will be a valuable addition.
Fuel Tank Capacity and Runtime
After looking at the output power, it is also necessary for you to focus on the fuel tank capacity and runtime of your generator. A generator having good fuel tank capacity will give more runtime as compared to the unit having a smaller tank. Also, the runtime depends on the load. A generator will run more at 25% load as compared to 50% and 100% load.
No one wants to refill the tank during a night when all are dancing and having fun. Also, sometimes you get stuck in something and extend your trips, so for all those situations; a large fuel tank is recommended. But for tailgate parties with limited-time engagement, you can consider a small generator having a little fuel tank that can give more than 5 hours of continuous power.
A generator without having safety features is useless. At tailgate events, you focus entirely on your drinks, games, and friends, and forget about the generator running behind. Therefore, safety features like low-oil shutoff and overload protection come handy that protects the generator’s engine from being damaged.
A low-oil shutoff sensor senses the lower oil levels and turns the engine off to prevent damage. Also, overload protection prevents excessive load on the engine.
Moreover, spark arrestor is another safety feature that must be the part of your tailgating generator to prevent fire outbreaks due to electrical sparks.
Everyone wants to enjoy music, games, and other stuff during tailgate gatherings. But a noisy generator may ruin all of your excitement and enjoyment. You can keep a noisy generator far away from your party, but you will need a colossal extension cord for this. So, it is always better to go for those units that offer quiet and noise-free operation. You must focus on the decibel rating of your generator before the purchase.
Since inverter generators are quieter than the conventional ones, so you can buy an inverter generator for tailgate events. But not all the conventional generators are noisy.
In our list, there are 70% units that make less noise so you can consider them for your tailgate parties.
Inverters generators are lightweight and more portable as compared to the conventional generators. But it doesn’t mean that you can easily pick them up and travel as long as you can. They have some weight; therefore, they must have an ergonomically designed handle so that you can move them from one place to another with ease. But some generators have simple handles whereas some units feature H-shaped handles. These H-shaped handles allow two persons to carry the unit that distributes the weight of the generator between the two persons.
On the other hand, conventional generators must have a foldable handle and two never-flat tires for easy transportation. Also, some units feature fold-down handles that also make pulling easy.
EPA and CARB Compliant
No matter whether you are investing in an inverter or conventional generator, it must be EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and CARB (California AirResources Board) certified.
It is also necessary to look at the warranty. Some units are backed by 3-year warranty whereas some units come with an only 1-year limited warranty. So, it is always recommended to select a generator having a 3-year warranty and lifetime technical support.