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Last Updated on July 21, 2021 by Scott
In this post, you will get an in-depth guide and review of ten quiet portable generators. I have purchased and tested 4 of these personally and I have written over 70+ posts about generators. This is my most exhaustive.
TLDR: My premium pick for being very quiet, reliable and not too heavy is the: Honda EU2200i. It also will hold its value well over time.
The Honda is the quiet portable generator I bring on my boondocking RV camping trips around Oregon. If you want a truly silent generator, the battery powered EcoFlow Delta 1300 is my top pick for a very silent high powered solar generator.
A portable generator can improve your life. It’s a great tool to have for camping and RV use, for tailgating, and for working at job sites.
But there’s one huge problem with generators. They’re noisy!
But noise is just the price one has to pay with a generator…or is it?
There are several generators on the market that are remarkably quiet. After extensive testing and research, I’ve compiled these 10 super quiet portable generators.
|Generator||Rated Watts||dB Level @ 1/4 load||Runtime @ 500W||Weight||Check Price|
|Honda EU2200I||1800W||53 dB||8.1 Hours||45.6 lbs||Check The Price! →|
|WEN 56203i||1700W||51 dB||9.6 Hours||39 lbs||Check The Price! →|
|Generac iQ2000||1600W||53 dB||9.12 Hours||46.2 lbs||Check The Price! →|
|Yamaha EF2000iSv2||1600W||51.5 dB||8 Hours||44.1 lbs||Check The Price! →|
|EcoFlow Delta 1300||1800W||42 dB||2.2 Hours||30.9 lbs||Check The Price! →|
|Jackery 1000||1000W||42 dB||2 Hours||22.04 lbs||Check The Price! →|
|Champion 4000-Watt||3500W||64 dB||31.5 Hours||81 lbs||Check The Price! →|
|Briggs & Stratton P2200||1700W||59 dB||6.8 Hours||54.6 lbs||Check The Price! →|
|Westinghouse iGen1200||1000W||58 dB||7.2 Hours||35 lbs|
|Energizer eZV3200||2800W||52 dB||21 Hours||96 lbs||Check The Price! →|
When using a generator around other people, the noise factor can be a huge problem.
Nobody wants to be that neighbor with the loud and annoying generator that ruins everyone else’s day or keeps them up at night. Luckily, there is a solution.
These super quiet generators are perfect for camping and tailgating, and they won’t upset your neighbors.
In fact, these generators are all quiet enough for nighttime use. This list includes the quietest generators at a range of price points and with an array of features. There’s an option for every need.
What are the best quiet, portable inverter generators?
1. The best premium quiet 2,000-watt generator is the Honda EU2200I
Honda’s EU2200I is the next-generation of the beloved EU2000i, the #1 bestselling generator of all time on Amazon.
The red and black generator is compact and lightweight, and it has a convenient sturdy carry handle. I can easily pick up the EU2200i with one hand and carry it short distances.
This was the very first gas generator I ever purchased, and I loved how easy to use it was on my first two-week trip in my teardrop trailer. It ran very quietly, especially in eco-mode. I didn’t feel bad running right next to a trail with quite a bit of foot traffic because it just wasn’t that loud of noise when running.
At a quarter load, the 53 decibels of sound produced by the Honda EU2220i are about the noise level of quiet conversation at home.
Check out my real world test I did out in rural Oregon of the Db level:
It doesn’t even come close to the typical volume of a television. In other words, this generator is quiet enough that you can use it in settings where other people are near you. It’s great for camping and tailgating and very popular with the RV and trailer crowd. When I was at a park with a lake in Portland this summer, I saw a EU2200i that was being used by a hobby electric boat club to power their high-power electric batteries in their speed boats!
The Honda EU220I is an inverter generator, so it’s safe for more sensitive electronics.
A long runtime is another big pro for this generator. It has a 1-gallon gas tank and excellent fuel efficiency.
The operation of this generator is quite user-friendly. It’s easy to start up with the pull cable, and the gas tank is easy to access and fill.
One big downside is that there is no fuel indicator to let you know how close you are to empty. You’ll notice the sound from the generator starts to change once the gas is getting low. When it is nearly out, it will start to sputter and then the generator will shut off.
- 3-year warranty
- Compact & relatively lightweight
- Fuel-efficiency (long runtime)
- Reliable Honda Engine performance
- Handles surge loads well
- Great Reviews
- No External fuel indicator
- MORE POWER. SAME LEGENDARY QUALITY. - The EU2200i delivers 10% more power than the previous EU2000i - enabling you to power more of what you need, in the same lightweight, compact package. The EU2200i gives you the power to get more done.
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
This generator has risen to the top because of its high-quality construction and consistently excellent performance.
More real world pics of my EU22200i:
2. The best budget quiet generator is the WEN 56203i 2000-Watt Portable Inverter
This is the current winner in the battle for the quietest generator.
At a 1/4-load it only measures at 51 dB, about the same as a quiet conversation inside a home. The noise level ramps up as you use a bigger load, but it remains extremely quiet overall.
This generator is very light and easy to carry around. It feels cheaper than the Honda, because, well, it is! It has more of a plastic feel and vibrates more than my more expensive favorite pick. But, for around $700 less, it can be worth it if you just need a cheap, quiet 2,000 (1,700 sustained) watt pick.
Wen 56203i vs Honda 2200i
I took both my favorite quiet generators out to a field in Oregon to test how loud they sounded side by side:
The WEN 56203i’s inverter works to minimize spikes and drops in pursuit of clean energy similar to a pure sine wave.
This makes it perfectly safe to plug your laptop or phone in to charge without having to worry about damage.
Fuel efficiency is another positive for this generator with a long runtime and an eco-mode that automatically adjusts fuel consumption depending on factors like load and setting.
- 2-year warranty
- Extremely quiet
- Relatively lightweight
- Good gas efficiency
- CARB compliant
- Expensive per watt capacity
- No fuel indicator
- Ultralight body weighs in at a mere 39 pounds for easy transport and storage
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
The WEN 56203i is the absolute quietest generator on the market, so it’s worth looking at if noise is your top concern.
3. Generac iQ2000 Super Quiet Inverter Generator – Real-time Data Display
Some of the quietest portable generators have a big flaw in that they don’t display any helpful information.
The Generac iQ2000 solves that problem by displaying helpful data like remaining runtime, current wattage used, and the amount of fuel remaining.
In today’s data-reliant world, we expect this kind of information, and it can be frustrating not to have it.
It’s nice to be able to glance at this and see how much gas you have left and an estimate of the amount of runtime remaining.
In addition to displaying this relevant data, the iQ2000 also has a lot of the basics to offer. It’s quite quiet, it has a decently long runtime, and the inverter means that your electronics are safe.
It is quite user-friendly and keeps things simple with three modes: Economy, Standard, and Turbo. This is rated for 1600 watts, but if you need more power, it is parallel-ready with this parallel kit from Generac.
- 3-year limited warranty
- Display of helpful and relevant information
- Parallel kit available
- Low noise level
- CARB compliant
- Some customers reported fuel leakage problems
- AC Rated Output(Running/Starting): 1600/2000 Watts; AC Rated Voltage: 120V
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
The Generac iQ2000 stands out for displaying relevant and helpful information that all generators should display (like low oil indicator). The USB port and data display alone makes this quiet generator worth looking at.
4. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Portable Inverter – A Cool Design and Hot Performance
In a competition with the Atima AY2000i for coolest-looking design, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 might take home the prize.
This generator has a cool, retro-inspired design that is just nice to look at.
If you’re looking for a generator that will look great for your camping or tailgating setup, this one is worth checking out. The design is quite compact, and the generator is one of the lightest out there.
The carry handle plus the size and lightweight design make this one of the easiest generators to transport, so portability ranks high on the list with this one.
It has a 1.1-gallon fuel capacity and good fuel-efficiency thanks to the smart throttle that adjusts depending on load.
The fuel gauge helps you keep an eye on how much power you’ve got left before you need to refill.
This is one of the quietest types of generators because of the muffler and spark arrestor.
- 3-year warranty from Yamaha
- Quiet operation thanks to muffler
- Fuel gauge
- Attractive, retro-inspired design
- CARB compliant
- High price
- Doesn’t do as well at high altitude
- 1600 watt rated AC output, 2000 watt maximum AC output, 13.3/16.7 amps @ 120V
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
This is a great-looking and super quiet portable generator in a compact and lightweight package. The operation is easy, and the performance is consistent and reliable, making this generator a solid investment.
5. The best battery powered quiet generator is the: EcoFlow Delta 1300
If you really want a silent, less traditional generator, consider the li-ion battery pack from EcoFlow: The Delta 1300. I have this battery generator, and it is an incredible piece of technology. Sure, your runtime will be only an hour or so if you are pulling 1000-watts, but it will be virtually silent. If you just need to run a CPAP or a few smaller appliances for a short time during a night camping trip, this generator is for you.
- Nearly silent operation
- Lightwieght vs gas options
- Limited runtime
- Not easy to refuel
- 【Multiple Charging Outputs Provide More Options】DELTA features 6* AC outlet (100V-120V 1800W 3300W Peak), 2*USB-C port, 2* USB-A ports, 2*USB-A fast charge and 1* standard DC 13.6V port , power your smartphone, laptop, camera, drones, in-car appliances, CPAP machine, refrigerator, blender and more at anytime without worry.
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
Not your traditional gas generator, but if you really need a quiet generator and not a long runtime, the EcoFlow Delta 1300 is as quiet as it gets.
6. Jackery Explorer 1000
Another of my favorite battery powered generators, the Jackery 1000 is even quieter than the Ecoflow Delta 1300, but doesn’t have quite the power or capacity. It also chargest much slower. But the Jackery 1000 is a great ergonomic quiet solar generator. You will love the rounded top handle, which makes it easy to move the Jackery 1000 around with just one hand.
- Compact and relatively lightweight
- Beautiful design
- Virtually silent operation
- Limited capacity vs gas generators
- 【MASSIVE CAPACITY & IMPRESSIVE ENDURANCE】 With the 1000W wattage and 1002Wh capacity, this Explorer features 3 PURE SINE WAVE AC outlets, 2*USB-C, and 1*Quick Charge 3.0 port. It will power your full-size refrigerator, TV, blender, electric grill, mini cooler, and more for your outdoor and home needs.
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
The Jackery 1000 is the largest nearly dead silent solar generator on the market. If you need to power appliances under 1,000 watts for a limited time quietly, it’s a great pick.
7. Champion Power Equipment 4000W Digital Hybrid – A Bit Loud But More Powerful
This is by far the loudest generator on the list.
That said, it only measures about as loud as a garbage disposal when tested at a 1/4-load level. (64 dBA noise level). In addition to being a bit louder, this generator is also a bit bigger.
Weighing in at 81 pounds, it’s not as easy to transport this generator as some other generator models.
There’s no easy-carry handle, but there are two side handles that make it easy enough for two people to carry.
Despite the size and noise downsides, there is one huge advantage to this generator: it’s powerful.
Unlike the other 2,000-watt generators, this one offers twice that, at 4,000 watts.
It also has a bigger 2.9-gallon fuel tank and an incredibly long runtime. The hybrid design and Economy Mode add to the fuel efficiency.
- 3-year limited warranty plus free lifetime technical support
- RV ready
- CARB compliant
- Trusted brand in this space, a pleasure to work with
- Larger and heavier than other models here
- Noisier, but not by much considering the extra watts
- Advanced Open Frame Inverter Design: 50% quieter and 20% lighter than a traditional Champion 3500-watt generator, plus our Economy Mode feature saves fuel and extends engine life
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
The Champion Power Equipment generator is heavy and noisy, but it has a ton of power and will get the job done consistently and reliably.
8. Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series 2200-Watt Inverter – Affordable Price and Good Power
Despite being quite a bit cheaper than many models, this 2200-watt generator from Briggs & Stratton offers more power than many of the other options.
It’s not completely noiseless, and it doesn’t have the highest power rating of any generator on this list, but it’s rated for 1700 watts which is a decent bump above the typical 1600-watt rating.
In addition to offering a bit more power and a good price, the P2200 is pretty quiet and has decent fuel efficiency. It’s not quite fuel efficient enough to meet California’s tight emissions standards, but it will run for close to seven hours when running a 500-watt load.
The computer-controlled engine continually modulates based on load and other factors.
An inverter keeps your sensitive electronics safe, and the parallel connector port means you have the option to double your power.
This generator is fairly compact and lightweight, and the H-shaped handle makes it easy for one or two people to carry.
Briggs & Stratton has earned the designation of being an Amazon’s choice product, probably because this generator offers a lot in terms of quiet operations but comes in at a more affordable price point.
- Relatively lightweight and compact
- 2-year warranty
- Reliable engine maker
- Not as inaudible as it could be
- Missing fuel indicator
- Less than average efficiency
- Quiet and fuel efficient 111 cc OHV engine produces 2,200 starting watts and 1700 running watts
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
This is a decent portable generator that offers a bit more power that is more affordable than many similar muffled options.
9. Westinghouse iGen1200 – Cheap, Light, but Loud
This is the cheapest option for a portable, quiet generator. But it has some downsides.
First, it only offers 1,000-watts of power when you need more than that. It also makes a lot of noise with 58 dB at 1/4 load even though it is double insulated and has mufflers. That is not so good because people can hear the loud noise outside the house (or wherever). But, one advantage beyond its low price to this generator is its weight. It’s only 35 pounds which makes it easy to carry around and transport anywhere you want to go.
As long as you don’t need a ton of power, this generator should serve you well.
- 3-year warranty and lifetime technical support
- Parallel-capable (dual engine)
- Very affordable
- Less power
- A bit more noise
The budget Westinghouse iGen1200 has some cons but the low cost and light weight make up for it, as long as you don’t need over 1,000 running Watts.
10. Energizer eZV3200 Generator – Pricey but High-Powered and Convenient
Like with the Champion Digital Hybrid, the Energizer eZV3200 offers a lot of power but has the not-insignificant drawback of being large and heavy.
It’s not the quietest generator on the market, but for a generator of this size and with this powerful capability, it is remarkably quiet.
It is rated at 2,800 watts. It has a large fuel tank that holds close to 2 gallons, and it has great fuel efficiency for an extra-long run-time.
This is maximized even further when you use the eco-mode. Something that makes this powerful generator unique is the remote start capability.
Most generators start with a pull cable, but this generator can be started from a distance of up to 100 feet using a remote, adding a lot of convenience and ease of use.
This generator is quite heavy at 96 pounds, but it has a built-in handle and wheel kit, making it one of the easiest generators to transport despite the weight.
- Easy transport with wheels and handle
- Large capacity
- Convenient remote start
- Large and heavy
- Not parallel-capable
- Remote start. Start and shutdown your portable generator at your convenience from afar while camping, tailgating and working
The Energizer eZV3200 is not cheap, but it offers a lot of power and some incredibly convenient features, especially the remote start and the transport wheels.
Buying Guide for Quiet Portable Generators
Power outages can happen anywhere and at any time, which is why it is so important to prepare. If you are not new to the world of generators, then you know how loud and intrusive they can often be. For this reason, more people are choosing quiet and portable generators for the lesser noise as well as convenience of transportation. But what else should you consider when choosing this kind of generator?
So, how loud is a quiet generator? A quiet generator will typically operate between 50-65 dBA or lower. That number is quieter than the noise produced by a running refrigerator or an air conditioner. The further away you place the generator, the less noise you hear as well.
Source of the Noise
The noise comes from the generator’s motor, from where sound and heat emanate. For this reason, it needs a cooling system for it to stabilize as well. Some generators have either an air-cooled engine or liquid-cooled engine.
Other sources of noise come from the combustion and mechanics of the generator, the fluctuations in the alternator windings, other vibrating engine components, and the engine block and exhaust system of the generator.
Keeping Your Generator Quiet
Even with loud generators, there are things you can do to help dampen the noise a bit, so it isn’t as irritating.
Extended Distance. Increase the distance between your home and the generator. The sound waves will then spread out over a longer distance, which can significantly lower the noise levels that it produces.
Positioning. How you position your generator can also affect the noise level it produces. Make sure it is placed on a level surface so that there are fewer vibrations to the motor. To do this, you can use leveling feet.
Enclosures. Enclosures are another way to counteract the higher noise levels produced by your generator. It helps with both sound absorption and deflection. However, you need also to make sure there is enough airflow, so the generator doesn’t overheat. Enclosures can reduce noise levels up to 10 decibels of sound. You can also insulate the enclosure with sound-absorbing foam, rubber waffle pads, acoustic barriers, or other sound-absorbing materials.
A generator can make your life better.
By providing you with a reliable power source wherever you are, a portable generator means you don’t have to worry about powering your tools or charging your devices.
It can improve the experience of any camping trip or the productivity of a job site in a remote location, and it can provide peace of mind in case of a natural disaster.
However, a noisy generator can make your life worse.
Constant loud noise can disrupt your enjoyment of whatever you’re doing. It can turn you into that annoying neighbor--and you don’t want to be that neighbor.
The best way to get a lot out of a generator without the major annoyance of excessive noise is to go with a whisper-quiet portable model.
These ten generators are the quietest ones available on the market today (I only reviewed the reliable ones here). We hope the generator reviews above have helped you narrow down your choices for the best generator for camping, your home, job site, or wherever you may need it.
Do you own a generator? Is your favorite missing from the list?
Let us know in the comments. Feel free to ask any questions you might have about generators.
Quiet Generators: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the absolute quietest portable generator on the market?
Right now, the absolute quietest portable gas generator on the market is the Honda EU2200i.
It has a noise rating of 51 dB when operated at a 1/4-load. The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is right behind, with a noise rating of 51.5 dB.
Happily, the various makers of generators are continually competing to make their generators quieter.
That means that the quietest generator on the market may well change within a few years. However, they can only get so quiet. A generator will never be completely silent.
There are a number of portable generators with noise ratings below 60 dB. For reference, 60 dB is about the same noise level as restaurant chatter or office noise.
It’s important to note, though, that the dB levels of the generators at a 1/4-load does not tell you how loud the generator can potentially be. The noise level of any generator will increase as you add load.
As the wattage goes up, so does the noise.
Many generators have an eco-mode, like the Honda EU2200i, which offers more fuel capacity and efficiency, but this mode also typically will result in the quietest operation.
How much wattage do I really need?
How much wattage you need depends entirely on what you’re going to be using the generator for.
Everything you plug in will require a different number of running watts.
A cell phone charger, for example, only needs about 10 running watts. You should just use a solar generator for that watt-level. A microwave oven, on the other hand, will need around 750 watts.
To determine how much wattage you need in a generator, just add together the wattage of the things you expect to simultaneously plug into the generator.
Honda has a calculator to help you determine what wattage you should be looking for in your portable generator.
One way to maximize your power with portable generators is by hooking two generators together. Some of these quiet generators are parallel-capable and are ready to do this, essentially doubling your available wattage.
What is a cheap generator that isn’t too noisy?
The Westinghouse iGen1200 is the cheapest generator that stays relatively quiet.
It’s not the quietest portable generator available, but for the price point, it isn’t overly noisy. It doesn’t offer the most power, though.
If you need a bit more power, the Energizer eZV2200 is also pretty affordable and relatively quiet.
Which “quiet” inverter offers the most power?
Of the quiet portable generators, the Champion Digital Hybrid offers the most power by far, with a rated wattage of 3,500 watts.
This model also offers the longest runtime.
If you plan on powering several things at once and need a consistently large amount of power, the Champion generator is the best option for you.
It’s also parallel-ready so you could add another and potentially double that power.
However, the high power rating comes with a con: it’s the loudest of the quiet portable generators. At a 1/4-load, it has a noise rating of 64 decibels. While that’s definitely louder than other options, it’s still quieter than a typical garbage disposal.
If planning to consistently operate at a 100% load, though, and especially if you plan to run two generators in parallel, just be prepared for quite a bit of noise.
Can a muffler reduce generator noise?
A muffler makes a huge reduction in noise on vehicles, but can you use them elsewhere?
Yes, adding a muffler to your generator can possibly help reduce the noise level.
There are some mufflers available for purchase, but results vary.
It might not end up reducing your sound all that much. Another DIY option is to build an enclosure around your generator to dampen the sound.
Some generators recognize the value of a muffler and actually build it right into the design. The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is a great example of this. The muffler in this generator is what makes it so quiet.
Which quiet generator is best for an RV or camping?
There are a few important factors to consider when buying a generator for use with your RV.
It needs to be powerful enough. It needs to be quiet so as not to disturb others who might be parked or camping nearby.
Ideally, the RV generator will be RV-compliant, meaning it has a 120V 30A RV outlet built right in.
For these reasons, the Champion Power Equipment 100302 is a great option for a quiet RV generator, even though it is a bit louder than some other generator models for recreation vehicles.
Some generators don’t have this outlet built-in, but you can use an adapter.
How is generator sound measured?
For our purposes, the quietness of the generators was measured at around 20 feet away.
The sound was measured with a tool called a Sound level meter.
A decibel (dB) is a unit that measures the intensity of a sound. The decibel scale is logarithmic, meaning it goes up in powers of ten.
This means that a jump from 60 dB to 70 dB means a sound that is ten times as loud. Therefore, moving up even a few numbers on the decibel-scale means a fairly significant jump in sound.
For this reason, if keeping noise to an absolute minimum is key for you, pay close attention to the decibel rating for any generator you are considering.
Last update on 2021-07-18 Affiliate links & images from Amazon Product Advertising API