10 Best Generac Portable Generators of 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks
Generators come in many sizes, shapes, and power levels. Some are loud and obnoxious, while others are quiet enough to take camping without disturbing nature. Whether you’re looking for a generator as the primary backup for your home in an emergency or to power a job site full of tools, Generac generators provide a high level of reliability.
Inverter generators are small and quiet but don’t pack much power into the smaller frames. Other generators that weigh up to 400 pounds are mounted on wheels for transportation and can power a large home or job site all day.
We’ve tested 10 of the best Generac models and have written in-depth reviews comparing them to help make your decision easier.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024
The 10 Best Generac Portable Generators
1. Generac 7117 Portable Inverter Generator – Best Overall
If you’re looking for a quiet, portable, gas-efficient Generac generator, look no further than the GP2200i. Weighing in under 50 pounds, this generator is the definition of portable. The 2,200 watts of power it provides is a bit on the low side. However, it offers a parallel feature that allows you to double your power by hooking two inverters together. Since this unit is very affordable, you could have a parallel setup for less than the cost of many other Generac models.
The eco-mode allows for efficient low-power operation at a tranquil noise level. Of course, the GP200i generator is never loud. It was one of the quietest models we tested, making it a great choice for camping. It was also very conservative with fuel, running for more than 10 hours at 25 percent load on just a single gallon of gas.
Our only real complaint was that the plastic casing was not built to withstand abuse. As long as you treat this machine well, it should operate for a long time. We feel confident recommending the Generac GP2200i portable inverter generator as the best overall portable generator.
2. Generac 5734 Gas Powered Portable Generator – Best Value
Whether you need a generator to power an entire job site’s worth of tools or a reliable backup generator with enough juice to power your house in case of an outage, the Generac 5734 GP15000E is a stout unit that packs 15,000 watts of power. It can easily power an entire house or job site, and you’ll unlikely experience any voltage drops.
Even better, the electric start built into this machine makes it easy to get started, unlike older machines that made you yank on a pull cord until your arm was exhausted. We noticed one strange drawback that Generac later confirmed. This generator has plenty of power, and it wants to use it. If you ask it to run below 25 percent capacity, you will experience flickers and voltage spikes as the engine RPMs fluctuate.
Also, it is a very loud and heavy unit that’s not easy to move around despite the large wheels. Our complaints with the GP15000E are relatively minor, and when you consider all of the power packed into this generator, we believe it’s one of the best Generac portable generators for the money.
3. Generac 5735 Gas Powered Portable Generator – Premium Choice
Are you looking for the most powerful model with all the features, and you don’t mind spending the money to get it? the Generac 5735 GP17500E gas-powered portable generator is a premium choice that can power almost anything, even a 5-ton air conditioner. All that power turns on quickly thanks to the electric start and battery. This robust unit is also very reliable for those needing a dependable unit as a backup for their home in an emergency.
With so much power comes a few downsides. First, this is a large and heavy unit, tipping the scales at almost 400 pounds. The worst drawback is the awful gas efficiency. At a load of 50 percent, you can expect the machine to run for 10 hours on 16 gallons of fuel. While it makes plenty of power, it’s far from efficient, which will cost you in the long run. However, we feel it’s one of the best options available and is worth the extra cost if you can afford it.
4. Generac 5802 Gas Powered Portable Generator
Packed with convenient features, the Generac 5802 gas-powered portable generator provides 10,000 running watts of power. Though it’s just as big, loud, and heavy, it isn’t nearly as powerful as other models in the same price range, which is why the 5802 doesn’t manage to break the top three. However, the One-touch electric start makes it easy to get it running, and the outlets are all covered for protection from the elements.
Shortly into testing, the voltage regulator on our 5802 burnt out. Luckily, the unit is covered by a 2-year residential use warranty, so we had it repaired quickly. After a few more weeks of occasional use, we discovered another problem. Some of the connections on the control panel came loose from the unit’s vibrations. Generac should have caught this oversight, but apparently, it’s a pretty common occurrence.
5. Generac 6954 Gas Powered Portable Generator
At about half the price of the highest-end Generac generators, the GP8000E will be attractive to many for the price alone. The 8,000 watts of power it provides isn’t spectacular, but it’s sufficient for running a smaller-sized job site or as backup power for a home. At just under 200 pounds, this model is lighter and considerably more portable than many of the other ones we tested.
Another highlight was the improved gas efficiency over some of the more powerful generators. This one will run at a 50 percent load for 12 hours on 7.5 gallons of fuel. That’s not as good as the inverter generators, but it’s pretty decent for the power the motor creates.
Even though the GP8000E is a bit lighter than some of the others, it’s no smaller. It’s also a bit louder, even though it doesn’t manage to produce as much power. In the winter, we noticed temperamental behavior in the cold weather. Starting was more difficult, and the unit wanted to die several times until it warmed up. This is a great generator, but it doesn’t provide enough value to make it into our top picks.
6. Generac 5939 Gas Powered Portable Generator
If you’re looking for sufficient power but don’t want to break the bank to get it, the Generac 5939 GP5500 is one of the portable generators you should consider. It is a competent machine priced at the low end of the spectrum. While not the most fuel-efficient one available, it is still more conservative than many other models, getting 10 hours of run time from 7 gallons of fuel.
Weighing just 180 pounds and equipped with two wheels for easy transport, it is one of the more portable full-sized Generac generators on the market. We enjoyed the power for the price, but it’s not enough for a large job site or home.
It may be fine for a smaller work crew or backup for a small home. The carburetor also gave us some trouble when the plastic choke lever broke. This is a pretty common issue on this model, so be aware. The GP5500 also seemed to have a shorter lifespan overall than the other models in the lineup.
7. Generac 6866 Gas Powered Inverter Generator
If a small size, portability, and quiet operation are of prime concern to you, the Generac 6866 iQ2000 inverter generator is an option you may consider. It’s very fuel-efficient, running for almost 6 hours on just one gallon of fuel. It’s also one of the quietest generators we tested, impressing us with its near-silent operation. It’s not very powerful and only produces 1,600 watts. However, you can run two units and create twice the power.
This generator would have probably ranked much higher if it was more reliable. It failed us one of the first times we used it. It’s covered by a 3-year warranty, so repairs are no problem. However, we want a generator we can count on to not let us down at a critical moment. To that end, we suggest you select a more trustworthy model, such as the GP2200i, in our first position.
8. Generac 7127 Portable Inverter Generator
Since it’s quiet, small, and light, we expected good things from the Generac 7127 iQ3500 portable inverter generator. It didn’t manage to meet our expectations, but it has some positive qualities. For starters, it’s very quiet and relatively compact as well. At only 100 pounds, it’s also pretty light, though it’s still challenging to move because the size and weight make it very awkward. This model could benefit from the addition of wheels, and although it has an LCD readout, it’s small and very difficult to see.
While it has a small footprint, it doesn’t make a lot of power. The 3,500 watts is sufficient, but it’s costly considering the power it provides. It also vibrates more than we expected. There’s no fuel gauge to determine your fuel level, which is inconvenient. In the end, this model didn’t quite pan out how we hoped, and we recommend looking at some of the other models that ranked higher on our list.
9. Generac 7676 Portable Generator
Coming in right under 200 pounds, the Generac 7676 GP8000E portable generator is just about the middle of the pack in terms of weight. It’s still very large but takes up quite a bit of space. 8,000 watts isn’t the most powerful output available from a Generac, but you wouldn’t know that from the noise. The GP8000E is one of the loudest models we tested, and we suggest earplugs for when it’s running.
We were thankful this model was easy to get up and running with the built-in electric start. However, you need to be vigilant about checking the battery. If it’s less than 100 percent charged, the machine will not start. This could leave you high and dry at a critical moment and is one of the reasons that this device doesn’t earn our highest recommendations.
10. Generac 7677 Portable Generator
With a more compact size than some higher-end Generac generators, the GP3600 is a more portable option. At just over 100 pounds, it’s light enough to carry, but thankfully has wheels for easier transportation. Price-wise, this is one of the most affordable units in the Generac lineup.
Though it’s compact for a gas generator, it’s pretty large for its low-power output. Worse yet, it’s extremely loud, making nearly as much noise as the most powerful and largest models we tested. While it’s an adequate generator with no glaring shortfalls, it’s not a great value considering the power and size. We feel that other generators at a similar price point offer far more features and better functions.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Generac Portable Generators
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of which Generac model will fit your needs best. To help make the point a little clearer, we will briefly cover which features you should keep in mind when deciding which model to choose.
At the end of the day, what you plan to use your generator for will be the biggest determiner of which model you should choose. If you want a generator to power your electronics while you’re out camping, you’re looking for a small and quiet inverter generator. Do you need enough juice to run an entire job site of power tools? You’re going to need a much beefier generator. Once you know how you want to use your generator, it will be easier to pick one that suits your situation.
Naturally, more powerful generators make more noise. That’s not the end of the story, however. Full-size rolling generators are much louder than the small and efficient inverter types. Although both run on gas, they make different levels of noise. If noise is of utmost concern, you’ll want to stick to the inverter-style generators.
All of the generators we’ve reviewed are technically portable. However, some are much easier to move about than others. Do you need to get your generator into a truck bed for transport from job to job? If so, a 400-pound behemoth may not be as portable as it looks despite the pull handle and wheels.
Inverter generators have a much smaller frame and are more portable. Of course, they also can’t provide the same level of power. If you need the high power of a rolling generator, pay attention to the unit’s overall weight.
You are buying a generator to generate electricity. While every generator performs this function, they do so to varying degrees. For powering a home or job site, you can forget about the inverter-style generators.
An inverter generator might be sufficient if you just want to charge your electronics from your tent. You may have substantial power needs depending on how many electronics you plan to run at once. In those cases, a generator with 10,000 amps or more will be necessary.
If you felt lost reading the product description of generator after generator, hopefully, these reviews have helped you narrow down your search. We think that the Generac GP220i inverter generator is the best choice overall. With near-silent operation at an affordable price and the ability to double your power by running two in parallel, it’s difficult to top.
The GP15000E was our pick for best value. Packing 15,000 watts of power into a portable package means you can power all the tools on your job site. Finally, the 17500E is our premium choice. With enough power to run a 5-ton air conditioner, you’ll unlikely max out this machine. Excellent dependability and a quick-start design round out its feature set to make it our favorite premium Generac generator.