We have all been to those summer events, music festivals and even wedding venues where accessing power for lighting, music, and heating on those cooler evenings is not always easy.
That’s when people often turn to portable off-grid power solutions like Suitcase Generators. So, why are the called, Suitcase Generators?
Well, it’s thanks to their size and portability and the low noise levels they run at making them suitable and portable enough for many occasions, events and family trips camping.
Before we explain what you should look out for when buying a Suitcase Generators. Let’s take a quick look at the TOP 5 Best Suitcase Generators we could find online.
Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
We have narrowed the search down for the best suitcase generator to three models for you.
Why, because there are so many different models to choose from it can be overwhelming. So, we have made the decision easier for you by narrowing it down to just three.
Hopefully, these will make the choice easier for you as they are all top quality well-known brands but all have different price points and customer feedback.
So, here are the three we really liked.
If you would like to see all the generators in our review in more detail then please continue to read on for more information on all 5 featured.
We also give you some information on which types of generators run what type of appliances and how quiet they run and much much more.
Basically, all the information you need on suitcase generators.
Last update on 2021-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What to consider before buying
With dozens of generators to choose from with different features, it can be a little confusing. However, there are only a few points to really consider when buying a new generator.
Let’s us explain more!
How Noisy Are Generators?
Even small portable suitcase generators can vary in level of noise they produce from the quietest to those loud enough to get you thrown off a campsite.
For these reasons you should always choose one that is as quiet as possible; around 50-60 decibels is perfect and unless you’re going for a smaller less powered silent generator you won’t get one any quieter. At this noise level, you will be able to have a conversation with friends or hear the music without going crazy.
Please note that all generators have noise levels which will increase will wattage outputs. To give you an example we have listed them below.
- Silent generator – They produce between 200-1000 watts. Silent and will power and charge phones, laptops and small devices for a short period of time
- Suitcase generators – 1000-2000 watts. Noise levels between 50-60db. They will run small heaters, lighting, music systems, photography equipment, small cooking appliances and much more for many hours
- Dual Fuel Generators- 2000-12000 Watts. Much bigger portable generators capable of powering most home appliances and work equipment for long periods of time. More expensive and louder apx 60-80db.
Generator running time is usually indicated at either 25% or 50% of their load. This shows you how long the generator will run on a full tank of fuel at the set percentage of its total power. If you are purchasing a generator for emergency power you should buy one with the biggest fuel tank as possible. This will help ensure you do not run out of fuel during long power cuts.
Adding load onto any generator will reduce the running time and as it demands more power and therefore burns more fuel.
Eco-Friendly Quiet Generators
A portable power station will give you access to portable power in an eco-friendly manner. If you love the great outdoors, then I’m sure you’ll be seeking to help the environment as well. For this, look no further than the portable power station. Your standard generator runs on gasoline, propane, natural gas, or diesel.
A portable power station can be charged at home and then taken anywhere, or even more eco-friendly charged by solar power. Some portable power stations even come complete with their own solar charging capability.
You can juice these up in the sunlight for a few hours, and your portable power station will be charged and ready to meet your power needs again and again. These charging methods reduce pollutants, unsavory fumes, noise that could otherwise scare squirrels and friendly wildlife, and so on.
5 Best Suitcase Generators
We liked the Generac looks and feel. It looked and felt tough and capable of being bashed around in the back of a truck or at various tailgating parties. We also liked the fact that it has paralleling capability which allows you to get a higher wattage output if required by connecting two GP2200i models together to power your RV air conditioner, lights, cell phone chargers, and other portable appliances at the same time. See the Parallel kit here on Amazon.
The economy mode provides excellent fuel economy and noise reduction while the LED status lights alerts you on low-oil, overload and power levels.
It started after the 3rd attempt with a little choke which is easy to set on the side. Then ran smoothly for 30 minutes during our test on half load.
✅ Economy Mode: Automatically adjusts engine speeds to save fuel and reduce sound emissions
✅ Integrated Off/Run/Choke Knob: Simplifies startup procedures
✅ Parallel Ready: Allows you to connect two GP2200i inverter generators for twice the power
✅ TruePower Technology: Provides clean, stable power ideal for sensitive electronics, tools, and appliances
❌ Repairs have to be taken to local dealership
❌ Was louder than the 58dB stated
The Wen Generator had a similar Eco-mode to the Generac above. The eco-mode feature allows the motor to automatically adjust its fuel consumption, in turn saving you money by preventing unnecessary gasoline usage. Great for when you’re out in the great outdoors and fuel is limited.
Again the Wen 56200i can be linked together to another WEN inverter generators with a WEN Parallel Kit to increases the total wattage that can be pulled from the parallel kit itself and the individual outlets on either connected generator.
The build quality is very good. The water proof case is tough and capable of standing some knocks and bangs like all generators get.
Even though it’s not the quietest generator we tested and it certainly isn’t on the same level as the Honda or Yamaha inverter generators in terms of the quality of its built. It still has a lot to offer and at such a great value price point. If you’re looking for a good inverter generator suitable for casual use at a low price this could and should be on your bucket list.
✅ Run time: Over 10 hours on one tank of fuel on 25% load
✅ Double your power: connect two inverters together for 2 times the power, up to 3,200 running watts and 4,000 starting watts
✅ EPA III and CARB Compliant: 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts
✅ Noise levels: 58 dB is very low for a 2000 watt generator
✅ Outputs: Includes two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, and one 5V USB port
❌ Not the same quality build as a Honda or Yamaha but they are double the price
❌ We spoke to a couple of people who said theirs suddenly stopped. But the majority of people loved it
The Honda EU2200i is our editors choice and for good reasons. Honda are known worldwide for their reliability and a great reputation for quality. This generator defiantly backs up their reputation.
Built to last and reliable this generator is used in many industries and is known for running for hours and hours without issues. It requires little maintenance and will provide you will smooth endless power as long as you change the oil and get it serviced following the manufacturers instructions.
Many portable generators will now accept parallel connectors but we found this one the easiest and best performing out of all the connector kits.
The EU2200i produces 10 percent more power than the older EU2000i, giving you more power when you need it, but with lower upfront cost. Plus it provides even better performance and suitable for more applications.
✅ Oil changes: They have simply made a larger hole and cap for filling the oil and it’s a great idea. Simple yet, so effective
✅ Warranty: 3 Year commercial warranty
✅ Parallel capability: Two identical models can be paralleled with an optional cable for up to 4400 watts of power.
✅ Fuel efficient: Hondas Eco Throttle System on the EU2200i model gives amazing fuel efficiency. Runs 3.5 to 8.5 hours on a single tank, depending on the load.
❌ Parallel kit sold separately
This is a really quiet generator from Westinghouse the iGen2200 Inverter Generator gives you more power when you need it. It is claimed that it gives you three times more fuel efficient than traditional dual fuel generators, operating up to 12 hrs on 1.2 gal.
If you need more power maybe for an RV, the iGen2200 can be connected to another same model with a parallel capable using a Parallel Cord (sold separately).
Powered by a 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse engine, the iGen2200 is engineered to automatically adjust its engine speed to produce only the amount of power needed for enhanced fuel efficiency. It’s lightweight and convenient, weighing 46 lbs. With a built-in carrying handle for easy portability. The iGen2200 has an ultra-low noise level for community-friendly use, operating as low as 52 dBA which is quieter than the average conversation.
✅ Noise: Extremely Fuel Efficient: as Low as 52 dBA Noise Output
✅ Compliance: EPA, USFS, and CARB Compliant
✅ Parallel Connection: parallel capable using the Westinghouse Parallel Cord (sold separately)
✅ Safe and smooth power: Ideal for sensitive electronics such as computers, televisions, and mobile phones.
❌ Connection kit is sold separately
❌ Didn’t feel as sold and quality as some of the other. But lower price point
Read customer reviews on Amazon ↗️
✅ Quiet running volume: Low running volume at Only 56Dba (75% load at 7M), makes this portable generator quieter than many out there.
✅ Eco-Mode: Engage Eco-Mode to throttle the engine to meet the on-demand load, saving both fuel and wear and tear on the engine.
✅ Lightweight Portability: At only 44 lbs (20kg)
✅ Engine is smooth: 79cc 2.7HP
❌ Untested brand longterm
❌ Felt a little plasticky ( If that’s a word )
How To Determine The Power Requirements Of Appliances
The power requirements of an appliance will be located somewhere on the product itself. Usually indicated by a wattage number. Where this is may vary with the most common positioning being:
- The data tag on the motor
- The name tag
- The product stamp on the bottom of the appliance
Please note, most appliances list power requirements in amps but you require them in watts. The calculation to translate them is:
Watts = volts x amps
The chart below shows you the running time for different wattages so you can see how long your generator will run on different loads.
|Generator Size (kW)||1/4 Load (GPH)||1/2 Load (GPH)||3/4 Load (GPH)||Full Load (GPH)|
How To Determine The Amount Of Power You Need In Total
In the majority of circumstances you will need your generator to run more than one appliance simultaneously. If this is the case, you will need to calculate the total power required. To do this you should:
- First list all the devices you want to run on the generator. For example, fridge, lights, heating, kettle, microwave etc.
- Second, check all the appliances power and note these on your list.
- As the power requirements will be in amps you will need to change them into watts using the calculation listed above.
- Finally, add all the watts up and you will have the minimum total power that you require in a generator.
Please note, you should add a couple of hundred extra watts onto your total. This is to make sure that the generator can handle any power fluctuations or additional needs in the future.
To work out exactly which size generator you’ll need to purchase. Try our SIZE CALCULATOR which makes it easy for you to work out the total wattage needed.
Appliance Table-Wattage Guide
|Appliances||Running Watts||Start Up Watts|
|Clock Radio||3 W||5 W|
|Phone Charger||3 W||5 W|
|Google Nest||5 W||5 W|
|Tablet Computer||10 W||15 W|
|32 In LED TV||20 W||60 W|
|Air Purifier||25 W||30 W|
|Humidifier||35 W||40 W|
|Cooling Fan||40 W||60 W|
|Freezer||40 W||60 W|
|PS4 or Xbox||50 W||120 W|
|Lightbulb 60 W||60 W||60 W|
|Water Dispenser||100 W||100 W|
|Refrigerator||150 W||300 W|
|American Style Refrigerator||200 W||500 W|
|Garden Strimmer||300 W||500 W|
|Submersible Water Pump||350 W||500 W|
|Music Stereo||400 W||400 W|
|Vacuum Cleaner||400 W||1000 W|
|Toaster||700 W||1900 W|
|Electric Drill||800 W||1100 W|
|Coffee Maker||800 W||1000 W|
|Washing Machine||800 W||800 W|
|Lawn Mower||1000 W||1500 W|
|Air Fryer||1400 W||1400 W|
|Air Compressor||1500 W||4800 W|
|Oven||2000 W||2000 W|
|Home Air Conditioner||1200 W||4000 W|
|RV Air Conditioner||1300 W||4500 W|
|Belt Sander||1400 W||2400 W|
|Hairdryer||1400 W||1400 W|
|Hammer Drill||1700 W||1600 W|
|Air Compressor – 1 HP||1600 W||4800 W|
|Welding Rig||2500 W||3000 W|
Size and Weight
Undoubtedly the number one reason why people choose suitcase generators over conventional fuel portable generators is due to their size and weight.
The 5 reviewed in this article are some of the lightest and most portable generators on the market. Some are even smaller and lighter than solar power banks. Which are basically, one big battery.
The average weight of a suitcase generator is 35-45Lbs and around 16.00 x 20.00 x 11.00 inches.
Our Editors pick is the Honda EU2200i 2200 watt generator. This popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, making it perfect for portable use at home, camping, on the job site, or much more.
We liked this model for two reasons. Firstly it is powerful at 2200 watts which is usually plenty for most household appliances. But if you need more power two identical models can be paralleled with an optional cable or cord for up to 4400 watts of power, or time-consuming applications.
Thanks to Hondas Eco-Throttle System, the EU2200i offers great fuel efficiency. It will run 4.0 to 9.6 hours on one tank of fuel, depending on the load. This makes it the ideal choice for overnight power, or long-time applications. Honda’s inverter technology means stable, clean power in a smaller, lighter package.
The precision of Honda’s inverter technology ensures our inverter generators produce power that is as reliable as the power you get from your outlets at home.
- This popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, making it perfect for portable use at home,...
- So quiet, your neighbors will thank you. The EU2200i operates at 48 to 57 dBA, which is less noise than a...
- Add a second EU2200i for additional power. Two identical models can be paralleled with an optional cable or...
- Thanks to our exclusive Eco-Throttle System, the EU2200i offers great fuel efficiency. Runs 4.0 to 9.6 hours...
- Honda's inverter technology means stable, clean power in a smaller, lighter package. The precision of Honda's...
Last update on 2021-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
All the suitcase generators listed above were selected from a long list of possible contenders. However, for one reason or another, they just didn’t make the cut. These 5 however did and they all have their own qualities that caused them to be included in the review.
Sometimes brand power can win over many people when it comes to choosing an electrical product and these are no different. Honda is one of the most recognisable brands in the world and have a reputation for quality products. The Honda EU2200I Generator is no different.