Skip to content
10% OFF STOREWIDE WITH CODE: SURVIVAL10 exclusions apply*
10% OFF STOREWIDE WITH CODE: SURVIVAL10 exclusions apply*
8 Tips on How to Look for the Quietest Portable Generator

8 Tips on How to Look for the Quietest Portable Generator

Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers (like you and me) enjoy the peacefulness of nature and the escape it offers away from the noise and busyness of their usual, everyday lives. That’s why we love going on outdoor adventures and camping - to enjoy the beauty of nature and detach ourselves from the city!

A key piece of equipment for regular outdoor adventurers or campers is a portable generator. But most portable generators are noisy, which defeats the purpose of our temporary detachment from the city.

But don’t fret! In this article, we’ll share with you 8 important tips on how to look for the quietest portable generator on the market. 

Essential Tips to Help You Find the Quietest Portable Generator

Finding the best and quietest generator may sound overwhelming, especially when the market is filled with different types of portable quiet generators from various manufacturers. But these 8 simple but essential tips will help you find the best and quietest generator for your needs.

In this article, we’ll provide you with the basic knowledge to aid your decision-making process, from the current advanced technologies available in the market to practical considerations like the weight and size of the unit.

1. Research About Noise-Reduction/Quiet Technology

Our first tip is to research the currently available noise-reduction or quiet technologies for generators in the market. Look for ultra-quiet generators equipped with advanced technologies that are specifically designed to reduce noise and make generators quieter.

For example, some portable generators for camping and outdoor activities feature sound-dampening enclosures or compartments that help minimize their noise. Manufacturers typically construct these enclosures using specialized materials that absorb and deflect sound waves to reduce the generator’s overall noise output.

Noise-Dampening/Reduction Technology

Some of these materials that help reduce generator noise include:

    • Acoustic Foam: Acoustic foams are lightweight materials that effectively absorb sound waves to reduce noise. These foams dampen the noise from the generator’s engine without adding significant weight to the unit.
    • Rubber or Neoprene Mounts: Rubber or Neoprene Mounts are sometimes used in generators to lessen the noise. These materials isolate the generator from the mounting surface and absorb the vibrations from the generator’s engine, which prevents the engine from making noise since it is prevented from transferring the vibrations to the whole unit.
    • Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV): Mass-loaded Vinyl (MLV) is a dense but flexible material that adds mass to surfaces. The additional mass provided by MLV helps block the transmission of sound from the generator to the surrounding materials or environment.
  • Thick Metal Panels: Some quiet generators incorporate thick metal panels into the unit’s enclosure to help block the escape of noise from the generator’s engine. Heavy-gauge steel or aluminum panels are commonly used to reduce generator noise.
  • Combination of Various Sound-Dampening Materials: Most manufacturers incorporate a combination of these different sound-dampening materials to create an effective and efficient noise-reducing enclosure for generators. They often utilize combined layers of acoustic foam, MLV, and thick metal panels for optimal noise reduction.
  • These materials aren’t only found in a generator’s engine enclosure. Most of these are also used in a generator’s exhaust systems.

    A generator’s exhaust system produces noise as exhaust gasses exit the engine and pass through the exhaust system. But thanks to advanced muffler systems and noise-reduction exhaust technologies, generator exhaust systems don’t have to be noisy.

    2. Consider Buying an Inverter Generator

    Inverter generators have become even more popular due to their improved efficiency and quiet operation. These types of generators are generally the most cost-effective ones.

    In contrast to conventional generators, inverter generators do not run at a constant speed regardless of the load. Instead, they can adjust their engine speed based on the current power demand, which allows them to save more fuel and reduce the noise they emit overall.

    If the current electricity demand is low, the engine will operate at a lower speed. This reduces fuel consumption and noise and prevents the generator from overworking.

    Since the engine speed slows down when there isn’t much demand for power, you’ll enjoy a quieter experience, especially during bedtime. This makes them excellent quiet camper generators.

    Another excellent feature of many inverter generators is the parallel operation capability.

    Inverter generators equipped with this feature let you connect multiple units together to increase the power output proportionally. This way, multiple generators can provide extra power when needed without making too much noise - since their engines can maintain a low operating speed while meeting your electricity load demands.

    3. Look at the Generator’s Decibel Ratings

    Our next tip is to look at the generator’s decibel ratings. When comparing generators, it’s important to check their decibel ratings. The lower the dB rating, the better.

    Decibel (dB) is a unit of measurement that gives you an idea of how noisy or quiet something is. For example, a typical human whisper measures 20 dB while a conversation between two people close to each other is 60 dB.

    Keep in mind that a decibel is a logarithmic unit of measurement, not a linear one. This means that a 50 dB sound is significantly louder compared to a 40 dB sound - 10 times to be exact!

    Choose a Generator With a Decibel Rating Within the 50 to 60 dB Range

    Typically, generator noise levels range from 50 to 75 dB for residential use. So, if you’re looking for the quietest generator, you’ll want to find units within the 50 dB to 60 dB range. If you can find one with a lower decibel rating than that, that’s even better!

    But don’t forget to look at the power output as well! It makes sense to search for generators with low decibel ratings if you’re looking for a quiet one, but you should also make sure that the power output matches your needs.

    The noise generated by a generator mostly comes from its engine. So, if the engine is forced to work at its maximum capacity due to the high power demand, the unit will also create more noise. This just defeats the purpose of getting a low-noise generator in the first place.

    4. Check for Eco-Throttle and Similar Features

    Many low-noise portable generators in the market are equipped with eco-throttle and similar features like automatic/smart idle.

    Generators with these features include sensors that monitor the current electrical demand, and their engines adjust speeds based on these demands. These generators are generally quieter because they don’t produce as much noise all the time.

    If you’re just using the generator lightly, such as at night when everyone’s asleep, it will make much less noise than a generator that operates at a constant speed. These kinds of generators are perfect for campsites and residential areas.

    Aside from being quieter, generators with eco-throttle and automatic idle features also have better fuel efficiency than their counterparts that don’t have these features. Since their engines operate slower when the electrical load is low, they also consume less fuel during these times, which results in lower fuel consumption overall.

    Similarly, these quiet generators will last longer with limited fuel, especially when your electrical demands are often low. These units also generally require less maintenance and have a longer service life compared to generators that run at constant speeds despite varying loads.

    Another benefit of generators with these features is that they’re much more convenient to use. You don’t have to manually adjust the engine speed based on your current electrical load since these units can automatically adjust.

    5. Evaluate the Unit’s Fuel Efficiency/Economy

    Next is to evaluate the generator’s fuel efficiency or economy. Fuel efficiency refers to the amount of fuel that the generator consumes to produce a certain amount of power and electricity.

    A generator with high fuel efficiency can produce more electricity with minimal fuel consumption. While a generator with lower fuel efficiency will need to consume much more fuel just to output the same amount of electricity.

    Fuel-Efficient Generators Produce Less Exhaust

    Fuel-efficient generators generally produce less exhaust and operate at lower temperatures, which contributes to their smoother and quieter operation. The best and quietest generators are the most fuel-efficient as well.

    Also, fuel-efficient generators are typically safer because they produce fewer exhaust emissions like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. These generators are not only cost-effective but also eco-friendly!

    Choose Generators With Advanced Combustion Technologies

    Similarly, most generators with high fuel efficiency also come equipped with advanced combustion technologies and exhaust systems that help reduce the noise they produce.

    For example, many generator engine designs include mufflers and silencers in their exhaust systems to reduce the noise produced by the exit of exhaust gases. Certain materials also help dampen the noise by absorbing the sound caused by the engine’s vibrations.

    Some generators also come equipped with resonators and catalytic converters that not only reduce their noise levels but also make them environment-friendly. Catalytic converters convert harmful exhaust gases into less harmful compounds, while resonators help cancel out exhaust noise.

    6. Assess the Generator’s Size and Weight

    Number 6 on our list of tips is to assess the generator’s size and weight and determine whether it’s the right size and weight for its purpose. It’s sometimes not enough to find the quietest generator - you’ll also have to consider whether it’s portable enough to bring and use for your activities.

    Check the Generator’s Weight

    If you plan to bring your generator for a camping trip or an outdoor gathering, you’ll have to get one that isn’t too heavy or bulky. However, you’ll also want a unit that strikes a good balance between portability and performance.

    Some generators have built-in handles or wheels that make them more portable and easier to bring on trips. They’re much more convenient to maneuver and transport, and setting them up shouldn’t require too much of your own energy.

    Additionally, lighter generators are easier to carry and move around, although they don’t often include wheels. But this shouldn’t be a big deal since you won’t need wheels when the unit is already light.

    Consider the Generator’s Size

    Besides weight, size is another thing to consider when choosing the quietest portable generator. A generator’s size directly affects its portability - simply put, if a generator is too large, then it’s not portable at all!

    On the other hand, smaller generators often mean that their fuel tanks are smaller. This results in shorter run times and lower overall power output.

    If you’re going on a trip that will take more than several days, you will need a generator with high fuel capacity. If that’s the case, going for a smaller and more portable generator might not be the best choice.

    Prioritize Your Needs

    When looking for a low-noise, portable generator, get one that‘s more focused on your needs.

    Are you going camping alone or with a small group for just a day or two? A small and lightweight quiet generator is perfect.

    Are you going camping for several days and may consume much more energy? A slightly larger and heavier generator might be better, although finding one with handles and wheels would be the best.

    Since you’re the one who’ll use the generator, you’re the one who knows best when it comes to your specific needs regarding the unit’s portability and mobility, power output and capacity, and fuel efficiency.

    7. Compare Brand Reputation

    When comparing generators, try to compare the brands as well. The brand of the generator might not be a huge deal for some people, but it’s still an important aspect of the product you’re planning to buy.

    When we talk about brand reputation, we’re not only referring to the quality of products they manufacture. Of course, you’ll feel more confident when choosing products manufactured by a well-known brand with a great reputation. But you shouldn’t stop there!

    Comparing brand reputation should also involve looking at each brand’s long-term support and service and customer satisfaction.

    Long-Term Support and Service

    It’s not enough to choose a brand with great products because the market is already filled with excellent ones that can match (or even surpass) the products from well-known brands. You should also choose a reliable brand that can give you peace of mind by offering after-sales support and service.

    Choose a reputable generator manufacturer that offers long-term support and service and provides access to replacement parts. Don’t forget to also read their maintenance guides to maximize the longevity of your unit.

    Accessible Authorized Service Centers

    Also, consider brands that have accessible or nearby authorized service centers. You wouldn’t want the hassle of driving for several hours just to bring your unit to an authorized service center, would you? Even if you opt for a home service, some companies may charge extra if their centers are too far from your location.

    Some brands that make the best, quietest, and most reliable portable generators include Yamaha, Honda, WEN, and Briggs & Stratton. Other brands that also manufacture excellent quiet generators include Predator, Pulsar, and Westinghouse.

    8. Read User Reviews

    Our last tip is to read user reviews. Reading user reviews is important, no matter how boring it may sound.

    Reading reviews about the quietest generators provides something that simply reading features and specifications doesn’t: real-world experiences.

    Real-World Experiences by Real People

    Reviews by other users and buyers can give you insights into their real-world experiences with their specific products.

    User reviews will also give you information that goes beyond public marketing claims and technical specifications. A company can bombard you with information about a product’s supposedly amazing features and specifications, but real-world accounts from real customers can often provide more valuable and genuine insights.

    For example, campers who have used a quiet portable generator in different outdoor settings can provide firsthand accounts of the generator’s overall actual performance, which includes its reliability, efficiency, and noise levels.

    A product may be advertised as having a noise level within the 50 dB to 60 dB range. However, the actual noise level may be higher when the generator is used for high electricity consumption due to its lack of certain features like automatic idle and eco-throttle.

    Highlight the Pros and Cons

    Another benefit of checking user reviews is that they typically highlight the strengths and weaknesses of products.

    When you look at the manufacturer’s product description, you will never see the cons listed. This makes sense because why would a company want to highlight the flaws of their products, right?

    However, customer reviews will often give you not only the advantages of a specific product but also its disadvantages. This can greatly help you when choosing the quietest generator that suits your needs because you’ll be able to easily compare the pros and cons of each product and narrow down your options.

    Get Some Tips and Recommendations

    Besides real-world experiences and descriptions, you may also find some useful tips and recommendations in user reviews.

    Many considerate customers also include helpful tips and best practices for maximizing the product they use in their product reviews. They sometimes talk about maintenance tips, noise reduction strategies, and proper generator placement, which are all useful information.

    Reading user reviews allows you to benefit from the collective experience of fellow customers to help you make an informed decision in choosing the best and quietest generator.

    Top 3 Best Quietest Portable Generator for Campers

    Hopefully, these 8 simple tips on how to look for the quietest portable generator will help you make the best decision for yourself. However, we admit that these tips can still be quite overwhelming, especially for people without prior knowledge of portable generators.

    So, here are the top 3 best and quietest portable generators for campers that you should consider adding to your choices.

    1. Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator

    The Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator is perfect for campers who want a peaceful outdoor experience. This generator is known for its exceptional quietness with an operating noise level of only around 48 to 57 dB.

    This portable generator features advanced inverter technology to deliver stable power with efficient fuel consumption. It also features an eco-throttle system that further reduces noise levels and improves fuel efficiency.

    The Honda EU2200i is also very compact and lightweight and is equipped with a handle, making it easy to transport and maneuver. Despite its relatively smaller size, its fuel-efficient Honda GXR120 engine can provide up to 8.1 hours of continuous operation.

    2. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Portable Inverter Generator

    The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Portable Inverter Generator is another excellent choice for campers looking for a reliable and quiet power source. This generator ensures a quiet camping experience with its rated noise level of only around 51.5 to 61 dB.

    The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 also features Yamaha’s innovative Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) inverter technology that delivers stable power suitable for sensitive electronics. It also has a Smart Throttle system that lets it adjust its engine speed for improved fuel efficiency and noise cancellation.

    Like all the products on this list, this generator also features a compact and lightweight body for easy transportation and storage.

    3. Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator

    The Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator is the last product on our list, but it’s certainly not the least. This product is another reliable and quiet generator with a noise level of around 59 dB, which is quieter than a normal conversation.

    The Briggs & Stratton P2200 is equipped with inverter technology for a more efficient and quiet operation. This lightweight and small generator also has built-in wheels that don’t get flat for better portability and easy transportation.

    Previous article A Comprehensive Guide on How to Build a 1-Year Emergency Food Supply for a Family of 4
    Next article What Are the Benefits of an Air Scrubber and Should You Get One in 2024?