Tailgate parties are ancient; they are not a new concept. Ivy League is considered a home to the earliest tailgating. On average, a tailgater spends more than $500 on food. Most of the tailgaters are men aged between 25 and 44.
If we talk about Americans, they spend more than $35 billion on supplies, food, and beverages for tailgating every year.[source]
So if you love camping or mostly make plans to have social gatherings at beaches or parks, then you must add a tailgating generator to your camping gear. It will help you in powering your phone, laptop, heater, cooker, or music system to enjoy your gatherings up to the full extent.
Here in this article, we are going to review the seven best tailgating generators. Go through their features and select a particular generator according to your needs.
Best Tailgate Generators Reviewed
Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator
WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator
Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator
Briggs and Stratton 30651 P2200 Portable Generator
Ryobi Gasoline Powered Digital Inverter Generator
Atima AY2000i Inverter Generator
Generac 6866 iQ2000 Inverter Generator
1. Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator – Overall Best
Weight and Warranty: One of the best inverter generators you can buy to power your tailgate parties is the Westinghouse iGen2200. It weighs 46.3 pounds and features three years limited warranty.
Certifications: The generator is EPA, CARB, and USFS certified.
THD Rating: Its less than 3% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) rating makes it non-harmful for sensitive electronics.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: Its 1.2-gallon gas tank provides 12 hours of runtime at 50% load.
Efficiency Mode: There is an efficiency mode switch for maximum fuel efficiency.
Peak and Rated Watts: The 79cc Westinghouse OHV engine generates 2200 peak watts and 1800 rated watts.
Parallel Capable: The unit is parallel capable that allows you to link different inverter generators to produce more power. You can connect iGen2200, iGen1200, iGen2500, and the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT with the help of Westinghouse Parallel Cord.
Decibel Rating: The unit operates quietly with a decibel rating of 52 dB (A).
Start System: It comes with a recoil start system.
Control Panel: If we focus on its control panel, then there is an engine/fuel control switch, parallel outlets, circuit breaker, overload reset button, efficiency mode switch, and three indicator lights (low oil, overload, output ready). Also, there are two 120V 20A household outlets and two 5V DC USB ports. All these four outlets are covered with a plastic cover.
Also see: Best Portable Generators for Boats
2. WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator – Cheap Tailgate Generator
Peak and Rated Watts: WEN 56200i features a 79.7cc 4-stroke OHV engine that produces 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts.
Weight and Warranty: The unit’s weight is 48 pounds and is backed by a 2-year limited warranty. It is lighter in weight than the Westinghouse iGen2200.
THD Rating: You can power your sensitive electronics with the generator because of its less than 1.2% THD rating.
Certifications: It is a CARB compliant and EPA III certified unit.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: If we talk about its fuel tank capacity, it has a 1-gallon fuel tank that can provide 6 hours of runtime at 50% load.
Eco Mode: Turn on the Eco mode to save your fuel as well as money.
Parallel Capable: It is also parallel capable like the Westinghouse iGen2200, where you can link another inverter generator to meet your additional power needs.
Control Panel: Its power panel has two 120V AC outlets, one 12V DC outlet, and a 5V USB port. Other than power outlets, we have parallel operation outlets, an eco-mode switch, and an engine switch, along with three light indicators featuring overload, output, and fuel tags.
Decibel Rating: Its 51 dB (A) noise level is slightly lower than iGen2200.
Start System: The generator is featured with a recoil start system.
You may also like: Best WEN Generators: Popular brand with reliable machines
3. Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator – Quiet Tailgate Generator
Decibel Rating: Honda EU2200i is the quietest inverter generator in the market that operates between 48 and 57 dB (A) depending on the load.
Peak and Rated Watts: It is powered by a 121cc Honda GXR120 engine that delivers 2200 peak watts and 1800 rated watts. Its peak output power is better than the EU2000i model that delivers 2000 watts of starting power.
Weight and Warranty: Its weight is 40 pounds and is backed by a 3-year limited warranty.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: The generator offers 8.1 hours of runtime at a 25% load on a full 0.95-gallon fuel tank.
Eco-Throttle System: The eco-throttle system ensures maximum fuel efficiency.
Parallel Capable: Connect another Honda EU2200i with the help of parallel operation outlets.
Start System: The same effortless recoil start system is the part of this generator.
THD Rating: Honda’s inverter technology ensures you get clean and stable power as you receive from your home’s power outlets.
Fuel Shutoff Valve: The fuel shutoff valve feature allows the generator to run without fuel. It helps in preventing stale fuel-related issues.
Control Panel: Its control panel is featured with two 120V 15A AC outlets and a 12V 8.3A DC outlet for battery charging only. Also, three light indicators are indicating low oil, overload, and output. Moreover, parallel operation outlets, eco-throttle switch, and circuit breakers are part of the control panel.
4. Briggs and Stratton 30651 P2200 Portable Generator – Tailgating Portable Generator
THD Rating: Briggs and Stratton offer a reliable portable generator with less than a 3% THD rating so that you can power your sensitive electronic items without any hesitation.
Peak and Rated Watts: Its 111cc OHV engine produces 2200 peak watts and 1700 rated watts.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: 1-gallon fuel tank provides 8 hours of runtime at a 25% load.
Start System: The unit comes with a pull start system.
Decibel Rating: It operates at 59 dB (A) at a 25% load. Its Quiet Power Technology keeps the noise at lower levels by automatically adjusting the engine speed according to the load applied.
Weight and Warranty: The unit comes with a 2-year limited warranty and weighs 55 pounds.
Certifications: It is not a CARB compliant unit. It means it can’t be shipped to California.
Parallel Capable: To produce more power from the generator, you can connect another PowerSmart Series inverter generator with the help of a parallel connector port.
Control Panel: Its control panel has the same light indicators as in the products mentioned above. There are two 120V 20A outlets and a 12V 5A DC outlet along with a parallel connector port other than light indicators.
5. Ryobi Gasoline Powered Digital Inverter Generator – Heavy Tailgate Generator
Peak and Rated Watts: This inverter generator from Ryobi has an 80cc OHV engine that produces 2300 watts of peak power and 1800 watts of running power. It has the highest peak power as compared to all generators on the list.
Bluetooth Capable: You can control the generator remotely with the help of integrated Bluetooth technology. The GenControl app allows you to adjust and control different features of the generator through iOS or Android devices.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: The generator can run continuously for 10.3 hours at 25% load on a full 1.2-gallon fuel tank.
Idle-Down Technology: Its idle-down technology ensures increased fuel efficiency.
Start System: It also features a recoil start system.
Decibel Rating: The unit operates between 57 and 67.9 dB (A) depending on the load applied.
Weight and Warranty: Its weight is 56 pounds and is backed by a 3-year limited warranty.
THD Rating: It is relatively safe for your sensitive electronics.
Parallel Capable: Link another Ryobi inverter generator to produce more power output at the time of need.
Control Panel: Its control panel has two 5V DC 2.1A USB ports and two 120V 20A AC outlets. Also, there is a decent LCD screen that shows fuel level, current load, and runtime. Moreover, you have an overload reset button and circuit breakers.
6. Atima AY2000i Inverter Generator – Tailgate Generator under $700
Weight and Warranty: The Atima AY2000i inverter generator weighs about 51 pounds and comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
Peak and Rated Watts: The 4 stroke Yamaha engine generates 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts. Also, see our list of best 2000 watt generators here.
Tank Capacity and Runtime: Its 1-gallon fuel tank gives 10 hours of runtime at a 25% load.
Smart Throttle System: The integrated smart throttle system maximizes fuel efficiency and reduces noise levels.
Decibel Rating: Atima AY2000i operates quietly at 52 dB (A) at a 25% load.
Start System: The same recoil start system powers it.
Certifications: It is EPA and CARB compliant.
Parallel Capable: You can connect this Atima generator with the inverter generator of the same series to double the power output.
Control Panel: If we talk about power outlets, then there are two 120V 20A receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, and one parallel connector port. Other than power outlets, there is an eco-throttle switch and three light indicators.
THD Rating: Clean and stable energy allows you to power your sensitive electronics.
7. Generac 6866 iQ2000 Inverter Generator
Peak and Rated Watts: The 80cc Generac OHV engine can produce 2000 watts of peak power and 1600 watts of running power.
Weight and Warranty: It is backed by a 3-year limited warranty and weighs 46.2 pounds.
Modes of Operation: Three modes of operation include Turbo, Standard, and Economy. You can select any according to your needs.
Power Dial: A simple to use power dial features start, run, and stop functions.
Decibel Rating: It runs at 53 dB (A).
Tank Capacity and Runtime: The generator can run for about 7 hours at 50% load. Its fuel tank capacity is 1.06 gallons.
Control Panel: The most appealing thing on the control panel is the smart LED dashboard that displays the wattage use, remaining runtime, fuel level, and generator status. Other than this, there are two 120V 13.3A outlets and an operation mode switch.
Parallel Capable: You can also produce extra power by connecting another iQ2000 with the generator. You may need to buy the parallel kit model 6877 separately.
Start System: It is featured with a pull start system.
Here, we will feature some essential factors that you must consider when purchasing the best tailgating generator.
First of all, consider the power output. You can either go for generators with higher power output or units that produce a lower power amount. But as you are buying a tailgating generator, so a 2000-watt inverter generator is best to buy.
But to find out which generator would be suitable for you, make a list of those items you always need to power during your tailgate parties. After creating a list, add their watts to buy a unit that can meet that total power.
Tank Capacity and Runtime
Tank capacity and runtime become extremely important when you need to run your units for more extended periods. Many people think that a bigger fuel tank gives extended runtime, but the runtime hugely depends on the load. If your generator is fuel-efficient, it will give good runtime even with a smaller fuel tank.
No one wants to hear the disturbing noise of a generator. Therefore, it is recommended to buy an inverter generator over the conventional one. But still, try to select the quietest one to enjoy your parties without listening to the generator’s noise.
You must go for a lighter generator in weight and features convenient handles so that you can easily take it to tailgate.
Make sure your selected generator has low-oil shutoff and overload protection. These two safety features must be part of your machine to prevent damages. Also, the spark arrestor is a valuable addition.
The last factor to consider is the power outlets. Ensure your generator has the same power outlets that you need. Two household outlets, along with RV and DC outlets, will be a great treat.