Power on the Go: Choosing the Best Generac Portable Generator for Your Needs

Portable generators from Generac provide convenient power for activities ranging from camping and tailgating to backup during outages. With a wide range of models available, this guide will explore Generac’s most popular portable generators and key factors in selecting the ideal unit for your power needs and budget.


Known for their home standby generators, Generac also produces a versatile lineup of portable power products. Generac’s portable generators provide wattages from 800W up to 17500W to suit any application.

Thanks to their mobility and compact size, portable models can deliver temporary electricity for outdoor events, worksites, RVs, outdoor adventures and emergency home backup. Startup is fast and easy with basic 120V outlets ready to power appliances, tools and more.

Generac’s portable generator series are optimized for different uses ranging from light-duty camping to heavy-duty jobsite power. By evaluating your power requirements and usage, you can determine which Generac portable generator best fits the bill.

We’ll compare Generac’s standout portable models including the GP, Protector, IX and XT Series and discuss key factors in selecting the perfect unit. With Generac’s reliable portable power in your toolbox, you’ll always have electricity on tap exactly when and where you need it.

The 4 Best Generac Portable Generators

Generac GP Series

The GP Series encompasses Generac’s lineup of compact, affordable recreational generators ideal for campers, RVers, tailgaters and household backup. Available in a range of wattages from 1700W to 17500W, these easy-to-transport gasoline-powered units provide convenient power for outdoor activities and events.

GP Series models offer simple, intuitive controls focused on quick, hassle-free operation. Just add gasoline, start the engine, and 120V power is ready to go from the onboard outlets. With compact suitcase-style handling and units weighing as little as 45 pounds, these are designed for mobility.

Key Benefits:

  • Compact, lightweight sizes for portability
  • Easy startup with manual recoil or electric start
  • Up to 10 hours of runtime on a tank
  • Models available for RV, camping, events
  • Powerful enough for jobsite tools and pumps

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Noisier and higher emissions than inverters
  • Prone to fluctuations with non-linear loads
  • Limited outlets on lower-wattage models
  • Less fuel-efficient than advanced models

For weekend recreation or emergency power during an outage, Generac’s GP Series packs reliable power in a convenient, easy-to-use package.

Generac Protector Series Portables

The Protector Series encompasses Generac’s mid-range portable generator models with a balance of performance, features and price. With wattages from 3300W to 17500W and a dual-fuel design, Protector portables offer flexible power for professional, home backup and recreational needs.

Protectors distinguish themselves with useful features like electric start, lift hooks, duplex outlets, and quiet technology for noise levels as low as 68 dBA. Units have an all-weather enclosure and integrated fuel gauge for ease of use. Available accessories enhance their versatility.

Key Benefits:

  • Dual fuel capability using gasoline or propane
  • Electric start standard for convenient startup
  • Integrated fuel gauge and lift hooks
  • QuietTESTTM noise reduction technology
  • PowerStream output for clean electricity
  • Optional accessories available

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Heavier than comparable recreational models
  • Not as portable as small invertor units
  • Runtime can be shorter than industrial models

With standard electric start and quiet operation, Protector portable generators offer enhanced functionality for professional power needs.

Generac IX Series

Generac’s IX Series represents their premium-tier inverter generator models designed for low noise, clean electricity and lightweight portability. Ranging from 800W to 4000W, IX Series inverters use advanced technology to produce a high-quality sine wave output ideal for sensitive electronics.

With an inverter generator’s stable, whisper-quiet power production, the IX models truly distinguish themselves. Ultra-quiet operation as low as 57 dBA enables camping without disturbing others. Useful touches like a fuel shutoff maximizes runtime.

Key Benefits:

  • Advanced inverter technology
  • Extremely quiet at just 57-59 dBA
  • Fuel shutoff maximizes runtime
  • Clean electricity safe for electronics
  • Extremely lightweight and portable
  • Parallel capable for linking units

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Lower wattage capacities than standard models
  • Higher initial cost per watt
  • May require separate 12V battery
  • Limited outlets on smaller units

For campers, RVers and those powering computers or medical devices, the IX Series delivers unparalleled quiet, stable power in a supremely portable package.

Generac XT Series

The XT Series represent Generac’s most heavy-duty, high-performance portable generators designed for demanding jobsite applications. Packed with commercial-grade features, XT units range from 8000W to 17500W for backup power, construction, events and more.

A purpose-built alternator, large-capacity fuel tank, and True Power Technology give the XT models exceptional capability for intensive usage. Single-side servicing simplifies maintenance. Available electric start and a rugged all-steel enclosure enable reliable operation in harsh conditions.

Key Benefits:

  • Commercial-grade components and construction
  • GFCI outlets and True Power voltage stabilization
  • Up to 12 hour runtime on 8 gallon tank
  • Electric start available for convenience
  • Single-side service access
  • Optional cold weather kit for extreme conditions

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Bulkier and heavier than standard portables
  • Higher upfront cost than basic recreational models
  • Primarily for high-demand applications
  • Requires proper ventilation when enclosure closed

When your application calls for uncompromising portable power, XT generators deliver all-day jobsite-tough functionality.

Choosing the Right Generac Portable Generator

Several factors should guide your selection of the ideal Generac portable generator:

Power Requirements – Add up wattages of devices and appliances needing to run simultaneously to determine your necessary generator capacity. Also factor 2-3x for starting surge.

Fuel Type – Most Generac portables use gasoline for convenience and lower costs. Propane fueled units provide an alternative. IX inverters require small additional batteries.

Noise Tolerance – Inverter models like the IX series offer ultra-low noise for camping and residential areas. Other Generac portables use QuietTEST sound enclosures.

Portability – Smaller recreational units optimize mobility. Larger jobsite models sacrifice some portability for extreme-duty performance.

Features – Electric start, RV-ready, paralleling capacity, premium power output and other features enhance functionality for different uses.

Budget – Higher performing XT and IX models carry a cost premium, while GP and Protector units offer more value depending on needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Generac Portable Generators

What are the differences between portable and standby generators?

Portable generators are intended to be moved and run intermittently. Standby generators are permanently installed to automatically provide backup power to a building.

How do you size a portable generator for your needs?

Add up running watts for items needing simultaneous power and multiply by 1.2 for safety margin. Starting surge watts are 2-3x rated watts.

How long can you safely run a portable generator?

Most Generac portables can run continuously for 8-12 hours on a full tank when properly ventilated and not overloaded. Refueling enables extended operation.

How often should you maintain a Generac portable generator?

Generac recommends an annual service including oil changes, filter replacement, battery charging, fuel stabilization and overall inspection.

What fuel do Generac portable generators use?

Most Generac portable units run on gasoline for optimal energy density and convenience. Larger models offer interchangeable gasoline/propane operation. IX inverters use a small starter battery.

How quiet are Generac portable generators?

Inverter models like the IX series are ultra-quiet at 57-59 dBA. Other Generac portables with QuietTEST keep noise levels between 68-72 dBA.

How much do Generac portable generators cost?

Generac portable generators range from $500 – $4,000 based on wattage capacity, features and industrial vs recreational usage. More powerful models carry a price premium.

What are the benefits of inverter portable generators?

Inverter generators produce clean, stable electricity ideal for sensitive devices. They are extremely quiet, fuel efficient, and lightweight for superior portability.

Can you parallel connect multiple portable generators?

Yes, compatible Generac inverter models can be paralleled to combine power output. This requires a parallel connection kit.

How do you transport and store a portable generator?

Use wheel kits for moving larger units short distances by hand. Securing the generator during vehicle transport prevents shifting. Store indoors protected from weather when not in use.


From camping weekends to worksites and everything in between, Generac’s portable generators provide reliable power whenever and wherever you need it. Models like the GP series offer affordable recreational power while XT generators are purpose-built for intensely demanding jobsite applications.

Inverter generators shine when ultra-quiet operation and clean electricity are required. Across all models, Generac portables provide convenience and versatility to make your activities more comfortable and productive.

By realistically assessing your power and usage requirements, you can determine which Generac portable generator is the ideal match. With proper care and maintenance, a Generac portable will deliver years of convenient service powering life’s adventures.

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