Around a year ago, I wrote an article that was kind of controversial. Frustrated with the annoying buzz of generators in front-country campgrounds, I spoke with parks officers and suggested solutions for campers who don’t want to be around a churning battery.
Still, I understood some people need generators, and others simply won't give them up.
Here are some quieter alternatives for those that need electricity in the outdoors:
Propane and Gas Generators
Two of the best quiet gas generators are the Honda EU2200i Portable Generator Inverter and the Yamaha EF2000iSv2. The former runs for up to 8.1 hours on around 3.7 litres of gasoline. It’s great for running items like coffee makers, TVs, mini fridges and computers. It costs around $1,200.
In comparison, the Yamaha costs $995. It weights 44 pounds and runs for 10.5 hours at ¼ rated load on a tank of gas. When it’s running at that load, the sound isn’t too loud—only 51.5 dBA.
However, gas and propane generators are usually the noisiest and least eco-friendly. Try one of the other options below instead.
Solar generators work well for running small appliances and charging devices. Recharging can be slow and dependent on sunshine. It's a great green option if you need power. However, the good ones are not cheap.
The Renogy Phoenix Portable Solar Generator is an all-in-one solar kit with a replaceable battery. It retails on Amazon for around $1,000. Aesthetics wise, it looks a bit like a briefcase. Using a 16Ah lithium-ion battery, it’s ideal for camping or emergency use. You can also charge it with your 12v DC car cigarette receptacle.
Battery Powered Generators
Battery power generators are an awesome option. They only output the amount of power required, so you’ll notice little loss of power. They are also easy to transport and nearly silent!
The Goal Zero Yeti 200X Portable Power Station uses lithium power and solar charging. At around $300, this lightweight model is equipped with a high-speed Power Delivery port capable of charging USB-C laptops, tablets, mirrorless phones and cameras.
Another option is the Jackery Explorer 1000. For over $1,200, you'll get a top-notch power station with a lithium-ion battery and solar capabilities that can power up to 8 devices. It's a portable and light machine, with multiple outputs and inputs. It's ideal for small appliances like rice cookers and medical devices like CPAP machines. On long camping trips, this small device will keep your phones charged, your space heater blasting and your mini fridge running.
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