5 Best Generators For Tailgating To Complete The Party

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Discover the best generators for tailgating so you can follow pregame coverage on TV, keep your beverages at a drinkable temperature, eat tasty food, and fully enjoy the party.

Best tailgating generators top picks

  1. WEN 56225i – Best small generator for tailgating (2250 peak watts, 53 dB)
  2. Westinghouse iGen4500 – Best large tailgating generator (4500 peak watts, 52 dBA, dual fuel version available)
  3. Honda EU2200i – Quietest tailgating generator (2200 peak watts, 48 dBA)
  4. WEN DF250i – Best small dual fuel generator for tailgating (2500 peak watts, 52 dBA)
  5. WEN 56380i – Best medium-sized budget tailgating generator (3800 peak watts, 57 dBA)

As you can expect, tailgating generators lower on the list could still be better for your preferences, needs, and party size.

How we selected our top picks

When it comes to the best generators for tailgating, details like quiet operation, enough (but not too much) clean power, compact dimensions, and reasonable prices are extra important.

Some of the other details I also considered when putting together the list of top picks are:

  • Run time, outlets, portability, fuel types, etc.
  • User reviews
  • Anecdotal reviews from experts
  • Price
  • Brand trustability and reputation
  • The performance categories below

If a pick seems interesting click it to see the online prices.

Brand ModelQuiet
Operation
Power
Capacity
PortabilityTHDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Run
Time
Price
Category
Current
Price
WEN 56225i 2250979.5<1.2%97.577.5$Check Price
Westinghouse iGen4500998<3%998.59.5$$$Check Price
Honda EU2200i9.579.5<3%9.57.58.56.5$$$$Check Price
WEN DF250i 250097.59.5<1.2%7.5887.5$Check Price
WEN 56380i 380088.58<1.2%99.588.5$$Check Price
Best tailgating generators performance on a score of 10 in important categories*

*Compared to similar generators and sometimes based on customer input

5 Best generators for tailgating in-depth reviews

People who know more or less what they want in a tailgating generator could find the best option for them with the list of top picks and the performance table.

That being said, it is also likely that you will find choosing easier after checking out the more in-depth reviews of the top pick.

1. WEN 56225i – Best small generator for tailgating

Our top pick for the best small tailgating generator is the WEN 56225i 2250 thanks to the nice amount of power and low noise level at the budget-friendly price.

While there are some bigger devices too, tailgating part essentials like a TV, a small refrigerator, some lights, and a sound system do not actually require that much power.

WEN 56225i

Additionally, there are benefits to choosing a smaller generator like the WEN 56225i 2250.

First of all, the noise levels of 53 dB should be low enough to not really disturb you and your fellow tailgaters since a regular conversation is already around 60 decibels.

Pros

  • WEN 56225i offers 2250 starting watts, 1800 running watts, 15 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Relatively low noise levels of 53 dBA
  • Run time of 6 hours at 50% load
  • Less than 1.2% THD
  • Light weight of 48.5 lb (22 kg)
  • Relatively positive customer reviews
  • 2 years limited residential and 90 days limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Uses a lot of oil

Secondly, you should have no issues fitting the compact dimensions of the WEN 56225i 2250 in your car and getting the relatively light weight of 48.5 pounds in position.

The run time of 6 hours at 50% load may not be the most impressive for a portable inverter generator.

However, this should be enough to get you through most of the tailgating party (not considering any victory after parties).

In short, if it offers enough power and you plan to use gasoline anyway, the WEN 56225i 2250 is likely the best option for you.

Brand ModelQuiet
Operation
Power
Capacity
PortabilityTHDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Run
Time
Price
Category
Current
Price
WEN 56225i 2250979.5<1.2%97.577.5$Check Price
WEN 56225i 2250 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

2. Westinghouse iGen4500 – Best large

While a tailgating party can already be fun with smaller electronics, bigger devices like an electric grill or an outdoor heater can take things to the next level.

To be able to power these while still keeping the noise levels down, the Westinghouse iGen4500 can be a great choice.

Westinghouse iGen4500

The noise level rating of 52 dBA is even lower than the previous model so can describe the Westinghouse iGen4500 as the best large quiet generator for tailgating too.

Additionally, with the long run time of 18 hours at 25% load, you will likely not have to worry about interrupting your tailgate fun for a refuel session.

Pros

  • Westinghouse iGen4500 offers 4500 starting watts, 3700 running watts, 30 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Relatively low noise levels of 52 dBA
  • Long run time of 18 hours at 25% load
  • Less than 3% THD
  • A lot of performance tracking metrics
  • Optional CO sensor
  • Weight of 104.7 lbs (47.5 kg)
  • Relatively positive customer reviews
  • 3 years limited residential and 1 year limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Some customers find changing the oil challenging
  • You may need some help lifting the generator out of the car

Something else that positively stands out is that there is a version of the Westinghouse iGen4500 with a CO sensor.

You don’t need this to use a generator safely but it does add a layer of safety between you and any tailgating accidents.

There is a dual fuel version too if you prefer to (occasionally) use propane instead of gasoline.

One thing you do want to keep in mind is that you may need some help lifting the 104.7 pounds of the Westinghouse iGen4500 out of the car.

However, this small downside is likely not enough to turn you away if you want a good large tailgating generator.

Brand ModelQuiet
Operation
Power
Capacity
PortabilityTHDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Run
Time
Price
Category
Current
Price
Westinghouse iGen4500998<3%998.59.5$$$Check Price
Westinghouse iGen4500 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

3. Honda EU2200i – Quietest tailgating generator

The Honda EU2200i deserves a mention because it is the quietest generator for tailgating with noise levels of 48 to 57 dBA at 25% to 100% load.

At the same time, it is important to highlight that you will likely prefer one of the other generators with how expensive the Honda EU2200i is.

Honda EU2200i

The extra Honda brand reliability and durability can be worth it for things like backup power. This could be the secondary purpose of the generator too.

However, for only the occasional tailgate party where there are not really too many risks if your generator does not function 100%, the Honda EU2200i is likely too much.

Pros

  • Honda EU2200i offers 2200 starting watts, 1800 running watts, 18.3 amps, and 120 volts.
  • Parallel capability
  • Quietest tailgating generator with 48 to 57 dBA (at 25% to 100% load)
  • Less than 3% THD
  • Honda My Generator app connectivity
  • CO sensor
  • Honda generator brand reputation
  • Light weight of 47.4 lb (21.5 kg)
  • 3 years limited residential and 12 months limited commercial warranties
  • Very positive customer reviews
  • A lot of customers

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other generators for tailgating
  • Run time of 8.1 hours at 25% load is not the most impressive

That being said, you may still find the Honda EU2200i tempting due to the light weight, compact dimensions, and details like the Honda My Generator app.

In this app, you can see the current power output of the Honda EU2200i to see how much more tailgating gear you can run and for more or less how long.

Additionally, this generator is another option with a CO sensor which shuts down the machine if the buildup of carbon monoxide is too big.

So overall, the Honda EU2200i could theoretically offer you many great tailgating parties with quiet generator noise levels for years to come.

However, if you don’t plan to use your generator for a secondary purpose where reliability is essential, the Honda EU2200i is likely too pricey.

Brand ModelQuiet
Operation
Power
Capacity
PortabilityTHDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Run
Time
Price
Category
Current
Price
Honda EU2200i9.579.5<3%9.57.58.56.5$$$$Check Price
Honda EU2200i performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

4. WEN DF250i – Best small dual fuel

Gasoline is the most popular fuel type for tailgating generators and portable inverter models in general but the propane compatibility of the WEN DF250i can be useful too.

More specifically, if you only plan to go to tailgating parties occasionally, and don’t use your electric generator for much else, a duel fuel model could be the right choice.

WEN DF250i

After using a gasoline portable generator, you need to empty the fuel tank or take other precautions to avoid a gummed up carburetor and all the trouble that comes with that.

On the flip side, you don’t have this extra maintenance work after using a dual fuel generator like the WEN DF250i 2500 on propane.

Pros

  • WEN DF250i offers 2500 starting watts, 2000 running watts, 16.6 amps, and 120 volts (gasoline)
  • Dual fuel so can also run on propane (LPG)
  • Relatively low noise levels of 52 dBA
  • Run time of 6 hours at 50% load
  • Less than 1.2% THD
  • Light weight of 48.5 lb (22 kg)
  • 2 years limited residential and 90 days limited commercial warranties
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Not that many customers for this specific model

Fuel types aside, the noise levels of the WEN DF250i 2500 are still relatively low (52 dBA) as tailgating etiquette tips require.

You will likely also value the compact dimensions and light weight which makes it easy to get the generator in and out of your car at the parking lot.

One thing to note is that the specific WEN DF250i 2500 model does not have that many reviews yet.

However, with the overall positivity of WEN generators, solid features, and reasonable price, the DF250i is likely still worth considering if you want a small dual fuel tailgating generator.

Brand ModelQuiet
Operation
Power
Capacity
PortabilityTHDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Run
Time
Price
Category
Current
Price
WEN DF250i 250097.59.5<1.2%7.5887.5$Check Price
WEN DF250i 2500 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

5. WEN 56380i – Best medium-sized budget

The WEN 56380i 3800 can be a good alternative to the Westinghouse iGen4500 if you want a more budget-friendly tailgating generator.

However, you do need to know that you are giving up some watts, silence, and run time for this.

WEN 56380i

More specifically, the 57 dBA (typically measured at 25% load and 23 feet away), is still relatively quiet for a portable inverter generator.

On the flip side, some fellow tailgaters may find these noise levels running in the background somewhat annoying.

Pros

  • WEN 56380i 3800 offers 3800 starting watts, 3400 running watts, 30 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Relatively low noise levels of 57 dBA
  • Good run time of 8.5 hours at 50% load
  • Nice fuel efficiency
  • Less than 1.2% THD
  • Electric start
  • Weight of 99.2 lb (45 kg)
  • Very positive customer reviews
  • 2 years limited residential and 90 days limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • You may need some help lifting the generator out of the car
  • Somewhat louder than many other tailgating generators

Especially if you make full use of the 3400 running watts of the WEN 56380i 3800 to run an electric grill or outdoor heater.

Something else to note is that you may need some help lifting the 99.2 pounds of the WEN 56380i 3800 out and in the car.

On the other hand, if you don’t find the noise levels too high and/or manage to put the generator far enough from the tailgate, the WEN 56380i 3800 can be great.

While there are many other reasons for this too, an example of a positive point for people who don’t love the recoil mechanism is the electric start.

This allows you to go straight to using the power this great tailgating generator offers, enjoying the party mood, and catching up with old and new friends.

Brand ModelQuiet
Operation
Power
Capacity
PortabilityTHDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Run
Time
Price
Category
Current
Price
WEN 56380i 380088.58<1.2%99.588.5$$Check Price
WEN 56380i 3800 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

FAQ

What size generator do I need for tailgating?

What size generator you need for tailgating depends on what devices you want to power.

For example, a 2200 peak watt generator can already be enough to power a small fridge, a blender, some light bulbs, and a TV.

However, if you also want to power bigger things like an electric grill or outdoor heater together with all the devices mentioned, your tailgating generator will need to have at least 4000 peak watts.

How do you use electricity in a tailgate?

Some ways to use electricity in a tailgate are a portable electric generator, a power station, solar panels, and a power bank.

What is the best generator for tailgating?

For the smaller and medium tailgating essentials, the WEN 56225i is often big enough and in turn, the best generator for tailgating thanks to its portability and low noise levels.

If you also want to power something bigger like an electric grill, the Westinghouse iGen4500 is often the right choice.

WEN 56225i
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Author:

Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.