11 Best Mini Generators: Your Easy Buying Guide

Best Mini Generators

Jackery

Portable generators are great tools for supplying electrical power to an entire home and small generators are wonderful for traveling in an RV, camping, or working in the field. Portable generators are indeed portable but they’re heavy and tough to lift in and out of a vehicle. Small inverter generators are easier to lug around but still powered by gasoline and make noise.

There are even smaller units that are excellent for pointed applications like charging electronics, setting up movies in the backyard, or providing electricity for a flatscreen at tailgating parties. I’m talking about mini generators.

These little toolbox-sized devices provide incredibly transportable and convenient options for your electrical needs. They’re light, compact, and feature a wide range of amenities ideal for what you need. Not much larger than a lunchbox, these portable power supply units are perfect for keeping your electronic gadgets charged and ready to go.

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Three AC household outlets
  • Charges just as fast as smaller models and it's four times larger
  • 1000 Watts for a battery this size is amazing
Price: $999.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
EcoFlow River Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Nice handle design
  • Stackable extra battery feature to nearly double power output
  • Recharges in less than two hours
Price: $349.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Westinghouse iGen600s Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Light and compact with plenty of juice
  • Perfect for charging a lot of devices a lot of times
  • Recharges quickly
Price: $499.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Anker PowerHouse II 400 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Multiple outlets can power a number of devices simultaneously
  • Great battery life display
  • Compact form and footprint
Price: $299.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bluetti AC200P 2000 Watt Solar Generator Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Massive power without a gas engine
  • Can recharge 17 devices at once
  • Compact footprint and great design
Price: $1,899.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Jackery Explorer 500 Mini Generator Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Big 500 Watts of power
  • Great size and weight for travel
  • Multiple USB ports for charging lots of gadgets
Price: $499.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Rockpals 350 Watt Portable Generator Amazon Customer Reviews
  • The folding handle is well-thought out
  • Loads of USB and DC outlets
  • Charges faster with a solar panel
Price: $249.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Rockpals 250 Watt Portable Generator Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Two 110V outlets on this small of a generator is hard to find
  • Small form factor ideal for home emergency use or backpacking
  • I really like the old-style handle
Price: $194.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Pinty 500 Watt Portable Uninterrupted Power Supply Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great battery life gauge
  • Easy to read control panel
  • 500 Watts in a tiny package
Price: $217.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Aimtom 500 Watt Portable Power Supply Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Simple, compact, portable
  • Plenty of outlets available
  • Nicely laidout control panel
Price: $399.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Tacklife P16 150 Watt Portable Battery Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Well-designed folding handle
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great for portable gadget charges
Price: $166.59 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000

    Pros:
    • Charges just as fast as smaller models and it's four times larger
    • 1000 Watts for a battery this size is amazing
    • Three AC household outlets
    Cons:
    • Takes around 20 seconds for battery gauge to update
    • The flashlight feature could use some re-thinking
    • Bulky inverter cable

    I’m definitely biased when it comes to mini generators from Jackery. Their Explorer 1000 unit packs a huge punch in a small cooler-sized package. See, their CEO was a former Apple executive and you can identify that design technique and philosophy in Jackery’s products. They’re sleek, compact, useful, easily usable, and, quite frankly, they work.

    The Explorer 1000 provides 1,000 Watts of power through a wide variety of ports: three 110V household outlets, two USB-C outlets, two standard USB ports, and a 12V 10A DC car outlet. This thing can power a blender for 13 straight hours…if that’s your thing. You do you, I guess. 

    It can be recharged in four different ways including a wall outlet in about seven hours, a car outlet in 14, or a portable generator in around 7-1/2 hours. Here’s the best thing, though: Jackery produces a solar panel array that can charge this portable power supply in eight hours. Of course, that’s dependent on weather conditions and location.

  2. 2. EcoFlow River

    Pros:
    • Recharges in less than two hours
    • Nice handle design
    • Stackable extra battery feature to nearly double power output
    Cons:
    • Extra battery is almost the same price as the original unit
    • Fast battery charge may wear it out a lot sooner than other models
    • Documentation needs some work

    The EcoFlow River is a really great-looking portable power supply that’s reliable for travel, a home office, or used in an emergency to power 80% of essential household devices. Yes, that means a toaster and a hairdryer. The normal AC output is 600 Watts however the River features 1,800 Watts when something called the “X-Boost” is on. 

    It weighs just 11 pounds but it has a really compact footprint, not much bigger than the aforementioned toaster. The River has a unique ability to stack onto an extra battery that provides an additional 288Wh to roughly double the power ability. That’s pretty slick even though the extra battery costs almost as much as the original unit. 

    EcoFlow produces a much larger mini generator (there’s an oxymoron for you), the Delta, that provides a jaw-dropping 3,300 Watts. And if you’re wanting a solar panel to charge either of these units up, they make one of those as well. 

  3. 3. Westinghouse iGen600s

    Pros:
    • Perfect for charging a lot of devices a lot of times
    • Recharges quickly
    • Light and compact with plenty of juice
    Cons:
    • Charge percentage would be better than the bar meter
    • USB-C may not power some items that need more than 18 Watts
    • On the brink of being too heavy for a backpack but the power is nice

    Measuring just 12 inches square by 6-1/2 inches deep and weighing just over 11 pounds, the Westinghouse iGen600s is perfect for bringing with you camping, tailgating, or any other fun destination. It features the ability to power anything needing 1,200 peak and 600 running Watts. This mini generator is primarily meant to charge phones, computers, or drone batteries but it can do that many, many times over.

    The iGen300s will charge to 80% in less than five hours from a household outlet or less than seven using a 12V car outlet. It’s solar panel ready (sold separately) for environmentally-friendly charging if desired. The i600s has an LED display, tri-mode flashlight, and built-in safety features. Real-time data will let you know how much of your battery you have left to go. That’s important, especially when watching the big game on an LED television at the tailgating party.

  4. 4. Anker PowerHouse II 400

    Pros:
    • Great battery life display
    • Compact form and footprint
    • Multiple outlets can power a number of devices simultaneously
    Cons:
    • Really just meant for charging electronics
    • No AC ground
    • Just one 110V outlet

    I like Anker’s tech and audio gear as a rule and this PowerHouse II 400 didn’t break that rule. This retro boombox-looking portable power supply can throw out 300 Watts to provide multiple charges to any number of gadgets. Your iPhone 11 can be recharged 23 times with this mini generator. Your MacBook Air 2020? Charge that baby five times.

    Plus, the PowerHouse II 400 can charge 8 devices at the same time. The unit contains a 300 Watt AC outlet, 60 W USB-C port, 3 USB-A ports, a car socket, and 2 DC ports. The USB-C port can charge that MacBook we just talked about to 50% in just over 40 minutes. That’s 40% faster than with the charger that came with the MacBook.

    An onboard pure sine wave inverter ensures that the power output is just as clean as what you get at home. It also reduces audible and electrical noise in fans, lights, speakers, TVs, and other sensitive appliances. The PowerHouse II 400 comes with a load of cables and materials to start charging your devices right out of the box. It comes with an 18-month warranty, too.

  5. 5. Bluetti AC200P 2000 Watt Solar Generator

    Pros:
    • Can recharge 17 devices at once
    • Compact footprint and great design
    • Massive power without a gas engine
    Cons:
    • It's really expensive
    • It weighs around 60 pounds
    • Display needs an auto shutoff feature

    The Bluetti AC200P 2000 Watt Solar Generator features an insane amount of energy storage that will provide power even to small appliances and power tools. It features 2,000 continuous sine wave running Watts that can accommodate 90% of essential home devices. The AC200P is ideal for RV life, outdoor activities, or home emergency use.

    This beast of a mini generator doesn’t have the noise nor the hassle of a combustion engine and yet will keep up with generators of the same power output. The AC200P is capable of charging 17 (!) devices simultaneously. The control panel features six 110V household outlets, four DC outputs from 3A to 25A, four USB ports, and two wireless charging pads on the top surface.

    The mini generator can be recharged in several different ways including straight from a wall outlet, 12V DC car outlet, or via solar panel. With two adapters and using the fast recharging mode, the AC200P can be fully charged in less than four hours. That sort of performance doesn’t come cheap but for my money, it’s well worth it.

  6. 6. Jackery Explorer 500 Mini Generator

    Pros:
    • Multiple USB ports for charging lots of gadgets
    • Big 500 Watts of power
    • Great size and weight for travel
    Cons:
    • Just one 110V outlet available
    • Power cord for solar panels doesn't come with the battery
    • Long recharge time, especially via solar panel

    Like its bigger brother, the Explorer 1000, the Jackery Explorer 500 provides a lot of electricity for a number of power-hungry devices including household kitchen items like a blender. It features just one household 110V outlet but three USB ports as well as a 12V DC car outlet and 12V DC output. 

    This little battery can power an LED television for over seven hours straight, an air pump for eight, and the aforementioned blender for seven hours. It can also handle all of your cell phones, tablets, and computers with safe, pure sine wave power. Drain this sucker then charge it up with any wall outlet in just seven and 1/2 hours. Jackery makes some of the best mini generators in the business and if you don’t want or need the Explorer 1000, this half-sized version provides all the coolness but at half the cost.

  7. 7. Rockpals 350 Watt Portable Generator

    Pros:
    • Charges faster with a solar panel
    • The folding handle is well-thought out
    • Loads of USB and DC outlets
    Cons:
    • Just one 110V outlet available
    • Display screen is too simplistic
    • Manual claims that AC power is only for emergencies

    The Rockpals 350 Watt Portable Generator is one of the only mini generators on our list that the vendor claims recharges faster by solar panel than traditional wall outlet. If that’s true, that makes this little battery a must-have for camping and travel. The unit weighs just short of eight pounds and features a convenient fold-down handle for transport.

    The 350 Watt capacity of this portable power supply is a nice size for between items like the Jackery Explorer 500 and other 150 Watt units. Laptops and smartphones are a cinch to use with this mini generator but so are larger items like a mini car refrigerator of the 60W variety or a 32-inch television for tailgating. There are loads of USB ports and DC connectors here but, alas, just one 110V outlet available.

  8. 8. Rockpals 250 Watt Portable Generator

    Pros:
    • I really like the old-style handle
    • Two 110V outlets on this small of a generator is hard to find
    • Small form factor ideal for home emergency use or backpacking
    Cons:
    • Why does this model have two 110V outlets and the larger 350-Watt model doesn't?
    • Battery gauge LEDs are dim
    • No USB-C port

    This 250-Watt rechargeable battery from Rockpals is a very compact and lightweight portable power supply that’s perfect to throw in the car, the truck, or the RV. It’s less than nine inches long with a handle on top that reminds me of an old 1940s-style lunchbox. The mini generator only weighs six pounds so sliding it into a backpack makes a lot of sense.

    Here’s what I don’t get about it, however: This little unit has one less USB port than its larger 350-Watt cousin but one more 110V outlet. Huh? 100 fewer Watts and two 110V outlets? What this means is that for emergency home use, this battery works great for limited power draws, probably more so than the 350-Watt model.

  9. 9. Pinty 500 Watt Portable Uninterrupted Power Supply

    Pros:
    • Easy to read control panel
    • 500 Watts in a tiny package
    • Great battery life gauge
    Cons:
    • Battery gauge may need to be tested for accuracy
    • May not be as rugged as some of the other generators on our list
    • Manual isn't very clear

    Basic and blocky-looking with a weird name, the Pinty 500 Watt Uninterrupted Power Supply is nonetheless a solid choice for your portable power needs. It features several 12V DC outlets, four USB ports, and two 110V AC outlets on the other side. This is one of the few mini generators on our list that features honest-to-goodness analog rocker switches for powering the lamp, DC outlets, and device on and off. That’s refreshing.

    The control panel is easy to read with a digital battery capacity readout in numbers instead of a bar graph; that’s also refreshing. The layout of the flashlight with the size of the device and the handle makes this a more useful camp light than a lot of the other batteries I’ve seen as well. Three recharging methods to juice this baby back up make the Pinty (that name) a great power solution.

  10. 10. Aimtom 500 Watt Portable Power Supply

    Pros:
    • Plenty of outlets available
    • Nicely laidout control panel
    • Simple, compact, portable
    Cons:
    • Just one of the household outlets has a ground receptacle
    • Handle might be a little thin for carrying a long time
    • Underpowered for larger appliances or power tools

    I had never heard of Aimtom products until I found this on Amazon. This 500-Watt portable power supply looks pretty basic but it has close to 1,500 ratings on Amazon with a 4.5-star average. Not bad. 

    The overall design reminds me of a car battery however the control panel is nicely laid out with all of the outlets and gauges on the same side. The handle folds down for convenient transport. The battery gauge features a digital readout of both a bar graph and a percentage. A time-left-remaining readout is there as well. 

    This mini generator features multiple USB ports (including a USB-C), 12V DC ports, and two 110V outlets. Be warned, however: only one of the 110V outlets features a ground receptacle. 

  11. 11. Tacklife P16 150 Watt Portable Battery

    Pros:
    • Compact and lightweight
    • Great for portable gadget charges
    • Well-designed folding handle
    Cons:
    • Not powerful enough for a portable outdoor movie setup
    • You may want to power-cycle once to test use before an emergency
    • Displays estimated power remaining, not real-time use life

    Tacklife is this crazy company that produces gear in a large number of do-it-yourself and power tool categories. You would be excused for thinking that an off-brand like this makes a lot of junk, but you’d be wrong. Products like this P16 150 Watt Portable Battery are solid performers and won’t force you to go into hock to pick one up.

    This mini generator is barely the size of a Thermos and still provides some fun power for gadgets and devices when you’re on the road.  It will recharge a standard tablet five times, a smartphone ten times, and so on. Great for lighting up the tent while camping, the P16 can be recharged in a standard wall socket in about eight hours or in the car on a cigarette socket in the same amount of time.

What are Mini Generators Good For?

Mini generators are basically large rechargeable batteries. They're about the size of a large backpack and can be charged using any wall outlet that's available. They're excellent for keeping personal electronics charged as well as other small electric gadgets like cameras, projectors, drones, camping lights, and more.

Even though mini generators aren't as powerful as gas-powered small or portable generators, they have some really obvious advantages. For one, they can be safely used inside without worrying about toxic chemicals or fumes. 

For another, the thick plastic casings make them ideal for camping trips, backyard outings, or tailgating. They're rugged and durable while offering a number of ports and plug-ins to power up a variety of items.

Mini generators require no maintenance meaning you won't have to change oil, keep gasoline around, or winterize anything. They're also silent so they can be used at a camping site without bothering your neighbors.

Are Mini Generators Worth It?

For what they're intended, most definitely. They typically offer up a more varied selection of ports to support a larger inventory of devices hungry for power. Their simplistic nature is very attractive to folks who need power but don't want to put up with the maintenance and hassle that combustion engines require.

Now keep in mind that these little batteries provide some portable power supply but they typically top out at around 1,000 Watts overall. That isn't enough juice for a refrigerator and certainly not a washing machine. If you're looking for a generator for emergency use, you'd best stick to a portable generator or at the very least a small generator.

The price per Watt provided is going to be higher with a mini generator but any time you miniaturize anything, it's going to be more expensive because of the convenience. But they're ultra-small, compact, and easy to use. For any sort of trip requiring lighting and device charging, a mini generator is a great choice.

One thing to keep in mind is that mini generators, portable power supply units, and small power stations are little but they can weigh up to 50 pounds. Traveling with one by car, truck, or RV isn't going to be an issue. Airlines, however, won't allow large batteries to be carried on or checked on any flight due to FAA restrictions.

How Long Will a Mini Generator Last?

With regard to power output and depending on the draw needed, a mini generator may last up all day long. The best of the bunch can run personal medical equipment or an LED television for many hours. Recharging one of these units will take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.

If we're talking about the lifespan of a mini generator, that also depends on a number of factors. Like much smaller portable power banks, how long they'll continue to serve will be dictated by how often they're drained and recharged. 

Using a mini generator each and every day and recharging it at night will result in a shorter usefulness timeline. Batteries of any kind degrade at an incremental, yet steady, rate. They degrade quicker depending on usage. Still, you should count on your mini generator to last for years.

Years, that is, if you treat your machine well. Store your mini generator in a cool, dry place and you'll enjoy it for a very long time. But keep it in your hot, humid, damp garage and you'll need to replace it in a few months, not years. This is the case for any sort of electronics gear you own.

The quality of your mini generator is also a big factor in life expectancy. There are many foreign-made products on the market that are just fine and should do very well. Others, well, not so much. You'll have to be the final decision maker, obviously, but the items on our list should, with proper care, last for several years.

See Also:

Best Small Generators

Best Portable Generators

Best Work Boots for Men

Best Outdoor Heaters for Your Patio

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