The last thing you need at your tailgate is an obnoxiously loud generator to drown out the fun. Using a quiet generator for tailgating not only keeps your tailgate happy, it also keeps the surrounding tailgates happy. The WEN generator from our list below will operate at a quarter load with a quiet level of only 53 decibels, which is about the noise level of a running refrigerator.
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These are our choices for the best quiet generators for tailgating:
- WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Quiet Generator (click here to view)
- Yamaha EF2000iSv2 2000 Watts Portable Inverter (click here to view)
- Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator (click here to view)
- Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready Inverter Generator with Quiet Technology (click here to view)
- Ryobi Bluetooth 2,300-Watt Super Quiet Digital Inverter Generator (click here to view)
As you probably know, to drive the decibel level down to its lowest point, you often will only be able to run with a quarter load. If you plan to run the generator at a lower load to reduce noise, just be sure to confirm that the generator will give you the power you need for the tailgate.
Also, since you will be transporting this generator to the stadium, it is at least worth considering the overall size of the unit. Some generators can weigh hundreds of pounds. We included multiple options on this list that have a dry weight under 50 pounds, including the WEN generator that we recommend at the top.
Most of the decibel levels for quiet tailgate generators will range from 50-65 dB at quarter load. Again, 50 dB is approximately the noise output of a running refrigerator. You will need to decide how low you want to go on decibel levels.
In this article let’s take a closer look at the best quiet generators for tailgating so you can find an option that fits your needs. Let’s start by discussing a few things to consider when choosing the right generator.
Best Quiet Generators for Tailgating: What You Need to Know Upfront
Obviously if you spent time with generators you are familiar, at least in some capacity, with load and how it impacts the efficiency and run-time of your generator. The lower the electrical load, the longer the run time.
Here’s what you need to know regarding the market’s best quiet generators and how their load capacity matters: to drive the decibel level down to its lowest point, you often will only be able to run with a quarter load.
Of course using a higher load is possible, but just be aware that it will cause more noise. This is fairly obvious (the harder you use it the more noise it makes), but I wanted to make sure that you understand that the decibel ratings on many of the best quiet tailgate generators out there on the market are rated for quarter load – so if you prefer to run your generator at a higher load percentage, be aware that it will be noisier.
Overall, though, even if you do run at a higher percentage, it should be much quieter in comparison to normal, open-frame generators. But, the point is, if you want to run it at its quietest levels, make sure the rated-watts level for the generator is enough to support your needs even at a quarter-load.
The good news is that these generators below have a large enough overall capacity that they should be more than capable of covering all your basic tailgating needs even running at quarter load (with the giant disclaimer of the fact that I do not know exactly what you are hoping to power, so adjust accordingly if needed).
If you run these generators at quarter load, you can expect the decibel output level to be somewhere in the 50-65ish range depending on which unit you select. The lower end of that decibel range is similar to the noise a running refrigerator makes, so noise will not be an issue.
Now that we have covered some of the basics for quiet tailgate generators, let’s go ahead and dive into the 5 best quiet generators for tailgating this year.
5 Best Quiet Generators for Tailgating
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Quiet Generator
Quiet versatility, that’s what you are getting with this unit. This unit will operate at a quarter load at a quiet level of only 53 decibels, which (as we mentioned above) is about the noise level of a running refrigerator. This generator is actually marketed as being “Quieter than the average conversation.”
Here’s what this WEN quiet tailgate generator looks like:
This is the current price of this WEN generator available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this unit:
It is a gasoline-powered generator (no oil mixing necessary) with a pull-cord start. It does have an easy carry handle so it shouldn’t be too much of a pain to move.
As far as functionality, here are some of the features for this WEN quiet tailgate generator:
- Our Choice: Best Quiet Tailgate Generator
- 2000 Surge watts
- 1600 Rated watts
- 1-gallon tank
- 9.4 hours run time at quarter load
- EPA III and CARB Compliant
- 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine
- (2) three-prong 120V receptacles
- (1) DC 12V receptacle
- (1) USB 5V port (to charge devices)
- Overload Protection
- Low-Fuel Automatic Shutdown
- Eco-Mode Option
- 1.2% full-load harmonic distortion
- Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 18 inches
- 48 lbs dry weight
This quiet generator for tailgating is designed to limit power distortion making it safe enough to power laptops, cell phones and tablets. It also features a parallel connection for adding a second machine when more than 2000 watts of power is needed.
Probably the most important part (as far as tailgating) is the 2 three-prong 120V receptacles it gives you to plug in perhaps a TV and an oscillating fan. Most standard portable generators come with 1 or 2 three-prong 120V receptacles.
Just be sure that any adapter you buy is compatible with your generator. But again, if you have a simple tailgate and are looking to power a TV and maybe one other item, the WEN 56200i that we recommend will likely be more than sufficient (affiliate link takes you to Amazon).
Most likely the 2 three-prong 120V recepticles that come built-in with this WEN 56200i will be enough to handle your basic tailgating needs. So don’t overspend unless you are sure that you will need it.
It is difficult to know your exact situation, but here is my opinion: if you are simply looking to power a tailgate with this generator, or maybe also a small (non RV) camp site here or there, then this unit is perfect. The functionality and output fits perfectly with what you will need.
But if you are looking to get a generator that you can use at the tailgate but also use on your RV, house, hunting cabin, workshop etc, then you will definitely want to size up.
And if you are looking to size up, that is when I recommend something that is premium. If you are looking to put a lot of “miles” and strain on your generator, I would suggest looking into the top-notch, premium brands like Honda. This next generator is one that might work for you.
Click here to buy this WEN generator available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). This unit will operate at a quarter load at a quiet level of only 53 decibels, which (as we mentioned above) is about the noise level of a running refrigerator.
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 2000 Watts Portable Inverter
Think light and quiet – This Yamaha generator is the quietest on our list, coming in at 51.5 dB output at quarter-load. This is also the lightest option on our list – it has a dry weight of 44.1 pounds.
Here’s what this WEN quiet tailgate generator looks like:
This is the current price of this Yamaha generator available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). As you can see above, this unit has an overall compact design.
You will have to decide whether you want to expand your budget to own the well-known Yamaha brand. Again, as stated at the top of the article, the WEN 56200i is our recommendation due to its combination of price and functionality.
Here are some of the notable features of this Yamaha quiet generator for tailgating:
- 2000w max
- 1600w rated
- Super-quiet muffler
- 51.5 dBA at 1/4 load
- 44.1 pounds dry weight
- 1.1 gallon tank
- 79cc OHV, air-cooled, single cylinder, 4-stroke engine
- 10.5 hours run time at quarter load
- Pull Start
- Smart Throttle fuel efficiency
- Parallel Ready
- Oil Watch Warning system
- (2) 120V AC household outlets
- (1) DC Outlet
- (1) 8A 12V outlet for charging batteries
- 19.3 x 11.0 x 17.9 inches dimensions
- Clean Power
Click here to buy this Yamaha quiet tailgate generator available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Again, this Yamaha generator is the quietest on our list, coming in at 51.5 dB output at quarter-load.
Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready Inverter Generator with Quiet Technology
With this Champion 4000w RV generator, this is your budget-friendly option if you are looking for power and versatility. This is a larger capacity generator capable of powering your house, RV, tailgate, hunting cabin, workshop etc.
Here’s what this Champion quiet tailgate generator looks like:
This is the current price of this Champion generator available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Although this generator is made with quiet technology, it will be a bit noisier than the fully-enclosed options on this list.
The quarter-load output of this generator is 64 dB (measured at 23-foot distance). For reference, conversational speech is about 60 dB and a running shower is about 70 dB – so you are falling somewhere in the middle there.
The decision on this generator likely comes down to whether you are willing to trade-off a bit of noise for more versatility, more output, and lower cost in comparison to some of the quieter generators on the market.
Overall, the decibel level at quarter-load should be tolerable, but please understand that this open frame means if you need to run higher-loads, it will be noisy. Here are some of the notable features for this quiet tailgate generator:
- 4000w max
- 3500w running
- (2) 120V 20A household outlets
- (1) RV Plug 120V 30A
- (1) 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
- 2.9-gallon fuel tank
- Pull Start
- No Wheels
- 81.6 lbs dry weight
- 20.5 x 17.9 x 17.7 inches dimensions
- Low oil shut-off sensor
- 17 hour run-time at 25% load
- 224cc Engine
- Economy Mode
- CARB compliant
- Open Frame
Click here to buy this Champion quiet generator for tailgating available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Again, this is a larger capacity generator capable of powering more than just a tailgate.
Honda EU7000iS 7000W Super Quiet Generator with iMonitor LCD
Think easy (push button start), quiet (52db), and powerful (7000w max) – plus the Honda trusted brand. This is the premium generator that will power your house, RV, hunting cabin, and also (of course) your tailgate.
But beware: If you are looking for a simple, low-power generator for tailgating (and only tailgating), this is a massive overkill. Yes, it is very quiet and will take care of all your tailgating needs, but just understand that this is a premium option, and can do much more than tailgating (and there is a bit of sticker shock).
This generator is best if you are looking for that one generator that you can use on your house, RV, cabin, tailgating, workshop etc. Even though this generator is premium option, this actually may be a way to save from having to buy multiple generators. Because this generator is so quiet and versatile, it really covers almost all the scenarios you could possibly throw at it.
Plus, the Honda brand will give you comfort knowing that this generator should have a quality shelf-life. Honda, as you probably know, is regarded by many to be the best brand for generators.
But even though it is a powerful unit, it is super quiet: 52 decibels when run at quarter-load. So again, about the equivalent of a running refrigerator. And it is only 58 decibels at rated load. So very quiet in pretty much all circumstances.
This comes in handy not only at your tailgate, but also if you plan to use it at an RV camping site or if you plan to use it at your house (the low-decibel level should keep the neighbors from complaining).
One thing you MUST consider with this generator though is weight – it has a dry weight of 261 pounds. You will need multiple people to load and unload this unit out of a truck. It does have wheels so moving it around should not be a total pain – but you will need to make sure that loading and unloading will not be a problem.
It has an 18-hour run time at quarter-load, and comes with a convenient push button electric start. Here are some of the notable features of this quiet generator for tailgating:
- 7000w max
- 5500w rated
- Clean Power
- 5.1 gallon tank
- 33.4″ x 27.6″ x 28.4″ dimensions
- 261 lbs. dry weight
- Push Button Electric Start
- 389cc displacement
- Fuel injected
- 52 dB(A) @ 1/4 load
- Wheel Kit Standard
- Folding Handles for Moving
- Low-Oil Shutoff
- Electronic circuit breakers
And if you are going to spend up on a quiet generator for tailgating, the Honda brand hopefully brings you some comfort. Making the decision on whether or not you really need this much power is what will be key. Absolutely no reason to overkill a purchase just to power a simple tailgate, so make sure you will use this generator for other things too.
Ryobi Bluetooth 2,300-Watt Super Quiet Digital Inverter Generator
Power meets technology: If you want to be able to monitor your generator with an app on your phone, this is the one for you. The Ryobi bluetooth generator is compatible with Apple and Android smart phones to use the GEN-Control app for remote starts and stops.
As far as noise, this unit runs a slight bit louder than the previous two options, but still outputs only 57 dB at quarter-load (67.9 dB full load). To put into perspective, a running washing machine is approximately 70 dB and a running refrigerator is approximately 50 dB, so you will be somewhere in the middle there.
Here are some notable features with this Ryobi quiet tailgate generator:
- 2300w max
- 1800w rated
- App Compatible
- 10.3 hour run time at quarter-load
- 1.2 gallon tank
- Rear Wheels for Easy Moving
- 53 lbs dry weight
- LCD Screen Display
- (2) 120V AC 20 Amp
- (2) 5V DC 2.1 Amp USB
- Idle-Down Technology
What to Consider Before Buying a Quiet Generator for Tailgating
Before you purchase your quiet generator for tailgating, here are things that you will want to at least consider to decide how it will affect your situation:
- Output – How much power will you need. Again, be mindful that to get the low decibel levels that generators offer, you will need to run at quarter load, so make sure the generator will give you enough power at quarter load.
- Size and Weight – Since you will be transporting this generator to the game, it is at least worth considering overall size. Some generators can weigh hundreds of pounds. Some on this list have a dry weight under 50 pounds, including the WEN generator that we recommend at the top.
- Sound – Of course, that’s why you are here. Most of the decibel levels for quiet generators for tailgating will range from 50-65 dB at quarter load. Again, 50 dB is approximately the noise output of a running refrigerator. You will need to decide how low you want to go on decibel levels.
- Run Time – How long will you need this generator to run? Tank size and power output (among other things) will affect your overall run time.
- Price – A bit obvious here, but generators have a WIDE range of price points depending on brand, power, and functionality. If you are just looking for a quiet generator for tailgating (and won’t be needing it for your house etc), then you will probably want a unit that is reasonably priced.
- Functionality – Will you be using this quiet tailgate generator just for tailgating, or for other things like powering your house on occasion, or an RV or workshop? This might be an opportunity to knock out all your needs with one purchase.
If you are hosting a tailgate party, here are some of our other resources to help you get the party going in the right direction:
- Best Tailgate Chairs
- Best Portable Chairs with Side Table
- Best Tailgate Tables
- Best Tailgate Canopy Tents
- WIFI Setup at Tailgate Party
- Tailgate TV Setup
- Best Wood & Propane Fire Pits for Tailgating
- Best Heater for Tailgate
- Best Cooler for Tailgates
- Best Satellite for Tailgate
- Best Tailgate Cornhole Game Boards