To look at the Generac GP220I, it resembles a large laundry detergent container rather than a portable generator. But it is this design that is its primary selling point. It’s easy to transport, store and use, making it a good choice to take on short trips, a backup supply for short power outages or just to be prepared for those just-in-case scenarios.
The outlets on this generator are somewhat sparse. You get two common household outlets, one 12V car charger style outlet and a USB outlet. Which are good as far as they go, but you don’t get an interlocking outlet that could help you power more energy intensive items.
At 46.6 pounds it’s lighter than most of the other generators we reviewed. The heaviest in our lineup is the Yamaha EF5500DE at 232 pounds, and the category average is 132 pounds. Additionally, the convenient handle makes it easy to transport and its small form factor is great for storage when not in use. You shouldn’t have any problems finding a place for this model in your trunk, truck, garage or shed.
The tradeoff for that convenience is power; this portable generator only produces about 1,700 running watts and 2,200 surge watts. This is more than enough to power for simple things like small appliances like microwaves or a mini fridge, as well as electronic devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones. But you shouldn’t expect it to be an adequate backup power supply for your home or power an RV. Those things require much more sustained power.
On a full tank, you can expect this model to run for about five hours of continuous use. This is pretty good for its 1.2-gallon fuel tank. But it is a far cry from other models we reviewed – the longest lasting generator we looked at was the Westinghouse WGen2000 which can last 20 hours on a full tank. So, if you’re taking a weekend camping trip with this generator, make sure you bring along plenty of extra fuel.
Generac does not list the operating noise of this generator. However, it’s possible to deduce how much noise it makes. This product’s older brother, the Generac GP5500 makes about 71 decibels while running, and it has a 389cc engine. By contrast the GP220I only has an 80cc engine – one of the weakest we saw. The only other engine to have less engine displacement was the WEN PowerPro which has a 63cc engine and makes 60 decibels of sound while in use. So, it’s fair to say that the Generac GP2200I falls somewhere between 60 and 70 decibels, which would be on the quiet side in this category.
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One more thing to note about this model is that it comes with a parallel kit, which means you can hook two of these generators together for twice the power. This is something no other generator we reviewed has.
This is a good portable generator if you don’t expect too much out of it. It’s great for taking on overnight camping trips or as a short-term backup power supply for smaller items. It has a unique design that makes it very portable and easily stored. It doesn’t produce as much power as most of the other products we saw, but it your needs aren’t that great, this model should be fine.