Champion Portable Generator

Last updated date: October 13, 2020

DWYM Score

8.8

Champion Portable Generator

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We looked at the top Portable Generators and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Portable Generator you should buy.

Update as October 13, 2020:
Checkout The Best Portable Generator for a detailed review of all the top portable generators.

Overall Take

For those who live in cooler climates, the Champion Portable Generator has something called Cold Start technology, which will help it power up when the temperature turns cold. This generator has a fairly low wattage, so it's not ideal for powering large appliances. However, it will keep your electronics and smaller appliances going. At 23 feet away, you'll get sound decibels of only 65 dBA, so it's quieter than some generators.


In our analysis of 39 expert reviews, the Portable Generator placed 7th when we looked at the top 20 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The Champion Power Equipment 42436 1200-Watt Multi-Purpose Portable Generator is designed with your safety and convenience in mind, and is the perfect “what if” generator. At 1500 starting watts and 1200 running watts, this rugged generator with its durable steel frame is easy to transport and provides just what you need for RV use, camping, tailgating, boating, hunting, weekend trips, family vacations and small jobs around the house. The next time there’s an outage, the 80cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine will provide the power you need for a few essential items in an emergency - lights, microwave, fan, TV, modem/router, cell phone charger, etc. (Note: this unit is not recommended for emergency home backup for powering air conditioners, stoves, furnaces or sump pumps.) Champion’s Cold Start Technology ensures a quick start in cold weather, while Voltmeter allows you to easily monitor power output anytime. This unit includes a 120V 20A household outlet (5-20R). Fill up the 1.5-gallon tank of gasoline and enjoy up to 10 hours of power at 50% load. From 23 feet, the noise level is 65 dBA, which is a little bit louder than normal speech. Designed for safety with a convenient push-to-reset circuit breaker and a low oil shut-off sensor, this unit has a 0.4-quart oil capacity (recommended 10W-30) and comes with an oil funnel for easy changes. This generator is EPA certified and CARB compliant. Buy with confidence - Champion Support and our nationwide network of service centers will back your purchase up with a 3-year limited warranty and FREE lifetime technical support.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.0
2 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.7
604 user reviews

What experts liked

Can be connected to another generator for extra power.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
Cold start technology makes it ideal for cold climates.
- Morning Chores

What experts didn't like

Will not provide backup power to major home appliances like stoves, sump pumps, and ACs.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
Not enough power for multiple large appliances
- Morning Chores

An Overview On Portable Generators

It’s never a good time for a power outage. Chances are the weather isn’t ideal, leaving you to either swelter or freeze in your house for hours or, worse, days. You can’t even use a fan or space heater to keep your family comfortable. As you watch the battery on your smartphone slowly die, you continue to monitor your local utility company’s online outage report, to no avail.

A generator can keep you up and running, whether an outage lasts an hour or three weeks. Just fill up a gas can at your local station, bring it home and fill up the generator to get started. Depending on the type of generator you buy, filing up one gas can may be enough to last you multiple days, and refilling is easy.

One decision you’ll need to make before you start shopping is whether you want an inverter or a conventional generator. Although inverter generators are more expensive, they’re generally quieter, more efficient and have a longer runtime than their conventional counterparts. If your home suffers only the occasional power outage, it might not be worth the extra price to have those benefits, but you’ll appreciate them if your power ever goes out for days at a time.

How you’ll connect up your generator is also important. You can set up a small generator in a safe area of your house and individually connect the items you use directly to it. Your generator will need to be at least 10 feet from any openings to your house to keep you safe. At that point, you can run one long extension cord from the generator into your home, and then plug multiple items into that. You can alternately run several extension cords into your home for the different appliances you’ll need to use, depending on the power outlets available on your generator.

The other way to use a generator is to hook it up to the transfer switch for your house. This is the safest method since the cord method requires ensuring you have the correct gauge and length of wire. You’ll need a power transfer system, which will have everything necessary to connect a portable generator to a home. The benefit of these systems is that you won’t have to connect individual appliances. You can run the items you need as you normally would, although you’ll still want to conserve energy to avoid multiple trips to the gas station during your outage.

The Portable Generator Buying Guide

  • If your power goes out, chances are you’ll be using your generator for only those things you absolutely need. Still, it’s important to check the capacity.
  • For those who live in colder climates where conditions like ice storms tend to cause extended power outages, a unit with cold start technology helps to ensure you can still run it when the temperature drops.
  • One common issue with generators is a fluctuation in power that can make it difficult to run appliances and electronics. A generator with automatic voltage regulation keeps those fluctuations at bay.
  • When it comes to capacity, wattage is everything. Look for generators with a higher wattage if you’re concerned about keeping your refrigerator going while also intermittently using devices like your stove, toaster and smartphone.
  • If you plan to connect your generator directly to appliances rather than hooking it up to your home’s transfer switch, pay close attention to the electrical outlets included.
  • If you’ve ever heard a generator, you know they can be distractingly noisy. Generators are getting better about this, though. Check the dBA of generators you are considering. The lower the dBA, the quieter the generator will be.
  • In the event of an outage that lasts days, fuel capacity will be more important than any other factor.
  • Before you buy, consider whether portability is an issue. If you plan to leave it in one place most of the time, you probably won’t prioritize that feature.