A Homeowner’s Guide To Choosing The Right Suitcase Generator

A man using a suitcase generator in the grass.

Generators work to give you an alternative source of electricity to your usual grid system. They do this by converting stored mechanical energy to electricity. 

Different generators work differently, and one of them is the suitcase generator. This type will provide electricity without connecting it to a source of power or cabling. It features portability, making it suitable for your camping and vacation needs. 

To select the right generator that meets your needs, there are some things you need to do:

1. Look At The Noise Levels

Your generator’s noise levels refer to the amount of sound it produces as it runs. Its intensity of the noise is denoted in decibels (dbs.)

The noise produced is dependent on the running of your engine, which relies on the oil it runs on. Some engine oils produce a lot of noise, such as diesel, while others are quieter.

Manufacturers will indicate the dB of the generator on its label. The lower the dB, the less noise the generator produces, making it conducive. A decibel of approximately 50 to 60 is recommended. Visit generator-pro.co.uk or other reliable sites to find out more about the silence levels of suitcase generators.

2. Check The Watt Rating

The wattage of your generator refers to the amount of electricity it consumes to operate. It’s denoted as W. 

There are two aspects of determining the wattage you should get: the surge and running power. The surge power is the amount of energy your generator will consume as it starts up. On the other hand, running power is what it’ll consume while it runs, as the name suggests. 

The suitcase generator’s wattage you pick depends on the appliances you need to power. This means that you need to list these appliances and calculate both their surge and running power. The running power will be indicated on the item’s label. 

If the surge power isn’t indicated, multiply the running power by 3 to get its surge power. This will give you an average of the total wattage. 

Add these up, and the final figure will determine the wattage of your suitcase generator. So, if the total wattage of your appliance is 1800W, you should get a generator of 1800W, but preferably higher—maybe 2200W for more efficiency.

3. Identify Your Needs

Your needs are a determinant of the suitcase generator you’ll opt for since you’ll want one that meets these needs efficiently—no deficit or surplus.

One of the major aspects you need to take into consideration is your use of the generator. Of course, it’s to provide electricity, but what appliances do you need to service? What length of time will it run for? Is it a few hours or as a backup in case of a blackout?

By figuring out your needs, you’ll specifically know the performance characteristics to look for in your suitcase generator.

4. Determine The Costs

There are various aspects surrounding the cost of your preferred suitcase generator. It goes beyond its initial price.

You need to factor in maintenance costs. Ask your vendor what you’re required to do to ensure your generator runs efficiently. Alternatively, you can find this information in the generator’s manual.

Inquire too if the vendor will cover the repair costs should the generator break down. A warranty should cover this.

Overall, you need to purchase a suitcase generator whose long-term and short-term costs are reasonable and are within your budget. Think about getting one with a warranty of a year or so as well.

A portable suitcase generator sitting on a brick walkway.

5. Go For A Reputable Brand

There are various manufacturers producing suitcase generators in the market. They all utilize different techniques in the production process to arrive at the final product. This means that suitcase generator brands offer different quality. 

It’s advisable to choose a generator from a reputable brand. This could be a brand that’s been around for several years and is well known in the industry.

You can ask your family and friends for referrals or read reviews on the internet. With all this information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

In addition, consider the availability of the generator’s spare parts. You don’t want to acquire a generator whose spare parts you must import with each replacement need. Shipping costs will only double your costs.

6. Find Out The Maximum And Rated Power

The maximum power of a suitcase generator is the amount of power it can produce at a go for a short period, mostly 30 minutes. On the other hand, rated power refers to the amount of power your generator will produce continuously for a long period. 

Knowing your generator’s maximum and rated power will help you determine the type of appliances you can plug in and those you can’t. 

For instance, if you plan on powering a heating appliance for a long time, the generator’s rated power will tell you the maximum wattage it can produce. If the appliance consumes 700W and your generator has a rated power of 600W, the generator can’t power up the appliance. This means you’ll either have to select one with a bigger rated power or plug in a heater with less wattage. The same concept applies to maximum power.

7. Consider The Outlets Provided

A suitcase generator has several outlets that allow you to plug in your devices. These outlets vary in voltage, but most will have 120/ 240V and RV plugs.

Select one with a USB port if you need to use the generator to power your laptop or phone. You’ll want to choose a generator whose outlets power your desired devices efficiently without overloading your generating. Overloading increases the chances of your generator breaking down and reducing its lifespan, which isn’t desirable.

8. Take Portability Into Account

Yes, suitcase generators are meant to be carried from one point to another, but they come in varying weights. The weight is often denoted as lb, which is the amount the generator weighs in pounds. Therefore, you need to choose a suitcase generator whose weight you can easily carry around without injuring yourself.

9. Note The Fuel Tank Size

The capacity of a suitcase generator’s fuel tank determines the amount of fuel it can hold. It goes without saying that a generator with a bigger capacity will hold more fuel. Hence, it’ll serve you for long periods without depleting and vice versa.

The choice of fuel tank size should depend on your use of the generator. If you’re to power several appliances for long periods, you should choose a generator with a large fuel tank.


As stated earlier, your choice of a generator will depend on whether it can meet your needs efficiently. All these tips will help you decide on the right suitcase generator for your home.

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