HomeGeneratorsBest High Altitude Generator: Expert Review for 2023

Best High Altitude Generator: Expert Review for 2023

High altitude environments present unique challenges for generating power as the thin air can affect the performance of many types of generators. To maintain reliable power when operating at elevations above 3,000 feet, it’s essential to invest in a generator specifically designed for high altitudes. These generators offer improved cooling systems and engine modifications to ensure optimal performance in these demanding conditions.

Generating power at high altitudes primarily comes down to the type of generator being used and its ability to compensate for the decreased oxygen and air pressure.

Whether it’s for recreational purposes, work projects, or emergency backup power, having a generator that can handle the demands of a high elevation is crucial for consistent, reliable energy.

When considering a high-altitude generator, pay close attention to factors such as fuel type, overall power output, and altitude adjustment capability.

It’s essential to find a model that can automatically compensate for altitude changes or allow for manual adjustments to ensure optimal performance. Additionally, portability and the durability of the materials are crucial when transporting and using the generator in extreme conditions.

After evaluating numerous high-altitude generators, we’ve identified the top models that deliver consistent performance, adaptability, and ease of use in these demanding environments.

By examining these generators thoroughly, we aim to help you select the best option for your specific needs.

Best High Altitude Generators

We have compiled a list of the best high-altitude generators for you, ensuring optimal performance even in challenging conditions.

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Generator

WEN 56380i

If you want a quiet and efficient generator for outdoor activities or backup power, the WEN 56380i is an excellent choice.


  • Super quiet operation
  • Fuel shut-off feature
  • Clean energy output, safe for sensitive electronics


  • Relatively heavy at 99.2 lbs
  • Limited runtime at full load
  • May require occasional maintenance

Having used the WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Generator, we can confidently say it is a fantastic generator for various outdoor activities and backup power needs. One of the most significant advantages is its remarkably quiet operation, making it perfect for camping, hunting, and tailgating. At 57 decibels, it is as quiet as a window air conditioner, so it doesn’t disrupt conversations or activities.

The fuel shut-off feature is another pro that we’ve found immensely useful. This generator uses up all the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down, prolonging its lifespan and minimizing maintenance.

Additionally, the WEN 56380i generates clean energy, which means it’s safe to use with sensitive electronics such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. This functionality is essential, as it ensures your devices won’t get damaged by power fluctuations.

However, some downsides came to light during our usage. At 99.2 lbs, the generator is relatively heavy, which may be inconvenient if you need to transport it frequently.

Although the built-in wheels and folding handle mitigate this problem to some extent, the weight is still worth considering.

The runtime at full load could also be an issue, as the 2.2-gallon tank provides about 8.5 hours of runtime at half load. But, if you’re using it for intermittent or short-term power needs, the runtime should be sufficient.

Lastly, the generator may require occasional maintenance due to the fuel shut-off feature. While this feature prolongs its lifespan, it can also cause build-ups and blockages in the carburetor over time.

In conclusion, the WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Generator is a reliable and efficient option that we have genuinely enjoyed using. Though it does come with a few minor drawbacks, its advantages far outweigh the cons, making it well worth considering for anyone in need of a powerful yet quiet generator.

Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator

Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator

The Westinghouse iGen4500 is a reliable and versatile high-altitude generator that delivers great performance with the convenience of a remote start and RV-ready outlet.


  • Fuel efficient with up to 18 hours runtime on the 3.4-gallon tank
  • RV-ready with multiple output options: Duplex household outlets, 30A outlets, and USB outlets
  • Super quiet and portable design with telescoping handle and wheels for easy maneuverability


  • Heavy at 93 pounds, which could be a challenge for some users
  • The remote start may sometimes require line of sight for effective use
  • Initial setup requires careful attention to oil level to avoid overfilling

We recently put the Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator to the test during a camping trip at a high altitude, and we were impressed by its performance and user-friendly features. The fuel efficiency and 18-hour runtime were perfect for our extended stay, allowing us to keep the generator running without repeated trips to the gas station.

One of the standout features of this generator is its quiet operation, as low as 52 dBA noise output, which did not bother us even while camping in the serene outdoors.

Moreover, the LED data center with a rotating digital display was incredibly helpful in keeping us informed about fuel level, power output, remaining run time, voltage output, and lifetime hours.

However, we must note that the generator is heavy, weighing in at 93 pounds. Some users may find this challenging to handle, but the integrated telescoping handle and wheels make it relatively easy to maneuver once set up.

The remote start function is useful, but we found that it sometimes required line of sight for consistently effective operation. Additionally, the initial setup of the generator requires close attention to the oil level to prevent overfilling, as indicated in the instructions.

Overall, we found the Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator to be a reliable and convenient choice for high-altitude outdoor adventures or as an emergency backup power source.

Its fuel efficiency, quiet operation, and RV-ready design make it a strong contender for anyone in need of portable power.

Pulsar PGD40ISCO Ultra Light Quiet 4000W Portable Gas Inverter Generator

Pulsar PGD40ISCO Ultra Light Quiet 4000W Portable Gas Inverter Generator

We recommend the Pulsar PGD40ISCO for its lightweight design, power output, and fuel efficiency, despite some caveats on noise and starting difficulty.


  • Extreme lightweight at 51 lbs
  • 3200W Rated / 4000W Peak Power
  • Fuel efficient with a 4.5-hour runtime at half load


  • Can be harder to start at times
  • Noise level higher than advertised
  • Limited gas tank capacity

We had a chance to test the Pulsar PGD40ISCO, a 4000W portable gas inverter generator, and were impressed by its outstanding lightweight design. Weighing in at just 51 lbs, it’s easy to transport. Moreover, it is quite powerful, with a peak output of 4000 watts, which means it’s capable of handling most residential and camping needs.

The fuel efficiency of this generator is commendable. With a 12oz gas tank, it runs for 4.5 hours at half load, making it suitable for extended periods of use. However, we would appreciate a larger gas tank or an option for an extended run cap to minimize refueling frequency.

Though the generator is marketed as “super quiet,” we noticed the noise level was slightly higher than anticipated. Therefore, it might not be the best choice for noise-sensitive environments. Additionally, starting the generator can sometimes be a bit challenging and may require a few pulls on the cord to get it running.

Overall, the Pulsar PGD40ISCO Ultra Light Quiet 4000W Portable Gas Inverter Generator is a solid choice for those seeking a lightweight, powerful, and fuel-efficient generator.

Some minor setbacks like the noise level and starting difficulty should be taken into consideration before purchasing.

GENMAX GM3200i Portable Inverter Generator


We highly recommend the GENMAX GM3200i for its performance, lightweight design, and quiet operation, making it a versatile generator for various situations.


  • Powerful 5.2 HP gas engine delivering 3200W surge and 2800W running power
  • Ultra-quiet performance and fuel-efficient “economy mode”
  • Lightweight and portable, ideal for emergency home backup, job site use, and RV camping


  • Limited runtime of 8 hours per gallon of fuel
  • A parallel kit for double power is sold separately
  • May not support all high-draw appliances simultaneously

We recently had the opportunity to use the GENMAX GM3200i, a portable inverter generator that impressed us with its 5.2 HP gas engine, providing a reliable source of power for home backup, job site use, and RV camping.

With a surge output of 3200 watts and a running output of 2800 watts, this generator can handle a wide range of appliances and devices.

One of the major appeals of the GM3200i is its ultra-quiet operation. The fully enclosed design significantly reduces noise levels to maintain a comfortable environment even when the generator is running at full load. Moreover, the inverter technology ensures clean and stable power for sensitive electronics, tools, and appliances. We especially appreciated the “economy mode,” which maximizes fuel efficiency, although the 8-hour runtime for a gallon of fuel could be improved.

As one of the lightest 3000-watt inverter generators on the market, the GM3200i has a superior power-to-weight ratio, weighing only 47.3 pounds. We found its compact design and built-in handle convenient for easy transportation, making it an ideal choice for versatile uses.

Lastly, the strong panel with parallel functionality allows for LED indicators to monitor oil levels, overload, and readiness. The generator also includes USB ports for charging mobile devices, covered 120v 20A duplex, and 120v 30A outlets for added protection. However, note that the parallel kit for connecting two GM3200i generators to double power is sold separately, and it may not support all high-draw appliances at the same time.

In conclusion, the GENMAX GM3200i is a solid choice for those seeking a powerful, quiet, and portable inverter generator that will cover most of your power needs in various situations.

Champion Power Equipment 4500-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator

Champion Power Equipment 200988

The Champion Power Equipment 4500-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator is a versatile and reliable choice for users seeking power for home, RV, or project needs.


  • Dual fuel options, gasoline or propane
  • Electric start with battery included
  • Quiet operation at 61 dBA


  • May require adjustments for optimal performance at high altitudes
  • Slightly heavy at 97 pounds
  • Limited propane run time compared to gasoline

We found the Champion Power Equipment 4500-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator to be perfect for various applications, whether at home or on the go. The dual fuel capabilities allow users to switch between gasoline and propane based on preference or availability.

Gasoline delivers 4500 starting watts and 3500 running watts with up to 14 hours of runtime at 25% load, while propane offers slightly lower running watts and a 21-hour runtime at 25% load with a 20-pound propane tank.

With an electric start and battery included, this generator is ready to use out of the box along with a Quick Touch Panel for easy access to controls. Operating at 61 dBA from 23 feet, the noise level is comparable to normal conversation, making it suitable for both RV and residential use.

One thing to note is that users living in high-altitude areas may need to make some adjustments to optimize performance. Despite its 97-pound weight, the generator is still easily transportable, thanks to built-in handles and never-flat tires. Also, keep in mind that when using propane, the runtime is limited compared to gasoline, which may be a drawback for some users.

Overall, the Champion Power Equipment 4500-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator offers an excellent balance of versatility and convenience for those in need of portable power solutions. With both gasoline and propane options, users have the flexibility to choose the fuel type that best suits their needs, while the unit’s quiet operation ensures it won’t disturb neighbors or other campers.

MaXpeedingrods 3500W Portable Inverter Generator

MaXpeedingrods 3500W Portable Inverter Generator

This generator is a reliable and versatile choice for all kinds of outdoor power needs.


  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Extended run time with Eco mode
  • Clean power output for sensitive electronics


  • Small fuel tank capacity
  • May require some adjustments for optimal performance
  • Lack of companion generator for parallel capabilities

We recently tested the MaXpeedingrods 3500W Portable Inverter Generator during a camping trip, and we’re impressed by its lightweight and compact design. At only 47 lbs. it was relatively easy to transport and set up, which is essential for outdoor enthusiasts.

The generator offers an extended run time with its Eco mode, allowing us to use it for up to 8.3 hours at 25% load (750W) and 4.5 hours at 50% load (1500W). This came in handy when powering our small electronics and appliances during our trip.

One of the standout features of this generator is its clean power output due to the inverter technology. We were able to charge our phones, laptops, and cameras without worrying about damaging the electronics due to an unstable power supply.

The generator operates quietly at 58 decibels in Eco mode, which is as loud as a normal conversation. This allowed us to enjoy our trip without any disturbances from the generator’s noise.

However, there were a few downsides to the MaXpeedingrods generator. The small fuel tank capacity might require more frequent refueling, and some users have reported having to make adjustments for optimal performance. Additionally, the lack of a companion generator for parallel capabilities might be a concern for those who require more power capacity.

Overall, the MaXpeedingrods 3500W Portable Inverter Generator is a reliable and versatile choice for outdoor power supply needs. Its compact design, extended run time, and clean power output make it a worthy investment, despite a few drawbacks.

Genkins 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Genkins 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

We highly recommend the Genkins 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator for its clean power output, portability, and ultra-quiet operation, making it perfect for RVers and campers.


  • 4500 Peak Watt / 3800 Running Watt with clean power
  • Lightweight at 92 lbs with included wheel kit and handle
  • Ultra-quiet operation at 56-63 dBA


  • Manual pull cord starting method
  • Requires oil purchase separately
  • Battery not included

During our recent camping trip, we were genuinely impressed by the Genkins 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator. Setting up the generator was quite simple and it was lightweight enough for easy transport. We especially appreciated the included wheel kit and handle, making it genuinely portable.

The noise level of the generator was minimal, even when it was running close to our campsite. With 56-63 dBA of noise at 15 feet away, we could comfortably hold conversations and sleep without disturbance.

Offering 4500 peak watts and 3800 running watts of clean power, it was more than adequate to power our RV and essential appliances.

The only drawbacks we encountered were the manual pull cord starting method and the need to purchase oil separately.

However, these minor inconveniences did not affect the overall performance of the generator. It’s also essential to note that the generator does not include a battery, so you will need to buy one if you prefer to use a battery for the start-up instead.

Overall, the Genkins 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator is an excellent investment for those who need a reliable, quiet, and portable power source during camping trips or other outdoor adventures. With its advanced features and 2-year limited warranty, we believe it is a top choice for any RV or camping enthusiast.

WEN 56235i Super Quiet 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56235i Generator

The WEN 56235i is an excellent choice for those in need of a portable, quiet, and efficient high-altitude generator.


  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Extremely quiet operation
  • Clean power output for sensitive electronics


  • Limited power capacity
  • Fuel shutoff can be confusing initially
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty appliances

Having used the WEN 56235i generator during a recent camping trip, we were impressed by how lightweight and easy to transport it was, weighing in at only 39 pounds. The setup process was straightforward and detailed in the instructions provided.

The generator’s operation was incredibly quiet, which we found to be comparable to a normal conversation. This allowed us to enjoy the natural surroundings without any disturbance.

One of the best features of this generator is its ability to produce clean power suitable for sensitive electronics like laptops, cell phones, and tablets. This is crucial if you plan to use it at high altitudes where power fluctuations are more likely to occur.

However, some limitations came with its lightweight design. The generator’s 2350 maximum wattage wasn’t sufficient for running heavy-duty appliances or multiple devices simultaneously. Additionally, we found the fuel shutoff feature to be a bit confusing at first.

It’s designed to turn off the flow of fuel and use the remaining fuel in the carburetor before automatically shutting down, which helps prolong the generator’s lifespan. While beneficial in the long run, it requires some getting used to.

Overall, the WEN 56235i is an excellent option for those seeking a portable, quiet, and efficient high-altitude generator. Its lightweight design and clean power output outweigh its limitations, making it a great choice for campers, tailgaters, or for use as a backup power source.

Buying Guide

When choosing the best high-altitude generator, there are several key features to consider. Let’s walk through these important factors to help you make an informed decision.

Fuel Type: First, decide which fuel type is most suitable for your needs. There are generally three options: gasoline, diesel, and propane. Each fuel type has its own pros and cons. Gasoline generators are typically more affordable and widely available, but they require more frequent maintenance. Diesel generators are more fuel-efficient and require less maintenance, but they can be more expensive upfront. Propane generators offer a clean-burning fuel option, but propane can be more difficult to find in some areas. Consider your location, fuel availability, and budget when making your decision.

Output Capacity: The output capacity of a generator is one of the most important factors to take into account. It is crucial to find a generator that can deliver enough power to keep all of your essential appliances running during a power outage or at high altitudes. Generators are rated in watts, which indicates the amount of power they can generate. Be sure to calculate the total wattage requirement of your appliances and choose a generator that can deliver at least 20% more power than your estimated needs.

Portability: If you plan to use your generator in various locations, portability is a crucial factor to consider. Lightweight generators with wheels and handles will be easier to transport, while larger generators may require a vehicle for transportation. Consider how often you will need to move the generator and how important portability is for your specific needs.

Runtime: The runtime of a high-altitude generator refers to how long it can continuously generate power on a single tank of fuel. Longer runtimes are generally preferred, as they reduce the need for frequent refueling. When comparing generators, look for units with runtimes between 8 to 12 hours on a single tank of fuel.

Noise Level: Generators can be quite loud, so consider the noise level when choosing your unit. Most generators are rated in decibels (dB). Lower decibel ratings indicate quieter operation. In general, aim for a generator with a noise level below 70 dB for residential use. You may need a quieter generator if you plan on using it near sleeping areas or in close proximity to neighbors.

Safety Features: Lastly, pay attention to the safety features included in the generator. Some important safety considerations are automatic voltage regulation, overload protection, and low-oil shutoff. These features ensure the longevity of your generator and protect your appliances from potential damage.

Remember to consider all of these factors when choosing the best high-altitude generator for your needs, and you will be well on your way to finding the perfect unit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages and disadvantages of generators at high altitudes?

At high altitudes, generators offer us essential power supply in remote locations where electricity access is limited. They can efficiently power our tools, appliances, and other devices. However, there are some disadvantages: the engine’s performance may decrease due to lower oxygen levels, and fuel efficiency can be affected, making it essential to modify the generator for optimal use.

How does high altitude affect fuel efficiency in generators?

High altitude reduces air density, which results in a decreased concentration of oxygen. This leads to a generator’s engine having to work harder, as there’s less oxygen available for combustion. Consequently, fuel efficiency may decrease with increased altitude, and the generator may require more fuel to produce the same output.

What generator modifications are needed for optimal performance at high altitudes?

For optimal performance at high altitudes, we recommend a few modifications:

  1. Adjusting the carburetor: This helps maintain the proper air-to-fuel ratio for better combustion.
  2. Installing a high-altitude kit: These kits typically include altitude-specific carburetor jets that regulate fuel flow depending on the altitude.
  3. Choosing a fuel-injected engine: Fuel injection systems can automatically adjust the fuel ratios based on altitude, improving fuel efficiency and performance.

Are inverter generators more suitable for high altitudes than traditional generators?

Inverter generators have a few advantages over traditional generators in high-altitude environments:

  1. Fuel efficiency: Inverter generators adjust engine speed according to power demand, which can improve fuel efficiency.
  2. Noise reduction: Inverter generators generally produce less noise, making them more suitable for residential or camping use.
  3. Advanced technology: Inverter generators can produce clean power for sensitive electronic devices, like laptops and smartphones.

However, it’s essential to take into account that these advantages vary depending on the specific model and environment.

What makes a generator reliable and suitable for high altitude use?

A reliable high-altitude generator should have:

  1. Solid construction: Look for durable materials and a sturdy build.
  2. Properly adjusted carburetor: This helps maintain a balanced air-to-fuel ratio.
  3. High-altitude kit compatibility: Having a high-altitude-kit-ready generator guarantees that it can be adapted for use in high altitude environments.
  4. Fuel efficiency: A fuel-efficient generator can save us money in the long run and reduce consumption.

Do high altitude kits significantly improve generator performance?

Yes, high altitude kits can significantly improve the performance of our generators in high-altitude environments. These kits typically include altitude-specific carburetor jets that regulate fuel flow depending on the altitude, ensuring the engine receives the proper amount of fuel for optimal combustion. By installing a high-altitude kit, we can effectively optimize our generator’s output and prevent engine damage due to poor combustion.

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