We all know about the after-effects of windstorms, blizzards, and hurricanes – blackouts. It’s a good idea to be prepared for the worst, and when (if) that moment comes to knock out your power, you’ll be glad that you thought ahead of time and purchased a portable generator. Of course, portable generators can’t power every appliance you have at home (at least simultaneously), but it’s still a great tool to have, especially if you can’t or are unwilling to shell out tremendous amounts of cash on full-sized generators.
In this article, we’re going to compare two portable generators that don’t just help in dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters but are great choices to bring on camping trips. These generators are the WEN 56200i and the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT Portable Generator. They’ve both collected their fair share of overwhelmingly positive reviews, so between the two models, which one would serve you betterLet’s find out.
Engine and Noise Production
Obviously, the engine plays a vital role in the overall performance of a portable generator. The WEN features a 13.3 amp 2-horsepower 4-stroke OHV engine. WEN boasts 52 decibels of noise when the generator is operating. This is extremely quiet for a portable engine, and you can even hold conversations 10 feet away from the unit without raising your voice.
The Westinghouse features a 20.0 amp 3-horsepower 4-stroke OHV engine which dishes out considerably more power than the WEN. As for noise levels, it also produces roughly 52 decibels while running.
Conclusion: The more powerful the engine, the more use you’ll get out of it, especially when running multiple appliances simultaneously. Because of this, we feel that the Westinghouse wins the battle of engines.
Tank Capacity and Runtime
Both of these models are powered by gasoline so it’s important to take note of how much gasoline the unit can hold and how much is left. The WEN can hold up to 1 gallon of gasoline in its tank, and while running at half load, it can provide power to your appliances for up to 6 hours.
The Westinghouse’s gas tanks hold a little bit more gasoline – 1.3 gallons capacity – but the difference influences the runtime by a lot. At half load, the unit can stay running for past 7 hours easily. The extra hour means you get to charge your phones for longer on camping trips and even run portable air conditioners comfortably throughout the night.
Conclusion: Once again, the Westinghouse wins. During nighttime blackouts or overnight trips in the wild, if you need proper cooling (portable AC or fan), you want a generator that can keep it running through the night. Of course, for the most part, 6 hours is enough, but the 7 hours provided by the Westinghouse means you’ll be sweating less and keeping cool for longer.
Running and Surge Wattage
Running wattage refers to how many watts the portable generator can support before automatically shutting off or risking long-term damage to the engine. Meanwhile, surge wattage provides that extra surge of power needed to start certain electric motors. The WEN has a 1,600 and 2,000 W running and surge rating, respectively. We feel this is an adequate amount for taking on outdoor trips, and it can even serve well during emergency situations.
On the other hand, the Westinghouse has a 1,800 and a 2,200 W running and surge wattage, respectively. These numbers tell us that this portable generator model supports more and/or larger energy-consuming appliances. In our book, the bigger the appliance that’s supported, the better.
Conclusion: You should see a trend here. The Westinghouse is the more powerful choice between the two. Even though the 200 W-disparity between the two may seem insignificant, when you’re on a trip or facing a blackout, every watt counts. You’ll be glad that this model will support an additional laptop charger or computer to run when you desperately need it.
Just like with every other tool out there, the overall weight plays a huge role in determining whether the tool is portable or not. In the WEN’s case, it weighs only 48 pounds. This is a big deal since you don’t want to have to lug around a huge suitcase-sized piece of equipment that has the potential to throw your spine out of whack. At 48 pounds, we can confidently deem this unit “portable.”
However, 48 pounds isn’t the lightest weight that a portable generator can be. The Westinghouse weighs only 43 pounds. The 5-pound difference means you’re using less energy moving the unit from place to place. This is helpful when you want to carry the portable generator away from your RV as to not flood your resting space with its constant droning (though at only 52 decibels, it won’t be that big of a problem).
Conclusion: Surprise, surprise. The Westinghouse wins again. What’s impressive is that the Westinghouse has a more generous power-to-weight ratio than the WEN. For most tools, we accept the tradeoff of increased poundage for power, but it seems that it’s going the opposite direction for these two models. In addition, the weight difference plays a vital role in its portability since neither of these models comes with pneumatic wheels to roll the unit from place to place.
WEN 56200i vs Westinghouse WH2200iXLT: Bottom Line
It goes without saying that we feel the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT is the better choice between these two portable generators. We’d like to say that the WEN 56200i portable generator wins in at least one regard, but even in terms we didn’t compare in this article (e.g. price-wise), the Westinghouse has the upper hand.
Keep in mind that these tools aren’t designed to deliver full power to your household or RV, but instead they serve as a temporary power generator for emergency situations. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that the Westinghouse is just the better choice since it offers more power, weighs less, and produces the same amount of noise as the WEN. The extended operating time (7 hours at half load) is a sweet kicker.
|21 x 20 x 14 in||26.3 x 24.8 x 22.9 in||18 x 11 x 18 in|
|46.5 pounds||122 pounds||48 pounds|