5 Best Portable Generator Covers To Use While Running

A portable generator is an incredibly useful piece of gas-powered machinery for providing electrical power in the great outdoors (or even just in your own back yard). 

Portable generators work by using an engine, powered by fuel, to produce mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is then turned into electrical energy through an alternator. 

The electrical energy can then be used to power a variety of electrical systems, from home electricity to power tools.

The tricky thing about portable generators, however, is that they need to be used outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning or other gas-related accidents in closed spaces.

For obvious reasons, a generator should not be exposed to water, and this can pose a problem when you need to use your generator in adverse weather conditions. 

Luckily, there’s a simple solution to this problem: a portable generator cover. 

We’ve compiled a selection of the best portable generator covers to use while running your generator outside. These covers will help to protect your generator no matter the weather for a flexible and stress-free experience.  

OUR TOP PICK

IGAN Generator Tent Running Cover, Ultra Heavy...

If you’re looking for a sturdy, stable, fully-waterproof generator cover to protect your portable generator during operation, you’ll struggle to find a better product than IGAN’s Generator Tent Running Cover. 

The cover is made from 100% waterproof tarp which weighs 9 lbs, making it both wind and rain-resistant. The tarp covers the electrical panel and outlet while allowing air circulation vent, exhaust, and intake. 

Meanwhile, the high-strength stainless steel frame is made of thick steel pipes and provides superior stability to keep the cover in place even on windy days. 

IGAN has designed the Generator Tent Running Cover for maximum operational safety. The skirting system allows the cover skirts to be suspended using buckles during operation for ventilation and lowered when not in use for storage purposes. 

Additionally, the cover is easy to assemble with absolutely no tools required. Not only does this mean you’ll be able to use your new cover soon after arrival with no need for additional purchases but it also means you’ll have no problem setting it up quickly in rough weather. 

There is even a sizeable opening for refueling, so you can refuel your generator easily without needing to remove the cover. 

This cover, available in a size large, is suitable for most 3500 - 12000 Watt portable generators.

However, IGAN does provide a list of generators which are exceptions to the rule, and not suitable for use with this cover. These generators include all Honda, Ryobi, Ridgid, and Troy-Bilt models.

The cover should also not be used with B&S 5500/8250 Watt, Coleman Powermate 5000/6250 Watt, Husky 5000 Watt, or Power Stoke 6000 Watt generators. 

Pros

  • 100% waterproof tarp 
  • 9 lbs cover weight for wind-resistance 
  • Stable and durable stainless steel frame 
  • Adaptable skirting system for protection and ventilation 
  • Suitable for most 3500 - 12000 Watt generators 
  • No-tools assembly 
  • Large refueling area

Cons

  • Unsuitable for use with the generators listed above

EDITORS CHOICE

Champion Storm Shield Severe Weather Portable...

Champion’s Storm Shield Portable Generator Cover is suitable for use with 3000 - 10000 Watt portable generators. 

The high-quality vinyl waterproof cover keeps all the essential parts of your generator protected from rain, wind, snow, and other potentially destructive weather conditions. 

Meanwhile, the large ventilation and refueling door provides natural air circulation and allows you to refuel your generator without removing the cover. The electrical panel skirting helps to protect the generator’s outlets during use. 

The durable fiberglass rods that make up the cover’s frame are strong and sturdy enough to withstand extreme weather conditions, including winds up to 70 mph, 12 inches of rain per day, and even 18 inches of snow. 

The stability and durability of this cover are largely due to its self-attaching design, which uses high-strength clamps to connect the frame to the generator for maximum security. 

There are no tools required for the installation of this product, so the set-up process is as easy as possible. 

Pros

  • Compatible with 3000 - 10000 Watt generators 
  • High-quality vinyl waterproof cover
  • Large refueling and ventilation door 
  • Durable fiberglass frame 
  • Electrical panel skirting 
  • Self-attaching clamp design for security
  • Withstands extreme weather conditions 
  • No-tools installation

Cons

  • Less affordable than some other generator covers

BEST VALUE

GenTent 10k Generator Tent Running Cover -...

GenTent’s 10K Generator Tent Running Cover Universal Kit allows you to run your portable generator safely in almost any weather, including rain, sleet, and snow. 

It is compatible with most open-framed, 3000 - 10000 Watt portable generators and is available in a choice of ‘standard’ or ‘extreme’ material depending on the level of protection you feel you need. 

The material itself is dual-coated rip-stop vinyl, which is fully waterproof and highly durable. The frame, meanwhile, consists of strong fiberglass rods.

These rods can be mounted to the generator itself using the clamp system, which keeps the cover firmly in place. 

The cover also includes a self-attaching electrical apron which can be positioned according to where your electric panel is for added protection.

In terms of ventilation, this tent cover’s patented design allows for natural airflow to reach the parts of the generator that need it.

The vented top cap allows hot air to escape the end to prevent overheating whilst remaining watertight due to its welded seams. 

The kit includes 4 frame adapters, so you can adapt the frame to fit the size and shape of your generator, providing it is a square or round tubular build. 

No tools are required for the assembly or installation of this cover so the set-up process is easy and straightforward. In fact, it consists of just 3 easy steps. 

Despite being a universal cover, however, there are a few generator types that this product is not suited to.

These generators include the Ridgid RD and Honda EU700, as well as encased generators and those with non-folding handles.

Pros

  • Compatible with most open-framed 3000 - 10000 Watt portable generators 
  • Choice of ‘standard’ or ‘extreme’ material 
  • Cover made from dual-coated rip-stop vinyl
  • Welded seams for waterproofing 
  • Self-attaching electrical apron 
  • Strong fiberglass rod frame 
  • Includes 4 frame adaptors 
  • Natural ventilation 
  • No-tools installation

Cons

  • Not compatible with Ridgid RD or Honda EU7000 generators, generators with non-folding handles, or encased generators

RUNNER UP

GenTent 10K Generator Tent Running Cover - XKI Kit...

At first glance, and judging by the product name alone, you might not see any significant difference between GenTent’s 10k XKI Running Cover and the Universal model reviewed above.

However, there are a number of important variations between the two. 

This cover is designed to be compatible with a slightly different range of generators, from 1000 - 9000 Watts. 

Unlike the Universal kit, this kit is suited to fully encased generators with case perimeters measuring between 45 inches and 120 inches. 

The primary features of the XKI kit are largely the same as those found on the Universal.

The cover is made from dual-coated rip-stop vinyl with welded seams and is supported by a fiberglass rod frame.

It has a vented top cap for ventilation and a self-attaching electrical apron for versatile panel protection. 

However, the XKI kit uses a self-attaching kevlar strap mount instead of a clamp system. The ratchet strap serves to hold the cover in place as well as contributing to the portability of your generator. 

Once again, this cover has a no-tools installation process for convenience. However, it does not include frame adaptors, meaning you can’t alter the size to fit your generator. 

Pros

  • Compatible with most 1000 - 9000 Watt generators 
  • Suitable for encased generators 
  • Dual-coated rip-stop vinyl cover 
  • Welded seams 
  • Fiberglass rod frame 
  • No-tools installation  
  • Natural ventilation 
  • Kevlar strap system

Cons

  • No frame adaptors

RUNNER UP

GenTent 20k Generator Tent Running Cover -...

Again, the differences between GenTent’s 20k Generator Tent Running Cover Extreme Universal Kit and the previously featured GenTent covers are subtle but significant. 

This cover is compatible with 10000 Watt + portable, open-framed generators, making it suitable for those larger portable generators that other covers can’t handle.

However, it is not suitable for encased generators, and Ridgid RD generators or generators with non-folding handles may require some extra accessories for compatibility. 

Featuring the same dual-coated rip-stop vinyl cover with welded seams, fiberglass rod frame, vented top cap, and self-attaching electrical panel apron as the other GenTent models, this cover will keep your generator protected and ventilated in stormy weather.

This model uses the self-attaching clamp system to keep the cover firmly in place, no matter the weather. It is also especially well suited to cold weather, with a -45° cold crack fabric rating. 

Additionally, because this is another Universal model, the cover comes with 4 frame adaptors for a little added flexibility in terms of fit. 

Pros

  • Compatible with 10000 Watt + portable open-framed generators 
  • Dual-coated rip-stop vinyl cover
  • -45° cold crack fabric rating
  • Fiberglass rod frame 
  • Natural ventilation 
  • Welded seams 
  • Self-attaching electrical panel apron 
  • Self-attaching clamp system 
  • Includes 4 frame adaptors

Cons

  • Not suitable for fully encased generators 
  • Ridgid RD generators and generators with non-folding handles may require added accessories

Best Portable Generator Covers Buying Guide

Compatibility

This may go without saying, but your generator cover needs to be compatible with your portable generator in terms of size and Wattage. 

You should always thoroughly check the product information before purchase to ensure that your desired generator is compatible with your generator. 

It is also important to note at this point that all of the generator covers on our list have been chosen because they are specifically designed to be safe for use outside while the generator is running. 

There are many portable generator covers available on the market but most of them are designed exclusively for storage purposes and are NOT safe for use during operation. 

Standard storage covers for portable generators do not have enough ventilation to prevent overheating and condensation while a generator is running.

The use of a storage cover on a running generator will either cause the generator to fail from lack of airflow or cause a fire hazard. Please bear this in mind going into any subsequent research. 

Cover Material

You’ll want to make sure that the generator cover you select is made from high-quality, waterproof materials to provide your generator with maximum protection from the elements. 

Tarp is an ideal cover material for portable generator covers due to its strength and, of course, its water-resistant properties. 

Alternatively, vinyl is also an excellent choice. In addition to being strong and waterproof, vinyl is also fire-retardant and electrically non-conductive. This combination of features makes vinyl ideal as a cover material that will be in contact with water and in close proximity to fuel. 

Frame Material

The frame material used in the construction of your portable generator cover will play a big part in determining how well the cover stands up to adverse weather - particularly, strong winds. 

The best frame materials to look for to ensure durability and stability are stainless steel and fiberglass. 

Stainless steel is a standard go-to material for heavy-duty construction purposes. It is both strong and corrosion-resistant as well as heat-resistant and impact-resistant. For all these reasons, stainless steel is an ideal choice for framing material. 

Fiberglass, however, is equally as strong as steel, with the added advantage of being more flexible, which makes it even more impact-resistant. 

Attachments

No matter how strong and structurally sound your generator’s cover is, when it comes to strong winds and heavy rain, it helps to have some extra security features. 

Self-attaching clamps are really useful features that can be used to attach the cover to the frame, and to the generator itself. This type of clamping structure will stop strong gusts of wind from blowing your cover away while your generator is running, leaving it exposed. 

For this reason, we definitely recommend prioritizing attachment clamps in your search for an outdoor running generator cover. 

Ventilation

Ventilation is a crucial factor in generator cover design. While you want your cover to be fully waterproof, it also needs to provide enough ventilation to prevent overheating and condensation, both of which can severely damage your generator and pose serious safety risks. 

The best way to ensure sufficient ventilation is to look for covers that incorporated a strategically positioned door or opening. This opening should allow air to circulate to the exhaust, vent, and intake of your generator without leaving electrical panels and outlets exposed. 

An opening of this kind can also serve the important function of allowing access to the generator’s fuel tank for easy refueling that doesn’t require the complete removal of the cover.

Electrical panel skirting can also be a good way of ensuring simultaneous protection and ventilation for your generator while in use.

Depending on the length of the skirt, it may either need to be suspended during use and lowered for storage or left down during operation for protection purposes. 

Make sure that you know when to lower or raise the skirting of your generator cover prior to first use to avoid accidental overheating or water exposure. 

Ease of Installation

An easy installation or assembly process is always a bonus, no matter what type of product you’re dealing with. However, with something like a portable generator running cover, ease of installation is especially desirable. 

Picture this: your power’s gone out during a storm and you need to get the electricity back up and running quickly. The wind is howling and it’s pouring with rain. 

Do you really want to be faced with a mess of nuts, bolts, and jumbled metal parts? Of course not! That’s why all the products featured on our list can be assembled and installed quickly and easily for your convenience. 

All the generator covers on our list can be assembled and installed onto your generator without the use of any tools, so you don’t need to worry about having the right equipment ready on arrival or at a crucial moment.

Simply follow the product instructions to complete the assembly process of your chosen cover in a few easy steps. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Really Need a Portable Generator Cover?

If you anticipate ever needing to use your portable generator at short notice when you can’t plan for the weather (eg. during a power outage), then yes, you definitely need a generator cover. 

Exposing your portable generator to rain, sleet, snow, or any other kind of water can result in permanent damage to your generator at best, and electrocution at worst, so you should never take any chances with your generator’s safety. 

Do I Need to Cover My Portable Generator in Storage?

Covering your portable generator whilst it is in storage or not in use isn’t necessarily essential, but it’s a good idea. 

Even if you store your portable generator in an indoor space such as a garage, the generator could still be exposed to dust, dirt, dampness, or mold. All of these things can cause serious damage to the internal function of the generator, making it either non-functional or unsafe for use. 

Therefore, the safest course of action is to keep your generator covered in storage. 

Some of the generator running covers featured on our list also function as effective storage covers, so if you also want to cover your portable generator when not in use, one of these covers would be ideal. 

Alternatively, you can purchase a portable generator cover specifically for storage.

Just remember that, as we’ve already mentioned, the vast majority of storage covers for portable generators available on the market are not suitable for use while the generator is running.

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