Reviews

We Tested the Generac GB2000 Power Station: Is it Worth It?

Here come the big guns! I tested the heavyweight model in Generac’s new lineup of power stations—here’s what I discovered.
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Generac Portable Generator Review
Photo: Glenda Taylor

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Grid instability and erratic weather patterns leave many wondering how they will power their appliances and digital devices should the electricity go out. Generac, a leading national manufacturer of energy products such as generators, inverters, and battery backups, offers a wide range of solutions, including two new power stations, the GB1000 and the GB2000.

I tested Generac’s big boy, the GB2000 power station, a beefy yet portable power station that allowed us to operate power tools and appliances. It also charged our digital devices without the need to plug them into an outlet. Plus, it’s good for more than just energy assurance should the electricity go out—it provides off-grid power for tailgating, camping, or road trips. Find out how the GB2000 fared in my hands-on tests.

The Generac GB2000 Power Station: At a Glance

Generac Portable Generator Review
Photo: Glenda Taylor

Rating: 9.4/10

PROS

  • Charges to full capacity in 3 to 4 hours
  • Offers enough power to run tools, appliances, and digital devices
  • Designed for emergency, off-grid, or recreational use

CONS

  • At 43 pounds, it’s too heavy to carry long distances
  • Not designed to power an entire household
  • Does not come with solar panels, but they may be purchased separately

Get the Generac GB2000 power station at:

What is the Generac GB2000 power station?

The Generac GB2000 is the more powerful of the company’s two new power stations. It has 2,106 watt-hours (Wh) of battery capacity—enough to run multiple appliances or tools on a single charge. Unlike an outdoor fuel-based generator, the GB2000 is a virtually silent indoor model that supplies plenty of power without creating clouds of toxic exhaust. Plus, users can charge it in three ways—from an electric outlet, solar panels (not included with purchase), or an automobile’s 12-volt power port.

A bright light on the front of the GB2000 offers welcome illumination during nighttime power outages, and a handy LED screen monitors how much battery capacity remains.

Generac Portable Generator Review
Photo: Glenda Taylor

How long does it take to charge the Generac GB2000?

The GB2000 arrived with a 25 percent charge, and I could have started testing its power right then, but I wanted to wait until it was fully charged. I plugged the GB2000 into a standard household outlet, and within 2 hours, the LED screen told me it was 100 percent charged. For such a large battery, that was pretty impressive.

As I depleted its battery during testing, I tried out its other charging methods. I loaded the GB2000 in the truck, plugged it into the 12-volt power port, and took off on a mini road trip to pick up some materials from a lumberyard. I left the truck’s engine idling the whole time and checked the GB2000’s charge when I got home. With just under 1.5 hours of charging in the truck, the power station’s battery charge went from 36 percent to 61 percent. Not bad.

I also charged the power station with my portable solar panels, but I didn’t get great results. The day was partly cloudy, and after 2 hours I saw only a 7 percent gain on the GB2000’s battery. Of course, charging this unit via solar panels does depend on the power output of the panels as well as whether it’s a sunny day.

Is the Generac GB2000 power station easy to use?

Nothing could be simpler. The GB2000 power station is a user-friendly power unit that comes with three AC outlets, two standard USB outlets, two USB-C outlets, a 12-volt auto port, and a wireless charger panel on the top for quickly charging smartphones without needing to plug them in.

The unit comes with an ergonomic carry handle, but this is still a pretty hefty energy bank—it weighs in at 43 pounds. I found it lightweight enough to set up on a countertop or load on a car seat, but it got pretty heavy when I carried it about a ¼ mile along a rocky path to an outdoor sitting area. However, don’t let the weight deter you—if you have a ways to go, take breaks, set it down occasionally, change carrying arms—whatever it takes to get there. Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll be glad you pushed through. I ended up using the GB2000 to power a laptop and a projector, and to my delight, I was able to watch an entire movie projected on a rock wall.

Generac Portable Generator Review
Photo: Glenda Taylor

How powerful is the Generac GB2000?

The GB2000 is a formidable battery backup, but the key to using it successfully is to avoid overloading it during use. The user manual warned against exceeding the unit’s battery capacity. With 2,106 Wh, the GB2000 can run quite a few appliances for a relatively short time—up to a couple of hours—or a larger appliance for an extended period.

I tested the Generac power station for more than a week and found it would power the following devices for the corresponding times when fully charged.

  • Household fridge: 17 hours
  • Gaming PC and dual monitors: 11.5 hours
  • 8-inch miter saw: 2 hours with approximately 50 cuts per hour
    Small radiant space heater on high: 2.25 hours
  • Outdoor string lights: 3 days (They were still lit when I took them down.)

Is the Generac GB2000 worth the money?

Currently, the Generac GB2000 sells for about $1,799 and is available from several popular retailers, including Amazon, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s. That’s a pretty steep price for a battery backup, but Generac also manufactures the GB1000, which comes with half the battery capacity and sells for $949.

Whether either unit is worth the price is ultimately a personal decision, but based on my love of camping and my previous experience spending the night in a snowbank during an eastern Colorado snowstorm, I felt I could justify the cost. The peace of mind that comes with knowing I have an alternate power source in an emergency makes the GB2000, or even the GB1000, worth the steep price tag.

Generac Portable Generator Review
Photo: Glenda Taylor

Should you buy the Generac GB2000?

Those who don’t live in an area with occasional power outages and rarely travel or spend time off-grid in remote locations may never have much need for a power station like the GB2000. The way technology is producing higher-capacity battery storage all the time, Generac (or another company) may well come out with a battery backup in just a few years that has more capacity, is lighter weight, and is more budget-friendly. If that’s your situation, passing on the GB2000 might be a good idea.

However, if you or a family member depends on electricity to use a medical device or if your home experiences frequent power outages and you’re tired of refrigerated food spoiling, a Generac power station could offer much-needed energy in an emergency. But even for those who may be less concerned with emergency preparedness and more interested in outdoor fun, the GB2000 can easily power camp lights and cookstoves—and keep smartphones and tablets fully charged.

Where to Buy the Generac GB2000 Power Station

Get the Generac GB2000 power station at:

How to Get the Best Power Station for Your Needs

Power stations are available at different prices and offer varying energy outputs. I was pretty impressed with the Generac GB2000, but it hit the market after members of the Bob Vila team tested other high-quality portable power stations, so it wasn’t included in that round of testing. Overall, the GB2000 is right up there with the best when it comes to battery capacity and user-friendly functions.

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in construction, remodeling, and real estate. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and she is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

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Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries. 

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