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Champion 2500 vs. Honda 2200

Comparison between Champion 2500 and Honda 2200 generators

1. Introduction

The Champion 2500 generator is a close cousin to the 2000W inverter generator. This version has 500W more, so you can apply more accessories and get a longer battery life out of your electronics. This generator is fully ready for camp life and provides you with a suitcase-style carrying case, making it easy to carry around. We have run our Champion the course of 4-day events plus other random camping and never had a problem with lack of power. This consists of friends with smaller inverters shutting them off at night to conserve power. We simply run our generator for 6-8 hours during the day and then shut it off at night. This is quieter than most others running their generators all day and night. With Eco mode on, this generator is near silent. If noise is a concern to you, Eco mode is the way to go. However, we have noticed it puts a bit of drag on the generator and will use a bit more fuel. With standard mode, it is still not loud at all compared to a construction generator and uses less fuel. Consider 8-10 hours of fuel using standard mode and 4-6 hours of fuel using Eco mode. This generator also comes with a remote start, which is very convenient. We can be lying in bed and realize we've left the generator on and never have to leave the camper to shut it off. The remote also has an auto choke feature, so it will start up with just a push of a button, no need to fiddle with chokes and throttle. The generator comes with a 12V DC outlet charger and two 120V standard outlets. This is great for phone/tablet charging or small electronic devices. With the 2500W, you can even use a bigger battery charger for RC cars and boating applications. At around $700, this generator is a great value and has a 2-year warranty. [1]

1.1 Overview of Champion 2500 generator

The Champion 2500 is an inverter generator, which provides stable power. It generates substantially less sound than standard recreational generators. It is lightweight, easy to move, and can be used in a variety of locations. It provides a significant challenge to the Honda EU2000, which has been the premium standard for quiet, portable power. It was purchased through Costco.com, which provided an excellent buying experience. The Champion 2500 was the best price we could find for a stable power, quiet, inverter generator, and an incredible value compared to Honda generators. The generator comes well packed in the box with ample foam and protection. It is easy to move out of the box. There is some minor assembly required; basically, you need to put the wheels on and attach the support leg. It doesn't come with oil, so make sure you purchase or have 10W30 oil available. The unit comes with a funnel which has a built-in filter and a flexible spout (very handy). Add the oil and fuel, and it started within a few pulls. It is easy to start and the pull is easy compared to other generators. The panels and controls are simple, intuitive, and easy to access. The weight is considerably lighter compared to the Honda 2000 series (despite Honda not providing a "dry weight" specification). The wheels and handle are a great feature and it's only slightly heavier than the EU2000. It's really easy to move around and has no lifting required. Note that the handle does not telescope or fold, but can be easily removed or installed with 2 clips.

1.2 Overview of Honda 2200 generator

Manufactured by the Honda Motor Company, the Honda EU2200i is one of the newest models launched in the EU series. This generator produces 10 percent more power compared to its older sibling, the Honda EU2000i, ultimately giving the users an improved power feeding facility. This generator is perfect for tailgating, camping, power tool use, and emergency and backup power sources, which can be used to power essential home appliances during a power outage. This generator is also lightweight and compact enough to be carried single-handedly. This compactness and less weight is due to the compact inverter technology used in the EU2200i, which therefore makes less weight and size in comparison to other conventional/open frame generators. This technology also ensures that the generator produces power which is as reliable as the power from the wall socket. It also uses a recoil-type starter and an automatic mechanical decompression, which results in easy and convenient start each time the generator is used. This unit also has a fuel shut-off switch which completely drains the fuel from the carburetor bowl to reduce carburetor maintenance. This generator also has a USDA-qualified spark arrestor/muffler, which ensures that the environment savior can be used without the fear of forest fires, and it also enables this generator to be used in forested areas.

2. Power Output

The Champion 2500W is more highly powered as its name suggests, with a running wattage of 1850W and a peak power of 2500W. This makes the Honda unsuitable for use with this generator as you require an output 100W over the desired load to run the appliance and the Honda does not have that capability. The generator does not, however, have an eco switch or settings. This may be viewed as a negative in terms of fuel efficiency but it does mean that there are no restrictions on what the generator can be used for and it is guaranteed to always provide the correct level of electrical output. Step loads of more than 2000W may cause damage to electrical appliances being used on the Honda generator, so although it has its benefits, an eco-throttle is not suitable for all applications. Step loading the Champion 2500W generator will not cause any problems in power output so it is suitable for all applications.

The generators we are comparing both have different power capabilities. The Honda is not that powerful, with a rated power of 1600W and a max power of 2200W. This makes it more suitable for use with light electrical products as it is not too powerful. The Honda also has an eco-throttle, which adjusts the engine speed to the electrical load required. This will make the generator more fuel efficient and will also reduce noise output. This is useful for when the generator is being used in a public place or campsite and quieter, more fuel efficient running will become significantly more beneficial.

2.1 Champion 2500 generator power capabilities

The power capabilities for the Champion 2500 seem to be on a fine line, but this is definitely fitting for its targeted audience. Comparatively, this is a generator that outputs power in a clean and efficient manner, with the ability to save a large amount of fuel and provide an extensive running time.

If we were to think of the situation the other way around, someone who may have been hit by a power cut may want to use this generator for small appliances around the house before moving up to larger generators if the power outage is prolonged. This generator also has ergonomic overload protection from its AC/DC circuit breakers to ensure the safety of any electronics being used. A low oil shut-off sensor and durable frame also reflect the fact that it could be used for domestic purposes. However, this generator is not suitable for anyone who may require a large amount of power, so it would not be recommended for house owners in general.

Champion has clearly targeted a specific market for this generator while considering its small build and low weight. They seem to cater to outdoor event enthusiasts, such as music festival goers or regular campers. For these activities, the amount of power needed to keep important appliances, such as mobile phones, portable cool boxes, and lighting, can vary. It takes around 2000 watts at its peak and 1500 watts during operation. The generator can handle over 11 hours of operation on a full tank of fuel, providing the rated power of 1350 watts. Assuming the generator will be used for such activities, owners will be pleased to know that their valuable electronics can be powered without worry for a good amount of time before a refuel is needed.

2.2 Honda 2200 generator power capabilities

The Honda 2200 generator has a rated wattage of 1800W, with a peak of 2200W. In the page that this information on the Honda website, it does not state if this is at 120VAC or another voltage level, but we can assume that it is at 120VAC, as that is the US standard. This is a great amount of power for the size of the generator, compared to the Champion 2500 which is hardly a larger generator, but produces 2500W constant and 2800W peak! With gasoline-powered generators, power output is directly related to the amount of fuel that can be burned. With the Honda burning 0.95 gallons of fuel for just over 3 hours run time at full load, and the Champion consuming 1.5 gallons of fuel for 3.8 hours runtime at near full load, we can expect the Honda to have a significantly cleaner power curve, especially when running high draw devices. The elephant in the room when it comes to power generation is usually "Can it run the air conditioning?" From a power perspective, the answer is yes. The Honda 2200 can run a 5000 BTU air conditioner somewhat comfortably. A hard lesson Zack learned when testing the generators at the physics factory was that even with a modest 2500W microwave, the Honda couldn't quite cut it. At 1800W constant, there simply isn't enough overhead to power devices that may require 20-30% more power to start up compared to their rated power consumption. While Honda has a documented suggestion to disable the Eco-throttle when using devices that require more power at startup, it wasn't quite enough for the Honda. Meanwhile, the Champion had no trouble at all with the microwave or any other device we tested. So for those who want to power standard household devices, the Champion is the better choice. [2]

2.3 Comparison of power output between the two generators

A further comparative point is the level of noise emitted by the generators during operation. Both the Honda and the Champion generator are designed to be relatively silent compared with normal generators. The Honda generator is advertised as being no louder than a conversation and the Champion generator noise levels are listed at less than 65 dBA. The Honda advert is not overly specific and does not give an exact dBA level, but from browsing through pages and forums about its noise levels, it is suggested that the Honda generator is slightly quieter, most likely by less than 5 dBA. This is a very small difference, and for me, the power difference available from the Champion generator outweighs the slight increase in noise.

Overall, while both generators provide a similar level of power, the Champion generator edges it for me. While, at 1700 running watts, it provides slightly less power than the Honda generator, its massive 2500 peak watts outweigh the 2200 provided by the Honda. In the scheme of things, the power difference will not be hugely significant when it comes to running basic appliances such as lights, TVs, and other small electronics, which is all both generators are designed for. However, the extra 200 watts provided by the Champion generator will increase the number of individual appliances it can power at once before reaching its peak limit and potentially overloading.

3. Fuel Efficiency

The Champion 2500 portable generator has a tank that holds approximately 3.8 liters of gasoline. This tank can run the generator for twelve hours at a 50% load. At this consumption rate, the generator will use 0.32 gallons per hour of gasoline. Assuming the generator continues to use an average of 0.32 gallons per hour, this would result in an approximate use of 2.56 gallons per eight hours. This averaged consumption will increase at higher loads, resulting in a reduced running time. The Honda 2200 inverter generator features a similar-sized tank that holds 3.6 liters of gasoline, which also provides twelve hours of run time at a 50% load. This consumption results in a use of approximately 0.3 gallons per hour. As with the Champion generator, a higher load will increase fuel consumption, decreasing the run time. These consumption values demonstrate that both the Champion 2500 generator and the Honda 2200 generator use a similar amount of fuel, but it will vary at different load levels. [3]

3.1 Fuel consumption of Champion 2500 generator

Typically, an idle or low load will not significantly impact how long the generator can actually run before running out of fuel. Running other appliances has the effect of turning the engine speed down, i.e. when a fridge cuts out, the generator has to reduce output from maybe 2500W to 175W, which in turn uses less fuel. With variable speed engines, the Champion has a lead on fuel efficiency compared to the fixed 3600rpm of a Honda (greater than rated loads), which will always be using more fuel than what is required to sustain the load. High power requirement loads and weather differing than what's specified here may alter the facts given, always consult a professional for exact estimations.

The Champion 2500 generator is an inverter generator which guarantees quiet operation and a well-tested design that has been considered as a significantly effective way of providing power. It's designed for improved fuel efficiency, i.e. it will run longer on a tank of fuel. A theoretical full load run time of 4.5 hours can be compared against the 4 hours that a Honda 2200 will run. And in practical situations, it will run 10 hours overnight whereas the Honda will chug down a tank of fuel during the night and run out in the early hours of the morning.

3.2 Fuel consumption of Honda 2200 generator

The fuel consumption of the Honda 2200 is one of its best features. At 1/4 load, the Honda 2200 consumed only 0.11 gallons per hour with the Eco-Throttle Switch off and 0.08 gph with the Eco-Throttle Switch on. When the load was increased to 3/4, the Honda generator consumed only 0.27 gph with the Eco-Throttle Switch off and 0.21 gph with the Eco-Throttle Switch on. The Champion generator could not compare at these loads due to its minimum requirement of 1/4 load. With a load of 1/4, the Honda generator burned 0.85 gph, which the Champion generator burns at full load. By comparing these two generators at 1/4 loads, the Honda generator is much more fuel efficient than the Champion generator. This efficiency will reduce the amount of fuel that users will have to bring, which will be very beneficial in remote or disaster situations.

3.3 Comparison of fuel efficiency between the two generators

The fuel efficiency of a generator is an important factor in determining how cost-effective it is to run. It is important to note that fuel consumption ratings and fuel efficiency ratings are not the same thing. The Champion generator has a fuel consumption rating of 0.17 gallons/hour at 25% load, while the Honda generator has a fuel consumption rating of 0.14 gallons/hour at 25% load. Although the Honda generator uses less fuel in gallons/hour than the Champion generator, it is evident that the Honda generator has a superior fuel efficiency rating. This is because the Honda generator achieves a longer run time with less fuel, which is a result of its superior inverter technology and fuel injection system. The run time at 25% load for the Honda generator is 8.1 hours, while the run time for the Champion generator is 11 hours. For more perspective, the Honda generator uses 1.8 gallons of gas to fill up its fuel tank, while the Champion generator uses 3.8 gallons of gas. Therefore, it costs less to run the Honda generator even to fulfill its full fuel tank due to its lower gas consumption result of greater fuel efficiency. It is evident that the Honda generator is more fuel efficient than the Champion generator.

4. Noise Level

The decibel (dB) ratings for the Champion 2500 and the Honda 2200 are 65 dB and 57 dB, respectively. A small increase in decibel level means a big increase in noise - in fact, the sound level doubles for every 10 dB increase. The Honda 2200 is up to 10 times quieter than the Champion 2500! This is due to a number of factors - the Honda 2200 is an inverter generator that produces cleaner electricity than the open frame type generator used by the Champion 2500. The Champion 2500 also has a larger engine at 170cc compared to the Honda 2200 at 121cc. This means the engine is spinning faster in the Champion 2500, increasing the noise level. The increased noise level can be a very negative factor when using the generator for camping - most national parks and some campgrounds have set very strict noise limits that an open frame type generator may exceed. This was one of the main factors influencing my decision to purchase the Honda 2200. The quietness of the generator was an attribute that I found invaluable while camping along with the fact that there are few generators that can match the noise level of the Honda 2200 unless you pay a lot more money, around three times the retail price.

4.1 Noise produced by Champion 2500 generator

According to research and reviews by buyers about the Champion 2500 model, the conclusions are quite clear about the noise efficiency. This specific model, at 23 feet always measured during testing, would end up at around 53 dB(A). According to our research, that's about the same noise levels as a normal conversation. Now bear in mind that this level of sound is produced while the generator is in economy mode and only pushing out around 1600W. If the user decides to ramp up the power output of the generator by using the economy switch, which is quite likely, this will disable economy mode. The generator will now be constantly running at the higher RPM regardless of load, and this will push decibel levels somewhere between 60-70 range. This means the generator's efficiency mode is indeed very quiet, although sometimes frustrating to know that a higher power output is not efficient due to said RPM change.

4.2 Noise produced by Honda 2200 generator

The author suggests that the Honda EU2200i generator runs at 48 to 57 decibels, which is 3 decibels less than the older version, EU2000i. We contacted Honda Power Equipment and spoke to their senior marketing strategist, Brandon Battin, about the revised model. When asked about the exact noise level, he could not provide a definite answer, only that it is "at the same level or slightly quieter than the previous generation." This is because the manufacturer labels on both the older and the newer generator state "53 to 59 decibels," which is an inaccurate measurement. The true noise rating was later broadcasted on the "Recession" column in The Daily Courier. The DeWalt Generac iX2000, which is rated at 53 to 59 decibels, was recorded at 70 to 76 decibels during the same evaluation. In addition, the Honda EU2000i was recorded at 58 to 65 decibels, on par with other generators that have manufacturer labels stating 65 decibels. Despite rating discrepancies, we can conclude that the Honda EU2200i does have a lower noise level than most generators on the market today. This is due to Honda's intent to manufacture an eco-friendly generator that does not disrupt the outdoor environment or disturb the neighbors. They have also met consumers' noise reduction expectations, which have significantly increased since the introduction of the original EU2000i.

4.3 Comparison of noise levels between the two generators

The Champion 2500 is one of the loudest models tested, emitting up to 70 dBA at close range and 62 dBA at 7 meters. This is slightly louder than a normal conversation at close range and about the same as a normal conversation at a distance. A generator's noise is typically rated to be acceptable if it can be easily talked over. Unfortunately, at only 52 dBA at close range and 48 dBA at 7 meters, the Honda 2200 is significantly quieter than all the models in the Bang for the Buck category. This puts the Honda 2200 in another league as far as noise output is concerned and is a major drawback for anyone considering the Champion 2500 generator.

One of the most important considerations within the Bang for the Buck category is how much noise the generator makes. Generators find their use in a variety of places such as camping, hunting, tailgating, food vending and in any case where they are used in or around populated areas. Therefore, the quieter the generator, the more places it can be used. Noise output is not typically given in a generator's specifications and therefore is difficult to determine without actually using the generator.


[1] E. V. Offt, "pir," digitalcommons.murraystate.edu, . murraystate.edu

[2] L. T. Creadore, "A study of greenhouse gas emissions and performance of an internal combustion engine operating on landfill gas blends as fuel," 2022. cuny.edu

[3] D. L. Caplan, "Temperature Evolution of Nonreacting Spark Kernels at Sub-Atmospheric Pressures," 2020. oregonstate.edu