After writing so many articles about emergency backup, extreme weather and other terribly weighty subjects, it is so refreshing to write about something on the other end of the seriousness spectrum – bounce houses!
If you’re looking for a good generator for a bounce house, read on, because I have put together a brief and simple, but complete and hopefully really helpful, buyers guide to the best generators for bounce houses on the market today.
And had a lot of fun doing it!
But if reading through this whole article – brief and delightful though it may be – doesn’t sound like that much fun to you, here are my recommendations:
- Best Bounce House Generator – Premium: Honda EU2200I Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
- Best Bounce House Generator – Mid Priced: Champion Power Equipment 200951 2500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
- Best Bounce House Generator – Budget: Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Inverter Generator
How to Find the Best Generator for a Bounce House
Before I started writing this article I checked out some other buyer’s guides, and I have to say I was pretty amazed by what I saw!
I mean, not only should this be a fun subject, it should also be a very simple one, and endless lists of different generators, confusing questions about power and size, even complex equations and discussions about the nature of electricity? That’s not fun, so let’s bounce that all out of here.
Yes, a very weak pun indeed, but I would love to offer instead a simple and direct article with, rather than more choices than you’d find on any given retail site, a very few perfect recommendations. And, rather than endless discussions, qualifications and explanations, the easiest guide to deciding which of these few choices is really perfect for you.
So let’s cut straight to the chase – I’ve come up with three particularly brilliant choices for bounce houses, and so let’s focus on just those, and also focus on the most important questions.
How Much Power Do You Need for a Bounce House?
Ok, really this is not such an important question, believe it or not – or at least it is a simple question with a simple answer.
Yeah, there are different sized bounce houses, but unless the bounce house is literally bigger than your own house a small generator will be more than you need for any bounce house’s air pump – ideally, a 2000-3000 watt model, though you can even stay at the bottom of that range.
For example, an absolutely brilliant generator for very little money is the Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Inverter Generator. It has plenty of power, is well made and runs quietly, and is highly affordable.
For a slightly upscale version, you might consider one of my favorite generators at this power level, the wonderful Champion Power Equipment 200951 2500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, which is actually a few hundred dollars more than the Pulsar (though is often nicely discounted, and so much closer in price) and is a bit better in terms of dependability, quiet running and long life.
And if you want to go pure premium, and get the best generator money can buy, there’s no question – the Honda EU2200ISuper Quiet Portable Inverter Generator is as good as it gets, and a true lifetime investment – a few hundred dollars higher in price again, but definitely well worth the money.
But why do you need a ‘good a it gets’ ‘lifetime investment’ generator, or even a ‘bit better’ generator for a bounce house?
Well, maybe you don’t, but first let’s ask an even more important question.
What Else Will You Use Your New Generator For?
If you’re really and truly just looking to purchase the best generator for a bounce house, and for nothing els, you can just go for good quality and low price – the Pulsar will probably be more than sufficient for the job, and would be a great choice.
On the other hand, keep in mind that you are purchasing a very, very useful piece of equipment, and you may well find there are lots of other things you want or need to use it for – emergencies, power outages and extreme weather, camping, RVs and mobile homes, tailgating and more ‘adult’ parties (not that I wouldn’t love to have a bounce house at an adult party!), worksites and workshops, studios, greenhouses, gardens and yards – really, the list goes on and on.
And some of the uses are pretty important, especially emergency power backup, which can be an actual lifesaver.
A bounce house is not a hugely demanding application, and not a big challenge for any generator – though I would still get a good quality unit, and this is why I choose the Pulsar over some that are, if a tiny bit less expensive, not nearly as well made.
But if you think you will use your generator for other things, I would strongly consider getting the Champion, which is a really excellent product – well designed, quiet, easy to start and easy to use, and built to provide ultra-dependable service for many years.
And if you want the best of the best, and especially if you want that best of the best for making sure your home and family are safe and taken care of in emergencies, I cannot recommend a Honda generator strongly enough. Every one of their models is a truly top-tier, purely premium product, that will last a lifetime, and the EU2200I in particular is a great choice for bounce houses and for so much more.
I will also note that all of my choices for best bounce house generators are what we call ‘inverter generators,’ meaning that they have a true inverter stage – this makes the electrical current they supply much cleaner and more stable than you would get from a standard generator, and makes them safe to use with sensitive electronic gadgets like computers, phones, televisions and gaming systems, smart appliances and more.
So, now that we have the basics in order – how much power, how much money (budget, mid-range or premium), and the appropriateness of a bounce house for all ages and all parties – let’s look briefly at these top three choices.
The Best Generators for Bounce Houses in 2023
Best Generator for Bounce House – Budget
- 2,300 peak watts/ 1,800 running watts
- Capable of up to 4.8 hours of operation at...
- Compact suitcase design, weighing less than...
What I Like:
- Extremely Affordable
- Excellent Quality
- Quiet Running
- Easy to Start
- Perfect Power Level for Bounce Houses and More
- The Champion or Honda generators, below, will last longer and are a bit more dependable over time
The Pulsar G2319N generator is the perfect size for bounce houses, with 1,800 watts of running power and 2,300 watts of peak power.
It’s also the perfect price for any budget – yes, there are cheaper generators out there, but with a real emphasis on ‘cheap.’ The Pulsar, on the other hand, is not only downright inexpensive, it is remarkably well made and should last a good long time.
This is quite apparent in the quiet running and the smoothness of the engine (which also makes it a perfect near-silent partner at a party), but also in the quality of the finish, the materials and the connectors and controls.
Amazingly, at this price level, the Pulsar G2319N has a true inverter stage, with very low THD (total harmonic distortion), meaning you can use it to power or charge even the most sensitive electronic devices like PCs or smart phones – not a big factor if you are going to use this generator exclusively for an air pump to fill a bouncy castle, but if you want to charge your phone during the party, or if you might also use it for camping, tailgating, home backup and power outages this is a very important consideration, and the Pulsar has you covered.
The Pulsar G2319N portable inverter generator is probably the least expensive generator I would recommend – for the purpose at hand or for anything else – but for that low price you get surprisingly high quality, a great design, easy start and quiet running. The more expensive generators below may be higher quality, and will probably last longer, but I’ve seen much costlier products from other companies that aren’t nearly as good as the Pulsar – the perfect budget generator for bounce houses!
Best Generator for Bounce House – Mid Priced
No products found.
What I Like:
- Fantastic Value
- Next Level Quality
- Quiet Running
- Effortless and Dependable Starting
- Ideal Power Level
- No CO monitor
I call the Champion 200951 ‘mid-priced,’ but in fact it is surprisingly affordable, and given the machine’s quality, design and excellent usability I would say it is a supreme value.
As good as the Pulsar, just above, is, it’s pretty obvious with the Champion that we’re at a higher level – the engine runs smoother, the frame is clearly more solid, the finish is nicer and seems like it would hold up better, and the controls and connectors feel ultra-solid.
I think the Pulsar is good enough to use not just for bounce houses and more, but I have to say that if I myself were looking for a new portable generator for not just big inflatable castles but for other things as well (camping and RVs, DIY projects, workshop and worksites, even emergency usage during power outages and extreme weather) I would much rather have a Champion, whose products are known industry-wide as being exceptionally well made and reliable.
A true inverter generator, with stable and clean power that is as safe for computers, phones, smart appliances and the like as it is for bouncy house air pumps, the Champion 200951 is very quiet while working, starts quickly and easily every time, and has a simple and intelligent layout and control panel – really a beautifully designed product.
Again, I would say that if there is even a chance that you would use your new electric generator for anything else, in addition to the bounce house shenanigans, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the Champion over the Pulsar, though they are both great.
And considering that this Champion 200951 is often nicely discounted, there is a good chance that the difference in price is pretty negligible. But even at full price, I have no doubt that the 200951 is the best generator for bounce house air pumps at this competitive middle range, and one of the best values on the market today.
Best Generator for Bounce House – Premium
- This popular model can operate a wide variety...
- So quiet, your neighbors will thank you. The...
- Add a second EU2200i for additional power....
What I Like:
- Top-Tier Quality
- The Most Dependable
- Ultra Quiet
- Electric Remote Start
- CO Monitor
- Wifi Connectivity and a Great App
- Price – though for all it offers…
But before we get all click-happy, please take a moment to consider the brilliant Honda EU2200I inverter generator, which is without question the best generator available today at this power level.
For heavier use the Champion is a better choice than the Pulsar, and for long term reliability as well, but neither of them quite reach the level of the legendary Honda line, which are all essentially industrial-grade equipment.
I should say, though, that there is nothing industrial about the look of the Honda EU2200I portable generator, which is beautifully finished and quite attractive – you know, for a generator. It also has an obvious quality in the build, in the materials, in the connectors, the displays and the switches and controls, which are all clearly top-tier. Even the super-quiet operation just whispers quality.
And that’s really the thing. The Pulsar is great for bounce houses, and will serve you wonderfully for many birthdays to come. The Champion is a more serious bit of gear, and will serve you not just until your kids are so old they beg you to stop with the bounce houses already, but also in a thousand other uses and applications for a long, long time.
But the Honda will outlive all of them – and possibly all of us – and is engineered, designed and built to be a true lifetime product. For any use, from bouncies and inflatables of all sorts to worksites, camping and travel, emergencies and home electric backup, this EU2200I will always start immediately and always work perfectly, and will do so for as long as you own it.
The Honda also has wifi connectivity and a really useful app, electric start and even remote starting, stopping and other controls, and especially notable is the inclusion of a COmonitor, which will immediately kill the generator if carbon monoxide levels rise to unsafe levels.
To be sure we are creeping up in price here – even with a good discount, the Honda EU2200I will still be a bit over a thousand dollars – but considering its quality on all levels, its absolute dependability and the safety and security it can provide, it is well worth the money.
In fact, in my mind the Honda EU2200I is not just the best premium generator for bounce houses, it is the best value on this list, and a superb product in every way.