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Sportsman GEN3500DFi Spec Review

The Sportsman GEN3500DFi is a compact dual fuel portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3000 W and a starting wattage of 3500 W.

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Picture 1 of the Sportsman GEN3500DFi
Picture 2 of the Sportsman GEN3500DFi
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Description

Zoom on the Sportsman GEN3500DFi

In a nutshell, the Sportsman GEN3500DFi is a compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Amateur DIY lovers
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Sportsman GEN3500DFi in use

The Sportsman GEN3500DFi

The dual-fuel technology of the Sportsman GEN3500DFi allows for an output of 120V and provides superb power and versatility. If gasoline-powered, the device provides a running wattage of 3000W and a starting wattage of 3500W. If propane-powered, it gives 2700 rated watts and 3150 starting watts. In addition, as it is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), this power can be doubled when linked to another similar or compatible unit.

The inverter generator is rated for a noise of 69 dBA (less noisy than a normal conversation). Its starting mechanism is based on a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

With a fuel capacity of 3.2 gallons, the GEN3500DFi can operate for around 10 hours at 50% load using gasoline (fuel consumption around 0.32 GPH), or for around 12 hours (on a 20 lbs tank - propane consumption around 0.39 GPH) using propane.

The GEN3500DFi produces a clean sine wave: thanks to a <5% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), your sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets.

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming 3 AC outlets:

Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacle

It also sports 2 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A receptacle allowing you to easily charge your batteries and a 5V USB port allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

This Sportsman generator is RV Ready, as it features a TT-30R receptacle (TT stands for 'Travel Trailer').

Portability

The Sportsman GEN3500DFi is an inverter generator and has an encased design of the following dimensions: L21.5 x W16.1 x H18.3 in. Thus, it is more aesthetical than conventional, open frame products. This modern design aims to provide an ideal power solution to recreational users.

With a dry weight of 83 lbs, the GEN3500DFi can easily follow you wherever your power needs are. Additionally, a conveniently placed double handle is a great enhancement to the grip, which tremendously helps when moving the GEN3500DFi across any distance.

Features

Panel of the Sportsman GEN3500DFi

The GEN3500DFi's control panel

Some light indicators allow you to instantly see if the generator is on overload, the oil level is too low and the generator is ready.

From a security point of view, the generator is equipped with an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, giving you a peace of mind during use.

With the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), letting you start the generator quickly, the Sportsman GEN3500DFi also comes with several accessories, including: funnel, tool kit, propane hose and battery charging cables.

Emissions

The Sportsman GEN3500DFi is EPA approved, but NOT CARB-compliant. Thus, it cannot be purchased or sold in California.

Product Video

The Sportsman GEN3500DFi versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Sportsman GEN3500DFi compare to generators of similar power (between 2500 and 3500 W).

  • In terms of its dry weight, the Sportsman GEN3500DFi stands at only 83 lbs, meaning that is one of the lighter devices of the 2500-3500 rated wattage category Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the WEN GN400i, with a dry weight of only 66.1 lbs.
  • Because this inverter generator emits noise as low as 69 dBA, it can be considered to have a pretty average expected noise rating for a device of its power. If you’d prefer a less noisy device, one of the most quiet devices, which share the same power range with this one, is the Honda EU3000iS, whose lowest noise levels reach just 50 dBA.
  • Offering around 10 hours of running time on a full tank at 50% load, the GEN3500DFi is within the average autonomy range of similarly powerful generators. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Honda EB4000X, with around 16 hours.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. As this inverter generator uses an estimated 0.32 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, it finds itself in the average gasoline consumption range of similar products. If fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the Westinghouse iGen4200, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.17 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 2500-3500W generators, the Sportsman GEN3500DFi is on the average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • Several accessories included
  • RV Ready
  • Parallel capable
  • Dual Fuel
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight for its kind (83 lbs)
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Acceptable noise (69 dBA)
  • Decent run time
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • No electric start
  • Not CARB-compliant
  • No spark arrestor

Do you own the Sportsman GEN3500DFi and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyYes
FuelDual Fuel (gasoline/propane)
Engine212 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Power
 GasolinePropane
Running watts3000 W2700 W
Starting watts3500 W3150 W
Running amps25 amps22.5 amps
Peaks amps29.2 amps26.3 amps
Run time @50% load10 h12 h
Run time @25% loadN/AN/A
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets
  • 1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 1x 120V 30A (TT-30R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A receptacle
1x 5V USB port
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tank3.2 gal
Fuel gaugeNo
Misc
Weight83 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)21.5 x 16.1 x 18.3 in
Noise (lower limit)69 dBA
THD< 5%
EmissionsEPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorNo
Accessories includedFunnel, tool kit, propane hose and battery charging cables
Warranty1 year

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

About Sportsman Series

Sportsman Series is a small brand registered under the US based Buffalo corporation. Founded in 1964, the Buffalo Corporation is a small company, which sells tools and home products. Their brands include AmeriHome, Black Bull, Buffallo Tools and Sportsman Series – which offers a selection of generators and several other general products. The brand, and in fact, the corporation itself seemingly outsources all of its production overseas and acts only as a distributor, under its own brands.

Warranty Information

The Sportsman GEN3500DFi is covered under a warranty for up to 1 year. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Sportsman generators, please contact the Sportsman Customer Support: 1-636-532-9888.

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our wattage calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeMicrowave (1000 watts)15001500
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Rice cooker650650
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2397 W3397 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Toaster oven800800
Blender400850
Total2390 W2980 W
For workGrinder14002500
Reciprocating saw730960
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Total2380 W3480 W

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