Which are the best portable jump starters on the market? Read our guide to find out.
Getting stuck by the roadside with a dead car battery is such a humbling episode especially if you can’t get hold of a jump starter. Therefore, it’s safe to say – You don’t know what you missing if you own a car and don’t have a portable jump starter. By now, you already know that having a reliable jump starter at your disposal equates to being self-reliant in such occurrences. This means that you can jump start your vehicle with ease without assistance from other motorists.
You are in luck if you looking for a portable jump starter since this article explores all the avenues to bring you the best on the market! Let’s dive right in!
Best Portable Jump Starters
Here’s a round-up of some of the best portable jump starters:
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
NOCO is a renowned brand that’s known to make premium quality products and the NOCO Boost Plus GB40 Jump Starter is no exception. It’s ultra-compact and lightweight without compromising on its power. This jump starter offers up to a maximum of 20 jumps when fully charged and is rated at 1000 peak amps. It’s ideal for use on 6.0L and 3.0L gasoline and diesel engines respectively. This jump starter weighs less than three pounds.
Safety plays a significant role in matters jump starting vehicles and NOCO Boost Plus GB40 Jump Starter got you covered. This model features a sturdy mistake-proof design with reverse polarity protection and anti-spark technology in case of incorrect connections. What’s more, this jump starter doubles up as a power bank for charging electronic devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops and cameras among others using the USB port.
NOCO Boost Plus GB40 Jump Starter also offers long-lasting durability. You can use this jump starter in any climate condition including freezing cold temperatures owing to the high-discharge lithium technology. The water resistant and rugged enclosure has a IP65 rating. The over-molded rubberized casing helps prevent marring and scratching of surfaces.
NOCO is one of the best jump starter brands as it offers a wide range of jump starters with up to a maximum of 6250 peak amps, best suited for industrial engines.
- It’s lightweight and portable
- It offers up to 20 jumps and is rated at 1000 peak amps
- It supports 6. OL and 3.0L gasoline and diesel engines respectively
- It comes with a built-in LED flashlight
- It doubles up as a power bank
- It features a rugged design for increased durability
- It has reverse polarity protection and spark-proof technology
- It’s easy and safe to use
- It doesn’t support USB-C
- The clamp design doesn’t fit other car batteries
AVAILABLE ON EBAY
Gooloo is one of the best jump starter brands out there making portable jump starters with impressive features. Gooloo 1200A GP37 Plus Jump Starter is the brand’s most popular product. It’s surprisingly compact, powerful and relatively cheap with 1200A peak amps. This jump starter can power up all 12V vehicles with 5.5L and 7.0L diesel and gasoline engines respectively.
In addition, Gooloo 1200A GP37 Plus Jump Starter doubles up as a 10A/12V DC source of power. It’s best suited for powering car coolers and tire inflators among others. Plus, you can use this jump starter to charge your electronic devices using the fast charging 3.0 USB port. It also features a built-in LED flashlight that helps illuminate areas with poor lighting conditions especially during the night. What’s more, the flashlight has three different light modes including normal light, SOS light, emergency strobe light.
Gooloo 1200A GP37 Plus Jump Starter is ultra-compact that you can throw it in the backpack or glove box. It fully charges in about five hours and can hold the charge for up to a maximum of three months. The package includes a wall charger, a portable jump starter, a car charger, smart jumper cables, USB to type C fast charge cable, user manual and a convenient carrying case.
AVAILABLE ON EBAY
If you are looking for the most powerful and versatile option then Audew 2000A Portable Jump Starter is your best bet. Besides Audew is one of the best jump starter brands. This model has a 20000mAh battery capacity with 2000A peak amps that is more than enough power to jump start large gasoline and diesel engines. The best thing about this jump starter is that it supports USB type C. It’s among the most versatile options on the market.
Audew 2000A Portable Jump Starter sports a beautiful sleek design that makes it stand out from the rest. This jump starter comes with an adapter for a cigarette lighter that powers 12V accessories directly from the device. It also comes with a sturdy carrying case that offers long-lasting durability and other impressive accessories including a wall adapter and multiple USB cables.
Audew 2000A Portable Jump Starter additionally features bright LED flashlight with three different light modes including normal, SOS and strobe. It also has acrylic lens that help protect the digital LCD display that shows the status of the battery. The only downside is that some people find the display a bit dim and the jumper cables are equally short.
- It offers USB-C support
- It supports large gasoline and diesel engines
- It rated at 2000A peak amps with 20000mAh battery capacity
- It comes with a cigarette lighter adapter
- It has a built-in LED flashlight with three different light modes
- The LED flashlight is a bit dim especially during the day
- The jumper cables are too short
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Just as the name suggests, this jump starter also doubles up as a power bank for charging electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and cameras among others. Viking is one of the best portable jump starters on the market. The brand is known to make premium quality jump starters in different sizes and this model is no exception.
Viking Portable Lithium-Ion Jump Starter is rated at 450 peak amps. The brand has other jump starters for powering larger gasoline and diesel engines in case of an emergency. They also have a 12000mAh unit that weighs 1.4pounds and comes with a number of impressive features. This jump starter comes with removable jumper cables for ease of storage and a cover plug that helps keep the dirt out.
In addition, Viking Portable Lithium-Ion Jump Starter comes with a built-in LED flashlight with three different light modes including SOS, normal and emergency strobe. It also features a 12V adaptor, a simple zippered storage housing for holding accessories, USB charging port with Apple and micro-USB connectors. What’s more, this jump starter can hold a significant amount of charge for up to three years.
- It’s ultra-compact, lightweight and portable
- It has a lot of impressive features that are quite handy
- It has a long storage life
- It comes with a short warranty
- It cannot start large engines in freezing cold temperatures
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
Stanley J509 Portable Power Station Jump Starter is best suited for large vehicles. The only downside is that this unit is relatively heavy as compared to its counterparts. This jump starter offers 1000 peak amps with instant 500 amps and comes with a handy built-in air compressor rated at 120 PSI. It’s one of the best heavy-duty jump starters on the market. Just like other jump starts with the same specifications, this unit also comes with a 12V DC outlet and a USB port that lets you charge your electronic devices with ease.
Stanley J509 Portable Power Station Jump Starter additionally features a built-in LED flashlight that rotates up to 270 degrees. The flashlight helps illuminate areas with poor lighting conditions especially during the night since you only need to adjust it without necessarily moving the entire jump box. The best thing about this jump starter is that it comes with an air compressor to inflate flat tires.
Stanley J509 Portable Power Station Jump Stater has a reverse polarity protection feature to protect you in case of incorrect connections. What’s more, this jump starter is easy to use – you only need to attach the clamps to the car battery, switch it on and start the vehicle. This jump starter is relatively heavy as it weighs 18 pounds or thereabout.
- It’s multifunctional
- It’s safe and easy to use
- It comes with a built-in LED flashlight
- It doubles up as an air compressor used to inflate flat tires
- It features a built-in USB charging port
- It features a reverse polarity alarm in case of incorrect connections
- The battery has a short lifespan
- The air compressor performance is quite unreliable
- It doesn’t come with a warranty
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
Hulkman is one of the best jump starter brands known to make high-quality products and this Hulkman Alpha85 Jump Starter is no exception. This jump starter also doubles up as a convenient power bank for charging electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops and other car accessories. It features the brand’s famous patented speed charge of 65 watts that can fully charge this jump starter in 1 ½ hours.
Hulkman Alpha85 Jump Starter offers up to 2000 peak amps that allows you to jump start different vehicles with 6.0L and 8.5L diesel and gasoline engines respectively. The best thing about this jump starter is that it offers up to a maximum of 60 jumps when fully charged. It has a 20000mAh battery capacity and a 12V DC port to power small devices like a tire inflator.
Hulkman Alpha85 Jump Starter additionally features a bright built-in LED flashlight with three different light modes. This jump starter has an LCD display screen that shows status information. The rugged housing offers long-lasting durability and also boasts resistance rated at IP65. The casing is drop, dust and rain resistant. This jump starter comes with a 2-year warranty and an unlimited technical support.
- It features a 3.3-inch LCD display screen
- It features a built-in 12V port and LED flashlight that helps illuminate areas with poor lighting conditions
- It has a 20000mAh battery capacity with 2000 peak amps
- It can double up as a power bank for charging electronic devices
- It doesn’t work well in freezing cold temperatures
- It doesn’t come with a storage bag or a convenient carrying case
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
Clore Automotive Jump N Carry JNC660 Jump Starter is one of the best portable options on the market. This jump starter is rated at 1700 peak amps and offers 425 cranking amps featuring Proformer battery technology. The battery is specially designed to provide a higher power output with an extended lifespan and cranking power. This jump starter comes with premium quality heavy-duty copper insulated jumper cables with jaw clamps.
Clore Automotive Jump N Carry JNC660 Jump Starter has a 12V power output although it doesn’t have any USB outlets. It additionally features a voltmeter at the front to show the status of the battery in the jump starter. If you are looking for a durable option, then this jump starter is your best bet. It comes in a heavy-duty impervious case to lock out fluids. Plus, its uniquely designed to withstand anything you throw at it in line of duty. It has a convenient handle for ease of carrying around.
- It’s one of the best jump starter brands with beautifully designed jump starters
- It has a convenient carrying handle
- It’s reliable
- It comes with a replaceable battery
- It comes with a limited warranty
- The battery tends to wear out quickly when used extensively
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Viking 1700 Peak Amp Portable Jump Starter is one of the best on the market as it offers enough power to jump start big, heavy and powerful diesel engines. This jump starter is rated at about 550 cranking amps that is comparable to most car batteries, it also helps turn a bigger engine over for an extensive period at full speed.
Viking 1700 Peak Amp Portable Jump Starter comes with an in-built rugged case featuring a molded carrying handle for ease of carrying around and transportation. It weighs 26 pounds owing to its 22000mAh lead acid battery. However, it’s slightly compact for this kind of power at 4 inches deep, 16 inches high and 14 inches wide. Along with the relatively big power, weight and features, this jump starter also has a USB port, DC power port, 2AWG and 55-inch lead.
Viking 1700 Peak Amp Portable Jump Starter additionally features bright LED light with six different light modes. Most people like the recessed charging port that helps power the jump starter from the wall outlet and the disconnect switch that keep everything in place. This jump starter is your best bet if you plan on jump starting vehicles in areas with freezing cold temperatures. Plus, it’s the best portable jump starter on the market.
- This jump starter comes in different variants
- It comes with a sealed lead acid battery
- It features bright LED flashlight with different light modes
- It has a digital display
- It features a USB port that allows you to charge a range of electronic devices
- It has an onboard storage compartment
- It’s relatively heavy
- It falls on the higher side of the pricing spectrum as compared to other light-duty units
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
Michelin Power Source XR1 Portable Jump Starter boasts 300 cranking amps and 1000 peak amps. Michelin is a renowned brand known to make high-quality products and this jump starter is no exception. This jump starter is an excellent choice for those looking for a versatile option. It features an in-built inverter that provides AC power when you hit the road.
Michelin Power Source XR1 Portable Jump Starter is rated at 200watts while the surge capability is 400 watts. This allows you to power a range of electronic devices such as a fan, DVD player and a small blender among others. This brand specializes in making tires that’s why the jump starter comes with a built-in air compressor. The air compressor helps fill up flat tires in record time with ease. What’s more, the power inverter is quite handy for camping.
Michelin Power Source XR1 Portable Jump Starter comes with a power inverter that can also double up as a Bluetooth radio. The carrying case is made with a heavy-duty, sturdy and resilient plastic for increased durability and protection. The case additionally features a rubber tire wrapping for maximum protection against drops and bumps. It has an anti-slip handle for ease of carrying around and transportation.
- It’s one of the best portable jump starters on the market
- It comes with a power inverter and a built-in air compressor
- The power inverter can double up as a digital Bluetooth radio
- The air compressor is a bit noisy
- The speaker isn’t loud enough
- It’s not entirely compact
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
NEXPOW 1500A Battery Starter has many impressive features including 3.0 fast charge and a type C USB support. Both features are quite handy since this jump starter also doubles up as a portable power bank for charging a range of electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and cameras among others. This jump starter offers a maximum of 1500 peak amps and 21800mAh battery capacity that can jump start 4.0L and 6.5L diesel and gasoline engines respectively.
NEXPOW 1500A Battery Starter offers up to a maximum of 30 jumps when fully charged owing to its large battery capacity. What’s more, it’s relatively small that it can fit anywhere when you are on the go. It’s one of the best portable jump starters on the market as it weighs less than three pounds. It comes with a standard Type C USB port that allows you to charge a range of devices regardless of the type of connection.
NEXPOW 1500A Battery Starter additionally features bright LED flashlight with SOS light and emergency strobe light. This jump starter is equally safe to use thanks to a number of safety features including reverse polarity protection, high temperature, over current, overload and spark-proof protection. This means that you don’t have to sweat the small stuff like incorrect connections as the device will send you a warning in such cases.
- It has a 21800mAh battery capacity
- It offers up to 1500 peak amps
- It features a Type C USB port
- It can jump start 4.0L and 6.5L diesel and gasoline engines respectively
- It offers a maximum of up to 30 jumps when fully charged
- It features a bright LED flashlight
- The cables are a bit short
- The instructions are not clear
The Number of Amps a Car Need to Jump Start
Portable jump starters usually have different specifications which makes choosing one best suited for your vehicle an uphill task. The power of the jump starter is rated in peak amps or cold cranking amps. If you want to measure the latter, you’ll need to put a fully charged battery in an area with freezing cold temperature to determine the number of amps the jump starter discharges in 30 seconds. This way, you’ll know how the battery behaves in the worst case scenario in terms of the weather condition.
The number of amps the portable jump starter offers equates to its power. This typically means that the higher the amps the powerful the jump starter. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you only need to go for powerful jump starters. The most important thing is knowing the amount of power your vehicle needs. You’ll require more cranking amps if the temperatures run low.
You can jump start smaller and compact cars with as low as 550 cold cranking amps and 450CCA for SUVs and full-size trucks. There are other things you need to factor in such as the vehicle model and size of the engine. You’ll need more amps to jump start old vehicles and those with large engines. The same applies to diesel engines with high compression. Generally, 400 to 500 cold cranking amps are enough to jump start most vehicles.
You need more cranking amperage and time to jump start an old carbureted vehicle for a hotter spark as compared to its advanced fuel injected counterpart. Always have a powerful jump starter at your disposal in case of emergencies.
Types of Batteries
Jump boxes usually features two different types of batteries – lithium-ion and lead acid batteries. The former are similar to those in cellphones and are energy-dense. This means that for their size, they typically hold a lot of electricity. In addition, lithium-ion batteries tend to charge faster than their lead acid counterparts. The only downside is that they lose power fast when the temperatures run low since they are sensitive.
Inconveniently, lithium-ion batteries last longer when not fully charged. Keep the battery between 25% and 85% full to make it last longer but ensure its fully charged to be on the safer side. Discharging and slow charging also helps although you don’t necessarily need that in a portable jump starter. You can trade it off with a lighter and relatively compact battery pack.
Lead acid batteries are almost like regular car batteries with advanced technological features. They are relatively heavy, dependable and equally durable. Unlike their lithium-ion counterparts, lead acid batteries should be kept fully charged for best results. You should keep recharging them after every month of use. Slowly discharge the lead acid battery to less than 50% to get the most out of it. After about 20 to 50 cycles, the battery capacity will have increased.
In addition, increasing the battery capacity is quite easy as you only need to use the DC and USB ports to charge and power your electronic devices. This is the right style of slow discharge for both the priming and formatting cycle. At the end of the day, it always narrows down to personal preferences and specifications when choosing between lighter and relatively cheap lithium-ion batteries with a short lifespan. The other option is to go for big and heavy lead acid batteries with an extended lifespan.
Using a Jump Starter to Revive your Dead Car Battery
All car owners should not only have a portable jump starter at their disposal but also know how to use one in case of an emergency. Knowing how to use a jump starter will save you both time and money since you don’t need to wait for assistance from another vehicle or call a tow truck. Those who’ve been stuck by thee roadside with a dead car battery know the importance of having a portable jump starter.
Here’s a detailed overview on how to jump start your vehicle using a portable jump starter the traditional way.
The most frequently asked question in such scenarios is telling whether the car battery is dead or the vehicle has other mechanical issues. How do I tell that the car battery is dead? It’s always important to establish the genesis of the problem before running to jump start. A dead car battery isn’t the issue if you ignite the car and the engine produces a cranking noise which means jump starting it will be an exercise in futility. Conversely, if there’s no noise and the car is totally dead upon ignition or probably a few clicks, chances are that the battery is dead and needs jump starting.
Jump Starting a Car
Ensure the cars are facing each other without touching when parking about 1.5 meters apart. The most important thing is to put a manual vehicle in neutral and park for automatic cars.
Ensure the parking brakes are on to prevent the two vehicles from moving unexpectedly. Remove the car keys from ignition after turning them off.
Ensure everything in the car is turned off including the radio, headlamps, heaters and overhead lamps. This is because you need all the power to be used in jump starting the vehicle.
Ensure the clamps don’t come in contact with each other as you put the jumper cables on the ground/road.
Open the bonnet/hood of the two vehicles and find the location of the batteries and the terminals too. The terminals are usually color coded black or red to signify positive and negative charge. You need to identify the charges correctly to jump start the vehicle successfully.
Use a rag or brush to wipe off any grimy surfaces on the battery terminals before connecting the jump starter.
Attach the positive clamp to the dead battery terminal firmly. You then need to affix the positive cable on the jump cable to the battery terminal of the operative vehicle.
Connect the negative clamp cable to the battery terminal of the functional battery. You may see some sparks but there’s no cause for alarm. For safety purposes, always check if you’ve connected the cables in the right way.
Move to the vehicle with a dead battery. Don’t affix the negative clamp to the dead car battery but instead attach the clamp to any metal or an unpainted part such as a clean and bright screw on the engine block. This helps ensure the car is safe and easy to jump start.
As a rule of thumb, always connect negative to the ground and positive to positive then start working the vehicle.
When jump starting the car, give it sometime, a minute or two depending on a number of factors including the age of the battery and the time at which the engine stopped running. The car should run for some minutes to revive the dead battery.
At this point, you can start the car with the dead battery. If it fails to start, let the operative vehicle charge the dead battery a few minutes longer before trying again. Revving the operative vehicle’s engine moderately will help on some occasions.
You can disconnect the jump starter starting with the negative clamp once the car with the dead battery starts running.
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