Best Jump Starter - Reviews (2020)
As an everyday driver, your vehicle’s electrical power source will eventually fail. Whether it’s a drastic temperature change, the water level of the battery is low, or the battery just simply won’t hold a charge like it used to… these things happen all the time. In order to be prepared, you need to have a jump starter box on you at all times. It’s one thing to have cables, but what happens when no one is willing to stop and help you out, then what?
We created a guide specifically about battery jumper boxes, portable jump starters, and anything that you can take with you to give your vehicle’s battery the “extra” juice to get going. Now, before we dive into the top 10 list lets go over what the requirements USED to be.
Before the jump box, you had to carry with you a set of jumper cables to get another vehicle to give you some juice. This is still a common practice when no other power sources are present, but it’s quite an inconvenience. Then we have the jump boxes on wheels where you hook them directly to the wall and then directly to the car battery. This again requires a power source which is a wall outlet, even more inconvenient.
Today’s latest options are MUCH better in terms of providing power and portability. Some of today’s best jump starters weigh under 5 lbs in total and can give you over 15 jumps on a single charge (WOW!). Battery jumper boxes aren’t out of reach financially, your local automotive store and places like Amazon’s Automotive section will have a plethora of choices.
We narrowed it down to just TEN of the best rated, and best performing portable jump starters you can get. Take a look!
10 Best Jump Starters and Reviews (full list below)
- 1,700 Peak Amps, Proformer battery technology, 46 inch heavy-duty #2 AWG cables, Voltmeter, 46 inch cable, Fully automatic
- Lithium jump starter rated at 2000 Amps, Connect to any lead-acid battery, Integrated LED flashlight, Safely jump start dead battery in seconds
- 1800 peak amperes, 18 Ah professional grade AGM battery, Built in automatic charger, LED indicators
- 600 amps of peak current, Heavy duty clamps and cables, 16500mAh capacity, LED light with 3 modes
- 1100 peak amp, 12V DC power outlet, Built in charger, 6-gauge Heavy duty cables
- 600-amps of power, 16800mAh high battery capacity, Built-in Super bright LED flashlight, Safety protection for overcharge
- 900 Peak Amps, 400 Cranking Amp, Reverse polarity warning light, Three LED Battery Level Indicator, 24" Inflator hose
- 900 Peak Amps, 225 Cranking Amps, Industrial Grade, Hot Jaw clamps, 27 inch long cables
10.Jump-N-Carry JNC300XLC Ultra-portable 12V Jump Starter
First contestant we have in our #10 spot is the Jump-N-Carry JNC300XLC Portable 12-Volt jump starter. This little guy isn’t by any means the smallest package you can get for jump starters, but it’s 1/3 of the size a regular jumper box is. This one comes in weighing in at around 9l bs fully loaded, it includes two jumper wires and a convenience light (ideal for night time usage).
This one in particular has the “C” in the end of its name, meaning that its Oregon and California energy compliant. At peak power it’s pushing around 900 amps, and for cranking amps you’re looking at around 225. When hooking this unit up to a battery, each lead (negative and positive) provides around 27″ inches of reach. In addition, you’re also provided with a 12-volt socket (cigarette light style) for powering up and charging your electric accessories.
Overall it’s a VERY popular unit and has received great feedback from its users. If you don’t live in California or Oregon, you can save close to 30 dollars by looking into the JNC300XL (non-energy compliant unit). Same performance still.
9.Performance Tool W1665 Jump Starter and Inflator
Here we have a jump starter that is very similar to the one mentioned above, but this one is taking a more traditional approach in terms of design. The Performance Tool W1665 is a full 900 peak amp and 400 cold cranking amp jumper box, featuring an additional tire inflator. What makes this unit great is the relatively easy portability aspect, along with a tire inflator making it a useful tool in two aspects.
There’s a comfortable rubber grip done on the top of the handle, making it easier to carry around. Weighing in at just over 14 lbs, it’s by no means the heaviest thing you’ll carry.. quite the opposite actually.
Additional useful features that come built-in are: reverse polarity warning light allowing you to stay away from hooking up the battery in an incorrect fashion, three level LED lights to indicate the life of the battery and when it’s time for you to charge, lastly there’s a 24″ inch inflator hose which can compress air up to 300 PSI.
In conclusion, this is a great package to place in your trunk and have in case of an emergency.View on Amazon
8.Nekteck Multifunction Car Jump Starter Portable Power Bank
We’re now stepping into the most modern method of jumping a car or truck’s battery. Nakteck has created a portable power source that has the capability of reaching 600 peak amps with 16,800 mAh of battery juice. Crank over a gasoline engine of up to 5.0L inside, or crank up a diesel engine that’s up to 3.0L in size. What else makes this really that great? The overall size and weight is 6.5″ inches long, 3.1 inches wide, 1.6″ inches high and weighing in at just over 2 lbs. Place it in your glove box, or place it in your trunk to be hidden away until it’s time to jump.
Aside from its size, it boasts quite a few very useful features which you’ll most likely end up using more often than not. With the battery fully charged, you’ll be able to jump start up to 25 times before needing to recharge this portable battery (imagine how often you’ll need to jump-start a vehicle or vehicles, 25 times… this may take a while). On the unit itself it has 2 USB ports, along with multiple adapters for charging electronics.
Overall, being able to jump a battery up to 25 times, weighing in at around 2 pounds, and spend half of what a conventional jump box would cost makes this unit WORTH IT.
7. Stanley J5C09 Jump Starter with Compressor
If you want something heavy duty, a traditional styled jump starter box is the way to go (in most cases). Our #7 is the Stanley J5C09 Jump Starter Box. Stylish in looks, this portable jump box comes with not just a power source but also an air compressor that can be used to pump up tires (120 PSI max). When it comes to power, you’re looking at a whopping 1,000 peak amps and 5000 cold cranking amps for instant starting power.
A USB and DC port are included for charging up your electronic accessories. In addition, there’s three LED lights indicating the current status of the battery and a reverse polarity light indicating when terminal hook-up is done incorrectly. Weighing in t around 18 lbs, it bears the typical weight you’d find in most other jumper boxes.
If you want heavy duty power, especially for trucks and SUV’s, look into this Stanley J5C09..
6. Schumacher XP2260 Portable Power Source
The above-mentioned jumper box is designed for heavy duty vehicles, but our next here steps it up a notch. Schumacher XP2260 is a portable power source that enables you to reach 1,200 peak amps of cranking power, ideal for heavy-duty engines and vehicles. Very stylish in design, it features a wide range of accessories such as a USB port for charging electronics, two 12-volt inlets, two 120V AC outlets, a built-in air compressor, and a built-in air inflator/deflator.
Being a bit more high-tech, there’s a digital display indicating the current status of the jump box, telling you exactly when it’s time for a charge. You can charge this jump box by using most types of extension cords, just hook it up directly to the back and plug the other end into the wall. Lastly, there’s a convenience light located right above the digital display, this makes it a great unit to be used at night when tough to see. Also, the battery itself is maintenance-free by being sealed, this makes it possible to store it in any position.View on Amazon
5. DBPOWER DJS30 Portable Jump Starter
Moving down to another even better ultra-portable jumper box, we have the DBPOWER DJS30 Car, Phone and Laptop Power Pack. What makes this unit quite impressive is the compatibility and the power output that it provides. Right from the box, you’ll see this unit comes in a convenient soft case which also stores all of the included accessories. This unit is meant to be brought with everywhere and to have all of the things it comes with at all times. Unlike the previous unit, this guy weighs in at just over 1 lbs, which is incredibly light weight. In addition, the overall length is 7.5″ inches, 1.9″ inches in height, and 3.4″ inches in overall width.
This unit includes a series of RED led lights located on one side, as well as an ultra-bright white, led light located on the front. With the 16,500 mAh of power and 600 amps of peak power to get your vehicle cranking, you’re looking at roughly 20 or so full jumps before needing to recharge this pack. Essential accessories like the positive and negative terminal are created in a way that you won’t easily touch both terminals accidentally. Also, the USB port and additional charging terminal can be used to charge a wide range of laptops and electronics.View on Amazon
Being the smallest in the family but still being a very high peak amp jump starters, we have the Schumacher PSJ-1812 ProSeries portable jump box. What sets this jumper box apart from everyone else (mentioned above) is the peak cranking amps you’ll have access to. This unit, in particular, isn’t the full sized box like its 2,200, 3,600, and 4,400 peak cranking amp brothers. Weighing in around 18.6 lbs, it’s portable enough to store in the back of your vehicle’s trunk (cubby or storage area) and keep with you in the case of an emergency.Aside from the peak amps, it has 280 cranking amps and 225 cold cranking amps. An 18 amp hour professional grade high output battery is easily rechargeable using the port inlet found on the unit. Unlike the other units previously mentioned, there isn’t much in terms of accessories. For the most part, this is mostly barebones. Great for high power requirements but in a small package.View on Amazon
3. NOCO Genius Boost HD GB70 Portable Jump Starter 12-Volt
This product in particular is one of our most favorite jump starters on the market hands down. You’ll end up paying price for it, but it’s quite amazing at what you can do with it. First off, the NOCO Genius Boost HD is a 12-volt 2,000 peak amp portable jump starter. What this means is that it can jump a vehicle up to 40 times on a SINGLE charge… how’s THAT for impressive.. For all of that power, it’s very small in size and weighs under 3 lbs. You can jump gasoline vehicles that have engines up to 8.0 liters and diesel engines that are as big as 6.0 liters (in most cases people have reported being able to jump diesel engines that are bigger).
The spark-proof technology protects you from reverse polarity, and the terminals are easily tucked on the unit for a very convenient package. Some additional bonuses you’ll get with this unit are a 12 volt power port for tire pump, power-converters, lights and other things, you’ll be able to charge electronic devices using the built-in USB port, and even use the 400 lumens LED flashlight with the 7 modes (including SOS and Emergency Strobe). It will be hard to get stranded with a dead smartphone, on a full charge you’ll be able to recharge a dead smartphone up to 8 times.
With all these features, you can easily hide this device in your glove box or cubby and use it when desired. Highly recommended!
2. Jump-N-Carry JNC660C 12-Volt Jump Starter
Both negative and positive terminals are 46″ inches in length and are of higher gauge wire, making them very durable and not likely at all to get torn. You can recharge this unit from the front, as well as see the current battery status with a crisp, clean analog gauge. Check it out below on Amazon.View on Amazon
1. Suaoki G7 Portable Car Jump Starter
So now we’ve come down to the best jumper box to get, and this one was a tough choice. Although there’s a TON of positive reviews for #2 and a few similar traditional styled jumpers, our #1 won for a few different reasons. Suaoki G7 Portable Car Jump Starter is by far the most powerful (very portable) jump box unit we’ve come across. This one, in particular, has 18,000 mAh power supply which enables you to jump start a vehicle (gas up to 5.0 Liters and 3.5 Liters for diesel) up to 22 times on a single charge.
Now, this unit is only about 3 lbs in total and is no more than 7.3″ inches long. You get a beautiful digital LCD display showing you the battery status indicator, along with 2 USB ports, a power OUTPUT, and a ultra bright white LED light. There’s reverse polarity protection to protect the car and portable battery. Under 100 dollars, grab it from Amazon and get a warranty.
The Best Jump Starter Buying Guide
While all the car jump starters we reviewed above are among the best on the market you might want to further your knowledge before purchasing. For this reason, we have included this buyer’s guide to the best portable jump starters to help you make an informed decision before you purchase.
What Is a Jump Starter?
An apt description for a jump starter would be a defibrillator for your vehicle. Before we had the benefit of portable jump starters to restart a car you would need electrical power from the battery of another car. Gone are the days of trying to flag someone down to get your car started, portable jump starters have removed the necessity of another vehicle. Instead, they provide the electricity that is necessary to restart the car battery if it has gone flat.
When a car engine is running as usual the alternator will charge the battery and allow the engine to turn over and also to run other car parts such as the heating and cooling systems, radio, and lights. If the battery won’t turn over the engine then hooking them up to a jump starter will provide the juice needed to get the battery restarted enabling the alternator to generate electricity.
Portable jump starters are an essential item to have on hand for any motorist, the last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a flat battery. You also don’t want to be pestering your neighbor if you can’t get your car started for an early morning commute. Some jump starters come with extra features such as flashlights which are handy for signaling other drivers or using to see better in the night-time. Other features include air compressors and emergency strobe lights to warn other vehicles of your presence from a distance. Many come equipped with USB ports enabling you to charge phones and other electronic devices. Choosing the best jump starter is a wise move for any car owner.
The Features To Consider When You Buy a Jump Starter
Before you purchase a jump starter it’s very important to ensure that you choose one that has the power to get your vehicle battery restarted. The bigger the engine the greater the power required to turn it over, so it’s essential that you choose the best jump starter for the task. You’ll want a product that will hold a charge extended length of time the last thing you need is it to go flat on you in an emergency. Safety features are another feature of many jump starters to prevent you from accidentally damaging your car.
Peak Amps and Cranking Amps [Starting Amps]
When you are looking for the best jump starter for your vehicle you should find out its power output. The power output is best described by the peak amperage this is the maximum amount of amperage it can deliver to a flat battery. Though it isn’t a completely true indicator of starting power it will provide a reasonable clue of how much power the jump starter offers. The higher the peak amperage the more powerful the car battery jump starter is.
So let’s discuss why you would want a higher peak amp rating for your jump starter. Your car battery will provide the starting power that will get the engine running. As there are many different electrical systems that need to be enabled from the start a powerful battery is needed to get everything working from the get-go. If the battery is dead then the jump starter needs to provide the required power to the battery and other mechanisms that are needed to start the car so it can get moving. If a jump starter doesn’t have enough power output to start all these mechanical operations it obviously won’t be able to start the car.
It should be noted that a jump starter has two functions. Firstly it supplies enough power to the battery to revive it so that it can carry on its important functions. Secondly, it will provide enough power to the crankshaft to start it rotating to fire up the engine.
The amp rating is just one element of a jump starters’ true power output. Its voltage should also be checked to give an indication of its total wattage. As with most electrical systems power is measured in Watts, so this is the same as the current in amps being multiplied by the voltage. So for a simple understanding, if you want more power you must increase current or voltage. As voltage is relatively constant this leaves you with current or amps. To find out the correct power output for your car you should refer to the owner’s manual and also check the battery specifications.
A more important measurement of amperage to pay attention to is the cranking amp rating. To simplify things this rating indicates how much power is required for you to crank and start your car in most weather conditions apart from freezing cold day in the winter. If you reside in areas that are prone to a lot of cold temperatures then you will require the cold cranking amp rating to bring your dead car battery back to life.
A jump starters voltage should also be considered. Different vehicles will have batteries of varying sizes and voltages. A typical jump starter will be sufficient for batteries between 6 and 12 volts. There are also industrial grade jump starters of up to 25 volts designed for trucks and large vehicles. Most cars run on 12-volt batteries while motorcycles run on 6-volt batteries. We recommend that you check the voltage of your battery before purchasing and if you have a car and a motorcycle you might want to look for a model that has an adjustable voltage setting.
Size, Weight, and Cable Length
Weight is something you should consider when you are choosing a jump starter to buy. You should select a jump starter with a weight that is right for the task at hand. For instance, if you own a pickup with plenty of storage it is not going to matter how heavy the jump starter is while if you are on a motorcycle you don’t want to be carrying one that is weighty. Usually, the weight of the jump starter can be found in the description on the website selling it or on the product packaging. This is the same with the size of the jump starter it should be easy to find.
Ideally, when it comes to the cable length you want it fairly long the majority of car experts suggest at least 12 feet in length. Another thing to consider is the gauge of the wires in the cable at the very least you should be looking at is 8-Gauge but if you can afford better go for it. The lower the gauge, the wider the wire diameter is and a wider diameter means that your car will start faster.
Some jump starters have built-in safety features that are a nice added extra. For instance spark resistant jumper cables; as there have been reports of exploding batteries due to a spark being created while being hooked up to a jumper cable. Spark resistant and heavy-duty jumper cables will minimize the risks of sparks being an issue. Another great safety feature is the reverse polarity alarm and short circuit protection. If by chance you connect a positive jumper cable clamp to a negative battery terminal or the other way round it can damage your jump starter or battery and in some cases make the battery explode. The alarm or short circuit protection will minimize the risk of these dangers occurring.
Price and Quality
When you purchase a jump starter you are spoilt for choice and what you pay will be a good indicator of the quality of the product. They come in a range of different prices and cost at the low end $20 and the high end a few hundred dollars. How much you spend on your jump starter will depend on your needs and budget.
These days you can buy portable jump starters that are small enough to fit in your glove compartment and the cost of them won’t be to hard on your wallet. Before you purchase though you should make sure that they can provide the power that is needed to start your vehicle.
There are also the heavy-duty professional-grade models that will be a lot more expensive and feature industrial-grade components, including high capacitance cables and extra safety protection. These units can’t be classed as portable or compact and certainly won’t fit in your glove compartment as they can weigh up to 30 lbs.
Modern jump starters do much more than just restart your battery and have a host of extra features. Many have the option to charge power devices via USB so you can charge your tablet, smartphone, or music player with the device. Built-in air compressors are another extra you will see with many units and can come in useful when needed. Jump Starters that have an emergency strobe light included are useful in dangerous conditions when your car has broken down. The strobe light effect will warn other motorists of your presence so they can take any action needed.
Most sensible drivers are likely to already carry a flashlight in their vehicles but a backup is always handy and you’ll find that many jump starters will include an LED flashlight. A few jump starters have a light that makes the SOS signal with a blinking light pattern. While it isn’t likely to be used often it can be lifesaving if you were to get stranded somewhere for instance in a snowstorm and needed urgent help.
Lastly, when choosing a jump starter it is always worth checking the warranty. If you have narrowed down your choice of jump starters to just a couple of choices and can’t make your mind up which one to buy the one with the best warranty might be the decider for you.
What Specs are Needed for a Jump Starter
The owner’s manual that comes with your car should tell you all the information required to jump start your car. You need to match the unit that you are buying with what is required by your car, it will need the power to turn over the engine of your particular vehicle. It’s important to find out these specifications to avoid buying the wrong type, so check your manual, online car forums, or even head over to your car manufacturers dealership to get their advice. Having the right jump starter for the job is vital.
Jump Starter Safety Tips
- Cranking Amps – Also known as starting amps is the number of amps that a unit can discharge consistently for 30 seconds to a dead battery at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In simple layman’s terms, it can be described as the power needed to start your vehicle engine on most days.
- Cold Cranking Amps – In cold weather, you’ll want to look at cold-cranking amperage this is the number of amps that a unit can discharge consistently for 30 seconds to a dead battery at a temperature of 0° Fahrenheit or below
- Lithium-Ion Batteries – These are the best batteries for jump starters with the benefits of being light-weight, lasting for a long time, and fast recharging times.
- LED – LED or Light-emitting diode lights are extremely powerful and often come as an additional feature in jump starters providing functions such as SOS light singles, Flashlights, and strobe safety lighting.
- Peak Amps – This is the maximum amps a jump starter can produce at any one time. Amperes measure current if a jump starter says that has 1700 peak amps for instance then 1700 amperes is the maximum it can deliver.
How To Accomplish The Perfect Jump Start
It’s a reasonably easy process to jump-start your car with just a few simple steps to follow.
Before you jumpstart your vehicle ideally it should be parked on stable ground with the brakes on. Switch off all the car’s electrical systems and remove the key from the ignition. Make sure that your jump starter is fully charged and then turn it off. We would advise wearing some safety equipment such as eye protection and insulated gloves. You should remove your watch and jewelry for added safety precautions. You now need to attach the two clamps to the battery terminals. Typically they will be color-coded, red for the positive terminal and black for the negative, the clamps will match.
Starting with the red clamp connect it to the positive terminal and then the black clamp to the negative terminal of the battery. Ensure that both the clamps are secure and then you can turn the starter on and then turn the key in the ignition. If the engine starts first time great! But if not let it rest and try again after two or three minutes. It is important that you don’t crank the engine for any more than 5 seconds as it could result in overheating.
Once the car starts you should turn off the jump starter and remove the black clamp first and then the red. Lave the engine running to give the battery time to recharge. It’s as simple as that but don’t forget to charge the jump starter as soon as you get a chance.
Jump starter FAQ
➡️ How many amps are required to start a car?
The required amps to start the majority of car engines are 400 amps but your model might not be typical. Rather than guessing it’s best to check the user manual of your car to answer this question. For SUVs and vehicles with bigger engines you’ll need around 100 amps to start them.
➡️ How do I charge a jumper starter?
This depends on the model you purchase but most of them charge the same as any other electrical device by just plugging them into an electric outlet and charge for a few hours until the unit indicates that it’s fully charged. Some jump starters also can be powered by solar power or through a USB interface.
➡️ Can I use a car jump starter in the rain?
Car electrical systems have very low voltage so it isn’t dangerous to jump-start a car in the rain. The main dangers will be catching a cold or stepping in a puddle!
➡️ Can jump starting a car damage it?
The chance of damaging your car while jump starting it is fairly unlikely especially in models that offer surge protection as a feature. The main way of causing damage to your car and jump starter is if you connect the cables in the wrong order.