The road is always an adventure, and jump-starting is required once for a while for any car. The best portable jump starter will ensure a quick start of your engine in any place and any condition (except for the completely non-working battery). To put it simply, this device consists of its own battery and clamps and must send the amps to your car’s power bank letting them start the engine.
Modern jump starters differ by battery type, level of protection, ability to power other units than the car batteries, etc. Let’s see which factors to consider when looking for a fitting jump starting device:
- Battery type. Lead-acid jump starters usually have the considerable capacity and can jump the powerful engines of commercial trucks. The Li-ion ones are much lighter and more compact while their capacity is limited to passenger cars and small trucks.
- Amps. Peak amps are sent only for a small period of time and must start the engine. Cranking amps are delivered to the battery to revive and charge it. You’ll need from 1,000 to 2,000 peak amps for the majority of the car engines.
- Protection. Many jump starters feature the reverse connection alarm, sensors, and mechanisms preventing overcharging and overvolting. There should be proper insulation on wires and clamps.
- Additional functions. There can be an air compressor, a strobe light, a USB charger, a voltmeter, etc.
- Design. A handle, cable compartment, waterproof design are handy additions.
Portable Jump Starter Reviews
This jump starter has enough capacity to boost your car, a small boat, or a lawn mower easily. 800 cranking amps feed the battery fast, and 1,800 peak amps can start the 7-liter gas engine (or the 5.5L diesel one). This power bank booster can also charge other devices and has several protection mechanisms implemented. It could possibly be the best portable jump starter. However, the charger’s efficiency falls down considerably, when its own charge drops below 50% level. Which means that only small cars and motorcycles could be jump-started under that level, but not SUVs or trucks.
The device is equipped with sturdy jumping cables with well-insulated clamps. The clamps are fully covered to prevent shock and are internally secured from overpowering, shock circuit, voltage increase, overloading. The clamping mechanism works well, but it needs some effort to handle it.
With two USB ports, this portable jump starter can be used as the powering station for multiple USB devices, like laptops, smartphones, flashlights, USB-powered electronic tools, and so on. There is a 2.1A port for smartphones and 2.4A connection for more demanding power banks (like those of laptops and tools). The device has the On/Off button and the separate Power button that starts the charging.
The charger is equipped with the compass in order to find your way in any conditions, even in the faraway places where navigators don’t work. There’s also a flashlight on the side to light the area.
- An LCD screen shows the charge left in the numerical format.
- The flashlight can work in three modes including the “strobe” and emergency one.
- Compact (7.28 x 1.57 x 3.54 inches), can fit under the seat or in the glove compartment.
- Doesn’t fit for MacBook.
- The manual doesn’t cover the operation in full.
If you’re looking for a middle-priced portable jump starter that’s easy-to-use, the GB40 might be the model you’re looking for. It features a rugged design, has a reverse polarity prevention system, and uses USB for charging other batteries (e.g. tablets, smartphones, portable speakers, etc.). It also holds a charge well, making a good option for long car trips.
The device is advertised to provide 1000 peak amps, which means an average passenger car or even a light SUV battery can be handled. This jump starter can also feed the small RVs, motorboats, and a variety of home tools and devices. The charger doesn’t send the current through one connection, which is good for safety but requires pressing the “Boost” button to start feeding the car’s power bank.
There’s also the reverse connection protection not letting the device charge if the clamps are positioned incorrectly. The LED indicator blinks in this case. The anti-spark feature allows safe usage of the charger in various weather conditions.
Resistance to climate and temperature change could make this unit the best portable car jump starter. It’s waterproof and able to work in cold. Still, storing it in a hot car for all time might result in the inner battery draining and poor performance. The supplied wires are solid and thick, and the clamps are fully insulated to avoid current shock for the user.
The flashlight incorporated into the jump starter has good brightness (100 lumens) and seven working modes including the emergency one.
- USB charging port for feeding and taking the current.
- A simple layout of buttons and indicators.
- The casing has rubber inclusions to prevent scratches and small damage.
- Cables are short (23 inches long).
- No AC adaptor supplied.
An all-in-one road emergency kit, this powerful device could be rated as the best portable jump starter and air compressor. Still, while providing enough power to jump start SUVs and light trucks, the J5C09 has a relatively small inner battery. The latter should be charged at least once in a month if not working and shortly after jump starting.
The power released by this jumper device makes 500 cranking and 1,000 peak amps. Such a boost is capable of starting the engine of a car, a boat, a lawn mower, ATV, and other motor vehicles. The unit works fast and is easy to connect and use. A line of large yellow switches and buttons have inscriptions of their functions, and the LED indicators show the battery status and the ports being in use.
The feeding cables are sturdy and flexible, long enough to reach the terminals of the battery with different polarity schemes. Clamps are insulated up to the teeth and have a responsive clamping mechanism. The sensor for reverse polarity is incorporated into this jump starter, and the LED indicator blinks if the clamps are cross-connected.
The built-in air compressor can produce the pressure up to 120 PSI and can inflate the tire with low pressure within a few minutes. The analog pressure gauge on the back displays the pressure and provides an informative scale. With a bright LED light attached on the left side, this portable jump starter with an air compressor makes a versatile solution for various stranded road situations.
- Can charge various devices through the USB port.
- The LED light can rotate for 270 degrees.
- Has a convenient top handle for carrying around.
- No overcharge control.
- Rather bulky (11.25 x 8 x 13.5 inches), doesn’t fit into the glove compartment.
If you need a jump starter that’ll have enough capacity to boost your vehicle, power up your smartphone, and take less space than a bottle of water, opt for this portable car jump starter. It has only 6 inches in height and is more lightweight than many competitors, weighing 1.16 lbs. However, the case is solid and scratch-proof.
The power, supplied by this feeder, makes 800 peak amps, which is enough to turn on the snowmobile, a passenger or light commercial car, a motorcycle, or even a yacht. It also powers the USB-enabled equipment through two USB outputs and the 12V/10A DC one.
The jump starter has several protection mechanisms ensuring the safe connection of clamps and non-overloading of the battery. The device prevents overcurrent and subsequent excessive heating, it can work in different temperature conditions including cold and mild heat, doesn’t let through more voltage than intended. There’s also the overcharge protection system securing the connected battery from excessive amps, and incorrect polarity alert preventing the damage to the jump starter and the car’s power bank.
The LED flashlight is built-in the casing and provides bright illumination. It supports three operation modes and can work as a regular flashlight, a strobe, and send the S.O.S. light signal. This compact device has plenty of features and could become the best portable car battery jump starter on any list. Still, it isn’t capable of reviving a completely flat battery and should be used for partly drained power banks only.
- Smart USB 3.0 port fits the majority of smart devices.
- Clamps are fully insulated up to the teeth and around them.
- Long charge hold, requires a recharge once in three months (if not used).
- The plastic hinge on a terminal clip seems to be quite weak.
- The “boost” button is small and not easy to reach.
Weighing just a bit over 1.5 lbs and reaching 7.7 inches, this compact portable battery jump starter produces a boosting power of 2,200 peak amps. This means it can jump start not only SUVs, snowmobiles, ATVs but also crank the larger and more powerful vehicles like middle-sized commercial trucks. The approximate engine size limit is 6.5L for diesel and 7.0L for gas motors.
The unit implements the Quick Discharge Start Power technology sending the boosted amps to the receiving battery at once. There’s also the heat preventing mechanism to avoid the overheating of the jump starter. The clamps and wires are sturdy and have thick insulation. The built-in safety system won’t let overpower or overcharge the power bank, as well as will secure it from short circuit issues.
Built-in USB ports allow powering devices like a camera, a boombox, an MP3 player, and so on. There are three ports, one of which can serve for different voltage feeds (12V, 9V, and 5V, the latter providing 3A power stream). For more demanding equipment, there’s a DC port charging 10A on 12V current.
The jump starter is also equipped with a built-in flashlight that can work as an S.O.S. signal as well. Considering its middle-level price, this device could be positioned as the best portable battery jumper. Still, it requires additional expense for the powerful charging block (for 2-3 amps), which isn’t supplied.
- Dual Type C port works for input and output and provides quick feeding.
- The internal battery has a good capacity (at least 16,000 mAh).
- LED screen shows the charge level and connection ports parameters (voltage and amperage).
- The negative cable is shorter than the positive one, and might be difficult to connect to the long battery posts.
- Vague instructions, especially for troubleshooting (battery beeps).
A portable car battery jump starter that can be tucked away in the trunk or a glove compartment without the need for the monthly recharge (if not used) — this device is convenient for non-techie drivers and those who tend to forget about maintenance terms. The jumping device can last up to one year without losing its capacity and provides versatile functionality to power up other devices and work as a flashlight.
The peak amps produced by this jumper make 800A, which can turn on most of the middle-sized vehicles, motorboats, ATV, RV, and even some commercial trucks. The charger is easy to connect and handle. It has the safety switch, which should be put into On position for recharge and operation, and a boost button to feed the battery for cranking power.
The unit has multiple safety features to avoid damage to the jump starter and jumped the battery. There’re bright flashing lights on the jumping section and the buzzing warning of the incorrect clamps placement, and the clamps and wires are sturdy and well-insulated. Clamps are made of metal and covered with the thick plastic that’s protruding to prevent any contact with the metal parts.
The USB-powered accessories and some DC ones can be charged through the dedicated outputs, one of which has 5V / 9V options. Smartphones, tablets, and headphones can be charged quickly, and several charges can be performed, due to the high capacity of the T8 battery (18,000 mAh). The jumper has the LCD screen to show the inner power bank level and can definitely be listed among the best portable jump starters within its pricing tier.
- Powerful flashlight working in various modes including the red hazard one.
- Can be charged via car outlets and with the wall adaptor.
- Rugged casing with colored texture parts is non-slippery and has a stylish look.
- No USB and 12V cords supplied.
The best portable battery jump starter should be powerful, with high peak and cranking amps, provide multiple charging options, including a contact-free one, and be compact and lightweight. The BEATIT G18 has it all and could be easily assigned the title. Still, its price tag makes 1.5-2 times of competitors with similar parameters. So, if you don’t need a wireless charging option or have a car with a small engine, it might become an overkill.
The jumper kit can produce 2000 peak amps and fits many vehicles with gas or diesel engine. RVs, snowmobiles, motorboats can also be jumped efficiently to start the engine within seconds. The jumper part of the device has its own LCD display showing the voltage of supplied current and features multiple technologies for efficient jump starting and safe operation.
The unit implements the QDSP tech sending a large number of amps to the flat battery connected and enabling it to crank the engine of a car or another vehicle. The jump starter doesn’t let through the reverse polarity issues securing the clamps and cables from sparks, incorrect placement, keeping the battery safe from overheating, excessive charging, and overloading. The clamps are insulated with the thick plastic cover and are easy to spring and release.
The wireless charging makes the highlight of this portable jump starter review. There’s a marked zone on the front part of the device, where a smartphone can be charged contact-free. Two USB ports and the in/out Type C one can feed any smart device as well.
- 21,000 mAh battery lasts for 30 charges.
- Two LCD screens, one for the charge level, and one for voltage.
- Built-in LED flashlight with strobe and S.O.S. functions, and a compass.
- Rubber cap for the cables compartment isn’t easy to pull out.
- Short cables, about 1ft long.
Solid power output and power bank capacity, good battery lasting period, and ability to work steadily in the extreme cold make the highlights of this device among portable car jump starter reviews. It has a rugged casing and overall sturdy built; still, in the hot environment, it might lose its capacity.
This jump starter can boost 1500 amps to the receiving battery and fits a wide array of vehicles including cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles, RVs, lawnmowers, etc. Its own power bank has a capacity of 20,800 mAh (or 76.9Wh) and can last several months on a single charge. It also provides from 20 to 30 jump-starts without recharging.
The unit works as a charging station as well. It can power up the car accessories (like a vacuum cleaner, compressor, etc.) through the 12V DC port, and charge the smartphones and tablets via USB 3.0. The big display on the front shows the capacity left and displays the jump starter status (e.g. signals about reversed connected clamps). Buttons for turning on the jump starter and activating the LED light are laid out near the screen and are big enough. The LED indicator on another side of the screen shows the charging is in process. The Boost button under the indicator is rather small.
Clamps are connected with the thick wire and feature the reverse connection protection. They’re fully covered with insulation, have good size, and grip to fit in any hand. The LED flashlight is built-in next to the input port and can work in S.O.S. and strobe illuminating modes.
- The auto-detection mechanism simplifies the operation sensing the clamps being connected or removed.
- Soft plastic caps for all inputs and outputs.
- Supplied with the wall adaptor and the carrying case.
- Clamps insulation is made of plastic and doesn’t seem sturdy.
- Heavier than many competitors (1.98 lbs).
If you’re looking for a jump starter able to deal with any battery in the passenger car and SUV segment, this model should definitely be on your comparison table. It produces a powerful current with lots of amps, maintains the charge for a long period, can be used in any climate, and has the most important safety features. It could certainly be called the best portable jump starter for car if only its price, size, and weight wouldn’t surpass the competitors 2-5 times.
This powerful jump starter is 16.85 inches long and weighs 7.5 lbs. This solidity backs up its high output enhanced by the QDSP technology and powering 4000 amps to the car’s battery. The design and operation are simple. There’s an On/Off button, the boosting (Override) one, and the button for the flashlight on the front, colored capacity indicator, lights for reverse clamp connection, charging process, alert light for errors, and the numeric voltmeter.
The internal battery keeps the charge well allowing up to 40 starts of the middle- and small-sized batteries. The jumping device can be used for all types of passenger cars and SUVs, light and middle-sized commercial vehicles, boats, RVs, and other equipment.
The GB150 can also serve as the charging bank for USB-enabled devices. It has 12V USB output and replenishes the smartphone or another gear quickly. The charging of the unit itself is also performed through USB input or a DC port rated at 12V capacity. There’s also a 12V DC port for quick charging of the equipment with car-bound connections (inverters, vacuum cleaners, and so on).
- The rubberized enclosure is water- and damage-resistant.
- Clamps have big jaws and are a spark- and reverse polarity protected.
- Large flashlight area and 500-lumen regulated brightness.
- Clamps are wired in, difficult to replace the wires in case of need.
- No AC charger supplied.
This compact jump starter isn’t too powerful and mightn’t fit heavy commercial trucks. Meanwhile, it’s capable of jumping up light and middle-sized passenger cars, a variety of motorized equipment including mowers, quadricycles, small tractors, etc. Its affordable price is an incentive for those drivers who need a backup but don’t want to spend too much on it or get an overkill device.
The current supplied by this unit reaches 500A at peak. The unit works at the wide temperature range and can jump start the car engine at 32 – 104 degrees. It requires some idle period between the jumps, in order to cool down. The internal power bank capacity makes 37Wh and is capable of at least 10 efficient jump starts within one charge.
USB 3.0 ports on the side serve for feeding other devices than car batteries. They can power up the fans, pressure gauges, phones, and other electronic gear.
This mini car jump starter has the minimalist design, with solid plastic casing and black and red finish. It feels solid and is quite lightweight (1.7 lbs); so, falling from the trunk level shouldn’t bring an issue. All the buttons, indicators, and connections are on the side of the jump starter. Blue LEDs indicating the charging status are unobtrusive, yet, well visible.
The safety is ensured by a protective mechanism incorporated into the device’s clamps. They’re well insulated to prevent the shock, have the voltage- and amps-regulating controllers, and don’t discharge the connected battery in case of no current supply. The jumper cords connection block features the LED indicators signaling its correct (green light) or incorrect (red light) performance.
- Variable voltage (5V/9V) for USB inputs and the output.
- The LED light is controlled through the long pressing of the Power button.
- Gets charged swiftly through the micro USB port.
- Cords might be insufficient to reach long batteries terminals.
- The jumping button is very small and recessed (located on the cables’ plug).
Get a pocket jump starter performing like a big one? That’s BEATIT 1200A model, which is only 6.8 inches long and weighs 1 lb but can jump the SUVs and light trucks in seconds. It can be used for other vehicles like RV, boats, snowmobiles, quadricycles, etc.
The output of this small jumper makes 1200A at peak while it incorporates a solid battery of 16,500 mAh. It can be used up to 30 times without requiring the replenishment while it’s recommended recharging it after each jump starting. The Quick Discharge Smart technology lets it boost the car’s power bank efficiently without spending much of the device’s capacity.
The two 5V USB ports power up any connected device including tablets, smartphones, cameras, speakerphones, and so on with the steady 2.1A current. The USB flashlight can also be charged while the jump starter itself is equipped with the good LED light performing in strobe, emergency, and regular mode.
The clamps of BEATIT 1200A are big and sturdy. They’re almost fully covered with plastic insulation, only the teeth being exposed. Clamps are equipped with the non-sparking technology ensuring the mistake-proof operation.
The jump starter has an original design, with the diamond-shaped red power button and the blue LSD screen making the color accent on the black casing. The latter has grooves providing a non-slippery position on the car battery or nearby. The screen shows the level of charge and the characteristics of the output currently in use.
- The integrated numeric voltmeter on the jumper block shows the output voltage in real-time.
- Mistake proof, the display and beeping signal of reverse polarity and other issues.
- Comprehensive manual instructions.
- The incorporated flashlight isn’t very bright.
- Supplied carrying case is too big to fit in the glove compartment.
Representing a completely different technology, the autowit 12V battery-less portable car jump starter has both advantages and disadvantages in comparison to the regular jump starters. Featuring the supercapacitor, it‘s able to generate the jump-starting current out of the discharged battery with low voltage. In short words, it means that the low battery of your car can boost itself through this device.
The charger provides 700A of peak current and 600A of instant one, jump-starting a variety of passenger and light commercial cars and other vehicles like scooters, RVs, etc. To crank the engine on a car, the autowit device must be fully charged. It doesn’t have an internal Li-ion or lead-acid battery so that the charge isn’t kept for long. As soon as the charger flashes both of its lights green, the reverse current feeding (in case the jumper is connected directly to the nearly flat battery) begins. So, it’s about 30 seconds to start the car until the jump starter’s voltage falls below 12V.
The absence of the battery means the jump starter isn’t susceptible to cold and heat. It can operate in various temperature conditions, from -40°F to +158°F, making a useful kit for extremal travelers. It also can be fed from other sources, with the different requirements for the voltage and amperage, and variable time of charging.
The physical (not chemical) nature of the supercapacitor technology is eco-friendly and is safe for the driver, not causing overheating, sparking, or explosion.
- Usually, it takes about 5 minutes for the device to charge a low vehicle battery.
- Can get replenished from the USB-powered device (with 5V/2A current supply).
- A small display on the side shows the current voltage status.
- Consists of starter and charger blocks taking more space than competing models.
- Needs a source of energy (mightn’t draw the current from the completely dead / non-functional battery).
How to Use a Portable Jump Starter
- Ensure both the jumping device and the car ignition are disconnected.
- Attach the cables to the jumper port (skip this step for the devices with hardwired cords).
- Find the positive terminal of your car’s battery and attach the red jumper cable to it. Then, attach the black clamp to a stable metal part that isn’t a part of the circuit (e.g. car’s frame).
- Turn the jump starter on (if there are LED lights, they should turn green).
- (Optional) Press a Boost button on your jump starter, if you feel your battery is completely flat. For relatively drainers power banks, this step can be skipped.
- Turn on the ignition on your car (the engine should start).
- If the engine is still, wait for a few minutes, and attempt to turn it on again. Repeat if needed.
- After the car’s engine is on, power off the jump starter and remove the clamps (the black one first).
How to Fix a Portable Jump Starter
- Inspect the device thoroughly. The issue might be worn out cables or melted plastic near connections. Replace any worn or damaged parts found.
- Open up the casing. Use a relevant screwdriver. Be careful not to push the tool too far to enter the inner circuit of the starter.
- Inspect the inner mechanism. Remove any pile up on the circuit board, replace the wires, if they’re feeble. Ensure that wires are connected reliably to the power banks on one side and the circuit board on another. Replace the connector jack, if it’s melted. If batteries are drained, you might need to replace them. Make sure to remember (better take a shot) of the wires connection before removing the batteries, in order to put them back correctly upon replacement. Upon the repairs, all the connections must be soldered reliably into place.
- Insulate the parts of the jump starter with the silicone adhesive or another substance. Assemble the casing parts together.
- Power up your jump starter until the batteries are full and test its performance.
How to Charge a Portable Jump Starter
Modern jump starters usually feature more than one way to get recharged. Let’s list all the charging options available for jump starting devices:
- USB cable and wall adaptor connected to the outlet. If there’s a USB port on your jump starter, simply take a fitting adaptor (preferably with more than 1A capacity), and connect it to the network. The device should signal in some way that charging is in process (LED light, display, etc.).
- USB cable and the powering gadget. You can also connect your jump starter to a power bank or another USB-enabled device, and charge it that way.
- Car’s cigarette lighter. Attach the cable of your car AC adaptor to the relevant input port of the jumper device, and ensure the latter gets replenished.
- Alternative charging systems. Some of the jump starters can be powered through the solar system feed. For that, put a starter on some flat surface, with the solar panel facing the sun. That’s a savior option if you got stranded without any electricity available.
My name is Brandon, and I’ve been interested in cars since I was a kid. I got a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology and worked in a private car workshop. I have two cars that have been completely upgraded with my own hands. So I successfully put all my knowledge into practice.
Last update on 2020-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API