Best Portable Jump Starters
It’s a sound that any motorist dreads. That tell-tale clicking sound of a dead battery. Plus, it usually only happens when you’re either tired, late for an appointment, or there is absolutely no one around with a set of good jumper cables. That’s why having a good portable jump starter is such a great idea. There are a lot of different types to choose from on the market today, and finding the right one for you can be a bit of a challenge. Don’t worry though; we’ve done the work for you and found the best portable jump starters on the market today.
- Motenik 800A
- Compact size
- Easy to use
- Dbpower 600A
- Multiple extra features
- Safety features
- Tenker 600A
- Relatively compact
- Useful added features
10 Best Portable Jump Starters
This jump starter weighs just slightly over one pound, and can easily fit into a purse or backpack as it measures approximately 7 inches by 4 inches by 1 inch.
This device has a peak charging current of 800A, and features a 15000 mAh battery pack. It has the capability of easily charging most sedans, pick up trucks or other standard sized vehicles. It should be noted however, that some customers found it difficult to hold a charge through multiple uses, but those cases were rare.
Because of its relative size and weight, this portable jump starter is fairly easy to transport from place to place. It can be stored in the trunk of the car, in most glove compartments, in a large purse, or even a backpack.
The overall construction of this portable jump starter is solid, and there doesn’t seem to be too many issues reported concerning its durability. While would would have liked to see a tougher outer case, for the most part the connections, cables and charger itself can handle what the average user dishes out.
The accessories on this particular jump starter is what pushed it ahead of the rest of the list to be our top pick for your next portable jump starter. In addition to the standard safety features such as emergency warning lights, protection from short circuiting and overload for example, it also features a powerful LED flashlight, the ability to recharge the portable charger from a USB, wall outlet and a car charger without issue, and a sturdy travel case that keeps everything organized.
If you’re looking for a compact, yet powerful portable jump starter that can easily handle most car batteries, and has a slew of extra features designed to keep your safe, you’ll definitely want to consider this choice from Motenik. While we would have like to see a slightly longer battery life and a more durable outer case, overall this is a great choice.
- Plenty of accessories to help keep you safe
- Compact size
- Easy to use
- Not as durable as we would like
- May have issues keeping a charge
Like our first selection, this portable jump starter is fairly compact and easy to carry. It measures approximately 2 inches by 8 inches by 4 inches. It can easily fit into a glove compartment, purse, or backpack for easy transport to just about anywhere you need it.
This relatively small jump starter features a high capacity of 18000 mAh, and has an amperage of 600 amps, which means that it can easily charge most sedan batteries or light trucks with ease. While it does require a 12 volt battery to function properly, the sheer number of charges that you can get from it during its lifetime is truly remarkable. However, it should be noted that a number of customers did find that it didn’t hold a strong enough charge as long as they would have liked or needed.
As mentioned above, this portable jump starter is certainly easy to transport and can go just about anywhere that you need it to go. Especially with the included semi-hard case to keep everything together and protected.
Overall this portable jump starter is pretty durable, and the semi-hard case does well to keep everything protected. While it won’t win any awards in the toughness category, for most people and in most places it’s a solid choice.
Like many other smaller portable jump starters, this has a lot of extra features that might not always be needed, but can be very handy when they are. There is an LED light, USB ports for charging your phone or computer, short circuit protection, an LCD screen with a compass, and jumper clamps that are color coded for easy use.
While the issues with keeping a charge over the long term kept this entry out of the top spot, it’s still a great overall option when it comes to keeping your family safe while on the road.
- Compact size
- Multiple extra features
- Standard safety features included
- Doesn’t always hold a charge for long period.
Tenker 600A Peak
This portable jump starter measures about 7 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches, and can easily fit in a purse, backpack, or glove compartment. It’s easy to take just about everywhere you need to be.
This device has a peak current of 600A, and has a 14,000 mAh capacity. It’s great for starting smaller vehicles and sedans, or charging equipment such as computers or smartphones, but it may have issue with other, larger vehicles such as full size trucks or larger SUVs.
With it’s compact size, this jump starter from Tenker is truly portable, and can be easily transported to where you need it most. It’s a bit heavier that other compact examples on this list at 2.75 pounds, but it is still quite manageable.
As far as toughness, this is one of the best examples we’ve seen when it comes to the compact portable jump starters. The semi-hard case is easy to use, and the all metal cable clamps won’t bend or break as easily as other ones that are molded plastic.
Like many of the hand held jump starters that we’ve reviewed, this one has a few additional accessories in addition to the standard safety and charging features. It has a three-mode LED flashlight, dual smart 5V/2.4A USB ports, and uses a lithium metal battery for longer lasting life.
If you don’t mind a little extra weight, and you’re not worried about charging large or extra large vehicles, this portable jump starter from Tenker is a great find. Compact, tough and powerful, this is one device that will pull you out of a jam.
- Great jump starting capability
- Useful added features
- Relatively compact
- A bit on the heavy side
- Not always useful for larger vehicles
IClever 800A Peak
This portable jump starter is slightly on the larger size when it comes to compact units. It weighs about 1.4 pounds, and measure approximately 9 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches in size. While it probably won’t fit in a purse, it can fit easily into most center console areas or in the glove compartment of most vehicles.
One of the best things about this unit is it superior charging capability. Using three lithium batteries, it can provide approximately 20,000 mAh of viable charging capacity, and has a peak capacity of 800 A. This means that it’s well equipped to help you get nearly any vehicle battery up and running again, even if it’s nearly dead.
While it is slightly larger than we would like to see, this jump starter is still more than portable.
Unfortunately, this portable jump starter does have a few issues when it comes to durability according to customer reviews. There have been reports of the USB ports and battery areas of the unit overheating, and the LED flashlight not working correctly after some time. However, for most people, this unit will work quite well.
In addition to many of the standard safety features, this unit also includes USB ports, a three function LED flashlight, and the ability to charge two smaller devices, such as a smartphone or tablet at the same time.
While this unit has been known to have some issues with overheating, overall it’s a solid choice for those who want great charging capability and versatility in their portable jump starter
- Superior charging capacity
- Ability to charge more than one device at a time
- Long lasting charge
- Battery area and USB have been known to overheat
Jump N Carry JNC660
This portable jump starter falls easily into the larger category measuring 14 inches by 16.3 inches by 6 inches in size, and weighing about 18 pounds. While it certainly won’t fit in your glove compartment, it can easily be stored in your trunk or the back seat of your car.
This powerful portable jump starter can provide a peak of 1700 amps, and a cranking amps of 425, which means that it can handle charging just about any vehicle large or small that you can think of.
You won’t be able to fit this particular jump starter in your purse, and it probably isn’t suitable for carrying over long distances at a weight of 18 pounds. However it can easily be stored in a car trunk or in your garage for easy access.
Overall this portable jump starter is pretty tough. The strong outer shell encases a lead-acid battery, much like the one found in most automobiles on the roads today. In addition, the cables and clamps are thick and well made, so you won’t have to worry too much about them fraying or malfunctioning.
Unfortunately this particular jump starter doesn’t have much in the way of accessories. It comes with the necessary safety features and gauges to help you determine when the vehicle is charged properly, but not much else.
The Jump-n-carry JNC660 by Clore Automotive is a powerful jump starter that can easily be kept in the trunk of your car or in your garage. The simple design and lack of accessories may be oft-putting to some, but it has everything you need to get your vehicle running again.
- Very powerful charging capacity
- Well constructed
- Standardized safety features
- Larger and heavier than others on this list.
- Not many extra accessories
Potek 150 PSI Tire Inflator
This particular portable jump starter is a little larger than others on this list. It weighs just under 15 pounds, and measures a little bit under three cubic feet in size.
This particular jump starter has a peak charge capability of 1000 amps, or 500 instant amps for emergency purposes. If you need to get your vehicle started in adverse conditions, chances are this one will get the job done.
Given the size and weight of the instrument, this isn’t one that can easily be transported by hand. However, it can easily be stored in the trunk or the backseat of your car for future use.
There weren’t any complaints as far as the toughness or durability that we came across in our investigation. The connections and housing appear to have a simple design that lends itself to use in a rugged environment, and the gauges and dials are robust and easy to read.
Perhaps where this particular portable jump starter really shines, however is in the accessories department. While the smaller units discussed above have things such as USB ports or LED flashlights, this one features a powerful air compressor that can be easily used to re-inflate tires, balls, or even a bicycle tire. In addition, this device also features a USB port as well as a 12 volt outlet socket for maximum versatility.
While not as portable as some other examples on this list, this portable jump starter and air compressor by Potek provides a power charge, or air for your tires when you need it most.
- Powerful charging ability
- Accessories include air compressor and USB port
- Multiple charging methods available
- Heavier and bulkier than other models
Schumacher SC-1200A Speed Charge
While this jump starter isn’t as large as some others on this list, it’s not what you would consider a handheld device. Measuring four inches by three inches by twelve inches and weighing about one pound, it falls in the moderate or medium size range for these devices.
One of the great things about this particular model is how fast, and how completely it can charge your vehicle. There is 12 amps for a rapid recharge, or 6 amp for moderate or medium recharging needs, or 3 amps to help maintain the charge already provided. What’s more, this particular jump starter is controlled by a microprocessor that helps to determine the stage of charging that is needed at the time, and easily switches between the different amperage levels. It should be noted however that there have been instances of batteries being over charged, so monitoring the battery while charging is still essential.
While not as easy to transport as some of the others on this list, this device can be stored easily in the back seat of a car, trunk or garage for use.
While the overall design is top-notch, the execution appears to be somewhat lacking according to quite a few reviews posted. Quite a few people found that the battery in the jump starter failed them, or the cables or display units wore out more quickly than expected.
Beyond what is needed to get the job done, this portable jump starter doesn’t offer much in the way of bells and whistles. It has the cables, LED screen indicators, and that’s about it.
While monitoring the charging event to prevent over charging is essential, this portable jump starter is lightweight, easy to handle and easy to operate. It provides variable amperage output that is microprocessor controlled so you only get what you need when you need it.
- Variable output on amps
- Detects 6V or 12V automatically and adjusts
- Overcharging is possible without careful monitoring
This device weighs about two pounds, and measures seven inches by 4 inches by 2 inches in approximate size. It could fit easily into a large purse or backpack, or some glove compartments.
The lithium polymer battery provides 600 amps of peak current as well as a capacity of 14,000 mAh. For most small vehicles or sedans and light trucks it’s more than enough. It should be noted, however, that there have been instances where the device had trouble holding a charge.
This is one of the more compact portable jump starters that we’ve come across. It’s easy to fit into a large bag or backpack and is certainly light enough to carry on you.
In all honestly, where this particular portable jump starter fails is in the durability department. While the device itself appears to be well made and use quality material, there have been numerous reports of the device quickly malfunctioning or the case cracking when dropped from a small height. While it does the job, it does appear to be a bit more fragile than we would like.
This device includes an LED flashlight, compass and a USB port as its accessories.
While it’s not as durable as we would have liked to see, this portable jump starter from Beatit will certainly get the job done when you need it. The safety features and simple design helps to keep you safe and help the vehicle your driving get on the road.
- Essential accessories are included
- Easy to use
- Not as durable as we would like
- Doesn’t always hold a charge for a prolonged period.
This is one of the larger portable jump starters that we’ve seen on the market today. It weighs about 18 pounds, and measures approximately 12 inches by 8 inches by 14 inches.
This portable jump starter features 500 instant starting amps, and 1,000 peak amps, making it one of more powerful, and faster charging portable jump starters that we’ve seen.
While the size does make it less than convenient to move it around, the sturdy handle and overall shape does make it possible to move it from place to place. It can also be stored easily in the trunk of a vehicle or in the garage.
Overall we found this device to be solidly built and able to last through quite a few jumps if properly maintained. It should be noted, though, that quite a few customers reported that the hose portion of the air compressor was easily broken off, making it inoperable. In addition, the compressor feature itself was not always found to be reliable.
One of the nice things about this particular portable jump starter is the number of features it has, and how useful they turn out to be. In addition to the standard cables and safety features, this instrument also features a USB port, a 12V DC port plug in, a high power LED light that can rotate 270 degrees, an 120 psi air compressor with a back light gauge, and a polarity alarm to help keep the unit from being used incorrectly.
While not as small as some of the others on this list, this portable jump starter can certainly get the job done for most vehicles and larger pieces of equipment when their batteries need a jump. Except for the compressor feature, everything appears to be well made and dependable.
- Great charging capability
- Good safety features and useful accessories
- Dependable if properly charged and maintained
- Larger and heavier than most portable jump starters
- Air compressor feature somewhat unreliable.
This portable jump starter falls into the mid-range when it comes to size and weight. It weighs just under three pounds, and measures approximately 9 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches. If you have a larger backpack or bag, it can easily fit there, or be slid under the seat of most vehicles.
This portable jump starter features 800 peak amps and a capacity of 19800 mAh, which makes it one of the more powerful, and dependable charging devices on the market today.
This device is small enough, and light enough to be transported easily to where it’s needed the most.
For the most part, most people found this device to be dependable and well made. Quite a few however started having trouble with the unit holding a charge, especially in colder climates or more severe weather. Overall though, this portable jump starter is solidly built.
This particular unit features heavy duty jumper cables, intelligent clamps with added safety features, a USB port, a laptop charging port for both 19V/3.5 A and 12V/10A needs, and a number of adapters making it easy to charge the unit via a wall mount, or in your car.
While it’s ability to hold a charge over a long period during winter may be a bit unreliable, overall this small unit is a powerful way to make sure you car can start when the battery is dead.
- Small package is easy to transport
- Powerful charging capability
- Quite a few useful accessories
- Doesn’t always hold a charge reliably in colder temperatures.
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
When it comes to finding the best portable jump starter, most people will consider the overall size. This is certainly a great place to begin and for a number of different reasons. First, the overall size will often give an indication of how much a portable charger can handle, how easy it is to transport, and of course, how durable it should be. However, remember that looks can be deceiving. As we indicated in this guide, bigger isn’t always necessarily better. Today’s technology has given us the ability to pack a powerful amount of features in less space than previously considered.
When you think about it, one of the most important characteristics to consider when buying the best portable jump starters is their charging capacity. For all intents and purposes, the charging capacity can be defined as the portable jump starters ability to bring a chargeback to your car. In most cases jump starters have enough “juice” to bring your battery back to life, and just enough to allow you to get to somewhere you can safely replace the battery or address the car problem you may be experiencing. They often have capacities ranging from 600 to 1500 amps, with peak charges ranging from 800 to 24000 milliamp hours, or MaH.
One of the nicest features of a quality portable jump starter is the ability to transport them from place to place. While some are a bit bulkier than others, all of the items listed here can easily be kept inside the trunk of a car, on a shelf in your mechanic’s area, or in some cases even a small backpack or purse. The ability to be able to recharge your car’s battery at any time requires that the jump starter be portable enough to take with you practically everywhere. Thankfully, with a few minor exceptions, the examples presented here allow you to do just that.
Of course, if the best portable jump starters are going to meet your needs, they need to be able to last through some harsh conditions. In a very real sense, these portable jump starters are batteries in a box, and these batteries are subject to the same wear and tear that affects your car batteries as well. That’s why having protective covers, sturdy containers, connections that are well made, and quality construction and materials is so important. In a very real sense, these portable jump starters have to be tougher, and more durable than the cars that they might service.
In a very real sense, the portable jump starter you buy will only be as good, as useful as the items that come with it. You can have the best charging capacity, the most portable charger on the market today, but if you don’t have good and standardized accessories, it won’t be very useful. Things such as cables, surge protection, protective storage cases, and even instruction manuals can all help make the best portable jump starters that much better. This list not only provides for a wide range of quality jump starters, but each of them also features quite a few accessories that are not only a welcomed addition but a needed one as well.
More to think about when choosing your next of Portable Jump Starters
What type of weather is common where you live?
In addition to the factors considered above, another thing to think about when buying a portable jump starter is the climate in which you will be traveling. If the area is prone to long winters with lots of snow and precipitation like sleet or hail, you’ll definitely want to get a jump starter that is tough enough to withstand the conditions and still provide the charge you need. In addition, you’ll want to consider getting a device that has a larger or longer lasting charging capacity, since jump starts can be more frequent in colder weather. If you live in a warmer environment, you still should choose your portable jump starter carefully. Since many vehicles can overheat in hotter weather, engine, and battery troubles are not uncommon. It’s important to make sure that your portable jump starter can handle being exposed to excessive heat and still function properly. It also should have a few safety features that will allow for safe handling even in the hottest conditions.
What size engine do you have?
Simply put, the larger your engine, or the engine you’re trying to start, the more capacity your car battery will have. This means that to successfully jump the battery you’ll need a portable jump starter with the charging capacity and peak capacity that is large enough to handle the job. For the most part, a normal sedan or 4-cylinder car can be started with as little as 150 amps. Larger trucks and SUVs, however, often require between 450 and 600 amps to get the engine purring. Thankfully, most of the portable jump starters presented here can provide amps between 400 and 1500, which will give more than enough power to get the job done.
How old is your vehicle?
Another factor to consider when buying the right portable jump starter for you is the overall age and condition of your vehicle. With modern technology, the battery and the car’s electrical system are often more integrated than ever before. Having the correct safety features built into the portable charger is often essential to prevent serious damage from mishaps. If the car is an older or classic model, it’s especially important to make sure that the charging capacity of the portable jump starter doesn’t overwhelm the battery or the engine itself.
What protective or safety measures will you need?
It’s important to remember that a portable jump starter is a battery, and often a powerful one at that. There are safety concerns that need to be addressed, especially if you don’t want to cause any significant damage to your vehicle or even harm to yourself or loved ones. Thankfully to this end, many portable jump starters on the market today have a number of standardized safety features. If you’re interested in purchasing a jump starter for your use, it’s important to not only consider these standard safety features, but also any additional features that you may need in your particular situation. Will you be working around water, such as a lake or a beachfront property? Then a jump starter that features a waterproof casing is something to consider. Is your charger going to become part of the family sedan? Then you might want to consider one that has child-proofing or child tamper-resistant features in addition to the normal safety precautions.
Q: How can I make sure I’m using my portable jump starter safely?
The simple answer to this question is to make sure you read and understand the instructions that come with your portable jump starter prior to using it for the first time. In most cases the use of the device is straightforward and intuitive, so you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
In addition to following the directions provided by the manufacturer, it’s also important to pay attention to the environment surrounding you. There are certain times that it can be unsafe, or at least less safe for you to use a portable jump starter. For example, if the battery in your car is inaccessible, and you are thinking about jumping from a fuse box or remote terminal, you might want to consider other options. Also, if your battery is dead in a thunderstorm, it’s probably better to seek shelter rather than stand out in the storm with things that could potentially turn you into a lightning rod.
Overall, though, using a portable jump starter safely isn’t hard at all. Simply make sure you connect the cables in the proper order to the proper location (connect the positive cable to the positive battery terminal and then the negative one to the negative terminal. They’re often color-coded for easy recognition.).
Q: Is there an easy way to tell if my portable jump starter is working correctly?
Essentially if your portable jump starter is working correctly, and the problem with your vehicle is the battery itself, you’ll be able to turn over the car and start the engine in a few moments after making the connection. In addition, quite a few portable jump starters feature LED readouts or lights to indicate that they have a charge and are working properly.
For many people, having a car means having a level of independence and self-reliance. Having a well made portable jump starter along for the ride only helps to solidify that feeling by giving you the peace of mind by knowing that if you ever need a charge for your battery it will be there. While finding the right one for your vehicle may take some time, we hope that this list will get you looking in the right direction.