Portable jump starters can prove vital in getting you home safely when car trouble hits. The ability to jump start a car without needing another vehicle is extremely valuable and should not be overlooked. Simply charge up your jump starter and you can feel safe in the knowledge that you have the ability to get your vehicle moving again if its battery goes flat. In addition, jump starters can be used to charge smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices as well as performing other incredibly useful tasks like signalling with lights and even inflating tires with built-in compressors. Here’s our guide to nine of the best jump starters on the market, ranging from extremely compact and lightweight up to heavy duty professional-grade.
Best Rated Jump Starters in 2018:
1. Jump-N-Carry JNC660 1700 Peak
Clore Automotive’s JNC660 provides reliable high output power for jump starting engines in difficult conditions. Built for automotive applications with PROFORMER battery technology, the JNC660 promises a long service life and comes with 46 inch heavy duty copper insulated jumper cables. Clore recommends charging the JNC660’s battery every 30 days to keep it in its best possible condition so that you can rely on it in times of need.
1700 Peak amps, 425 cranking amps
Built in voltmeter shows battery charge level
DC outlet to power 12 volt accessories
- BrandClore Automotive
- Weight18 lbs
2. DBPOWER 600A 18000 mAh Jump Starter
DBPOWER’s DJS50 comes ready for any and all charging/jump starting duties with 600 amps of peak storage packed into a compact and lightweight casing. The DJS50 is capable of jump starting engines up to 6.5L (gasoline) or 5.3L (diesel) and comes with heavy duty terminal clamps and cables. In addition to its USB charging capabilities the DJS50 comes equipped with a compass to assist in navigation during stressful situations. Protection against short circuits, overloads and overcharging comes as standard.
Up to 30 jump starts on one charge
USB charging and LCD battery charge display
Compact enough to store in a glove box
- Weight1.1 lbs
3. Beatit 800A Peak 18000 mAh Jump Starter
The Beatit BT-D11 comes with the grunt to jump start engines up to 7.0L (gasoline) and 5.5L (diesel) in a compact package. Much like the DJS50, Beatit’s offering is small and light enough to fit inside an average glove box and comes with a raft of short-circuit, overload, and overcharge protections. Featuring twin USB fast chargers, the BT-D11 is capable of charging smartphones and other electronic devices twice as fast as other common power banks. A 2-year warranty rounds out the list of features.
800 amps peak current, 18,000 mAh battery capacity
Up to 30 jump starts on a single charge
Dual USB charging ports, built-in flashlight
Recharges in 5.5 hours with the included charger
- Weight1.19 lbs
4. NOCO Genius Boost Plus Jump Starter
Safety is the name of the game for NOCO’s Genius Boost Plus GB40. The 1000 amps capacity jump starter is designed to be mistake proof, eliminating sparking to provide a safe start every time. Packing enough juice for its USB charging port to fill up four smartphones on a single charge, it is also capable of jump starting gasoline engines up to 6 litres and diesel engines up to 3 litres. As an added safety feature, the GB40 features a bright 100 lumen LED flashlight with 7 modes including SOS and emergency strobe.
Up to 20 jump starts on a single charge
Spark-proof design and polarity protection make connecting to any battery safe
12v output, USB charging capability
- Weight2.4 lbs
5. STANLEY FATMAX J7CS Jump Starter
Stanley’s FatMax J7CS takes the jump starter game to the next level by incorporating an onboard air compressor which allows you to inflate flat tyres by the side of the road. In addition to its triple USB charging outlets, the J7CS comes equipped with a reverse polarity warning system featuring an LED indicator light and an audible alarm to advise you when your connections are round the wrong way. A built-in high-powered 270 degree pivoting flashlight means you’ll be able to see what you’re doing when jump starting or inflating a tire at night.
350 instant/700 peak battery amps
120 psi onboard compressor with backlit pressure gauge
Triple 3.1 amp USB outlets
12v power outlet
- Weight10.6 lbs
6. GOOLOO 450A Peak Car Jump Starter
GOOLOO’s E-Power 03 comes ready to jump start gasoline engines up to 4 litres and diesel engines up to 2.5 litres with its 450 amps of peak current and heavy duty cables and connectors. Featuring 10,000 mAh battery capacity it can charge smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices with up to 2 amps of power. The E-Power 03 comes with a built-in LED flashlight and is backed up by an 18 month extended warranty. Also included is a 30 day money-back guarantee and 24/7 friendly and helpful customer service.
High-rate Lithium Ion polymer battery cell
450 amps of peak current
Short-circuit protection, overload protection, overcharge and over voltage protection
Functions from -20c to 60c
- ModelE-POWER 03
- Weight12.8 ounces
7. TENKER 500A 10800 mAh Jump Starter
TENKER’s A11 packs large charging and jump starting power into a tiny package, with dimensions of 5.7 by 3.23 by 0.98 inches. The A11 also comes with dual quick charging ports in the form of QC3.0 and Type-C outputs. Featuring a wide range of safety protections, the A11 can be relied upon to help you out of unfortunate situations while keeping you and your vehicle in good condition. Its built-in multifunctional LED flashlight ensures you’ll be able to see what you’re doing and be seen by others once the sun goes down.
500 amps peak power
10,800 mAh capacity
Short-circuit, overload, over charge, over voltage protections built in
Extremely compact, lightweight and portable
- Weight1.66 lbs
8. Schumacher PSJ-2212 Jump Starter
Schumacher’s PSJ-2212 brings professional-grade capability to the jump starter market. There are no restrictions on engine capacity here; the PSJ-2212 packs the power to start them all with its 330 amp cranking capacity and 22 Ah industrial-strength power pack. It’s been built to last too. Heavy duty clamps feature replaceable copper jaws so that they PSJ-2212 can continue to soldier on long after they wear out. Features and foresight like that indicate the excellent quality of the rest of the product.
2200 peak amps
High output AGM battery
12 volt DC power outlet
Universal capability, can be used on all vehicles
- Weight27 lbs
9. DBPOWER 500A Jump Starter
The DJS60-2 blends heavy duty materials with lightweight construction to provide reliable charging and jump starting whenever you need it. Backed up by a 3-year warranty, the DJS60-2 can be stored in a glove box and has the capability to jump start gasoline engines up to 3.0 litres and diesel engines up to a displacement of 2.5 litres 20 times on a single charge. You needn’t worry about your smartphone going flat with the DJS60-2 around as it features a smart USB port which will have you topped up on power as quickly as possible. Features include a variety of safety precautions and an LCD screen displaying the remaining battery charge.
400 amps of peak current
Smart charging and USB ports with 12,000 mAh capacity
Spray gold clamps with built in short-circuit, overload, over-voltage and over-charge protection
Heavy duty cables and clamps
- Weight1.32 pounds
Jump Starter Buying Guide and FAQ
What is a Jump Starter?
A jump starter is essentially a large battery that takes the place of another running vehicle when your vehicle’s battery goes flat and needs to be restarted. When a car’s engine is running normally a small electrical generator mounted on the engine (known as an alternator) charges the battery and provides electricity to run accessories like the lights, heating/cooling systems, and radio. It also provides the power for the engine’s spark plugs to fire which in turn ignites the fuel/air mixture within the cylinders and allows the engine to turn over. When a car’s battery goes flat or runs out of electricity none of these processes can take place and the car cannot start.
Before the advent of jump starters restarting the vehicle would require electrical power from the battery of another running vehicle whose battery was not flat. Jump starters remove the need for this other vehicle as they provide the necessary electricity to get the car started again and therefore generating electricity from the alternator.
Portability is a major benefit of jump starters and they often perform other functions that are useful to a stranded motorist. Many jump starters come equipped with flashlights that can be used to see clearly at night and, if necessary, signal for help from other motorists. In addition, many jump starters serve as portable charging stations for smartphones and other electronics. Some jump starters even contain on-board air compressors to reinflate tires that are low on air. A good jump starter is a brilliant item to keep in your car just in case you ever find yourself stranded with nobody else around.
Features to Look for when Buying a Jump Starter
When buying a jump starter it’s important to make sure that the one you choose has the strength to get your car or truck started again. Bigger engines naturally require more power to turn over so it’s vital to ensure that the starter that you choose is up to the task of getting you moving again. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that you buy a quality jump starter that will hold its charge for a long period of time. After all, it would be terrible to have one with you in a time of need only to have it fail to work because its battery has gone flat. Many jump starters also come with built-in safety protections to make sure that you don’t inadvertently damage your vehicle when trying to get it going again. Automotive electronics can be delicate and damaging them can lead to a bigger problem than just having a flat battery.
What Specification Do I Need?
Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will tell you everything you need to know about jump starting your vehicle. As most people don’t have an advanced knowledge of electronics it’s important to match the jump starter that you’re going to purchase to the requirements of your vehicle. Be sure that you’re buying a jump starter with enough grunt to turn your car’s engine over as purchasing one that doesn’t have this capability will get you nowhere. Many automotive electrical systems are similar but this is definitely an area where it’s better to be safe than sorry. Consult your owner’s manual, online forums, and even stop by one of your vehicle manufacturer’s dealerships to get the correct information straight from the horse’s mouth. You’ll be glad you did when you find yourself in trouble and have the tools that you need to get out of it.
Safety Tips When Using a Jump Starter
Jump starters will come with specific safety instructions based on the manufacturer and the model but some truths are universal when jump-starting a car. Make sure that the battery terminals and the connection clamps on your jump starter are in good condition, free of dirt and contaminants which could complicate the process of getting your vehicle moving again. If possible avoid jump starting a car in the rain. As with any electronic equipment, keeping water away from your car’s battery, wiring, and the jump starter itself is a good practice. Water conducts electricity and can make the jump starting process more dangerous than it needs to be.
You should also try to keep a pair of thick gloves in your car in case you find yourself needing to jump start it at any point. Separating yourself from a potentially nasty electric shock will make the process safer and easier. If you want to be really cautious you could also wear safety glasses. In the event of sparking when connecting the jump starter to the dead battery you’ll want to protect your eyes as much as possible. Some jump starters come with built-in anti-sparking systems but as always, better safe than sorry. You should avoid wearing loose clothing and dangling jewelry, and make sure than any long hair is tied up and away from the battery and jump starter clamps. Basically it’s wise to separate yourself from the process as much as possible. The last thing you need when stranded by the side of the road with a dead battery is an electric shock to complicate matters. Follow these guidelines and the process should go as smoothly as possible, getting you back on the road quickly and safely.