It goes without saying that cars are made better than ever before but there is still one constant with them. No car will start unless an electrical charge is sent to the engine to get them running. That’s why it’s important to have a properly charged car battery. Even though batteries are very reliable, the same cannot always be said by those that operate vehicles. Lights get left on, doors are left ajar, music players are accidentally not turned off, and more.
These things will all drain a battery over time and then the car will not start. That leaves a person with two choices to get their car started. The first is that you can wait for what may be hours for a tow company to arrive and jump start your vehicle. The better option is being able to pull your own best jump starter out of the trunk. That way you can be back on your way after suffering a dead battery in just a few minutes.
In this article, we will discuss what makes a product a quality jump starter and do several jump starter reviews. By the time you have gone over the whole article, you will then have enough good information to make a sound jump starter purchase.
Best Jump Starter Reviews
Here are some jump starter models that you can never go wrong by purchasing them:
1. XenonPro JS1003 Portable Jump Starter
XenonPro’s JS1003 portable jump starter with air compressor options is our editor’s top pick and one of the hottest devices on the market.
It’s made it to the top of our list because it’s small and affordable yet very powerful, comes with high-quality intelligent jumper cables, has an air compressor option and comes packed with awesome extra features and a lifetime warranty!
Equipped with a premium-quality lithium-ion battery, this jump starter provides 800 amp of peak current and 400 amps of cranking power, more than enough to jump-start up to 10 small-to-medium 12v cars, trucks, motorcycles, and watercraft in one single charge.
The extra features include intelligent jumper cables, which make boosting your vehicle’s battery easier and safer than ever, a portable air compressor, a powerful LED flashlight, an LCD display, and two USB ports to charge your electronics on the go.
The XenonPro JS1003 is the perfect addition to your car and can be used as a battery pack whether you’re on the road or out in the woods camping.
Read more : XenonPro Portable Jump Starter
2. NOCO Boost HD GB150 Lithium Jump Starter
Here is a nice portable jump starter that can even handle giving a startup charge to larger size vehicles. It is made to jump-start engines that are up to 10 liters in capacity. This jump starter can produce a very generous 4000 amps of car or truck starting power. That is very impressive for a highly rated car starter that only weighs 7 ½ pounds.
Not only is the jump starter powerful, but it can jump start up to 40 vehicles before it needs to be charged. That makes it a car jump starter that can be used by towing companies and other professionals too. It can even be used as a portable power source to recharge smartphones, music players, and other USB powered devices.
This portable car starter also recharges from any USB port in just under 6 hours. Included in the package are heavy-duty battery clamps, both XGC male and female connectors, a micro USB charging cable, and a protective microfiber storage bag. NOCO warranties this product for a period of 1-year.
3. Clore Automotive JNC660 Jump Starter
With this model jump starter, you get the ultimate in portable jump-starting convenience. That’s because it weighs just 18 pounds. This means you can easily store it in your vehicle, garage, or at your place of business without it getting in the way. It features a built-in voltmeter and an attached set of jumper cables.
Make sure you don’t underestimate this car jump starter’s ability to boost a car’s starting power because of its size. That’s because it is a 1700-amp unit with an engine starting boost of 425 amps. This is enough power to jump-start an engine up to 7 liters in size. That means it can handle jump starting most small trucks and just about any type of car.
It also comes with a two-prong extended charging cable. This jump starter can also be hooked up to other jump-n-carry car starter models for use on bigger vehicles. The manufacturer’s warranty is just ok at 1-year.
4. TopVision Car Battery Starter
Here is an extremely lightweight and compact car jump starter. It’s also very economically priced. That means anyone can now have the convenience of carrying portable car starting power right in their vehicle. This is a surprisingly strong jump starter for its size too. It features 2200 amps of starting power. That’s enough to start a vehicle that has up to a 7-liter gas engine.
This TopVision product is also a 4-in-1 tool. That’s because not only does it provide jump start power, but it has other useful features too. This includes USB charging capability, a nice LED flashlight, and safety enhancing SOS light. It’s a jump starter that can start up to 50 vehicles on a single charge too.
It also features an extra-long charging cord and built-in heavy-duty jumper cables. The battery that comes with this unit is also a nice lithium-ion type battery. It charges up to 80% capacity in less than an hour.
5. DBPOWER Portable Car Jump Starter
Here is another highly compact and portable car jump starter that comes highly recommended by those that have purchased it. It features some 1800 amps of car cranking power to help you out if your vehicle battery ever dies on you. At 7”x2”x4” it’s small enough to fit in your glove box or in an obscure area of your car trunk.
This portable jump starter unit also doubles as an emergency safety device. That’s because it has such features as a built-in compass and can be used as an LED flashlight. It also has a built-in strobe light so you and your vehicle can be seen if it becomes disabled.
One of the better features of this jump-starting unit is its LED power readout. That will let you know how soon it needs recharging after it has been sitting idle for a long time. It also comes with a surprisingly good 3-year warranty.
6. GOOLOO SuperSafe Car Jump Starter
Here is an automobile jump starter that can do a little bit of everything it seems. To start with it is a powerful battery booster. It has a peak capacity of some 1800 amps. That translates to 800 amps of car starting power. That is enough power to help start-up any vehicle that has a 7-liter gas engine or 5 ½-liter diesel engine.
As the name implies, this is also one of the safest jump starter models we have ever come across. That includes short circuit protection, high-temperature protection, and all-important reverse polarity protection. It even monitors overcurrent, high voltage, and over-discharge protection.
This also comes in a package that is loaded with extras. That includes a detail user’s manual, smart jumper clamp, UL Certified wall charger, car adapter charger, micro-USB cable, built-in USB ports, and a protective carry bag. GOOLOO backs this product up with a 1-year warranty from the date of purchase too. It even has a powerful LED light that can be used as a flashlight or emergency SOS signal.
7. Arteck Car Jump Starter Auto Battery Charger
Are you looking for a lightweight jump starter that you can carry with you when riding your motorcycle or boating? Then you will want to take a closer look at this compact jump starter. This small but mighty motorcycle, boat, and ATV jump starter packs a punch with 800 peak amps and 300 amps of starting power.
There is also a built-in USB port that will allow you to charge your mobile phone, smart tablet or any other USB powered device. No matter how you use it, you will get close to 120 hours of working time from it when the unit is fully charged. It recharges fully in less than 4-hours too.
You will get some nice bonus features with this product too. That includes a built-in LED Light that can be used as an Ultra-bright flashlight, strobe light, and alternating SOS signal light. Artech will warranty the unit for 2-years which is very good for a reasonably priced jump starter like this one.
What Is A Jump Starter?
The batteries on most cars are one of the least trustworthy components on any vehicle. That’s because they can easily be drained if an alternator is not working properly, a vehicle power source such as the lights have been left on or it’s cold outside. That’s why so many people choose to carry a portable jump starter. These devices give batteries with no or low charges the extra boost they need to crank over a car.
You have probably seen someone jump-start one car from another before. Jump starters work much the same way. Their own charged battery is the main component inside of them. These units use that charged battery as a power source to jump-start a car with a dead battery when there is no other vehicle around. Often times they feature built-in jumper cables and some even have other types of charging ports built into them too.
Jump Starter Buying Guide
This jump starter purchasing guide can be useful when deciding between the many jump starter products available in the marketplace.
What to Consider When Buying a Jump Starter?
Before you start to shop for a new jump starter, you must first ask yourself these questions:
How big is the engine size of the vehicle I want to use with my new jump starter?
Not all jump starter models can be used on every single vehicle. That’s why you have to know the engine size of the vehicle you want to have access to emergency jump-starting power and the number of car cranking amps that engine requires.
Where do I want to store my new jump starter when it’s not in use?
Answering this question will determine the size and type of car battery starting booster that you buy. You do not want to buy a hug size jump starter to carry around with you in your ATV. So knowing where you will keep your jump starter stored helps you make a more practical buying choice.
How much do I want to spend on a new car starter booster?
Car jump starters come in all different price ranges. They cost anywhere from $20 to several hundred dollars. Choose what you spend on one based on your jump-starting needs, frequency of use, and your budget.
What is my intended use for my new jump starter?
You must ask yourself if you will be doing such things as keeping your jump starter in your garage or carrying it with you as a remote jump-starting source. Maybe it will go on your boat. Once again, this will help you decide what type and what size jump starter unit that you need.
Do I want my jump starter to have extra features?
Jump starters are built these days with many additional uses in mind. These include portable USB charging, road safety equipment, and portable lighting. You must match these additional features with your jump starters’ intended use. As an example, if you are using your jump starter in conjunction with ATV camping trips. You may want a car starter booster that has all these types of additional features.
A List of The Most Important Jump Starter Features & Specifications
Here are the main jump starter features to consider when shopping for a new one:
Peak Amps/Starting Amps
Peak amps are the maximum amount of amperage that any jump starter can produce while its powered on. It’s not a true measure of starting power, but it will give you a good indication of how much power boost any jump-starting unit offers. The higher the peak amperage, usually the bigger engine size that jump starter can successfully crank over.
Starting amps (car cranking amps) are actually a more important amperage measurement to focus on than peak amps. It represents the consistent number of amps that any jump starter puts out. That makes it a good indicator of what size engine any portable jump starter can boost into to cranking over. The bigger the engine size the more starting amps that are needed to crank that vehicle over to start it. In other words, a 300 starting amp jump starter may be able to jump-start a motorcycle but it can’t handle starting a large-size SUV. So be sure not to look just at the peak amperage of any jump-starting unit you are thinking about purchasing. You must be aware of car cranking amperage (starting amps) too.
It goes without saying that weight is a big factor when selecting any new jump starter for purchase. You certainly do not want to carry a 17-pound jump starter around on your motorcycle. So, choose a jump starter weight to complement the task you will be using it for. For example, if you are taking your jump starter to use as a portable USB charging device when hiking (many have these USB device charging ports), you want a lightweight jump starter. If you own a big pickup truck with lots of storage, weight certainly will not matter in that case. A portable car starter’s weight can usually be found on the packaging or in the product description on the manufacturer’s website.
Another factor in any jump starter’s portability is its size. You must consider what type of vehicle you are going to be carrying the unit in. Also, you also have to consider the size of the storage area you want the unit to fit in. The unit you purchase must be able to fit in the space that you want to store it in. Size dimensions of any jump starter model can usually be found on the manufacturer’s website under the product specifications. Many times, these will be listed in the product description or on its packaging too.
Included Booster Cables
Most remote car starter boosters have built-in jumper cables but not all of them. Some also have built-in jumper cables that are superior in quality too. You also want to know the length of the included booster cables and the gauge of the wire inside them. The thicker the jumper cable wire the better they transfer current to a dead battery. So pay close attention when looking at the type of jumper cables that come with any jump starter.
If the model jump starter that you want to purchase does not come with jumper cables or has poor quality ones, you may want to check out our jumper cable reviews in order to help you pick out a good pair.
Here are some important safety features that are nice to have on any jump starter:
Heavy-Duty/Spark Resistant Jumper Cables
There have been cases of batteries exploding in the past when a spark is produced when hooking up jumper cables to them. It’s one of the risks that come with jump-starting any vehicle. This risk is greatly reduced if the jumper cables that are included in a jump starter unit are spark resistant. It also helps to minimize sparking if the jumper cables being used are heavy-duty ones. You also want.
Reverse Polarity Alarm/Short Circuit Protection
It’s very possible for someone to hook up a positive jumper cable clamp to a negative battery terminal and vice versa. As a matter of fact, this happens quite often. When this is done it not only has the potential to ruin a battery or jump starter, it can also cause a battery to explode. Reverse polarity alarms and short circuit protection helps to significantly minimize these risks.
Just like with the important gauges you saw highlighted on our best torque wrenches buying guide, meters, and digital readouts compliment any jump starter nicely too. Some would even consider them to be mandatory features on any jump starter. LCD readouts and voltmeters help to do such things as tell you how much charge your jump starter has left. These meters will also show you how much juice is still present in the battery you need to connect to in order to jump-start a vehicle. They can also be useful in keeping track of how long a battery is holding a charge. This can be used to determine if it’s time to replace your car battery.
Some jump starters come with a variety of different bonus features. Here are some of the most popular of those:
Portable USB Power
Many jump starters can be conveniently used to charge USB power devices. This includes cellphones, smart tablets, and music players.
Built-in air compressor
Do you use your car at the beach which necessitates lowering the air pressure in your tires? Then you may want to consider a car starting booster that also has a built-in air compressor.
Emergency Strobe Light
If your vehicle is broken down on the side of the highway it can result in a very unsafe condition. Having a jump starter with an embedded strobe light can alert other vehicles to your car’s presence from far away.
There may come a time when you need a portable light source around your vehicle. This can be necessary for such things as changing a flat tire at might. A jump starter with a built-in LED light can be a big help here.
Repeating SOS Signal
Some jump starters have a light on them that can blink in an SOS pattern. This can be a lifesaving feature if your ATV or snowmobile breaks down in the middle of nowhere and leaves you stranded.
It is never a bad idea to purchase a product that comes with a good warranty. It’s no different with jump starters. Find one that has the most comprehensive warrant possible for the longest period of time. A warranty can also be used as a factor when deciding between two very similar jump starter products.
You can combine this buying guide with our other useful buying guides such as our floor jack buying guide, this will help you to assemble the perfect home auto shop.
Jump Starter Terminology
Here are some of the most commonly used jump starter terms and what they mean. Knowing these terms will help you greatly when shopping for a new jump starter
- Peak Amps – This is the maximum number of amps that a jump starter model can produce at one time. It can be misleading because this is not related to consistent amperage output for car starting.
- Cranking Amps (starting amps) – It’s hard to describe this in Lehman’s terms. Technically this is the number of amps that a jump starter can consistently deliver to a dead battery at 32° F or above for a 30 second period.
- Cold Cranking Amps – This refers to the number of amps that a jump starter can consistently generate at 0° F or below for a 30 second period. This is important because it takes more cranking amps to start a vehicle in cold weather.
- Lithium Ion – These are the types of batteries that are built into most jump starters. It also the type of battery that you want your jump starter to have. That’s because they are known for their fast recharge times, being lightweight, and their long working life.
- LED – This stands for ‘light-emitting diode’. These are some of the most powerful types of lights. It’s important to know this because many jump starters have built-in LED work lights, SOS lights, and safety strobe lighting.
What are the Differences Between Jump Starter Types?
Jump starting a car involves getting power to a vehicle that has a dead battery from an outside power source. There are three main ways to do that and they are:
3 Types of Jump Starters
Using jumper cables
This is an old reliable means of jumpstarting a vehicle. It involves pulling another vehicle alongside the one that has the dead battery. The other vehicle with a charged battery then passes some of its stored energy over to the dead battery. In most cases, this works nicely. Unfortunately, there is not always another car around to help with the jumping process.
Battery chargers/Trickle chargers
Many people like to put their cars on trickle chargers in order to keep their car battery charged up enough to start it. This is especially true during cold weather months. These chargers simply plug-into a wall outlet and then that AC current is changed to DC current to charge up a battery. The problem being, this is a very slow method of charging as the name suggests. It takes a long while to give a dead battery enough charge to start up a vehicle.
Using these is now becoming one of the most popular ways to jump-start a vehicle. They do not require another vehicle or electric power to provide a power boost to start a car. Jump starters simply charge like any other battery-powered device and then they used that stored charge to provide car boosting starting power. The biggest drawback with jump starters is some of them can be very pricey.
Plug-in Jump Starters vs. Portable Jump Starters
Let’s compare two popular ways to get a car started after its battery has failed.
Plug-in Jump Starter
Units that plug into an outlet to help start a car are perhaps better off described as being battery chargers. They don’t have the technology embedded into them to instantly jump a start a vehicle’s engine back to life. That’s because they don’t put out enough working amps to make turning over an engine possible.
Plug-in jump starters are often referred to as trickle chargers also. That’s due to the slow pace at which they charge a battery so it can once again start a car. So, plug-in chargers really have no value as an instant car starting device. And let’s not forget, they are also totally dependent on having an electrical outlet nearby to work. That means plug-in jump starters are useless when a vehicle such as an ATV, camper, or boat needs a jumpstart in a remote area.
There are, however, a few advantages that a trickle charger has over a jump starter. For one, they are often used to provide a small continuous charge to a vehicle on cold nights. This helps to keep a vehicle’s battery from dying in the first place. Portable jump starters do not have this ability. Plug-in jump starters also have the ability to totally recharge a dead battery which jump starters are not capable of.
These car starting devices are known for being very lightweight and portable. Once charged they also do not need another vehicle or any power source to make them work. The technology that goes into them is very advanced and a single charging can be enough to provide 20-50 jumps starts. Some of the more powerful ones can even crank over sizable truck engines.
Jump starters are now also being made to be very versatile. Most have additional features such as air compressors, work lights, and safety lights built right into them. Almost every jump starter made also has the ability to charge USB powered devices such as phones and music players.
Jump Starter vs Booster Cables (Jumper Cables)
We just looked at the many advantages that jump starters have over plug-in type battery chargers. Now let’s look at why they are quickly surpassing jumper cables as the number one way to get a car with a dead battery to start.
6 Reasons Why Jump Starters Are Better Than Jumper Cables
By far the number one reason that people choose jump starters over jumper cables is the convenience that they offer. There is no simpler way to have the ability to jump-start a vehicle with you at all times.
Jump starters are what is considered to be a stand-alone way to jump-start a vehicle. That’s because they do not need the help of another vehicle in order for them to work. When you use booster cables, you have to have another vehicle nearby to assist with jump-starting a vehicle.
One of the most dangerous conditions that are present when jump-starting a car is what’s called reverse polarity. This is when the positive clamp from the jump source is hooked up to the negative terminal on the dead battery and vice versa. It’s a condition that can cause a battery to fail or worse yet explode. When using a jump-starting unit, they often have an alarm or light built into them that alert a user that the jumper cables have been hooked up wrong. This helps prevent reverse polarity problems from happening. Jumper cables have nothing like this.
Yes, it’s true that jump starters cost more most of the time than even the highest quality booster cables do. So, you may be wondering why the price is considered an advantage for jump starters. It’s that their prices have come down so much in recent years. When you look at the cost of jump starters combined with their convenience, it makes them a practical purchase.
Jumper cables tend to be a little bulky when rolled up and hard to bundle neatly. That makes them difficult to store and can damage them or scratch other items that come into contact with them. Jump starters tend to be all-in-one units. They are made to store all their components inside them. This makes them easy to pack up and in a manner that does not damage other items placed near them.
Sometimes other problems can cause a car not to start besides a dead battery. That makes trying to jump-start a car pointless. With jumper cables, you have no way of telling if a car battery is charged up or not. Jumps starters often have digital gauges or meters built-in so you can tell the amount of charge a battery has.
Feel free to use our homepage as a checklist!
How to Use a Portable Jump Starter
Although most people feel that jump starters are pretty simple to use, it still takes a few basic instructions to use them right. Here are those instructions:
Jump Start a Car – The Step by Step Guide to Follow!
When you buy your new jump starter it may or may not be fully charged. That’s why before you use it or stow it in your vehicle, you should first put it on the charger that comes with it. Most portable jump starters will charge in less than 5-hours, but it won’t hurt to leave it charging overnight just to be sure.
Read the owner’s manual. The instructions you are getting here are generic in nature and not specific to any one jump starter. You don’t want any surprises when you go to use your jump starter in an emergency, so you should always read thoroughly the directions that come with your car starter. Manufacturers put lots of useful information in the owner’s manuals that they package in with their jump-starting products. That’s why it’s a good idea to always read them.
Make sure the jump starter unit and the car ignition are in the off position. If there are no jumper cables built into your jump starter then attach booster cables to your unit. Be sure that the booster cables are firmly attached.
Next, attach the cables to the vehicle with the dead battery. Make sure that the positive cable is attached to the positive terminal and the negative cable is attached to the negative terminal. Failure to do this properly could result in battery failure, jump starter failure or an explosion. The chances of a battery explosion are very small but best not to take chances anyway.
Turn on the jump starter unit. Also, make sure if it has a digital readout or a voltmeter built-in that the jump starter is fully charged. If not, it will have to be charged before using it.
Next turn on the car’s ignition and see if it starts. If it does not start right away do not continue to let it crank over. After a few seconds if the car does not start, then turn the ignition back to the off position. Wait a few minutes and then try to crank the ignition over again until it starts.
5 Key Benefits of Using A Portable Jump Starter
Here are some of the reasons why you should have a portable car jump starter:
- Jump starters are simple to operate
- They are highly portable
- No other vehicle or power source is required to use them
- Jump starters are versatile
- They don’t have to be recharged very often
Jump Starter FAQs & Answers
- Q: I noticed when shopping for a new jump starter that most of them list the number of peak and cranking amps. Which is more important?A: That would definitely be cranking amps. Just because a jump starter has many peak amps does not mean it generates a lot of consistent car cranking power. So always know the number of cranking amps it takes to start your size engine and make your purchase accordingly.
- Q: Someone told me that if you lose the charging cord to your jump starter that a regular extension cord should be able to be used to charge it. Is this true?A: In most cases that is absolutely true. Only in very rare instances do manufacturers make special charging cords for their jump starter models.
- Q:Do jump starters have the ability to charge a car’s battery after it has died?A: The answer to this question is no and they really are not designed to do that. There are some plug-in car chargers that have a jump start setting but they don’t work great.
Read on to find more details on choosing a car battery!
Wrapping Up Our Thoughts on Jump Starters
With their prices coming down more every day, purchasing a jump starter is something that many people should consider. It is the most reliable way to have the means to overcome a dead battery no matter where you are at the time. Jump starting units are now being built with more useful features than ever before too. That has only enhanced their value to auto, ATV, boat, motorcycle, and other vehicle owners.
In this article, we talked about the best features of jump starters to focus on when looking to buy one. We also did several jump starter reviews. When you combine all this information, it will definitely help you during your jump starter shopping process. You should now have no problem now finding the best jump starter for your individual needs.