Thankfully, in today’s modern world, getting a flat battery in your vehicle is almost unheard of – we have all manner of warnings, bleeps, whistles and noises to tell us something isn’t right when we leave our car … it’s virtually impossible to leave your lights on or any battery draining source, but even so … sometimes we need a little help in the form of a portable car jump starter or battery pack.
But buying just any jump starter pack isn’t necessarily going to work for us. Especially, if you drive something with a little more ‘get up and go’ … buy a jumper pack with a lower power rating and you might as well not bother – it won’t have enough juice to turn your motor over, never mind start it.
That’s why I’ve brought together a list of 5 best car jump starters available right now.
Table of Contents
- 5 Best Car Jump Starters You Can Buy in 2018
- Fixed or Mobile Use
- What Else?
5 Best Car Jump Starters You Can Buy in 2018
I’ve tried to include a range of different starters, for all different uses, but the common theme is … portable power when you need it.
1. DBPOWER 600A Portable Car Jump Starter
This is a great little unit that packs quite a punch. It’s small enough to fit in a glovebox, and once it’s fully charged, you should be able to start your car around twenty times. Thanks to being able to turn it off (and not just a standby mode), it should last around three months between charges.
The DBPOWER comes with a dual USB port with 2.1A, a ‘smart’ 2.4A single USB port and includes an 8-in-1 laptop adaptor for charging pretty much anything.
The smart function works well – it’s designed to maximize the charge rate without damaging the device being charged. In fact, it has many different levels of protection – over current, short circuit, over load, over voltage and over charge … your device or battery will be safe with this unit.
Equipped with 18,000mAh and 600A of power, this jump starter will never leave you short of juice. There’s a full LCD display to tell you just how much power is remaining in the pack, and a compass fitted “to get you home safe”.
All the accessories needed: 12v wall charger, 12v car charger, 8-in-1 laptop adaptors, high quality clamps and a 3-year warranty, wrapped up in a semi-hard case. Definitely, it is my choice for the best cheap portable jump starter pack.
2. Jump-N-Carry JNC660 Jump Starter
The most expensive jump starter in the list, it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles (such as extra USB ports) that some of the others have, but that’s the point – if you want the best car jump starter pack that’s been designed for professional use, this is it.
Sure, having the ability to charge your cell or laptop (or whatever) is a nice touch, but this jump pack isn’t trying to be all things to all people, it starts your car, period. The JNC660 offers 1,700 peak amps, and 425 cranking amps, you’re never going to be stuck with a flat battery in your car ever again. I especially like the fact that the internal battery is replaceable, so this isn’t junk after a year or two, and it can be left plugged in to the mains outlet forever – it has a smart automatic recharge facility – it will never over charge.
With 46 inch leads, heavy duty clamps and wires (#2 AWG), this battery booster is robust … possibly to the detriment of portability – 18 pounds in weight means that it’s a job to lug around unnecessarily, but there has to be some trade-off for reliability.
3. NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 Lithium Jump Starter
Mid-priced lithium-ion jump starter that has a decent amount of power – 1,000A in total, which the manufacturers say will jump start a car up to 20x, but in my experience, to be safe, I’d half that.
The NOCO GB40 has a ‘mistake-proof’ design (your guess is as good as mine), comes equipped with spark-proof technology and reverse polarity protection, which should mean that things won’t go wrong if you happen to get the leads the wrong way round. Speaking of the leads, I find them a little short compared to some of the others, but thanks to its compact size, it can find a home pretty much anywhere under the hood, so short leads isn’t too much of a problem.
NOCO rate this jump starter for gas engines up to 6 liters and diesel engines up to 3 liters in capacity, but remember, that’s from totally flat, so if your battery is just a bit weak, there’s a chance that it will start bigger motors. A 100 lumen in-built flashlight (with 7 modes) should see you right even in the dead of night, and a 2.1A USB port will supply charge for smartphones and other USB devices up to four times.
While this isn’t the most powerful car jump starters on the market, it works for near enough 90% of vehicles. Once charged, it should hold a decent charge for up to one year, but I’d recommend charging every couple of months to be safe.
4. Beatit BT-D11 Compact Jump Starter
Similar in size, style and specification to the DBPOWER unit, this compact jump starter will do just that little bit more – the Beatit delivers 800A of peak power, along with the 18,000mAh of battery power. It’s able to start engines up to 7.5 liter for gas, and 5.5 liter for diesel.
With a self-discharge rate of just 10 -15% for the year, you can leave this thing in your glovebox or trunk for months at a time without worrying whether it’s charged enough to start your car. The 18,000mAh has enough power to charge a smartphone up to 6.7 times. And it’s capable of that thanks to the smart dual USB ports built-in.
All in, the BT-D11 is a stylish jump starter / battery pack that will always see you right. Its sensible price, it doesn’t have to be considered as an ‘investment’, although if you’re looking for something a little more professional, my choice would be the Jump-N-Carry. With that said, this fits the bill for domestic and family use perfectly.
5. STANLEY FATMAX J7CS Jump Starter with Air Compressor
This is the cheapest jump starter here, and despite looking all rugged and tough, you can spot the difference. Let’s start with the Amps and power … 350A of instant power, with a 700A peak power should be enough for a regular compact with a totally dead battery, but anything bigger will struggle.
While it won’t match the likes of the Jump-N-Carry for starting power, it isn’t all bad news … the Fatmax does have some nice touches – the built-in compressor is great for those emergency tire inflations, and the flashlight that moves 270 degrees should be incorporated in all of the start packs – it’s actually a useful addition.
The STANLEY J7CS has a built-in reverse polarity detector and will give you a warning both audibly and visually. It also comes with three onboard USB ports that can charge up to 3.1A (most devices are between 2.1A – 2.4A).
This multiuse car jump starter is definitely aimed at the more … home user end of the market. It does what it needs to, and for the price, I’d have to say that it’s a great budget-friendly portable jumper pack.
If you drive a compact or sub-compact with a small gas engine, the chances are that any jumper pack will work for you – a small gas engine uses relatively low compression, with just three of four cylinders and is easily started, but swap that gas for diesel (much higher compression) or start adding in a few cylinders, and the process gets much harder.
The general rule of thumb is that the more power you have, the better it will be, and if you’re driving around in something like a 7 liter diesel V8, you’re going to need as much as you can get hold of. Because of that, you also need to think about the size of the cables attached to the jumper pack – too small and they’ll just fry when you use them.
Of course, you can always revert to the old fail-safe method and carry a set of jumper leads in your trunk, but that relies on there being another vehicle nearby to jump from – these car jumper packs are great when you’re on your own.
Fixed or Mobile Use
Many users of car jump starting packs leave them in their garage, as a ‘just in case’ measure, especially when the weather turns really cold, and while that’s super handy if you get stuck at home, it doesn’t help much if you’re out and about. But some jump packs are pretty big and bulky, which means storing them in your car isn’t necessarily practical.
You should think about other uses also though – these car jump starters can be used for powering other 12-volt devices, some even come with a DC outlet for such just an occasion. My advice would be to think about what it is you’re actually wanting to do with it, whether you’re an outdoorsy type of person or just want reassurance that you have a back-up starter for your car.
If it’s purely about starting cars, then the Jump-N-Carry is the one to go for, providing you’re happy to invest in that kind of money – it really is suited to the professional user. For every day stuff including cell phones and smart devices, you’d be hard pushed to beat the BT-D11 or DBPOWER, purely because of their functionality and compact size.
The thing to remember with any of these quality car jump starters is to keep them topped up with charge … the most powerful jumper in the world won’t be any use to you if it’s flat. A regular check every week or so is sufficient – most jump starting packs can be left to charge 24/7 without a problem, and if that’s what you need, just make sure it has that facility before purchase.