The best portable jump starters are a modern wonder. Ranging in size from a paperback book to a large purse, these devices store enough power to boost a run-down car battery allowing you to get home or to a repair shop. The simplest of these devices provides enough power for five or six jump-starts and can charge cell phones and other small electronic devices. Larger ones are available with features like an air compressor or power converter. Regardless of which one you choose, a portable jump starter is an invaluable tool to keep in your car for emergencies. You can’t go wrong with any of the choices on this list, but some of the best portable jump starters may fit your needs better than others.
— Best Overall Handheld: Noco Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp
— Best for Versatility: Black + Decker Portable Power Station PPRH5B
— Best Heavy-Duty Power Station: DeWalt Digital Portable Power Station DXAEJ14
— Best Budget with Air Compressor: Stanley Fatmax J7CS Portable Power Station
— Best Budget Handheld: Loftek Portable Car Battery Jump Starter
— Best Handheld Budget Heavy-Duty: Gooloo Jump Starter Battery Pack - 1500A Peak Jump Box
— Best Handheld Heavy-Duty: Avapow Car Jump Starter
— Best For Extreme Cold Weather: Hulkman Alpha85S
How We Picked the Best Jump Starters
We looked at various criteria, including features, size, power output, durability, and price.
Features and Size: There are two types of jump starters: handheld devices and larger power stations. We also compared features for each of the models in the two sizes.
Power Output: We assessed jump starters based on their constant and peak power ratings. Devices with higher peak outputs will start larger engines, while devices with better constant power ratings provide more jump starts or last longer when powering other devices.
Durability: We evaluated jump starters based on the durability of their cases and ability to handle moisture and extreme temperatures. We also noted which models carry IP ratings.
Price: We weighted the price of each device with its features, durability, and power ratings.
Best Portable Jump Starters: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall Handheld: Noco Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp
Why It Made The Cut: The Noco Boost Plus GB40 provides the best combination of durability, portability, ease of use, and value. Good for most vehicles, it will jump start most cars and light trucks.
— Lithium battery provides 1,000 peak amps
— Jump starts up to 6.0L Gas/3.0L Diesel Engine
— 2.4 pounds
— Water-resistant with IP65 Rating
— Foolproof design
— Durable battery with long shelf life
— Charges in less than three hours
— There are cheaper alternatives
One of the most popular models, the Noco Boost Plus GB40, is ideal for most situations. Durable, providing 1,000 amps of peak current, it will start gasoline engines up to 6.0 liters or diesel engines up to 3.0 liters. Small enough to store in a glovebox, this model will provide up to 20 jump starts on a single charge. It also offers reverse-polarity protection and is spark-proof, making it easy to hook up and use.
The Noco Boost includes USB ports for recharging, charging other portable devices, and a LED flashlight. It’s small, measuring 6.57 inches by 3.15 inches by 7.76 inches and tipping the scales at 2.4 pounds. The rubberized case is sturdy and IP65 rated, meaning it’s water-resistant and suitable for any climate.
Best for Versatility: Black + Decker Portable Power Station PPRH5B
Why It Made The Cut: The Black + Decker Portable Power Station offers the most versatility of any jump starter. Handy but heavy, it includes an air compressor and multiple types of power connections.
— 1,200 peak amps for jump starts
— 17 amp hours of stored capacity
— 19.6 pounds
— Built-in 120 psi air compressor
— Includes two 120 volt A/C outlets and a USB port
— Able to power small electronic appliances
— Large and heavy, weighing almost 20 pounds
— Does not include a power cord for charging
The Black + Decker Portable Power Station lives up to its name with jumper cables, a USB port, and two 120 volt outlets. It will start most vehicles and includes a reverse-polarity alarm for safety. With a built-in air-compressor and LED work light, it offers everything you could need in a portable power source.
At 19.6 pounds, the Black + Decker Portable Power Station is heavier than most portable chargers. Measuring 15.25 inches by 6 inches by 13 inches, it won’t fit in a glovebox but won’t take up much trunk room. It offers 450 amps of continuous power and 17 amp hours of stored capacity and will run small electronic devices. The one drawback is a power cord is sold separately, but the Power Station can be charged with a regular extension cord.
Best Heavy-Duty Power Station: DeWalt Digital Portable Power Station DXAEJ14
Why It Made The Cut: The DeWalt Digital Portable Power Station provides enough power for the largest personal vehicles. It also includes an air compressor and USB charging ports.
— 1,400 peak amps for jump starts
— 21 amp hours of stored capacity
— 17.5 pounds
— Powerful enough for large engines
— Built-in 120 psi air compressor
— Includes two USB ports
— Longer jumper cables and air hose than other models
— Does not include a power cord for charging
The DeWalt Digital Portable Power Station is a heavy-duty jump starter with some useful features. In addition to the 120-psi air compressor and two USB charging ports, it can check the health of your vehicle’s alternator. The LED screen is easy to read and the cables are longer than other models, making it easier to jump start a car or inflate tires.
Weighing 17.5 pounds, the DeWalt Power Station is not the heaviest of the bunch, but it is one of the most sturdy. It measures 11.75 inches by 6 inches by 13 inches, making it too large for a glovebox but easy to store in the trunk. The 700 amps of power and 1,400 peak amps mean it will start just about any car or truck. Like the Black + Decker unit, it does not include a power cord but can be charged with a regular extension cord.
Best Budget with Air Compressor: Stanley Fatmax J7CS Portable Power Station
Why It Made The Cut: The Stanley Fatmax Portable Power Station provides an air compressor, LED light, and USB charging ports for a budget price.
— 700 peak amps for jump starts
— 9 amp hours of stored capacity
— 10.6 pounds
— Built-in 120 psi air compressor
— Includes three USB ports
— LED light swivels 270 degrees
— Does not include a power cord for charging
— Needs charging every 30 days
— Lacks the capacity of other portable power stations
The Stanley Fatmax Portable Power Station offers many useful features for a low price. Equipped with a 120-psi air compressor and three USB charging ports, it also includes an LED work light that swivels 270 degrees.
The Stanley Fatmax measures 12.5 inches by 11.7 inches by 8.5 inches and weighs 10.6 pounds. That makes it slightly larger than the other power stations but lighter and still easy to store. The 350 amps of power and 700 peak amps are less than the other power stations, and it also has a shorter battery life than the more expensive options.
Best Budget Handheld: Loftek Portable Car Battery Jump Starter
Why It Made The Cut: The Loftek Portable Car Battery Jump Starter is a handheld jump starter offering features like USB charging and a LED light for a budget price.
— 1,000 peak amps for jump starts
— Jump starts up to 7.0L Gas/5.5L Diesel Engine
— 1.74 pounds
— Inexpensive but includes features of jump starters costing twice as much
— Small, but powerful enough to jump start larger engines
— Works well in low temperatures
— USB charging for portable electronic devices
— Battery is not as durable or long-lasting as other jump starters
The Loftek Portable Car Battery Jump Starter is small but big on value. It’s expensive yet still offers useful features like a LED light and USB charging ports. With 1,000 amps of peak power, it will start vehicles with 7-liter gasoline or 5.5-liter diesel engines. It also includes Quick Discharge Start Power (QDSP) technology allowing it to operate in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Loftek has many safety features, including short-circuit, over-current, overload, and over-voltage protection. It’s the smallest and lightest model on the list, weighing 1.74 pounds and measuring 8.39 inches by 5.55 inches by 3.31 inches. However, it’s not as sturdy as more expensive models, and the battery requires more frequent charging.
Best Handheld Budget Heavy-Duty: Gooloo Jump Starter Battery Pack - 1500A Peak Jump Box
Why It Made The Cut: The Gooloo Jump Starter Battery Pack is a budget jump starter that can charge just about any engine. It features a waterproof case and quick charging for portable devices.
— 1,500 peak amps for jump starts
— Jump starts up to 8.0L Gas/6.0L Diesel Engine
— 2.67 pounds
— Small but powerful
— Works well in extreme temperatures
— Durable, water-resistant case
— USB quick charging
— Battery cables are shorter than most jump starters
— Lower battery capacity than other handheld jump starters
For the money, it’s hard to beat the Gooloo Jump Starter Battery Pack. It offers features like an LED light and USB charging ports, and with 1,500 peak amps of power, it is more capable than many jump starters. The Gooloo will start gas engines as large as 8.0 liters or diesels up to 6.0 liters. It offers QC 3.0 quick-charging and works in temperatures ranging from -4 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Gooloo Jump Starter Battery Pack weighs 2.67 pounds and includes a rugged, water-resistant case. It fits inside a glovebox or console, measuring 7.4 inches by 3.66 inches by 1.39 inches. And it has several advanced safety features to eliminate the risk of sparks or incorrect connections. Drawbacks are few but include jumper cables that are short in length and lower battery capacity than other more expensive jump starters.
Best Handheld Heavy-Duty: Avapow Car Jump Starter
Why It Made The Cut: With 4,000 peak amps for jump starts, the Avapow is one of the most powerful jump starters on the market.
— 4,000 peak amps for jump starts
— Jump starts everything up to a 10.0L diesel engine
— 3.45 pounds
— The most powerful jump starter on the list
— Up to 40 jump starts on a single charge
— Rugged case and design
— Bigger than most handheld jump starters
— No charging cord, requires USB charging
The Avapow Car Jump Starter offers useful features like an LED light and USB charging ports like other jump starters. But the power is the main reason to buy the Avapow. It provides 4,000 peak amps and up to 40 jump starts on a single charge.
The Avapow offers safety features like reverse connection, overload, and short circuit protection. Dual USB 3.0 ports allow it to charge devices up to 75 percent faster than other power banks. It is also one of the largest handheld jump starters, weighing 3.45 pounds and measuring 10.16 inches by 8.58 inches by 4.92 inches.
Best For Extreme Cold Weather: Hulkman Alpha85S
Why It Made The Cut: The Hulkman offers 2,000 peak amps for heavy-duty starting and pre-heat technology, allowing it to work in temperatures as low as -40 degrees F.
— 2,000 peak amps for jump starts
— Jump starts up to 8.5L Gas/6.0L Diesel Engine
— Weighs 3.61 pounds
— Works in -40 degrees F temperatures
— Quick charging time
— Can be stored without charging for 18 months
— Includes a rugged storage case
— Expensive compared to other handheld jump starters
The Hulkman Alpha 85S can jump start gas engines up to 8.5-liters or diesel engines up to 6.0-liters. More importantly, it can jump start those vehicles in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to its pre-heat technology. It also features a patented 65W Speed Charge capability, allowing for a full charge in 1.5 hours. And it has USB-A and USB-C ports to charge portable electronic devices.
The Hulkman jump starter is one of the heavier handhelds, weighing 3.61 pounds. It measures 9.06 inches by 4.06 inches by 1.81 inches, making it small enough to fit inside a glovebox. Like other jump starters, it has an LED light and safety features to prevent incorrect usage. It’s also IP65 function certified and comes in a sturdy case.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Jump Starter
There are many things to consider before buying a portable jump starter. Like Yoda, judging them by their size is a mistake. More important is how you’ll use the jump starter and how often. With that in mind, here are five things to keep in mind:
Features and Size
All of the jump starters on this list are equipped with an LED light and USB ports to charge small electronic devices. Several include an air compressor and can function as a power station to run small appliances. The downside to the additional features includes larger sizes and heavier weights. Additionally, larger models are not any better at jump-starting a car than the smaller, handheld devices.
Larger engines require more battery power to start. Likewise, they need a more powerful jump starter when the battery runs down. All of these jump starters will start most cars and light trucks. But if you have a larger vehicle with a diesel engine or a gasoline engine over 6.0 liters, you will need a jump starter with at least 1,200 amps of peak power.
One of the differences between budget jump starters and the more expensive models is battery life. Batteries degrade over time, providing less power and holding less of a charge. A less expensive jump starter may have a shorter battery life and require more frequent charging.
Jump starters live a hard life. They operate in extreme temperatures and are frequently dropped or exposed to moisture. Units that carry an IP rating are equipped with sturdy water-repellant cases and will work in all weather.
Jump starters are available in different price ranges. Many budget devices have similar power ratings and features as more expensive models but may not be as durable or have as long of battery life.
Q: What kind of portable battery jump starter do I need?
There are many different types of portable battery jump starters. To decide on one, first determine if you want a small, handheld device, or a larger one that includes other features like an air compressor. Next, consider the power you need based on the size of your vehicle’s engine. Finally, decide what price or budget you have.
Q: How much does a portable jump starter cost?
Portable jump starters range in price from about $50 to $200 or more. Pricing varies based on features, battery life, peak amp ratings, and jump-start capacity. The quality of the device also plays into the price — many lower-priced jump starters offer the same features and capacity as the more expensive models but may require more frequent charges and may not be as durable.
Q: What is the best portable jump starter?
Each jump starter offers a different mix of features and capabilities. The following models consistently receive top ratings:
— Noco Boost Plus GB40
— Black + Decker Portable Power Station PPRH5B
— DeWalt Digital Portable Power Station DXAEJ14
— Stanley Fatmax J7CS Portable Power Station
— Loftek Portable Car Battery Jump Starter
Q: How many amps should a portable jump starter have?
To jump start most vehicles, a portable jump starter requires a minimum of 400 to 600 amps but may need more power in extreme temperatures. Vehicles with larger engines, including commercial vehicles, may require 1,500 to 2,000 amps to start.
Q: Are portable jump starters worth it?
Jump starters are definitely worth buying and can prevent you from getting stranded with a dead battery. Many jump starters are cheaper than a tow service which averages between $90 to $140 each instance. If you use a jump starter more than once, you are ahead with your investment in addition to not being stranded, waiting for a tow.
Q: Do small portable jump starters work?
The smaller jump starters use lithium-ion batteries offering excellent peak energy capacity. That energy boosts the amperage in the car battery so it has enough power to start the engine. This is why a device smaller than a brick can jump-start a big V8 engine.
Q: How do I choose a portable jump starter?
The best way to choose a portable jump starter is to decide on the features you need based on the following criteria:
— Features like a LED light and USB charging ports
— Power output in peak amps
— The size of the jump starter
— The price range
The Noco Boost Plus GB40 is our best overall pick for the best portable jump starter because of its size, ease of use, durability, and battery quality. We recommend it if you are looking for a dependable, high-quality jump starter. If you want a jump starter that can serve as a portable power station and an air compressor, the Black + Decker Portable Power Station PPRH5B offers the most value and versatility. The Loftek Portable Car Battery Jump Starter is our budget pick, offering basic features and is suitable for most engines.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.