This article presents reviews of best jump starters in the market. First off, we’ll at several reasons why you may need a jump starter and then proceeds to enumerate several products that you may be interested in. If you want to go straight to the portable jump starter reviews, check the Table of Contents at the beginning of this article.
You will need a car jump starter if your battery died or if it has been discharged. Most batteries last for about two to five years. After that, your battery needs to be replaced. Failure to do so will lead to unwanted situations–you might not be able to start your car just when you need to leave badly.
Those things don’t just seem to mind your schedule and your life, right? They happen at just the worst possible times!
Remember Murphy’s Law: “what could go wrong will go wrong!”
Even if you take good care of your car, there’s just some instances when you become frantic and hurried and you forget some things. Like turn off the headlights after parking your car. And when you get back to it the next morning, you just want to slap yourself silly because your car won’t start.
Some aftermarket products like some stereos and alarms may cause battery discharge.
If this happens to you at home and an extra car is sitting in your garage, well and good. You can simply jump start your car by using booster cables to connect the dead battery to a live one. But what if your battery died while you’re on the road and there are no cars passing by?
Having a jump starter will help you save money because calling for roadside assistant would be too expensive. If you have a portable jump starter, you can simply connect it to the car’s battery, charge it for 15 minutes and get it going. Most of these devices can also monitor the health of your battery and will tell you when it is safe to start your batter. Besides, most of these jumpstarters can be carried in one hand and will fit snugly into your trunk.
These products may also be known by other names. Some people refer to them as battery chargers, or portable power. But they all refer to the same product: a battery-powered electronic device that will help you start your car during the cold season, or if your car battery dies.
Jump starters have different amp settings. Some of them range from 300 to 3,000 amps although most models for consumers are between 400-600 amps. Most often, that is enough for most people’s cars.
By using a jump starter power will flow into the battery and into the starter motor. A completely dead battery will be more difficult to start because it will absorb the power instead.
It’s easy to get a jump starter from your auto store or from online retailers. But what features should you be looking for?
What is the Best Jump Starter?
The best car jump starter may depend on your needs and your situation. But here’s the list of features you should consider in choosing the best jump starter. We provide several lists of the best jump starters that we have found. But it’s still up to you to make the choice and the purchase.
Performance (Cold Cranking Amps).
When you compare two jump-starters, peak power ratings are pretty much useless. Just look at the cranking amps (CA) or cold cranking amps (CCA). Read this post to know more about Peak Amps and Cold Cranking Amps.
Higher cranking amp ratings are better, in general. This would be the actual power to start your battery. The cold cranking amps (CCA) on your battery is usually shown. CCA represents the number of amps that a battery can deliver at 0 degree Fahrenheit without dropping down below 7.2 V. Your jump starter doesn’t need to match the CCA in your battery, a lower one should be enough to get the job done.
Speaking of peak power ratings, should you have multiple vehicles, you just need one jump starter for all of them. Just make sure that it can start the largest vehicle. No need to worry about overloading the electrical circuits of smaller vehicles because the jumpstarters will only pull in enough power to start your car.
If you suspect that your battery is dead or about to go dead, make sure to get the highest cold cranking amp rating. In case your battery dies, then this kind of jump-starter has a highest chance of reviving the dead battery.
Reverse Polarity Protection Feature.
Jump starting really means that you’re supplying power to a car with a discharged or dead battery so that it can ignite the engine of the car.
Get your jump starter and connect the Red Jumper cable to the Positive terminal of your battery. Then connect the Black jumper to any unpainted metal part of your car such as the chassis or a bolt. If you do it wrong, you will do serious damage to your battery and to the electrical system of your car.
That’s why it is very important to look for the Reverse Polarity Protection Feature in any jumpstarter: it should sound off an alarm if you connected it wrong.
Some jumpstarters also sport additional accessories such as a flashlight, tire inflator, and a few other things. This may come in handy for emergency situations in the road.
Of course, it goes without saying that PRICE is an important consideration in your decision. While it is tempting to get the least expensive model, price should be the last consideration after performance.
What Size Jump Starter Do I Need?
Jump starters are also known as battery chargers or jump box. And you may be wondering what size of a jump starter you need. You probably are not just looking for the dimensions of the product, but also to the capacity of a jump starter. So here are some size considerations as you buy a jump starter:
Look for a jump starter that can give you around 500 cranking amps. Most of the jump starters listed on this page do have that. A lot of car batteries have a 660 cranking amp (CA) rating. A jump starter with a 300 CA rating can still jump start such a car.
But if you have a heavier car with a big ass battery, then you probably need a more powerful one. So look for the best heavy duty jump starters in the market.
Physical Size or Dimensions
With so many advanced technologies these days, there are now jump starters that can double up as powerbank for your Smartphone, laptops, or tablet computers. Most of these jump starters, too, are very small–some could even fit in your pocket. If you want an ultra-portable, really small-sized jump starter, these compact battery boosters could also work.
Most of these products though tend to have Lithium Ion batteries, and during really cold weather, the performance of these batteries could be compromised. So if you want something that’s more reliable even in extreme cold, get one of the bigger products in the market. All of them could really fit in your car’s trunk.
Best Jump Starter Reviews
We review the Top 5 jump starters according to each criteria above to help you make a better purchasing decision.
Top 5 Best Jump Starter Under $100
If you are short on budget and you still trust your car’s battery yet you also want that extra peace of mind when you travel long distances during the cold months, then you might want to check out these jump starters. They are inexpensive but they can do the job just fine. And when you’re stuck in the highway and the car won’t start, you’ve got an inexpensive jump starter to get you going.
- 300 cranking amps (900 peak amps)
- 21″ #4 gauge cables, Automatic recharging
- Industrial grade, Hot Jaw clamps
Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (Based on 40+ Reviews)
- 1100 Peak Amps, 300 Cranking Amps
- 21" #4 Gauge Cables
- Automatic Recharging (ESA214 Charger Included)
- Industrial Grade, Hot Jaw Clamps
- 12 Volt Power Output
- On/Off switch activates the jump starting mode
- Built-in charger for automatic charging of internal battery
- Battery status LEDs tells when battery is charged or needs to be charged
- Sure-Grip clamps fit both top and side-mount batteries
- A maintenance-free, sealed lead acid battery allow for storage in any position
Average Customer Rating: 4.0 out of 5 Stars (Based on 100+ Reviews)
Price: around $80
- 500 Instant starting amps for maximum performance
- 120 PSI inflator for vehicle tires, sports equipment and more
- Low-profile design for easy storage within vehicle or garage
- Visual and audible reverse polarity alarms warn against improper connections to battery terminals
- Ultra bright area light for increased visibility in dark areas
Average Customer Rating: 4.1 out of 5 Stars (based on 60+ Reviews)
Price: Less than $80
- 500 Cranking Amps (1000 Peak)
- DC & USB charging plugs as well as a high powered LED light that rotates 270 degrees;
- Consists of reverse polarity alarm for safety along with a top-mounted rubber molded handle for easy grip
- Heavy duty metal clamps and Number 6 AWG cables;
- Contains power/charge indicator and audible & visual reverse polarity alarm
Average Customer Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 230+ reviews)
Price: Less than $70
- 900 peak amps and 225 cranking amp
- with 27 inches of #4 gauge jumper cables
- Full size clamps to penetrate battery corrosion
- Equipped with a high intensity work light
Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (based on 440+ Reviews)
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Best Jump Starter with Air Compressor
In case you want to rely on a device that helps you revive your dead battery AND also give your tires a boost when they fall below their recommended pressure, then better check out these jump starters.
This item is also included in the list above. It is a good product!
Price: Less than $80
- The Stanley J5C09 packs in a 120 PSI air compressor
- 500 Cranking Amps (1000 Peak Amps)
Average Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (based on 1,200+ reviews)
Price: around $90 plus shipping
- Has an EHP 18aH rechargeable battery
- The air compressor will inflate your tire with high volume air
- Also features a worklight to help you at night.
- Has reverse polarity safety feature
Average Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars (Based on 100+ Reviews)
Price: A little over $200
- 425 cold cranking amps and 1700 peak amps
- PROFORMER battery technology
- 68″ cables – perfect for even the rainy season and you want to keep the jump starter under the shade
- Air compressor with 12-inch coiled air hose with screw-on chuck
- Read our review of this product here: Review of Jump-n-Carry JNCAIR 1700-Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter with Power Source and Air Compressor
Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (based on 275+ Reviews)
The above products are the best jump starter reviews we offer. We might have not included some products that you find useful. Feel free to suggest your favorite jump starters in the comments.
If you want to check out the best jump starters offered by each brand, do check out the following articles:
Having a battery charger, though, is not the ultimate solution to a battery that fails to crank your engine. It’s not really advisable to use your jump starter every single day. It’s important to take care of your battery so it will last long. When it is no longer functional, then you might as well change it. That’s the best solution!