Best Portable Jump Starter iMore 2019

When your battery goes flat in the middle of nowhere, a portable jump starter can get you off the side of the road without the need for a second car to give you a lift. My favorite is a durable little charger has a high enough power output to handle gas and diesel engines while being small enough to fit in your glove box. No matter what size vehicle you drive, we have a portable jump starter that will work with your budget and your needs.

Best Overall: DBPOWER 600A

This tiny powerhouse from DBPower weights just over one pound and can fire up gas and diesel engines with 600 amps of peak current. And it can do that over and over again— up to 20 times, in fact, — before needing a recharge. This model also has a smart charging port and a smart USB port to top off laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

The LCD is a nice touch in this unit. It's there to keep you abreast of the DBPower's remaining battery life. However, it's so small that it can be hard to read, especially in the sunlight. That's really my only gripe with this handy charger.

I love the onboard LED lights! There are three modes, including high, strobe, and SOS, so you can seek help or shine a light on your problem car battery in the event of an emergency. There's also a compass on this model to help you find your way home. When car trouble hits, this carryable jump starter will save the day.

Pros:

  • Small enough to store in a glovebox
  • Smart USB port for portable devices
  • Includes 8-in-1 laptop adapter
  • Compatible with gas and diesel engines
  • Has emergency lights and a compass

Cons:

  • LCD is tiny

Best Overall

DBPower 600A

Big power in a small package

A compact charger with 600 amps that will get your gas or diesel vehicle back in service and on the road in a hurry.

Best Value: GOOLOO GP80

When your vehicle is small, but your needs are big, the GOOLOO GP80 is the right tool for the job. With 500 peak amps available, this jump starter is ideal for small cars and light-duty trucks with up to 4.5-liter engines, plus motorcycles, RVs, tractors, ATVs, boats, and snowmobiles.

This jump starter holds enough charge to fire up a battery 20 times and includes dual quick charging 3.0 USB ports, an LED flashlight, SOS call for help light, and a storage bag. Best of all, the GP80 is decked out with intelligent jumper cables that protect your devices and your car from overload and overcharging.

Pros:

  • Dual quick charging 3.0 USB ports
  • LED flashlight
  • Protection from overcharging
  • Carry bag included

Cons:

  • Does not work with diesel engines
  • Not for larger vehicles

Best Value

GOOLOO GP80

Perfect for small cars and trucks

If you need to fire up a dead battery on a small car, light truck, or ATV, this is the best small bang for our buck.

Best in Bad Weather: BEATIT G18

When you need a jump starter that works in any situation, this is the one you can't live without. With 2,000 amps in your corner, you can jump-start dead batteries up to 30 times per charge. The G18 works on cars, SUVs, vans, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, boats, lawnmowers, and anything else with a 12-volt battery.

Weather is never a problem for this bad boy. The G18 can withstand challenging steamy summer days and frigid winter nights while safely getting you back in business with its spark-proof design that's resistant to rain, snow, and wind. This high-performance jump starter has a built-in voltmeter, LCD, wall charger, Type-C quick charger, wireless charger, and a heavy-duty carry case.

Pros:

  • Works in all weather
  • Extended length jumper cables
  • Integrated voltmeter
  • Built-in wireless charger

Cons:

  • Large clamps difficult to get on motorcycles
  • The plastic shell is slippery

Best in Bad Weather

BEATIT G18

The go-anywhere jump starter

The G18 consistently performs well no matter what the weather, and it comes with a few extras like a USB-C charger.

Best Do-It-All: Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR

When you need a high-performance jump starter that you can keep in the trunk, the JNCAIR is just the ticket. The JNCAIR is designed for extended cranking durations and long service life. In other words, when other just starters fail, this is the one you'll turn to. With 1,700 peak amps, this model has superpowers you'll trust to resuscitate any battery.

This full-service jump starter comes equipped with a 12-foot air hose that can fill a 15-inch tire in under seven minutes, plus a tire gauge, 12-volt power output, carry handle, and a durable rubber boot that makes this machine stable no matter where you put it down.

Pros:

  • Onboard voltmeter
  • Extra-long cables
  • Built-in air compressor
  • Stable rubber boot

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Spendy

Best Do-It-All

Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR

The multifunction powerhouse

This heavy-duty model breathes life into nearly any battery, plus it will air up your tires so you can home safely.

Best Lightweight Power: TACKLIFE T6

When you crave serious power and small-scale size, the T6 delivers with 600 amps of juice. Great for small cars, light-duty trucks, ATVs, boats, and mowers, this 2.5-pound portable charger includes quick charging dual USB ports, 12-volt output, and a two-year warranty.

Not only is this starter beefy enough to get you home again, but it also comes with safety features like spark-proof cables, and protection against reverse polarity, overcharging, and high temperatures. Toss this in its own foam-padded neoprene case, throw it in the glovebox, and you're good to go.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Spark-proof
  • Dual USB chargers
  • 12-volt output

Cons:

  • Difficult to fit in the included case
  • Not for big rigs

Best Lightweight Power

TACKLIFE T6

Lots of features, little money

This affordable little number will start your vehicle, charge your devices, and shine on a light on your car while you work

Best for Big Vehicles: NOCO Boost Pro GB150

When you need continuous power in an ultra-safe design, this is the jump starter that should be at the top of your list. You can perform 80 jump starts on a single charge with the NOCO, and it operates at 4,000 amps, so it's robust enough to handle even your biggest engines. Combine that with a run-time of six hours, and you have a jump starter that's made to work hard.

This unit starts dead batteries in both gas and diesel engines up to 10 liters. It has an integrated LED flashlight so you can see what you're doing, plus an emergency SOS light to alert oncoming traffic of your presence. USB ports give you space on the side of this charger to top the batteries off on your phone or other mobile devices. Even cooler, this jump starter charges itself in as little as three hours.

Pros:

  • Starts big and small vehicles
  • Good for diesel and gas engines
  • Built-in voltmeter
  • Charges itself in 3 hours

Cons:

  • Bigger than most
  • Shorter cables won't work with all vehicles

Best for Big Vehicles

NOCO Boost Pro GB150

It's a beast

The NOCO is built for big engines with big batteries. With 4,000 amps, you'll never be stranded again.

Bottom line

Today's portable battery chargers come with impressive feature sets and doable price tags. The DBPower 600A has earned its place as the top of this list of outstanding products because it combines new technology with the diehard reliability you need in a starter.

The 600 amps in this tiny package are enough to power a vehicle 20 times without needing a recharge, so you can charge it once, put it in your car, and know that help is there if you need it. Combine power with protection, and you've got a winner. Intelligent jump clamps on the DB Power 600A protect against short circuits, overload, and overcharging.

And DBPower isn't shy about integrating newer technology. This portable jump starter has an LCD, compass, 8-in-1 laptop adapters, a smart USB port, and a 12-volt wall charger. Throw in the standard three-year guarantee, and we think this is one charger that you can count on when it matters most.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jodi Owan is a freelance writer and photographer who has been published in print and online. When not hiking through the backwoods with a camera, she can be found testing and writing about technology. Find her on Instagram and her website.

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