Best Portable Jump Starter for 2022 (2023)

There's nothing worse than getting stuck with a dead car battery, especially if you're busy and on a schedule. You can't always rely on someone nearby having jumper cables, either. And you definitely don't want to spend the money to get a professional if you can help it. That's why being self-reliant and getting your own portable jump starter is so important. As soon as your car battery dies, you can get it up and running almost as quickly.

Portable jump starters can be charged with an extension cord, wall-plug adapter, cigarette lighter-style 12-volt male adapter or a USB port in running vehicles. That means you can recharge your jump starter as soon as it recharges your vehicle. The best portable battery jump starters offer some combination of those fourrechargeoptions.

These portable batteries do what they were originally intended to do: boost the dead battery to make a vehicle start. All battery boosters come with jumper clamps that attach to the auto battery terminals, and nearly all include reverse polarity protection. Some come with easily installed, semipermanent attachments that let you quickly connect them to your vehicle's starting electrics without the booster clamps. Most of these battery jump starters have some sort of flash or area light and at least one USB port to charge electronics like phones and tablets. When it comes to jump starter packs, those features are only the start.

What else can it do? On a single charge, a portable car battery pack or charger can power your high-draw laptop computer several times longer than its own built-in battery. Want a battery booster with a built-in air compressor so you can fill up your raft at the lake or a low tire before you head home from the airport? No problem. Would you also like a jump starter or battery charger with an AC inverter so you can plug in a radio, a lamp or another small appliance during a power failure or at a campsite? Done. These power pack devices are basically the ultimate power bank. Do you need to charge your phone and another USB device (your kid's Nintendo Switch, for example) at the same time? Many of these have a dual USB port to accommodate your charging needs.

To be sure, these features add bulk and mass to a jumper pack (these devices won't fit in your glove box), but their value in capability, convenience and preparation can more than surpass the extra weight. After all, you want to have enough power to prepare for pretty much any emergency on the road.

Criteria for choosing the best portable car battery charger

We've assembled a list of our favorite portable car batteries, from basic jump starters to personal power units with battery capacity for camping trips or power outages. We've based our best jump starter recommendations on testing labs such as Consumer Reports, user ratings at popular shopping sites and hands-on experience.

Here, in alphabetical order, are our highly rated favorites for best portable jump starter options. We'll be updating this list periodically as we review new options. If you think you want a portable car battery jump starter and battery charger, check the pro tips on safety and proper care that follow.

Best Portable Jump Starter for 2022 (3)

Antigravity

This is the latest evolution of the top-rated XP-10 car jump starter. It has all the same features, including the LED flashlight with a strobe and multiple charging options for electronic devices, but the heavy duty car battery jump starter can deliver an extra 50 amps of peak starting jolt. It also comes with all copper, heavy-duty commercial grade battery jumper cable clamps.

$198 at Walmart

(Video) Best Car Jump Starter 2022? Jump Start a 5.9L Diesel & 7.4L Big Block? NOCO, Autogen, Yesper, Gooloo

Best Portable Jump Starter for 2022 (4)

DeWalt

The DeWalt DXAEJ14 makes our best portable jump starter list with a 4.4 stars rating across 450 buyer reviews at Home Depot's shopping site. This car jump starter has an expansive 21 amp hour battery, an onboard compressor and a patented feature that can tell you if your vehicle's alternator is up to snuff. There's a light and USB ports, but the DeWalt's biggest draw is the power in its initial jump-start jolt. At 700 cranking amps, it's rated among the most powerful portables on the market.

Best Portable Jump Starter for 2022 (5)

NOCO

The NOCO Boost GB40 portable jump looks like it's all business. Consumer Reports liked NOCO for its jump starting, but didn't like its low storage capacity for powering other devices. This jump starter device has a flashlight and one five-volt USB port, but it can be pricey for its capacity and relative lack of features.

$100 at Crutchfield

$70 at Amazon

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Best Portable Jump Starter for 2022 (6)

Schumacher

From a trusted name in automotive electronics, the Schumacher ProSeries 2250 Jump Starter gets 100% satisfaction from buyers on several shopping sites. This car jump starter has a vibration-resistant absorbent glass mat battery, a 400-watt AC inverter with two plugs and enough cranking amps to start just about any light-to medium-duty vehicle with a dead battery out there. Best of all, it comes with one of the largest capacity batteries you'll find. Schumacher says it can feed a 200-watt AC draw for 55 minutes, and 100 watts for 90 minutes.

Best Portable Jump Starter for 2022 (7)

Schumacher

This one violates the spirit of this list because it's only a jump starter -- no LED flashlight, USB charge port or anything else. It made it because it's really cool, as it applies the next wave in electrical storage technology: ultracapacitors.

Once referred to as condensers, capacitors store energy electrostatically in an electric field. Compared to chemical-based batteries, they store relatively little energy, but the advantages are significant. Modern ultracapacitors can absorb energy quickly and dump it in big jolts, as opposed to something more like a trickle with a battery. And they can operate effectively in a broader temperature range than most batteries. That makes them perfect for jumping a weak car battery.

The Schumacher Ultracapacitor Hybrid Jump Starter delivers 900 amps of cranking power, which should fire just about anything up to a semi-truck. It has a small, replaceable lithium ion battery to prime the ultracapacitors, but if the onboard battery is drained it will still prep the ultracapacitors in roughly two minutes on a 12-volt charge from a vehicle (maybe even the weakened battery in the vehicle that needs a jump). In other words, it's never really dead. It's intended primarily for commercial purposes and it's not cheap. But if you want the coolest, most fail-proof portable jump starter out there, this might be it.

Pro tips

Portable car batteries and chargers aren't significantly regulated and as Consumer Reports has noted, some manufacturers' performance claims are dubious. Always read the fine print. For safety, look for batteries that are certified for compliance with Edison Testing Labs/Intertec or UL standards.

Always think about temperature. Manufacturers recommend not storing batteries in high-temp environments. If you want to keep a battery in your car, keep it out of direct sunlight in the glove box -- or better -- the trunk. In the summer months, it's better to grab it when you start your trip and take it out of the car when you get home.

Then there's the other extreme. Anyone vaguely familiar with batteries knows that they're not terribly fond of extreme cold. Consumer reports found that when both the jump starter and the weak car battery were cooled to zero degrees, the performance of even the best portable jump starter options degraded significantly. If it's really cold out, warm the portable battery indoors or inside a car first and keep it as warm as possible before you use it to jump a vehicle.

Chemistry does matter when it comes to the care and feeding of a car jumper. Conventional sealed lead-acid cells are heavier and discharge more rapidly than lithium ion batteries when they sit idle, but they can also be less sensitive to temperature extremes and to significant physical impacts. Either way, the care strategy with sealed lead-acid or absorbent glass mat is straightforward. Keep the battery charge as close to full as possible as much of the time as possible.

"When you get it, charge it fully," says Dan Portwood, senior product manager at Baccus Global, a manufacturer of multiple jump-starter brands. "After you use it, for a jump or something else, recharge it fully. If it sits idle for a month or two, recharge it fully. That limits the amount of sulfur in the cells and ensures both the maximum capacity and the longest life."

Whatever the chemistry, it's virtually impossible to overcharge a jump-start battery. That means you can plug it in and forget it for days at a time. Yet Portwood doesn't recommend charging all the time. That keeps the charge block consistently warm (whether the block is external or built into the battery case), and can shorten its useful life.

The lithium-polymer cells in more compact car jump starters and chargers hold more energy for the relative size. They also hold a charge longer than sealed lead acid when they're idle, but they can be a bit more finicky. To maximize performance over the long haul and ensure maximum life, a more active approach might be in order.

"If you have a reputable brand with good cell structure, you have a good foundation," said Chad Estevez, a product support specialist at Antigravity. "Try not to store it in temperature extremes, and don't leave it sitting for a year at a time. Treat it like a cell phone and exercise the cells. Use it every couple of months. Drain it a bit in some fashion, and then put it on the charger."

Comparison of portable car battery chargers

Model Starting amps Capacity Weight Features Price
Antigravity XP-10 Micro-Start Battery 300 18 aH 18 ounces AC and 12-volt recharging, two USB ports, LED light $160
Antigravity XP-10 HD Micro-Start Battery 300 18 aH 20 ounces AC and 12-volt recharging, two USB ports, LED light $198
Black & Decker Power Station PPRH5B Battery 300 17 aH 20 pounds AC and 12-volt recharging, air compressor, 500-watt AC inverter with two plugs, USB ports, LED light $179
DeWalt Digital Power Station DXEJ14 Battery 700 21 aH 16 pounds AC and 12-volt recharging, air compressor, two USB ports, LED light $158
NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 UltraSafe Battery 350 (est) 4.8 aH 2 pounds 12-volt recharging, USB port, flashlight $100
Schumacher ProSeries 2250 Jump Starter Battery 550 22 aH 31 pounds AC and 12-volt recharging, 400-watt AC inverter with two plugs, USB port $211
Schumacher Ultracapacitor Hybrid Jump Starter 900 2.2 aH 8 pounds 12-volt recharging, ultracapacitors $332
Stanley Simple Start Battery Booster P2G7S
300 2 aH 2 pounds AC and 12-volt recharging, USB port, LED light $50

Written for CNET Cars by J.P. Vettraino.

(Video) The Best Car Jump Starter ?

Portable jump starter FAQs

What kind of portable battery jump starter do I need?

When choosing a portable battery jump starter, the first thing you'll want to consider is what you're planning on using it for. Most car battery jump starters and battery chargers offer some flexibility, but some portable car jump starter options are more limited in what you can do with them. If you're not worried about running a small television when the power fails, you probably shouldn't worry about getting a portable car battery with a built-in AC inverter, so make sure the battery pack features have enough power and are right for your needs.

How many amps should a portable jump starter have?

Many portable jump starters indicate the starting amps. This is particularly important if you plan to use your portable battery primarily for its original purpose: jump starting engines. A big V8 engine -- particularly a diesel engine -- could require upwards of 500 ampere current to turnover a dead battery on a cold day. If that's what you need to do, you'll have a harder time doing it with a battery jump starter intended for a four-cylinder. Most manufacturers rate their portable car starters and motorcycle jump starter batteries for types of engines, so read the fine print for your jump starter battery. Look for starting or cranking amps, and don't worry much about the peak amps.

Does total storage capacity matter in portable jump starters?

Usually measured in amp hours or milliamp hours (1,000 mAh equals 1 Ah), total storage capacity matters more if you plan to use your portable jump starter battery and portable car battery charger as a backup or mobile power source. A higher number means more electrical storage capacity. Typical portable batteries are rated from five to 22 amp hours.

What about battery chemistry of portable jump starters?

The chemistry composition of portable car batteries can run the gamut, from sealed lead acid battery options to absorbent glass mat to lithium jump battery starter and, recently, ultracapacitors. The chemistry matters less for ultimate utility and more for weight, size and, to a lesser extent, cost. If you want something you can keep in your glove box, it's probably not going to be a sealed lead-acid battery booster.

What other portable jump starter features do I need to look for?

Many portable jump starters come with additional features, but the issue is size and weight. Add all of the features in one unit and the jump starter gets much bulkier, with weight exceeding 30 pounds. For some purposes -- camping trips for example -- that may not matter much. On the other hand, you may not want to be carrying one of the bigger portable car batteries around in yourMazda Miata. Some manufacturers, including the highly rated Antigravity brand, are starting to offer separate accessories like a small, powerful air compressor that work with their paperback-size lithium-polymer jump starter batteries, but this approach tends to add to the cost.

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FAQs

What brand of jump starter does AAA use? ›

The 4359AAA auto jump starter + power bank comes backed by the best known name in the automotive industry, AAA. Unlike off the shelf auto jump starters you know you are getting only the finest with AAA. This auto jump starter + power bank is 400A (8,000mAh) can jump start engines up to 3.0L gas or 2.0L diesel vehicles.

How do I know which jump starter to buy? ›

The best gauge for determining which jump starter is right for your vehicle is its cranking or starting amps rating. In simple terms, this tells you how many amps the device can output over the short period of time needed to start an engine. The higher the number, the more powerful the jump starter.

How many amps is a good jump starter? ›

400 to 600 amps will be more than enough to jump-start any normal, consumer vehicle. Commercial vehicles may require up to 1500 or 2000 amps. Compact and small vehicles can be boosted with as little as 150 amps.

Are lithium jump starters better than lead-acid? ›

Retains Charge Longer – The natural discharge rate of lithium is incredibly slower than lead. A lead-acid based jumper can lose its ability to function after 3-6 months in storage. Lithium jump starters can be viable up to two years later.

Is a 1000 amp jump starter good? ›

This is a great emergency jump starter with some extra perks. First off, it has a lot of power for such a small unit. 1000 amps is very impressive. The cables are not very long but that is an advantage as you can hold it in your hand if you want.

Is Noco jump starter good? ›

Most of the buyers around the world are highly satisfied with the budget-friendly market price of NOCO GB70 car battery jump starter. It is rated high because of its compact, handy, easy to move and lightweight design. You can easily travel with it as it doesn't consume much space in your car.

How long do portable jump starters last? ›

Jump Starters Require Charging and Don't Last Long

Even when you take good care of your jump starter, it is likely only to last about three or four years. However, quality jumper cables can last a lifetime, and will certainly outlast the lifespan of your car.

Is a Portable jump starter worth it? ›

Jump starters are better tools for using if your car has broken down. If your car battery is empty, you can use a jump starter to add power immediately. They provide a way to add power to a vehicle without a plug socket. Jump starters are also small enough to keep in a vehicle, even if you don't need one.

How many amps does it take to jumpstart an SUV? ›

Most small to midsize cars won't need more than 400 amps. It's likely to be enough for most compact SUVs and light trucks. Bigger vehicles will need more amperes, probably 1,000 amps.

How many volts should a jump starter have? ›

Normally, the voltage of most vehicles is 12 Volts. Only a few vintage cars are operated with a voltage of 6 Volts.

What is the highest amp jump starter? ›

The Boost Max Series - Introducing our most powerful lithium jump starters yet. Designed for the largest, most challenging engine starts ever. With over 6250-amps of starting power, it can jump start gasoline and diesel engines up to 45-liters.

How do I know what size jump starter I need? ›

By checking your vehicle's owner's manual you'll be able to easily pick the right emergency jumpstarter pack for the job – all you really need to know is the type and size of your engine. For petrol engines up to 6.0 litres in capacity, Projecta recommend the IS920 Intelli-Start.

Can you leave a jump starter plugged in all the time? ›

You should avoid this practice. It will do more harm than good.

How many volts do you need to start a car? ›

The standard volts needed to crank up a car is 12.6volts. This figure is between 13.7v-14.7v at the time of operation. The least volts you need to start your car is 11.8v, but you can still activate your vehicle at 10.8 volts.

Which is better AGM or lithium-ion? ›

Winner: Lithium-ion batteries are 500% better than AGM batteries when we consider the energy required to manufacture them in ratio to the energy storage provided during their lifespan.

What new battery is better than lithium-ion? ›

Sodium-ion batteries have great promise. They're energy dense, nonflammable, and operate well in colder temperatures, and sodium is cheap and abundant. Plus, sodium-based batteries will be more environmentally friendly and even less expensive than lithium-ion batteries are becoming now.

Is there a better battery than Li ion? ›

Batteries made from magnesium metal could have higher energy density, greater stability, and lower cost than today's lithium ion cells, say scientists in one study. Magnesium has another advantage too. Each magnesium atom releases two electrons during the battery discharge phase, compared to one electron for lithium.

Can a jump starter damage a battery? ›

A healthy battery will be unfazed by the jump-start, and your battery will recharge as you drive. However, If done improperly, jump-starting another car can pose some risks for your vehicle. You will want to ensure your car is about the same size as the other vehicle.

How many amps does a car battery need to start? ›

Without any unnecessary details, a car will need anywhere from 400 to 600 amps for its battery to start. However, there are cases where smaller cars only take 150 amps to get their batteries going. Larger vehicles like trucks will require much more to start –up to 2,000, to be exact.

How many watts does it take to start a car? ›

Most car batteries nowadays are 12-volt 105 AH batteries, which can deliver 12 x 105, or 1260 Watt-hours (1.26 kWh). When you're starting up your engine, it kicks on instantly to make sure that you can get going as soon as possible. To get things moving, you'll need a power of at least 1,000 Watts.

Who makes the best battery jumper? ›

1. Editor's Pick: NOCO Boost Plus GB40. The NOCO Boost Plus GB40 is the most compact and best made jump starter we tested.

What is the most powerful noco? ›

6250 Amp UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter
  • Introducing our most powerful lithium jump starters yet. ...
  • Safe and easy to use battery jump starter pack without the worry of incorrect connections or sparks. ...
  • It's commercial in every way.

How long do noco jump starters last? ›

All Boost models can hold 70% of its rated capacity for up to one year. For optimal performance, we recommend charging the device at least every 4-6 months, after initial charge.

Can you leave portable jump starter in car? ›

Storing a jump starter in the car is perfectly fine, especially with the newer lithium-ion batteries that are much more compact than the older, bigger lead-acid jump starters. There's no safety risk, although extremely cold temperatures may weaken the battery, so make sure that you check your jump starter regularly.

How many times can you use a jump starter before charging? ›

Always recharge your portable jump starter/battery booster pack after each use and at least once every 6 months.

How many times can you use a portable jump starter? ›

Jump-starting your car battery once is not a problem. However, if you have to jump-start your battery up to three times a week, it's time to get a replacement, as it is probably damaged.

How many cranking amps do I need? ›

How Many Cold Cranking Amps Do I Need? A good rule of thumb is that an engine will need about one amp per cubic inch of engine displacement. For most vehicles, this means between 250 and 600 cold-cranking amps, depending on the size of your engine. Larger or commercial vehicles may require more.

Is it better to charge a car battery at 2 amps or 10 amps? ›

The safest amp to charge car batteries is from 4 to 7.5 amps. Charging within this range ensures the vehicle battery won't overcharge, overheat, or be damaged in the process. Yes, you can safely charge a minimum voltage 12-volt battery with this amp rating, though it will be pretty slow.

Will a 750 amp jump starter start a car? ›

750A PEAK Jump starter

Provides enough power to jump-start your car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, boat, RV when in emergency .

How long does it take to charge a completely dead car battery with jumper cables? ›

Once you've got the cables connected, jumpstarting your car should only take a few minutes. Like five minutes tops in normal cases and 30 minutes in extreme conditions. To fully recharge the battery, you must drive for at least 15 minutes after starting the vehicle.

Is a portable jump starter worth it? ›

Jump starters are better tools for using if your car has broken down. If your car battery is empty, you can use a jump starter to add power immediately. They provide a way to add power to a vehicle without a plug socket. Jump starters are also small enough to keep in a vehicle, even if you don't need one.

How long does a portable battery jump starter last? ›

Jump Starters Require Charging and Don't Last Long

Even when you take good care of your jump starter, it is likely only to last about three or four years.

Is a 800 amp jump starter good? ›

The Jump Starter 800A is powerful, compact, and capable of starting all standard cars and maintains its charge for 365+ days. Plus, with fast charge USB ports for charging your devices, it's a must-have for any driver.

Can a Portable jump starter start a dead battery? ›

A jump pack — a more conveniently designed portable jump-starting device — is the modern solution for how to charge a dead battery in your car. You can even use them on your own, without the need for another person or connecting to a running vehicle.

Can you leave Portable jump starter in car? ›

Storing a jump starter in the car is perfectly fine, especially with the newer lithium-ion batteries that are much more compact than the older, bigger lead-acid jump starters. There's no safety risk, although extremely cold temperatures may weaken the battery, so make sure that you check your jump starter regularly.

Is Noco a good jump starter? ›

The NOCO does have some drawbacks, though. First, it doesn't come with a good, protective case, only a bag. Second, it doesn't have a USB-C port, but has a Micro-USB instead. Nevertheless, the power and the impressive discharge times that it reaches make it one of the best portable jump starters money can buy.

How long should you leave jump starter on? ›

Once you've got the cables connected, jumpstarting your car should only take a few minutes. Like five minutes tops in normal cases and 30 minutes in extreme conditions. To fully recharge the battery, you must drive for at least 15 minutes after starting the vehicle.

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