It could happen to anyone. You wake up one morning, prepare to head to work, and walk to your driveway. You start your vehicle and get that awful feeling—your car has completely failed to work. Chances are that the battery is completely dead, or at least its power isn’t enough to start the car. Now, what do you do?
You have two options: call for some assistance from the car emergency team to jumpstart your vehicle or use a better alternative—a car jump starter of your own. The latter is more convenient, and of course more reliable. This is where our review proves to come in handy.
We understand that it’s not easy to get a good car jump starter, especially if you have absolutely no knowledge about car accessories. In our review, we are going to cover a mixture of jump starters, looking at options that have a battery charger, and better yet one that is solar-powered. Don’t worry if you’re looking to purchase a jump starter that can handle your pickup truck, in addition to your small car; we have an option that will suit you as well. If you want something portable that you can carry easily, we also have that option too.
Before we go ahead to the review, it is good that you understand two terms that you will see in all the products: peak amp and cranking amp. These are two different things. For the layman, amps mean electrical power in general. Now peak
amps are the quick burst of power. Cranking
amps, on the other hand, are the flow of power after the burst.
It is worthy to note that this review does not cover the large and really powerful jump starters that are suitable for industrial purposes. We are starting off with small, more portable options—but of course, those with enough power to charge your car's battery. In the future, we will have a review for the larger and more powerful jump starters
, in case you need one for your big truck.
As we were doing our research, we did find an interesting option: solar-powered chargers
. Although these options may not do a great job jump starting your pickup truck, they are worth it for charging smaller batteries, such as those found in boats, motorbikes, and recreational vehicles—which is great if you find yourself with a dead battery when you’re out on an adventure.
By the way, when we were doing our research for jump starters with the best consumer ratings, we only had space for five in this review, but we want to give a shout out and honorable mention to Stanley
, a brand known for tools and equipment who also makes several quality jump starters.
The price is an important aspect to take into account when shopping for jump starters. For the purpose of this review, we included jump starters that come in a mixture of price points and provide good value for money. For example, the price range of the jump starters in our list starts at around 20 bucks (this is a solar-powered battery charger) and ends up close to the $380 mark.
During our research, we stumbled upon a multitude of cheap jump starters, but we weren't impressed by them. Our main focus is to present you with products that offer good value for money. Therefore, the jump starters in our list are chosen based on their features, and they will definitely come in handy when you need to get your car back to life.
Price is an indispensable factor when it comes to car jump starters. Unlike with other products, where you will find that price tags tend to increase with the quality and performance, this is not the case with jump starters; price does not in any way indicate the performance of the tool. In fact, you will find that our top model is not necessarily the most expensive one.
What we are trying to say is that the best-performing jump starter is not necessarily the most expensive one, neither is the weakest performer. However, do not take this point to mean that you can settle for the cheapest option. A fair price for a good-performing jump starter is always the way to go.
Yes, at the heart of the jump starter is a battery that’s powerful enough to boost your car battery. But this should not be all you get with a good car jump starter. A good model should have more built-in features that provide more functionality. Think of it this way: your battery is dead-completely dead—and you need to charge it so that it can start your car. Maybe you left your car lights on and all the power is drained. You need to have a jump starter that can charge the battery, and not just boost it. From our picks, you will find some battery boosters with built-in chargers for more convenience.
Now this brings us to the next point about jump starter power capacity. Sure, you may be in the market for a portable jump starter that you can easily carry. But don’t forget that the extremely portable options may not have enough power to boost big batteries. Some might come with a series of lithium batteries strong enough to start your smaller car, but weak when it comes to boosting the battery of your large pickup truck. Ensure you have a rough idea about the capacity of the jump starter and what it can or cannot do.
For more functionality, some jump starters come with additional accessories to help you in emergency situations. Depending on your needs, you can get one that sports accessories such as flashlights, tire inflators, and compressors.
Construction and Design
It’s important to note that different brands choose different construction and design features for their jump starters. However, the functions, and probably the features, are much more the same.
Starting with the size, you will find that some car jump starters are small and portable enough to fit even in your pockets. Others are big and heavy, and cannot be carried from one point to another. You have to know your needs first to get the right size.
If you’re looking to keep the jump starter in your home and not take it with you, then you can purchase a larger one. If your car has a problem with the battery or starting, then you can choose the portable option for some peace of mind. However, do not forget to look at the capacity of the jump starter, and not just the dimensions.
General Construction and Color
That was the size; now let’s look at the general construction and the color. Of course, you should never compromise on the quality of construction material when purchasing any product, and car jump starters aren’t any exception. You will want a battery booster that can guarantee to serve you for as long as your car can.
Some jump starters are made with quality plastic for longevity. On the other hand, the portable options may not have such a strong housing and could have a more aesthetic finish. The color options are wide, ranging from yellow to red to blue to black. You have the freedom to choose what you want.
Performance and Ease of Use
Performance and ease of use are vital aspects to consider before going out and buying your new jump starter. Within this topic, there are three things in particular you should watch for: the peak and cranking amps, the recommended temperature range, and how easy it is to use. Let’s go into some more detail.
Peak and Cranking Amps
If you have absolutely no clue about the performance of a jump starter, then we suggest that you start by looking at the cranking and peak amps. As a general rule of thumb, remember that the higher the cranking amp your jump starter has, the better, simply because it can be used with different vehicles.
One major setback with jump starters is that most cannot stand the heat. This is why you will find that some manufacturers have clearly written a caution on their manual against operating at high temperatures. In such cases, the jump starter may fail to work and prove to be as useless as the dead battery itself.
It’s always good to know the temperature range of the battery booster you are looking to buy. Read all the instructions carefully, checking the fine print as well. If you go ahead and purchase a good one, do not store it in hot areas; keep it in a cool location where there’s no direct sunlight. The car's trunk or glove box will be perfect.
Ease of Use
Let’s face it: There are many men and women who do not know a lot about their car parts, especially what’s under the bonnet. For such people, they always call for assistance from professionals when something is wrong with their car. It would be a nightmare asking these people to use a car battery that’s complicated.
It is extremely important that you get a car booster that’s easy to use—one that you can just hook the cables, press a button, and start your car with. What car owners need to learn is to place the cables in the right place. The negative cable should go to the negative terminal, and so is the positive cable. To be sure about this, it is only wise that you get a jump starter with a reverse polarity protection feature in case you connect the cables wrongly. It alerts you through an alarm system if you do the connections wrong.
That said, we would like to give the Stanley J5C09 Jump Starter an honorable mention not only because it has 1000amperes at peak performance, but also because it has an air compressor as well.
Choosing the right jump starter for your needs can be a frustrating endeavor, especially considering that there are multiple models out there. We want to make your purchase process simpler by reviewing the top five jump starters that come from prestigious brands. Here are our recommended picks.
We hope that we have provided valuable information to help you find a great jump starter—one that suits your needs. Our recommended jump starters are guaranteed to provide convenience, reliability, and longevity, so get yours today! If you don’t like any of our featured options, do be sure to check out what else these brands have on offer!