Compact jump starters can be easily stored and come in handy as instant roadside assistance. They can also be used as a power bank for charging devices such as phones, tablets and toys on your family or friend roadtrip. In this collection, our picky wefoundthebest editor presents the most popular jump starters / power banks of 2021.
#1: GOOLOO 800A Car Jump Starter with USB Quick Charge
Our first handpick is this GOOLOO 800A. It is a compact 800A jump starter & power bank that will boost your car multiple times before it runs out. It takes care of up to 7l (diesel) / 5.5l (petrol) engines. It has protection against reverse polarity, short-circuiting and over-charging and comes with 2 USB ports, making it a great companion for charging other devices on long road trips. In customer reviews, the GooLoo is liked for being a compact life saver, having non-flimsy clamps and for its practical 3-mode torch and battery indicator.
#2: DBPOWER 800A
Another very popular 800A option is the DBPower 800A. It is a powerful and compact device that can handle up to 20 jump starts in one charge alone. This jump starter with its heavy clamps has overload and over-charge protection, and it features nice touches such as a compass (in case you get lost in the wild!) and a newly-added LCD screen for precise battery level reading. Customer reviews mention this as being extremely useful and having a high build quality.
#3: TACKLIFE T8 800A Car Jump Starter
Our third pick is this TACKLIFE T8 800A Peak 18000mAh Car Jump Starter. Unlike most other chargers, you can turn this one to “OFF”, allowing it to hold the charge for up to 12 months. It has an LCD display for precise reading, a compass and a strobe light, and it works as a power bank to be used to charge phones etc. through the dual USB ports. Tacklife also has a newly released 1200A version.
#4: NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp
NocoBoost is a popular brand choice in jump starters and this NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 is no exception. With 1000A, you can jump start dead batteries for gasoline engines up to 6 liters and diesels up to 3. Is comes with a flash light and has a rugged, rubberized casing, to prevent scratching of surfaces. It is an instant classic and favorite amongst jump starters.
#5: DBPOWER 2000A 20800mAh Portable Car Jump Starter
For even more power, consider the DBPOWER 2000A. It is surprisingly compact and light weight for a jump starter that can kickstart engines up to 8l (gasoline) / 6l (diesel). Is has a flash light and multiple charging ports. A nice tough is the jumper cables with an LED screen that displays the battery voltage.
#6: TOPVISION 2200A
Last but not least comes the TOPVISION 2200A. With a powerful 2200A jump starter this unit can hold up to 50 starts and handle 7L gas/6.5L diesel engines. It is a quite affordable option in the range of high powered jump starters, yet compares very nicely in tests.
How to pick the right jump starter / power bank
Here are some of the most important things to look for when choosing your next jump starter / power bank.
#1 thing to look for: Peak amps: The Ampere designation on a jump starter will tell you the peak current it produces. The compact ones come in ranges from 300-1200A, larger ones have peak current up to 2000A. For most sedan and family cars 300-600A will be sufficient.
Rule of thumb: 300A peak amps will jumpstart a 2l engine, 1200A a 6 liter engine.
Peak amps is the most important thing to look for in a jump starter.
Engine size: Most car boosters will specify the engine size they can maximally jump start. Make sure the engine of your own car is within that range. Most compact jump starters will kick an 6.5l diesel / 5.2l petrol engine up and running. The engine size a power bank will kickstart is directly proportional to the peak amps of the jump starter, but good wires, connectors and electronics also make a difference.
Battery capacity is measured in hours such as “8000 mAh”. This designates the capacity of the battery (how much is holds) and will determine the number of times you can use it to jump start the car – or how many drained phones you can charge with it.
Charge time: Read specifications and read reviews to learn about the true charge time of the power bank from empty to full. Jump starters with USB 3.0 will quick-charge in 2-3 hours, others take up to 6-8 hours.
Heavy-duty cables / clamps: Some of the smaller powerbanks has flimsy and plastic-y cables and clamps. These parts will quickly overheat and break if you use the jumpstarter frequently. Read reviews to make sure it’s not an issue with the product you choose.
Build quality: Look for negative reviews to learn about build quality.
Safety: Since jump starters contain a lot of power, good safety features are important. Typical safety features are protection against reverse polarity, over-current and short-circuiting. Most powerbanks are also protected against over-charging and over-heating.
Battery level indicator: Make sure the battery pack has a readable battery level indicator. You don’t want to be in a situation on the read where the power bank doesn’t work because you didn’t notice it was drained.
Integrated flashlight: Most jump starters have an integrated flashlight, but check the specs just to make sure. It’s extremely useful if you need to use it at night in a dark engine compartment. Some flash lights also have a strobe function to be used as a warning light in front of your car.
Number of USB ports: It quickly becomes practical if the jump starter has more than 1 USB output. Make sure you buy one with a number that suits your needs. For a family trip, you will most likely appreciate 2 or more.
Storage bag / case: Make sure the power bank comes with a good storage bag that holds accessories like starter cables, USB cables for charging, various connectors, clamps etc.
Manufacturer warranty: In case the power bank dies, you will appreciate having chosen a product with a warranty against problems or defects. Most products give a 2-3 year limited warranty. Also check negative reviews to see how customer service handles issues.
Family-style or pro-grade: Most powerbanks are portable and family-friendly. Some however are pro-grade and can handle multiple battery types and connect to other electric systems, like Nocos.