Updated at: 13-06-2022 - By: Lucas

We showed you how to use jumper cables to get a dead engine going again, but what if you can’t find another car to connect to? If you drive late at night or on roads that are mostly empty, you might have car trouble and not be able to find anyone to help. And if the problem is your battery, you’re out of luck unless you have a portable jump starter in the trunk.

If you’ve never used one of these, let me tell you that they’re pretty useful, especially if you drive an older car like I do. A portable jump starter is basically just a battery pack that you can use to give your car a boost if the battery is dead. They don’t take up much room in your car, and they work a lot like jumper cables. You just connect the clamps to your car battery, and it gives your car a boost. I learned about these things for the first time about eight years ago, when I was driving a used Nissan 240SX I bought on eBay for $1000. The car drove fine, except for about once a week when it wouldn’t start. I kept one of these portable jumpstarters in the trunk, and whenever the car wouldn’t start, I could always get it going. Even if your car is brand new, it’s a good idea to keep one of these in your car as part of an emergency kit.

Geeks Picks: Best Portable Battery Jump Starters for the Money

Last updated on 2022-05-22 at 16:32; affiliate links; images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Use A Portable Jump Starter

In fact, using one of these is a lot like using jumper cables. Before you hook it up to your car, you should make sure it has enough power to give your car the charge it needs. Most of these devices have a button you can press to see if they are fully charged, partially charged, or need to be charged. I’ve found that they keep their charge for a long time, so it’s fine to just throw one in the back of your car or truck and not check it for a few months.

Once you know it’s ready to jump-start your car’s battery, open the hood and connect the portable battery charger’s clamps like you would with jumper cables. Once everything is hooked up, turn on the unit and then start your car. Pretty simple, right? Once the car is running, you can turn off the portable unit and then disconnect the clamps (remember, positive first!). All done. Watch the video below if you want to see how one of these things works.

Our Portable Jump Starter Reviews

We’ve taken the time to pick out our 10 favourite models on the market right now and compared them to each other so you can find the one that fits your needs best. Some of the models below are simple portable car battery chargers, while others have extra features like an air compressor and USB charging ports that you might need. Take a look at our reviews and let us know if you need more help choosing one of these models.

Stanley J5C09 Review

Stanley J5C09

Our scores: Weight: (4.2 / 5) Value: (5 / 5) (Five out of five)

Overall score: (4.7 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

This one is my favourite because it has a lot of extra features that can be useful on the road, especially if you take a lot of road trips. In addition to being able to jump-start your car, the Stanley J5C09 has an air compressor, an LED light (great for late-night car problems), and USB and DC charging plugs. That looks like a lot, doesn’t it? All of these things make this one of the best portable jump starters for the money right now. Plus, the price isn’t too high.

The thing I don’t like most about this is that it weighs close to 20 pounds. Even though that isn’t much, it is heavier than some of the other models on the market. At the end of the day, though, the weight isn’t a deal-breaker for me because you get all those extra features.

Jump-N-Carry JNC660 Review

Our scores: Weight: (4.2 / 5) Value: (4.6 / 5) Specs: (4.7 out of 5)

Overall score: (4.5 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

The best thing about this model is that it has a lot of power. You can use it to easily jump-start a big SUV. Also, the cables are 46 inches long, which is a good length, and they are heavy duty so that all the power can go to your truck’s battery. It’s also made for heavy-duty use, so if you work on a construction site, this model is just what you need.

The Stanley model above weighs the same as this one, but it doesn’t have all those extra features. The only thing it has is a DC outlet. Also, the price at stores is a little bit higher. So, you have to ask yourself if you need the 1700 amps of power that this model has. If that’s not the case, I really think you’d be better off with something else. Even so, this one works well and can really get a dead SUV going.

PowerAll PBJS12000R Review

PowerAll PBJS12000R

Our scores: Weight: (5 / 5) Value: (5 / 5) (Five out of five)

Overall score: (4.5 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

The best thing about the PowerAll PBJS12000R is that it is a pocket-sized battery jump starter that is very light. In fact, it takes up so little space that you can easily slide it into your glove box or centre console. And because it is small, this car battery jump starter weighs only about one pound. But that’s not the only good thing about it. This thing has a lot of parts. It can be used as a powerful flashlight and to charge USB devices.

The only bad thing about this is that the battery charger only has 400 amps, which isn’t very much. Now, that does give you about 20 jumpstarts when the unit is fully charged. You probably won’t be able to use this one with a big vehicle, though, because it doesn’t have enough power. But this thing should work fine for cars, waggons, maybe some vans, golf carts, and motorcycles.

Schumacher XP2260 Review

Our scores: Weight: (4 / 5) Value: (4.6 / 5) (4.8 out of 5) Features:

Overall score: (4.5 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

I have to say, the Schumacher XP2260 portable car battery charger looks like a beast! Even though it shouldn’t matter, I really like how this one looks. It’s also pretty sturdy, which makes it a good choice for building sites. With 1200 amps, this model gives you a good amount of power, so you can even use it on your trucks and SUVs. I also like that it has an air compressor, a work light, an inflator/deflator, a charging port for a USB device, and two each 12V and 120V AC outlets. This small bag has almost everything you need for a long road trip, and you can’t do better than that.

The Schumacher XP2260’s weight is the thing I dislike most about it. It weighs about 24 pounds, which is more than most of the other units we looked at. Obviously, you won’t be carrying this thing around, so it’s not a big deal. But it would be better if it were a little less heavy.

Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL Review

Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL

Our scores: Weight: (4.6 / 5) Value: (4.7 / 5) Specs: (4.7 out of 5)

Overall score: (4.7 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

This Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL is a good choice if all you need is a simple portable car battery charger that you can keep with you in case you need to jump-start your car in an emergency. It is very simple. It has jumper cables, an emergency light that can also be used as a flashlight, and a single DC outlet. And it’s nice that it weighs less than 10 pounds. And the price is good and low.

The bad thing about this unit is that it doesn’t have any of the extra features you might be expecting. It doesn’t have an air compressor or USB ports to charge your phone or tablet.

This unit is a good choice if you want a portable car battery charger that works well, is a good value for the money, and doesn’t have a lot of extra features. I’d like one of these things to have a few more features, but if you’re like my dad, this one will be just right for you.

Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR Review

Our scores: Weight: (3.9 / 5) Value: (4.4 / 5) Specs: (4.7 out of 5)

Overall score: (4.4 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

The Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR model is my favourite because it has the most power of all the units we looked at. It has 1700 peak amps and a huge 425 amps when the engine is cold. This makes this model the best choice for heavy duty trucks that need a portable battery charger. It even has cables that are 68 inches long and can reach the battery. And the clamps are made for heavy-duty use. The building seems to be very tough and long-lasting as well.

It also has an air compressor and a DC plug. Unlike other models with an air compressor, this one has a coiled 12-foot air hose that makes it easy to reach all of the tyres. It can fill a completely flat 15-inch car tyre in less than seven minutes.

I don’t like that the air gauge only goes up to 60 psi because it makes it hard to pump up an RV tyre. I also don’t like how heavy this one is. The unit weighs 25 pounds, making it the heaviest one we looked at. Even though you don’t have to carry it around very often, if you use it to fill up the tyres, your arms will get a good workout as you walk around the car.

NOCO Genius Boost Plus Review

NOCO Genius Boost Plus

Our scores: Weight: (4.7 / 5) Value: (5 / 5) (Five out of five)

Overall score: (4.9 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

The NOCO Genius Boost Plus is our pick for the best lithium-ion jump starter on the market right now. It is very thin and fits in your pocket. It also comes in four different models with capacities ranging from 400 amps to 4000 amps, making it our top choice for the most powerful lithium-ion jump starter of 2016. Even though this thing is small, it has a lot of features. You can use it to jump-start a dead car battery, but you can also use it as an emergency light or flashlight and to charge USB devices.

It’s also a good and cheap choice for portable battery chargers for lawn mowers, boats, and ATVs.

I’m not sure what I don’t like about this one, to be honest. I wish it had at least one or two electrical outlets so I could use my laptop on long road trips. Obviously, that’s not a deal-breaker for me; it’s just something that would be nice to have.

Energen Power Jumper P5 Review

Our scores: Weight: (4.8 / 5) Value: (5 / 5) Contains: (4.9 out of 5)

Overall score: (4.9 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

Another one of our favourite slim portable jump starters is the Energen Power Jumper P5. This small unit weighs less than two pounds, which is great. And it’s so small and thin that you can easily put it in the centre console or glove box. It can also charge USB devices and has a bright LED flashlight built in.

Like the NOCO Genius Boost Plus, this one doesn’t have a place to plug in your laptop to charge it. Even though this would be a nice feature, you don’t have to have it.

As you can see, this model is a lot like the NOCO Genius Boost Plus in a lot of ways. If you’re thinking about buying one of these two models, I recommend that you click on the Amazon links above to see each model’s full list of features and decide which one is best for you. Both are great choices and do what you’d expect them to do.

Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries Review

Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries

Our scores: Weight: (4.1 / 5) Value: (4.5 / 5) Including: (4.6 out of 5)

Overall score: (4.4 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

This is another one of the four different models of heavy-duty portable jump starters. There are 1800 peak amps, 2200 peak amps, 3600 peak amps, and 4400 peak amps to choose from. Each model has strong clamps that can handle all of that power. It’s nice that it has a DC power outlet as well.

But that’s the only thing this one has going for it. You don’t get a work light, an emergency light, USB charging ports, or an air compressor. You only get a basic jump starter with a DC plug. Now, if that’s all you need, I think you’ll be happy with this one because it’s built to last. But, at just over 22 pounds, it is also pretty heavy. I think there are better options at this level of amperage, but this is still a good unit that does its job well.

Anker PowerCore Jump Starter 600 Review

Our scores: Weight: (4.9 / 5) Value: (5 / 5) Contains: (4.9 out of 5)

Overall score: (4.9 out of 5)

Amazon is the place to buy.

As you can see, this one is similar to the Energen Power Jumper P5 model up above in a lot of ways. The main differences are that it’s a little bit heavier (2.5 lbs vs. 1.9 lbs) and has more amps (600 amps vs 400 amps). You still get the bright LED light and the USB port for charging. The Anker PowerCore Jump Starter 600 is also very thin and fits in your pocket, making it easy to store anywhere in your car or in your bag.

The only thing that might be bad about this unit is that it only has one USB port for charging. That can be hard to do if you need to charge two cell phones at the same time. Even though it’s not a big deal, I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Overall, though, the Anker PowerCore Jump Starter 600 is a good choice if you want a few more amps than the Energen Power Jumper P5 model. Plus, it costs very little money.