Discovering that your vehicle has a dead battery is annoying at best and a safety hazard in the worst of winter conditions. A portable jump starter can be the quickest way to get the car running again. You do not need jumper cables or a second vehicle. And the latest lithium-ion battery models are small enough to easily carry in your car and much lighter than traditional lead-acid battery jumper cables.
All of the jump starters we reviewed have sophisticated safeguards that protect against electrical malfunctions and even warn you if the cables are incorrectly connected. Many also charge your smartphone, laptop or other tech devices. You can power them with other 12 volt accessories like a tire inflator. Here are five we recommend for people with different needs.
Hulkman Alpha 85: Best overall
NOCO Boost GBX55: Best runner-up
Weego 44s : Best value for money
Hulkman Alpha 85S : Best in sub-zero temperatures
Weego Crankenstein : Best for heavy use
Hulkman Alpha 85 Jump Starter
For its price, the Hulkman Alpha 85 Jump Starter offers impressive performance, including 2000 peak amps and a 74Wh capacity. The company claims that’s enough to leapfrog petrol engines up to a whopping 8.5 liters and diesels up to 6.0 liters. The large 3.3 inch LED display guides you through the process. Its 65-watt wall charger can recharge it in a quick 1.5 hours. The Alpha 85 also includes a forced start mode to help you start a fully discharged battery. It comes with a two year warranty.
NOCO Boost GBX55 Lithium Jump Starter
The GBX55 is an updated and more powerful version of NOCO’s hugely popular GB40. It offers similar performance to the Hulkman Alpha 85 but at a higher price point. And like the Hulkman, it’s quick to recharge (although you’ll need to provide a compatible charger and cable yourself). The GBX55 makes it easy to bypass a fully discharged battery with the simple press of a manual bypass button. Extras include two USB ports (one 65-watt Type-C and one 18-watt Type-A), a 12-volt outlet, and a 200-lumen multi-mode flashlight. A one-year warranty is included.
Weego 44s Starter
The Weego 44s is hard to beat for its affordable price. It’s one of the smallest and lightest models we’ve seen, but this jump starter will work in the most passenger cars up to 7.0-litre petrol engines and 3.5-litre diesel engines. It delivers 440 starting amps, 1700 peak amps, and has a wider operating temperature range than most, from -4 degrees F to 140. Plus, you can bypass a dead battery by simply pressing a bypass button. A two-year warranty is included.
Hulkman Alpha 85S
The Alpha 85S, jump starter is very similar to the Alpha 85 but has a special preheat mode that lets it run in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. (Most other jump starters only work down to -4 degrees.) At lower temperatures, the 85S will automatically heat its internal battery to an effective level (typically within two minutes) before skipping the car battery. Like the Alpha 85, it can also be charged in a quick 1.5 hours using the included 65-watt wall charger. A two-year warranty is included.
For a lithium battery jump starter, the Crankenstein is a brute beast designed for everyday commercial use. With a whopping 5000 amps and 154 Wh capacity, it can skip any petrol engine and most diesel engines, whether they have a 12 volt or 24 volt electrical system. If a car battery is completely discharged, the Crankenstein can be trickle charged until it is ready to jump. Its operating temperature ranges from an extra-low -28 degrees F to 140. Additional features include a large OLED display, three USB ports (two Type-A and one Type-C), a 12-volt power port, and a lightning-fast 1000 – Lumen multi-mode flashlight.