If you've ever had the misfortune of being stuck with a car that won't start on a cold morning, you know how important it is to be able to get a quick jump.
While that used to mean relying on the kindness of neighbors or strangers, nowadays an easier option is available: the portable jump starter.
These portable batteries do what they were originally intended to do: boost the dead battery to make a car start. All battery boosters come with jumper clamps that attach to the auto battery terminals and nearly all include reverse polarity protection. Some of these vehicle battery jump starters come with easily installed, semi-permanent attachments that allow you to quickly connect them to your car's starting electrics without the booster clamps. Most have some sort of flash or area light and at least one USB port to charge electronics like phones and tablets. Those features are only the start when it comes to jump starter pack options.
5 things to know before you buy a portable car battery
1. Its primary purpose: What are you 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.
2. 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 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 amp figures.
3. Total storage capacity: Usually measured in amp hours or milliamp hours (1,000 mAh equals 1 Ah), this 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.
4. Chemistry: Portable car batteries still 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.
5. Features: All of the possible options are useful, but again, 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 your Mazda 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.
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.
The Top 6 Portable Jump Starters 2023
1. LOKITHOR JA3000 LiFePO4 Jump Starter With Air Compressor
For most car owners, this JA3000 LiFePO4 jump starter from LOKITHOR will be exactly what they need to get their dead battery going again. Compact, yet powerful, this jump starter is rated at 3000 amps, 60 minutes to fully charged. You can safely use this jump starter on vehicles with gasoline engines up to 9 liters and diesel engines up to 7 liters.
Safety is extremely important when it comes to jump-starting your vehicle, and this device has you covered. It features a mistake-proof design with spark-proof technology and reverse polarity protection, so things won’t go awry even if you accidentally hook it up incorrectly to your battery. In addition, you can use this jump starter on a daily basis as a portable battery bank, charging your USB devices with ease. An integrated 400-lumen LED flashlight with 4 modes to use in emergency situations.
As our Editor’s Pick, durability is another important factor to take into account. This charger checks all the right boxes in that department as well. It’s safe to use in any climate, thanks to the safe and long lifespan of LIPO4 battery technology, it has more than 2000 cycles than a lithium battery jump starter.
2. LOKITHOR J3250 LiFePO4 Jump Starter
3. LOKITHOR JA301 Lithium Jump Starter
4. LOKITHOR J401X -40℉ Cold Starting Jump Starter
LOKITHOR J401X low-temperature jump starter, designed to tackle the toughest conditions with its -40°F ultra-low temperature start technology. Equipped with an automatic preheating system based on its lithium battery management system, this jump starter ensures effortless car starting even in extremely cold environments.
The J401X excels in power and performance, providing a peak current of up to 2500 Amps and the capability to jump-start vehicles with up to 8.5L gas or 6.5L diesel engines. With a full charge, it enables up to 60 jump starts, offering reliable support whenever you need it.
Featuring 100W two-way fast charging, the J401X lithium battery jump starter recharges from 0% to 100% in just 45 minutes. It can start your vehicle in an impressive 1-3 minutes, ensuring minimal downtime. Furthermore, it provides power for up to 24 months on a full charge, guaranteeing long-lasting reliability.
The J401X is not limited to jump-starting capabilities alone—it also serves as a versatile power source with USB-A (18W) and Type-C (PD100W) outputs. You can conveniently charge smartphones, tablets, laptops, wearable devices, and more, ensuring your essential devices stay powered up. Additionally, it features an LED flashlight with three modes to assist in emergency situations.
Durability and resilience are key features of the J401X. Built with a rugged and reliable casing material, it can withstand the elements and withstand external impacts. With an IP65 protection rating, it is resistant to rain, dust, and other potential damage, making it suitable for various extreme applications.
The J401X is designed with user convenience in mind. It features a 3.75-inch intelligent LED screen with operational indicators, providing all the essential information you need. From battery level and operation status to fault troubleshooting codes, you can easily monitor the device's performance and address any issues that may arise.
In summary, the LOKITHOR J401X low-temperature jump starter is a reliable and powerful companion for challenging conditions. With its -40°F ultra-low temperature start technology, rapid charging capabilities, versatile power outputs, and durable design, it ensures you can start your vehicle with ease and stay prepared for emergencies. Whether you're facing extreme temperatures or adverse environments, the J401X is ready to deliver dependable performance when you need it most.
5. LOKITHOR AW401 Jump Starter With Car Pressure Washer
LOKITHOR AW401, the ultimate portable jump starter for diesel trucks. Powered by a robust 100-watt motor, it drives a high-pressure water pump, making it ideal for a range of applications. The handheld shower head offers adjustable settings such as Jets, Fans, Mists, and Showers, providing versatility for tasks like car washes, pet baths, garden watering, and outdoor showers. With a maximum pressure of 200 PSI, it delivers quick and efficient cleanups.
The AW401 features a built-in Toss (total stop system), which automatically shuts off the pump when the trigger is not engaged. This energy-saving feature not only prolongs the pump's life but also enhances convenience during use.
Equipped with the unique Turbocharged Movement, the AW401 jump starter ensures superior power, stability, and reduced noise levels. Its professional calibration maintains a highly accurate Digital-display within 1.0% of the tire's pressure, guaranteeing precise readings.
Safety is a top priority with the AW401 car pressure washer jump starter. It incorporates 10+ protections to instantly start your car's engine, including reverse polarity and spark-proof technology that prevents mistakes and potential hazards.
With a robust 2500Amp super starting current, the AW401 car pressure washer jump starter achieves an impressive 60 times jump-start capability on a full charge. It is suitable for gasoline engines under 8.5L and diesel engines under 6.5L, making it compatible with a wide range of vehicles.
In addition to jump-starting, the AW401 car washer jump starter doubles as a reliable tire inflator. It can inflate a 195/65/R15 car tire from 0 to 35 PSI in just 5 minutes, with a maximum pressure of 150 PSI and airflow of 35L/Min. It supports tire-pressure detection, preset values stopping, and unit switching (BAR/PSI), providing added convenience and versatility.
The AW401 car washer jump starter features 60W two-way fast charging capabilities. It can be fully recharged in just 1.6 hours and quickly starts your dead battery in just 5 minutes of charging. Additionally, it functions as a 60W power output power bank, efficiently powering your USB-C devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, wearables, and more.
With a generous 20000mAh capacity, the AW401 car washer jump starter serves as a reliable and long-lasting portable power bank. It offers a battery life of up to 40 minutes and features an integrated 500-lumen LED flashlight with Flashlight, Strobe, and SOS modes, ensuring visibility and safety in various situations.
In summary, the LOKITHOR AW401 car washer jump starter stands out as the ultimate portable jump starter for diesel trucks. With its powerful water pump, versatile shower head settings, Turbocharged Movement, precise tire pressure calibration, safety features, rapid charging capabilities, and reliable power bank functionality, it is the perfect companion for any outdoor or automotive adventure.