Best jump starter 2019: bring your car back to life with these portable jump starters

T3’s roundup of the best jump starters available to buy this year

Best jump starter 2019: bring your car back to life

We’ve all been there; you mistakenly leave your car’s lights on overnight and the battery is dead when you need to get to work in the morning. Without a World’s Strongest Man competitor to hand, and no kind neighbour reaching for the jump leads, you’ll need to get yourself a jump starter.

Not too long ago, car jump starters were huge, heavy and expensive items which took up a sizeable amount of space on your boot. But these days, thanks to the compact power of lithium batteries, they can be around the same size as a large smartphone power bank.

Speaking of which, some car jump starters can even double as a portable battery pack, complete with USB ports for charging up your gadgets when it isn’t needed for jump-starting the car. Many also come with integrated torches - handy when you’re trying to locate the bonnet catch and attach the power leads.

How to choose the best jump starter

We’ve rounded up ten of the best jump starters, including the Ring 13000, Noco Boost Plus GB40, and Arteck 600A, all of which are a solid combination of decent build quality, compact design and performance. 

The most important factor to consider is the size of your car’s engine, as this will dictate the power of jump starter you require. The product information of most jump starters clearly states the maximum engine size they can shock back into life, and you’ll find the maximum engine size will be smaller for diesels than for petrol vehicles.

Once you have found a jump starter suitable for your vehicle, you’ll want to consider the size, price and extra features. A large battery capacity will be able to jump start an engine more times before it needs charging, but larger of course means heavier and, generally speaking, more expensive.

You will also want to look out for a jump starter which is easy and safe to use, with features like spark-proof connections which won’t crackle into life when they touch your car’s battery, reverse polarity and short-circuit protection to prevent you causing any damage, and sturdy cables.

Added extras include USB ports for charging your smartphone and other devices, a torch, and a digital display for showing how much charge is left in the battery.

Most jump starters are sold on their portability, but if you fancy something a little more old school - and with a host of extra features - then something like Halford’s 6-in-1 will be for you. As well as jump-starting your car, it has an air compressor for filling the tyres, and a 100 watt inverter with a three-pin wall outlet-style socket.

As with anything that involves electricity, we recommend you read the instructions carefully before using these products.

The 10 best jump starters you can buy today

Best jump starter: Artech 600A Peak Car Jump Starter

1. Artech 600A Peak Car Jump Starter

Heavy-duty yet compact and can be used 20 times per charge

Specifications
Weight: 599g
Capacity: 18,000mAh
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Tough-looking build+Huge capacity+sleek design+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Very short cables

This compact but powerful jump-starter boasts a huge 18,000mAh capacity and can jump-start your vehicle up to 20 times on a charge. Peak current is 600 amps and the Attech can be used on petrol engines up to 7.0 litres and diesels up to 6.5 litres - so pretty much everything.

A pair of USB ports means you can also use the jump starter to charge your smartphone, tablet or any other USB device. There’s also a bright LED flashlight which can last for up to 120 hours and can be used to strobe or send an SOS signal if needed.

You can easily check the level of the battery, thanks to the simple illuminated display. Safety features include protection from surging and short circuits. The battery will recharge from a mains outlet or car 12V socket in four hours.

Best jump starter: Noco GB40 1000A Jump Starter

2. Noco GB40 1000A Jump Starter

Barely larger than a smartphone, but can jump-start a car up to 20 times per charge

Specifications
Weight: 1.08kg
Capacity: Not stated
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Very compact+Works with cars up to six litres+Reliable brand
Reasons to avoid
-On the heavy side

This compact option from Noco is less than seven inches long and just three inches wide, yet packs enough power to jump-start your vehicles up to 20 times per charge. There is also a 5V USB output for topping up the battery of your smartphone or tablet, too.

The device works with petrol engines up to six litres in capacity, and diesel engines up to three litres. An integrated 100 lumen LED light means the device can double up as a handy torch with multiple modes, including the ability to flash an SOS signal in Morse code.

Noco claims the battery will only lose between one and two percent of charge per month when not being used, so you can leave it your car all year round, safe in the knowledge that it’ll have the power when you need it.

Best jump starter: Ring 13000mAh Jump Starter

3. Ring 13000mAh Jump Starter

Powerful, compact, and works with cars up to three litres

Specifications
Weight: 706g
Capacity: 13,000mAh
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Light and compact+Dual USB ports+Sleek design
Reasons to avoid
-Limited to 3.0-litre petrols and 2.5-litre diesel-No display

Not to be confused with the smart doorbell company, this jump starter by Ring has a large 13,000mAh capacity, yet weighs well under 1kg and is compact enough to store in most gloveboxes. This jump starter works on petrol engines up to 3.0 litres and diesels up to 2.5 litres, plus there are two USB ports for charging your devices, and an LED flashlight.

There’s unfortunately no display to show how much charge the jump starter has remaining, but instead of four LED lights give a rough indication of the status of the battery. Ring says the unit can be fully charged from a wall outlet in just three hours.

Best jump starter: GooLoo Car Jump Starter 400A

4. GooLoo Car Jump Starter 400A

Almost pocket-sized and great value at less than £35

Specifications
Weight: Not Stated
Capacity: 12,000mAh
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Compact design+Multi-mode LED flashlight+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-LEDs rather than display

This 12,000mAh option from GooLoo is also pocket-sized, yet offers enough power to start vehicles with up to 5.0-litre petrol engines or 4.5-litre diesels.

There are two 5V USB ports (one 1A and one 2A), so you can charge the batteries of two devices like smartphones, tablets, cameras and Bluetooth headphones at once. Safety features include over-current, overload, over-voltage and over-charge protection, plus protection against high temperature.

An integrated LED flashlight can be used as a regular torch, or set to strobe or deliver an SOS signal in an emergency. The jump starter comes with a car charger, mains plug, battery clamps, carry bag, and a micro-USB cable. The only downside is how the GooLoo uses five glowing status lights to show its battery status, instead of a display showing an exact percentage.

Best jump starter: Sealey Jump Starter Power Pack SL65S

5. Sealey Jump Starter Power Pack SL65S

A top value jump starter with plenty of re-juicing capacity

Specifications
Weight: 526g
Capacity: 8000mAh
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Brawny 8,000mAh capacity+Additional USB connectors
Reasons to avoid
-All plastic construction-Works better than it looks

The Sealey has everything you need from a jump starter. It’s got staying power thanks to the 8,000mAh capacity, which means it’ll be able to handle any kind of recharging scenario. 

Meanwhile, the design is both compact and simple to use thanks to a digital display. Plus, it weighs in at just 1.61Kg and boasts dimensions of 11 x 9 x 20 cm, so there’s no fuss keeping it in the car. 

The dual 42cm leads look like they’ll last the test of time and a pair of USB connectors add value, especially as one delivers a higher 2.1A charge for phones and tablets. As with most products, the jump starter marketplace is a competitive one, so this is priced accordingly, which makes it all the more appealing. 

Best jump starter: Silverline 12v Lithium Power Bank & Jump Starter 423352

6. Silverline 12v Lithium Power Bank & Jump Starter 423352

A simple and lightweight jump starter

Specifications
Weight: 231g
Capacity: 6000mAh
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Very simple to use+Light and super portable
Reasons to avoid
-No 12v car socket capacity-Single USB connector

The small-but-perfectly-formed Silverline is a muscular power bank and jump starter combination that is one of the lowest priced models out there. However, it still delivers a respectable 400A/6000mAh capacity, although there’s only one USB 2.1A connector. The Silverline can’t be used via a 12v car socket either, so it’s mains or USB for charging. 

Nevertheless, it’s a cool option thanks to its ease of use, generous 41cm leads and a set of crystal clear blue power LEDs that advise you on available capacity. The unit weighs a mere 231grams too, so it’s a featherlight and hugely portable option if you want to keep it in a car that’s very short on space. 

Best jump starter: Draper Expert Lithium Jump Starter 15066

7. Draper Expert Lithium Jump Starter 15066

A compact and lightweight jump starter with plenty of power

Specifications
Weight: 1.02kg
Capacity: Unknown
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Quality product+Compact design
Reasons to avoid
-No digital display-LED indicator could be better

The Draper Expert Lithium Jump Starter 15066 might be thin on style, looks a bit plasticy and doesn’t even have a digital display to help you along. However, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the stars of the show thanks to a light 1.02kg construction and very simple to use design. 

Four LEDs show you how progress is going and the unit packs a more than capable 400A peak charge. It’ll work from the mains or you can plug it into a 12v socket, so it’s handy for the boot of your car. A brace of USBs add further connectivity while we like the generous length of the cables too.

Best jump starter: Energizer Lithium Polymer Car Jump Starter 50810

8. Energizer Lithium Polymer Car Jump Starter 50810

This jumper starter can charge smartphones too

Specifications
Weight: 399g
Capacity: 12000mAh
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+500A/12000mAh capacity+LCD display
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly unwieldy design-Only one USB connector

The Energizer Lithium Polymer Car Jump Starter 50810 is an import from across the pond and is slightly rough around the edges when it comes to looks and usability. Neverthless, it’s got all the power capacity you’re likely to need, with a 500A peak offering. Charging can be done in-car or via the mains and the leads give you plenty of reach in even the largest of engine bays. 

There’s a solo 2.4A USB port for charging smartphones and tablets too, plus we like the included funky case that will protect your purchase over the years. A weight of just 399grams also means it’s one of the lightest models you can get your hands on.

Best jump starter: NOCO GB70 Boost HD Jump Starter

9. NOCO GB70 Boost HD Jump Starter

A real jump-starting bruiser with plenty of capacity and a torch too

Specifications
Weight: 2.5kg
Capacity: Unknown
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Substantial 2000A capacity+Bright LED indicators
Reasons to avoid
-Only one USB connector-Quite a heavy design

Not everyone is happy or confident using a jump starter so we love the safe and easy design of the NOCO GB70 Boost HD Jump Starter, especially the rubber covered sockets. The chunky unit is straightforward to hook up while the bright LEDs give you a crisp and clear visible indication of progress. 

There’s a 12v power port plus a super bright built-in LED flashlight for good measure, although only one 2.1A USB connector. This is one of the more expensive jump starters you can buy and it’s got performance to match, although the downside is that it weighs a sizeable 2.5kg. However, there are other model variants based around this, depending on your jump-starting requirements.

Best jump starter: Halfords 6-in-1 Jump Starter Power Pack

10. Halfords 6-in-1 Jump Starter Power Pack

Massive, but with a broad range of abilities

Specifications
Weight: Unknown
Capacity: Unknown
Smartphone and tablet charge: Yes
Torch: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Capable of inflating tyres+Includes three-pin power socket
Reasons to avoid
-Only works on vehicles up to 2.0-litres-Large

A bit of an old-school approach to jump-starting, this 6-in-1 option from Halfords can start your car, then top up the air in your tyres and even power domestic devices via the 12V DC socket. With a 100 watt inverter, you get mains power on the move, suitable for powering products with the three-pin socket.

There’s an integrated LED flashlight, but given the shape of the jump starter, this is more for illuminating a dimly lit garage or campsite, rather than for poking into your engine bay.

As well as a three-pin socket, there’s a USB port for charging smaller devices like smartphones and tablets.

A downside to this product is that it is only capable of jump-starting vehicles with engines no larger than 2.0 litres, which is rather limiting when compared to other options in this article. But, if it fits your needs and you’d rather have a multi-purpose product, then this is a solid option to consider.

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