Our Recommended Portable Jump Starters (Battery Boosters) of 2017!

Choose Your Application/Needs:

What constitutes a great portable jump starter?

#1. Reliability

We feel that reliability is the number 1 factor to consider. These devices are designed to be used at times when you most need them, such as when you are stranded with a dead or dying battery that cannot start your car and leaves you stuck in a desperate situation. Add bad weather to this or being “in the middle of no where” and it can become a very serious situation.

#2. Value (Bang for your Buck)

Getting the most powerful jump starter may seem like the right choice but that’s not always the case.  It’s important to consider what your individual needs will be. If you only have a commuter car or motorcycle that it will be used for then you can go with a smaller/cheaper battery booster and not waste your money buying a starter that is overkill for the job.  On the other hand if you drive a larger vehicle then it’s wise to go with a more powerful solution but not necessarily always the most expensive brand. Be aware that in this competitive market with many different brands there are some great values to be had. Just make sure to do a little research and read reviews from others that have purchased the same. Our recommendations always take into account other user reviews as well!

#3. Features

Does the jump starter have all the features and options that you need? An equally important question is does it have a bunch of features you will never use? These are things to consider when choosing the right option and will usually save you money if you get a less feature packed option that is still high quality with only the features you need. Some options have digital displays, multiple USB ports, multiple LED lights, built-in multimeters, power plugs and even air compressors. Others simply have a battery jump start function and USB charger but work perfectly fine and satisfy the need just fine.

#4. Overall Quality

Quality relates strongly with reliability because you can’t have one without the other, they go hand in hand. Getting a quality brand product by a trusted company with a trusted warranty is probably our top recommendation. You can also learn a lot from reading other customer reviews, such as those on Amazon, and quickly learn about the overall quality of a given jump starter and if it has any nagging issues and possibly how long you can expect it to last.

Our Top 3 Portable (Ultra Compact) Jump Starters for Smaller Engine Cars and Trucks (also Boats and Motorcycles)

Brand and Model Power Rating Recommended
Engine Size
Doubles
as a USB Charger?
Best Jump Starters
Quality Rating
Current Best Price Online
NOCO – Genius Boost Sport GB20

400 Amp Peak Gasoline engines
up to 4.0L.
(Diesel not listed
but our guess would be 2.5L).
Yes (for portable devices, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.)

5 Stars

Amazon Price
Anker – Compact Car Jump Starter

400 Amp Peak Gasoline engines up to 3.0L.
Diesel engines up to 2.5L.
Yes (for portable devices, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) 4 1/2 Stars
Amazon Price
BrightTech Scorpion with SmartJump Technology

400 Amp Peak Gasoline engines up to 3.0L.
Diesel engines up to 2.5L.
Yes (for portable devices, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) 4 1/2 Stars
Amazon Price

Our Top 5 Portable (Semi-Compact) Jump Starters for Larger Engine Cars and Trucks

Brand and Model Power Rating Recommended
Engine Size
Doubles as a USB Charger? Best Jump Starters Quality Rating Current Best Price Online
NOCO – Genius Boost Plus GB40

1000 Amp Peak Gasoline engines up to 6.0L.
Diesel engines up to 3.0L
Yes (for portable devices, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.)

5 Stars

Amazon Price
GooLoo Portable Jump Starter

700 Amp Peak Gasoline engines up to 6.5L.
Diesel engines up to 5.0L
Yes (for portable devices, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) 4 1/2 Stars
Amazon Price
Nektech Multifunction Car Jump Starter

600 Amp Peak Gasoline engines up to 6.0L.
Diesel engines up to 5.0L.
Yes (for portable devices, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) 4 Stars
Amazon Price
NOCO – Genius Boost Heavy Duty GB70

2000 Amp Peak Gasoline engines up to 8.0L+.
Diesel engines up to 6.0L.
Yes (for portable devices, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) Our runner up “best value” pick for very large engines!

5 Stars

Amazon Price
NOCO – Genius Boost Pro GB150 w/ built-in Voltmeter

4000 Amp Peak Gasoline engines up to 10.0L+.
Diesel engines up to 10.0L+.
Yes (for portable devices, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) 4 1/2 Stars
Amazon Price

Our Top 3 Multifunction Portable Jump Starters for Larger Engine Cars and Trucks

Brand and Model Power Rating Recommended
Engine Size
Multi-Functionality Best Jump Starters Quality Rating Current Best Price Online
Stanley JC509

1000 Amp Peak Non-specific, manufacturer says engines up to V6 or V8. Built-in air compressor.
High-powered LED light that rotates 270 degrees
.
USB device charging.

5 Stars

Amazon Price
Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR

1700 Amp Peak Non-specific, manufacturer says engines up to V8 (incliuding tractor or RV).. Built-in air compressor.
Built-in automatic recharging.
Built-in 12v power outlet (cigarette lighter style).
USB device charging.
4 1/2 Stars
Amazon Price
Schumacher XP2260 1200

1200 Amp Peak Non-specific, manufacturer says engines up to V8. Built-in air compressor. •
Built-in 400 Watt power inverter for 120V AC household power plug. •
Built-in inflator/deflator.
USB device charging. •
4 Stars
Amazon Price

Have Questions Before Purchasing a Portable Jump Starter?

What is a Jump Starter or Battery Booster?
A jump starter is an electrical device designed to “jump start” or boost a cars battery so that it can provide enough power to the vehicles starter motor and therefore start the engine. These devices are used when the vehicles own battery power output has dropped to the point where it will no longer provide enough current to start the engine. Jump starters range in size from larger wheeled ones that a repair shop might have to fully portable battery boosters that can fit in a glove box.
Do portable jump starters work for all types of vehicles and engines?
The answer is generally yes. There are jump starters that will work for most, if not all, types of vehicles and batteries you may want to use them with. Most brands will have information about what types of batteries they work well with (most common being 12v lead acid batteries) and/or what size or type of vehicle you can use them on. The size of the jump starter usually correlates fairly well with the application as well (if you have a larger vehicle with a larger engine you will most likely need a larger jump starter).
Why is it a good idea to carry a portable Jump Starter in my vehicle?
If you’ve never experienced a dead battery, and being stuck somewhere in your car or truck because of it, then you are luckier than most people. The truth is it can happen with even newer cars because not all automobiles come with very good battery brands. Batteries also have a fairly short lifespan of 3-5 years. It’s recommended that you replace a battery after 3 years because at the 4 or 5 year and above mark they can really start to become unreliable.
What size jump starter do I need for my vehicle?
This can depend on a couple different factors but the biggest one is the size of your vehicles engine and also how portable you need it to be. The higher the power output the larger the portable starter is going to be so check the physical dimensions before buying (if for instance you want it to fit in your glove box). The bigger the engine the more cracking amps you will need to power the starter motor for that engine to get it started. Most portable jump starters have in the 400amp to 2000amp range but this does not usually mean actual cranking amps. The rating for most starters usually refers to the peak power output potential which can be misleading.

We recommend you either look up the specific cranking amps output before buying or play it safe and get a portable starter that is double what is rated for your vehicles engine. So for instance if you have a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder car, we recommend you buy a starter rated about 600-1000amps peak. Always get a higher power one if you can afford it.

How can I tell if my battery is starting to go bad?
This is a great question and one we are glad to answer because you can find yourself in a bad situation if you get stuck with a bad battery. One of the earlier signs of a battery approaching the end of its life is your vehicle lights will seem dimmer than usual. This is an important thing to pay attention to but can be a bit subtle. An even easier way to notice a bad battery is if your car or truck is having trouble (even slightly) starting up the first time of the day. This can often mean it is not capable of receiving a full charge or has other issues with its power output.

In the situation where you know your battery is acting up (of if your battery is more than 5 years old) we always recommend purchasing a new battery. Portable starters are recommended mainly for that situation where you really don’t expect to be in trouble with a vehicle that won’t start, like when leaving your lights on etc.

Another easily noticed symptom of a battery going bad is when an engine struggles to turn over. If you notice your car is taking longer to turn over, or the engine sounds slower when it cranks, your battery might be about to die. Other less obvious signs include an A/C making strange noises, less airflow coming out of the vents, and the radio volume not working.