If you don’t have one of the many compact car jump starters available for your car, what are you waiting for? If you still have jumper cables, compact car jump starters are a smarter option.
Think about it. Which would you rather have in a dark, rainy parking lot, after work with nobody around to help…jumper cables that depend on a donor car and a Good Samaritan to help you with a jumpstart, or a highly portable compact self-contained battery booster that can start your car in seconds without a donor car and without the need for anyone’s help?
It’s really a no-brainer, particularly as these lithium car jump starters have come down in price over the past few months to less than double a good set of jumper cables.
You may have considered a battery jump starter in the past for jumping a car battery, but rejected the idea of buying one because they were heavy, bulky, and difficult to use under the hood. Well, all that has changed! New lithium jump starters can be literally pocket-sized and light enough to put anywhere in your vehicle like the glove box or a seat pocket.
What about their power? Can one of these little devices really jump-start a full-size car or truck? The answer is most definitely and they can do it over and over again for 10+ times depending on the device. Unfortunately, most manufacturers don’t report cold cranking amps (CCA) like many of the lead-acid manufacturers do. Instead, they report peak amps if you’re lucky, sometimes starting amps. The best thing to do is read customer reviews and find out how big a vehicle’s engine they can really crank over.
Don’t get too hung up on CCA. While it’s one of the best comparison points for different jump starters, few people actually need the higher CCA values. Why? The cranking test occurs at 0 degrees F. If you live in the most northern states of the U.S., it may be important to you, while if you live in the rest of the U.S. you don’t need the highest CCA value.
It’s easy to overpay for a jump starter with the highest CCA value when a much lower number will start your vehicle. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know which vehicles need which CCA value. This works in the favor of the manufacturers who know that in the absence of good information, many people buy the more expensive portable battery jumpers with the higher values of CCA to make sure it will start their vehicle.
Again, check the customer reviews and see which types of vehicles are being successfully started by the battery booster you’re considering.
Interested in learning about other popular lithium battery jump starters? Be sure to see our other articles about some of the best!
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What are the most common features you can expect to get on a compact lithium jump starter? First, all of the models we reviewed have a built-in portable power pack with the ability to charge portable electronic devices in addition to jump starting a vehicle. What varies between the models is the type and number of charging ports they have.
All have at least one USB port where you can plug in many different types of devices and all come with adapters for the most popular electronic models.
Safety is another big consideration. Make sure portable jump starter you’re buying is UL listed. This insures that is has been forced to pass several rigorous tests of the Underwriters Laboratories.
Many have reverse-polarity protection, over-current protection, short-circuit protection, overload protection, over-voltage protection and over-charge protection in addition to having spark-proof connections.
As you might imagine there are many manufacturers of these compact jump starters and even more different models. What we were interested in when we did our research was what customers thought of the different brands.
We searched the internet in forums, product listings, and manufacturer’s websites and were able to identify one brand that seems to have the best customer reviews. That brand is Bolt Power. They make a number of different sizes of compact battery jump starters and all of them have been given great reviews by their customers.
Take a look at these highly rated models with plenty of portable power and see if one is the perfect solution for your jump starting needs!
Bolt Power® G06 Portable 600 AMP Peak Car Battery Jump Starter Power Bank
The Bolt Power G06 Portable 600 Peak Amp Car Battery Jump Starter and Power Bank is Bolt Power’s top of the line battery jump starter and its most powerful model. With 600 Peak amps, it is one of the most powerful compact lithium car jump starters available. Bolt Power claims that it can jump start and RV or Mid-size truck. With the power they claim it should be perfect for vehicles like cars, trucks, dirt bikes, ATVs, motorcycles, SUVs, boats, personal watercraft, and even RVs. Here’s what you need to know.
Car Jump Starters: Features
- 600 peak amps – Bolt Power claims this will start RVs and Mid-size trucks
- Very compact design
- Charger compactible with iPhone, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, and Sony phones and Acer, Asus, Samsung, HP, Compaq, Panasonic, Lenovo, and Toshiba laptops
- Built-in LED emergency light with 3 modes including high, strobe, and SOS
- Built-in 16,500 mAh power bank has 12V, 16V, and 19V DC outputs which are switch selectable
- LED status indicator
- 7-in-1 laptop adapters are included
- Safety protection includes over-current protection, short-circuit protection, overload protection, over-voltage protection, and over-charge protection
- Can jump start a smaller vehicle up to 10 times or more before needing recharging
- 12 month manufacturer’s warranty against defects in design, materials, and workmanship
- RoHS, CE, and UL Certified
Update: I’m adding some additional information about the G06 that may be helpful to those of you who choose to buy it. The G06 has four LED light modes. Three of them are related to the flashlight on the side and one of them is a 4-LED warning light on the top. The manual covers the three flashlight modes; steady, flashing, and SOS. It doesn’t cover the 4-LED warning light. To activate the 4-LED warning light, with the unit on depress the power button twice in quick succession. It may take practice to get it to come on. If you want the flashlight and the warning light to illuminate together, hold down the power button for a second or two after the 4-LED warning light comes on.
- Very powerful and compact
- Jump starts even larger engines
- Fast charging of smartphones and other electronics
- Durable construction
- None noted
Bolt Power® D28 13,600 mAh Portable Car Jump Starter 400 AMP Peak – Emergency Auto Jump Starter
Bolt Power’s D28 13,600 mAh Portable Car Jump Starter has 400 peak amps of power and is their 2nd most powerful battery jump starter. They claim that it can start gasoline engines under 5.0L and diesel engines under 3.0L. This capability should be perfect for a wide range of vehicles including cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, SUVs, boats, and personal watercraft. Here’s what you need to know.
- 400 Peak Amps (less than 3 seconds) and start current of 200 Amps (don’t know what this is, maybe cranking amps, but not CCA) – Bolt Power claims this will start gasoline engines under 5.0L and diesel engines under 3.0L
- Built-in 13,600 mAh charger is compatible with iPhone, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Motorola, and Sony phones and Acer, Asus, Samsung, HP, Compaq, Panasonic, Lenovo, and Toshiba laptops and comes with 12V, 16V, and 19V switchable DC outputs
- Comes with 5 functions including 12V emergency starting, car battery charging, 4-in-1 portable electronic device charging station, 7-in-1 laptop charging, and an LED emergency light
- Combines 4 mobile adapters into one USB 5V/2.1A port making it possible to charge four mobile devices like a smart phone, MP3/MP4, GPS, camera, and PSP simultaneously
- LED status indicator
- Long-lasting 120 hour built-in LED emergency light with high, strobe, and SOS modes
- Useful life of up to 3,000 starts if fully charged
- UL Certified
- Compact dimensions of only 3.1W x 1.6H x 6.5L inches (79W x 40H x 165L mm)
- Amazingly lightweight and compact
- Excellent quality
- Reports that it can even start larger engines
- Makes a great gift
- Some reports that case is poor quality
Bolt Power® K3 Mini Portable 400 Amp Car Jump Starter Power Bank
The Bolt Power K3 Mini Portable Car Jump Starter and Power Bank is about as powerful as their D28 model with one more USB port, but fewer outputs. At 12,000 mAh it should have plenty of charging power for several potable electronic devices or laptops. It is also slightly larger than the D28 even though it’s still very small. Like the D28 model it should be perfect for starting cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, SUVs, boats, and personal watercraft. Here’s what you need to know.
- 400 Peak Amps and 200 Starting Amps (whatever that means…Cranking Amps (CA), but not CCA?) – Bolt Power claims that it will start gasoline engines smaller than 5.0L and diesel engines less than 3.0L which is the same as the D28 model
- Portable, compact design, is pocket-sized and will store easily anywhere in your vehicle including the glove box or seat pocket
- With 12,000 mAh of power it’s compatible with phones from Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Motorola, and Sony as well as laptops from
- Capable of starting vehicles up to 20 times on a full charge
- Long-life 120 hour, ultra-bright LED light with flashlight, strobe, and SOS signals
- Built-in safety features include over-current protection, short-circuit protection, overload protection, over-voltage protection, and over-charge protection and safety clamps
- Up to 3,000 charge cycle life and low self-discharge
- Ports include a 12V vehicle charging port, a 5V/2A USB port and a 5V/1A USB port
- Compact at only 6.9L x 1.2H x 3W inches (174L x 31.5H x 77W mm)
- CE, FCC, UL, and RoHS certified
- 12 month limited warranty against defects in design, materials, and workmanship
- 1 – USB cable
- 1 – 120/220V home charger
- 1 – Set 12V clamps
- Holds charge well
- Very easy to setup and use
- Great value
- Perfect vehicle companion for anyone and a great gift
- None noted
Bolt Power® X5 Mini 8000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter
The Bolt Power X5 Mini Portable Car Jump Starter is Bolt Power’s least powerful model designed to start vehicles with mid-sized engines up to V8. It is also known as their Spiderman model. With 400 Peak Amps and 8,000 mAh of power, it’s perfect for starting small cars, light trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, SUVs, boats, and personal watercraft and charging most portable electronic devices. Here’s what you need to know.
- 400 Peak Amps – Bolt Power claims that this is enough to start vehicles with mid-sized engines up to V8
- 8,000 mAh battery with high-quality Lithium Polymer cells is a 3-in-1 charging station compatible with portable electronic devices like those from Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Motorola, and Sony as well as
- Built-in ultra-bright LED light
- Combines 4 mobile adapters into one 5V/2.1A USB port making it possible to charge up to four mobile devices simultaneously
- Long life of over 3,000 cycles when fully charged
- UL Certified
- 1-Year limited manufacturer’s warranty
- Very compact and easy to use
- Great value
- Makes a great gift
- High quality construction
- Poor manual
Car Jump Starters
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