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It used to be if you said jump start it would bring up images in my mind of finding my jumper cables, looking around for a Good Samaritan with a vehicle who is willing to jump me, and then properly hooking everything up without a lot of sparking or explosions. Basically, I would think of stress. I would think of stress because getting a jump start was fraught with possible problems.
First, am I in the car with the jumper cables? Will I be able to find someone to take pity on me and risk their electrical system to jump start my car? If I don’t have jumper cables, does the nice person have them? Do I remember how to properly connect the cables and does it jive with the way that my Good Samaritan is insisting they should be connected? Will I have to have them rev their engine for a minute or so to let the charge build up in my battery before the car will even start?
When I think back a couple of years, I can’t believe what a pain it was to jump start a car and that’s assuming the weather was good, it wasn’t in a dangerous location like the side of the road, it was daylight, and the person I thought was a good Samaritan isn’t looking for money or worse.
Trying to jump start car batteries in the rain or snow in a dark parking lot, in a bad neighborhood, just makes the whole process much more difficult and stressful.
Well, fortunately, those days are gone. For the past few years, there has been a new technology on the block that promises to eventually do away with jump starts using jumper cables or at least make them the exception. That technology is the lithium battery jump starter.
Interested in learning about more lithium jump starters? Be sure and see our other article about some of the best!
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Lead-Acid Battery Jump Starter
A car jump starter is a fully self-contained battery booster that you hook to your battery so that it can boost your battery’s power enough to start the engine. Battery jump starters have been around for years, but they were so bulky and heavy that the average person wouldn’t think of putting one in their car let alone try to wield one under the hood. That was because they basically had heavy lead-acid batteries inside.
Lithium Battery Booster
The new technology uses a lithium battery which is much lighter and more compact than a lead-acid battery of the same power. For example, you would have to keep a lead-acid battery car battery jump starter in your trunk because it was too big and heavy to carry inside the passenger compartment. A lithium battery jumper on the other hand is small enough to put in the glove box or door compartment and some are even pocket-sized.
So what are the advantages of these new lithium boosters over lead-acid boosters and jumper cables? The new technology extends well-beyond just the battery technology. Lithium jump starters have built-in safety features and emergency tools that jumper cables don’t have and most lead-acid jump starters don’t have either.
Starting your vehicle with one of these jump starters couldn’t be easier. You just plug the included jumper cable set into its 12V connector, hook the alligator clips to your battery, and start your car. Once the car is started, remove the clips, stow the jump starter, and go about your business. I can tell you from personal experience, it’s just that easy.
Always running out of power on your phone? Most lithium jump starters are also power banks with multiple output voltages and adapters so you can use them to charge many of your portable electronic devices.
Many lithium boosters have a built-in microprocessor that can provide safety protection like spark-proof connections and reverse polarity protection. That means that the booster can detect a problem connection and stop power until it detects a proper one. In the case of accidentally reversing the connections, the booster will also stop power and usually provide a warning that the connections are wrong.
Most lithium battery jump starters have a built-in flashlight that can be really handy under the hood in a dark engine compartment. That same light is also usually switchable to a flashing mode and an emergency SOS mode during emergencies. Some have other flashing red LED lights that can be used to warn nearby vehicles that there is a problem.
Most lithium jump starters will last though many 100s of jump starts before they need to be replaced. In other words, most will last through a lifetime of starts.
Jumps Per Charge
In addition, most will jump start 10 vehicles or more before needing to be recharged. That is handy in case you have trouble remembering to recharge it before your next emergency.
So what is this list about? We have done articles about the most powerful and top rated lithium jump starters, but what if you don’t need to start a diesel truck? Why should you pay extra for capability you will probably never use?
One caveat to that is your climate. If you live in a severe winter climate check the operating temperatures of the jump starter you choose carefully. Also think about choosing one with more starting amps to help turn over your engine at very cold temperatures.
We searched social media, forums, manufacturer sites, retail sites, consumer sites, and customer review sites to put together the most popular, highest rated, ultra-compact lithium jump starters.
Most of these jump starters will start anything up to about 3.0L without much trouble and they are budget priced in many cases coming in at a 50% discount from the larger, heavy duty models.
Take a look and see if one of these capable, ultra-compact battery jump starters is the best jump starter for your needs!
The most powerful ultra-compact jump starter in our list, the Nekteck Multi-Function Car Jump Starter Portable Power Bank is still value-priced and full of great features. This compact powerhouse will fit easily just about anywhere you want to store it like in your vehicle’s glove box or even inside a pocket. When you need it it’s capable of jump starting up to a 5.0L gas vehicle engine or up to a 3.0L diesel engine and recharging a variety of your portable electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, speakers, and laptops using its large 16800 mAh power bank. Here’s what you need to know.
Jump Start Features
- 600 peak amps, 300 starting amps, lithium-polymer battery jump starter and power bank with 16,800 mAh battery capacity
- Capable of jump starting your 5L gas or 3.0L diesel engine up to 25 times before needing a recharge
- Safety and emergency features include a super-bright LED flashlight as well as built-in protection against overcharge, overvoltage, overcurrent, and short-circuit
- Built-in LED flashlight
- Outputs DC power at 12V/1A, 16V/2A, 19V/3.5A and 5V/2A
- Operating temperature range is 0 – 85 degrees C
- 1-Year limited warranty
- 1 – AC power adapter
- 1 – Set jumper cable with alligator clips
- 1 – Laptop connecting cable (5.5mm x 2.5mm)
- 8 – Different laptop adapter connectors
- 1 – Cellphone connecting cable
- 1 – microUSB cable
- 1 – Carrying bag
BESTEK offers several models of battery jump starter including their BESTEK 300 Peak Current Ultra-Compact Car Jump Starter that takes slim and compact to a new level. With a durable aluminum alloy outer shell, it can standup to the environment of your vehicle. This jump starter is actually about the same size as an iPhone, but is capable of jump starting a 3L or lower gas vehicle engine up to 16 times before needing a recharge. It combines a capable jump starter with a built-in 5600 mAh power bank that can charge your GPS, smartphone, tablet or other portable electronic devices. It has advanced circuit protection that keeps you and your device safe. Here’s what you need to know.
- Ultra-slim and ultra-compact 300 Peak Amp portable jump starter with 5600 mAh power bank
- Capable of jump starting your 3L or lower gas vehicle engine up to 15 times before needing a recharge
- Single 5V/2.1A USB port charges GPS, smartphones, tablets, Kindle e-readers and other portable electronic devices
- Advanced circuit protection keeps you and your devices safe providing protection against overcurrent, short-circuit, overload, surges, and over-voltage
- You can expect your jump starter to have a cycle life about 700 jump starts or more before it needs replacement
- Long 18-month warranty and easy-to-reach support
- 1 – Set battery clamps
- 1 – microUSB charging cable
The Rocket Socket Portable Auto Emergency Power Supply Car Jump Starter is one of the most unique compact lithium jump starters available. It looks like a flashlight you might keep in your car for emergency situation, but it’s much more than that. Its 400 peak amp jump starter is capable of jump starting 5L gas and 3L diesel engine vehicles and its 10,000 mAh built-in power bank can charge your favorite portable electronic devices. Its built-in microprocessor provides plenty of smart safety features to protect you, your vehicle, and your portable electronic devices. Here’s what you need to know.
- Compact 400 peak amp flashlight-shaped battery jump starter with 10,000 mAh power bank
- Capable of jump starting 5L and lower gas vehicle engines as well as 3L and lower diesel vehicle engines up to 15 times before needing a recharge
- Unique design is an easy to handle flashlight shape with super bright LED flashlight that has three modes including high, strobe, and SOS emergency
- Built-in safety features include protection against overcurrent, short-circuit, overload, and over-voltage
- DC output ports for 12V/16V/19V capable of charging smartphones, tablets, and other USB-chargeable devices at a rate of up to 2.1 amps
- 1-Year limited warranty and easy-to-reach support
The Rockford Consumer Products Portable Power Source and Mini Jump Starter is a very popular, highly rated, value jump starter that also happens to be the most compact available. It includes a capable mini jump starter that can jump start a variety of vehicles including cars, trucks, ATVs, snowmobiles, personal watercraft, and many others. It also has a built-in power bank that provides power through 19V, 12V, and 5V connections. You will be able to store this mini jump starter just about anywhere you want in your vehicle or carry it with you in a pocket. It includes an emergency flashlight that has an emergency SOS feature. Here’s what you need to know.
- Ultra-compact mini battery jump starter and personal power bank
- Capable of jump starting a variety of vehicles
- Power bank provides 19V power for laptops, 12V power for standard 12V accessories, and 5V for charging USB-chargeable portable electronic devices
- Capable of holding a charge for up to a year
- Built-in safety features include protection against overcharge and discharge
- Includes built-in emergency flashlight with SOS feature
- Measures only 6 x 2-7/8 x 1 inches and weighs only 14 oz.
- 1-Year limited warranty
Probably better known as America’s leading USB charging brand for their popular and reliable power banks, it was a logical step for Anker to add jump starting capability with their Anker Compact Car Jump Starter and Portable Charger Power Bank. It’s small enough to fit in your glovebox, door pocket, or even on your person. This ultra-compact model has 400 peak amps capable of jump starting up to a 3L gas vehicle engine or up to a 2.5L diesel vehicle engine up to 15 times on a single charge. It also has a built-in Anker 10,000 mAh power bank that provide power through two USB ports instead of just one like most models. Built-in smart safety features protect you, your vehicle, and portable electronic devices. Handy emergency flashlight to provide light during jump starting. Here’s what you need to know.
- Ultra-compact 400 peak amp battery jump starter and 10000 mAh power bank
- Capable of jump starting up to 3L gas vehicle engines or up to 2.5L diesel vehicle engines up to 15 times on a single charge
- Two built-in USB ports can charge a variety of USB-chargeable portable electronic devices
- Advanced safety features include protection against reverse polarity, surges, and short-circuits
- Built-in emergency flashlight
- Long 18-Month limited warranty
- 1 – Set jumper cables
- 1 – 15V wall charger
- 1 – 15V car charger
DBPOWER is a trusted brand of battery jump starter and their DBPOWER DJS40 8000 mAh Portable Car Jump Starter and Power Bank is one of their most popular. Capable of jump starting up to a 2.5L gas vehicle engine up to 20 times before needing a recharge, it also has a built-in 8000 mAh power bank to recharge your portable electronic devices. It’s ultra-slim design is as thin as an iPhone 6 making it easy to store in your glovebox, door pocket, or purse. Built-in smart safety features protect you, your vehicle, and your portable electronic devices. Here’s what you need to know.
- Rugged appearance, ultra-compact battery jump starter is as slim as an iPhone 6, but still has 300 peak amps of jump starting power and an 8000 mAh power bank
- 8000 mAh power bank charges smartphones, tablets, Kindle e-readers and many other portable electronic devices that can accept a charge from a USB port
- Capable of jump starting up to a 2.5L gas vehicle engine up to 20 times before needing a recharge
- Built-in emergency light has 3 modes including high, strobe, and SOS emergency and is a perfect emergency light for camping or other outdoor adventures
- Safety features include protection against overcurrent, short-circuit, overload, over-voltage, and over-charge
- Its 3-Year limited warranty is one of the longest available
- 1 – Set heavy-duty jumper cables with alligator clips
- 1 – USB cable
Our personal ultra-compact favorite is the Brightech SPIDER Car Jump Starter and Power Bank. This mini-tablet-sized emergency tool is capable of jump starting cars, trucks, motorcycles, minivans, lawn tractors, personal watercraft, and many more multiple times on a single charge. Weighing in at only 10 oz., it packs the punch of much larger and heavier lead-acid boosters and includes the capability to charge a variety of portable electronic devices. It includes a bright LED flashlight that includes an SOS emergency mode. Here’s what you need to know.
- Ultra-compact 400 peak amp battery jump starter and 8000 mAh portable power bank
- 400 peak amp jump starting power to jump start V8 cars, trucks, motorcycles, minivans, lawn tractors, personal watercraft, and many more 500-1000 times over its lifetime and up to 15 times on a single charge
- Its 8000 mAh power bank is capable of charging a variety of portable electronic devices through its 5V/1A USB port
- SmartJump safety technology provides protection against overcurrent, short-circuit, over-voltage, overload, and overcharging
- Bright 3-in-1 LED light functions as a flashlight, strobe, and SOS emergency light that lasts up to 120 hours
- LED status lights display remaining power level
- Dimensions are 5 x 3 x 1 inches and it weighs in at only 10 oz.
- Long 3-Year satisfaction guarantee
- 1 – Set red and black mini clamps
- 1 – Set DC charging adapters including Apple lightning, Apple 30-pin, and microUSB
- 1 – 12V power port adapter
- 1 – 110V wall charger
- 1 – Zippered protective storage case
Jump Start Power Bank Comparison
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