Portable Car Battery Charger: Top 5 Battery Jump Starters 2016

A portable car battery charger is a must-have for emergency situations where you’re battery is dead and you’re either far from home or all alone at night.  Years ago you could depend on even a stranger to help you jump start your car.  Unfortunately, except in rare cases, those days are gone.

With the increasing popularity of auto services like AAA, fewer people are carrying jumper cables, and even fewer know how to use them properly.  Not to mention the unlikelihood that someone will take the time to help a stranger these days.

If you want a portable car battery charger, but you don’t have a good handle on how to choose one, please take a look at our article Key Functionality To Look For In A Battery Jump Starter  so that you understand how to compare.

The chargers we have listed in our Top 5 are both popular and provide great overall performance for the money.  Opinions will differ on whether we have picked the best of the best, but we have tried to provide enough information for you to compare and make up your own mind.

Portable Car Battery Charger: Top 5

When it comes to peace of mind, we hide keys, carry cell phones, and keep security devices handy all in an effort to make us feel safer.  Most of us worry about breaking down on the highway or in a deserted parking lot after work, but we may not think of the battery first as being the problem.  If we do, we carry jumper cables for the off chance that the battery goes dead.  Plus, we have AAA so there should be no problem, right?

If you’re lucky enough to have AAA, that’s great!  I speak from experience though that many things can go wrong that would causePortable Car Battery Charger Clore JNC300XL Full View AAA to be delayed even hours in getting to you to jump start your car.  Meanwhile, you’re stuck, possibly at night, without lights in a lonely parking lot or awkwardly by the side of the highway.

If you don’t have AAA surely someone will see you’re in trouble and offer to assist you.  If you’re lucky enough to have anyone nearby that could help you, the chances of them actually having jumper cables is very slim.

If you carry a set, how likely is it that a stranger is going to want to use their vehicle to jump start your car.  If it’s done improperly, it can hurt the electrical system of modern cars, fry the computer, or do other damage.

For your peace of mind, in any situation, the best thing to have is a portable car battery charger or battery jump starter or battery booster.  All of these are really just a highly-portable extra battery designed with everything you need to hook up and jump start your car in a matter of minutes.  No jumper cables are needed and you can jump start your car yourself.

With that in mind, please take moment to look through our list of the Top 5 portable car battery chargers to see if one of them is the perfect choice for you and your peace of mind.


#5 – Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries Portable Car Battery Charger

Portable Car Battery Charger Schumacher PSJ-2212 Full ViewThe Schumacher PSJ-2212 Jump Starter and Portable Power Unit is a professional grade, high-output, portable car battery charger with extra power for the toughest emergency conditions.  With a built-in 330 amp AGM battery, AC charger, and a DC outlet, this portable charger can handle your travel-related charging in addition to emergencies.  The PSJ-2212 jump starter has several professional features.

  • Professional grade
  • 2200 peak amps
  • 330 cranking amps
  • High-output absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery designed for jump starting
  • Fast recharge with a built-in 3-amp AC charger
  • Single DC outlet
  • Reverse polarity warning
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Heavy duty alligator clamps with replaceable copper jaws
  • 50-inch long, 4-gauge cables carry plenty of current
  • Vented case


  • Good value
  • Long, heavy-duty cables
  • Very reliable
  • Fast recharge


  • Noisy fan during recharge
  • Heavy unit
  • Cord not included for recharging

Portable Car Battery Charger Schumacher PSJ-2212 Review

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#4 – Clore ES2500 Booster PAC Jump Starter

Portable Car Battery Charger Clore ES2500 Booster PAC Full ViewIn an emergency, you need to have a professional grade emergency booster that has the power, reliability, and performance to bring your car back to life fast.  You also don’t want to have to fumble around learning a complicated system when you’re feeling rushed and stressed.  The Booster PAC ES2500 has all of this covered.  The ES2500 is easy-to-use, has lots of cranking power, and the ability to jump start up to 5 vehicles on a single charge.  It’s hard to pass up all of these features.

  • Professional grade
  • 900 peak amps and 300 cranking amps
  • Designed specifically for battery jump starting
  • Jump up to 5 vehicles on a single charge
  • AC charger included
  • Single-outlet DC power for a variety of travel needs
  • LED indicator provides charging status
  • Comes with its own durable case
  • 21-inch, 4-gauge cables with industrial-quality Hot Jaw alligator clamps


  • Commercial-grade quality
  • Reliable jump starting
  • Good value
  • Used by professionals


  • Needs longer cables
  • No place to store AC charger
  • No reverse polarity warning
  • No automatic shutoff while charging from 12V DC socket

Portable Car Battery Charger Clore ES2500 Review

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#3 – Schumacher PSJ-1812 DSR ProSeries Portable Battery Booster

Portable Car Battery Charger Schumacher PSJ-1812 Full ViewSchumacher makes powerful lines of both battery chargers and portable car battery chargers.  If you’re looking for a booster with plenty of cranking power, a reliable state-of-the-art AGM battery, and heavy-duty construction, the Schumacher PSJ-1812 portable car battery charger delivers the goods.  You will appreciate its many professional features.

  • 1800 peak amps and 280 cranking amps
  • 18 amp-hour high-output, professional grade absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery
  • Built-in AC charger
  • Single DC outlet for portable DC power
  • LED charging status indicators
  • Durable case included
  • Heavy-duty 28-inch, 4-gauge cables


  • Professional grade
  • Reliable battery booster
  • DC Outlet
  • Compact size


  • Recharging power cord not included
  • No on/off switch
  • Cables too short
  • Long recharge time (Approx. 24 hours)

Portable Car Battery Charger Schumacher PSJ-1812 Review

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#2 – Clore JNC660 Battery Jump Starter

Portable Car Battery Charger Clore JNC660 Full ViewClore claims that pound-for-pound, the Clore JNC660 is the most powerful portable car battery charger on the market.  With 1700 peak amps, 425 amps of cranking power, and a purpose-built jump starter design, this is the ones the Pros use.  I know that where I take my car to be repaired, they swear by the JNC660 for reliable battery boosting time after time.  It’s no wonder it’s popular when you look at it power and features.

  • 1700 peak amps and 425 cranking apps
  • Built-in battery is specifically designed for emergency jump starting applications
  • Built-in AC charger
  • Single DC outlet for travel DC power needs


  • High-quality booster
  • Reliable emergency battery jump starting when you need it
  • Plenty of power for most vehicle starting
  • Faster jump starting than using jumper cable


  • Unit tips over easily
  • Confusing charge indicator
  • No on/off switch
  • Cables too short

Portable Car Battery Charger Clore JNC660 Review

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#1 – Clore JNC300XL Portable Jump Starter

Portable Car Battery Charger JNC300XL Full View 2The Clore JNC300XL is one of the most popular portable car battery chargers available and it’s easy to see why.  It is a balanced choice of power and price.  If you’re looking for a value in a durable, reliable battery jump starter, then you need to take a look at the JNC300XL.  Its light weight, powerful jump starting capability, and value price may be too good to pass up.  Its features and capability make it a natural choice for most emergency jump starting situations.

  • 900 peak amps and 225 cranking amps
  • 27-inch, 4-gauge cables with full-size alligator clamps
  • Ultra-portable and lightweight at only 9 lbs.
  • Built-in 12-volt outlet
  • Built-in high power density Clore PROFORMER battery
  • Built-in high-intensity work light
  • Handy Grip-Lock clamp storage system


  • Compact but powerful
  • High quality construction
  • Portability leader
  • Easier to use than jumper cables


  • AC charger not built into unit
  • Bulky plastic clips on clamps
  • No automatic charging shut-off
  • Larger engines in cold weather may be a problem

Portable Car Battery Charger Clore JNC300XL Review

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Portable Car Battery Charger Comparison Chart

TitleClore JNC660 'Jump-N-Carry' 1,700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump StarterClore JNC300XL 'Jump-N-Carry' 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12-Volt Jump Starter with LightPeak PKC0AO 300 Amp Jump StarterSchumacher PSJ-1812 DSR ProSeries 1800 Peak Amps Jump Starter and Portable Power UnitBlack & Decker JUS500IB 500-Amp Jump Starter with Built-in Tire InflatorJump-N-Carry JNCAIR 1700-Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter with Power Source and Air Compressor
Feature1700 peak ampere
Battery status indicator gauge
46 inch heavy-duty #4 cables
DC outlet to power 12 volt accessories
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
900 peak amps and 225 cranking amp, with 27 inches of #4 gauge jumper cables
Full size clamps to penetrate battery corrosion
Equips with a high intensity work light
Note: This item is Hazmat and non-returnable
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
Exclusive Low Charge Alert (LCA) Alarm signals owner when jumper needs charging
High impact resistant housing with rubberized sure-grip bottom and handle
Reverse polarity LED and alarm
5 LED battery power indicator
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
1800 peak amperes, 280 cranking ampere and 225 cold cranking amperes
18 Ah professional grade, high output AGM battery
12 Volt DC power outlet
Built in automatic charger
LED indicators for charging, charged and battery status
500 Instant starting amps for maximum performance
120 PSI inflator for vehicle tires, sports equipment and more
Low-profile design for easy storage within vehicle or garage
Visual and audible reverse polarity alarms warn against improper connections to battery terminals
Ultra bright area light for increased visibility in dark areas
1700 peak amps and 425 cold cranking amps
PROFORMER battery technology for reliable cranking and charging
Extra-long 68" cables
Integrated air compressor with 12' coiled air hose with screw-on chuck
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
WarrantyManufacturer90 Day parts warranty parts and labor2 Year Warranty
Height5.1 inch7.25 inch11.25 inch12.25 inch12.75 inch17.1 inch
Weight18 pound5 pound8.45 pound18.35 pound18 pound20 pound
Width14.1 inch7.75 inch6.38 inch8.75 inch6.75 inch16.5 inch
Length16.3 inch12 inch12.13 inch12.5 inch14 inch9.6 inch
Rating4.7 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars3.1 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.0 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars
ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead Reviews
LinkMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore Info

Product prices and availability are accurate as of Jul 8 1:57:40 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.


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What do you think of our list?  Which portable car battery charger are you planning to buy? Please take a moment to leave a comment below.

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Thanks for reading!  I hope this article has provided you with information you can use to confidently choose a portable car battery charger!

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  1. young Chuh

    I’m looking for charger for 12 V 700 CCA Battery.Please advise me which one is better
    among JNC660 / JNC 300 XL.

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi, thanks for your inquiry. You should be fine with either model. The 300XL is more compact, but still packs a punch. The 660 has more features in addition to being more powerful. You should also check out the lithium-ion compact battery jump starters. They are the hot ticket right now because of their size and capability. Check out our article comparing the best compact battery jump starters at https://www.carbatterychargerscentral.com/car-starter-top-7-compact-battery-jump-starters/ -Mark

  2. Allan Bailey

    I have just used CAA for the 4th time after leaving my flashers on overnight! A portablr battery charger might be a great Xmas gift for me. Living near Montreal, Quebec in Canada, where we usually have harsh, cold winters, I am wondering which of those shown on this website are (a) available in Quebec and (b) most suitable to our cold winters. I drive a Subaru Forster (2007) and my wife has a Toyota Rav4 (2002). Both have relatively new batteries, in fact mine was changed last winter.
    Your advice, by return email would be greatly appreciated.

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi Allan, you may have cold winters, but you live in a beautiful city! One place to check is Amazon. If you can buy on Amazon.com, you can check there or amazon.ca if you can’t. The keys are the specifications cold cranking amps (CCA) and cranking amps (CA). For most folks, these aren’t really that important because they live in a milder climate than you do. For you, they’re important. CCA is a specification that tells you that a particular jump starter can maintain at least 1.2 volts/cell at 0 degrees F (-17.8 degrees C) for 30 seconds. CA tells you that the jump starter can maintain 1.2 volts/cell at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) for 30 seconds. Not every one of the lithium jump starters comes with one of these specifications. Instead they reference peak amps or starting amps so it can be difficult to choose based on that. My recommendation is to buy a heavy-duty jump starter that specifies the ability to start larger engines so that it’s more likely in the severe cold that it will be able to start your 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engines. Our article https://www.carbatterychargerscentral.com/heavy-duty-jump-starter-top-5-compact-boosters/ lists some. We have the Bolt Power G06 and we like that one, but we don’t have the cold weather you do. The Micro-Start XP-10 is another good one. There are many others for sale, but these both have been around for awhile and have a proven track record. The ones that are coming on the market may even be better, but I like to see them hang around for awhile and get that good track record. I hope that helps! -Mark

  3. confused

    Article say Clore JNC660 has cons : Cables too short. And, table / chart says : 46 inch heavy-duty #4 cables

    Amazon sells the unit and claims 46″ heavy-duty #2 cables. So which is right ? and why do you consider 46″ cables too short ? especially when you do not call that out for other models such as your # that has 27″ cables ?

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Comments are collected from owners of the devices and there were several who didn’t like the length. If you check Clore’s site, it says the cables are #2. -Mark