The wind had to be blowing over 40 mph and it was raining hard. After my daughter’s volleyball tournament was over, we went out to the car and found that the battery was too low to start the car. We didn’t have jumper cables but, fortunately our coach had an SUV and jumper cables nearby. We hooked up the cables and the car started fine though in the time it took to jump the car, I got more soaked and colder than I can remember getting in February in Virginia!!
What if this happened to you? Do you carry jumper cables with you or maybe even a jump starter? These days it is an angel of mercy who will allow you to jump start your car using their vehicle’s battery. Take away at least part of the fear and never have to experience that sinking feeling by getting yourself an inexpensive set of jumper cables as an insurance policy against a dead battery!
How do I know which cables to buy? Here are some key specifications:
With wire gauge (thickness), the lower the number, the thicker the cable. It’s better to get heavy duty jumper cables because the current flow during the jump start needs to be high enough to start the car. With flimsy bargain priced car jumper cables, there is no guarantee that you will be able to draw enough current. You should choose no smaller than 8 gauge and 6- or 4-gauge (heavier) would be better if you can find a good price.
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If you buy heavy duty cables you should expect to have heavy insulation on the cables. Heavier insulation reduces heat generated through the cables by the jump start process. Beware of cheap cables that may look heavy gauge but are actually thin gauge with heavy insulation.
This is a critical factor. Imagine the situation where you are on the side of a busy road and the other vehicle needs to be behind you for safety. How long do the cables need to be to reach between both batteries? We recommend cables greater than 16 feet.
Heavy Duty Clamps
The cables you choose should have heavy duty clamps capable of connecting to a battery with either top terminals or side terminals securely. The black cable clamps technically should be heavy duty enough to securely connect to a good ground under your hood such as a bolt on the engine block. Heavy duty clamps have the added advantage of being larger in size which keeps your hands away from any sparks that are generated.
We searched automotive forums, social media, manufacturer sites, consumer sites, retail sites, and customer review sites to find the most popular and highly rated jumper cables.
We have recently updated out list since we first released it. Over time, some new jumper cable sets have been released with better quality and reliability.
Take a look at our list and see if one of these jumper cable sets is the best for your needs!
The Coleman Cable 08660 Heavy-Duty 4-Gauge, Jumper Cables with Polar Glo-Watt Clamps features Polar Glo Polarity Labels that glow in the dark, easy-to-use no-tangle cables, and tough, ergonomically-designed, extended-jaw clamps that lock in place on both top and side post batteries. Engineered for cold and warm climates Here’s what you need to know.
Jumper Cables Features
- 4-gauge, 20-foot, battery booster cables with unique, grooved, extended jaw, Polar Glow Clamps that lock in place on both top and side post batteries
- Heavy duty 4-gauge cables can handle most all consumer battery booster situations and their 20-foot length supports even back-to-front jump starts
- Ergonomic clamps are specially designed to be easily gripped by all hand strengths and sizes and feature triple-polarity identification that is color-coded, indent-stamped, and marked with glow-in-the-dark labels that are easier to identify during nighttime battery boosts
- Safety features include shielded energized clamp surfaces that prevent short circuits and recessed conductive clamp surfaces that prevent accidental contact
- T-Prene coated cables remain flexible down to -94 degrees F, are motor oil, rain, and chemical-resistant for dependable use, and are easy to store
- Made in USA
The perfect safety tool for your car, the Capri Tools Heavy-Duty 4-Gauge, 20-Foot Booster Cables with Storage Bag features heavy-duty, copper, PVC-coated clamps that securely fit both side and top post batteries Here’s what you need to know.
- Heavy-duty 4-gauge, 20-foot booster cables with copper, PVC-coated clamps that fit both top and side post batteries
- 4-gauge copper-plated aluminum wire cables can handle most booster situations and their 20-foot length gives you plenty of flexibility to accommodate most jump start vehicle arrangements
- Convenient storage bag
- 10-Year limited warranty
The Blackstone Heavy Duty 4-Gauge, 20-Foot Booster Cables in Carry Bag are just what you need to give your battery a boost in an emergency situation. These 200A jumper cables feature high-quality, durable, lightweight,copper-clad aluminum construction with superior shielding and PVC insulation that remains flexible down to -40 degrees F. Here’s what you need to know.
- 4-gauge, 200 Amps max, 20-foot, PVC-insulated jumper cables that remain flexible down to -40 degrees F
- Heavy-duty clamps have high-tension grips for secure attachment to battery posts
- Convenient mesh storage bag
With the length and current-carrying capability to handle just about any boosting situation, the Iron Forge Tools 4-Gauge, 20- Foot, 400 Amp Jumper Cables with Carry Bag feature easy-to-use, tangle-free cables designed to work in all weather conditions. They carry a limited lifetime replacement warranty for your peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know.
- 4-gauge, 400-Amp, 20-foot booster cables are designed for all-weather use
- Long 20-foot, color-coded, tangle-free cables have copper-clad aluminum cable construction for lightweight use, heavy-duty power-carrying capability, and more flexible vehicle location
- Handy carrying case
- Limited lifetime replacement warranty
The most popular and highly-rated booster cables out there and our personal favorite, the Cartman 4-Gauge, 20-Foot Booster Cables in Carry Bag features easy-to-use, no-tangle cables with T-Prene coating for flexibility in all weather and easy storage. Extra heavy-duty cables are the strongest consumer grade available. Its ergonomically-designed clamps are triple-polarity marked and can accommodate both top post and side post batteries. 20-foot length makes it easy to jump start vehicles in a variety of relative positions. Here’s what you need to know.
- Extra heavy-duty, 4-gauge, 400 Amp, 20-foot, tangle-free booster cables have durable and lightweight copper-clad aluminum construction
- Long 20-foot cables are T-Prene coated to remain flexible down to -40 degrees F, are easy to store, and are resistant to motor oil, moisture, and chemicals
- Ergonomically-designed, easy-to-use clamps are triple-polarity marked including color coding and UL indent stamped and can accommodate both top-post and side-post batteries
- Conducting surfaces are shielded for safety
- Convenient carrying case
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