Compact jump starters / power banks can be easily stored and comes in handy as instant roadside assistance. They can also be used as a power bank for charging devices such as phones, tablets and toys on your family or friend roadtrip. Here’s a collection of the most power bank car boosters of 2018.
Our first handpick is this DBPower 1200. It is a compact 1200A jump starter & power bank that will boost your car up to 20 times. It takes care of up to 6.5l (diesel) / 5.2l (petrol) engines. It has protection against reverse polarity, short-circuiting and over-charging and comes with two USB ports, making it a great companion for long road trips. The product has a high review rating average and is appreciated for high build quality, sleek design, usability and the practical battery level indicator on the small screen.
DBPOWER 600A 18000mAh
DBPower also makes this smaller and more affordable medium-range 600A jumpstarter. The 600A will kickstart smaller and medium engines up to 2.5l. and has 2 USB port, battery indicator and a very small flashlight. It will suffice if you have a smaller car and need a very compact and light powerbank as your road trip companion. It has very high average rating because of high build quality.
Beatit 800A 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter
The Beatit powerbank / jump starter has 800 peak Amps and holds 18000 mAh. It will jump starts up to 7.0L gas or 5.5L diesel engines up to 30 times. It comes with heavy duty clamps and cables, has all the good stuff like flashlight, dual USB and a small screen. Beatit products are highly praised by buyers and also comes in a smaller 600A.
Brightech SCORPION 400A Jump Starter / Power Bank
The Brightech Scorpion is a 400A powerbank & jumpstarter to be used on smaller vehicles with up to 3.0l petrol 2.5l diesel engines. It has dual USB port, flashlight, battery indicator and comes highly reviewed from buyers. It comes in blue, green, red or black and is delivered in a handy case. The manufacturer also promises a 3 year limited warranty.
Rugged Geek RG1000 Portable Car Jump Starter, INTELLIBOOST Smart Cables
This Rugged Geek 1000A powerbank is a high-capacity powerbank and jumpstarter for any car or truck. Rugged Geeks have special “Intelliboost” jumper cables with dual power tips and 8 gauge cables. The unit has LED light (steady and strobe) and 2 USB ports as well as a designated laptop 15A power port on top of the digital display. It is delivered and stored in a soft pouch. Users love the high capacity and build quality, as well as the ease of use.
Bonus: NOCO Genius
These are not really phone-charging portable powerbanks per se, we still need to mention NOCO Genius Jump starters. This is a prograde jumpstarter that will never fail you, used by professional roadside assisters. It charges fast, and can jump start any dead 12/24A battery, repair damaged ones, power DC devices and even be used with other electrical systems. NOCO Geniuis also comes in versions like the GB20 (400A), GB40 (1000A) and GB50 (1500A).
How to pick the right jump starter / power bank
Here are some of the most important things to look for when choosing your next jump starter / power bank.
#1 thing to look for: Peak amps: The Ampere designation on a jump starter will tell you the peak current it produces. The compact ones come in ranges from 300-1200A, larger ones have peak current up to 2000A. For most sedan and family cars 300-600A will be sufficient.
Rule of thumb: 300A peak amps will jumpstart a 2l engine, 1200A a 6 liter engine.
Peak amps is the most important thing to look for in a jump starter.
Engine size: Most car boosters will specify the engine size they can maximally jump start. Make sure the engine of your own car is within that range. Most compact jump starters will kick an 6.5l diesel / 5.2l petrol engine up and running. The engine size a power bank will kickstart is directly proportional to the peak amps of the jump starter, but good wires, connectors and electronics also make a difference.
Battery capacity is measured in hours such as “8000 mAh”. This designates the capacity of the battery (how much is holds) and will determine the number of times you can use it to jump start the car – or how many drained phones you can charge with it.
Charge time: Read specifications and read reviews to learn about the true charge time of the power bank from empty to full. Jump starters with USB 3.0 will quick-charge in 2-3 hours, others take up to 6-8 hours.
Heavy-duty cables / clamps: Some of the smaller powerbanks has flimsy and plastic-y cables and clamps. These parts will quickly overheat and break if you use the jumpstarter frequently. Read reviews to make sure it’s not an issue with the product you choose.
Build quality: Look for negative reviews to learn about build quality.
Safety: Since jump starters contain a lot of power, good safety features are important. Typical safety features are protection against reverse polarity, over-current and short-circuiting. Most powerbanks are also protected against over-charging and over-heating.
Battery level indicator: Make sure the battery pack has a readable battery level indicator. You don’t want to be in a situation on the read where the power bank doesn’t work because you didn’t notice it was drained.
Integrated flashlight: Most jump starters have an integrated flashlight, but check the specs just to make sure. It’s extremely useful if you need to use it at night in a dark engine compartment. Some flash lights also have a strobe function to be used as a warning light in front of your car.
Number of USB ports: It quickly becomes practical if the jump starter has more than 1 USB output. Make sure you buy one with a number that suits your needs. For a family trip, you will most likely appreciate 2 or more.
Storage bag / case: Make sure the power bank comes with a good storage bag that holds accessories like starter cables, USB cables for charging, various connectors, clamps etc.
Manufacturer warranty: In case the power bank dies, you will appreciate having chosen a product with a warranty against problems or defects. Most products give a 2-3 year limited warranty. Also check negative reviews to see how customer service handles issues.
Family-style or pro-grade: Most powerbanks are portable and family-friendly. Some however are pro-grade and can handle multiple battery types and connect to other electric systems, like the Nocos.