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Looking for a jump? We researched 50 of the best jump starters available today before purchasing 10 to test side-by-side. We took an in-depth look at the performance of each option, utilizing load testers, multimeters, and clamp meters. Using these tools, we were able to assess power performance, functionality, and battery storage. We spent hours in our at-home lab looking at voltage and amperage in real-time while charging different batteries and engines. After collecting the data, we compare each product to give you an in-depth overview, finding unique uses and caveats for the models that stand out; all to help you in your buying decisions.
We put a variety of car and auto categories to the test, via our series of side-by-side comparisons. As a result, we bring to you a collection of handpicked and complete reviews. We've extensively analyzed products like dash cams, radar detectors and car chargers. And make sure to check out our top-picks review of best tools, which includes kit for your car as well.
Editor's Note: This review was updated on May 17, 2022. We've included more detail about our testing process and have also included new models, like the HULKMAN Alpha 85S and the NOCO Boost Plus GB40 — both are new award winners.
If you're the type who demands high-performance with lots of accessories wrapped up in a sleek design, we recommend the HULKMAN Alpha85S. During our power assessment, this model produced a higher voltage than any other jump starter in our review. Not only did the battery last much longer than the others, but the Alpha85S was also the quickest to charge. We love the design — a large digital display tells you the exact percentage of battery you have to work with rather than an LED meter that keeps you guessing and hoping. The integrated flashlight is bright, and the shape of this model easily slips under a seat or into a door panel. The Alpha85S has many configurations. It can be charged either by a USB or with the included power cord, it can charge USB devices, it can be charged by a 12-volt car outlet, or it can charge 12-volt car outlet devices.
With all of these bells and whistles, we were a bit surprised that the HULKMAN Alpha85S didn't include, at least, a simple pouch to keep all of the cords and adapters together. Also as far as lithium-ion-powered jump starters of this type go, this model is quite a bit larger than some of the competition. The Alpha85S is much smaller than any sealed lead acid battery jump starter, but other lithium-ion models are small enough to fit in a center console or a glove box. There's no getting around the fact that the Alpha85S is on the pricey side. Despite this shortlist of drawbacks, this model is the ultimate choice for stellar performance and cutting-edge technology.
Don't let the compact size of the GOOLOO 1200A Peak fool you. This unit is a small but mighty contender in the lineup — it delivers 1,200 peak amps while weighing in at just over one pound. It also happens to be one of the most affordable jump starters we tested. Beyond jump-starting, it also features two USB charging ports, a DC power outlet with a lighter adapter, and a small LED flashlight with several modes. The USB charge ports are 5V and a Smart charging port that will bump to 9V for rapid charging on compatible devices. The 66.6Wh lithium-ion battery can provide numerous boosts to a deep-cycle SLA or up to three iPhone charges before becoming fully depleted. In our testing, this unit was capable of jumping a 6.5-liter diesel engine, exceeding the manufacturer's suggested limit.
Though it isn't the flashiest option out there, the GOOLOO 1200A jump starter is just as capable as many of the high-end models. It lacks some of the build quality of pricier brands, but it delivers on performance. The clamps and cables are a little small and aren't the burliest build, but we do appreciate that overall, the kit takes up minimal space in our vehicle. The provided case won't stand up to the rigors of life in an auto shop but keeps the cables and battery neat and tidy in your car. Because of its reliable performance across the board at a fraction of the cost of other models, this is an excellent option for those seeking an affordable model that still has some oomph.
For an all-in-one home shop power station, the Dewalt DXAEJ14 delivers a range of features that do more than just jumpstart dead batteries. Need to air up your tires? Check your alternator? Charge your cell phone? We appreciated that the Dewalt proves useful even when we aren't testing jump start capability. The 120 PSI air compressor is a particularly nice feature. The LCD screen allows us to set the desired PSI and fill our tires to our preferred specification. In addition to supplying 1400 peak amps of potential current, it can also power accessories via its dual USB ports and 12V DC charging port. Though it isn't light and portable like some lithium-ion models, this unit can boost larger engines more effectively with enough power left to then charge your devices or inflate a tire.
It could be considered a nuisance that compared to the lithium-ion models, which can provide multiple jumps on one charge, you must recharge this unit after every jump. It's also important with the sealed lead-acid batteries like the Dewalt that you charge it regularly. Dewalt recommends plugging it in to top off at least once a month. However, the Dewalt DXAEJ14 outperforms the competition with a large-capacity 21 amp-hour battery compared to other SLA models. That power performance, coupled with its versatility (and its 35-pound weight), makes it a favorite for around the house and shop use.
If you have limited space in your vehicle or don't want a big, bulky jump starter taking up a bunch of room we'd highly recommend the NOCO Boost Plus GB40. This powerful little device is tiny in comparison to much of the competition, yet it has proven to be able to start every vehicle that we've tested it with. Many jump starters require that you wait for several minutes for the power to "trickle down" before you start your vehicle. With the GB40, you can enable "Boost Mode" which delivers a quick burst of power to your battery so that, in many cases, you can start it immediately. For those that have a tendency to be rough on their gear, this model has a certified IP65 waterproof rating. Although you can't exactly go swimming with it, a little bit of rainwater and dust is no problem.
If you're looking for versatility, the NOCO Boost Plus GB40 falls short. This model can jump start a car battery and charge USB devices, but that's it. Also, the only way to charge it is with a USB cable, and if you'd like to charge it indoors, a wall cube is not included. At 1000 peak amps, the GB40 is not the best choice for larger engines. On that note, the smaller size equates to a shorter battery life, so if you go with this model be sure to keep up on your intermittent charging. Although we found some flaws, we are still thoroughly impressed with the overall performance of the NOCO GB40, especially considering its impressively compact size.
High-capacity battery with lots of charge potential
High-rated peak amps (2000)
Seventy-three watt-hour battery
Options to power accessories via USB or 12V DC
REASONS TO AVOID
Struggles on bigger engines
Clunky carrying case
12V AC car adapter sold separately
If a robust portable power bank is your number one priority and jump starts are few and far between, the GOOLOO GP2000 will impress with its high capacity lithium-ion battery and abundance of charge ports. This model comes with a 73Wh lithium-ion battery capable of delivering up to 2000 peak amps when jumping a car. It wasn't as powerful for boosting larger batteries on bigger trucks but had plenty of juice to handle eight consecutive boosts on a 2.5-liter engine before needing another charge. Where this model really excelled, though, was in charging electronics via its USB ports. In testing, we found that when using the 5V USB port, we could fully charge an iPhone up to 15 times without needing to plug in the power pack. A USB-C port for input/output was a nice feature that added to the charging versatility of this unit.
While it's great for powering accessories on the go, we were a little underwhelmed by how it performed as a booster pack. It is fully capable of bringing mid-size batteries back to life but doesn't quite have the gusto to manage larger engines and higher cranking amps. However, due to the storage potential of its 73Wh battery, this contender will hold a charge for quite a while, allowing you to charge your electronics wherever you go. Because of this, we nominated the GOOLOO 2000 as the best option for powering accessories.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our jump starter review team is comprised of Rob Woodworth and Ross Patton. One of our veteran team members and primary tester, Ross is no stranger to offroading, overlanding, and all things battery-powered. With a formal education in Environmental Science from the University of Nevada, Reno, a knack for techy products, and a tendency to venture off into the great unknown, he was the ideal choice to help Rob tackle this review. Between the two of them, you can rest assured knowing that their combined knowledge and experience has produced a thorough and in-depth jump starter review. With extensive experience operating machinery and various engine types, Rob, has a nuanced understanding of 12V systems and the batteries that power them. He is a Coast Guard Certified Captain who routinely maintains deep-cycle marine batteries and other sealed lead-acid batteries used to start heavy equipment. His practical knowledge of battery performance is fortified by his experience in off-grid solar power systems, which require more frequent and diligent maintenance. As such, his background in 12V applications is deeper than that of your average commuter.
After researching more than 50 different jump starters, we narrowed our selection down to the models found in this review. We chose to include units capable of delivering anywhere from 1000 to 2000 peak amps, though several brands offer a higher output in other models. We ran all the models through a series of tests designed to identify the limits of their performance. They were subjected to boosting various battery sizes from a fleet of different vehicles, ranging from a 650cc motorcycle to a 6.7L V8 diesel to a 454 horsepower inboard boat engine. We monitored voltage and current during boosts and, when possible, would bypass the battery altogether to see how many cold-starts we could get out of each power pack. To be comprehensive, we examined models that had both lithium-ion and sealed lead-acid battery types. Each was subjected to the same testing metrics and scored accordingly.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased the best models available on the market for a head-to-head analysis of performance in the field. We chose to examine products that utilized both sealed lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries to comprehensively understand each type's functional capabilities. Not only did we test how quickly each contender could revive a dead battery, but we also examined the various features of each model, including USB power ports, AC adapters, and air compressors.
Sealed Lead Acid vs. Lithium-Ion Batteries
Both sealed lead-acid (SLA) and lithium-ion (LI) batteries have distinct strengths, though you may prefer one type over the other depending on your needs. The most obvious distinction between the two is their weight; SLA's are much heavier and considerably larger than LI's. Additionally, LI batteries generally offer greater power per ounce and can hold more watt-hours of potential energy. SLA's are cheap, long-lasting, and reliable, but only if properly maintained. They will require a charge after each jump, whereas LI jump starters can provide consecutive jumps without a recharge. SLA batteries will also drain over time, whereas LI packs will hold their power longer.
The amount of money you plan to spend on a jump starter should ultimately be determined by your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you have a compact truck or SUV or any vehicle smaller than that and you know that you only want a battery pack for emergency jump starts or phone charges then there's no reason to invest in a higher-performance model than the NOCO Boost Plus GB40. If you are the opposite and you know that you will be using your device often and you may even want it to have 12 volt power capabilities as well as a compressor, we think the Dewalt DXAEJ14 is the way to go. Although it lacks a compressor, we think the HULKMAN Alpha85S is well worth the investment considering all of its capabilities and its ultra high performance — including powering a 12 volt compressor. If you want an an affordable jump starter that still gets the job done, look no further than the GOOLOO 1200A.
In this metric, we considered the energy output of each model when used to boost a 12V battery. Electrical current is measured using amperes or amps, usually distinguished by each unit's "peak amps" rating.
However, a jump starter that is rated to 1000 peak amps won't necessarily perform at 1000 amps under various loads. Thusly, we sought to test how well each contender held up to several different boosting scenarios.
At the top of the pack, the HULKMAN Alpha85S showed as high of a maximum amperage output as we've seen, but also a much higher voltage output than the competition in Force Start mode. If you need a larger engine started immediately, this is the one.
The NOCO Boost HD GB70, GOOLOO 1200, TopVision Power Pack, and the NOCO Boost Plus GB40 were among the highest-rated lithium-ion units in this category. All four of these devices have peak amp ratings over 1000A, giving them enough current to boost engines as large as seven liters. Time and time again, these jump starters could deliver adequate power to a range of 12V batteries with differing cranking amps. By design, lithium-ion jump starters exceed at delivering quick pulses of energy rather than sustained current.
By contrast, the Dewalt DXAEJ14, Clore Automotive JNC660, and Stanley J5C09 deliver a constant current when hooked up to your battery terminals. The jump starters can deliver three boosts at a full charge, although the manufacturers recommend charging after each use. This is because these models utilize SLA batteries, which discharge more rapidly than lithium-ion batteries. However, this does not mean they deliver an inferior boost; in fact, we found them fully capable of reviving even larger diesel and deep-cycle marine batteries. Among the SLA types, we were less fond of the Stanley J5C09 as it delivered slightly less current under load in our tests.
To evaluate battery storage, we looked at several different factors. First of all, we examined manufacturers' claims in regard to watt-hours. Next, using the proper tools, we were able to look at the wattage used while charging batteries and engines. Finally, we connected the jump starters to a 12 volt portable compressor to time how long each battery would last.
Occasionally, manufacturers will list milliamps-hour (mAh) or amps hour (Ah), but this is an inaccurate measurement unless you factor in the voltage that you are requiring. So we designed our tests to examine watt-hours, not amp-hours, to reflect battery storage potential across various voltages.
The HULKMAN Alpha85S was easily the top model for this assessment, lasting longer than any of the competition. If battery fortitude is on your mind, this is the one.
Through repeated use and testing, we found that the GOOLOO 2000 has commendable battery storage, clocking in an impressive 80Wh. Other runners-up included the TopVision Power Pack and the TackLife T8, each producing more than 70Wh, enough to charge most cell phones eight to ten times. Similar to the GOOLOO 2000, the GOOLOO 1200 was capable of holding an impressive charge—though it wasn't capable of reviving large engines repeatedly. When comparing boost ability, the NOCO Boost HD GB70 provided as many or more jumps when compared to competitors. However, it comes with a slightly lower 54Wh when compared to other lithium-ion battery packs.
If you are only looking for a jump starter that provides one or maybe two emergency jumps per charge, go with the NOCO Boost Plus GB40. This device does not have the super long-lasting life of the larger models and it does not have the high amperage required to start a massive diesel truck but for most people, it gets the job done.
SLA jump starters like the Clore Automotive JNC660 have much lower watt-hour ratings than the LI models. Simply put, sealed batteries are designed to provide larger currents for short periods and don't excel at long-term wattage draw. But they do have enough juice to power 12V accessories for a few hours, the Dewalt DXAEJ14 and Stanley J5C09 even have USB ports to get a couple of charges on mobile devices.
Craftsmanship & Durability
For this part of our review, we looked closely at the construction of each model. Some of these devices are designed to be stored in a center console or a glove compartment while some of them are meant to get kicked around the back of a work truck or stuffed into the corner of a shop. We looked at waterproof ratings, switch and control durability, cable length, and the overall feel of the devices.
If you want a beefy, no-holds barred lithium-ion-powered jump starter, you're gonna want the NOCO Boost HD GB70. The cables are permanently attached, so unlike most other models of this style, the second you need a jump you can hook up and get going.
The NOCO Boost HD GB70 has hard-wearing materials, heavy gauge cables, and extremely secure port covers, it is clear that every little detail was considered with durability in mind. The TackLife T8 Pro was another high-quality power pack, using durable materials and a very secure carrying case that is also fire and water-resistant.
The designers of the HULKMAN Alpha85S thought to include an emergency red color into the flashlight function. We very much appreciate this seldom used feature that could make all of the difference in the world in certain scenarios.
Though it isn't the fanciest, the Clore Automotive JNC660 was arguably the most indestructible SLA-type jump starter with welders grade cable and no extra bits to get broken. The Dewalt and Stanley models had more working components that could potentially fail and extra pieces that would quickly get lost if not stored somewhere. Among the lowest-scoring models were the TopVision Power Pack and the GOOLOO 2000. These models used thin plastic and cables, featured poor coverage on their power ports, and overall gave us the impression that they were off-brand bargain alternatives to more reputable units. Though, if you're looking for a bargain brand option that is still well-built, we were impressed with the GOOLOO 1200 craftsmanship.
Ease of Use
When rating ease of use, we gave out points for features that improved the user experience. Similarly, points were deducted if we found the interface to be confusing or inefficient.
The highest performing device for this metric is the HULKMAN Alpha85S. In order to jump a battery all you have to do is hook the connections up, turn it on, and a big green "READY" indicator lets you know when you're good to start the vehicle.
The Clore Automotive JNC660 was one of the most simple and easy-to-use models in our test. Simply connect to your battery, and you're good to go. Other models like the NOCO Boost HD GB70 and the TackLife T8 Pro were straightforward in application but came standard with certain safety features that may have a learning curve.
The Dewalt DXAEJ14 and TopVision Power Pack were less intuitive and required that we consult the manuals for proper use. Furthermore, both models tended to drain the battery if we neglected to power them down, lacking the auto-off feature that other models came equipped with.
Are you only looking to get a jump start? Or do you look for more features in your quest for the best unit? In this metric, we take a look at a couple of factors. First, does it do its job? Second, how many fancy features does it bring to the table? Models that offer more choices and options for everyday use around the house, do better in this metric than those with a simple function.
The Dewalt DXAEJ14 has an impressive list of features, including a 120 PSI air compressor with pressure gauge, multiple power ports, working lights, and even an alternator tester, making it a great option for those who need a do-it-all power pack at home or on the job site.
For most users, models like the HULKMAN Alpha85S or NOCO Boost Plus GB40 will provide more than enough versatility, allowing you to charge a variety of devices in addition to boosting a vehicle and providing more than one way to recharge the unit when depleted. The least versatile workhorse in our test was the Clore Automotive JNC660, which has no USB ports and can only be charged via an extension cord.
We hope that this review has brought light to your search for the perfect jump starter. In a market flooded with consumer electronics, we value the opportunity to help you narrow the options in picking a model that will work best for your needs. A dead car battery can happen to anyone, and we hope that our testing can help you remain assured that you'll never be stuck without power on the side of the road, out in the woods, or wherever adventure may find you.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.