The 5 Best Jump Starters of 2023 | Tested by GearLab
best for powering accessories
If a rugged portable power bank is your number one priority and fast start-ups are few and far between, the gooloo gp2000 will impress with its high-capacity lithium-ion battery and abundance of charging ports. This model comes with a 73WH lithium-ion battery capable of delivering up to 2000 peak amps when jumping out of a car. It wasn’t nearly as powerful to drive larger batteries in bigger trucks, but it had plenty of power to handle eight straight boosts in a 2.5-liter engine before needing another charge. However, where this model really stood out was in charging electronic devices through its USB ports. In testing, we found that using the 5V USB port, we were able to fully charge an iPhone up to 15 times without needing to plug in the power supply. 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 disappointed in its performance as a booster pack. it’s fully capable of bringing medium-sized batteries back to life, but it doesn’t have the taste of handling larger motors and higher cranking amps. however, due to the storage potential of its 73wh battery, this contender will hold a charge for quite some time, allowing you to charge your electronics wherever you go. For this reason, we nominate the gooloo gp2000 as the best option for powering accessories.
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why you should trust us
After researching over 50 different jump starters, we narrowed down our selection to the models found in this review. we chose to include units capable of delivering between 1000 and 2000 peak amps, although several brands offer higher output on other models. We put all models through a series of tests designed to identify the limits of their performance. They were put to power various battery sizes from a fleet of different vehicles, from a 650cc motorcycle to a 6.7L V8 diesel engine to a 454 horsepower inboard boat engine. We monitored voltage and current during boosts and, where possible, bypassed the battery entirely to see how many cold starts we could get out of each power pack. To be thorough, we examined models that had lithium-ion and sealed lead-acid batteries. each was subjected to the same testing metrics and scored accordingly.
- power performance (30% weighting of overall score)
- battery storage (30% weighting)
- crafts & durability (20% weight)
- Ease of use (15% weighting)
- versatility (15% weighting)
our kickstart review team consists of rob woodworth and ross patton. One of our longtime team members and lead tester, Ross is no stranger to off-roading, landing, and all things battery powered. With a formal education in environmental sciences from the University of Nevada, Reno, a knack for tech products, and a penchant for venturing into the unknown, he was the ideal choice to help tackle this review. Between the two of them, you can be sure that their combined knowledge and experience have produced a comprehensive and in-depth review of launchers. With extensive experience operating machinery and various types of motors, Rob has detailed knowledge of 12V systems and the batteries that power them. He is a certified Coast Guard Captain who performs routine maintenance on deep-cycle marine batteries and other sealed lead-acid batteries used to jump start heavy equipment. His working knowledge of battery performance is strengthened by his experience with off-grid solar power systems, which require more frequent and diligent maintenance. as such, his experience in 12v applications is deeper than the average commuter.
analysis and test results
we buy the best models available on the market for direct analysis of performance in the field. We chose to examine products that used sealed lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries to fully understand the functional capabilities of each type. We not only tested how quickly each competitor could revive a dead battery, but we also looked at the various features of each model, including USB power ports, AC adapters, and air compressors.
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 SUV or truck or any smaller vehicle and know you only need a battery pack for jump starts or phone charges, then there is no reason to invest in a higher performance model than the noco boost plus gb40 . If you’re the opposite and know you’ll be using your device frequently and may even want it to have 12 volt power capabilities in addition to a compressor, we think the dewalt dxaej14 is the way to go. Although it lacks a compressor, we believe the hulkman alpha85s is worth the investment considering all its capabilities and its very high performance, including being powered by a 12 volt compressor. If you want an affordable jump starter that still gets the job done, look no further than the gooloo 1200a.
in this metric, we consider the power output of each model when used to drive a 12v battery. Electrical current is measured using amps or amps, usually distinguished by the “peak amp” rating of each unit.
However, a jump starter that is rated for 1000 max amps will not necessarily run at 1000 amps under various loads. therefore, we sought to test how well each contender held up to various different boost scenarios.
At the top of the pack, the hulkman alpha85s displayed as high a maximum amperage output as we’ve ever seen, but also a much higher voltage output than the competition in jump start mode. If you need a larger engine that starts right out of the box, this is the one.
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the noco boost hd gb70, gooloo 1200, topvision power pack and the noco boost plus gb40 they were among the highest-rated lithium-ion units in this category. All four of these devices have maximum amperage ratings of over 1000A, giving them enough current to drive motors up to seven liters. Time and time again these jump starters could provide adequate power to a range of 12v batteries with different cranking amps. By design, lithium-ion jump starters excel at delivering rapid pulses of power rather than sustained current.
in contrast, dewalt dxaej14, clore automotive jnc660 and stanley j5c09 provide a constant current when connected to the battery terminals . jump starters can deliver three boosts on a full charge, although manufacturers recommend charging after each use. This is because these models use SLA batteries, which discharge more quickly than Lithium Ion batteries. however, this does not mean that they provide inferior boost; in fact, we find them fully capable of reviving even larger diesel and deep-cycle marine batteries. Among the SLA types, we liked the Stanley J5C09 the least as it delivered slightly less current under load in our tests.
To assess battery storage, we look at several different factors. First, we looked at manufacturers’ watt-hour claims. Next, using the right tools, we were able to look at the power used when charging the batteries and motors. Finally, we connected the jump starters to a 12 volt portable compressor to calculate how long each battery would last.
The hulkman alpha85s was easily the best model for this review, lasting longer than any of the competition. If battery strength is on your mind, this is the one.
Through repeated use and testing, we found the gooloo 2000 to have commendable battery storage, clocking in at an impressive 80wh. other finalists included the topvision power pack and tacklife t8, each producing over 70wh, enough to charge most mobile phones eight to ten times. Like the gooloo 2000, the gooloo 1200 was capable of sustaining an impressive charge, although it was not capable of repeatedly reviving large engines. When comparing boost capability, the noco boost hd gb70 provided just as many or more jumps compared to competitors. however, it comes with a slightly lower 54wh compared to other lithium-ion battery packs.
If you’re just looking for a jump starter that provides one or maybe two jump starters per charge, go for the noco boost plus gb40. This device doesn’t have the super long life of the larger models and it doesn’t 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 li models. Simply put, sealed batteries are designed to deliver larger currents for short periods and don’t excel in long-term watt draw. But they do have enough power to power 12v accessories for a few hours, the dewalt dxaej14 and stanley j5c09 even have usb ports to charge a couple of mobile devices.
crafts & durability
For this part of our review, we took a close look at the construction of each model. Some of these gadgets are designed to be stored in a center console or glove box, while others are meant to be kicked around in the back of a work van or tucked into the corner of a store. We looked at waterproof ratings, durability of switches and controls, cord length, and the overall feel of the devices.
If you want a robust lithium-ion jump starter without limits, you’ll want the noco boost hd gb70. The cables are permanently attached, so unlike most other models of this style, the moment you need a jump, you can plug in and go.
The noco boost hd gb70 features rugged materials, heavy-gauge cables, and extremely secure port covers, it’s clear that every little detail was considered with durability in mind. The tacklife t8 pro was another high-quality power pack that used durable materials and a very secure carrying case that is also fire and water resistant.
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The designers of the hulkman alpha85s thought of including a red emergency color in the flashlight function. We really appreciate this infrequently used feature that could make all the difference in the world in certain scenarios.
Although not the most elegant, the clore automotive jnc660 was possibly the most indestructible sla jump starter with welder-friendly cord and no extra parts to break. the dewalt and stanley models had more functional components that could fail and additional parts that would quickly be lost if not stored somewhere. among the models with the lowest score are the topvision power pack and the gooloo 2000. these models used thin plastic and cables, featured poor coverage on their power ports, and generally gave us the impression that they were bargain, no-brand alternatives to more reputable units. however, if you’re looking for a budget name-brand option that’s still well-built, we were impressed with the craftsmanship of the gooloo 1200.
ease of use
When rating ease of use, we award points to features that improve the user experience. similarly, points were deducted if we found the interface confusing or inefficient.
The top performing device for this metric is the hulkman alpha85s. To hook up a battery, all you have to do is plug in the connections, turn it on, and a big green “ready” indicator lets you know when you’re ready to start the vehicle.
the clore automotive jnc660 was one of the simplest and most user-friendly models in our test. Just plug it into your battery and you’re ready to go. other models, like the noco boost hd gb70 and tacklife t8 pro, were simple to apply, but came standard with certain safety features that can have a learning curve .
the dewalt dxaej14 and topvision power pack were less intuitive and required us to consult manuals for proper use. Also, both models tended to drain the battery if we didn’t turn them off, since they lacked the auto-off feature that other models came equipped with.
Are you looking for just a good start? Or are you looking for more features in your search for the best unit? In this metric, we take a look at a couple of factors. First, do you do your 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 on this metric than those with a simple feature.
The dewalt dxaej14 has an impressive list of features, including a 120 psi air compressor with a pressure gauge, multiple power ports, work lights, and even an alternator tester, making it easy to use. makes it an excellent choice for those who need a power pack that does it all at home or in the workplace.
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 as well as boost a vehicle and provides more than one way to recharge the unit when it runs low. 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 cable.
We hope this review has shed light on your search for the perfect jump starter. In a market flooded with consumer electronics, we value the opportunity to help you narrow down your choices to choose the model that best meets your needs. Anyone can discharge their car battery, and we hope our tests can help make sure you’ll never run out of power on the side of the road, in the woods, or wherever adventure finds you.
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