Drive Better: What to Look for in a Jump Starter Pack for Your Car

Never get stuck with a dead battery again!

Close up of a jump starter
Give yourself a jump.Pixabay

There’s nothing worse than turning your key in the ignition and hearing...nothing. A little jump-starter pack, kept in the glove box or your trunk, can save you, though. You can recharge your own car battery without asking for help or waiting for AAA.

NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12-Volt Ultra Safe Portable Lithium Car Battery Jump Starter Pack For Up To 6-Liter Gasoline And 3-Liter Diesel Engines
Charge this kit directly from your cigarette lighter outlet; it can be used up to 20 times on a single charge.NOCO

The old style of jumper cables require another car—and another person—to work: attach one end of the cables to a working battery and the other to your dead battery to jolt your car back to life. But you’re not always near other people, and those are the exact times when you don’t want to be stranded with a lifeless car. A battery jump starter needs no other car, and no other person. Make sure it’s charged ahead of time and drive around with the knowledge that you’ll never be stuck.

Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC660 1700 Peak Amp 12 Volt Jump Starter
This pack is essentially a battery inside a case, and you can actually swap out the internal battery if it dies, giving it a nearly unlimited life.Clore Automotive

Jump starter packs these days also include a lot of welcome bonuses. Some have bright LED lights, which can make hooking up the cables in the dark much easier. They often have USB or even AC outlets, enabling them to charge phones, tablets, computers or other gadgets on the go. And you can often recharge these packs via USB themselves, in the car via the cigarette lighter outlet.

HALO Bolt 58830 mWh Portable Phone Laptop Charger Car Jump Starter with AC Outlet and Car Charger - Rose Gold
This device can power more than your car—plug in phones, tablets and even laptops. It can handle up to three devices at once.HALO

In general, you should keep these portable jump chargers in your car at all times. Recharge them fully after each use, or once a month if you haven’t used them—these devices do lose a little bit of power while stored.