As seen in:
Clore Automotive
1700-Amp
Clore Automotive
Jump-N-Carry
Stanley
Jumpit
PowerAll
Portable
Schumacher
Instant Power
Check Price
Check Price
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Good

A dependable device with a good reputation. High amp output (1,700). Long cord.

Heavy-duty clamps and 900 peak amps. Inexpensive. Includes a detachable flashlight.

Includes a non-detachable LED light and warning system for incorrect wire connections.

Extremely light and portable. Includes plenty of helpful features, including the ability to charge accessories.

Successfully starts most cars and trucks. Includes a compressor for tire inflation.

Bad

Low on extra features.

Low on extra features.

Built-in cable storage can be tedious. Not always able to charge V6 engines.

No carrying case. Feedback protection is not always effective.

Heavier/bulkier than some competitors. Occasional complaints about air compressor effectiveness.

Bottom Line

A reliable, heavy-duty jump starter of the highest quality and effectiveness. The best on the market.

A simplistic, inexpensive jump starter that's surprisingly robust for its lightweight class. The best bargain-priced device.

Similar in price to our Best Bang candidate, this product has many strengths and a few known flaws.

Designed for occasional emergencies, this affordable jump starter is also a versatile charging unit.

A multi-functional power delivery system with occasional performance issues.

How we decide
BestReviews is committed to providing comprehensive and trusted reviews for products that matter to consumers. We do the research to help you save time and money.
0
Products received from manufacturers
102
Models Considered
37
Hours Spent
1
Experts Interviewed
172
Consumers Consulted

Best Jump Starters

There are a number of gadgets on the market that could be considered “jump starters.” Our shortlist does not include those that take five or ten minutes to trickle a charge into your battery. These solutions are certainly cheap, most people don't want to wait that long! The top five jump starters on our shortlist do their job straight away – no waiting. On top of that, they include a range of additional features. Our review will help you determine exactly which product is right for you.

Products we Considered

Clore Automotive
1700-Amp
Clore Automotive
Jump-N-Carry
Stanley
Jumpit
PowerAll
Portable
Schumacher
Instant Power

Considerations

Power & Portability

Jump starter manufacturer quote all kinds of facts and figures. We look at what these stats mean in relation to starting your vehicle. We also look at how portable these devices really are.

Features

From flashlights and charge indicators to tire inflaters and USB ports, today's jump starters offer all kinds of useful extras. In this section of our review, we look at the features each manufacturer includes.

Ease of Use & Performance

Just how good are these portable jump starters? And how do they stand up over time? In this part of our ratings, we combine our research with owner feedback to give you the answers.

Price

Cost is always an important consideration, but in this section, we don't just look at price. We also assess each model's overall value and any particular benefits that give it an edge over its rivals.

Considerations

Power & Portability

Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12V Jump Starter

Most portable jump starters quote two amp figures: “overall” and “cranking.” The first figure is useful for power comparison; the second is actually a measure of the amps it puts out at 32 degrees Fahrenheit / 0 degrees Celcius – the freezing point of water. This may seem like an odd thing to measure, but it actually serves as a good guide to whether a particular model is suitable for your vehicle. Batteries have a Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) figure. For example, if your battery's CCA is 200 amps and the jump starter you're looking at delivers 225 amps, you're good to go. The Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL features 225 amps. It's a 12-volt device with 900 amps peak. It weighs only nine pounds and has a nice chunky handle which makes it easy to move around. Its 27-inch cables wrap neatly around its body, and there are molded tabs on the side to keep the clamps tidy.

Stanley J509 1000 Peak Amp Jump Starter

Peak output from the 12-volt Stanley J509 jump starter is similar to the Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL at 1,000 amps. Its cranking amps are considerably higher at a claimed 500. (It's important to note that numbers alone don't tell the whole story; we'll cover that notion in more depth later on in these ratings.) The Stanley is light (about five pounds) and has a nicely styled handle that makes it easy to carry. Cable storage is built in, but it can be a bit tedious to store them; some owners say they soon got fed up with the process and let the cables hang loose.

PowerAll PBJS12000R Rosso Red/Black Portable Power Bank

The PowerAll PBJS12000R jump starter is a very different device from the usual portable power source. The manufacturer doesn't quote peak and cranking amps or voltage; it simply states that the Power All produces 400 “Jump Start Amps.” This product is different in terms of portability, too. At just 6.5 x 2.9 x 1.2 inches and one pound, it will easily fit in your glove box! However, there are a number of different cables and connectors that go with this jump starter, and several owners were disappointed that it doesn't come with its own carrying case.

Schumacher XP2260 1200 Peak Amp Instant Portable Power Source

A figure of 1,200 amps is given as the peak output for the 12-volt Schumacher XP2260 Portable Power Source. Cold crank amps (measured at 32 degrees Fahrenheit) are 185, but few competitors quote that figure. Most quote amps delivered in ordinary engine starting situations. Schumacher is even more precise, quoting 300 amps for a five-second burst and 225 amps for 30 seconds. The unit is fairly substantial at 24 pounds. Some consumers find this bulk to be quite inconvenient. Like the Stanley, the Schumacher's cable storage is also a bit messy.

Jump-N-Carry JNC660 1700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter

With a peak output of 1,700 amps, the 12-volt Jump-N-Carry JNC660 is the most powerful jump starter in our review by some margin. (This is true even though cranking amps, at 425, are lower than those claimed by the Stanley.) It's a purposeful, professional-looking unit. With a cable wrap and clip storage that's as neat and simple as anything on the market, the manufacturer has clearly thought out the details. At 18 pounds, it's certainly no lightweight, but the heavier weight reflects the heavy-duty nature of this model.

With a peak output of 1,700 amps, the 12-volt Jump-N-Carry JNC660 is the most powerful jump starter in our review by some margin.
Considerations

Features

Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12V Jump Starter

Some of the devices on our shortlist have lots of bells & whistles; others are more simplistic. The Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL jump starter falls into the latter category. It has one job, and it does that job very well. The device does include a built-in, detachable flashlight that's not particularly powerful (but it's enough to see under your hood in the dark). This Jump-N-Carry also includes a charge indicator and a 12-volt DC outlet so you can plug in the appropriate accessories.

Like the Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL, the Stanley J509 jump starter includes a built-in flashlight. This LED light is not detachable, but it will rotate up to 270 degrees. A charge indicator and 12-volt DC power outlet are also included, in addition to several other features. These features include a useful polarity alarm that warns you if you attempt to connect the clamps incorrectly and 120-volt AC and USB charging points.

PowerAll PBJS12000R Rosso Red/Black Portable Power Bank

The PowerAll PBJS12000R is quite a different gadget from most jump starters. As the name suggests, it is designed to “power all.” A flashlight with three modes (“ultrabright,” “strobe,” and “SOS”) is included. On full charge, the manufacturer claims that the PowerAll flashlight will run for 120 hours! (Note: using the starter to power other devices at the same time will reduce this.) Also included are an armload of different ports and cables that are useful for everything from jump starting your vehicle to charging your cell phone. Finally, there are two USB charging ports and both AC and DC charging points. Given how small the PowerAll is, this is quite a remarkable selection of features indeed!

You might call the Schumacher XP2260 a “dual function” machine in that it's not just a jump starter and charger – it also includes a compressor that allows you to inflate tires. There's a top-mounted work light, a charge indicator, and a LED display for battery status. For charging other devices or powering a variety of accessories, you have plenty of options: there are two DC outlets, two AC outlets, and the almost obligatory USB port.

Jump-N-Carry JNC660 1700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter

It's probably no surprise that the bigger Jump-N-Carry on our shortlist, the JNC660 jump starter, functions in much the same way as its little brother, the JNC300XL. This model is actually more basic; it doesn't even have a light! It does have a 12-volt DC accessory outlet and a charge meter (probably the most accurate of the machines in our review), but that's all. Nevertheless, this truly is a professional-grade model.

The Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL has one job, and it does that job very well.
Dale
Expert Consultant
Dale
Automotive Super-User

Dale brings over 40 years of automotive industry experience to the BestReviews table. An avid DIY guy, he has worked with, rebuilt, and led maintenance on a variety of vehicles. He’s also well-versed in fleet management and operation. Dale’s past experiences include distinguished service as an officer in the US Army.

Considerations

Ease of Use & Performance

Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12V Jump Starter

One way to assess a jump starter's capabilities is the gauge of the cables. A bigger cable can carry more power at a faster rate, so starting is likely to be more efficient. The Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL jump starter has #4 cables. (The smaller the number, the bigger the cable.) These cables are 27 inches long and end in big, strong clamps that easily bite through any corrosion found on the battery terminals. Another way to assess a jump starter is to look at the manufacturer's ratings. The JNC300XL is rated for “most passenger vehicles and four/six-cylinder engines.” In other words, you might struggle to start a big V8 because you'd be pushing the jump starter beyond its intended limits. Owners have few complaints about this jump starter, but one or two have voiced durability concerns.

Stanley J509 1000 Peak Amp Jump Starter

Though it supposedly produces more power than the JNC300XL, the Stanley J509 jump starter only has #6 cables (as opposed to the JNC300XL's #4 cables). At around 12 inches long, some owners find them to be too short. The clamps themselves, while adequate, don't have the professional feel of the Jump-N-Carry. We couldn't find manufacturer ratings for this product in our research, but owner feedback is mixed. The Stanley appears to be adequate for motorcycles and small engines, but it struggles with larger cars and trucks. A number of people also complained that it doesn't hold a charge as long as expected.

PowerAll PBJS12000R Rosso Red/Black Portable Power Bank

Where a lot of people would throw a jump starter in the trunk – or maybe behind the rear seat in a station wagon – the PowerAll PBJS12000R fits in most glove boxes. Could such a small device really be up to the job? The answer to that question depends on your needs. The PowerAll's cables are rather short and thin, which doesn't inspire much confidence. And yet, it's rated for gas-powered vehicles of up to 4.0 liters and diesels of 3.0 liters or less – so it's not as feeble as some might think. Owners report that it's fine as an emergency breakdown tool, but they point out that once it starts, the vehicle must be disconnected within 10 seconds or the unit itself will be damaged. (The manufacturer claims that the PowerAll has feedback protection that prevents this from happening, but owner comments beg to differ!) Some owners have complained that the PowerAll will not start a V6 or V8 motor. Because the product's specifications state as much, we think this is an unfair complaint.

Schumacher XP2260 1200 Peak Amp Instant Portable Power Source

The Schumacher XP2260 portable jump starter is fitted with #4 cables of 22 inches. As such, you would expect the power transfer to be pretty good. It is, and the clamps – designed to grab vertically and horizontally – are good, too. We couldn't find any specific vehicle ratings in our research, but a number of V8 owners have reported that it worked fine for them, so the Schumacher ought to deal successfully with most cars and trucks. People weren't so happy with the compressor. Quite a few criticized it for not producing high enough air pressure and for cutting out after a few minutes. There were also complaints from some that the Schumacher XP2260 isn't particularly good at powering accessories.

Jump-N-Carry JNC660 1700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter

There's a purposeful look to the Jump-N-Carry JNC660 jump starter. This look is backed up with #2 gauge cables that are 46 inches long. (You should be able to place this Jump-N-Carry on the floor and have it comfortably reach your battery terminals.) The clamps are big, heavy-duty items, too. Short of a semi, there is little that this machine won't start. For this reason, it's extremely popular. Complaints are few; those that do complain point out that there's no on/off switch and no warning for incorrectly attached cables. In general, this jump starter is very powerful, but it works best for those who know what they are doing.

The Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL's 27-inch cables end in big, strong clamps that easily bite through any corrosion found on the battery terminals.
Considerations

Price

Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12V Jump Starter

If you're looking for a cheap jump starter, the $83 Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL will go a long way towards satisfying your needs – as long as your vehicle is within its specified range. Many of the complaints we've seen come from people who simply didn't buy a powerful enough jump starter for their vehicle. The Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL was not designed to start V8 engines. (Sometimes it succeeds at starting them, but this was not the manufacturer's intent.) It's a lightweight device, but it's relatively robust and powerful for the class that it's in.

Stanley J509 1000 Peak Amp Jump Starter

At only $99, the Stanley J509 jump starter is similar in price to the Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL. Its power output is slightly stronger than our Best Bang for Your Buck contender, but its cable length isn't so generous. The unit includes a movable flashlight and a USB charging port. Some owners like its light weight; others say they wish the Stanley's component quality were more substantial. Four-cylinder engines seem to give it no problems, but several V6 owners have said that the Stanley was ineffective for their needs and lost charge too quickly. Potential buyers should make sure they understand this jump starter's capacity before making a purchase.

PowerAll PBJS12000R Rosso Red/Black Portable Power Bank

The unusual PowerAll PBJS12000R jump starter costs $64. This is a reasonable price for a small device that offers so many functions. Perhaps the most important thing to note is how the manufacturer describes this device: it's a portable power bank and a car jump starter. (The fact that it can jump start your car is almost secondary to its main function: charging your cell phone, tablet, or whatever gadget you use.) It's not that it's a bad jump starter; many owners are very happy with it. However, it's not necessarily the type of dedicated device you would rely on for a garage full of vehicles. Instead, it's more of an "emergency use" device.

Schumacher XP2260 1200 Peak Amp Instant Portable Power Source

To justify its current price of $124, the Schumacher XP2260 portable power source needs top performance and reliability. After all, there are much cheaper jump starters around. Owner feedback suggests that it does its job well when it comes to starting a vehicle. However, it doesn't always deliver when it comes to powering other devices (or inflating tires with the built-in compressor). The fact that it has two DC outlets and two AC outlets is certainly enticing, but a number of users found that real-world performance in these areas fell short of expectations. As a jump starter, this device is great, but not everyone is convinced that the included compressor is worth the extra cost.

Jump-N-Carry JNC660 1700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter

Those who want the heavy duty performance that the Jump-N-Carry JNC660 jump starter delivers will need to find $123. That's considerably more than what you'd pay for the Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL or the Stanley J509, both of which offer more features and safety to the average user. However, if you want consistent performance and a jump starter that can cope with just about any vehicle you throw at it, the Jump-N-Carry JNC660 is worth the extra money. This worthy product is low on extra features. It won't inflate your tires, light your way in the darkness, or charge your cell phone. But it will start your car, SUV, or truck – every time!

If you want a jump starter that can cope with just about any vehicle you throw at it, the Jump-N-Carry JNC660 is worth the money.

Best of the Best

All of the jump starters on our shortlist are excellent devices, but one model stands out. The Best of the Best jump starter is the Jump-N-Carry JNC660.

You could argue that other devices offer more flexibility, and for the most part, you'd be right. If you want a multi-function power source that will get you out of the occasional jam, you'd probably be better off with one of our more consumer-oriented options. However, if you want something that will start your four-cylinder compact, SUV, pickup, yard tractor, and boat, the Jump-N-Carry JNC660 is the tool for the job.

This rugged starter looks as professional as it is. With a peak output of 1,700 amps (425 cranking amps) and 46 inches of #2 gauge cable, it delivers its massive power quickly and efficiently. The Jump-N-Carry's big clamps ensure a secure battery connection that will cut through any corrosion. It might be short on features (there's a dial for battery level and a 12-volt DC outlet), but it's not short on its ability to start engines. As a result, this jump starter is popular with mechanics, boat yard owners, and members of the general public.

There are those who dislike the Jump-N-Carry's lack of safety features. No alarms sound in the event of an incorrect attachment. There's no surge or feedback protection, either, so you definitely need to know what you're doing when you use this starter. At 18 pounds, it's also quite heavy. Nobody complains about this starter's performance, though. You'll need to reach a bit deeper into your pockets to buy one, but if you're looking for a jump starter you can rely on – for all kinds of vehicles, for years – the Jump-N-Carry JNC660 is a wise investment.
Best of the Best
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The dependable Jump-N-Carry JNC660 is highly popular with mechanics, boat yard owners, and members of the general public.

Best Bang for your Buck

Our Best Bang for Your Buck jump starter is another Jump-N-Carry, this time the JNC300XL. The competition was tough: our Stanley contender renders a similar “bang for your buck,” the PowerAll offers tremendous versatility for a small amount of money, and the Schumacher is a powerful machine. So why is our winner the Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL? Because this review is primarily about jump starters.

The JNC300XL is focused solely on starting your vehicle. Sure, there's a useful lamp, a 12-volt DC outlet, and a charge indicator. Nevertheless, you can tell from the Jump-N-Carry's 900 peak amps, 225 cranking amps, 27 inches of #4 gauge cable, and heavy-duty clamps that this device is built for a single purpose. It doesn't try to charge your tablet or inflate your tires; it simply jump starts your vehicle. That doesn't mean the needs of the owner have been completely ignored, of course. At just nine pounds, it's a real lightweight. In fact, cable management for this device is better than any other in these ratings.

It's not without its critics, but that's often because the Jump-N-Carry's reputation is so good that people expect it to start anything. The manufacturer tells us it delivers enough current for just about any four or six-cylinder engine and that it may work on bigger motors, too. But nowhere does the manufacturer say that it can start a V8 muscle car or three-ton truck! (That's what they make the JNC660 for.) One or two owners said their JNC300XL wouldn't hold its charge after a while, but these appear to be isolated incidents. That's certainly disappointing if you're one of the ones affected, but it doesn't appear to be a common problem. Overall, owner feedback is very positive. Given its price and its pedigree, we recommend the Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL to those who want an inexpensive jump starter that does the trick every time.
Best Bang for your Buck
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Given its price and pedigree, we recommend the Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL to those who want an inexpensive jump starter that does the trick every time.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jess
    Jess
    Researcher
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Kriti
    Kriti
    Data Scientist

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