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The best portable jump starters you can buy: Expert tested

We tested the best portable jump starters from Stanley, Nexpow, and more to help you build the perfect roadside emergency kit for your car, truck, or SUV.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
Stanley J5C09 | Best portable jump starter overall
A Stanley J5C09 portable jump starter on a grey background
Stanley J5C09
Best portable jump starter overall
View now View at Amazon
Noco Boost Plus GB40 | Best portable jump starter under $100
A Noco Boost Plus GB40 portable jump starter on a grey background
Noco Boost Plus GB40
Best portable jump starter under $100
View now View at Amazon
Avapow 6000A portable jump starter | Best portable jump starter for large vehicles
An Avapow 6000A portable jump starter on a grey background
Avapow 6000A portable jump starter
Best portable jump starter for large vehicles
View now View at Amazon
DeWalt DXAEJ14 | Best multipurpose portable jump starter
A DeWalt DXAEJ14 portable jump starter on a grey background
DeWalt DXAEJ14
Best multipurpose portable jump starter
View now View at Amazon
Mophie Powerstation Go | Best compact portable jump starter
Mophie Powerstation Go
Best compact portable jump starter
View now View at Amazon

When your car battery dies, traditional jumper cables are a great solution to boost it, assuming you can call roadside assistance or find a kind person who can help you. But having to rely on them isn't always practical for maintaining or repairing your vehicle, especially if you find yourself stuck on the side of the road with no one around. 

Fortunately, many manufacturers now offer portable jump starters. These are essentially portable power banks, storing energy to boost your vehicle's battery in an emergency without the need for another car's help. Many feature lightweight and compact designs that are perfect for keeping in your car, while others are big and bulky, with more robust features like built-in air compressors, USB charging, and even wall-style AC outlets. 

Also: The best car gadgets of 2023

What is the best portable jump starter right now?

To help you find the best portable jump starter for your car, I've researched and compared different models for peak amps, size, weight, price, and additional features like flashlights and air compressors. My top pick for best portable jump starter is the Stanley J5C09, since it can be used for different types of vehicles and has a built-in air compressor to help you fill your tires. Read on for the rest of our jump starter choices to find the one that will be right for you. 

The best portable jump starters of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Can be used with multiple vehicle types
  • Built-in air compressor
  • AC outlet and USB ports
  • Built-in flashlight
  • Big and heavy
  • No LCD display
More Details

The Stanley J5C09 is an excellent portable jump starter to keep in your garage or vehicle in case of emergency or for regular maintenance. Its rechargeable internal battery provides up to 1,000 amps of power to help jump start cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, and even boats. It also features a built-in air compressor to help keep your tires properly inflated. 

The front of the unit itself has an AC wall-style outlet for plugging in extension cords as well as USB ports for charging devices. This means you can use the J5C09 to keep your phone charged in case of emergency or run small tools and equipment when a wall outlet isn't available. And with the attached LED flashlight, you can illuminate your car's engine compartment for safer working conditions in the dark. Customers who bought the Stanley J5C09 agree that it's simple to learn how to use as well as convenient for keeping in your car trunk for emergencies. 

Stanley J5C09 specs: Peak amps: 1000 amps | Weight: 17.75 pounds | Dimensions: 8 x 11.25 x 13.15 inches | Max engine size: 6L gas, 3L diesel

Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • 1000A peak
  • Great for most gas and smaller diesel engines
  • Water resistant
  • Very short jumper cables
More Details

The Noco Boost Plus GB40 is an excellent, and affordable, addition to any garage toolkit or roadside emergency kit. It offers up to a 1000A peak, which is plenty of power for up to 6L gas or 3L diesel engines. And the compact, lightweight design means it's easy to keep in your trunk, glovebox, or toolbox until you need it.  

With spark-proof clamps and reverse polarity protection, you'll be able to quickly and safely attach the GB40 to any compatible vehicle battery for a quick jump or charge. The body of the GB40 is IP65 rated for water resistance, which means that even in wet and rainy conditions, the delicate electronics inside will be protected.

Stanley J5C09 specs: Peak amps: 1000 amps | Weight: 7.94 ounces | Dimensions: 4.61 x 8.19 x 4.21 inches | Max engine size: 6L gas, 3L diesel

Pros & Cons
  • Works with up to 12L diesel engines
  • USB charging
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Reverse polarity alarm
  • No LCD screen for status
  • No built-in compressor
More Details

If you've got commercial vehicles, construction equipment, or large pickup trucks, the Avapow 6000A portable jump starter is a must-have for your tool kit. It's designed specifically for large vehicles with up to a 12L diesel engine, so anyone driving vehicles ranging from farm trucks to long-haul semis can have peace of mind while on the road. It provides up to 6000 amps and has several safety features like reverse polarity alarms and a silicone case to prevent damage and injury. 

The unit also acts as a portable power bank with built-in USB ports to keep your phone and other devices charged in an emergency. The clamp cables measure 26 inches long, giving you a bit more leeway when working within large engine compartments where batteries might not be reached easily. While many customers who bought the Avapow 6000A portable jump starter love the compact size and how simple it is to use, some got mixed results when trying to jump start larger diesel vehicles.

Avapow 6000A portable jump starter specs: Peak amps: 6000 amps | Weight: 2.75 pounds | Dimensions: 10.98 x 6 x 5.63 inches | Max engine size: All gas, 12L diesel

Pros & Cons
  • Built-in compressor
  • Work lights and USB charging
  • AC charging block
  • Integrated handle and cable management
  • Big and heavy
  • Somewhat short clamp cables
More Details

If you're like me and don't particularly like the idea of single-purpose tools, the DeWalt DXAEJ14 is an almost perfect multipurpose portable jump starter. Not only does it provide up to 1600 amps of power for jumping everything from your SUV to your grandpa's golf cart, it also has a built-in air compressor, alternator test function, built-in work lights, USB charging ports, and an AC outlet. 

An integrated handle and cable management channel makes moving and storing the unit faster and easier. The unit also has a reverse polarity alarm to let you know if the clamps are connected incorrectly to help prevent damage to your battery, as well as to keep you from getting hurt by improper electrical handling. Verified reviewers who purchased the DeWalt DXAEJ14 all love that it comes with easy-to-follow instructions for jump starting, tire inflation, and unit maintenance as well as its rugged outer case.

DeWalt DXAEJ14 specs: Peak amps: 1600 amps | Weight: 35 pounds | Dimensions: 13.07 x 11.81 x 6.14 inches | Max engine size: V8

The Mophie Powerstation Go is one of the most compact portable jump starters on the market. It measures just 3.25 x 8.75 x 4.5 inches and weighs less than a pound. This makes it the perfect size to keep in your center console or glove box for easy access in case of a roadside emergency. With up to 600 peak amps, you'll be able to jump start most 12V gas vehicle batteries in just a few minutes. 

You'll also be able to charge two mobile devices at once with the built-in power bank and dual USB Type-A ports. ZDNET's Matthew Miller got to go hands-on with a Mophie Powerstation Go. The Powerstation had a built-in air compressor to help keep your tires properly inflated all year. Miller also praised the built-in LED flashlight, which helps if you run into any car trouble in the evening or in the mornings before work. 

Mophie Powerstation Go specs: Peak amps: 600 amps | Weight: 13.9 ounces | Dimensions: 3.25 x 8.75 x 4.5 inches | Max engine size: 6L gas

What is the best portable jump starter?

I chose the Stanley J5C09 as the best portable jump starter for several reasons: it has a peak output of 1000 amps, making it perfect for most cars, pickup trucks, and smaller vehicles like ATVs and motorcycles. It also is compatible with several different types of batteries and has a built-in air compressor to help keep your tires inflated properly. The front of the unit has an LED display for battery status, and LED flashlight, and an AC outlet for use with an extension cord.

Best portable jump starter


Peak amps

Max engine size

Stanley J5C09


1000 amps

6L gas, 3L diesel

Noco Boost Plus GB40


1000 amps

6L gas, 3L diesel

Avapow 6000A


6000 amps

All gas, 12L diesel

DeWalt DXAEJ14


1400 amps

6L gas, 5L diesel

Mophie Powerstation Go


600 amps

6L gas

*MSRP at time of writing. Please note that actual price may vary by retailer and available deals or promotions.

Which portable jump starter is right for you?

The best portable jump starter for your needs is one that has both a peak and sustained amperage output that is suitable for your vehicle. Smaller cars, light pickup trucks, and things like ATVs don't need as much power as a diesel engine pickup or semi. For typical drivers, a jump starter with a peak output between 1000 and 1400 amps should be more than enough power. But if you have a fleet of commercial vehicles, construction equipment, or even marine vehicles, you'll want something with an output of up to 6000 amps.

Buy this portable jump starter...

If you need...

Stanley J5C09

A well-rounded portable jump starter. It also has a built-in tire inflator as well as USB ports for charging devices.

Noco Boost Plus GB40

A budget-friendly portable jump starter. The Boost Plus GB40 retails for just under $100 while still offering a 1000-amp peak and a rugged, water resistant casing.

Avapow 6000A

A portable jump starter for large vehicles. It has an output of up to 6000 amps, which means you can use it on vehicles with up to a 12 liter diesel engine.

DeWalt DXAEJ14

A unit that does more than jump start your battery. It features a built-in tire inflator, USB ports, an alternator check function, and a reverse-polarity alarm.

Mophie Powerstation Go

A compact portable jump starter. It measures just 8.75 x 3.25 x 4.5 inches, making it perfect for keeping in your glove box or center console.

Factors to consider when choosing a portable jump starter:

Aside from price, there were several other factors I considered when comparing portable jump starters for this list. 

  • Size: Not every car or garage has the space to store large, bulky portable jump starters or battery chargers. I made sure to include compact models as well as larger ones.
  • Power output: Not all portable jump starters are created equal. If you have a large truck or commercial vehicle, you'll need a jump starter with a higher amperage output than one you would use on your grandma's ancient Crown Victoria. Conversely, if you drive an ultra-compact car or have small engine equipment like ATVs, you'll need something with a weaker output so you don't burn up your battery or alternator.
  • Multiple uses and other features: Several brands like Stanley and DeWalt make portable jump starters that also act as tire inflators, power banks for charging devices, radios, and even flashlights. I made sure to include a few of these for anyone who doesn't like the idea of a single-purpose device.

How did we choose these best portable jump starters?

While testing and researching each portable jump starter on this list, I kept these criteria in mind:

  • Multifunctionality: Nobody has the space or patience to maintain an arsenal of special tools and devices for their vehicle. So I made sure that each model on this list offered at least one other function, be it an air compressor, power bank, or built-in flashlight.
  • Vehicle compatibility: No two people are going to drive the exact same car, or have the same power needs for all of their vehicles. Each model on this list has been verified for use in both gas and diesel vehicles as well as marine batteries and ATVs.
  • Portability: The whole point of having a portable jump starter is to be able to take it with you, whether that's on a cross-country road trip or a jaunt across town to the grocery store. While each model may differ in size, each one featured on this list has been vetted for in-vehicle storage.

What's the difference between a portable jump starter and a battery charger?

A jump starter is a piece of equipment that is meant to give a short, powerful burst of energy to your battery in order to get the engine to turn over. After your battery is successfully jump started, you should let your car run for at least 30 minutes so the alternator can recharge the battery.

A battery charger, however, is designed to deliver a slow, steady, much lower level of energy to safely recharge a battery from depletion or to perform regular battery conditioning for peak performance.

Can a jump starter damage the alternator?

Alternators are pretty resilient pieces of equipment, and are built to be resistant to all kinds of outside influences. However, you can severely damage it when trying to jump start your car if you have the cables connected to the wrong battery nodes or if you have the incorrect battery type. Always make sure your cables are connected correctly and that the battery is the correct size and power for your vehicle.

Can a battery be too dead to jump start?

Absolutely. Batteries, including car and truck batteries, aren't meant to hold a charge forever. And factors such as time, temperature, and even how often you use your vehicle can affect how the battery discharges. If a battery sits for years or experiences extreme temperatures, the battery will slowly discharge energy, which can lead to it not holding enough of a charge to even be jump started. If this happens, the only option is to replace the battery with a brand new one. Fortunately, many places offer discounts for bringing in old batteries or recycling programs to keep dangerous chemicals from leaking batteries out of landfills.

More portable jump starters to consider:

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