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Portable car jump starters that’ll get you out of a tight spot

Backup juice for your car.

Backup juice for your car. (Jan Baborák via Unsplash/)

There’s no sinking feeling quite like the one that comes when you return to your parked car to find the lights still on and your battery fully drained. Luckily, a quick jump start is usually all it takes to bring your trusty chariot back to life, but what if there’s nobody around to help you boost your car battery with their own? That’s where a standalone car jump starter can make or break your day, allowing you the flexibility and freedom to travel boldly and tackle the unexpected with certainty. These units are small enough to stow in your trunk, powerful enough to jolt life into your car’s 12-volt battery, and they pay for themselves by sparing you significant time and headaches when you’re in need.

Here are some of the best standalone car jump starters currently available.

Power when you need it.

Power when you need it. (Amazon/)

This tiny jump starter from NOCO delivers a whopping 1000 amps of current to your battery and can render up to 20 jump starts on a single charge. It measures at just under 36.5 cubic inches—small enough for most glove boxes—and houses an LED flashlight for dark working situations plus a 2.1-amp USB port to function as a power pack in a pinch. Its rubberized enclosure is water-resistant as well, so you can bank on getting your car up and running even when the weather’s bad.

Multi-use device.

Multi-use device. (Amazon/)

This option from Stanley is an incredibly versatile all-around disaster insurance tool that’s a great choice for any frequent driver. Its jump start power section offers 500 starting amps of current and 1000 peak amps plus a built-in 12V DC port and USB port. The real kicker here, though, is the inclusion of a 120 PSI air compressor, which is sure to come in handy for fixing up any untimely tire deflation while you’re out on the road.

Check the health of your alternator. (Amazon/)

Dewalt offers a portable jump starter that’s overflowing with extra features like a 120 PSI air compressor, dual 3.1-amp USB ports, and a killer peak current of 1400 amps. This jump starter is set apart by its unique ability to test and report on the health of your vehicle’s alternator, which under normal conditions is responsible for keeping your battery charged up. You’ll never have to worry about hooking it up incorrectly, either, thanks to its reverse polarity warning system.

Made rugged for every environment. (Amazon/)

Industrial-grade, powder-coated clamps and a rugged housing punctuate this heavy-duty jump starter from CAT. With its four-foot, heavy-gauge cables and absorbed glass mat internal battery conditioned specifically for use in extreme temperature environments, this jump starter is ideal for high volume, professional usage or any situation where longevity and durability are key. It delivers 2000 peak amps of current and can start multiple vehicles on a single charge without breaking a sweat.