Being a safe driver isn’t just about observing traffic signals and driving the speed limit. It also means outfitting your car with everything you need for an emergency. As noted on the AAA website, all drivers are at risk for breakdowns and roadside emergencies regardless of the age of the car, but for those drivers in cars that are 10 years or older, they are four times as likely to break down. That’s why we always keep an emergency car battery starter in our vehicle, regardless of what, where and how far we’re driving.
While it’s a good idea to keep jumper cables in your car, they’re not always a realistic option. If your vehicle breaks down in a deserted area, there may not be another car around to give you a boost. Placing jumper cables between cars incorrectly can also result in damage to the vehicles, which is why we like the option of emergency car battery starters.
The three options we’ve included are all compact and lightweight, making them ideal not only for cars, trucks, and vans but also for use on RVs, boats, lawnmowers, ATVs and more. We also like that they’re small enough to throw into our suitcase and take with us on trips when we have a rental car.
Protect yourself from roadside emergencies with your own emergency car battery starter.
1. DBPOWER Portable Car Jump Starter
With enough power to jump-start up to 6.5 liter gas or 5.2 liter diesel engines up to 20 times on a single charge, the DBPOWER Portable Car Jump Starter is every drivers’ best friend. The DBPOWER features a clear LCD screen that displays how much power is left, letting users know when it’s time to charge the battery. The DBPOWER is also a great backup for small electronics, with a 18000mAh capacity and smart USB port. The starter has added smart features like a flashlight with a high, strobe and SOS setting and a compass, which double as survival tools when your car breaks down in a rural area. The starter includes intelligent jumper clamps, a 12V wall charger and a 12V car charger.
Pros: The starter comes with 8-in-1 laptop adapters and can charge computers, phones, tablets and more at a high speed.
Cons: The DBPOWER can last up to four months on a single charge, while the Rugged Geed is closer to one year.
2. Rugged Geek Safety Plus Car Jump Starter
Updated for 2019, the Rugged Geek Safety Plus Car Jump Starter is powerful enough to boost just about any car or truck on the road, including a 7.0 liter gas and 3.5 liter diesel engine thanks to its 1,000 Peak Amps. Like the DBPOWER, the Rugged Geek also includes an ultra-bright LED light with various settings, including Strobe and SOS. It also comes with a USB port and nine laptop charging cables to help boost small electronics. The Rugged Geek comes in a rugged EVA carrying case and can fit in the glove box.
Pros: The Rugged Geek is the only option on our list that also comes with an air compressor.
Cons: The Rugged Geek is the most expensive option on our list.
3. GOOLOO SuperSafe Car Jump Starter
Weighing only 1.16 pounds and with dimensions that are close to a smartphone, the GOOLOO SuperSafe Car Jump Starter is the most lightweight and compact option on our list, great for travel and smaller cars with limited storage space. With a rating of 800 peak amps, the GOOLOO can power a 7.0 liter gas and 5.5 liter diesel engine and includes a USB port for charging small electronics. The GOOLOO also includes a flashlight with three settings.
Pros: The GOOLOO has five advanced safety technology features, including overload protection and high temperature protection, making it a safe option even for car newbies.
Cons: Unlike the first two options, the GOOLOO does not come with laptop adapters. The GOOLOO holds a charge for three months, which is the shortest time of all the starters on our list.