The Best Cheap Jump Starters of 2019

A portable jump starter is a blessing if your vehicle's battery goes dead.

Being stranded in bad weather (or in a bad neighborhood) is a stressful situation, even if you have a roadside assistance plan like AAA. That's why many people keep a jump box in their trunk.

A portable jump starter is just a rechargeable battery with cables and clamps attached. Some all-in-one kits include an air compressor and various charging ports, but the heart of any jump starter is a battery.

Remember to recharge that battery if you want the jumper to work (i.e. you can't keep a jump starter in your trunk for years and expect it to keep a charge). Recharging your jump box each time the seasons change — winter, spring, summer and fall — is a simple way to remember.

Here are the best-reviewed portable jump starters that have sold for $100 or less. Not all jump starters pack enough power for every vehicle, so use Amazon's "Shop by vehicle" tool before buying.

Buyer Beware

Amazon sells dozens of well-reviewed jump starters, but I wouldn’t buy many of them. Here's why:

  • Most jump kits can also charge phones or laptops. As a result, there are thousands of positive reviews left by customers who never used their jump box in an emergency. I was shocked to see how many 4+ star products failed to successfully jump a vehicle in a time of need. Failure is disguised as success.

  • I wouldn't buy a jumper that isn't UL-listed. Batteries can explode (remember hoverboards), and many direct-from-China products don't have the safety certifications that we take for granted.

The Antigravity XP-10-HD jump start kit uses UL-listed battery cells, has excellent reviews and is recommended by Consumer Reports. The extra expense may be worth it.

Good Price: $98 | Great Deal: $69

Several Amazon customers say the 1,000 amp Noco Genius Boost Pro is capable of jumping a V8 engine. Some reviewers wish the jump box had a better carrying case and longer cables, but many agree that the clamps and build quality are excellent overall.

Good Price: $133 | Great Deal: $100

Clore Automotive's jump pack is big, heavy and awkward to connect because it has short cables, according to several Amazon customers. Nevertheless, many of these same reviewers love their Clore jump box because of how effective and reliable it is (having used it multiple times over many years).

Good Price: $100 | Great Deal: $94

Beatit's portable jump starter is conveniently-sized and successfully jumped various cars and trucks with dead batteries, according to Amazon customers. Some reviewers wished the the jumper's clamps were larger (to make it easier to connect to batteries with large terminals).

Good Price: $57 | Great Deal: $50

The Bolt Power jump starter jumped a vehicle several times before needing to be recharged, according to several happy Amazon customers who also praised this jump box's storage bag. Many reviewers complained that the instructions were poor; some went to YouTube for guidance.


John DeFeo