Battery Jump Pack Review
Article by Mark Trotta
Several years back, I worked with a young tech named Rob. After we closed shop one day, he walked out to his car, opened the hood, and jump started the engine with a hand-held battery pack.
After several back-to-back days of this, I suggested he buy a new battery. "The car's not worth it", he replied. "And the jump pack was only half the cost of a new battery."
Rob was right on both counts. His old car had a lot of issues -- it really wasn't worth putting $120 into. And you can buy a battery jump pack for half that amount.
Hand-Held Jump Packs
Portable jump starters are small and convenient and allow you to jump-start your car without another vehicle. You don't have to wait or rely on someone else's help when you need a jump.
Peak Amps vs CCA
When a battery pack manufacturer lists "peak power", it's similar to a car manufacturer stating an engine's peak horsepower. It's really more for bragging purposes than real-world application. But to compare one jump pack to another, the peak power rating is most often used.
A more realistic figure for battery jump packs is cold cranking amps, or CCA. Unfortunately, not all companies list cold cranking amps in their ads.
How Many Amps Do I Need?
A 1000 amp battery pack will have about 150-200 CCA's. This is enough power to jump start most cars, provided the engine is mechanically sound and the outside temperature is not too cold. However, large SUV's and full-size trucks may require 400-500 CCA's to jump start, which will put you into the 2000 amp battery pack range.
Noco 1000 Amp
One of the more popular battery jump pack brands is Noco. Their "Boost Plus" GB40 model is advertised at 1000 peak amps and is powered by a lithium battery, which Noco claims has enough power to jump-start your vehicle up to 20 times between charges.
Shop: NOCO GB40 1000A Battery Jump Starter
Th GB40 also has a flashlight and a five-volt USB port, which is handy to charge your smartphone or tablet with. At less than seven inches long and just three inches wide, it's very portable. Included is a storage bag. Noco products carry a one-year limited warranty.
Price vs Value
Although Noco is a top-rated brand, it's also one of the most expensive. For those looking for a better value, Audew makes a comparable jump pack at considerably less cost.
1000 Amp vs 2000 Amp
As mentioned, a 1000 amp battery jump pack is capable handling most jump starting scenarios, but you might want or need something more powerful. If you’re willing to spend a little extra, you can buy a more powerful jump pack.
Noco 2000 Amp
The GB70 is Noco's larger jump pack and features a polymer battery instead of a typical lithium starter. With peak power rating of 2000 amps, it will provide up to 40 jump starts for 12 volt vehicles with either a gas engine or diesel engine (up to 8.5 litres).
Shop: Noco GB70 2000A Battery Jump Starter
The GB70 also features an LED flashlight, dual USB quick charge ports and a cigarette lighter.
Flashlight With SOS
The many scenarios in which you would need a flashlight include being stuck on the road changing a tire, inspecting for damage, and needing to warn oncoming traffic that you are broken down. Most battery packs have built-in flashlights. Generally there will be several modes of LED light, such as steady, strobe and SOS.
NOTE: Although their small size makes them easy to store, it's probably not a good idea to keep a jump pack inside a hot vehicle during summer months.
Having a battery jump pack with you when traveling means never getting stranded with a dead car battery. They're also handy for motorcycles and lawn tractors, and vehicles that don't get driven often. The more cars you have, the handier a jump pack becomes!