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 old Honda, opened the hood, and jump started his engine with a hand-held battery pack...

battery jump starter review

After several back-to-back days of this same scenario, 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 any money into. And depending on your needs, you can buy a battery jump pack fairly inexpensively.

Hand-Held Jump Packs

Portable jump starters, also called boost packs or jump packs, are small and convenient and allow you to jump-start your car without another vehicle.

battery jump pack review

The next time you need a jump, you don't have to wait or rely on someone else's help.

Peak Amps vs CCA

When a 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 boost pack to another, the peak power rating is most often used.

A more realistic figure 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 to 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 to 500 CCA's to jump start, which will put you into the 2000 amp battery pack range.

Noco 1000 Amp

One of the best known portable boost 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.

Noco boost plus jump pack

The Noco GB40 also has a flashlight and a five-volt USB port, which is handy to charge your smartphone or tablet with.

Safely connect to any 12-volt automotive battery with Noco's mistake-proof "reverse polarity protection". And at less than seven inches long and just three inches wide, it's very portable.

Noco boost plus battery jump pack review

Noco products carry a one-year limited warranty. Included is a storage bag and adapters.

Price vs Value

Noco is a top-rated brand, and also one of the higher-priced. For those looking to spend less, there are plenty of cheaper brands, but none have near as good a reputation that Noco does.

1000 Amp vs 2000 Amp Jump Starter

As mentioned, a 1000 amp boost pack is capable handling most jump starting scenarios, but you might need or want something more powerful. A more powerful jump pack will help start bigger engines, and also help on ice-cold winter days.


Noco 2000 Amp

The GB40's bigger brother is the Noco GB70. Instead of a lithium battery, it has a polymer battery, which holds a larger charge. With a peak power rating of 2000 amps, it's advertised to provide up to 40 jump starts for 12 volt vehicles with either a gas engine or diesel engine (up to 8.5 litres).

best battery jump pack for car

The Noco GB70 also features an LED flashlight, dual USB quick charge ports and a cigarette lighter.


How Many Amps to Jump Start a V8?

In non-freezing temperatures, 400 to 600 amps is usually enough to jump-start most vehicles. However, large V8's and diesel-powered vehicles may require up to 1500 or 2000 amps.


In between the 1000 amp GB40 and the 2000 amp GB70, Noco offers the GB50 1500 amp jump pack.

Noco 1500 amp battery jump pack comparison

Like the GB40, the GB50 has a lithium battery, but with more amps.


What I Bought

After doing a bit of research online, I purchased a Noco GB40. Why?

Noco GB40 battery jump pack review

My daily driver is an Explorer Sport Trac with a V6. There's other jump packs that have more power and more reserve, but I don't need that. Here in North Carolina, we rarely see below-freezing temperatures.

Noco boost plus jump pack review

Another reason why I chose a Noco was reputation. The Noco GB40 is Amazon's best selling jump starter.


Flashlight with S.O.S.

Most battery packs have built-in flashlights. Generally there will be several modes of LED light, such as steady, strobe, and S.O.S.

Noco boost pack with LED flashlight

The many scenarios in which you would need a flashlight include being stuck on the road at night changing a tire, inspecting for damage, and needing to warn oncoming traffic that you are broken down.


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 jump pack with you when traveling means never getting stranded with a dead battery. They're also handy for motorcycles, lawn tractors, or ATV's that don't get driven often. The more vehicles you have, the handier they become.


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