Value of a Portable Battery Jump Starter:
- Convenience and Safety - Being self-sufficient with your own jump starter is a good solution when your battery is low. The alternatives are calling the motor club, or asking a friend or stranger to give you a jump which is an inconvenience for them.
- Fast Fix - When you have a battery power pack, you can jump start your own battery to get on your way quickly. While a motor club membership is also good to have, they can take up to an hour to arrive. By then, you may be late in getting to your destination.
- Quick Determination of the Real Problem - If your problem is simply a low battery because you left your dome light on overnight, a jump will get you going again and the battery will recharge from the alternator as you drive off. But if you cannot start your vehicle because you have a mechanical problem like a failed Starter Motor, you will get some indication of a more serious problem when you attempt to jump the battery and the engine doesn't crank. In that case, you may need a tow to a repair shop which is a more time-consuming ordeal. By making this determination quickly with your portable jump starter, you can start planning your next steps sooner than later.
- Other Functions - All portable jump starters can also serve as an auxiliary power source for battery-operated devices. And some units have a work light or an air compressor. But extra features that are bundled into a jump starter may not be optimal in capability or reliability. It's better to have a proper flashlight on hand for lighting, or get a standalone air compressor if you need to add air to your tires.
Decision Factors when choosing a Portable Jump Starter:
- Power - You need sufficient power to start a vehicle. Very large engines (e.g., diesel trucks) and very cold temperatures (below freezing) require more power to start.
- Unit Size and Weight - Smaller and lighter is better for storage and handling.
- Holding a Charge- The longer a unit holds its charge, the more readiness for use and you won't need to recharge it as often.
- Re-Charge Time - Faster charging gets your unit back in your vehicle sooner.
- Reliability - Most of us are highly dependent on our vehicles. When it doesn't start, it can put you in a situation of distress. You want a quality product you can rely on.
- Motor Club Memberships - These services are good to have as a backup solution. You will have to wait up to an hour for the service to arrive, but it's better than nothing. The greatest benefits are other services they offer, e.g., lockout, flat tire, and towing. You will need access to a phone to call them, which may be a problem if you are in a remote area that does not have a cell phone signal.
- Cigarette Lighter Solutions - This category includes battery packs and extension cords that connect your vehicle's lighter to another vehicle's ligher socket. While this sounds clever and easy, it doesn't work consistently. The problem is providing the high power needed to crank the Starter Motor through the fused cigarette ligher circuit which is designed and rated to carry a much lower current. Skip these products.
- Portable Battery Packs (Lead-Acid) - This is the category of jump starters that has been used for the last decade or so. They are about the size of a 12v auto battery and weigh about 15 pounds. It can take 24 - 72 hours to recharge. Customer reviews are mixed as most of these units have reliability problems and ease of use issues.
- Portable Battery Packs (Lithium-Ion) - This is the new generation of jump starters as Li-Ion battery technology has advanced in recent years. Compact and lightweight, they weigh around one pound and can fit in your glove compartment or under your seat. It takes only 3 hours to recharge. Customer reviews are largely positive and reflect astonishment that such a small unit performs so well.
- Utilizes new Li-Ion battery technology resulting in a small and lightweight unit.
- The XP-1 provides ample power to start a V6 in temperatures above freezing. For larger V8 and diesel engines, and extremely cold weather conditions below freezing, purchase the larger capacity model XP-10.
- Each unit comes in a carry case with jumper cables and attachments for most battery-powered devices.
The Antigravity Micro-Start XP-1 is the best portable jump starter for the following reasons:
Manufacturer's Product Information and Video:
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