Imagine this: You’re out on a job and about to fill up your rollers’ tanks when you realize that your water truck won’t start. You can’t sit around waiting for someone else on the job to come over and jump the truck. With a portable jump starter, this situation can be remedied in seconds.
New lithium-ion jump starter options provide an attractive alternative to traditional lead-acid batteries. They’re usually lighter and more compact, they’ll typically keep a charge for up to a year, they can be used multiple times before recharging, and they have long life spans. Some of them even come with USB ports to charge other devices, emergency lights and 12V power ports.
Essentially, a portable lithium-ion jump starter is a larger version of the portable batteries you might be using to charge your phone on the go. The difference is instead of 1000 to 3000 milliampere hours, or mAh, we’re talking 15,000 or even 30,000.
But there are tens of thousands of portable lithium-ion jump starter options available, and not every jump starter will work on the types of vehicles on a paving job. To ensure you get a battery pack that will work with a variety of equipment, there are a few things you should look for.
Experts recommend a power pack with at least 300 amps to start larger engines. You’ll also want to consider the number of mAh, which will give you an idea of the battery’s capacity, as well as the voltages supported by each battery. You might also consider benefits, like a light (useful to jump at night) or the ability to charge other devices.
Antigravity Batteries AG-XP-10
This multi-function power supply and jump starter was rated the best jump starter by Consumer Reports. The 600-amp device is so powerful it can jump-start diesel engines up to 7.3L, as well as gas engines. It also includes two USB ports, an LED light, and 12-volt and 19-volt outputs. Its 18,000 mAh means more power with less recharging, and the device includes a battery capacity indicator. The battery comes in a carrying case with a handful of cords for most phones and tablets, jump cables, as well as a home and mobile charger to recharge the battery.
Weight: 2 pounds
This portable car jump starter also packs a lot of power. It is the number one bestselling automotive power pack on Amazon.com. The 600-amp device can jump gas engines up to 6.5L and diesel engines up to 5L. With 15,000 mAh, the 600A can also charge phones, tablets and other devices, and comes with an LED light. It comes with jump cables, a wall charger and a car charger. There is also an 18-month warranty on the device.
Weight: 1.1 pounds
NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40
The Genius Boost from NOCO offers 1,000 amps, which the company claims can power up to 20 jumps on a single charge. There are also 400-, 2000- and 4000-amp models available. The device comes with an LED flashlight and can recharge personal devices, too. It’s designed to jump start gas engines up to 6L and diesel engines up to 3L. It comes in a neoprene bag with jump cables, a USB cord and charger.
Weight: 2.4 pounds
DB Power 600A
This device has a capacity of 18,000 mAh and can jump 6.5L gas engines and 5.2L diesel engines. It also features a compass, USB port and charge indicator. It comes in yellow or red and costs $86.99.
This 800-amp, 32,000 mAh device is made for 24-volt vehicles. It packs a lot of power into 2 pounds. Its stand-by battery life is six months, offers two USB ports and comes with a one-year warranty.
Suaoki G7 Plus
With 600 amps, this 18,000 mAh battery can restart 5L gas and 3.5L diesel engines. It features an LED light, battery indicator and two USB ports. The device comes in green or orange and comes with an 80 PSI mini air compressor pump.