Three Reasons You Should Carry a Portable Jump Starter (Besides the Obvious One)

These potent powerpacks are great for starting your vehicle if the battery dies, and for many other purposes.

Portable jump starters can be saviors in a one-pound package. These lithium-battery powered devices store enough power to start your vehicle if your battery drains, or if it can’t hold a strong enough charge anymore. There’s no need to jockey another vehicle nearby so you can extend jumper cables from one vehicle to the other. You simply attach the alligator clips to your vehicle’s battery terminal clamps, turn it on, and start your car. Such self-sufficiency is the main reason people purchase portable jump starters—but there are more.

1. As a power source in the event of a grid failure.

GOOLOO 800A Peak 18000mAh SuperSafe Car Jump Starter
Most portable car chargers have USB ports that allow you to recharge your devices directly.GOOLOO

If you've experienced a power outage for a couple of days, you realize how much you rely on your cell phone and computer or tablet. You can charge those devices in your vehicle, but that takes gasoline—which may not be available. And if your vehicle battery dies, you're out of options.

2. As escape insurance in remote or wilderness areas.

TACKLIFE T8 800A Peak 18000mAh Car Jump Starter
Carry a jump starter if you leave your vehicle parked for long periods of time, especially in very cold weather.TACKLIFE

If you’ve ever left your vehicle at the side of a dirt road to hunt, fish, hike, or camp for a week, you’ve probably crossed your fingers upon returning, hoping the vehicle will start. If it doesn’t—and if your cell phone’s battery is drained, which may well be the case, or if you’re far from cell service, and there are no other vehicles around from which you could get a jump—the only option is to walk to help, and that may take a very long time. Then there’s the expense of getting roadside assistance all the way back to your vehicle. A portable charger will save you that cost, along with time, effort, discomfort, and possibly worse.

3. If you need power for your devices anywhere there's not an outlet.

NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12V UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter
A portable jump starter in your car lets you charge devices when the vehicle is off, saving you gas, fumes, and noise pollution when you're out camping or at the beach.NOCO

Beach, boat, deer camp—portable car chargers are incredibly convenient for staying literally plugged in. You may have a vehicle with you, but it’s annoying to have to start it up and run it, and wasteful. Not only will you be able to keep your phone charged, you’ll be able to keep your kids’ devices running the entire time. And that last advantage is priceless.