Best mini jump starter packs 2022

Don’t get caught out with a dodgy battery as we test the best jump starter packs

A portable car jump starter pack is now de rigueur when it comes to helping out an ailing battery, making booster cables and the help of a friendly neighbour a thing of the past. Car jump starter packs are developing with new mixes of power, capacity and features – most now come with USB ports capable of charging your phone or other devices.

We tested out a selection of the best car jump starter packs to see which was the best in terms of value for money, performance and other handy features. 

Read on for our list of the best mini jump starter packs…

How we tested them 

To test starting performance, all jump starter packs were used on a 1.6-litre petrol engine, and we expected the motor to turn over five times for five seconds each time, with a two-minute break between. 

Each was fully charged before starting the test and the battery state logged when we finished. We also rated each starter for practical features such as cable length and clamp size, tech spec and weight. Instructions were also rated, as were safety and options, including sockets. As ever, price from a range of online sources was the final factor.

Verdict

Since our previous winner, the MSC Overland Waterproof Car Jumper and Power Bank, was discontinued, our previous runner up the Clarke JSM300 has taken the spot for best jump starter pack. It only costs around £10 more than the MSC. The Ring RPPL360 is impressive, but ultimately loses out due to its price and accessories to the cheaper and extremely well featured Clarke JSM300. The Clarke JSM400 comes in third place with its heavy-duty Ah rating, although it was a little pricier than the jump starter packs that came ahead of it.

Reviews

Clarke JSM300 Micro Jump Start and Power Pack

The JSM300 is Clarke’s mid-range Jump Start device, offering a neat balance of capability and price. Despite weighing just 627g, the Clarke has 12Ah, which was easily enough for all of our tests; we also measured a max 109 amps while the engine turned over. Like many rivals, it flashed LEDs to show it was connecting, which then went to solid green to show it was ready. 

While many larger-amperage products offer multiple voltages, it’s quite unusual to find 5V, 12V and 19V (for laptops) with adaptors at this price. The JSM300 also comes with a four-into-one multi-plug connector with an Apple 30-pin (a little outdated), Lightning plus mini and micro USB. The zip-up case is strong and large enough to handle the battery and the various accessories, which are secured by elasticated straps. It also includes both mains and car chargers. The jump-start socket is covered, but the two (4A combined) USB outputs aren’t.

Buy now from Machine Mart

Ring Fast Charge Jump Starter RPPL360

  • Price: Around £100
  • Rating: 4.5 stars 
  • Contact: ringautomotive.com

The Ring has a more modern design than some competitors because it uses the latest lithium-cobalt battery tech and offers a PD30W fast-charge USB-C output along with a standard 2.4A USB.

It’s hardly a heavyweight at 691g and the 37cm the leads are practical, if not the longest. The jump start connection is double-protected, first by a rubber flap and, underneath, a plastic, spring- loaded cover, which is a good idea, if a bit fiddly to use. 

It performed very well and notably better than the other Ring we tried. We also liked the green ‘ready’ light. It succeeded in all five tests and still showed four blue status LEDs at the end.

 

Clarke JSM400 2100mAH Jumpstarter

This Clarke model has a monster Ah rating and was the heaviest of our trio, at 930g. The hard, zip-up case contained mains and car charging plugs, eight adapters for the DC 19V outputs and a four-way connector for most phones. It’s clearly designed with daily practicality in mind, not just for emergencies. 

It powered our discharged battery from just 3V to turning over rapidly for all five tests, and all five LEDs were still bright at the end. The LEDs on the Smart Cable were bright, too, although the leads were a touch short. If you need the extra Ah for a larger engine or diesel, or for powering many devices, this is the one for you.

Buy now from Machine Mart

Launch ESP-150 Car Jump Starter

This 15Ah-rated li-polymer battery should cope with most eventualities, but at 731g, this is at the expense of portability. It could charge portable devices via twin USB sockets (1A and 2A), and included mains and car-charging plugs plus a multi-USB lead that had nothing for Apple devices. 

The digital display shows battery state, and there’s a booster button, which in effect is an on/off switch for the 32cm jump-start cables. All that ampere hour translated into five perfect scores, while losing only around 10 per cent off the total. Yet this impressive device is a bit pricey even with its spec.

Buy now from Launch UK

Draper Expert Lithium Jump Starter 15067

Lots of things to like about this powerful 12Ah Draper, starting with the strong hard case, complete with USB and car charging connections. As with the MSC Plus, it features eight useful laptop adaptors, together with a four-in-one multipurpose charging lead which covers various permutations of Apple and USB fitments. It easily completed our tests, although the battery state lost an LED and a few points. We liked the long, 42cm leads and the option to charge at 12V, 16V or 19V, although an extra USB socket would be good. A great product and nearly a podium.

Buy now from Amazon

GC PowerBoost

Supplied in a tough case, the PowerBoost boasts a neat OLED display and three USB sockets: two 18W USB-A outlets and one 60W USB-C able to power a laptop. All have a cover and a seriously bright LED light. The unit is also unusual, because it is able to charge a car battery, although that takes lots of energy and time. 

It is IP64 rated against moisture and dust and, at 16Ah, its capacity is one of the biggest we’ve tried, but it’s also the heaviest at just over a kilo. The solid clamps are large and grip well, and the leads are a reasonable 41cm long. Even with a 10V battery, it spun the engine with ease. We like the GC a lot, but that price can’t be ignored if starting a car is its primary role.

Buy now from Green Cell

MSC Overland Plus Power Bank & Jump Starter

With a whopping 18Ah on tap, the Plus version of MSC’s winner barely flinched at our starting tests, finishing with the battery state still at 100 per cent. Presented in a hard, zipped case, it’s dust/waterproof to the IP65 standard and comes with chargers for mains, USB and car. In addition, it has eight adaptors for charging a laptop; one worked well on our HP. It seems mean to have just one USB, but it has a multi-way cable to make life easier. Massively capable, if heavy, at 919g, this device can do almost everything.

Buy now from Mobile Solar Chargers

Halfords Advanced Lithium Jump Starter

  • Price: Around £60
  • Rating: 3.5 stars  
  • Contact: halfords.co.uk     

We thought this was a neatly made product, although it came with just the Smart Connect and USB charging leads; there was no case, and the charging and USB sockets weren’t covered. The Smart socket had a rubber exterior cover plus a sliding plastic version inside, which was impressive, if a little fiddly when plugging in.

A torch was fitted in the end of the jump start, pointing directly at the clamps, although there were no flashing modes as on the MSC. Of the five attempts, it managed to turn the engine over four times, although they were all much slower and half-hearted than the Overland, a reflection of the lower capacity of 6Ah. On the fifth attempt, it failed altogether and at the end, there was around 60 per cent charge left. Not a terrible result, but we get the feeling that if there were any other engine troubles, it would struggle to start it.

Buy now from Halfords

Laser 7405 Jump Starter Multi-Function

The new offering from Laser did well on our starting tests, completing all five and keeping the four LEDs glowing at the end, despite its low Ah. It includes some unique touches, such as a clear, red LCD screen which obviously shows the state of play for starting. It has two USB sockets, one of which is QuickCharge 3.0, and in addition, it features a USB C socket for input or output – all cutting-edge stuff. Charging is via a micro USB, although mains and car chargers aren’t included. An impressive unit, light at 559g, but too new for us to get a keener price.

Buy now from Machine Mart

NOCO GB40 Genius Boost Plus 1000A Jump Starter

  • Price: Around £110
  • Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Contact: no.co

This features top build quality and a tough, no-nonsense casing – a good job, with only a fibre bag for protection. It’s the smaller of the two NOCOs we tried and we liked the clear layout with large buttons for the light and on/off, and a simple LED set-up that made getting it wrong impossible. The heavy-duty croc clips connected via a large plug/socket and it turned the engine nicely. However, it had lost one of its LEDs at the end, is heavy, at 905g, features only one USB socket and isn’t cheap.

Buy now from Amazon

Ring RPPL250 Wireless Jump Starter

This Ring has 5V and 9V USB sockets and a built-in QI wireless charge panel. We had to use it on the battery at 11V, and although it turned the engine over, it was slower than its rivals. At the end, only three out of four LEDs were lit. It’s more of a power bank with some emergency function.

Buy now from Halfords

NOCO GB50 Boost XL 1500A Jump Starter

  • Price: Around £135
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Contact: no.co

As the name and price suggest, this is a step up from the GB40, in terms of power and size, but still with no hard case and just one covered USB socket. The design and quality remain the same, but at 1.1kg, it was the heaviest and priciest unit here. As with the smaller version, the instructions are good and it’s designed to start batteries down to 2V. Again, the twin, seven-mode LEDs shone usefully at the croc clips, towards the connections. The engine was turned over quickly and for all five tests, leaving three of four LEDs lit.

Buy now from Amazon

If you need to keep the engine illuminated while giving the battery a jump, check out our list of the best inspection lamps

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