Best mini jump starter packs 2019

The market offers plenty of small jump starters for every purpose, but which packs the most punch? Here's our verdict

When freezing winter weather makes life hard for your car’s battery, you need a lithium-ion mini jump pack. Lightweight and easy to store in a glovebox, they can be the difference between a quick start or a long wait for help to arrive. These power packs deliver punch beyond their sub-paperback size, and they can easily be slipped into a glovebox.

How we tested them

We scored the devices for their tech specs, including weight, lead length, instructions, number and rating of USB sockets, plus safety. In practical testing, we set each model to assist an ageing battery on a 1.6-litre petrol engine, turning it over five times for five seconds, with two minutes in between attempts. 

• Auto Express Product Awards

Verdict 

  • 1. MSC Overland Waterproof Car Jumper & Power Bank
  • 2. Sealey Jump Starter Power Pack SL65S V2
  • 3. Anker PowerCore Jump Starter Mini
  • Mini jump starter pack reviews MSC Overland Waterproof Car Jumper & Power Bank

    Price: Around £65
    Rating: 5.0

    Our previous winner remains basically the same; the only change is that the leads are now 3cm longer, at 36cm. This may not sound like much, but it’s very welcome.

    The unit is water-resistant to IP54, comes in a hard case with two USBs (rated at 3A combined), has all sockets covered and offers mains, USB, 12V and (optional) solar charging. Weighing just 481g, the MSC is handy to carry and store. It couldn’t match the performance of some of its rivals, yet it still completed all five tests and, importantly, had all its four LEDs still lit. 

    Buy it from Mobile Solar Chargers here

    Sealey Jump Starter Power Pack SL65S V2

    Price: Around £78
    Rating: 4.5

    Sealey’s SL65 has undergone another change of labelling; it’s lost the ‘Red Fuel’ name and is now simply called Schumacher. We liked the instructions, which advised correct lead connection, the usefully long leads (42cm) and the twin USB sockets, rated at 2.1A and 1A. 

    Unlike with the MSC, protection was a nylon pouch and only the jump-start socket had a plastic cover. We liked the red and green LEDs and warning beep, denoting connection and battery state. Predictably, it performed well, making light work of the five starts, but the LEDs revealed the battery was down to 66 per cent at the end, well adrift of the MSC, even allowing for it being 8000mAh as opposed to its rival’s 8700mAh.

    Buy it from Amazon here

    Anker PowerCore Jump Starter Mini

    Price: £43.99
    Rating: 4.0

    The Anker looks attractive with a great price, a quoted 9Ah and an 18-month warranty. The instructions were clear and the specs good, with two USB 3.0 sockets, mains, USB and 12V charging options, plus a strong, hard case for storage.

    All the sockets were covered and we liked the 49cm cables – the longest we’ve tried – although the 605g Anker lost out on power to weight. Its performance was good, if not inspired, and, despite completing our five tests, the unit was worked hard enough to leave just one charge LED lit. 

    Clarke Jump Start Micro 350 JSM350

    Price: £101.99
    Rating: 4.0

    The Clarke’s performance was stunning, spinning the motor in all five attempts and still showing a full battery afterwards. That’s unsurprising because it has 18Ah on tap, but this power is balanced by the unit’s size and weight: at 800g, it’s heavier than some of its rivals. 

    We liked the strong, hard case housing both the unit and its plentiful supply of accessories, including booster cables, a 12V car lead, a four-in-one lead with Apple and two USB plugs, plus eight adaptor plugs.

    The booster socket was covered, although the USBs weren’t, and they were only rated at 2.1A. Having to disconnect and reconnect the cables after each attempt (or 30 seconds) was a niggle. Its price hindered it, but if you need that back-up power for your portable kit, this is one to consider.

    Draper Expert Lithium Jump Starter 15066

    Price: Around £110 
    Rating: 4.0

    Draper’s mini jump starter lacked a digital display, instead using four LEDs to indicate the state of the battery. But all the lights were still on after our five start attempts. Like the Sealey it delivered a peak 400A charge, and it can be revived from the mains or a 12V socket. It had two USBs which can be used with the supplied four-into-one charging lead that covers most common connectors. It also had long leads, but the green LED indicator could be easier to see.

    Buy it from Amazon here

    Energizer Lithium Polymer Car Jump Starter 50810

    Price: Around £130 
    Rating: 4.0

    There was a lot to like about this US import, not least its 12,000mAh rating and 500A peak charge. It aced the five start attempts and still had 90 per cent power left. Like the Draper it can be charged in the car or via the mains, and it had long leads with strong clamps. Less good was the single USB port, and positioning under the bonnet is tricky because the module is attached directly to the main case.

    Buy it from Amazon here

    Micro-Start XP-3 Jump Starter

    Price: Around £130 
    Rating: 4.0

    A recent redesign saw a second USB outlet added to this compact charger. Its light weight makes it good for travelling, and like the Draper it comes with a four-way lead for charging electronic kit. It can also be charged from the mains or a 12V socket. In the car, the module plugs into the case, making it a bit cumbersome, but it had no problem with our five starts. Three of the four LEDs were still illuminated afterwards.

    Buy it from eBay here

    Silverline 12v Lithium Power Bank & Jump Starter 423352

    Price: Around £55
    Rating: 4.0

    The Li-Co polymer battery was rated at 6000mAh, which gives way to the likes of the 2000mAh Sealey, but it was 67g lighter than the champion. Charging from mains (or USB with a suitable cable), it only had one USB socket rated at the more useful 2.1A, and 41cm cables. The bright LED was impressive, even in the sun, and its functions were usefully repeated on the attractive black module. The connection instructions would keep the user safe.

    It sailed through our five test starts by which time it was showing only three of the five blue LEDs, with 60 per cent being the listed lower limit for starting. Sure enough, it wouldn’t turn a sixth time. Still, a great performer, very well priced and with a three-year warranty.

    Buy it from Amazon here

    NOCO GB70 Boost HD Jump Starter

    Price: Around £180 
    Rating: 4.0

    This US heavyweight was the most expensive unit on test and, at 1.8kg, the heaviest by more than half a kilo. But it had huge turning power, spinning the motor effortlessly. It had a safe design, with the large clamps live only when selected. The bright, clear LEDs read full when we’d finished and rubber flaps protected all sockets. We’d niggle at the single USB and thin nylon pouch, but if you have a big diesel or just need serious power then look no further.

    Buy it from Amazon here

    Ring RRPL 300 Micro High Power Jump Starter

    Price: £89.99 
    Rating: 3.5

    Compared with its predecessor, the new kingpin of the Ring range delivers more power, features an extra USB socket and, importantly, weighs considerably less; it’s down by 40 per cent to 682g from 1,148g. Both ports were the faster USB 3.0 type, but did not have covers.

    Oddly, the jump start socket was protected by a rubber flap and a slide-back internal cover, although the latter could be tricky to access with the plug. The 37cm cable was a reasonable length; it’s just a shame that the Ring unit can only be charged via USB, while it cried out for a hard, protective case for safe storage.

    Predictably, with a hefty 13Ah on tap, it repeatedly spun the battery much faster than many of its rivals although, after five tries, it was down to two charge LEDs. It’s a great performer, but is currently a bit pricey.

    Cobra JumPack XL CPP12000

    Price: Around £125 
    Rating: 3.0

    Charging from both 12v cigar lighter and mains – you get three adaptors – the Cobra featured good instructions and a reasonable textured nylon case with net pockets. It worked well turning the engine over and still showed three of four LEDs charge when finished. There was only one USB socket, albeit a 3A. The 31cm cables were the shortest on test, but the clamps were live only when connected. This good performer lost out on price against the competition.

    Buy it from Amazon here

    Nightsearcher StarBooster

    Price: Around £90 
    Rating: 3.0

    Our tougher test saw the Nightsearcher lose a star over its previous test win. Still, the folding magnetic handle worked well with the torch and floodlights, and despite its modest size and weight (581g), it provided a max of 192A on one of the five starts. Plus, it was the only starter to give warning beeps indicating incorrect polarity. But the module created an awkward shape when attached, made worse by the short 36cm cables, which remained live.

    Buy it from Right-Light

    Ring Compact Jump Starter RPP950

    Price: Around £120 
    Rating: 3.0

    With its single 2.1A USB socket, the 1,148g Ring was the second heaviest on test. The instructions were a bit brief and the clamps were left live. Despite Ring’s claims of three starts per charge, the unit easily did our five tests. It spun the motor as rapidly as the NOCO, suggesting that it was working harder than most, something backed up by its final battery state showing just one of three LEDs. If you can live with this, its price isn’t too bad either.

    Buy it from Amazon here

    Sakura 7500 mAh Jump Starter SS5396

    Price: Around £80
    Rating: 3.0

    The attractive Sakura weighs just 435g – that’s 60g less than the winner – despite giving away only 500mAh. We liked the zip-up hard case which stored the battery in one half and the cables in the other. Charging was only by USB, so you need a computer or a mains/car adapter, but the good tech spec included reverse connection protection, and all the sockets came with plastic covers. 

    Only one USB 2.1A socket was provided for charging accessories. The instructions were comprehensive, telling us to connect the cables before the battery, but it was found wanting in use, given its claimed mAh and 400A max performance. It turned the engine over twice, but disappointingly, no more.

    Buy it from Flubit here

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