Anker Compact Car Jump Starter Review
If you’re prone to leaving your car door open (and dome light on) all night like I am, you’ll appreciate the easy-to-use power of Anker’s Compact Car Jump Starter.
What I like
- It is convenient: A few months ago, I didn’t shut my car door the whole way and my battery was completely drained the next morning when I went to leave. With my car parked my garage, I could not connect jumper cables to my neighbor’s car. Since neither of us had a battery charger and my battery was getting old, my neighbor had to drive me to the closest Advance Auto Parts to get a new battery. If I would have had a unit like this Anker Jump Starter, I could have easily taken care of the problem myself without bugging my neighbor.
- It’s not just for cars: I was visiting my parents this past weekend and my dad mentioned that he couldn’t get this Polaris Four Wheeler to start. I grabbed this Anker Compact Jump Starter out of the trunk of my car and we tested it out. His battery was definitely dead: the starter would only click a few times. But once I connected this Anker unit to the Four Wheeler’s battery, in 5 seconds the Polaris started right up. He was so impressed with how easy it was to use, he said he is going to buy one of these units to take with him to his hunting cabin so he can easily start the four wheeler and lawn mower that have been sitting there for some time.
- Compact design: The Anker Jump Starter battery pack and cables are a little smaller than the previous generation of this product. Outside of its case, this unit can easily fit in my glove box. This makes it very easy to grab whenever I need it.
- Case included: Anker packs everything you need in a convenient case that makes this easy to stow away in your trunk, and also makes it easy to move from vehicle to vehicle. Unfortunately, the case is somewhat large, so it won’t fit in the glove box.
- Two USB charging ports: I can also use the Anker Jump Starter to charge my smartphone or tablet. One port outputs 1 amp (good for phones) while the other port is supposed to output 2.1 amps (see my note in the “CONs” below). This is handy in case I forget to charge my phone before leaving. Since the unit is portable, I can also take it with me when I leave the car and keep charging my phone.
- Built-in flashlight: When I’m under the hood of my car, I’m going to need a flashlight. Anker includes one built-in to the unit. You can turn it on by holding down the power button for a few seconds.
- Safety protections: There are multiple safety checks in Anker Jump Starter to help protect the unit itself and the car. I also tested the jumper cables with a multimeter and found that they did output the correct voltage of 12V.
- USB ports only output 1 amp: I tested my iPad at a 5% battery level and found that the “high-powered” 2.1 amp port would really only output 1 amp according to my USB voltmeter. I’m not going to deduct a star from my rating as (1) this isn’t the primary purpose of the Anker Jump Starter and (2) my iPad still charged, just at a slower rate. But if this is important to you, it is a point to consider before purchasing.
How to Use
I really like how easy this Anker unit is to use. I was a little leery that I would mess something up and fry my car, but when the two jump cables accidentally touched while I was using the unit, it beeped and the error light came on. The Anker unit itself was fine. This tells me that the safety circuits inside this unit are definitely doing their job. Here’s the process for jump starting your car with the Anker Jump Starter:
1. First, make sure your ignition is off and your car is in park.
2. Pop the hood of your car and hit the power button on the Anker Car Jump Starter unit. Make sure at least 2 blue LEDs come on as the unit needs to be charged more than 25% in order to work.
3. Connect the jumper cables to the Anker unit.
4. Connect the red cable to the Positive terminal on your car battery. It is likely marked with a plus (+) sign.
5. Connect the black cable to the Negative terminal on your car’s battery. It is likely marked with a minus (-) sign.
6. Wait at least 5 seconds.
7. Then, try to start your car.
8. If all goes well and your vehicle is running, remove the jumper cables from your car’s battery within 30 seconds. You’re done!
Overall, this Anker Compact Car Jump Starter is a great device to have in your car, because if you’re like me, you never know when you might not close that car door the whole way and your car’s battery then meets its death by dome light. This is especially useful if your car battery is getting older (3-4 years) or your live in a cold climate. This is also beneficial for someone who owns other vehicles, such as snowmobiles and four wheelers that have been sitting dormant for a long period of time.
Unfortunately, this product has been discontinued, but there are other car jump starters available!
Anker's jump starter is easy to use and allows you to jump start your vehicle by yourself.