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Lifewire / Tony Mitera
One of the smallest and lightest jump starters
Great carrying case
Able to charge laptop computers
The jumper cables have large clamps and short cables
The flashlight is underwhelming
It’s hard to go wrong in choosing the DBPOWER 600A Peak 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter, as it packs a laundry list of features neatly into a nice case, all at a low cost.
The best jump starters blend portability with reliability. Most importantly, it needs to resurrect your car, every time, as quickly as possible (and with minimal hassle). On the other hand, for all the times you're not in an emergency situation, it needs to tuck neatly away in your car, and not hog a ton of valuable real estate. To find out just how well the DBPOWER 600A Peak 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter struck this balance we purposefully drained a car’s battery and got to work testing.
The unit and all its accessories are contained within a semi-hard case with a relatively durable zipper holding the two sides of the case together. One side contains the unit itself within a foam insert, and the other is an elastic mesh pouch for all the accessories. The idea here is that you can keep the case stashed in your trunk or under a seat and have everything you need.
The unit itself is a surprisingly small red and black brick, constructed out of plastic that feels both rugged and yet somehow also soft to the touch. There's a flashlight on one end of the unit that is mounted flush within the case and on one corner of the case there's a compass; presumably for the times where you get really lost. All the device’s inputs, outputs, the display, and the on/off switch are found on one of the longer sides. No cables stick out from the unit itself, as you must use one of the accessories to enable the device to do any of its actual work.
The accessory kit contains a wall charger and a 12V port charger for the unit, a DC cable, and a variety of ends to allow for charging a laptop. The jumper cables sprout from a module that plugs into a specific port on the unit and terminate in your standard clamps. The module itself has a status light that illuminates to indicate the unit’s readiness to jump start the car.
It's a breeze using the 600A to jump start a car. You plug the jumper cable module into the unit, which will cause its module light to flash green, then connect the red clamp to the positive terminal on your car’s battery and the black clamp to the negative terminal which will cause the module light to illuminate solid green. With our test vehicle it was a little difficult to get the clamps on the negative terminal as they are a little large, and the cables themselves are on the short side. With the clamps in position all that is left is to start the car and remove the clamps in reverse order.
It's a breeze using the 600A to jump start a car.
If it’s other devices that need power, you simply need to turn the unit on and then plug them into the appropriate port. For a laptop, that means you must pick the correct adapter, use the power button to switch the unit to the right power mode for your laptop, and plug it into the DC power port. For a phone or other USB device you pretty much just need to pick one of the two ports and plug in, though the smart port provides better amperage and faster charging.
When it comes to its ability to provide power, the DBPOWER Portable Jump Starter doesn’t disappoint. It reliably started a 2011 Hyundai Elantra that had a battery depleted down to 10V with zero issues, multiple times. With as small as it is, we did have some (thankfully unfounded) concerns that the unit might slide down into the engine bay as soon as the engine started.
Charging USB devices is not only simple but fast as well, with a sustained 1,200 mAh current. This level of charging will top off your devices in a hurry, and with 18,000 mAh capacity the unit should be able to charge a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S10 five times over. Be aware that if your phone uses a USB-C or Thunderbolt connection you’ll need to provide your own cable.
Small as it's, the DBPOWER Portable Jump Starter has a few extra features of note. The flashlight built into the case is decent, but doesn’t put out much light and does so within a relatively narrow angle. However, with as small as the unit is, you can easily just hold the whole thing in your hand like a flashlight to illuminate whatever you need.
It packs a ton of value into its diminutive size.
As mentioned before the case does have a compass on it, which is a curious addition to a tool such as this. It’s quite small and is neither illuminated nor does it glow in the dark. We suppose it might be useful to get your bearings in an unfamiliar area, but chances are decent you're just going to get the car jump started and get back on the road instead.
Speaking of which, one method of charging the device is through your car’s 12V power port. This means that you can pop the hood on a car with a dead battery, get it jump started, and then use the running car to charge the jump starter as you drive to your next destination.
You can find this model available online for between $70 and $75, and at that price point it packs a ton of value into its diminutive size. There are other units that are a little less expensive, but generally at the expense of some features or included accessories.
Beatit BT-D11: The two units are so similar in their design and production that it really boils down to one question: How important is charging your laptop to you? If it’s worth the extra $10, stick with the DBPOWER 600A. If not, you can pick up the Beatit BT-D11 for a bit less money and otherwise get a strikingly similar unit.
Aickar Car Jump Starter: Between these two it's almost too close to call. While the Aickar costs a mere few dollars less, it also has better output current for more reliable jump starts. For that reason alone, the DBPOWER 600A falls just a little short.
Interested in checking out more options? Take a look at our guide to the best portable jump starters.
A lot of features in a dependable package.
It’s worth looking at other jump starters to see what they offer, but the DBPOWER 600A Peak 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter does everything that it's designed for quite well, is reliable and durable, and comes in a semi-hard case that you can easily stash in just about any vehicle.