There’s almost nothing worse than getting into your car in the morning and turning the key, only to hear the clattering of the interior lights and the whine of the starter, but the car won’t start. Clearly, the battery is dead and the other problem is that no one else is around to help you jump-start the car. But if you have a portable battery charger, you wouldn’t need anyone else.
What is a portable battery charger?
A portable battery charger is exactly what it sounds like; a car battery charger that you can keep in your car when you need it. It’s essentially a larger version of the portable chargers for cell phones, except there are positive and negative battery leads to connect to the car battery.
However, they can do even more as most portable car battery charger banks have USB outlets to charge a couple of cell phones at the same time. And when it comes time to recharge the battery bank, you can plug it into a wall socket or a 12-volt car outlet.
What else can a portable battery charger do?
Charging your car’s battery and your cellphone is only the start when comes to these types of battery chargers. If you’re willing to step up in size, then you can get a battery charger that can power your laptop and there are even some on the market with built-in air compressors to that you can fill up a deflated tire, or perhaps even a raft on the weekends.
What’s more, there are even battery chargers with AC inverters that allow you to plug in a household appliance or a small lamp for those darkened camping nights.
Of course, the more features that you desire in a battery chargers increases its size and cost, but fortunately, it will still be able to fit neatly in the trunk of your car.
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What should you look for in a portable battery charger?
According to CNET, there are five things that you should know before shopping for a portable battery charger since there are so many types and sizes currently on the market:
- Primary purpose: What do you need the charger for? If you only need a charger for your car’s battery, then you likely won’t need all of the accessories that some chargers offer, as well as the larger size.
- Starting amps: Larger engines, like V8s, could require up to 500 amps to start on a cold day. Be sure to read the details (starting or cranking amps) on any battery chargers that you’re interested in and make sure that it’s capable of starting your car’s battery.
- Storage capacity: This mainly matters if you’re planning to use the battery charger for more than just charging your car’s battery. The storage capacity is measure in milliamp hours and most batteries are rated between five and 22 amp-hours.
- Chemistry: Portable car batteries can range from lithium-ion to lead-acid. If you want a smaller one, then you might not want to choose a lead-acid one.
- Features: Lastly, make sure that the portable charger has all of the features that you’re looking for, but just remember that more features (air compressor, larger capacity, etc.) mean a larger size and heavier weight.
A portable battery could save your life and a lot of time
While it might not seem like it at first, the right portable battery charger could not only save you a lot of time, since you won’t need another car to jump-starts yours, but it can possibly even save your life. There’s nothing worse than needing to start your car or inflate your tire in the most inconvenient situation, like being stuck on a busy bridge, interstate, or even in the middle of nowhere. But fortunately, a portable car battery charger can get you out of those situations.