Working on the Jeep the other day, I had the radio on for about four hours. Of course, the battery died. Duh! I broke out the old jumper cables and jumped the Jeep with my wife’s car. No worries. But it got me thinking how that may have played out had I been out on the trail by myself (which you’re not supposed to do, but I do anyways). 🙂
I spent several hours looking at portable battery jumpers online and settled on the Energette PowerBeast Z16. For about $70 on Amazon, I basically bought peace-of-mind.
But will it work? I decided to put it to the test as I would use it and suspect most will.
Truly Portable & Durable
First off, the full product name is the Energette PowerBeast Multifunction Compact Car Jump Starter Kit (Model Z16). And that matters because it truly is a multifunction device (more on that in a sec). Measuring just 10 x 8 x 2.5 inches and weighing in at just over 2lbs, the unit is small enough to tuck under the seat in the provided—and well organized—zipper case.
The device itself feels durable. It’s got a smooth rubbery protective coating and the integrated buttons, lights and plugs all seem very solid in-place. The on/off switch is a little cheap feeling, but I think it’ll hold up. The plug for the included alligator clips used to actually jump-start a vehicle is covered with a rubber flap to keep dust and such out of it. It’s actually an attractive and well-built unit.
Lots of Juice!
On a full charge—which takes about three hours using the provided house or vehicle power adapter—the 13600 mAh power bank with switchable 12V, 16V or 19V DC output claims to hold enough juice to jump start a gas engine under 5.0L or a diesel engine under 3.5L up to 3,000 times over the lifetime of the product’s sealed battery (or 20 times on each full charge, about 150 times total). That’s a lotta jumpin’! Of course, it’ll also jump start motorcycles, ATVs, jet skis and probably lawn mowers.
While I haven’t had the unit long enough to test the 3,000 total jumps claim, I did allow my 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon’s OEM battery to drain three times and, each time, the PowerBeast came through. The first time, the PowerBeast had a full charge. Then, I charged my iPhone a few times with it and the PowerBeast still provided enough power to jump-start the Jeep with zero issues. The third time, I waited a few weeks with the unit under my seat (I hadn’t charged it back up yet), and it still worked perfectly, almost immediately after connecting the unit to the Jeep’s battery and turning the key.
Obviously, the kit comes with positive and negative alligator clips to be able to jump-start vehicles when directly connected to the battery posts. The clips are integrated into a special connector required to plug into the PowerBeast. The cable is very short, though, but it’s not really a problem so long as you can find a decent location to set the unit inside your engine compartment while jumping the vehicle.Multifunction
The PowerBeast also includes dual USB Outputs (5V/2.1A & 5V/1A) so you can charge smartphones, tablets, and even laptops. I tried it out on my iPhone 6 Plus and it charged the phone about as fast as my Mac laptop would’ve—no complaints. The kit includes a 4-in-1 octopus cable with several different connectors making it compatible with iPhone, Galaxy, Nokia, HTC, Motorola, Android and Sony devices, although I don’t own any of those to test. The kit also includes 8 different laptop connectors.
The PowerBeast has an integrated LED light, as well, and it’s plenty bright if you’re stuck in the dark jumping your vehicle or changing a tire. The light is switchable between always-on, strobe (you know, for those dance parties you’ll be having on the road) and an SOS signal flash, in case anyone remembers what that means as they’re driving up on you. If you’re truly stranded and want to use the strobe to warn passers-by, make sure you don’t point it directly at oncoming traffic. It may seem obvious, but this thing is bright.
Overall, I love this thing. Again, it gives me peace-of-mind, allows me to charge my mobile devices on the trail and eliminates the need for a second vehicle when things go wrong. Good stuff.
The energette is no longer available, you can see the following car jump with similar specs:
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*A more accurate review of the PowerBeast’s performance would require our testing the unit against Energette’s claims—3,000 total jumps, all the various mobile devices and laptops it claims to support, 40 hours of runtime for the LED light, etc. We didn’t do that. We tested it as most of us would use the device. Just sayin’.