As we continue to gear up for next year’s epic, cross-country road trip, we’ve started taking a hard look at what we’ll need to get way off-grid. Especially if things don’t go according to plan. (And, let’s face it, they rarely ever do …) We’ll be relying heavily on our truck both for transportation and car-camping. So we need to be sure it stays in good working order. Getting stranded in the middle of Death Valley would, frankly, suck.
Which is how I stumbled upon Bracketron’s Road Boost XL portable jump starter. I’d been looking at portable jump starters for a while now. And, since I know Bracketron makes solid travel products, I figured the Road Boost XL should be a worthy bit of kit for our trip.
In Bracketron’s words, Road Boost XL is:
… the perfect portable rechargeable jump starter and emergency kit for your car, motorcycle, boat or powered plaything. The Road Boost features a powerful rechargeable battery capable of jump-starting your vehicle as well as featuring a built-in LED flashlight with blinking and SOS modes to alert fellow motorists and roadside assistance. It also serves as a battery bank for your smartphone or tablet, giving you power when you need it most.
The Traveler’s Take
What immediately struck me is the Boost XL’s diminutive size. It’s roughly as large as a full-size laptop battery (because that’s basically what it is) — plenty compact to toss in the trunk or spare tire well until you need it. But it packs a helluva punch with a powerful, 12,000 mAh rechargeable battery capable of jump starting most cars, trucks, and SUVs with 200A-400A output.
The plastic housing also feels sturdy and well-built, like it could take a bit of a tumble (though I wouldn’t recommend it) and keep on tickin’. The only negative I can see is the exterior is water-resistant, but not waterproof. In most real world applications, this won’t be an issue. But it would be nice to know that, even in a driving rain, we could dig under the hood and get things going without worrying about destroying the unit.
Bonus features include a built-in LED flashlight with blinking and SOS modes to alert fellow motorists and roadside assistance. A 2-amp USB port means the unit can also serve as a beefy backup battery bank for your smartphone or tablet.
The package includes the Road Boost Jump Starter, a compact set of jumper cables, AC and DC chargers, and a nylon carrying case.
Pricing + Availability
Retails for around $100 (USD), but you score one today from Amazon for less than $80.
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