What is it?
There is nothing worse than returning to your car when you're away from home and you find you've got a flat battery! So, first you need to find your jump leads (if you even have any with you), then you have to find a willing donor car whilst re-positioning the car a hundred times because the leads just aren't quite long enough and the other car can't get close enough!
This is where the Ring Automotive Compact Jump Starter shines - it's a reasonably small portable jump starter that is essentially a 3,000 mAh battery pack with one input, two outputs and a LED flashlight. The first output is a single USB output of 5v 2.1 Amp, so you can charge a phone or similar, the other being the output for the pigtale jump leads. You can charge it via your cigarette lighter, or from the mains at a rate of 12v 1.5 Amps - both leads are provided. It will take approximately 4 hours to fully charge the device.
It currently retails at around £60 but the price varies from a range of different retailers.
How we tested it?
Ring Automotive claim that it will jumpstart any 12v petrol vehicle up to an engine size of 2L. So, we had a test car of a 1.2L Suzuki Swift that we knew had a fairly weak battery anyway and we could easily drain the battery's power to give the jump starter a real-life test!
We charged the device up fully the night before and then drained the battery on the test car. Then following the easy instructions connected up the pigtale jump leads and attempted to start the car.
We didn't like:
It's difficult to pick faults with the jump starter as it does exactly what it says it should, and is one of those products that could prove invaluable if you find yourself stranded away from home without any power to start your car. So, if you haven't got a portable jump starter already, then we can recommend this one.