Walking out to find your car has a dead battery is an inconvenience even in the best situation. In some instances, it can even be dangerous. However, traditional methods of jump-starting a car require storing a heavy pair of jumper cables and finding another motorist who is willing to take the time.
Portable jump-packs have been available for a few years, but these are typically under powered, heavy, and lose charge quickly. Battery technology has allowed these risks and inconveniences to be a thing of the past. The NOCO Genius Boost Plus uses lithium batteries to solve all of these issues in one compact and easy to use package.
This lithium jump starter will make worrying about a dead battery a thing of the past. It has a few other tricks up its sleeve as well.
Key Features of The NOCO Genius Boost
This isn’t the only lithium booster pack on the market. However, when we scoured the market looking for the best option, this model kept rising to the top. Here are the features that made it a winner in our book.
It Has the Most Jump Power
One of the largest flaws in many lithium jump packs is a simple lack of power. I have personally tried to use more than my fair share, and have been disappointed more often than not. If your car needs a jump, likely, the battery isn’t just a little discharged. However, jumping a car with a truly dead battery is not a simple feat. NOCO understood the power demands and engineered accordingly.
NOCO makes a few versions of the Genius Boost, depending on your specific car. For a smaller 4-cylinder vehicle, NOCO recommends its smallest 400-amp model. However, they offer up to a 4,000-amp unit for jump-starting larger V8s or diesel engines. To put that into perspective, a typical car battery only has about 500 cranking amps. Thus, even the smallest model that NOCO has on offer is still equivalent to a full-size car battery. All in a device about the size of a paperback book. It’s an impressive showing.
The unit I had for testing was the smallest model, the 400-amp GB20. However, in an attempt to give it the hardest test I could, I put a completely dead battery in an old diesel truck I keep around the farm. Despite the inherent difficulty of cranking over a stubborn diesel, the NOCO still managed to get the truck started on the first try. Given how well the smallest model performs, I could only imagine the power of the bigger units.
It Can Be Used as a USB Power Source
The two main things I look for in any gadget are versatility and the ability to get you out of a dangerous situation. The NOCO fulfills both of these goals. Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe your car has a dead battery, or maybe you are stranded somewhere with a dead cell-phone making you unable to call for help. The NOCO has your back in that scenario too. The NOCO portable jump starter has a USB port on the back of the unit allowing it to be used for charging any USB device. It is yet one more way that having this unit in the back of your car could save the day.
Of course, this feature does not have to be used for emergencies. If you’re going for a hike or spending a day at the park, it can still be incredibly useful to have a compact portable USB battery pack. Yet, the ability to get you out of a bad situation is really highlighted given the context.
It Will Hold a Charge Longer
Older portable jump-packs used small lead-acid batteries akin to a lawnmower battery. These were not only heavy and underpowered, but they had the annoying habit of discharging extremely quickly. Thus, even if the unit was sitting in the back of your car not being used, you would still have to charge the device every month. This is inconvenient, but it also means that the unit probably won’t be usable when you need it the most. If you lived in a very cold or hot climate, the problem might be compounded.
In my opinion, overcoming this challenge is perhaps the single largest benefit to the NOCO battery booster jump starter pack. Because it uses a lithium battery like a cell phone or laptop, this power pack will not lose power unless it is being used. This means you can charge it once, stash it in your trunk, and leave it with the confidence to know it will still be charged and ready to go when you need it. And, unlike the old style, it won’t be bothered by cold or heat.
The Noco Genius is Amazingly Small
During my time testing the NOCO, I had a legitimately hard time getting over how small it is. Despite the incredible amount of power it can produce, it is roughly the size of a box of Macaroni and Cheese. This is yet another reason why this unit will be there for you when you need it. Unlike the older units that took up an unwieldy amount of space in your car, this jump pack can be stored almost anywhere and forgotten. It will even fit in your glove box or center console. Combined with the compact set of attachable jump-leads, this entire unit is smaller than a single set of traditional jumper cables. They even included a handy storage pouch!
|Size: 3.2 x 1.7 x 6.7 inches
|Weight: 2.4 Lbs
|Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
|Amperage: 400-4000 Amps (Depending on Model)
|Recharging Time: About 5 Hours
Pros and Cons of The Noco Genius Boost
- Extremely light
- Powerful enough for almost any car
- USB output
- Excellent flashlight
- High-quality construction
- Only usable 2-3 times before recharging
- Battery gauge is vague
Available Variations of The Lithium Jump Starters
There are a variety of NOCO battery jump starter models, depending on the size of your needs. The unit I had for testing was the GB20 400-amp unit, the smallest they make. However, they make a total of five sizes, all the way up to the astronomically powerful 4,000-amp GB150 for jumping full-size semi-trucks.
Each model is a slightly different size, but they all follow the same high-quality construction and easy-to-use design philosophy of the unit I tested. There are also a few accessories to consider.
I spend a lot of time reviewing products, and I’m disappointed more often than not. Of all the products I test, only about 10% meet the standards needed to be put on this site. Thus, finding a product that truly meets and exceeds my expectations is a unique thrill.
Having tested similar units before, I was fairly skeptical of the NOCO. So much of the competition seems half-baked and underpowered. And ultimately, how can something so small produce enough power to jump-start something as large as a car? Well, the NOCO Genius Boost did all I asked and more. It is so convenient and compact that I see little reason to not have one in every car I own. With only one use it will pay for itself and more. There will probably be a few on my “present ideas” list as well!