Never face a dead battery again with one of these portable car battery chargers

Portable Car Battery Charger
There is never a good time to have a dead car battery, but such an inconvenience will probably crop up right when you really need to get somewhere — now. To avoid the frustration of finding a flat battery, we recommend using one of these highly rated portable car battery chargers.

If you drive your car regularly, it’s unlikely you will encounter a completely flat battery, but as car batteries age, they struggle to hold a charge. To keep your car battery juiced, you can use a maintainer/charger. Some of the products in this top five roundup even extend the life of your car battery. Add in the convenience of a portable-size unit, and you have the most proactive solution for a wonky car battery.

Black and Decker BC2WBD 2 Amp Waterproof Battery Charger / Maintainer

Portable Car Battery Charger
  • Capacity — 2 or 6 Amps
  • Outputs — 3 ports (battery clamps, rings, and 12-volt)
  • Weight — 1.7 pounds
  • Price — $30

What good is a portable battery charger if it’s ungainly? Believe it or not, but there are “portable” car battery chargers on the market that weigh almost 30 pounds and need to be wheeled around. Unless you’re running a vehicle fleet, something more along the lines of this Black + Decker 2 Amp charger will suit your needs.

Weighing just 1.7 pounds and measuring just 9.1 x 5.3 x 3.5 inches, this tiny power unit can easily fit in a trunk and may even fit in your car’s glove box. The charger is also waterproof and is sealed to protect it from dust and moisture, making it ideal for travel. Both two- and six-amp versions are available — both costing less than $35.


Stanley BC25BS Bench Battery Charger

Portable Car Battery Charger
  • Capacity — 15 or 25 Amps
  • Outputs — 2 ports (battery clamps and 12-volt)
  • Weight — 8 ounces
  • Price — $79

Looking for a bit more versatility and durability? Check out the Stanley Bench Charger. With fast, high-frequency technology, it delivers three-stage charging and will automatically switch between modes: fast charge, top-off, and trickle charge. You can set and forget the charger, or you can monitor charging and battery status on a digital LCD screen.

The Stanley Bench Charger also features an alternator check to evaluate battery voltage under load, indicating whether the alternator is maintaining battery level. Considering a bad alternator is the next most common culprit for a car refusing to start, this is a really nifty feature. Last but not least, the charger can also jump-start your car if the battery refuses to charge or if you need to get on the road in a hurry. Sure it isn’t crazy cheap, but the bench charger is full of useful functions.


Sunway Solar Car Battery Charger

Portable Car Battery Charger
  • Capacity — 2 Amps
  • Outputs — 1 port (12V)
  • Weight — 1.5 pounds
  • Price — $38

For maximum efficiency, consider a solar-powered charger like this one from Sunway Solar. While this might not be the most robust portable car battery charger, it is convenient and tackles some of the biggest causes of battery drain: Car alarm systems, engine computers, and (for you forgetful folks), headlights left on. Consider this your eco-friendly battery maintainer.

Just mount the solar charger on one of your car’s windows or stick it on the dashboard, plug it into your 12V port, and you are good to go. Features include weatherproof, ultra clear PV glass, a durable ABS plastic housing, and an LED indicator for when the system is charging. Wield the power of the sun, people!


Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer

Portable Car Battery Charger
  • Capacity — 1.5 Amps
  • Outputs — 3 ports (battery clamps, rings, and WM-12 connector)
  • Weight — 1.4 pounds
  • Price — $30

Like the Black and Decker charger, this Schumacher unit is light (1.4 pounds) and compact (7 x 7.5 x 11 inches) for easy portability. The Speed Charge can refuel and maintain six- and 12-volt batteries through a number of different ports, including battery cables, rings, and a WM-12 connector. Distinguishing the Schumacher unit from competitors is an automatic mode that switches between charge and float mode to avoid overcharging the battery.

The Speed Charge also features reverse polarity protection to extend the charger’s life and a one-year manufacturer warranty. Putting out just 1.5 Amps, it would take the Speed Charge a good long while to restore a car battery, so it’s best to use this as a battery maintainer.


Schumacher SE-5212A 2/10/50 Amp Automatic Handheld Battery Charger

Portable Car Battery Charger
  • Capacity — 50 Amps
  • Outputs — 1 ports (battery clamps)
  • Weight — 10.5 pounds
  • Price — $65

By far the most potent portable car battery charger in this roundup, the Schumacher Automatic Charger puts out double the maximum amps of the Stanley Bench Charger. There is a bit of a weight penalty for all this power (the Schumacher unit is a hefty 10.5 pounds), but it can also completely restore a battery in less than five hours.

In addition to being able to charge 12-volt batteries, the Automatic Charger puts out three different levels of power: 2- to 6-ampere charge/maintain, 10-ampere boost, and 50-ampere engine start (yes, this unit can jump-start your car). Schumacher says its charger won’t overcharge your car’s battery and it can even lengthen your battery’s life. So, the question is: Do you want a featherweight system or one that can jump-start a planet?


Product Review

Samsung's Galaxy Fold proves folding phones are the future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is finally here -- it's the company's first foldable smartphone, with three screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. What's it like to use? We spent some time with it to find out.

The Best iPhone 7 battery cases to give your phone some extra juice

The iPhone 7 doesn't have terrible battery life, but you never know when you'll need to juice up on the go. To help, here are the best iPhone 7 battery cases that can keep your smartphone charged and ready for long-term use.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.

Get the most life out of your Xbox One controller with these tips

The Xbox One controller has fantastic battery life, but eventually your batteries will still die. To make it even better and ensure you never have to stop gaming, follow these tips.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.

More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.

Would you buy the Tarok compact pickup truck? Volkswagen wants to know

The Volkswagen Tarok pickup truck concept will make its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The truck first appeared at the 2018 Sao Paulo Auto Show, and VW wants to see what U.S. buyers think of it.

Sick of civilization? Volkswagen’s Atlas Basecamp concept lets you get away

Volkswagen revealed the Atlas Basecamp concept ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Built for overlanding, this family-hauler was upgraded jointly by Volkswagen and aftermarket manufacturers.

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo sheds weight, uses racing tricks to stay sharp

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo isn't dramatically different from the 2019 model, but Nissan made changes where it counts. The updated GT-R Nismo is lighter and offers better aerodynamic performance, according to Nissan.

Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80,000 NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.