This Father’s Day, why not give Dad a real charge for a change?

No, I’m not talking about running up charges on his credit card, but about one of the new portable jump-start devices for his car or truck.

Actually, you might want to give it to him a day or two beforehand because he might be headed that weekend to Michigan International Speedway for the NASCAR races, or to Greenfield Village for the Motor Muster, or to Lansing for the Oldsmobile reunion, or to the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores for the Eyes on Design classic and concept car display, and he might be so excited that he leaves the lights on and drains the battery in whatever he drives.

It can be embarrassing for Dear Ol’ Dad to have to call Triple A for a jump, and even if he carries jumper cables, it can be confusing which clamp to connect to which terminal.

Recently, I’ve received news releases about three new compact jump-starters that not only can get your car or truck running again, but that can be used to power up various mobile devices. They are the Bracketron Road Boost XL, Cyntur’s JumperPack mini and Impecca’s Power It portable jump-starter kits.

I’ve not field tested any of the three jump-starters, though I have tried and written positively in this space about Bracketron products in the past. The Minneapolis-based company, known for its mounts and accessories for automotive mobile devices, says its Road Boost XL is a 3-in-1 emergency power bank that can jump-start a vehicle (removable cables included), has a built-in flashlight/SOS signaler, and a USB port for powering a cellphone or other mobile device.

The Road Boost XL is 61/2 inches long, 3 inches wide and an inch thick and can be carried in a glove box or motorcycle saddle bag and, says Bracketron, holds its charge for three months. The price is $129.95 from

Cyntur is based in Camarillo, California, and focuses on in-vehicle technology accessories. It’s JumperPack mini uses Cyntur’s proprietary SafeJimp technology to prevent reverse charging or over-current conditions when connected to a vehicle’s battery. It also has a built-in flashlight/strobe and USB port and is 6 inches long, 3.3 inches wide and 1.3 inches thick.

Cyntur’s news release says the device is available at Target stores or through for $99.99.

New York City-based Impecca produces audio, video, digital photo and computer peripherals as well as air conditioners and home appliances. It’s Power It portable jump-starter kits range from an 8,000 mAh device for $79.95 to a 36,000 mAh version for trucks and RVs at $349.95, with four other versions in between. Or for $39.95 there’s the compact PEB10200 to power tablets and smartphones through dual USB ports.

Impecca said its auto jumper units come with LED flashlight with SOS safety signal, alligator clamps for starting a car and a USB cable with dual jacks. The 35,000 mAh version also includes an area lamp for illuminating camp sites or outdoor parties. The 8,000 mAh version is 7.2 inches long, 3.5 inches wide and 1.6 inches tall.

For more information, visit and search for Power it.

Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at

Read or Share this story: