Imagine this: it is a cold winter evening and your shift just ended. Unfortunately, you don’t have the luxury of working at home (yet) and you must drive for at least an hour before you reach where you call home.
However, on this particular evening, a truly worrisome storm has hit your city, pulling down trees and everything in its path, including electricity. The snow on the road and pavements, you swear, is about (or above) 10 inches thick!
Everywhere is covered by a super-dense fog and visibility is just a few meters, even with headlights everywhere.
There is nothing that you desire more than to get home and snug into your thick, blanket. However, to get home, you must weather the storm and find a way to survive the 1-hour journey that has turned into more than 5 hours of hell because of the road and weather conditions.
The roads are busy in the 28F that your vehicle’s ambient temperature sensor detects.
However, as you progress on the journey back home, your bladder, after all those hours in traffic, is supremely pressed and you need to take a pee. It is then that you make the mistake of your life: you kill your engine and jump out to take a quick piss!
Unfortunately, after you pour out wastewater from your bladder into the public urinal (to your heart’s content) and feel as if you have been given a new lease on life, right after, you remember that your vehicle’s battery isn’t in the best condition and has been showing some hesitation during startups and when you attempt to use the headlights.
You also remember that just some moments back, the horn performed abysmally poor when you attempted to use it, a stark reminder that you needed to change things up, ASAP.
As these thoughts fly through your mind, you begin to panic and curse the damned piss for pressing you when it did.
Unfortunately, your worst fear is confirmed when you stick the key in the ignition and the vehicle engine turns slightly and then goes dead silent – with the instrument cluster just lighting up enough to assure you that it is still with you in the extremely harsh winter night/chill.
A dead battery in the middle of nowhere with road users who are practically shivering and sub-zero temperatures. It is then that you instantly remember that were you to have a compact jumper in your vehicle like your colleague Ted, this would have been sorted in less than a minute.
But, for now, you know without being told that you’re screwed.
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What Is A Glove Box Car Jump Starter?
Traditionally, vehicles were jumped before now with the physical and arduous process of taking out a similar sized battery, removing the offending battery’s terminals, taking out the weak battery, replacing same with the new or stronger one, connecting the terminals to it, cranking the vehicle, reversing the terminals (with the vehicle running) before finally placing back and connecting the originally weak battery in its prior position.
Tall and stressful order, no doubt. But, it did the job and everyone was happy at the end, especially the folks who needed help in the first place and were helped in this manner.
However, as with everything in our modern world, the quest for improvement continued, and sooner than later, there was an improvement: the jumper cables.
Jumper cables eliminated the need for taking starter batteries out of vehicles simply for the purpose of jumping them.
Instead of that super tedious task, all that was needed to be done now was to have a pair of cables in the trunk, usually, measuring from 6 ft bearing the traditional ‘positive’ red color and the traditional ‘negative’ black color. These cables, when around, would simply clamp to the ‘weak’/’dead’ battery, and the other end, clamp to the ‘stronger’ battery that was brought in for the purposes of jumping.
Usually, it took just one attempt and a weaker battery would be ‘energized’ enough to start the vehicle.
Having these in one’s trunk was a no-brainer and every responsible motorist sought to have it in their trunks. If you drove a vehicle and did not have them in your trunk, you were likely to be taken as unserious when you had a dead/weak battery and needed the help of another motorist to get things up and going for you.
However, these jumper cables, interesting and break-through as they were, posed a challenge and issue: you needed another vehicle and a willing driver to be able to jump-start your weak or dead battery.
The challenge and question were that: what if you need to jump your battery in the middle of nowhere; someplace where there is no other (willing) motorist? A place that resembles the one detailed in the intro of this article above?
That is how the quest for improvement continued and things went on to be improved. The next improvement was battery-powered jumpers.
With the introduction of battery-powered jumpers, you could, for the first time in forever, jump a weak or dead battery on your own, without seeking any help; all you needed to do was simply connect the negative and positive clamps of the jumper to your battery’s corresponding terminals and crank.
Magic happens and the vehicle, hitherto dead, is kicked to life in a most brilliant manner/fashion.
This was genius, looked at from all angles. It was also the very first time you could jump a vehicle’s battery with the aid of a considerably smaller battery with success and no adverse effect.
In addition, this battery-powered jumper could be configured to come standard with a powerful flashlight (for the moments when it would be needed after dusk or away from civilization), a compressor for powering your tires, and for some units, an inverter system that could serve both AC and DC appliances brilliantly.
In addition, many added a solar panel to the various means with which they could be recharged directly, that is, in addition to a wall socket charger and a 12V cigarette lighter DC charger.
But, there was still a problem with this invention; three (3) solid problems as a matter of fact:
- The size was humongous. The units were not portable or easy to carry around either in the vehicle nor did they lend themselves for easy storage at home.
- Lead acid battery was standard on these. This meant they were heavy, with accompanying poor service and shelf life.
- Charging these units was painfully slow and often, took more hours than their help was worth.
The inventions continued however and the modern glove box jumper was given birth to. These jumpers were sleek enough to fit into the glove box of a compact to mid-sized sedan; had batteries that were made of lithium-ion or at least, lithium polymer; had impressive shelve lives and importantly could also power on other small electronics or gadgets on the go.
A glove box car jump starter is thus a portable jumper that typically fits into the glove box of a small-medium vehicle, is smart enough to keep its charge for a reasonable amount of time, and importantly, can power other smaller electronics in a power bank fashion if need be.
What Is The Best Glove Box Car Compact Jumper?
The best compact jump starter that can easily fit into the glove box of a car is the Noco GB 50 portable jumper. Capable of holding a charge for a whole year and jumping a full-size sedan/CUV up to thirty (30) times, this is about the best option that can be got for the money today.
However, I do not want you to simply take my word for it; what actually makes the GB 50 from the stables of Noco the very best option in this regard?
There are many reasons actually. However, carefully outlined and explained below are the top six (6) reasons why this jumper beats all other options in a super brilliant manner.
Why Is The Noco GB 50 The Best Compact Jumper For Your Car?
Usually, when someone says something is the best, naturally, that person ought to show how and why. After all, it is trite law that he who alleges is responsible for proof (in most jurisdictions of the world today, including the US).
So, here are the six (6) reasons why I hold that the Noco GB 50 is the best compact jumper for your vehicle.
1. Ultra Portable
Remember how size and convenience featured prominently in the evolution of jumpers? The market and demand scheme of things had always been tilted towards the realization of a jumper that can be so portable that it simply gets thrown into the glove box and practically forgotten till there’s an urgent need for it.
Unfortunately, even with the current advancement of car battery technology, most of the units designed and sold in the market today are larger than most glove box designs and of necessity, must be stored somewhere else if you must take them with you in the vehicle (which by the way, is the grand essence of a portable jumper, in the first place).
The Noco GB 50 is an exception in this regard and brilliantly fits into an average glove box in the most brilliant of manners: sedans, coupes, CUVs, SUVs, and trucks. No exceptions. The only vehicle types where there may be an issue requiring a workaround are the compacts with glove boxes designed to hold nothing more than the owner’s manual and service schedules.
If you ever need to jump-start a dead battery in the middle of nowhere (or, in the middle of somewhere), all you need to do is simply open your glove box and whip out the jumper!
No long walks to the trunk (or the need to fiddle with a loaded trunk, for that matter).
2. Impressive Battery Life
Remember when I mentioned that poor service and shelf life were one of the challenges of the bulkier lead acid-powered jumpers besides their obvious bulk? You could charge such humongous units up and without use, they went back to flat in a matter of just two (2) months at most!
The worst and most annoying part? You could charge up the unit, and successfully jump a battery one moment and if you attempted to jump the same battery some moments after (or another), you most likely would experience a complete failure and upon investigation, would come to the conclusion that the battery is flat!
It was that embarrassing!
The Noco GB 50 takes things to the next level with its design and battery offering: the unit is good for a whole year – charge-wise (if you simply decide to charge it and leave it in the glove box). Upon calling on it after a whole year or when you need it (probably by the end of the year), you’d be amazed to find out that the charge would still be around the 75% mark!
That is not all. Jumping a standard vehicle (read: a sedan or CUV) isn’t just a breeze; the jumper is designed to be able to afford thirty (30) of such jumps for a single charge it receives!
Does it ever get better than this?
3. Practical, Ergonomic Design
Before Noco released its GB series to the market, there were some cheap knockoffs that were already in existence and motorists were already buying and using those. The problem was that such units were designed by folks who knew nothing about jumping a vehicle and (I can swear), were equally engineered by persons who had never had to jump a vehicle in their entire lives.
Or, how can one explain the impractical designs that completely flouted all the ‘rules of ergonomics’ resulting in mass-produced entities that were as impractical to use for any other thing as they were challenging to use for the very reason which they were created and existed for in the very first place.
The Noco GB 50 sorted these issues: the slippery designs of these units were replaced with a grippy design that was easy to hold unto and use even with greasy or sweaty hands; the smooth, unicolor systems on these units were replaced with a perfect machine exterior that was more suited for the tasks of a jumper and finally, the reality of being non-weather proof, forcing one to think and rethink use during harsh weather saw the introduction of an IP65 rating that protected against sand, dust, and water droplets when the ports were closed shut.
The combination of the grippy, sweat-proof design, the machined exterior, and the IP65 weather rating was truly a game changer; one none of the units before it had, or even now, can boast of.
4. A Reality That Is Hyper Focused
There is something about life that translates into electronics and the everyday gadgets that we use.
If we are at home and at ease, most of us will choose the Range Rover or GWagen over the LandCruiser without even thinking twice.
However, when reliability is of the utmost essence and failure isn’t an option, the rules quickly change: that ‘lowly’ Toyota becomes the go-to vehicle, one that naturally, will be the default choice.
The reasoning above largely applies to jumpers, especially models that are of the portable variant except that, in this case, everyone wants something that is focused, like the LandCruiser, and not something packed with features like the G Wagen or the Range Rover.
The logic is simple and straight to the point: when your battery packs up and you’re stranded, there’s nothing that you’re thinking of at the moment except to get the battery (and vehicle by extension) up and hit your intended destination.
Nothing more, nothing less.
This is the exact philosophy the Noco GB 50 employed in its design and engineering and the result is a unit that bears a laser-focused reality.
There’s a standard flashlight (with strobe function) for obvious and good reasons. Then, there’s a 2.1A USB port with the ability to charge small handhelds like a smartphone and cameras. Other than that, nothing more/extra.
Do you know why the LandCruiser is so reliable?
It is stripped to the bones of anything that does not add value to it as an offroad truck; as it is with the LC in the automotive world, so is it with the GB 50 in the world of jumpers, especially of the portable variant.
5. The Perfect Size For Most Vehicles
The sheer volume and diversity of vehicles on the roads today is amazing: Smart For Twos, sub-compacts, compacts, wagons (hello Europeans!), CUVs, SUVs, light trucks, heavy-duty trucks, and the list stretches on almost to infinity.
However, what is interesting is that body size and design aside, two-thirds (2/3rds) of vehicles on US roads today (and elsewhere for that matter) are vehicles with an engine rated between 1.0 liter and 6.0 liters (gasoline) and 1.5 and 3.5 liters diesel.
The above, you should note, applies to vehicles with an ICE (the variant this jumper is meant for) only and does not account for the increasing popularity of electric vehicles in recent years.
The implication of the above is easy to see: you may have five (5) vehicles in your home and without any effort, all the vehicles (while maintaining their distinct identities) will easily also find use for the Noco GB50 when the need arises.
And, this is the case with your neighbor; your colleague, and the farmer down the street. Exceptions might be here and there, but this is the general rule.
So, the point is that since there your ICE vehicles all fall within a range, why not simply get a standard jumper that can work across and one that you’re sure can also easily help stranded folks without even thinking about the capacity of their engines?
Rated for vehicles up to 7 liters gasoline and 4 liters diesel, the GB 50 is the perfect option for you and is the most standard buy across – especially if you’re thinking about the remote chance of changing vehicles, using the jumper across vehicles and having the ability to help a complete stranger (with a dead battery) without thinking too much about their engine size.
6. The Noco GB 50 Is The Safest Portable Jumper On The Market Yet
When you have a dead battery that won’t start your vehicle, the last thing on your mind is the correct operation of the jumper you’re trying to use to give your dead (or weak) battery a new lease on life.
Usually, what you’re bothered about is your safety (especially if the place where the battery failure occurred is deserted or lonely).
Beyond your safety, the next thing that will most likely occupy your mind is your actual destination – where you were going or need to be before it became painfully obvious that your starter battery can no longer attempt the task or pull you through.
Unfortunately, in this state of inattention, many things could potentially go wrong, adding to an already horrible situation. For instance, you could allow both terminals of the jumper to touch each other – causing an instant spark and potentially, starting a fire or compromising the entire panel of the jumper.
That is not all: you could also potentially connect the terminals on the jumper in an odd and strange manner, pegging the ‘negative’ (-) unto the ‘positive’ (+) and potentially frying up your fuse box, frying the panel of the jumper, compromising the weak starter battery or if you’re truly unlucky, getting all three (3) things to happen to you at once, turning a bad situation to a truly horrible one!
The Noco GB 50 makes certain that any of the scenarios above do not happen to you. If the terminals of the jumper mistakenly touch themselves while it is connected and powered, there’s spark-proof technology to make certain that nothing happens – not even the faintest of sparks!
What if you hurriedly clamp the negative (-) bit of the jumper to the positive (+) of the starter battery and route the other positive (+) bit to the negative (-) of the starter battery?
Nothing happens. Instead, the error light indicates on the jumper’s body, and an audible beep sounds. In a second, you simply take a look and correct yourself and nothing gets damaged and importantly, no one gets hurt.
Noco calls these measures ‘mistake-proof’ and I agree. And, it is these mistake-proof features, paired with a product that is already geared to rule the market while serving you diligently, that makes me conclude (without any further reservations) that this is the portable glove box jumper to consider.
Or, what is more important than your safety?
What About The Newer GBX Series From Noco?
Noco has an interesting brand-new line (compared to the GB series) called the GBX series. It is the ‘extreme’ line of Noco and its heavy-duty variant.
When these newer series were announced, the general sentiments were to the effect that it was coming to replace the older GB series, where the GB 50 I have mentioned as being perfect for a glove box falls.
However, Noco clarified and made it crystal clear that the GBX was an entirely new series that had nothing to do with the older GB series. It was an entirely new line, ‘the extreme one’, it said.
Now, there’s a ‘corresponding’ jumper from this newer series that somewhat competes with the older GB series: for the GB 50, that unit is the GBX 55.
So, why not go the ‘extreme’ way? Why not buy something newer, instead of opting for an older unit?
In my considered opinion, the ‘advantages’ of the newer GBX 55 over the older GB 50 aren’t worth the hassles of both the physical size and price increase. Assuming that the prices are even the same, I wouldn’t recommend that you opt for the newer GBX 55 in lieu of the recommended GB option here.
If you’re interested in my arguments regarding this, here’s an article that covers that in detail: Noco GB Vs GBX: Should You ‘Upgrade’ To The Newer ‘X’ Series?
However, what is to be noted before you even decide to take a look at that article is that the GBX models are considerably larger than their GB counterparts, which means that, while a GB 50 will comfortably fit into your glove box, a GBX 55 will not, given its larger appointments and with this, defeat the very essence of buying one and labeling same ‘compact’ or ‘glovebox compliant’.
Remember, newer isn’t always better, especially, given a particular use case. Further, that Noco chose to keep the GB line and instead call the newer GBX an ‘extreme, heavy-duty’ option and not the successor of GB models says a lot about what the GB models are; the company’s reluctance in killing a perfectly working unit, inspired by the highest levels of engineering genius is testament to a lot.
If you’re out shopping in the market today for a portable jumper that will fit into your glovebox and help you jump your starter battery whenever it gets weak or fails without warning, you’ll certainly come across various brands, some being the very first time you’ll be encountering them (and many others, quite possibly, the last, too).
To be confused at this point is easy, especially given that some models will be cheaper and others, spot some fancy features that the Noco GB 50 recommended here isn’t designed with.
However, if you’re looking for a jumper that:
- Can easily fit into your glove box.
- Start and serve a variety of vehicles.
- Work in extremes of cold or heat.
- Is error proofed – for those moments when you may make a mistake.
- Can stay in your glovebox for a whole year without needing a charge and still perform when called upon without prior recharge.
- Can tackle up to 30 jumps before needing a recharge itself and
- Is designed in the most ergonomic and practical manner;
No option, currently available for sale online (or off) beats the Noco GB 50. It also does not get better than what the GB 50 offers.