Best Portable Car Battery Charger

A car battery charger is a device that is used to restore the chemical energy in a cell by using electrical current to reverse the electrochemical reaction and storing energy by doing so.

Why do I need a car battery charger?

Batteries lying idle will definitely drain over time and may fail to crack your motor vehicle the next time you use it. Background electronics such as alarms and clocks are the main culprits. Modern cars even have more electronic load due to increased circuitry that gives them smart features.

What the different types of car battery chargers?

Chargers are either fixed or portable. Fixed charges are your home type and you would connect them to the main electricity in your home. Fixed chargers offer far more energy and you have a pretty much-unlimited charge to power your battery. A portable charger will be with you when you hit the road and need to be recharged all the time so that they are always ready to assist you. When it comes to cost the portable chargers are more expensive because it is like buying a very powerful battery.

The other criteria you can use to classify chargers are their controls. It can either be a simple or more advance micro-processer-controlled charger.

The microprocessor-controlled battery chargers are the safest car battery chargers on the market. Advanced microcircuits carefully controlled the charge and duration given to a battery. These are the safest and quickest way to charge your battery at home. Most of them have protection features to easily monitor and control your charge cutting it out when it’s full automatically. This makes them ideal for overnight slow charging.

So microprocessor-controlled charges have several settings to choose hem and you have to pay close attention because using the wrong settings can damage or explode your battery. These chargers will allow you to control select your battery type, amps, and time of charge. It has many features such as boost charge, trickle charge, and so on. You can use boost charge to rapidly Charge your battery but you need to monitor it closely to avoid overcharge. With slower charging settings you can sleep overnight and let your battery get a 100% charger without the worry of it getting damaged.

You should always make sure you have set the right battery type mode. Most chargers let you choose from either standard battery, AGM, OR Gel type battery. Simpler chargers don’t have an option for choosing battery life.

Best Portable Car Battery Chargers of 2021

1. Schumacher DSR131 DSR ProSeries

Schumacher DSR131 DSR ProSeries

The Schumacher DSR131 DSR ProSeries is both an engine starter and a battery charger that charges all types of batteries. Standard, AGM, Gel, and deep cycle types of batteries can all be charged by this battery charger.

For easy connection, this model has cables that are 12 feet in length. As long as the battery has a negative and positive post and it’s a 6V or 12V, this charger will be able to charge your car battery on a lift. With this model, you can switch to the pace you want your battery to charge. You can turn it into a slow charge mode and leave it overnight. Overnight the battery will go from failing load test to passing load test.

It has a standard 120V outlet power supply voltage. So you will not be required to get an MPPT charge controller. But if the battery is fully discharged, it may take a few hours to fully recharge it. With its 250A voltage, it’s capable of cranking up both a fully discharged and partially charged battery in no time.

The Schumacher DSR131 DSR ProSeries also has special features like the reconditioning function. This feature restores stratified and deeply discharged batteries. It also has unique charging maintenance and it’s able to charge demanding batteries like the AGM type. This model is designed to protect car electronics which makes it short circuit proof.

The automatic part of this charger also works very well. It’s able to move in and out of the attaching points. And the places for the clamps are conveniently located. Though they are made of plastic, they can hold the clamps in a safe area. On the downside, the plastic will break and wear away before the estimated lifespan of the charger.

The Schumacher DSR131 DSR ProSeries is also a heavy-duty charger. But it’s equipped with wheels that make it easier to move even on sand. With this feature, you can easily move it to different cars for dead battery charging without moving your cars.

The Schumacher DSR131 is an excellent machine. It is more reliable than the typical microprocessor controlled units. It is an automatic designed machine. This feature automatically desulphurates batteries. This means that it will go into maintenance mode once your battery is fully charged.

Pros

  • Able to charge drained batteries
  • It has longer cables for easy connection
  • No need for MPPT battery charge controller
  • Equipped with a low engine starter

Cons

  • very expensive
  • May not charge old batteries

2. CTEK-40-206 MXS 5.0 Fully Automatic Battery Charger

CTEK-40-206 MXS 5.0 Fully Automatic Battery Charger

The CTEK-40-206 MXS 5.0 Fully Automatic Battery Charger is an automatic and maintenance charger for car and motorcycle batteries. The CTEK-40-206 is an advanced and microprocessor-controlled battery charger. With this technology, it gives unrivaled performance for lead-acid batteries from 1.2 to 110Ah.

The CTEK-40-206 MXS 5.0 comes with automatic temperature compensation built in which ensures the best charging performance. It maintains this performance even in the most hostile conditions. The CTEK-40-206 also includes battery diagnosis to establish whether your battery can receive or retain a charge. It also conducts a diagnosis on a patented automatic desulphation program. This means that it uses the CTEKs patented float or pulse system for efficiency and good maintenance. This is only efficient when a battery is connected for a long time.

The fact that the CTEK-40-206 MXS 5.0 is a microprocessor-controlled battery charger, it has a unique combination of advanced charging modes. The automatic temperature sensor is an example of the unique features of this battery charger. This means that the CTEK-40-206 MXS 5.0 is one of the most efficient, fastest, and versatile car battery chargers on the market.

The CTEK-40-206 MXS 5.0 offers a unique approach to battery care. This approach is in 8 steps.

The first step is desulphation. This is where pulsing voltage removes sulfates from the lead plates of the battery. This restores the capacity of the battery. The second step is a soft start. This tests the capability of the battery to accept a charge. Charging only begins if the battery is in a chargeable condition. The third step is bulk. This is charging a battery with maximum current until it reaches about 80% of the battery capacity. The fourth step is absorption. This is where charging a battery is done with declining current to maximize it up to 100% battery capacity.

The fifth step is to analyze. Here you analyze if the battery can hold a charge. If your battery can not hold a charge then it needs to be replaced. The sixth step is reconditioning. This is where you recondition your deeply discharged car battery. The seventh step is float. This is where the machine provides a constant voltage charge to maintain the voltage of the battery at a maximum level. The 8th and the last step is a pulse. This is where you are required to maintain your battery at 95 to 100% capacity.

Pros

  • Able to charge batteries up to 110A
  • LED display is easily readable
  • Its splash-proof
  • It’s also dustproof
  • it is protected from reverse polarity

Cons

  • Takes time to fully charge a fully discharged battery
  • It doesn’t have a long lifespan

3. Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer

Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer

The Battery Tender Plus Charger and, Maintainer provides a full charge to your car battery before switching to the float mode. It switches to the float mode to maintain proper voltage levels for safe and long term storage without overcharging or damaging your battery. The level of voltage is attained at an input of 100 to 240VAC to an output of 50 to 60 Hz.

This car battery charger is easy to use. The Battery Tender Plus Charger has a low maintenance design for quick and easy use. It’s a universal power sport charger and maintainer. This means that it can work on any battery and it’s lightweight to operate everywhere, even in small storage spaces.

The Battery Tender Plus Charger is also an extended life capacity feature. This feature makes it compatible with lead-acid, flooded and sealed maintenance-free batteries (AGM and Gel cell). This is ideal for the batteries because they can be of use in long term storage. In this way, the batteries will be provided with an optimal charge.

The Battery Tender Plus Charger also monitors the power levels of the battery. It is equipped with a solid two-state LED light that indicates the state of the charge. It also shows when the battery voltage drops too far under load. And when the battery voltage drops too far under load, the adaptive charging will resume full charger output and reverse polarity protection to ensure your safety. In this condition, the red and green lights will flash alternately.

The Battery Tender Plus Charger is safe and secure. This car battery charger is smart. It is spark-proof during lead connection and automatically detects reverse polarity. This function helps to ensure a correct, locked-in connection before providing power. The Battery Tender Plus Charger only has four steps for a complete charge (initialization, bulk, absorption, and float).

The 1st step is initialization. At initialization is where you test the capability of the battery to accept a charge. Charging only begins if the battery is in a chargeable condition. The second step is bulk. This is charging a battery with maximum current until it reaches about 80% of the battery capacity. The third step is absorption. This is where charging a battery is done with declining current to maximize it up to 100% battery capacity. The 4th and last step is float. This is where the device provides a constant voltage charge to maintain the voltage of the battery at a maximum level.

Pros

  • It’s an automatic car battery charger
  • The LED display is easily readable
  • It’s splash-proof
  • It’s also dustproof
  • it is protected from reverse polarity

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a long lifespan
  • May not charge old batteries

4. Black and Decker BC6BDW Fully Automatic 6 Amp 12V Water Proof Battery Charger

Black and Decker BC6BDW Fully Automatic 6 Amp 12V Water Proof Battery Charger

Black and Decker know how hard it is to jump-start a dead battery. It’s for this reason that they created the BC6BDW Fully Automatic 6 Amp 12V charger. The BC6BDW removes the guesswork out of charging your batteries. This is easily attained because the battery charger is fully automatic. The BC6BDW Fully Automatic 6 Amp 12V charger can identify the level of charge on any type of battery. Besides that, it maintains a level of maximum charge.

The Black and Decker is an automatic battery charger. This means that charging automatically stops when the battery is fully charged or topped off. This also means that they switch to float mode monitoring to maintain charge. The Black and Decker has built-in circuit protection that guards against overcharging, reverse polarity, or short circuit.

The Black and Decker charger is certified for performance and safety. They feature an IPX7 rated waterproof housing, making it an ideal charger even in the most challenging environments. The Black and Decker charger is completely sealed and is capable of withstanding direct water or rain exposure. It’s also equipped with a hanging hook and magnetic backing, allowing you to position the model for convenient and hands-free operation.

It is equipped with high-frequency charging technology. With this technology, you can simply plug in the battery charger and walk away confidence that your battery will be ready to use because it will be fully charged.

The Black and Decker model is a unique waterproof battery charger. With this charger, you can charge batteries anywhere including outside in the elements. You can even charge on your boat without worrying about a short circuit. And the fact that it’s a high-frequency battery, the charger can be left for any length of time.

The Black and Decker is also a long-lasting model. With a fully sealed outer case, it’s protected from dust, oil, and moisture. This feature also prevents corrosion or other damaging effects of weather exposure. It also comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer. So you are assured of replacement in case it is damaged when shipping.

It’s also equipped with battery clamps which are ideal for use when attaching the charger to any type of battery terminals. When these clamps are accompanied by the waterproof case they work exceptionally well charging marine batteries. The Black and Decker charger is also capable of charging a car battery while the car is still in the car, rain or sunshine. On the other hand, if you prefer to charge your car battery from the inside of your vehicle, then this is a great option. For easier connection, you simply use the DC plug with your car’s accessory outlet. In this way, your hands stay clean because you are touching the battery.

Pros

  • It’s waterproof for outdoor use
  • Its equipped with mounting brackets for easier setup
  • One-year limited warranty
  • It has a DC plug for charging both inside and outside

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Takes time to fully charge a fully discharged battery

5. Battery MINDDer 128CEC1 12 Volt-2/4/8 Amp Battery Charger

Battery MINDDer 128CEC1 12 Volt-2/4/8 Amp Battery Charger

The Battery MINDDer model is an odyssey approved battery charger. It has user-selectable settings for all types of batteries. All Battery MINDDer chargers are regulated, when you are trying to select the correct amperage for your battery. It doesn’t matter what amp of selection. It’s just a question of how fast you want to charge your battery.

In this instance, if you know that your battery is fully charged and’s in good shape then you are advised to use the two amp setting. And if you are charging a large deep cycle battery or more than one battery then you are advised to use a 4 amp setting. Most of the time you will probably use the wet/AGM/sealed selection, but you are advised to use the Odyssey selection on all named batteries at an 8 amp setting.

The Battery MINDDer model will not overcharge or undercharge between temperature extremes considered safe to charge or maintain by the major battery manufacturers. It is equipped with a push-button for all battery types and charge rates. In addition to that, it includes the short circuit, sparks, and reverse polarity protection. It is thermal runaway protected.

The Battery MINDDer model is also equipped with ambient temperature compensation. The built-in temperature sensor technology automatically adjusts charge rates to ensure full charge between temperature extremes considered safe to charge or maintain by major battery manufacturers.

The Battery MINDDer model is capable of maintaining 8 batteries at a time when connected in parallel. The model requires the use of Y connectors 210 which are ideal for winterizing cars, trucks, etc. The Battery MINDDer model is also equipped with the 90-140 VAC 47-63 Hz inputs which allow for worldwide use.

The Battery MINDDer model also has extended battery life. This mean s that the automatic full-time desulfator reverses sulfation which is a buildup that leads to sulfate crystals. With this feature, the once considered beyond recovery from sulfation can now be brought back to long term useful condition. By this, the battery life is extended four times.

The Battery MINDDer model is also certified by the California Energy Commission as meeting the current efficiency standards. This means that the Battery MINDDer model meets the strict guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and low power consumption. This product has a 5-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Pros

  • This model can predict failing batteries
  • Able to conduct Diagnosis for battery conditions
  • FCC certified
  • Has extended battery life feature
  • It is also equipped with the ambient temperature sensor

Cons

  • Doesn’t last long
  • Sometimes it doesn’t restore AGM batteries

6. Vitron Energy Blue Smart IP67 24-VOLT 12 Amp Battery Charger (Bluetooth) 120V

Vitron Energy Blue Smart IP67 24-VOLT 12 Amp Battery Charger (Bluetooth) 120V

The Vitron Energy Blue Smart ip67 is equipped with built-in Bluetooth, so the status of the charger and the battery can be checked on the smartphone, tablet, or laptop. All settings of the Vitron Energy Blue Smart ip67 charger can be configured with the Vitronconnect app. The 7 step of the Vitron Energy Blue Smart ip67 gets the best out of the battery. This model gives you’re battery the power it needs, maintains its health, ensures better performance and longer life.

When the Vitron Energy Blue Smart ip67 is plugged in and connected to the battery, the charger will automatically turn on and apply the last saved profile. The Vitron Energy Blue Smart ip67 auto detects batteries then starts charging at whatever settings you set it up. Its setting is on default rather than customized. Meaning you have to set it to the function you desire. This battery charger can charge any device with a 12V nominal at a maximum charge current of 12A. a large battery bank usually takes longer to charge than a smaller bank.

At a full bulk charge, this battery charger can use 595 to 612 watts. When you have two in parallel, at maximum they will use about 1290 watts at peak. On the other hand, the Vitron Energy Blue Smart ip67 doesn’t see your load. This means that you can run as high a load as you want.

Vitron Energy Blue Smart ip67 is also able to charge dead batteries. By this, it will attempt to recharge a deeply discharged battery by force. It will do this by force-feeding the battery with a low current. After this then normal charging will be resumed as soon as there is sufficient voltage across the battery terminals. With this model, you can parallel connect as many batteries as you can as long as you don’t exceed the recommended charge rate.

Vitron Energy Blue Smart ip67 is completely encapsulated; waterproof, shockproof, and ignition protected which withstand the rigors of an adverse environment. And the fact that it’s waterproof it can be used on devices in your workshops and motor or marine cars.

Pros

  • It’s waterproof
  • It’s also shockproof
  • Has extended battery life feature
  • This model can predict failing batteries

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a long lifespan
  • May not charge old batteries

Final thoughts

A battery charger is a must for every car owner. You don’t always have to bother your neighbors for jumping early in the morning when everyone wants to go to work. Modern car chargers are safe and easy to use. They don’t even require you to remove your battery so less mechanic works too. Well, I hope my guide helps you pick the best portable car battery charger.

A special note on EVs

The term EV as you may already know means electric vehicles. EVs use different types of batteries compared to combustion motor vehicles. EV batteries are solid-state and usually lithium-ion batteries. These batteries use a very different type of chemistry compared to conventional sulfuric acid batteries used in cars.

Read also: Best AAA Battery Chargers

Using a standard battery charger on an EV battery will destroy it. You must never use an ordinary charger for your EV. If you have an EV you must see our guide on the best EV chargers.

FAQs

How do I properly recharge the battery hustle free?

Connect your charge to its power source and attach the black cord clip to the negative and red clip to the positive terminal of your battery. A home-use charger will connect to your mains while a portable charger will be used when you can’t access the grid. Portable chargers have batteries that need to be charged usually with the grid.

How do I know it’s recharged now?

Well, this depends on your type of charger. The simpler ones don’t have a battery status check and will require you to have a separate tester that you can use to check for the battery health manually. If you have a smart more advanced microprocessor-controlled charger then your device must have a battery status check. When is fully charged it will read 100% on the LCD.

What settings on a charge do I use to recharge my battery safely?

Simple chargers do not have the option to make many settings and will be set to charge at a fixed voltage and current. Most simple chargers have a fixed charge rate that delivers a small but steady current. They will take much longer to charge your battery and if not monitored overcharging will occur.

More advanced chip controlled chargers have many settings to choose from depending on your battery type and time constraints. Boost charge is fast in charging your battery but needs close monitoring because dangers of overcharging occur.

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