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Cyntur JumperPack mini

Crap. It’s the dead of winter, you’ve just returned from a 10-day beach vacation, landed, cleared customs, and returned to the Park ‘n’ Fly with a suitcase full of Dominican rum. Its 1:15 am, you try to start your F-150, and there’s nothing. Flip the key around and try again. Nothing. Give it a moment, try once more, and still, the sound of silence fills the freezing air.

Turns out, you left the dome-light on in your rush to leave the country last week. Ten days later in the freezing cold, your battery is more barren than Whoville on Christmas morning. There are no electrons, no amps, no watts, and no chance that you’ll be going anywhere or getting warm anytime soon.

This is the sort of situation that devices like the Cyntur JumperPack mini are fantastic for. One of a plethora of options available in the portable power market to boost dead car or truck batteries and more, the newly available product works on a simple premise: charge it up at home, keep it in your car or truck, and use it for those just-in-case scenarios when your battery is toast. 

A few features help this unit to stand apart in the crowd. Key among them includes the JumperPack mini’s ability to hold onto a charge for a full year or some twice as long as competing products, says Cyntur. With the long-lasting storage of enough juice to jump-start up to 25 engines, the idea is simple: Juice the JumperPack mini by plugging it into an electrical outlet for a few hours, toss it in your glovebox, and forget about it.

Unlike those big and heavy booster packs, this one will, in fact, fit in your glovebox. For all of the battery power available, the entire device is relatively small -- about the size of an external computer hard-drive. That’s remarkable, given Cyntur’s claim that their latest in portable power can start even larger 6- and 8-cylinder engines, unlike competing products that’ll only fire up 4-cylinders.

I tried the JumperPack to boost something a little bigger. After intentionally draining the battery in a 2000 Dodge Viper with a 10-cylinder engine, I hooked up the JumperPack to the terminals, and fired the car up, virtually as if the battery was new. Then, without recharging the unit, I lent the unit to a mechanic pal who brought it to work and boosted at least three more engines, including one in a derelict Jeep that had been sitting behind the shop for over a year, and was buried in the snow all winter. 

And for easy late-night jumpstarts in the empty Park ‘n’ Fly lot or elsewhere, handy SafeJump technology automatically covers you for short circuits, reverse charge, and reverse polarity. You’ve got to hook the terminals up correctly, but special circuitry prevents anything from zapping or frying if you don’t. There’s no worry of frying your ride’s electronics, having a battery fire or damaging the JumperPack mini unit itself.

Of course, the uses go beyond simple jumpstarting of dead car batteries. A USB 2.1 port is included as well: that’s the high-output port used to quickly recharge Smartphones, tablets, GPS units, MP3 players, action cameras or just about anything that charges via USB. I was able to charge my power-sucking android Smartphone several times on a single charge. Plus, since the JumperPack mini weighs less than a pound and can be separated from its car battery booster cables, you can leave it in your packsack to keep juiced up while travelling, if you like.

Finally, with a bright built-in LED flashlight and the capability to restart multiple dead batteries on a single charge, the JumperPack mini makes a good companion on a camping trip or during a visit to the cottage. Use it to jump dead ATV and boat batteries as needed to charge your cellphone and portable Bluetooth speakers on the beach or to light the way with its built-in LED flashlight if nature calls at 4 a.m. and you need to take a little walk in the bush.

If you’re driving a truck or crossover with a household power outlet on board, it’s easy to keep the device charged up at all times for whenever it’s needed.

The Cyntur Jumperpack mini is available for $99.99 at www.cyntur.com.