Review: Be Prepared with the Archeer Jump Starter

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Review: Be Prepared with the Archeer Jump Starter

Most of the time when a vehicle will not start, it is due to a dead battery.  This can happen at any time and it seems that the newer the car, the more likely this can happen. I know this from experience. We have a fairly new Subaru and unbeknownst to us, the battery stayed “hot” with the key in the ignition while turned to the off position. Until we figured this out, we had a vehicle that would not start at the most inopportune times.

As annoying as this situation can be, it is even more so in the winter months, when being stranded in a cold vehicle while waiting for help to arrive can be miserable.  Today I present a solution, the Archeer Car Jump Starter &  External Battery Emergency Kit. The compact device will not only jump start your battery but will also serve as a battery pack to charge your phone or tablet while on the go.

This great little unit is compact and portable and I have one up for grabs in the latest Backdoor Survival giveaway.  More about that in a moment.

Be Prepared with the Archeer Jump Starter | Backdoor Survival

Highlights of the Archeer  Jump Starter and Battery Pack

The brains of this jump starter are encased in a slim, compact power block.  On the working end you will find a USB output port as well as a Micro USB input port and a 12V input port, often referred to as a cigarette lighter port. Both the micro USB cable and cigarette light cable are included as part of the kit.

Archeer Jump Starter End View | Backdoor Survival

There is more. The red button toggles an integrated three-way flashlight. With a push of the switch, it goes from standard white LED beam to a red and blue flashing warning light, to SOS in Morse code.

At the other end of the power block is a rubberized panel that opens to reveal the input for your jumper cables and a Micro USB output cable.  I have an iPhone so I need to use my own cable to charge my phone, but this built-in cable does a very nice job of keeping my Kindle charged up.

Archeer Jump Starter | Backdoor Survival

The power block, as well as the included charging cables, are enclosed in a zipper pouch that tucks neatly in behind your vehicle seat pocket or in the trunk.  Some of you may have room in a glove box for the kit but my glove box is so full that I went to Plan B, the seat pocket.  It shares that space with a Goal Zero Torch 250 Solar Flashlight.

Using the Archeer Jump Starter

To use the jump starter, you attach the included cables to your battery, red for positive, black for negative.  Here is the neat thing:  if connected correctly the red light on the cable assembly will light up.  You can then go ahead and use your ignition key to start the engine.

Archeer Jump Starter At Work | Backdoor Survival

Archeer Jump Starter at Work.  Note the red light indicates we are plugged in correctly.

A few things to keep in mind. If the red light does not appear, you have reversed polarity or the battery is completely dead with not a bit of juice left.  In both cases, the jump starter will be disabled.

The specs indicate that a battery can be jumped 10 times on a single charge.  As a practical matter, if your vehicle battery is in that poor of a condition, wouldn’t it be wise to get a new battery?  Also, since the pack is so easily charged, why not keep it topped off at all times?  That is what I do.

Speaking of charging, there is a four-position LED indicator that indicates the charge state.  I drew the starter pack down to a single bar by charging up an almost-dead iPad to 100%.  It took overnight to recharge the portable jump starter to 100% using the micro USB input port.  The specs indicate that topping off time is half that using the 12V charging port but I did not test it.

The integrated flashlight would be handy to use while you are connecting the cables.  With the light it emits, you will not need a third hand to juggle a more beefy flashlight. That said, this is a nice feature but not the best choice as the only emergency flashlight on board in your vehicle.

The Giveaway

I have worked with Archeer in the past.  You might recall their Archeer Folding Solar Panel from a few months back. (You can read the solar panel review here.)  I was, therefore, thrilled that Archeer was back to sponsor another giveaway!

Although comments are not necessary to win, you do get five “entries” for answering the giveaway question.  Just remember that you must select the “I Commented” entry in the Rafflecopter to have your comment recorded in the random drawing.  This week’s question is:

“What common or uncommon device or tool do you keep in your vehicle at all times?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM MST next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  Due to Customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to those with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

It is my belief that being prepared for everyday emergencies is just as important as preparing for the long term. Common mishaps have a way of turning our life upside down, albeit on a temporary basis.  It simply makes sense to have a contingency plan for these non-catastrophic annoyances.

Having a device, or gizmo, as I like to call it, to jump start your car battery without depending on the assistance of a stranger or lugging around a huge, heavy, battery station is a great way to go.  The added benefit of serving as a power source for a run down phone or tablet adds to the value of having a portable jump starter onboard, as does having an integrated flashlight with an SOS mode.

One way or another, I suggest you tuck a jump starting device into a corner of your vehicle, right along side the duct tape.  With luck, you just might win one for free!


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Below you will find the items that I have stashed away in our Subaru.

Archeer Car Jump Starter &  External Battery Emergency Kit:  This compact vehicle jump start kit comes enclosed in a zippered pouch with all of the cables necessary not only to jump start your car but to renew the charge on the device itself.  It does what is supposed to do and comes with a 40-day money back guarantee plus and 18-month warranty.

Archeer Portable Solar Charger:  With so many important documents and eBooks stored on electronic devices, having the ability to recharge them when the grid is down is a personal priority.  I have reviewed many over the years and with each new unit, the form factor, efficiency, and the price gets better.  My current favorite is the Archeer 21W Foldable Solar Panel.

RediTape Pocket Duct Tape 2-Pack:  RediTape is available in 2 packs.  I love this stuff and am stashing packs in all of my kits.  In many cases it will replace a big bulky roll of the 3M stuff, giving me room for additional preps.  For the big roll style of duct tape, I prefer this heavy duty 3M Utility Duct Tape.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultralight personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz. making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

Cyalume SnapLight Green Light Sticks: These are fantastic.  Each lightweight stick glows for 12 hours. They are well priced and hold up well, even when packed around in a pocket or handbag.  For more information about glow sticks and chemical lighting, read 10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit.

Paracord Planet Mil-Spec Commercial Grade 550lb Type III Nylon Paracord:  An ideal all-around utility cord in the field, paracord is tough and long lasting. It is made from 550-pound test nylon and features a seven strand core for maximum strength. Also, it is manufactured in the United States.  Note that some colors may be more expensive than others.  Need ideas? See 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.


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100 Responses to “Review: Be Prepared with the Archeer Jump Starter”

  1. Takes 40 minutes to get to town and I drive it everyday for work so having this in my emergency bag would be incredible! You asked what we have, regular stuff – water, tp, blanket, shoes, nuts, gloves, thermo blanket, flares, map, wipes, etc. and a couple of books. The books provide something to do besides worry about rescue if I am a ditch and provide fire starter if I am hiking home or need the heat.

  2. I keep several common things in my car at all times, umbrella, tarp, couple of blankets, fold up chair and fold up shovel.

  3. What do I keep in my vehicle at all times? Fully stocked bug-out bag with trauma kit for starters. Pepper spray foam and Benchmade special ops daggar for self defense. Tools include 5-ton tow strap with D-ring shackles, hand tool roll-up, socket set with ratchets in molded case, E-tool, collapsible bow saw, 8-ton bottle jack, jumper cables, breaker bar and speed wrench with socket for trailer lugs. Other notable items include US, state, and local maps, wool and mylar blankets, 3m respirator with particulate filters, tie-down straps, flashlight, toilet paper, spare jacket, bottled water in glass bottles.

  4. I do a lot of driving over long distances, and do not like having to use a temporary spare tire. I carry a small 12v air compressor, and tire plugs.

    I also carry a small device (kept in the driver’s side door pocket) that can cut seatbelts and shatter window glass after an accident.

  5. I keep a first aid kit, blanket, umbrella and an emergency kit (with battery charger cables- if I win I can leave them behind).

  6. I carry a hacksaw and hatchet for downed branches. I’ve never had to use them to clear a road, but they let me collect firewood for the next season.

  7. I keep a plastic coffee “can” with kitty litter, toilet paper, and wipes in my car at all times, along with a large Ziploc bag. You never know when you may have to go!

    • I had to laugh because there is a long stretch on the way to our cabin where there is no where to stop. Taking care of business in the desert is not as easy as in the forest. The car door did provide some shelter. Glad I had lots of DIY hand sanitizer with me.

  8. I have been looking at these. I do worry about leaving the lithium ion battery in my car in Southern California. It gets really hot in the summer and they are prone to starting fires. While the idea of backup is nice, I worry about the hazard as well. This would be great for desert camping though.

  9. In addition to my high-powered flashlight, I also keep a thermal mug with a plug-in to warm up soup, instant coffee, or tea. If I’m out for long periods of time, I’d rather have a healthy snack from home than stop at a fast food place. The mug heats quickly and gets really hot.

  10. Among the usual suspects, like flashlights, toolkit, first aid, water, etc, I always have a Dead-On Demolition hammer that serves as self-defense, as well as emergency egress, and possible ingress if needed. It has a a prybar on the handle end.

  11. I keep a b.o.b with the usual food,water tarp, knife, poncho, hatchet, minor first aid supplies, the unusual is an inflatable kayak and 12 volt compressor just in case the bridge I take daily is impassible.

  12. have been keeping quilt, sheet, and towels in the car for decades. They come in handy when wanting to stop at a rest area for a short time on road trips. The towels were used at an accident scene and did not worry about taking them back.

  13. I keep a trauma kit…. tourniquet, celox gauze, halo chest seal, Israeli bandage. You never know when you’ll stumble onto an accident with someone seriously bleeding. Doesn’t take a ton of training to be of help, especially with the tourniquet.

  14. I have a roll of toilet paper in every vehicle. You never know when nature is gonna call or when the ladies restroom is going to be out of TP.

  15. I definitely need one of these. Living off social security. May need a couple of months to set aside the money.

  16. I carry a set of high quality jumper cables and a 20′ tow chain in my truck. Haven’t had to use them for myself but have helped others.
    Also, I have a voltage meter that plugs into my cigar lighter or power port which tells me the voltage in my battery when the ignition is off and the charging voltage of my alternator when the truck is running. Excellent diagnostic item to let you know your electric system. Cost about $14 or $15. Got mine at Farm & Fleet. Why auto makers don’t put voltage meters in the instrument panels instead of an idiot light I don’t know.

  17. I have a Get Home Bag and a bag specific to my vehicle. Extra water and an umbrella. Would love to add this tool to my gear.

  18. The usual Get home bag, but it so interesting to read what others carry. I live a long way from anything so spend a lot of time in my car. You can never be too prepared. I was stuck on the highway last year for 5 hours due to a horrific accident. Sure wish I had had that can and kitty litter.

  19. Flashlight, jumper cables, bottled water, food, first aid kit, blankets, car tools, air compressor for tires, jumper cables, tarp, small tent, camp stove & utensils & fuel, tire plugs, paper & pens/pencil. I live in the high desert so extra water is a must for traveling from where I live into the nearest town. Can camp with the kids if we have to … Use most the tools & such to assist other people stuck on the roads. Someone swiped my 20′ tow chain. Gotta get another one.

  20. I carry a weather radio with alert function (needed it last year when a severe thunderstorm turned tornadic) along with water, snacks, my “toilet” can, a solar charger for the phone, and blankets.

  21. I keep a lot of things including a 4-way lug wrench, knives, hatchet, water (not a tool but very valuable in Phoenix, AZ), plastic bags, etc.

  22. I keep maps, a flashlight, a jacket, stuff to fix a flat tire, kleenex, paper towels, jumper cables and kitty litter in my car. I probably need to re-assess what I carry.

  23. I’ve had problems with slow leaks in my tires occasionally. I am not always near a gas station when i notice a tire is low, so I keep a very small air pump that runs off my cigarette lighter.

  24. I keep most of the common stuff – jumper cables, a blanket, water. My mom gave us one of those emergency car kits for Christmas, so we keep that in the older truck.

    As a side note, one of your advertisements causes the screen to lock up and I have to reload. It won’t stop playing even though I’ve hit pause.

  25. For years I’ve had a long nylon tow strap in my vehicle and have used it multiple times to help another out or for someone else to pull me out of a snowdrift or mud hole.

  26. After reading the other comments-not uncommon-but a few years ago we had a bad winter and I made a car kit in a soft side cooler with multi tool, flashlight, umbrella,water, food bars, matches,candles, blanket, gloves, poncho–I can’t remember it all. After reading this–I need to check it and improve it!!

  27. Common or uncommon device?
    Well, how about a fold-able 4-way lug wrench? And I have a flashlight. Then there is the pack with the Mylar blanket, disposable raincoat, Mylar tent and few other things in it. And my LifeStraw.
    I’ll leave it to the reader to decide what would be common and what would be uncommon. 🙂

  28. The one item that is always in every vehicle is a flashlight. Other tools depends on the vehicle, the trucks usually have a ton of tools and the cars typically carry first aid kits.

  29. Of course I carry a bunch of the same things that have been repeated above. One thing I find useful to have in the car that I don’t see in other comments is a pair of tweezers. Top uses for us are splinters and ticks in the summer.

  30. I keep a few of those little emergency blankets that fit in a pocket. We also have an ice scraper in the vehicle all year long because it seems like it’s mostly winter around here.

  31. I keep Jumper cables, shovel, ice scraper, basic tool kit, 2 1/2 gallons of gas, duck tape, tow strap, lighter, flashlight, wool blanket, quart of water and 6 granola bars, 2 meter transceiver, 2 bandannas,1 large and small towel, old clean T shirt for bandages etc. in my Jeep.

  32. I always make sure that I have water year round. I drive a single cab truck so inside space is at a premium. I do keep TP, paper towels, hand wipes, very basic first aid kit, flashlight and one of those heavier hooded emergency blankets. In the spring, summer and fall I make sure that I have an extra water resistant jacket and in the winter I carry an extra heavy weight insulated sweatshirt type jacket. One thing that I didn’t see anyone else mention and it kind of surprises me …….. In addition to my carry hand gun (a .45), I keep a .38 snubby revolver stashed in the truck.

  33. A lot of people think these are a gimmick, well they are NOT! I used mine just yesterday (not same brand). I have it in my truck and it’s always plugged in so it’s at full charge. It even jumped a 4.6L Ford pick up! Wouldn’t be without it.

  34. I am supper weak in this area. At this time I only have: a flashlight. a back up phone,roll of paper towels, a dish towel, crowbar, extra socks and a pair of tennis shoes.

  35. I keep a glass breaker/ seatbelt cutter on my key chain, so it goes with me everywhere. I also have mylar and regular blankets, water, and a flashlight as well.

  36. Fire extinguisher (that I have actually used once to extinguish an engine fire in a vehicle pulled over on the shoulder).

  37. I keep a Shovel and an emergency “get home bag” with a knife, fire starter, emergancy blanket and some energy bars. I also usually have a pair of boots and warm socks when driving in the winter. My work shoes would not be very practical in the snow.

  38. I always have Hot Hands and a bottle of water. I usually have a bucket of small rocks, a collapsible shovel, two cans of Fix-A-Flat (for serious emergencies, since it ruins the tire forever), and bungee cords.

  39. I keep a battery jumper in my car, which is used in the cigarette lighter. It has paid for itself when I used it just once, a few years ago. It charged the car enough to drive and get a new car battery. I also keep a change of clothes and shoes in the trunk, along with a rain suit. I have another pair of running shoes in case I have to walk a distance.

  40. I keep a US GI WWII folding shovel in my car. Never in my wildest dreams would I think I’d need to use it. But it came in handy last year stuck in snow and ice in an unplowed parking lot. Used it for digging, chopping ice, and scraping ice until my tires could gain enough traction. I’d highly recommend getting the current US GI folding shovel with case. It’s light weigh, takes up little room and unbelievably durable. They can be found at most Army Navy Surplus stores.

  41. Lug wrench, tire gauge, jumper cables, flash light, a couple of rags, pen, paper, phone charger stay in truck at all times.

  42. I keep a backpack full of gear such as waterproof matches, solar blanket, extra socks, snacks, and swap things out seasonally.

  43. I keep a harbor freight moving blanket. use for warmth, or to put on the ground to keep knees from getting dirty while changing a tire.

  44. Oops hit enter before I finished. I also keep an emergency car kit in the car. Would love to win this
    Thanks again for all you do Gaye.

  45. tire gauge and a can of fix-a-flat, work gloves, flashlight, baby wipes, water, flares, cell phone charger, paper maps, food, jumper cables. Would love to add this gadget to the car kit.

  46. 2 small bins with most of the above mentioned items and then some, car charger, umbrella, flashlight, tire inflator with 2 cans fix a flat

  47. “What common or uncommon device or tool do you keep in your vehicle at all times?”

    Cat litter in the winter. It’s good to throw under your tires if you get stuck.

  48. Common: umbrella, tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, spare change 🙂 and in winter a “winter box”

    Uncommon: I have a window “breaker” (for lack of correct terminology, to break a window in emergency, also cuts seat belt)

  49. Better to ask what I don’t keep in the car. 😉

    I have a full GHB with mini-stove, a few multitools, a squeeze flashlight, plus a battery operated flashlight, 5 man days of food, a Berkey Sport filter bottle, first aid kit, blankets, emergency tent, emergency sleeping bag, etc. No water bottles, since those are loose in the car.

    Uncommon items? A car cane. it’s a silly looking thing, that lets you have a handhold by putting a handle on the lock latch when the car door is open. Very handy for getting out if you are having back trouble.

  50. Work gloves for the whole family, TP and plastic bags. Sneakers & socks. small folding knife, and water. Not too much, but enough to get us home.

  51. Last year I started keeping a survival blanket in my car. Previously, the only thing I put in the car was the snow scraper.

  52. Baby wipes, AKA: toilet paper, hand cleaners, dash wipes, paper towels, napkins, kleenexes, washcloths, dog bathers, etc. My kids are grown, but I don’t go anywhere without these!

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