PROS / This car battery charger is small and light.
CONS / It can be difficult to maneuver the charger into the right position to attach the short jumper cables to your car's battery.
VERDICT / With its secondary role as a power bank, the PowerAll PBJS12000R can be very useful in emergencies, but it's relatively weak as a car battery charger.
It's difficult to find a car battery charger that doubles as an alternative power source, yet can hold its own against dedicated car battery chargers. The PowerAll PBJS12000R suffers in comparison to larger and more powerful car battery chargers in its jump-starting ability, but it more than holds its own as a power bank in emergencies. You can think of it as a power bank that's also capable of jump-starting your car now and then.
For some reason, many of the car battery chargers we've seen that work well as alternate power sources have very short jumper cables. The PowerAll has the same issue. Its short cables make jump-starting your car more difficult, because you have to position the device itself just right – it needs to be very close to your battery. It can jump-start your car but may have more trouble than the best chargers in cold weather.
With the one-year warranty, you have some time to notice factory defects or other problems with the PowerAll. A one-year warranty isn't especially long. The best car battery chargers come with five-year warranties. Still, some manufacturers only offer 90-day warranties, so one year isn't bad.
The PowerAll also has built-in overcharge protection. This ensures that it won't be damaged if you leave it plugged in after it's fully charged. Some older car battery chargers don't stop drawing electricity even when they're full if you don't unplug them. This results in damaged chargers and, sometimes, explosions.
As an alternate power source, the PowerAll lives up to its name, giving you two USB ports and one DC power port. It has enough energy to keep your electronic devices running for days. If you take it on a camping trip or leave it in your trunk for emergencies, you can stay connected to your phone and any other essential devices. It's compact and lightweight, so it's easy to take on these trips.
While the PowerAll PBJS12000R is not the best car battery charger, it has some redeeming qualities. As an alternate power source, it's very useful in emergencies. You don't want a dead cell phone if you get stuck somewhere and a simple jump-start won't fix the problem. As a car battery charger, though, it's less convenient than most.