Technology is crazy thing these days. If you said a little device about the size of your hand could do everything from charge your mobile phone to jump-start your vehicle, most people would call you a dead-set looney! Yet, here I am with that exact same product trying to work out why the hell every keen adventurer doesn’t have one packed in their emergency toolkit. Yep, these are the real deal.
The unit I’ve been testing for the last few months is the ChargeUp Auto 12000 from Cygnett. In essence it’s a combined 12V jump-starter and power pack designed to jump-start a flat battery on your vehicle, motorbike, boat – you name it! A big selling point of this unit is the built-in six point relay safety systems, which features spark-proof connections and reverse polarity protection, plus overcharge and over-discharge protection. You could say it’s dummy proof! In fact, with these systems it’s a much safer option than jumper cables these days.
You’ve also got the added benefit of having separate 1A and 2A USB outlets to charge your appliances on the go, which has come in super handy on my last few camping trips.
The big question is: how does it fare in the real world, right? Well, it looks and feels solid in construction. In fact, I’ve abused it like a port-o-loo on a construction site and it’s still going stronger than ever.
It charges up from dead flat to full charge in about three to four hours, and seems to last quite a long time too. I mean, I charged my iPhone a good five or six times before it lost charge, and that was after using the built-in flashlight like it was a pair of shoes for the first two days of my last camping trip. What’s even more impressive is the unit sat in my glovebox for five months before I actually used it, and it was still at full charge. Oh, and weighing just 450g and measuring 171x87x31mm (WxHxD) means it’s nice and compact.
In terms of jump-start ability, it’s been pretty impressive so far. I’ve used it to jump-start the old ride-on lawn mower out the back numerous times, and it managed to kick-start my LandCruiser after I left the radio on overnight too. In saying that, it’s only really designed to jump-start petrol vehicles with up to a 5L engine, or diesel engines up to 2.5L, so I wouldn’t count on it to save the day for the LandCruiser again. It’s supposed to give you up to 20 jump -starts per charge – I don’t doubt it.
Overall the unit is super easy to use, and it’s an extremely versatile bit of gear. You can charge it using a 12V socket or via the 240V wall socket, and comes with 12V cigarette outlets so you can power a range of camp accessories, too.
Where: Automotive supply outlets Australia
The full product test appeared in Caravan World #573. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!