durable and compact
Suitable for most vehicles.
battery management system
short jumper cables
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Portable jump starters like the NOCO GB70 provide the convenience of on-demand power when the battery inconveniently runs low. Instead of fiddling with jumper cables or waiting for roadside assistance, open the hood, connect the unit to the battery, and start the vehicle. Portable units, like the NOCO GB70, are also great for winter emergency kits and extended road trips, offering additional features beyond the ability to connect a battery.
Officially called the NOCO Boost HD GB70, the 2,000-amp portable jump pack fits almost all lead-acid batteries and almost all gasoline and diesel engines. The 400-lumen flashlight, integrated charging bank, and helpful security features make the GB70 a good value for its $200 price.
Here we will cover the main features of the NOCO GB70 if you are looking for a portable jump starter.
NOCO GB70 in depth: what it offers
The GB70 has fixed clamps and comes with a 40-inch micro USB cable for charging, an XGC extension cable with a 12V male and female adapter, an owner’s manual, and a microfiber storage bag (weighs five pounds with clamps). and accessories) . The GB70 is only partially charged from the factory, so NOCO recommends fully charging it before use. Using the included micro USB cable and a USB wall charger, it took about three hours to fully charge. According to NOCO, the GB70 can provide up to 40 jump starts on a full charge under ideal conditions.
The NOCO GB70 has an internal 56 watt-hour lithium-ion battery with natural convection cooling. Meanwhile, the case’s rubber covers for the 12V and USB outlets are IP65-rated to protect against dust and water. NOCO designed the GB70 to withstand temperatures as low as -4°F (-20°C) and as high as 122°F (50°C).
Battery and Vehicle Compatibility
The NOCO GB70 will connect various lead-acid batteries, including wet cell, gel, maintenance free, enhanced flooded, and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. As a more powerful unit in NOCO’s product line, the GB70 will drive gasoline engines up to eight liters and diesel engines up to six liters in displacement, including late-model HD trucks from the Big Three.
Smaller sedans and crossovers should mean little to nothing for the NOCO GB70, as the spec sheet suggests it’s suitable for fleet, farm, and other heavy-duty vehicles. Similarly, the GB70 can jump garden tractors, snowmobiles, four-wheelers, and other marine and RV batteries.
Precision Cables and Clamps: Advantages and Disadvantages
At the end of the GB70’s fixed cables are what NOCO calls “precision clamps”. The general design has two advantages and two disadvantages, in our experience. An immediate benefit is the spark-proof alligator-style design of the clamps, making the GB70 able to safely and effectively bite batteries and terminals of different sizes.
The second advantage is how the attached cables mitigate power loss during a jump, ensuring that the GB70 is suitable for larger engines, especially diesel trucks. For example, the smaller NOCO GB40 has detachable jumper cables instead of fixed cables. While an excellent jump pack in its own right, the GB40 is a 1000 amp unit versus the GB70’s 2000 amp rating. While the NOCO GB70 will handle a six-litre diesel, the GB40 is limited to a three-litre diesel mill. The GB70’s attached jumper cables make a world of difference in this regard.
One potential drawback is the relatively short jumper cables, which is forgivable since the GB70 is a portable unit and can be placed almost anywhere under the hood to reach the battery.
The second potential drawback is how the precision cables and clamps face away from the flashlight. On the left side is the load bank, while the flashlight is on the right side. The cables and clamps back up and away from the lantern during a jump and towards the load bank. We wish this would be reversed, especially for nighttime use. Ideally, the flashlight and wires should point in the same direction to make it easier to see the battery.
Although it’s not in an ideal location for our preferences, there’s no denying the convenience and safety aspects of the 400-lumen flashlight. Press the button on the bulb to access seven different modes, including an SOS beacon and an emergency strobe light. Constant-on modes have three different brightness settings, from highest to lowest.
Four ports comprise the left side load bank, split between input and output with 12V and USB designations. The two input ports charge the GB70’s internal battery. There’s a 2.1-amp USB port for up to 10W and a second 12V fast-charging port for up to 36W (simply use the included cables and adapters as appropriate).
USB and 12V output ports add to the GB70’s versatility. Phones, tablets, and electronic watches are powered via the USB output port, while the 12V port powers other devices like portable tire inflators (we used the GB70 to power our Slime inflator).
battery management system
The GB70 is based on a proprietary software platform known as the Battery Management System or BMS. As described by NOCO, the BMS is responsible for key security features and creating a “fool-proof” product for customers. With the BMS, the GB70 only outputs when it recognizes that its cables are properly connected to a battery. For example, if it is accidentally connected to the wrong terminal (reverse polarity), the GB70 will not activate. If the polarity is correct, but one of the clamps is loose, the BMS prevents the GB70 from delivering power.
With proper connection, the white 12V LED will illuminate on top of the unit. The GB70 will make an audible click, indicating that it is safe to change the battery.
Instead of hitting everything it connects to the max, the NOCO GB70 only delivers the juice required by the battery that needs a jump. Essentially, you can tell the difference between a lawn mower battery and a truck battery and adjust your power supply accordingly.
Is the NOCO GB70 worth the money?
Our desire to change the location of the lantern aside, the NOCO GB70 2000 Amp is designed to be the only portable jump starter you could ever need. Since it’s designed to power larger engines, the GB70 should have no problem taking on the average sedan or crossover. Growing up in rural Iowa, the GB70 seems like something to have on a shelf in the Morton Building for a cold, rainy day. Here in Michigan, it makes a nice addition to our office garage.
As of this writing, the NOCO GB70 is available on Amazon for $200.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. He is a member of the board of directors of the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, a former president of the Detroit Working Writers, and a loyal fan of the Detroit Lions..
Photos: Alex Hartman.