Own and drive pickups for long enough, and you'll end up needing one sooner or later. A battery boost or jump-start, that is. An empty battery in your Sierra or Silverado can come from far too many reasons, from a battery nearing the end of its life to somebody accidentally leaving the dome light on.

Whatever the reason for your dead battery, if your truck won't start there's one solution: You need a boost. You can get one by calling a tow truck, by relying on a set of jumper cables and the kindness of strangers, or you can get a portable jump pack. Only one of those options lets you get your car started immediately and by yourself, and it's the same option that actually can give you handy portable power whenever you're away from a wall socket.

Portable jump starters, also called battery boosters, jump boxes, and probably a handful of other nicknames all work the same way. They have a small 12-volt battery with enough power to crank over your engine enough times to get it started. From there, everything else is an added bonus feature. Some of those are great, and some of them aren't necessary, but what you want is up to you.

Our pro tip: A battery booster won't give you a boost if it's dead too. So check your portable power pack at least once a month and give it a charge as needed to make sure it's there for you when you need it. Some of the better packs have a light to tell you how much charge they have remaining.

There are several features to decide on, so we also posed the question to the DuramaxForum.com community. So, without further ado, here are the best portable jump starters for Chevy and GMC Truck Owners.

Noco GB155 Boost X
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Noco's jump boxes were recommended by a handful of users including 99coalroller25.

With your high-compression and high-displacement Duramax diesel, you need a bigger unit than anyone with a half-ton or a car. Just think about how much power a dual battery setup can deliver! That's why we recommend the GBX155. It has 4,250 amps maximum and can start a gas engine of up to 10.0L, or a diesel of up to 8.0. So it will work for your truck when you need it. Thanks to the lithium-ion battery, it is extremely compact but has enough charge for up to 20 jump starts. It has convenient USB charging (and can provide 5V power to your devices via USB), and easy to see lights to tell you power remaining and to make sure you're properly connected to your car. It even has a flashlight with three power levels to let you see your work, SOS, blink, and strobe functions. All with a convenient storage case.

Avapow 3000A
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Other diesel users suggested Avapow's booster, saying they used it multiple times on the same day. This unit comes with USB-C input for easy charging and has USB A and C as well as a 12v outlet plug for use as a battery back. It has a flashlight as well for nighttime use. More importantly, it comes with over current, short circuit, and reverse polarity protection. The manufacturer says it will start your vehicle as many as 30 times on a full charge and that it works even in extreme cold and hot temperatures.

Hulkman 10.0

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Hulkman was recommended by theheder. The 10.0 offers 4000 peak cranking amps, enough to get your diesel truck fired up on even the coldest days. Thanks to the lithium-ion battery inside and clever electronics, Hulkman says that their charger can go 18 months in storage without losing charge. The large display tells you exactly how much power you have, if you're charging or discharging, and if you have your car's battery connected properly so you know it's ready to go. It will also give you USB-A, USB-C, and 12V car outlet power to let you charge your portable devices or give you some juice on the road. When it comes time for charging the pack, impressive 65W power lets it top up in under two hours. A fraction of the time of other options.

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A few users suggested JNC's battery packs and we recommend them because some of you said you weren't happy about lithium-ion packs. This is a more conventional jump pack that uses a sealed lead-acid type battery. Plenty of people prefer the old reliable, we get it. Big and bulky, that might take up more room in your trunk, but it's also reassuring compared with some smaller models. Knowing that it can bounce around in your trunk a few times without worry. With 1700 amps of power, it can start nearly any gas or diesel engine. 46-inch cables mean that you aren't straining to find somewhere to put your jump box where it won't come in contact with moving engine parts once you've started the car. It also has a 12V power plug and an easy-read voltage gauge to let you know when it's time to charge the pack up again before use. The 12V battery is also replaceable, so the unit isn't expensive and hazardous electronic waste down the road.

AutoWit SuperCap 2
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Autowit makes a unit that catches our attention. Why? The innovative design uses a supercapacitor instead of a battery.

The big difference with a capacitor is that it can't help you if your car's battery is fully drained down to near zero volts. Fortunately, that rarely happens. Below 11 is where you'll probably need a boost, and below 9 volts your car is effectively "dead" as far as lights and gauges and the ECU are concerned.

A supercapacitor booster pack draws the low-voltage power remaining in your battery and stores it as 12V power. It can store up to 800-amps this way and can then deliver all of that power at once back to your car when you want to start the engine.

So as long as you have some power left in the battery, a supercapacitor converts that small voltage into the voltage needed to start your engine. It's fascinating, but also complicated. So we understand if you decide to stick with old tech. But this new option can start engines up to 7.0 litres in most conditions without any of the risks of a lithium battery sitting in your trunk.

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