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Hulkman Alpha 85 Portable Jump Starter Review: Just Buy One

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $130
HULKMAN Jump Starter
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

There’s nothing worse than having a dead car battery and hearing that dreaded “clicking” noise when you turn the key. And you can’t always rely on a good samaritan to stop with jumper cables. That’s where HULKMAN’s portable jump starter comes in handy. Pull it out, boost the battery yourself, and be on your way.

A jump-starter like the HULKMAN Alpha 85 isn’t a battery charger and won’t save an old battery that needs to be replaced. However, if you’ve ever left the lights on overnight and the car wouldn’t start, you probably had to dig out your jumper cables and call a friend.

If you want to be better prepared in the case of emergency, or don’t want to deal with roadside assistance, here’s why I’d recommend the Alpha 85 jump starter.

Here's What We Like

  • Works consistently
  • Extremely well built
  • Starts most vehicles
  • Charges phones, tablets, drones, and more

And What We Don't

  • Somewhat heavy
  • Expensive
  • No included carry case
  • The cables are a bit short

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What’s a Portable Jump Starter?

HULKMAN Jump Starter Engine plug
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

This device eliminates the need for a second vehicle and jumper cables to safely and quickly jump-start a car with a low battery and get it back on the road. It’s essentially a giant battery bank, similar to a portable phone charger. Only it has enough juice and cranking power to start the biggest of car engines.

Every vehicle should have some jumper cables stored away just in case you need them. That said, this jump starter can replace jumper cables and offers many other features thanks to doubling as a 20,000 mAh portable battery. Those include built-in USB ports to charge your phone, a 12V DC port, it doubles as a flashlight, and there’s even a flashing SOS mode in case of a real emergency.

For those wondering, yes, there are several built-in protection systems to keep the jumper, your vehicle battery, and the user safe. The HULKMAN features reverse-polarity protection, reverse-charge protection, over-current, overload, and over-charge protection, not to mention short-circuit protection. It also has built-in safeguards for extreme heat or cold temperatures.

Basically, it shouldn’t hurt your vehicle or smart devices, and it’s safe and easy to use.

Specifications: Cranking Power

HULKMAN Jump Starter how to
Cory Gunther / Review Geek
  • 2,000 Amps peak cranking power
  • 20,000 mAh battery capacity (74Wh at 3.7v)
  • 3.3-inch LED smart display
  • Starts up to 8.5L Gas / 6.0L Diesel 12V engines
  • Up to 60 jump starts on a single charge
  • 65W Speed Charger charges fully in just 1.5 hours
  • USB-C, USB-A, 12V DC, Built-in flashlight
  • Holds a charge for 18 months
  • 9.64×4.05×1.81 Inches and only 2.57 lbs
  • IP65 dust and water resistant
  • Tested on over 500+ vehicles from 30 brands

Cars come in all shapes, sizes, and engine sizes, and thankfully, the HULKMAN works with almost all of them. You can drive a small compact car with a 4-cylinder engine or a big Ford F-250 diesel truck, and this can start them all.

Thanks to a large 20,000 mAh internal battery capable of 2,000 amps of cranking power, this jump starter works with almost any gas vehicle up to an 8.5L engine or all 12-volt diesel engines up to 6.0L.

For example, my Toyota Tacoma has a battery capable of 750 cold cranking amps or 600 cranking amps, which is more than enough to start my truck daily. The HULKMAN is capable of 2,000A, and that’s far more than I need. The company offers a smaller Alpha 65 for $99, which would still be plenty for my vehicle and most cars.

Design: What’s in the Box

HULKMAN Jump Starter box contents
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

The first thing I noticed was the build quality—everything from the box, packaging, and accessories to the overall jump starter is exceptionally well made. The battery is super rugged, features an IP65 dust and water resistance rating, and flaps cover all the ports. Throw it in the trunk, or have it sitting in the garage ready to go whenever it’s needed.

In the box, you’ll get the Alpha 85 jump starter, removable booster cables, the Speed Charge wall plug, a USB-C cable, and a 12V cigarette lighter adapter. And while I wish it came with some sort of carrying case or bag, it’s rugged enough that I’m not worried about it sitting in the cubby under my passenger seats. The company offers a hard case on Amazon, but unfortunately, it’s $40.

Seriously, this thing is almost too durable. The flaps covering the jumper cable plug and USB ports are solid, tight, and won’t open on their own anytime soon. The entire device has a hard plastic outer shell, with a softer impact-resistant bumper around the whole body. Then, there are aluminum screws holding it all together. It’s ready for the toughest of jobs.

Performance: It Started My Truck With Ease

HULKMAN Jump Starting a car
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Everything about this jump starter is easy and fast. It recharges incredibly quickly and faster than most on the market, takes less than a minute to jump-start a vehicle, and you’re all done. My only real complaint about this portable starter is the length of the jumper cables. They’re only 15.5-inches long, which could be too short depending on your car battery location.

The best part about the HULKMAN Alpha 85 is its straightforward use. Even if you don’t know how to jump-start a car or change a tire, it’s easy. And while I’d still recommend reading the manual to be safe, it’s pretty foolproof.

You plug the jumper cable end port to the Alpha 85, connect the alligator clamps to your car battery on the positive and negative terminals, and wait for the screen to say “Ready” with a big green logo. Then, start your car. If the jump starter battery is too low or you don’t attach the jumper cables correctly, it’ll show you an error code on the large, easy-to-read display.

I tested it out on my dad’s old Chevy El Camino SS that sat in his garage for too long and was completely dead. That thing has a V8 350 Quadra Jet engine and a big old battery to keep it roaring. The few lights on the old dash lit up in 4-5 seconds, and within 10 seconds, I turned the key. Surprisingly, it fired right up on the first try. The car started with zero trouble as if the battery was charged and ready to go.

Hulkman jump starter ready to start
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Jump starting that old car took the Alpha 85 from 99% battery to 94% battery. Then, after a weekend of camping and off-roading in my Toyota Tacoma, I left some lights on overnight, and, as expected, the battery was dead the following day.

I went outside, popped the hood, hooked up the HULKMAN Alpha 85, waited for the green “ready” light, and she started up almost instantly. It’s that simple. With this second boost, the HULKMAN Alpha 85 battery went from 94% to 90%. Judging by those numbers, it’s safe to say I could get up to 20 jump starts on a single charge.

My truck was up and running in under a minute, and I didn’t need to dig out jumper cables, call anyone, or get a second car close enough to give me a jump. The Alpha 85 did it for me, and it couldn’t be easier. Remember that HULKMAN says to remove the jump starter from your car battery within 30 seconds of starting the vehicle to be safe and prevent damage or unnecessary drain.

The screen has a large 3.3-inch display to easily show you the remaining battery capacity or spit out any error codes if something goes wrong. Thankfully, I couldn’t test out any of those situations, as it worked as expected, and I started both vehicles without a hiccup. If you hook it up and get an error instead of the ready light, refer to the user manual for help.

And if you happen to use it enough that the jump starter runs out of battery, or it sits in your garage longer than the 18-month shelf life of the internal battery, you can recharge it from 0-20% in just five minutes. That’ll give you enough juice to jump-start any vehicle once.

These portable jump starters can be charged with the included 65W fast wall-plug adapter, cigarette lighter-style 12-volt male adapter, or a USB port. That means you could theoretically jump-start your vehicle, then recharge the HULKMAN from the car as you drive, so you’ll always be ready to go.

Other Features: USB Charging & More

Hulkman USB ports
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

As we said earlier, this isn’t just a device to jump-start your car. It’ll also charge your smartphone if you accidentally run out of battery, double as a flashlight, or even flash red lights if you’re stuck on the side of the road. On the bottom (or left side), pull down the flap, and you’ll find a high-speed USB-C power delivery port, a full USB-A port, and the 12V out for the cigarette lighter adapter.

It uses the USB-C port to fast charge the device itself, which reduces the need for extra ports. With a 20,000 mAh battery inside, you could technically recharge the latest Samsung Galaxy or iPhone nearly four times from 0-100%, so it’s pretty useful.

However, my favorite aspect is the built-in flashlight. If you’re stuck on the side of the road at night changing a tire or out camping, lights always come in handy.

There’s a power button on the right side, with a flashlight button under it. Push and hold, and the LED lights will fire up with five different modes: low, high, flashing white, SOS, and red flashing lights.

Most portable jump starters have lights, but these are nice and bright, durable, and have several different modes. I appreciate the ability to turn on a light to see in the dark, ensuring the jumper cables are on the right battery terminal.

Final Thoughts: Is a Portable Jump Starter Worth It?

hulkman jump starter logo
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Should you buy the HULKMAN Alpha 85? Absolutely! In fact, I would highly recommend carrying one in every vehicle you own. No one plans for a dead car battery, but it’s something that happens to the best of us. And unfortunately, it usually occurs on a day you’re already running late for work. So, be prepared for that situation ahead of time by getting one of these.

Being able to instantly pull out the HULKMAN and boost the battery in under a minute or two makes this perfect. And with a long shelf life and the ability to start most vehicles, you can store it in your car and lend a hand to others on the road if the situation presents itself.

It’s small, portable, and easy to use, so there’s no reason not to have one in the case of an emergency. It’s not just for jump-starting a dead car battery, either. Having one device that can start my truck, charge my gadgets, or double as a flashlight makes this handy little gadget a game-changer.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $130

Here’s What We Like

  • Works consistently
  • Extremely well built
  • Starts most vehicles
  • Charges phones, tablets, drones, and more

And What We Don't

  • Somewhat heavy
  • Expensive
  • No included carry case
  • The cables are a bit short

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »