Find out how the Thunder Multi-Function Jump Starter Kit is just like a block of chocolate (only less tasty) 

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Comparing the Thunder Multi-Function Jump Starter kit to a block of chocolate may make no sense to some … well, a lot of you. But I reckon it provides a perfect contrasting assessment of this invaluable piece of electronic kit. First and foremost, the Thunder tastes terrible and is much harder on the teeth compared to my favourite choccy bar – peppermint. 

Size wise, the two compare favourably and both will fit into a modest-sized trouser pocket; the chocolate may melt, the Thunder will not. The Thunder unit weighs about three blocks of chocolate and is (almost) exactly twice as thick … give or take a lick. Both will fit under your car seat, in your glovebox, tool box and pretty much every nook and cranny of any tow vehicle or caravan; again, the choccy may not last too long in the heat, however, the Thunder will keep its charge for up to six months unused.

From flat, the Thunder will take about eight hours to fully charge via the 12 or 240V inputs; I’d polish off a bar of choccy in about eight minutes!       

Comparing the lithium-powered Thunder Kit to something totally left of field, like those heavy, bulky, deep-cycle lead acid, old-school battery jump starters, time and technology has moved on and why you’d ever want to carry one of those archaic, heavy-weight lumps of lead around is beyond me. This compact Thunder unit will do everything they can and more. 

The Thunder Multi-Function Jump Starter kit not only provides plenty of punch to crank over your vehicle, but also incorporates both 240V and 12V chargers to enable recharging from mains or your vehicle, intelligent jumper cables, a gaggle of laptop and mobile phone connectors, a 10-amp ciggie power outlet to run lights or any other 12V appliance, two USB outlets (1 amp and 2 amp), and a handy LED light that can be set to constant as well as slow flashing and SOS flashes – all packed into a classy carry case. 

The heart of the kit is a high-performance lithium battery weighing in at 615 grams and boasts 18,000mAh and 600CCA – that’s similar cold cranking amp starting ability to some car starting batteries. The intelligent jumper cables have 8 gauge wires and feature an audible, red LED light alert for reverse polarity clamping to protect both the battery and your vehicle. When clamped correctly, a green light confirms all is okay. If your starter battery is dead flat, the intelligent jump cable controller features a boost button to ensure the full amount of juice flows during attempted starting.

As a test, I lined the Thunder Jump Starter up to my 4.5-litre V8 turbo-diesel Troopy with its starter battery disconnected (as my battery wasn’t flat), my dinosaur-era diesel-powered Kubota tractor, then went on to jump my old ride-on lawn mower that takes an age on the starter motor to roar into life. The battery of this mower has been dead for ages and I need to use the old-style jump starter every single time to kick it into action – yes, I’ll get around to buying a new battery for it … sooner or later. To my amazement, the Thunder started all three vehicles without fuss and had power in reserve. 

 With the ability to power or recharge a laptop, tablet or smartphones, the Thunder Multi-Function Jump Starter could well get you out of a pickle while out camping should your smaller battery-powered devices pack it in. If, however, you run out of food in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be wishing you had a spare block of chocolate packed into your van instead of this non-edible, high-tech piece of lithium-powered battery unit, but at least you could use its built-in torch to look under the bed for any forgotten food stash.
RRP$360. 

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