The Zeus, which is made by Uncharted Supply Co., is a battery-powered portable automobile jump starter. It’s also an emergency flashlight and a mobile device charger, but the primary reason to get one is to jump start a car or pickup with a dead battery.
And that’s why I bought one.
I had a couple of close calls during hunting season where I was 30 miles off the pavement on backwoods roads. The first was at camp where I was getting into and out of my pickup for gear and food over the course of two days. Each time I opened the door, all the lights in the pickup would come on . . . and then they’d stay on for 90 seconds after I closed the door before eventually turning off.
Two days of this took a toll on my battery, and when I went to start the engine to head back home, it wouldn’t start. Fortunately, I was able to flag down my buddy in his pickup for a traditional jump start with jumper cables between two vehicles. Had I not caught his attention, I would have been stranded for hours. I would likely have had to walk a good 10 miles before finding someone who could help.
And my cell phone? No service where I was.
When I returned home, I took the pickup into a mechanic for a battery check. It was fine. But later that season, the same thing happened. That’s when I bought The Zeus.
Enter The Zeus: The Cold Weather Test
I realized that, had I been out alone, I would have been inconvenienced. A ten mile walk for help is doable, but it takes time — and when you don’t show up when you’re supposed to, friends and family get worried. With The Zeus, I could avoid a dead battery as a potential problem altogether.
When I received The Zeus, I checked its battery for a charge. The LEDs showed half a charge or so. I charged it up through with the included power adapter. I then put The Zeus in the back of my pickup, in a truck box, and forgot about it.
A few days ago, we got hit with a foot of snow. Long story short, we had an 8-cylinder Ford Expedition with an aging battery we had left out in the cold on the street for nearly two weeks around the holidays and after a skiing trip. I hadn’t started it or moved it, but now we needed to move it to accommodate coming snow plows.
In about 25-degree weather, I went out to move it. Wouldn’t start. No big surprise.
Because of the snow and position on the street, getting my pickup near enough to the Expedition for a traditional jump start would be dangerous — chances were, someone would be driving too fast on slick roads with poor visibility and slide right into me. A traditional jump start was out.
I got The Zeus out of the back of my pickup. It was cold. I was curious. I hooked it up to the Expedition’s battery and jump started the engine. It was easy. It worked surprisingly well.
I’m now a fan of The Zeus.
How The Zeus Works
Basically, you start with a portable 20,000 mAh battery pack. You get two battery clamps that plug into the battery. You turn on The Zeus, attach the battery clamps to the terminals on your dead automobile battery. You then attempt to start the vehicle normally. The Zeus provides up to 1,000 peak amps of cranking power . . . and your vehicle starts.
It’s pretty simple. Obviously there can be other factors at play when you can’t start your car, but if you just have a dead battery, which is what The Zeus is designed for, you should be able to jump start your vehicle without calling for help.
Why Choose The Zeus?
Why did I choose The Zeus instead of any other portable car charger?
Glad you asked.
First, I trust Uncharted Supply Company to produce a high-quality product. Uncharted is an American company and their whole reputation rests on making high-quality survival gear. I tend to trust companies that produce gear for specific reasons that are connected to their missions.
Second, I don’t trust random knockoff electronics companies. The risks of failure or fire is not worth the cheap pricing.
Third, I wanted a portable battery jump starter that produced enough amps to jump start diesel pickups. I don’t have a diesel pickup, but I have buddies that do. Many other car battery jump starters don’t have enough amps to turn over bigger engines.
In addition, I wanted a jump starter with a decent overall capacity. Some of the knockoffs don’t let you know the mAh capacity. The Zeus has a capacity of 20,000 mAh. That is very good. It also means that it should be able to slowly drain over time and still have enough capacity to get the job done when it counts.
The Zeus packs up into a semi-hard case. It takes up less space than a typical set of jumper cables.
The Zeus itself has a built-in flashlight, two USB-out charging ports and a 12V DC output port. Uncharted Supply Co. includes a three-ended USB charging cable with Micro-USB, Apple Lightning, and USB-C ends so you can charge most any smartphone or mobile device.
You can also charge The Zeus from your vehicle’s 12V ports with an included charger. Nice. This means you can top off The Zeus while on a road trip.
Who Should Have The Zeus?
Basically, anyone who gets off the beaten track should have The Zeus. While you can use traditional jumper cables to jump start a vehicle, you need another vehicle within reach to get it done. In addition, The Zeus will make a great gift for hunters who get into remote areas, for backpackers (who might get stuck at a quiet trailhead), and even for fly fishers, who are often staying far too late trying to get just one more cast in before they have to head home, likely late for whatever thing they have to do next that isn’t fly fishing.
All-in-all, The Zeus appears to be an excellent vehicle portable battery jump starter. While I haven’t used it long-term yet, the initial build quality is excellent. When I needed it during a winter storm, it did its job quickly and easily. Highly recommended.