The Goal Zero Venture Jump is a specialist power bank that works as an emergency jump start device for your van or car. Given its 10000 mAh capacity the unit itself seems massive compared to the typical power bank you’d use for charging your mobile phone or even the Goal Zero Venture 30 Dave reviewed back in 2017. Interestingly the Venture Jump is the same price but includes the jump leads, case and a higher mAh battery compared to the 2017 Venture 30 so clearly the relative price of this technology is falling. Some of its bulk is undoubtedly due to the typical Goal Zero ruggedisation but the unit also has to accommodate larger plug ports to connect to the jump leads and I would suspect some beefed up circuitry to cope with the 800amp output which compares favourably to many other jump start units out there with only 300-400 amps.
It is this high amperage output that allows the Venture Jump to boost your drained vehicle battery and get you started. It won’t start a vehicle with a completely dead battery but if you’ve drained your battery beyond its ability to start then it will give you a chance. Goal Zero claim it will give you up to eight starts for an up to a 6 litre petrol or 3 litre diesel engine. The Venture Jump comes in a neat kit complete with short crocodile clip jump leads, charge cable, instructions and a carry case. Besides working as an 800 amp jumpstart battery the Venture Jump can recharge your mobile devices via a USB A ports and it has a built in LED torch which could prove useful if fiddling about under the bonnet on a dark winters evening or morning! The button for the torch also operates a simple blue LED battery charge indicator.
As a climber and especially as a winter climber I frequently park up in remote places often with no other vehicles about and sketchy mobile reception. In such circumstances a conventional set of jump leads are little more than a talisman as there is no one about to give you a jump if you return to a dead battery at the end of the day. Carrying the Venture Jump with you is a sensible precaution. Even if you can summon a recovery service they may be reluctant to drive up the rutted track to where you are stuck or it may involve further delay whilst they get a ‘suitable’ vehicle to reach you. As (lazy) climbers we are probably all guilty of trying to get that little bit closer to the crag/cliff/mountain up the track in a non 4WD vehicle or van and a dead battery in such circumstances would prove not only irritating but potentially expensive!
Using the Venture Jump is straightforward but please make sure you read the instructions carefully beforehand (they’re tucked behind the unit in the carry case) but in brief:
Turn off all battery draining functions on your vehicle; lights, radio, air con, fridge etc! With the jumper leads unconnected from the Venture Jump
- Connect the red crocodile clip to the battery positive +ve.
- Connect the black crocodile clip to the battery negative -ve.
- Connect the jumper leads to the Venture Jump.
- Give it a ‘few’ seconds but no more that 30seconds and start your vehicle.
- Each start attempt should not exceed 5 seconds
- Don’t attempt more than 5 starts in a fifteen minute period
The Venture Jump will time out after 30seconds if you don’t try to start your vehicle requiring you to disconnect the jump leads from the power bank before trying again
Unlike a normal CGR review I never used the Venture Jump in anger to start my van – I wasn’t prepared to risk deliberately draining the battery as it doesn’t do it any good! However setting the unit up to do a mock jump start was a breeze and the instructions are simple and clear. The unit worked perfectly to recharge phones etc. but to be honest I don’t think you would use an emergency piece of kit like that as you’d want it to always be fully charged ready for an emergency. The Venture Jump seemed to hold its charge well and 2 months after charging still seemed to be fully charged but obviously you would top it up before any trip. If I were to look for improvements I think it would be a good idea to have the instructions printed onto the unit itself. I’m sure the graphics department at Goal Zero could convert the 4 to 6 steps into a series of simple icons engraved/coloured onto the case which would obviate the need to squint at the tiny print in the instruction booklet – probably in a howling sleety gale! Overall a reassuring piece of kit for a road trip or if parking up in remote locations. You will have to decide if it’s worth it given the age/reliability of your vehicle – ironically the poorer the vehicle the more useful a Venture Jump may be!
- Solid build
- Neat and compact kit
- Pricey (but worth it for the quality)
- Instructions in separate booklet