If you've ever been unable to start your car on a cold morning, you know the importance of getting a quick jump. Until recently, this meant either having an auto club membership or relying on the kindness of strangers, but in recent years a new solution has come to market: the portable jump starter. Here are three top options:

Antigravity Batteries XP-10 Micro-Start: Rated best in Consumer Reports' most recent test of lithium-ion portables, this jump starter is UL listed, with a multimode LED flashlight and multiple USB charging options for electronics. Antigravity says it will jump V8s up to 7.3 liters. It's a bit pricey, but quality counts.

Black & Decker Portable Power Station: This is the Swiss Army knife of chargers. It features multiple recharge options, a work light, a 120-psi air compressor, USB taps and a 500-watt AC inverter with two plugs to run small appliances. It's a heavyweight at 20 pounds, but smartly packaged with a convenient grab handle, and offers a solid 17 amp hours of stored power.

Schumacher ProSeries 2250: It has a vibration-resistant absorbent glass mat battery, a 400-watt AC inverter with two plugs and enough cranking amps to start just about any light-to medium-duty vehicle with a dead battery out there. Best of all, it comes with one of the largest-capacity batteries you'll find. Schumacher says it can feed a 200-watt AC draw for 55 minutes, and 100 watts for 90 minutes.