A car battery is essential for proper functioning of every vehicle. Modern-day cars use the battery for more than just cranking the engine. It’s the power source for your electric windows, headlights, and all interior gadgets. Simply put, if you don’t have a battery you’re not going anywhere. You won’t be able to even unlock the car keylessly, let alone crank the engine or start it up. Factory batteries usually last two years on average, with the most durable ones stretching that up to four years and the worst only lasting one year.
|Car battery||Cold Cranking Amps||Weight|
|Optima Batteries RedTop Car Battery||800 CCA||38.8 pounds|
|Optima Batteries YellowTop Car Battery||650 CCA||36.4 pounds|
|ACDelco 94RAGM Professional Car Battery||800 CCA||51.6 pounds|
|Odyssey PC680 Car Battery||170 CCA||15.6 pounds|
It’s inevitable that you’re going to have to swap out your dead car battery at one point or another, so it makes sense to grab the battery delivering the most punch and longevity. You also have to factor in the fact that not all car batteries behave similarly in different weather conditions. Cold temperatures are a proven battery killer, getting the best of even the most reputable manufacturers’ batteries. What’s more, good aftermarket batteries can be a hit and miss, some not even making it past the one year mark, others lasting the best part of a decade. To help you choose the best car battery, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best car batteries.
Although you’ll have to spend more than what you would for a burnt headlight bulb, the costliness of the initial purchase will pay for itself as the years go by. When you look at it like that, it makes even more sense to get a good quality battery from the get go and not have to worry about it for a long time to come. Although you can technically get decent batteries for not a whole lot, you very often get what you pay for.
Lastly, if you want to make the best of your new car battery, in case you don’t use your car in the winter get a good car battery charger as well. Some of the best car battery chargers can keep your battery at 100%, protecting it against degradation.
Optima Batteries RedTop Starting Battery
After looking at several dozen car batteries, we came to the conclusion that the RedTop range from Optima does indeed offer the best car batteries. The RedTop lineup consists of several different specific models, but the one we’re interested in offers the most in every area. For starters, it produces an output of 800 Cold Cranking Amps, more than enough to start even the biggest of motors. With so much power on tap, you’ll have a hard time troubling this battery. For its size it packs an amazing punch.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, it’s really light. It sheds around 12 lbs. more than the equivalent rival. It’s lighter than most compact units. Forget being light for its performance, this thing is light, period. It weighs just 38.8 pounds. With dual SAE & GM Posts it’s extremely versatile too.
With a high reserve capacity of 100 minutes, it’s optimal for bad weather starting, especially in cold temperatures. The rugged design provides fifteen times more resistance to vibrations, resulting in a car battery that can withstand practically anything. If you want the best car battery, this is it. No other unit can provide the same amount of performance, compactness and versatility. Due to the nature of its shape, it can fit in A LOT of vehicles, from small city cars to large SUVs.
Optima Batteries RedTop key specs
- 800 CCA
- 8 pounds
- 100 minute reserve capacity
- Highly resistant to vibrations
- Fits almost all cars
Optima Batteries YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
Coming in at a close second it’s again an Optima product, except this time it’s their YellowTop range. Think RedTop with slightly less performance and a dual purpose function. In all fairness it doesn’t differ that much from the RedTop, but it’s definitely not as good as its Red Optima sibling. With an output of 650 Cold Cranking Amps, it certainly doesn’t lack any starting juice, but again, it can’t match the RedTop on our number one spot.
Opinions are split between users regarding the RedTop and the YellowTop, but the general consensus is that the RedTop batteries are indeed slightly better. Size wise, there’s nothing in it. The YellowTop is just as compact and light, coming in at 36.4 pounds (it’s slightly lighter if anything). Because it shares the same rugged design, it’s also fifteen times more resistant to vibrations and has a 98 minute reserve capacity.
It fits in the same vehicles the RedTop fits, so you don’t even have to worry about installation. Properly maintained and charged whenever the levels drop it will outlive the best part of half a decade. A great all-rounder if you’re looking for a car battery from Optima that isn’t the RedTop.
Optima Batteries YellowTop key specs
- 650 CCA
- 4 pounds
- 98 minute reserve capacity
- Highly resistant to vibrations
ACDelco 94RAGM Professional Car Battery
ACDelco is a major player in the world of automotive batteries. Perhaps as famous as the Optima RedTop, ACDelco’s 94RAGM battery is suited for trucks as well as cars. With a high-density negative paste, it offers improved performance in every situation, in addition to the increased battery life. The uniquely designed vent cap resists acid leakage, even if you happen to turn the battery sideways accidentally.
The ACDelco battery is properly sealed and packaged. All batteries have been pressure tested and are completely leakage-free. It’s not as aesthetically pleasing as the Optima products, but it’s a car battery. How often do you realistically admire a car battery, in terms of design at least? Almost never, right? It’s square, but compact in size. Its one drawback is its weight. Tipping the scale at 51.6 pounds, it’s not exactly light. In fact it’s a lot heavier than the Optima batteries.
In almost all cases however, a battery’s weight doesn’t change anything once it’s inside the car in its slot secured with brackets. It only becomes a problem when you have to actually take it out or put it back in manually. If you don’t mind the weight, the ACDelco is an excellent choice by all other accounts.
ADCelco 94RAGM Professional key specs
- 800 CCA
- 6 pounds
- 3-year warranty
- Completely pressure tested
Odyssey PC680 Car Battery Review
While not as popular as the ACDelco or the Optima, Odyssey still produces top-quality car batteries suiting every type of vehicle. One thing it has going for it right from the start is the extended warranty of 2 years. Unlike a lot of batteries offering just 1-year or 6-month warranties, the Odyssey product is pushing the boundaries of what manufacturers are capable of offering. In most cases the battery will keep going even after 4 to 5 years of service however, so the PC680’s life expectancy is up there with the best of them.
It has the highest recharge efficiency of any sealed lead battery on the market. You could fully charge it in 4 to 6 hours. That’s unheard of in the battery market. Yet, they haven’t sacrificed longevity to achieve such amazing performance gains. With a 70 percent longer life-cycle compared to conventional deep-cycle batteries thanks to a maximum of 400 cycles at 80 percent depth of discharge, the PC680 can be recharged hundreds of times before it actually fails to hold the charge.
Besides that, it is also the lightest battery on this list, at just 15.6 pounds. Of course, this all comes at a cost. The Odyssey has only 170 CCA, far below what the other car batteries in this list have. Still, if you got a small or older car, this might be the perfect car battery for you.
Odyssey PC680 key specs
- 170 CCA
- 6 pounds
- 2-year warranty
- Full recharge in 4-6 hours
Without a doubt, the Optima RedTop should be your number one choice if you’re after the best car battery. Life expectancy, durability, design, performance, the RedTop range has it all. Perfect for colder weather too. Slotting just behind it is the Optima YellowTop. A great all-rounder which falls just short of the RedTop’s performance characteristics. The ACDelco is a reliable product from a reputable manufacturer, going toe to toe with the Optimas. Although it’s not there just yet, it’s a viable choice. There’s not a lot to say about the Odyssey battery. It’s simple and it works. With a 2 year warranty it gives you piece of mind. If you’re worried about your battery’s durability, the Odyssey is the right pick for you.