Best Marine Batteries – 2019 Buyer’s Guide

Marine batteries are an essential tool for offshore anglers.

There is a huge array of batteries to pick and choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re in the market for a new marine battery, this article will walk through the functionalities different styles, qualities to look for, and some of our favorite picks for this year.

Comparison Chart of the Best Marine Batteries

Product

Our Rating

Price

​Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v

Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v 125ah SLA rechargeable Battery for Use with Pv Solar Panels,Smart chargers wind Turbine and Inverters

Best Overall

​UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery

UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery (12V; 35 AH; UB12350)

Runner-up

​VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857

VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery Marine Deep Cycle HI Performance Battery Ideal for Boats and 18-35lb minn kota, minnkota, Cobra, sevylor and Other trolling Motor (12V 35AH, Group U1)

Best for the Money

​Odyssey 31-PC2150S

Odyssey 31-PC2150S Heavy Duty Commercial Battery

Best Deep Cycle Marine Battery

​Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Best Marine Battery for Trolling Motor

​Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M

Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M BlueTop Marine Starting Battery

Best Marine Cranking Battery

​Mighty Max Battery ML35-12

Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 - 12V 35AH U1 Deep Cycle AGM Solar Battery Replaces 33Ah, 34Ah, 36Ah Brand Product

Best AGM Marine Battery

​Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST

Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery

Best Dual Purpose Marine Battery

What is a Marine Battery and What is it Used For?

Marine batteries are utilized in conjunction with a trolling or boat motor. One of the most common styles are deep cycle batteries, but there are many other styles that are also used to power watercraft. The main functions of these marine batteries are to start an engine and provide continuous power to various devices on the boat.

Most marine batteries will allow for a short burst of high-intensity energy to start the watercraft and will continue to release gradual energy to power applications on the boat. The majority of marine batteries are dual-purpose, which means they perform several functions at once for the boat.  

Characteristics of Our Favorite Models 

There are many different kinds of marine batteries from a multitude of companies available in today’s market, so the purchasing process can be a little bit daunting. When you’re in search of a great marine battery, you should keep the following aspects in mind to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Power Capacity

The first thing you’ll want to consider when it comes to a deep cycle battery is the voltage. This will show how much power is available for use. Your need for a higher voltage will depend on the size of your engine, but in general, the higher the voltage, the more power it can provide. 

Size and Weight

The shape of your battery is something that should definitely come into consideration, especially if you’re operating a smaller-sized watercraft. Many batteries are big, bulky, and awkward, so if you can track down a low-profile battery with enough power to operate your watercraft’s engine, go for it. 

Amperage Hours

Amp-hours show how much time you can use the battery before having to charge again. The higher the amp hour, the more time you can take in-between charges.

Quick Take - The Best Marine Batteries

Review of the Best Marine Batteries

Finding the perfect marine battery isn’t easy. But to make the process a little simpler, we’ve put together a list of some of the best of the best picks for this year. 

Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v 125ah SLA rechargeable Battery for Use with Pv Solar Panels,Smart chargers wind Turbine and Inverters

Pros

  • Charges up quickly
  • Thoughtfully designed
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Durable housing and construction
  • Created with military-grade custom plates

Cons

  • Weight is inconvenient
  • Some quality control issues
  • Loses battery capacity over time

What Recent Buyers Report

Anglers who went for the Vmaxtanks Deep Cycle Battery were very happy with the tool’s performance and overall power capabilities on the water. The main complaint that came up had to do with the heaviness of the battery, but for the most part, it didn’t overshadow the user’s satisfaction as a whole. Users appreciated the power output, durable housing, and thoughtful design.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We include this battery as our best overall for several reasons. Mainly, we really like the fact that it provides awesome power and it is also consistent and reliable. While it isn’t the lightest battery you can get, once you get it on your boat, you can count on it.

Who Will Use This Most

The Vmaxtanks battery is an exceptional pick for anglers who need a reliable energy source for their watercraft that won’t die during a long day of fishing. Don’t risk bringing this hefty setup onto a kayak or dinghy, but for boats with a higher weight limit, this is the best of the best.

Bottom Line

Despite the weight of this marine battery, we love the tool overall. Not only does it provide a steady, reliable stream of power, but it has consistent performance over time. This is an excellent pick for any angler with a mid-size watercraft.

UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery (12V; 35 AH; UB12350)

Pros

  • Reliable charge
  • Very reasonably-priced
  • Handle adds an extra element of convenience
  • Fully-sealed design eliminates the need for consistent maintenance
  • Awesome size for kayaks, dinghies, or other small boats with trolling motor

Cons

  • Packaging issues
  • Emits quite a bit of heat
  • Decrease in effectiveness over time

What Recent Buyers Report

The UPG sealed battery got pretty good feedback from anglers. Buyers appreciated its convenient, compact size, which made it a great fit for sticking using in a kayak or other small watercraft. Several users complained that the packaging was done in a way that bent the terminals and some said the models lose power capacity over time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This UPG battery isn’t fancy, but it is effective and super-convenient, making it a great fit for our favorites list. It’s not easy to find a smaller battery that is reliable and powerful enough to handle a fishing trip, but the UPG battery checks all the boxes.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an awesome choice for anglers with small watercraft that need a battery to power their trolling motor. The UPG battery has some great features, like a handle and anti-leak design, that make it super convenient, and the size and shape of the battery won’t take up too much space in your boat.

Bottom Line

If you want an easy battery to throw in your kayak to power your trolling motor, this is the setup for you. Despite its small size, the UPG battery holds a steady, reliable charge for a good amount of time.

Best for the Money:
VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857

VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery Marine Deep Cycle HI Performance Battery Ideal for Boats and 18-35lb minn kota, minnkota, Cobra, sevylor and Other trolling Motor (12V 35AH, Group U1)

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Quick to charge up
  • Durable, damage-proof housing
  • High power output can power many applications at once
  • Created with durable materials like military-grade custom plates

Cons

  • Some users complain of quality control issues
  • Battery capacity can decrease over time
  • Heavy and not easy to transport from place to place

What Recent Buyers Report

Anglers who went for the VMAXTANKS battery were pretty pleased with their purchase. Buyers gave high marks for its power output and overall performance. Some reviewers were less than thrilled about the weight but appreciated that its voltage was able to handle a long day on the water and had nice things to say about the durable housing and construction.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We awarded this battery our budget spot because we love the power capacity and consistent performance that comes at such a reasonable price. While it may not be the daintiest of power providers, once you can get it in your boat, you’re pretty much set.

Who Will Use This Most

For anglers on a budget, it is hard to get a better battery than this at such a low price. We’d recommend this choice to any angler looking to save a little bit of cash here and there but also want a super reliable power source with serious battery life. Though you might not want this on your kayak, it is a great choice for medium-sized boats.

Bottom Line

Despite that, this battery does have some issues over time and it is a little heavy, however, this model should not be overlooked. For anglers on a tight budget, this combination of power and lasting charge could make all the difference for your next fishing trip,

Best Deep Cycle Marine Battery:
Odyssey 31-PC2150S

Odyssey 31-PC2150S Heavy Duty Commercial Battery

Pros

  • Long cycle life
  • Variation in mounting setup
  • Vibration and shock-resistant
  • Created with durable materials
  • Takes only 4-6 hours to charge fully

Cons

  • Not super-easy to install
  • Doesn’t do well in cold temperatures
  • Does not come with battery terminals

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers of the Odyssey battery were, overall, pretty happy with the experience they had with the product. Users appreciated the quick charging system and durable set up. Many commented that the battery was created with high-quality materials as noted by the look and feel.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a stand-out product that earned a spot on our list for a couple of different reasons. First of all, we appreciate the cycle length of this deep cycle battery, which provides a great amount of power for longer periods of time. We also appreciate the durable, vibration and shock-resistant housing.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a solid overall pick for a variety of boat anglers. One thing to keep in mind is that this battery doesn’t perform its best in cold weather. Odds are, you probably wouldn’t be taking out your boat when the temperatures start to turn, but it is something to keep in mind.

Bottom Line

While this may not be the best battery for all angling scenarios, for the majority of boat users, the Odyssey will do the trick just fine. It’s durable, reliable, and consistent, a great combination for a marine battery.

Best Marine Battery for Trolling Motor:
Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Pros

  • No leak design
  • Provides power for a long time
  • Recharges to full power quickly
  • Great size and shape for small boats
  • Holds up in very warm temperatures

Cons

  • Could provide more voltage
  • Can lose their effectiveness over time
  • Isn’t compatible with several battery chargers

What Recent Buyers Report

The initial response to the Optima deep cycle battery was very positive. Most buyers were very happy with the length of time the battery could operate and were excited by its quick charging time. Some anglers did wish that the Optima operated at a higher voltage level, but it wasn’t a concern for many.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We gave the Optima a spot on our list for many reasons, but the main draw for this battery is that it is an all-in-one purchase. Not only does this battery provide awesome, lasting power, but it’s also quick to recharge, it holds up in a wide variety of settings, and it is well-crafted and durable.

Who Will Use This Most

We’d recommend the Optima battery to any boat angler who needs a great charger that can last for hours on a long fishing trip. Although this setup is a little more expensive than others on the market, buyers say the results are totally worth shelling out the extra cash.

Bottom Line

Although this battery might have the power of some bulkier deep cycle rigs, the Optima is not to be overlooked. With great features, including safety precautions, a quick charge system, and a durable build, this is a good option for everyone and anyone.

Best Marine Cranking Battery:
Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M

Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M BlueTop Marine Starting Battery

Pros

  • Long-lasting charge
  • Recharges very quickly
  • Super temperature tolerant
  • No-leak design prevents some mishaps
  • Excellent size and shape for smaller watercraft

Cons

  • Voltage could be stronger
  • Not compatible with all battery charges
  • These models can lose charge capacity over time

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of buyers who went for this Optima cranking battery were happy with their purchase and the functionalities of the model. Reviewers praised the long-lasting charge, but some commented that the battery lost some power capacity over time, which was frustrating.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Optima brand shows up on our favorites list more than once and that’s no mistake. We appreciate this cranking battery for several reasons. Those who go for this over a more traditional deep cycle battery won’t be disappointed in its power capacity and quick charging time.

Who Will Use This Most

This cranking battery won’t be the most convenient for all anglers, but for those who prefer the cranking style, this is an exceptional option. The size and shape are also a great fit for a wide variety of watercraft, so everyone can enjoy.

Bottom Line

This battery is a bit of a hit or miss for some anglers, but you shouldn’t overlook the overall performance the Optima cranking model can provide. We appreciate the excellent features, a quick charging system, and the durable housing and construction.

Best AGM Marine Battery:
Mighty Max Battery ML35-12

Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 - 12V 35AH U1 Deep Cycle AGM Solar Battery Replaces 33Ah, 34Ah, 36Ah Brand Product

Pros

  • No maintenance needed
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Temperature-tolerant and resistant
  • Really nice value for style and voltage
  • Recovers from dead charge consistently

Cons

  • Not leak-proof
  • Some issues with the terminal style
  • Charge doesn’t last as long as other batteries

What Recent Buyers Report

The Mighty Max battery was a pretty popular option among anglers with trolling motors and smaller boats. Those buyers appreciate the convenience of the design and its ability to consistently recover. Some wished the model had a more long-lasting charge.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This battery makes an appearance on our list because we were seriously impressed by its overall value. It’s tough to find a reasonably-priced battery of this style, but the Mighty Max will fall under many angler’s budgets. We also love the shape, size, and power capacity.

Who Will Use This Most

The Mighty Max is a good fit for anglers with smaller boats and kayaks with trolling motors. Though it may not have the capabilities to last for an eight-hour day, it is a really excellent option for smaller day trips on the water. This is also another good option for anglers who are on a tighter budget.

Bottom Line

Go for this battery if you have a kayak/smaller boat and want to power your trolling motor for short day trips. The Mighty Max is an excellent size and shape for convenient storage and has the power capacity to keep you moving for a good amount of time.

Best Dual-Purpose Marine Battery:
Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST

Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery

Pros

  • Lasts a long time
  • Charge lasts a long time
  • Temperature-tolerant design
  • Sealed design is very convenient
  • Durable battery housing limits potential damage

Cons

  • Heavy, awkward
  • A little pricey for some budgets
  • Effectiveness can falter if left to discharge completely

What Recent Buyers Report
Anglers who purchased the Odyssey Dual-Purpose Marine Battery were pleased with the overall performance and versatility the product provided. Buyers were happy with the lasting charge and convenient design features, but many wished that it was a little gentler on the pocketbook.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you’ve been paying attention to our list, you can probably tell that we’re pretty big fans of Odyssey batteries, and our marine battery faves list wouldn’t be complete without a great dual-purpose model included. This setup is versatile and a very solid choice for those with trolling motors.

Who Will Use This Most

Although this battery may be on the pricier end of the scale, it’s a great option for those with trolling motors who need a power source that is lasting and reliable. It’s a little heavy and awkward to carry, but its size does fit well in most watercraft.

Bottom Line

With exceptional power capacity and a long-lasting charge, this Odyssey battery is definitely worth the price. We’re fans of the durable housing, long shelf life, versatile action, and much more.

Types of Marine Battery

There are several styles of marine batteries to keep an eye out for. No style really trumps the other, but rather, they’re all effective in their own ways. 

Flooded Battery: 

This style is a very commonly utilized tool in today’s market. They’re popular due to their versatility; they come in many different shapes and sizes. These batteries are created with a sulfuric acid electrolyte, plate separators, and lead plates. Traditionally, they’re not sealed, so they release gasses through vents. They must be maintained on a regular basis to ensure reliable performance.

Gel Battery

Another popular style is gel batteries. They utilize silica to create a jelly-like substance from sulfuric acid. This substance is the “electrolyte” in the equation. In general, they have very strong internal construction, however, they can’t be exposed to very high amps. This can cause damage within the jelly, which can become scarred and create pockets.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Battery

These styles of batteries are the newbies of the battery market, but they’ve already gained quite a bit of popularity. They’re made up of lead plates, a fiberglass plate, and an electrolyte. They utilize capillary action to keep liquid in the plate. AGM batteries are often praised for their strong, damage-resistant construction. Internal resistance is pretty low in AGM batteries too, which results in a quicker charging time and less heat loss.

Conclusion

Marine batteries are an essential piece of gear that should not be skimped on when it comes to quality. Hopefully, this article gave you a suitable overview of what you should be looking for in your pick and some great choices you can jump off from. Happy fishing! 

People Also Ask

Marine batteries aren’t the easiest product to wrap your head around. If you still have questions, check out the section below! These are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to using marine batteries.

When Do I Need to Change my Battery?

Unfortunately, there comes a time when every battery has to make the journey to battery heaven. If your marine battery is refusing to hold a charge or is consistently struggling to start your watercraft, it is probably time to change your battery.

How Much Does a Battery Discharge Per Month?

Discharge rates really depend on the specific battery you buy but can vary between 2-20% a month. AGM batteries are very popular, in part because they have a much lower discharge rate than some other styles.

What is the Standard Lifespan of a Marine Battery?

There really isn’t a perfect answer to this. It depends on the battery style and how it is treated over the course of use. Some batteries will only last 2-3 years while others can last much longer. Maintain your battery as best as possible and you’ll get more use out of it in the long run.

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