Summer is sneaking up on us, and the heat will be here before we know it. There’s probably no better way to enjoy the summer than with a nice boat ride, so you’ll definitely want to make sure that all of your maritime needs are taken care of before the temperature starts to climb into the 70s and 80s.
Of course, you probably don’t want to feel stranded in the middle of nowhere once you get onto the water, so it’s worth it to invest in a good battery. Whether you’re looking for a powerful deep cycle marine battery or a reliable starting battery or whether you need to power up your boat or charge your devices, you’ll need a good marine battery on deck. That’s why we’ve made this list of the best marine batteries on the market. Before you know it, you’ll have found the perfect battery to make your boat less like a vehicle and more like a house on the water.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best marine batteries, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
Table of Contents
- What Should You Look For in a Marine Battery?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Marine Batteries
- #1: VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery (Best Value – All-Purpose)
- #2: Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery (Best Overall Marine Battery)
- #3: Odyssey 31-PC2150S Marine Starting Battery (Best for Starting Your Engine)
- #4: UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery (Best Low Cost)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Verdict: Your Best Marine Batteries
What Should You Look For in a Marine Battery?
Are you an electrician? I’m definitely not. If you’re not an expert, buying something like a marine battery can be a bit daunting, and it can feel like a task best left to those who are really in the know. But you can be “in the know” quicker than you think. We want to help you feel in the loop, so we’ve added this short rubric to our list that details the criteria we’ve used while assessing the best marine batteries. In just a few short minutes, you’ll feel like a certified pro, and you’ll be ready to tackle our list and find the best marine battery for you.
Criteria #1: Power – Obviously we need our batteries to pack a punch. The main power source on your boat better be able to handle all of your electricity needs. With that out of the way, there are two main numbers we’re going to look at to evaluate the power of a battery. The first number we’re going to look at is cold crank amps (CCA), which will basically determine how well your battery can operate under cold temperatures. This is important for a few reasons, which we’ll get into more later. The second important number is capacity, which is measured in ampere-hours. Put very simply, the capacity is how long your battery can last, which will naturally play a big part in how long you’re able to be out on the water.
Criteria #2: Design – There’s a lot going on in a boat, and you don’t want your battery to add too much stress to your life out at sea. There are a lot of different aspects that will contribute to a battery’s design. We can’t get into every possible relevant trait, but there are some major features that are important to note. Namely, your battery should be durable and resistant to the elements, and it should have a secure frame that won’t rust or leak fluid all over your boat. A good design is crucial for making sure everything runs smoothly and without any mess.
Criteria #3: Size – Unless you have a massive luxury yacht, space on your boat is already probably somewhat limited. We really don’t want your battery to add to that, so we’re going to try to keep things as small as possible. The unfortunate truth, however, is that if you’re looking for the most powerful marine battery, that might be impossible. We won’t prioritize a small battery over a powerful one, but if there are any mighty-mouse batteries out there that can manage to give you the best of both worlds, that’d be the ideal. We want you to have your cake and eat it too.
Criteria #4: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well. The honest truth is that marine batteries are not exactly cheap products, but we’re going to do our best to keep things as cheap as possible, and we promise even our expensive products will be worth the money.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Marine Batteries
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best marine batteries” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We’ll also make sure to include a wide variety of products that covers different niches and price points. Finally, we’ll go out of our way to point out any important feature that doesn’t squarely fit into any of our listed criteria in the previous section. This way, everyone can find the perfect product that will satisfy their needs and their budget.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best marine batteries available today – no matter what you’re looking for.
#1: VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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VMaxTanks gets things rolling with the first battery on our list, the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery. This powerful and affordable deep cycle battery offers 35 Ah, which means you can run this battery at 35 amps for one hour or at a much more sustainable rate over an extended period of time. A little planning and some power banks will help this battery power all of your devices and give you all the electricity you need for all of your time out on the water.
The VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery also features 330 amps of CCA. This means that our top-ranked marine battery can be used to start your motor in a pinch. Next, thanks to the absorbent glass mat design of this battery, the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery is both long-lasting and maintenance-free. You won’t be cleaning up after this battery, and it’s projected to last 5-8 years in float mode. For the uninitiated, float mode keeps the battery working at a low capacity to avoid unnecessary strain on your power source.
On top of its high ampere-hours count and its solid CCA rating, the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery is light, slim, and convenient. It measures 7.7″ x 5″ x 6.1″ (L x W x H) and weighs just 25 pounds, so you won’t have trouble getting it onto your boat or finding room for it. Plus, the design features a handle that will make carrying it easier than ever. Setting up the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery won’t be a two-person job, so don’t worry about needing to bribe some of your friends with pizza.
The real kicker of the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery is its highly competitive price. Reviewers called this battery one of the best ones out there in terms of bang for your buck. Customers also praised the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery for holding a charge well, and, of course, for its convenient size and build.
This combination of form and function is hard to beat, and the fact that this battery is so cheap is just gravy. This all comes together to make the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery an amazing beginner option and the best marine battery for anyone who doesn’t want to waste their money. You’re getting every penny’s worth when you buy the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery.
#2: Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery (Best Overall Marine Battery)
The VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery earned our number one spot because it’s the best value considering its price. But some customers are willing to overpay if it means they’re walking away with a better overall battery. If that describes you, then you’ll have to check out the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery.
This premium-grade marine battery may not be cheap, but it just can’t be beat in terms of performance. It offers everything you could ask for, and it really is the holy grail of marine batteries. If you’re willing to splurge, this is the best marine battery for you. Here are the big selling points of the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery that might convince you to empty out your wallet and treat yourself.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Hybrid Design
Some marine batteries are a good way to kickstart your engines. Other batteries are a good power source for all of your devices on deck. The Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery is both. With 48 Ah, this heavy-duty battery will get you through full days out on the water, and the 620 cold-cranking amps will have no problem starting your engine no matter how cold it is. You can go boating in the arctic circle and never have engine problems.
If you have a good memory, you’ve probably realized that the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery overperforms the Vmax battery in both of our two main categories, and it’s not particularly close. This battery really is the best of both worlds. So if you prefer to do all of your shopping in one place, speed things up by purchasing the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Vibration Resistant
Considering how powerful our runner-up battery is, it’d be a shame if it couldn’t handle some bumps in the road (er, water). Luckily, that’s not the case, and thanks to the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery’s spiral-wound AGM design, it’s not only spill-proof like our previous battery, but it’s also vibration-resistant. This means you don’t need to feel limited to just smooth waters, and you can channel your inner Captain Ahab and really go out into the depths of the sea.
This powerful hybrid battery also boasts a projected shelf life of 6-8 years in float mode. So it’ll get you through more than a few trips out on the water, and you won’t need to replace it any time soon, which definitely adds to the value of this admittedly expensive battery.
The old saying “you get what you pay for” has never been more true than with the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery. Optima Batteries is one of the premier names when it comes to marine batteries, so you can rest assured that you’re getting your money’s worth with any of their products. While the YellowTop battery won’t meet anyone’s definition of cheap, its capability to fulfill multiple functions might save you some money overall, as you won’t have to buy two different batteries.
Other than the price, the only real downside to this battery is its weight. Despite its reasonable frame of 9.4″ x 6.8″ x 7.7″ (L x W x H), the Optima Battery YellowTop marine battery weighs 36.4 pounds. And with no handle attached, you’ll definitely feel all 36 pounds. If you have a dolly or some sort of cart lying around, you may want to wheel this battery onto your boat. But your efforts will be greatly rewarded.
There isn’t really anything you can’t do with the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery, and while the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery is the best deal, this hybrid battery is, overall, the best marine battery out there.
#3: Odyssey 31-PC2150S Marine Starting Battery (Best for Starting Your Engine)
If your boat is getting up there in age, or if you’re rushing out into some colder water, you’ll definitely want a solid backup battery to get your engine started. Or maybe you just like to be prepared. No matter what your reasoning, you can’t go wrong with the Odyssey 31-PC2150S Marine Starting Battery if you need a starting battery.
With a battery capacity of just 100 Ah but a CCA count of 1150 amps, Odyssey is being loud and clear about the purpose of the 31-PC2150S Marine Starting Battery. This heavy-duty marine battery blows the competition out of the water in terms of cold crank amperage, and you’ll have absolutely no problem getting things started quickly no matter what the temperature is. The Odyssey 31-PC2150S Marine Starting Battery has a freezing point of -40 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll probably get fed up with the cold and call it quits long before this battery does. Of course, it’s not suited as a power source for your devices, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll have to go with one of the other deep cycle batteries on our list.
Our dedicated starting marine battery is one of the most durable options out there. On top of boasting an incredible shelf life of 8-12 years, the Odyssey 31-PC2150S Marine Starting Battery has been praised for being sturdy enough to handle the bumpiest waters and harshest environments. Plus, it can discharge up to 80 percent of its battery capacity and recover with no problem, which definitely sets this battery apart from the crowd. One reviewer praised this battery for having a 70% longer cycle life compared to other models.
Now for the bad. The Odyssey 31-PC2150S Marine Starting Battery is quite expensive, though it’s still much cheaper than our previous battery from Optima Batteries. Next, it’s also incredibly heavy. This Odyssey has a bulky frame of 13″ x 6.8″ x 9.41″ (L x W x H) and weighs a whopping 77.8 pounds, so its size leaves a lot to be desired in both respects. Luckily, it’s durable enough that you can leave it on your boat around the clock, so the size will be a one-time nuisance.
If you don’t like to be caught off guard, then this is the best marine battery you’ll be able to find. There’s no better safety net in an engine-related emergency than the Odyssey 31-PC2150S Marine Starting Battery.
#4: UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery (Best Low Cost)
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Okay, enough with the premium-grade products. We’ve shown you two incredibly expensive marine batteries back to back, and while the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery may not be insanely expensive, it may not fit your definition of cheap or fit into your decided budget. But don’t worry; there’s always a cheap option out there if you just know where to look. This time, the right place to look is the UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery, which costs less than half even the next cheapest battery on our list.
The UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery features the same 35 Ah of our top-ranked battery, and an adequate 315 CCA. That’s technically over the suggested high-water mark of 330, but just barely.
The specs just about tell the whole story with the UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery. It’s pretty similar to the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery, but our top pick gets the slight edge. It also has a similar size, measuring 8″ x 5.9″ x 8″ (L x W x H) and weighing 22.5 pounds. To save you some time scrolling up, that means it weighs less than the VMax battery, but its frame is a tiny bit bulkier. I definitely pick the VMax battery when it comes to size because those extra inches will make a bigger difference than a couple of pounds. That being said, both of these batteries are amazing options for anyone who wants a great option to get them started.
It’s pretty hard to find a marine battery cheaper than the UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery. So if money is a priority, stop scrolling and start buying this affordable marine battery.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you weren’t already an expert in marine batteries – which I’m sure is the case for a lot of our readers – then you probably still have some questions left. We want to do our best that you finish this article feeling that you know everything you need to know before you make your purchase and get out on the water. We can’t read your mind, but we can add this FAQ section to our article in order to answer the more common questions and hope that addresses your needs. Consider this your crash course in marine batteries 101.
What’s the Difference among the Different Battery Types?
We’ve mentioned the different types of batteries in passing throughout our article, so we should probably add some context and really explain what each battery does.
First off, you have deep cycle batteries, which are probably the most common. A deep cycle marine battery will feature a higher capacity than its CCA rating, and its main purpose is powering your devices. The VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery and the UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery are both deep cycle batteries. Because of their low CCA, deep cycle batteries aren’t really meant to start your engine.
That brings us to the next type of battery, the starting marine battery. This name is probably a bit more self-explanatory than “deep cycle marine battery,” but starting batteries feature high CCA counts that will be able to get your boat started in even the coldest temperatures. Starting batteries also aren’t designed to be on for long periods of time, which means they aren’t exactly ideal power sources.
Finally, you have hybrid batteries, of which the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery is a perfect example. As the name implies, hybrid batteries offer the best of both worlds. They can start your boat and act as power sources. Of course, the tradeoff is that they’re incredibly expensive and usually not exactly light. That being said, you may save money overall if the alternative was buying both a deep cycle battery and a starting battery.
Can a Deep Cycle Battery Start My Boat?
The short answer is yes…sort of. Remember when I said that the recommended high-water mark for cold-crank amperage is 300 amps? That’s because it takes roughly 300 CCA to start your boat. You may have noticed that our two deep cycle batteries barely offer more than that, which means that while they can start your boat, you should only use them for that purpose in an emergency. If you particularly expect to need a spare battery for getting your engine started, then you should definitely go out and buy a dedicated starting battery. Both your boat and your battery will thank you.
Verdict: Your Best Marine Batteries
We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the marine battery that’s perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our marine batteries and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each product has to offer for you.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery.
You could splurge for something fancy – possibly getting ripped off in the process – or you can get what you need and see value from every individual dollar your spend. I think most customers will probably pick the second option, and, in that case, that means getting the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery.
The specs tell you the full story. This high-quality but affordable deep cycle battery from VMaxTanks offers 35 Ah and 330 CCA. You have those 330 CCA you need in case of an emergency, and you have more than sufficient amperage for a reliable power source. On top of that, the VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery has a sturdy frame that can last you up to 8 years. It’s nice and compact, so you won’t feel like your boat just became half the size because you wanted to be able to charge your computer while out on the water.
This battery may be a bit unassuming, but it does everything you’ll need it to, has a convenient build, and doesn’t cost a fortune. There’s not really anything else you can ask for. The VMaxTanks VMax V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery is the best deal on the market.
If you need a good hybrid battery, pick the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery.
It’s hard to even pick a place to start talking about the features of the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery. Amperage hours? 48 – you’ll be able to leave everything behind and live out on the water full time. Cold Crank Amperage? 620 amps – you can keep on trucking through the coldest waters out there. With a frame of 9.4″ x 6.8″ x 7.7″, it’s not even very big, and its weight of 36.4 pounds is heavy but definitely reasonable. You won’t throw your back out getting the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery on deck, and it won’t take up too much room.
There’s really nothing bad to be said about this battery. It takes the term “hybrid” very seriously, and it really is the best of both worlds. Sure, it’s expensive, but just ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” The answer is a resounding “definitely.”
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery.
Buying your boat and everything else you needed to get started was probably expensive enough. Your wallet deserves – and very well might need – a break. If you need to keep things cheaper, there’s no better marine battery out there than the UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery.
Everything that can be said has been said. With all the amperage hours you’ll need to power your devices and enough CCA to bail you out of an emergency, this deep cycle marine battery is the holy grail, if you’re looking for a budget option and started to give up hope. Boating is expensive enough. Keep your marine battery cheap with the UPG 85980/D5722 Sealed Lead Acid Battery.
We’re finally ready to wrap things up. If none of the highlighted marine batteries above were quite what you’re looking for, you may be more interested in the bulky-but-powerful Odyssey 31-PC2150S Marine Starting Battery that will always let you get started in a jiffy. If we didn’t offer the marine battery that you’re looking for, we hope we’ve given you the tools to at least do your own research. There are plenty of other options out there.
Remember, every marine battery on our list has a signature feature that makes it unique, so that’s what you’ll want to focus on when evaluating each battery. Of course, you can also work in the other direction and think of the trait most important to you, then only look at batteries that offer said trait.
That’s all for now. We hope our list showed you the perfect marine battery for your boat, and we hope you enjoy the water!