Whether your vehicle is run by gasoline or electricity, having a battery onboard is a must. And, the best type to consider is AGM which is a bit costlier than Lead-Acid but worth the investment.
For durability, safety, better performance in harsh weather conditions, and compact design, car owners love it. However, those claims can turn out to be false unless you use the best AGM battery.
In this article, I have described the factors that are important for choosing the right product for your vehicle. Before I begin the review, let’s have a quick intro about the products I recommend.
Now have a quick look at all of my top-picked products below.
- NorthStar Group 31 – Best Overall
It’s pure and high-quality lead AGM technology is capable of delivering extraordinary CCA ratings. Moreover, the reserve capacity cycling ability matches no other product on the list. Its ability to cycle over 900 times at 50% depth of discharge has rightfully earned it the best place on my list.
- XS Power D3400 – Runner-Up
D3400 is another beast like the previous one with a great CCA rating and exceptional performance. It has little to no internal resistance making the battery very efficient. The compact and intelligent design lets you mount it in any position.
- ACDelco ACDB24R – Best Budget
An affordable but very useful model is ACDB24R from ACDelco. The battery’s good build quality, truck owners love it a lot. It is because of its capability to withstand road vibration and corrosion. Read my full review to know more about its features.
- Optima 8052-161 D31M – Great for RV and Marine Applications
Among different models from Optima, the BlueTop one is specially built for RV and marine applications. It can provide optimal starting power even in bad weather conditions. With good reserve capacity and constant performing ability, it has a lot more to offer.
- Yuasa YUAM320BS – Great for Powersport Applications
The AGM batteries that are built for powersport vehicles come with a low CCA rating compared to the other products. But that is one of the highest ones comparing to the competitor models. You can rely on its lead-calcium technology which is 3 times better than the conventional ones.
- ODYSSEY 65-PC1750T – Preferred for Cars
Finding a suitable model that fits almost all car models is tough. However, I have found one from Odyssey which has a good CCA rating and reserve capacity. As a result, running several electronics in the car wouldn’t be a problem. My detailed review will tell you more.
- Weize 12V 100AH – Recommended for Off-grid Applications
Those who have solar panels love deep cycle batteries from Weize for their long service life and deep discharge recovery capabilities. It is possible due to its heavy-duty calcium-alloy grid that performs well in both float and cyclic applications.
First Choose What You Need
There are mainly two types of AGM batteries; lead calcium and TPPL. Among them, TPPL is the superior type with the highest CCA rating and all other desirable features.
My top pick and runner-up fall in this category. They are capable of providing high output power enduring up to 400 cycles at 80 depth of discharge. Also, they support fast-charging and quick-discharging. There are no hazardous chemicals or the chance of catastrophic failure.
On the other hand, the 5th and 7th products on the list fall into the lead-calcium category. It has a single-purpose design with some limitations. These batteries can either be SLI or deep cycle and you can’t use one for another purpose.
Now, you have to decide which one is perfect to meet all your demands. For versatile uses and greater power output, choose the expensive TPPL type. Or, go for lead-calcium AGM technology which is more affordable and capable of supporting one function.
|Beware of the Common Problems of an AGM batteryDespite being expensive, the other disadvantages of AGM batteries include reduced capacity over time and sensitiveness to overcharging. There are mainly 3 complaints.
Why Should You Buy an AGM Battery?
Car owners and interested people often ask, are AGM batteries better? The answer is yes, it is way better than most of the traditional battery types. Let me explain why you should buy this type of battery although they are expensive.
One of the biggest differences between traditional lead-acid and AGM batteries is the spill-proof, vibration-resistant, and sealed body design. Moreover, due to their minimal internal resistance, and an increased cell formation in a compact size, AGM batteries can provide high power at the output.
Furthermore, these batteries don’t take long to fully charge and be functional. Their longevity and improved efficiency are the results of research and development of absorbed glass mat technology. Indeed, the initial cost is huge, but you are saving money considering how durable they are.
How I Picked
While researching and gathering information about AGM batteries, I took help from several forum sites, YouTube videos, and expert reviewers. Their experiences, opinions, and detailed discussions guided me to select 17 products to begin with.
At the same time, I also developed a filter based on some crucial factors that you can find in my buying guide after the product review. Among 17 initially selected batteries, my filter provided the top 7 models that I am going to talk about now.
The 7 Best AGM Battery: My Top Picks
Now, the time has come to know how far these battery manufacturers have gone to ensure the ultimate performance. I value your time, and that is why I wouldn’t bother you with useless information.
1. NorthStar Group 31 – Best Overall
- C20 Capacity: 103 Ah
- Group Size: BCI: 31
- CCA Rating: 1150
- Reserve Capacity: 220 Minutes (At 25 Amps)
- Weight: 75 Pounds
- Dimension: 9.25” x 6.77” x 12.91”
The highest reserve capacity, CCA rating, more durability, and reliable performance are the reasons I selected it as my top pick.
It is a group 31 battery suitable for use in fifth wheels, RVs, cars, SUVs, trucks, tractors, and boats. The dimension matches exact BCI standards ensuring OEM fit.
NorthStar Group 31 is a 12V battery with a maximum output current of 5000 Amps. Due to its internal resistance of only 2.8 milliohms, the battery is very efficient. Furthermore, the 20-hour capacity rate is 103 Ah which is a lot. According to the manufacturer, it can quickly start every time with 2150 pulse amps.
Another notable feature is that its CCA is 1150 at 0°C, and 900 at -20°C. Moreover, the CA/MCA rating at 32°C is 1370. You will be glad to know that the reserve capacity is 220 minutes which is the highest on this list.
The housing is a durable plastic that is heat resistant and comes with a marine terminal configuration. The sealed top ensures no-spill and corrosion.
With pure lead construction, it can cycle over 400 times to 80% depth of discharge. The internal design makes it well-balanced and keeps it safe from vibration or high impact.
Due to the maintenance-free design, you won’t have to check the water level or terminals.
Pure lead technology provides maximum CCA and reserve capacity. Other good sides include approval for side installation, fastest discharge, and quick starting time.
A very costly initial setup is a downside of this battery. The product itself costs more and one needs to buy a special charger for it.
In general, heavy motorized vehicles that require a long-lasting reliable battery to run several appliances in it and start the engine should get this battery. Also, new vehicles it is a suitable model for those cars that use Start-Stop technology.
2. XS Power D3400 – Runner-Up
- C20 Capacity: 67 Ah
- Group Size: BCI: 34
- CCA Rating: 1000
- Reserve Capacity: 160 Minutes (At 25 Amps)
- Weight: 46 Pounds
- Dimension: 10.25” x 6.68” x 7.25”
After the XS Power D3400 review, you would understand why I have picked it as the runner-up and the best AGM battery for car audio systems requiring 2500W to 3500W power.
First of all, the battery maintains the BCI group 34 standards perfectly. That is why it is suitable for the cars listed in this article. You can see the dimension from the specs above. Check whether they match with your car’s owner manual and order one.
This lightweight and compact battery compared to the previous one can provide up to 3300 Amps in its output. The reserve capacity and CCA rating are less than the NorthStar AGM battery, but it is enough to power medium to large cars.
It comes with a leak-Proof, non-hazardous design so that no matter what the road condition is, it would keep working perfectly. The reinforced ABS plastic case is strong, durable, and extremely heat-resistant.
Moreover, the battery is 100% sealed and it requires no maintenance. One unique feature is its M6 terminal
The spill-proof design, vibration resistance, and high cranking amps are the good sides of this battery. Also, you would love the fact that it is mountable to almost any position of the vehicle.
The package doesn’t include the necessary hardware for the M6 terminal.
Due to its group size, only a few car models can enjoy the power of this battery. If you are looking for a slightly less expensive AGM battery that would match your car, this will be the perfect one.
3. ACDelco ACDB24R – Best Budget
- C20 Capacity: 42 Ah
- Group Size: BCI: 51
- CCA Rating: 325
- Reserve Capacity: 70 Minutes (At 25 Amps)
- Weight: 31.5 Pounds
- Dimension: 18.5” x 11.4” x 9.5”
Considering the price, ACDelco ACDB24R’s features and performance have amazed me. Let’s know more about it in the detailed review below.
The battery is made maintaining the BCI group 51 standards. Some Japanese and other car brands use group 51 batteries. If you find your car’s model in this article, you can buy it.
I have to admit that 325 cold-cranking amps are not that impressive. So, don’t consider or rely on it for very cold weather. However, it won’t fail you to start a car in normal conditions.
It comes with a very durable design so that the battery can withstand vibrations on the road. Compared to the standard flooded batteries, it performs well. The calcium-alloy inside is optimized for corrosion-resistant grid maximizing cycle life and minimizing water consumption.
The battery is very easy to install unlike the runner-up model from XS Power. It also has a maintenance-free design. The size suits lots of car models making it very popular among car owners.
ACDelco seems to have cut the cost in body case. It would have been appreciated if they have built the battery with more sturdy and strong materials.
The most affordable good-quality AGM battery for your vehicle is the ACDelco ACDB24R. Those who are looking for a reliable solution for starting power without spending a lot must order this one.
4. Optima 8052-161 D31M – Great for RV and Marine Applications
- C20 Capacity: 75 Ah
- Group Size: BCI: 31
- CCA Rating: 900
- Reserve Capacity: 155 Minutes (At 25 Amps)
- Weight: 59.8 Pounds
- Dimension: 12.8” x 6.5” x 9.38”
The reasons Optima batteries perform like no other is in their design and build technique. For 3 important features, I consider it as the best AGM battery for RV and the best marine AGM battery.
Firstly, the use of extremely pure lead makes it very efficient. Secondly, Optima has designed the battery in a cylindrical shape which is the strongest, most efficient, and durable known to man. Thirdly, the case is made with tough material and sealed properly so that it can withstand vibration and rough handling.
Due to the conductive material’s 99.99% purity, it conducts electricity faster. You can compare it to the rate of water flow of a faucet and a fire hydrant. With higher electricity flowing rate, it is possible to get a much higher burst at starting power.
Also, such design and construction make it recharge faster and hold the higher voltage longer than traditional ones. You will believe that claim if you know how the cells are built. Each cell has two lead grids separated by a fibrous glass mat to hold the acid in place.
Furthermore, the spiral cell design gives it 40% more active electrodes. Moreover, it doesn’t get damaged due to mishandling or outside pressure. Dual SAE along with 5/16″ stainless steel stud posts ensures more structural stability.
One of the biggest benefits of such a unique cylindrical design is that you can mount it in virtually any position. Moreover, it is spill-proof and maintenance-free. Also, it has 3 times more recharge and 15 times more vibration-resistant capability than other marine batteries.
Despite its amazing performance in hot weather, it can’t keep up the good performance in extremely cold weather. Also, it weighs a lot.
Though this product is not in the top 3, you can treat it like the runner-up model, and order one now. It has almost the same quality, performance, and price compared to the XS Power D3400. Those who are looking for a sure-starting, strong cranking, and maintenance-free power source for their boat or RV, can rely on this model.
5. Yuasa YUAM320BS – Great for Powersport Applications
- C10 Capacity: 18 Ah
- Group Size: BCI: 24
- CCA Rating: 310
- Reserve Capacity: Not Specified
- Weight: 15.1 Pounds
- Dimension: 6.87” x 3.43” x 6.12”
While I was looking for something affordable to bikers, this one from Yuasa caught my eyes. It has the AGM qualities and performance without the expensive price tag. Also, it has a compact size and less weight that fits most motorsport vehicles.
For CCA rating, Amazon says that it has 270 cold-cranking amps where the official website claims it to be 310. Whatever it is, you would surely get amazing support in cold weather.
Another fact I like about it is that the lead-calcium technique is used to build this model. As a result, the battery can recharge and discharge more efficiently maintaining its long-lasting service life.
After pouring the acid before installation, seal the top, and you will never have to think about its existence or maintenance. There is no need to add water. Furthermore, its two extra plates for separation provide a 30% improvement in cranking performance.
Its long-lasting maintenance-free design makes it perfect for bikers. Furthermore, it is an affordable battery with good CCA ratings and other features. The battery is completely sealed, and spill-proof making it safe.
The only downside of this battery is that it doesn’t come fully ready. You have to fill it with the acid that comes with the package. It is an easy and simple process.
Bikers who are not sure whether their existing battery can withstand harsh winter conditions should buy this one as the best AGM motorcycle battery and a perfect replacement. Advanced lead-calcium technology with spill-proof and maintenance-free design makes it the right choice for motorcycles and other powersport vehicles.
6. ODYSSEY 65-PC1750T – Preferred for Cars
- C20 Capacity: 74 Ah
- Group Size: BCI: 65
- CCA Rating: 930
- Reserve Capacity: 135 Minutes (At 25 Amps)
- Weight: 54 Pounds
- Dimension: 11.84” x 7.19” x 7.49”
Here, I have got another affordable and the best deep cycle AGM battery that fits almost all passenger cars regardless of brands and model years. Due to its massive starting power, rapid recovery, and amazing deep cycling capability, I like it a lot.
Another big reason to recommend this product is its high shelf life. Where other batteries deteriorate, this one can stay intact even after 2 years of zero usage or recharging. Keep both terminals open (not connected to anything), and it would maintain 12V for a very long time.
Due to its size and capacity, you can deep cycle as well as get enormous cranking power. Even when the temperature is as low as -40°C, it can start a large engine without any problem.
Its internal design along with the sturdiness of the outer shell, high impact shock, or mechanical vibration can’t do any damage to it. Furthermore, DryCell’s design with a resealable venting system requires no water or maintenance.
It can withstand 400 cycles at 80% depth of discharge proving its longevity. The design eliminates the hassle to match the dimension of different car models. ODYSSEY 65-PC1750T is a maintenance-free battery with fast-charging capability.
Considering the price and features, it is a slightly expensive model. Lots of car owners would prefer some competitor products due to their affordability.
Despite the higher price tag, longer service life, good warranty period, mounting flexibility, and extreme temperature tolerance are the reasons to buy this battery. If you live in a colder region, you should choose this model for reliable performance at all times.
7. Weize 12V 100AH – Recommended for Off-grid Applications
- C20 Capacity: 100 Ah
- Group Size: BCI: 31
- CCA Rating: N/A
- Reserve Capacity: 120 Minutes (At 50 Amps)
- Weight: 57 Pounds
- Dimension: 12.95” x 6.77” x 8.42”
The last one from Weize is not like the other AGM batteries on the list. It is only a deep cycle battery with no cranking amp, which means that you can’t use it to start an engine.
However, the reserve capacity would surprise you. For 120 minutes, it can provide 50 Amp of current to run several electronics at once. It is ideal for off-grid applications.
Its heavy-duty calcium-alloy grid is capable of providing exceptional performance and ensures a long service life in both float and cyclic uses. While this one is an AGM type, there is another model similar to this one but contains gel technology.
Comparing both types, I stand with the AGM type because of the stronger current. Due to all those features, you can use it for applications like sump pump battery, trolling motor battery, golf cart battery, wheelchair battery, RV house battery, etc.
Ample power supply for more than 9 hours, discharge ability of below 50%, and maintenance-free design are some of the notable good sides of this product. Compared to the gel batteries, it contains more power and features. Versatile usability also plays a role in its popularity.
The manufacturer should focus more on their packaging because lots of customers complain about the damaged product.
Those who are looking for a battery that can support electric wheelchairs, or other power tools for a long time can get this one. It is also considered the best AGM battery for solar and medical applications for its reliability and higher capacity than other models.
How to Choose the Best AGM Battery for RV or Other Vehicles? (The Buying Guide)
There are not many factors that differ one AGM model from another. For example, strong and durable cases, vibration-resistance, spill-free design, and zero maintenance are common in all products listed above. So, keeping the 4 parameters described below would help you choose the right one for your needs.
If you have selected a model from my review unit or somewhere else, check which group the battery belongs to. Match that number with your vehicle so that the investment doesn’t go in vain. For example, some require group 27, some 31, some 59, etc. On the other hand, motorcycles allow more compact models.
Those who are living in a warm region don’t have to worry too much about the CCA rating. Because it is important only when you require the battery to perform well in low temperatures. CCA or Cold Cranking Amp is a number that refers to how many amps it can deliver at 0°C for 30 seconds which is enough to start an engine.
For example, a battery that has a 280 CCA rating means that it would be enough for a 135 cubic inch four-cylinder engine to start in a cold morning. So, do you realize what my top pick model with an 1150 CCA rating is capable of?
Knowing the CCA rating is important for a battery’s capability of providing burst power to start the engine. On the other hand, reserve capacity tells us how many minutes a battery can continuously provide.
It is usually measured at 25 amps, and 120 RC means that the battery can constantly provide 25 Amps of current for 2 hours. That value is theoretical, you should keep it under one hour. Because draining more than 50% of a battery is not a good idea.
Finally, don’t buy an AGM or any other battery from a not-so-popular brand. Such batteries are affordable or you can say cheap but your money would be wasted. After filtering hundreds of models, I have recommended only the highest-rated products. So, you can rely on my AGM batteries review.
Also Read: How Do I Know If My Battery Is AGM?
How to Maintain AGM Battery?
Usually, this type of battery has longer service life than all other traditional ones. Still, taking good care can increase their lifespan significantly making your investment worth every penny. Let me give you some useful maintenance tips.
- Those who are not using their AGM batteries should keep them in place with proper ventilation, low temperature, and less humidity. According to the experts, it is not a good practice to keep the battery in a discharged state for a long time. So, recharge it from time to time.
- Sulfation is another common problem for lead-acid batteries. If your battery dies long before expected, you will have to assume that it is due to Sulfation. Use a recommended charger to lower the effects of this problem.
- Not maintaining the recommended voltage while recharging and overcharging are very harmful to the health of AGM batteries. Use factory-recommended chargers to avoid anything like that.
- Finally, don’t charge them partially and start using. Constantly recharging them partially would fail to obtain 100% capacity. Also, do the recharging at the right temperature which is between 0°C to 40°C.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Knowing the answers to the following questions, you will have a clearer understanding of AGM batteries.
What is an AGM battery?
Batteries that contain absorbed glass mats are called AGM batteries. This type of cell is designed for providing powerful bursts for starting an engine, and continuous current for running electronics.
As the glass mats work as cushioning for ultra-thin lead plates, it is possible to squeeze more of them into a small space. As a result, it is now possible to get more power from a compact battery unit.
How long do AGM batteries last?
You can expect an AGM battery to last around 5 or 6 years without any problem. After that period, it can still retain 70-80% of its original capacity.
What is the maximum charging voltage for a 12 volt AGM battery?
Or, you can ask, what voltage should I charge my AGM battery? The answer is the same. As overcharging damages AGM cells, you should use a specific type of charger setting the current limit to 20% of the battery’s capacity.
Also, maintain a charging voltage of 14.6V to 14.8V for deep cycle use or 13.6V to 13.8V for standby use.
Are AGM batteries good for RV?
Yes, they are the most preferred type, and I have included a few of the best AGM batteries for RVs in my review.
What is the best AGM battery brand?
It is hard to name one company as the best brand. According to my research, NorthStar, XS Power, ACDelco, Optima, Odyssey, Weize, and DieHard are some of the most notable ones.
Would it be wrong to say that the best AGM battery in this list is also a battery for cold weather? No, it wouldn’t. The battery from NorthStar is a beast with all-rounder features so that large and medium vehicles can get enough support.
For small cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles, you don’t need to spend a lot on the top pick. Choose the best budget model or some other product from the list. Specifically, the 5th one is for motorcycles and similar rides.
I have also included a model that is not for cranking but deep cycle and providing continuous current. It is the last one. Now, the decision is up to you. Which one will you buy? Let me know in the comments.