The human body can’t function without a heart, and it’s the same way a car cannot function without a battery. If the battery stops doing its job, all the components of the car won’t work. So, you would have to get a new battery.
These days, AGM batteries are the most talked-about batteries; they can handle difficult conditions and last longer than most regular lead-acid batteries. They can be used to charge your solar panel or used in your car or truck. However, there are a lot of options on the market, and choosing the best option might seem like a difficult task, but if you have the right information on AGM batteries, you’ll be able to make the best decision without any issues. However, you don’t have to worry as we have provided you with a buyer’s guide and a list of reviewed AGM batteries.
In the buyer’s guide, we will be covering vital information about these batteries. We will be covering topics such as the factors to determine before purchasing, the different types, their benefits, and disadvantages. So, you simply have to sit back and read through the full article; it will shock you how easy it chooses the best AGM battery.
BUYER’S GUIDE FOR THE BEST AGM BATTERY
When purchasing an AGM battery for your car or RV, they are certain factors you need to understand. This section will discuss the important factors that you need to note before buying an AGM battery. When you’re planning to buy an AGM battery, ensure you keep these factors in mind;
The first factor to note is the compatibility of the battery with your needs. You wouldn’t want to buy something that won’t be suitable for your requirements. It is important that you research each option and choose one that will suit your purpose. However, AGM batteries are mostly compatible with almost every vehicle.
It is vital that you pay attention to the battery’s Amps (current) per hour. The ratings shouldn’t be incredibly high, but make sure it is ideal for your vehicle. A battery with a high rating will take a longer time to charge, making it an inconvenient power source.
Another important factor to note is the reserve capacity of the battery. This factor lets you know how many minutes the battery can last while serving a designated load before it gets completely discharged; it also means the minutes the battery takes to discharge at a normal temperature. AGM batteries have a higher reserve capacity compared to other acid accumulators.
A standard AGM battery will offer you at least 100 minutes of reserve capacity, but the amount of time it lasts will also depend on the usage. If your vehicle doesn’t require much electricity, you can drive smoothly with a low reserved battery. If you’re getting the AGM battery for an RV, it would be best that you opt for one with a high reserve capacity.
A higher reserve capacity will ensure that the new battery is able to handle the needs of your vehicle without any issues.
Cold Cranking Amps
This factor is one of the most important factors that any buyer has to note when choosing the best option. Ti describes the ability of a battery to generate current at a cold temperature. If the battery does not have the needed CCA, it won’t perform well during the winter months.
Cold weather RVs will need a battery with at least 600 CCAs for optimum performance during the cold months; if you’re able to get more than 600 CCAs, then that would be great, but ensure you do not go below that range.
However, if you live in a hotter climate, you do not have to worry about CCA as you won’t need your battery to run in cold temperatures. It would be okay if they opted for a model with a lower CCA. It will help you cut costs because models with higher CCA ratings are more expensive.
The point is that if you live in a cold area, ensure that the CCA of the battery is high. The CCA is one factor that every buyer should note.
Battery Life and Durability
This is the factor that most people are concerned about. No one wants to spend money on a battery with a terrible lifespan; everyone prefers durable products. AGM batteries are quite expensive, and changing them regularly would mean spending a lot of money in the long run. Because AGM batteries are a one-time investment, you have to seriously note the model before buying the battery.
If the battery requires a bit more money, try and manage the amount as you would go through much more stress if you don’t get the right battery. The majority of manufacturers indicate the cell life on the battery; it usually ranges from 1 to 5 years. The longer the battery life, the better it will perform and with a lower discharge rate.
You could also go through existing customer’s reviews to know how well a particular model held up; it would be smart for you as a potential buyer to use the reviews to your advantage. They might save you from making the wrong purchase.
Your options price tag will play a role in whether you would buy a particular model or not. You should create a budget based on your needs and requirements in order to ensure you don’t end up regretting your decision. For instance, RV owners trying to purchase an AGM battery with a high CCA level should ensure that the increased price reflects in their budget.
Ensure you account for the essential features you need so that your budget remains realistic. If not, the resources won’t be enough to get you the battery you need. So, you need to make sure that your budget shows your needs to the absolute information.
You can use your budget to reduce your options by a significant amount. It will ensure that you are picking from affordable options that still meet your requirements. It makes choosing a whole lot easier.
There are numerous nameless brands available on the market that have no quality. The battery’s brand has a large impact on the overall quality of the battery. Ensure you go for branded models when purchasing an AGM battery. There are some well-known brand names that ensure quality. You will be able to use their product decidedly.
These popular brands have made a reputation for themselves by producing high-quality batteries that pair well with cars, RVs, travel trailers, and other vehicle types. If you stick with the well-known brands, you won’t have issues with choosing the best AGM battery, as they generally use high-quality materials when producing their batteries.
ADVANTAGES OF USING AN AGM BATTERY
If you’re noteing moving from your old flooded batteries to an AGM model, then there are a lot of reasons why you should go ahead with the decision, and they include;
- Spill-Proof: AGM batteries can be placed in any position because they have been appropriately sealed. Basic lead-acid batteries are designed in a way that causes free floods of their electrodes which leads to spillage, but AGM batteries are made with glass mats that prevent spillage from occurring. The glass mat is what holds the electrolyte in place, making this type of battery more convenient and much safer. They are able to eliminate acid spilling in most significant accidents, so you can always install them at any angle you want.
- High Power Output: They offer higher currents on demand, they can be cranked up in seconds. The design of AGM batteries ensures the device has a limited internal resistance; due to this, they can offer power bursts when needed, such as when the battery is started. This feature makes sure the battery responds better to loading than any other type of battery. Thanks to their slow discharge, the battery lasts for long hours.
- Short Charging Time: AGM batteries charge faster than regular flooded batteries. They charge five times faster than other regular batteries using the same power source. This makes them better than standard batteries in almost every way.
- Longer Lifespan: Apart from AGM batteries having a short charging time, they also have a longer lifespan compared to the flooded types. They work for a longer period when performing the same task and even last longer even when they’re in an inactive state. They have this benefit thanks to their limited self-discharge, which other types don’t have. It will make sure the vehicles owner doesn’t have to keep charging their AGM battery after a long time of non-usage.
- Durable: AGM batteries are incredibly durable due to the fact that they were first made to serve the aircraft industry. Because of this, they were made to be sturdier in order for them to be able to withstand the intense vibrations and other problems they might face onboard an RV. Their sandwich design also helps their internal components to stay together. Because of this, they end up being durable and stable devices that have no issues handling the wear and tear that is usually caused by vibrations. These batteries are also known for being able to withstand variations of extreme temperatures. The features of these batteries make them perfect for usage in RVs.
- Low Chances Of Building Up Sulfation: Lead-acid batteries usually have a common issue of sulfation, which is the build-up of lead sulfate crystals on the cells. It is the leading cause of battery failure in lead-acid batteries. Most times, sulfation occurs when the battery isn’t fully charged. The non-usage allows the crystals to build upon the battery’s plates without any resistance. It could end up preventing the conversion of chemical energy to electrical energy when the sulfation gets out of hand. Because of this issue, it is essential to charge every other type of battery every six months just to prevent sulfation. However, AGM batteries are less likely to suffer this issue, so you can keep them for long periods without recharging them.
- Price: The main issue with AGM batteries are their high price range. Due to their high manufacturing and production cost, they are more expensive than other types of batteries. However, their great performance makes up for the extra money you will spend, making it worth it for most people.
- Energy Problems: AGM batteries have higher power outputs, but they also come with low specific energy. It is vital for batteries that work for an extended period under a light load to go with a high specific load. Because of this, these batteries cannot be used on several devices.
- Reduced Capacity Over Time: AGM batteries have a longer battery lifespan compared to other batteries, but their charging capacity tends to reduce over time. This is the area where gel batteries are better than AGM batteries thanks to their performance dome.
- Sensitive To Overcharging: AGM batteries are known for having a low tolerance for overcharging and high voltages. If they are continually exposed to these situations, their lifespan will reduce significantly.
TYPES OF AGM BATTERIES
AGM batteries are made up of lead plates suspended by a glass mat, but they come in two different designs. We will be discussing the two types of AGM batteries below so that you have a better understanding of what they are and which one suits your needs.
Flat Plate AGM Batteries
One of the first features to notice about flat plate AGM batteries is that they look like flooded acid batteries. These AGM models usually come with six sets of plates inside their build.
The electrolytes inside the batteries are laid out in a straight line, while the six sets of plates are compressed in rows to offer more capacity. The build allows the battery to provide more power when needed, as is expected from a starter battery.
The compressed design of a flat plate AGM battery allows it to have a longer lifespan than other deep cycle battery models; apart from this benefit, these batteries are also more potent than spiral types. However, they are denser and heavier, which can make them difficult to install.
Spiral AGM Batteries
This type of AGM battery is also known as tubular AGMs; they come with spiral wound cells built to exact specs that ensure that the plates do not touch. This design provides them with a longer lifespan and a faster charging time than flat plate AGM models.
As you might know, the faster charging time makes it ideal for RV owners on their long trips. It lets them charge their batteries quickly using the RVs motor, ensuring that you can plug in your electronics on a timelier basis.
However, this model comes with its downside. Their price point is more than what you would see on a flat plate model. Because of this, the spiral types aren’t the best choice for bargain buyers or people with a restricted budget, as they can cause a huge dent in your bank account.
AGM BATTERY Vs. GEL BATTERY
AGM batteries and gel batteries have similar features, so most people think of them the same. They are both deep cycle and non-spillable batteries.
Also, you can mount them in whatever position you want and at any angle. They are also both flexible. However, AGM batteries have some unique features that make them more favorable to customers.
When it comes to price, AGM batteries are one step ahead. They are more affordable compared to gel batteries that have the same features.
AGM batteries are high-quality batteries. They are able to work at optimum capacity even in extreme temperatures. Also, their discharge rate is incredibly slow so that you can avoid waste of energy.
AGM batteries are more vibration resistant and charge faster than Gel batteries; they can also hold their charge really well.
Gel batteries on the other hand are incredibly sensitive. Making the tiniest mistake in their charging can lead to serious damage to the battery; it may even completely ruin the battery. That is why customers prefer the AGM battery as their top choice.
The thick liquid inside gel batteries is fragile, and it can easily burn at a high amperage. Because of this, things such as high discharge, quick discharge, and other similar issues can lead to severe damages to the battery.
Noting all the factors, it goes without saying that AGM batteries are more reliable, customer-friendly, and convenient than Gel batteries.
AGM BATTERY CHARGING PROCEDURE
When the temperature is right, AGM batteries are able to charge at an optimal rate. So, you need the charging area to be at room temperature for the battery to charge faster. But, if the area is too cold or hot, it would take longer to charge your AGM battery.
The best charging voltage is around 2.4 volts to 2.465 volts per cell, while the temperature should be around 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
The depth of the discharge determines the recharging factor of the battery. You can’t simply plug your battery to charge whenever you feel like it because every AGM battery comes with its DoD number.
For example, if the DoD number of your battery is 60%, you would have to use it to at least 60% before charging it. Also, it isn’t good to partially charge your battery as it may lose its ability to charge to 100%.
That is why it is important that you allow your AGM battery to drop to its DoD rate before you can fully charge it in order for it to perform optimally.
MAINTENANCE AND CARE TIPS FOR AGM BATTERIES
AGM batteries are known to be maintenance-free, which is great. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things you can do to extend its lifespan.
For example, if the battery isn’t in use, ensure you store it in a cool place; if not, its performance will reduce. Ensure you charge it at least once every four months. Even if it’s not in use, the battery discharges the energy slowly. So the power needs to be topped up.
To prevent battery sulfation, ensure you fully charge your battery before storing it away. If you follow these steps, your battery will serve you for long years.
After going through the buyer’s guide, it should be much easier for you to choose the best AGM battery, but we have gone ahead to make things easier by providing you with a list of the best AGM batteries available on the market. Let’s take a look at the list.
The Best AGM Batteries Are Reviewed Below
Below is the list of the best AGM batteries; we have provided you with a review of each of them, detailing their important information. Having this knowledge will help you make an informed choice.
XS Power D6500 XS Series AGM High Output Battery
The XS AGM battery is more than a car battery. It a great backup battery for charging all the electrical components of your car. If you an audio system in your car, the XS D6500 AGM battery will provide the amps you need.
The XS AGM can last as long as ten years without any issues. So you will have a working car battery for a decade. With the XS series, there is no battery spillage, thanks to its spill-proof design. It is also easy to mount, meaning you do not have to worry about getting the right angle. When you use this battery, the output is increased. This battery can be used in boats and passenger cars.
- 12 volt battery
- Sealed, vibration resistant
- Valve regulated
- Absorbed glass mat
- Ultra-low internal resistance
- Brand: XS Power
- Model: D6500 XS Series AGM Battery
- Weight: 58.3 Pounds
- Terminal: M6
- It has a durable build
- It charges fast
- It stores energy effectively
- The battery works on low resistance
- It has a long battery lifespan
- It quite bulky
Odyssey 34/78-PC1500DT Automotive Battery
The Odyssey 34/78-PC1500DT is a great choice when it comes to the best AGM batteries available on the market.
It comes with a 3 to 4 year warranty, and the warranty isn’t pro-rate, which means if your battery fails on you in the second year of usage, you will get a replacement without spending your money. Other brands offer warranties that dimmish over time, but not this brand.
The warranty isn’t even that important as this battery can easily last up to 10 years without any issues, which means it lasts 70 percent longer than other battery types. That is great because this battery isn’t cheap.
But when you take into mind the fact that it will last you for years, longer than any lead-acid battery, you’ll know it’s worth it. With this battery, you get more than a great value and warranty.
You’ll also get a battery that is able to withstand extreme temperatures. It can handle under 113 degrees Fahrenheit and over -40 degrees. It can withstand the temperatures in most parts of the USA.
It comes with 850 cold cranking amps, so you would be able to easily start your motor on cold days, no matter what you drive. The battery comes with more than enough power to handle the strain.
This battery is able to fit into almost any vehicle, thanks to its top and side posts. However, you need to make sure that the battery bay is large enough, but the connection of the terminals won’t be an issue.
- Mounting flexibility
- Extreme temperature tolerant
- Long service life
- A Cold crank amp of 850
- Fast recharge
- Brand: ODYSSEY
- Model: 34/78-PC1500DT Battery
- Weight: 51.5 Pounds
- Dimensions: 10.85 * 6.99 * 7.82 inches
- It offers up to 10 years of service
- It comes with both top and side posts
- It can work in extreme temperatures
- It has a 3 to 4-year warranty with no pro-rata
- It features 850 cold cranking amps for easy start-ups
- It has an expensive upfront price point
XS Power D3400 XS Series AGM High Output Battery
The D3400 XS AGM battery is a high-performing battery; it will provide you with enough power to run a racecar, an off-road truck, or a passenger vehicle.
It offers up to 1000 cranking amps at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which is suitable for any vehicle you will be driving. The brand offers you a three-year warranty that will provide you with peace of mind while getting the battery.
Like most AGM batteries, this battery can last up to 10 years. They are lightweight, which makes them great for racecars, and their design makes them ideal for off-road vehicles. The battery comes with both top and side posts, so it will be easy to hook up to anything. The battery is so compact that it can fit into almost every truck or car.
The major drawback of this model is its upfront price. However, they make up for their cost by outliving most traditional lead-acid batteries.
- 12 volt battery
- Absorbed glass mat
- Sealed, and vibration resistant
- Valve regulated
- Low internal resistance
- Brand: XS Power
- Model: D3400 XS Series AGM Battery
- Weight: 48 Pounds
- Terminal: M6
- It is lightweight
- It comes with both top and side posts
- It has a 3 year warranty
- It’s great for performance appliances
- It can be used in off-road vehicles
- It offers 1000 cranking amps at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
- It is an expensive option
Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery
If you love batteries that store energy at a large capacity, then you would love the Weize 100AH AGM battery.
This battery allows you to run LED lights to other small accessories using an inverter connected to the battery. It is also sealed, spill-proof, weighs about 60 pounds, making it heavier than most of the batteries on this list. But, it comes with in-built handles that make it easier to pick up and mount in your vehicle.
This battery is suitable for both standby and deep cycle applications. Using it only as a cranking or starting battery doesn’t fully utilize its potential. It can be used for a range of different applications, such as using it to power an entire RV while camping. It also comes with a one-year warranty.
- Deep cycle 12V battery
- Long service life
- Deep discharge recover
- Brand: Weize
- Model: 12V 100AH AGM Battery
- Weight: 58.4 Pounds
- Dimensions: 12.09 * 6.65 * 9.17 inches
- It has a great build quality
- It can be used for a range of different applications
- It works well with solar panels
- It can hold a charge for a long time
- It is quite heavy
Buying Guide Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions.
What is the best AGM battery brand? What is the best AGM deep cycle battery?
Our top pick for the best AGM battery brand is the XS power brand; we especially love their D65000 XS series.
For deep cycle AGM batteries, we like the Optima OPT8016-103 Marine.
Is an AGM battery better? Are all AGM batteries the same?
AGM batteries have low internal resistance, which increases their ability to deliver higher currents when required. They also have a longer lifespan and are maintenance-free.
AGM batteries and Gel batteries are known to be the same because they have similar properties, but they are not.
How long do AGM batteries last? How much does an AGM battery cost?
AGM batteries last as long as 6 years to 10 years.
An AGM battery costs about $150 to $500, depending on the brand you opt for.
What voltage should a fully charged battery read?
A fully charged battery should display a voltage reading of 12.6 to 12.8 volts. If your battery indicates 12.9 volts and above, then it shows that your battery has too much voltage.
What should a 12 volt AGM read when fully charged? How far can I discharge an AGM battery?
A 12-volt battery should show about 12.9 volts when it is fully charged.
Deep cycle batteries are made to discharge to 80% before requiring a charge.
Is an AGM battery worth the extra money?
AGM batteries last longer and have different features that make them worth their price, but if they would be worth it to you would depend on your needs and how much you’re willing to spend.
Can you jump-start an AGM battery?
An AGM battery can be jump-started, especially because most jump starter batteries are AGM batteries.
How do you maintain an AGM battery?
If you want to maintain your AGM battery, ensure that you recharge it if you’re storing it for a long period to prevent sulfation, do not overcharge the battery, and ensure you use the charger recommended by the manufacturer.
What causes AGM batteries to fail?
There are different reasons why an AGM battery may fail, and that includes not installing it correctly, connecting the positive to the negative ports.
AGM batteries are widely known for their durability and high performance. They perform better than traditional batteries. The batteries we reviewed are all excellent performers, and they would save you cost in the long run as they last for years. You will get the best experience if you opt for one of the batteries listed above.