Best Optima Battery Reviews – Buyers’ Guide 2017
Did you know that the battery that came with your car, truck, RV or boat may not be the best battery for your vehicle? That’s why the Optima battery has been under the hood of automotive enthusiasts cars for years – it is a better battery that will ultimately save you money in the long run because of its superior quality and outstanding performance.
There are three main types of Optima batteries and in this article, you will learn why the Red Top is the best battery for your 2015 BMW 328i, the Yellow Top is the best for your diesel with the winch or your Volvo with the monster audio system or even your Toyota Prius. You learn which Blue Top is best for your trolling motor and why the cold cramping amps (CCA) on either the Red Top or the Yellow Top Optima battery will help you survive your cold winter better than the battery that came from the factory.
Things to Consider when Buying an Best Optima Battery 2017
There is an Optima battery that is right for you no matter what vehicle you drive, however because there is an assortment of batteries available, all for different purposes, there are several things to consider when picking the right battery for you.
- Climate – do you live in a climate with extremely cold or hot?
- Do you drive your car every day or does it sit for extended periods of time?
- What aftermarket accessories are on your vehicle? Winching systems, inverters, powerful audio systems.
- Do you have DVD players or LCD screens?
- Do you play your electronics without the engine running?
- Does your truck have a snow plow?
- Do you drive an electric or hybrid vehicle?
- Does your vehicle have a regular or a small alternator?
- Is your vehicle a race car? A drag racer? Baja racer?
The Best Battery on The Market 2016 – 2017
The Difference Between the RedTop, YellowTop & BlueTop Batteries
Determining which Optima battery is right for you, using the above criteria, will help your shopping process. It is important to understand that every Optima battery is better and safer than the battery that came in your car or truck, or your boat or RV when you first purchased it. Safety and long life will help ensure you or your loved one will not be stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night.
Your extreme climate is the first reason why you need to consider an Optima battery. Because of the sealed, compact design of the all of the Optima batteries, they are much more resistant to heat than factory batteries. You should especially avoid “gel batteries” living in a hot climate. Optima batteries are much better for your extreme cold winters too because you need as many cold cranking amps as possible to get your vehicle started. Hot or cold, Miami or Minneapolis, you need an Optima battery!
Optima Battery Red Top:
If your vehicle is your daily driver and is not loaded with power aftermarket accessories from audio and entertainment systems to snow plows, winches or lift kits, then the RedTop battery is the right choice for you.
The RedTop battery is what is known as a ‘Starting’ battery. It is for the vehicles that the majority of needed battery power is for the ‘instant-on’ starting feature. In starting up to 5% of your battery’s charge is immediately used up, and then your alternator kicks in and is able to recharge your battery quickly.
This battery will work for your gasoline powered car or truck or Recreational vehicle with under hood starting (see the BlueTop for more information on your RV).
The RedTop will also work in heavy equipment that requires more power for the starting process. And it’s the right battery for your diesel vehicle, as long as you do not have any aftermarket electronics or equipment.
Optima Battery Yellow Top:
The Yellow Top battery is what is known as a dual purpose battery because it adds deep cycling functionality to the starting battery. It is designed for vehicles that pull a larger load from the battery after it is started, and in some cases, pull more charge than the alternator is designed to replace.
The Yellow Top is your definite go to for a race car or a drag racer or any performance vehicle with a small alternator, or no alternator. If your diesel truck or heavy equipment has a snow plow, a winch, an inverter (which changes DC power to AC), a lift kit or a monster entertainment system, the YellowTop is for you.
If you have an aftermarket audio system, how much power is too much power to switch to a YellowTop? An easy rule of thumb is that if your audio (or video) system is 250 watts or more than the OEM system (the one from the factory) you need to opt for the YellowTop Optima deep cycling battery.
If you are running DVD players or LCD screens in your car, truck or SUV, it is very likely that your system does have the higher wattage and you need the YellowTop. This is a definite if you run any of these systems while the engine is off.
If you drive any hybrid, gas and electric vehicle that has a standard vehicle battery (this does not include fully electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, BMW I3 or Teslas), the YellowTop battery is right for you. That includes the Toyota Prius to name a few.
If you live in an extremely cold climate, where the Cold Cranking Amps are key, yet you fall under some of the other criteria that point to a YellowTop – like you drive a diesel truck with a snowplow, it is likely that the CCA of the YellowTop will still outperform any OEM battery.
According to Daryl Brockman, Senior Sales Application Engineer for Optima “in an Optima battery, the deep cycle/starting battery plate thickness does not vary. This is why our deep cycle batteries have nearly the same starting power (Cold Cranking Amps or CCA) as our starting batteries. The benefits of an AGM battery give our starting batteries more durability than a typical starting battery.”
Optima Battery Blue Top:
The BlueTop Optima battery is likely your go to battery for your marine or recreational vehicles. There are actually two versions of the BlueTop, both a starting battery (signified by a dark gray case) and a deep cycling/starting dual purpose battery (with a light gray case).
The BlueTop batteries both have the extra threaded studs needed for mounting with RV or boats as well as the standard automotive SAE posts. (the BlueTop deep cycling is just like the YellowTop, except for additional connections – so f your show vehicle would look better with a blue battery, this will work for you).
The BlueTop starting battery, with the dark gray outer body, will likely be your go to battery for your recreational or marine vehicle unless you are loaded with aftermarket equipment. If your boat uses a trolling motor you should definitely use the deep cycling battery with the light gray case.
If you have a big audio or entertainment system on either your boat or RV, you should also opt for the deep cycling Optima BlueTop battery.
Best Optima Battery Reviews at Amazon 2106 – 2017
1. RedTop Starting Battery Model D35 – BEST VALUE
The Optima Red Top is a high-performance AGM battery with the best ignition power for a reliable start-up, regardless of extreme temperatures and weather. It has a great reputation for a car or truck battery. It has more than 15 times the vibration resistance of a standard battery. It is maintenance free, has faster recharging and 2x the life of other batteries.Check Price on Amazon.com
2. YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery Model D35
The Optima YellowTop high-performance AGM battery is a rare dual purpose battery that has strong deep cycling ability and is still a powerful starting battery. It is the battery for your vehicle is power hungry audio and entertainment systems and your trucks with winches, lift kits and snowplows. The YellowTop battery delivered 3x the life of a standard battery and recharges faster with 300 plus discharge and recharge cycles. Like all Optima batteries, it is spill proof and 15 times more resistant to vibration.Check Price on Amazon.com
3. YellowTop Prius Battery Model DS46B24R
The Optima YellowTop Prius battery is lightweight, coming in at only 26 lbs, and still carrying all the performance you expect from the Optima battery line. The battery is sealed and maintenance free with a three years warranty. It is the perfect battery for your hybrid vehicle’s audio system or any off-road competition, with its vibration resistant features. It will fit your late model and older Prius’ alike.Check Price on Amazon.com
4. BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery Model D34M
The Optima BlueTop battery is perfect for your boat with high-end audio systems or a trolling motor and your RV with the special accessories that seem to power through other batteries too quickly. It works well as either a marine or recreational vehicle battery, with up to three times the recharges of other marine batteries. It is sealed and spill proof from any position and maintenance free.Check Price on Amazon.com
5. BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery Model D31M
The Optima BlueTop D31M is the top of the line battery for the boat or RV that needs even a stronger starting battery with 900 cold cranking amps for an easy start in even the most extreme hot or cold weather conditions. It is also a dual purpose deep cycling battery, which means it will support your entertainment systems in both your RV and your boat, as well as the perfect battery for your trolling motor. This is the right battery for your RV with inverters too.Check Price on Amazon.com
Tips and Tricks Buying Guide Update April, 2017
Amazon is the best and easiest way to determine what Optima battery is best for your vehicle and how you drive. You will also get the best price when buying from Amazon. The reviews create a fair environment for people to freely state their opinions, but as always, beware of hyperbole. Most often negative reviews come from folks who are not used to paying for high-performance items and attempted to cut corners with having their battery shipped to them, not taking advantage of the appropriate protective measures.
Amazon also has a handy tool called My Garage. Look for it at the top left of any Optima battery page. Simply add your vehicle year, make and model and a warning message will appear at the top of the page if the battery does not fit your vehicle. Even if it says it does not fit your vehicle, and you think it should, you may want to scroll down to the bottom of the page to the ‘Customer Questions & Answers’ section – likely someone has asked the same question as you.
The Optima batteries are built very well, but it is important to remember that the cases are still made out of plastic, and shipping can take a lot out of the very best materials. Also, batteries do not like rough handling and it will impact any battery’s performance. It is highly recommended that you select ‘Frustration Free’ as your shipping method, opposed to ‘Standard Shipping.’ It will cost a little more, but will likely ensure that your battery arrives unharmed, allowing you to use it right away and save the time and hassle of filing a claim for a replacement.
Be aware that you are buying your battery through a reseller; therefore Amazon is responsible for the replacement warranty. Make sure you read the ‘Warranty & Support’ section on the page of the battery you have decided to purchase and make yourself familiar with what you need to do, should have you to return a faulty product.
Best Optima Batteries Q&A
Q: How do you test an Optima battery?
A: For a small fee, many retailers or auto repair facilities will test your battery’s charge for you. It is important to remember, a battery should be fully charged to check its quality as a deeply discharged battery may test as ‘bad’ when it simply needs to be charged. Fully charged batteries will measure as follows: Redtop (and BlueTop 34M) 12.6-12.8 volts. YellowTop and BlueTop (except the 34M) will measure 13.0 – 13.2 volts.
Q: How do you recharge an Optima battery?
A: Always use a voltage-regulated charger when recharging your Optima battery. Most Optima batteries require a 13.8 – 15.0 volts charger with a maximum 10 amps. Recharge the battery for 6 – 12 hours. If you are storing your vehicle or battery for a long period of time (for example over the winter) it is best to disconnect your battery from the vehicle or boat and maintain the battery’s charge with a multi-stage maintainer. Be sure to check the Optima battery website for full charging information here.
Q: How do you repair an Optima battery?
A: Do not throw away your ‘dead’ battery, you may be able to repair it (aka resuscitating). Optima RedTop and YellowTop AGM batteries have very low internal resistance that does not work like a standard ‘wet flooded’ lead battery. Many battery chargers have built-in safety features that see a battery with 10.5 volts or less charge as defective and will not recharge it.
A traditional battery with that low of a measurable volt is usually though to have a short or a bad cell. Your best bet is to purchase an AGM specific charger which has kept up with modern battery technology. They will still work with traditional batteries, and may have a maintainer as well for storage. Otherwise, you may be able to ‘trick’ your charger, but you will need jumper cables, a good battery and hook them in parallel. Watch out for a hot or hissing battery – unhook it immediately if so. Whatever you do, do NOT believe the old myth you can drop a ‘bad’ battery on the floor to revive it. That will simply make sure your battery is dead for good.
Q: How does an Optima battery work?
A: A standard battery is called a ‘flooded’ or an SLI (‘starting, lighting and ignition’) battery. SLI batteries are designed to deliver maximum power, for a very short period of time, and then be immediately recharged by your alternator. There are lead plates inside the battery, that are ‘flooded’ or immersed in a wet lead acid, usually sulfuric acid (H2SO4), also called an ‘electrolyte.’ The lead plates are placed in close proximity of each other with separators between them to keep them from actually touching.
If they touched they would short out. The reaction between the lead and the acid produces electricity. It also produces hydrogen and oxygen in the process and leaves some sulfate debris on the plates. A standard wet-flooded battery is vented to let the gas out – known as gassing – every time the battery is charged or discharged. The sulfate powder that remains will ultimately cause lead plate degradation, which eventually effects the batteries performance, and ability to recharge.
Optima batteries use SpiralCells technology that makes up the ‘six-pack’ design of the battery. SpiralCells are not just for aesthetics as form follows function in this case. Instead of the standard battery’s flat plate arrangement of the lead and separators, the long plates are compact and separated an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) and wrapped in a cylindrical spiral that is tightly packed into the case. The tight packing allows for more plate surface too, which results in better starting power and causes less shedding of the separator material.
The Optima batteries all use what is known as ‘virgin’ lead, meaning that it is 99.99% pure, never recycled lead. The plates are considerably thicker than a standard battery, which makes sure the battery discharges more slowly and recharges more quickly. The Optima batteries are built with pure sulfuric acid, which is slower to break down in the discharge process, creating less hydrogen gas, and leaving less corrosive debris on the lead plates. The Optima batteries are completely sealed as well, so the gas that is produced is never released, making a faster recharge. It is a true maintenance free battery – you can’t get inside, nor should you ever try!
From your daily driver, to your RV, to your forklift there is an Optima battery that will fill your needs with a far superior product. Purchasing your battery from Amazon is a simple, risk free process that allows you to find the right size and safely ship the battery to you in just a few days. Experts and enthusiasts overwhelmingly agree that the Optima battery is the best battery you can buy.