Deep cycle batteries have a lot of applications. The best deep cycle battery can power everything from solar grids to yachts. Take good care of them, and they can last for years. Buy the wrong type for your needs, though, and you can throw a lot of money down the drain.
We’ve picked out our top 10 best deep cycle batteries and reviewed them below. This list includes both marine and RV batteries. There is even a 6-volt option included in the mix. These can be a great option for solar panels as well as golf carts.
Trying to decide which battery is right for you? Then you’re in luck! Read on to find out which battery is the most powerful and which is the most durable. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to find the one that fits your needs.
The best deep cycle battery quick table
|Optima BlueTop 8016-103 D34M Deep Cycle Battery
|Renogy 12V AGM Deep Cycle Battery
|Best Budget Buy
|Universal UB121000 AGM Deep Cycle Battery
10 Best deep cycle batteries review
Optima BlueTop 8016-103 D34M – Best for boats
The Optima BlueTop series brings you an array of battery options rated for marine use. They use a sealed AGM design that makes them spillproof and safe to mount in any position. The efficient design and high capacity mean it’ll hold a charge longer, too, giving you more time on the water.
Optima BlueTop deep cycle batteries also have the advantage of relatively high CCA ratings. You can use the same battery to start the boat that you use to run it. This saves you the hassle of maintaining two batteries, making them worth the extra expense.
What’s the best feature?
The use of SpiralCell technology is the defining trademark of the Optima battery. Rather than using flat plates like a typical AGM deep cycle battery, Optima spiral winds them. This improves their function in extreme conditions and is the reason they can last a lot longer than other models.
- Great for starting as well as deep cycling
- Starts reliably even in cold weather (750 CCA)
- Versatile enough to use for marine or RV applications
- Long runtime and high reserve capacity
- Withstands more recharges than traditional batteries
- Spillproof AGM design.
- Not the best value for the power
- Packaging for shipping doesn’t always protect from damage
Who is it for?
This is the ideal motor for anyone who has a lot of electronics or “creature comforts” on their vehicle. It’s also ideal for boats with trolling motors. Since it functions well in both hot and cold conditions, it’s great for travellers, too.Check Price at Amazon
Universal UB121000-45978 – Best for RV campers
Universal batteries might sound generic, but the truth is these no-frills batteries are powerhouses. It uses the same high-quality AGM technology as models that cost twice the price. And while the casing might not look as pretty, it’s plenty durable, even in harsh weather.
Price-wise, this is a mid-level option – not the cheapest, but not too expensive price. It’s a great option if you need a lot of power but you don’t have a lot to spend on deep cycle batteries. It’s not suitable for marine applications or starting, but it’s a fantastic deep cycle RV battery.
What’s the best feature?
The capacity to price ratio on this model is impressive. Basically, you’ll get the most power dollars for dollars here compared to other options. With a lifespan of 3-5 years, it’s a reliable battery, as well. You can keep it in storage for up to a year without worry.
- Suitable for all dry land applications
- Easily compatible with standard engines and terminals
- Holds its charge very well in storage
- Large power capacity
- Relatively quick recharge rate
- Maximum lifespan isn’t as long as other options
- Not as versatile as other options on the list
- Loses maximum charge quickly if discharged too deeply.
Who is it for?
RV campers of all stripes will love this battery. Whether you take a couple of small trips a year or regularly dry camp, you’ll get great use from this model. Since it holds its charge well in storage it’s also a great option as a backup or seasonal battery.Check Price at Amazon
Renogy deep cycle AGM battery 12V 100Ah – Best for dry camping
Renogy’s main focus is on solar systems and off-grid living. Their batteries are built with this in mind. This isn’t to say they’re limited to those applications – far from it. It’s more an indication of the high power they can provide.
This battery alone is plenty for even the most souped-up vehicles. Wire a few together in sequence, and you can use them to power an entire solar grid. Pretty much any high-power application will be well-served by this Renogy battery.
What’s the best feature?
Versatility is the Renogy AGM12-100’s main strength. It’s great for people with multiple vehicles. It has one of the highest capacities of any deep cycle marine battery on the market. That’s especially impressive considering it’s also one of the best deep cycle RV batteries you’ll find.
Who is it for?
This is the perfect battery for RVs with lots of electronic extras. It’s especially good if you do a lot of dry camping. The long lifespan and high power capacity mean you can count on it no matter where your travels take you.
- Enough power for RVs and all their extras
- Easy to wire in sequence for even more power
- Can be used for RV, boat, or solar grid applications
- Lasts through over 600 discharge cycles
- Works well with both daily and occasional use
- Doesn’t deal as well with deep discharges
- Recharging takes a bit longer than other options
Optima BlueTop 8052-161 D31M – Best for seasonal use
Here’s another option from the BlueTop line that’s a great choice if you’re looking for a deep cycle battery. Like the Optima D34M above, it uses SpiralCell technology for a more durable, efficient battery. It gives you even more power than the D34M, though, making it even more versatile.
What’s the best feature?
Along with the benefits of the SpiralCell technology mentioned above, higher amps have the overall benefit. It gives you more power for both deep cycle and starting applications. No matter how many accessories your boats have, you’ll be able to stay on the water for longer.
Who is it for?
This is a battery designed to power lots of accessories. You’ll want something this powerful if you have many different extra bells and whistles on your vehicle. The high reserve capacity also makes it great for seasonal use since it can hold its charge for months in storage.
- Resistant to power loss from cold, heat, and vibration
- Works equally well in boats and RVs
- Long reserve capacity lets it go hours between charges
- Superior CCA rating to any other marine-rated deep cycle battery
- Holds charge well in storage
- Lasts through 5X the charges of traditional AGM batteries
- Higher price point
- On the heavier side
- Can’t be returned once shipped
VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 – Best for smaller boats
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option in marine-rated deep cycle batters, the VMAX V35-857 is our top choice. Since it’s still an AGM-style battery, it’s just as safe as more expensive designs. Considering the power, it’s the best deep cycle battery you’ll find for the price.
What’s the best feature?
Budget-minded shoppers will love the VMAX V35. This isn’t just because of the low cost but because it’s an exceptional value. It’s also a relatively lightweight battery, at only 25 pounds. This makes it easy to transport, and a great choice as a backup power option.
Who is it for?
This is a great choice for Minn Kota motors and similar trolling motors. There’s no reason to pay for more power than you’ll use. Something like the Optima batteries above would be overkill in a smaller fishing boat, but this VMAX is just right.
- Powers 18-40lb trolling motors for 4-8 hours
- Great value for a deep cycle battery
- Recharges quickly
- Lightweight and portable
- Resists shock and vibration damage
- Not suitable for starting
- Doesn’t last as long as other batteries
VMAXTANKS MB6 – 225 AGM battery – Best for solar grid
For a high-performance option from VMAX, this 6-volt deep cell battery is one you’ll want to check out. These batteries are designed for use in solar panel systems. Golf carts and many recreational vehicles can also run great on these powerful batteries.
A 6-volt battery is a great choice for high-powered applications. You can use them singly or link them in serial. Each VMAX MB6-225 has a reserve capacity of over 8 hours. Two together, and they’ll run longer than any 12-volt battery you can find for any price.
This is the first model on the list designed more for dry land than marine applications. They’ll definitely power a golf cart beautifully. Their real power shows when they’re linked in serial, though. Used this way, they’re perfect for dry camping and solar grid applications.
- Long lifespan of up to 10 years
- Highest reserve capacity on the list
- Stands up well to extreme cold and heat
- Highly porous AGM plates make it more reliable
- Doesn’t use silica gels or other contaminants
- Will need to use 2 in series for 12-volt motors
- Loses capacity if discharged below 50%
Mighty Max Battery ML100-12 – Best for outdoor charging
The Mighty Max 12V deep cycle battery is another great mid-priced choice for RVs and campers. It offers a similar capacity to the Universal battery above and at a very similar price. The main advantage of the Mighty Max is that it can recover from deep discharges more quickly.
The calcium-alloy grid utilized in the Mighty Max ML100-12 is what makes it so powerful. It’s more durable than the plates used in other batteries. This also means it’s less prone to damage from corrosion, vibration, and other environmental forces.
Outdoorspeople can make excellent use of the Mighty Max. Any vehicle that uses a 12v deep cycle battery will run for hours on a charge. It’s not prone to overheating even after long use. If you want a worry-free way to power your boat or RV, the Mighty Max is for you.
- Good recovery from deep discharges
- Calcium-alloy grid gives it better durability
- Works well in both hot and cold
- Slow discharge of energy in storage
- Equally viable for float and cycle uses
- Doesn’t include any mounting accessories
- Terminal bolts are a bit on the short side
WindyNation 100Ah 12V – Best for people off the grid
There are all kinds of reasons you might need a battery, and this WindyNation battery has them all covered. It’s not just for RVs and boats, though it can power those beautifully. It’s also great for UPS and solar power and any time you need a consistent charge.
The quality of the components used in this WindyNation battery is what sets it apart. Many cheap batteries use recycled lead, but these models use only virgin lead. That means consistent power and performance across units and a battery you can rely on.
This is a great low-maintenance option. Since it lasts longer between charges, you won’t have to think as much about whether it still has power. Reliability is especially key for dry campers and people living off the grid. That’s the main reason this battery is such a great choice for anyone.
- Long-life between charges
- High storage capacity with a low discharge rate
- Can last ten years or more in float application
- Fast recharge rate
- Versatile enough to use for any application
- Won’t function as a starting battery
- On the pricier side
VMAX MR96-60 AGM 12V 60Ah – Best for backup
Here’s a unit that RV drivers on long road trips will love. It will give you reliable, worry-free performance with a low discharge rate. Not only does it last longer than many options, but it also recharges more quickly, getting you back on the road sooner.
This isn’t the most powerful option on the list, but it will give you plenty for most “house” RV applications. It’s versatile enough to use for marine applications, too. The electrolyte suspension in VMAX batteries is top-tier, and the MR96-60 is a prime example.
This battery has the best weight to power ratio of any option on this list. It’s not the lightest battery you’ll find, certainly. At only 45 pounds for a 60Ah battery, though, it’s impressively portable design. The included carrying handle makes it even better.
Anyone with an RV, boat or other recreational vehicle will love this battery. Since it’s so portable, it’s easy to take with you as a backup power source. It’s ideal for trolling motors from 24-50lbs of thrust and a definite upgrade over most batteries of the size.
- Military-grade plates mean top-level performance
- Carrying handle makes it easy to transport
- High-porosity AGM operation with no contaminants
- Relatively lightweight and portable
- Long lifespan
- The good recovery rate from deep discharges
- Not powerful enough for all RV applications
- Won’t work as well for solar or UPS use
Optima 8037-127 D27F – Best for multiple electronics
You’ve seen some of Optima’s BlueTop series earlier on the list. For high-power applications, you’ll want to be familiar with their YellowTop line, too. They have the same resistance to damage and vibration, too, so you know it’ll last for the long haul.
Optima batteries aren’t cheap – in fact, this is the most expensive battery on this list. If you need something to both start and run your RV, though, it’ll do the job in one convenient package.
The combination of high cranking amps and high reserve capacity is what makes the Optima 8037’s special. It serves the place of two other batteries and does it beautifully. Of course, it also features Optima’s patented SpiralCell technology for reliable, long-term operation.
This might be the best deep cycle RV battery on the market. This is especially true for people who need to power a lot of electronics. It’s also perfect for other equipment like inverters or heavy-duty truck winches. Any vehicle that needs a 12-volt battery will benefit from Optima’s high performance.
- Works as a starting and a deep cycle battery
- Lasts through over 300 discharge cycles
- SpiralCell technology improves performance
- High cranking power
- Low discharge rate with a high reserve capacity
- Most expensive option on the list
- Not intended for marine applications
The bottom line
There are a lot of great options out there for deep cycle batteries. Choosing the right one depends on how you plan to use it and what kind of system you’re powering. Since AGM batteries tend to cost more than other types, your budget will also be a factor.
For overall performance, our top choice is the Optima BlueTop 8016-103. It’s the most versatile option on the list. You can use it for both boats and RVs, and it has cranking amps for starting. The initial cost is high, but it will last for years if you take care of it.
Whether you’re powering a solar grid or RV appliances, one of the batteries on this list will meet your needs. We hope we’ve helped you with your search for the best deep cycle battery!
1. Is an AGM battery a deep cycle battery?
These batteries are all deep cycle batteries, and they all use AGM technology. AGM batteries are the preferred type of deep cycle battery for many because they’re low maintenance. There are other designs out there that will serve the same function but use a different method.
2. How many years does a deep cycle battery last?
That depends on the battery and its type. Most AGM batteries last between 4 and 7 years. Different materials and construction methods can extend this, but few will last longer than 10 years.
How you use your battery will also affect its lifespan. Deep discharges put more strain on the battery than light use. You’ll get the longest lifespan from your battery if you never discharge it below 80%. If you regularly discharge it below 50%, expect the lifespan to drop to 2 years or less.
3. Is it ok to use a deep cycle battery in my car?
Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea. Most deep cycle batteries will draw too much-sustained voltage when recharging. This can damage your car’s alternator in the long term.
4. Can a deep cycle battery be overcharged?
Yes, you can overcharge a deep cycle battery. However, overcharging lowers the overall capacity and lifespan of the battery, so you should avoid it to get the most out of your purchase.
The best way to avoid overcharging your battery is to get the right charger. Most AGM batteries can be charged to a level of 2.4 volts per cell. If you’re using a float charger, lower that to 2.25 volts per cell. If it’s hot out, lower the charging voltage a bit. Warm batteries take to power more quickly.