Pickup Truck 5

Top 5 Best Truck Batteries (2021 Buyer’s Guide)


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With the colder weather approaching, we have rounded up the five best truck batteries. We also listed what you need to know about the many types of batteries and the factors to consider when buying one for your truck. It’s also worth noting the batteries on this list are suitable for SUVs as well. Let’s get cranking (no pun intended).

Design & Performance

Like batteries for cars, truck batteries belong in one of two general classifications: Flooded wet cell and Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries. The former utilizes lead plates and a liquid or gel-type electrolyte solution to produce an electrical charge. Meanwhile, VRLA batteries are sealed, low-maintenance units that typically use an absorbent glass mat (AGM) design, offering better performance than a typical wet cell battery.

When it comes to trucks and SUVs, we usually recommend an AGM battery. AGM batteries have fiberglass separators or glass mats that “absorb” the electrolyte solution inside the battery. On average, AGM batteries can charge five times faster, last two to three times longer, and cycle down to 80 percent of their DoD or Depth of Discharge (a percentage of the battery that can be drained without damaging the cells).

What Is The Best Battery For Your Truck?

When choosing a new battery for your truck, here are some factors to keep in mind:

Price

Standard wet cell batteries are more affordable than VRLA or AGM batteries. But then again, AGM batteries last longer. Wet cell batteries are good enough for most stock applications if you want the best bang for your buck. Consider upgrading to a more robust (yet costlier) AGM battery if you have a modified work truck or off-road machine.

Cranking Amps & Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

Cranking amps measure the number of amps the battery can deliver for 30 seconds of cranking at 32°F (0°C). It refers to the amount of power required from the battery to start the engine, so the exact number depends on the type of truck and the engine size. For example, big engines need more cranking amps.

On the other hand, the cold cranking amps (CCA) refers to the number of amps that a battery can expel for 30 seconds at 0°F or -18°C. The CCA designation measures how well a battery can start your truck’s engine in frigid weather. In most cases, a higher CCA number means the battery takes less effort (and less time) to start the engine.

Reserve Capacity

The reserve capacity refers to the number of minutes a battery can deliver a constant 25 amps of current at 80°F before the battery is discharged down to 10.5 volts. It helps to buy a truck battery with a higher reserve capacity if your vehicle has loads of accessories that require extra power. This can include things like a winch, off-road or auxiliary lights, or an upgraded audio system.

Group Size

When selecting the best battery for your pickup, pay attention to the group size. Automotive batteries come in many group sizes and designs, including standard top post, recessed top post, and side post batteries. For instance, most Japanese and American vehicles utilize top-post battery fitments, while European car brands generally use recessed top-post battery designs.

Check the owner’s manual of your truck to determine the correct battery group size. Choosing the wrong battery size may cause a spark or fire when the battery post contacts a metal part of the vehicle, so keep this in mind.

The 5 Best Truck Batteries

Below are five good choices to keep your truck running all year. If you need some additional insight, take a look at this guide to the best batteries for cold weather, along with this guide to the best batteries for warm weather

#1: Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78 RedTop

Optima-REDTOP (Best Truck Batteries).

Leading our list of best truck batteries is the Optima RedTop. Optima Batteries feature the brand’s proprietary Spiral Cell technology to deliver reliable performance in hot and cold weather. With its unique design, Optima Batteries provide the most potent five-second starting power among other truck batteries while offering 15 times more vibration resistance than conventional wet cell batteries.

The Optima RedTop has a 100-minute reserve capacity and up to 800 cold-cranking amps. Like all Optima batteries, the RedTop is mountable in any position without fear of leaks or spillage.

Specifications

  • Type: AGM
  • CCA: 800
  • Weight: 38.8 lbs.
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 10 x 6.88 x 7.8 inches.
  • Operating Temp: Max 125°F
  • Reserve Capacity: 100 minutes.
  • Warranty: 36 months personal use, 12 months commercial use.

Where To Buy It

As of this writing, you can grab the 8004-003 34/78 RedTop on Amazon for $255.

It’s also available on Advance Auto Parts, with a refundable core charge of $22. If you are looking at the RedTop battery in general and are unsure which specific model you need, hit the green button below. That will show you all of the current RedTop batteries that are available from Advance Auto Parts.   

#1 Best Truck Batteries
Provides up to 800 Cold Cranking Amps

The Optima RedTop is specifically designed for all types of vehicles and weather conditions with its SpiralCell Technology. Overall, the RedTop delivers more starting power in a shorter amount of time versus a traditional battery.

Every RedTop battery comes with a three-year, free replacement warranty.

#2: ODYSSEY Extreme Series 65-PC1750T

Odyssey Extreme Series (Best Truck Batteries).

The Odyssey 65-PC1750T is on our list of the best truck batteries for a reason. It may not have the fancy spirally-wound lead plates of the Optima, but it does have pure virgin lead plates instead of the lead alloy plates in most batteries. And since it packs more plates inside its sturdy, vibration-resistant casing, the Odyssey Extreme outputs twice the power while lasting thrice as long as conventional batteries.

The Odyssey 65-PC1750T has a CCA rating of 950 and a 130-minute reserve capacity. Built with a highly conductive AGM design, Odyssey batteries offer massive starting power and deep cycling capabilities to meet the demands of modern trucks.

One thing to note is the weight difference between the Odyssey (58 lbs.) and the RedTop (38.8 lbs.) listed above. If you are concerned about adding extra weight to your truck, this is one potential drawback of the Odyssey Extreme Series.

Specifications

  • Type: AGM
  • CCA: 950
  • Weight: 58 lbs.
  • Reserve Capacity: 130 minutes.
  • Warranty: 48 months free replacement.

Where To Buy It

As of this writing, it’s available on Amazon for about $300. Advance Auto Parts also has a good selection of Odyssey batteries, ranging in price from $275 to about $500. 

#2 Best Truck Batteries
ODYSSEY Extreme Series
The Odyssey Extreme series offers twice the overall power and three times the life of conventional batteries and up to 400 cycles at 80 percentage depth of discharge. In other words, it’s an excellent truck battery!


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#3: Delphi BU9094R MaxStart AGM Battery

Delphi BU9094R MaxStart (Best Truck Batteries).

The Delphi MaxStart has all the ingredients to include it on this list of the best truck batteries. It provides 800 cold-cranking amps and a 140-minute reserve capacity. It also utilizes an AGM design that provides a longer useable life, 20 times the vibration resistance, and faster charging than conventional flooded batteries. In addition, the Delphi MaxStart AGM battery has fortified posts, straps, and welds for added durability.

Specifications

  • Type: AGM
  • CCA: 800
  • Weight: 52 lbs.
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 12.44 x 6.88 x 7.5 inches.
  • Reserve Capacity: 140 minutes.
  • Warranty: 36 months free replacement.

Where To Buy It

As of this writing, the Delphi BU9094R MaxStart AGM Battery is available on Amazon for about $219. 

#3 Best Truck Batteries
Delphi MaxStart
On average, Delphi AGM batteries provide more cycle life, superior vibration and corrosion resistance, and maximum power delivery. They are also a little less money than some of the other batteries on this list.


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#4: XS Power D3400 XS Series

XS Power batteries are a solid choice, given their history in racing and car audio competitions. Featuring 1,000 cold-cranking amps and a high reserve capacity, the XS Power D34000 XS Series is a solid choice for big gasoline engines and diesel-powered rigs. Featuring an ultra-low internal resistance AGM construction, the XS Power D3400 is tough enough to withstand the demands you have of your truck, regardless of the season.

Specifications

  • Type: AGM
  • CCA: 1,000
  • Weight: 48 lbs.
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 12.44 x 6.88 x 7.5 inches.
  • Reserve Capacity: Between 135 and 160 minutes.
  • Warranty: 36 months free replacement.

Where To Buy It

As of this writing, the XS Power D3400 XS Series is available on Amazon for about $360. Customer reviews are also high on Amazon, leading us to put the XS Series on this list of the best truck batteries.

#4 Best Truck Batteries
XS Power D3400
XS Power has a battery for every form of racing, including dirt track and boat racing. However, the XS Power AGM design makes it ideal for everyday trucks and SUVs. One Amazon reviewer said this battery fixed the dimming lights on their truck.


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#5: Optima YellowTop

Optima-YELLOWTOP (Best Truck Batteries).

Whereas the Optima RedTop is considered a good “all-around” battery by many (including us), the YellowTop is a dual-purpose battery perfect for trucks and SUVs with winches, LED light bars, or expensive audio and video equipment. The Optima YellowTop delivers 750 cold-cranking amps and a 120-minute reserve capacity, making it one of the best truck batteries.

YellowTop batteries are available in many sizes, including DH7, DH6, D34/78, D27F, D51, D31T, D51R, D35, D34, D75/25, D31A, and DS46B24R. They have a price range between $265 and $365 when ordering through Advance Auto Parts.

Similarly, Amazon has a good selection of YellowTop batteries with free shipping. 

#5 Best Truck Batteries
Dual Purpose High Reserve Capacity

The YellowTop is designed for vehicles that require additional power. If you’re driving a work truck or service van or have a 4×4 vehicle fitted with accessories like off-road lights and winches, the YellowTop is an excellent choice.

Every YellowTop battery comes with a three-year, free replacement warranty.

Are There Other Good Truck Batteries?

Based on our research, the ones listed above are among the best truck batteries. However, we do have one honorable mention with the DieHard Platinum AGM battery. DieHard batteries are known for their patented Stamped Grid technology, making them more durable, maintenance-free, and resistant to corrosion and vibrations.

The DieHard Platinum battery is currently available through Advance Auto Parts for around $230.

Other Helpful Tips & Resources

It’s a good idea to keep a portable jump starter handy, as even the best batteries will eventually run out of juice. We recently tested the 1200A Shell Portable Jump Starter and believed it to be a solid product (although the jumper cables are a bit short). If you have a truck with a smaller displacement diesel (3.0-liters or less), the 1200A unit will work. If you have an HD truck, take a look at this Shell Rotella unit instead.

One of the best things you can do, regardless of what kind of truck you drive, is to keep up with seasonal maintenance. In this guide, we cover some of the most common repairs by season. Similarly, this winter driving guide will also provide some insight into getting your truck ready for the colder months.