With the many options we have now, choosing the correct trickle charger can be tricky. However, making the right decision is vital because: One: these chargers are quite an investment. And two: they have a direct impact on your vehicle’s functioning.
So, today, we will compare two of the best products on the market: NOCO Genius (Version 5 and 1) And Battery Tender Junior. Putting them side by side will help you decide which one suits you and your vehicle best!
- 1 What are trickle chargers? What do they do & Why are they important?
- 2 Trickle Charger vs. Maintenance Charger vs. A Regular Battery Charger?
- 3 NOCO Genius vs. Battery Tender Junior: Detailed Comparison And Review
- 4 Pros & Cons
- 5 Recommendations
What are trickle chargers? What do they do & Why are they important?
Trickle chargers are very similar to jumper cables because they recharge a car’s battery steadily and gradually. However, these chargers should be plugged into walls and do not make a car jump start. Instead, they work on low voltage and recharge the battery very slowly.
It is common knowledge that you have to periodically charge your car’s battery when it’s in storage. That way, when you finally decide to put it in the vehicle, it is ready for operation. However, remembering to recharge the battery after a while repeatedly can be taxing. And so, trickle chargers come to the rescue! They remove the necessity of periodic charging and constantly feed the battery with a low charge. As a result, it poses minimal to no risk of overcharging, and you never have to worry about any damage to your vehicle.
These chargers are also smart devices; they know how much power the battery needs to be charged safely and exactly when it should stop. Also, whether you’re using a lithium-ion or lead-acid battery, the charger has good recognition of both!
Trickle chargers owe their popularity to these same perks and benefits. They’re smart and don’t require constant supervision. Plus, they recharge batteries safely and help prevent “sudden deaths” of vehicles. As a result, you will never have to worry about your car battery giving up on you when you are getting late for work!
Trickle Charger vs. Maintenance Charger vs. A Regular Battery Charger?
A trickle charger is slightly different from a conventional battery charger. How? The former applies charge constantly regardless of how full or empty a battery is, whereas typical battery chargers don’t. Instead, standard maintenance chargers have circuits that continuously monitor your battery and apply charge only when the voltage lowers below a threshold level. When a maintenance charger senses that the voltage is dropping, it starts charging. This way, it prevents overcharging, overheating, or any other form of damage to the battery. It also means that you can connect the charger to the battery and leave it there indefinitely. In contrast, trickle chargers supply continuous voltage, so you have to disconnect them once the battery is fully charged.
Regular chargers and trickle chargers are different in the sense of their purpose. If you want to give a boosted charge to your vehicle and use it immediately:
- Use a regular battery charger as that is faster.
- Do the same if you’re going to store the battery later.
- Just take the battery out every 30 to 40 days and charge it before putting it back.
In such cases, using a standard battery charger is OK. However, if you don’t want to repeatedly charge the stored battery every few days, getting a trickle charger would be the right choice.
NOCO Genius vs. Battery Tender Junior: Detailed Comparison And Review
Now that we have established what a trickle battery is and why it is essential. Let’s talk about three of the most famous options on the market. When deciding which trickle battery to get, most people are confused between NOCO Genius and Battery Tender Junior. Both of these batteries are exceptional in terms of quality and have an excellent public reputation. Nonetheless, there is always one product better than the other. So, how do you decide that? Simple; you put them side by side!
To start the comparison, let us first discuss the most significant common aspects of the two products:
- First and foremost, both batteries are made in China.
- Both Noco Genius 1 and Battery Tender have an output current of 750 mA.
- Similarly, both have an output voltage of 6 volts and 12 volts.
- They are both compatible with gel, MF, and AGM batteries.
- They also have the same recommended capacity: 30 Ah.
- You can use both Battery Tender and NOCO for Marine vehicles, Automobiles, and motorcycles.
- The chargers are efficiently resistant to spills and dust, so you needn’t worry about a dusty floor and wet garage.
- The reverse polarity protection also avoids disconnection, connection, and charging problems.
- Both chargers have preventive measures built in to protect them from overcharging. They detect when batteries are fully charged and automatically switch to maintenance cycles. This feature keeps the battery wholly charged or near full charge at all times. As a result, you can keep the battery in storage but use it anytime without worrying about the charging.
- Furthermore, both NOCO and Battery Tender Junior have detection features to notify the user if and when the battery is damaged. The chargers flash their lights to signal that it is not safe to use the battery anymore.
- Both chargers have protective sealed cases to keep users safe from sparks.
- In terms of their connection methods, both charges are again very similar.
- Lastly, both NOCO Genius and Battery Tender Junior have warranties to claim and complain about any manufacturing faults you may find. Both batteries come with a 5-year warranty.
Despite all the common features and similarities between the two companies, they have some apparent differences. So let’s look at what sets each of them apart. The following are the most significant differences between NOCO Genius and Battery Tender Junior.
Design and Specifications
Let’s start with the most prominent and apparent differences. First, both batteries have different dimensions and sizes. Similarly, the designs are also quite different, with Battery Tender being more rectangular with blunt edges and NOCO Genius having more rounded, softer edges. Moreover, Battery Tender is significantly heavier than NOCO.
Battery Tender is generally great to maintain SUVs, cars, pick-up trucks, boats, and large vehicles. However, it cannot charge these vehicles but only maintain them. Battery Tender Jr charges and maintains lawnmowers, ATVs, and motorcycles.
NOCO, on the other hand, is great for charging and maintaining cars as well as boats and motorcycles.
Extra Features and Functions
Both batteries offer extra features. However, these additional perks are not the same. NOCO Genius offers safe monitoring and advanced diagnosis for unusable, damaged batteries. Moreover, it has a desulfator, which Battery Tender does not.
In contrast, the latter can automatically switch between maintenance and float voltage once the battery is fully charged. It also has an LED that indicates the charger’s stage using its two colors. Battery tender also has a safety timer of 80 hours, a feature that is lacking in NOCO batteries.
How Long Do They Take To Fully Charge?
NOCO Genius 1 takes about 15 hours to charge a motorcycle battery. The same battery takes 30 hours for a lawnmower and 60 hours for a full-size car. So even though NOCO Genius 1 is a powerful battery charger and works well with cars, it takes about three days, sometimes more, to completely charge the vehicle’s battery. For a truck, it will take about 75 hours.
NOCO Genius 5 takes about 3 hours to charge a motorcycle battery, 6 hours for a lawnmower, 12 hours for a full-size car, and 15 hours for a truck battery. As for Battery Tender takes about 16 hours for a motorcycle to charge up to 80%.
One of the most significant things one should remember when buying a battery charger is its price range. Understandably, this investment is essential and can make your life easier, but it shouldn’t make you go bankrupt! Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the product you want to buy and decide whether the price seems worth it. It is also a good idea to figure out your budget limitations before you go shopping. Select a particular price range that you can afford and are comfortable with. Doing this will help you stay within your financial limits when making the final decision. This tip will also help you narrow down your options and make the right choice.
While the price difference is not that significant, it can still be counted as something that sets them apart. Battery Tender, depending on the voltage and amperes you choose, ranges from 37 to $50. In contrast, NOCO Genius 5 costs around $90 without shipping, which is a lot for some people. Not everyone has an open budget to spend almost $100 on a battery charger, and this is precisely why you need to figure out your budget beforehand. Lastly, Genius 1 is about $40 without shipping, successfully being the most affordable option on the list.
Pros & Cons
Finally, let’s end the comparison with a pros and cons session! Understanding the individual advantages and drawbacks of a particular product helps you make a quick and efficient decision. It enables you to identify your priorities and determine characteristics you can compromise on and ones you need.
- Small, convenient size
- Minimalistic & stylish design
- Includes a battery desulfator
- Features auto-detection and auto repair
- NOCO Genius1 has an affordable price range
- Does not have a 12-volt supply mode or 6-volt AGM mode
- NOCO Genius1 does not have a 12-volt repair mode.
- NOCO Genius 5 can be quite expensive
Battery Tender Junior
- Sleek and modern design
- Safety timer of 80 hours
- Reversed hookup protection
- Comes with five years of warranty
- Specify in maintenance charging
- No temperature sensors
- Technically not a full-fledged battery charger
If you don’t use your cars too often
As a charger that specifies maintenance charging, this is perfect for those who want to keep their car battery healthy in the garage.
If you travel a lot and want a well-rounded charger
NOCO Genius 1 is a perfect all-rounder battery charger, ideal for jump starts. Lastly, NOCO Genius 5 is slightly more expensive compared to Battery Tender Junior. Nonetheless, every penny spent on this masterpiece is worth it if you have the budget for it.
If you want the best possible treatment for your battery
Both these brands, and all three of these battery chargers, have their characteristics. These features set them apart and make them unique in their separate ways. However, the final decision depends on what you need the battery charger for, how you plan to use it, and how much money you are willing to spend. Do you own a car or a speedboat? What’s your primary purpose behind buying the charger? Again, your budget, preferences, and requirements decide which one would be the ideal charger for you.