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Odyssey vs. Optima: It’s more than just the best battery

The best battery is not decided by the customer ranking or what the manufacturers say. It is also not determined by the critics of the field and opinionated reviews online. The best battery depends on your particular preferences, requirements, and budget. Depending on your criterion, you need to choose the best battery for you.

Many brands are producing batteries now, and choosing one of the many options on the shelves can be taxing. Hence, we have compiled an elaborate Odyssey vs. Optima guide to help you make that decision. We will discuss all the significant similarities and differences between the two and their different pros and cons. As a result, understanding both options will help you decide which one works best for you.

 optima 8014 045 yellow top
Optima 8014-045 Yellow Top
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odyssey 34 pc1500t
Odyssey 34-PC1500T
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Cold Cranking Amp750850
Dimensions10 x 6.88 x 7.8 inches10.85 x 6.76 x 7.82 inches
Weight43.5 lbs49.5 lbs
Reserve Capacity120 minutes185 minutes
Group Size3434
Our Score9.59.0
CCA refers to cold-cranking amps, which is a rating that describes a battery’s capability of starting an engine in colder temperatures. It is generally much easier for engines to start at warmer temperatures. Therefore, a battery needs higher cold-cranking amps to operate an engine in cold weather. Hence, the more the CCA, the more powerful it is.

What Are These Batteries For?

There is a massive difference between a race car or a jeep and a conventional passenger car. The vehicles are different in terms of their usage and purpose. The batteries used for each of these automobiles are very different, too. Therefore, they need to have other specifications and features to suit the vehicle. Racing cars and rugged off-road jeeps require exceptional batteries that can function in different environments, provide good power, and operate well in high and low temperatures.

In addition, cars and automobiles that have non-typical features and accessories also demand added power for functioning. I mean that a regular car requires significantly lesser power compared to a vehicle with a DVD player or a touch screen monitor. A fancy Ferrari uses more power for its butterfly doors and other technological features than a regular Toyota. You get the idea!

To fulfill these demands and maintain proper operations of these automobiles, heavy-duty and durable batteries like Optima and Odyssey are ideal, and that is what these batteries are for! Both Odyssey and Optima batteries are dual-purpose, which means that you can use them for powering devices and cranking engines. Dual-purpose batteries have the cyclical capacity to be used for auxiliary purposes. At the same time, they also have an adequate cranking performance to start a powerful engine.

Why A Dual-Purpose Battery Is Necessary

If your car needs a battery to start and provide deep cycle services, a dual-purpose battery would be ideal. Its cranking amperage is powerful enough to give you an easy start, and its auxiliary power is very reliable.

Dual-purpose batteries are also ideal for heavier vehicles and automobiles, like racing vehicles, off-road cars, and big jeeps. These batteries are prevalent among off-road vehicle owners and roadside adventurers because of their durability, reliability, and incredible power.

Odyssey vs. Optima: A Detailed Comparison

When two products have certain similarities and differences, a proper analysis helps you decide which seems more appropriate. And that is precisely what I’m going to do now. While both Odyssey and Optima batteries have made a good reputation in the market and are well-loved by a massive audience, they have their differences. These differences are why certain people prefer one over the other.

The following are the most significant similarities and differences between the two batteries.

Specifications

Both Odyssey and Optima batteries are AGM (absorbed glass mat) lead-acid batteries. What does that mean? AGM batteries can absorb electrolytes inside them, as opposed to the black box and gel batteries. As a result, these batteries do not have any free acid, and all the acid is absorbed inside the glass mat separators. This way, they don’t allow leaks and perform much better.

Since both the batteries belong to group 34, they are pretty similar in size, too. While they have different designs and surface areas, the dimensions are pretty similar. Odyssey, however, has the upper hand in terms of CCA (Cold Crank Amp). Moreover, it can sustain its voltage for longer thanks to the higher reserve capacity (i.e., 185 minutes). In comparison, Optima competes with its lighter weight and unique design. Hence, each of these batteries has its unique specifications, making each ideal for a different user.

The best part about an Odyssey battery is that it incorporates about 15% more plates in their cases. This way, they avoid dead spaces between their cylinders in a six-pack design. Overall, they give significantly more power and offer 40% higher reserve capacity than average batteries.

Furthermore, Odyssey batteries have been overall consistent in terms of performance. Their persistence and consistency have led to their fan following increasing over time and resulting in loyal customers. On the other hand, Optima has started showing a variation and noticeable inconsistencies in its batteries. While long-time users and loyal audiences don’t find it off-putting, newer customers consider it when choosing the brand. But, of course, no one wants to invest their money into a product that isn’t consistent with its claims, right?

Special Features

Both companies have something to offer in terms of added perks and features like warranties, guarantees, and return policies. Optima provides a one-year warranty for commercial usage and a three-year warranty for non-commercial use.

On the contrary, Odyssey wins the race with a 4-year warranty. Overall, the Odyssey battery should last you around 3 to 10 years without any severe complications or replacement. In any case, if you are not completely satisfied with your Odyssey battery, or you find any faults and manufacturing issues with the product, you can get a full replacement in the limited time of 3 to 4 years after purchase.

Warranties and return policies are usually not a necessity on a buyer’s criteria. However, it is a bonus that helps companies look more trustworthy and attract more customers. Plus, it gives buyers a sense of comfort and safety; it provides a safety net for clients and customers to fall back on if they don’t like the product. Wouldn’t you prefer buying something that has a return policy or money-back guarantee over a product that doesn’t give you any such safety net? Of course, you would! And so would I!

Unfortunately for Optima, the brand also faces criticism and receives frequent complaints about a complex return policy. Clients and customers are often annoyed that if they want to return a product, Optima’s procedure is long, slow, and tiring. It frustrates them and reduces the likeliness of these customers ever buying from Optima again. Furthermore, it reduces their chances of getting a recommendation or referral! This factor takes away more points from Optima and helps Odyssey take another win.

Recommendation

To elaborate the comparison between these two infamous batteries even more, let’s take a deeper look into each of them individually. By looking at their specific characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks, you will be able to think more clearly and decide which one’s your favorite!

Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 Yellow Top

True to its name, this series of Optima batteries have a striking yellow top. But apart from its unique design and appealing color scheme, it is also very reliable and high-quality. It works great in bad weather, has 15x higher vibration resistance, and is far more durable than other options in the market. In addition, it is spill-proof and is mountable in practically any position you can think of.

Overall, it has a life of up to three times longer than average batteries and does not require much care and maintenance.

With a 12V voltage and 750 CCA, the battery weighs about 43.5 lb and has a 120-minute reserve capacity to allow consistent performances. The case material is polypropylene with an internal resistance of 0.0028. The most significant advantage of a polypropylene casing is that it makes the battery relatively inexpensive, has incredible flexural strength, and is resistant to water and moisture. Polypropylene also has excellent chemical resistance for many different acids and bases, so it is incredibly durable.

In terms of the charging speeds and capacities, it has fast recharging with 300+ discharge/ recharge cycles. The Optima Yellow Top batteries are ideal for vehicles with different electronic accessories, such as DVD players and sliding doors! Racing vehicles, drag racers, and vehicles that have winches and inverters will also find them very practical! Furthermore, these batteries are famous for how well they work in freezing temperatures. Even when it’s snowing heavily outside and the thermostat predicts frozen lakes, your jeep will operate flawlessly with an Optima battery.

Pros

  • Best for higher electrical loads
  • Spill-proof and very durable
  • Optimal start power
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Space-consuming design
  • Classic LCD screen
  • Relatively lower discharge/recharge cycles compared to Odyssey

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Odyssey 34–PC1500T Automotive And LTV Battery

An equally stunning design, this one has a red top with a black body and looks very stylish at first glance. But despite the incredible design and stunning aesthetics, the primary reason behind its popularity is not the looks: it is a convenience. Odyssey saves the owner’s money and time. How? Let me explain:

Unlike the Optima battery, this design takes full advantage of all the space. The makers have made good use of the surface area of the batter, incorporating a plate wherever they can. Like I said earlier, there are no empty spaces left anywhere, and the design has top plates for maximum power. As a result, Odyssey has a 70% higher cycle life than our typical deep cycle batteries and can withstand rough rides and scenic off-road trips! These factors collectively ensure that you get your money’s worth. In fact, you get far more than any other batteries on the market shelves offer in that price range.

Similar to the Optima battery, this one also offers 12 volts and has good vibration resistance. However, it has a higher 850 CCA, which gives it the winning edge. Moreover, thanks to its cold-cranking amps, it can operate and function well at temperatures as low as -40 degrees! Hence, it has good adaptability to high temperatures. Weighing around 49.5 lbs, it is slightly heavier than Optima but has a much faster recharge. In fact, it has one of the best recharge efficiencies in the entire market of lead batteries, charging 100% in 4 to 6 hours. This way, it uses far less electricity for much lesser time to charge the battery. So, again, Odyssey saves your time, money, and energy!

Pros

  • Better cycle life
  • Strong power generation
  • Elegant design
  • Faster recharging

Cons

  • Relatively heavier than Optima
  • Somewhat expensive

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Conclusion

Many people prefer the Odyssey battery over Optima, and it is easy to understand why. It offers clear benefits over the other, with more power, easy recharge, and a convenient design. It also clearly saves time and effort by providing good power and quality at a reasonable price. However, Odyssey is a bit more expensive and relatively heavier than the Optima battery. So, many people tend to choose Optima for its lower cost, specifications, and perks.

As I said, the best battery cannot be decided by someone else. Only you can choose the best battery for your vehicle. Depending on what you can compromise on and what aspects of a battery are non-negotiable, you can now make the right choice for your next road adventure!

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