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Odyssey Vs Optima Battery: Which Has More Kick-Ass Power?

Last Updated on: July 1, 2022

If you are in the market for a new car battery, you may have come across Odyssey and Optima batteries. They are both big brands in the battery industry, with a range of automotive, marine, and industrial batteries for various applications.

To figure out which runs better between an Odyssey vs Optima battery, we shall consider the factors that make a good car battery. Before we get to that, here is a brief overview of each brand to start us off. 

Main Differences Between Odyssey vs Optima Batteries

The main differences between Odyssey vs Optima batteries are:

  • Odyssey batteries feature a flat plate internal structure, whereas Optima uses a Spiral Cell technology.
  • Odyssey dual-purpose batteries can get to 80% DoD, whereas Optima cannot go below 50% DoD. 
  • Odyssey automotive batteries are 12V, whereas Optima have 6V and 12V automotive batteries.

About Odyssey

The Odyssey Battery brand is a division of EnerSys, an industrial technology company that develops safe and accessible power solutions. Odyssey provides cranking and deep cycle batteries for various applications, including automotive and marine.

The defining feature of Odyssey batteries is their use of pure virgin lead flat plates, which gives their batteries more plate surface area for more cold cranking amps.

For this reason, Odyssey batteries boast double or triple the cold cranking amps of normal batteries. The marine batteries are capable of up to 400 cycles at 80% depth of discharge and boast the highest recharge efficiency in the market, recharging to 100% in 4-6hours. 

Some of the design advantages of Odyssey batteries include:

  • It has a longer service life of 3 – 10 years 
  • Up to 4 years free replacement warranty 
  • Better vibration resistance
  • Sealed design for mounting flexibility
  • High recharge efficiency and longer cycle life 
  • Extreme temperature tolerance   

About Optima Battery

Optima Battery was one of the brands produced under the Power Solutions business unit owned by Johnson Controls. Brookfield Business Partners bought this unit in May 2019, creating a new company called Clarios.

Clarios has an impressive portfolio of innovative lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries for vehicles and industrial applications produced under OPTIMA Batteries, VARTA, LTH, Heliar, Delkor, and MAC Batteries brands. 

The defining feature of Optima batteries is the Spiral Cell technology that makes them more vibration resistant, more cranking power, faster recharging, and better service life than flat plate batteries.

The Spiral Cell design features six cells, spiral wound with 99.9% lead plates, creating batteries with a better internal structure to withstand harsh conditions. 

Optima batteries come in three types; RedTop, YellowTop, and BlueTop varieties. The RedTop models offer high cold cranking amps for vehicles. The YellowTop dual-purpose battery is ideal for modern cars with extreme stereo systems or performance upgrades such as hydraulics and winches. 

BlueTop deep cycle batteries are ideal for powering onboard electronics in RVs, such as refrigerators and sockets. These batteries can withstand repeat cycles from deep drains without failure and have a faster recharge time than other batteries. 

Optima also provides marine and power sport batteries in their product portfolio. 

Some of the design advantages of Optima batteries include; 

  • Durable construction with extreme temperature tolerance
  • Exceptional cranking power and cycle life
  • Faster recharge times and longer power retention
  • Better internal structure to withstand severe vibration
  • Sealed design enables flexible mounting positions without leakage 

What Is an AGM Battery?

Both Odyssey and Optima batteries use Absorbed Glass Mat technology, also known as AGM. It is an advanced lead-acid battery that uses an absorbent glass mat set between the lead plates and the battery casing to absorb the electrolyte and prevent it from flooding.

The lead plates are packed tightly inside the casing, making the lead acid batteries highly impact resistant, leak-proof, and have low internal resistance. 

Additionally, this design gives the batteries more cranking amps, takes less time to recharge, and increases battery efficiency. In comparison, a flooded or wet cell battery has a weak internal construction as the battery acid flows freely and is not spill-proof. 

They also require maintenance and degrade quickly. However, traditional batteries cost much less than AGM batteries and have more widespread applications. 

Flat Plate vs Spiral Cell Technology

Odyssey batteries feature densely packed lead flat plates to avoid dead spaces inside the battery for more power. Flat plate batteries like the Odyssey Group 31 PC2150S battery use pure lead flat plates packed tightly inside the casing.

Odyssey Group battery

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The PC2150S is a starting battery with a reserve capacity of 205 minutes and 1150 Cranking Amperes at 0°F. Let’s compare a similar-sized battery from Optima, the 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Starting and Deep-Cycle battery.

This battery weighs less than the Odyssey at 59.8 pounds and features a reserve capacity of 155 minutes. Optima uses a spiral cell design where the lead plates are wound up into six individual cells, tightly compressed together, to improve vibration resistance. 

However, while Optima claims to build the best performing spiral cell batteries in the market, the flat plate design of the Odyssey battery provides more surface area to deliver high power output to start your car.

Additionally, it has better power storage capacity and lifespan than the Optima battery under the same conditions. The Odyssey battery can handle up to 400 cycles at 80% depth of discharge, while the Optima model cannot go below 50% DoD. 

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

CCA defines the number of amperes a 12-volt battery can output at 0°F for 30 seconds while maintaining an output voltage of at least 7.2V. Batteries with a high CCA will have better cranking power and are ideal for use in cold climates.

Generally, 150 CCA is enough to start a small car, while 400 to 600 CCA is ideal for the average vehicle.

Diesel engines require higher CCA batteries than petrol cars because they depend on high temperatures for combustion. 

The Optima Group 31 YellowTop AGM battery is one of the few high-performance dual-purpose batteries in the market. The battery features a CCA of 900 Amps and a C20 Capacity of 75Ah. On the other hand, the Odyssey ODP-AGM31 Performance Series battery features a CCA of 925 Amps and a C20 capacity of 100Ah. 

It is worth taking note of the Cold Cranking Amps and the Nominal Capacity because in the cold-weather season, you will need a high CCA battery to start your car, plus a battery with more power output to run the ventilation and heating systems.   

Reserve Capacity

Reserve capacity is the time in minutes a fully-charged 12V battery can continuously provide 25 Amps at 80°F while maintaining 10.5V. A vehicle will require the battery to provide a steady 25 Amps at 10.5V to power the onboard electrical systems and keep the engine running without the alternator. 

Reserve capacity, typically denoted as RC, is necessary because it indicates how long your battery can last if the alternator fails.

The longer your battery can last until you get to a safe place is an advantage, especially when driving at night. Below is a video that explains reserve capacity in greater detail.

Battery Capacity

Battery or nominal capacity rating, expressed as C10, C20, or Ah, defines how long a battery can last between charges. If a battery has a C20 of 100Ah, it means that the battery can deliver five amps for 20 hours at 80°F while maintaining a voltage of at least 10.5V.

Nominal capacity is typically associated with deep cycle and dual-purpose batteries for heavy-duty applications in RVs, commercial vehicles, and boats. 

A typical car battery should have at least 48 amp-hours. The Odyssey batteries feature nominal capacities between 65Ah and 103Ah for the Extreme Series and 49Ah to 220Ah for the Performance Series.

In contrast, the Optima RedTop starting batteries have C20 values of 44Ah to 50Ah, the YellowTop batteries 38Ah to 55Ah, and the BlueTop models 50Ah to 75Ah.  

A high C20 value means the battery can handle high power demands longer than a battery with a low rating. It is useful, especially for cars with high-powered audio systems and RVs with creature comfort accessories like refrigerators. 

Internal Resistance

Internal resistance is a measure of resistance to the flow of current within a battery caused by the discharge process. Low internal resistance ensures the electric current flows freely to handle high power demand without failing.

High resistance batteries will heat up under high load, causing a voltage drop and shutting it down.

Odyssey batteries have a lower internal resistance across the board than Optima batteries. The RedTop 12V Optima batteries have an internal resistance of 0.003 ohms, the BlueTop models have between 0.0025 ohms to 0.003, and the YellowTop series features 0.0028 ohms to 0.0046 ohms. 

In comparison, the Odyssey Performance Series batteries have an internal resistance of 0.0017 ohms to 0.0049 ohms. The Extreme Series has batteries with 0.0022 ohms to 0.0036 ohms.


Conclusion

To conclude this Odyssey vs Optima battery review, let’s highlight why you should consider one brand over the other. 

Overall, the Odyssey batteries are of a higher quality due to the flat plate internal structure and deliver more cranking power than the Optima models. These batteries also have a lower internal resistance that enables them to recharge faster and gives them a longer service life. 

On the other hand, Optima batteries are a good option if you are on a budget as they cost less than the Odyssey models. They also provide a better replacement warranty period and have the models categorized based on the vehicle type.

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