There are quite a few things you need to look at when shopping for a trolling motor battery. Oftentimes you might be tempted to check out just the size or the power, but there are more factors to consider.
There is a big difference between lead acid batteries and non-SLA (sealed lead acid) models. The latter may require more maintenance or frequent use and can even deplete faster. They also usually come in smaller sizes and offer more freedom in placement, as well as more power overall.
The use of absorbent glass mat (AGM) on almost all batteries means that, regardless of the model, they will be durable and spill-free in the case of SLA technology. You should still check to see if the AGM feature is mentioned before buying a product.
We’ve compiled a short list of what we found to be three of the best trolling motor batteries available today. We will show you what features matter the most, as well as compare non-SLA to SLA models. This way, you can make a more informed decision when shopping for your first – or next – battery.
This 100Ah battery from VMAX Marine is easy to install and provides a great power source for a trolling motor or any other electrical equipment you might have. The battery uses absorbent glass mat technology or AGM. This speeds up the charging time significantly and makes it far superior to the traditional lead acid products.
The thick external plastic casing is double-edged. On one hand, it makes it very durable by being resistant to vibrations and hardly affected by small dents or scrapes. On the other hand, it also makes it very heavy. The parts and the thick casing add up to 67-70lbs, which can be a heavy for some boats.
Because it is a deep-cycle battery, you don’t have to worry about charging it too often. Continuous use on a boat or any 12V electrical equipment is where this battery shines. However, it can’t give you the power you need to start a boat, so you will need a separate battery for that purpose.
The AGM not only makes it fast-charging, but it also gives the battery a better performance score in the long run. The robust design, the ability to run for hours at a time, and the little maintenance required make up a very cost-effective deep-cycle trolling motor battery for commercial use.
Mighty Max Battery
This product from Mighty Max is a compactly designed lead acid battery. The 35Ah model is powerful enough to pair with a 30lbs trolling motor. The battery itself only weights 23-24lbs, so it’s great to use on smaller boats or to power up any outdoor electrical tools or devices.
A big difference between this battery and the one from VMAX is that this one requires proper maintenance and regular use. It doesn’t stay charged as long, and it also takes a while to get to 100% if you don’t use it often. It also won’t give you more than five hours of continuous use at medium speed.
The use of the AGM technology comes in handy on this lead acid battery, because it makes it safe to use both indoors and outdoors. It’s a very strong design and it’s guaranteed to prevent any sort of leaks. The casing also protects the battery from overheating and freezing, so you don’t have to worry about what time of year you use it outside.
This 12V 35Ah SLA battery is only 7.68” x 5.16” x 7.13”, which means that it can easily fit in any position. Although this is a deep-cycle battery, it will provide enough power to both start a motor and propel the boat. The only downside is that, with it being an SLA model, it does tend to deplete faster.
Mighty Max Battery
The AGM technology with valve-regulated design is used again by Mighty Max for their SLA 12V 55Ah deep-cycle battery. This system is mandatory to ensure the battery is long-lasting and safe to use. Vibrations and small hits will hardly prevent this product from operating at peak performance.
The battery is 9.02” x 5.43” x 9.13”, which makes it a bit larger and heavier than the 35Ah model from Mighty Max. The 38.58lbs weight is justified, though, because there’s no way to fit 55Ah into something smaller. It’s also way lighter than the VMAX model, half the weight for half the power.
The hard exterior casing saves you from a lot of maintenance. You still need to take it out from time to time, but not as often as the 35Ah model. The battery design is slightly better and the power doesn’t get depleted as fast.
As with all models from Mighty Max, you have a wide range of operating temperatures. There is also a high discharge rate and the ability to perform deep-discharge recovery. We expected nothing less from Mighty Max.
Both on paper and in action, this model shows the same results. It’s a superior battery in both life and power to the 35Ah model. It is also more convenient to use than the 100Ah battery from VMAX.
We find that a good trolling motor battery should also be compatible with other devices and equipment. The versatility is often best illustrated by the size rather than the potential power output. An average-sized battery can still offer plenty of kick, as well as a lot of power for more than just a trolling motor.
The two Mighty Max batteries are both SLA, but they are so similar in price that it’s a no-brainer to pick the 55Ah model over the 35Ah. Just 10 extra pounds of weight will deliver so much more power and a longer runtime.
The 100Ah model from VMAX is by far the most powerful on our list, but it’s not an SLA design. While sometimes this can be a good thing, when choosing a trolling motor battery, a 70lbs one is just too inconvenient. It is also double the price of the 55Ah from Mighty Max and just not as versatile.