Optima vs. Interstate, and the Advantage of AGM Batteries

Optima batteries VS Interstate Comparison

OK, so you need a new battery. Just like with everything, every brand says that they’re the best, and usually list the exact same reasons for why. But when you’re looking at the battery market, Optima stands out as being often quite a bit more expensive than most other brands on the market, including Interstate, which to me represents the Old Guard of the battery industry.

So what separates Optima batteries from more traditional car batteries from brands like Interstate? Well there is a reason why Optima made their name in motorsports, especially in marine and desert off-road circles, where Optima became THE battery to use, and in some circles it’s rare to see someone running something else. That reason is their take on AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery technology, for a long lasting, durable, and maintenance free battery.

What Else Might I Need?

Optima recently released two excellent models to do just that. These aren’t just basic trickle chargers either, they automatically monitor and adjust the voltage applied when charging depending on the charge level and battery health. With this capability, they’re able to charge dead batteries that more basic chargers aren’t able to revive.

Often times other chargers will just have a 2v mode (if that) to revive deeply drained batteries, but sometimes that just won’t cut it, and still requires you to monitor the battery to make sure it’s working correctly as it slowly charges. Otherwise all they give you to go on for the status of the battery is a blinking light. Not very intuitive if you ask me.

Optima Digital 400 Charger:
A 4 amp output charger with LCD display to give you information on the battery’s health, current charge level, and charge rate. The 400 has a small Optima Digital battery chargersfootprint and has a built in hook/stand combo for easy use where it won’t get in the way, and allow for easy monitoring.

Optima Digital 1200 Charger:
This is the big daddy, packing a whopping 12 amps of charging from the main clamps, and then 4 amps for auxiliary charging. The 1200 gives you more control over how you’re charging your battery as well, and Optima is so confident in how these will extend the life of your battery, that they’ll add another year to your warranty if you buy one of their batteries and this charger together.

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  1. Garret , your desire to help others share the passion you have for the automotive world is very refreshing …. the research you do along with your vast knowledge is very much appreciated … thank you for sharing both with all of us … I am glad your company gives you the opportunity to help guide us to make more educated decisions on our vehicles … thanks again… Jim

  2. Has a comparison ever been done with the Odyssey Battery.
    Long story short. I replaced my two year old stock battery on my UTV with an Odyssey Battery. Believe it or not, its now going on 10 years since purchased. Its gone through a lot of full discharge use. Even grounded on it out with a wrench.

    • Hey Tom,

      Odyssey makes great AGM batteries, that’s a good idea to cover in the future! Thanks for the idea.


  3. Several years ago, I put a YellowTop in my Jeep XJ. No winch or other damaging use (I had planned for a winch, but didn’t really have a need.). I bought the battery from the local Sears Auto Center, but by the time the battery failed after a little more than a year, Sears had dropped Optima. No store in town would honor the Optima warranty, since they didn’t sell it. Contacting the company was useless. I would not put much stock in their guarantee. My Wrangler is almost due for a battery replacement. Guess which brand I won’t be considering?


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