What To Look For In A Deep Cycle Battery

Posted September 28, 2015

Deep Cycle Battery Check ListUnlike starter batteries, which provide a burst of initial energy and maintain a sustained level of charge (your car battery is a perfect example), deep cycle batteries are intended to discharge most of their capacity. If you plan on powering an application for an extended period of time, the quality of your deep cycle battery matters.

In recent years, lithium-ion technology has become a popular deep cycle battery choice for marine watercraft, RVs, lighting, and other applications. Its lightweight profile, quick charging speed, and long battery life make it the logical choice.

Consider the following factors of lithium-ion when choosing a deep cycle battery.

Weight & Size

Weight and size are important considerations if you intend to use your deep cycle battery on a watercraft or RV, where you’ll need to run several different electronic applications for extended periods of time.

A lithium-ion deep cycle battery is lightweight and energy-dense compared to its lead-acid counterpart. A lighter, smaller battery gives you more flexibility when considering your application’s total weight and balance.

But don’t be deceived: Although lithium-ion is smaller and lighter, its high energy efficiency means it performs better than lead-acid (and in all instances, better) at a fraction of the size.


A lithium-ion deep cycle battery charges faster than a lead-acid battery. For applications where charge time is critical for use – think all-terrain vehicles (ATV), marine power, and other recreational applications – it’s important to be able to charge and get going as quickly as possible. Lithium allows you to recharge two to three times faster than lead-acid.

Lithium batteries also charge to full in one session, making the charging process easy. Lead-acid batteries must be charged over multiple sessions to reach full capacity, requiring active maintenance.

Life Span & Reliability

Perhaps the greatest advantage of the lithium-ion deep cycle battery is its long, low-maintenance life span. A quality lithium-ion battery doesn’t need to be refilled with water and typically lasts owners up to 10 years, several times the life span of the average lead-acid battery.

Lithium-ion batteries also don't lose trivial amounts of energy to self-discharge when they’re put in storage. If you want to throw the battery in storage for the winter and bring it out again when it’s time to hit the waves or the slopes, you won’t need to waste time nursing it back to health.

More importantly, if you need a backup battery to power an emergency generator, lithium-ion is the reliable choice. With lead-acid alternatives, you risk the possibility of a drained backup battery in times of need.

To ensure quality performance and optimal life span, it’s important that the lithium deep cycle battery you choose is right-sized for your application. Don’t pull the trigger on a new battery until you consult an expert capable of assessing your application’s specifications and recommending the best, most cost-effective option.