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LAST UPDATED: July 3, 2019

Best Deep Cycle Battery Chargers: Keep Your Vehicle Batteries Running Longer

Keep the engine running and avoid buying a replacement battery with these deep cycle battery chargers

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PUBLISHED ON July 3, 2019

Vehicle batteries lose their charge just like any standard battery, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy a brand new one. You can instead choose to charge them with a deep cycle battery charger. The chargers work by slowly providing power to the old battery until you’re able to successfully start the engine of the vehicle. Having the best deep cycle battery charger can save you time and money as well. Here are a few of the top-rated battery chargers for you to consider.

  • Best Overall
    NOCO Genius GEN1
    NOCO Genius GEN1
    Summary
    Summary
    One of the best battery chargers that has a rugged, durable design for use outdoors.
    Pros
    Pros
    Simple and easy to set up. Charges a variety of batteries like SLA and gel.
    Cons
    Cons
    Some customers have reported issues or bank failures after a short amount of time.
  • Best Overall
    NOCO Genius GEN1
    NOCO Genius GEN1
  • Best Value
    NOCO Genius G1100 Battery Charger and Maintainer
    NOCO Genius G1100 Battery Charger and Maintainer
    Summary
    Summary
    A versatile and powerful deep cycle battery charger capable of providing power to eight types of batteries, no matter if they’re 12-volt batteries or 24-volt batteries.
    Pros
    Pros
    A great feature is that it can be used as both a charger and maintainer if you ever need to leave it on the battery. Another benefit of this battery charger is its ability to automatically read and adjust to your specific battery.
    Cons
    Cons
    It may take a while to completely charge the battery. You’ll have to be patient if you want your vehicle to run on a fully charged battery. Limited battery compatibility with certain voltages.
  • Best Value
    NOCO Genius G1100 Battery Charger and Maintainer
    NOCO Genius G1100 Battery Charger and Maintainer
  • Honorable Mention
    Schumacher SC1281
    Schumacher SC1281
    Summary
    Summary
    A large powerful deep cycle battery charger with two charging features to keep any vehicle battery running longer.
    Pros
    Pros
    Easily read where your batteries charge is at with the large central screen. It also has an automatic voltage detector and a multi-stage charging.
    Cons
    Cons
    It’s bulky and weighs nearly 13 pounds. The clamps could be stronger.
  • Honorable Mention
    Schumacher SC1281
    Schumacher SC1281

    Vehicle batteries lose their charge just like any standard battery, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy a brand new one. You can instead choose to charge them with a deep cycle battery charger. The chargers work by slowly providing power to the old battery until you’re able to successfully start the engine of the vehicle. Having the best deep cycle battery charger can save you time and money as well. Here are a few of the top-rated battery chargers for you to consider.

    Best Deep Cycle Battery Charger Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    The Noco Genius Gen1 is a multi-bank battery charger that comes in a variety of different bank and amp configurations. As a result, it's easy to find the right model that will meet your energy demands. It can charge a number of lead-acid battery types and other wet, gel, and AGM batteries as well.


    The thing we like the most about this particular charger is the fact that it can survive some harsh conditions. There aren't many times you'll need the waterproof construction, but it's nice to know you can use it in less-than-favorable garage or outdoor conditions that can damage budget options. The only major drawback of this charger is the rate of factory defects people have reported; some units start to develop issues after only a few months of use.

    Best Value

    This versatile deep cycle battery charger’s small compact design makes it easy to take anywhere you need it to fully recharge a battery. Yet, don’t be fooled by its size; it still packs a punch when you need it most. It’s fitted with more than eight total chargers to provide power to nearly any vehicle battery. 


    One feature we found most useful about this battery charger is it can be used as both a charger and a maintainer. It also works on all types of 12-volt and 24-volt lead-acid batteries including deep cycle, wet, gel, AGM, marine, and car batteries. You can also bring back power to any lawn mower or golf cart. 


    Another benefit of this battery is its ability to automatically read and adjust to your specific battery. The advanced charging feature monitors and maintains the battery, leaving you free to plug it in and walk away while it charges.


    Unfortunately, it may take a while for the NOCO Genius G1100 to completely charge a battery. You’ll have to be patient if you want your vehicle to run on a fully charged battery. However, if you are wanting to charge lower than 6-volt, you may be out of luck. It may not work on 6-voltage types or lower.

    Honorable Mention

    Where this deep cycle battery charger really matters is in its size. While it may be larger and heavier, this all adds to its power and charging capabilities. You get two features when using the Schumacher SC1281: a 30-amp quick boost charge or a 100-amp jump start impact to really get your battery back to its peak efficiency.


    It has a larger central screen with giant bold numbers to let you know where the recharging level is on your battery. The charger also comes with a multi-stage charging and an automatic voltage detection to save you time and get your battery running faster. It’s also rather portable, coming with an easy to grip handle.


    However, while it may pack a punch with its size, that is also one of its downfalls. The charger weighs nearly 13 pounds, making it cumbersome to lug around. While the clamps have the opposite effect. They seem flimsy and small compared to the rugged shape of the container.

    Honorable Mention

    The Battery Tender Junior is a six-volt battery charger and maintainer that works on lead-acid batteries, including AGM and gel batteries, in ATVs, passenger cars, motorcycles, boats, and lawnmowers. It features smart charger technology with four-step charging: initialization, bulk charge, absorption mode, and float/maintenance mode. One of the device's top features is a quick-disconnect harness. It also has reversed hook-up protection to ensure it's connected properly before it outputs any power, and the unit is spark-proof for safety. It automatically defaults to float/maintenance mode when the battery is completely charged, and it comes with a five-year warranty, which is longer than what most of its competitors provide. In addition, the company has been around a long time and is very reputable and reliable.


    However, the light may not flash green when the charge reaches 80 percent, even though that's what it promises in the owner's manual. Also, some users complain that it doesn't seem to be as robust as earlier models.

    Honorable Mention

    NOCO products are popular devices, and the Genius G750 is no exception. It's designed to prevent overheating as well as open circuits, short circuits, overcharging, and reverse polarity. It can charge starter and deep-cycle 12-volt and six-volt lead-acid batteries. It can also recover worn-out batteries. You can use this device on boats, cars, trucks, and RVs, as well as smaller vehicles such as motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles. This unit keeps batteries completely charged but won't overcharge them. The device has spark-proof technology and the ability to detect low voltage or damaged batteries. It can charge CANbus systems and emits a high-voltage pulse if the battery has lost capacity or experiences sulfation. It also has a light that conveniently alerts you of the battery level.


    Unfortunately, some users have had issues with this charger not working properly in very cold temperatures. It also may be better at maintaining a charge than it is at charging a dead battery.

    Honorable Mention

    The TowerTop Smart Battery Charger/Maintainer charges 12-volt lead-acid batteries, including AGM and gel batteries. It has an LCD screen with easy-to-read icons that display information such as charging status and battery status. It comes with a Start Aid feature that optimizes the battery in just 120 seconds, which is enough to start most cars. You can also use it on RVs, motorcycles, and lawnmowers. The device has a seven-step charging system: soft start, bulk charge, absorption, battery test, recondition, and floating. This prevents battery damage and overcharging. It also has several safety functions, including over-voltage, overheat, overtime charging, short circuit, and reverse polarity protection. The charger even extends battery life through its battery reconditioning feature. 


    However, this device will not charge a completely dead battery. There have also been some complaints that the clamps aren't designed very well, and it's a little pricey.

    Honorable Mention

    The Optima Digital 1200 Battery Charger is designed for use with 12-volt AGM and flooded Optima batteries and other high-performance AGM batteries. It extends battery life and can be used on deeply discharged batteries. The backlit LCD display provides information such as fault messages, fill rate, battery charging, and mode settings. It also features an integrated LED work light and a USB charging port. The device works faster than rival brands with as much as two times the output. It maximizes a battery's performance without overcharging it. One of the best things about this unit is that it can revive dead Optima batteries through its recovery mode, which can save you a lot of money.


    The biggest downside with this device is its high price tag. In addition, if it's really cold, the display may not function correctly. The plastic case may also break rather easily.

    Honorable Mention

    The Schumacher SP1296 battery charger and maintainer is designed for boat, motorcycle, and power sport batteries. It has a 2A fully-automatic charging and maintaining system, so your stored batteries stay powered up. The device also features a float mode and microprocessor-controlled multi-stage charging, which promotes safety and battery life. Other features include a quick-disconnect harness, an LED indicator, and auto voltage detection, which distinguishes between six and 12-volt batteries. The Schumacher SP1296 is DOE compliant and meets energy efficiency standards. It's small and lightweight enough to mount on the wall and is a cost-effective option that's easy to use.


    One problem with this unit is that it may stop working after a year of use. There have also been some complaints that the instructions are not very good. Another issue is the wire eyelets are a little small for some screw post diameters.

    Honorable Mention

    The STANLEY BC25BS smart battery charger has the ability to charge a vehicle in 90 seconds and is a great alternative to jumper cables. It can be used on boats, ATVs, motorhomes, and other vehicles that sit for long periods of time and have AGM, gel, wet, or marine 12-volt batteries. The device features three-stage charging and automatically goes from fast charging to trickle charging. The LCD screen displays battery status and charging status, and it's ETL-certified for safety and performance. One of the best things about this device is that it charges up to 40 percent faster compared to conventional chargers. With this unit, you can evaluate the battery voltage under load and also determine whether the alternator is working properly. 


    While the product promises it can start your vehicle's battery in 90 seconds, it may require overnight charging to work. Also, the cords don't flex very well when it's cold outside.

    Honorable Mention

    The ADPOW battery charger and maintainer features a seven-stage charging system: desulfation, soft start, bulk charge, absorption, test mode, recondition, and float. It's designed for use with cars, boats, RVs, lawnmowers, etc. It can fully charge drained sealed lead-acid batteries and has an LED indicator that displays battery capacity and other useful information. The charger is small, lightweight, and portable with water- and dust-resistant properties, so you can use it in a variety of places. Overall, it has high-quality components with good fit and finishes. The quick-release connectors are handy, and it comes with terminal cleaners, which are a bonus feature. It also doesn't get too warm during use.


    One issue is that the writing on the device is a little small and can be hard to read. The instructions aren't the best, and it may take a longer time to charge a battery compared to rival devices.

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    Benefits of Deep Cycle Battery Charger

    • Avoid replacing the battery. Replacing an old battery isn’t all that difficult, but it can be a time-consuming process. You may need a certain set of tools or have to find the right angle to reach the dead battery. However, all batteries should be simple to take out by loosening bolts and disconnecting the clamps, but this isn't the case with all vehicles. If you have a deep cycle battery charger, you can skip all of the manual labor and just clamp on the cables and let it go to work. Many even come with extra features such as overcharge protection, quick charging, alternator check, and stage charging.
    • Save time. Aside from swapping out the old battery for a new one, having the best deep cycle battery charger will help you save time. You won’t have to bring it to a shop to have a professional mechanic charge it up. Owning a high-quality deep cycle battery charger will make sure you’re prepared anytime batteries need charging.
    • Safer for your battery. Connecting a deep cycle battery charger to your deep cycle battery is safer and more efficient. They are designed to charge batteries slowly in an effort to not damage the plates. A regular battery charger rapidly charges a battery, not giving a sufficient amount of time for the battery acid to penetrate the plates. Finding a deep cycle battery with a lower amount of amps is best for charging deep cycle batteries.

    Types of Deep Cycle Battery Charger

    Charger

    The name basically covers the gist of this battery charger. This is the most basic form of chargers you can find, They restore and revive the power in your battery, even if it is completely out of juice. These are the most common types of battery chargers, and their universal fit makes them capable of providing the correct amperage to your vehicle no matter if it has a marine battery, AGM battery, gel battery, or any other type of battery.

    Restorer

    As a more expensive type of battery charger, a restorer works by breaking down any contaminants built up in the battery’s cells. These block the battery from receiving power, but with the best-rated restorer is able to clear the cell block out and bring power to your battery once again. They are seen more in professional garages or shops than in the home.

    Maintainer

    As the name suggests, these are built to maintain the charge of a battery. This prevents them from completely discharging all of their energy and work best as quick fixes and may help extend the battery life.

    Top Brands

    Black+Decker

    Perhaps one of the most well-known names when it comes to power tools and more, Black+Decker products can be found at nearly any hardware store. The company was founded in 1910 by S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker in Maryland. One of its more high-quality battery chargers is the Black+Decker Fully Automatic Waterproof Battery Charger.

    NOCO

    NOCO is a well-known brand that 1914. The company has been a trusted name in many mechanic garages due to the product line's durability and resilience. One such charger it makes is the NOCO Genius G1100 Battery Charger and Maintainer.

    Deep Cycle Battery Charger Pricing

    • $50 and under: Battery chargers in this range don’t offer too much in terms of extra gadgets. Most chargers here have lower voltage outputs, so they might not be able to handle large vehicle batteries as well.
    • $50-$100: This is where you’ll find the standard range for car battery chargers. You’ll see larger voltages here plus a few options with extra features and accessories.
    • $100 and above: Higher-end car battery chargers tend to be beefier and come with more voltage plus the added bonus of extra features. 

    Key Features

    Power Capabilities

    Finding a deep cycle battery charger that is able to adapt to fit your specific battery is a must. Not all vehicle batteries operate at the same amperage or amp hours, so the charger has to be able to discern what amps it needs to properly charge a specific battery. Automatic battery chargers or smart chargers have the ability to detect the required amps and distribute the necessary voltage, making the charging process safer and easier. Some chargers also have charge phases that can read and adapt to the battery and adjust the charging mode accordingly.

    Other Considerations

    • Charge Time: Noting the average charging time of a battery is difficult to discern. That all depends on the type of battery and the charger being used. Charging a battery to full can be a lengthy process, taking 2-10 hours. If you are using a smaller deep cycle battery charger, it may take even longer.
    • Ease of Use: Hooking up a battery charger shouldn’t be a difficult process. Generally, you just clamp on the positive and negative clamps, plug the charger into an outlet, and let it go. However, on some chargers, you may have to mess with the settings beforehand. Finding an automatic charger that can adjust accordingly to the battery will save you time and lead to a faster charge.

    Best Deep Cycle Battery Charger Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall
    NOCO Genius GEN1

    The Noco Genius Gen1 is a multi-bank battery charger that comes in a variety of different bank and amp configurations. As a result, it's easy to find the right model that will meet your energy demands. It can charge a number of lead-acid battery types and other wet, gel, and AGM batteries as well.


    The thing we like the most about this particular charger is the fact that it can survive some harsh conditions. There aren't many times you'll need the waterproof construction, but it's nice to know you can use it in less-than-favorable garage or outdoor conditions that can damage budget options. The only major drawback of this charger is the rate of factory defects people have reported; some units start to develop issues after only a few months of use.

    Best Value
    NOCO Genius G1100 Battery Charger and Maintainer

    This versatile deep cycle battery charger’s small compact design makes it easy to take anywhere you need it to fully recharge a battery. Yet, don’t be fooled by its size; it still packs a punch when you need it most. It’s fitted with more than eight total chargers to provide power to nearly any vehicle battery. 


    One feature we found most useful about this battery charger is it can be used as both a charger and a maintainer. It also works on all types of 12-volt and 24-volt lead-acid batteries including deep cycle, wet, gel, AGM, marine, and car batteries. You can also bring back power to any lawn mower or golf cart. 


    Another benefit of this battery is its ability to automatically read and adjust to your specific battery. The advanced charging feature monitors and maintains the battery, leaving you free to plug it in and walk away while it charges.


    Unfortunately, it may take a while for the NOCO Genius G1100 to completely charge a battery. You’ll have to be patient if you want your vehicle to run on a fully charged battery. However, if you are wanting to charge lower than 6-volt, you may be out of luck. It may not work on 6-voltage types or lower.

    Honorable Mention
    Schumacher SC1281

    Where this deep cycle battery charger really matters is in its size. While it may be larger and heavier, this all adds to its power and charging capabilities. You get two features when using the Schumacher SC1281: a 30-amp quick boost charge or a 100-amp jump start impact to really get your battery back to its peak efficiency.


    It has a larger central screen with giant bold numbers to let you know where the recharging level is on your battery. The charger also comes with a multi-stage charging and an automatic voltage detection to save you time and get your battery running faster. It’s also rather portable, coming with an easy to grip handle.


    However, while it may pack a punch with its size, that is also one of its downfalls. The charger weighs nearly 13 pounds, making it cumbersome to lug around. While the clamps have the opposite effect. They seem flimsy and small compared to the rugged shape of the container.

    Honorable Mention
    Battery Tender Junior 6V

    The Battery Tender Junior is a six-volt battery charger and maintainer that works on lead-acid batteries, including AGM and gel batteries, in ATVs, passenger cars, motorcycles, boats, and lawnmowers. It features smart charger technology with four-step charging: initialization, bulk charge, absorption mode, and float/maintenance mode. One of the device's top features is a quick-disconnect harness. It also has reversed hook-up protection to ensure it's connected properly before it outputs any power, and the unit is spark-proof for safety. It automatically defaults to float/maintenance mode when the battery is completely charged, and it comes with a five-year warranty, which is longer than what most of its competitors provide. In addition, the company has been around a long time and is very reputable and reliable.


    However, the light may not flash green when the charge reaches 80 percent, even though that's what it promises in the owner's manual. Also, some users complain that it doesn't seem to be as robust as earlier models.

    Honorable Mention
    NOCO Genius G750 Battery Charger and Maintainer

    NOCO products are popular devices, and the Genius G750 is no exception. It's designed to prevent overheating as well as open circuits, short circuits, overcharging, and reverse polarity. It can charge starter and deep-cycle 12-volt and six-volt lead-acid batteries. It can also recover worn-out batteries. You can use this device on boats, cars, trucks, and RVs, as well as smaller vehicles such as motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles. This unit keeps batteries completely charged but won't overcharge them. The device has spark-proof technology and the ability to detect low voltage or damaged batteries. It can charge CANbus systems and emits a high-voltage pulse if the battery has lost capacity or experiences sulfation. It also has a light that conveniently alerts you of the battery level.


    Unfortunately, some users have had issues with this charger not working properly in very cold temperatures. It also may be better at maintaining a charge than it is at charging a dead battery.

    Honorable Mention
    TowerTop 12V Smart Battery Charger/Maintainer

    The TowerTop Smart Battery Charger/Maintainer charges 12-volt lead-acid batteries, including AGM and gel batteries. It has an LCD screen with easy-to-read icons that display information such as charging status and battery status. It comes with a Start Aid feature that optimizes the battery in just 120 seconds, which is enough to start most cars. You can also use it on RVs, motorcycles, and lawnmowers. The device has a seven-step charging system: soft start, bulk charge, absorption, battery test, recondition, and floating. This prevents battery damage and overcharging. It also has several safety functions, including over-voltage, overheat, overtime charging, short circuit, and reverse polarity protection. The charger even extends battery life through its battery reconditioning feature. 


    However, this device will not charge a completely dead battery. There have also been some complaints that the clamps aren't designed very well, and it's a little pricey.

    Honorable Mention
    Optima Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer

    The Optima Digital 1200 Battery Charger is designed for use with 12-volt AGM and flooded Optima batteries and other high-performance AGM batteries. It extends battery life and can be used on deeply discharged batteries. The backlit LCD display provides information such as fault messages, fill rate, battery charging, and mode settings. It also features an integrated LED work light and a USB charging port. The device works faster than rival brands with as much as two times the output. It maximizes a battery's performance without overcharging it. One of the best things about this unit is that it can revive dead Optima batteries through its recovery mode, which can save you a lot of money.


    The biggest downside with this device is its high price tag. In addition, if it's really cold, the display may not function correctly. The plastic case may also break rather easily.

    Honorable Mention
    Schumacher SP1296 6/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer

    The Schumacher SP1296 battery charger and maintainer is designed for boat, motorcycle, and power sport batteries. It has a 2A fully-automatic charging and maintaining system, so your stored batteries stay powered up. The device also features a float mode and microprocessor-controlled multi-stage charging, which promotes safety and battery life. Other features include a quick-disconnect harness, an LED indicator, and auto voltage detection, which distinguishes between six and 12-volt batteries. The Schumacher SP1296 is DOE compliant and meets energy efficiency standards. It's small and lightweight enough to mount on the wall and is a cost-effective option that's easy to use.


    One problem with this unit is that it may stop working after a year of use. There have also been some complaints that the instructions are not very good. Another issue is the wire eyelets are a little small for some screw post diameters.

    Honorable Mention
    STANLEY BC25BS Smart 12V Battery Charger for Car/Marine Charging

    The STANLEY BC25BS smart battery charger has the ability to charge a vehicle in 90 seconds and is a great alternative to jumper cables. It can be used on boats, ATVs, motorhomes, and other vehicles that sit for long periods of time and have AGM, gel, wet, or marine 12-volt batteries. The device features three-stage charging and automatically goes from fast charging to trickle charging. The LCD screen displays battery status and charging status, and it's ETL-certified for safety and performance. One of the best things about this device is that it charges up to 40 percent faster compared to conventional chargers. With this unit, you can evaluate the battery voltage under load and also determine whether the alternator is working properly. 


    While the product promises it can start your vehicle's battery in 90 seconds, it may require overnight charging to work. Also, the cords don't flex very well when it's cold outside.

    Honorable Mention
    ADPOW 5A 12V Automatic Smart Battery Charger Automotive Maintainer

    The ADPOW battery charger and maintainer features a seven-stage charging system: desulfation, soft start, bulk charge, absorption, test mode, recondition, and float. It's designed for use with cars, boats, RVs, lawnmowers, etc. It can fully charge drained sealed lead-acid batteries and has an LED indicator that displays battery capacity and other useful information. The charger is small, lightweight, and portable with water- and dust-resistant properties, so you can use it in a variety of places. Overall, it has high-quality components with good fit and finishes. The quick-release connectors are handy, and it comes with terminal cleaners, which are a bonus feature. It also doesn't get too warm during use.


    One issue is that the writing on the device is a little small and can be hard to read. The instructions aren't the best, and it may take a longer time to charge a battery compared to rival devices.

    Tips

    • To make sure you get a good clean charge without interference, you should clean the battery terminals before attaching the clamps.
    • Do not clamp the positive cable to the negative terminal or vice versa. They are color-coded for ease of access.
    • Make sure to remove the key from the ignition and switch off all lights and electrical circuits connecting the battery charger.
    • Never put on a battery charger while the battery or the terminals are wet. This can ignite the battery or cause  a spark.

    FAQs

    Q: Why can’t I just jump-start the battery and have it charge that way?

    A: While you do get a small short charge with a jumpstart, it won’t be a permanent solution. You can leave the engine running for a time with a jump, but a battery charger will ensure you won’t have to jump it to get it started.

    Q: Does it matter which terminal I connect first?

    A: You’ll want to connect the clamp to the positive power terminal first. You can tell which one is correct by seeing a plus sign or red color for positive and a minus sign or black color for negative.

    Q: What’s the best way to clean the battery terminals?

    A: The buildup of sulfation occurs over time and may leave behind a powder. To make sure you properly clean away any sulfuric acid residue from the terminals, you should use a wire brush. Afterward, you can spray them with an anti-corrosion spray. Wait until the spray is dry to plug in the battery charger.

    Final Thoughts

    For a powerful and lightweight deep cycle battery charger, check out the NOCO Genius GEN1.

    You can save cash and still get one of the best deep cycle battery chargers with the NOCO Genius G1100 Battery Charger and Maintainer.