Car batteries are not something you purchase daily. Therefore, you must be wise when choosing the right one for a hassle-free and confident ride.
Although numerous car battery brands exist on the market today, Odyssey and Optima are immensely popular among consumers, and for a good reason.
They make up for durable, robust, and reliable batteries, giving optimal power to your vehicle.
But the rising popularity of both batteries gave birth to another controversy. Consumers have a hard time choosing between Odyssey vs. Optima batteries.
We’ll uncover the features of both batteries in the guide below to help you make a suitable choice.
About Odyssey Batteries
The Odyssey batteries are manufactured by EnerSys Energy Products Inc, an industrial technology leader in chargers, batteries, and accessories for automotive, military, and aerospace applications.
EnerSys has manufacturing sites in 17 countries and service facilities worldwide. The 100+ years of experience gives the company an edge over its competitors.
It has been successfully producing powerful marine, automotive, and heavy-duty equipment.
The company manufactures Odyssey batteries in compliance with strict quality standards. The primary global facilities include:
- Newport, Wales, UK
- Warrensburg, Missouri, USA
- Arras, France
- Springfield, Missouri, USA (2 facilities)
The brand is known for its quality and reliability, and someone who has used Odyssey batteries knows it right. Most batteries, for instance, fail to work in colder climates. Odyssey, however, operates like a snap even at -40F. Plus, it doesn’t require long hours of charging to get it working.
About Optima Batteries
Optima introduced its first lead acid batteries for military and commercial applications and powerful AGM automotive batteries in 1970.
With over 40 years of experience in the field, the brand continues to please its consumers by manufacturing powerful and high-performance batteries.
Optima took battery manufacturing to another level with its SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY, which immobilizes the battery’s internal parts for heat resistance and vibration.
Optima also launched its first digital battery charger and maintainer.
Fast forward to 2017, when the brand added more sizes to its existing product lines to cater to consumers seeking efficient and best-in-class batteries.
The Optima batteries have a 2x longer life and function optimally even at extreme temperatures. So, bad weather won’t stop you from taking your vehicle out.
Odyssey Vs. Optima: Primary Differences
Odyssey and Optima are high-end battery brands and provide consumers with an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM). Both batteries have a sealed system for better resilience to shock and vibration.
Plus, they come with excellent Cold Cranking AMPs (CCA) ratings and Reserve Capacity (RC), which is a plus. Besides, their tolerance for deep discharge is more than standard batteries.
However, you’d need to consider essential features by the end of the day when replacing your car’s battery. A look at the differences between both batteries will help you see what makes each unique.
Perhaps nobody likes to pay a hefty amount for batteries only to replace them after a few months. We all prefer batteries that last long and give us value for the money.
Fortunately, Odyssey and Optima batteries have a long life span. They can last for up to 8 years.
However, the official website of Optima batteries mentions that they last twice as long as traditional batteries, which has been proven in real-world and lab testing applications.
The thing is your usage and maintenance habits significantly impact the battery’s lifespan. So, we cannot say that Odyssey batteries are any less durable than the latter.
Both batteries have an excellent lifespan so long as you don’t overuse them and follow good maintenance habits.
Cold Cranking Power
Cold Cranking Power refers to the battery’s ability to start the car’s engine in extremely cold weather.
The snowy season has tested the patience of many drivers. Even after taking essential steps to defrost the car’s external components and get the vehicle working, the engine refuses to start.
Cold weather thickens the engine oil and increases friction, making it harder for the motor to spin.
At this point, a battery with high CCA ratings would perform fairly well to start your car. However, this varies per the battery type.
For instance, Odyssey 31M has an 1150 CCA rating, whereas Optima D31M has a 900 CCA rating. On the other hand, Odyssey 32 PC1500 has an 850 CCA rating, while the D34 Optima battery has a rating of 750 CCA.
Vibration resistance signifies a battery’s ability to work in an environment where vibration is needed. Therefore, a battery must be highly resistant to vibration to operate smoothly.
Odyssey battery’s technical manual highlights its batteries are equipped with superior vibration-resistant technology. The company’s batteries have passed rigorous tests demonstrating their incredible vibration and ruggedness tolerance.
On the other hand, Optima highlight that their batteries have 15 times more vibration resistance than regular batteries due to their SPIRALCELL Technology.
So, we can say that both batteries provide optimal levels of vibration resistance.
However, you may see a difference in Group 34, where Optima performs slightly better than Odyssey, with 2.5 internal resistance. Odyssey’s group 34 has a relatively lower internal resistance of 2.2.
Charging time refers to the time a battery takes to charge fully. The charging time of Odyssey batteries is 6-10 hours, while that of Optima batteries is 6-12 hours.
Overall, we do not see a noticeable difference in the charging time of both batteries.
A battery’s tolerance to temperature makes a significant difference. After all, everyone wants their batteries to perform well in extremely hot or cold temperatures.
According to the Odyssey Manual, the operating temperature of its batteries is -40F – 176F, which is fairly good because, generally speaking, 140F is considered too hot for regular batteries.
So, we see Odyssey batteries are slightly more resistant to hot temperatures than Optima batteries. Likewise, the latter is slightly more resistant to cold temperatures than the former.
You can decide the winner based on the average temperature range of your region.
No car owner likes batteries that require frequent maintenance, but unfortunately, we cannot skip this part.
Experts recommend maintaining the car battery every 7-8 months. The official Odyssey battery manual highlights the battery’s maintenance steps. You can visit the official page to check them out.
Optima battery brand, however, surprises consumers by manufacturing maintenance-free batteries. The brand highlights that adequate charging will keep the batteries from corroding or leaking.
So, the tag “Truly Maintenance Free” makes Optima batteries low maintenance compared to the former, which require regular maintenance for optimal functioning.
Price is yet another factor to consider when purchasing batteries. Of course, the car gas and maintenance squeeze your budget, and you cannot afford to lose more money on the batteries.
Fortunately, both batteries are fairly priced, but Optima is slightly more affordable than the Odyssey batteries of the same capacity and size. In fact, they’re up to $50 cheaper than Odyssey batteries. Besides, Optima offers free replacement duration, which is another plus.
So, if you’re tight on the budget, perhaps you’d choose Optima – a cost-effective alternative.
Both Optima and Odyssey batteries perform fairly well and last longer. Optima uses Spiral Gem technology for AGM batteries, while Odyssey uses advanced Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology for its AGM batteries.
Although both patented technologies are reliable, Odyssey’s Thin Plate Pure lead is more durable with a better average lifespan. The brand further dropped the self-discharge rate in its TPPL-equipped batteries.
Model and Group Size (moto)
Optima and Odyssey batteries are available in different models and group sizes. Some of the best Optima battery models include:
- Optima Red Top
- Optima Yellow Top
- Optima Blue Top
All three battery types are manufactured for different applications. For instance, Blue Top is designed specifically for boat batteries – you can use them for your car, too.
Odyssey batteries also come in various models. Some top-selling models include:
- Odyssey PC680
- Odyssey PC925
- Odyssey PC545
You’ll also find them in different group sizes. Make sure you choose the correct group size because it decides the right fit for your vehicle. Put simply, the battery’s group size must be compatible with your car’s installation space group size.
No battery company today produces batteries less than 12 volts; the same goes for Optima and Odyssey batteries. 12 Volts is the standard voltage for any car battery in today’s time. Therefore, the brands ensured to meet the standard requirements.
Odyssey batteries generally have a 12.85 battery voltage. On the other hand, the normal voltage range of Optima batteries is around 13-13.2 volts. A few Optima batteries, in fact, have a maximum voltage of 15.6 volts.
So, Optima is a winner in terms of voltage. If you prefer batteries with high voltages, perhaps you’d prefer Optima over Odyssey.
Reserve Capacity Rating
Reserve Capacity rating points toward the reserve capacity of a battery. The higher the rating, the longer the battery can sustain the voltage. Here’s a quick example.
Say a battery’s reserve capacity measures 25A= 160 minutes. This signifies that at 25C, the battery will supply 25 amps for 160 minutes before dropping the voltage.
Because Odyssey batteries have advanced Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology, their reserve capacity is higher than Optima.
However, this cannot be said for all Optima batteries, as some may have higher RC ratings. But overall assessment concludes Odyssey as the winner.
What Makes Odyssey Better than Optima?
The primary reasons that make Odyssey better than Optima include the following:
- The Odyssey batteries have a better Reserve Capacity Rating
- They are more resistant to hot temperatures, and their tolerance to cold temperatures is fairly good, too
- The charging time of Odyssey batteries (6-10 hours) is lesser than Optima (6-12)
- The superior vibration-resistant technology and rigorous testing make them highly tolerant to vibration
- Odyssey’s commercial warranty (4 years) is more than Optima’s (3 years)
What Makes Optima Better than Odyssey?
The primary reasons that make Optima better than Odyssey are addressed below.
- Optima is more affordable than Odyssey batteries of the same size and capacity.
- The 13-13.2, and in some cases, 15.6 voltage capacity of Optima batteries certainly outshines the 12-volt Odyssey batteries.
- The Maintenance Free tag of Optima batteries makes them a better alternative to Odyssey, which requires maintenance to keep them up and running.
- The operational capability of Optima is slightly more in colder temperatures, -50, compared to Odyssey, with -40F workability.
Who Should Purchase Odyssey?
Odyssey is suitable for you if you seek batteries with better reserve capacity. Besides, its resistance to hot and cold temperatures makes it ideal for people who live in areas with unbearably hot and cold climates.
Odyssey also offers a pretty good charging time of 6-10 hours. Also, the battery brand boosts customer satisfaction with a 4-year commercial warranty.
In the event you run into problems with the battery within 4 years, you can contact the manufacturer, and they’ll address your issue immediately.
Who Should Purchase Optima?
If you’re looking for a high-voltage battery that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket due to its hefty costs, you cannot go wrong with Optima.
They are also ideal for people who do not have much time for the upkeep of batteries because Optima are low-maintenance.
Plus, if you live in colder climates, know that Optima batteries will function optimally even at -50F.
Purchasing an efficient car battery is a critical decision and certainly not one to be overlooked. An unreliable, low-quality battery reduces your car’s performance and creates unwanted hassles.
To avoid this, make sure you learn about the specifications of the battery you’re willing to purchase. We explained the features of Odyssey vs. Optima batteries to help you choose the right one for your vehicle.
Both batteries have their pros and cons, and you can choose based on your preferences.