The optima brand of batteries is very famous globally – since many know their products to stand the test of time and heavy use. However, is that always the case? Read on for our comparison of the optimaBlueTop and YellowTop to determine the verdict.
All optima batteries will come at a premium cost, which is not surprising considering that they have a very attractive and strong design. However, their strong build allows them to function well in tough conditions (which you probably know because of all the advertisements going on) and their ability to remain reliable over a long period. Check our comparison of two similar types, the BlueTop vs. YellowTop, and see which works for you.
What are the differences between the BlueTop and YellowTop?
|Reserve capacity||100 to 140 minutes||66 to 155 minutes|
|Supply of current||870 to 1125A||575A to 1125A|
|Weight||59.8 lbs.||53.2 lbs.|
|View Price On Amazon||View Price On Amazon|
Optima BlueTop vs. YellowTop – How they compare
Other than that, you will not need to worry about the possibility of acid spills because all Optima batteries are AGM types that will absorb the acid instead. If you might not know how AGM batteries work, they are a type of improvement on the VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid), as they use a mat made from fiberglass installed between the lead plates and absorbs any acid that can spill out. This arrangement allows for better-recharging efficiency, as well as discharging capacity.
Popular uses of the AGM type include power sports, high-performance engine starting, storage batteries, deep cycling, and solar power. The usual absorption range of an AGM battery is about 14.4 to 15V, and the float voltage range will range from 13.2 and 13.8V.
The Optima BlueTop and YellowTop are very similar, as some of their similarities include:
- All are AGM battery types
- Low maintenance
- All use SpiralCell technology – these consist of 2 lead plates, with one being positive and the other being negative
Their differences are minor since they are from the same manufacturer, but they include:
The nature of their use
For BlueTop batteries will mainly function as marine-use batteries. They will come in two varieties: starting batteries and deep cycling types – yes, not all BlueTop batteries are deep cycling types.
YellowTop ones, however, are more of a dual-purpose battery. In terms of their design and functionality, they will be considered more versatile than both blue and red top batteries.
Battery designs (for the terminals)
YellowTop batteries only have SAE terminals, while the BlueTop and YellowTop deep cycle types have threaded studs and SAE posts.
If you are new to the world of batteries, it is important to know that these terminals are the electrical contacts that will connect the battery to the charger, and they come in various sizes and shapes.
For the YellowTop, their SAE terminals are a common design common in past batteries. These consist of 2 lead posts in a shape similar to a cone cut at its top and are on the upper part of the battery. The posts have diameters of slightly different sizes, ensuring that your charging ports will attach to the correct polarity.
On the other hand, a threaded terminal allows you to use a nut to secure the connection between the battery and the charger instead of using a female insert.
These are not as common since they are very prone to damage during installation and transport and are narrower than other battery terminals – and that is likely why the BlueTop batteries have both threaded and SAE terminals to cater to both situations and make their recharge more versatile.
Optima BlueTop vs. YellowTop – A comparison review
Optima BlueTop – Overview and key features
The BlueTop battery is meant for use in marine vessels. It will benefit from being extremely resistant to spillage, vibrations from off-road vehicles and boats, and hydrogen leaks. You will find them in 2 versions – the BlueTop with light grey casing and the BlueTop with dark grey casing.
These versions of the BlueTop have different purposes: the light grey (deep discharge) ones, they will have a ‘D’ beside their name, while the dark grey ones are cranking types – an example would be the D27M, which is a deep discharge type, while the 34M is simply a starting battery (it comes in a dark grey casing).
For the BlueTop batteries with the dark grey casing, you should only limit their use to starting/cranking your vessel. If you have certain extra accessories on your vessel that need a battery to power them, such as LED navigation lights, then the dark grey type can handle that – but nothing too power consumption-intensive. You are better off using the light grey BlueTop battery for power-intensive accessories and applications.
In the case of the BlueTop light grey casing, its deep discharge ability allows it to work as a dual-purpose battery for marine applications, similar to the YellowTop. If you need a large current to start the engine, it can provide as much as you need while functioning well as a deep-discharge battery type.
Because of this, many users will rely on it as a dual-purpose battery for marine purposes (whether as a battery bank or single-use), as well as a fish finder battery, a trolling battery, and a propulsion battery for RVs, boats, electric scooters, ATVs, and so on.
When used as a cranking/starting battery, it will give you less current than the dark grey BlueTop, it is versatile and powerful enough to work well for other uses. In this case, the best batteries for your vehicle or boat in terms of starting power are the RedTop or the BlueTop with the dark grey casing.
When it comes to the models you can find in the BlueTop line of batteries, there are several of them. These include:
Optima BlueTop 816-103 D34M marine battery
BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery
- 12-Volt, 750 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 10 inches x 6 7/8 inches x 7 13/16 inches tall, Weight: 43.5 pounds, Dual SAE & 5/16 inches Stainless Steel Stud Posts. 55 Ah C20 capacity
- Optimal starting power even in bad weather
- Mountable in virtually any position. Works well as
This is a great option if you are searching for a good optima battery to handle deep cycling for your RV. Because it is a dual-purpose unit, it is good for cranking and deep cycling. It also has 870A cranking amps, 750 CCAs, and 870A marine cranking amps.
Optima 8052-161 D31M BlueTop
BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery
- 12-Volt, 900 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 12 13/16" x 6 1/2" x 9 3/8" tall, Weight: 59.8 pounds, Dual SAE & 5/16" Stainless Steel Stud Posts
- Reserve capacity of 155 minutes for constant performance
- Optimal starting power even in bad weather; Fifteen times more resistant to vibration for
This is also great as a double-purpose battery, and it has impressive starting power at 900 CCA. It is also easy to mount whenever needed, and the polypropylene exterior protects it from vibration and spillage.
Optima 8006-006-FFP 34M marine battery
This is among the most powerful Optima BlueTop options you can get, and it even rivals some of the other offerings of redtop batteries when it comes to starting power. It will give you 4 hours of service and works well as a marine starting battery option.
What we like
- Very good quality
- Long battery lifespan
- Very high cold cranking amps
- It has high amounts of cranking power (especially for marine starting options)
- Reliable for all climatic conditions
- Spill-proof design
What we do not like
- Very expensive compared to other options
- It tends to be limited in its application range
What can you see in the Optima BlueTop battery?
- Built primarily for marine use
- Both starting batteries and deep cycling batteries are included in the design.
- The deep cycling ones have a light grey casing, while starting batteries have a dark grey casing.
- AGM type of battery
Optima YellowTop – Overview and key features
Similarly to the BlueTop, the YellowTop has a self-contained package style and a spill-proof design. This makes mounting it much easier than you may expect, regardless of the angle you do it from. Besides that, the resistance to vibration issues is very strong, and the batteries have faster recharge rates than the traditional car battery.
Like the BlueTop, it also comes in an AGM design that makes it's mounting and maintenance easy and boosts its vibration resistance. The deep cycle elements and cranking power are also abundant. It is strong enough to withstand 300 discharge and recharge cycles without breaking down or ruining the internal battery mechanism.
For a general outlook, YellowTop batteries are great when you are:
- Starting a car or marine battery is powerful enough to facilitate quick starts, similar to Redtops and BlueTop starting batteries. However, they are more expensive because of their deep cycling ability.
- Adding something to the electrical system of your boat or car – because some electrical applications will be power-intensive, they need a battery that can handle their demands without forcing you to replenish it frequently or immediately. The reason is that they are a deep cycle type so that they can provide large amounts of their capacity.
- When you are doing winching activities – the YellowTop battery is well suited to winching more than any other optima type. This is because they are strong enough to handle the drainage that winches demand due to their power requirements.
- Dealing with extreme sound and video systems – if you use a monster-scale sound and video system, always use a YellowTop because it is the best one for this purpose.
- It would be best to have a portable welding setup – this battery lends itself well to a welding setup, especially portable ones.
- If you use an electric car, these cars will not need the traditional battery setup.
- If the car does not have a charging system – this case is common for drag racers and those that do not need the complexity or weight of typical charging systems.
As you can see, the YellowTop is much more versatile in its application than the BlueTop. Some of the options you can get include:
Optima 8037-127 D27F
OPTIMA Batteries 8037-127 D27F YellowTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery
- Deep-cycle and cranking power; up to two times longer life
- More than 15 times the vibration resistance
- Completely spill proof, mountable in virtually any position
- Maintenance free and faster recharging
- Optimal starting power; 300+ discharge/recharge cycles
This lends itself well to both boat and car use. Whatever accessories you have that require battery power, it will handle them well, thanks to its high reserve capacity and CCA rating.
Optima D34 8012-021 YellowTop
YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
- 12-Volt, 750 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 10" x 6 7/8" x 7 13/16" tall, Weight: 42.9 pounds, SAE Post
- Reserve capacity of 120 minutes for constant performance
- Optimal starting power even in bad weather
- Fifteen times more resistant to vibration for durability
- This item is not for sale
This employs a less-hybridized nature, making it the best choice if you have a Jeep since it will combine the advantages of lead-acid and AGM batteries.
Optima YellowTop 8040-218 D35 battery
YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
- 12-Volt, 650 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 9 5/16" x 6 13/16" x 7 5/8" tall, Weight: 36.4 pounds, SAE Post,.300+ discharge/recharge cycles
- 98 minutes reserve capacity for constant performance
- Optimal starting power even in bad weather; the positive or red terminal is located to the right
- Fifteen times
This will combine the benefits of all batteries due to their deep cycling and cold cranking amps. Its 620 CCA is impressive and unique for a deep-cycle battery among all similar types.
What we like
- It comes in a compact and lightweight design.
- Easily stores energy without trickle charging necessary
- Dual purpose usage
- Slow drainage
- Easily powers electronics
- Very good cranking
- Long warranty
What we do not like
- It does not fit directly into most battery boxes
What can you see with the Optima YellowTop?
- Handles both deep cycling and cranking applications
- Lifespan is about 2 to 3 years
- Suitable for a wide range of uses
- Reserve capacity ranges from 90 to 200 minutes
- Greater vibration resistance by up to 15 times
- Cold-cranking amps between 400 and 600
Verdict: So which is better? The BlueTop or the YellowTop?
Both the BlueTop and YellowTop are great options in their own right, so your choice will depend on your needs. However, from a general user perspective, the YellowTop is a better option due to its versatility – since the BlueTop can only prove useful for boats.
What Are the Differences Between AGM and Gel Batteries for Cars?
When it comes to car battery options, choosing between AGM and gel batteries can be confusing. AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries provide high performance, are maintenance-free, and have a longer lifespan. On the other hand, gel batteries are resistant to vibration and can be mounted in various positions. Understanding these differences is crucial for making an informed decision about car battery options explained.
Frequently asked questions
What conditions should I use when storing an Optima battery?
Regardless of the battery brand, it is very important to ensure that the voltage never gets less than 12.4 volts when you store it. Moreover, all batteries will self-discharge if you do not use them (although this rate will vary in different models).
Even though Optima batteries have slower discharge rates than the normal car battery, it is still a good idea to use a ‘battery maintainer’, a device that you use to ensure the battery life lasts longer.
Will I require a special charger to recharge an Optima battery?
Not really. Under a normal set of conditions, plenty of automatic battery alternators or chargers can sufficiently charge an Optima (ensure you avoid the ‘gel’ settings in the charger).