The Best Kayak Trolling Motor Battery
Electric trolling motors are commonly used as means of propulsion not only for ocean-going fishing kayaks but also for smaller, leisure fresh-water kayaks.
Having a small trolling motor and its battery on the vessel with limited payload and limited suitable storage space may cause several issues, requiring special care when trying to find 'the best' kayak trolling motor battery.
Kayak Trolling Motor Power Requirements
Electric trolling motors used for kayaks are very similar to electric trolling motors commonly found on larger vessels like boats, pontoon, and even smaller yachts, but, they are smaller, lighter, have shorter shafts and usually feature not so large maximum currents.
While larger 12V electric trolling motors feature maximum currents in the 50-60 Amps range, kayak electric trolling motors usually feature maximum currents in the 25-40 Amps range. However, some people mount two smaller trolling motors on their kayaks for several reasons like symmetric thrust, symmetric weight distribution, more reserve power for emergencies, and similar. In such situations, a pair of smaller trolling motors may easily draw 50-70 Amps at full throttle.
Duration of powered trip also varies significantly - some people require not more than 10 minutes of powered trip between battery recharges, while other people require their battery to be able to provide few hours of operation between the battery recharges.
So different requirements also mean that the recommended batteries differ greatly in size (capacity).
Lead-Acid vs Lithium Trolling Motor Batteries
Lead-acid batteries are rather cheap batteries, they can withstand relatively large discharge currents, they are very reliable and are used for a long time.
Lead-acid batteries may be wet/flooded, gel-cell and AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries. Since wet/flooded batteries are not maintenance-free batteries and they are not spill-proof batteries, they should not be used on the vessels like kayaks.
Gel-cell and AGM batteries are vibration very resistant batteries, can be drained down to 100% DoD for 200-300 times, down to 80% DoD for 300-400 times, and down to 50% for 400-900 times, depending on the battery model.
Also, the capacity of the lead-acid batteries is given for the 20h discharge period. When the budget-friendly lead-acid battery is being discharged with 1h rate, actual capacity drops down to 55-60% of the nominal capacity and when the premium lead-acid battery is being discharged for 1h, actual capacity drops down to 65-75%.
On the other hand, lithium batteries support a much larger number of charging/discharging cycles - up to 2000-3000 cycles down to 100% DoD, up to 5000 cycles down to 80%, etc. Also, lithium batteries don't lose their capacity as the discharge current is increased - for example, 1h capacity is often very close to 20h capacity (sometimes even 95-99%).
Maximum charging currents of lithium batteries allow these batteries to be fully recharged in 2-3 hours, without stressing the batteries too much.
In the end, for the same weight, lithium batteries may store up to 4-5x more energy, saving plenty of weight.
However, lithium batteries must be recharged using battery chargers intended only for lithium batteries or with smart AGM battery chargers that feature charging mode only for lithium batteries.
Also, the initial price of lithium batteries is much higher than the price of gel-cell or AGM lead-acid batteries. But, since lithium batteries support a much larger number of deep charge/discharge cycles, in the long run, lithium batteries are actually cheaper than lead-acid batteries.
Recommended Kayak Trolling Motor Batteries
Considering such different requirements for trolling motor batteries, battery capacities may range from 5-10Ah to 100+Ah.
For smaller kayak trolling motors (25-30 Amps max.) that must operate 10-15 minutes max. between recharges, smaller 8-18 Ah batteries are more than large enough.
Such AGM batteries are cheap and despite being lead-acid batteries, they are relatively light, weighing 5-12 pounds. However, if even that is too heavy, lithium batteries are 2-4x lighter, especially considering that large discharge currents decrease the effective capacity of lead-acid batteries significantly.
Note: some 10-15 Ah lithium batteries are NOT able to provide continuous currents in 20-30 Amps range, so before ordering such batteries, check their maximum continuous discharge current.
The following comparison chart lists some of the most popular small AGM and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries used on kayaks as fish finder batteries and as small trolling motor batteries for short trips - a really short trips (10-20 minutes maximum).
|Brand/Battery||Capacity||Size (HxLxW)||Weight||Amazon Link|
|Miady||6 Ah (5h)||3.54x2.75x4.33 inches||1.65 pounds||Miady 12V 6Ah LiFePO4 Battery|
|Chrome Battery||7 Ah||3.72x5.94x2.56 inches||4.1 pounds||Chrome Battery 12V 7AH Battery|
|ExpertPower||7 Ah||3.70x5.94x2.56 inches||4.52 pounds||ExpertPower 12V 7Ah Battery|
|Universal Power Group||7 Ah||3.86x5.94x2.56 inches||4.80 pounds||UPG 12V 7Ah SLA Battery|
|Universal Power Group||8 Ah||3.94x5.94x2.56 inches||4.96 pounds||UPG 12V 8Ah Battery With Charger|
|Universal Power Group||9 Ah||4.06x5.94x2.56 inches||5.17 pounds||UPG 12V 9AH Battery With Charger|
|ExpertPower||12 Ah||3.9x5.94x3.86 inches||7.61 pounds||ExpertPower 12V 12 Ah Battery|
|Mighty Max||12 Ah||4.00x5.94x3.88 inches||8.38 pounds||Mighty Max 12V 12Ah Battery|
|EarthX ETX36C||12.4 Ah (1h)||5.9x3.4x4.5 inches||3.9 pounds||EarthX ETX36C LiFePO4 Battery|
|Chrome Battery||15 Ah||3.74x5.94x3.86 inches||9.00 pounds||Chrome Battery 12V 15Ah Battery|
|Mighty Max||15 Ah||3.95x5.94x3.89 inches||9.60 pounds||Mighty Max 12V 15Ah Battery|
|PowerStar||15 Ah||6.6x7.13x3.00 inches||12.5 pounds||PowerStar 12V 15Ah Battery|
|Universal Power Group||15 Ah||3.95x5.94x3.89 inches||9.60 pounds||UPG 12V 15Ah Battery|
|Odyssey PC680||16 Ah||7.5 x 7.15 x 3 inches||15.4 pounds||Odyssey PC680 Battery|
|ExpertPower||18 Ah||6.57x7.12x3.03 inches||11.68 pounds||ExpertPower 12V 18 Ah Battery|
|Mighty Max ML18-12||18 Ah||6.57x7.13x3.01 inches||11.90 pounds||Mighty Max 12V 18Ah Battery|
Note: Amazon affiliate links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.
These smaller batteries are good only for short trips. For longer voyages, much larger batteries are required.
The most popular batteries for kayaks are 100Ah batteries, both AGM/Gel-cell and lithium batteries.
Such AGM/Gel-cell batteries may provide, for example, 30 Amps for at least 2 hours with some energy left for safety reasons, while lithium 100Ah 12V batteries may provide 30 Amps for at least 3 hours, with some energy left for safety reasons.
The most popular 100Ah batteries are given in the following comparison chart:
|Model||Battery Type||Goup Size||Cell Type||Ah||CCA||MCA||RC||Weight (lbs/kg)|
|AIMS 12V 100Ah AGM||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||-||-||180+||70.5 lbs; 31.9 kg|
|AIMS 12V 100Ah LiFePO4||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||30.2 lbs; 13.7 kg|
|Battle Born 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Battery||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||29 lbs; 13.2 kg|
|Bioenno Power BLF-12100WS||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||28.1 lbs; 12.8 kg|
|Exide XMC-31||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||925||1110||200||68 lbs; 31 kg|
|ExpertPower EP12100||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||29.7 lbs; 13.5 kg|
|ExpertPower EXP100||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||-||-||-||63.94 lbs; 30 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL100||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||240||28 lbs; 12.7 kg|
|Lifeline GPL-31T||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||105||600||750||195||69 lbs; 31.5 kg|
|Lifeline GPL-31XT||Deep Cyle||31||AGM||125||650||800||230||74 lbs; 33.5 kg|
|Miady LFP100AH||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||28.9 lbs; 13.1 kg|
|Mighty Max ML100-12 AGM||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||100||-||-||-||63.9 lbs; 29 kg|
|Mighty Max ML100-12Li||Deep Cycle||30H||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||29.5 lbs; 13.4 kg|
|Mighty Max ML110-12 AGM||Deep Cycle||30H||AGM||110||-||-||-||63.9 lbs; 29 kg|
|NorthStar ELT-AGM31||Dual Purpose||31||AGM||100||925||1050||190||65.7 lbs; 29.8 kg|
|NorthStar NSB-AGM31M||Dual Purpose||31||AGM||103||1150||1370||220||75 lbs; 34 kg|
|Odyssey 31M-PC2150||Dual Purpose||31||AGM||100||1150||1370||205||77.8 lbs; 35.3 kg|
|Powermall LFP12100||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||100||-||-||-||58 lbs; 26.3 kg|
|POWERSTAR Group 27 12V 100Ah||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||104||-||-||180+||66.1 lbs; 30.0 kg|
|Renogy RBT100LFP12S-G1||Deep Cycle||27||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||26 lbs; 11.8 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-AGM12-100||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||104||-||-||180+||66.1 lbs; 30 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-GEL12-100||Deep Cycle||31||Gel||100||-||-||~180||63.9 lbs; 29 kg|
|RUIXU RX-LFP-4S-100B||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||33.1 lbs; 15 kg|
|Trojan SCS150||Deep Cycle||24||Flooded Cell||100||530||650||150||50 lbs; 22.6 kg|
|Trojan T31||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||600||720||177||69 lbs; 31.5 kg|
|UPG UB121000||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||100||-||-||-||64 lbs; 29 kg|
|UPG UB121100||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||110||-||-||-||65.7 lbs; 29.8 kg|
|VMAXTANKS SLR125||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||125||-||-||260||75 lbs; 34 kg|
|VMAXTANKS MR127-100||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||100||-||800||200||68 lbs; 30.8 kg|
|VMAXTANKS MR137-120||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||120||-||900||230||75 lbs; 34 kg|
|VMAXTANKS XTR27-110||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||110||660||880||220||68 lbs; 30.8 kg|
|Weize LFP12100 AGM||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||-||-||-||60 lbs; 27.2 kg|
|Weize LFP12100 Gel||Deep Cycle||31||Gel||100||-||-||-||67 lbs; 30.4 kg|
|WindyNation BAT-NSAP12-100||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||106||-||-||~180||67 lbs; 30.4 kg|
|XS Power XP3000||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||120||-||-||240||73 lbs; 33.1 kg|
Note: Amazon affiliate links in the chart open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.
As one can see, the Reserve Capacity of these AGM/Gel-cell batteries ranges from ~180 minutes to 230 minutes, while lithium batteries feature Reserve Capacity around 240 minutes.
However, 100Ah 12V AGM/Gel-cell batteries weigh 60-80 lbs (~27-36 kg) and that is a lot for vessels like kayaks.
Similar 100Ah 12V lithium batteries weigh 28-32 pounds (~12.7-14.5 kg) and considering more efficient discharge characteristics, the actual weight difference ratio is ~3-4x.
Best Kayak Lithium Batteries
Kayak lithium batteries are used more and more instead of AGM/Gel-cell batteries because of the weight savings, a much larger number of supported charging/discharging cycles, faster recharging, etc.
As such, lithium trolling batteries used on kayaks commonly range from 50Ah to 260Ah and even more.
Most popular kayak lithium trolling batteries are given in the following comparison chart:
|Model||Battery Type||Group Size||Cell Type||20h Capacity (Ah)||CCA||MCA||RC||Weight (lbs/kg)|
|AIMS Power LFP12V100A||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||30.2 lbs; 13.7 kg|
|Battle Born 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Battery||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||29 lbs; 13.2 kg|
|Bioenno Power BLF-12100WS||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||28.1 lbs; 12.8 kg|
|Eastup 1250750||Dual Purpose||-||LiFePO4||50||750||930||-||15.43 lbs; ~7.0 kg|
|ExpertPower EP12100||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||29.7 lbs; 13.5 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL50-50AH||Deep Cycle||21||LiFePO4||50||-||-||120 min||15 lbs; 6.8 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL80-80AH||Deep Cycle||27||LiFePO4||80||-||-||190 min||28 lbs; 12.8 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL100-100AH||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||240 min||31 lbs; 14 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL260-260AH||Deep Cycle||8D||LiFePO4||260||-||-||620 min||80 lbs; 36.24 kg|
|Miady LFP100AH||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||28.9 lbs; 13.1 kg|
|Mighty Max ML100-12Li||Deep Cycle||30H||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||29.54 lbs; 13.4 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-LFP12-50||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||50||-||-||-||14.77 lbs; 6.7 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-LFP12-100||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||28.1 lbs; 12.73 kg|
|Renogy RBT100LFP12S-G1||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||26 lbs; 11.8 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-LFP12-170||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||170||-||-||-||46.3 lbs; 20.97 kg|
|RUIXU RX-LFP-4S-100B||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||33.1 lbs; 15 kg|
Note: Amazon affiliate links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date prices and offers.
For example, GreenLiFE GL50-50AH features an RC value of 120 minutes - it can power 25 Amp motor for up to 2 hours and it weighs only 15 pounds (slightly less than 7 kg).
On the other hand, larger GreenLiFE GL260-260AH features an RC value of 620 minutes, weighs like the heaviest 100Ah class AGM batteries, but it may power 25 Amps motor for 10+ hours.
Long Story Short: It is rather hard to define 'the best' kayak trolling motor battery - when trying to find 'the best' one, always consider your own needs and personal preferences, but also, don't forget your budget - excellent, high capacity lithium battery may cost initially 3-4 times more than similar AGM battery.
But, thanks to their features, lithium batteries are even cheaper in the long run.
And, whatever you do, stay safe.