The saying goes that “you get what you pay for,” which is the hope of everyone who pays extra for a higher-end product. In the battery world, Odyssey batteries are definitely high-end when it comes to price, with an Odyssey Extreme suitable for a 2007 RAM 2500 (the 65-PC1750T) coming in at $312.16. So what exactly do you get for that price?
If you strip a battery down to basics, the guts of what makes it work are layered metal plates with an electrolyte sandwiched between them. Odyssey brings clever innovations to both the stacked plates and the electrolyte for greater power, lifespan, and robust reliability.
Rather than flooding the interior of the battery with acid paste as in a traditional battery, Odyssey uses Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology where the acid is absorbed on a thin sheet of fiberglass. The fiberglass provides support to the acid paste and allows the plates to be compressed together tighter. In the end, you get a highly robust battery almost immune to vibration with some major advantages when it comes to deep cycling: the Odyssey Extreme can withstand 400 cycles at 80 percent depth of discharge. Also, the AGM design of Odyssey batteries allows them to be completely sealed, which eliminates the risk of acid damage to chrome or paint, and allows you the flexibility to mount them sideways without fear of a leak. And where sealed AGM usually loses power because of the area that they have to leave open for gasses to form and be recombined into the electrolyte, Odyssey’s recipe for the lead plates cranks back up the power.
Odyssey’s lead plates are made with pure, unalloyed lead. This means that the individual plates can be thinner; remember, more plates and more surface area equals more power to turn that engine over. This is also why Odyssey builds its batteries with a flat stack of plates rather than packing spiral wound cylinders into the battery case. Think of drink cans in your fridge and the little gaps that form between the cans, no matter how you arrange them. These gaps in more traditional batteries are wasted space that Odyssey packs full of flat sheets of virgin lead to deliver more power in the same volume. How much power? The Odyssey Extreme packs 1750 hot cranking amps and a whopping 950 cold cranking amps to get you reliably started even in the negative temperatures.
So the batteries kind of fill two separate roles. They perform well as a deep cycle battery for a long work life with many recharge cycles running all your electronic doodads: lights, winches and whatnot. They have the cold cranking amps to start reliably with plenty of power, and they are vibration-resistant and sealed so you don’t have to worry about acid spills and ruined paint. In all, there is a lot to love about these batteries. Is it enough bang for your buck to justify that $300+ price tag? If you love your electronics and live in an icebox like southeastern Idaho or Montana, they just might be what you’ve been looking for. —Joseph Bjork, DT Magazine
Product Score: 90