The best onboard battery charger is supposed to, more than anything else, feature advanced technology to help make important automatic charging decisions even when it comes to basic and simple functioning and one such unit is the NOCO Genius G4 6V/12V 4.4A 4-Bank UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger. This true genius of a charger is built with one of the most cutting-edge technologies with the capacity to charge numerous fully drained lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries up to 40 Amp-Hour. To our qualified and experienced research team, this best onboard battery charger proved to be well made and well designed with flawless technical and functional prospects.
This best onboard battery charger has the ability to manage marine, powersport, automotive, RV, lawn and garden as well as deep-cycle batteries. Our testers were quite impressed with this piece of unit as it can charge twice as fast as any other chargers on our list of the best onboard battery charger. In fact, this best onboard battery charger can also repair faulty batteries and, unlike the rest, we were able to use the charger with micro-hybrid start-stop automobiles as well as CANBUS electrical systems. The pioneering technology of the NOCO Genius G4, in the form of an onboard microcomputer that aids in monitoring battery operations for better charging, along with spark-proof mechanics, overcharge preservation, and reverse polarity, is what made this best onboard battery charger our top pick.
If our best pick is unavailable or if you simply want to purchase a more fancy unit, then we would recommend the MinnKota MK 330D On-Board Battery Charger. It costs a little more than the NOCO Genius G4, so we don’t need to tell you that it inevitably is one of the best onboard battery chargers on the market. It is a 3 bank and 10 amps per bank onboard marine battery charger that efficiently performs 3-stage operation regulated by a digital microprocessor for better performance and charge allocation. This best onboard battery charger is a tad extravagantly priced because it’s packed with all basic as well as special features like automatic temperature compensation, battery equalization, automatic multi-stage charging, and low-line voltage compensation combined with a waterproof and corrosion-resistant design. We simply cherished the status lights as they proved to be immensely helpful. Even though this best onboard battery charger is heavy for small boats due to its large size, we had a pretty phenomenal experience while testing this unit. You will be surprised at how great this best onboard battery charger is at maintaining the three batteries all the time and how it does so quietly, efficiently, and without causing a problem.
Now, what’s better than investing in an affordable product that performs all the basic functions as efficiently as any other best or top pick combined with a pretty standard 5-year warranty as well? Nothing’s better than this, especially if you’re on the hunt for the best onboard battery charger. Yet another NOCO Genius product, the NOCO Genius GENM2 8 Amp 2-Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger is our pocket-friendly pick for people who want to get a decent combination of performance with price. This best onboard battery charger is entirely automatic and super safe to regularly attach to wet and gel cell batteries along with AGM batteries too. Upon testing this economical best onboard battery charger thoroughly, we discovered that the charging capacity is not at all compromised. In fact, it charges twice as fast as any other standard battery charger, just like our best pick, the NOCO Genius G4. This best onboard battery charger is a smart device that has the ability to automatically restore severely discharged and sulfated batteries with the help of the remarkable pulse charging technology. With an 8 amp working capacity and multiple safety components, such as spark proof and protection against reverse polarity, overheat, overcurrent, and open and short circuits, this affordable best onboard battery charger has some serious technology inbuilt into it that we were truly impressed with.
What you should know before reading on
Having the best onboard battery charger keeps valuable power within your reach. It is stocked with power quite generously in the three separate banks, which makes charging pretty convenient. The best onboard battery charger can function on a standard 110V household plugin. All you have to do is plug in the thing and it will generate power into all three banks. As and when one bank is done charging, the best onboard battery charger automatically moves on to the other two, which means that even if you leave it on for a very long time, the device will turn off the charge on its own once all three banks are packed with a full charge. And that is how easy it is to use the best onboard battery charger whenever you want without having to worry about being stranded without a full charge ever again.
Why do you need the best onboard battery charger
Considering the amount of accessories one has on his/her boat and the amount of power these accessories consume, it is always a better idea to equip the boat with the best onboard battery charger. Boat accessories hugely depend on and exhaust the boat’s cranking motor, which can be quite conveniently and regularly charged if you have access to the best onboard battery charger. With this valuable element on your boat, you need not worry about using those lights when you’re on your boat at night or using the radio, fish finder, and other such boat appliances. The more accessories you own on your boat, the more the chances of your motor running out of charge. So investing in the best onboard battery charger may not be such a bad idea if you like to boat-accessorize.
What to look for in the best onboard battery charger
The only climatic requirement that the best onboard battery charger must fulfill is resistance to moisture. The best onboard battery chargers are manufactured in such a way that they can inevitably withstand a significantly high amount of moisture as well as humidity level. So they are all built with at least an average moisture-resistant quality so as to avoid untimely breakdown when exposed to wet environmental conditions. So the best way to tackle this issue is to purchase the best waterproof onboard battery charger. That way, even when your charger is in direct contact with water, which is highly unlikely, it will not cease to function and leave you stranded in the middle of the lake.
It is very important and absolutely necessary to examine the multiple battery specifications when buying the best onboard battery charger.
• The type or chemistry of your batteries.
• The Amp-Hour level.
• Battery voltage. A single 12v battery along with two 12v batteries arranged in parallel should be charged with a 12v battery charger while two 12v batteries arranged in series need a 24v battery charger. Remember that if you happen to charge a 12v battery with a 24v battery charger, you will end up damaging the battery and/or the charger or worst, cause a fire or explosion.
• Hybrid battery so you can use it for your boat as well as for your home.
• The discharge score of the best onboard battery charger should be nothing less than 50%. Don’t worry about it being heavy as that’s normal with the best onboard battery chargers.
This factor plays a very important role, which is why most of the best onboard battery chargers are now built with computer processors. This smart technology is capable of marking the condition of the batteries and automatically adjusting their output based on its state so as to avoid overheating or overcharging. The best onboard battery charger with a microprocessor, which also acts as a battery tender in order to generate the essential charge to the batteries, has the ability to keep the batteries completely charged even during a lengthy span of downtime without overcharging.
Battery Banks and Amperage
It is quite commonly known that any best 2 bank onboard battery charger is only used for 2 battery systems. But multiple bank chargers have the capability of working with batteries equal to or less than the amount of banks. And as far as battery banks are concerned, don’t forget to ensure that the voltage of your batteries is same as the charger’s, otherwise you’ll end up buying an incompatible battery charger.
To determine the battery amperage, you can do a simple calculation. Note the exact Amp-Hour output rating of the battery and 10% of that amount will give you the accurate amperage required in order to recharge efficiently. And if you have more than one battery, then calculate the amperage by adding all the Amp-Hours of the batteries and multiplying that value by 10%.
Three 105 Amp-Hour batteries will have an amperage of (105 x 3 = 315) x 10% = 31.5 amps.
The best pick: NOCO Genius G4 6V/12V 4.4A 4-Bank UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger
NOCO Genius G4 6V/12V 4.4A 4-Bank UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger
The NOCO Genius G4 6V/12V 4.4A 4-Bank UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger is considered to be the most breakthrough and reliable battery charger on the market. In testing, we discovered that this best onboard battery charger charges twice as fast as the rest of the chargers on our list. We used it as a permanently installed charger in a backup battery-generated sump pump installation and were quite impressed with the results. We liked how this best onboard battery charger pointed out the percent charge on the batteries and also indicated the decline in charge when the backup pump worked through the run cycles and drained the batteries. We were able to flawlessly control powersport, deep-cycle, lawn and garden, automotive, and marine batteries with this best onboard battery charger.
The NOCO Genius G4 is truly a very smart charger, as its name suggests. This best onboard battery charger is constructed for use with CANBUS electrical systems and micro-hybrid start-stop automobiles so we didn’t have to worry much as it automatically facilitates the charging port. The finest part about this best onboard battery charger is its energy-saving function where, when total power is not needed, this best onboard battery charger automatically reduces energy utilization. Our testers found that along with the save energy feature, the safety element of this best onboard battery charger is also equally remarkable. The smart unit looks out for overheating, overcharging, sparking, and reverse polarity as well as open and short-circuits. This best onboard battery charger has a lightweight and portable design with very clear controls and indicators that make the unit easy to use, store and carry around.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
It can be agreed upon that the NOCO Genius G4 6V/12V 4.4A 4-Bank UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger comes with countless, unique advantages along with some glitches too, although negligible. This best onboard battery charger is not manufactured to deliver high current under extended operation, but we didn’t seem to have a problem in that aspect as it completed the job of keeping the batteries fully charged pretty flawlessly without overcharging them at all.
Keeping in mind the customers’ point of view, we had to consider the warranty aspect of the all the best onboard battery chargers on the market. And while doing that for the NOCO Genius G4, we found that its warranty service is quite expensive but, fortunately, the repair rate is the cheapest you can find on the market, so there’s your compensation.
The last minor drawback of this best onboard battery charger is its power up time. It is simply too quick to make a proper selection. When we wanted to select 6v and were not fast enough, the charger switched to 12v first, which was quite dangerous. So, as a precaution, we always had to switch it accordingly and that was the best solution we could come up with in order to fix the problem.
The upgrade: Cobra MRHH500 Floating VHF Radio
MinnKota MK 330D On-Board Battery Charger
The MinnKota MK 330D On-Board Battery Charger is a slightly costlier battery charger but that is the whole point of spending a little more in order to gain something better than the rest. This best onboard battery charger is digitally regulated with multi-stage charging and automatic temperature coverage. The corrosion-resistant quality of this best onboard battery charger is one of its most valuable features. A 3 bank and 10 amps per bank onboard battery charger, the MinnKota MK 330D is well-equipped with a microprocessor that permits continuous monitoring of the temperature and state of charge. And we were quite taken aback by this feature as we experienced faster, more controlled, and accurate charging capability.
As is the case with every MinnKota charger, this too controls the voltage and current that the battery pulls during all the three stages of the charging cycle in order to ensure safe and accurate charge. Special elements like the color-coded readings on this best onboard battery charger to present the connection status, the state of charge and error codes provide satisfactory justification for the comparatively higher price range. With this best onboard battery charger, we didn’t have to struggle to get inside the center console or battery box in order to clip individual battery chargers to the batteries and then charge them one by one over a number of days. And that felt like such a relief. Plus with a 3-year warranty, you’re pretty much getting the best you possibly can out of the deal. But remember that this best onboard battery charger is also comparatively higher in weight, so smaller boats might not be a good companion to this expensive possession.
The affordable pick: NOCO Genius GENM2 8 Amp 2-Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger
NOCO Genius GENM2 8 Amp 2-Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger
The NOCO Genius GENM2 8 Amp 2-Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger is our most inexpensive pick when it comes to buying the best onboard battery charger. We would also rate this as a high quality and durable charger. The price tag may be low but the performance and flexibility that you get with this best onboard battery charger are pretty high. Not only is the NOCO Genius GENM2 waterproof but it also collectively restores and charges batteries for 20 to 120 amps per hour. For the stated price, this best onboard battery charger has some advanced and unique technological elements that provide additional safety and better user experience.
You might find that some chargers, even some of the best onboard battery chargers, tend to burn up or overcharge batteries, but the NOCO Genius GENM2 doesn’t give you any such kind of trouble. Our research team was pretty fascinated by the fact that this best onboard battery charger comes with a programmed chip inside that measures, regulates, and changes the charging cycle amperage to efficiently hold the state of each individual battery. Now that’s pretty impressive, considering the market price of this thing. We were disappointed with the length of the power cord but that didn’t seem to cause any problem with the operation. Put through several tests to determine its durability, this affordable best onboard battery charger was exposed to severe rainfall, high wind conditions and even cold nights. And we are pleased to tell you that it emerged as a genuine winner that’s worth every penny.
Best 2 bank onboard battery charger
MinnKota MK 210D On-Board Battery Charger
It is pretty annoying to always bust out the battery charger from the garage to charge the drained motor batteries and then keep it back in the garage before heading out there again to repeat the same process. It may not be time-consuming but why to go through all that trouble when you can easily use the best 2 bank onboard battery charger, the MinnKota MK 210D On-Board Battery Charger. It is a 2 bank charger that provides an output of 10 amps and can be used with 12v or 24v batteries along with 12v/6-cell batteries, including wet cell, maintenance-free and AGM batteries. Upon reviewing this best 2 bank onboard battery charger, we were quite impressed with the fact that we didn’t have to constantly keep fiddling with the batteries connecting and disconnecting the charger and we got a longer battery life on the lake while fishing. With steel battery connections to avoid moisture corrosion, digitally controlled microprocessor to evaluate the battery state and automatic shut-off to prevent overcharging, this best onboard battery charger is our top pick for a 2 bank charging operation.
ProMariner 43012 ProSport 2 Bank Generation 3 Battery Charger
We have tested multiple ProMariner battery chargers in the most vigorous and unfavorable environments possible, and not once have these best onboard battery chargers let us down, especially the ProMariner 43012 ProSport 2 Bank Generation 3 Battery Charger. It is also one of the most genuinely priced chargers on the market. With a 2 bank and 12 amps capacity, this best onboard battery charger is well-equipped with a Distributed-On-Demand Technology that auto senses and generates charge accordingly. Our research team was fascinated by how efficiently this best onboard battery charger was able to distribute charging capacity to the battery that required it the most. The size is perfect too as anything bigger would have caused a real problem during installation. This best onboard battery charger’s compact and rugged design is guarded with sufficient safety components, such as dynamic output control and protection against over-temp, over-voltage, overload, and reverse polarity. With an exceptional 2-year warranty, this best onboard battery charger is destined to keep on working as intended.
NOCO Genius GEN2 2-Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger
Upon testing so many exceptional NOCO Genius battery chargers, we have grown so fond of this brand that it’s almost impossible for us to pick the best one from the lot. But when it comes to a 2 bank working mechanism, you can be rest assured that the NOCO Genius GEN2 2-Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger is one that exceptionally stands out from the lot. This best onboard battery charger, as its name suggests, is a waterproof unit that produces an output of 20 amps. It has quite a remarkable advanced 8-step charging process that charges and preserves batteries. This best onboard battery charger comes with a smart technology feature, the Smart VosFX processor, that makes all the important charging decisions for you. We were also quite impressed with this best onboard battery charger’s Rapid Charging Technology that helped us save ample of time. We charged both the starting battery and deep cycle battery, which proved that this best onboard battery charger knows how to charge each battery based on the internal circuitry. And this unit has the best price too, what more does one need!
Best 3 bank onboard battery charger
Dual Pro 15 Amp Professional Series 3 Bank Charger
This best 3 bank onboard battery charger may be a tad expensive than the rest, but it ranks that much higher in performance as well. The Dual Pro 15 Amp Professional Series 3 Bank Charger is built with 3 banks that can each control 15 amps. It was while testing this best onboard battery charger that we realized how efficient and smart these units have now become. This best onboard battery charger has the ability to power up 12v-36v batteries. Upon reviewing the Dual Pro 3 Bank Charger, we were quite impressed with its reliable, rapid, and sustained charges along with the unit’s popularity regarding its durability. This best onboard battery charger is equipped with a new chip technology that informs you about what the charger and battery are doing and if there’s any issue then it tells you how to fix it too. Even though this best onboard battery charger is comparatively heavier than the rest, all things considered, we still regard it as one of the topmost 3 bank battery chargers of all time.
NOCO Genius GEN3 3-Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger
The NOCO Genius GEN3 3-Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger is one of those products that people would love to buy even if it were for a million dollars. That’s how great it is. This best onboard battery charger is entirely waterproof, something that you will definitely make the most of, and has the capacity to charge and control all kinds of lead-acid batteries, such as wet, gel, MF, and AGM batteries so long as they work at 25-230 Amp-Hour. When we put this best onboard battery charger through our tough stress tests in hostile environments, we never came across any sparks or possible errors. This best onboard battery charger has certain safety features that make the unit stand out from the rest. By default, it protects you from reverse battery hookup problems, overcurrents, open and short circuits, and overheating. We were quite pleased with how quick this best onboard battery charger worked as compared to other standard 3 bank battery chargers out there on the market. Created and safeguarded with advanced technology, this best onboard battery charger is worth each and every penny that you pay for it.
ProMariner ProSport 20+ Generation 3 Bank Battery Charger
Another great waterproof 3 bank battery charger is this model of the ProMariner ProSport 20+ Generation. This best onboard battery charger is teamed up with a microprocessor and LED status indicators for better performance and understanding. Upon thoroughly testing the ProMariner ProSport 20+ Generation 3 Bank Battery Charger, we clearly understood how well this unit provides power to the batteries that need it the most. We used it to charge and maintain two large trolling batteries and one large cranking battery and it performed flawlessly with enough power to keep all the three batteries completely charged without overcharging or burning up the electrolyte. One major drawback of this best onboard battery charger is its poor quality after being subjected to regular use for more than 3-4 years. Then again, the other two best 3 bank onboard battery charges listed above also scored equally low in this aspect so there’s nothing better than these models. But it’s safe to say that this best onboard battery charger has a comparatively lower price range so you get the chance to make the most of what you’ve got.
The best 4 bank onboard battery charger
MinnKota MK 440D On-Board Battery Charger
After carrying out many tests and considering many options for the 4 bank category, our research team finally concluded that apart from the NOCO Genius G4 4-Bank Battery Charger, which is our best pick, the only reliable and competitive option is the MinnKota model. The MinnKota MK 440D On-Board Battery Charger is the most dependable best onboard battery charger that we reviewed. It has the capacity to automatically and consistently control the temperature and provides uniform and accurate charging for the battery. The entire unit is digitally controlled with 10 amps for each bank. We tested this best onboard battery charger with salt water and found it to be corrosion free. And despite being a 4 bank charger, which means multiple point charging, it proved to work comparatively faster than any other 4 as well as 3 bank battery chargers on our list. This best onboard battery charger is pretty outstanding for the price at which the unit is being sold.
Wrapping it up
Our research team had a great time testing many best onboard battery charges, especially the NOCO Genius, MinnKota, and ProMariner models, which are the top 3 brands on the market. These are the ones that are compatible with all types of boats and are created to make your fishing trips last longer. They are also the ones that are designed with multiple bank and amp options to choose from. And when you think about the installation, the NOCO Genius and Minnkota offer the most effortless and convenient experience, closely followed by ProMariner. So if you want to make an ideal and valuable purchase then we would recommend the NOCO Genius G4 6V/12V 4.4A 4-Bank UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger. And while purchasing the best onboard battery charger always remember that boat chargers are miles apart from regular vehicle battery chargers as they are exposed to more vigorous and hostile environments. So don’t make the mistake of confusing the one for the other.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.