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Optima REDTOP Batteries Tested To The Extreme

A Solid Starter For Cold Weather Living, Optima REDTOP Batteries Will Keep Your Vehicle Running Year-Round

Optima REDTOP batteries installed Pajero

We’re no strangers to Optima Batteries. My husband and I ran Optima’s deep cell YELLOWTOP series in a few vehicles: a customized 1995 Suzuki Sidekick and 2001 Jeep Cherokee. We’ve been happy with their performance and longevity. We decided Optima REDTOP were the perfect batteries for our latest build and adventures, and we weren’t disappointed.

Optima REDTOP batteries


Making Cold Starts Happen

Having lots of cold cranking amps is critical when adventuring into bone-chillingly cold weather. After much research, we decided to install OPTIMA REDTOP group 34 batteries in our 4×4, a 1991 diesel-powered Mitsubishi Pajero. Even though we’ve had good luck with the Optima YELLOWTOPs, their REDTOP batteries boast a massive 800 CCAs.

These batteries were the ideal power pack for us. We were preparing the Pajero for a major winter competition. Optima REDTOPs have the strongest starting burst in their line-up. We couldn’t wait to get them into sub-zero weather and see if they performed as advertised.

Alcan 5000 Rally

As we prepared our Pajero for 5,000 miles plus of Arctic winter road rallying, we knew we needed great batteries. A battery setup that allowed for high cold-cranking amps (CCAs), a forceful burst of starting power, was essential. We were gearing up for the Alcan 5000 Rally—we needed reliable batteries. Ones that were vibration-resistant. We’d be skating our way across thousands of miles of snow, gravel, and ice. Would REDTOPs hold up? What are their features?

Optima REDTOP battery top and 4Runner

Optima REDTOP Key Benefits

  • 800 cold-cranking amps
  • Most robust starting burst
  • 15 times more vibration-resistant
  • No maintenance needed
  • Fast recharging
  • Mountable in multiple positions
  • Up to three times longer life
  • Durable design
1991 Mitsubishi Pajero at Tuktoyaktuk sign
The Author’s 1991 Mitsubishi Pajero at the Tuktoyaktuk sign in far northern Canada during the Alcan 5000 Winter Rally.

Optima REDTOP Arctic Testing

Withstanding up to -40 degree temps and severe blizzard conditions is no easy feat. Even with a well-equipped 4×4 prepared for ultra cold-weather travel. Along with our Optima REDTOPS, we coupled the Pajero 4×4 with a Webasto Thermo Top Evo engine coolant heater. The Webasto circulated heated coolant throughout the system. Consequently, it kept our diesel engine warm during off-hours. Therefore, when used properly, this system along with our Optima REDTOPs had the Pajero starting every time.

Installation was easy. They stayed put with terminals staying secured over 5,000 miles of rugged conditions. They performed as expected. No vibration noises, no corrosion, and ample starting power in -20 to -40 Arctic temps. We couldn’t have been happier. We anticipate many more exciting excursions with our Optima REDTOPS.

Optima REDTOP battery top

Optima REDTOP Stats

  • 12-volt
  • 800 cold-cranking amps
  • Group size: 34
  • 10″ x 6 7/8″ x 7 13/16″ tall
  • 37.9 pounds
  • SAE post
  • C20 capacity: 50 Ah

Optima Batteries boast 40 years of technological innovation and pioneering engineering. Optima REDTOPS batteries will have you adventuring successfully in even the harshest environments. They certainly proved their worth for us in the Arctic.

(Photos by Mercedes Lilienthal)

Mercedes Lilienthal
About Mercedes Lilienthal

Mercedes is an Oregon-based freelancer who specializes in vehicular adventure travel. She and her husband have three right-hand-drive turbo-diesel Mitsubishi 4x4s and two customized subcompact daily drivers. Mercedes enjoys automotive adventure competitions, having competed in the 2018 Rebelle Rally and the 2020 Alcan 5000 Rally. Her freelance work includes writing, editing, photography, social media management, event coverage, and marketing services.