Tools & Equipment

The 10 Best Trickle Chargers of 2021

Best Trickle Charger

Photo: Battery Tender

The trickle charger is a special charger type that helps prevent your vehicle's battery from discharging. Hence, it is very beneficial for those that park vehicles for extended periods.

These chargers work by sending a small but consistent charge to your battery to keep it charged at all times. Unfortunately, many people often confuse the trickle charger with a regular battery charger. The key difference is that the latter aims to charge the battery as fast as possible and hence sends more power to achieve this.

If you are on the market for one, our trickle charger review below has you covered. We have hand-picked some top quality trickle chargers and also give you a buying guide.

10 Best Trickle Chargers – Review

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Noco Genius1

1. Noco Genius1 (Best Overall)

  • All-in-one solution
  • Integrated thermal sensor
  • Fully automatic design
Battery Tender 021-0123 Junior Battery Charger

2. Battery Tender 021-0123 (Best Budget)

  • Budget-friendly
  • Efficient, 4-step charging process
  • Fully automatic
Battery Tender Plus 021-0128

3. Battery Tender 021-0128 (Best 12V)

  • Compactible with most 12V batteries
  • Low-maintenance design
  • Complete 4-step charging
  • Smart charger features
Noco Genius UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger

4. Noco Genius G3500 (Most Versatile)

  • Highly versatile design
  • Charges batteries up to 120Ah
  • Advanced repair mode
  • Excellent build construction
Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger

5. Foval BC01B-1 (Safest)

  • Safe to operate with ETL listing
  • Efficient 3-stage charging
  • Long enough cable
Leicestercn Trickle Battery Charger

6. LST EPA1020-0612 (Best 5-Stage)

  • Up to 5 stages of charging
  • Intuitive LED indicator
  • Multi-protection design
  • Charges both 6V & 12V batteries
BMK BlueMickey Trickle Battery Charger

7. BMK EPA1205 (Smart & Portable)

  • Designed for maximum portability
  • Higher capacity - 5-amp
  • Smart 4-stage charging
  • 72-hour safety feature
Supernatto Smart Compact Trickle Charger

8. Supernatto BC-GM12-V (Space-Saving)

  • Very small & compact
  • Contains 3 LED indicators
  • Automatic voltage detector
Sunforce 50022 Solar Trickle Charger

9. Sunforce 50022 (Sturdy & Weatherproof)

  • Sturdy aluminum frame
  • Completely weatherproof
  • Built-in safety features
  • Amorphous solar panel 
Black & Decker Battery Charger with Cable Clamp

10. Black & Decker BC2WBD (Professional-Grade)

  • 6-amp high-power for professional use
  • Fully automatic charging
  • Built-in circuit protection

PRODUCT

1. Noco Genius1

 (Best Overall)

Noco Genius1
  • All-in-one solution
  • Integrated thermal sensor
  • Fully automatic design
  • Optimized for any climate

2. Battery Tender 021-0123

 (Best Budget)

Battery Tender 021-0123 Junior Battery Charger
  • Budget-friendly
  • Efficient, 4-step charging process
  • Fully automatic

3. Battery Tender 021-0128

(Best 12V)

Battery Tender Plus 021-0128
  • Compactible with most 12V batteries
  • Low-maintenance design
  • Complete 4-step charging
  • Smart charger features

4. Noco Genius G3500

(Most Versatile)

Noco Genius UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger
  • Highly versatile design
  • Charges batteries up to 120Ah
  • Advanced repair mode
  • Excellent build construction

5. Foval BC01B-1

(Safest)

Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger
  • Safe to operate with ETL listing
  • Efficient 3-stage charging
  • Long enough cable

6. LST EPA1020-0612

(Best 5-Stage)

Leicestercn Trickle Battery Charger
  • Up to 5 stages of charging
  • Intuitive LED indicator
  • Multi-protection design
  • Charges both 6V & 12V batteries

7. BMK EPA1205

(Smart & Portable)

BMK BlueMickey Trickle Battery Charger
  • Designed for maximum portability
  • Higher capacity - 5-amp
  • Smart 4-stage charging
  • 72-hour safety feature

8. Supernatto BC-GM12-V

(Space-Saving)

Supernatto Smart Compact Trickle Charger
  • Very small & compact
  • Contains 3 LED indicators
  • Automatic voltage detector

9. Sunforce 50022

(Sturdy & Weatherproof)

Sunforce 50022 Solar Trickle Charger
  • Sturdy aluminum frame
  • Completely weatherproof
  • Built-in safety features
  • Amorphous solar panel 

10. Black & Decker BC2WBD

(Professional-Grade)

Black & Decker Battery Charger with Cable Clamp
  • 6-amp high-power for professional use
  • Fully automatic charging
  • Built-in circuit protection

1. Best Overall Trickle Charger: Noco Genius1

Noco Genius1

Photo: Noco 

  • Amperage: 1 A
  • Voltage: 6V / 12 V
  • Display: LED indicator

Noco Genius1 is our best overall model as it provides an all-in-one solution, is usable in any weather, and offers a fully automatic charging.

With the all-in-one design, this unit can work as a battery charger, trickle charger, battery maintainer, and battery desulfator. Hence, regardless of the issue you have, this small gadget will come in handy.

Also, it has an integrated thermal sensor that allows you to use it in any weather. The sensor detects the ambient temperature and then alters the charge to ensure more precise charging by eliminating over-charging in hot weather and under-charging in a cold climate.

The fully automatic design ensures worry-free use, and this model is 35% smaller than typical ones to ensure it takes up less room but still delivers up to 35% more power. One more thing users love is that it is compatible with all vehicle types.

The LED indicator on this unit is relatively smaller and is not multi-tier. However, it is still handy and will make monitoring the charger easier.

Pros:

  • Effective solution for all battery issues
  • Works well in any weather
  • Fully automatic for worry-free use
  • Smaller but more powerful
  • Compatible with all vehicles

Cons:

  • Small LED indicator

2. Best Budget Trickle Charger: Battery Tender 021-0123

Battery Tender 021-0123 Junior Battery Charger

Photo: Battery Tender

  • Amperage: 750 mA
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Display: LED indicator

Although trickle chargers are generally not very pricey, the Battery Tender 021-0123 is an even more budget-friendly model that should suit the needs of almost any motorists out there.

Besides being a budget model, this charger uses a smarter and more efficient 4-step charging that ensures the battery always receives the correct level of power. What's more, it is a fully automatic model that you can set and leave with no constant monitoring required.

The easy to use and low maintenance design ensures more convenient ownership. Better still, you can be sure this charger is super handy to have around as it can charge all kinds of batteries from lead-acid to AGM and gel cell.

Since this charger has a slim and compact form factor, it does not take a lot of space on your electric wall socket. Furthermore, it has an LED indicator to show you the charging status at all times. 

The only negative thing about this battery charger is its relatively weak capacity of 750 mA. Also, it has a single LED indicator, which is quite basic but still acceptable as it quickly and easily tells you the status of the charging process.

Pros:

  • Suits most budgets
  • Does not need a lot of space
  • Automatic voltage regulation
  • Efficient multi-step charging

Cons:

  • Smaller charging capacity
  • Limited LED indicators

3. Best 12V Trickle Charger: Battery Tender 021-0128

Battery Tender Plus 021-0128

Photo: Battery Tender

  • Amperage: 1.25 A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Display: LED indicator

What separates the Battery Tender 021-0128 from the rest of the competition is that it can charge and maintain almost any 12V battery, whether on a car, UTV, ATV, or even a motorhome. Better still, it works for all battery types.

The trickle charger comes in a low maintenance design that makes charging easy and fast even when using it in confined spaces. The battery also uses the complete 4-step charging to ensure the optimal level of power is always delivered to the battery all the time.

With a myriad of smart features like a quick disconnect harness, automatic battery health management, and spark-proof design, this will be a more convenient and safe charger to use.

Monitoring the car battery charge state is made easier by the solid-state two-color LED indicator. This model also comes in a more compact and portable size for even more user convenience.

The only problem with this unit is that it is a little pricier when you compare it to others on our list, but you can be sure it will be worth the few extra bucks.

Pros:

  • Very ideal for 12-volt batteries
  • Delivers just the right charge every time
  • Includes various smart features
  • Easy charge monitoring
  • Compact and portable

Cons:

  • Relatively pricier

4. Most Versatile: Noco Genius G3500 

Noco Genius UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger

Photo: Noco 

  • Amperage: 3.5 A
  • Voltage: 6 V / 12 V
  • Display: LED indicator

The Noco Genius G3500 is a highly versatile trickle charger that, besides charging batteries, also helps maintain their charge level. Its versatility makes it ideal for use with both 6V and 12V batteries and can work for a wide variety of vehicle types.

Also, this is a high capacity model that can charge batteries up to 120Ah. Better still, the well-built professional-grade charger is guaranteed to serve you well for a long time without breaking down.

Another element many users find highly useful is that this charger has an advanced repair mode to help reverse the adverse effects of leaving batteries uncharged for a long time. Hence, it can be instrumental at restoring a dead battery, so that you do not have to buy a new one.

There are several highly useful LED indicators on this charger. You get an indicator to show you the total charge on the battery and various other battery charging modes.

The only caveat we note with this trickle charger is its steep price and difficulty getting a warranty from the manufacturer. Other than this, it is an excellent choice, especially for professionals.

Pros:

  • Versatile and multifunctional
  • Professional-grade with excellent construction
  • Offers higher charging capacity
  • Very ideal for repairing batteries
  • Many useful LED indicators

Cons:

  • It is a more expensive model
  • Difficult to get a warranty on this charger

5. Safest Trickle Charger: Foval BC01B-1  

Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger

Photo: Foval 

  • Amperage: 1 A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Display: LED indicator

Safety should always be at the top of your mind as you shop for a trickle charger. That said, the Foval BC01B-1 is one of the safest models on our trickle charger review. It is an ETL listed product with spark-proof design and reverse polarity protection for maximum safety.

This charger uses a highly efficient 3-stage charging to ensure optimal power delivery to your battery. Better still, it has a longer 8-foot cord and a smaller body to ensure you have an easy time holding and using the charger.

Additionally, there are 3 LED indicators. These indicators show you if the battery is charging, when the battery is fully charged, and if there is some error with the charging process.

Connecting this trickle charger to any battery terminal is very easy. It comes with 2 types of terminal connectors, the O-rings and alligator clips, to make it even easier.

Furthermore, there is a small circuitry inside this trickle charger that will not only charge your battery safely but also prevent it from discharging.

The 1 amp capacity is relatively lower compared to other products on our list. However, this is still enough power for trickle charging most standard car batteries. 

Pros:

  • Safer design
  • More efficient multi-stage charging
  • Longer cable makes it easier to use
  • Smaller body for easy holding

Cons:

  • Not ideal for large batteries

6. Best 5-Stage Trickle Charger: LST EPA1020-0612 

Leicestercn Trickle Battery Charger

Photo: Leicestercn

  • Amperage: 1.5 A
  • Voltage: 6 V / 12 V
  • Display: LED indicator

With up to 5 stages of charging that start with qualification and end with float, the LST EPA1020-0612 gives you more efficient trickle charging and the best possible care for your battery.

If you want versatility, this charger is also a perfect choice. It can work with both 6V and 12V batteries and is also designed to charge all types from lead-acid to AGM. Hence, whether you are charging a car or motorcycle battery, it will be super handy.

Keeping track of the charging is more effortless with this model as it includes a more intuitive LED indicator. This indicator makes it easy to tell the battery status at a glance.

Better yet, this charger provides multiple protection from things like overcharge, over current, polarity reversed, and short-circuiting for maximum battery safety.

Some users might find the power cord a little shorter or at least not as long as what many top models provide as it is around 5 feet, but the good news is that it is still usable.

Pros:

  • More charging stages for increased effectiveness
  • Works for various battery types and capacities
  • Safe with multiple protections
  • Nice and easy to use indicator

Cons:

  • Power cord is not very long

7. Smart & Portable Trickle Charger: BMK EPA1205 

BMK BlueMickey Trickle Battery Charger

Photo: BMK BlueMickey

  • Amperage: 5 A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Display: LED indicator

For motorists that prefer a trickle charger they can easily carry around and use in different locations, the BMK EPA1205 should be perfect as it comes in a more compact size.

Besides being our best portable trickle charger, it has a smart 4-step charging system that ensures the battery always gets and maintains optimal charge.

With its 5 A amperage, the BMK EPA1205 is a high-capacity trickle charger, and so you can be sure it will not have any difficulties charging relatively larger batteries.

When it comes to safety, this charger has you covered as it uses an updated 72-hour safety feature to ensure you never have to worry about issues like over-charging, over-current, and even short-circuiting.

The only notable shortcoming for this trickle charger is that it seems to run a little hot. But, there is hardly anything to worry about as in most cases it is just a little warm, and should hence not cause any problems.

Pros:

  • More portable design
  • Smart charging process
  • Relatively higher capacity
  • Includes several safety features

Cons:

  • Runs a little hot

8. Space-Saving Trickle Charger: Supernatto BC-GM12-V 

Supernatto Smart Compact Trickle Charger

Photo: Supernatto

  • Amperage: 750 mA
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Display: LED indicator

One of the key advantages of the Supernatto BC-GM12-V is its small and compact form factor that saves more space as it is under 5 inches long and weighs just 9.8 ounces. You can place it under the hood of any small vehicle, and it will not consume a lot of space.

Moreover, it comes with all accessories, which include ring connectors and alligator clips so that you can use it on a wider range of batteries out there.

When it comes to monitoring the charge, the 3 LED indicators are quite useful. They will show you when your battery needs charging and when fully charged. 

Additionally, the charger has an automatic voltage detector and protection from overcharge, reverse polarity, and short-circuiting to ensure a safer operation.

The wires are relatively thin, and could be dangerous if you try to charge a high-capacity battery. But as long as you avoid this, you should be okay. Also, the 750 mA amperage is quite low. However, when used for a small battery, it gets the job done.

Pros:

  • Does not need a lot of space under the hood
  • Handy LED indicators
  • Provides adequate charging protection
  • More flexible with both O-rings and alligator clips

Cons:

  • Wires are a bit thin
  • Small charging capacity

9. Sturdy & Weatherproof Trickle Charger: Sunforce 50022 

Sunforce 50022 Solar Trickle Charger

Photo: Sunforce

  • Amperage: 415 mA
  • Voltage: 12 V

With the Sunforce 50022, you get a sturdier and more durable unit that is guaranteed to give you many years of excellent service. It has a tough aluminum frame that can handle a lot of abuse and a weatherproof design to ensure even more durability.

The 12V trickle charger has built-in protection from overcharging and discharging, which is crucial for keeping your battery in great shape. And it is a universal model that can charge almost any battery type.

Because it uses an amorphous solar panel, this solar trickle charger comes in handy in all daylight conditions even when there is a heavy cloud build up.

When you buy the charger, you get a battery terminal connector, a car adapter, and some mounting screws to install it anywhere you want on your vehicle.

The only caveats are that there are no status indicators and this solar panel also needs to get direct sunlight for it to work well. However, it is still quite effective and convenient.

Notes: This trickle charger is ideal for external use only where it will get abundant source sunlight.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and weatherproof build
  • Usable on all battery types
  • Smart circuitry with overcharge and discharge protection
  • Works in all daylight conditions
  • Comes with all the accessories and hardware

Cons:

  • Needs sunlight for it to charge
  • No LED indicators

10. Professional-Grade Trickle Charger: Black & Decker BC2WBD 

Black & Decker Battery Charger with Cable Clamp

Photo: Black & Decker

  • Amperage: 6 A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Display: LED indicator

If you’re looking for a durable, heavy-duty, and high-quality trickle charger for professional use, this 6-amp Black & Decker BC2WBD charger is an excellent choice for you.

The rugged build construction makes this trickle charger ideal for heavy-duty use. Even if it falls, it will not break as there is a thick protective plastic outer shell.

Besides the high power and construction, the trickle charger offers fully automatic charging. It includes AC low voltage compensation to ensure it still maintains peak performance even when using it with an extension cord.

There is also built-in circuit protection to ensure you never need to worry about reverse polarity, overcharging, or even short-circuiting. And with the LED indicators monitoring the charger is super easy.

If you have a dead battery, this charger might not be useful for you, but for all others with detectable charge, it does a fantastic job charging and maintaining them.

Pros:

  • Powerful enough for professional use
  • Rugged build construction
  • Effective circuit protection
  • Useful and informative LED indicators
  • Maintains peak performance even when using an extension

Cons:

  • Not very useful for recharging a dead battery

How to Buy the Best Trickle Charger

How to Buy the Best Trickle Charger

Photo: Black & Decker

1. Types of Trickle Charger

Traditional or Dumb

The dumb trickle charger is the most affordable option out of the 2 types. It typically has simple circuitry with 2 wires that connect directly to the battery terminals.

These chargers are quite powerful and they can charge almost any battery type and size. However, these 'dumb' chargers do not monitor the charging status, meaning they can sometimes lead to overcharging of the battery if you leave them unsupervised.

Smart

The smart trickle charger is quickly becoming the industry standard. It uses more advanced technologies and with a dedicated microprocessor that allows it to monitor the battery status at all times. 

With the smart trickle charger's advanced safety features, you can leave the battery unsupervised when charging, making them highly convenient.

However, unlike the traditional chargers, they cannot charge all battery types, and come at a relatively higher price tag.

2. Engine Size

The engine size goes hand-in-hand with the battery type and size. In general terms, bigger vehicle engines need a bigger battery to get enough power to start your vehicle.

Therefore, you must also take into account the engine size when purchasing a trickle charger. If you have a large and more powerful engine with a large battery, you need a charger that can deliver enough power.

The 6-amp Black & Decker BC2WBD is a perfect choice for larger engines as it can deliver enough power to charge the higher capacity batteries.

3. Types of Battery

There are several types of batteries on the market. Some are heavy-duty and big, so they require more amperage to charge. Others are small, and the amperage doesn’t matter much.

So, it is vital to know which type of battery your vehicle is equipped with to have an idea of the trickle charger to purchase.

For example, AGM batteries are usually heavy-duty and have a higher capacity. Therefore, you will need a trickle charger with higher amperage.

If you need to use the trickle charger on various battery types, something like the LST EPA1020-0612 that handles all types and sizes is a perfect choice.

4. Display

Most smart trickle chargers have a display that shows you how much it is charging at all times.

Many traditional trickle chargers do not have a display. Therefore, you need to occasionally check the voltage to see if your battery is charging.

A trickle charger that usually comes with a display is generally more expensive. But, it is always worth it as it ensures you have an easy time. 

5. Ease of Use

One of the advantages of the trickle charger is how easy it is to use even by absolute beginners. Indeed, you do not need any experience to operate the trickle charger.

Simply pop open your vehicle hood and connect the triple charger connectors to your battery terminals. However, some can be a little complicated than this. Hence, before settling on any model, make sure it comes with clear directions on what to do.

Conclusion

The trickle charger is a lifesaver when you do not plan to use your vehicle for an extended period. And now finding the perfect model is as easy as picking from our review above.

To make your choice even less complicated, the Noco Genius1 is our best overall option. This trickle charger offers an all-in-one solution, is usable in any weather, and has a fully automatic design.

However, for motorists shopping for a more budget-friendly option, the Battery Tender 021-0123 is a more suitable option.

Sources

Thanks for letting us know!
Was this page helpful?