To help you find the best C batteries, we spent over 40 hours testing different batteries in a variety of electronic devices. During our testing, we measured battery life, durability and performance in various temperatures. We also rated batteries on their overall shelf life and recharge time, when applicable.
After our testing, we were most impressed by the AmazonBasics C Cell Everyday alkaline batteries because of their brand reliability, long-lasting charge and decent shelf life. You also get 12 individual cells in each purchase, which makes them one of the best value options on our list. Keep reading below to learn more about the AmazonBasics C batteries and our other top picks.
- 1 Top 7 Best C Batteries Compared
- 1.1 #1 AmazonBasics C Cell Everyday Alkaline Batteries – Top Pick
- 1.2 #2 Duracell C12 Procell Alkaline Batteries – Honorable Mention
- 1.3 #3 EBL Ready2Charge Batteries – Best Rechargeable
- 1.4 #4 Rayovac Ultra Pro Alkaline Batteries – Best Budget
- 1.5 #5 RayHom Rechargeable C Batteries – Best Value
- 1.6 #6 Tenergy Premium Rechargeable Batteries – Best Quality
- 1.7 #7 Rayovac Fusion Alkaline Batteries – Best Alkaline
- 1.8 How We Decided
- 2 C Batteries Buying Guide
Top 7 Best C Batteries Compared
#1 AmazonBasics C Cell Everyday Alkaline Batteries – Top Pick
No products found.WHY WE LIKE IT: The AmazonBasics C Cell Everyday Alkaline Batteries are super affordable and offer long-lasting performance, especially for everyday, low-drain items like toys and candles.
The AmazonBasics C cell batteries offer 1.5 volts and 7,000 mAh of capacity, making them a perfect fit for everyday use on items that don’t drain a lot of power. That makes these best for items like clocks, remotes, flashlights and toys. We were impressed with how long they lasted before becoming completely discharged. Unfortunately, they didn’t perform well on high drain devices like cameras or flash units.
The AmazonBasics C batteries also offer a long, five year shelf life for long periods of storage. With such a long shelf life, you can reliably use these batteries’ power in emergency kits without worrying about leaking or other kinds of damage. If we could choose one thing to change about the AmazonBasics C Cell Everyday Batteries, it would have to be the packaging. Even if it seems like a small thing, packaging that’s difficult to open can lead to an unpleasant experience, especially when you need the batteries at that same moment. Also, check out the best rechargeable aa batteries.
#2 Duracell C12 Procell Alkaline Batteries – Honorable MentionWHY WE LIKE IT: The Duracell C12 Procell alkaline batteries are a step above the standard Duracell coppertop alkaline batteries with a longer lasting life and more power for high drain devices. If you need more power, look no further than the Duracell C12 batteries.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find long-lasting batteries for household items that need more power, like cameras, flash units and radios. While these performed really well on low-drain devices, we were most pleased with their long lasting performance inside high-drain devices. They also feature some of the longest shelf life out of any of the C batteries we tested.
Another area where the Duracell Procell batteries performed exceptionally is in cold temperatures. Where most batteries would deplete much quicker in cold weather, the Procell batteries weren’t affected at all in cold weather, even down to -20 degree Fahrenheit. If you’re looking for industrial-strength C batteries, the Duracell Procell C12 batteries are a great choice for you. Don’t forget to look at our best iPhone battery cases as well.
#3 EBL Ready2Charge Batteries – Best RechargeableWHY WE LIKE IT: Some rechargeable batteries discharge too quickly to be of any use, but not the EBL Ready2Charge C batteries. These offer the best shelf life of all the rechargeable batteries on our list and the highest amount of rechargeability.
The EBL rechargeable C batteries come in a pack of size individual units that are made with durability and long life in mind. These are 5,000 mAh batteries that can be used in almost any device without a problem.
The thing we liked best about the EBL C batteries is their proprietary “ProCyco” technology, which serves to increase their overall cycle life. With this added benefit, the batteries can be recharged up to 1,200 times before the charge degrades to the point of being unusable. We were also impressed with the batteries’ low self discharge, which helps them to last up to three years of no use before needing to be recharged. Try them in the best RC trucks for kids.
#4 Rayovac Ultra Pro Alkaline Batteries – Best BudgetWHY WE LIKE IT: The Rayovac Ultra Pro alkaline batteries offer the longest shelf life of any of the batteries we tested and they’re made with high quality assurance standards. If you’re looking for long-lasting batteries that can be used years in the future, these are a good choice.
These Rayovac high energy batteries are the most affordable options on our list and they don’t make many sacrifices in order to cut the price. These C batteries offer one of the best shelf lives of any on our list, coming in at a total of 10 years. This makes them perfect for emergency kits, flashlights and radios.
We were also really pleased with the overall construction of the batteries. They’re durable and well designed. Rayovac tests each battery twice before shipping them and designed them specifically to prevent leaking. While we wish we could have seen a little better overall charge with the Rayovac Ultra Pro batteries, we just couldn’t overlook their overall long-lasting shelf life and durability. Speaking of batteries, check out the best RC trucks.
#5 RayHom Rechargeable C Batteries – Best ValueWHY WE LIKE IT: With 8 rechargeable batteries included in a single pack and at a very affordable price, the RayHom rechargeable C batteries offer the most value on our list. If you need rechargeable batteries that don’t need to be recharged as often, the RayHom batteries are a solid option.
The RayHom rechargeable batteries offer a ton of value for anyone, regardless of how much or how little you actually need to use them. With an excellent low self-discharge time, you can keep these batteries charged for up to 3 years without using them. They even keep their charge very well while in use and can be charged more than 1,000 times.
One of the best things we liked about these rechargeable C batteries is the fact that they ship fully charged, which is somewhat of a rarity among the household battery options on our list. Whether you need batteries for low-drain or high-drain devices, the RayHom C batteries can handle it. If your best remote control car takes them, these are a good choice.
#6 Tenergy Premium Rechargeable Batteries – Best QualityWHY WE LIKE IT: The Tenergy Premium C batteries are some of the best rechargeable batteries on our list, with long life cycles, excellent cold temperature performance and no memory effect.
These Tenergy C batteries really take their premium label seriously. They’re built well and in compliance with standards like UL, CE, RoHS and REACH for battery safety. They also feature a 12 month extended warranty in case you ever run into any problems with them.
We were most pleased with the Tenergy’s performance in cold temperatures, though. They even hold their charge in fluctuating temperatures, from -4 degrees to 122 degrees F, which is even more impressive. Another excellent feature with these C batteries is the lack of memory effect, which happens when the battery “remembers” a lower charge capacity. While you need AA’s in your best electric toothbrush, these are great for other devices.
#7 Rayovac Fusion Alkaline Batteries – Best AlkalineWHY WE LIKE IT: The Rayovac Fusion alkaline C batteries are the best alkaline options on our list because of their excellent overall performance and longest lasting shelf life of any of the batteries on our list.
If you need batteries that last more than a decade in your home, these Rayovac batteries are the best choice for you. They also rate the best on ANSI average performance tests, which is an impressive achievement on its own. This performance was also reflected in our own real-world testing.
One downside we did notice was the lower performance in colder weather, which isn’t very surprising with alkaline batteries. The Fusion C batteries also feature Rayovac’s dedication to quality assurance by being tested twice before leaving the warehouse. And we know that not all batteries are created equal, which is why you might also want to look into the best car battery charger.
How We Decided
To find the best C batteries on the market today, we focused mainly on one thing during our testing: how long the batteries lasted. A battery is of no use to you if it doesn’t last long enough to keep things charged longer than a few days. Of course, overall battery life is dependent on what kind of item you’re powering with the batteries so we made sure to create as much consistency as possible when testing.
We also focused heavily on value with each of the batteries we tested. To measure value, we compared price, number of batteries included in a pack and rechargeable vs. alkaline. Alkaline batteries can offer more value in certain instances over rechargeable batteries because they can be much more affordable and offer more of a single charge, which is what makes them so great for single-use applications.
C Batteries Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
One of the first things you should consider when purchasing new C batteries is their overall performance, which ultimately boils down to two things: capacity and discharge rate. The capacity of a C battery is essentially how much charge it can hold before being completely depleted, measured in milliamps per hour (mAh). The higher the mAh, the longer the battery will typically last. C batteries are rated to carry only up to 8,000 mAh capacity. Discharge rate is important to consider alongside total capacity because if a high-capacity battery discharges at a much faster rate than a low-capacity battery, it’s not as good. You can measure the performance of your batteries using battery testers, in case you’re curious about the batteries you already own.
- Battery Type
When it comes to the type of C battery you can purchase, there are really only two options: alkaline vs. rechargeable. Alkaline batteries are the most common types of battery, and they’re also the cheapest. However, they’re also only one time use, so once they’re discharged you’ll need to dispose of them. Non-rechargeable batteries are best for emergency kits and flashlights. Rechargeable batteries obviously offer long-term use because you can constantly keep charging them after they’re discharged. You can purchase a variety of different types of rechargeable batteries, including lithium battery, NiMH batteries (nickel-metal hydride), NiCD batteries (nickel-cadmium) and others. We recommend using NiMH rechargeable batteries for toys and items you know you’ll use for a long time.
- Shelf Life
Another important aspect to keep in mind when getting new C batteries is how long they’ll last without being used, also known as shelf life. For alkaline batteries, their shelf life is how long they last in total without ever being used before you have to throw them away. For rechargeable batteries, shelf life often refers to how many times they can be recharged before needing to be replaced. We recommend purchasing C batteries with a shelf life of at least five years, but the absolute best options offer a shelf life of up to 10 years.
- What do C batteries go in?
After AA and AAA batteries, C batteries are some of the most commonly used batteries. C batteries are usually required for “medium-drain” items like flashlights and lanterns, musical instruments and larger toys. However, there are thousands of products that use C batteries, so they’re definitely a good item to keep in stock.
- Are rechargeable C batteries better than alkaline C batteries?
Rechargeable batteries have been around for a long time as power sources, but they’ve never been as efficient, long-lasting or affordable as they are today. In almost every case, rechargeable batteries are the better option, but there are still plenty of uses for disposable, alkaline batteries. For C batteries, disposables are good for emergency kits and flashlights.
- Do C batteries expire?
Yes, C batteries expire, just like any other kind of battery for household use. However, a battery’s shelf life differs among each brand so be sure to check the manufacturer’s specific shelf life rating when planning ahead.
- How much do C batteries weigh?
A single C battery tends to weigh only around a couple ounces. However, depending on the materials in the battery and what kind of battery it is (rechargeable or alkaline), individual battery weight can vary by an ounce or two.
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