Best Rechargeable AA Batteries

Top 7 Compared and Tested

The best rechargeable AAs are integral to keeping your devices powered up and running at a fraction of the cost of traditional alkaline batteries over a long period of time. After purchasing and exhaustively testing over 30 rechargeable AA batteries, we narrowed our top choices to 7. To become a top pick, our scoring criteria places a premium on 500+ charge cycles, 2,000mAh+ capacity, number of times it can be recharged, and how long they will hold a charge after periods of non-use.

After more than 100 hours of testing, Energizer’s Rechargeable AA Batteries are our #1 pick, clearing a second-best rechargeable AA battery capacity of 2,300 mAh and 500 recharging cycles, making it a top choice for high-drain devices such as digital cameras. It eeks out our honorable mention, Panasonic Eneloop AA Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries, with 300 more mAh and a more eco-friendlier composition for good measure.

Top 7 Best Rechargeable AA Batteries Compared

 #1  Energizer Reacharge Plus NiMH Rechargeable AA Batteries – Top Pick/Best for High Drain Devices

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Energizer Rechargeable AA Batteries boast a battery capacity of 2300 mAh, 5-year battery life with regular use, 500-plus charging cycles, and 12 months of charge retention when not in use. The result is an outstanding battery that can be used as consistently or as inconsistently as you’d like without sapping its power quickly.

Pros
  • 5-year battery life
  • 12 months of charge retention when not in use
Cons
  • Different pre-charge times observed by users
  • Below average number of charging cycles

Kudos to Energizer for beating traditional Energizer MAX alkaline batteries’ power capacity up to 4 times while being safer for the environment. One downside observed during testing were its wildly varying pre-charges before the first time using them. 2 tests saw charges of 65% and 80% respectively, which may indicate different time to shipment between batches, resulting in battery degradation.. Like our honorable mention, the Panasonic Eneloop, these batteries also come pre-charged for instant use right out of the gate.

 #2  Panasonic BK-3MCCA8BA Eneloop AA Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: The eneloop AA 1800 offers some blistering performance numbers with a 2,000 mAh battery capacity and recharging up to 2,100 times. This produces awesome value, costing a fraction of a cent per recharge versus traditional alkaline batteries.

Pros
  • 2,000 mAh battery
  • Recharges up to 2,100 times
Cons
  • A small number of “bad batches” with no charge reported by users
  • Higher than average per unit cost

After 3 years of storage, Panasonic Eneloop AA Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries also keep up to 70% charging capacity after up to 10 years of non-use. This blows away our 5th place pick Duracell’s hold charge of up to 1 year without use.
We also appreciate the Eneloop’s durability, keeping its charge in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a solid choice for those crackling Alaskan winter trail excursions, needing a reliable charge for your lanterns and walkie talkies.

 #3  AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: TheAmazonBasics AA High-Capacity Rechargeable Batteries offer 2000 mAh and little discharge with 80 percent of power for 2 years. It can also be recharged up to 1000 times, perfect for walkie talkies and TV remotes that consume a lot of battery.

Pros
  • Comes pre-charged
  • 80% of power for 2 years
  • Perfect for walkie talkies and higher power consumption devices
Cons
  • Smaller than usual positive terminal which may be problematic on some devices
  • Low pre-charge hold reported by some users

AmazonBasics AAA High-Capacity Rechargeable Batteries also come pre-charged, making it ready for use immediately after unpackaging. Its pre-charge juice can be fully recharged even after not using it for 3 years, making it the perfect stowaway for your high school sophomore’s first day of college on campus pictures.

 #4  POWEROWL AA Rechargeable NiMH Batteries – Best Value

WHY WE LIKE IT: The POWEROWL AA Rechargeable Batteries offers the highest capacity on our list (2800 mAh) and can be recharged over 1,200 times. However, its long 5-6 hour recharge time is high compared to the 2-3 hour charging times we saw on Energizer Rechargeable AA Batteries.

Pros
  • 2800 mAh capacity
  • Can be recharged over 1,200 times
  • Performs in temperatures as low as -4 degrees
Cons
  • Average self-discharge
  • Long 5-6 recharge time

POWEROWL AA Rechargeable Batteries also retain their power over a long period, with 70% capacity after non-use for 3 years. They are also very durable, maintaining performance in temperatures as low as -4 degrees. Value is also on point. Our tests reveal one POWEROWL rechargeable battery equal to 2100 alkaline batteries

 #5  Duracell Rechargeable AA Batteries – Best Guarantee

WHY WE LIKE IT: Duracell’s Rechargeable AA Batteries packs carry its well-known tagline, #1 Trusted Brand, for a reason. They’re rated at 800 mAh for up to 400 lifetime recharges while holding their charge for up to 1 year. During capacity testing, many users have reported the batteries reaching closer to 1000mAh, a welcome surprise for value-conscious folks like ourselves.

Pros
  • Holds charge for up to 1 year
  • Many users reported higher capacity than advertised
Cons
  • Rated at a below average 800mAh
  • Valid up to400 recharges, our low end

Duracell Rechargeable AA batteries are practical with mid-range battery usage devices and electronics such as baby monitors and video game controllers. Although its capacity and number of recharges lower than our top 4 picks, these batteries remain very serviceable for lower drain devices such as clocks, especially if are lucky enough to snare a “golden ticket” 1000mAh battery.

 #6  Rayovac Rechargeable AA Batteries – 5 Year Warranty

WHY WE LIKE IT: Rayovac Rechargeable AA Batteries middle-of-the-pack power (1,350 mAh) and are rechargeable up to 1,500 times. The tradeoff for solid performance is a longfull charge time of 17 hours, which makes it work best on low-drain devices that do not require as much recharging

Pros
  • Solid power
  • Rechargeable up to 1,500 times
Cons
  • Well above average 17-hour to full charge time
  • Length of warranty is just 5-years

Rayovac Rechargeable AA Batteries also has serviceable 5-year coverage. Compare that to Duracell, Panasonic, and Energizer power warranty at 10 years, 10 years, and 5 years respectively, and you have yourself a decently covered battery.

 #7  LP AA Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery Pack

WHY WE LIKE IT: The LP AA Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery Pack makes our list, joining the 2000 mAh club with a 2300 mAh rating and a 75% capacity after 3 years. This makes it a solid choice for high drain devices if you can make due with a below average 500 recharge cycles.

Pros
  • 2300 mAh capacity
  • 75% capacity after 3 years is solid
Cons
  • Only 500 recharge cycles
  • Very limited warranty coverage

Although LP does not come close to Although LP does not match POWEROWL AA Rechargeable Batteries’ 70% of charge after 10 years or Energizer’s 10-year warranty, it offers enough power and reliability to keep your low drain devices charged for years

How We Decided

When choosing a rechargeable battery, we take recharge time, storage life, battery capacity, applicability to low/high drain devices, and operating temperatures into consideration.

Our ideal recharge times is 2-3 hours for 2000+mAh rechargeable AA batteries, which we felt was an acceptable wait time for high drain devices such as digital cameras with rapid-fire usage in short periods. Batteries with low battery capacity (<800mAh) also did not make our list to avoid having to recharge them every 2 hours. Common ranges go from 800 mAh to almost 3,000 mAh, with most topping out in the 2,300mAh range. Recommended cycle times also rate between 500 and 2,000 cycles, which offers cost per charge as little as several cents for outstanding value, especially when charging no more than twice a month.

Length of warranty was also a secondary factor, with a recommended time frame of 5-plus years.

Rechargeable AA Battery Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Storage Life -When not in use, rechargeable batteries can self-leak and lose discharge. Look for batteries that can at least maintain 75% of capacity after 3 years of non-use.
  2. Recharge Count – At a minimum, batteries should hold a charge on a minimum of 500 charge cycles, with 2000+ on the higher end. This yields a lower recharge to cost ratio and results in years and years of use without having to replace them. The highest volume alkaline packs by name brands typically carry 100 batteries for a 14 cent per unit cost, so you can do the math on value.
  3. Battery Capacity – Battery capacity is an indicator of how long devices will hold power until the next recharge. Using power-intensive devices such as walkie talkies, radios, or gaming systems need at least a month’s worth of action before needing a recharge or you may quickly lose patience. The highest battery capacity clicks in at 2,000mAh+, which prolongs the use of slow drain and high drain devices.

FAQs

  • How long do rechargeable AA’s last?
    Rechargeable AAs that are charged and used consistently can last beyond 2000 recharges and maintain up to 90% of power after more than a year of non-use.
  • Which devices should I use rechargeable batteries on?
    As a rule of thumb, you should use rechargeable batteries on moderate to high power consumption devices that need battery replacement every 30 to 60 days, such as walkie talkies and small portable radios. Low drain devices could do without it, as the price of rechargeable batteries and a charger may well exceed the cost of electricity over a year or more.
  • Do extreme temperatures affect rechargeable AA batteries?
    In general, extreme temperatures can cause poor quality rechargeable AA batteries to burst, leak, or have decreased power capacity over time. This is especially true with alkaline batteries.However, POWEROWL AA Rechargeable Batteries and Panasonic Eneloop batteries perform well in temperatures as low as -4 Fahrenheit due to their unique compositions.

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