If you are lucky enough to own several motorcycles or a mix of motorcycles, ATVs and jet skis, etc., keeping all these batteries charged can be challenging. This is where multi-bank battery chargers come in, allowing you to connect multiple batteries to a single charger.
2-Bank vs. 4-Bank vs. 5-Bank: What Are The Similarities
Aside from the obvious fact that these multi-bank chargers can connect to different numbers of batteries, they have many standard features.
Battery Type: Designed to charge all 12V Lead Acid batteries
All three of the Battery Tenders on the review can charge 12V lead-acid batteries, which are the standard fit for most vehicles.
Automatic charging: 4-step fully automatic chargers
Connecting a charger and leaving it is the most convenient way of maintaining your batteries. All the multi-bank chargers here can be left connected.
Spark proof, reverse polarity: Connecting or disconnecting a battery charger can cause a spark, but all these chargers have spark prevention, reverse polarity safety features.
Thermal Compensation: Outside temperatures can affect how a battery charges, but all the chargers on review use sophisticated electronics to compensate.
Two-color LED Charging Indicators
Each bank of the chargers has individual green and red charging indicators so that you can monitor the condition of your batteries.
Quick Disconnect Cables Supplied
Trying to connect multiple batteries using alligator clips can be difficult. Every Battery Tender multi-bank charger comes complete with quick connector cables.
2-Bank vs. 4-Bank vs. 5-Bank Charger: Key Differences Explained
Comparison Table of 3 Multi Bank Battery Tender Chargers
2-Bank Battery Tender
4-Bank Battery Tender
5-Bank Battery Tender
|Size (inches)||11.1 x 10.6 x 6.3||18 x 9 x 12||18 x 9 x 12|
|Charging Voltage||12V||12V||12V/ 6V|
|Number of charging stations||2||4||5|
|Compatibility||Lead Acid/Gel/AGM Batteries||Lead Acid/Gel/AGM Batteries||Lead Acid/Gel/AGM/ Lithium Batteries|
|Type of charger||4 step, fully automatic||4 step, fully automatic||4 step, fully automatic|
|Reverse polarity protection||✔||✔||✔|
|Quick disconnect plug||✔||✔||✔|
|Charge car batteries||--||--||✔|
|Charging time (15Ah battery)||22 hours||22 hours||13 hours|
|Pros||+ Compact and lightweight|
+ Affordable price at around $100
|+ Four 1.25 amp outputs|
+ Wall mountable
+ Supplied with four quick connectors
|+ Higher 4A output
+ Can charge cars as well as small vehicle batteries
+ Three-year warranty
+ Can charge lithium batteries
|Cons||- Low 1.25 amperes output||- Only used for smaller batteries||+ Don’t have battery reconditioning feature
+ Quite bulky
+ Expensive (around $350)
|Warranty||2 years||2 years||3 years|
Features & functions
The most significant difference is the power output of the models. Both smaller versions provide 1.25 amperes, whereas the 5-bank gives 4 amperes per bank. The greater output gives the larger model a couple of advantages over the other two.
Faster charging: Only on Battery Tender 5-bank
With 4 amperes per bank, compared to 1.25 amperes, the 5-bank will charge your batteries in half the time it takes the 1.25 amperes models. So, for example, a 15 Amp battery would need around 22 hours to charge fully with the smaller models, but only 13 hours with the 5-bank model.
Car battery charging capacity on Battery Tender 5-Bank 4A
To charge car batteries, you need a larger current output. Only the 5-bank Battery Tender is designed to charge car batteries or larger.
Design: Pick a 2-bank/ 4-bank Tender for a space saving
The most obvious difference in design is that the 5-bank Battery Tender is intended to be bench mounted, whereas the other two have wall mounting brackets. If you are short of space, the wall mounting option is very useful.
Size & weight: Get 2-bank Tender if you need a portable device
The 2-bank charger is very compact and can easily be carried with you if required. On the other hand, both the 4-bank and 5-bank versions are much larger and not really designed for taking out of your garage.
At 13 pounds, the 5-bank version is substantially heavier than the other two wall-mounted models, which are much lighter at 1.7 and 6 pounds each.
Supported vehicles models/makes
The two smaller models are intended for small vehicles, such as motorcycles or ATVs. The larger 5-bank version, with its higher amperage, can also charge car, SUV, or RV batteries.
Ability to charge lithium batteries on 5-Bank Tender
Many of the features are common across all the models. However, the 5-bank adds the valuable option of charging lithium batteries. Due to their lower weight and better performance, lithium batteries are becoming far more common and will eventually outsell lead-acid batteries.
A stand-out difference is the cost of the 5-bank compared to the other two models. At around $800, the 5-bank is a serious investment, but it does offer more features. On the other hand, the 2-bank and 4-bank are priced at around $100 and $260 respectively.
The two smaller models come with a standard two-year warranty, but the 5-bank version benefits from a warranty extended to three years.
Which One Should You Buy?
2-Bank Battery Tender: 2 in 1 product, Better than a battery charger
- Small and compact
- Good safety features
- Low 1.25 amperes output
The Battery Tender 2-bank is perfect for someone with a couple of motorcycles, or small engined vehicles, such as ATVs.
4-Bank Battery Tender: Saves money and space over individual chargers with each bank isolated
- Four 1.25 amp outputs
- Wall mountable
- Supplied with four quick connectors
- Only suitable for smaller batteries
If you are a collector of motorcycles or have multiple ATVs, jet skis, and other small vehicles, this is the Battery Tender for you.
5-Bank Battery Tender: Pay $350 for a multi-bank charger? Is it worth buying?
- Higher 4 amp output
- Can charge cars as well as small vehicle batteries
- Three-year warranty
- Can charge lithium batteries
- Don’t have battery reconditioning feature
- Quite bulky
With an extra charging bank and the ability to charge car batteries, the 5-bank Battery Tender is ideal for the multi-vehicle family.
Are the Battery Tender Multi-bank chargers suitable for large batteries?
Both the 2-bank and 4-bank are only really suitable for charging small batteries, such as those fitted to motorcycles or ATVs. On the other hand, the larger 5-bank battery charger provides a four-amperes charging output suitable for car batteries.
Can these multi-bank chargers recondition a bad battery?
To recondition a battery, a charger often requires a high amperes output, which these multi-bank chargers do not have. Therefore, multi-bank chargers are primarily aimed at maintaining batteries that are in good condition at their optimum charge level.
Do the multi-bank chargers charge all the connected batteries at the same time?
Yes, all the Battery Tender models on this review give the same maximum output from each bank at the same time. However, other brands may cycle the charging current between the banks, which means your battery will charge more slowly.
Are these multi-bank chargers fully automatic?
Yes, all the Battery Tender multi-bank chargers reviewed here are fully automatic. Each model features a 4 step charging system that provides the correct charging current at all times.
Can I leave the multi-bank chargers connected for long periods?
You CAN. Battery charge maintenance is the primary function of these multi-bank charging units. You can connect them and leave them on permanently to keep your battery in top condition.
Does Battery Tender supply quick connector cables?
Yes, all the models on review come complete with quick connector cables for each bank, along with alligator connectors for each bank.
What battery types are the Battery Tenders suitable for?
All three of the Battery Tender multi-bank chargers reviewed here can charge and maintain 12-volt lead-acid type batteries. In addition, the 5-bank charger can also charge and maintain 6-volt batteries and lithium batteries.