by John Salt - Updated August 2019
I know, stating "Best LiPo RC Battery Brand", is on the same level as telling you what beer is best; it's totally personal preference, and everyone has their own opinion.
In this hobby, there are lots of opinions!
I'm also not a hot shot 3D, F3C, or speed sponsored pilot with unlimited resources. Like most average folks in the hobby, I have to budget my pennies and stretch my dollars. In short, my top pics are based on best value.
Hopefully that means the same to you as it does for me - "getting the most performance and life out of your packs for every dollar you spend."
One thing I've learned over the past decade now of electric RC flying is the old adage you get what you pay for doesn't apply in the slightest to LiPo's. Some of the most expensive packs currently on the market are some of the worst, while some of the least expensive can hold their own. Don't buy into the LiPo BS that so many brands are pushing.
The unfortunate truth is many RC LiPo brands pray on our ignorance of this fairly new power source and there are no rules to stop them from making total BS claims to justify higher pricing. One of the worst ones with an exorbitant advertising budget continually reaches out to me to include their overpriced, over hyped packs on this page. Nope.
On top of all that, due to new safety shipping regulations which started in 2014 in many countries (Canada where I live being one of them), it's almost impossible to order LiPo packs from outside your own country; meaning many of us are pretty much stuck to what's available from local and national hobby shops.
These shipping problems are also driving costs of LiPo's back up! Here in Canada for example, it's almost getting too expensive for the average Joe or Jane to fly large electric powered planes and helicopters due to rising LiPo costs. I was hopeful this was a short term hiccup, but it's now 5 years later and as I said, it's getting even worse.
any rate, people often ask me what the best LiPo brand is and what RC LiPo batteries I personally use
& recommend. So without further ado, here are my brands of choice that I currently fly
with, and are immensely happy with.
My number one LiPo battery pick right now still has to be Buddy RC's Glacier LiPo's.
I have been so impressed with these LiPo's over the past several years since Dale started carrying them.
They won't break the bank, have realistic discharge rates, stay fairly cool during hard use, and most of mine are still going strong after years of use.
The down side is they are now very costly to ship up to Canada since the new LiPo shipping regulations went into effect. For you in the US however or Canadian's close to the Ohio border enabling a short "road trip" to Columbus, don't overlook Glacier LiPo's.
2nd on my recommended LiPo list are HobbyKing's line of Turnigy, Zippy, and Rhino LiPo batteries.
I first stared using Turnigy LiPo's about 9 years ago while getting into larger electric helicopters (600 size and larger). Many are still working after all that time, not to their full potential of course, but little in the way of capacity drop or off gassing (puffing). Same can be said for the few Zippy & Rhino packs I've also purchased from Hobby King over the years before they stopped shipping to Canada.
Before finding Turnigy, I was dishing out about $250 beans for a single 6S 5000 mAh battery pack (FlightPower & ThunderPower was what I was using way back then).
Turnigy is what (pardon the pun), "turned" things around and finally made large electric flight affordable for me. That same size, capacity, and C rated Turnigy pack was only $60.00 bucks; so less than 1/4 the price of what I was using.
More and more brands are now getting competitive with Turnigy, Zippy, and Rhino. As I mentioned several years back, even if you hate dealing with HobbyKing, it was their Turnigy, Zippy, & Rhino LiPo batteries that drove, and continue to drive LiPo pricing down; at least with the competitive brands that aren't blowing BS to justify their overpriced / over hyped packs.
If most power for the price is the ultimate deciding factor, Turnigy HD LiPo's are hard to beat currently for the sheer value. The latest generation Rhino packs are also getting rave reviews with some of the most true to life C ratings of any brand out there.
I'm fairly new to HobbyStar LiPo's (less than a year's experience), but I'm very impressed so far.
Amazing power, fairly realistic C ratings, low operating temperatures, and bargain pricing!
It's also one of the few remaining brands that will ship to Canada from the US for a fairly reasonable amount.
These may just become my new favorite if they consistently hold up and shipping costs to Canada don't skyrocket.
The few Gens Ace LiPo packs I have are holding up and performing well, right up there with Glaciers'.
They are generally around double the price of an equivalent Turnigy, Glacier, or HobbyStar, but they are still much less than other "big name" packs and are the easiest to get here in Canada.
The guys at RotorQuest here in Canada originally got me into Gens Ace. Very happy to report they are impressive and very good quality LiPo packs for a decent price! I have searched high and low, both online and off, for a best LiPo source for Gens here in Canukistan, and RotorQuest always has the best pricing and selection I find.
Another added bonus is shipping is free from RotorQuest as long as your order is over $150 (pretty easy with a couple larger LiPo packs). They also have regular sales on almost every holiday weekend with discounts from 10% to 25%, and there are no import fees attached.
In other words, when you take into account shipping (which always was expensive from Hobby King even before they stopped shipping to Canada), and if you wait for one of RotorQuest's regular holiday sales, especially the 20 & 25% off ones. You can pick up a Gens Ace for about the same price as a Glacier, and not too much more than a Turnigy or HobbyStar.
I cover this topic in depth on my RC LiPo Battery Connector page, but thought I should at least make mention of it when discussing best LiPo batteries.
You'll need to make sure the battery you choose also comes with the correct plug on it that your model's ESC uses.
Makes perfect sense right?
Problem is, you really limit yourself and your LiPo battery selection when you are trapped by something as simple as the connector type it comes with.
If you don't know how to solder RC connectors, I really encourage you to learn this most useful skill. You won't regret it - I promise!
My dad taught me to solder when I was eight. If an eight year old can solder, anyone can.
This is a hobby after-all, and part of electric RC'ing is simple soldering. As I said, it's not difficult, soldering equipment (a soldering gun, solder, and flux) is inexpensive, and it's such a useful skill that has far reaching applications over and above that of RC.
Not only that, even if you find the best LiPo battery for your needs and it comes with the correct connector type, you most likely will have to replace it due to wear & tear. Plugs have finite cycle life after-all. Same goes for the plugs on your ESCs, even more so.
Learning to fly an RC heli, plane, or even an easy and boring fully stabilized quad copter is much harder than learning to solder. Work on that easy skill so your best LiPo battery choice is not narrowed substantially by something as minor as what connector it comes with.
So, to sum this entire page up, here are my best LiPo brand tips.
Most of these brands (as you have likely seen above), are also offered on eBay and Amazon; so don't rule those sources out as there are often good bargains to be found. Some total rip-offs as well.
I still very much maintain supporting your LHS or national RC hobby shop is always the best source for LiPo packs, (sometimes the only economical source due to all the new LiPo shipping restrictions).
However, big name RC LiPo batteries in my opinion were, and many still are, way overpriced & over hyped. Especially now knowing that pretty much every RC LiPo pack under the sun, no matter what name tag is stuck on it, comes out of China from perhaps only a handful of LiPo manufacturing facilities.
I have even read that up to 75% of every RC LiPo battery on the market comes from a single facility.
Many of the cheap and lower quality brands out there (none of which are listed on this page mind you), simply use cells that have failed to meet the higher specifications standards set by higher-end brands. These "hi-end rejects" are then sold for less to the lower quality brands that have more lenient specs.
What about your RC LiPo experiences?
Feel free to contact me with your own good, bad, and ugly LiPo brand successes and failures. It would be nice to reward the good honest LiPo companies on this page. It was after all a recommendation from a fellow Canadian visitor who took the time to contact me to let me know about HobbyStar LiPo's and I'm so glad he did.