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Trail cameras have become an indispensable tool for hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts, giving us a unique insight into nature. They let us scout, pattern wildlife, and document behaviors like never before—as long as they’re running properly. When it comes to powering trail cams, reliability is important, and for that you’ll need some good batteries.

After years of testing and research, I understand the frustration of batteries failing at critical moments during scouting and hunting seasons. It is also a hassle to make multiple trips to the woods disturbing the habitat just for battery changes. To help you avoid that frustration—and to help myself better prepare for next hunting season—I tested and reviewed some of the best batteries for trail cameras from Duracell, Energizer, and even Moultrie. From rechargeable AA to lithium long batter life option, these are our recommended picks.

The Best Batteries for Trail Cameras

Best Overall: Energizer Ultimate Lithium

Best Overall

Specs

  • Type: NiMH, Lithium metal battery
  • Max Discharge: 2.5 amps continuous
  • Voltage: 1.5 volts
  • Sizes: AA, AAA, C, D, 9V

Pros

  • Leak-proof construction
  • Performs well in extreme temperatures from -40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Great for use in all seasons
  • Eco-friendly, made with recycled batteries

Cons

  • More expensive than alkaline batteries

Energizer batteries are well known to be some of the best—and the brand’s Ultimate Lithium AA batteries live up to that reputation. Designed to work well at almost any temperature ranging from -40°F to 140°F, they feature a leak-proof exterior that makes them ideal for outdoor use year-round. They’re especially good for cold weather because they don’t have any water inside.

These lithium batteries have a major advantage over alkaline when it comes to life span, with a shelf life of up to 20 years. While they cost more than disposable batteries, they last longer, so they’re worth the investment. You’re also paying for Energizer’s history of reliability in manufacturing.

Best AA: Moultrie AA

Best AA

Specs

  • Type: Akaline
  • Voltage: 1.5 volts
  • Sizes: AA

Pros

  • Dependable, designed for trail cameras
  • Affordable
  • Long lifespan

Cons

  • Not rechargeable

When it comes to AA batteries for trail cameras, these from Moultrie are both a dependable and affordable option. Moultrie makes some of the best cellular trail cameras we’ve tested at Field & Stream, so it makes sense that their included batteries (which you can also buy separately) are equally good quality.

With a voltage of 1.5 volts and a versatile AA size, these alkaline batteries offer reliability at an accessible price point. The real highlight is their extended lifespan—they can provide between 14,000 to 28,000 images before you need to replace them.

In my testing, the Moultrie batteries lasted a long time in the field. (Photo/Bethany Beathard)

Overall, after using them, I found the Moultrie AA batteries offer a balance of performance and affordability, making them a popular choice among trail camera users. Though these batteries aren’t rechargeable, the budget-friendly price makes up for the replacement cost.

Best Rechargeable: Panasonic Eneloop

Best Rechargeable

Specs

  • Type: NiMH
  • Max Discharge: 2000mAh typical, 1900mAh minimum
  • Sizes: AA, AAA

Pros

  • Rechargeable up to 2,100 times
  • Perform in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Holds charge when stored up to 70%

Cons

  • Does not include charger

If you’re looking for long-lasting and reliable power for your trail camera in rechargeable battery form, I recommend the Panasonic Eneloop AA. They boast an impressive lifespan of up to 2,100 recharges and deliver powerful performance with a typical capacity of 2000mAh. This ensures consistent and dependable energy for your cams. The batteries even come pre-charged and ready to use right out of the box.

I like that Eneloop batteries are more sustainable than others out there. They’re initially charged by solar-powered factory chargers and can retain up to 70 percent of their charge for up to 10 years. You won’t have to trek out to your camera to change these often.

For anyone who lives in a colder climate—or who leaves their trail cam out even in winter—these batteries are designed to withstand extreme temperatures down to -4 degrees F.

Best for Cold Weather: PowerOwl Lithium

Best for Cold Weather

Specs

  • Type: Lithium
  • Max Discharge: 3000mAh
  • Voltage: 1.5 volts
  • Sizes: AAA, AA, D, C and 9V

Pros

  • Works in extreme temperatures from -40 to 140 degrees F
  • High density battery cell design
  • Safe, leak-proof three-layer construction

Cons

  • Pricier than others we tested

The PowerOwl non-rechargeable lithium batteries offer high capacity and long-lasting power, making them a reliable choice for wireless trail cameras. They are more expensive than some of the ones we tried out. But they should keep your camera running without a hitch for longer thanks to the high-density battery cell design, which provides maximum discharge of up to 3000mAh at a steady 1.5 volts.

Available in a wide range of sizes—including AAA, AA, D, C, and 9V—PowerOwl lithium batteries can fit almost any size battery box on your camera. The leak-proof and safety-enhanced design ensures peace of mind, even in extreme environments ranging from -40 to 140 degrees F. Plus, the batteries come with a lifetime warranty.

Best for Cellular: Duracell Optimum

Best for Cellular

Specs

  • Type: Akaline
  • Voltage: 1.5 volts
  • Sizes: AA, AAA

Pros

  • Dependable
  • Duracell’s premium option with quadruple power boost
  • Function in extreme temperatures of -4 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit

Cons

  • Max discharge information not provided

Duracell Optimum AA batteries are formulated with 4X power boost ingredients for enhanced performance and longevity. As the brand’s top performing AA alkaline battery, they offer reliable power for all your trail cameras, cellular and traditional. I like how long they’ve lasted me in my SpyPoint cam—I’ve been using them for weeks and have yet to have any issues or need to replace them.

I’m a fan of these Duracell batteries for my own cameras. (Photo/Bethany Beathard)

Duracell has a reputation as the most trusted alkaline battery brand and I now understand the hype. Their consistent product performance speaks to their quality and reliability. This battery offers exceptional value for its price and an impressive energy capacity. While there are similar batteries on the market, few can match its superior storage capability and extended lifespan. I’ll likely be using these in my own trail cameras for the upcoming season.

Best Lithium: Keeppower USB Rechargeable

Best Lithium

Specs

  • Type: Lithium li-ion
  • Voltage: 1.5 volts
  • Sizes: AA

Pros

  • Rechargeable with fast charge time
  • Long runtime
  • Lasts for over 1,000 recharges
  • More eco-friendly

Cons

  • USB charger doesn’t come with a high output charging block

For the best value, a rechargeable lithium battery is the way to go. These Keeppower USB rechargeable AA batteries offer exceptional performance and long runtime, providing steady voltage until fully depleted. I love the convenience of the USB charging capability. It comes with a 4-in-1 micro-USB cord so you don’t even need an additional charger or adapter.

You can charge the batteries over 1,000 times, saving on the cost of disposable alkaline batteries, and reducing landfill waste. They have a built-in safety circuit that ensures protection from overcharge and discharge. The batteries also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 12-month quality guarantee.

How We Tested Batteries for Trail Cameras

In testing trail camera batteries, we considered several key factors to ensure optimal performance in various conditions. Temperature resilience was a crucial aspect, as trail cameras often operate in extreme environments, from freezing cold to scorching heat. We evaluated how well each battery maintained its power output across a wide temperature range, ensuring reliable operation in any climate.

I became a big fan of the Duracell batteries in testing. (Photo/Bethany Beathard)

Battery Buying Guide

Alkaline vs. Lithium

Alkaline and lithium batteries are two common types of disposable batteries, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.

Alkaline batteries are typically cheaper and widely available. They work well; however, they tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to lithium batteries, Lithium batteries offer great performance in terms of energy density, shelf life, and performance in extreme temperatures. They are lighter, have a longer lifespan, and are less prone to leakage. However, lithium is more expensive.

When it comes to cold weather lithium tends to perform better due to the construction. Unlike alkaline batteries, lithium batteries do not have water content.

The Moultrie batteries I tested (and that are pictured here) are alkaline. (Photo/Bethany Beathard)

Brand

You have your choice of house brand batteries and those from well-known corporations such as Duracell and Energizer. House brand batteries are typically offered by retailers under their own brand name such as Home Depot or Amazon Basics. They’re more affordable, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers. However, they may not offer the same level of quality or reliability, as they are often produced by third-party manufacturers.

Corporation batteries are backed by the reputation and quality standards of well-known brands. While they may be more expensive, they often offer better performance, a longer lifespan, and better reliability. Additionally, they may come with warranties or guarantees that provide added peace of mind.

Battery Life

“Lifespan” refers to the length of time a battery can hold a charge and remain functional before needing replacement. The lifespan of a battery varies depending on factors such as its type, quality, usage, and environmental conditions.

Rechargeable vs. Disposable

Rechargeable batteries can be recharged and reused multiple times, which can extend their lifespan compared to single-use disposable batteries. However, rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles, meaning they will eventually lose their ability to hold a charge and need to be replaced. Overall, while rechargeable batteries may have a shorter initial lifespan compared to single-use batteries, their ability to be recharged multiple times can make them a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly option in the long run.

FAQs

Q: What are the best batteries for trail cameras?

The best batteries for trail cameras are typically lithium batteries, like the Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA, due to their long-lasting power and reliability in various outdoor temperatures.

Q: How long do trail camera batteries last?

The battery life of trail camera batteries can vary depending on several factors. On average, lithium batteries tend to last longer than alkaline batteries. However, factors like frequent use of flash, extreme temperatures, and high activity levels in the area monitored by the camera can all affect battery longevity. Some cameras also have a solar power option that helps extend the stored battery power.

Q: Can I use rechargeable batteries in a trail camera?

Yes, you can use rechargeable batteries in a trail camera. Keep in mind that they may have a slightly lower voltage compared to disposable batteries, so you may need to replace them more frequently or use higher-capacity rechargeable batteries to maintain optimal performance.

Q: How can you make trail camera batteries last longer?

To make trail camera batteries last longer, start with a high-quality rechargeable lithium battery you can charge over and over. Adjust your trail camera settings to use power-saving configurations, if applicable , such as reducing photo time. Conduct regular maintenance, including checking for corrosion in the battery compartment. Lastly, using external power sources like solar panels or battery packs can provide continuous power, extending the camera’s operational lifespan.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.