I think they have a longer life. Harley started using gel batteries in the 90's due to vibration and acid spillage, and they have been known to last close to 10 years. The ice thing with AGM is that they can be stored indoors or enclosed spaces, on their side without danger of leakage or off gassing. They are sealed batteries. Also they will not freeze in the winter and do not need to be removed.
Here is some info
Lifespan of Batteries
The lifespan of a deep cycle battery
will vary considerably with how it is used, how it is maintained and charged, temperature, and other factors. In extreme cases, it can vary to extremes - we have seen L-16's killed in less than a year by severe overcharging, and we have a large set of surplus telephone batteries that sees only occasional (5-10 times per year) heavy service that are now over 25 years old. We have seen gelled cells destroyed in one day when overcharged with a large automotive charger. We have seen golf cart batteries destroyed without ever being used in less than a year because they were left sitting in a hot garage without being charged. Even the so-called "dry charged" (where you add acid when you need them) have a shelf life of 18 months at most. They are not totally dry - they are actually filled with acid, the plates formed and charged, then the acid is dumped out.
These are some typical (minimum - maximum) typical expectations for batteries if used in deep cycle service. There are so many variables, such as depth of discharge, maintenance, temperature, how often and how deep cycled, etc. that it is almost impossible to give a fixed number.
Starting: 3-12 months
Marine: 1-6 years
Golf cart: 2-7 years
AGM deep cycle: 4-7 years
Gelled deep cycle: 2-5 years
Deep cycle (L-16 type etc): 4-8 years