Power stations like the Jackery Explorer 500 or the Goal Zero Sherpa 100AC are great for road trips and camping but you have to keep them charged somehow. The Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panel is a lightweight, portable and fast-charging option you can easily pack in the truck when you’re off-grid (and the sun is out).
First, some specs and then we’ll see how it performs.
SolarSaga 100W Specs
- 9.1 pounds
- 2 kickstands
- Monocrystalline silicon cells
- IP65 water resistant
- 1 USB-C (5V, 3A) port
- 1 USB-C (5V, 2.4A) port
- 8mm DC output (18V, 5.5A, 100W)
- $389 CAD ($299 USD)
- Magnets hold handles together
- 23% efficiency
- 3 meter DC cord
- USB-C and USB-A ports right on the back of the panel
- More expensive than some heavier units
- Not waterproof
What you can charge with the SolarSaga 100W?
The SolarSaga 100W has 1 USB-A port and 1 USB-C port. They are 2.4 amps and 3 amps respectively so they won’t be able to push large items like a laptop but they can easily charge phones or small power banks. With full sun this will charge the smaller items like a wall outlet does.
To charge something larger like a Jackery Explorer 500 you can use the 8mm DC cord. Many small solar panels and batteries have this type of cord but make sure you are buying it to charge something other than a Jackery.
The cord is 3 metres long which helps to keep the battery out of the sun or hooking up the solar panel on the car with the battery on the ground.
How much does the SolarSaga 100W output?
The 100 watt rating means it will output close to 100 watts but in practice it’s tough to get close to that. Even in dense cloud in the winter, it’s easy to get 10 or more watts out of the panels.
In the sun they get 60-70 watts if they’re facing straight on to the sun. As I’m reviewing these panels, we’ve headed into cold wet weather but next sunny stretch we’ll be outside testing more. At an angle the efficiency will drop to 20-30 watts.
How big is the SolarSaga 100W?
The SolarSaga 100W folds up nicely and is 24 x 21 x 1.4 inches folded. When folded out it doubles in length reaching 48 x 21 x 0.2 inches. It’s only about 9 pounds so easy to carry around. I can carry the Explorer 500 battery and the panels with no problem.
If you really wanted, you could attach them to your backpack with the grommets in the corners but it’s quite big for that. I’d much rather have a smaller solar panel backpacking if I took one.
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel Verdict: Highly Recommended
The Jackery SolarSaga 100W make an excellent lightweight car camping or overlanding solar panel that can tuck into small spaces for packing. The fabric case isn’t waterproof so it won’t work for mounting outside or leaving it out in the rain but if you’re looking for a lightweight solar panel that can still bring in nearly 100 watts without having to deal with the bulk and weight of big metal and glass panels, then the SolarSaga 100W is a sweet setup.