Jackery Solarsaga 100w Solar Panel Review
Portable batteries have become increasingly popular in recent years as they are needed to charge cell phones, tablets, computers, medical devices (e.g., CPAP), and more. Gas-powered generators were a leading source of portable power for decades, but their maintenance and environmental (and health) impacts were overwhelming for some. Then along came battery-powered generators, popularized by Goal Zero, offering consumers convenience, quietness and ease of use. Combine them with solar panels and you get virtually unlimited power for someone like me: an avid hiker, camper, backpacker and survivalist.
A combination of a battery station like the Jackery Explorer 1000 and a solar panel is the ideal gear for survivalists, emergencies and campers: GREAT. However, not all solar panels are created equal. Solar technology has improved over the past decade LOT and prices vary.
In early 2020, Jackery released an updated version of its SolarSaga 100W (Gen 2) solar panels as a direct competitor to Goal Zero’s Nomad 100. The immediate difference between the two products is visually striking: while the Nomad consists of four panels, the Jackery folds in half with just two panels – accented by a rigid orange carrying handle.
Short and sweet
The April 2020 version (Gen 2) of the Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panels comes with a strikingly beautiful update. While many panels in this class are either permanently mounted or fold multiple times into a briefcase, the SolarSaga simply folds in half and is held together by strong magnets accented by a rigid, bright orange carrying handle on top. Inside this handle is a lockable compartment with an integrated Anderson connector cable that can be connected to a battery station with an appropriate extension cable.
Camping with Explorer 1000 and SolarSaga 100W
On a clear, sunny day, the SolarSaga achieved 80W of power, an exceptionally good figure considering that monocrystalline solar panels lose about 25% of their efficiency. A built-in stand helps align the module at an optimal 45-degree angle for maximum sun exposure. A built-in pocket allows for cable storage.
There are also two USB ports along the carrying handle for direct charging of mobile devices and accessories, although these were moved inside the zippered pocket on the July 2020 (Gen 3) version (which also replaced the universal Anderson connector with an 8mm adapter). I had expressed my dissatisfaction to Jackery about this change, as it makes the SolarSaga almost impossible to use with anything but their products. All Jackery Explorer 500 and Explorer 1000 power stations come with a Y-cable so that two SolarSaga panels can be used in parallel to charge their batteries faster.
All in all, the SolarSaga 100W solar panels are beautiful, rugged, efficient and portable, and are backed by a company that is becoming increasingly known for its excellent customer service.
What’s good? – Advantages
VERY efficient charging. Most panels should charge between 50-75% of the stated wattage.
Monocrystalline panels typically have a 25-30 year lifespan, after which efficiency begins to decline.
Foldable design makes the panel portable, easy to store and protected from dust
Panels are held together with two strong magnets and can be folded and unfolded quickly
Built-in stand to keep the panel facing the sun for better sun exposure
Lightweight orange carrying handle
Increases the stability and strength of the panels
Makes the product stand out and look professional
Two (2) USB ports for direct charging of mobile devices and accessories, such as tablets
USB-A: 5V @ 2.4A
USB-C: 5V @ 3A
The port is NOT PD (Power Delivery)
LED light to indicate charging status
Lockable compartment with integrated Anderson DC cable (11″/ 0.3m)
Can charge battery powered generators at 18V (5.55A)
Compatible lead-acid batteries: sealed, colloidal or open
Anderson to 8mm extension cable included (9.8’/ 3m)
Anderson connector can be converted to MC4 to increase compatibility with other products
Note: In the July 2020 (Gen 3) version of the SolarSaga 100W, the Anderson connector was replaced with an 8mm adapter and it and the USB connectors were moved to the integrated zippered pouch. I have criticized Jackery for this move, as the Anderson connector is more universal for use with other brands of power plants.
Built-in zippered pocket for accessory storage.
Fairly light at 5.5 pounds and portable: 24″ x 22″ x 1.8″ (folded), 48″ x 22″ x 0.9″ (unfolded)
Two of these panels can be daisy-chained together in PARALLEL (NOT in a SERIES) for a combined theoretical output of 200W (or up to 150W actual).
A Y-cable is required and can be obtained free of charge from Jackery when 2 SolarSaga panels are purchased.
The cable is included with the Jackery Explorer 500 and Explorer 1000 battery stations.
The Jackery Explorer 1000 can take up to 200W of power. Therefore, a 3rd or 4th SolarSaga is not required.
Jackery states that the modules are waterproof NOT
However, online reviews indicate IPX3 equivalent water resistance. See TIPS for more information
Unexpected EXCELLENT Customer service
Circuitry to protect against reverse charging 2 year warranty
Worked partially with the Goal Zero Yeti 500x
Although Jackery and Goal Zero use 8-mm input connectors, they are NOT identical.
The front 8mm connector on the Yeti was partially able to accept the 8mm cable that came with the SolarSaga. It did not plug in securely, but charging worked.
The Yeti’s rear 8mm port accepted NOT the SolarSaga cable. It would not plug in or charge.
Recommendation: If you plan to use the SolarSaga 100W with Goal Zero power stations, you should purchase Goal Zero’s 8mm Anderson cable.
Jackery SolarSage Solar Panels can be bought together with Jackery Power Station. Welcome you to click to buy from widgets below. Thanks for your support. All The Best To You In Whatever You Do.