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Renogy 100W Foldable Review

The folding version of the type of solar panel you could permanently mount to the roof of your vehicle
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Renogy 100W Foldable Review (The Renogy 100W is one of the most powerful panels in direct sunlight.)
The Renogy 100W is one of the most powerful panels in direct sunlight.
Credit: Sam Schild
Price:  $355 List
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Manufacturer:   Renogy
By Sam Schild ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 19, 2023
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 11
  • Direct Solar Charging Speed - 35% 9.0
  • Indirect Solar Charging Speed - 35% 9.0
  • Portability - 15% 3.0
  • Functionality - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Renogy 100W Foldable is a hard-sided solar panel with a strong aluminum frame. This model is a folding version of the type of solar panel you would mount to the roof of your overlanding vehicle or even on top of your house. It's significantly heavier than most of the other panels we tested, but that's beneficial if you want a durable panel that won't blow away in the wind. It's fully waterproof, has a high solar charging efficiency, and comes with a hard-sided carrying case that will protect the panel during transport. It has the strongest and most secure fold-out legs of any panel we tested. This panel is a great choice for those who aren't going to be moving it around that much but need plenty of power.
REASONS TO BUY
Very durable
Charges quickly
Does well in all conditions
Waterproof
Strong adjustable fold-out legs
REASONS TO AVOID
Quite heavy
Charging cable is often sold separately

Compare to Similar Products

 
renogy 100w foldable
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $355 List
$169.99 at Amazon
$299 List
$299.00 at Amazon
$399 List
$189.00 at Amazon
$200 List
$189.99 at Amazon
$400 List
$399.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line A hard-sided folding model that is powerful and durable enough to leave outside for days, weeks, or foreverThis option works better than the competition at a lower price, and is super easy to useThis efficient and portable all-weather model will keep you charged rain or shineAn inexpensive panel that outperforms its price and is a great value overallAn easy-to-use panel that's small and light enough to carry just about anywhere you need a charge
Rating Categories Renogy 100W Foldable Jackery SolarSaga 100 EcoFlow 110 BigBlue SolarPowa 1... BioLite Solar Panel...
Direct Solar Charging Speed (35%)
9.0
9.5
9.0
8.0
7.0
Indirect Solar Charging Speed (35%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Portability (15%)
3.0
6.0
5.5
8.0
8.0
Functionality (15%)
6.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
Specs Renogy 100W Foldable Jackery SolarSaga 100 EcoFlow 110 BigBlue SolarPowa 1... BioLite Solar Panel...
Energy Generated in 1 Hour Direct Sun 53.5 Wh 54.3 Wh 53.6 Wh 49.9 Wh 42.4 Wh
Energy Generated in 1 Hour Indirect Sun 20.8 Wh 17.6 Wh 20.0 Wh 14.4 Wh 14.9 Wh
Power Output Rating (Watts) 100 W 100 W 110 W 100 W 100 W
Measured Output in Direct Sun (Watts) 56 W 61 W 66 W 50W 47 W
Measured Output in Indirect Sun (Watts) 24 W 25 W 25 W 11 W 19 W
# of USB A Outlets 0 1 0 0 2
# of USB C Outlets 0 1 0 0 1
Max USB Output Current (Amps per Port) N/A 3 amps N/A N/A 5 amps
Weight (Measured) 21.2 lb 10.3 lb 8.8 lb 8.8 lb 9.5 lb
Size Folded 24 x 20 x 3.5 in 24 x 21 x 1.5 in 16.5 x 20.2 x 1.5 in 25 x 21 x 1 in 14.5 x 20 x 1.5 in
Size Opened 48 x 20 x 1.5 in 48 x 21 x 0.5 in 62.5 x 20.2 x 0.5 in 42 x 25 x 0.5 in 57.5 x 20 x 0.5 in
Battery Included No No No No No
Tablet Charging No Yes No No Yes
Laptop Charging No No No No Yes
Charge iPhone/Smartphone No Yes Yes No Yes
Panel Outside Material Canvas With Rigid Foam Clamshell Case Canvas Canvas Canvas Canvas
Panel Type Monocrystalline silicon Monocrystalline silicon Monocrystalline silicon Monocrystalline silicon Monocrystalline silicon
Battery Input (Volts) 21.7 V 20.7 V 22.1 V 22.6 V 21.8 V
Able to Daisy Chain Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
12-Volt Connection Yes No No Yes Yes
DC Output Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Renogy 100W Foldable is one of the best solar panels if you want to set it and forget about it. This hard-sided panel is big and heavy. This is a folding, hinged version of a fully rigid panel. Imagine then panel you'd permanently install on the roof of your van, overlanding rig, or off-grid cabin, then add a hinge. That's what this panel is. It's extremely efficient, very durable, and fully waterproof.

Performance Comparison


renogy 100w foldable - the renogy 100w foldable is one of the most efficient and durable...
The Renogy 100W Foldable is one of the most efficient and durable panels we tested.
Credit: Sam Schild

Direct Solar Charging Speed


The Renogy 100W works very well in direct sunlight. This panel consistently performed as well as other top performers in our direct solar charging speed tests. It's consistent and efficient in full sunlight.


The Renogy charged its 240-watt-hour test battery faster than most other panels we tested. It wasn't the absolute highest-output panel during testing, but it's pretty close. You'll never be left wondering when you'll be able to charge your tech or turn on your powered cooler with this panel.


Like all the best solar panels, it uses high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells. This panel consistently put out some of the most power compared to all the panels we tested in direct solar charging speed. In our comparative direct-sun solar charging speed test, the Renogy 100W Foldable generated 53.5 watt-hours of energy in a single hour.

The Renogy 100W does well in direct solar charging scenarios.
Credit: Sam Schild

With an average output of 56 watts in direct sunlight at 5,000 feet above sea level, the Renogy once again proves itself a powerhouse of energy generation from the power of the sun. Occasionally hitting levels as high as 70 watts during peak sunlight, this panel is about as powerful and efficient as it gets.


Even compared to some stiff competition, this panel puts up an impressive performance in energy conversion.

renogy 100w foldable - the renogy 100w is one of the most powerful panels in direct sunlight.
The Renogy 100W is one of the most powerful panels in direct sunlight.
Credit: Sam Schild

Indirect Solar Charging Speed


Since the sun isn't always shining, it's important that solar panels are as efficient as possible in cloudier conditions as well. The best panels make the most out of the dispersed light created on cloudy days, but not all panels do as well in cloudy conditions.


The Renogy 100W Foldable was one of the top performers in our indirect-sun solar charge speed tests as well. We simulated a cloudy day using a white sheet on a sunny day, suspended over all the panels side-by-side. Within this veritable blanket fort, the Renogy proved its efficiency even when the sun is blocked.


In one hour, this panel generated 20.8 watt-hours of charge. The only models to best this performance have larger surface areas and higher wattage ratings.


Similarly, the Renogy 100W put up impressive stats in terms of point readings of watt output. Even under our cloudy day sheets, this panel managed to produce an average of 24 watts of power. Very few others we tested can compete.

renogy 100w foldable - the renogy performed very well under our simulated cloud.
The Renogy performed very well under our simulated cloud.
Credit: Sam Schild

All in all, the Renogy performed better than almost every other panel in indirect solar efficiency tests. This panel does not sacrifice efficiency for anything. It would be the clear winner if we were choosing the best panel solely based on direct and indirect solar charging capabilities, as it was a top performer in all of our solar charging tests.

renogy 100w foldable - the renogy panel was very efficient in simulated cloudy conditions...
The Renogy panel was very efficient in simulated cloudy conditions and on clear, sunny days.
Credit: Sam Schild

Portability


The Renogy 100W is not very portable. We dreaded every time we had to load this panel in and out of our car. This model is technically portable because it folds and has a carrying case, but it's one of our least favorites to actually move around. We wouldn't recommend this panel if you live in a small apartment or will need to carry this panel up and down staircases as we did during testing.


It weighs 21.2 pounds, which is more than twice as heavy as some of the more portable solar panels for camping we tested. Its carrying case is 26.5 by 22 inches and 3.5 inches thick. Twenty pounds doesn't seem that heavy, but depending on how far you have to go with it or how high you have to lift it, those pounds feel heavier quickly.


The hard-sided carrying case makes the Renogy a little easier to transport. It protects the panel from the inevitable moments when you knock it into something because it's so big and bulky. It fully unzips and opens like a clamshell, making it in and out of the case mercifully easier.

renogy 100w foldable - the renogy 100w foldable is technically portable, but it's a workout...
The Renogy 100W Foldable is technically portable, but it's a workout lugging this thing around.
Credit: Sam Schild

Functionality


The Renogy 100W is very functional. It's more durable than many panels in our test group, and it's fully waterproof. It's able to be connected in a continuous daisy chain with other panels, and Renogy often sells this panel as a package with a handy solar controller and connector cables.


It only charges one device at a time, but that's common for panels with universal standard MC4 solar connector cables. The main purpose of this panel is to be connected to a battery as part of a complete off-grid system. The Renogy support legs are some of the best of any panel we tested. They're made of aluminum, like the rest of the panel's frame, and can infinitely adjust and secure in position with a threaded knob on each leg. These legs securely hold the panel up and work better in high winds than those of any other panel.

renogy 100w foldable - the aluminum legs on the renogy 100w foldable are some of the...
The aluminum legs on the Renogy 100W foldable are some of the strongest and most secure we tested.
Credit: Sam Schild

Should You Buy the Renogy 100W Foldable?


The Renogy 100W is an all-around great performing solar panel. It's one of the most powerful and energy-efficient models we tested and offers serious durability and weather resistance. Seemingly regularly, this 100-watt panel is on sale and makes for a great value option at some of the prices we've seen. At the end of the day, as long as you don't have to move it around too much, the Renogy is an exceptionally sturdy and efficient option.

renogy 100w foldable - the renogy 100w is a durable and efficient panel to set up at your...
The Renogy 100W is a durable and efficient panel to set up at your campsite and leave out all day.
Credit: Sam Schild

What Other Solar Camping Panels Should You Consider?


If you're looking for the most portable solar panel with many user-friendly features, we recommend the BioLite Solar Panel 100. If you want a more portable solar panel that's still waterproof but is slightly easier to transport, check out the EcoFlow 110. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you need something that's seriously portable, check out our review of the best portable solar chargers.

Sam Schild
 

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