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Old 08-27-2017, 07:07 PM   #1
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portable solar: Zamp vs GoPower vs Renogy

So, what's the difference? I'm looking at 120watt portable panels. Strictly from the specs:

Zamp and GoPower are about the same size, weight, with price difference at $125.

Renogy (no 120watt so looking at 100 watt) is less than half the cost. I could by two 100 watt suitcases and get more watts for less than one GoPower.

All three have generally positive reviews that I can see, so does anyone know the difference? I'm assuming it's quality.

I'm suspicious of something priced as low as Renogy, when its competitors are 2x's the cost. Renogy's charge controller isn't waterproof, unlike Zamp and GoPower.
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:32 PM   #2
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It's the brand label. Some people are impressed by name brands and excessive cost. I am very happy with my Renogy 100 watt suitcase.
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:10 PM   #3
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I just ordered a 120W suitcase unit off of Amazon. Brand name is Eco-Worthy and I personally know another AS owner who has had good luck with one. Normally they run about $250 but occasionally they go on sale. I picked mine up last week for $190. They include a controller and all one needs to do is attach an SAE connector on the end that plugs right into the AS. I looked at both Zamp and Renogy but just couldn't justify the added price. BTW - the Zamp and Renogy are Mono-crystaline where as the Eco-Worthy is Poly-crystaline. That means the Eco-Worthy is slightly less efficient but for the price I'm good with that.
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:54 PM   #4
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I just ordered the 200 watt Renogy suitcase
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KelloggKid View Post
BTW - the Zamp and Renogy are Mono-crystaline where as the Eco-Worthy is Poly-crystaline. That means the Eco-Worthy is slightly less efficient but for the price I'm good with that.


Any other technical specs which account for the difference in cost?
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:34 PM   #6
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We have Overland Solar suitcase we are happy with but nothing to compare against.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:05 PM   #7
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Any other technical specs which account for the difference in cost?

Not a technical spec...but am curious - where are the essential components manufactured? Does it make a difference from a quality, durability, longevity or other perspective?
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:38 AM   #8
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Renogy has excellent customer service and warranty
You might try calling Ecoworthy
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:46 AM   #9
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I have the Renogy 100
Watt suitcase and it works great. Their customer service is great also.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:03 PM   #10
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We have a Zamp 200W portable panel and have probably used it for about 700 days of generating solar power for our Airstream over the course of 3+ years. Except for damage from being blown over by a strong wind gust, it has lasted very well with heavy use. I cannot speak to the other brands but can say that our Zamp panel has withstood the test of time and we would definitely select that brand again. We bought it from Solar Dealz and have been happy with their customer service, as well.

Someone mentioned above that one brand you are considering does not have a waterproof controller. That alone seems like a big issue unless you want to be constantly babysitting your panel.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:06 PM   #11
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We use a Zamp 160w suitcase. Well-built and does a great job keeping the batteries charged.

My main reasons for spending a little more $$ is that it's local (Bend, OR) and US-made. Can't speak for the other brands.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:28 PM   #12
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I bought the 200w Renogy for my AS and it works flawlessly, used it a few times camping this summer and never had an issue, but mine is permanently mounted on my camper. I use it to recharge three (3) group 24 marine batteries in parallel. The system powered everything we wanted except A/C...
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Troy McLure View Post
We use a Zamp 160w suitcase. Well-built and does a great job keeping the batteries charged.

My main reasons for spending a little more $$ is that it's local (Bend, OR) and US-made. Can't speak for the other brands.
I also have had great success and no problems with my 160 W Zamp. Theft is a potential concern with any of the pirtable units. I use a kayak cable lock to discourage impulsive thiefs, but I doubt you can protect any of the 100%.
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dstalzer View Post
I have the Renogy 100
Watt suitcase and it works great. Their customer service is great also.
second this.
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