Have you ever asked yourself why solar panel backpacks are so important? The answer to this question is pretty straightforward. They can keep your devices charged when outside your home especially if you are an outdoors kind of person.
If you are reading this post then I am pretty sure you already know what a solar powered backpack is. They are pretty much awesome and are slowly and gradually gaining some popularity.
They are environmentally friendly because they make use of one of natures most renewable source of energy which is free and available to everyone.
These type of bags are not as popular as a regular backpack and there are not a lot of companies that are into its production.
There are some solar panel backpacks that are amazing and from what I found out, designers are beginning to be more creative with this concept and are introducing some really cool stuff into these backpacks which you would find out in the list provided in this post.
We have been able to identify some of these cool solar energy backpacks and for each of them, we have written short solar backpack reviews identifying some of their awesome features.
By the end of this review, you should have gotten some ideas about some of the best solar panel backpacks currently available and you would know whether any listed is ideal for you or not.
Design and Comfort
I recently created a post about beam backpack and I included it in this list because I was pretty impressed at what it had to offer. It was made using a highly water-resistant polyester material and the zippers used is a YKK water-resistant zipper which keeps water at bay.
Having an amazing solar panel backpack is pretty much useless if it is not comfortable to wear. This is true for all types of backpacks and luckily beam backpack was designed to provide maximum comfort when making use of the bag.
Its back was designed with a thick soft multi-panel ventilated padding and this helps create good airflow between your back and the back of the backpack. This also helps give maximum back support.
Storage and Organization
It comes with 5 main compartments that can be used to organize your items. Its laptop compartment is able to house up to a 15inch laptop.
Do you own a tablet and need a space to properly store it in your bag? If you do, you are in luck because beam backpack comes with a compartment ideal for housing a 10.1-inch tablet.
The largest compartment is able to contain items that you use on a daily basis and there are also pockets at the side of the backpack used to store items like your umbrella, water bottle, and similarly sized items.
There are two noticeable anti-theft features present in beam’s backpack which are anti-theft buckle and RFID blocking. The anti-theft buckle can be used to secure the bag.
This works by making use of the detachable shoulder straps which comes with a locking buckle. All you need to do is to loop the strap, click the buckle and lock it up.
The RFID blocking feature is a special pocket designed using RFID blocking technology which help prevents theft of your information from items like your credit cards and passports.
Beam backpack makes use of CIGS cell which means copper indium gallium selenide solar cell. They are lightweight, ultra-thin and flexible which makes them an excellent power source for a solar panel backpack.
They boost a 5V-11V; 0.1A-1.7A peak charging current which gives you an easy way to charge your devices using the sun’s energy while on the go.
USB Charging Ports
The beam backpack comes with two USB charging ports. It has an output charging port as while as a micro charging port. Depending on the size of your USB cable, it should be able to fit into either one of the charging ports.
The voltage regulator included in the beam’s backpack helps to control the power input/output for device charging. You might probably be wondering how important this might be to you. Let me explain.
When there is a cloud cover, older solar technologies are pretty much limited on what they can do. What beam’s voltage regulator does is that it reboots on its own when there is a cloud cover.
By doing this it is able to give a continuous power supply without you having to manually restart it.
It automatically identifies the sun’s strength and exposure and automatically switches to solar power and also self starts without any human intervention. Pretty cool right?
Cons of Beam Backpack
1. Its laptop compartment is able to house up to a 15-inch laptop and this might be a problem for those that have laptops bigger than 15-inches
2. The bag might absorb heat because of its dark color which might lead to overheating of the battery been charged
My Personal Rating
This is an awesome backpack and I think it is well worth the money. I would have given it a 10 over 10 rating but based on its cons, I would give it a 9-star rating out of 10 for me.
For environmentally conscious individuals, you would definitely love the fabric used in designing this voltaic solar backpack. It was made from a UV resistant fabric manufactured from recycled PET(soda bottles) which makes the bag to be lightweight.
The solar panels are built into the bags which makes them an excellent choice for camping, photographers, travelers and more.
The shoulder straps are S-shaped and were designed to be very comfortable whether you are walking or riding a bike.
The back of the backpack is made with breathable mesh fabric which allows for good ventilation between your back and the back of the backpack which is meant to keep your back as dry as possible when making use of the backpack.
Storage and Organization
Voltaic system array backpack comes with a 25L of storage and several pockets for organizing your items. It has a padded laptop sleeve which also has a pocket which is able to fit a 10inch tablet. The laptop sleeve is able to fit most 15inch laptops.
There are two pockets at the right-hand side of the backpack used to store the battery that comes with it and also to place your phone while it charges.
The pocket housing the battery has wires that goes into the laptop sleeve through the pocket as well as the front pocket and the inner chamber so you can easily connect from the battery to your devices.
At the left-hand side of the bag, there is an expandable water bottle pocket able to hold several sizes of water bottles. There is also a carry strap at the left-hand side and the bottom of the bag for carrying items like a tripod, yoga mat or a blanket.
There is a padded pocket with a hard protective cover at the top of the bag for storing items like your glasses and there are also several smaller pockets also inside of the backpack.
This is actually one of the reasons I like this backpack. Included in the bag is a battery or power bank that can be used to store current from the solar panel. This is actually a huge advantage of this bag because your devices can still be charged even while the weather is cloudy or if the sun is not out.
The battery pack is able to charge your laptop and your other devices like your phones and your tablets. It takes about 6 hours to charge a laptop and one hour to charge a phone.
The battery pack can also be charged with a power outlet while you are at home. The sun would just be used to maintain its power while you make use of it throughout the day.
High Performing Solar Cells
The solar panels are made from monocrystalline solar cells and they are able to produce 10Watts of solar power. They are waterproof and are UV resistant panels with urethane coating. These solar panels take about an hour and a half to completely charge a smartphone making use of the sun’s energy.
They are designed to power and charge laptops, professional cameras, smartphones, and most devices that are able to charge with a USB.
Cons of Voltaic System Array Rapid Solar Backpack
1. Might not be as sturdy as advertised
My Personal Rating
This is another awesome product and is one of the best solar panel backpacks on this list. The fact that it comes with a battery pack is an added bonus. I did see some few complaints about the battery pack not lasting long although I think this should have been taken care of but due to these few complaints I would give this backpack a rating of 9 stars out of 10.
Made in China, Eceen solar backpack is made both with nylon and it is just like every other backpack within a presumed price range of 80 to 90 dollars.
Due to the material used, the backpack is extra light and is perfect for day to day use and even for traveling. The fabric is water-resistant and it was made to last for a very long time providing very minimal weight. Its stress points are reinforced with bar tacking in order to increase the lifespan of the backpack.
The Eceen hiking solar backpack has two main compartments and has several small pockets that can be used to organize your items. The compartment closer to the solar panel has a little eyelid whereby the USB cable from the solar panel can be passed into the interior compartment.
The main compartment has a small sized laptop padded sleeve that can contain up to a 15inch sized laptop. There are two water bottle pockets at the side of the bag that can be used to store your water bottles and also some hoops at the bottom of the bag to hang whatever you feel would be able to fit in there.
The Eceen hiking solar backpack has two large mesh pads that goes along the back for comfort and ventilation. There are cinch down straps at both side of the backpack to cinch the backpack down and the chest strap is able to flex so when you bend over it is able to stretch a little to adjust to your position and still feel secure.
The solar panel of Eceen hiking solar power backpack is a flexible type of monocrystalline solar panel. It is presumed that the solar cells are able to produce 7 watts of power to a phone but from what I found out it seems it is able to output somewhere around 4.3 watts to a phone in need of charging. This number might vary depending on the device you intend to charge.
What you do need to know is that for any device that would need to draw more power, it would require a longer time for it to become full compared to devices that do not draw a lot of power.
Cons of Eceen Hiking Solar Backpack
1. It no longer comes with a power bank
My Personal Rating
Another awesome product produced by a popular solar backpack brand. This particular backpack used to come with a power bank but I think they stopped including it. Their reason for not including a power bank was that it reduced the money spent on each backpack and also reduced the cost of shipping.
I would have loved for it to have a power bank so for that I am giving this 8.5 stars out of 10.
Lifepack solar backpack is made with padded and adjustable shoulder straps. It was designed to have a U-shaped upper area. This allows the weight of the bag to spread evenly when it is been used making it light to carry.
Eva padding material is used at the back of the bag. This allows for better airflow at the back of the bag and also helps to protect your back and your laptop inside the backpack.
It comes with a retractable cable lock integrated into the bag. This enables you to be able to secure the bag to an object while also making sure all the compartments of the bag are code locked. At the back of the backpack, there are two hidden pockets to secure items like your passport and wallets.
The shoulder strap also comes with a hidden pocket where you can also place items like your credit card. It can also be used to store items like your earpiece or USB cable for easier access.
The solar panel of the backpack is attached to the 3-in-1 solar bank (Powerbank, High-Quality Audio, & Solar Regeneration portable power system) of the backpack which has two USB ports and an auxiliary capable for playing music. The solarbank is also a bluetooth music player capable of connecting to your music device to play music from the solarbank.
The solarbank can easily be removed from the bag whenever you want and you can slide it right back in to easily get access to the sun through the solar window. The Solarbank S3 makes use of a 4G solar technology and stores up to 6 charges for an iPhone.
Lifepack solar backpack is made up of two compartments which are tagged as lifezone compartments and workzone compartment. The lifezone compartment is meant for your personal items like your clothes, sunglasses, etc. It also has a bottle opener for the opening of bottles.
The workzone compartment is the compartment whereby you can place your laptop which comes with its own separate padded sleeve meant to house a 15inch laptop. It can only house a 17inch laptop as long as the width is not more than 11.4L x 15.4W inches (29.5cm L /39cm W).
The workzone compartment can also be used for your books. It has several smaller pockets and compartments that can be used to store small items such as receipts, pens, business cards, wallets, etc.
There is a water bottle holder at the side of the backpack where you can place your water bottle and secure it with the lasso that comes with the side pocket which can help keep the water bottle secure and in place.
Cons Of Lifepack Solar Backpack
1. Might be a little expensive
My Personal Rating
I loved the concept of the 3-in-1 solarbank which enables it to be used as a music bluetooth speaker, a power bank and a solar panel. That was pretty impressive and it has other nice features. In my personal opinion, I think this should have the highest rating on this list due to the creativity put into it so I would give it a 9.5-star rating out of 10.
Design and Comfort
Designed with high-quality oxford cloth, fanspack was made to be lightweight and waterproof. Its shoulder straps are padded and adjustable and are made to ease the pressure on your shoulders while you carry the bag.
The back of the backpack is made with mesh material which helps to dissipate heat making the backpack more comfortable when you make use of it.
The solar panel can be removed from the backpack to use alone and it is able to produce 5.3Watts of power. The solar panel has a 24% transfer rate when transferring the current converted by the solar panel to your device.
Fanspack solar backpack has one major compartment that is able to house up to a 15inch laptop. It is also able to contain your personal items like your clothes, books, magazine, wallet, mobile phone, etc.
There is a smaller compartment at the front of the backpack which also has several pockets that can be used to store some of your smaller items.
Cons of Fanspack Solar Backpack
1. Does not have a water bottle holder.
My Personal Rating
Yet another awesome solar panel backpack. The positive feedback was way more than its negative feedback and I think its simplicity makes people like this but based on the fact that I love tech and creativity in a backpack I think this might be too simple for my liking and therefore I am giving it an 8.5-star rating out of 10.
Advantages Of A Solar Panel Backpack
1. They make use of one of nature’s most renewable and constant source of energy
The sun is free for everyone. I don’t think I have heard of a place whereby you would have to pay for the sun before you make use of it.
As long as there is sun you should be able to make use of your solar energy backpack to power your device at ease.
2. Great for outdoor activities
If you are a person that likes to go for adventures then having a solar panel backpack is going to make your journey more enjoyable. There is nothing as uncool as the battery of your phone running out when you are on one of your adventures.
With a drained battery, there would be no more picture taking, no listening to music, no more browsing on the internet, no calling of home or your friends to tell them about the awesome time you are having.
Unless you plan to buy loads of power banks for your journey I don’t see why the option of a solar backpack should not at the very least be considered.
Disadvantages Of Solar Panel Backpacks
1. The angle of the sun
One of the obvious disadvantages of making use of these type of packs is the panel not properly facing the angle of the sun. Most of the time for these panels to function at maximum strength they would have to directly face the angle of the sun so the sun can properly heat the panels.
If this does not happen then your devices might not charge as fast as they should. Some designers are taking note of this and are therefore making the panels to also rest ontop the bag.
2. They can be pretty expensive
Solar panel backpacks are not like regular backpacks. Yes, they still make use of regular backpacks but because of the solar system, they can become more expensive than a regular pack.
Different solar packs come with different features. For example, beam backpack comes with a voltaic regulator while lifepack’s solar panel backpack comes with 3-in1- solarbank. These features tend to boost up the prices of the backpacks making their prices more than that of a regular bag.
Do You Really Need To Get A Solar Powered Backpack
The fact is that not everyone that gets a solar panel backpack really needs to. They are more ideal for outdoor activities and would be kind of useless for those that spend most of their day indoors.
If I go to work at 7 am and close from work at 7 pm then I don’t really see the need for this type of backpack. Before you decide to get one for yourself you should ask yourself if you really need to make use of it.
If you spend some time indoors and also spend some time outdoors then it should be ok. Just make sure it is a type of bag you would need before you decide to get one.
Although I advised that they should only be gotten if more time is spent outdoors but there are some examples whereby solar panel backpacks can be really important.
Applications of Solar Panel Backpacks
These type of bags can be used for several purposes apart from just charging a phone.
1. Some of them can be used to power laptops.
2. They can be used to power emergency lights for 14hours after exposure to the sun for about 6 hours.
3. They can be used to power medical equipment and humanitarian relief efforts where power from the utility grid is not available
4. They can be used to power cameras for use in remote areas.
The solar panel backpacks listed on this list are some of the most amazing solar backpacks currently available. They have a nice design and are all made with water-resistant materials. Their panels should be able to charge your devices as long as it has direct contact with the sun.
Their features differ with some being more sophisticated than others. They are all highly recommended and should be able to give you what you want from this type of backpack.
I am really interested to see how solar panel backpacks would have evolved 10 years from now. I am pretty sure there are going to be some amazing introductions into this style of backpack.
“Solar backpacks”. Retrieved from Wikipedia