What Is A Solar Powered Backpack? Learn Everything You Need To Know

I recently came across an interesting question about backpacks which goes like this, what is a solar powered backpack? If I came across that question before I started this blog I would have asked myself why on earth is someone asking that, is a backbag even capable of being able to do that?

An image of a solar backpack which clearly answers the question what is a solar powered backpack

Luckily, with my exposure to a lot of bags because of this website, I know for sure that such a type of bag exists and I intend to use this post to give a detailed answer to those questions most especially the first.

Technology is rapidly changing and improving on a daily basis that even the backpack industry is now been influenced by this rapid change.

A feature I recently noticed been introduced in some packs is the use of solar energy in powering appliances like mobile phones, mp3 players and more.

Is a bag actually able to make use of the energy of the sun? How on earth is this even possible? You would find your answers in this post as I answer the question on what is a solar powered backpack. By the time you finish reading this post you would…

  • Have a clear understanding of a solar panel backpack
  • Know how they work
  • Know some of their advantages and disadvantages
  • Know how to build your own solar powered pack

The introduction of smart backpacks to the backpack industry has largely contributed to An adult wearing a solar panel backpack which answer the question what is a solar powered backpackthe technological changes we see in a backpack and one of these technological changes is the introduction of solar panel backbags.

Before you know how to build your own solar panel bag, first you need to understand exactly what they are.

What is A Solar Powered Backpack?

A solar panel backpack or a solar-powered bag is a type of pack equipped with thin film solar cells or solar panels and batteries capable of converting the sun’s energy into electrical energy.

In some cases, the solar thin-film solar cells or solar panel and batteries come with the pack while in other cases only the solar panel is included with the bag.

What this means is that you would have to get your own battery if you intend to store the current to use for a later purpose.

How Exactly Can A Backpack Store Current?

Now what you need to know is that the current does not exactly come from the backbag itself but rather it comes from the solar panel which was attached to the bag.

The sun produces solar energy and when these solar energies come in contact with the solar panel, they are converted into electrical energy which is then stored in the batteries.

An image of a type of solar powered backpack which clearly answers the question what is a solar powered backpack

Like I said, some packs come with batteries that are connected to the solar panel used to store electricity but if yours doesn’t come with a battery such as a power bank then you might have to get yourself one.

The solar panels are able to charge your devices without making use of any battery to store the converted energy as long as the panels are under the sun but if you intend to use the energy later on then you would have to store it in a device capable of storing electrical energy preferably a power bank.

The power bank can then later be used to power up or charge your appliances.

How a solar panel backpack works
Image Source: Amazon

Advantages Of A Solar Panel Backpack

1. They are powered by a constant source of energy which is the sun

The sun is considered as one of natures most constant sources of energy available to anyone that intends to make use of it. It is totally free energy and can be used to power your devices when converted using a solar panel.

2. They are lightweight, hence easy to carry

Because of the type of panels used on bags, they can be pretty light which therefore means they add very little weight on the bag making them very easy to carry.

A solar panel

3. Some solar panels can be manually removed from the bag and used separately

Not all bags with solar panels are able to do this because they probably were built in a way that makes it difficult or nearly impossible to remove them from the back bag.

However, the way some of these panels are attached to the bag makes it pretty easy to remove them from the bag and probably place them where there is better contact with the sun’s energy

4. Flexible solar panels also are light and portable, as well as waterproof

A flexible solar panel

Disadvantages Of A Solar Powered Backpack

1. They can be pretty pricey

The higher the quality the more expensive an item is. The same is true for a solar bag. For those of you planning to get one with really good quality, you should be ready to spend more than $100.

The really good ones cost way more than that. Do you feel that this is not an option? Then considered building your own solar bag. This is a very cheap option and anyone should be able to do it.

2. There are not a lot of options to pick from

These type of bags have not always been around and are kind of limited in supply. You won’t even find them in some countries and are mostly accessible through online purchases.

Luckily there are some brands strictly focused on creating solar bags so hopefully, we should be able to see more of them in the market pretty soon.

3. It has to be under strong sunlight before it can be able to function properly

This can be a major disadvantage of this type of bag because if they are not under strong sunlight then they would not be able to properly function.

4. The angle of the sun might not directly face the solar panel of the pack

The backbag is always meant to be at your back so what happens if the angle of the sun is not directly facing your back. This can be a problem especially when carrying your pack and can actually make the panels not to function properly.

If you would be able to hold your bag with your hand then you should be able to position it in an angle whereby it can be able to properly face the sun.

Applications

A solar panel backpack can be used for several reasons

1. It can be used to power a laptop for up to 3 hours depending on the type of solar panel being used

2. After exposure of about six hours, it can power an emergency light for 14 hours

3. These type of bags can be used to power cameras for use in remote areas

4. They can be used to power electronic devices for up to 6 hours

How To Build Your Own Solar Powered Backpack

Most of the time, a really good pack with a solar panel can be rather expensive and because of this a lot of people would probably not be able to afford it. Our solution to this is building our own personal backbag with a solar panel attached to it.

The steps involved are pretty easy to follow and can be done by anyone. If you intend to build your own backbag having its solar panel then follow the steps below.

You either watch the video I provided below or you can follow these steps

1. Purchase a solar panel charger that can easily fit the size of your pack.

You would need to make sure the one you get is thin and flexible with a USB cable that can be used to charge your battery or your appliances. It is advisable you try to get panels that are weather resistant and also make sure you get more than one because the more you get the better impact they would have.

Several solar panels

2. Get the required equipments

Aside from getting the solar panels you would need to get the required equipments which are

  • two plexi glasses
  • wires
  • velcros
  • connectors
  • batteries
  • battery holder
  • adhesive tape
  • epoxy glue
  • screws and nuts
  • USB port

Note that depending on the type of solar panel you purchase would determine if you won’t need some of the tools listed above. For example, some panels come with USB ports while others don’t.

My advise to you would be that you first of all read the steps below and also watch the video before you decide on the procedure to follow.

3. Know the length of your bag

You would need to measure your bag so you know its length. By knowing its length you would be able to know the number of panels you would need that can properly fit your backpack.

4. Drill holes on the plexiglass

You would need to drill holes on the plexiglasses because you would need to screw them together later on. Drill 4 little holes at the corner of both plexiglasses.

5. Assemble the panels

Your next task would be to assemble the panels by making use of the adhesive tape. Use the adhesive tapes on the back of the panels and attach them to the plexiglass. Make sure they don’t cover the little holes that you drilled. You then apply the glue and make sure the panels are properly stuck to the glass and then allow to dry for about an hour.

6. Connect the wires

After allowing the glue to dry up your next task would be to connect the wires and the usb port if the panels don’t come with a usb port. Also, connect the adapters that you wish to include.

7. Make use of the other plexiglass

After connecting the wires, use the second plexiglass and place it on the side of the panel without plexiglass making the drilled holes align together. After doing this you then put the nuts on top the holes and screw them together.

8. Attach To Your Backpack

The best way to do this is to sew a patch to hold the panel and then you would have to attach the panel in its patch to the part of the backpack you feel would be more exposed to the sun.

Congratulations, you have just built yourself a solar-enabled backbag. Note that there are several methods in getting this done. If you would prefer a visual lesson then click on the video below.

Conclusion

In this fast-moving world we currently live in, having a solar panel backpack can be of huge help in keeping your devices charged.

The best part about this is that the energy used in charging the solar panels come from the sun which is totally free to everyone interested in harnessing its power for their personal use.

If you feel purchasing a backpack with an already attached solar panel is expensive then you can, by all means, consider building your own. It is really cheap and very easy to build if you followed the steps provided above.

Having a pack with a solar panel is a really good idea for those that spend most of their time outdoors like a cyclist, hikers, campers, and even travelers. You can always keep your appliances charged so they are always available for use whenever you need to make use of them.

Have you ever bought a bag with a solar panel or have you probably built yourself one? I would like to read about your experience. Please leave your comments below and if you have any question you can also leave them in the comment section below and I would reply to you as soon as I possibly can.

References:

Solar Backpack, Retrieved From Wikipedia

Thin-film solar cell, Retrieved From Wikipedia

https://solarmonsters.com/help-advice/solar-backpack-advice/how-to-make-a-solar-backpack/

All Image Source From Amazon

 

20 comments on “What Is A Solar Powered Backpack? Learn Everything You Need To Know

  1. What can I say. What a great review there on what a solar powered backpack is. Before now I must say I have not seen a solar-powered backpack. But looking at the one you made use of in this post I would have to say that it looks really nice. You did an awesome job explaining this. 

  2. OMG the world is really moving forward in terms of technology. I have never seen this before, my wife needs to see this she likes things of this kind, I will save this post for later analysis and I know she will go for it , the article is well detailed and convincing. 

  3. Wow! This is really amazing. The technology is actually making waves in the world meeting people’s need. This article really clear my doubts about solar powered backpacks my friend told me, he saw online. Yes, with this review I really get the actual facts and I was inspired by this amazing features in backpack now as you can power your gadgets anywhere you go with your solar power backpack. I will order for mine as soon as possible. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

  4. I must say that this article is very interesting and helpful. Honestly, I did not hear about solar powdered backpacks so far but this is something I would definitely need. My phone and tablet are always with me so this will be of great help to me. I will try to make one but not sure if I will succeed lol.

    1. You can always give it a try. But make sure you do it right. I would advise you use it on a power bank first before trying it out with your phone or appliances.

  5. Hello Manuel, this article is so interesting and very helpful. A solar backpack can be of great advantage in visiting a remote area, your article is an eye-opener to get this as an opportunity for charging of phones and mp3. I would love to order one of these because during my camping it will be useful. Thanks for such an insightful article.

  6. Solar power backpacks are a great innovation in the field of solar technology and backpack, it shows that backpacks are no longer just for storing clothes and gadgets when going on holidays or trips and can also be used as a mobile charging station, the amazing part of it is that it isn’t just meant for outdoor adventure alone as it is stylish to be worn anytime.

  7. What a cool idea! Love it! The price and the limited availability of these backpacks are good reasons to try and DIY. I find the DIY step by step guide very helpful and the video is useful.

    I spend a lot of time outdoors, and this backpack is a good solution. For me, the significant disadvantage is that I live in a rainy location, but I still consider it.

    Great review, thanks.

    1. Thanks for your comment Dany. Most of these solar panels are either water-resistant or waterproof. The only problem is that the backpack itself might not be waterproof.

  8. Wow, kudos to technology! Who would’ve thought that a solar-powered backpack even exists? 
    Thanks so much for opening my views a bit further and letting us know that such a product is available. And they don’t even look bad! The solar panels are stylishly brought into the backpack and give it a modern feel! Love that!

    I loved this article as it answered all the questions I had relating to this cool product! Yet another “green” way to use energy without damaging the earth 🙂 

    1. Thanks to creativity the backpack is becoming more than it was actually meant for. The introduction of solar panels into backpacks is definitely a step forward in the backpack industry.

  9. This is the first time I will be seeing a solar powered backpack. I really love the features and I must commend you for taking your time to share this article because you must have done a lot of research. I will be looking forward to purchase any of this and I will be rebroadcasting this information so others can get exposed to what they have been missing. Thanks for sharing this information.

  10. Hi Manuel! This is a very interesting concept. I had heard of this but it’s not until today that I have decided to search online.

    Having a solar powered backpack has many advantages. I spend a lot of time outdoors and I know how useful it would be to have one. But it’s a bit pricey for me. So I greatly appreciate this short guide on how to build our own solar powered backpack. I’m excited and will start purchasing the things I need. Thank you very much.

    1. Glad I could be of help Henry. If you have any question please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below and I would reply to you as soon as possible. 

  11. Way to go green Manuel!

    I’ve always loved anything that is environment-friendly and having a natural energy source attached to your bag, that’s a huge plus for me. Seeing that I use my bags up to 8 to 10 years, I’d say the price isn’t really a factor for me to buy a new one but man, if I can easily make them, I can start today!

    1. Building our personal solar backpack can be a good way to reduce cost. It might not be perfect but It sure would get the job done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *