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Solar power technology has proven its effectiveness at powering various products, and new solar-powered products are being released all the time as companies continue to innovate and become more eco-friendly. Now, you can even buy solar panel backpacks, which make traveling more convenient.
What’s the purpose of a solar panel backpack? There are many reasons why a solar panel backpack is useful. One is that it functions like a power bank that charges gadgets like smartphones, tablets, cameras and laptops. It’s also kinder to the environment since you are able to convert the power of the sun into reusable energy.
Solar panel backpacks are also more convenient because you do not have to look for power outlets for charging your devices. Instead, you have your own portable charging station that you can bring anywhere as long as there’s plenty of sunlight. There are lots of advantages, but these are the main reasons for buying a solar panel backpack.
The goal of this article is to help you find the right solar-powered backpack that will suit your lifestyle. On this page you will learn about some of the factors to consider as read some tips on the features to look for.
Solar Backpack Comparison Table
[Product info last updated on May 21, 2018 - 12:38 am | Data obtained from Amazon Product Advertising API]
Selecting the Right Solar Panel Backpack
Considering the following factors will help you pick the right model of solar backpack for your particular needs. Once you have considered these things, it will be easier to choose the right product.
Device voltage and usage
Not all solar-powered backpacks have the same specifications. Some of them will have a specific voltage that might be higher or lower than that of your devices. The best way to know if it has the right voltage is to first check the devices you always use like your smartphone or tablet. Then, see if the battery pack included in the backpack meets their requirements. If your gadgets are USB-powered, then they require a 5V charger.
Are you going to use the bag daily? Then you should take note that most battery packs are not capable of charging and discharging.
If your device needs immediate charging, make sure that you have stored enough power in the battery pack or the solar-powered backpack allows direct charging, which means you can connect a cable directly to the solar panel. This is especially useful when the battery pack runs out of power and your only option is to directly charge from the solar panel as it collects and converts solar power. The best way to avoid this is to find a solar backpack that allows direct DC charging of gadgets with a proper connector.
Battery pack power capacity
Solar-powered backpacks were originally meant to recharge devices rather than fully charge them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fully charge them. You just have to make sure that the battery pack has a large storage capacity to provide enough power for one or two of your gadgets. Experts say that the battery pack should have 5% to 10% more power capacity. Aside from this, you also have to make sure that the battery pack is fully charged first to ensure that it can fully charge other devices.
Solar panel adjustability
Sometimes the backpack’s position does not allow the solar panel to catch the sunlight, especially while you are walking. If you want to maximize the amount of power produced by your solar panel, make sure it is detachable. This way, you can adjust the position of your panel so that it is exposed to as much sun as possible.
What to Look for in a Solar Panel Backpack
Can Charge Laptops
There is no guarantee that a heavy-duty solar-powered backpack can fully charge a laptop, but if it offers 3 hours of power that should be enough. Not all backpacks can do this, so if your solar-powered backpack has this capacity, it means it will also function better overall and be a better source of energy for smaller devices.
However, backpacks that can charge laptops will be more expensive than others. Another thing to check is that your laptop can receive power from an external source rather than a power outlet.
Tough and Rugged Design
If you are going to explore the wilderness or the mountains, then your backpack should be tough and rugged. It should be able to withstand outdoor conditions whatever the season. Aside from that, it should have the ability to handle heavy loads, especially if you are going to be out for days or weeks.
Lightweight and Comfortable
Not only should your solar-powered backpack be tough and rugged, it should also be lightweight and comfortable. The overall design should be ergonomic so that you will feel supported while carrying a heavy load. It should also have straps with padding to make your shoulders and back feel more ease.
Ghostek NRGsolar Series 40L
Coming in first position is the Ghostek NRGsolar Series 40L. This backpack is made by a New York-based manufacturer famous for creating rugged yet stylish phone cases. This product is designed to have the same ruggedness while allowing people o recharge their gadgets anytime, anywhere.
What makes this model stand out from others? It has a 40L capacity and a 16,000mAh lithium-ion and lithium-polymer battery, providing enough power for your smartphone, tablet and even your laptop. Meanwhile, the solar panel offers 8.8 watts of energy by converting sunlight more efficiently.
The product has a total of 5 USB ports located inside the backpack, on the solar panel itself and externally. This way, you can charge different devices at once. Furthermore, there is also an LED to indicate the backpack’s power status.
The backpack itself is large enough for everyday use and outdoor adventures. It has multiple compartments where you can store your travel kit or books, as well as a special large compartment for laptops up to 15.6 inches in size.
In terms of functionality and portability, this product is definitely the best. Not only does it allow you to carry a 15-inch laptop, smartphones and other devices, you can also charge them as you walk in the sun. Strong, sturdy, waterproof and lightweight, this black and beautiful backpack is surely a nice thing to have.
ECEEN Canvans Backpack
When you ask people to recommend an affordable and fashionable solar backpack, one of the names that will come up is ECEEN. This brand has been on the market since 2007 and has gained a lot of followers. In other words, they are trusted for their reliability and quality. You can expect the same with the ECEEN Canvans Backpack.
This solar backpack offers 10 watts of power which is combined with a powerful 10000mAh battery pack. It will charge your smartphones, tablets and other devices, supplying battery power that can last for days. All you need to do is to expose the solar panel for 6 hours in the sun to fully charge. After that, you can charge at least 3 to 4 devices. You also get Micro USB cables included for your convenience.
This solar backpack has a nice design which will suit the taste of a student, office worker or an adventure lover. It is durable and strong, being made of a canvas material. Aside from this, it also has a 36L capacity so you can bring your extra valuables like books and clothes with you.
Because the canvas is waterproof, it can protect all your things on rainy days. Meanwhile, the backpack only weighs 2.6 lbs. so it is more comfortable on the back. The price is really cheap and you can sometimes buy it with a discount.
CHOETECH 24W Solar Charger Backpack
The CHOETECH 24W Solar Charger Backpack might not be as appealing as some other brands, but it is very efficient and powerful. The backpack is made for the outdoors and for people who enjoy spending a lot of time in the sun.
It can produce 24 watts of power quickly through the integrated 2.4A or 4A USB ports. According to the manufacturer, the product has a 23% to 24% better conversion rate than regular solar backpacks as it directly charges up to two devices at the same time.
Another good thing about the solar panel is its foldable design, including three webbing loops on both sides. This allows you to detach it from the backpack and attach it to a tent or another place where it can catch more sunlight. Just make sure that you connect a separate power bank so that energy is stored for later use.
The backpack has a foldable design too. You can use it full size and fold it up and put it in a pocket when you’re not using it. Aside from that, the fabric material and panels are waterproof, making it ideal for outdoor use.
ECEEN Laptop Backpack with 7W Waterproof Solar Panel
The ECEEN Laptop Backpack with 7W Waterproof Solar Panel is another backpack from this affordable brand. It proves that innovative solar power technology and style do not have to be expensive.
This model will appeal to those who are looking for a laptop backpack with good features. While it won’t charge your laptop, you can rest assured that it will protect it and keep it scratch-free.
You will appreciate that the backpack is made to withstand different outdoor conditions. The leather at the bottom is safe from scratches and punctures as it is abrasion proof. Since the backpack features bubble foam, it can absorb shocks and bumps well.
Furthermore, the back part of the bag has an ergonomic design. It has contoured shoulder straps so that they are comfortable even when you’re carrying a heavy load.
This model includes a solar panel and battery system that is powerful enough for a student’s everyday use. The solar panels can provide 7 watts of power while converting sunlight into a reusable energy.
The removable and rechargeable power bank has a 2,000mAh capacity, allowing you to store energy for later use. This way, you can use the stored energy to charge your phone when the weather is gloomy or there is no sun.
Ivation Solar Survival Backpack
In terms of unique features, this solar backpack wins. That is because as well as recharging your gadgets, the Ivation Solar Survival Backpack can recharge your energy as well. It features a 1.8L bladder bag with a flexible water pipe so you can sip water or another drink while walking. That way, you won’t feel dehydrated while trekking in the mountains or biking outdoors.
You’ll also appreciate this backpack’s powerful solar panel and battery pack. It converts sunlight using the 7-watt solar panel which has an anti-scratch coating and stores energy in the 10,000mAh capacity lithium-polymer battery.
The power bank is also removable and waterproof. It has 2 charging ports, allowing you to recharge two gadgets at the same time. With this package you will get a USB cable for connecting the battery to your device.
Meanwhile, the solar panel is also removable, allowing you to put it in the best position or attach it someplace where it can catch plenty of sunlight. The backpack itself is very similar to other travel bags, featuring zippered pockets and huge compartments for all your things.
Solar-powered backpacks are a great innovation in the fields of solar technology and backpacks. Backpacks are no longer just a place to store gadgets, clothing and other valuable belongings. Now, you can also use your backpack as a mobile charging station when traveling, hiking, trekking, biking or doing other activities. These backpacks aren’t just limited to outdoor adventures as they are stylish enough to worn for everyday use.
Each of the products listed above deserve to be tagged as one of the best solar panel backpacks available today. They have the qualities that you should look for to ensure that you are getting what you pay for.
Most of the backpacks reviewed above are lightweight, durable, portable, highly functional and efficient in converting sunlight into electricity. However, not all of them are affordable or equally powerful.
As we said earlier, the best way to choose a solar backpack is to know which devices you need to charge regularly as well as how much you are willing to spend for the convenience. In the end, the best solar-powered backpack is the one that meets your needs.