A solar backpack is a special type of the conventional backpack which has a tinny film of solar cells and batteries. Whereby, the thin film solar panels convert sunlight energy into electric power. The solar backpack also has suspended traps that let you carry it steadily on your back.
In this post, I share with you the unique features of the best solar backpacks and a few models you’d consider when buying a solar backpack. The solar backpacks are the latest type of backpacks, thanks to consistent advancement of technology.
Before these bags came you’d not charge your important gadgets when hiking but nature really doesn’t dictate that you have to stop operating your gadgets when having fun hiking. An ideal solar backpack has an added advantage as compared to the usual backpacks in that, it enables you to charge your devices .
Since hiking is most exciting on sunny days, having a solar panel at your back while hiking in the presence of sunlight would be a great way to recharge the batteries while doing what you love. So whenever you want to leave for a hike, you don’t have to waste a lot of time charging your phone ahead of the trip when you can charge it while enjoying the trip.
Instead, you can use your last minutes before the trip to make proper preparations rather than waste it on charging gadgets. Moreover, you won’t have to cut your trip short just because there is low charge in your laptop, cell phone or tablet.
5 Things to Consider While Buying Solar Backpacks
Every time you go out buying anything it’s always prudent to carry a checklist. A checklist is a very vital tool that will help you know if whatever you settle on will satisfy your needs. So consider this a checklist for solar backpacks. Here are some features that a basic solar backpack should have:
Lightweight, Portable and Durable
A good solar backpack should be made of lightweight materials. If they are made of heavy weight materials you will have to carry a lot of dead weight on your shoulders. The only weight you have to carry should be the weight of your items and not the weight of the back.
So when you are out choosing a solar backpack, be sure to go for something light. However light, the material should be strong enough to withstand the heavy duty it’s subjected to during the hike. Additionally, it should be waterproof to keep your items safe from unexpected downpour.
Integrated Power Bank
Solar backpacks have solar panels which are transducers. They convert sun rays into electric power. A good backpack should have a sufficient power storage system to conserve the power so that you can use it whenever you need to. An integrated power bank is an awesome solution to power preservation. The more power it can save the better.
Sockets and Pockets
Pockets and sleeves are good for planning purposes. If your backpack has pockets you will know exactly where to put what item. However, the pockets should be big enough to store all your ideal hiking items.
A good backpack should also have a large compartment for your clothes. Considering that the bag is part of an electric system, it should have accessible sockets that let your charge your gadgets conveniently while on the go.
Padded Laptop Sleeve
If you’re going on a long trip then I assume you might want to carry your laptop. A good design should have a laptop compartment or a laptop sleeve that tightly holds onto the laptop so that it doesn’t move inside the bag as you move. The backpack should be well padded so that the pads absorb all the shock waves from knocks that would damage the laptop.
Detachable Solar Socket
Since the solar panel is attached to the backside of the solar backpack, the backpack will automatically generate electric power and instantly store it in the power bank. However, there are occasions when the backside of the backpack will be facing away from the sunlight and this could be the moment when you need the power most.
On such occasions you’d consider detaching the solar panel and attaching it somewhere else where the sun rays hit the solar cells, so a detachable solar socket would be handy. I would recommend the detachable solar cells any day.
Which features you should look for?
Well, the solar backpack just unlike any other backpacks have some unique features which set them apart from other bags out there in the market. Here are some of those features:
The material of a backpack determines its quality and also its weight, whether it will be heavy or light. Therefore, the type of material really matters especially to those who are keen about what the backpack is made of. Most solar backpacks are made of durable, high quality waterproof materials.
The Solar Power
This solely depends with the type of gadget you will be charging. Some gadgets such as laptops that require relatively higher power input as compared to phones and flashlight so they might require solar backpacks with batteries of higher voltage to ensure less charging time.
The Number of Panels
The number of solar panels have a direct bearing on the charging capabilities of the backpack charging system. If the system has many solar panels it will store more charge, faster in the batteries. More solar panels translates to more power to sustain you longer when hiking.
However, the decision to add more panels to it will squarely depend on your needs and you may have to pay more for it.
Featured Solar Backpacks
ECEEN SOLAR BACKPACK
Dimensions: 13 inches long by 4 inches wide by 18.5 inches height
Best Use: Camping and hiking
ECEEN Solar Backpack the latest type of solar backpack, which is a good choice for an avid hiker who intends to bond with nature, creating a kind connections. This solar backpack is made of two materials: nylon and polyester.
The materials make it lighter than many bags of its calibre thus a good choice for long hiking trips. Its charging system is 22 percent more efficient than an average solar backpack’s charging system. The ECEEN Solar Backpack has a USB port. The only disadvantage the ECEEN Solar Backpack is experiencing is that, it has a relatively smaller side pockets.
VOLTAIC SYSTEMS “ARRAY” SOLAR BACKPACK
Dimensions: 16.5 × 9 × 10.5 inches
Best Use: Hiking, camping
Voltaic Systems “ARRAY” Solar Backpack has 20,000mAh/72Wh battery making it a “must have” type of backpack if you love long trips. With this capacity of power storage you won’t be worried about the power levels of your gadgets for days. This is a good deal for the professional hiker.
I tried this out and the experience was awesome. I had an enjoyable long hike without ever worrying about the power in my gadgets even in the absence of sunlight. Many solar backpacks will let you power up your devices while hiking, this one is built to store the charge longer. Once it is fully charged, the power can sustain you for up to three days.
It is Waterproof and Ultra-Violet (UV) resistant. This feature makes it suitable to use under any adverse weather conditions: rainy or sunny. The array is made of three panels which are all waterproof, shockproof and connected to a portable and removable battery.
It also has a laptop sleeve, so you can carry your laptop around with more ease. Many pockets to ensure many storage spaces for all your relevant hiking belongings. Has a USB port that lets you to charge various devices.
The only setback with this backpack is that it’s very expensive and if you are not intending to use all its features then it’s not appropriate for you.
ENERPLEX PACKR SOLAR BACKPACK
Dimensions: 12 inches long by 7.9 inches wide by 17.7 inches height
Best Use: Camping, hiking
As the name suggest, Enerplex Packr Solar Backpack is a fabulous looking backpack made with fashion in mind. It’s an appealing option made for people with a sense for fashion. Despite the fact that it looks so delicate and high-class, it is a very tough bag with a secure fitting for the solar panels. Here are some its outstanding features:
This is a strong but light weight bag. The designers used a light material of high tensile strength to keep the backpack light but very durable. The bag has a special casing for three cell batteries which can charge a laptop continuously for up to five hours.
The solar panels are very strong and hard to break because they are rugged and safely protected. The piece is fully waterproof and you don’t have to worry about heavy downpour messing up your gadgets or items.
Apart from the laptop sleeve, it has other extendable sleeves that are well partitioned to carry specific items. There’s a sleeve for keys and small tools, a partition for phones and tablets and a large partition for clothes.
SOLARGOPACK SOLAR POWERED BACKPACK
Dimensions: 15 inches long by 8 inches wide by 12 inches height
Best Use: Camping, hiking, outdoor activities
SolarGoPack Solar Powered Backpack has great features in one of the best designs a backpack can have. This backpack is tailored to serve a number of purposes during a hike. The jumbo version of this backpack is so spacious, if you want a bag that can carry all your items then it is worth considering.
This solar backpack is made of high quality materials to ensure it lasts longer under heavy duty, longer than an average backpack subjected to similar conditions. The solar panel is removable so you can detach the charging system from the bag and set it up somewhere else when you are not on the go.
AMTOP SOLAR CHARGER HYDRATION BACKPACK
Dimensions: 3 inches wide by 11.3 inches long by 13.5 inches height
Best Use: Hiking, cycling, and camping
This backpack is made of polyester material, zipper puller, has an in-built water bag, has a high efficiency charging system. The bag has a solar panel of 6.5W which is detachable. The solar panel has strands which lets you attached it to other structures other than the bag as it charges. It charges cell phones, MP3 players, MP4 players, tablets, IPads.
The AMTOP Solar Charger Hydration Backpack has an in-built 2L water bag intricately designed with a special long drinking tube so you don’t have to carry an additional water bottle, unless you have to. With this, you can quench your thirst anywhere any time at your convenience.
Moreover, the design ensures uttermost comfort especially on the shoulders because the traps are unusually soft while interior cosy foam mesh enhances ventilation of your back. It has an in-built water bag with a capacity of 2Litres. This lets you to store water when on the go for a hike. The surface material is made of polyester.
Polyester is a very strong but light material which is also water proof. This means that when it rains during a hike, your items and gadgets will not be in the danger of being damaged by water. The portability of the solar panel allows for its removal and can easily be focused for sun rays, at any position.
Ivation Solar Hydration Backpack
Dimension: 3.6 inches wide by 11 inches long by 19.5 inches height
Best Use: Biking, camping and Hiking
This Ivation Solar Hydration Backpack has a 6-volt, 7-watt solar panel and efficient battery cells coated with an anti-scratching layer. The panel is portable and can easily be removed and attached to another object when you are not on the move.
What about the power bank? The 10,000mAh Power Bank traps the sun rays, converts it into electric power and consequently stores it into the battery cells. The power can then be used to charge devices at your convenience. It has two USB ports with 5-volt each so you can charge two devices at a go.
The devices you can charge using its battery include smartphones, GPS systems, Bluetooth speakers, tablets and flash lights. The bag has an in-built 1.8Litre water bag with a long flexible drinking tube so you can suck the water conveniently while on the go without necessarily removing the backpack from your back.
Sunlabz SOLAR CHARGER BACKPACK
Dimensions: 13.7 inches long by 7.8 inches wide by 17.7 inches height
Best Use: Hiking, Camping backpack
The Sunlabz Solar Charger Backpack is made of one rugged 6W solar panel with output of 7 volts. The panel is coated to withstand scratches. The panel is also waterproof. When fully drained, it charges for 4.5 hours under steady sunlight.
One hour in the sun provides enough electrical charge to charge your devices for two hours. This type of backpack is made of a blend of lightweight polyester material and UV resistant fabric. It also has a USB port that connects with any standard USB cable to charge your devices.
Just before you decide on the solar backpack that you would wish to purchase, you surely need to ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need a Solar Backpack with a large storage capacity? If yes, choose the backpack which will provide ample storage space.
- Do I need a backpack with a water bag? With a long flexible drinking tube? If it’s what you need then don’t hesitate to go for it.
The solar backpacks featured above are some of the best models currently available for sale on Amazon. They are intricately tailored to cater for various out-door activities. Do you find these backpacks to be useful? Do you have a favorite solar backpack in mind? Feel free to let us know in the comments!