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Solar Backpacks Can Be a Lifesaver in Emergency Situations

The recent advancements in photovoltaic solar cells have led to the development of quite a few very interesting products, and solar backpacks are among the most unique and possibly most useful products developed recently. A solar backpack is a traditional backpack- usually resembling a laptop backpack- that has a solar panel integrated into the face of the bag.

Solar bags can be used to charge many different smaller devices such as cell phones, mp3 players, and digital cameras, while you are hiking or walking around. They can be great for an emergency situation, as a solar bag will ensure that you always have enough power to charge your cell phone so you can make at least a few calls. 

The one thing to keep in mind before purchasing any solar backpack is that they are not designed to fully charge your products and they cannot be used for larger devices such as laptops. They contain a small battery that is charged by the solar panel, which can be used to charge a number of different smaller devices. With a fully charged solar battery, these products might be able to fully charge your cell phone or mp3 player. 

You can also connect your device to the battery and it will slowly charge your device provided that the bag is exposed to sunlight. The price of these solar backpacks is still quite high, especially considering the limitations of the solar charger. Nonetheless, some of the products are still quite decent quality, and can be extremely useful as long as you keep their limitations in mind. Below we’ll take a look at some of the most popular solar bags on the market and provide reviews and information on each one.

Samsonite Solar Powered Messenger Bag

solar backpackSamsonite is one of the leading manufacturers of luggage, and they produce one of the lowest priced solar bags on the market. This bag has a list price of $300, but you should be able to find it from most online retailers for around $135. 

The solar panel and charging capabilities of this bag are similar to most other bags, but this bag does not include a backup battery like many other bags which means that you can only charge your devices when the bag is exposed to sunlight. The only other drawback to this bag is that it only comes with a 12 volt cigarette lighter type adaptor, so you will need to make sure your device has a charger that can be plugged into a cigarette lighter plug. 

Despite these limitations, this bag still comes highly recommended for use in emergency situations. When walking in bright sun light you should be able to reasonably charge one small electronic device at a time. The Samsonite Solar Messenger Bag is quite well constructed since it comes from one of the world’s leading bag and luggage producers. Overall, this is a fairly decent solar back pack, especially considering the low price tag.

Voltaic Off-Grid Solar Backpack

The Voltaic solar bag is one of the most versatile and highest quality solar back pack on the market, although the higher price reflects this, costing anywhere between $200 and $250. This particular bag contains a very efficient solar panel that can be unzipped from the bag to be used on its own or even attached to another bag. 

This product also comes with a battery that contains a USB port as well as five different adaptors so it can charge almost any handheld device. The solar panels themselves are available in with either orange, charcoal gray, or silver accents to make the bag look quite fashionable as well. The bag itself is made of a decent quality material, although it still doesn’t seem to be quite up to the level of the Samsonite bag. 

Nonetheless, the bag should last at least a few years, and Voltaic are well known for their excellent level of customer service so it should be no problem getting a replacement should the bag or solar panels be damaged. Both the Voltaic and the Samsonite bags are marketed as laptop bags, although the Voltaic is the only one which has a padded laptop sleeve built directly into the bag. 

solar backpackBoth bags are decently padded, but the Voltaic bag keeps your computer much better protected. The biggest benefit of this product is the detachable solar panel and battery, which gives you the freedom to use the solar charger anywhere or even on another bag. 

You can also purchase only the solar panel and battery from Voltaic for around $130 and attach it to any bag you wish. 

This bag is quite an efficient charger as well, and can fully charge your cell phone with about 4 to 5 hours worth of direct sunlight, and one hour of direct sunlight can give you up to three hours worth of talk time. Another advantage of this product is that the battery can be charged by the solar panel or connected to a power outlet and charged that way. 

It should take about 7 or 8 hours of sunlight for the solar panel to charge the battery, or about 4 or 5 hours through a conventional power outlet. 

The Voltaic Off-Grid Solar Backpack has many advantages over a lot of other similar products on the market, nonetheless the price may put some people off. No solar back pack is a truly efficient battery charger, although they can still be useful. This product is on the higher end of the line, and comes highly recommended, although if you are looking to spend less money, you can’t go wrong with most of the cheaper products either. Just be sure to do some research before making your purchase to ensure you are getting a decent quality product for your money.

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