There are a lot of great options out there when you’re looking for the best solar backpack. How do you know which one is the best one?
There are some factors to consider when looking at solar backpacks, and this list will help teach you the most critical aspects of the purchase. Read on to find out the best solar backpack for you.
What's In This Article
|XD Design Bobby Tech Solar Backpack||
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|SolarGoPack Hydration Solar Backpack||
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|LICHUXIN Anti-Theft Solar Laptop Backpack||
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|Jauch Beige Camo Solar Backpack||
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|ECEEN Solar-Powered Backpack||
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|Jauch Black Solar Backpack||
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|OakTen Green Solar Charger Backpack||
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Solar Backpack Reviews
You may wonder why solar energy is important? One reason is that you won’t have to depend on external power sources to keep your devices charged. As former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said,
I think the future for solar energy is bright.
Holding true to that statement, here are seven solar backpack reviews that show you some of the best options the solar industry has to offer.
If you’re concerned about space, the XD Design Bobby Tech Backpack is an excellent choice. With this pack you can customize the storage compartment with padded dividers to hold up to 18 liters of gear. This means that you can fit up to a 15.6-inch laptop and a 12.9-inch tablet in the pockets, along with cameras, lenses, or anything else you may want to bring along with you.
For its solar capabilities, the solar panel for the pack can power handy items like iPhones, Androids, and most laptops. As long as the panel is exposed to sunlight, the XD Design Bobby Tech Solar Backpack will fully charge your phone in about three and a half hours.
For extra security, while your device is charging, you can keep it secured in the shoulder strap’s FIDlock for quick, easy access. To see what this looks like in action, you can check out this helpful video from XD Design.
At the end of the day, security is a high priority for this bag. There is no rear access, and it comes with lockable main zippers and cut-resistant material. Additionally, it also has a hidden RFID-Protected pocket for your cards and ID so they can’t get scanned.
For USB port connections, you can use either the standard USB port or a Type C port to connect your charger to the panel. The USB is located on the outside of the bag with a water-resistant cover for ease of access.
In fact, the whole bag is water-repellent thanks to its polyester makeup. What’s more, the bag is made from recycled plastic. Ultimately, the XD Design Bobby Tech Solar Backpack is designed to ensure your items will stay dry and protected.
If you are looking for the best overall solar backpack to buy, the XD Design Bobby Tech Solar Backpack fits the bill and looks stylish while doing it.
With the SolarGoPack Hydration Solar Backpack, you get a solar backpack and a hydration pack in one affordable and helpful package. Along with the seven-watt solar panel, which is perfect for charging phones, you also get a 1.8 water bladder and mouthpiece to keep you hydrated on your hikes.
The pack is made from water and tear-resistant nylon and poly fabric. These fabrics ensure the pack is light when it is empty, weighing less than three pounds. Although, if you fill the water, you will be looking at closer to six pounds before items.
You’ll find the solar panel attached to the outside of the pack. You can charge the provided 10,000 mAh battery, or you can charge your device directly. The protective voltage stability control system promises that your device will get a steady uninterrupted power flow when charging.
This backpack offers a seven-watt panel, which is enough power to charge your phone or tablet throughout the day. In fact, the battery is big enough to charge the standard iPhone about three times fully.
To connect your phone, you have access to a standard USB charger on the outside of the bag. You can use your phone’s own charging cord, or you can use the micro charging cord that comes with the backpack.
Inside the backpack, you will find many pouches and pockets to fit the items you need. There are no dividers for the main compartment, but it is large enough to carry essential gear and equipment.
This pack is great for hikes, but you can also use it for school or work. If you’re looking for a solar power backpack to charge your devices, but not break the bank, the SolarGoPack Hydration model provides a lot of utility and is an excellent choice.
This stylish backpack comes with a durable, flexible, and light solar panel. It’s also lightweight, weighing only around three pounds. Apart from these qualities, the bag is packed with portable power, offering nine watts to charge your phone or tablet.
The system has a voltage regulator to ensure your device gets consistent power if it is plugged into the panel directly. Not only this, but you also have a power bank that you can charge with the panel or an electrical outlet. This backpack’s power bank can even help charge your device if the sun isn’t out.
You can connect any USB charging cord to the bag using the external USB port. Or, you can charge the power bank with the micro input, if you prefer. You’ll know your power station is full and ready to use when the blue light starts to blink.
Plus, you’ll hardly ever have to worry about your devices’ security while using this backpack, thanks to the anti-theft locking system. In addition, the double-layer silver technology fabric and magnetic suction treatment also helps to reduce the risk of theft.
The pack can carry up to 19 liters and has a padded pouch to help carry your 15-inch laptop safely and securely. Other features of the pack include other pockets and spots for all your additional gear and necessities.
The durability of this backpack is two-fold. Firstly, the water-resistant outer shell keeps your laptop and other items safe, even if it starts to rain. Secondly, it is also tear-resistant. What’s more, there are pockets for your credit cards that are scan-resistant to keep them safe.
When you’re looking for the best solar laptop backpack, the Linchuxin Anti-Theft Solar Laptop Backpack might be right for you.
The Jauch Beige Camo gives you the function of a removable solar panel with the utility of a hydration water backpack.
This pack’s bladder offers a helpful wide mouth design that lets you fill it up easily and add ice cubes when you want. What’s more, the mouthpiece allows you to get a drink while you’re on the move, so you don’t have to slow down or take off your pack.
The lightweight PVC material helps make the pack water and tear-resistant. With the bladder full, the bag weighs around six pounds, so you will still be able to add a ton of gear.
You can use multiple compartments to store your stuff on this pack. It also has padded straps and a waist belt to help you carry it more comfortably.
The solar panel attaches to the outside of the bag, and it can be removed if you decide you don’t need it. This pack may not come with a power storage, but you can still get a battery that will charge easily.
To charge your phone you can connect it right to the solar panel, but be aware that charging could be spotty if you are not exposed to a lot of direct sunlight when you do it.
When you plan to take your bag out into the wild and still have enough power to update your Insta, this may be the best solar hiking backpack option out there. It will carry your gear, keep you hydrated, and power your devices.
Your solar powered-backpack may be on your shoulders for a very long time, and so comfort may be a significant concern. The Eceen Solar Powered Backpack uses an ergonomic design to make it easier to carry. It has soft and breathable shoulder straps that don’t cut into your shoulders, ensuring a comfortable trek wherever you go.
For your solar-powered needs, the pack offers a ten-watt solar panel. You can connect it directly to your phone with the interior or exterior USB port, or you can connect it to a power battery. It will also charge most of your other devices, like tablets and cameras.
Keep in mind, the bag doesn’t come with a battery, so you will have to provide your own if you are interested. Additionally, while it will charge your phone directly, it does need direct sunlight to do it. The bag comes with a USB extender, so it is easier to connect your specific phone charger.
This bag is durable and water-resistant thanks to its polyester material. This material will help keep your belongings dry if you get caught in the rain on your trip. Another plus on the comfort scale is that the bag is lightweight, coming in at just over one and a half pounds when it is empty.
When filling the pack, you have one main pocket and seven inner pockets, so it can hold a 15.6-inch laptop in a secured pouch. No one can open your bag on your back, so it is safe and secure.
When you need a bag that you won’t mind carrying on your shoulders for a long day, you might be looking for the Eceen Solar Powered Backpack.
The Jauch Balck Solar Backpack is a combination of form and function. This stylish bag has a built-in ten-watt solar panel that can help you charge your phone or tablet on any trip.
The bag is made from a durable PVC material. It is lightweight, and the bag weighs only six pounds when empty. What’s more, the bag is also water-resistant so if you get caught outside in the rain, you should be just fine.
Inside the main compartment, there are many other pockets and pouches for you to store your items. You have a total storage capacity of 45 liters. Practically, this means you can fit up to a 17-inch computer in the bag in a padded laptop compartment.
As for its charging ability, the solar panel on this bag only offers an interior USB port. This port allows you to store your device in the bag, but it doesn’t make it easy to connect your phone to a power source on the go. The bag comes with a micro USB cord, but you can replace that with your own if you prefer.
On the days where there is no sun out, you may want a battery pack to store extra power. Jauch suggests using a battery intermediate when using this bag. The pack doesn’t include the battery, but it will help you get a more sustained charge, especially on cloudy days. There are plenty of pouches to store the battery if you get one.
This backpack works great around the town or on a long hike. When you are looking for a bag that looks as good as it functions, this modern-looking pack may be able to help you out.
The Oakden Green Solar Charger Backpack is a great option giving you enough power to charge your phone or tablet and enough space to haul what’s important to you.
The solar panel is detachable, and it allows you to plug into an internal USB charging port. There is no external port, which can make it harder to charge your phone while you’re moving around. Also, it doesn’t come with a battery, but you can add one to the pack.
You can charge your phone right from the panel, and it charges at a reasonable rate. The pack comes with a micro charger, but you can use any charger you want as long as it has a USB on one end.
When it comes to storage, you have a slot for a 15.6-inch laptop. You also have pouches for many other things that you may want to carry, like a power bank of some kind, or your camera. The interior isn’t really varied compared to other solar backpacks, but it is still more than enough for what you need.
As far as comfort and reliability go, the nylon is tough and durable. The bag is also light and water-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about your stuff if you get caught in the rain. With comfortable and breathable straps, this pack is easy to carry even on longer trips.
Aesthetically, it’s a satchel-type backpack which is pretty unique compared to other backpacks like it. So, if you are looking for a stylish and flexible choice that works as a solar backpack or just a normal bag, this may be the pack for you.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Solar-Powered Backpack
There is a lot to think about when you are looking for the best solar backpack. You need the pack to do everything a standard bag would do. You want it to store your items, keep them safe, and be easy to carry. Aside from this, the solar panel aspect has a whole list of criteria in itself.
Here’s a list of the most important things to consider before buying one of the best solar backpacks of this year. We’ll break them down in more detail below.
- Solar panel wattage
- Type of USB
- Pocket sizes and configuration
Solar Backpack Material
Material plays a big part in your backpack. Both the interior and exterior materials matter, though often they will be the same. Finding the right material will help make the bag more durable, lighter, and more comfortable.
Here is a list of the most common materials to look out for, and why:
Polyester: is durable and lightweight. It’s also usually water-resistant, so it’s great for longer trips or outdoor adventures. If you can find polyester made from recycled plastic, then that’s also a big bonus for the environment.
Nylon: is tough and durable. It’s more than effective on its own, but sometimes it’s blended with poly fabric to make it extra water and tear-resistant.
PVC fabric: is lightweight, as well as water, and tear-resistant. This is a great option for those who are serious about comfort.
As you’ve probably noticed, all of these materials are water-resistant. Waterproof solar backpacks can help you keep your stuff dry, even if you’re walking in the rain. Most bags are at least water safe, but some do a better job in the elements than others. Make sure you know the difference between waterproof and water-resistant (or water-repellant).
Water-resistant fibers are coated with a hydrophobic compound to repel water. This helps to keep your items safe in harsh weather (2).
Solar Panel Wattage
Theoretically, more energy from sunlight hits Earth in a mere 1.5 hours than the entire world consumes in a whole year (3). Any walk you take on a sunny day can indeed power your devices if you can collect that energy.
The best solar-powered backpack should be able to charge your devices whenever you need it to. For phones and tablets, anything over five watts should be fine.
Before you even start looking for a bag, you have to consider what you want to charge with it. Not every device requires a backpack with the highest wattage. Here is a small run-through of what wattages can do for you:
- 1 watt – 5 watts: This is great for smaller devices like phones and digital cameras
- 5 watts – 10 watts: This is great for charging phones fully or partially charging tablets and laptops
To power more wattage intensive equipment, you can look into portable solar panels, extra batteries, and grid-tie inverters (for residential use).
Type of USB on the Best Solar Panel Backpack
When you’re using your bag, you want to make sure that your charger can plug into it without adapters or other pieces. Some bags offer standard USB and some offer the USB C style (4).
The best solar panel backpack offers results for both USB styles on their bags. This feature could be helpful if you use multiple chargers, or if more than one person will be using the pack.
Weight of the Solar Backpack System
Being able to carry your pack comfortably is essential. Your backpack will be following you everywhere you go, hauling around all your items. Whether at school, the office, or even out on the trail, weight is a crucial factor to consider when buying a backpack.
Ergonomics and weight management are core qualifiers of what makes a good pack, including those with solar charging capabilities. Even the best solar backpacks can be uncomfortable to carry for long distances if they’re too heavy.
Experts suggest that your backpack weighs no more than 10% of your body weight (5).
A standard bag, when it’s empty, will weigh one to six pounds. You can use this as a baseline and make sure that your solar backpack doesn’t weigh much more than that.
Pocket Size and Configuration for a Solar Backpack
Finding space to bring everything you need is essential. When you’re looking to buy one of the best solar backpacks, you want to make sure it is big enough to carry your items and all your items have a spot.
A bag that you can customize allows you to make the space you might need. It also helps if the bag has pockets and storage features for specific items.
It may not be the most flashy feature, but a bag has to hold your items, or it won’t be an excellent option for you.
Are Solar Backpacks Safe?
Yes, solar backpacks can be very safe. As written in Dr. Sean White’s Solar Photovoltaic Basics: A Study Guide for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam,
“Solar power is a safe form of nuclear energy. We are using fusion reactions that are 93 million miles away to make light that we then convert to electricity with photovoltaic modules.” (6)
However, some packs have batteries, which could be slightly hazardous (7). With the backpack, you will want to make sure that there are no exposed wires. You will also want to make sure the bag doesn’t get too hot while in use.
Can I Make a Solar-Powered Backpack?
Of course, you can make your own solar backpack. If you decide to undertake that mission, you are going to want to find a guide or instructions (8). You will also want to pick the right materials and install them correctly.
Be careful if you try to build the backpack yourself. You don’t want to make hazardous wiring mistakes or assemble incompatible electrical components.
How Do Solar Backpacks Work?
Generally speaking, solar backpacks work by utilizing small, lightweight, and portable solar panels that are attached to the outside of the bag where they can receive light (9). With these solar panels, they absorb the sun’s energy to help power your devices.
In most solar panel backpacks, the panel is able to bend to make it easier to use on the pack. Also, it can be placed in a clear but waterproof pouch that can keep it safe and dry.
How Much Power Do I Need?
The amount of power you need will depend on what equipment you’re looking to power.
Many of the backpacks don’t come with a built-in battery, so you will want to make sure that the solar panel gives a high enough wattage to charge your phone or device directly. To charge many phones, it only requires five watts.
More wattage may be useful for charging other devices like power stations. In addition, higher wattage panels will work in a broader range of situations.
Are Solar Backpacks Worth It?
In our books, yes, solar backpacks are worth it. Solar backpacks allow you to use the free and abundant power source, sunlight, and charge batteries, phones, and other devices.
The peace of mind you get knowing that you will have a charged phone on every trip is critical. It will also let you keep your device on so you can use it when you need it. This means you won’t have to ask to plug in somewhere or be stuck with dead batteries when you need them.
- Salazar says solar push to continue. Retrieved from: https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna44625876
- Properties of water-repellent fabrics. Retrieved from: https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/jres/38/jresv38n1p103_A1b.pdf
- Solar FAQs. Retrieved from: https://old-www.sandia.gov/~jytsao/Solar%20FAQs.pdf
- USB charger (USB power delivery). Retrieved from: https://www.usb.org/usb-charger-pd
- How heavy is your child’s backpack? Retrieved from: https://www.aota.org/Publications-News/ForTheMedia/PressReleases/2018/091318-How-Heavy-Backpack.aspx
- Solar photovoltaic basics: A study guide for the NABCEP entry level exam. Retrieved from: https://www.routledge.com/Solar-Photovoltaic-Basics-A-Study-Guide-for-the-NABCEP-Associate-Exam/White/p/book/9781138102866
- Health and safety impacts of solar photovoltaics. Retrieved from: https://nccleantech.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Health-and-Safety-Impacts-of-Solar-Photovoltaics-2017_white-paper.pdf
- NPR: DIY solar backpack. Retrieved from: https://legacy.npr.org/news/specials/2009/diy/solar-backpack.html
- How solar works. ASU, Business and Finance. Retrieved from: https://cfo.asu.edu/how-solar-works