Taking a simple walk outdoors is becoming pretty technologically advanced and as we move with the times, we find ourselves packing more and more battery-operated gadgets into our hiking kits. From your standard torches to GPS devices that help us to navigate our trails and hi-tech cameras that allow us to capture the breath-taking views – venturing into nature or getting from point A to B has never been as “electronic”. In the past, keeping these devices powered on longer routes has posed as a bit of a problem but the ultimate solution was introduced with the magnificent invention of solar backpacks. These bags feature solar panels which convert sunlight into electricity. This power is then stored in power banks or battery packs, or it is used to directly feed power to portable electronic gadgets and appliances as the energy trickles in. The big question, however, is; which is the best solar powered backpack for you?
Luckily, we’ve got your back (no pun intended)! We put on our detective coats and scoured the net to find a list of solar backpacks that come with rave reviews and hold true to their worth.
The Best Solar Powered Backpack
We’ll start with our personal favorite; a backpack that we feel gives the best value for money. ECEEN is focused on providing solar power for everyone and we think they hit the nail on the head with their version of a solar charging backpack. Let’s start by scrutinizing the solar panel. Equipped with a powerful 7watt solar panel charger, the ECEEN solar powered hiking backpack comes standard with a quality power bank that stores all the absorbed energy and gives you 10,000mAh in return. This produces enough power to fully charge most smartphones twice and larger devices at least once. The power bank comes with two USB ports, each with a charging speed of 5V/2.0A.
Looking at the backpack itself, the 33-liter bag is suitable for basic camping trips to more challenging hikes and outdoor adventures. Made from lightweight and water-resistant fabric, you’ll be able to pack your essentials and then some – all while keeping them safe, snug, and ready to be charged! Adjustable straps allow you to set the pack’s positioning on your back and also gives you the option to increase volume as and when you need it. Apart from its nifty solar power features, the ECEEN also includes a 1.8L hydration bladder pack and a plethora of pockets and compartments.
7-watt Solar Backpack
22% high-efficiency transfer solar cells
Detachable and foldable panel
USB to DC and Micro USB cable provided
Panel includes an anti-scratch coating
- Weight1.76 pounds
Backpack is lightweight and spacious
Panel is foldable, flexible and portable
Both the panel and bag are aesthetically pleasing
The water bladder is an added bonus
High wear and waterproof
Minimal padding on backpack
No battery attached, just a power bank
Side pockets are too small for most water bottles
ECEEN Solar Powered Backpack with Solar Charger & Battery Pack first grabbed our attention because of its appealing design and clean aesthetics, but we were then intrigued by the key features and fine attention to detail. Coming in at an extremely modest price, ECEEN continues to deliver hiking gear that looks good and does good. Paying attention to the bag’s detachable solar power system, we were very impressed with the panel’s 22% efficiency solar charging technology and built-in 2,000mAh compact and water-resistant Li-Polymer battery pack – you can literally charge your smart devices while on the go! The only concern is the mixed reactions from reviewers on the charge-output, some give it a whole-hearted thumbs-up while few others have complained that their devices charged at a slow trickle, if at all – problem exists between user and equipment perhaps?
As for the backpack itself, complaints have been very hard to find, perhaps this is because of the low price tag? Anyway, on studying the bag we found it to be attractive and well-equipped for hiking, biking or even to be used as a college backpack. Designed using durable materials and zips and fasteners that work smoothly and securely, you can rest assured that this ECEEN pack will take care of its inner contents. The solar panel is detachable (like most models) – this is an awesome feature because you can attach the panel to a different bag in a scenario where you need a larger all smaller storage solution.
2,000mAh slim and waterproof Li-Polymer Battery pack
Integrated LED light design with 3 modes
3.5watts foldable solar panel
40cm Micro USB cable included
- Weight1.8 pounds
Side pockets are convenient for water bottles
Excellent quality zippers
The light is super bright
The solar panel can easily be removed from the bag
Solar panel loses power quickly when not in the sun
There are some complaints that the charging speed is not sufficient
It’s clear that we appreciate ECEEN’s workmanship – with this being their third entry on our list of “bests”. The brand just has a brilliant way of engineering solar powered bags that come in handy for multiple scenarios and we simply cannot ignore that many of their models outdo other similar products on shelves. Like this one, for example. This 10000mAH solar powered bag is an emulsion of number 1 and 2 listed above and includes qualities that will meet the requirements of your serious hikers and outdoor adventurists. With these premium features, however, this bag does come at a premium price.
With adjustments that allow you to comfortably fit the large rucksack to your frame, this ECEEN model gets our nod of approval for being lightweight, spacious and extremely practical. As for the look and design – we’ll let you judge that for yourself. Instead, we’ll highlight the detachable solar panel and its attributes. The monocrystalline solar cells can absorb solar energy attributing to 22% efficiency and provides 1.5A maximum output of high conversion solar charging technology. It can also charge any device with a 5-Volt USB port and conveniently stores energy if you need to use it as a solar phone charger or camera batteries charger come night time.
EVA foam adjustable straps
2L water bladder
10-watt foldable solar panel with 2 USB ports
3D breathable fabric
Premium quality materials
- Weight4.41 pounds
Both backpack and solar panel are extremely durable
Includes multiple storage compartments
The water bag is a great addition
Many refer to this product as an upright duffle bag that’s not as solid as other frames
While ECEEN tries to dominate the market, they are not the only brand creating quality solar powered packs. And in walks SolarGoPack’s version of the sun-powered battery bag. As a decent middle of the road option that will keep your electronics charged whilst on the go, this solar panel backpack proudly boasts a 10,000mAh lithium-ion battery which can recharge a smartphone about 3 times, a tablet twice, and it can give a laptop one full charge. While the panel is slightly on the fragile side, we can only mount this to its high efficiency at absorbing maximum sunlight and storing energy at a fast pace.
The 40litre backpack itself is rugged and it’s a completely waterproof backpack, so you can rely on it to last a long time while taking good care of your belongings. The shoulder straps are well-padded and we giggled with glee when we saw how many pockets and compartments the power backpack holds. We recommend SolarGoPack Solar Powered Backpack for day-to-day use, hiking, camping, and traveling – it’s an awesome go-to all-around storage kit!
7 Watt solar panel
10,000 mAh battery
Micro USB cables
Engineered using durable materials
Detachable solar panel
- Weight4 pounds
Multiple devices can be charged simultaneously
Can power devices in low light conditions
Energy is absorbed and stored quickly
The solar panel is very fragile
Seams are not very steadfast
While we have reviewed many ECEEN models, this one certainly grabbed our attention and gave number 1 on our list a run for its money. Perhaps it’s the clean-cut design and sturdiness that we like, or maybe we are drawn to the convenient fact that the solar power functionality includes both a charger and battery pack. Whatever it is, this rugged back-hugger gets our nod of approval for stylishly boasting a high solar charging speed, adjustable suspension, and 3D breathable fabric cover that’s fit for comfort and maximum air circulation.
The only gripe we have that would have made this ECEEN Powered Backpack better value for money is that it doesn’t come with a battery bank, although the built-in 5watt solar panel does a decent job at keeping electronics energized while on the move. If you have no use for the solar panel, simply remove it, or connect it to another bag that’s more convenient at the time. Keep the juices flowing with the high-efficiency 22% transfer rate solar cells and a lightweight build that will make your journeys both comfortable and connected. If you love hiking, make sure you also check our guide to the best external frame backpacks.
Dual density foam hip belt
Built-in 2000mAh Battery Pack
- Weight1.12 ounces
Charges smartphones fast
Extremely lightweight even with panel attached
External side pockets are too small
More suited for touring, short trips, and traveling than for serious excursions like hiking, the Voltaic Systems Converter has specifically been built to carry, care for and charge small electronic devices. These solar powered companions are perfect for those who appreciate greener living or rely on electronics to make a living. Complete with a rapid charging 5wattsolar panel and a 4,000mAh backup battery, there’s simply no reason why you cannot stay connected while roaming.
This is a luxury backpacking backpack that comes at a luxury price – care to spoil someone with the perfect gift perhaps? Or maybe you’re looking for a bag that looks sleek and professional enough to take along on business trips and meetings. If this is the “case” then we think the Voltaic backpack charger is definitely the solution. The modern bag is sturdy, water-resistant and lined with plenty of inner compartments and pockets so that you can carry your devices securely and charge them at the same time! A great accessory for the serious businessman.
20L of storage
Padded sleeves and compartments
Charges using SunPower high-efficiency cells
Up to 1.5x smartphone charges from battery pack
- Weight2.7 pounds
Charges a phone completely in just 3 hours with direct sunlight
Perfect alternative to your usual laptop bag
ETFE solar panel lasts 2-3X longer outdoors than other folding solar chargers
The battery takes longer to charge than most other models
Too small for serious hikes
SolarGoPack 10k is a multi-purpose backpacking solar charger that just makes the cut for being practical and big enough for hiking purposes. Ideally suited for less challenging travels, this modest-looking mobile charging device is stylish, durable and conveniently equipped with a 5-watt solar panel and a 10,000 mAH battery – giving you enough power to charge your phone, tablet, camera, GPS and other similar devices.
The features of this model are pretty standard and are ideal for individuals who want a solid solar-powered charging solution that comes without unnecessary frills. Helping you to avoid situations where you are powerless, the SloarGoPack can be relied upon to charge your electronics fast and efficiently. While this rucksack isn’t as sleek in design as other alternatives, the “don’t beat around the bush” types will appreciate it for its reliability and quality elements. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best Columbia backpacks.
Powerful 10,000 mAh Lion Bat
27-liter durable waterproof backpack
Lightweight removable panel
Multiple outer and inner compartments
Adjustable padded straps
- Weight3 pounds
A practical bag with a competitive price tag
Sits very comfortably on your shoulders
While the fabric claims it is rip-proof, many have complained that the materials are easily torn
Solar Powered Backpack Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of Solar Powered Backpacks
Solar powered backpacks for hiking, biking, traveling, and touring are gaining traction in popularity. This means that more models are hitting the shelves and sifting out the bags that stick to their guns by delivering a quality product with high-end features is becoming a harder task by the day – it makes shopping quite the headache, actually. And that’s where we step in. We have done the tedious browsing for you and have narrowed down our finds to the top 7 ultimate backpacking solar charger choices.
How did we refine our list you ask? By taking the following factors into consideration:
Brand –A brand holds the reputation of a product. So, when we took on the task of researching backpacks that feature solar panel functionality, we made sure that each model had a positive impact on the brand’s name by keeping to its promise to deliver as advertised – or in some instances, surpassing expectations.
Quality –At Gear Hungry, quality is key. We are quite aware that there are hundreds if not thousands of solar powered backpacks out there that will meet your expectations in terms of features and functionality. But we want you to have a product that lasts, that looks brand spanking new years down the line, and gives you outstanding value for money. This is why we curated our list by making quality a priority deciding factor.
Durability –Charging backpacks don’t come cheap and we don’t expect you to want anything less than a hardy bag and solar panel that’s durable enough to take on journeys in even the most extreme conditions. This is why we looked for products that have been made from premium materials and have been built and sewn together using the best methods and latest technology.
Reviews –Sometimes our opinions get a little biased, so to balance our views and to come to a fair conclusion, we look at what the consumers have to say. In this instance, we scoured the net for reviews and then weighed the good with the bad to reach answers that are both factual and substantial.
Price – We certainly do want you to have one of these super awesome green-friendly backpacks – but this means that we need to be budget-friendly. This is why we endeavored to collect a range of bags that feature price tags from low to high, all while keeping quality and functionality as key deciding factors.
Features To Look For In Solar Backpacks
Weight, Size, Volume and Durability - Whether you’re going to use it around your college campus or for a lengthier and challenging hike, you should always opt for a solar backpack that is lightweight. The reason? The lighter the bag the lighter load and the more relief your body will have as you trek through our day and maneuver from point A to B.
Size and volume, on the other hand, can be directly related to what the backpack is intended for. For example, a larger bag would be ideal for long excursions where you need to carry more gear and necessities. A smaller solar backpack, however, would be easier to cart along on business trips or whilst touring.
As for durability, a quality solar powered rucksack should be engineered using high-quality materials that can withstand rugged terrain and harsh weather conditions. You preferably want one that’s waterproof as well as dust and shock resistant.
Solar Power Capacity and Battery Power - Solar power capacity and battery power should be priority deciding factors, especially if you intend on putting the solar charging functionality to good use. The ideal capacity will depend on what type of electronics you will want to charge on the go and battery power will determine how much power each device can receive.
If a backpack comes with a power bank then this is an added bonus, since it gives you even more stored energy whilst trekking. If a power bank is not integrated into the pack, however, then this is always something you can purchase additionally.
Sockets, Pockets, and Detachable Solar Sockets - Since you are likely to pack your backpack with many necessities, we recommend purchasing one that includes several inner and outer pockets, sockets, and pouches. Slots for water bottles and smaller gadgets will always come in handy and will keep you well-organized.
A pack that comes with detachable solar sockets is a versatile option, especially if it also features expandable cables. If you can remove the panels, then you’re given the added opportunity to place the solar socket outside your tent or on another smaller/larger bag.
Charging Time Requirements - Before buying a bag with solar power functionality, you should consider each model’s charging speed in comparison with the type of devices you will need to charge the most. Some panels charge exceedingly fast but are limited to their output power while other panels take longer to absorb energy but are capable of using this energy to charge an electronic device very quickly.
Budget - The last but equally important factor to consider when purchasing a new solar backpack is budget. We urge you to consider the price of each item and then weigh the advantages with the disadvantages before reaching a conclusion. Premium products do come at a premium price, however, so you might want to opt for a solar backpack that can be considered a long-term investment that best suits your needs.
- Solar backpack - Wikipedia