The more the capabilities of our smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices continue to improve, the more we use them. This leads to shorter battery life, and with how busy we can be day to day, there might not be time to charge them up fully. Not getting a full charge can actually decrease your battery life, and require you to replace it much sooner than what is actually necessary. Thankfully, the solution will not only take you less time, but it will also save resources. Solar powered backpacks are now a thing, and will help charge whatever you need to without missing a beat.
Having a solar backpack charger isn’t just useful for everyday on the go activities. It’s also quickly becoming a favorite accessory of hikers, campers, and backpackers. The best solar panel for backpacking will just take portable solar panels to a whole new level, by preventing an unnecessary interruption during your carefully planned trek.
What Is a Solar Powered Backpack?
A solar powered backpack (or solar panel backpack) looks just like a typical backpack, except for the outside pocket material has a small solar panel attached to it. Typically a solid solar backpack will have one or two usb ports so that you can charge multiple devices at once.
Some of the solar powered backpacks come with battery storage, meaning you will be able to use your bag to charge your phone even when the sun isn’t shining anymore.
Who Needs a Solar Panel Backpack?
Students and Professionals
Solar panel backpacks are a great option for anyone on the go. We highly recommend them for students, as well as anyone that’s commuting on foot and doesn’t have access to a car charger or other portable charging device.
Another big market for backpacks with solar panels is anyone who has wearable tech, such as an Apple Watch. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember to charge all of your devices before you get up each day, but this way you can just plug it in and go, without having to worry that it’s going to die in the middle of your workout and be unable to track your data.
As mentioned before, while there are a lot of portable backpacking solar panels available, having one built into a backpack is relatively new and extremely convenient. Below, we list some of our favorite solar powered backpacks, and we will highlight the ones that we prefer for backpacking and hiking.
7 Best Solar Powered Backpacks
These multipurpose bags come in a variety of styles to fit the needs of the student, the biker, the hiker, and the professional. We’ve found the best ones to feature here, and will give you a quick review of each one to make your buying choice slightly more simple.
We always try to feature a wide variety of brands so that you can easily compare them and see different features and benefits. If there’s one that we’ve missed let us know! We always love to hear about new renewable energy sources.
Award: Best Backpacking Solar Panel Bag
While the award we gave this solar powered backpack is a bit of a mouthful, it pales in comparison to the features that this product boasts. Waterproof fabric encompasses a number pockets and storage compartments, with plenty of room for all of your outdoor and overnight gear. It also features a waist strap, like most typical backpacking bags, to help ease the weight on your neck and shoulders.
The built in solar cells have 12 watts of power, and are built tough to withstand the wear and tear of rugged use. The 5 Volt usb port can charge a variety of personal devices, giving you access to unlimited power even when at the top of a mountain.
Award: Best Solar Backpack for Professionals
By professionals, we mean that this is the best solar backpack for anyone that wants access to a renewable energy source without carrying anything to bulky. This particular sleekly designed backpack will fit seamlessly into any professional work environment, for either women or men.
The solar panel itself is detachable, so that you can position it directly in sunlight when possible. The wattage and voltage of this solar backpack is not listed, however it does state that the USB port can charge everything from phones to tablets without trouble.
Award: Best Solar Powered Backpack for Hiking
ECEEN makes a couple of great solar backpacks that will fit the needs of hikers from novices to more experienced. Made from a nylon and polyester blend, the ECEEN Hiking Backpack comes with a 7 watt high efficiency panel, with 22% transfer efficiency. The USB port is perfect for phones, GPS devices, and more. It’s also available in a package with a 10,000mAh battery that can hold a charge for added convenience.
Award: Best Compact Solar Backpack
Looking almost more like a laptop case than a backpack, EnerPlex’s Packr packs a punch of small size and big power. It’s extremely lightweight, with a trim profile, making it easy for travel. It includes multiple padded laptop sleeves, expandable compartments, and the panel at full sun will charge smartphones and cameras in less than 4 hours.
Award: Best Solar Panel Backpack for Biking
Have you ever had a backpack that was better at multitasking than you are? The hydration pack part of this bag can hold up to 1.8 liters (½ gallon) of water, which is perfect for anyone that needs to stay hands free, hence why we recommend it for long distance biking. The panel is high efficiency, so it will charge multiple devices fully in throughout just one day.
The PVC fabric is breathable, and even with the bag bladder full of water, there is still room for other gear. Overall, you’re getting a lot from this bag for less than what you could get many hydration packs for that don’t feature a backpack solar charger.
Award: Best Solar Backpack for Camping
Having a powerbank easily takes any solar backpack to the next level. If you’re hiking and headed to your favorite overnight camp spot, the last thing you want to have happen when you wake up in the morning, is a dead camera or phone so you can’t capture the breathtaking views of the morning sunset across the valley (yeah, we just got chills, too). Even if it’s not urgent, being able to charge your phone or camera at night is possibly the most convenient.
With the Energizer Powerbank included, you can wear the PowerKeep Solar Backpack throughout the day, and power up the 10,000mAh for later. The solar panel is also removable, and features a small mesh pocket on the back that can easily store your phone or powerbank while they are charging.
Award: Best Solar Bag for Students
We recommend this solar backpack for any students, as it features a large capacity pouch that can fit textbooks, notes, a 16” or smaller laptop, and many other essential items needed on campus. The solar panel outputs 5.3 watts of energy, and will charge most smart phones. It is important to not that if charging an iPhone, you will need Apple’s transfer device.
The other thing that makes this backpack great is that it is waterproof, and the last thing you need to be worried about when you’re headed to classes, is the weather. The shoulder straps feature extra padding, and are durable enough to carry heavy loads.