Published on May 13th, 2019 | by Nicolas Zart0
I Carried My Voltaic 24V Solar Panel Backpack Around The World To Recharge Anytime
May 13th, 2019 by Nicolas Zart
Keeping devices always charged and topped off is a constant preoccupation for many of us. Step on a plane and you should be able to charge. Step in a car, on an electric bicycle (e-bike), on an electric scooter (e-scooter), or into any electric vehicle (EV) and the expectation is to be able to recharge through plenty of USB ports. And while Bluetooth offers a way to charge wirelessly, what happens when you carry more than one device and are walking?
Voltaic Array Solar Backpack — Staying Charged Anywhere
I have to have the lightest gear possible. That means finding the lightest and smartest backpacks. At any time, I might have a laptop, tablet, camera, video camera, recording equipment, microphones, and the occasional tripod with me. An ideal backpack would give me space, be light enough, fit well, and, ideally, recharge my devices.
Our previous review of the Voltaic Array Solar Backpack, from Kyle Field, showed that the backpack answered some of these challenges at that time. Putting a new one to the test myself, this solar backpack shows what a perfect energy storage solution it is. I have kept my laptop, Nikon DSLR, smartphone, and tablet charged while traveling everywhere. It is perfect for photographers and travelers, as the solar-powered backpack provides 10 watts of solar power and thoughtful storage for all your gear and devices.
Voltaic Array Solar Backpack — Great Overall Balance
The Voltaic Array Solar Backpack carries a 24,000 mAh USB-PD battery with 25 L of storage (6.6 gallons). It has a padded area perfect for a 15″ laptop or tablet. It is made from 33% recycled plastic bottles (recycled PET fabric).
I found the Voltaic Array Solar Backpack to be very comfortable, perfect for day hikes and carrying around the type and amount of gear I needed. The inside space is big enough to make it a year-long backpack that can carry jackets and summer clothes. It has a few well positioned inside pockets where you can stow various types of cords and adapters. This was particularly helpful, as sometimes you hop on an airplane to find you don’t have the right connector.
The laptop or tablet pocket is safe against your back and there are two extra inner pockets down inside the backpack. The two external pockets house the battery, which can be accessed to recharge with an extra little pocket. There is another side pocket, big enough for a wallet or smartphone. My only concern is that the photovoltaic (PV) panels can easily get scratched. The backpack needs to lay back down in order to avoid contact with the PVs. Perhaps Voltaic Systems will offer an extra protection cover for rough passages. (Hint, hint.)
Overall, the Voltaic Array Solar Backpack was easy to carry from day one. The zippers showed their usual stiffness early on but have since aged to better zip open and close.
Professionally, I’ve enjoyed the Voltaic Array Solar Backpack more than I thought I would. It looks good. It is sturdy enough to handle mountain bike rides, airplane rides, and car drives. It has easily taken on any load I threw at it since day 1. If the battery makes you feel iffy before a long international flight, then simply take it out. It’s as simple as a velcro tear and disconnects the PV charging cable.
Check out Kyle’s recent review of the company’s solar chargers for more from Voltaic Systems.