Are you looking for the best solar backpack to keep all your mobile devices charged while camping or hiking in the great outdoors? Read on to learn more about solar panel backpacks on the market today and probably find one that suits your style, charging needs, and budget.
The smartphone and other mobile devices have revolutionized the way we communicate and stay in touch with family, colleagues today. You can hardly venture out of the house without your smartphone within reach.
The tragedy is that smartphone batteries hardly last a day without charging. The device is not of much use without a power outlet close by. This is a major problem if you are traveling, biking, or hiking in remote locations.
You’ll need a reliable way to keep your smartphone and other devices such as your tablet and laptop charged at all times. This is exactly what a solar backpack does.
The solar backpack is a portable charging station conveniently located on your backpack. It converts solar power into direct current (DC) energy that charges your mobile devices. It is a great tool to have around when your device is running out of juice and the nearest power outlet is miles away.
Advantages of a Solar Power backpacks
If you are walking under the sun why not let Mother Nature save you from a dead phone battery situation?
In this age of information and wireless connectivity, almost everyone uses a cell phone, tablet, iPod, laptop, portable speakers, and other electronic devices.
All these devices need to be charged constantly to keep on working as expected. Unfortunately, we are not always near a power outlet every time. The solar backpack solves this problem by providing you with a portable charging station that you can use wherever and whenever there is sunshine, which is most of the time unless you live in the polar regions.
The solar pack is basically your normal backpack but with a solar panel attached. The panel provides a convenient way to charge your devices using energy from the sun. You can even charge a battery pack during the day and use it to power your devices at night.
You may ask, why not carry a power bank and charge your devices wherever you are? Well, in my experience, power banks do provide additional and easily portable sources of power but they too have a limit.
You need to be extremely careful about how you use your devices if you are solely relying on a power bank. This is not the case with solar packs. It eliminates all worries and concerns about your device running out of juice.
The best solar power backpack also comes with a hydration pack included. A hydration pack is something you should never leave the house without when going for a hiking, biking, or any other backpacking trip.
Comparison Chart of Top 10 Best Solar Backpacks
Note: Please use these as a reference only. Features & specifications are subject to change without any notice. Thanks
10 Best Solar Backpack Reviews on the Market
Here is a review of my top 10 solar backpacks. These reviews will give you an idea of the best solar power backpack on the market.
1. Voltaic Systems Solar Backpack
The Voltaic Systems OffGrid solar pack is designed to help you charge your mobile devices on the go wherever you are. It delivers 10 Watts of solar power, which is enough to power your smartphone, tablets, DSLR camera, and any other USB device. It comes with a battery pack or Power Bank included.
The solar pack’s panel is made of high-quality SunPower solar cells with 22% efficiency. It is water-proof and UV resistant. Its ETFE coating makes it more durable than most solar panels on the market today. The included V44 battery pack can charge your devices for 7 hours when connected directly to the solar panel and 6 hours via the included USB cable.
- High-efficiency SunPower solar panels. They can charge your devices just as fast as your power outlet at home. The solar panels are made of top-grade monocrystalline solar cells.
- 12,000mAh battery pack. It has two USB ports which can charge two mobile devices at the same time.
- 25L volume. This is enough to carry most of the essential cargo you need while backpacking or hiking
- Dedicated pockets. They make it possible to charge your smartphone and other devices on the go.
- Padded sleeve. The sleeve can hold your laptop or tablet safely.
- Expandable water bottle pocket. The water bottle pocket comes complete with a tripod strap
- Great design. For the ultimate comfort, the backpack is designed with a high density molded back and breathable mesh shoulder section.
- Long durability. It is a durable backpack with a manufacturer warranty of 2 years for the solar panel and 1 year for the battery pack
- Functional design and build
- Can charge most smartphones to 100% in just 3.5 hours
- Perfect for extended hiking or biking outings
- Comes with a huge battery pack included
- A little bit heavy but with sufficient volume and great functionality
- Pricey compared with other solar backpacks but with more features and higher efficiency than the rest. It provides value for money.
2. Fanspack Solar Backpack
This Solar Backpack from Fanspack combines functional design with convenient power. The backpack is large enough to hold 15.6” machine but comes in a slim rectangular shape. You can carry all of your essentials in this backpack without being bothered by the bulk.
The Solar panel on this backpack has 5.3 Watts worth of power. This Solar panel can be removed from the backpack and used alone. You can, of course, depend on this wide and well-shaped Solar panel to charge your devices as you walk.
- High-efficiency. 5.3-Watt Solar panel that is easily removable to use alone
- Fast charging. The Solar panel has a 24% transfer rate
- Convenient pack. The large rectangular frame allows use as a laptop carrier.
- Padded protection. The thick padding provides cushioning protection for your devices
- Compatibility. This backpack features a convenient USB charging port
- Durability. The fabric for this backpack is a tough, waterproof material that keeps your possessions safe
- Handiness. Lightweight Oxford cloth is comfortable against your back
- Additional storage. There is a back protective pocket that can hold your mobile and wallet
- The fabric is a lightweight, waterproof mesh that is tough and durable
- You can remove the solar panel to use it separately
- The large capacity means you can carry all of your devices as you travel
- The padded, adjustable shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry the backpack
- This solar backpack does not recognize Apple devices
- The Solar backpack does not store power
3. ECEEN Solar Backpack
This ECEEN solar backpack comes with 7 solar panel walls that provide enough power to charge your smartphone, tablet, eReaders, GoPro Camera, GPS, and Bluetooth speakers. It is the most versatile solar hiking daypack.
It features a 3.25 watts charger to keep your mobile devices powered at all times. It is not only ultra-lightweight but made of waterproof and tear-resistant fabric. It is a flexible backpack that you can also use for daily activities. The backpack comes with a 3.25 watts solar charger complete with a built-in battery.
- 42-liters volume. Large volume to carry everything you need while enjoying the great outdoors
- Powerful battery. Comes with an extremely powerful battery of 10,000mAh to keep your USB devices charged at all times
- Can charge a wide range of devices from the 5V USB port including smartphones, tablets, laptops, GPS units, eReaders, Bluetooth speakers, and GoPro cameras among others.
- The solar charger is powered by high-efficiency 7 watts SunPower solar cells with 22% power transfer efficiency.
- Solar cells have a protective anti-scratch coating and enclosed in durable weather-resistant PVC fabric. It is a perfect solar pack for the outdoor person who spends a long time outside the house or office.
- Many pockets. Has plenty of pockets and compartments to stuff your gear.
- Extremely lightweight despite its huge volume
- Made from waterproof, durable materials
- Comes with ample sized multiple pockets and compartments
- Has a powerful battery
- Uses high-efficiency solar panels
- Can be used for multiple purposes
- It does not come with a battery pack included
- A bit pricey but with awesome features and functions. Provides great value for money.
4. HANERGY Solar Backpack
The solar backpack from HANERGY comes with a powerful 9-Watt solar panel to charge all of your devices. With four hours of direct sunlight, you can charge any smartphone completely. This backpack features the latest in professional backpack design and gives the backpack a particular silhouette.
The backpack will not bend out of shape when empty. This strong frame will actually provide additional safety to your devices. Not only this but this backpack features two different carry designs. You can carry this backpack as it is or turns it on its side to use a business handbag.
- Fast charging. This backpack features a 9-Watt solar power with high transfer energy that charges your devices completely
- Durability. The powerful frame of the backpack cannot be bent or twisted
- Ease of carrying. This backpack comes with two different carry styles
- Multi-charging. This backpack comes with two USB ports allowing you to charge multiple devices
- Lightweight. The backpack is made from eco-friendly, lightweight, waterproof fabric
- Safe and intelligent. The solar panel has a built-in smart chip that controls the voltage and provides a stable charge at all times
- Unbreakable Charging. These backpacks feature CIGS thin filmed solar panels that continue to work even if they are covered by an obstruction
- Ergonomic design. HANERGY solar panels incorporate an international three-fold design to ensure a long use
- Multi-storage. The interior affords plenty of space for all of your devices. You can carry a 16” laptop comfortably as well as you other supplies
- This backpack comes with high-end solar panels that are designed to deliver maximum power
- This backpack features compartments to organize your books, pens, wallet or business cards.
- The smart chip provides stable voltage and protects your devices
- HANERGY offers a 12-month warranty on this solar backpack
- It only accepts a particular phone charging cord to provide a full charge
- The un-yielding design can be hinder some to store while traveling
5. XTPower Hiking Solar Backpack
The XTPower Hiking Solar Backpack is suitable for outdoor freaks that need their devices during outdoor activities. The 7-Watt Sunpower Solar cells make the most of sunlight to deliver a powerful charge. These Solar cells have an efficiency of 22% for just this reason.
The solar cells are encased in a tough PVC covering that protects their working for a long time. This protective casing allows the solar panel to be secured to the backpack with strong clips. You can also easily remove the solar panel due to these clips and use the solar panel by itself. The 6 V USB output means fast charge for your devices.
- Fast charging. This backpack features a 6.5-Watt solar panel with solar cells that soak up sunlight.
- High-efficiency. The solar panel on this backpack has an efficiency of 22%
- Durable device. The Solar panel consists of solar cells enclosed in a protective PVC casing. Whereas, the protective casing is made from a sturdy fabric that is anti-scratch and prevents wear on the solar panel
- Convenience. The Solar panel is secured with clips and can be easily removed to use separately
- Handy Charging. This backpack also comes with a USB port with a 6 V 1.1 A output to charge your devices
- This backpack comes with a large capacity that can hold all of your devices. It can even easily accommodate your laptop.
- Extra protection. The interior is padded to provide protection to your devices
- Easy to carry. The padded exterior makes the pack more comfortable to carry across your shoulders
- The large size means you can carry all of your devices
- It comes with a USB charging port with an output of 6 V
- The 6.5-Watt solar cells make the most of sunlight
- The protective PVC casing prevents damage to the solar panel
- The fabric on this backpack is lightweight and chosen for optimal comfort
- The solar panel is removable to use without the backpack
- The backpack can seem very bulky because of the design
- It does not come with a battery that can store charge
6. ECEEN Versatile Solar Backpack
The ECEEN Solar Bag comes with a 7-watt solar panel that you can use to charge your smartphone, tablet, laptop, GoPro camera, and other 5V chargeable devices. It gives you unlimited power to charge your devices on the go. It is designed to capture a greater amount of sunlight than most solar panels to give you more electricity from each panel.
The backpack is made of high quality and durable nylon fabric. It has many pockets and compartments to hold your gear. It is a perfect solar back for backpacking, biking, hiking, mountaineering, fishing, festivals, and other outdoor activities.
- High-efficiency. It has high-efficiency 7 watts SunPower solar cells with a transfer efficiency of 22%. The cells use the latest solar technology to ensure that your devices are fully charged at all times.
- Protective coating. The cells are enclosed in a protective anti-scratch coating and sewn in durable weather-resistant PVC fabric.
- It can charge a wide range of devices via the USB port including smartphones, GPS systems, Bluetooth speakers, MP3 players, tablets, laptops, external battery packs, and many more.
- Powerful battery. Comes with a powerful waterproof 10,000mAh Li-polymer battery pack
- Lightweight and extremely durable. The backpack is made of rip-resistant and waterproof fabric with stress points reinforced using bar tacking for longevity.
- Large water bladder. It has a large 1.8-liter water bladder bag to keep you hydrated while exploring the great outdoors
- It has a large water bladder bag
- Has a reliable 7-watts solar panel to keep your devices charged at all times
- A powerful waterproof battery pack
- It comes with a Micro USB cable included
- Extra storage compartments to hold all your gear securely
- You can detach the solar panel and use it as a normal backpack
- It is ultra-lightweight and durable
- The small flaps holding the solar panels seem to be poorly made but are strong enough to hold the panels securely.
7. SUNKINGDOM Solar Backpack
The SUNKINGDOM Solar backpack meets your needs as well as maintains your physical well-being. This well-designed backpack has been created to accommodate all of your devices while keeping them safe.
The ergonomic design means that there are multiple padded panels on the back. This design allows the passage of your air to reach your back while distributing the weight evenly. This special padding also gives your back some much-needed support.
On top of this, the solar panel comes with 12-Watts of power to charge your devices on the go. This backpack even comes with two separate USB ports to help you charge multiple devices.
- Ergonomic design. Creates airflow between the backpack and your back
- Extra cushioning. The multi-paneled back also provides your back with support
- Easy to carry. The adjustable shoulder straps help relieve any stress on your shoulders
- Large space. This backpack can accommodate any laptop under 17” easily.
- Water repellent. The padded lining protects your devices from harm.
- More Storage. There are outside pockets to hold your water bottle and umbrella. These pockets provide easy reach
- Multipurpose. This backpack comes with two separate USB ports. One USB port is located within the backpack so that you can easily carry the device you’re charging. The second USB port is on the outside and allows you to charge your phone as you use it.
- The multi-paneled design allows passage of air
- Two separate USB ports
- The design on this backpack provides your back with support
- The adjustable shoulder straps relieve stress on your shoulders
- This backpack comes with a 12-Watt solar panel
- The two different USB ports are connected to two different solar panels. Each USB port only taps into the power of one panel, not both.
- It does not have enough outside pockets
8. SolarGoPack Solar Powered Backpack
The SolarGoPck is a solar-powered backpack with a large battery and solar panel. It comes in a stylish combination of black and blue colors. It comes with a reliable 5W solar panel that provides sufficient power to charge your mobile devices.
Besides the 5W solar panel, the backpack has a powerful 12,000mAh battery pack, the highest battery capacity for solar backpacks in its class. It is a roomy backpack with 27 liters of space to accommodate everything you need while hiking, camping, or attending a festival.
- Durable waterproof materials. It will last longer if you take good care of it when not in use.
- Powerful enough to charge any mobile device. The removable 5-watt uses the latest solar panel technology to keep your devices fully charged at home and away.
- Powerful 12,000mAh Li-Ion battery pack. This serves as an additional power source.
- Spacious 27-liter backpack. It can carry most of the stuff you need on an overnight trekking adventure or when attending a festival.
- The solar backpack has many pockets and slots to hold miscellaneous items
- Has a well-padded back and straps for comfort
- It is roomy enough to carry many items
- Strong enough to carry the heavy load
- Made of durable waterproof materials
- Can charge multiple devices at the same time
- Has a powerful battery pack
- Its solar panel can be removed and used to charge other electronics
- A bit pricey but provides value for money
- Little too big for short day hikes
9. SUNNYBAG Solar Backpack
This Solar backpack from SUNNYBAG is catered more towards your day to day use. If you’re looking for a sustainable source to power your devices on the go then this is the perfect bag for you.
The SUNNYBAG solar backpack perfectly organizes your day to day necessities and allows you easy access. This backpack has a separate pocket for your laptop, notebook, business card or pens.
This backpack also features an integrated USB port that is connected to a 6-Watt solar panel. The solar panel on this backpack charges with an efficiency of 22.4%. You can charge your phone with two hours of direct sunlight.
- Highly efficient charging. This backpack comes with a 6-Watt solar panel that comes with 22.4% efficiency
- Ease of use. The solar panel is detachable so that you can use the backpack by itself.
- Sophisticated design. This backpack comes with multiple compartments on the inside to help you organize your day to day necessities
- Multi-storage.The backpack also has outside pockets to hold your water bottle and sunglasses
- Accurate power indication. The USB output on the back of the solar panel features an LED that will show you the exact power output
- Water-resistant. The backpack is made from 600D rip-stop fabric that is resistant to damage
- The backpack not only holds but organizes your supplies.
- It comes with outside pockets for your water bottle and sunglasses for easy access
- This backpack comes with an integrated USB port
- The fabric is 600D ripstop fabric that is also water repellent
- Each backpack is 100% certified and approved for good quality
- You can power your phone with two hours of direct sunlight
- It has trouble recognizing certain devices such as the iPhone
- Limited space, only use this backpack to carry your devices
10. ECEEN Camping Backpack
The red-colored ECEEN camping backpack is a 7 watts solar-powered camping backpack made of high-quality poly materials. It is designed to carry your essential outdoor gear and provide enough solar power to charge smartphones and other 5 volt mobile devices you carry along on your outdoor adventures.
It features SunPower brand solar panel cells with a high-efficiency transfer rate of 22 percent. The bag has an ample size of 20.5 x 13.8 x 8.6 inches. It is a great solar charger for camping, music festivals, biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
- Made of strong, durable, heavy-gauge nylon material with waterproof coating and UV resistance
- Fast charging. Takes between 6 and 8 hours to fully charge a smartphone or tablet, depending on the device model and battery size.
- Removable 7 watts lightweight solar panel capable of charging your smartphone, laptop, tablet, camera, and other 5 V devices.
- Great design. Rich pocket design that allows you to securely store your gear. It has a soft padded laptop pocket that can accommodate a 14-inch laptop.
- The huge capacity of 36 liters. It weighs just 2 pounds including the solar panel.
- Good warranty. Comes with an 18 months warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee from the manufacturer.
- Large enough to carry your outdoor or camping gear
- Has a high-efficiency solar charger
- Made of lightweight well-ventilating materials
- The water bladder helps to store extra water
- Wider side pockets would be better
- It no longer comes with a battery pack included.
When You Need a Solar Backpack
There are many instances when you really need a solar pack to solve your power problems. Here are a few examples:
- When you are on a backpacking adventure and need a convenient way to charge your devices.
- Attending weekend festivals? The last thing you need at a festival is your camera or phone suddenly dying on you. A solar backpack ensures this tragedy doesn’t happen.
- While you are out camping and need to stay in communication with people back at home. The solar pack keeps your devices fully charged whether you are in or away from the campsite.
- When you go out fishing and need to have your cell phone and other devices charged.
- While adventure hunting in the woods.
- You can always carry one of these handy solar packs in your car just in case you are stuck in the woods or run into an emergency situation away from home. The car’s charging system may fail to leave you without any other option except your solar panels on your backpack.
Factors to Consider When Looking for The Best Solar Backpack
There are a few important factors you need to look into when shopping for the best solar pack. I personally recommend you give special attention to the following things;
- The weight of the Solar Backpack
The weight of the pack is an important thing to check especially if you plan to go on a long hike. A heavier solar backpack will do for short day hikes because you’ll not be carrying a lot of heavy gear such as food and sleeping bags. However, the weight of the backpack becomes an issue if you are going for a long hike or an overnight trek. I recommend getting the lightest solar backpack you can get unless the additional weight is used to provide more volume or solar power.
- Solar Power Capacity
One of the key distinguishing factors of solar packs is their solar power capacity. This is what makes sola packs different from other backpacks. The right solar capacity of a backpack will largely depend on your needs for electric power to charge your devices. There are solar packs that provide enough power to charge your smartphone while others provide more power to charge multiple devices including your DSLR camera, GPS unit, laptop, and tablet.
Remember to check the backpack’s voltage specification and ensure the voltage is either equal or greater than the power needs of your electronic devices. For example, most USB devices require 5V to charge sufficiently so go for a solar backpack with the 5V specification or more.
- Construction of the Backpack
You obviously want to invest your money in a durable backpack. If you plan to go hiking or camping in the backcountry, get a well-built backpack that can withstand punishment from the elements. Check the materials used in its construction. I personally recommend nylon because it is water-resistant, tough, and lasts long. You can choose any other tough material but make sure the seams where the straps connect with the backpack are triple stitched to prevent tearing. The solar panels used in the backpack should also be tough and flexible to avoid being damaged by elements. Keep in mind the panels will be exposed to the sun and possibly rain or snow.
- Size of the Hydration Bladder
Most solar packs come with a hydration bladder to help you carry enough water without the hassle of sticking bottles inside the pack or on the sides. A solar pack with a hydration bladder is highly recommended, especially when you plan to stay out in the wild for a whole day or longer. A good solar pack should ideally have a 2-liter bladder. This will be enough water to keep you hydrated for a whole day.
- Your Specific Budget for the Backpack
The cost of the solar backpack is another important consideration when purchasing outdoor gear. Solar backpacks come in different price points depending on size and other key features. The best solar pack will feature better quality, less weight, and increased durability but may come at a higher price. However, you don’t have to spend way above your budget in a solar pack with features that you’ll hardly use. There are smaller solar backpacks for people who go on short hikes and probably just need to charge a smartphone only.
If you are a serious camper or hiker planning to spend a lot of time outdoors, I recommend going for the best and most durable solar backpack you can lay your hands on. Consider it as an investment or money well spent. Otherwise, stick to your budget and find the best pack you can get within that budget.
Solar Power Backpacks FAQ’s
Q. How do solar panels in a backpack work?
A. The solar panels on a solar backpack work in the same way domestic solar panels at homework. They simply convert solar energy from sunlight into Direct Current that can be used to charge your mobile devices when you don’t have a regular wall socket power outlet close by.
Q. How much time does a solar panel on your backpack take to fully charge a smartphone?
A. The time it takes to completely charge a smartphone using a solar backpack depends on many factors such as the smartphone model, its battery size, and the capacity of the solar panel. However, for most smartphones, charging using solar backpack panels takes between 6 and 8 hours.
Q. Can you replace the battery pack on a solar backpack with a more powerful one?
A. Most solar backpacks come with built-in battery packs, which make it impossible to replace the battery or power bank. Fortunately, most of the models we have reviewed above come with powerful battery packs, some with as much as 10,000mAh capacities. In most cases, you won’t need to replace the battery pack.
Q. What is the best water hydration bladder size in a solar backpack?
A. You obviously need as much water as you can carry in a solar backpack’s hydration bladder but keep in mind the more water you load into the pack the heavier it becomes. To find a good balance between hydration and weight, it is recommended to go for a backpack with a hydration bladder of 1.8 to 2 liters. That’s enough water to keep you hydrated throughout the day without having to carry too much weight.
Q. What is the best construction material for a solar backpack?
A. Solar backpacks are designed using a combination of many materials including nylon and PVC. I recommend nylon because it is not only waterproof but durable too.
A solar backpack gives you the best opportunity to use Mother Nature to charge your mobile devices when you are away from the local power grid. It is a convenient way of using clean green energy to stay connected with family and friends.
When shopping for the best solar pack, make sure to check its weight, solar power capacity, and size.
The ten best solar backpacks we have covered in this review provide reliable charging power and are amply sized to carry your essential camping or hiking accessories. Find one that meets your device charging needs and budget.
See also: Beach Camping Tips & Tricks