Best Solar Panel Backpack 2020: Power Up Your Travel Efficiency

Last Updated on

Dee van Heerden
Dee van Heerden

The days of overpriced solar panels are behind us. Quite literally, because now, solar panels can be worn on your back. Solar panels are not bulky, heavy or costly anymore – they are readily available and incredibly versatile.

One of the most exciting technological advances of the decade has got to be the amalgamation of solar energy with wearable luggage, like backpacks, rucksacks and knapsacks. Solar power is now easily generated using just a thin film of solar cells and it is then stored in a power bank or in batteries connected to the cells. This means you can transport your electronics and keep them charged, no matter where you are.

Hiking in the Amazon rainforest? Traveling to see the Taj Mahal in India? Or just flying to New York for a week for a business conference? A solar panel backpack will be your best companion, keeping your electronics safe, contained and charged. All you need is a little bit of daylight (or a charger by night to recharge the power bank).

An added advantage of using a solar panel backpack is that they are automatically water-resistant. Some backpacks take that a step further with exceptional water-repelling capabilities. Manufacturers understand that solar panel backpacks are likely to contain expensive valuables. For that reason, your average solar panel backpack is also equipped with decent (sometimes outstanding) anti-theft features.

Without further ado, let’s look at the very best solar panel backpack options on the market right now;

Best solar panel backpacks: Here are the top choices

Best solar panel backpack
  • Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack Charger
  • Sunnybag ICONIC Solar Backpack
  • SolarGoPack Solar Powered Hydration Backpack
  • EnerPlex
  • XD Design Bobby Tech Anti-Theft Backpack With Solar Panel
  • Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Rapid Solar Backpack Charger
  • FARAZ Solar Backpack
  • ECEEN Solar Backpack 7W
  • HTRHEFG Classic Backpack
  • 20 Watts Fast Charging Backpack, Waterproof Solar Power Backpack

1. Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack (best solar panel backpack overall)

With so many great features packed into one very neatly put-together package, the Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack is the best solar panel backpack overall. It’s tough enough to withstand the forces of nature outdoors but attractive and lightweight enough for everyday office use.

The backpack is made from lightweight, UV resistant fabric, which means that even after repeated exposure to sunlight, the bag won’t discolor or fade. The backpack also comes with a battery pack (power bank) to store the charged power. The power source is from monocrystalline solar cells, the best quality solar charging technology in the industry.

Your devices are charged via a USB, which is compatible with most smartphones and DSLR camera batteries from manufacturers like iPhones & iPads, MacBooks, Samsung, Sony, Asus, Acer, HP, Nikon, Canon, and Lenovo devices.

Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack Charger pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • UV Ray resistant (no discoloration)
  • Charges devices like DSLR cameras, iPads, tablets, iPods, digital cameras, iPhones
  • Lightweight compared with competitors

2. Sunnybag ICONIC Solar Backpack (best mid-range solar backpack)

With a surprisingly high-quality design for a backpack in this price range, the Sunnybag ICONIC Solar Backpack brings together every essential the mid-range backpack shopper might be looking for. If you value a mixture of quality and affordability, this is the best mid-range solar backpack.

The design of this backpack is quite pleasing to the eye, and it’s compact and super simple. You can get it in different colors – Cool Gray or Olive Brown – and it’s made from waterproof Cordura textile, a seriously durable material.

The design might be attractive but it’s actually practical, being created for wireless charging. There are neat side pockets to slip devices into while they are charging. If you don’t purchase a power bank to go with this backpack, you can charge your devices directly from the panels. The manufacturer claims that charging your phone directly from the panels requires about two hours in direct sunlight.

Sunnybag ICONIC Solar Backpack pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • Great for organization
  • Fits laptops up to 17”
  • Budget-friendly

3. SolarGoPack Solar Powered Hydration Backpack (best solar powered backpack for athletes)

Athletes love this backpack because it is compact, lightweight, and fits just the essentials you might need for a few hours of training. Having the ability to charge your devices on the go while you carry adequate water in a neat hydration pack makes this the best solar backpack for athletes.

This pack has quite a few handy features, like its hydration bladder, removable solar panel, hip belt, and sternum strap. All-in-all these features make it super convenient for the athlete on the go. It’s fairly durable too, being made from water-resistant nylon and polyester.

If you’re into extreme sports, you’ll love the fact that you can stash bungee cords behind the solar panel, which is also removable. The sternum strap and the hip belt help to keep you comfortable and hold the pack in a supported position. You can spend many happy hours (or a full day) on a hiking trail with this lightweight and ergonomic solar panel backpack.

SolarGoPack Solar Powered Hydration Backpack pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • Great for outdoor outings
  • Hydration bladder with a dedicated compartment
  • Under $100

4. EnerPlex (best solar backpacks for low budgets)

Considering this backpack won a spot on Time Magazine’s top 50 inventions, it’s surprising that you can own one for around $50. The only real downside is that the charging output is quite low (3 watts), which means a slightly slower charge time. But, this is by the far the best solar backpacks for low budgets.

Looking for something you can take into the office every day? Need a backpack for weekend adventuring into the wilderness? Or how about something compact (but spacious) to use as carry-on luggage for a flight? Meet the EnerPlex. It’s surprisingly spacious, enabling you to pack enough clothes for a few days (if you pack light) as well as a few electronic and other essentials.

Enerplex pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • Great for travel
  • Affordable

5. XD Design Bobby Tech Anti-Theft Backpack With Solar Panel (best solar powered backpack for laptops)

This is the best solar powered backpack for laptops because of the anti-theft features and convenient inner compartments. Choose to charge your phone directly from the solar panel (the manufacturer states it will take 3.5 hours to fully charge) or connect to a power bank.

Another reason this premium-grade product is the ideal solar backpack for a laptop is that it takes water resistance to the next level with its water-repellent coating. The higher price tag on this backpack comes with tremendous value that you won’t find elsewhere. It features RFID safe compartments as well as secret compartments. The solar power pushes out a decent 8.5 watts to power any device that can charge via USB.

XD Design Bobby Tech Anti-Theft Backpack pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • Anti-theft backpack
  • Water repellant

6. Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Rapid Solar Backpack Charger (best multi-purpose solar powered backpack)

The variety of compartments, pouches, and pockets make this the best multi-purpose solar-powered backpack. This backpack is durable and made to last thanks to the high density-fabric that is tear-resistant. The PVC fabric gives the durability you need for the outdoors.

The smart compartments give you enough room to store your laptop, phone, wallet and clothes each in their own section. The built-in rain cover makes it safe for electronics. The material is pretty tough, boasting tear-resistance alongside its water resistance. The compact size makes it convenient to take with you to the office each day while the variety of compartments and the spaciousness of the inside makes it ideal for day trips into the wilderness or as a backpack while traveling.

Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Rapid Solar Backpack Charger pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • Multi-functional and charges SUPER fast
  • 2-year warranty
  • High-wear PVC fabric for weather-resistant durability

7. FARAZ Solar Backpack (best solar backpack for work trips)

Combine the FARAZ Solar Backpack’s multi-functionality with its lightweight and compact design and you have the best solar backpack for work trips. It’s small enough to use as carry on luggage but tough enough to give the assurance you need that your precious electronics are housed safely and securely.

There are outstandingly positive reviews for this backpack. The manufacturer has kept it super simple with only a few basic features, but delivered unrivalled quality on those selected features. This backpack is a mid-weight pack bringing affordability to those who are new to solar, while giving the industry a pretty good name with its features. Another feature that makes this the best solar backpack for work trips is the anti-theft design, keeping your possessions safe.

FARAZ Solar Backpack pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • Aesthetically pleasing design (very low profile and trendy)
  • Includes external USB charging port
  • Includes an integrated solar panel

8. ECEEN Solar Backpack 7W (best lightweight survival backpack)

Looking for something super lightweight that can hold everything you might need in a hard-pressed survival situation? The ECEEN Solar Backpack is the best light survival backpack. With its 1.8 liter hydration pack and 22% transfer rate solar cells, you have power and water readily available.

The lightweight qualities of this product make it irresistible to the survivalist. Alongside this, the excellent airflow means you can keep going for hours in comfort, avoiding that wet spot that develops when you work up a decent sweat. That also means it keeps your precious electronics safe. You have a hydration pack that can carry a decent water supply without becoming uncomfortable. The voltage stability controller protects your electronics against the fluctuations of power.

ECEEN Solar Backpack 7W pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • Large and spacious for a survival pack
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Great airflow

9. HTRHEFG Classic Knapsack (best solar panel knapsack)

A knapsack might be a less-than-common term, but in today’s modern setting, the need for a durable and wear-and-tear resistant bag is more pressing than ever. This HTRHEFG Classic Backpack combines everything we love about a knapsack, making it the best solar panel knapsack.

This knapsack is versatile with its numerous pockets and compartments. It’s primary design tactic is to provide durability and resistance against wear and tear, making it ideal for daily use. This knapsack is also designed to withstand common tears and rips that occur, while the high-quality buckle and zipper ensure it holds its loads well.

HTRHEFG Classic Knapsack pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • Durable and stylish
  • Adjustable/detachable shoulder strap

10. 20 Watts Fast Charging Backpack, Waterproof Solar Power Backpack (best solar panel rucksack)

This backpack is technically a rucksack, with its larger carrying capacity and durability. This 20 Watts Fast Charging Backpack, Waterproof Solar Power Backpack is the best solar panel rucksack thanks to its durability and the fact that its carrying capacity is 68 L.

Ideal for hiking trips, kayaking expeditions, and even serious wildlife photography tours into the wilderness and backpacking trips overseas, this rucksack promises unrivalled durability. The manufacturers have considered every need that the rucksack-user might encounter, including various smaller pouches and holders for water bottles and electronics. Staying organized is effortless, even if you’re on a large trip that requires meticulous packing skills.

20 Watts Fast Charging Backpack, Waterproof Solar Power Backpack pros and cons

Pros
Cons
  • Removable solar panel
  • USB port
  • Ergonomic design

Best solar powered backpack: The best solar panel backpack key takeaways

  • A knapsack is ideal for those who need a lightweight pack that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use.
  • Lightweight solar panel backpacks are ideal for daily use to the office, keeping your devices charged.
  • A rucksack is best for long hiking trips that require a few days’ worth of supplies.
  • The best backpacks for work trips are those that have compartments for electronics and anti-theft features.
  • The solar panel backpacks are ergonomically designed to keep the wearer comfortable.
  • The best solar panel backpacks for athletes have hydration packs included in the design.

Best solar panel backpack FAQs

Solar backpacks can be knapsacks, backpacks, or rucksacks equipped with a solar panel or a film of solar cells that capture sunlight and store it, enabling you to charge your devices on the go. The idea is that you don’t need electricity to keep electronics, like mobile devices and laptops, charged.
Depending on the features and the quality, a solar backpack’s cost can vary. The cheaper solar backpacks retails for as low as $50 while the high end solar panel backpacks sell for around $300. The cost depends on the features you need.
Solar backpacks are backpacks equipped with a solar panel or a thin film of solar cells. These cells are on the outside of the pack where they are exposed to sunlight. They catch and store the sunlight as energy in batteries that are connected to the cells.
Salima Visram invented backpacks equipped with solar panels. The purpose of these backpacks was to empower children in rural Africa to improve their education levels. The backpacks afforded these children the ability to study at night without needing to use kerosene lamps, which pose a significant fire hazard in these rural settings.
You need a waterproof backpack that is comfortable and durable. You will also need solar panels or a film of solar cells. You will also need the correct wiring tools and wires as well as a power bank or a battery. Follow these approved directions to connect everything together without compromising on your backpack’s waterproof capabilities.
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