If you cannot camp, climb, raft, and/or trek in the Himalayas, especially in remote areas, without your camera, laptop, smartphone, and / or tab, lack of efficient portable chargers may be frustrating. But do not worry. Engineers and entrepreneurs have designed solar-powered backpacks that would reduce the frustration. These backpacks made of solar fabric featuring portable solar panels double as e-gadget battery chargers.
Features of a Solar Backpack
The backpack is partly made of solar fabric that generates electricity when exposed to the sun. The amount of electricity generated depends on the sun strength. The backpack stores the electricity in the in-built battery. The electricity is sufficient to power small gadgets, including smartphones.
For the best results, the backpack’s solar fabric should face the direct sunlight. However, the fabric also produces some electricity in cloudy and other natural light conditions.
A multi-pin connector (or you can use your USB charging cable)
The backpack features components that are allowed as cabin luggage of an airplane.
All backpacks may not have features to charge all portable electronic gadgets.
The solar backpacks of some brands are water-resistant whereas that of some brands are 100% waterproof.
When temperature of the battery rises, the electronic circuit of the backpack automatically switches off in some brands. Therefore, overheating can be prevented.
Here is a comparison of the lowest priced solar-powered backpacks from different companies:
|Manufacturers||Backpack Models||Price in US$ / piece||Power in Watts||Fabric Used / Source of Fabric||Water||Approximate Size (H*W*D) in inches||Weight in kilogram||Compatibility|
|Lumos (India)||UnPlug Solar Backpack||82.15*||3||Solar fabric||Water resistant fabric||16*11*5||Compact and lightweight||
|Voltaic Systems (U.S.A.)||Converter Solar Backpack||129||3.5||Recycled PET (soda bottles)||Waterproof fabric||18*12*6||1.09||
|BirkSun LLC (U.S.A.)||Boost Solar Charger||100||2||Waterproof||18*12.5*5||1.04||
|Samsonite International S.A. (Luxemburg)||Torus Solar Backpack||169.40*||100% Polyester fabric||18*8*14||1.04||
Data Source: Websites or online stores
*The price given in Indian rupees on the website was converted to the USD using RBI Reference Rate (1 USD = INR 60.8510) on August 1, 2014.