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Voltaic Systems Solar Backpack Review

If you’re one who is constantly on the move and dependent on a variety of techno-gadgets to keep your life running smoothly, than these backpacks are for you. Voltaic solar backpacks charge virtually any and every handheld electronic device. These solar bags are equipped with a removable battery pack which will store any surplus power generated, providing you with power whenever you need it, not just when under the blazing hot sun.

How The Voltaic Solar Backpack System Works:

Powerful Solar Panels: Embedded in each bag are tough, lightweight, waterproof solar panels. These panels use high-efficiency mono-cristalline cells to quickly charge devices. The Backpack, Converter and Messenger produce 4 Watts. This equates to: One hour in the sun powering 3 hours of iPod play time, or 1.5 hours of “talk time” on a cell phone. Many of the cheaper products have much smaller panels and need 5-10 hours in full sun before you can charge your phone… talk about “call-waiting”! The charge from the Voltaic battery is impressive and charges up your hand-helds at almost the same rate as if they were plugged in to an AC wall socket.

The solar panels on the rear of the bag transfer the power, captured from the sun, to all your techno-toys that are plugged in. This allows you to enjoy them without draining the battery, with the bonus of being charged while in use. When not plugged in the solar backpack stores the power it captures in an internal battery, enabling you to charge your techno-gadgets even when it is cloudy, or at night.

The powerful Generator produces 15 Watts, which is ample enough to extend your laptop run-time by 2-4 hours, from five hours of direct sun.

Battery Included:
All Voltaic bags come with a removeable battery pack which stores any extra power that is generated, making it available to you whenever and wherever you need it – not just when the sun is up. You can also charge the battery using the USB cable and the optional AC travel or car charger.

Easy Connection to Devices:
All Voltaic solar bags come equipped with 11 standard adapters for cell phones and multiple other handheld devices. The Generator also includes common laptop adapters.

Features:
There is a handy little indicator light on top of the backpack that glows red to show electrical activity. As for Voltaic’s solar cell’s, they feel quite flexible and allow for natural movement when wearing the backpack, not nearly as stiff or rigid as they may appear. Voltaic also boasts that its solar components are able to withstand bending and heavy loads, while at the same time resisting tears from sharp objects. The cells are supposed to last 25 years and should also “self-heal” in the sun. They are very durable and can take alot of “heat” (pun intended), and Voltaic says the bag will continue to function even if one of the panels is destroyed, though naturally, at a lower efficiency. If you do manage, somehow, to damage or perhaps lose one, each 4-ounce cell can be replaced for $30.

Design:
The Voltaic Solar Backpack is roomy, tucking away its wires within pockets. Your headphone cords run through a shoulder strap, for access to an MP3 player or phone which then fits inside its own velcro-shut shoulder pouch. The bag also offers an array of zippered pockets, including mesh ones, as well as providing room for a water bladder, a necessity when used for hiking. Although not waterproof, the recycled nylon fabric should resist rain, as long as it is zipped shut to protect the electrical innards. The Voltaic solar backpack offers more inside space than other competing solar packs, namely the Juice Bag from Reware: 1,850 cubic inches versus 1,255 cubic inches.

Dimensions:
Height: 20″
Width: 15″
Depth: 10″

Even without the solar panels, this is a well-designed backpack with more than enough pockets for gear; ideal for a short camping trip or bicycling outing.

The Voltaic Solar Backpack Is Eco-Friendly:

With these solar bags, Voltaic Systems is aiming to, and for the most part succeeding in their efforts to, create a “green” product from the inside out. Voltaic Systems is a small business that touts ecological sustainability through renewable energy and recycled materials. The Taiwan based factory that spins the bags’ PET fabric from recycled plastic soda bottles, also supplies fabric to Nike. Recycled PET fabric is light-weight, extremely durable, UV and water resistant, and even looks better than the nylon it replaces. Most notably, it uses significantly less energy to produce and creates demand for recycled material. You also won’t be frustrated by wasteful, hard-to-crack packaging because recycled paper makes up both the backpack’s shipping container and adapter box.

The Bottom Line:

This backpack is very easy too use and ideal if you’re always on the hop. For something so portable and solar, it offers a generous selection of adapters. It has a maximum output of 10v straight from the panels themselves. It is equipped with a battery that has a maximum output of 7.2v, which is able to easily charge most small electronics. Being made from recycled plastic, it is very eco-friendly and holds its own in the rain as well. And dont worry about the solar panels… they are pretty tough and can withstand some rugged treatment. The Voltaic Solar Backpack is highly recommended for anyone constantly on the go, who needs their techno-toys always juiced so they can stay connected! It absolutely pays for itself.

The Voltaic System Solar-Powered Backpack’s thoughtful design and solar-charging features make it a definite winner for keeping cell phones, handhelds, MP3 players, and digital cameras charged when away from electrical outlets.