The 5 Best Solar Backpack: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

man laying next to a backpack

What is a solar backpack? It is a backpack that has built-in solar panels. These are awesome for adventurers and survivalists alike because it allows you to charge devices and have a power source in case of emergencies. In this buying guide we will give an overview of the best solar backpacks currently for sale in the market as well going into further detail about the important features to consider when shopping in the buying guide section.

In a Hurry? Here Are Our Top 3 Picks

Top Pick
Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
Runner Up
Voltaic Systems Converter Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
Best Budget Pick
Sunnybag EXPLORER+ solar backpack charger | World's strongest water resistant solar panel for smartphones and all USB-devices on the go | 15L volume and 15’’ laptop compartment | Black/Black
Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
Voltaic Systems Converter Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
Sunnybag EXPLORER+ solar backpack charger | World's strongest water resistant solar panel for smartphones and all USB-devices on the go | 15L volume and 15’’ laptop compartment | Black/Black
Price not available
$109.00
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Top Pick
Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
Price not available
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Runner Up
Voltaic Systems Converter Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
Voltaic Systems Converter Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
$109.00
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Best Budget Pick
Sunnybag EXPLORER+ solar backpack charger | World's strongest water resistant solar panel for smartphones and all USB-devices on the go | 15L volume and 15’’ laptop compartment | Black/Black
Sunnybag EXPLORER+ solar backpack charger | World's strongest water resistant solar panel for smartphones and all USB-devices on the go | 15L volume and 15’’ laptop compartment | Black/Black
Price not available
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Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reviews of the 5 Best Solar Backpack

Our reviews are completely unbiased and we only include the very best solar backpacks on the market that are top-rated and made by reputable manufacturers.

1. Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Rapid Solar Backpack

Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
  • INCLUDES A BATTERY PACK (V50 POWER BANK) to charge your device quickly and safely. Store energy and power to charge your devices even when it is cloudy and the sun is not out
  • INCLUDES A 2-YEAR WARRANTY. Our solar panels are designed to last. Built using rugged fabric and strong solar cells that can withstand the rigors of everyday use (2 year on solar panel, 1 year on battery pack)
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE SOLAR PANELS made from industry-leading monocrystalline solar cells charges most smartphones completely in 3.5 hours in direct sunlight
  • BACKPACK DESIGN | Padded laptop/tablet sleeve (up to 15" laptop and 10” tablet), large main storage compartment, plenty of convenient storage for cables, adapters and tablets, expandable water bottle / tripod pocket, easy access padded sunglasses pocket
  • COMPATIBILITY | Designed to power thousands of devices that charge from USB, including various handheld devices and smartphones, and DSLR camera batteries (with USB charging cradle). Includin iPhone, iPad, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Blackberry, iPads and Samsung Tablets, iPods, Sony, Nikon, Canon, and GoPro digital cameras

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our pick for the best overall solar backpack goes to this Voltaic Systems OffGrid 10 Watt Backpack. Included is a battery pack and power bank so you can charge your devices using this backpack even in cloudy weather when the sun isn’t out. The battery charges when the sun is out so that it is ready to use when you need it.

Included with your purchase is a two year warranty free from the company on the solar panel and a one year warranty on the battery pack. It takes less than four hours to completely charge a smartphone using solar power using this solar charger backpack. It is also designed to hold your laptop, valuables, and tripod and other accessories.

Pros:

  • Charge thousands of different devices
  • Holds a charge using a battery
  • Use it even when the sun is not out
  • Takes 3.5 hours to charge smartphones
  • Roomy inside for 15” laptops
  • Perfect for photographers and videographers

Cons:

  • May be too expensive for some novice users as it is made for nature videographers, photographers, hikers, etc
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Voltaic Systems Converter Rapid Solar Backpack Charger

Voltaic Systems Converter Rapid Solar Backpack Charger | Includes a Battery Pack (Power Bank) and 2 Year Warranty | Powers Phones Including iPhone, Tablets, USB Devices, More
  • INCLUDES A BATTERY PACK (V25 POWER BANK) to charge your device quickly and safely. Store energy and power to charge your devices even when it is cloudy and the sun is not out
  • INCLUDES A 2-YEAR WARRANTY. Our solar panels are designed to last. Built using rugged fabric and strong solar cells that can withstand the rigors of everyday use (2 year on solar panel, 1 year on battery pack)
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE SOLAR PANELS made from industry-leading monocrystalline solar cells charges most smartphones completely in 3.5 hours in direct sunlight
  • BACKPACK DESIGN | 20L of storage. Fully padded, dedicated laptop/tablet sleeve fits 15" laptops and up to 10” tablets. Main storage compartment plus 2 interior pockets, laptop sleeve and front and side pocket for charging small electronics
  • COMPATIBILITY | Designed to power thousands of devices that charge from USB (including various handheld devices) and DSLR camera batteries. Including iPhone, Android, Samsung Galaxy, iPads, Tablets, Sony, Nikon, Canon, and GoPro digital cameras

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our runner up pick is another amazing Voltaic Systems Solar Backpack. They are the best solar backpacks on the market and they come with an extended warranty and excellent customer care from the manufacturer. The industry leading design features top of the line solar panels which can charge most smartphones in less than four hours.

It includes a battery pack and you can charge your devices even when the sun isn’t out because the device stores power. It is meant for rigorous use and is fashioned from high-quality materials. There is 20 liters of storage within the main compartment and it also features pockets and a sleeve for electronics.

Pros:

  • Can hold laptops and tablets
  • Charges thousands of devices from phones to cameras
  • Holds energy even when the sun isn’t out
  • Industry leading solar panels
  • Stylish design
  • Less expensive Voltaic Systems solar backpack
  • Lots of pockets

Cons:

  • Only comes in one color
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Sunnybag ICONIC solar portable backpack charger

Sunnybag ICONIC solar portable backpack charger in olive brown | 7 Watt water resistant solar panel | Charge all Smartphones and portable USB devices | 20L volume
  • SOLAR CHARGER BACKPACK - The Sunnybag ICONIC solar backpack charges mobile devices such as mobile phones, iPads, digital cameras, smartwatches, power banks etc. via an integrated USB port. Compatible with iPhone X / 8 / 8p, Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9p S8 / S8p.
  • THE STRONGEST SOLAR CELLS ON THE MARKET - The solar panel delivers 7 watts of power and 22.4% efficiency and can charge a smartphone battery in 2 hours in direct sunlight.
  • 100% CERTIFIED POWER - Every single solar panel is tested and certified before shipping. This certificate will accompany the backpack when you receive it.
  • ROBUST & CONVENIENT - The ICONIC is an ergonomic and functional laptop backpack for everyday use at work, college, camping, hiking or outdoors. It is made from water-resistant material and comes with a rain cover. The integrated solar panel with charger built in makes it a perfect companion for everyone who likes to be independent and keep their devices charged.
  • STYLISH & PRACTICAL - The fashionable 20L backpack offers well-structured storage space for all your belongings. You can safely store your laptop, notebook or tablet in a padded 17'' laptop compartment. Product dimensions: 19 x 15 x 7 inches.

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sunnybag is another great brand for solar powered charger backpacks which is why we have included several in our solar backpack buying guides. You can charge tablets, phones, laptops, and cameras with the USB port on this backpack. This is one of the most powerful solar backpacks on the market and can charge a smartphone in only two hours, nearly half of that of the time it takes other leading solar backpacks.

There is 20 liters of storage within this backpack and it can fit a 17” laptop. It is a stylish design as well that comes in an olive brown color. The materials used are all water resistant so rain will not damage the backpack or the things inside.

Pros:

  • Stylish olive brown color
  • Charges a phone in two hours
  • Integrated USB port
  • Strong solar cells
  • Rigorously tested for safety and performance

Cons:

  • A separate wireless charger will be needed to charge batteries when the sun isn’t out
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. HAWEEL Solar Backpack

HAWEEL Solar Backpack, Flexible Solar Panel 14W Power Backpack Laptop Bag with Handle and USB Charging Port (Black) 
  • GO SOLAR – This comfortable, practical computer backpack comes with a state-of-the-art solar panel and a built-in battery that charges any USB device. Keep your laptops, cell phones, and tablets at full battery with the power of the sun, and enjoy the freedom of a truly portable, truly eco-friendly charger.
  • WATERPROOF SOLAR PANEL – Our lightweight solar backpacks are designed to be waterproof and scratch-resistant, and can also be washed easily. The exterior fabric goes through heavy testing as well to ensure a strong, durable exterior shell so you never have to worry about our travel backpack being anything less than perfect.
  • PREMIUM FABRIC AND STITCHING – This is a fantastic solar panel USB backpack, but it is still a backpack, and it needs to fit and feel and work like one. This black backpack’s interior is lined with high-quality fabric that hugs your electronics and other belongings, plus leather handles provide the perfect blend of artistry and durability.
  • Ultra-Light. Ultra-Durable. Ultra-Awesome - The backpack is perfect for day-to-day use or occasional travel, and great gift for any age. It's made from rip and water resistant fabric, and provides strength and long-lasting performance, with minimal weight.
  • THE DETAILS - Max Power: 14W , Max Working Current: 1.25+-0.2A , Max Working Voltage: 9.94+-1V.

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This solar backpack has a very basic black design. The rugged construction is made to be as light as possible and is made of water resistant fabric for use outdoors, hiking, etc. On the inside of the backpack the main compartment and pockets are lined with soft fabric that protects your valuables.

You can store tablets and laptops in this backpack and also use them to charge your devices with the integrated USB port. It has high-quality leather handles that are anti-slip and easy to carry even for long periods. At 14 W, this is a super high-powered solar backpack. You can use it every day for going to school or work or you can use it for travel and outdoor adventures.

Pros:

  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Lightweight
  • Rigorously tested for quality assurance
  • Waterproof outer shell and soft inner shell
  • Charges any device with a USB charger
  • One year warranty

Cons:

  • Really simple and basic style (a black rectangle) that looks more like a gear bag than a backpack
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. SUNNYBAG Explorer+ Solar Backpack Charger

Sunnybag EXPLORER+ solar backpack charger | World's strongest water resistant solar panel for smartphones and all USB-devices on the go | 15L volume and 15’’ laptop compartment | Black/Black
  • SOLAR CHARGER BACKPACK - The Sunnybag EXPLORER+ solar backpack with charger built in powers mobile devices such as mobile phones, iPads, digital cameras, smartwatches, power banks etc. via an integrated USB charge port.
  • THE STRONGEST SOLAR CELLS ON THE MARKET - Charge your mobile devices directly through the removable solar panel with more than 6 Watts of power and 22.4% efficiency.
  • 100% CERTIFIED POWER - Every single solar panel is tested and certified before shipping. This certificate will accompany the backpack when you receive it.
  • SOPHISTICATED DESIGN - With a padded 15“ laptop compartment, 15 liters of volume and ergonomic design the EXPLORER+ is a reliable travel companion for everyday use. Numerous pockets and compartments make it easy to organize your belongings. Product dimensions: 12 x 15 x 5.5 inches.
  • HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL - This ultra-light and durable daypack is composed of water-repellent ripstop fabric and is insulated for additional resistance. Perfect for hiking, camping, and outdoor use.

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This bag by SUNNYBAG comes in three different colors and also happens to be our pick for the best budget bag because it is a more affordable price than many of the leading solar backpacks without sacrificing any of the performance. It has a USB charger port integrated into the design that allows you to easily charge all of your devices from phones, laptops, and tablets. It has 6 W of power.

The design is very good looking in addition to being effective so you can wear it around campus or to work like a regular backpack. It is made out of lightweight materials and it is also resistant to water and moisture, making it perfect for outdoor use such as camping or hiking. For storage space there is 15 liters of space which is a little smaller than average, but you can still fit a 15 inch laptop inside.

Pros:

  • Durable and water resistant outer layer
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Powerful solar panels
  • Charge a variety of devices on the go
  • USB port
  • Solar panel is removable

Cons:

  • This bag is slightly smaller than other leading solar panel backpacks
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Buying Guide

Now that we have gone over a list of the best-selling models currently on the market let’s talk more about each of the features that you should consider when buying a solar backpack. Reading our handy buying guide before you purchase can help you avoid making common mistakes as well help you get the most from your money with your purchase. Keep reading to the end of this solar backpack buying guide for answers to the most frequently asked questions about solar backpacks.

Features to Consider When Shopping For a Solar Backpack

If you are shopping for a solar backpack you should consider each of the following features before you buy. The features can have an effect on the price, performance, or appearance of the backpack and comparing and contrasting the features of the bestselling solar backpacks on the market can help you determine which one is the best for you.

Price

Solar backpacks cost a lot more than regular backpacks because solar power technology has not advanced to the point where everyone is doing it, it does cost more to manufacture these products because of supply and demand. Other features other than the solar panels that will have an effect on the price of the solar backpack is the materials that are used in the construction of the bag itself.

Because solar backpacks generally carry electronics, hence the need for the USB ports and solar panels, it is also essential that the material used in the construction of the bag itself be made out of a water resistant fabric. The price to manufacture waterproof backpacks with a soft inner lining for electronics is more than that of a regular book bag which is why the premium price tag on solar backpacks is worth it.

Brand

Related to the price, is the brand. The brand of the bag matters in terms of price, appearance, and performance because different manufacturers use different materials and technologies to fashion their products. If you want to skip past inefficient products and get straight to the best backpacks then we recommend looking at reputable brands first.

Voltaic and Sunnbag are both reputable dealers of solar backpacks that have a reputation for high-quality solar backpacks. The style of the bag is also important, especially if you plan on using it as a daily backpack and not just for the occasional travel excursion. The brands also may also offer different warranties and customer care which is important to take into consideration as well as the style of the bag.

Cheap knockoffs of the popular brands should always be avoided because although they promise the same performance they use less expensive materials which are not as high-quality and the performance will not be as good. When it comes to solar backpacks you should look for brands that offer at least a thirty day warranty if not a year as well as brands who are committed to rigorously quality checking their products for safety and performance before shipping them out.

Size

Usually backpacks will measure the size in terms of liters. Most solar backpacks are around 20 L, while the smaller ones may cost a little less. The size of the solar backpack is important depending on what you plan on carrying in it.

One feature that people pay a lot of attention to is the laptop sleeve. The size of the laptop sleeve is important in order to keep your device safe it will need to have a big enough space. You can expect to fit a 15” to 17” laptop in most solar backpacks.

Weight

In addition to the size of the backpack you should also think about the weight. You should be able to see what the weight of the backpack is in the product description before you purchase so you can figure out how heavy or light it is. For long treks a lightweight backpack is ideal.

You want the backpack to be both durable and lightweight. If it is too flimsy it may not hold up well over time or protect your devices if you carry a laptop or tablet. You need to think about not only the weight of just the backpack itself but also the weight of what you plan on storing in it and how far you will be carrying the backpack.

The solar panels are going to weigh down the backpack more than a regular backpack so you can expect it to be at least a few extra pounds heavy. Having high-quality shoulder straps can help spread out the weight of the bag and extra padding on the back and shoulders helps to prevent soreness after a long hike.

Storage

The storage within the bag is not just limited to the storage of the main compartment. In addition to a large inner compartment most solar backpacks also include a variety of other pockets and storage spaces for devices, electronics, water bottles, and more. When shopping for a solar backpack you should consider what sort of electronics and other things you plan on putting in your backpack so that you can decide how many pockets and what kind of space that you need.

Handles/Straps

The handles and straps on the bag are important for your comfort especially for hiking and camping. Backpacks should have two shoulder straps, but the design of the straps can vary. Some straps criss cross over the back while others hang down loosely. The best shoulder straps for a heavy-duty backpack like this are those which have some extra padding and which spread the weight out evenly so that it is not focused in one spot.

Another handle that you may find on the bag will be one near the top of the bag. Having an easy-lift handle at the top of the bag is great because without it your only option is to have the backpack on your back or hanging loosely by one of the straps. The backpack should ideally have two high-quality shoulder straps as well as at least one easy lift handle on the top of the bag.

The materials and the stitching on the handles is important because often the shoulder straps and handles and the first things to fall off of a backpack. High-quality straps means that you will get more use out of a backpack over time before you have to worry about sewing up a broken shoulder strap.

Color

It can be hard to find solar backpacks that do not look like basic black camera gear bags, but with a little bit of hunting you can find solar backpacks in many of your favorite colors. Neutrals and blacks are ideal for outdoor use because they do not stain as easily as light colors.

You may end up paying more just for the color of the backpack if it is a sought after color and for this reason going with a basic black or grey may be reasonable. You do not have to settle for an unattractive backpack, Sunnybag and Voltaic both make very good looking bags that you can carry around every day. You can even remove the solar panels on some bags to convert it to a regular looking backpack.

Charging Ports

Most solar backpacks can charge a wide range of devices by liberty of an integrated charging port. This charging port is usually a USB charging port, but this can vary. While a USB port is acceptable for almost all devices, some laptops like new Macbooks do not use a USB charger and instead use a USB-C charger so this is something important to keep in mind when shopping. You want to make sure that the solar backpack that you buy has the appropriate type of charging port for the devices that you need to carry on the go.

Solar Panels

One of the most important features of the bag is of course the solar panels. The quality of the solar panels will determine how fast your devices can charge. Here is a list of things to consider about the solar panels:

  • Testing

Solar panels are new technology and rigorous testing should go into all consumer products that include relatively new technologies such as solar power.

  • Wattage

The wattage of the solar panels charging capability is important when it comes to your devices. You may want to check and see what voltage is required for your devices. For reference, most iphones and other smartphones have a voltage between 5 and 10 W.

  • Battery pack

The inclusion of a battery pack with the solar backpack means that you will be able to charge your devices even when the sun doesn’t shine because the solar panels will charge the battery pack. If one is not included with the backpack you can buy them separately and use them together to store power for later.

  • Removable

Some solar backpacks feature solar panels that are removable whereas others are permanently affixed to the bag. Some people like being able to take the solar panels off because it can make the bag more lightweight or change up the style for a more casual daily look.

Warranty

When shopping for a solar backpack you should look for models that come with a free warranty. Solar backpacks can come with a premium price tag so you don’t want to waste your money on an inefficient product and a warranty protects your purchase in case of parts defects.

If you want to find out more about the warranties offered on a particular backpack you should be able to contact the customer service department of the manufacturer. All reputable manufacturers should have a customer care center set up that can help you with warranties and other questions either by email or over the phone.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about solar backpacks.

How do solar backpacks work?

A solar backpack is a backpack that has integrated solar panels on it. The point of having solar panels on a backpack is that as you are walking around in the sun the panels can be charging or absorbing light for you to use to charge your devices. If you are hiking or camping this can be super useful, but some people even like them for daily use. You can use them to charge phones, laptops, and tablets.

Do solar backpacks work when the sun isn’t out?

Some solar backpacks can only be used when the sun is shining, but with the additional purchase of a portable battery charger you can use the solar backpack to charge up the other portable charger for later. If this seems like a lot of steps, there are some best-selling solar backpacks in the review section of this buying guide that include a portable charger with the purchase of the bag so that you can charge your devices even when the sun isn’t shining.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading our solar backpack buying guide. Solar backpacks are great for travel and daily use because you can use them to charge smartphones and other devices on the go. Our pick for the best overall solar backpack was the Voltaic Systems Offgrid Solar Backpack. If you need a more affordable option we recommend the SUNNYBAG Explorer Solar Backpack because it is slightly smaller and less expensive while still being of a very high-quality.